Phone: 216-696-6525

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

Why Catholic?
Offices Chancellor Diocesan Memorandum December 2019

  Share this Page

Diocesan Memorandum

December, 2019 | Vol. 53, no. 12 | Prot. No. C-64/2019

The Diocesan Memorandum (formerly the Clergy Memorandum) is a service of the Office of the Chancellor for clergy and lay leadership of the Diocese of Cleveland, providing a summary of relevant and timely information from the Office of the Bishop and other diocesan offices.


Retirement Fund for Religious: 7-8 December 2019
The Retirement Fund for Religious is an annual collection to raise funds that are distributed to religious communities throughout the eight counties of the diocese and across the country.  For the weekend of December 7 – 8, please share in the care and consider giving to those who have given a lifetime during this special weekend collection. Click here for a bulletin insert regarding this special collection.

Office for Worship

January Liturgical Calendar Reminders:
Please see the July 2019 Memorandum for more details regarding the January 2020 Liturgical calendar.

January 2020 Liturgical Calendar:
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on Wednesday, January 1st, is a holyday of obligation.  This Solemnity coincides with the Diocese of Cleveland /World Day of Prayer for Justice and Peace.

The Diocese of Cleveland Mass for Life, which coincides with the United States Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, will be celebrated on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 10:00 AM at the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist. 

NEW – January 26, 2020, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time has been established by Pope Francis as the Sunday of the Word of God

In the Apostolic Letter Motu proprio Aperuit illis, issued September 30th (the feastday of St. Jerome), Pope Francis stated that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God.”  The full text of the Apostolic Letter may be read on the Vatican’s website.

The 1600thanniversary of the death of St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, the 55thanniversary of Dei Verbum, the Vatican II constitution on Divine Revelation, and the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini are celebrated throughout 2020, and Pope Francis’ initiative may be considered a part of a year-long celebration of the importance of the Scriptures.

The Office for Worship has compiled some resources which may be helpful to parishes planning liturgies for the Sunday of the Word of God in response to the Pope’s declaration.  A listing of suggestions may be found on the Office for Worship website in the Resources section under Word of God.

The diocesan music consultant, Greg Heislman, has notated the Gospel text for that day according to the Roman Missal, third edition’s Simple Tone instructions for chanting a Gospel reading and may be found here. The First and Second readings may also be chanted, following the formulas found in the Roman Missal, third edition Appendix. 

Liturgical Catechesis Notes: Glass Communion vessels are NOT to be used for Mass
Despite a history of using glass bowls, ciboria, and chalices in this country as Communion vessels during Mass, that practice was ended with the promulgation of the 2000 GIRM, provisionally translated into English in 2003, and officially translated in 2010:

“Sacred vessels should be made from precious metal.” (GIRM, 328)

The Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments further addressed this issue in the 2004 document Redemptionis sacramentum:

“Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily.” (RS, 117)

If your parish has retained glass Communion vessels for use during Mass, please discontinue use of them immediately.  Such sacred vessels may be permanently disposed of by breaking them and then burying them in a safe location.

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist


Cathedral of St John the Evangelist; 1007 Superior Ave; Cleveland 44114. FREE, (no tickets, no reservations); Free secure parking: Cathedral garage & lot, Rockwell & E 9th St.

Monday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m.| Daughters of St Paul Choir | He is Born: 11thannual Christmas Concert.

February 21, Friday at 7:30 p.m.| Schola Antiqua of Chicago | Michael Alan Anderson, director


During the season of Advent, four Diocesan parish choirs have accepted the invitation to sing at the Cathedral for a 5:30pm Sunday mass. This annual invitation to sing at a Cathedral Sunday mass is open to all parish choirs in the Diocese. Participating choirs accepting the invitation this Advent are:

Advent I – Dec 1         St. Richard Parish (North Olmsted); Tom Czajkowski, Director

Advent II – Dec 8       St. Peter Parish Choir (Lorain); Anthony Trifiletti, Director

Advent III – Dec 15    St. Peter Parish Choir (North Ridgeville); Jim Akoury , Director

Advent IV – Dec 22    St. Ignatius of Antioch Schola (Cleveland); Jason Lewis, Director


Letters of Suitability Annual Reminder
In light of the provisions of canon 903 CIC and canon 703 §1 CCEO, Letters of Suitability are required by all clergy when performing ministerial duties outside the Diocese of Cleveland. Those in the Office of Clergy and Religious are happy to assist our clergy with their Letters of Suitability. Requests can be made through the Diocese of Cleveland website, under the Office of Clergy and Religious, Letter of Suitability Request. If possible, submit your request as soon as you are aware of your need for a Letter of Suitability.

