Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown

The Diocese of Youngstown (Latin: Dioecesis Youngstonensis) is a particular church or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, consisting of six counties in Northeast Ohio: Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Stark, Portage, and Ashtabula.

Diocese of Youngstown

Dioecesis Youngstonensis
St. Columba Catholic Cathedral in Youngstown, Ohio, which houses the seat of the Diocese of Youngstown.jpg
St. Columba Cathedral
Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.svg
CountryUnited States
TerritoryCounties of Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Stark, Portage, and Ashtabula, Ohio
Ecclesiastical provinceCincinnati
Area3,404 sq mi (8,820 km2)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2010)
198,332 (15.5%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedMay 15, 1943 (77 years ago)
CathedralSt. Columba Cathedral
Patron saintSt. Columba
Current leadership
BishopDavid Bonnar (bishop-elect)
Metropolitan ArchbishopDennis M. Schnurr
Diocese of Youngstown (Ohio) map 1.jpg

As of 2014, the Diocese of Youngstown contains 94 parishes, 1 mission, 102 Diocesan Priests, 18 Religious Priests, 67 Permanent Deacons, 11 Religious Men, and 211 Religious Women. It has a Catholic population of 198,332 in an area totaling 3,404 square miles (8,820 km2). As of 2010, the diocese had 8 seminarians studying at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus and at Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West in Cincinnati.

Early historyEdit

One of the earliest Roman Catholic communities in this Diocese was in Ashtabula, Ohio. In 1850, a small group of Catholics living in and around Ashtabula petitioned the Diocese of Cleveland for their own parish. A shortage of clergy, however, prevented the assignment of a resident priest. Instead, a visiting priest from Painesville would intermittently undertake an entire day's journey by horse over secondary rural roads. Eventually in 1858 the St. Joseph Mission was established and Father Charles Coquelle took up permanent residence. The inaugural members of the St. Joseph Parish were primarily Irish and German, drawn to Ashtabula by the railroad industry. Initial services were in private homes but in 1860 a small wooden frame church was built. The purchase of an additional five acres in 1877 allowed construction of St. Joseph's two-story brick secondary school staffed by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary.

In 1878, the group began to celebrate worship services in a grocery store adjacent to Ashtabula Harbor. Out of this gathering a parish was established in 1890 dedicated to St. Mary as "Mother of Sorrows." A permanent church was constructed nearby in 1898 and remains today.

Towards the turn of the century, a large influx of Italian American Catholics made the formation of a third church in Ashtabula desirable. In 1897 land was purchased on the southwest corner of Columbus Avenue and Sibley Street (whose name was changed to 16th street by city government in 1930) and construction of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church began in 1902. The first mass was celebrated in 1903.

As the Catholic presence grew, the cornerstone of a larger masonry building to replace the original St. Joseph's was laid on Aug. 1, 1905. That church cost $34,000 to build and is still in use.

St. Columba's Church (1916), which became the diocesan cathedral in 1943 and was destroyed in a 1954 fire.

Diocese historyEdit

Pope Pius XII created the Diocese of Youngstown from territory formerly part of the Diocese of Cleveland in 1943.[1] The new administrative construct consisted of six northeastern counties of Ohio, namely Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, and Trumbull. Bishop James A. McFadden (former auxiliary bishop of Cleveland) became the first bishop and chose St. Columba Church on Wood Street in downtown Youngstown as his Cathedral. The new diocese covered 3,404 square miles (8,820 km2) with 110 parishes, three Catholic-run hospitals, 54 elementary schools, one junior high school, and three Catholic high schools.[2]

When Bishop McFadden died on November 16, 1952, Emmet M. Walsh succeeded him. Walsh had been named Coadjutor Bishop and was formerly the Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina. In 1954, St. Columba Cathedral was destroyed by a fire and Bishop Walsh undertook the task of building a new cathedral, which he dedicated in 1958. St. Patrick Church on the south side of Youngstown served as Pro-Cathedral until the new St. Columba's was ready.

