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Father Thomas Leo KEARNS


Father Thomas Leo KEARNS, born 14 April 1893/4. He was the son of James and Catherine (DONAHUE) KEARNS. Father KEARNS was the pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hillsboro, Ohio in 1940 (I'm sure he was there before and after, I just don't know the exact years.) He married his niece, Catherine Marie KEARNS to George Raphael MALOWNEY on April 23, 1940. Father KEARNS died in 1953. 


Location: 212 South High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio  

History of St. Mary Catholic Church, Hillsboro, Ohio

Father Cornelius Daly, who had come from Ireland and was serving as pastor of Fayetteville, Ohio, visited Hillsboro about 1845. He discovered about fifteen Catholic families in the vicinity. Despite the small numbers, a Catholic Church was built in 1852. It was blessed by Father Baraga while Archbishop Purcell assisted. Father Michael Forde was the celebrant. The Archbishop delivered the sermon.

Mary Boegelin was the first person recorded to be baptized in the new church and the first recorded marriage is that of Joseph Smith and Catherine Barry. Other names found in the early records are: McMahon, Carroll, Foley, Nickerson, Maroney, Lynch, Feike, Collins, Dillon, McIntyre, McGlinchey, Hanlon, Caniff, Doorley, McCormick, Ingebrand, Gorman, Raines, Hommell, Rodgers, Baker, Winegardner, Haley, Donoghue, Holleran, Curry, Grady, Conway, Vaughn, Stabler, Smith, Madden, Sullivan, Engbers, Baige, Fallon, Nugent, Bond, Henley, Kepler, Berg, Hicker, Culhan, Devitt, Campbell, O'Connell, Burke, Hughes, McCabe, Bailey.

Today St. Mary has a membership of approximately 600 people. In 1988 a multi-purpose building was added to provide classrooms, kitchen, multi-purpose room and spacious narthex. A short hallway joins it to the Church. From the hallway a view of Mary's Garden, dedicated to the memory of Nicki Piezer, can be seen.

Fr. Stanley Luehrmann is the pastor. He has been at St. Mary Church for 12 years. During this time he has helped to initiate several programs and expand the scope of ministry. He is active in community ministerial groups. He came to St. Mary Church after serving as Pastor at St. Teresa of Avila in Cincinnati. He taught German at Elder High School and at the Athenaeum in Cincinnati.