February Update from our Co-Chairs

EXCITING NEWS!  Perhaps this will not be a "surprise" -- since we are right on schedule to have our first Masses in our beautiful Church on Palm Sunday weekend -- but we want to confirm that we have reached and even surpassed our Capital Campaign goal (launched June 1, 2018) of $7.5 M in gifts and pledges!  An additional $500,000 has also been pledged to cover essential items that were not anticipated in the $7.5 M budget (such as new steps for the church entrance that had to be added in when the old ones were found to unrepairable.).  

This $8 M scope and budget (over the $5.5 M originally set as our goal) were made possible, in large part, when our fundraising committee was greatly expanded to include key leaders in the Columbus community.  These leaders helped "open the doors" (outside our current parish) to major donors who "caught the vision" behind our Campaign -- to rebuild, restore, and renew our parish and help make it a centerpiece for worship, education, and evangelization in the dynamic city of Columbus.

A more detailed report on the completed campaign will be available in the next few weeks and we will make it available on the campaign website (with copies to anyone who requests it). 

We can all celebrate this great achievement!  YOU, our current parishioners "set the stage" for this success!  Your early gifts and pledges showed the larger community that our parish is "alive and well" and will be the foundation of an even stronger parish in the future.  

THANK YOU to all who contributed your time, talent, treasure, and prayers to the campaign!  THANK YOU especially to all who worked on the Campaign committees and special projects!   

We consider the Campaign to be complete -- with the exception of celebrating with all of you on Palm Sunday weekend!  It has been a blessing for us to have served you and our parish as Campaign Co-Chairs with Father Lutz.  

Mike and Peggy Hartshorn 

Capital Campaign - August Update

First, the Financials:
•    We are at $5,550,000 of our goal of $7,500,000!
•    This includes gifts from within our registered parishioners of $168,000 in the last 6 weeks!
•    Our neighbors Bob and Peggy Walter’s $1,000,000 matching fund (that gives an additional 50 cents for each dollar given or pledged NOW) has added $450,000 to our Campaign – so that means there is still $550,000 in that fund!
•    If you have already given, each new gift or new pledge (perhaps extending your annual pledge another year?) will be matched.  
•    If you have not given yet, now is the time! 
•    If you have not yet chosen a Commemorative Gift (or made a gift in honor of a loved one), call Sheila Lutz at 614-445-9668 or Mike and Peggy Hartshorn, 614-846-9550.

Second, Building/Renovation Progress
•    Specht Center will be finished in August with 4 state-of-the-art classrooms to help serve the 80 additional K-8 students enrolled this school year!
•    Restoration of the Church has not slowed down one bit, so the church will be open again by Easter 2019.  Your gifts to the church Renovation are being used for that purpose.

But we can continue construction and meet our time-line only as long as the funds are still coming in!  Please be generous – with your funds and with your prayers!  

Fundraiser held to repair historic German Village church


Friday, January 19th 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- A German Village church badly damaged by a lightning strike received help in paying for repairs at a fundraiser Friday night.

St. Mary Catholic Church was condemned after a lightning strike in the Summer of 2016. The church has been in the German Village since 1865.

A fundraiser at Hey-Hey Bar and Grill worked to raise money that would go towards the church’s repair goal of $5.5 million.

"Everybody helps each other. And when somebody's in need, everybody rallies to help,” said Tom Krouse, band member with Grassinine band.

Church member Shelia Lutz said the German Village landmark has history with many people in the neighborhood.

"If you like things that bring you back to the roots of who you are, Saint Mary's is one of those places,” said Lutz.

Saint Mary Catholic Church has raised more than $2 million for needed repairs. The church has a website with information on the building history, damage and a place to donate toward repairs.

Columbus Monthly

 City Quotient: Lightning Might Have Prevented Disaster at St. Mary’s

By Jeff Darbee

Posted Aug 1, 2017 at 9:30 AM

What happened to St. Mary’s church on Third Street in German Village?

It has been closed for a long time. The building is closed, but St. Mary’s (formally St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church) is very much an active parish; masses are held in the parish office’s chapel on weekdays and in the adjacent school building on weekends.

The problem began when lightning struck the church spire last August, destroying the parish’s electrical system. When engineers went up to inspect for damage, they found the spire was OK but discovered that some wood roof trusses had deteriorated over time and had shifted downward, putting outward pressure on the walls.

And while the lightning proved fortuitous in revealing a potentially disastrous situation, it forced the closing of the building and extensive remedial work.

This Week News

Schmidt’s whipping up support for St. Mary repairs


Posted Mar 20, 2017 at 9:05 PM

Updated Mar 21, 2017 at 11:34 AM


Sales of an iconic German Village dessert will benefit St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, which was badly damaged by a storm last fall.

Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant will donate $1 from the sale of each cream puff toward the restoration of the German Village church’s steeple, which was struck by lightning in September.

The strike caused substantial structural damage to the roof, interior and the steeple.

“That’s a sweet gesture,” said the Rev. Kevin Lutz, parish priest.

