Hungarian Americans of Cleveland

Cleveland Press Articles

First Parish School for Retarded

Plain Dealer, JUN 11 1962

A once-crowded West Side Catholic parish school graduated its last elementary class yesterday.

But St. Emeric's School, 1904 W. 22d Street, will not be empty in the years to come. It is being converted into the first city-wide Catholic school for the education of retarded children.

The last regular class of the 40-year-old Hungarian parish numbered only seven children. In the heyday of the school nearly 400 yearly received their elementary education there.

Faced With a problem found in many older city parishes, the Rev. John B. Mundweil, pastor for 20 years, approached Msgr. Clarence E. Elwell, diocesan superintendent of schools, with his ideal for a new use for the school. It was received with enthusiasm. The school began a first-year with 15 pupils whose IQ ranged between 50 and 70, lower than the slow learners but still in the trainable mental group.

Grouped by levels rather classes, some of the children learned how to print and read. Their year culminated May 20 with a first communion ceremony at he church that impressed all who witnessed it.

The Children come from all over the country and are delivered and picked up by their parents. Father Mundweil hopes in the future to supply a station wagon as a school bus since the children cannot come and go on their own without supervision.

The two Marymount sisters who taught the children will attend special graduate course this summer at St. Louis University to improve their training. In the fall, it is hoped that a third teaching sister from the order will join Sisters Fidelia and Dismas at (Article stops here)