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Quigley-Hoban Crosier

Quigley-Hoban Crosier

This crosier, which is gold-plated brass, originally belonged to Archbishop Quigley of Buffalo, NY who later transferred to Chicago.  It was then given to Cardinal Mundelein.  Before coming to Cleveland from Rockford, Ill, Archbishop Hoban received it from Cardinal Mundelein. The crosier was last used on December 23, 1980 by  Bishop A. Pilla.

The crosier (known as the pastoral staff, from the Latin pastor, shepherd) is shaped like a shepherd's crook. A bishop or other church head bears this staff as "shepherd of the flock of God," particularly the community under his canonical jurisdiction.

Located in the center is the Agnus Dei, a setting of the "Lamb of God" litany, based on John the Baptist's reference in John 1:29 to Jesus ("Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world")

From the collection of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

Bishop Pevec Pectoral Cross
The word pectoral derives from the Latin pectus, meaning “breast.”  This cross is attached to a chain (or cord) and is worn on the chest, near the heart.  In the earliest times, the pectoral cross contained a relic of the True Cross or even of a saint. When putting on the pectoral cross, traditionally the bishop says, “Munire me digneris,” asking the Lord for strength and protection against all evil and all enemies, and to be mindful of His passion and cross.

From the collection of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland


Bishop Pevec Pectoral Cross


Bishop's Rings

Bishop's Rings

The bishops ring  is  a  band that  symbolizes the bishop is “wedded” to his diocese.  In the past, the ring would be used to make the imprint of the bishop’s seal in the hot wax to authenticate documents.

From the collection of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

A. 14k gold ring set with a large purple cabochon stone (a variety of star moonstone) ringed in a border of twenty small faceted brilliant diamonds in a silver/white gold setting; belonged to Bp. Issenmann; later used by Bp. Pilla from the 29th of June 1999 to the 10th of April 2006.

From the collection of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
B. Issenmann Ring I.  14k gold ring; silver/white gold border with leaf/laurel patterns around a large oval faceted amethyst; belonged to Bp. Issenmann.

From the collection of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
C. Issenmann Ring II.  14k gold ring set with a large purple cabochon stone (a variety of star moonstone) ringed in a border of twenty small faceted brilliant diamonds in a silver/white gold setting; belonged to Bp. Issenmann; later used by Bp. Pilla from the 29th of June 1999 to the 10th of April 2006.

From the collection of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

Bishop Hoban Zucchetto
The zucchetto originated as the Greek pilos and is related to the beret (which itself was originally a large zucchetto). It was adopted circa the Early Middle Ages, if not earlier, to keep clerics' heads warm. Its name derives from its resemblance to half a pumpkin.

From the collection of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland


Bishop Hoban's Zuccetto 


One of the first decisions Bishop Amadeus Rappe had to make in 1847 was regarding the construction of a Cathedral church in Cleveland. This church is where the Bishop's chair or "cathedra" is located. It represents teaching authority of the bishop and symbolizes the union of the local diocese with the Church of Rome. Cleveland's only parish, St. Mary on the Flats, was small and its location was inconvenient to the residential areas of the city. The pastor, Father Peter McLaughlin, had bought property in the May Woods section adjacent to Erie Street (now East 9th) in 1845. No building had begun on this site when Bishop Rappe arrived.             

Cleveland's first bishop decided to use this site for the new Cathedral. Work was begun in 1848 with Patrick Charles Keeley as the architect. Keeley would become one of the premier church architects of the 19th Century, and the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist would be one of his first cathedral designs. The cornerstone was laid on October 22, 1848. Additional property was purchased, and the first Mass was held in the temporary Chapel of the Nativity on Christmas Day of 1848. During the week it housed a school. The Cathedral, built in what was called a French or ornamental gothic style, was completed in 1852. The extreme poverty of the Diocese forced Bishop Rappe to go on fund-raising trips to France, New York City, and other parts of Ohio to help finance its completion.

Father Louis de Goesbriand had served as the first pastor of the Cathedral until 1853. Bishop Rappe served as the next pastor until his resignation in 1870. The Cathedral also functioned as a thriving parish. A school for boys was built in 1857. By 1867, the Cathedral hall and a school for girls was finished. Prior to this, the girls of Cathedral parish had been educated at the Ursuline Convent on Euclid Avenue.

Bishop Rappe's successor, Bishop Richard Gilmour, named Father Felix Boff as pastor in 1873. In 1876, he was succeeded by Father Thomas P. Thorpe who was finally able to complete the interior and exterior decoration of the Cathedral. This included an intricately designed sandstone trim and the addition of a spire in 1879.

The year 1884 saw a thorough interior renovation which included stained glass windows and black walnut furnishings in the sanctuary. In 1888, a new Cathedral school was built. The boys were taught by the Brothers of Mary, while the Ursuline Sisters continued to educate the girls.

In 1902, the Cathedral celebrated its golden jubilee with an impressive celebration that featured parades and extensive work on the building which included the installation of art glass windows from Munich.

