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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HAAS, VINCENT P. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HAAS, VINCENT P. (23 Oct. 1912-2 Apr. 1977), diocesan priest who devoted much of his ministry to working with the poor, racial minorities, and alcoholics, was born in Cleveland and educated at CATHEDRAL LATIN SCHOOL, JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY, and ST. MARY SEMINARY. He was ordained on 2 Apr. 1938, serving parishes in Akron and S. EUCLID before being named pastor in 1946. His assignment was to organize the parish of St. Peter Claver for black Catholics. Fr. Haas spent the next dozen years successfully integrating his black parishioners into neighboring churches. He also served as a chaplain at St. Thomas Hospital, where he gave support and direction to the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Bob, Bill W., and Sister Ignatia. In 1961, Fr. Haas became the spiritual director of the St. Augustine Guild, forerunner of the Catholic Interracial Council. From 1962-66 he served as pastor of the Conversion of St. Paul Shrine. In 1963 he led a group of Clevelanders to Washington, D.C., for the Freedom March. During the HOUGH RIOTS of 1966, Fr. Haas organized a group of priests who went into the neighborhoods and urged the people to be calm and return to their homes. He also served as an unofficial advisor to the Ohio bishops on racial problems and possible solutions. In 1966 he was transferred to the pastorate of St. Colman's in Cleveland where he encouraged and directed an outreach ministry to the poor and senior citizens. He died in Cleveland.

Archives, Diocese of Cleveland.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 10:07:26 AM

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