Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown

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Diocese of Youngstown
Dioecesis Youngstonensis
Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.svg
Country United States
Territory Counties of Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Stark, Portage, and Ashtabula, Ohio
Ecclesiastical province Cincinnati
Area 3,404 sq mi (8,820 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
198,332 (15.5%)
Parishes 94
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established May 15, 1943 (72 years ago)
Cathedral St. Columba Cathedral
Patron saint St. Columba
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop George Vance Murry, S.J.
Metropolitan Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati
Diocese of Youngstown (Ohio) map 1.jpg
The current St. Columba's Cathedral
St. Columba's Church (1916), which became the diocesan cathedral in 1943 and was destroyed in a 1954 fire.

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.

As of 2014, the Diocese of Youngstown has 94 parishes, 1 mission, 102 Diocesan Priests, 18 Religious Priests, 67 Permanent Deacons, 11 Religious Men, and 211 Religious Women. As of 2010, the diocese has 8 seminarians studying at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus and at Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West in Cincinnati. As of 2014, there are 198,332 Catholics within the diocesan limits- an area totaling 3,404 square miles (5,478 square kilometers).


The Diocese of Youngstown was created from the Diocese of Cleveland in 1943 by Pope Pius XII.[1] Bishop James A. McFadden (former auxiliary bishop of Cleveland) was named its first bishop and St. Columba Church on Wood Street in downtown Youngstown became the Cathedral. The new diocese comprised 3,404 square miles (8,820 km2) and featured 110 churches, three hospitals run by religious institutes, 54 parochial elementary schools, one parochial junior high school, and three Catholic high schools.[2]

When Bishop McFadden died on November 16, 1952, Emmet M. Walsh became the new bishop. 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. Bishop Walsh undertook the task of building a new cathedral, which was dedicated in 1958. St. Patrick Church on the south side of Youngstown became the Pro-Cathedral until the new St. Columba Cathedral was ready.

In 1962, when Pope John XXIII convened the Vatican Council II, Bishop Walsh and his Auxiliary Bishop, James W. Malone, attended the council in the Vatican Basilica of St. Peter. Upon the illness of Bishop Walsh, Bishop Malone was named Apostolic Administrator; after Bishop Walsh died on March 16, 1968, Bishop Malone was named the Bishop of Youngstown on May 2, 1968. Bishop Malone was the Bishop of Youngstown for almost thirty years; Bishop William A. Hughes (later Bishop Emeritus of Covington, Kentucky) was his auxiliary for several years.

Following Bishop Hughes' appointment to Covington, Bishop Benedict Franzetta was named the Auxiliary of Youngstown. In 1996, Bishop Malone reached the age at which bishops must turn in their resignation. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was named his successor and was installed as Bishop of Youngstown on February 2, 1996. Bishop Franzetta, who retired on September 4, 1996, died on September 26, 2006. 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.[3]

On May 28, 2010, Bishop George Vance Murry, S.J. announced the plan for the reconfiguration of parishes. The number of parishes will be reduced to 87 over the next two years.[4]


Politically speaking the City of Youngstown and surrounding areas were traditionally strongholds for the Democratic Party. However, the northern counties comprising the Diocese of Youngstown often supported Republican politicians, especially for the U.S. Congress.

From 1950 to 1973, the stated interests of the diocese politically were often local interests and aligned somewhat with labor unions and what had been a traditional Democratic, blue-collar political base, although the rural districts of the diocese tended to support more conservative political perspectives. After 1973, U.S. Catholics began to transition from their traditional allegiances to the Democratic Party and seek out political candidates that supported Catholic perspectives on the need to protect human life; these were often Republicans.

Education initiatives[edit]

In an interesting departure from traditional party lines, school choice initiatives were strongly supported by the diocese, including Ohio’s Fair Bus law (passed by the Ohio House, July 30, 1965; enacted 1966 see Cleveland Plain Dealer archives.)[5]

Like other Ohio dioceses, the Diocese of Youngstown also supported other initiatives at the state and federal level to provide equity to students and families enrolled in Catholic schools, including busing, textbooks, and participation in federally subsidized school lunch and other programs.

Legal challenges to Ohio’s Fair Bus Law arose but these challenges were declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court (1968–1970), which cited Ohio’s state constitution which assures the fair treatment of all students in the state.

Tuition programs that were enacted at the state level in the late 1960s and early 1970s did not survive legal challenges. However, later initiatives for students in poorly performing school districts were enacted and survived legal challenges.

Social justice and subsidized housing[edit]

In pursuit of social justice efforts, the diocese supported efforts in the 1980s to construct subsidized housing—especially in the northern counties of the diocese, where it was often unneeded to serve the needs of the existing populace—as well as to expand federally subsidized Section 8 housing programs. This efforts served to temporarily boost the economies of local builders but accelerated the urbanization of some areas without a renewal of infrastructure or a growth in economic base to support the services such a population would require.

