Our St. Margaret of York Parish History
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Mt 17:20)
What happens when 10 determined families armed with faith and a like-vision get together? They build a parish! And that is how St. Margaret of York came to be. "A parish is not a building...for a building does not make a parish. It's the people," stated Nancy Chalifoux at St. Margaret of York's 25th anniversary in 2009.
In 1983, 10 families gathered in each others homes - set on a mission - to form a new Catholic parish to serve the growing population in the northeastern area of Cincinnati. These modern day pioneers wanted pews with kneelers and a school. They found singers and an organist so as to have a choir. They created other ministries, keeping generosity at the heart in their outreach to those in need. The 10 families grew to thirty and began meeting at the first pastor's (the late Father John Roettle) rectory. Archbishop Danield E. Pilarczyk named the new parish after St. Margaret Clitherow, his favorite saint.
On May 6, 1984, the first Mass was held at J.F. Burns School (in the Kings School District) with a few dozen families present. After the sudden death of Father Roettle in August of the same year, Father Robert Obermeyer was named pastor. Religious education programs were formed, using teachers' homes as classrooms. The first church (which is now the school) was dedicated on September 11, 1988. St. Margaret of York School started the following year (albeit kindergarten had been taught at the parish since 1985). Additional education phases continued through and including 1996. Meanwhile, construction of the present day church continued and the new church (as we know it today) was dedicated on March 21, 2004. There were two goals in the architectural design of the new church: one, that everyone can see the altar and two, that everyone can hear the Mass.
In 1996, Father Obermeyer was reassigned and Father Tom Kreidler was named pastor. He was pastor for twelve years and was there for the first eighth-grade graduation class. St. Margaret of York School now has approximately 800 students (K-8).
"I wanted to get involved with the parish. It was a really wonderful experience," said Donna Conte, one of the original parishioners. "Everybody is very caring and there's still a lot of opportunities to get involved."
Today, Father Jan Schmidt is pastor of St. Margaret of York's congregation of more than 2000 families and under his shepherding is still growing!