Time in a Bulletin

I forgot to post last night about a really fascinating project on the website of St. Luke’s Parish in Beavercreek, Ohio. (The Beavercreek that’s a suburb of Dayton, not the “Beaver Creek” on the other side of the state.)

Some wonderful soul has scanned in, and posted, the parish bulletins from 1955 to 1976, right next to the current run. I do not think you could possibly find a finer snapshot of change and continuity in a parish, without someone writing a book. Even hymn listings are included.

When the run of bulletins begins, the parish does not yet have a church and had to meet for Mass at a nearby public school. (What was then “Beavercreek Primary School” on “Xenia Pike” is now “Main Elementary” on “Dayton-Xenia Road”.) Over the course of time, the parish converted a barn into Bishop Ford Hall and a house into a rectory, and since then has built a church, school, convent, new cafeteria, and new church.

There are many surprises for a Catholic my age. Apparently the 8 AM Mass at St. Luke’s was still in Latin in 1970. So my childhood memories of my mom complaining about Latin’s absence — she was complaining about a deprivation that was RECENT.

“Our Parish Is a Tithing Parish”. It is??

“A Sister receives about $700.00 a year for teaching; a Lay Teacher a minimum of $2000. The difference, $1300, is what a Religious Sister contributes.”

“We ask St. Luke to bring us better weather for the Tuesday evening Meeting at the High School Cafeteria.”

“An all expense trip to Cincinnati for one day is offered to each of the three boys who learn their Mass Latin first. Get set Boys!”


“Through a great mystery, the all powerful and all-good God has designed that men should share in carrying on the mission of His Son become Man. All are called to share in carrying on in space and time the Mission of Christ. Our campaign [raising money to build the parish]  is based on this vocation… We are instruments of God… Pro Deo.

“Please pray daily for the success of our campaign.

“Sincerely yours in Christ,

“Martin T. Gilligan, Pastor.”


In 1955, people were already worried about a relative decline in numbers of Catholic women going into the religious life. Oh-ho….

There’s also a (retrospectively) sad posting from Fr. Jansen, when he first became pastor later in the seventies, about what he’d been taught by the archdiocese were the responsibilities of a “Pastoral Administrator”. Depressingly, there is no mention of any real pastoral stuff — just business. No wonder the job ate him up.

Anyway, it’s all interesting!

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