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Remembrances > Memories of The Catholic Church From my Youth
Memories of The Catholic Church From my Youth
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640 posts
Jun 28, 2014
12:11 AM
I just finished reading a comment on the Dayton Memories Blog regarding the severe shortage of Priests that the Parishes in the Miami valley are currently experiencing. I couldn’t help but remember back in the days of my youth when things were so much different.

I am not Catholic, but I did grow up with a Catholic Grandmother in our house and she insisted on making the rounds of every Catholic Church she could get to. In retrospect I have no clue why, but she would need to say her rosary or pray at least an hour, attend one mass and meet at least one priest in every parish. It would take Grandma 2-3 months to make her little circuit and then she would start all over again. Sometimes I would go (get dragged) along with her. My reward for not complaining was to periodically be taken to various church carnivals and socials as they occurred. My favorite carnivals were St. Helens, Immaculate Conception (new parish) and Holy Rosary, mainly for the cabbage rolls. I recall how the Ladies of Holy Rosary would work for hours on end making those large metal pans of cabbage rolls to be placed in the ovens/stoves for cooking. The smells coming from the kitchen in the parish hall would often waif clear upstairs into the church sanctuary. I recall how often Holy Family always used to have a bazaar or some other neat function going on in the basement hall below the parish. I also remember a club that used to be located in the hall, Hy-Teens or something similar, I think all the kids ever done was hang out there and play ping pong and drink soda, but it looked cool and grown up to a 10 year old.

There were always numerous masses held throughout the week and on Holy days, Saturday was for confessions and there were normally at least 2 confessionals operating at the same time, in larger parishes there were 3. A shortage of priests was something I doubt anyone had ever thought of in those carefree days when each parish had at least several priests and sometimes a Monsignor. I recall how it seemed that priests and Sisters were everywhere. Often I would see one or more Sisters bustling about the church, tending to the Altar, the votive light stands or doing some other chore in the sacristy. In those days the churches were open from early morning until at least 6 in the evening, if someone was still praying when it came time to lock the doors, the Priest would always wait, no one was ever interrupted, rushed or asked to leave.

I think my Grandma had Prayer cards and a fairly recent church bulletin from every parish. I recall when copies of Our Sunday Visitor was 6 cents (I always insisted on dropping the coins in the box to hear the tink) in many parishes such as Holy Family, there was also a rack with a fairly large selection of paperback books for sale. There were (believe it or not) even mystery novels based in church settings. I recall a series with such titles as ‘Murder in the Nunnery’ (Not convent, but nunnery) and a hero priest who was as much a sleuth as a man of the cloth, who always traveled around and swiftly solved the crimes.

Little did I know in those carefree days of my youth that I would one day look back so fondly on those times spent with my Grandmother. I still recall the peace I often felt while inside the churches looking at the beautiful stained glass windows, the statuary and kneeling in front of the twinkling multiple colored votive lights. The smell of the wood tapers as they were extinguished in the sand after lighting a candle, and the toll of the bell softly chiming out the hour of the day. Somehow those memories seem so distant as if from another lifetime lived centuries ago.

Last Edited by RIVERDALE RAT on Jun 28, 2014 7:35 PM
204 posts
Jun 28, 2014
11:05 AM
I enjoyed reading your fond memory of the time spent with your grandmother.
There is a feeling that comes over a person when the mind remembers those precious days!I don't think there is a word that can completely express the full experience of being transported back in time.I only know that it is a gift!
Thank you for sharing!
501 posts
Jun 28, 2014
3:28 PM
I really enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing your fond memory.
111 posts
Jun 29, 2014
9:59 AM
Thanks for the post. Enjoyed reading it.
649 posts
Jun 30, 2014
11:58 PM
Thanks to all of you for the nice comments. Some memories just seem to flow very easy once you begin talking about them.
293 posts
Jul 01, 2014
12:48 PM

Surprised you didn't mention the roster of black-listed movies that hung in the rear of Catholic churches in those days. I remember thinking I was Hell bound after having seen the James Bond movie "Thunderball" before discovering the movie was on the list.
651 posts
Jul 02, 2014
2:28 AM
Calhoun... oddly enough I never encountered such a roster, if I did I either didn't pay it any attention or I just don't remember it. I remember plenty of pamphlets and propaganda being launched against the YMCA, but nothing about movies. Which parish do you remember this from?