As a result, by 2005, over 70% of the housing units in Ashtabula County were not owner-occupied.

Politically this policy ensured that Democratic candidates for federal office would have a larger voter base in areas that previously had elected Republicans to the US Congress, while also significantly changing the demographics and education levels of the electorate.

Nuclear disarmament[edit]

In the mid 1980s, Bishop Malone became president of the USCCB. Under his leadership, the USCCB issued a major policy statement condemning the nuclear armament stockpiles held by the United States and supporting unilateral disarmament by the United States, despite an aggressive and hostile Soviet military threat. The USCCB’s position was that funds spent on defense should be invested instead in domestic programs. U.S. President Ronald Reagan ignored criticisms from the USCCB and pursued a military build-up.

Many steel mills in Youngstown, Ohio closed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Economic pressures continued to affect Catholic institutions in the diocese, resulting in lowered school enrollments for diocesan schools. In addition, population left the region to pursue better opportunities in other areas of the United States. Demographically, the population of Ohio in general became statistically older as more young people left the state after college graduation.



Auxiliary bishops[edit]


Preschools and Elementary/Middle Schools[edit]

The Diocese of Youngstown operates the following elementary/middle schools (Grades PreK-8 unless otherwise noted):[6]

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 9 campuses:

  • Early Childhood Learning Center at Holy Family, Poland (PreK-K)
  • Early Childhood Learning Center at St. Christine, Youngstown (PreK-K)
  • Early Childhood Learning Center at St. Joseph, Austintown (PreK-K)
  • Early Childhood Learning Center at St. Luke, Boardman (PreK-K)
  • Holy Family School, Poland
  • Saint Charles School, Boardman
  • Saint Christine School, Youngstown
  • Saint Nicholas School, Struthers
  • Saint Patrick School, Hubbard

Most of the elementary/middle schools within Stark County are part of a singular system named Holy Cross Academy ( The Academy is composed of 11 campuses:

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 turned into "Family Preschool Centers" only. The three schools conducted an appeal process in order to keep them open as PreK-8 schools. On February 27th., 2014, the Diocese announced the results of the appeal ( Within the report, it was announced that the St. Joseph Canton Canton campus will still close at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. For the 2014-2015 school year, the St. Peter and St. Louis campuses will remain open, but serving only grades PreK-5th. The Regina Coeli/St. Joseph and Our Lady of Peace campuses will also serve only grades PreK-5th. The 6th.-8th. grade students within the diocese will 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 independent of a regional system:

Ashtabula County (2):

Columbiana County (2):

Mahoning County (2):

Portage County (2):

Stark County (2):

  • Saint James School, Waynesburg (PreK-6th.)
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School, Louisville (Grades 6-8)

Trumbull County (5):

  • 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 Patrick School, Hubbard
  • Saint Rose School, Girard
  • Saint Stephen Preschool, Niles (PreK)
  • Villa Maria Teresa Preschool and Kindergarten, Hubbard (PreK-K)

Former Preschools and Elementary/Middle Schools[edit]

  • 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)
  • Immaculate Conception School, Ravenna (Closed after the 2003-2004 school year)
  • Notre Dame School, Saint Pius X Campus, Warren (Closed after the 2009-2010 school year)
  • Sacred Heart of Mary School, Harrisburg/Louisville (Closed after the 2008-2009 school year)
  • Saint Clement School, Navarre (Closed after the 2007-2008 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.)
  • Saint Joseph Mantua School, Mantua (Closed after the 2009-2010 school year)
  • Saints Mary and Joseph School, Newton Falls (Closed after the 2010-2011 school year)

High Schools[edit]

* Independently operated with blessing of diocese.

Colleges and Universities[edit]

Walsh University, North Canton.

Catholic radio serving the Diocese[edit]

  • WILB "Living Bread Radio 1060 AM in Canton
  • WVSG "St. Gabriel Radio" 820 AM in Columbus (the former WOSU (AM))

Both stations air programming from EWTN Global Catholic Radio and offer online audiostreaming for night time listeners and those outside their respective signal areas.

Catholic radio online and Smart Phone webstreaming outside the Diocese[edit]

Offered from the website of :


  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. 
  2. ^ McFadden, James A. The March of the Eucharist from Dungannon (Youngstown, OH: Diocese of Youngstown, 1951), p. 22
  3. ^ a b The Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, January 31, 2007.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [See Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3327, retrieved on 5 June 2010 from and AFSCME article at ]
  6. ^ "Diocese of Youngstown Parishes & Schools". Diocese of Youngstown. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 

External links[edit]

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