The IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY PARISH, located at 6700 Lansing Ave. in Cleveland, was established on 3 May 1894 by Rev. ANTON F. KOLASZEWSKI, the former pastor of ST. STANISLAUS CHURCH. Immaculate Heart began as a schismatic parish that served an ever-increasing number of POLES in the city's Warszawa district. Fr. Kolaszewski continued as pastor until 1908, when both he and his parishioners formally reconciled with the diocese. A Franciscan priest, Fr. Methodius Kielar, OFM, was named administrator of the church. After 3 pastors between 1909-12, Fr. Marion J. Orzechowski became pastor on 12 Feb. 1912. A gifted administrator, he supervised the construction of a new church building in 1914. The people helped build the Romanesque structure, donating some of the materials.
Immaculate Heart's first church building had also been used as a parochial school. Lay teachers staffed it until 1911, when the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis took charge. In 1915 a temporary school was erected, and by 1925 a new school of 16 rooms was dedicated. Enrollment peaked at 1,350 in 1932 but has since declined. Fr. Orzechowski remained at the parish until 1932, when he was named pastor of St. John Cantius. His successor, Fr. John Mlotkowski, served until his death in 1960. Mlotkowski's successor, Fr. Aloysius Dombrowski, remodeled the sanctuary in accord with the reforms of Vatican II. Monthly events were held from summer 1993 through spring 1994 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Parish. Events culminated in its centennial celebration in May 1994.
Papers of Immaculate Heart, Archives, Diocese of Cleveland.
Radeker, Wm. and Glenn Sobola. History of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish (1993).
See also CATHOLICS, ROMAN; RELIGION.