ST. ANDREW ABBEY in Cleveland received the status of an independent Benedictine community on 12 Aug. 1929 and was designated an independent abbey on 13 July 1934. The Benedictines, the oldest Roman Catholic monastic community in the world, came to Cleveland in 1922 when 2 monks from the Slovak community at St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, IL, responded to a request from Bp. JOSEPH SCHREMBS. They assumed the pastorate of St. Andrew's Parish on Superior Ave., which served SLOVAKS.

In 1927 the community established Benedictine High School, with an initial enrollment of 27. The high school moved to the former Notre Dame orphanage at 10510 Buckeye in 1929. The same year the Benedictines were given charge of St. Benedict Parish at 2900 Martin Luther King Drive.

Fr. Stanislaus Gmuca, OSB, was elected the first abbot. Under his direction, the community completed a new high school building on East Blvd. (now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) in 1940. In 1946 Rev. Theodore Kojis, OSB, succeeded Abbot Stanislaus as head of the community. During his administration, a new abbey was constructed, dedicated in 1952. Evans Woolen designed the structure, a combination of traditional and modern forms. Jerome Koval was elected third abbot in 1966.

In 1995, under Abbot Roger Gries, the Benedictine priests and brothers filled a variety of apostolates in the Cleveland community, and St. Andrew Abbey served as a center of Slovak culture (see SLOVAK INSTITUTE) in BUCKEYE-WOODLAND.

Archives, Diocese of Cleveland.

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