From CSU Cleveland Historical
Saint Stephen Roman Catholic Church
The Diocese of Cleveland has had ten ordinaries:
From the Catholic Encyclopedia
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 ofWyandots 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 theFaith for many years, although their descendants were ultimately lost to the Church through the successful efforts of Protestantmissionaries. 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.
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 oftime 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 justarrived 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 Germansin 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.
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 Bishopand Archbishop of Milwaukee), resident pastor of Canton (1831-34), Edmund Quinn, at Tiffin (1831-35), William J. Horstmann, atGlandorf (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), PeterMcLaughlin, 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), 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.
(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 parishschools. 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 episcopalresidence 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 gatherhistorical data in connexion with every parish and institution in the diocese, and in a few years a great mass of matter, covering thehistory 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 ofchurches 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 ofLoyola 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 forChristian 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, andconsecrated, 25 Feb., 1908, being the first auxiliary bishop of special jurisdiction appointed for the United States. He was born inBohemia, 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 Catholicweekly 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 CalvaryCemetery, 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.
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 countryoffered. 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 Heartof 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 pastorsnumber 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.
Article written by Rev. Nelson Callahan for Western Reserve Symposium
Story From the Plain Dealer December 15, 2011
CLEVELAND, Ohio — After 105 years of service, the Franciscan order of priests is leaving the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus, a historically Polish parish in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood.
“Our numbers are diminishing and we’re aging,” said the Rev. Michael Surufka, 53, pastor of the parish for the last nine years. “The bottom line is we just don’t have the men.”
The Assumption Province of the Franciscan order, based in Wisconsin, is transferring Surufka to Chicago where he will serve as a director of vocations, recruiting men to the priesthood.
Four friars — three priests and a brother — will continue running St. Stanislaus until July, at which time the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland will take over.
The diocese can either staff the parish, which has 1,100 families, with diocesan priests or invite another order to handle it.
The diocese declined to comment for this story.
But a letter from Bishop Richard Lennon sent earlier this month to parishioners says the bishop and his staff “will make every effort to provide for the continuation of ministry and pastoral care of the people of the parish, in particular to the ministry of the Polish speaking people and people of Polish descent.”
St. Stanislaus, founded in 1873 as a Polish parish, still has one weekly Mass celebrated in Polish.
“I just don’t know where this bishop will find a priest that can conduct Mass in Polish and English,” said Mike Jankowski, 86, a parishioner since 1946. “There’s a shortage of priests all over.”
Jankowski, of Garfield Heights, sings in the parish’s Polish choir, which, less than a decade ago, had 25 members, but is now down to a dozen. “A few passed away,” he said. “And some of them can’t get up to the choir loft. The stairs are too steep.”
Jankowski said he’ll miss the brown-robed Franciscans, but added, “Somehow or other we’ll survive.”
The Assumption Province, which encompasses the Great Lakes region, Pennsylvania and New York, has only 119 friars, 81 of whom are priests. The median age is 70.
“That’s the story of religious life today,” the Rev. John Puodziunas, Assumption’s provincial minister, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
The first parishioners of St. Stanislaus worshipped at an abandoned church in the Flats. In the 1870s, church leaders bought 13 lots on the city’s South Side for $3,000, including a potato patch, which would became the site of the existing church.
The cornerstone for the grand shrine was laid in 1886. The building was completed in 1891.
A year later, the priest who headed the building of the church, the Rev. Anton Kolaszewski, was exiled from the diocese by Bishop Ignatius Horstmann for concealing from the diocese the exorbitant cost of the building — $250,000 — and the unpaid bills.
In 1894, Kolaszewski, who had gone to Syracuse, N.Y., came back to Cleveland and built a schismatic church, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish on Lansing Avenue, about a half mile from St. Stanislaus.
Kolaszewski was excommunicated, but in 1908, the year Horstmann died, he reconciled with the church and Immaculate Heart joined the diocese.
The late 19th century and early 20th century saw waves of Polish immigrants coming to Cleveland to work the steel mills.
“Of course, the vast majority was Catholic,” said John Grabowski, professor of history at Case Western Reserve University and a historian at the Western Reserve Historical Society. “The Franciscans were there when this immigration was mushrooming.”
The Franciscans took over St. Stanislaus in 1906. A year later, they built an elementary school building on the grounds.
By the late 1920s, the Franciscans had built a priests’ rectory, a convent and a high school on the property. The elementary school and high school are still in operation today.
“I certainly will miss the Franciscans,” said Yolanda Kane, 81, who still lives in the neighborhood and had taught at the elementary school for 30 years. “I love their brown robes.
“They’re very dignified, holy and kind. And they have really been a part of the neighborhood.”
Rob Jageleweski, 58, who still lives in his boyhood home in the same block of the church, said this is not the first time the parish lost a group of Franciscans.
The original group of friars, from the order’s Sacred Heart Province in St. Louis, left St. Stanislaus in 1989, turning it over to the order’s Assumption Province.
But now, because of the priest shortage, said Jageleweski, it appears the Franciscan-era at St. Stanislaus is gone forever.
“A lot of people are sad, some were crying,” said Jageleweski. “We grew up with the Franciscans. This is like a death. But what are you going to do?”
Article from the Western Reserve Symposium
Masters of Arts Paper by Karen G. Ketchaver, John Carroll University, 2009
Father Charles E. Coughlin was one of the most prominent, and most controversial, figures in the United States in the 1930s and in the early years of the 1940s. This Canadian-born cleric rose from the life of an ordinary parish priest to becoming one of the leading radio phenomena of his day, masterfully using the new medium to command a vast audience. Coughlin began his radio career addressing religious subjects, but he expanded into the realm of politics by the early 1930s. His views became more and more extreme, and, by the latter part of the decade, he became increasingly anti-Semitic, stridently anti-communist, a fervent isolationist, and an admirer of European fascism. While millions of Americans were enthralled by the man who came to be known as “the Radio Priest,” others viewed him as a dangerous demagogue. The city of Cleveland, Ohio, figured prominently in Coughlin’s career. His radio broadcasts were highly popular throughout the Cleveland listening area, and the priest made a number of high-profile appearances in the city throughout the 1930s. In particular, two of Coughlin’s speeches in Cleveland in 1936 received wide national attention when the priest’s Union Party aspired to influence that year’s presidential election. However, it was not only politicians who struggled with the appeal of the Radio Priest. The increasingly controversial Coughlin became a thorny problem for the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Bishop Joseph Schrembs. This thesis examines the Cleveland connections of Father Charles E. Coughlin. The first part describes Coughlin’s origins, his rise to prominence, and the reaction he garnered. The second part reviews the way three Cleveland newspapers reported on and editorialized about Coughlin. The complex Coughlin-Schrembs relationship as revealed through diocesan correspondence from 1928 to 1940 is explored in the third part. The thesis concludes with an analysis of the part Cleveland played in Coughlin’s career and the impact he had on the city.