When the war ended and the Central Powers were subjected to a stern and divisive peace which, in some cases, totally wiped out old and proud cultures (as was the case in Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia), Bishop Farrelly reflected no difference of opinion from the decisions of the men who formulated the Treaty of Versailles. So he gave little recognition to the Croatians, Slovenians, Slovaks and countless other peoples who had come to the United States and who found themselves without a homeland with which to identify in Europe. The result of all of this seems to have caused these peoples to see in Bishop Farrelly's failure to protest the policies of President Wilson as a calculated indifference which forced non-English speaking peoples into the territorial parishes, composed mostly of second and third generation Irish and Germans. These new Americans could do little about this situation other than to protest and to try to keep their parishes together, hoping for a more understanding bishop.

Bishop Joseph Schrembs

       Bishop Farrelly died suddenly in Knoxville, Tennessee, in February of 1921. The non-English speakina Catholics of Cleveland begged Rome to send as new bishop to the Diocese of Cleveland one who would give greater care to the preservation of their cultures and who would have a familiarity with the history of their various countries of origin. Rome, it would seem, responded at least in part to this plea and appointed to the vacant diocese Bishop Joseph Schrembs. His arrival in Cleveland on September 8, 1921, .....




gave him occasion to verbalize what would be his policy in dealing with the continuing immigration to Cleveland from the war-torn countries of Europe. Schrembs, who was himself born in Germany but educated in the United States, urged upon all newcomers to the country and their descendants to adapt to their new environment, become citizens, and get involved in American life.

       The immigrant who came to Cleveland after World War I posed a different problem than that which had faced Bishop Schrembs' predecessors who tried to deal with the nineteenth centuny immigrant. The post World War I immigrant often came to this country and to Cleveland with a profound sense of the social upheaval which followed the war in Europe. This was compounded by the fact we have noted earlier that many of the countries from which these immigrants came no longer existed because of the harsh peace of Versailles, and also because of the Communistic influence coming from the Russian Revolution of October, 1917, which touched directly or indirectly so many people from the countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. These new Clevelanders were frequently political exiles. They come to the United States harboring a hope rarely found in the immigrant of the last century. These new arrivals intended to return to their homelands as soon as the political climate was favorable for them to do so. The fact is that very few of them ever did return since the situations they fled have not really changed but have often worsened in the intervening years. Schrembs, who knew Europe well and'who was a realist, saw this. But he also wisely saw that the cultures .....




and the languages of these post World War I immigrants could and should be preserved here. And he also saw that the Church was perhaps the most vital force in this effort.

       Schrembs had a special fondness for the Germans in America, urging them to recapture their language and culture so abruptly taken from them during the war. In this, one would have to say he failed. The Germans in Cleveland, with few exceptions, had become assimilated into American life and Schrembs founded no new German parishes in Cleveland. None were needed. But hc was more successful in helping the Germans in Germany. A great deal of diocesan charity was sent, mostly in the form of money, to that war-ravaged country in the 1920's.

       Irish nationalism was rekindled in the diocese after the war as a result of the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921. In the 1920's Schrembs gave his support to movements to fund the Irish Free State, although he never sent diocesan money to aid this cause. In failing to do so he alienated many of Cleveland's Irish. In retrospect, one can easily see the loaic of his reasoning as he held back diocesan funds to support a violent political revolution in Ireland, but at the same time sending diocesan funds to help the needy in Germany. Still, he allowed money to be collected here for Ireland, an event to which history gives scant notice.




       The bishop embarked on a different course with other non English speaking peoples in his diocese. He urged the older groups, particularly the Slovaks, to establish strong fraternal societies; he gave special care to the Italians, the Hungarians, the Slovenians, the Serbians, the Ukrainians, and the Lithuanians. He had reason to do so since these were the most recently immigrated peoples in Cleveland. For them the bishop began anew the processes inaugurated by Bishops Gilmour and Horstmann. Bishop Schrembs sincerely urged the establishment of the national parish once again to preserve the faith, language and culture of the new immigrants. At the same time, he continued to provide for these parishes pastors of the language and nationality of the congregation. But the bishop went one step further than his predecessors. He was very much aware of the necessity of welcoming the new immigrants to the diocese and of helping them find jobs and housing. To this purpose he established as an adjunct of the Catholic Charities the Catholic Immigrants' Relief Service, an agency of high professionalism which continues to function today and which has offered the resources of the Cleveland Church to thousands of immigrants who have come to this country since 1924.

       It was Bishop Schrembs who applied the basic concept of the national parish to the black Catholics who were beginning to arrive in large numbers on Cleveland's East Side. For them, at their request, he established in 1922 the parish of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament on East 79th Street near Quincy Avenue. This parish implied the concept of segregation and its very existence caused .....




great controversy. Bishop Schrembs' reasoning was consistent with his policy regarding the national parishes but it was not, it would seem, clearly thought through. He felt that black Catholics, like any other newly arrived cultural minority in Cleveland, needed time, perhaps one generation, before they might integrate with the territorial parishes within whose boundaries they were living. These territorial parishes, as we have already noted, were predominantly composed of upwardly mobile second generation Irish and German.

       There was one difference between the black parish and the national parish and it was a crucial one. In the national parish the clergy and people were committed to the preservation of a European language and culture. This was done well within the context of faith. But in the black parish there were no black clergy; none could be found. As a consequence, white clergy, more often than not of Irish or German background, volunteered to work in the black parishes. But in doing so they learned nothing of black culture and incorporated none of the black culture into the liturgy. To them this culture must have seemed either too Protestant or too childlike. In any case, black culture was neither taken seriously nor was it absorbed. As a result the black parish, begun as a national parish, assumed the worship form of the Irish territorial parish. The blacks heard sermons in English and Mass in Latin. Nobody seemed to take black culture seriously. Not until 1961 was black music .....(continued next page)