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Our Parish History

It all began on St. Gertrude's Day 1923 ...

The rich history of St. Gertrude's Parish began on November 16, 1923, the feast day of St. Gertrude, when a group representing approximately 25 Catholic families from this area gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Willenbrink. Their purpose was to petition Archbishop Moeller to have Mass celebrated each Sunday in the general vicinity of Madeira.

At the time, there were no assurances that this would lead to a permanent parish and there was not an available priest in the area, so a call was made to the Chancery. A request was made that this group of people be commissioned to establish a permanent church as soon as sufficient funds were gathered. Fr. Albers took on the extra duties of looking after the mission flock of Maderia and saying Mass there on Sundays and holy days of obligation. Beginning on November 25, 1923, members of St. Gertrude's Mission, the name they adopted from the date of their first meeting, had the privilege of attending one of two Masses each Sunday at the Willenbrink home at the comer of Naomi and Miami Avenue.

This small but mighty flock worked very hard to raise the needed funds to build a church. They held endless socials, house parties, dinners, and special collections and soon accumulated enough funds to purchase the site of the first St. Gertrude Church. They began construction in late 1924 and completed the site in the spring of 1925.

Archbishop Moeller died shortly before its completion therefore Fr. Albers held a simple blessing and the first Mass was held at the new church on February 8, 1925. Later that same year, property was purchased south of the church for a possible future site of a rectory. Soon after, the newly consecrated archbishop of Cincinnati, the Most Reverend John T. McNicholas, O.P., formally requested that the Dominican Order take charge of St. Gertrude's Parish.

In the years that followed, many priests and parishioners laid the foundation of what St. Gertrude Parish is today. From outgrowing the status of "mission church," to building and developing a school in 1934 to becoming a full fledged parish in 1944, there continues to be true commitment and sacrifice from our parishioners.