St. Patrick's Church & School
St. Patrick’s Church was founded by Irish immigrants in 1853 but quickly outgrew its size with the growing congregation. Therefore, the construction costs for the new church (once again borne by its parishioners), began in 1871 with pillars constructed from masts of the Cunard Shipping Line responsible for bringing them to America.
The church was (and continues to be) a beautiful edifice with high-beamed ceilings, a lavish altar surrounded by life-size statues of the saints and amenities for comfort. There were deeply cushioned kneelers; twelve hooks evenly spaced in front of each pew to hang men’s hats; and ornate carvings on the end of every row encircling a number so parishioners would know which pew they occupied when returning from Communion.
Note: For additional information about St. Patrick’s Church and School, please refer to the time travel page of Paradox Forged in Blood and click on "Cleveland Irish".
When St. Patrick’s school first opened in 1853, education was limited to boys. It wasn’t until 1863 when a separate school was built for female students. By 1903, St. Patrick’s became the largest elementary parochial school in Ohio although boys and girls were segregated for classes, recess, and fire drills. By the time the O’Malley children attended St. Patrick’s, it was fully integrated. Students were taught grades one through ten at St. Patrick’s Commercial High and Grade School. Michael O’Malley was faced with a difficult decision for his three oldest children (Marge, William, and Mayme) to obtain a high school diploma. They could attend a Catholic High School but would be forced to repeat grades nine and ten; or, West High Public School accepted credits from St. Patrick’s and diplomas would be awarded in two years. Marge pleaded with her father to switch from parochial to public education at West High and eliminate the additional two years at school. Michael eventually relented. By the time Ellen and her younger siblings attended grade school, the name was changed to St. Patrick’s Parochial School and the curriculum limited classes from grades one to eight. Just as their siblings before them, they also enrolled at West High Public School.
In addition to the photo of St. Patrick's School, pictured below is the 1933 graduation program for FranK Szabo from St. Patrick's Commerical High & Grade School (grades 1-10).