While doing some research for a project concerning the upcoming 90th anniversary of St. Sebastian Parish, I came across this bit of information: The first known Mass ever celebrated in the city of Akron was in a log cabin owned by James McAllister who was a contractor in the early years of the city. The priest who celebrated the Mass was named the Rev. John Martin Henni. He was born in Switzerland but was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Cincinnati of which this area was a part. It would be a number of years yet before the Diocese of Cleveland would be established.
One of his passions was to take care of the scattered Catholics in this part of the diocese which consisted largely of Germans and Irish. It was in the year of 1833 that there is a record of him saying that first known Mass in that log cabin, four years before the mission church of St. Vincent was founded. That makes this year the 185th anniversary of that Mass.
The pastors in this area are going to do something (yet to be determined) to mark this event. It probably won’t be huge (the number 185, while significant, is not a number like 200) but in making it, hopefully we will be able to remember more significant anniversaries in the future. If you have an idea on how to celebrate this event, please let me know (soon.)