The Catholic community in Columbus, Ohio is a vibrant and faith-filled one, with two dioceses - the Diocese of Columbus and the Diocese of Steubenville - that together serve over 308,000 Catholics. The history of the Catholic Church in Ohio dates back to the early 19th century, when the Dominican priests of Bardstown were the first missionaries and clergy in the area. The first Catholic chapel was built in Perry County in 1818, and Immaculate Conception Parish was established in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus in 1845. However, despite its long history, the population that considers itself Catholic has been steadily declining in recent years. According to the Pew Research Center, this is due to more secular beliefs taking root, especially among younger generations.
In 1845, Bishop John Baptist Purcell celebrated Mass in a house on Canal Street and asked those present to meet to discuss the construction of a church. This marked the beginning of Immaculate Conception Parish, which is now a vibrant and faith-filled community located on 6.5 acres in Clintonville. Ready also organized the Holy Name Society, a parent-teacher organization, the Catholic Women's Council, the Catholic Youth Council, and St. Vincent de Paul Society. The Diocese of Columbus has more than 278,000 Catholics and the Diocese of Steubenville has fewer than 30,000.
Together they serve over 308,000 Catholics in Columbus and its surrounding areas.