RAPPE, LOUIS AMADEUS (2 Feb. 1801-8 Sept. 1877), first bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, was born in Audrehem, France, to Eloi and Marie-Antoinette Noel Rappe. He studied at the college of Boulogne-sur-Mer and seminary at Arras, and was ordained in 1829. Rappe was a parish priest before becoming chaplain of the Ursuline nuns at Boulogne-sur-Mer, where he met Cincinnati bishop John B. Purcell, who was recruiting priests for Ohio. Rappe arrived in America in 1840, and Purcell named him pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Toledo. Rappe established a school and academy and became an advocate of the Total Abstinence Movement (see FATHER MATHEW TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY). On 23 Apr. 1847, Pope Pius IX established the new Diocese of Cleveland, and Rappe was consecrated bishop of the diocese on 10 Oct. 1847 in Cincinnati.
In Cleveland, Rappe began work ST. JOHN CATHEDRAL, created new congregations for Irish and German groups, and made trips to Europe to recruited priests and nuns. The Ursulines from Boulogne-sur-Mer came to teach, and the Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary opened 2 orphanages for girls: ST. MARY'S ORPHAN ASYLUM FOR FEMALES (1851) and ST. JOSEPH'S ORPHANAGE FOR GIRLS (1863). Rappe organized the SISTERS OF CHARITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE, who opened the first general hospital in Cleveland, SAINT VINCENT CHARITY HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CENTER, in 1857. Concerned about priestly training, Rappe began St. Francis de Sales Seminary, which became ST. MARY SEMINARY. Rappe resigned in 1870 and spent his last years as a missionary in Vermont and Canada, dying at St. Albans, Vt. He was buried in St. John Cathedral in Cleveland.Last Modified: 21 Jul 1997 03:47:22 PM