“Rosary Cathedral is not only a treasure house of art. It is a school of history and religion as well. Upon a massive background of bold and telling grandeur there is laid a wealth of pictorial and symbolic detail, the full beauty and meaning of which cannot be won at a glance or in one visit. “
Msgr. Anthony J. Dean
About Our Cathedral
The history of Rosary Cathedral in its early days is naturally associated with St. Francis de Sales Church. When the Diocese of Toledo was established, St. Francis de Sales was named the Cathedral of the new diocese. It was here that Bishop Schrembs was installed on October 4, 1911.
In 1912, it was decided that a new cathedral would be built on Collingwood Avenue. That same year, the Diocese of Toledo purchased land lying at the southeast corner of Islington Street and Collingwood Avenue. The building of the Diocesan Chancery and Episcopal residence was begun on Islington Street between Parkwood and Collingwood Avenue. This building was completed in 1914.
The school building facing Collingwood Blvd was begun in 1912. It was completed and blessed on December 13, 1914 as the new St. Francis de Sales Chapel and School, as the Rosary Cathedral Parish had not yet been established.
On March 7, 1915 the decree was promulgated by which the new Cathedral Chapel Parish, formed from parts of St. Francis de Sales, St. Ann and St. Patrick parishes was established. The lower level of the school building was utilized as the chapel.
Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral is beautifully constructed in a Spanish Platteresque style. Plans for the building of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral were developed in 1922, and the cornerstone was laid in 1926. The first public service was held in the cathedral building in 1931, and the cathedral was formally dedicated October 1 and 2, 1940. Renovations to fit the guidelines set out after the Second Vatican Council were completed in September 1979. The floor to the ridge of the roof measures over 90 feet, and the length of the building is over 240 feet.*
*Mossing, Lawrence A. History of the Diocese of Toledo. v.III (Lesher Printers, Fremont, Ohio: 1985).
Rectors of Rosary Cathedral.
- Reverend Monsignor Anthony J. Dean (1930-1964)
- Our first Rector, Monsignor Dean was born on November 29, 1874 in Leetonia, Ohio to Anthony and Catherine Dean. He worked as a telegrapher before entering St. Charles College in Ellicott City, Maryland to study for the Priesthood. He completed his Theology studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained a priest on December 19, 1908 at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore by James Cardinal Gibbons. In 1911, he was appointed assistant at St. Francis de Sales Pro-Cathedral in Toledo. Four years later Bishop Schrembs placed him in charge of the Cathedral Chapel on Collingwood Blvd. Later, he was given the responsibility to raise funds and direct the construction of the new Holy Rosary Cathedral. In 1930, he was appointed Pastor (Rector) of the Cathedral Parish. He was made a Monsignor under the title of Domestic Prelate on November 3, 1934. Although he was ill for a few years prior, he remained Pastor until ill health caused his retirement on July 29, 1966. He died a little over a year later on October 5, 1967. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Toledo.
- Reverend Monsignor Bernard E. Smith (1966-1976) Administrator 1964-66
- Our second Rector, Monsignor Smith was born on August 8, 1906 in Fremont, Ohio to Edward J. and Laura M. Smith. He studied at St. Joseph College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated in 1927. He later studied at St. Gregory Seminary in Cincinnati and St. Mary’s Seminary in Norwood, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on June 10, 1933 at Rosary Cathedral in Toledo by Bishop Alter. He served as an assistant beginning in 1934 under the direction of Msgr. Dean. He succeeded his mentor in 1964, having to serve as Administrator while Msgr. Dean became ill. He was named Pastor on July 29, 1966. He was named a Monsignor under the title of Domestic Prelate on November 30, 1966. He also served the Diocese of Toledo as Vicar General from 1969 until he retired from both positions in 1976. In retirement, he served as a Chaplain to the Sisters of Notre Dame at the Toledo Motherhouse. He also had a connection with the Sisters of St. Francis in Tiffin, Ohio. He died on March 29, 2003 and was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Toledo.
- Reverend Robert J. Reinhart (1976-1981)
- Our third Rector, Fr. Reinhart succeeded Monsignor Smith upon Monsignor’s retirement on June 24, 1976. During the pastorate of Fr. Reinhart, Rosary Cathedral under went extensive renovations to conform to the decrees of the Second Vatican Council.
- Reverend Raymond A. Fisher (1981-1983)
- Our fourth Rector, Fr. Fisher was born on July 31, 1944 in Toledo, Ohio to Joseph and Edna (Brighton) Fisher. He studied at the former St. Mary College in Colleby, Kentucky earning a bachelor’s degree. He then earned his master’s degree in Church Administration from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Fr. Ray then earned a Master’s in Divinity from Mount Saint Mary’s of the West Seminary, Cincinnati Ohio in 1971. He was ordained a priest on May 29, 1971 at Rosary Cathedral in Toledo by Bishop John Donovan. He served as an Associate Pastor from 1974 – 1977 at Rosary Cathedral. While serving the Diocese as Chancellor, he also was Rector from 1981-1983. He retired from active ministry in 2000. In his retirement, he served as a chaplain at various Diocesan facilities. He died on January 23, 2022 and was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Maumee, Ohio.
- Reverend Michael A. Schoenhofer (1983) Administrator
- Father Schoenhofer served briefly as Administrator between pastorates. He was born on October 21, 1951 in Toledo, Ohio. He attended St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and later the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest on August 6, 1977 at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Church by Bishop John Donovan. He was assigned to Rosary Cathedral as Associate Pastor in 1980 until 1983 at which time he served as a Missionary in Africa. He recently retired after working as a full-time mental health professional.
- Reverend Edward J. Littelmann (1983-1990)
- Reverend Ronald R. Warnimont (1990-2003)
- Father Warnimont was born on September 10, 1950 in Lima, Ohio to the late Norbert and Mary Ann Warnimont. He studied at the College of Steubenville, Mount St. Mary Seminary and the St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada where he obtained a degree in Canon Law. Fr. Ron was ordained a priest on June 5, 1976 at Rosary Cathedral by Bishop John Donovan. He began his time as Rector at Rosary Cathedral on July 2, 1990, while also serving at the Diocesan Tribunal. He had a love for the poor and worked with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul while at the cathedral. He served as Rector until July 2003. He would continue to serve in parishes in the Diocese until his untimely death on December 26, 2009. He is buried at St. Nicholas Cemetery in Miller City, Ohio.
- Reverend Monsignor Charles E. Singler (2003-2010)
- Monsignor Singler was born on June 16, 1958 in Sandusky, Ohio to the late Charles and Rita Singler. Upon graduation from high school, Monsignor enrolled at St. Gregory Seminary College in Cincinnati, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1980. He continued his seminary formation at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in Cincinnati where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1984. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1984 by the late Bishop James R. Hoffman. Since ordination, he completed a Master of Arts degree at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (1994) and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN (2006). Monsignor’s pastoral experiences have been wide and varied the past 37 years. In addition to active memberships on a number of diocesan committees and commissions past and present, he has served as a parochial vicar, pastor, rector of our diocesan cathedral, seminary formator, director of the diocesan office of worship, director of diocesan priestly vocations. Monsignor currently serves as Pastor of St. Rose Parish in Perrysburg.
- Reverend Monsignor William J. Kubacki (2010- present)