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Happy Easter
from the Parish Life Secretariat!

A message from Fr. Damian Ference

Greetings from Cathedral Square in the name of Jesus Christ! I am writing to you as the new Secretary for Parish Life and Special Ministries here in the Diocese of Cleveland. A year ago I would never have guessed that this mission would be mine, but the Lord is full of surprises.  

The reason that I say this new mission as Secretary is a surprise is because last year, as I was finishing my doctorate in philosophy and thinking that my next ten years of priestly ministry would be spent at Borromeo Seminary, Bishop Malesic asked me to be his Vicar for Evangelization. I gave him my fiat but wasn’t sure what this new mission would look like. Long story short, a few months later, Bishop Malesic asked me to be the new Secretary for Parish Life and Special Ministries, which I accepted knowing that I would be leading and working hard with a most talented, joyful, professional, and humble team of missionary disciples on the fifth floor at Cathedral Square.  

Bishop Malesic does not give a lot of directives, but he has made one thing very clear to me and my brothers and sisters in Parish Life, and that is this: we work for the people of God. We are missionary disciples in service to the Diocese of Cleveland, the churched and unchurched. In the words of Pope Francis, “It is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear. The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded.” (EG, 23)  

Please pray for me and my co-workers in the vineyard of Parish Life and know that we look forward to serving you with joy!  

Fr. Damian Ference
A sinner whom the Lord has looked upon 

Diocesan Pre-synodal Gathering

Each local Church culminates the diocesan phase of the synodal process with a Diocesan Pre-synodal Gathering. This gathering provides the opportunity for diverse members of the diocese to come together for a liturgical celebration, to pray together, to reflect on their experience of the synodal process in the diocese, to listen to feedback that has emerged from the listening sessions across the diocese, to dialogue about the current reality of the local Church and the signs of the times, and to discern the Holy Spirit’s call for the diocese on the path of synodality.

Our Diocesan Pre-synodal Gathering will take place on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at the Cleveland Public Auditorium. We will begin at 10:00 am and conclude with Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist at 4:30 pm. The Closing Liturgy for the Synod will also serve as the kick-off for the National Eucharistic Revival. Immediately following Mass, Bishop Malesic will lead a Eucharistic Procession from the Cathedral to St. Peter's where we will end with Benediction and Adoration.

Read more
The Parish Life Secretariat is seeking mission-oriented, creative, and results-oriented new members to join our team. Click on the links below for more information about these positions.
Executive Assistant
Youth Ministry Specialist
Creative Project Coordinator
Director of African American Ministry
Project Coordinator, Office for Human Life
Associate Director of Marriage Formation & Enrichment
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Current Happenings

African American Ministry

Sunday, July 10, 2022
Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine, Bellevue OH

The annual African American Sunday is coming to the Sorrowful Mother Shrine. It will be a day of worship and praise and to meet Black Catholics from around the tri-state area. This year's liturgist is Fr. Joseph Brown, SJ, PhD. Contact Lynette Saenz for more information.

Lay Ecclesial Ministry

Information and Application to LEM Certification Process and Summer Orientation
Friday, May 20, 6:30-8:30pm

Center for Pastoral Leadership
Join lay ecclesial ministry candidates for prayer and learn about the formation process for Certification as a Lay Ecclesial Minister in our diocese. Meet some of our candidates in formation, become aware of networking and spiritual growth opportunities along with academic options. Our last “Visit Formation Night” is on Friday, May 20. Orientation Sessions are held in mid-August so now is the time to apply! For more information or to RSVP to attend, please contact Pattie Batchman at 440-943-7669 or by email.  

Save the Date! LEM Retreat
July 15-16, 2022
Jesuit Retreat Center

Youth Ministry

Blessed Carlo Institute
August 9-12, 2022
Center for Pastoral Leadership

We are so excited to launch this new adventure in our diocese to form and equip youth ministers! Seminary faculty will teach classes and ministry experts will lead workshops during this four-day, three-night summer institute. Read more

Young Adults

Holy Week is upon us! Check out our latest primer on the Holy Week Liturgies on our Podcast.

World Youth Day
Summer 2023
Lisbon, Portugal

Trip packages with Franciscan Spirit Tours include:
* World Youth Day:  5 Days at World Youth Day including Festival events, Welcome Ceremony for the Holy Father, Via Crucis (Way of the Cross), Pilgrimage Walk and Vigil with the Pope under the stars, Morning Mass with the Pope. Total Estimated Cost: $3495

* World Youth Day + 10 day Portugal Camino Pilgrimage: Join us as we walk the Portuguese Camino.  We'll see the Fatima Shrine, and walk on average of 20km/day for 6 days after visiting and experiencing Fatima and then we will join the WYD Pilgrimage with the Holy Father. Total Estimated Cost: $4490
Contact Mike Hayes to begin the process of registering.

Ministry Updates

Child Protection

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month! Download the USCCB resource packet here. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Hispanic Ministry

6th National Catholic Congress on Hispanic Ministry
A delegation of pastoral leaders from the Hispanic community in Cleveland will join others from across the U.S. at Raices y Alas, the 6th National Catholic Congress on Hispanic Ministry on April 26-30 in Washington, DC. Please pray for all those present as they reflect and discern next steps in response to the pastoral priorities from the V Encuentro and meet with U.S. legislators to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and DACA.

Instituto Emaús- Escuela de Discípulos Misioneros
Emmaus Institute- School of Missionary Disciples
May 28, 9am-4pm
Center for Pastoral Leadership
Introduction to Theology. For more information about this event, please contact Misael Mayorga at 216-374-9440 or by email.

Marriage & Family Life

50th Jubilee Celebration
Saturday, June 25, 10:00am
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

We will host our celebration in person again this year. Bishop Malesic will celebrate the Mass. The in-person event will be limited to 2 guests or caregivers with the couple.
Read more

SS. Anne & Joachim Grandparent and Seniors Workshop
May 31, 9am - 2pm
Holy Martyrs, Medina
After the original four workshops in March and April, with the final one selling out, requests were made to hold another session. This will be an opportunity to talk about ways that grandparents can share their faith with their grandchildren and will offer some practical tools that can be used. The workshop will include brunch and a closing Mass. Cost is $10 per person.

Parish staff who are looking to minister better to this population are highly encouraged to attend. Help us spread the word and download the flyer from the registration page.
Advertising Pre-Cana
Advertising your parish Pre-Cana event on the Diocesan website has been simplified. The new format can be found here.
MFM Newsletter
If you would like to receive the Marriage and Family Ministry e-newsletter, click here and choose “Marriage & Family” in the newsletter preferences.

Catholic Renewal Ministries

Catholic Renewal Ministries will host a Healing Mass on Friday, May 27th, at 7:00 p.m. at St John Vianney Church, 7575 Bellflower Rd, Mentor 44060.  Fr. Bob Franco will be the celebrant.  Praise and worship will begin at 7:00 p.m., and the liturgy will start at 7:30 p.m. Healing Prayer teams will be available after Mass for individual prayer. For more information, please contact CRM at 440-944-9445. Come and bring a friend! This will be a time to truly encounter the Lord.

National Eucharistic Revival

The Bishops of the United States are calling for a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. They believe that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and sent out in mission “for the life of the world.” Read more.
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