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Saint Mary's Seminary was founded in 1848, after Bishop Amadeus Rappe was consecrated the first Bishop of Cleveland. He purchased a residence on East 6th Street and St. Clair Avenue. The adjacent buildings were made into classrooms for Cleveland’s first diocesan seminary. By the second year of its existence, the seminary had 18 students and needed more space. Bishop Rappe purchased a new larger site on Lake and Hamilton Streets and added multiple additions to the building. In 1859, Bishop Rappe began building a new seminary on the same site. It was occupied by the Philosophy and Theology departments, while the older buildings became the classics department, Saint Mary’s College.


Then in 1924, the Ordinary, Bishop Schrembes, broke ground for a new seminary building on Ansel Road. In the new building, Bishop Schrembs intended to include the Philosophy Program, which prior to that time had been in Cincinnati. In 1929, the Philosophy and Theology Departments were returned to the new Saint Mary, which then became Cleveland’s major Seminary with both a Philosophy Department and a Theologate. In 1954, Archbishop Edward F. Hoban transferred the Philosophy Program from Saint Mary to the newly established Borromeo Seminary of Ohio in Wickliffe, Ohio. Since then, Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology has been exclusively a graduate theologate. From 1962 to 1970 The Seminary was an affiliate of Washington D.C.’s Catholic University of America.  




Detail at base of Monstrance

Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology was incorporated by the State of Ohio in 1968. By 1981, the Seminary was accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. On September 5, 1991, Saint Mary Seminary moved to the site of Borromeo Seminary of Ohio in Wickliffe, Ohio, to join the Center for Pastoral Leadership. Today, the five entities at the Center for Pastoral Leadership network and support each other while maintaining their distinct programs.


Clockwise from upper left:

      - Bishop Hoban blesses the cornerstone at Borromeo College, Wickliffe, 1958

      - Main Entrance to Seminary on Anselm Rd.

      - Lower Right: ? 

      - Class pictures in hallway at St. Mary Seminary, Wickliffe

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