OUR LADY OF LOURDES
SAINT CATHERINES CHURCH
THE HISTORY OF ST. CATHERINE Parish may be summarized best in a statement made by one of its former pastors, Father Gordon A.
Yahner: "Life is like a coin: one side is adversity... the other is opportunity.... At the same moment we are both dying and being reborn." Organized as a mission of Holy Name Parish by Father John T. Carroll, St. Catherine Church was dedicated by the Diocese's Vicar General, Monsignor Felix Boff on December 18, 1898. Located on the corner of Woodhill Road and Heatf-
Father James J. Quinn, who received his ecclesiastical training at the Irish College in Paris, became the community's first pastor. With his love of learning, Father Quinn directed his first efforts toward the development of a parish school. In 1900, the parish constructed a wood-
On August 5, 1917, St. Catherine Parish celebrated its first Mass in its current church. The building originally contained both an upper and lower church. By 1929, through their generous financial contributions, the parishioners retired the church's mortgage. In celebration, they commissioned the construction of an Italian marble altar which was installed before the 11 church's consecration in October 1929. When the lower church was dismantled and converted into a social hall in 1944, the parish donated the furnishings and Stations of the Cross to the newly established St. Clare Parish in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Eleven years later, St. Catherine Parish embarked on a capital campaign for the construction of a new convent. Replacing the sisters' home on Laisy Avenue and East 93rd Street, the new building was completed in 1960 and served the needs of the Ursuline Sisters until their departure from the parish in 1989.
Cleveland and St. Catherine Parish with racial tension frequently escalated into violence. Under the pastorate of Father Edward Nieberding, the parish created a variety of outreach programs in the hopes of forging closer ties with the neighborhood's African-
Between 1975 and 1979, St. Catherine Parish welcomed a number of temporary administrators and continued to struggle with the challenges of urban decay and falling parish membership. One way St. Catherine Parish addressed these issues was to cooperate with other area parishes. Starting in 1977, Sister Catherine Walsh, CSA began supervising the adult catechesis program, Scripture studies, and prayer meetings at both St. Catherine and Epiphany Parishes. Under the direction of Father Joseph Romansky, St. Catherine Parish cooperated with Epiphany, and Holy Family Parishes, and Mount Pleasant School to form the St. Catherine Associated Teens Club (SCAT). These three parishes, along with Nativity Parish, also sponsored an annual Corpus Christi procession.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the parish has continued to serve the area's poor and hungry. In 1990, St. Catherine Parish and Woodland East Community Organization (WECO) helped in the construction of the new Leathers Playground for the Kingsbury Run Park. In April 1992, Father Daniel Nealon became the parish administrator. In addition to its other ministries, the parish sponsors two neighborhood food projects—programs modeled after the earlier work of Brother Anthony Ratti. Sister Mary Eunice Campbell, OSU reinstituted St. Catherine's Food Pantry program in 1994, serving an average of 200 area households every month. That same year, Sister Mary Janeta Stamper, SND came to the parish and opened Women's Hope, a cooperative which assists women create andsell handcrafted items at area boutiques and retail outlets. In recent years, St. Catherine Parish has housed the offices of the National Catholic Bereavement Ministry and Iwo San, a crisis shelter for pregnant women with substance abuse problems.
Father Walter H. Jenne, pastor of St. Catherine Parish since February 1992, received a new assignment as pastor of St. Basil the Great Parish in December 1994. He quickly petitioned Bishop Anthony Pilla, asking that he also be allowed remain administrator of the St. Catherine community. The Diocese granted his request. Looking to forge closer ties between the two communities, parishioners from both parishes formed the St. Basil-