In 1962, when Pope John XXIII convened the Vatican Council II, Bishop Walsh and Auxiliary Bishop James W. Malone attended. Upon the illness of Bishop Walsh, Bishop Malone was named Apostolic Administrator;[when?] after Bishop Walsh died on March 16, 1968, Bishop Malone became Bishop of Youngstown on May 2, 1968, a position he held for 28 years.

In 1996, Bishop Malone retired and Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was named his successor and installed as Bishop of Youngstown on February 2, 1996. On March 31, 2005, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Tobin as Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island.[3] On 30 January 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop George Murry, S.J. as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown.[4]

On May 28, 2010, Bishop Murry announced the plan for the reconfiguration of parishes which will reduce their total number to 87 over the next two years.[5]

In May 2020, Bishop Murry died of leukemia. In November 2020 Pope Francis named Reverend David J. Bonnar of the Diocese of Pittsburgh as the 6th Bishop of Youngstown. Bishop-elect Bonnar’s Episcopal Ordination will take place on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at the Cathedral of St. Columba at 2:00 p.m.

From 2000 to 2018 the Diocese of Youngstown experienced a sharp decline, as baptisms fell by 69%, weddings by 62%, first communion by 61%, and funerals by 25%. The numbers of Catholics overall fell by 36%, while the comparative population of the 6 counties the diocese represents decreased by 4.3%.[6]


Bishops of YoungstownEdit

  1. James A. McFadden (1943–1952)
  2. Emmet M. Walsh (1952–1968; Coadjutor 1949-1952)
  3. James W. Malone (1968–1995)
  4. Thomas J. Tobin (1995–2005), appointed Bishop of Providence
  5. George V. Murry (2007–2020)

Former auxiliary bishops of YoungstownEdit


Preschools and elementary/middle schoolsEdit

The Diocese of Youngstown operates the following elementary/middle schools (Grades PreK-8 unless otherwise noted):[7]

Most of the elementary/middle schools within Mahoning County, plus one school within Trumbull County, are part of a singular system named Lumen Christi Catholic Schools. The Academy is composed of 8 campuses:

Most of the elementary/middle schools within Stark County are part of a singular system named Holy Cross Academy. The Academy is composed of 10 campuses:

  • Our Lady of Peace, Canton (PreK-5th.)
  • Regina Coeli-St. Joseph, Alliance (PreK-5th.)
  • Saint Barbara, Massillon (PreK-7th.; PreK-8th. starting with the 2017-2018 school year)
  • Saint Joan of Arc, Canton
  • Saint Louis, Louisville (PreK-5th.) (closing at the end of the 2018-2019 school year)[8]
  • Saint Mary, Massillon
  • Saint Michael the Archangel, Canton
  • Saint Paul, North Canton
  • Saint Peter, Canton (PreK-5th.)
  • Saints Philip and James, Canal Fulton

In 2013, as part of the Academy's "Transition for Growth" plan, the Diocese announced that St. Joseph Canton would close after the 2013-2014 school year, and Saint Peter and Saint Louis will be become "Family Preschool Centers" only. The three schools conducted an appeal process in order to keep them open as PreK-8 schools. On February 27, 2014, the Diocese announced the results of the appeal. Within the report, it was announced that the St. Joseph Canton campus would still close at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. For the 2014-2015 school year, the St. Peter and St. Louis campuses would remain open, but serve only grades PreK-5th. The Regina Coeli/St. Joseph and Our Lady of Peace campuses would also serve only grades PreK through 5. The 6-8th grade students within the diocese would be served by a new middle school operating on the campus of St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

The following preschools and elementary/middle schools operate independently of a regional system:

Ashtabula County (1):

Columbiana County (1):

Mahoning County (2):

  • Saint Joseph the Provider School, Youngstown
  • Ursuline Preschool and Kindergarten, Youngstown

