Monday, November 15, 2010

St. Tho. Aquinas, Cle., O.

photograph scanned from a book published for Christmas 1938
A friend of mine bought a slim, well bound book at a flea market. It was celebrating the 40th anniversary of St. Thomas Aquinas' Parish in Cleveland, and the 50th year of its only pastor's priesthood. It was in the year before the hitlerite war began, when the US was expanding in its proclaimed ideals: 1938.

The last Mass inside the church was in 1975. The parish continued on till 1993. The church has been torn down. The parish no longer meets. The school is still in operation, in 1988 Philip Neri's school merged into it.

St. Thomas would be an early english speaking parish on the east side of Cleveland (St. John 1848, Immaculate Conception 1855, Columbkille 1871, all on Superior Avenue). For its first six weeks it met at St. Casimir's schoolhouse. Very early it became apparent, that, Glenville needed a separate parish, St. Aloysius; which would have the same pastor, Fr. Thomas Mahon. Soon people in East Cleveland asked Fr. Mahon to organise another parish, St. Philomena in 1902. In 1914, the parish of St. Philip Neri was formed from the parish's original territory. St. Agatha began in 1945 as part of Bp. Hoban's plan to add parishes in between large parishes.

The sermon upon the dedication of the completed church in 1905 by Fr. Miles Whalen of Detroit included these words:
... it is a glory of the Catholic Church, ... that her places of worship, most particularly here in America, have been built by the sacred pennies of the poor. ... This is your parish church, made so today, for the glory of God and your eternal interests, ...
A century later these words and sentiments do not come from the chanceries of America. The attitude is hardly distinguishable from the capitalists' boardrooms.

1 comment:

  1. I remember working on the convent house across the street and adjacent to St. Mary's Seminary back in the 60's. It was a beautiful church that served the elite community along what is known today as MLK. Notre Dame Academy was just down the street if memory serves me correctly. While the Poles in the neighborhood attended St. Casmir's, the Catholics along East Blvd. and Ansel Rd. attended St. Thomas Aquinas.