DOY Anniversary Celebration

The Diocese of Youngstown Celebrates 75 Years


We extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to Bishop Murry, our Shepherd, as he battles acute leukemia.   We also pray for Monsignor Robert Siffrin, Vicar General, as he leads our flock during this time.   Please keep in mind some of the anniversary events listed below are subject to change.  



A Brief History of the Diocese

Pope Pius XII created the Diocese of Youngstown from territory formerly part of the Diocese of Cleveland in 1943. The new administrative construct consisted of six northeastern counties of Ohio, namely Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, and Trumbull. Bishop James A. McFadden (former auxiliary bishop of Cleveland) became the first bishop and chose St. Columba Church on Wood Street in downtown Youngstown as the Cathedral. The new diocese covered 3,404 square miles with 110 parishes, three Catholic-run hospitals, 54 elementary schools, one junior high school, and three Catholic high schools.

+ Bishop James A. McFadden (1880-1952)

James Augustine McFadden was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Edward and Mary McFadden. He studied at St. Ignatius High School (Cleveland) John Carroll University for 6 years total and then St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 17, 1905.   On May 12, 1932, McFadden was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland and Titular Bishop of Bida by Pope Pius XI.

McFadden was named the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Youngstown by Pope Pius XII on June 2, 1943.   McFadden remained as Bishop for the next nine years, until his death in 1952 at the age of 71.   He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Youngstown.

The Coat of Arms for the Diocese of Youngstown

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown’s coat of arms is highlighted by a green background, denoting hope. The top part includes a dove, which in Latin is columba. And it refers to the patron saint of the cathedral. It also is taken from the crest of Pope Pius XII, who created the diocese in 1943.
An anvil, symbolizing steel, which figures prominently in the history of the region, is below.
The center part is delineated by wavy lines, symbols for water, and in this case, the Mahoning River. The name Mahoning is taken from an American Indian word meaning “at the lick,” where the tribes settled. Two arrowheads, again representing the first residents of the area, flank a cross taken from the crest of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.


Bishop to open 75th anniversary
(taken from The Catholic Exponent)

The Diocese of Youngstown will commence a yearlong celebration of its 75th anniversary with an opening Mass at 4 p.m. May 20 in St. Columba Cathedral.

This is the first of a series of events planned for the anniversary, with the theme, “Pride in the Past, Faith in the Future,” Msgr. John Zuraw, diocesan chancellor and chair of the anniversary planning committee, has announced.

Bishop Murry will also offer the closing Mass, set for 4 p.m. June 9, 2019, in the cathedral.

The bishop also plans three Masses with youth: Aug. 26, at Girard St. Rose at 5:30 p.m. for youth from Trumbull and Ashtabula counties; Sept. 30 at Canton Christ the Servant at 6:30 p.m. for Stark and Portage counties; Oct. 7 at Youngstown St. Patrick at 5:30 p.m. for Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

The educational component of the celebration will include a traveling display of the history of the diocese, videos produced by Catholic Television Network (CTNY) on the history of the diocese and on St. Columba Cathedral, as well as “Anniversary Minutes” on each of the six counties of the diocese, which will air on CTNY.

The Catholic Exponent will also publish a commemorative issue May 11, which will feature the history of the diocese and its various continuing ministries. The Exponent will also continue to run articles on the history of the diocese throughout the anniversary year.

In addition, there will be talks by Dr. Hosffman Ospino, a professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, who has researched the relationship between theology and culture and the impact of the interchange on Catholic theological education, catechism and ministry.

Ospino will address: “What Does It Mean To Be Catholic Today?” at 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at St. Christine Parish Center. He will also speak on “Effective Leadership and Ministry in Today’s Diverse Church,” from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Middlebranch Little Flower Parish.

Bishop Murry also will deliver a lecture, “Pride in the Past, Faith in the Future,” on the history of the diocese, in each of the six counties of the diocese: June 21, Vienna St. Thomas the Apostle; September 20, Ashtabula Our Lady of Peace, Mother of Sorrows Church; Oct. 25, Massillon St. Barbara; Nov. 29, Canfield St. Michael the Archangel; March 28, 2019, Salem St. Paul; and May 23, 2019, Streetsboro St. Joan of Arc. Each lecture is set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Ursuline Sister Regina Rogers will speak at various venues on, “Women Religious and the Diocese of Youngstown: Gift & Challenge.” She will speak: Sept. 30 at East Liverpool Holy Trinity Parish at 2 p.m.; Nov. 11 at Jefferson

St. Joseph Parish, with a potluck dinner at 5 p.m. and her talk at 6 p.m.; Jan. 3, 2019, First Friday Club of Greater Youngstown luncheon series at The Georgetown, Boardman, at 11:30 a.m.; Feb. 21, 2019, for the Hamilton Forum, Canton St. Michael the Archangel Parish, at 11:30 a.m.; and March 31, 2019, at Girard St. Rose Parish at 2 p.m.

There will also be an ecumenical prayer service at 6 p.m. Jan. 27, 2019, in St. Columba.

Other events are also being planned, Msgr. Zuraw said. “The committee has worked hard for more than a year in meeting, planning and pursuing various projects. I am confident that this will be a joyous and fruitful celebration.”


A Letter from Monsignor John Zuraw
Chancellor and Anniversary Committee Chair

As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Diocese of Youngstown, behind us lies years of pride in the past. Before us lies faith in the future for our local Church. Throughout the coming year, we will pause from time to time to reflect on, celebrate and learn from our past. We will also look forward and plan for our future. We will do this with confidence in the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. This is a special time of gratitude and joy, a time of faith and courage.

When the Diocese of Youngstown was established 75 years ago on May 15, 1943, nearly one-half of the territory of the former Diocese of Cleveland became the Diocese of Youngstown with six of its fourteen counties transferred to the Youngstown Diocese. The number of Catholics represented 17% of the total population of the area. They were immigrants and laborers who struggled to build the Church of Youngstown.

Each new generation of Catholics contributed its special gifts and talents to our local Church. Despite the diversity of background, faith expressed in the establishment of Catholic parishes, schools and charitable agencies which serves those in need.

We should savor the historic occasion of our 75th. and take pride and strength from the accomplishments of those who laid and built upon the foundation of faith. We will need that strength for tomorrow.

A great deal will depend on us. We can provide creativity and the vision needed to make a difference that will give greater meaning to our lives and provide a brighter future for all. Let us build upon our proud Catholic heritage and face the future with hope and courage. Let us dispel all fear and gloom from our hearts. Let us walk towards our 100th with faith in the future.

Monsignor John A. Zuraw
Anniversary Chairperson


Other Bishops of the Diocese of Youngstown

The Most Reverend Emmet Michael Walsh








The Most Reverend James William Malone








The Most Reverend Thomas Joseph Toban







The Most Reverend George Vance Murry, SJ







Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Youngstown


The Most Reverend William Anthony Hughes








The Most Reverend Benedict Charles Franzetta