Fort Loramie News
Fort Loramie Area Chamber of Commerce
St. Michael's Catholic Church
33 Elm Street
Fort Loramie, OH 45845
Reverend Steven Shoup, Pastor
Saturday Vigil – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday – 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m.
Daily Mass – Monday, 6:30 pm
Wednesday–Friday, 8:25 a.m.
History of St. Michael's Catholic Church
St. Michael's Church Society was organized in 1838 at the home of James M. Pilliod, and the first Mass was said in his storeroom by Father Louis Navarron. Father Navarron also served parishes in Versailles, Russia, Minster, Maria Stein, Celina, and St. Mary's.
In 1845 services were held in a little blockhouse on the grounds where W. H. Quinlin originally operated his drug store. In 1849, work began on the first brick church. Construction was delayed because of the cholera epidemic, and the church was finally completed in 1851 during the tenure of Rev. Augustin Berger, the first permanent pastor. The church was a plain structure with a tower and belfry containing two bells. An addition built several years later gave the church an overall measurement of 40 by 80 feet. It was later incorporated with the present church and today is used as a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.
In 1878, through the efforts of Rev. William Bigot, preparations were begun for the present church. In October 1879, the laying of the cornerstone was witnessed by 2,000 parishioners and their friends. The dimensions of the Tuscan-Gothic church were 64 by 170 feet; center vault, 55 feet high and side vaults 32 feet high; with a 200-foot tower containing four bells, the largest weighing 3,600 pounds. The church was built of brick, and trimmed and decorated with sandstone. Twenty-two stained glass windows were installed, and eighteen statues and fourteen stations of the cross were imported from Germany. Pews to seat 800 and a pipe organ with 22 registers were installed. The new church was consecrated in 1881 by Bishop W. H. Elder.
The church appears today much as it did 125 years ago with its beautiful carved wood high altar and two side altars. The original bells still toll from the tower to announce Mass and the praying of the Angelus. The pipe organ has been enhanced to over 1,100 pipes, the lighting has been modernized, and in 2007 the heating system was upgraded and air conditioning added. St. Michael's Church has always been considered one of the most outstanding church structures in the Cincinnati Archdiocese.
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