History of Our Lady Queen of the Americas
Msgr. Robert J. Toland (1891-1985) is the founding pastor of Our Lady Queen of the Americas Parish, a parish that has now grown to nearly 400 families. Our church changed from a mission status, connected to St. Peter’s in Conneautville, to an independent parish on May 13, 1958. Mass had been celebrated at Conneaut Lake Park and at various community buildings for nearly 50 years before the structure of the church was completed in May of 1959. The original name of our church was Our Lady of the Lake , but was later changed to Our Lady Queen of the Americas (1956), with Our Lady of Guadalupe as our patroness.
Bishop Edward P. McManaman, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Erie , dedicated the church on Sunday, May 17, 1959. The design of the Church is unique in that the folding doors and panels behind the altar may be opened in order to double the seating capacity, a necessity during the summer months. The parish grounds include a small cemetery behind the church with statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady.
Fr. John Murray replaced Msgr. Toland as pastor of OLQA in 1977 and Msgr. Edward Zeitler then led the parish as its third pastor. Msgr. Toland died in April of 1985. Msgr. Zeitler was pastor of OLQA from 1979-1985 and Msgr. John Lucas was assigned as pastor in 1985. Msgr. Lucas served the parish until September of 1998 at which time Fr. Stephen Anderson was appointed the fifth pastor. Fr. Anderson passed away in March 2013. Fr. Jeffrey Lucas, the sixth and current pastor, was appointed in June of 2013.
The parish pursues prayerful and inviting Liturgies with hospitality as one of our main virtues. We welcome many visitors to the Lake and to the Park, especially during the summer months, and enjoy worshiping with them at our Liturgies. Our prayer overflows into ways of service in efforts at Care and Concern for one another. Our Religious Education Program attempts to introduce and support the Faith among our young people throughout the year with various opportunities for retreat, service, and fellowship, as well as classroom experience. Many serve in various ministries throughout the parish: at and around the altar, in the classroom and faith formation classes, in the Knights of Columbus, Altar Rosary Society, 55+ Club, Cursillo Experience, Marriage Encounter, etc.
We pray that our efforts will always give God greater honor and glory as we worship and serve together at this Church, dedicated to Our Lady, Queen of the Americas.