More than 400,000 people – regardless of race or creed – receive services each year from Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland.
Bishop Edward Malesic, in one of his first public events since his Sept. 14 installation, visited three Catholic Charities’ agencies on Oct. 9.
Holy Family Home & Hospice in Parma welcomed the bishop and Patrick Gareau, Catholic Charities’ president and CEO. They met briefly with leadership and religious men and women who minister at the facility. The bishop also stopped in to see a resident. They spoke briefly and the bishop offered a blessing.
The bishop toured Holy Family and stopped outside to admire the fish pond – stocked with koi fish.
Holy Family, which was established in 1956 by the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, New York, to care for people with incurable cancer. Catholic Charities now operates the home, which focuses on patient and family support. It is located on 7½ wooded acres at 6707 State Road, Parma.
Holy Family Home & hospice offers inpatient hospice care, community hospice, home health care and grief and spiritual support.
The next stop was St. Augustine Hunger Center, located at St. Augustine Parish in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. There the bishop met with Father Joe McNulty, St. Augustine pastor, and Sister Corita Ambro, CSJ. Sister Ambro, who retired recently, is the former director of the hunger center and continues to volunteer there.
Although the coronavirus pandemic is preventing the hunger center from opening its doors to serve meals, the needy can receive a free grab-and-go packaged meal, Sister said. Many choose to eat across the street in Lincoln Park where they can practice social distancing. The hunger center also has a food pantry to provide a variety of food and supplies to the needy.
Bishop Malesic spoke with Father McNulty and Sister Ambro to learn about the history of St. Augustine Parish and its numerous outreach ministries.
The third and final stop of the day was at the Bishop William Cosgrove Center, located at 1736 Superior Ave., on the outskirts of downtown Cleveland. It is one of the largest drop-in centers in Greater Cleveland, with a mission to feed the needy.
Because of the pandemic, clients cannot enter Cosgrove Center to sit and eat their meals. Instead, freshly prepared, nutritious hot meals are packaged and distributed to anyone in need. Cosgrove Eric Milke, Cosgrove Center program director, explained the operation to the bishop and gave him a tour of the center. The bishop saw the food pantry, where shelves were neatly stocked with a variety of groceries. There also were some bags packed and ready for distribution.
In addition, Bishop Malesic saw the “store” that normally is stocked with a variety of clothing items. Prior to the pandemic, clients could “shop” for the items they needed and staff or volunteers would assist them. Milke said they now take request for items and deliver them, as they are able, to the clients.
At each location the bishop thanked the staff for their commitment.
“Catholic Charities provides so many important services to so many people. Thank you for your service and dedication to your ministry,” he said.