A new parish, that of St. John the Evangelist, was organized by the Rev. S. P. Weisinger in 1898. About 75 families formed the congregation and for the first 18 months; in default of a church, services were held in the Chapel of the Josephinum College on East Main Street. Every Sunday two sisters from St. Vincent’s went thither to teach a Sunday School class.
The church was built and the cornerstone laid on July 3, 1898. Later a school was built in 1905. Father Weisinger was still the pastor. The building had 8 large classrooms and an auditorium and was dedicated in 1906 by Bishop Hartley.
In September 1906, “sisters from St. Vincent’s Orphanage took up work at St. John’s Parochial School. These first teachers were Sisters Seraphine, Constantia, Leocadia, Blandine, Innocentia, and Imelda. As there was no convent for them as yet, they went back and forth to St. Vincent’s every day. (This) entailed a good deal of hardship in winter, as it was a long way and there is no car line on Ohio Avenue. Hence they looked forward with eagerness to the time when there would be a convent attached to the school.
Two years after the opening of the school, the convent was erected, and on August 22, 1908, Mother Lucy of St. Vincent’s conducted to their little home on Ohio Avenue the first sisters destined for St. John’s Convent; these were Mother Borgia, Sisters Clementine, Leocadia, Blandina, and two novices. They were welcomed with the greatest cordiality by Father Weisinger, and the dedication of the convent took place at once. It was the octave of the Feast of the Assumption, and therefore the sisters trusted that the Blessed Mother would look down from the heights of Heaven upon this new Nazareth and give her special protection to the work; and they probably felt too, that one could hardly be under the patronage of the Beloved Disciple without being very near to the heart of the Mother of Christ.”
-- From: S. Liguori Mason’s MSS History of the American Foundation, 1874-1924
Photo St. John Convent and School, c1924