In your request, please make sure you include the following information:

  • The name of the Diocese in which you will be performing the ministerial function (include its mailing address, as well as their Bishops’ full name)
  • The beginning and ending dates you will be performing the ministerial function
  • The name and email of the individual/organization who is hosting you in their diocese (he/she will receive a copy of your letter as well)
  • The name of the place(s) you will be performing your ministerial function(s)
  • If you will be ministering at a baptism, wedding or funeral, please include the name(s) of the individual(s)

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact the Office of Clergy and Religious at 216-696-6525 x2930.

Please note, because there will be limited email access in the Office of Clergy and Religious during the week of Christmas, the Office asks that, if you need a Letter of Suitability for the week of Christmas, the week of New Year’s or the second week of January, to please get in your requests by Monday, December 16th. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


#weGiveCatholic: In the Spirit of Thanksgiving
You have heard about Black Friday and Cyber Monday – now you can share your blessings on Tuesday, 3 December – Giving Tuesday. All day around the globe people are asked to contribute to their favorite charities and nonprofits. The Diocese of Cleveland asks you to be part of Northeast Ohio’s Online Day of Catholic Giving: #weGiveCatholic, which allows you to contribute to over 227 Catholic schools, parishes, Catholic Charities programs and sites, ministries and other Catholic nonprofits in Northeast Ohio. Simply use your computer or smartphone on Tuesday, 3 December to access, search the list of participants and donate to your favorites.

Consider a Gift of Stock to Support the Ministries of the Church
In this season of giving, consider using appreciated stock to make a year-end gift to help our parish, aid Catholic Charities in serving the needs of the poor, support men preparing for the priesthood, or provide tuition assistance for Catholic school students. By transferring stock directly to our parish or the Catholic Community Foundation, you may be able to avoid capital gains taxes.  You can also use stock to create a Donor Advised Fund, Charitable Gift Annuity or Permanent Named Fund.  To learn more about year-end charitable gifting options, click here or contact Sandy Lucas at 216-696-6525 x1640.

2019 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal – Total of $12,939,630 Raised as of 31 October. 

Solicitation Letter: During the week of 18 November, 50,000 households will receive a letter from Bishop Perez inviting a new or additional gift in support of the hungry & homeless programs at Catholic Charities. To make an immediate impact, donations can be made online.  

Save the Date: 2020 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal will take place 8-9 February, with the Follow Up Appeal on 16-17 May. Go to for updated parish statistics and Appeal information. Contact Karen Joyce at 216-696-6525 x1910 with questions. 

Final 2019 Catholic Stewardship Webcast Series | Tuesday, December 3

Personal and Parish Stewardship Best Practices - Stewardship Webinar

Presenter: David Baranowski, Director of Stewardship Education, Archdiocese of St. Louis Password to register: Stewardship (case sensitive). Learn how our own personal stewardship can transform not only our own individual life, but the life of our parish community.


Ohio’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase from $8.55 to $8.70 per hour for non-tipped employees on January 1, 2020.  Please download the new poster and display it with your other labor law posters.

Business managers and payroll administrators, please review the attached slides to help end 2019 successfully. Please remember Paycor’s December 2, 2019 deadline to request your books to stay open until December 31, 2019. Contact Human Resources (216) 696-6525, ext. 5420 with any questions. 


The Parish Life Offices Have Moved
The Offices are now on the fifth floor of Cathedral Square.  The phone numbers and addresses for the Marriage & Family and Youth & Young Adult Ministries have changed.  The New Address is: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH  44114.

The phone number is 216-696-6525.