Geoff Schmidt, a co-owner of Schmidt’s, said the church and the restaurant family share a long history.

Schmidt said his grandparents on his father’s side -- George L. Schmidt and Agnes Specht -- were married in St. Mary.

The cream puffs are available at Schmidt’s restaurant, 240 E. Kossuth St., and its two food trucks.

The campaign will last through April 15, the day before Easter. Schmidt said he expects to raise $10,000 for St. Mary.“We thought it would be a nice fundraiser, give back,” said Schmidt, a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Delaware.

The Columbus Dispatch

St. Mary church in German Village closes after lightning strike

By JoAnne Viviano, The Columbus Dispatch

Posted Oct 22, 2016 at 12:01 AM

Updated Oct 22, 2016 at 12:06 PM

The 148-year-old St. Mary Catholic Church in German Village is closed indefinitely because of damage caused by a summer lightning striking. The parish, home to more than 500 families, is holding weekend Masses in the gymnasium at the adjacent St. Mary School as officials determine what it will take to repair the German-Gothic structure. Daily Masses are being held in the adoration chapel at the Burkley Center north of the church. The decision to close the church at 684 S. 3rd St. was made because of concerns for the building’s structural integrity, said the Rev. Kevin Lutz, pastor.

The 148-year-old St. Mary Catholic Church in German Village is closed indefinitely because of damage caused by a summer lightning striking.

The parish, home to more than 500 families, is holding weekend Masses in the gymnasium at the adjacent St. Mary School as officials determine what it will take to repair the German-Gothic structure. Daily Masses are being held in the adoration chapel at the Burkley Center north of the church.

German Village Society


The bells of St. Mary’s are silent and the windows of St. Mary’s are dark.

That sounds a bit ominous. It is, to some extent, but there is light and there is hope.

On Aug. 28 lightning struck St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church while I was inside offering a private Mass after having just flown in from California.

That one zap disabled the church’s computers, elevators, chimes, bells, pipe organ, sound system, security cameras — and that was only the immediate result.

Some months earlier a few cracks had been observed and it was soon evident that one of the major beams in the attic had crushed some of the support bricks beneath it.

With that clear measurement as a reference point, additional measurements were taken after the lightning strike and showed the church took a good shake.

This was evident in the plaster which fell in the choir loft and other large cracks that appeared in the ceiling.

It was also noted that the outer walls seemed to be leaning slightly out where the choir loft attaches.

Currently several engineers are taking measurements and preparing recommendations.

In the history of the parish, just about every pastor put a new roof on the church.

Important Campaign Announcement At All Masses December 2-3

Saint Mary parishioners will hear an important update on the Save Saint Mary Church capital campaign at all weekend masses, December 2-3. The announcement will mark the beginning of a very important juncture in the campaign timeline. In addition, parishioners will hear just how  blessed Saint Mary's is thanks to the extraordinary generosity of its parishioners who are stepping up NOW to give the campaign another boost when it is greatly needed. These timely gifts will allow Saint Mary's to take the next step forward. You wont want to miss it, so please join us!

Saint Mary Student Makes First Gift To Capital Campaign

Chase Mitchell was a 4th grader at Saint Mary School when Saint Mary Church was closed and temporarily condemned last October (2016). Chase right away started saving money to save the church. Chase has asked his classmates, neighbors, family, and friends for money to help Save Saint Mary Church, and in January, Chase donated $50.00 that he had received as a Christmas present to Saint Mary Church to make him the first contributor to the Save Saint Mary Capital Campaign. Chase raised an additional $48.96 and contributed that the Campaign. And he is not finished! Chase continues to raise money for the Church. His mother Richelle said, "Chase is such a sweet boy! Our family wasn't even aware he was raising money until the office staff at Saint Mary's told me! He came up with the idea all on his own." He and his classmates have written letters to celebrities asking for donations to save Saint Mary Church such as Lebron James and others. 

Chase Mitchell 3.jpg

Save Saint Mary Church Event at Ohio Theatre

Saint Mary Church hosted a celebration event on July 31 at the Ohio Theatre to mark the beginning of the Church's fundraising efforts to Rebuild and Restore the historic church. Father Kevin Lutz played the 48-bell carillon parked on State Street in front of the beautiful Ohio Theatre. Local television personality and former Diocesan school teacher Jym Ganahl served as our emcee. The Saint Mary Choir performed and Clark Wilson, aka "Master of The Mighty Morton," organ delighted the crowd of 1,000 with music from the 1945 classic movie, "The Bells of St. Mary's."

For questions on the Save Saint Mary Capital Campaign, please refer to our FAQ in the "About" tab on this Website. For any questions unanswered by our FAQ, please write our Campaign Team at: Give2@stmarygv.org

A Place for Worship

A Place for Worship

Did you know that this is not the first time that the pastors of Saint Mary Mother of God parish have had to find an alternative space to hold mass?

The community of Saint Mary Mother of God parish has always had a determined spirit. In its over 150-year history Soon after Ohio gained statehood, a community formed in central Ohio and the city of Columbus was planned in 1812 and incorporated in 1816.