Summer of 2017
A Summer of Change for St. Joseph

The Summer of 2017, which just came to an end has been a time of many changes to our building and grounds at St. Joe’s. The beginning of the summer saw the long awaited installation of new signs for our church and parking lots. As the summer continued we finished the main marquee sign with ornamental irons inspired by our church logo. As of this writing we are awaiting a few final signs which will enhance the Hospitality Room door. I am very pleased with the way the signs look and I believe that they will make our parish better known and be more hospitable to first time visitors to our church or parish office.

Across the street at our newly named St. Joseph Gardens we have a beautiful stone sign with our parish logo. A special thanks to Mike Holscher who acquired this stone and arranged for the beautiful engraving and painting. This has been a very busy summer for Mike Holscher who has been using his expertise as a landscaper to continue to develop and maintain our beautiful St. Joseph Gardens (Mike’s business is Holscher Hackman Landscaping, located at 6088 Harrison Ave.). Some key tasks that Mike has done for us include: installing the stone sign for the gardens; he helped plan the placement of the parking lot sign (and repaired the water line when the installers broke it!); he has continued to nurture the trees and grass which he planted over the last two years; he also planted new grass over our new drainage pipe as well as paving areas of the field near the bleachers to ensure a dry spot for vehicles and booths at future fundraisers. Mike has also been involved in the landscaping around the new shelter. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Mike has planted every new shrub and tree in our new St. Joseph Gardens (and has donated the vast majority of them!).

Bruce Tumlin, along with the Facilities Commission has also been busy this summer. He found a company from which to purchase the beautiful shelter kit which the commission decided to use because it would be less expensive than a stick-built shelter. As of this writing, the shelter is going up and we hope to use it for our first pet blessing scheduled for October 8 at 12:30pm. I am delighted with the beautiful look of the shelter, and I hope that we all enjoy it. If the extra issues with the installation of the shelter, which Bruce is overseeing, were not enough, Bruce also dug and installed the new drainage pipes and catch basin. He did this, for the most part, on one long Saturday with the help of his son Seth and a cousin.

We have so much to be proud of at St. Joseph’s. Anyone who drives by sees our beautiful and well maintained grounds which reflect the labor of our regular Garden Club, led by Barbara Raschulte, and the grounds keeping crew, led by Bob Dettinger. They keep the parking lot clear, the grass mowed and the flowers blooming around our church grounds. This tells the community at large that there are people who love God and the Church and show it by their sacrifices of time and talent.

May God continue to bless our Parish in this way.

- Fr. Umberg



What was that announcement Father Umberg

made about Our Lady of Visitation Parish?


At the end of each mass on the weekend of June 10th  & 11th, I made an announcement with regard to the Pastoral Regions Plan of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.   I have heard rumors about what I said that do not correspond very closely to what I said, therefore, I believe a clarification is in order:


The Pastoral Regions Plan of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is designating certain parishes as “pastoral regions”, where two or more parishes will share a pastor.  The St. Lawrence Deanery (that is the group of about 20 parishes on the Westside of Hamilton County), must reduce its number of pastors from 16 to 11 in the next decade or sooner.  This is necessary in order to have a proportionate distribution of priest/pastors throughout the Archdiocese.  The plan has evolved over the last decade or so.  At one time, it was thought that St. Joseph would share a pastor with Our Lady of Visitation in the future.  Later, it looked like St. Joseph would share a pastor with St. Al’s on the River.  At one point there was talk of us sharing a pastor with St. Bernard.  In recent years, with the growth of our parish, it was the plan to leave St. Joseph as a pastoral region of one parish only.  Recently, a committee formed of some pastors and retired pastors of the St. Lawrence Deanery have been meeting to tweak the plan once more.  The present edition of the plan, which has been sent to the central offices of the Archdiocese for approval, has St. Joseph Parish becoming a pastoral region with (that is, sharing a pastor with) Our Lady of Visitation Parish in the future.  We would not become one parish with them.  St. Joseph and Our Lady of Visitation would remain separate parishes (with separate finances and councils) but will share the same pastor.


This is now the official plan for the future.  How far into the future?  Only God knows at this point.  It probably will happen when I reach the end of my term as pastor here (which could be 4 years from now or 10 years from now), or when some circumstance would change to make it so that I am no longer pastor at St. Joseph or Fr. Mark is no longer pastor at Our Lady of Visitation.  At that time, whenever it comes, one priest will be pastor of both parishes.  Who will that pastor be?  That depends on how all this plays out.  It could be Fr. Mark Burger, it could be me, or it could be someone else.   I hope that this clarification is helpful.



- Fr. Umberg