Marriage & Family
Bill Boomer, Director x2322
Katie Galicic, Administrative Assistant x2323
Jason Lewis, Pastoral Care/Bereavement x2324
Carol Petro, Divorce and Remarriage Ministry x2325

Youth & Young Adult
Dobie Moser, Director x 2331
Mark Delsander, Youth & Young Adult Ministry Specialist x2332
Jackie Vigneault, Youth & Young Adult Ministry Specialist x 2333

Hispanic Ministry

Escuela de Evangelización (Adult Faith Formation)
Biblical Studies courses begin January 25, 2020, as part of the 3-year Ministerial Formation Program offered by the Office of Hispanic Ministry. Classes will meet on Saturday once a month at Holy Name Parish, 8328 Broadway Ave in Cleveland from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. There is no cost to participate, but you must be at least 18 years of age. Students will receive a certificate of completion once requirements are fulfilled. All classes are taught in Spanish. For more information, please contact Misael Mayorga at 216-696-6525 Ext. 4300.  

Lay Ecclesial Ministry

Learn more about the process for certification at our information night on Thursday, January16, 2020 at 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Center for Pastoral Leadership. View the flyer and RSVP to attend.

Come and experience evening prayer at a Friday formation session, and learn more about the Diocesan Certification Process at our Lay Ecclesial Ministry Open Houses on January 17th and February 21, 2020.   View the flyer and RSVP to attend.

Marriage and Family Ministry

Click here for Family Perspectives January 2020

Couple Ministry Training- Winter 2020
Couple Ministers are volunteer married couples selected by their parish and trained by the diocese to assist in marriage preparation and enrichment. They meet with engaged or married couples and provide a living witness of Christian Marriage. Invite some of your married couples to be trained. More information including online registration is available on our website: Clergy should nominate couples and submit names.

Date: Wednesdays Jan 22 & 29, Feb 5, 12 & 19, 2020
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Place: St. Hilary Parish, 2750 West Market St. Fairlawn, OH 44433
Cost: $125 per couple.
Registration: Register Here
Contact: Bill Boomer (216) 696-6525 x2322

World Wide Marriage Encounter Christmas Gift for Married Couples: Give your spouse the gift of your time and love by attending the next Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend held on Feb. 14-16, 2020 at Hampton Inn, Grove City, PA. It’s the best gift you’ll ever give to each other and your marriage. Here’s a quote from a recent couple: “Our Marriage Encounter Weekend was without qualification the most fantastic and moving experience of our lives.” For more info call 330-305-9963 or visit

Retrouvaille is a three-month program to help couples struggling in their marriages.  The 2020 weekends are January 24-26, March 27-29, and September 11-13.  For more information go to their website or email Marce & Liz Gliha.

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

This annual event hosted by the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting (DCCS) is for adults involved in Catholic Scouting including Catholic Committee members, unit leaders, and religious emblems counselors.  For more information, please visit or contact: Mark Delsander at 216-696-6525 x2332.

St. Tarcisius is the patron Saint of altar servers.  The retreat is hosted by the Lake/Geauga Catholic Committee on Scouting and is filled with interesting & fun activities that will help participants learn more about the Holy Eucharist.  For any male or female scout who is at least 11 years old.  Cost is $8.00 - includes a continental breakfast and lunch.  For more information, please visit or contact: Mark Delsander at 216-696-6525 x2332.

Catholic Renewal Ministries
Catholic Renewal Ministries will host a Charismatic Mass on Friday, January 31st, at 7:00 p.m., at St. Peter Parish, 35777 Center Ridge Rd., North Ridgeville 44039.  Fr. Bob Franco will be the celebrant.  Praise and worship will begin at 7:00 and the liturgy will start at 7:30.  Healing prayer teams will be available after Mass for individual prayer. There will also be a social after Mass.  For more information, please contact Fr. Franco at 440-327-2201 or CRM at 440-944-9445.

Interfaith Commission

In observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology and the Interfaith Commission of the Diocese of Cleveland will Sponsor Professor Dirk  G. Lange of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, “From Conflict to Communion: A Journey of Faith Together!” This session will explore the reasons for an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation, what such a commemoration signifies for us today, and what it means for the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue and the wider ecumenical consensus based on The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

Friday, January 17, 2020, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, 28700 Euclid Avenue, Wickliffe, Ohio | Open to the public and complimentary.


