OAKLEY, Ohio - The Tri-State is rich in the number and variety of houses of worship. In our weekly feature, WCPO shines the spotlight on where we pray.
Saint Cecilia Catholic Church
Location: 3105 Madison Road, Oakley
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Top Clergy: Father Jamie Weber
Size of Congregation: 900 families
Affiliation: Archdiocese of Cincinnati
St. Cecilia parish and school are landmarks in the Oakley community, serving the spiritual needs of some 900 families not only from the immediate neighborhood but from nine zip codes as far away as Northern Kentucky.
The largest group of worshippers is made up of those in the 23-40 age range, followed by those ages 41-65, and then 66-80.
The church’s most appealing features are its liturgies, history, captivating art and architecture, and a welcoming community, according to Father Jamie Weber.
"Our parish is known for its vibrant worship with a beautiful choir and dynamic preaching that help people deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ," said Weber. "We place a special emphasis on sacraments and faith formation. St. Cecilia strives to proclaim the Gospel message that Jesus Christ came to bring forgiveness of sins, and so we offer the sacrament of reconciliation every day at our parish."
Detroit native Brendan Dudley, 28, has recently taken the role of director of faith formation at St. Cecilia’s. From an early age, he (pictured below) had a desire "to serve the Lord" as a teacher; in particular he felt called to work with adults.
In June 2012, he was hired at St. Cecilia’s. Dudley, who now lives in Pleasant Ridge, finds the church offers many activities, including book study, pilgrimages, prayer group, youth parish school, and lessons and carols.
With a foundation in the sacraments, faith formation events give parishioners the knowledge and inspiration to share the Gospel. Well-known speakers visit the parish during Advent and Lent to help parishioners enter into a deeper experience of the liturgical seasons.
The parish was founded in 1908, followed soon after by the school in 1913. Designed by Crowe and Schulte Architects, the current church building was completed in 1928. The neo-Gothic style facility, with the ceiling in a classic German design won first place in 1930 in a Cincinnati Chapter of the American Institute of Architects competition. Restorations inside and outside the church building, on church grounds, and to the school took place from 2012-14.
St. Cecilia School, which serves 230 students in grades K-8, is an example of Catholic urban education. It attracts a diverse and growing group of students.
The major fundraiser is the annual parish festival in mid-July, with a flea market known for a large assortment of items. The parish recently began a second major fundraiser – an annual Oktoberfest celebration the last weekend in September.
This year food, local drinks and a German brass band will be highlights on Sept. 27 from 5 p.m. to midnight. Both fundraisers have become traditions that attract people from the Oakley neighborhood and beyond.
Other special events:
- Yearly pilgrimages to historic sites, such as Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio, to help parishioners deepen their faith.
- Free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for hundreds of people, with meals delivered by volunteers to 900 more families throughout the city.
- The 40 Hours Eucharistic Devotion from Sept. 12-14
- Corpus Christi Procession in June.
- Annual Lessons and Carols program during Advent,
- Night at the Races, a winter fundraiser
- Alumni homecoming Sept. 26 will begin with a 10 a.m. mass honoring former parishioners.
4 p.m. Saturday
8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday
6:45 a.m. Wednesday
9 a.m. Monday-Saturday
To connect with St. Cecilia:
(Photos courtesy of St. Cecilia Parish)