Discover the Diocese of Cleveland

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (LatinDioecesis Clevelandensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio. It was erected on April 23, 1847 by Pope Pius IX. The diocese lost territory in 1910 when the Diocese of Toledo was erected by Pope Pius X, and in 1943 when the Diocese of Youngstown was erected by Pope Pius XII. It is currently the seventeenth largest diocese in the United States by population, encompassing the counties of AshlandCuyahogaGeaugaLakeLorainMedinaSummit, and Wayne.
There are about 710,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Cleveland, which contains 185 parishes, 22 Catholic high schools, 3 Catholichospitals, 3 universities, 2 shrines (St. Paul Shrine Church and St. Stanislaus Church), and 2 seminaries (Centers for Pastoral Leadership). The diocese's cathedral is the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, located in downtown Cleveland. As of January 1, 2012, there were 257 active priests and 500 nuns in the diocese.

Parish closings

On Saturday, March 14, 2009, it was announced that 52 parishes in the diocese would be closed or merged (29 parishes closing, 42 parishes merging to form 18 new parishes) due to the shortage of priests, declining numbers of parishioners in some parishes, the migration of Catholic populations to the suburbs and out of the city cores, and financial difficulties in some parishes. A number of parish schools in the diocese were also closed or merged due to declining enrollment, and financial difficulties.
As of Sunday July 4, 2010, there were 173 parishes in the diocese. Letters to all of the parishes from Bishop Richard Gerard Lennongiving his decision on what parishes and schools were closing or merging, and which parishes and schools would remain open, were read to the parishioners by the church pastors at the Saturday Vigil Mass on Saturday March 14, 2009, and at all Sunday Masses on Sunday March 15, 2009. Hardest hit by the closings were downtown Cleveland, downtown Akron, downtown Lorain, and downtown Elyria. Parishioners of twelve of the parishes then sent appeals to the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome.
On March 8, 2012, the Vatican overturned 12 of the church closings (9 in the Greater Cleveland area, 1 in Lorain and 2 in Akron) because the Vatican says that Bishop Richard Gerard Lennon did not follow procedure or canon law in that he did not consult with the priest advisors, and he did not issue a formal mandate for the closing of the churches. In the mean time, according to canon law, the 12 closed churches were ordered to be reopened, and be available to parishioners. On April 10, 2012, Bishop Richard Gerard Lennon announced that he was not going to appeal the decision of the Vatican to the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, thus paving the way for the 12 churches to be reopened. This mandate was implemented starting on June 10, 2012, raising the number of parishes in the diocese from 173 parishes to 185 parishes.


The Diocese of Cleveland has had ten ordinaries:

Auxiliary Bishops

The Diocese of Cleveland has had numerous Auxiliary Bishops:

In recent years, each Auxiliary Bishop has been assigned to a region in the Diocese—Bishop Gries in the Center City and Eastern Regions, and Bishop Amos was in the Akron Region until his appointment to Davenport. Bishop Edward Pevec governed the Eastern Region until his retirement in 2001.

Affiliated Bishops

Additionally, the following men began the service as priests in the Diocese of Cleveland (the years in parenthesis refer to their years in Cleveland):

High schools

A listing of all Catholic high schools in the Diocese. Note that not all are actually operated by the Diocese.

1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216) 696-6525 or 1-800-869-6525 Toll Free in Ohio. 

ost Reverend Richard G. Lennon
Bishop of Cleveland
Cathedral Square Plaza
1404 E. 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 696-6525, ext. 2030
The Most Reverend Richard Gerard Lennon,
Bishop of Cleveland

The Most Rev. Richard Gerard Lennon was installed as the 10th Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio on May 15, 2006.  His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Lennon to the leadership position over nearly 800,000 Catholics in eight counties of Northeast Ohio on April 4, 2006.

A native of the Boston area, Bishop Lennon was born in Arlington, Massachusetts and graduated from Catholic High School and then attended Boston College before entering St. John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts where he received an M.A. in Church History and a M.TH in Sacramental Theology.

Bishop Lennon was ordained to the priesthood in May, 1973 and served in  the Archdiocese of Boston as a parish priest, Fire Department Chaplain, an Assistant for Canonical Affairs, and Rector of St. John's Seminary.

Ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Boston on September 14, 2001, Bishop Lennon also was called upon to serve as Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese from December of 2002 to July of 2003 when the Vatican appointed a new Archbishop to lead in Boston.

Among the special recognitions Bishop Lennon has received; he was named a Domestic Prelate in April of 1998, installed as a Knight of Malta and as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre in June of 2001.

Installed as the 10th Bishop of Cleveland on May 15, 2006, Bishop Lennon established a vision for the Church in the Diocese of Cleveland focusing upon evangelization with an emphasis on the Gospel. He also determined that the presence of the Church remain in every setting where consolidation would reduce the number parishes. The Church would be present in the Eucharist in Liturgy, in Catholic education, or in social service.

Upon taking office, the Bishop immediately set out to visit all of the parishes and schools in the Diocese. At the same time, the inherited Reconfiguration process continued with careful assessment by the parish clusters, then by the 31 member Diocesan-wide Vibrant Parish Life Committee, the 13 member Bishop's staff, and the 25 member Diocesan Presbyteral (Priests) Council. Their recommendations to the Bishop resulted in the closing of 50 parishes and the establishment of 17 newly merged ones. Bishop Lennon presided at 78 closing, merging, and opening Masses during a period of 14 months.

Also prioritized by Bishop Lennon has been the education of pastors and parish staffs and the institution of parish internal audits, diocesan school internal audits, and the establishment of norms on models for Catholic Schools and Catechetical models for Children.

Contact Bishop Lennon: (216) 696-6525 Ext. 2030.


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