The annual Catholic Charities Summit County Partners in Giving Campaign is underway. You may designate your gift to Camp Christopher, Basic Needs or to Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. For more information on these wonderful programs, log on to You may mail your donation to Partners in Giving, 812 Biruta Street, Akron, OH 44307, call 330-762-2961, ext. 220 or log on to

Social Action Office

On Sunday, November 3rd, one year ahead of the 2020 national elections, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) launched a year-long campaign inviting Catholics to model civility and love for neighbor throughout this election year. Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate invites Catholics to pledge civility, clarity, and compassion in the public square and to call on others to do the same. Built on the recognition that every person—even those with whom we disagree—is a beloved child of God who possesses inherent dignity, Civilize It offers a variety of resources and ideas to help Catholics and others of goodwill to engage in and model respect and compassion. There are resources available in Spanish as well.  You can learn more here .


Expanded Monthly Grief Support
Catholic Cemeteries Association grief support groups will meet on Sunday December 15th at 3:00 p.m. at the following locations: Saint Joseph Cemetery, Avon (temporary trailer office); Holy Cross Cemetery, Akron (office); Holy Cross Cemetery, Brook Park (office); Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland (office); All Saints Cemetery, Northfield (office); and All Souls Cemetery, Chardon (office). The December topic will be ’Emmanuel/God With Us: You are Not Alone’.  A reservation is not required, but is appreciated.  Visit our website or contact Rhonda at 216-930-4866. 

Three new Sunday Grief Support Group locations started this Fall:  Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland (Miles Ave); All Saints Cemetery, Northfield; All Souls Cemetery, Chardon. Four compassionate leaders were trained to lead the Grief Support groups in these new locations.  This valuable resource is available to all in our diocese and the grieving in our communities at large.  Many people courageously walk this grief journey by themselves.  Our desire is that no one grieves alone.   We graciously accompany them on their journeys toward their new normal. If you are interested in participating at these new Grief Support Group locations, please contact Rhonda or call 216-930-4866. 


First Friday Club of Akron.  John Allen, Jr., Associate Editor, Boston Globe and senior Vatican analyst for CNN, Friday, December 6, 2019 at Tangier Restaurant, 532 W. Market Street, Akron. More information here.

First Friday Club of Cleveland.  Elvis Grbac, Athletic Director and Football coach at VASJ, Motivational Speaker and Former NFL Quarterback, Thursday, December 5, 2019 at The City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Avenue, 2nd Floor, Cleveland. Registration table and lunch buffet opens at 11:30 a.m. Program begins at noon. Registration and more information here.

Theology on the Rocks
Theology on the Rocks – West| Monday, December 9that 7:00 p.m. | LOCATION: VOSH, 1414 Riverside Dr., Lakewood | $12 per person | Fr. Joe Hilinski and Rabbi Stephen Weiss.  Learning the Jewish Faith | To register and for more information click here .


Jesuit Retreat Center Programs, 5629 State Road, Parma, Ohio 44134

For more information on the programs listed below, please click here or call 440-884-9300. 

Advent Day of Reflection - With the author of Dinner by Candlelight: Comfort and Joy

for Advent | Monday, December 2 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. | Presented by Kevin Louise Schaner | Cost: $45

Advent Call: Sharing the Present of Presence | Tuesday, December 10 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m | Presented by Sr. Judy Friedel, OP, M.RE. | Cost: $45

Building a Vision for Your Retirement: The Advent of The Next Chapter of Life | Friday, December 13, 6:00 p.m. - Sunday, December 15, 11:00 a.m. | Presented by Richard Krivanka and guest speakers Tim Lybarger, Jim Mulhern and Anja Sassenberg-DeGeorgia | Cost: $200

December Morning Prayer for Women |
Monday, December 16 from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | Led by Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, S.C. | Just bring your Bible | Cost: $8

Calix AA Men’s Retreat: God’s Grace | Friday, December 20, 6:00 p.m. - Sunday, December 22, 11:00 a.m. | Presented by George B. & Team | Cost: $170 - Limited scholarship assistance is available.

Christmas Eve Mass | Tuesday, December 24 from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. | Fr. Matt Roche, SJ will be presiding | Registration is preferred to ensure we have enough room for everyone.

New Year’s Eve Retreat | Tuesday, December 31, 6:00 p.m. - Wednesday, January 1, 11:00 a.m. | Presented by Rev. Liz Nau | Cost: $95

Flyers which may be of interest to readers of the Diocesan Memorandum may be found at here.

Submissions for the next Memorandum should be made to Ann Marie Perkins by the 15th of the preceding month. Guidelines for submissions are available here.

Subscribe! Sign up to receive news & updates.

Share This


Photo Gallery

1 of 22