Campbell church built by Italian immigrants reopens after 5 years

CAMPBELL, Ohio (WYTV) – Campbell is known as the “City of Churches” and on Wednesday night, one of those churches celebrated its 80th anniversary.

Just a few days ago, St. Lucy Catholic Church reopened after being closed for five years.

Bishop George Murry celebrated Mass at St. Lucy’s on Wednesday night as a way to say happy anniversary and welcome back.

Italian music echoed through the church as 150 people attended the Mass on this Feast Day of St. Lucy and celebrated.

“Well, of course, Campbell, Ohio — to begin with — was a focal point for immigrants,” Father Gerald DeLucia said.

He said some of those immigrants were Italians. They formed St. Lucy’s in 1937.

The church opened in 1952 and for its first 40 years, was guided by Pastor Joseph Palermo.

“He told me St. Lucy was chosen, not only because she’s an Italian favorite, having been an Italian, but she was a young saint and it was a young community,” Father DeLucia said.

In the front row were two of St. Lucy’s oldest parishioners — Hilda Carano and Virginia Testa.

“Our church was nice because it was very friendly,” Testa said.

Carano said all seven of her kids were baptized at St. Lucy’s.

“When we had festivals, I made the candied apples and they were good,” Testa said.

Several years ago, St. Lucy’s merged with three other Campbell churches to form Christ the Good Shepard Parish. St. Lucy’s was then closed, only to be opened again this past weekend.

“I think it’s wonderful that it’s being used. I think that’s very, very important, not only for tradition but it also opens up great possibilities for the future,” Bishop Murray said.

Father DeLucia called St. Lucy’s a marvel in Campbell — a beautiful church with all the marble and wood.