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

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Offices Chancellor Diocesan Memorandum December 2021

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Diocesan Memorandum

December, 2021 | Vol. 55, no. 12 | Prot. No. C-44/2021

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 the Religious
The annual Retirement Fund for Religious donation and collection will be held on Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12, 2021.   Funding to support aging religious communities this year is critical, as donations go directly for medications, nursing care and other cost of living needs.  The season of giving is unique this year and in addition to in pew or weekend collections, parishes are encouraged to promote electronic giving or mail donations to the diocese office of Clergy and Religious.  Included in this memo are bulletin inserts and graphics that may be used on parish websites. Click here for more information or email Christina Harrison

Bulletin Message for Dec. 4-5, 2021
The Retirement Fund for Religious is an annual collection to raise funds that are distributed to religious communities. These funds help communities provide for the immediate needs of their elder members. Religious communities are exceedingly grateful for this assistance and are careful stewards of each dollar received.  This years’ collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be next weekend, December 11 – 12, 2021.

The season of giving is unique this year and in addition to in pew or weekend collections, parishes are encouraged to promote electronic giving or mail donations to the diocese office of Clergy and Religious.  Included in this memo are bulletin inserts and graphics that may be used on parish websites.  For more information visit or email Christina Harrison.

Bulletin Message for week of collection, Dec. 11 – 12, 2021
Help religious communities. “Your generous contribution helps us to care for our retired sisters and enables our younger sisters to continue in active ministry,” writes a religious sister.  The Retirement Fund for Religious is an annual collection to raise funds that are distributed to religious communities. These funds help communities provide for the immediate needs of their elder members. Religious communities are exceedingly grateful for this assistance and are careful stewards of each dollar received. You are encouraged to give to those who have given a lifetime by donating to this collection today. Most importantly, please pray for God’s blessing on all religious. Rest assured, they are praying for you.

Included in this memo are bulletin inserts and graphics that may be used on parish websites. 

For more information visit or email Christina Harrison.


Planned Giving

Year-End Giving (suggested bulletin announcement):
In this season of giving, consider making a year-end gift to our parish in gratitude for all the blessings you have received in life. As you plan to make the most of your charitable donations in 2021, know that we gratefully accept gifts of cash and appreciated assets such as stocks or bonds. We wanted to take this time to remind you of some important CARES Act provisions that are scheduled to expire at year’s end. These provisions may affect you—and even make it easier for you to make a gift to your parish. They include:

  • An expanded charitable giving incentive that allows taxpayers who take the standard deduction to make up to $300 in charitable cash contributions for single filers ($600 for married couples) to qualified charities like ours this year.
  • For those who do itemize their deductions, the law allows for cash contributions to qualified charities such as ours to be deducted up to 100% of your adjusted gross income for the 2021 calendar year.

And, if you are 70 ½ or older, you may be able to make a gift of a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA that will help us in our ministry and reduce your taxable income. Talk to your advisors and IRA administrator for more information and to be sure that your IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution gift is made directly from an IRA to a qualified charity such as our parish. Questions? Contact XXX in our parish office at (XXX) XXX-XXXX or via email at ________. You are also welcome to contact Jean Ann Montagna of the Catholic Community Foundation at 216-696-6525 x8070.

Catholic Charities Appeal

2021 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal – a total of $13,207,935 has been raised as of 31 October.  

Solicitation Letter: Our fourth and final letter of 2021 hit households the week of November 15th. This letter emphasized supporting the hungry and homeless population throughout the Diocese. For every dollar donated, four healthy meals are able to be provided to those in need. To make an immediate impact, donations can be made online at

Calendar Year End Reminders will start hitting inboxes both mid and late December. If you have not yet fulfilled your pledge these are helpful reminders to get those in before the end of the year.

Save the Date: The 2022 Annual Appeal will take place in all parishes Feb. 19-20 with the Follow Up Appeal on May 14-15. Contact Sarah Gozur or 216-696-6525 x1910 with questions.


Protecting God's Children
In our continued effort to comply with the requirements of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young people," the Office for Protection of Children & Youth and Communications department are asking parishes to please publish the bulletin announcement below at least twice during the time period of December 2021 through February 2022.  When published parishes are asked to forward an electronic copy of the bulletin to Brooke Uehlein (email with direct online link is acceptable). 

Bulletin Announcement:

Protecting God's Children
The Diocese of Cleveland's “Protecting God’s Children” program is a continuing effort to instruct and inform everyone about the protection of children from sexual abuse.  To report any past or present suspected inappropriate behavior toward children by priests, deacons, religious, lay ecclesial ministers or personnel associated with the Church, please contact the Diocesan Response Service Office at 216-334-2999 or via email at  You are also asked to immediately inform local authorities about inappropriate behavior. 


