St. Michael’s Ridge
05480 Moser Road, Defiance, OH 43512
419-497-2161 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The History of St. Michael Ridge Parish Religious Education Program
In 1881, Rev. John H. Muehlenbeck became pastor of St. Michael's and had a 20x40 school built in 1882 to serve the children of St. Michael's. Lay teachers taught the children until 1912 when the Sisters of Notre Dame took charge. In 1919, parishioners erected a house for the janitor and began a campaign to build a new school. It was completed in 1921. Many of us were educated there up to the 8th grade taught by those nuns. A new sister's residence was also built and completed in 1922.
The best modern day history of the school building is given by the 1987 Historical Review. When the Sisters of Notre Dame could no longer stay, the parish grade school was closed in June 1978 and replaced with the CCD program. Sister Mary Lou DeBauche, OSU, Pastoral Associate at that time asked for, and quickly received, volunteers to begin teaching CCD using the school. The school building lasted until 2013 when, after years of trying to keep it open (see Council Minutes from 2010 until 2013 ) , our Parish Council decided it was no longer possible to maintain the building and voted to demolish it. The thinking was that, for the short term, they could use all available space in the church and convent to hold classes. As discussed in a recent meeting with Fr. Bob Kill, the building committee and many of our parishioners, the need is great to replace the space lost. Our parish CCD program has remained vibrant and the student numbers consistent or growing. You can see the growth when you watch the pre-schoolers go up to get Fr. Bob’s blessing before their introduction to our faith on Sunday mornings. It’s also obvious from seeing the number of babies and young children at Mass. The present short term “work around” has been very inconvenient and inefficient for CCD teachers and students. No one at the meeting felt a new location wasn’t a real need. Thought we’re not positive what that new location will be yet, or have a definite idea of its design, we do know how much space it’ll need (about 5500 square feet) and at the present price of construction would cost approximately $750,000. We also know that the Diocese of Toledo would need to approve that size project. Their present rules require we have commitments for the complete cost and cash in hand for two thirds of the amount ($488,000) before we begin construction. Fortunately we do have a good start toward that amount (see our Bulletin each week for the latest figures). We’ve already received commitments of grants and are applying for more but that vast a total will be a challenge for our small parish. We don’t want to take long to be ready to start since the price of construction will most likely be going up. We need everyone’s help, not only for contributions but also for ideas on how to make best use of the new building. You can contact one of the building committee members with your ideas or join the committee itself. Kent Beilharz is Co-chairman, Ronda Fabiano represents the CCD program, (see Ronda’s explanation of the CCD space need - RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INFORMATION) and Dave Kahle has been pulling together construction estimates. Fr. Bob or any of the other committee members will be glad to hear from you.