Our Story


The Sanctuary is a community and event venue operated by the non-profit organization, Community Matters. The space is a cornerstone of the Lower Price Hill community, serving as the primary place for family celebrations, weddings, and community events. Community Matters exists to build a thriving community alongside the residents of Lower Price Hill. All of the proceeds from The Sanctuary support the programs at Community Matters such as, our food pantry, affordable housing, community laundromat, and education programs.


In 1847, a group of forty-five residents, living along the river from the Mill Creek to Sedamsville, met for the purpose of raising funds for a church and school. They contributed a total sum of $465 and soon afterward obtained three adjoining lots between West Sixth Street and the Ohio River. The first building erected was a one-story frame, which at first served as both a school and a space for prayer services.

In the fall of 1847, construction of Saint Michael Church began.

Throughout the 1800s, the area, then known as Storrs Township, continued to develop. With the construction of the Price Hill Incline at 8th Street and State Avenue in 1874, the area boomed with 12,000 residents and a robust retail district.


The Sanctuary is the second oldest (standing) former Catholic church in Cincinnati. Today, the space has been fully restored and is operated by Community Matters as a gathering space for celebrations, performances, weddings, meetings, and community events. Proceeds from renting The Sanctuary support the mission of Community Matters: to create a thriving and more just community by removing barriers to opportunity.

The space features historic architecture, restored stained glass windows, original hardwood floors, acoustically engineered space, licensed commercial kitchen, two multi-stall restrooms, additional meeting/dressing rooms, large stage, updated heating and air conditioning, onsite tables and chairs, and full ADA accessibility.