In the early 1900's some consideration was given to relocating the Cathedral from its E. 9th Street site because of changes in the neighborhood. These plans were permanently shelved by Bishop Joseph Schrembs.

The Cathedral was redecorated and the crypt, which would house both the remains of Cleveland's deceased bishops and the relics of St. Christine that had been received from Rome that year, was rebuilt and rededicated on October 12, 1927. By this time, the high school division of the Cathedral school had been phased out, so the newly organized Sisters' College, a college for teacher preparation, took over the space in 1928. Additional recognition that downtown workers now formed a major part of the congregation occurred in 1929 when a 12:10pm "Lunch hour" Mass was started along with a 2:00am Mass on Sunday for those in the printing trade and other night workers.

The Cathedral shared in one of the greatest events in the history of the Diocese when the Seventh National Eucharistic Congress was held in Cleveland in 1935. Thousands of people from throughout the United States and around the world came to Cleveland to adore and pledge their fidelity to Our Lord present in the Eucharist.

In 1943, the Cathedral school, whose enrollment had dwindled over the years, was closed and Sisters' College took over its rooms. When Bishop Edward F. Hoban became coadjutor Bishop in 1943, he and the Cathedral's rector, Monsignor Richard Walsh, assessed the aging Cathedral building and decided that reconstructing the Cathedral would be a fitting project to celebrate the Centennial of the Diocese.

Retaining the same lines as the original, the Cathedral was extensively rebuilt and enlarged between 1946 and 1948. The firm of Stickle, Kelly and Stickle served as the architects. The marble work and the hand carved Appalachian oak reredos over the altar were created by the local firm of John W. Winterich and Associates. The newly rebuilt Cathedral was consecrated on September 4, 1948.

By 1960, the neighborhood around the Cathedral had become shabby, but the Erieview project soon began the redevelopment of the area. The facilities of St. John College (formerly Sisters' College) were expanded in 1964 with the addition of a dormitory. In 1975, when the college closed, this dormitory would be remodeled to become the Catholic Center.

In 1977, Bishop James Hickey (now Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, DC) and the Cathedral's pastor, Monsignor Robert C. Blair, began a new phase of Cathedral renovation. In conformity with the liturgical mandates of the Second Vatican Council, the Cathedral's sanctuary was re-designed and the main altar moved to its current location in the nave crossing. An interesting historic note is that the present location of the altar is the same as it was in the Cathedral of the 1850's.

In 1988, a project was begun by Bishop Anthony M. Pilla and Father Theodore Marszal, the Cathedral's rector, to obtain real bells for the Cathedral's tower. Proceeds from that year's Cathedral Ball were used to purchase six bells ranging in size from 375 to 3,300 pounds. The bells rang for the first time on Christmas Eve of 1988 and have since become an accustomed part of downtown Cleveland's atmosphere. The year 1991 saw the construction of a new baptismal font which was installed in a prominent location near the sanctuary on the north side of the Cathedral.

In 1996, the Cathedral and the rest of the Diocese of Cleveland rejoiced in celebrating Bishop Pilla's election as President of the National Council of Catholic Bishops. In honor of Bishop Pilla's 15th Anniversary as Bishop of Cleveland, the people of the Italian-American Community donated the funds necessary to undertake a major renovation of the Cathedral's sacristy. Bishop Pilla and Fr. David C. Weber, the Cathedral's rector since 1993, worked with GSI Architects Inc. to complete a plan that would gut the old sacristy to the walls in order to build a more prayerful and efficient space to prepare for the many liturgies held at the Cathedral. Construction began on the two floors of the Cathedral's sacristy and meeting rooms in October of 1996 and was completed in time for Lent and Easter of 1997.

As the Diocese of Cleveland moved toward its 150th Anniversary, the Cathedral was selected to host the taping of the ABC Network's television special "Celebrating Christ's Splendor." With the sponsorship and aid of the Catholic Communications Campaign, this liturgical service was taped and broadcast to cities throughout the United States on Easter of 1997. Later that same year, the Sesquicentennial Year of the Diocese was officially opened at a Mass celebrated on April 23. Representatives from every parish and diocesan institution gathered at the Cathedral to celebrate God's blessings to the Diocese of Cleveland throughout its 150 year history.

Today, the Cathedral is in the middle of vibrant theater entertainment, professional sports venues, and a thriving commercial district. The Cathedral is still the setting for episcopal liturgies and ordinations. It is also a parish church serving over 500 members. Centrally located, the Cathedral staff and parishioners reach out to the poor and the troubled. Many attend Mass at the Cathedral because of the beauty of its liturgy and the artistry of its musicians and choir, under the direction of Mr. Gregory Heislman. As the mother church of the Diocese of Cleveland, the Cathedral is the spiritual home of over 800,000 Catholics. As our Cathedral here in the heart of downtown Cleveland, this historical building stands as an enduring symbol of all those who have worked to build the Diocese of Cleveland over the past 150 years, as a present reminder of the Church's call to serve the spiritual and material needs of God's people, and as a sign of our commitment to continue to spread the message of God's love to future generations.

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