Cleveland: Closed Catholic church demolished

3:26 PM, Sep 23, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- An east side Church that once housed a thriving parish community is being demolished. Saint Catherine's on East 93rd Street is coming down to make way for the expansion of a charter school.

The parish was closed voluntarily in December, 2007, and merged with St. Timothy and St. Henry to created a new parish, Holy Spirit, on East 131st Street in Garfield Heights.

Sacred artifacts had long since been removed from Saint Catherine's, yet the demolition of the building brought back memories.

"My mother went to this church. I remember it well," said one of the men working on the demolition crew.

The building was constructed in 1915 but was in need of extensive repairs. Efforts to find a suitable buyer ended in August when the neighboring charter school, Imagine Cleveland Academy, purchased the building.

"We are gratified that such a fine educational firm, Imagine Schools, will bring the property to such good use for the community," said Holy Spirit pastor, Rev. Philip Bernier, OFM Cap.

Saint Catherine was named for the mother of Cleveland Bishop Ignatius F. Horstmann, who granted it parish status in 1898. The original church building burned down and a second was used until the current structure was built.

The Saint Catherine Food Pantry, which still operates on the old parish grounds will remain open. It has served hundreds of neighborhood families for years.


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