Last Edited by RIVERDALE RAT on Jul 02, 2014 2:29 AM
294 posts
Jul 02, 2014
2:41 PM
All Catholic churches I remember posted the banned movie list. Specific to the Thunderball story, it was St. Brigid's in Xenia.
655 posts
Jul 03, 2014
3:53 AM
I'm drawing a total blank on the banned movie list, maybe the churches in Dayton posted in in the weekly church bulletin or else I just don't recall it.
14 posts
Jul 09, 2014
11:43 AM
Well, the banned list was in the Catholic Telegraph Register back in the day.
luv my dayton
655 posts
Jul 12, 2014
11:51 AM
Went to an elementary school in kettering which was next door to the Catholic school named St Albert. Remember as a kid noticing the difference in behavior of the kids when we all would be out for recess. Catholic students less rowdy and loud. Our side as I recall was very unruly and that was in the 50s.
696 posts
Jul 19, 2014
8:24 AM
luv my dayton...Cant believe that Kettering has swallowed up that area, in my day it used to be Oakwood. The # 5 Oakwood Trolley used to loop right there by the little shopping center at Brydon road. I never was inside of the school but I remember the grounds of St. Albert Church was always Meticulously kept up and the church itself was spotless, dustless and you could see your reflection in anything that could be polished.

Last Edited by RIVERDALE RAT on Jul 19, 2014 8:25 AM
luv my dayton
666 posts
Jul 20, 2014
8:54 AM
My sister was married in the church and indeed it was beautiful inside.
The rectory is still there and over the years the big tree in front was always decorated at Christmas. We could stand and look out our front door as kids and see that beautiful tree. One thing that seems totally different is seeing the nuns in their habits and that has since been done away with.
RR Thats the bus we took to downtown and it was in front of the old Arrow wine store. Used to be a small Dorothy Lane Mkt on the corner of Dorothy Ln and Far Hills next to it. The wine store still there and so is the bus stop. Arrow wine is way bigger and DLM moved down half block and has become oakwoods place to shop. Beautiful store and they have built two more with one out on in Centerville and the other in Springboro. Quite a change from the little open market with a dirt floor.

Last Edited by luv my dayton on Jul 20, 2014 9:04 AM
8 posts
Aug 02, 2014
7:19 PM
I was in Dayton visiting a sick relative today and made a stop at the Immaculate Conception festival in Belmont. I was sad to learn that this is the last festival after 59 years. Just too many other events to compete with I guess.
luv my dayton
682 posts
Aug 02, 2014
9:19 PM
Maybe they should change the date. Cant believe the festival would be done away with when it is the big source of income for them. Of course the road work going on seems to never end and also could have been a deterrent for the public to come there.
Was an explanation given for their decision?
9 posts
Aug 03, 2014
7:39 AM
I had a very brief conversation with one of the organizers and there was a written explanation supposedly. She said that the last two years had been really rough for the festival. Attendance looked great yesterday so maybe they will reconsider.
731 posts
Aug 05, 2014
9:56 PM
PhilM...That is disturbing news, I hope they get together and decide on a viable option. Maybe they would be better off having it in the Autumn. If this is the 59th year, that would mean that they were having them when they were still a little pink church in the old recycled bowling alley. I actually don't recall them ever having a festival until the new church was built. Does anyone recall where the old festivals may have been held?
5 posts
Oct 09, 2014
11:03 AM
The IC festivals were always held on the school grounds. I didn't miss one in the last 50 years. I am saddened that this annual event is gone...
14 posts
Feb 23, 2015
8:23 AM
Being "Cradle Catholic". I was always looking forward to the summers and attending church festivals Each parish had a designated weekend in the summer, as to not override the others. First was the Precious Blood Festival the weekend after Memorial Day. Then the St. Helen's festival the following weekend, then St. Christopher's, then, St. Rita's, St. Peters, etc., etc. ending with the Immaculate Conception festival in August.

Theory is that the decline of families in these churches has taken a toll on getting the volunteers who are available to work these events. The other, more visible to the public issue was the unsafe conditions that would happen during the evenings. Primarily within the parishes that are on the public bus line. It started with the cancellation of the Precious Blood festival in 2006, now through St. Rita's and the latest Immaculate Conception. Gangs, fights and underage drinking and other illegal activity forced the ending of these events for safety reasons. Thank goodness, St. Christopher's in Vandalia still has an active parish and will continue, at least for now along with others, but for how long.
luv my dayton
876 posts
Feb 25, 2015
10:57 AM
Believe Ascension on Woodman Dr and Forrer blvd still has theirs. Can see where it is risky business these days with some of the problems with the type of people it can draw. Maybe all that is needed is to not have alcohol sold. Or replace festival with more banquets and bazaars. All schools have their festivals but don't seem to have issues so there may be a common thread for the parochial schools.
28 posts
Mar 06, 2015
6:02 AM
Luv, the problems aren't with the beer and alcohol sales. The problems come from outside influences that attend the events in the evenings, when most parishioner and locals leave, due to the violence.
49 posts
Mar 13, 2015
2:34 PM
Riverdale Rat, I would really enjoy sitting down with you and spending and afternoon just remembering. Holy Rosary, cabbage rolls, the way the church was growing up all came back as I read your chat. Growing up in Dayton is more than a common experience........it lasts a lifetime. THANKS!

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