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Preserving Cardinal Ritter’s Boyhood Home

Business News - Local News

Report: St. Louis Catholic leaders raise money to honor Ritter

St. Louis Business Journal – May 18, 2006

Monsignor Richard Stika of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is fueling an effort to raise money in St. Louis to restore the childhood home of the late Cardinal Joseph Ritter.

Ritter’s boyhood home in New Albany, Ind., was built in the late 19th century and is located next to his family’s bakery. Ritter died in 1967 after becoming a cardinal in 1960.

Stika, 48, who recently became a board member of the Cardinal Ritter Birthplace Foundation in New Albany, said in media reports that Ritter is still remembered for his down-to-earth nature, humility and kindness. The Ritter house will serve as offices for nonprofit social-services agencies that will help the community just north of Louisville, Ky.

The home, located Oak and East 13th streets, was about to be demolished because it had fallen into disrepair before the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Southern Indiana bought it in June 2002 for about $5,000. The landmarks foundation then spent $20,000 stabilizing the structure, according to reports.

David Hock, chairman of the Ritter foundation, said in reports that about $300,000 in cash and in-kind contributions, including labor and materials, were raised to restore the house. Hock said the Ritter foundation plans to raise a total of $1.5 million — about $500,000 for construction and $1 million as an endowment to help operate and maintain the building.

The fundraising campaign must buy the house from the landmarks foundation, which will cost about $25,000, Hock said.

[NOTE: Here is a link to the Cardinal Ritter Birthplace Foundation


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