About St. Teresa Parish
St. Teresa Catholic Church is one of four Catholic parishes in Springfield, Ohio. It is the newest parish, and it is the only one located in the northern section of the city. It has a membership today of 1,000 families – people of many different backgrounds and ages - and the parish continues to grow both in diversity and in size.
In 1951, a new section was added to the school building, and the enrollment of the students in the school doubled. This school building remains in use today, where there are 244 students attending grades K-6 of the Limestone Campus of Catholic Central Elementary.
One of Father Collins’ dreams was to have a new church building during his pastorate, and plans for this began in 1962. In 1964, the cornerstone was laid, and by 1965 the new church building was dedicated in a special ceremony conducted by Archbishop Alter. Father Collins saw this as an opportune time for retirement, having seen his dream become reality.
In 1977, the adult choir was first formed, and this choir continues today, although there have been changes of choir directors, organists, and choir members along the way.
In 1981, St. Teresa Church celebrated fifty years in existence as a parish in Springfield. About this same time, Father Eisenhauer, the pastor, celebrated forty years in the priesthood. It was a year of thanksgiving and blessing for the parish. Another highlight in the parish just prior to this time was the ordination of the first deacon for St. Teresa. Paul Weitzel was ordained to the deaconate in 1979.
The church bells which can be heard tolling in the neighborhood were made in Holland, shipped to the United States, and then blessed at St. Teresa in 1964. Many of the stained glass windows in the church building were donated by contributions from parishioners. Each one tells a story in symbol. Particularly noticeable are those symbolizing the Beatitudes in the body of the church. One of the most beautiful is that of the patron saint of the parish. St. Teresa of Lisieux was a cloistered Carmelite nun in the late 1800’s from the age of 15 until her early death at the age of 24.
St. Teresa Church was established and built in 1931 near its present location of Floral Avenue and North Limestone Street. The original church building now houses the gymnasium for the Limestone Campus of Catholic Central Schools subsequent to the consolidation in 2004. The first Mass at the parish was held on September 20, 1931, with Father Daniel Collins as the new priest and pastor. Father Collins remained pastor for 38 years. There have been just four pastors since: Father James Eisenhauer from 1969 until 1984; Father Victor Ries, who served 11 years until the summer of 1995; Father Rick Walling, who served 12 years until the summer of 2007; and our current pastor, Father Edwin Gearhart, who assumed the position in June of 2007.