St. Leo the Great celebrates 70 years with Bishop Nelson Perez

70 years ago, Bishop Edward Hoban announced the founding of St. Leo the Great Parish on Cleveland’s West Side.
As part of the commemoration of the parish’s 70th anniversary year, Bishop Nelson Perez celebrated the 4:00 p.m. Mass on Sept. 1 at St. Leo the Great Church. The bishop was joined by Father James Schmitz, pastor of the parish, and Father Dan Schlegel, secretary for clergy and religious at the diocese. Father Schlegel also is Father Schmitz’s cousin.
Several hundred people attended the Mass and heard the bishop talk in his homily about the founding of the parish in 1948.  He thanked the first pastor, Father Sylvester Lux, and founding members of the parish for their vision and courage in doing the difficult work of building a parish. “It’s good to remember where you came from,” Bishop Perez said.
Referencing the second reading from St. James used during the Mass, the bishop suggested the motivation for those founders must have come from having “received the Word of God which was implanted in their heart.”
Bishop Perez also reminded those gathered of the importance of the work that flows from a parish, “A parish is the deepest and most immediate expression of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is where you and I come to encounter Christ.”
Following Mass, there was a reception in Lux Hall, which is named after St. Leo’s founding pastor.