Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    There is no position held by man more important than that of a pastor of a church, nor is there a position that has attached to it greater importance or responsibility when properly conceived and conscientiously discharged. This is more essentially the case with the clergyman of the Catholic faith, for he is held more as an instructor and guide, not only in religious matters but in moral and social conduct by his congregation. There are few men by character and education better fitted to preside over a people in all these relations than the reverend gentleman whose name stands at the head of this biography. Father Steinlage, rector of St. Boniface Catholic church, of Piqua, Ohio, was born in Osnabruck, Germany, in 1840, and acquired his early education in the schools and colleges of his native land. After pursuing his studies for some time in the college at Meppen, in Hanover, he was graduated in 1859. The following year he came to the United States, sailing from Hamburg to New York. On his arrival in the latter city be proceeded at once to Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered St. Mary's Seminary, where he completed a course in philosophy and theology in 1863. That same year he was ordained by Archbishop John B. Purcell and soon afterward was assigned to St. Paul's church of Cincinnati, as an assistant to the Very Rev. Joseph Ferneding, remaining there two years. He was then transferred to St. Philomena's church in Cincinnati, being assistant to Father Tobbe for two years. The following seven years he was pastor of St. Joseph's church at Hamilton, Ohio, and during that time built a church and also a school house at that place, the former being known as St. Joseph's church. On leaving Hamilton he was assigned to Taylors Creek, remaining there over five years, and for two years was at Reading, Ohio. On the 14 of February, 1881, Father Steinlage came to Piqua, and has since been. in charge at this place as rector of St. Boniface church. The present church edifice was built in 1865, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars, and the parsonage was erected in 1879, but both have been remodeled by Father Steinlage, who has made many improvements since locating here. The debt of thirteen thousand dollars which was against the church property when he arrived here has been nearly paid, only about two thousand dollars indebtedness remaining. The church property also includes a good school of four large rooms and is presided over by the Sisters of Christian Charity. The school building and Sisters' residence were both built by Father Steinlage. The church has a seating capacity of six hundred, and the congregation now numbers three hundred families residing in the city and surrounding country. No estimates of material progress, however, can give an indication of the great work which Father Steinlage has done in molding and shaping to higher issues the lives of those to whom he gives his best thought. Broad in his views and sympathies, a friend of the poor and oppressed, ever ready with helpful counsel for the perplexed or sorrowful, he has a wide field for labor and well does he discharge its arduous and sacred duties.

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