Clarence Edward Elwell

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The Most Reverend

Clarence Edward Elwell
Bishop of Columbus
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Columbus
In office August 22, 1968—February 16, 1973
Predecessor John Carberry
Successor Edward John Herrmann
Ordination March 17, 1929
Consecration December 21, 1962
Personal details
Born (1904-02-04)February 4, 1904
Cleveland, Ohio
Died February 16, 1973(1973-02-16) (aged 69)
Columbus, Ohio
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland (1962-1968)

Clarence Edward Elwell (February 4, 1904 – February 16, 1973) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Columbus from 1968 until his death in 1973.


Clarence Elwell was born in the Newburgh Heights section of Cleveland, Ohio.[1] After graduating from Holy Name High School, he studied medicine at St. Ignatius College for two years before switching to St. Mary Seminary in Lakeside, where he began his studies for the priesthood.[1] He furthered his studies at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and was ordained a priest there by Bishop Sigismund Waitz on March 17, 1929.[2]

Upon his return to the United States, Elwell served as an assistant priest, teacher, and assistant superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Cleveland.[1] He earned a Master's degree in Education from Western Reserve University in 1934, and later his doctorate from Harvard University in 1938.[1] When he returned to Cleveland, Elwell was named director of Catholic high schools. In 1946, he was appointed superintendent of the diocesan school system.[1] He was granted the title of Monsignor in 1949.[1]

On November 5, 1962, Elwell was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland and Titular Bishop of Cone by Pope John XXIII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 21 from Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, with Bishops Floyd Lawrence Begin and John Francis Whealon serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.[2] He was later named the eighth Bishop of Columbus on May 29, 1968, and installed at St. Joseph's Cathedral on the following August 22.[2]

During his tenure as Bishop, Elwell continued the implementation of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, initiated under his predecessor, John Carberry.[1] An advocate of Catholic education, he opened Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School, William V. Fisher Catholic High School, and Bishop Rosecrans High School, as well as converting the seminary into St. Charles College Preparatory School.[1] He also established Resurrection Cemetery in Columbus, St. Peter Parish in Worthington, Diocesan Sisters' Council, and Diocesan Pastoral Council, and significantly expanded the Diocesan Development Office, the Parish Aid Fund, and the diocesan self-insurance program.[1]

Elwell's grave at St. Joseph Cemetery (Lockbourne, Ohio)

Elwell died at his residence in the chancery, aged 69.[2] He is buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Most Reverend Clarence Edward Elwell, S.T.D., Bishop 1968-1973". Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bishop Clarence Edward Elwell".
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