Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

1404 East 9th Street | Cleveland, Ohio 44114

In Remembrance – Reverend Thomas V. Rath

Bishop Martin Amos will celebrate the funeral Mass for Father Thomas V. Rath at 11 a.m. May 21 at Our Lady of Angels Church in Cleveland. Father James Schmitz will be the homilist.

Father Don Oleksiak will preside at vespers and will be the homilist at the 3 p.m. vespers on May 20, also at Our Lady of Angels. The wake will continue until 8 p.m.

Father Rath, 93, died May 14.

He was born Oct. 6, 1924 to the late Frank G. and Bridget (Gielty) Rath. He was educated at Our Lady of Angels School and St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland; Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan and Saint Mary Seminary in Cleveland.

On April 2, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist by Archbishop Edward F. Hoban for service to the Diocese of Cleveland.

His first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Jerome Parish, Cleveland. He was assigned on Jan. 7, 1955 to serve as parochial vicar at Annunciation Parish in Akron. Father Rath was transferred to St. Catherine Parish in Cleveland on June 21, 1960, to serve as parochial vicar. In addition, on Feb. 27, 1962, he was assigned as the spiritual director for the Holy Name Society Southeast Deanery. On Nov. 7, 1963, Father Rath was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish, Elyria. During this assignment, he also was CYO director of the Lorain Deanery (1964), served on the Board of Deputies for Temporal Affairs for Saint Mary Seminary (1968), was chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Lorain County South Deanery and was a member of the Executive Committee-Interreligious Affairs (1969).

On Feb. 8, 1971, Father Rath was appointed co-pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Loran. He was named pastor on Nov. 10, 1972. During this assignment, he served on the Board of Deputies for Saint Mary Seminary (1975), was dean and diocesan consultor (1983-86), pastor consultor (1983-86 and 1987-92), religious moder4ator for Lorain NCCW (1985) and chaplain for the Knights of Columbus Amherst Council 4891 (1993-94).

On Oct. 6, 1994, Father Rath retired and was named pastor emeritus of St. John the Baptist Parish, Lorain.

He is remembered as a gentle man with a very good sense of humor. He loved being a priest and served the Lord faithfully for 69 years. His kind smile and gentle presence will be missed by many.

Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland.

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