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ST. ROCCO PARISH

ST. ROCCO PARISH, Cleveland's first west-side Italian parish, officially organized in 1922, evolving out of celebrations of St. Rocco's Day. Featuring processions, pageants, and sometimes a mass, the celebrations engendered the desire for an Italian church on the west side. An "independent" chapel (without clergy or recognition of the Roman Catholic church) was built on Trent Ave. This congregation was eventually received into the Catholic church as St. Rocco Parish, served by Fr. Alphonse de Maria and Fr. John D. Davidson. In 1926 a combination church and school was built at 3205 Fulton Rd. The school opened in Sept. 1927 in the charge of the Sisters of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity. A parish house and a convent were built in 1927; the school was enlarged in 1933. St. Rocco's was the only Italian parish on the west side until 1932, when a mission, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, was established farther west on Detroit Rd. St. Rocco Parish built a new church at the Fulton Rd. site in 1952, designed in a modern style by Michael G. Boccia. The church and school continued to operate in 1995. The church, led by Fr. Michael Contardi, had a membership exceeding 700 families. School enrollment at St. Rocco's was around 200.


See also CATHOLICS, ROMAN; ITALIANS; RELIGION.