The Cleveland Mission at Teotepeque
Highly underdeveloped and suffering from a severe shortage of priests, El Salvador is the most densely populated country in the Americas with a population of six million living in an area the size of Massachusetts. In 1964, at the behest of Pope John XXII, the Cleveland Diocese began sending missionary priests, religious, and laity to serve to poor and outcast.
Our missionaries have endured many hardships over the years to carry the Gospel message to the margins of El Salvador. Poverty, civil war, and gang violence have not deterred them, even after two Cleveland women gave their lives as martyrs in 1980: Sister Dorothy Kazel, and Miss Jean Donovan.
The Cleveland presence in Teotepeque began as part of the larger parish of Immaculate Conception in La Libertad under Fr. Paul Schindler. Only later in the year 2000 was San Pedro Parish split off from La Libertad to be put under the leadership of Fr. John King, who would minister to the faithful of Teotepeque for almost a decade.
Fr. Mark Reilly and later Fr. Micheal Stalla came next in the procession of Cleveland priests at San Pedro, now in the capable hands of Fr. John Ostrowski, who has organized the parish and our various charitable outreach programs for nearly half a decade.
Our vision is to treat the people of God in Teotepeque as the Gospel dictates, spreading the life of Christ and providing an opportunity to practice the faith in an environment where the dignity of each human person will be respected and where each 'least brother of mine' is seen as the very embodiment of Jesus Christ.
WHAT WE DO
The Cleveland Mission at San Pedro Apostle strives to provide the people of God with the pastoral care they need: access to priests and the sacraments, christian community life, quality education and healthcare, and connections to organizations who bring about a lasting effect toward a greater quality of life.
San Pedro Church is most fundamentally a Catholic parish. Like any other, the goal is to shepherd the people of God in their life journey and to provide them with the resources they need to grow. From baptisms to annointings, catechesis to choirs, what sets San Pedro apart is the presence of Cleveland missionaries.
Meet the Pastor
Fr. John Ostrowski has been serving the mission since 2011 and has been pastor since 2015. A Pennsylvania native, Fr. John started as a welder on nuclear submarines before God called him to the priesthood. Now as the only priest responsible for more than 26 communities in the parish, he works tirelessly to bring the Gospel message while dealing with the difficulties of poverty, government corruption, and gang violence. Read about a day in his life here.