St Teresa Catholic Church
4227 State Route 707 Box 445
Rockford, Ohio  45882-0445

St Teresa Church Office: (419) 363-2633

Immaculate Conception Parish Office: (419) 586-6648   

Rev John Tonkin., Pastor
Rev Rob Muhlenkamp, Parochial Vicar
Deacon Charlie Salway



We, of St Teresa Parish are a rural community of Christians who share in the fullness of our Catholic Faith through the Sacraments


  1. Provide service to our members and surrounding community,
  2. Provide opportunities to worship through the Mass and other religious services,
  3. Build on the home’s responsibility for religious education of families – both young and old,
  4. Be willing to grow in the Faith by taking the time to heal, console, listen and help others in need, this proclaiming the Good News of the Lord by our daily actions.

Lord; send us your grace and guidance, to make Your Mission ours, so that one day we may share everlasting life.

Formulated by Pastoral Council  10-18-1994

Mass Schedule:

Sundays: 10:00am


Call for 419-586-6648 an appointment


St Teresa Catholic Church was established in 1937 in Rockford. Fr Roman Schwieterman, C.PP. S. conceived the idea of a mission church in Rockford when he was pastor of St. Mary Church in an Irish Settlement near Geneva, Indiana. He did mission work in the northern part of Mercer County and found a need for a church.

            In October if 1935, Father Schwieterman wrote to the Provincial of the Society of the Precious Blood, to the Very Reverend Ignatius Wagner, for permission to proceed with this project and to start seeking funds. By February 1936, $3,000 had been raised, and in September, permission was given to begin building.

            Lot number 43 on Franklin Street, Rockford, was purchased from Jake J Harden for the amount of $200, and the deed was transferred to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in October 1936.

            December, 1936, Father Schwieterman asked permission to have plans drawn for a frame structure with a full basement. The Most Reverend John T McNicholas, O.P. Archbishop of Cincinnati, suggested visiting a mission church, St Augustine Church, Jamestown, Ohio near Xenia. Father Schwieterman and the architect, F. A. De Curtins, Celina, visited that church and adopted a plan.

            The basement was dug and the foundation poured. The general contractors were the Forstoff Brothers of Celina. The building was completed in the spring of 1937 at a total cost of $6,800. Furnishings for the church came in from many friends and neighboring parishes.

            A ceremony on May 4, 1937, was held to bless the new church. Father Schwieterman invited the Most Reverend Joseph H Albers, Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, to officiate the blessing. At this time, there were eleven families on the parish roster. The first mass was held on May 9, 1937. The parish continued to grow under the patronage of St Teresa of the Infant Jesus.

            St Teresa became the first Catholic Church in Mercer County north of Celina.

            The first baptism recorded was Milo Shindeldecker; the first marriage was Louis H Mache and Ann Mura; the first funeral was Elizabeth Provci and the Most Reverend George Rehring, Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati confirmed the first class on December 4, 1943.

            The first resident parishioner to be married in St Teresa Church was Mr John Belna. He married Ann Karafit. The first couple to be married in St Teresa Church, lived in the parish thereafter, and the first to celebrate their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary in St Teresa Church was Mr and Mrs John (Libby Havlicek) Provci.

            1947, the Roy Bissel property on lot 52 on South Main Street was purchased. This was the location of St Teresa’s first rectory later the property was sold to the United Telephone Company. The church then acquired the Agnes Weller property around 1955 on the northwest corner of South Franklin and South Streets. Father Alphonse Jungwirth, C.PP.S., took up residence in this house the present rectory.

            In 1981 extensive remodeling was done to the church basement to accommodate the religious education classes. This was the same year that the 50/50 Club was formed to help defray many improvements to the parish buildings and programs. In 1982 part of the church yard was made into a parking area. Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk came to St Teresa parish to celebrate with Mass the Fiftieth Anniversary of the parish on May 12, 1987. May 1992, a ramp to the church was completed for the convenience of the elderly and those confined to wheelchairs.

            On December 16, 2008, St. Teresa Parish purchased the former Christian Church, 4227 State Route 707, Rockford, Ohio for $105,000.00.  Repairs and upgrades were made to the church originally dedicated as the Otterbein United Brethren in Christ Church in 1967.  The last Mass celebration at the Franklin Street location was held Sunday, May 24, 2009 followed by a parish picture.

            A Mass celebrating the Dedication of the Church and Altar was held on June 21, 2009.  Father Thomas Brenberger, C.PP.S. invited the Most Reverend Dennis Schnurr, Coadjutor Archbishop of Cincinnati, to officiate the dedication. At this time, there were 118 families on the parish roster.

            The former St. Teresa Church was sold to the Rockford United Methodist Church on August 26, 2009 for $44,887.50.  The former rectory 213 South Franklin St., Rockford, was sold on September 24, 2010 for $47,736.30. 

            Fr. Ken Schnipke, C.PP.S. was named pastor July 2010.

            On June 3, 2012, St. Teresa Church celebrated a 75th Anniversary Mass with Archbishop Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, presiding.  The celebration included a blessing of parishioners and a cornerstone plaque for the new church.  A parish picnic followed.

            In 2015, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati embarked on an historic archdiocesan-wide campaign – One Faith, One Hope, One Love.  The goal of the campaign was $130 million, with St. Teresa’s goal $85,000.  St. Teresa Parishioners pledged over $112,650.00 and designated funds returned to the parish to use toward repairing and resurfacing the asphalt parking lot.  The parking lot work was completed in May 2016 by Wagner Paving, Laura, OH at a cost of $48,409.50.  Phase 2 & 3, widening the West drive and paving the entire parking lot, was completed by Buehler Asphalt, St. Marys, OH Spring 2019 at a cost of $43,100 and an addition $4,500 for Taylor Painting and Striping.     

In April 2019, Deacon Charlie Salway was ordained permanent deacon.  In November 2019, the Celina Cluster including Immaculate Conception, Celina, Our Lady Guadalupe, Montezuma and St. Teresa, Rockford was implemented.

In 2021, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati began a multiyear process called Beacons of Light. “Rooted in prayer, groupings of parishes will come together as one faith community. These new Families of Parishes will be stronger together, focused more on mission than on maintenance. In the Families of Parishes, we will grow closer to God, follow Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, and radiate Christ in our lives. The primary goal is to provide vibrant communities of faith in order that we might fully grow as disciples of Jesus Christ while also have fewer priests to serve as pastors in the future.” 

Having gathered sacramental and demographic data on all 208 parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Beacons of Light reconfigured the existing 109 clusters into 60 “families of parishes” to be led by one pastor and served by additional priests as needed. The new NorthWest Family # 2 included IC, Celina; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Montezuma; St. Teresa, Rockford; Holy Rosary, St. Marys; and St. Patrick, Glynwood. Fr. John Tonkin was named pastor, Fr. Rob Muhlenkamp and Fr. Prashanth Kumar Bandanadham from India as parochial vicars. The implementation of NW2 was effective July 1, 2022.

Having served St. Teresa Parish since the very beginning in 1937, the Missionaries of the Precious Blood returned the pastoral care of St. Teresa Parish to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. A Mass of farewell was celebrated June 26, 2022.

Since its establishment St Teresa has had 8 non-resident pastors 1937-1947 and 15 resident pastors 1947-1999. Three cluster pastors served from 1999 to 2022.  From 1967 through 1976 a brother, a seminarian and 12 C.PP.S. sisters taught religious education at St Teresa.

We are grateful to all former members of St Teresa Parish for bequeathing to us this wonderful parish through many sacrifices and prayers.