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THE SISTERS OF Charity of Cincinnati came to Cleveland in 1889 at the invitation of Father William McMahon, the pastor of St. Bridget Parish. In his letter to the Motherhouse at Mount St. Joseph, Father McMahon noted that he had been encouraged to contact the sisters by Bishop Richard Gilmour, who had been taught by them in Cincinnati and Dayton. Nine sisters soon took charge of St. Bridget School, teaching approximately 250 students. In 1911, the sisters expanded their role in the Cleveland Diocese, taking responsibility for St. Patrick School in West Park. Three years later, eighteen sisters replaced the Ladies of the Sacred Heart at Holy Name High School. The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati served the St. Patrick community until 1915, when its school closed. When the sisters left St. Bridget Parish in 1933, its school enrollment consisted of 195 elementary and 37 commercial high school students. 


Individual members of the community contributed to the overall development of the Diocese's educational programs. Sister Eveline Dee lectured on child psychology to teachers throughout the Diocese; Sisters Mary Angela McDermott and Basil Brinker developed innovative methods for music education. During the influenza epidemic of 1918, the community expanded its mission with sixteen sisters from Holy Name High School serving in area hospitals and private homes. In 1933, at the request of Father William Scullen, pastor of Holy Name Parish, the sisters began a program of home visitations. 

In the postwar period, the community accepted responsibility for St. Mel School (1949), St. Bernadette School (1952), and St. John Bosco School (1966). Following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati adopted an open placement policy in 1969, allowing individual members a voice in choosing their ministry. By 1980, the community no longer served students in the above elementary schools. It continued its tradition of educational excellence, however, by serving on the faculties of Erieview Catholic High School, Cleveland Central Catholic High School, Trinity High School, and a number of diocesan elementary schools. In 1992, two sisters joined the pastoral staff of San Juan Bautista Parish, serving the corporal and spiritual needs of its Spanish-speaking membership. 

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