History

Established on April 15, 1910 by Pope Pius X, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo encompasses 8,222 square miles in a mixture of urban and rural areas that spans 19 counties in Northwest Ohio. The diocese includes Allen, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot counties.

We look to early nineteenth century settlers who traveled to this area with their most prized possession—their Catholic faith to lay the groundwork for our diocese. The Irish came as laborers for the building of the canals, and later the railroads; the Germans came searching for land that they would clear and transform from swamps into fertile farms; the French, Hungarians, Italians, Mexican-Americans, Poles, Slovaks and African-Americans came placing their talents in the service of industry; missionaries followed to minister to the spiritual needs of these pioneers. This rich diversity continues to give life to the diocese.

Our churches, schools, hospitals, and other institutions are reminders of the sacrifices and generosity of the early Catholic families. Hard work, an adventuresome spirit and strong faith characterized our religious forebears. They were generous stewards of God’s many blessings as evidenced by the magnificent churches and schools. We, their children and grandchildren, have been the beneficiaries of their stewardship.

MOST REV. JOSEPH SCHREMBS - Ordained June 29, 1889. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Grand Rapids (MI) January 8, 1911. Consecrated February 22, 1911. Appointed Bishop of Toledo August 11, 1911. Installed October 4, 1911. Appointed Bishop of Cleveland May 11, 1921. Died November 2, 1945.

MOST REV. SAMUEL CARDINAL STRITCH - Ordained May 21, 1909. Appointed Bishop of Toledo November 30, 1921. Appointed Archbishop of Milwaukee August 30, 1930. Appointed Archbishop of Chicago December 27, 1939. Created Cardinal February 18, 1946. Died May 27, 1958.

MOST REV. KARL J. ALTER - Ordained June 4, 1910. Appointed Bishop of Toledo June 17, 1931. Appointed Archbishop of Cincinnati June 21, 1950. Resigned July 23, 1969. Died August 23, 1977.

MOST REV. GEORGE J. REHRING - Ordained March 28, 1914. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati October 7, 1937. Appointed Bishop of Toledo July 18, 1950. Installed October 17, 1950. Resigned February 25, 1967. Died February 29, 1976.

MOST REV. JOHN A. DONOVAN - Ordained December 8, 1935. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit September 6, 1954. Consecrated October 26, 1954. Appointed Bishop of Toledo February 25, 1967. Installed April 18, 1967. Resigned July 29, 1980. Died September 18, 1991.

MOST REV. ALBERT H. OTTENWELLER - Ordained June 19, 1943. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo April 17, 1974. Consecrated May 29, 1974. Appointed Bishop of Steubenville (OH) October 11, 1977. Installed November 22, 1977. Retired April 2, 1992. Died September 23, 2012.

MOST REV. JAMES R. HOFFMAN - Ordained July 28, 1957. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo April 18, 1978. Consecrated June 23, 1978. Installed Bishop of Toledo February 17, 1981. Died February 8, 2003.

MOST REV. ROBERT W. DONNELLY - Ordained May 25, 1957. Ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop in 1984, he assisted Bishop Hoffman in the executive governance of the Diocese until Bishop Hoffman's death. Retired May 30, 2006. Died July 21, 2014.

MOST REV. LEONARD P. BLAIR - Ordained June 26, 1976. Appointed Bishop of Toledo October 7, 2003. Installed Bishop of Toledo December 4, 2003. Named the Fifth Archbishop of Hartford on October 29, 2013, and installed in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph on December 16, 2013.