Portage County (2):

Stark County (2):

Trumbull County (3):

  • John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Warren (Lower Campus: PreK-6) (Upper Campus: 7-12) (Note: The Lower Campus was formerly named Notre Dame School: Blessed Sacrament Campus, up until the 2010-2011 school year)
  • Saint Rose School, Girard
  • Villa Maria Teresa Preschool and Kindergarten, Hubbard (PreK-K)

Former preschools and elementary/middle schoolsEdit

  • Assumption School, Geneva (Closed after the 2014-2015 school year)
  • Byzantine Catholic Central School, Youngstown (Closed after the 2008-2009 school year)
  • Holy Cross Academy at Saint Joseph Canton Campus, Canton (Closed after the 2013-2014 school year)
  • Holy Trinity School (Struthers, Ohio/Mahoning (Closed after 1991-1992 school year)
  • Immaculate Conception School, Ravenna (Closed after the 2003-2004 school year)
  • Mother of Sorrows School, Ashtabula (Closed and Merged with St. John School)
  • Notre Dame School, Saint Pius X Campus, Warren (Closed after the 2009-2010 school year)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Ashtabula (Closed and Merged with St. John School)
  • Sacred Heart of Mary School, Harrisburg/Louisville (Closed after the 2008-2009 school year)
  • Saint Aloysius School, East Liverpool (Closed after the 2014-2015 school year)
  • Saint Anthony School, Canton (Opened 1927, closed 1980s)
  • Saint Clement School, Navarre (Closed after the 2007-2008 school year)
  • Saint Frances Cabrini School, Conneaut (Closed after the 2001-2002 school year)
  • Saint John the Baptist School, Canton (closed after 1981-1982 school year)
  • Saint Joseph and Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Austintown (Closed after the 2013-2014 school year. An Early Childhood Learning Center remains at St. Joseph.)
  • St. Joseph School, Ashtabula (Closed 1980s)
  • Saint Joseph Mantua School, Mantua (Closed after the 2009-2010 school year)
  • Saint Mary's of the Immaculate Conception School, Canton (Closed after the 1984-1985 school year)
  • Saint Matthias School, Youngstown (Closed after the 2005-2006 school year)[9][10]
  • Saint Mary School, Conneaut (Closed after the 1971-1972 school year, merged with St. Frances Cabrini School)
  • Saints Mary and Joseph School, Newton Falls (Closed after the 2010-2011 school year)
  • Saint Patrick School, Hubbard (Closed after the 2015-2016 school year)

High schoolsEdit

* Independently operated with blessing of diocese

Higher educationEdit

Campus ministryEdit

Catholic radio serving the DioceseEdit

  • WILB The Living Bread Radio Network


  1. ^ "Pope Names Bishop In Youngstown Area; New Diocese Is Created Under The Most Rev. J. A. McFadden". The New York Times. June 4, 1943. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  2. ^ McFadden, Rev. James A. The March of the Eucharist from Dungannon (Youngstown, OH: Diocese of Youngstown, 1951), p. 22
  3. ^ "Bishop Tobin gets reassigned to R.I." The Vindicator. Youngstown. April 1, 2005. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine" [Waivers and Appointments] (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. January 30, 2007. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  5. ^ "New diocesan alignment announced by Bishop Murry". The Vindicator. Youngstown. May 28, 2010.
  6. ^ "Future of Youngstown Catholic Diocese brings fewer priests, smaller congregation". WKBN-TV. March 25, 2019. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  7. ^ "Diocese of Youngstown Parishes & Schools". Diocese of Youngstown. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  8. ^ Staff report. "St. Louis School in Louisville to close". The Repository. Retrieved Jun 5, 2020.
  9. ^
  10. ^

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 41°5′47″N 80°38′57″W / 41.09639°N 80.64917°W / 41.09639; -80.64917