The purpose of Sacred Heart Catholic Church is to glorify God through Christ our savior by providing appropriate opportunities for worship, expanding education in the Catholic faith, serving others in a spirit of Christian sacrifice and charity, offering fellowship to all, and sharing our beliefs throughout our community.
Jesus came to give us life and eternal life in the age to come. (JN 10:10) Sacred Heart parish in New Carlisle, Ohio continues the life of Jesus through devout Catholic families and through all the activities listed here.
Some 2,000 years ago when Jesus came among us he healed the sick, exorcised demons, forgave sins, and thereby made all who follow him happy both in this life and in the next. Jesus founded his Church upon the apostles and by his Holy Spirit empowered their successors to carry-on his work until we are all united in the House of our Father.
These apostles and their successors went from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Jesus’ followers first brought this good news to the shores of the “New World” in 1492. As North America was colonized and settled, the Church continued the work of Jesus for both the indigenous peoples and the immigrants to this new land. Much of the work of God was done by traveling priests. Thus, outlying settlements would receive these sacramental graces at best once a month. The larger populations would be able to retain a permanent priest and would be able to receive the graces of Christ on a more regular basis.
Here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati it was the Dean of Springfield, Monsignor Martin Varley, who saw the potential for a Church in New Carlisle and insisted on purchasing, in 1944, the property here on West Lake Avenue. By 1950 there were 45 Catholic families in the New Carlisle area who built the first mission parish under the direction of Brother Bertrand Bailey. At the time these chapels were widespread throughout the diocese and were affectionately called “Brother Bertrand’s Chapels”. They had an efficient design which provided a reverent sanctuary for the Holy Eucharist and seating for many parishioners.
Many of the families of New Carlisle earned their living in agriculture with the cash crop of the day being the potato and various fruit orchards. New Carlisle had even held an annual potato festival. As Idaho and other places in the country have outproduced our local potato crop today’s community picnic is called the Heritage of Flight and is held every October. This weekend festival features a parade in which aircraft are pulled down Main Street.
Father Paul Golembiewski was appointed the first resident pastor in 1954. He also cared for Sacred Heart Mission in St. Paris. The parish rectory was built in 1955. The architectural plans from this rectory were taken from the rectories of the old North Dayton parishes. It had offices for the pastor and secretary. It also had quarters for a live-in housekeeper, and three guest rooms. On Sundays the lower level was used for religious education classes.
At first Sacred Heart attracted many growing families returning from the Second World and Korean wars. The advancing residential population prompted a need for more educational space and a social and catechetical center was dedicated in 1961. By that time, the parish had grown to some 250 families and 300 children regularly attended religious education classes.
Significant in the history of the parish was the first Mass of Father Dennis Dettenwanger in 1964 and of his brother, Father George Dettenwanger in 1967. The Dettenwanger family was one of the original 45 Sacred Heart families. Another parishioner, Jesuit Father Freank Pedrotti, celebrated his first Mass in 1970.
The decision by the Sisters of the Precious blood to build a convent and maintain a presence in new Carlisle led to an expansion of the catechetical center and, by 1966, the parish numbered more than 400 families with 515 children in religious classes.
During the 1960’s the church reached out to the migrant workers in the area, sponsoring migrant fiestas each year and focusing on Hispanic culture.
By 1975 the parish consisted of 532 families with 683 students attending religious education. Over the past 60+ years, the parish has welcomed numerous pastors, including Father Paul Golembiewski, Father Robert Schutte, Father Charles Blum, Father Clarence Diegelman, Father William Wood, Father John Burns and son of the parish Father John MacQuarrie, Father Robert Marine, Father Michael Bidwell and Father Kenneth Hummel. Father Samuel Gonzalez, a native of Colombia, South America, served as a chaplain to our Latino families for 15 years, and Father Paul Vieson, SM, served for 25 years as an assistant.
Under Father Michael Bidwell the parish built a new church which was dedicated in 2005. It was designed for all the parishioners to worship in one body, rather than half seated in the main body and the other half on the annex. The 2005 church also features generous natural lighting, a raised sanctuary, ample gathering space in the narthex for visiting fellow parishioners before and after Mass, and a separate Eucharistic chapel for one on one time with Jesus present in the tabernacle.
Today parishioners continue to work in Springfield, Dayton, and the surrounding areas. Many have come to Sacred Heart because a family member has found employment at “the Base;” Wright Patterson Air Force Base which is the largest employer in the state of Ohio.
In 2012, Fr. Kenneth Hummel became pastor. We had 136 children in the Catechism program. We had 700 families of which 200 are of Hispanic origin. Many of our families can trace their origins back to the Mexican states of Michoacán and Guanajuato. We had Mass in Spanish two weekends per month. Many of our Latino parishioners have long become citizens and have lived here for decades. Sr. Maria Stacy, Sr. Heleen Hehman and Fr. Samuel Gonzalez have worked closely with out Latino community for more than a decade.
In 2014, we changed our Mass schedule to include Mass in Spanish every week, on Saturday evenings.
In 2015, we welcomed a new pastor, Fr. Tom Nevels. We also welcomed a new Chaplain to the Latino community, Father Ariel Fernando Pico Rincon, who hails from Colombia, South America.
In 2016, we have added a new Priest-in-Residence, Fr. James Schimelpfening.
When new families join the parish they like the small-town feel and friendliness of the parishioners. It is a place where the work of Jesus which began some 2000 years ago continues to thrive today as parishioners experience the action of the Holy Spirit; gifts of healing, forgiveness of sins, happiness in this life and in the life to come where the sacred Heart awaits us at the right hand of God the Father.