Phone: 216-696-6525

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

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About Our History

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Our History

When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them...(Matthew 5:1-2)

1847

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland was created on April 23, 1847 for 10,000 Catholics. In 1848 the first Seminary, St. Francis de Sales Seminary, was opened.  St. Francis de Sales Seminary was located at the residence of Bishop Rappe on E. 6th Street.  By the next year, the name was changed to St. Mary Seminary and a new location was established at E. 17th Street and Hamilton Avenue. 


cathedral-completion

1848

On November 19, 1848, the first priests to serve and support the diocese were ordained.

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist was constructed from 1848 until 1852 at the corner of Superior Avenue and Erie Street (now East 9th Street). It was dedicated on November 7, 1852.

The territory of the diocese would alter with the creation of the Diocese of Toledo (1910) and then again with the creation of the Diocese of Youngstown (1943). Currently the Diocese of Cleveland encompasses 8 counties of northeast Ohio (Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lorain, Lake, Medina, Summit and Wayne).


1912

In 1912, the first Catholic Charities office was opened at East 9th and Prospect.


1925

In 1925, a new St. Mary Seminary was dedicated on Ansel Road in Cleveland.


1946

From 1946 until 1948, the cathedral, along with adjacent diocesan buildings, were remodeled. The new cathedral was consecrated on September 4, 1948. In 1977 the sanctuary of the cathedral was renovated to bring it up-to-date with the liturgical changes from the Second Vatican Council.


1953

Borromeo Seminary opened in 1953.


1964

In 1964, the diocese opened a Latin American Mission in El Salvador. In 2014, the diocese celebrated 50 years of ministry in Latin America.


1980

On December 2, 1980, Sister Dorothy Kazel, O.S.U., and laywoman Jean Donovan, members of the diocesan mission team in El Salvador, along with two Maryknoll sisters; Sister Ita Ford, MM and Sister Maura Clark, MM were murdered by the military of El Salvador.  In spite of such violence and danger the mission team continued its pastoral work among the El Salvadorian people. 


1994

The Church in the City initiative was announced to the diocese by Bishop Anthony M. Pilla as a challenge to build new cities of justice and peace. The Church in the City initiative continued to challenge the economic, environmental, social and spiritual values of our region as the diocese approach a new millennium. 


1995

Bishop Anthony M. Pilla was elected President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops




To learn more and for current statistics, click below to download the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Fact Sheet.

Download our Fact Sheet


Bishops of the Diocese

Please note the date of ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is provided in parenthesis. 

  • Rt. Rev. Amadeus Rappe (1847-1870)
  • Rt. Rev. Richard Gilmour (1872-1891)
  • Rt. Rev. Ignatius F. Horstmann (1891-1908)
  • Rt. Rev. John P. Farrelly (1909-1921)
  • Most Rev. Joseph Schrembs (1921-1945)
  • Most Rev. Edward F. Hoban (1945-1966)
  • Most Rev. Clarence G. Issenmann (1966-1974)
  • Most Rev. James A. Hickey (1974-1980)
  • Most Rev. Anthony M. Pilla (1981-2006)
  • Most Rev. Richard G. Lennon (2006-2016)
  • Most Rev. Nelson J. Perez (Sept 2017-present)

Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese

Please note the date of ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is provided in parenthesis. 

  • Bishop Joseph M. Koudelka (1908-1911)
  • Bishop James A. McFadden (1932-1943)
  • Bishop John R. Hagan (1946)
  • Bishop Floyd L. Begin (1947-1962)
  • John Cardinal Krol (1953-1961)
  • Archbishop John F. Whealon (1961-1967)
  • Bishop Clarence G. Elwell (1962-1968)
  • Bishop William M. Cosgrove (1968-1976)
  • Bishop Michael J. Murphy (1976-1978)
  • Bishop Gilbert I. Sheldon (1976-1992)
  • Bishop James A. Griffin (1979-1983)
  • Bishop James P. Lyke, OFM (1979-1991)
  • Bishop Anthony M. Pilla (1979-1981)
  • Bishop A. Edward Pevec (1982-2002)
  • Bishop A. James Quinn (1983-2008)
  • Bishop Martin J. Amos (2001-2006)
  • Bishop Roger W. Gries, OSB (2001-2013)

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