The Diocese of Cleveland was created on April 23, 1847 for 10,000 Catholics. In 1848 the 1st Seminary, St. Francis de Sales Seminary, was opened however the name was eventually changed to St. Mary Seminary.
On November 19, 1848, the first priests for service to the Diocese of Cleveland 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 fluctuate 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).
In 1912, the first Catholic Charities office was opened at East 9th and Prospect.
In 1925, a new St. Mary Seminary was dedicated on Ansel Road in Cleveland.
From 1946 until 1948 the cathedral along with adjacent diocesan buildings were rebuilt and 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.
Borromeo Seminary opened in 1953.
In 1964, the Diocese opened a Latin American Mission in El Salvador. In 2014, the Diocese celebrated 50 years of ministry in Latin America.
To learn more about the current statistics of the Diocese of Cleveland, click to download our Fact Sheet.
Bishops of the Diocese
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. Daniel E. Thomas* (Dec 2016-Sept 2017) *Apostolic Administrator
Most Rev. Nelson J. Perez (Sept 2017-present)
Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese (dates of ministry in the Diocese)
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)