Precious mitre formerly belonging to Pope S. Pius X and given to Archbishop E. F. Hoban who frequently wore it for Episcopal ceremonies; it has heavy gold weaving, braiding and metalwork on a light cream ground divided into three panels and covered in the intricate scrolling of gold appliqué vines, flowers and fleur-de-lis crosses; the mitre is lined in red silk.


The front has fourteen pearl cabochons set around each of the two side panels for a total of 28; running top to bottom along the center orphrey are set:  one large round faceted diamond; one oval faceted emerald; one pearl; one oval faceted yellow stone; one large oval faceted ruby flanked by two smaller round faceted amethyst; in each side panel is one round faceted magenta garnet and one round faceted dark blue stone; the rear of the mitre is identical; the matching fanons also each incorporate one oval faceted amber stone, one rectangular faceted emerald and one oval faceted ruby; the tails of the fanons are woven and braided gold thread and set with clusters of gold sequins; no stones are missing; the pearls and stones are most likely synthetic.





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.