The Catholic Club is an organization of the Diocese of Toledo positioned under the department of Catholic Charities. The Bishop of Toledo relies on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Club to oversee the day to day business of the Club. The Director of Catholic Charities provides the direct Diocesan supervision of the Club and the Executive Director with the assistance of the Board.
The Catholic Club building was built in 1929 for a then hefty price tag of $236,000 by the Knights of Columbus. However the Great Depression struck our country and the Knights lost their new facility to the bank. In December 1941, The Diocese of Toledo purchased the building during a bank liquidation for just $12,500.
In 1956, Bishop Altar approved the purchase of the adjacent property which included a one-story building which was the original Auto Club as well as a brick two story house. The motto as it opened was “Open indeed regardless of creed”. As was then, we are still and have always remained open to everyone.
Msgr. Jerome Schmit grew up a hairlip and maybe hard to understand at times, but he always wanted to be a priest. When Bishop Alter refused to pay and send him to Seminary school due to his speech impediment, Msgr. Schmit decided to enroll and pay himself. When he was done with seminary school and he became a priest, he went to Bishop Alter and said here I am a priest where will you place me? Bishop Alter was not sure how he would do at a parish and preaching at the pulpit, fearing people wouldn’t understand him, said I have just the place. Go down to our new facility, the Catholic Club and work with the kids. The Club was home to CYO basketball and volleyball games or Football weigh-Ins, to Youth group gatherings, TCCY events, community meetings, wedding receptions and much more. For over 38 years Msgr, led the Catholic Club. He became one of the most respected priests in our Diocese. At his retirement in 1980 over a 1,000 people attended his retirement party. While we lost Msgr. over 20 years ago, his spirit of caring for the youth of our community lives within the Catholic Club staff today.
The Catholic Club has three main areas of programming: Child Care, Aquatics and Recreation, and Parent Support.
We currently offer quality, educational childcare for children 6 weeks-12 years. We have earned the prestigious NAEYC accreditation three times. This accreditation is earned by fewer than 8% of childcare centers in the United States. In addition to this national award, we have earned a 5 Star rating through Step Up to Quality, Ohio’s quality rating system. This is the highest award possibly through SUTQ. We have 64 Early Head Start and Head Start spots for children. In addition to these, we have space for another 20 preschoolers. The Catholic Club also offers a before and after school program as well as a large summer camp for school aged children.
Over 95% of our children come from low income households. Most families are able to come for free due to government aide as well as the United Way support. We are blessed with lots of space, both indoors and outdoors. Our children are able to participate in many enriching activities including field trips into the community (starting at age 3) swimming, gym games and outdoor play. All children ages three and older have the opportunity to learn to swim, free of charge while they are in attendance during the day.
In addition to teaching the children in our childcare program how to swim, we also offer swim lessons that open to everyone in the community beginning with infants and toddlers in our parent/child classes all the way up to adult lessons. These lessons are for all swim levels from beginner to advance. We are very proud to be able to say that we have taught thousands of children to swim over the years. We also offer open swim and gym times for families to enjoy recreation at no charge.
Our Super Saturday program meets twice a month on Saturdays from 10 am – 2 pm October-May. It offers a fun and safe place for children in grades 1-6 to enjoy swimming, crafts, gym games and meeting new friends.
We offer a parent education and support class which is facilitated by a licensed Social Worker and in collaboration with the Christ Child Society. Christ Child volunteers act as mentors and provide individual and small group support to the participants in this program. We are so fortunate to have this partnership. The volunteers have many talents and knowledge coming from backgrounds including teaching, school counselors, social workers, and nurses. This partnership makes our parent classes truly unique and one of a kind.
"The Catholic Club is a great place for my two daughters to play and make new friends. They love coming every week."