About St. Clement
St. Clement's Church was appropriately named in 1852 after the great Pope and martyr, St. Clement. Clement is a Latin name meaning "he who is mild in temper and disposition; gentle, kind, tender, modest." St. Clement, according to tradition, was ordained by St. Peter himself. He is Peter's third successor, the fourth Pope. He occupied the Sea of Rome during the last ten years of the First Century.
St. Clement, a Roman, was well educated. His literary training had been outstanding.
He was martyred, although not in Rome. This is all that is proven of Clement's death. It is believed that St. Clement was exiled by the Emperor Trajan to the Chersonese, modern Crimea. There the holy Pope worked with such zeal, among the prisoners, labouring in the mines, that he was condemned to death. He was thrown into the sea with an anchor tied around his neck.
The feast of St. Clement is celebrated on November 23.
History of St. Clement's Parish
The first Catholic settler were Blasius and William Beysang, who settled slightly west of Heidelberg - both of whom were included in the early 1830's. Mass was celebrated in Blasius' home and instructions were given in religion and education for a few years.
Many of the first settlers had emigrated from Alsace-Lorraine, Germany and Bavaria. The majority of the early settlers were Catholics. Adolph Schickler is considered the first to have settled in St. Clement's Village. In the early days, St. Clements was known as "King's Bush". "King" referred to King William V of England, who reigned from 1830 - 1837. The name became "Queen's Bush" in 1837, when Queen Victoria ascended to the throne. "Bush" indicated the state of the land.
Joh Stroh, First Postmaster, Justice of the Peace and tavern owner, who was a supportive friend of the priests, often received letters written to him by bishops and priests, on matters dealing with the events of the church up until 1852, when Father Columban Messner became the first resident priest.
Adam Koebel, along with three of his brothers, amid poverty, hunger and unemployment, left Alsace-Lorraine in the 1830's. Adam arrived in St. Clements around 1837. He was later sent to confer with the Bishop of Toronto, in regards to securing land for an appropriate church location. Mr. Koebel was unanimously chosen to represent the people of St. Clements because he was able to speak English most fluently. Mr. Koebel walked to and from Toronto on this important mission. It took him two weeks to reach his destination. The deed for this land, which was approximately six acres, was not obtained from the Crown until 1853. The price paid for the land was 5 pounds and 5 shillings. In those days a pound was worth approximately $4.00, therefore, the cost of the land was slightly more than $20.00.