ELYRIA — A bishop who served Lorain County for many years is continuing his efforts to assist local families even after his death.
The Rev. A. James Quinn, who died Friday at his home in Westlake at the age of 81, was actively involved with Cleveland’s west side and particularly Lorain County.
After he was ordained as bishop Dec. 5, 1983, Quinn served as the vicar of the Diocese of Cleveland’s Western Region until his retirement in 2008. Although the Diocese no longer employs the region system, at the time the Western Region encompassed all of Lorain County and portions of western Cuyahoga County.
After Quinn’s death, his family requested contributions be made to Elyria Catholic High School.
School President Andrew Krakowiak said he was “pleasantly surprised and grateful” when he learned of the bishop’s request.
Krakowiak said Quinn was a committed friend of Catholic education and had been instrumental in helping both Elyria Catholic and Lorain Catholic High School.
Lorain Catholic closed in 2004, leaving Elyria Catholic as the county’s only remaining Catholic high school. Elyria Catholic will celebrate its 65th anniversary next year.
Krakowiak said Quinn believed education was an absolute necessity and especially believed in the benefits of a Catholic education.
“He though it was very important to have Catholic high school available to families of Lorain County,” Krakowiak said.
Krakowiak said Quinn got to know the families in the county during the 22 years he served the region, and developed an affinity for the area.
“He had a real affection for the people of Lorain County,” Krakowiak said.
While he was vicar of the region, Quinn’s offices were at Holy Trinity in Lorain. He celebrated Masses at Elyria Catholic and loved the students there, Krakowiak said.
Elyria Catholic is not a big school, and does not have a big endowment like St. Ignatius and St. Edward’s in Cuyahoga County, Krakowiak said.
He said contributions made in Quinn’s name will be used to set up a financial aid fund for needy families.
“That’s where he would want it to be used,” Krakowiak said. Krakowiak added he hopes that the school will be able to build on the contributions.
The Rev. Frank Kosem, pastor at St. Jude Church in Elyria, said he had known Quinn for a long time.
“He was a dear friend,” Kosem said. “He’s going to be dearly missed.”
Kosem said Quinn was a talented and gifted man, saying Quinn was an attorney, pilot and athlete. However, Kosem said Quinn’s heart was in pastoral services.
“He was very loyal to social ministry,” Kosem said. He said Quinn helped the less fortunate in whatever ways he could.
“He just had a way with people,” Kosem said. “He was personable, and that was important.”
Kosem said Quinn died in his sleep.
“It was a blessing that he didn’t suffer,” Kosem said.
Quinn was born April 8, 1932, on Cleveland’s West Side. He attended St. Rose Elementary School, Cleveland; St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland; John Carroll University, University Heights; St. Charles College, Cantonville, Md.; and St. Mary Seminary, Cleveland, according to the Diocese.
He was ordained a priest on May 24, 1958, and served many positions before being ordained bishop, including as pastor of St. Francis Xavier in Medina, according to the Diocese. After his retirement on June 14, 2008, he resided at St. Ladislas Parish in Westlake.
Vesper services for Quinn will be celebrated by Bishop Roger Gries and Father Donald Snyder at 3 p.m. Thursday at St. Ladislas Church, 2335 Bassett Road, Westlake. Visitation will follow 3:30 to 8 p.m.
Quinn’s body will lie in state 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Church, East Ninth Street and Superior Avenue, Cleveland. The funeral Mass will be conducted at 11 a.m. by Bishop Richard Lennon and Father William Browne. Interment is at Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland.
Berry & Marten Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.