History

In the late 1900s it was estimated that about 400 Catholics lived in the area known as Rosedale, mostly of German and Bohemian descent. Two options for Mass existed for these farming families: Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Highlandtown, and St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Gardenville. By the 1920s the growing Catholic population desired their own parish, and in 1923 a large fund-raising effort began to build a church. In 1924 three acres of land were acquired between Old Philadelphia Road and Pulaski Highway, and by November of that year a foundation was laid for a church building. The church was completed at a cost of $26,000, and dedicated in 1925. It was designated as a mission of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, and given the title of the Redemptorist saint, St. Clement Mary Hofbauer. Fr. Philip Holtman, C.Ss.R. served the mission as its priest.

In 1932 the School opened, staffed by 4 Sisters of St. Francis from Glen Riddle, PA, and a convent was built. All this led to a parish debt and when the first resident pastor, Fr. Joseph Curran, arrived in 1933 there was interest due that very day. Fr. Curran occupied a bedroom in the church attic, and an office in the basement, until the rectory was built in 1939. In the years that followed the parish continued to grow with the Rosedale neighborhood. New parish organizations were established, and each of the buildings was extended. These decades also saw a number of religious and priestly vocations from the parish.

Upon the sudden death of Fr. Raymond Zorbach in 1994, the parish was placed under the administration of the Conventual Franciscan Friars of the St. Anthony of Padua Province (now known as the Our Lady of the Angels Province based in Ellicott City, MD).

Today, St. Clement Parish serves a diversified faith community of over 800 families, with descendants of the first parish families, and families new to Rosedale from elsewhere in the United States and around the world. Fostering a family spirit, the parish continues a tradition of generosity that reaches out through ministries like the Good Samaritans and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The church narthex, added in 2008, provides additional gathering space and a new handicap lift.

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