SAINT ROSE OF LIMA Parish was established to preserve the Catholic families of western Cleveland and eastern Lakewood, Ohio. On
December 25, 1899, the community's first Mass was celebrated in an improvised chapel in the Marshall family home. The parish canonically was established on January 14, 1900 and placed under the patronage of St. Rose of Lima, at that
time the only canonized saint from the Americas. The Cleveland Diocese appointed Father Ignatius J. Wonderly first pastor of the
new community. Members of the parish soon erected a frame church at the corner of Detroit Avenue and West 116th Street and celebrated Mass for the first time in the new building on July 29, 1900. The following September, the . Sisters of St. Joseph opened St. Rose of Lima School in the Marshall family residence. In 1902, the community purchased land and erected a parish
house, which later was converted into a convent.
Following Father Wonderly's death in September 1909, the parish welcomed its second pastor, Father James J. Stewart, whose first project was the new St. Rose of Lima School, which opened on October 2, 1911. Four years later, the parish purchased additional property on Detroit Avenue, extending the community's frontage from West 114th Street to West 116th Street. With the death of Father Stewart in December 1924, the parish welcomed its next pastoral leader, Father Patrick J. O'Connell. Two years later,
the parish erected a new convent and moved the old one to make room for a new church. On June 26, 1927, Bishop Joseph Schrembs blessed the building's cornerstone. In May of the following year, the community celebrated its first Mass in its lower church. While the stonework and landscaping for the basement church were completed, the Great Depression halted any further parish construction projects. After being elevated to the rank of domestic prelate, Monsignor O'Connell retired in 1950, dying soon
Monsignor Edmund A. Kirby succeeded Monsignor O'Connell. Striving to honor the faith and dedication of the community's members, Monsignor Kirby supervised the erection the parish's upper church. Following the building's dedication on February 20, 1957, Monsignor Kirby initiated a building campaign for a new pastoral residence. With this project's completion, Monsignor Kirby conceived a unique plan for housing the elderly of the community. His death in December 1967, however, prevented him from witnessing the completion of Kirby Manor of the Villa Saint Rose.
On March 19, 1968, Monsignor Thomas J. Murphy became St. Rose of Lima Parish's fifth pastor. Following the completion of Kirby Manor, Monsignor Murphy expanded the parish's school and renovated its hall. Monsignor Murphy retired in December 1974, remaining pastor emeritus until his death on May 14, 1991. Bishop James A. Hickey appointed Diocesan Director of Vocations, Father James A. Viall, St. Rose of Lima Parish's next pastor. In conjunction with Catholic Charities and the Ohio Commission on Aging, Father Viall organized the West Rose Senior Meals Program, which served hot meals in the parish's hall. Twelve years later, Father Viall worked with the Catholic Social Services of Cuyahoga County in establishing the West Rose Nutrition Center. The center was headquartered in the parish's hall until 1993, when it moved to a new site. Two years later, Father Viall and the members of the parish's Financial Committee launched a major capital improvement campaign, which, when completed, will allow for the
renovation of the parish's buildings and grounds. Remaining a active participant in the revitalization of its neighborhood, St. Rose of Lima Parish celebrates its rich history and the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Catholic
Diocese of Cleveland.