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Our History

The story of Immaculate Conception: Reflections after 43 years.


The first day of school at what was formerly known as St. Gertrude Academy was September 15, 1980. We began with 26 students in 4 rooms in a borrowed space at Roselawn Lutheran Church in Westwood, Cincinnati.


In October 1980, we made the move Gobel Court in Westwood. A faithful parishioner had generously donated one of his company’s buildings for us to use as our school. At the time, we were using part of the school as a chapel for daily and Sunday Mass.

Gobel Court would be the home of St. Gertrude Academy for the next 15 years.

Images of Saint Gertrude Academy


After a few years it was becoming clear that our facility for the church and school was becoming too small for us. Fr. Jenkins began thinking of and praying for a new church and school to dedicate to the Immaculate Conception.

1990 - 1994

We created a small committee dedicated to looking for a new location for our church and school, and for developing the funds to obtain it. We sacrificed and we prayed. We explored buying property and building. We had our realtors in the parish looking for us, but nothing seemed to come to fruition.

Throughout our time at Gobel Court, St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel existed in three different locations within the Academy building.


After years of waiting for the right opportunity, we received news that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was consolidating the three Norwood Catholic churches into one and St. Matthew Church and School were going to be sold! We could all see God’s hand in this.

We met with the sellers under the alias “Good Faith Ministries” as to not arouse suspicion with the Archdiocese about being Traditional Catholic. The ruse was successful and a tour was arranged.

We quickly offered to buy the property at 10% less than the asking price, and we prayed for God’s will to be done. Within a week, our prayers were answered, as the Archdiocese verbally agreed to our price. We signed a contract to purchase on December 22, 1994.


With the help of many generous donors, we raised the cash necessary to buy the property free and clear – with no mortgage. We closed on the St. Matthew church and school property on February 27, 1995.  Father Jenkins' words were Deo Gratias, and he told me that he had all of the students in the chapel at school praying during the exact time of the closing. This was all truly God’s will.

Our first Mass was offered by Father Jenkins on July 12, 1995, and our church was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

Many improvements have been made over the years to the Church & Academy, notably restoring the original Communion rail, installing new carpet in the church, building the rectory Grotto and creating St. Susanna Hall in the school building.