As a community of Catholic Christians, the St. Charles Community is inspired to Meet Christ, Know Christ, Love Christ, and Serve Christ, through our spiritual services, educational endeavors, and community opportunities. We are called to align our wills to our Lord’s and work in a way which is reflective of his greatest sacrificial act of love.
St. Charles Borromeo was a Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan, Italy from 1564 to 1584. Along with St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Philip Neri, St. Charles Borromeo is considered as one of the great reformers in the Catholic Church that rose up in the times of the Counter-Reformation in response to the Protestant Reformation. He was responsible for founding many seminaries to promote the education of priests. His feast day is November 4th.
Born in 1538, Charles was born to the wealthy and respected Borromeo Family in Lombardy, Italy. By age 12, it was evident that Charles was devout to the faith and was sent by his father to a Benedictine abbey to study. Charles refused to accept any more compensation that was necessary from his parents. After years studying in poverty he earned a doctorate in canon and civil law. When his uncle Cardinal Giovanni Angelo became Pope Pius the IV, he called for his nephew in Rome and shortly afterward named him a cardinal deacon. Charles was 23 years old. In this position Charles governed the papal states, supervised the Knights of Malta, the Franciscans and the Carmelites. He became the Archbishop of Milan in 1564.
After Pope Pius IV’s death, Borromeo continued his mission in Milan. He worked with unmatched rigor, prompted by the Protestant Reformation, to eradicate corruption in the church from the city, and made many adversaries in his work. Yet after years of struggling, Charles’s tireless work began to wear at him. In 1584 he became ill with a fever and died.
St. Charles Borromeo was beatified on May 12th, 1602 by Pope Paul V and was canonized by the same pope on November 1st, 1610. He is the patron saint of bishops, catechists, and cardinals. He is usually represented in his robes, barefoot, and wearing a rope around his neck to symbolize his self-sacrificial drive.
The St. Charles Catholic Community began to gather over 150 years ago in 1863, springing up among the first roots of the Hartland Community on Hill Street (near the current St. Charles Cemetery). The original church was built in 1908, but as the congregation grew, it became evident another church would be needed.
In 1956, the church was built on the current site of Renson Road and Circle Drive, and included a new school, convent, and rectory. Yet the parish continued to grow at such a tremendous rate that it became evident another larger church would be needed to accommodate the current and future growth.
By 1991 an expansion and remodeling project was underway. It included a complete makeover of the church interior, a chapel addition, installation of central air conditioning and consolidation of school and church offices. In 2002 the Borromeo Room was added adjacent to the church narthex and the Holy Family Recreation Center (gym) was added to the base of the school, along with five more classrooms, the youth room, and new offices for the school.
Fr. Ken Omernick and parish leaders have worked to nourish the already-strong community of St. Charles by providing opportunities for community and spiritual growth. Fr. Ken is greatly respected in the parish for his leadership, trust through his ministry, and financial transparency. Thanks to parish leadership as a whole, St. Charles Community continues to be an integral aspect of Hartland, and a spiritual stronghold in a growing community.