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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

SEVENTH NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS

SEVENTH NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS

The SEVENTH NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS, held in Cleveland 2327 Sept. 1935, drew 500,000 Catholics from around the nation. The congress was one of a series of such meetings held by the Roman Catholic Church to increase devotion to Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist. Bp. JOSEPH SCHREMBS was very active in the movement, and Cleveland was selected as the site for the Seventh National Eucharistic Congress. A committee directed by Monsignor Floyd L. Begin coordinated the details.

Patrick Cardinal Hayes of New York, Archbishop Cicognani, the apostolic delegate, and Archbishop John McNicholas of Cincinnati were several of the many dignitaries who attended opening ceremonies in ST. JOHN CATHEDRAL. Thousands of people, including U.S. Postmaster James Farley (representing Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt), the governor of Ohio, and Mayor HARRY DAVIS attended the civic reception the first evening. A choir of 3,000 local parishioners sang the mass in the PUBLIC AUDITORIUM the morning of 24 Sept. That evening 50,000 people crowded into Cleveland Municipal Stadium to listen to speakers ranging from Alfred E. Smith to Bp. Fulton J. Sheen. Public masses and devotions filled the schedule. A midnight mass originally scheduled for Public Hall was switched to the stadium to accommodate nearly 125,000.

On the final day, declared a civic holiday by Mayor Davis, 20,000 Catholics who belonged to fraternal and religious societies, the safety forces, and other organizations joined students in a march to the stadium. The bishops and the apostolic delegate were at the end of the procession. In the stadium, marchers stood in the formation of a monstrance, a vessel used for the display of the Eucharist. Pope Pius XI spoke by radio from Italy, praising those gathered and asking them to live worthy lives.


See also RELIGION; CATHOLICS, ROMAN.