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.
Bishops of the Diocese of Toledo in America
- MOST REV. JOSEPH SCHREMBS
- Archbishop Schrembs was born on March 12, 1866 in Wurzelhozen (Regensburg), Germany. He came to America at 11 and was ordained a priest for the diocese of Grand Rapids, MI on June 29, 1889. He was consecrated as an auxiliary bishop of Grand Rapids on February 22, 1911. Later, he was named the first bishop of the diocese of Toledo on August 11, 1911. He held a position on the administrative committee of the National Catholic War Council during World War I. He was named bishop of Cleveland on September 8, 1921. He was given the honorary title of archbishop in 1939. He died on November 2, 1945 and is buried in the Cathedral crypt in Cleveland.
- MOST REV. SAMUEL A. CARDINAL STRITCH
- Cardinal Stritch was born on August 17, 1887 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Nashville on May 21, 1910. He was appointed Bishop of Toledo on August 10, 1921 and consecrated on November 30, 1921. Later he was appointed Archbishop of Milwaukee on August 26, 1930 and installed on November 19, 1930. He was then appointed Archbishop of Chicago on December 27, 1939 and installed on March 7, 1940. He was created a Cardinal Priest on February 18, 1946. He was appointed Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith on March 1, 1958. He died on May 27, 1958 in Rome. He was interred in the Bishops’ Mausoleum at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, IL.
- MOST REV. KARL J. ALTER
- Archbishop Alter was born on August 18, 1885 in Toledo, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on June 4, 1910 for the Diocese of Cleveland. A native son of Toledo, he was appointed the Third Bishop on April 17, 1931 and consecrated on June 17, 1931. Later he was appointed Archbishop of Cincinnati on June 21, 1950. He resigned on July 23, 1969. He died on August 23, 1977 and is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Montgomery, Ohio.
- MOST REV. GEORGE J. REHRING
- Bishop Rehring was born on June 10, 1890 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on March 28, 1914 for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati on August 6, 1937 and consecrated on October 7, 1937. He was appointed Bishop of Toledo on July 18, 1950 and installed on October 17, 1950. He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. He resigned on February 25, 1967 due to age. He died on February 29, 1976 and is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Toledo.
- MOST REV. JOHN A. DONOVAN
- Bishop Donovan was born on August 5, 1911 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. He was ordained a priest on December 8, 1935 in Rome for the Archdiocese of Detroit. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit on September 6, 1954 and consecrated on October 26, 1954. He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. He was appointed Bishop of Toledo on February 25, 1967 and installed on April 18, 1967. He resigned on July 29, 1980 due to health. He died on September 18, 1991 and is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Toledo.
- MOST REV. ALBERT H. OTTENWELLER
- Bishop Ottenweller was born on April 5, 1916 in Stanford, Montana. His family moved to Leipsic, Ohio when he was six years old. He was ordained a priest on June 19, 1943 for the Diocese of Toledo. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo on April 17, 1974 and consecrated on May 29, 1974. He was later appointed Bishop of Steubenville, Ohio on October 11, 1977 and installed on November 22, 1977. He retired on April 2, 1992. He died on September 23, 2012 and buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Leipsic, Ohio.
- MOST REV. JAMES R. HOFFMAN
- Bishop Hoffman was born on June 12, 1932 in Fremont, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on July 28, 1957 for the Diocese of Toledo. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo on April 18, 1978 and consecrated on June 23, 1978. He was named the Sixth Bishop of Toledo on December 16, 1980 and installed on February 17, 1981. He died on February 8, 2003 and is buried at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in his native Fremont, Ohio.
- MOST REV. ROBERT W. DONNELLY
- Bishop Donnelly was born on March 22, 1931 in Toledo, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on May 25, 1957 for the Diocese of Toledo. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo on March 14, 1984 and ordained Bishop on May 3, 1984. He assisted Bishop Hoffman in the executive governance of the Diocese until Bishop Hoffman’s death. He served as Diocesan Administrator from February 2003 until December 2003. He retired on May 30, 2006. He died on July 21, 2014 in Toledo, Ohio and is buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Toledo.
- MOST REV. LEONARD P. BLAIR
- Archbishop Blair was born on April 12, 1949 in Detroit, MI. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on June 26, 1976. He was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit on July 8, 1999 and ordanined Bishop on August 24, 1999. He was appointed Bishop of Toledo on October 7, 2003 by Pope St. John Paul II and installed on December 4, 2003. Later he was named the Fifth Archbishop of Hartford, CT on October 29, 2013, and installed in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph on December 16, 2013.
- MOST REV. DANIEL E. THOMAS
- Our current Bishop was born on June 11, 1959 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 18, 1985. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia on June 8, 2006 and ordained Bishop on July 26, 2006. Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Toledo in America on August 26, 2014 and he was installed on October 22, 2014.