Happy Birthday, St. Stephen’s Community House!

Celebrating 101 years of brightening lives!

Happy Birthday, St. Stephen’s Community House! Can you believe it? We’re 101! 

To celebrate, we wanted to share with you our origin story, and what the day looked like when our doors were opened on the south side of Columbus. Fun Fact: Our first name was, The National Catholic Community House, then Barthman Community House, and finally, St. Stephen’s Community House in celebration of the heritage of the neighborhood, and the feast day of the saint it was named after.


The National Catholic Community House (Barthman), Columbus, Ohio, was formally opened [in August]. As we approached the well-lighted,

Original building on Barthman Ave. on the South Side of Columbus.

newly painted house one could scarcely believe it was the old unused building which six months ago presented such an undesirable appearance. The new sun porch has added much to the exterior, while the remodeling of the interior has made it a decidedly attractive and homelike house. The basement has been converted into a pool room for the men and boys. It is planned to have a new floor put in the assembly hall, which will also serve as a dance hall (very much needed in that neighborhood).

A decidedly interesting group came to the opening of the new community house. It was not the old-time settlement crowd of children only, but the real community type we are so anxious to interest. Scattered about through the audience was the mother with the babe in her arms, the serious-minded workingman and the young man and the young woman, all seemingly interested in knowing just what the community house would mean to them. The chairman of the evening, Mr. O’Connor, a well-known Columbus lawyer, explained the purpose of the house. He gave a brief outline of the advantage to be had in the way of classes for young and old, recreational facilities, and pointed out that it would also serve as a bureau of information for the people in that vicinity. Dr. Cooper made a short talk on what community work meant to a locality and said that he hoped everyone in the neighborhood would take advantage of the house and consider it theirs.

There is no doubting the need for community work in this locality. The survey made bears out this statement. Miss Dury, Head Secretary, has enlisted the support and co-operation of the Catholic Women’s League, who will assist materially in carrying out an extensive and practical program. – Miss Pierik, Assistant Secretary, will assist in organizing girls’ clubs. Nothing of the kind has up to date been undertaken in that part of the city. – The National Catholic War Bulletin, September, 1919


Be a part of our story! Volunteer or Donate  today!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *