FREE Catholic Classes
The Diocese of Cleveland (Clevelandensis), established 23 April, 1847, comprises all that part of Ohio lying north of the southern limits of the Counties of Columbiana, Stark, Wayne, Ashland, Richland, Crawford, Wyandot, Hancock, Allen, and Van Wert, its territory covering thirty-six counties, an area of 15,032 square miles.
The Jesuit Fathers Potier and Bonnecamp were the first missionaries to visit the territory now within the limits of Ohio. They came from Quebec in 1749 to evangelize the Huron Indians living along the Vermilion and Sandusky Rivers in Northern Ohio. Two years later they received the assistance of another Jesuit, Father de la Richardie, who had come from Detroit, Michigan, to the southern shore of Lake Erie. Shortly after his arrival he induced a part of the Huron tribe to settle near the present site of Sandusky, where he erected a chapel -- the first place of Catholic worship within the present limits of Ohio. These Hurons assumed the name of Wyandots when they left the parent tribe. Although checked for a time by Father Potier, they took part in the Indian-French War. Soon they became implicated in the conspiracy of Pontiac, in consequence of which the Jesuits were unjustly forced in 1752 to leave the territory of Ohio, Father Potier being the last Jesuit missionary among the Western Hurons. The Indian missions, established and cared for by the Jesuits for nearly three years, had now to depend exclusively on the chance visits of the priests attached to the military posts in Canada and Southern Michigan. Despite the spiritual deprivation which this implied, the Hurons (Wyandots) kept the Faith for many years, although their descendants were ultimately lost to the Church through the successful efforts of Protestant missionaries. After the forced retirement of the Jesuits no systematic efforts were made to continue the missionary work begun by them until 1795, when the Rev. Edmund Burke, a secular priest from Quebec, came as chaplain of the military post at Fort Meigs, near the present site of Maumee. Father Burke remained at the post until February, 1797, ministering to the Catholic soldiers at the fort, and endeavouring though with little success, to Christianize the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, in the neighbourhood.
Help Now >
In the meantime the See of Bardstown was erected (1810), embracing the entire State of Ohio, as well as Michigan and Kentucky. Bishop Flaget sent (1817) the Rev. Edward Fenwick, O.P. (later first Bishop of Cincinnati ), from the Dominican monastery at Somerset, Ohio, to attend the few families who had settled in Columbiana and Stark Counties, in the north-eastern part of Ohio. From that time forward he and other Dominican Fathers, especially the Revs. Nicholas D. Young and John A. Hill, continued to visit at regular intervals the Catholic families in that section of Ohio (notably in Columbiana, Stark, Mahoning, and Wayne Counties), then very sparsely settled. It is, therefore, from this period that Catholicity in Northern Ohio really dates its beginning. In the course of time the Dominican Fathers gradually gave up to the secular clergy their pastoral charges in the above-named counties until, in 1842, they withdrew altogether. St. John's, Canton, was their last mission. Meanwhile the central portion of Northern Ohio (Huron, Erie, Sandusky, and Seneca Counties) had received a considerable influx of Catholic immigrants, principally from Germany. Similar conditions were obtaining elsewhere in the State, and the need of more compact organization to minister to growing wants made Cincinnati an episcopal see in 1822, with the entire State for its jurisdiction. Little seems to have been done, however, for the northern part of the State, and but little could be done, as Catholics were so few, until the advent of its second bishop, John B. Purcell. He succeeded (13 Oct., 1833) the saintly Bishop Fenwick, who, while engaged in a confirmation tour, died at Wooster, Ohio (26 September, 1832) of cholera, then raging in Ohio. In 1834 Bishop Purcell commissioned the Redemptorist Fathers, who had just arrived in America, to take charge of the widely scattered German missions then existing in these counties, and to organize others where needed. The Rev. Francis X. Tschenhens, C.SS.R., was the first priest assigned to this task. Later on he was assisted by other members of his community, among them the Revs. Peter Czakert, Francis Haetscher, Joseph Prost, Simon Saenderl, Louis M. Alig, and John N. Neumann (later Bishop of Philadelphia). The Redemptorists remained in Northern Ohio until November, 1842. They were succeeded, January, 1844, by seven Sanguinist Fathers, (the Revs. Francis S. Brunner, M.A. Meier, J. Wittmer, J. Van den Broek, P.A. Capeder, J. Ringele, and J.B. Jacomet), who came from Europe at that time at the solicitation of Bishop Purcell. They settled at St. Alphonsus church, Peru, Huron County, whence they attended all the missions formerly under the care of the Redemptorists. They also accepted charge of the scattered missions in Lorain, Medina, and Wayne Counties, besides attending the Catholic Germans in Cleveland. Their advent was hailed with delight wherever they went, and their priestly labours were signally blessed. Under their vigilant care religion flourished, so that the healthy growth of Catholicity in Northern Ohio may justly, under God, be ascribed in large measure to their untiring zeal and self-sacrifice.
Help Now >
The secular clergy are no less deserving of mention, as they, too, laboured in this part of the Lord's vineyard, amid trials and difficulties, often side by side with their brethren of the religious orders, and more often alone in the widespread missions of Northern Ohio. They did yeoman service, blazing the way for those who succeeded them, and laying the foundations for many missions, which have long since developed into vigorous and prosperous congregations. The first of these secular clergy was the Rev. Ignatius J. Mullen of Cincinnati. Between 1824 and 1834 he frequently attended the missions in Stark, Columbiana, Seneca, and Sandusky Counties. Other pioneer secular priests of prominence were the Revs. Francis Marshall (1827), John M. Henni (later Bishop and Archbishop of Milwaukee ), resident pastor of Canton (1831-34), Edmund Quinn, at Tiffin (1831-35), William J. Horstmann, at Glandorf (1835-43), James Conlon, at Dungannon (1834-53), Matthias Wuerz, at Canton (1835-45), John Dillon, first resident pastor of Cleveland (1835-36), Basil Schorb, in charge of missions in Stark, Wayne, and Portage Counties (1837-43), Patrick O'Dwyer, second pastor of Cleveland (1836-38), where he built the first church in 1838, Michael McAleer, in Stark and Columbiana Counties (1838-40), Joseph McNamee, at Tiffin (1839-47), Projectus J. Machebeuf (later Bishop of Denver ), at Tiffin and Sandusky (1839-51), Amadeus Rappe (later first Bishop of Cleveland), stationed at Maumee for a short time, and then, as first resident pastor, at Toledo (1840-47), Louis de Goesbriand (later Bishop of Burlington, Vermont ), at Louisville, Toledo, and Cleveland (1840-53), Peter McLaughlin, resident pastor of Cleveland (1840-46), Maurice Howard, at Cleveland and later at Tiffin (1842-52), John J. Doherty, at Canton (1843-48), John H. Luhr, at Canton, and later at Cleveland (1844-58), John O. Bredeick, founder of Delphos and its first pastor (1844-58), Cornelius Daley, first resident pastor of Akron, and later stationed at Doylestown (1844-47), Philip Foley, at Massillon and Wooster (1847-48). The Rev. Stephen Badin , proto-priest of the thirteen original United States, and the Rev. Edward T. Collins occasionally came from Cincinnati, between 1835 and 1837, to attend the missions in Northern Ohio, the former those of Canton, Fremont, and Tiffin, and the latter those of Dungannon, Toledo, and along the Maumee River. The first permanent church in Northern Ohio was erected near the present village of Dungannon, in 1820, under the direction of the Rev. Edward Fenwick, O.P., the "Apostle of Ohio," and later the first Bishop of Cincinnati. Until 1847 churches of brick or wood were built in the following places: Canton (St. John's, 1823), Chippewa (1828), Randolph, Canal Fulton (1831), Tiffin (St. Mary's, 1832), Glandorf, Navarre, New Riegel (1833), Peru (1834), Louisville, La Porte (1835), Shelby Settlement (1836), McCutchenville (1837), Thompson (1839), Cleveland, East Liverpool (1840), Toledo, Maumee, New Washington, Norwalk (1841), Sandusky (Holy Angels ), Landeck, Liberty, Liverpool, Sheffield (St. Stephen's, 1842), Delphos, Massillon (St. Mary's), Akron (St. Vincent's), Fremont (St. Anne's), French Creek (1844), Canton (St. Peter's), Harrisburg, New Berlin, Tiffin (St. Joseph's), xxyyyk.htm">Providence (1845), Sherman (1846), Poplar Ridge (1847).
From 1922 until October, 1847, Northern Ohio was part of the Diocese of Cincinnati, of which the first bishop was Edward Fenwick (1822-32), and its second bishop, John B. Purcell, who succeeded in October, 1833. He petitioned the Holy See , in 1846, for a division of his jurisdiction, then comprising the entire State of Ohio. The petition was granted (23 April, 1847), by the appointment of the Rev. Louis Amadeus Rappe as the first Bishop of Cleveland, and the assignment to his jurisdiction of "all that part of Ohio lying north of 40 degrees and 41 minutes, N.L." As this division intersected several counties it was changed in January, 1849, to the present limits, as described at the beginning of this article.
BISHOPS OF CLEVELAND
(1) LOUIS AMADEUS RAPPE, consecrated 10th October, 1847, was born 2 Feb., 1801, at Andrehem, France. He was ordained priest at Arras, France, 14 March, 1829. His cathedral church was St. Mary's on the "Flats," Cleveland, the first, and at that time the only, church in his episcopal city. In November, 1852, he completed the present cathedral, an imposing brick structure of Gothic architecture, still ranking with the many fine churches of the diocese. During his administration of the diocese, which ended in August, 1870, he convoked five diocesan synods (1848, 1852, 1854, 1857, 1868). He established the diocesan seminary (1848), St. John's College, Cleveland (1854), St. Louis College, Louisville (1866); these two colleges, however, being closed a few years later, owing to lack of patronage. Under his direction the following educational and charitable institutions were also established: in Cleveland, the Ursuline Academy; St. Vincent's Orphanage, for boys; St. Mary's Orphanage, for girls (1861); St. Joseph's Orphanage, for girls (1862); Charity Hospital (1865); House of the Good Shepherd (1869); Home for the Aged Poor (1870).
In Toledo, Ursuline Academy (1854), St. Vincent's Orphanage (1855); in Tiffin, Ursuline Academy (1863), St. Francis' Asylum and Home for the Aged (1867). He founded the community of Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine (1851), whose work is the care of orphans, waifs, and the sick. In 1869 he introduced into the diocese the Franciscan and Jesuit Fathers, giving to the former the care of St. Joseph's church, Cleveland, and to the latter St. Mary's, Toledo. Wherever possible he insisted on the support of parish schools. He was a strong advocate of total abstinence, which he practised from the time he was a missionary priest in North-Western Ohio until his death. He never spared himself in the discharge of his manifold and exacting duties. By his affability and disinterestedness he gained the love of his people, as also the respect of his fellow-citizens regardless of creed. He resigned his see in August, 1870, and retired to the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, where he did missionary work almost to the day of his death (8 September, 1877). Between the time of Bishop Rappe's resignation and the appointment of his successor, the Very Rev. Edward Hannin administered the affairs of the diocese.
(2) RICHARD GILMOUR, consecrated 14 April, 1872. In November of the same year he convoked the Sixth Diocesan Synod, in which many of the statutes by which the diocese is at present governed were promulgated. It also embodied considerable of the legislature of previous synods, notably that of 1868. This synod made provision for a diocesan fund for the support of the seminary, bishop, etc., and another for the support of sick and disabled priests, by annual assessments on the parishes of the diocese. Among other diocesan statutes published then were those urging anew the support of parochial schools, regulating the financial affairs of parishes, and the manner of electing parish councilmen and of conveying church property. Bishop Gilmour established "The Catholic Universe," its first issue appearing 4 July, 1874. In 1875 he organized "The Catholic Central Association," composed of representatives from all the parishes and church societies in Cleveland; its influence for the betterment of social and religious conditions and for the defence of Catholic interests was soon felt not only in Cleveland, but elsewhere as well, and continued during almost its entire existence of nearly eighteen years. It also proved a tower of strength to its organizer in his forced contention for the civic rights of Catholics, in the face of bitter opposition from bigotry and a hostile press. In 1875 the Catholic school property in Cleveland was placed on the tax duplicate in spite of the decision (1874) of the Supreme Court of Ohio, that such property was not taxable. A suit of restraint was entered by the bishop, and finally carried to the Supreme Court, which reaffirmed its former decision. The present episcopal residence was begun in 1874 and completed two years later. It serves also as the residence of the cathedral clergy.
In 1872 the Sisters of St. Joseph , and in 1874 the Sisters of Notre Dame, were welcomed to the diocese. Both communities have flourishing academies in connexion with their convents, besides supplying many parish schools with efficient teachers. The same also is the case with the Ursulines of Cleveland, Tiffin, Toledo, and Youngstown, and the Sisters of the Humility of Mary.
The following institutions were established between 1873 and 1891: St. Anne's Asylum and House of Maternity, Cleveland (1873); Ursuline Convent, Youngstown (1874); St. Vincent's Hospital, Toledo (1876); St. Joseph's Franciscan College, Cleveland (1876-80); Convent of Poor Clares (1877); Ursuline Academy, Nottingham (1877); St. Alexis' Hospital, Cleveland (1884); St. Louis' Orphanage, Louisville (1884); Little Sisters of the Poor, Toledo (1885); St. Ignatius' College, Cleveland (1886); St. Joseph's Seminary, for young boys, Nottingham (1886). The diocesan seminary was remodelled and considerably enlarged in 1884-85. A diocesan chancery office was established (1877) for the transaction of the official business of the diocese. In 1878 the first attempt was made to gather historical data in connexion with every parish and institution in the diocese, and in a few years a great mass of matter, covering the history of Catholicity in Northern Ohio and the Diocese of Cleveland as far back as 1817, was collected and is now a part of the diocesan archives. In May, 1882, the Seventh Diocesan Synod was held, which resulted in the legislation at present in force. With the exception of about half a dozen of its 262 statutes, it is in perfect harmony with the decrees of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, held in November, 1884. Like his predecessor, Bishop Gilmour made it obligatory on every parish at all financially able to support a parochial school. In consequence, the Diocese of Cleveland has more parochial schools, in proportion to its number of churches and its population, than any other diocese in the United States and many of its school buildings vie, in size, appointments, and beauty of architecture, with the public-school buildings. With very few exceptions the parish schools are in charge of teachers belonging to male and female religious communities, Bishop Gilmour had an eventful episcopate, lasting nineteen years. He left his strong, aggressive personality indelibly stamped, upon the diocese he had ruled. During the interim between his death (13 April, 1891) and the appointment of his successor, the Rev. Monsignor F.M. Boff was administrator of the diocese.
(3) IGNATIUS FREDERICK HORSTMANN, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was appointed to succeed Bishop Gilmour. Born in Philadelphia, 16 December, 1840, after graduating from the Central High School, he attended St. Joseph's College and then entered the diocesan Seminary. In 1860 he was sent by Bishop Wood to the American College, Rome, where he was ordained priest, 10 June, 1865. In the following year he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity and returning to Philadelphia became a professor in St. Charles's Seminary where he remained eleven years and was then appointed rector of St. Mary's church, Philadelphia. In 1885 he was made chancellor. His consecration as Bishop of Cleveland took place in Philadelphia, 25 February, 1892. He died suddenly of heart disease on 13 May, 1908, while on an official visit to Canton, Ohio. He had proved himself a zealous pastor of souls, a wise and prudent ruler, a fearless defender of truth. Among the noteworthy accomplishments of his episcopate were the founding of Loyola High School, Cleveland (1902); St. John's College, Toledo (1898); and the establishment of the diocesan band of missionaries -- the first in any diocese of the United States. He was foremost in encouraging every missionary movement, and his zeal for Christian education was one of the dominant purposes of his life. He served as a trustee of the Catholic University and in spite of many duties found time to contribute to the "American Catholic Review" and other periodicals and to edit the American edition of "The Catholic Doctrine As Defined by the Council of Trent" and "Potter's Catholic Bible."
A few months before he died he asked for an auxiliary bishop, with jurisdiction over the growing foreign population, especially of the Slav races, in the diocese. The Rev. Joseph M. Koudelka, rector of St. Michael's church, Cleveland, was named, 29 Nov., 1907, and consecrated, 25 Feb., 1908, being the first auxiliary bishop of special jurisdiction appointed for the United States. He was born in Bohemia, 15 August, 1852, and emigrated to the United States when sixteen years of age. After making his studies at St. Francis's Seminary, Milwaukee, he was ordained priest, 8 October, 1875. He was for some time editor of "Hlas" (Voice), a Bohemian Catholic weekly paper, and compiled a series of textbooks for Bohemian Catholic schools.
In 1894 the "St. Vincent's Union," composed of the laity who contribute towards the support of St. Vincent's Orphanage, Cleveland, was organized; and it has proved of great financial assistance to that institution. In 1893 Bishop Horstmann opened the Calvary Cemetery, which covers nearly 250 acres, near the southern limits of Cleveland. About fifty acres of the cemetery's whole area are improved. In 1892 the Cleveland Apostolate was established, an association of secular priests, having for its object the giving of lectures and missions to non-Catholics. Besides making many converts this association has removed much prejudice and brought about a kindlier feeling towards the Church and its members. The Golden Jubilee of the diocese was celebrated, 13 October, 1897. It was a memorable event, observed with great religious pomp in Cleveland, Toledo, and elsewhere. At the bishop's solicitation the Jesuit Fathers of Toledo opened (September, 1898) St. John's College. In the same city a home for fallen women was established (1906) by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. A fine school building was erected (1906) in connexion with St. Vincent's Asylum, Cleveland, in which the boys have every facility for a thorough education. The diocese is in a prosperous condition, spiritually and financially, and healthy growth is apparent in every direction.
CAUSES OF GROWTH
The growth of the diocesan population down to 1860 was due chiefly to emigration from Ireland and Germany. Since 1870 it has been receiving other large accessions, but from quite another source. The Slav race, manifold in its divisions, has been pouring in, more notably since 1895. The early immigrants were drawn hither by the market for their labour which the opening of a new country offered. The Irish found employment on public works, such as the construction of canals and railroads; the Germans turned more to agriculture. The various branches of the Slav race are engaged in foundries, mills, and factories, and many are also employed as longshoremen and at common labour. The same holds also for the Italians, of whom there is a large percentage. Nearly all the recent immigration has settled in cities like Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown, Lorain, and Ashtabula, where employment is had in abundance and at a fair wage.
In December, 1907, the clergy numbered 388, of whom 315 were diocesan priests and 73 regulars (Sanguinists, Franciscans, and Jesuits ). There were 21 Brothers of Mary and 5 Christian Brothers, teaching in 6 parochial schools. The Sisters (Sanguinists, Ursulines, Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, Sisters of Notre Dame, Franciscans, Sisters of St. Joseph, Ladies of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of the Humility of Mary, Grey Nuns, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Poor Clares, Little Sisters of the Poor, Dominicans, Sisters of St. Agnes, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Loretto, Felician Sisters , Sisters of St. Benedict, Sisters-Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary ) number 1141, of whom 684 teach in 138 parochial schools. The parishes with resident pastors number 241; mission churches, 60; parochial schools, 186; attendance, 43,544; 1 diocesan seminary with 96 students; diocesan students in colleges and other seminaries, 45; colleges and academies for boys, 4; attendance, 515 pupils; academies for girls, 11; attendance, 2113 pupils; 9 orphanages and one infant asylum, total number of inmates, 1251; hospitals, 9; homes for the aged, 3; Houses of Good Shepherd, 2.
The Catholic population is about 330,000, and is composed of 13 nationalities, exclusive of native Americans, viz., Irish, German, Slovak, Polish, Bohemian, Magyar, Slovenian, Italian, Lithuanian, Croatian, Rumanian, Ruthenian, Syrian.
Help Now >
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
St. Brigid of Ireland
Saints & Angels
Saint of the Day for Wednesday, Feb 1st, 2023
Mysteries of the Rosary
Female / Women Saints
Saints A to Z: A
- Daily Readings for Thursday, February 02, 2023
- St. Joan de Lestonnac: Saint of the Day for Thursday, February 02, 2023
- Blessing of Grapes: Prayer of the Day for Thursday, February 02, 2023
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 01, 2023
- St. Brigid of Ireland: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 01, 2023
- Prayer for a Sick Person: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, February 01, 2023
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.