JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME
Painted with oil paint on copper plates in the late 1800s.
SAINT JOSEPH CHURCH
1876 St. Joseph Parish, Cleveland (COLLINWOOD)
The CATALYST FOR the establishment of St. Joseph Parish was the 1876 decision by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway to purchase property in Collinwood for a roundhouse and repair shop. Many of the Irish and German-
Continued growth led the mission to break ground for a larger church in 1891. Two years later, it welcomed teachers from the Ursuline Sisters, who commuted by carriage from Villa Angela Academy. Due to difficult economic conditions, however, the building, with its towering steeple, was not completed until 1895. With its larger church, the community converted the original building into additional classrooms. On November 24, 1899, Father Martin died. His successor, Father John W. Bell, soon petitioned the Diocese to move his residence to St. Joseph Church, thereby elevating the community to parochial status. After receiving Bishop Ignatius F. Horstmann’s approval, Father Bell purchased property on the corner of East 146th Street and Aspinwall Avenue, on which St. Joseph Parish erected its first rectory in 1901.
Hoping to defray the cost of constructing the new church, Father Bell explored the possibility of selling the parish’s original property. With money scarce in 1929, the parish opted to raise the parish building and construct rental property. That year Father John Fleming joined Father Bell as assistant pastor of St. Joseph Parish. Father Fleming along with two other assistant pastors, Father Martin Cummings and Father Patrick Patton, affectionately became known to the community as “Bells Boys.” With four priests administering to its spiritual and communal needs, the parish thrived, establishing myriad organizations and clubs. While his failing health slowed down Father Bell, Pope Pius XII recognized his pastoral efforts, raising him to domestic prelate on February 17, 1940. As Father Bell’s health deteriorated further, Father Fleming shouldered many of the day-
With Father Bell’s death on February 24, 1941, the parish welcomed its new pastor, Father Thomas O’Reilly, the former chaplain of Villa Angela Academy. Hoping to eliminate the parish debt and raise sufficient funds to erect an upper church, Father O’Reilly launched a fund-
In June 1991, the parish welcomed Father Paul Marshall, SM, who came to serve both St. Aloysius and St. Joseph Parishes. During the early 1990’s, St. Joseph Parish closed its convent, and its rectory. With parish membership below a level allowing for the maintenance of the building, Bishop Anthony M. Pilla announced that on December 31, 1994, St. Joseph Parish would close. With the Parish closed, teachers from the Ursuline Sisters continued to instruct area students until the spring of 1995, completing 102 years of service to the Catholic community of Collinwood.