Diocesan Synodal Process

All the materials you will need for the Synodal process are available at .

Ministry to the Incarcerated

LEAF Ministry Advent Day of Reflection
December 12, 2021, 10am-3pm | Jesuit Retreat Center
The LEAF ministry invites all those who love someone who is incarcerated to a special day of reflection.  Enjoy time for quiet prayer, time to share with each other, a delicious meal and celebration of the Mass.  There is no charge for this event. RSVP to Judy at the Parish Life Office, 216-696-6525, ext. 3500 or by email, noting the number who will attend.

Office of Missionary Discipleship

Disciples Begetting Disciples: Imitating Christ
December 11, 2021, 8:30am – Noon | Center for Pastoral Leadership (Aula)
All are invited to join us as we look closely at what it means to imitate Christ as a missionary disciple and consider our baptismal call to be leaven in the world.  In honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12), please join us following the presentation for a simple luncheon featuring traditional Mexican foods prepared by the facilitator, Miguel Chavez.

Interfaith Office

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity | January 18-25, 2022
Priests, Deacons, Pastoral Ministers and Liturgical Coordinators are reminded that January 18-25, 2022 is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Please go to the website of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute to find resources including prayers, explanations, reflections and an ecumenical prayer service.

Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office

Visit Formation Night
Friday December 3, 6:30-8:30pm | Center for Pastoral Leadership
If you feel called to serve the Church as a lay person, consider formation and education to become certified as a Lay Ecclesial Minister for the Diocese of Cleveland. Come learn about the process for certification by joining our candidates for Evening Prayer, followed by time for additional information about the formation process and questions.  For further information or to RSVP, please contact the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office at (440) 943-7670 or email .

Office for Human Life

The Offices for Marriage & Family Ministry and Human Life will publish a new e-newsletter, starting in 2022. Sign up to receive it here.

Annual Diocesan Mass for Life
January 21, 2022, 10am | Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
In addition to the annual Mass, there will be two contests for school-aged children; details and advertising materials are available on our website. We kindly ask that you register online to attend so that we can plan accordingly. Contact Mary von Carlowitz with questions.

A Week for Life
A special media kit with videos and other resources will be available on our website starting Monday, December 13, in preparation for the Week for Life. Over the course of the week leading up to the Mass for Life, we will highlight the many ways we value life from conception to natural death. Each day of the week will include a new video and social media posting, culminating in the Mass for Life on Friday, January 21. We are releasing the videos and other resources ahead of time to allow youth ministers, parish catechetical leaders, school teachers, and parents to review the materials for personal use in their own settings that week (and throughout the year). Contact Mary von Carlowitz with questions.

Office for Marriage and Family Ministry

Marriage Mentor Training
February 26 and March 3, 10am - 3:30pm | St. Hilary Parish, Fairlawn
This training is for clergy-invited individuals to assist with marriage preparation or marriage mentoring. The $100 cost covers the Prepare-Enrich Facilitator materials and lunch for both days. If you have couples that you would like to be trained, please reach out to Terri Yohman.

Advent & Christmastide Resources
Visit our website for Advent and Christmastide liturgical resources your domestic churches (households) may use to celebrate the season. From antiphons and prayers to blessings, all of the resources are downloadable and easy to implement!

Blue Christmas Resource
Blue Christmas, also called the Longest Night, is a day in the Advent season marking the longest night of the year. On this day, some churches in Western Christianity hold a church service that honors people who have lost loved ones and are grieving. A downloadable resource is available on our website if you would like to host an event at your parish for those suffering loss this year.

Year of the Family
Marriage and Family Ministry offices in the Midwest region have developed a tool kit that will be available for download by January 2022, for parishes to use in planning a local celebration of the World Meeting of Families and the culmination of the Year of the Family. The kit will include event guidelines, planning tools, and suggested social media posts for three different celebration models/formats. The ambitious parish might even implement the entire tool kit! Please contact our office or visit our website for more information.

Family Perspectives for Advent are available on our website.

Office for Hispanic Ministry

Year of St. Joseph Celebration
December 4, 2021, 1-4pm | Sagrada Familia, Cleveland
Pope Francis proclaimed 2021 the Year of St. Joseph with special indulgences for participants. Join us as for a closing Mass and celebration at Sagrada Familia on December 4. We encourage participants to pray the rosary in their homes and / or parishes during the three days before (Dec 1-3) in preparation for this special celebration.

Synod Facilitator Training in Spanish
December 6, 2021, 7pm |Sagrada Familia, Cleveland
Facilitator training for the diocesan listening sessions taking place in parishes, schools, and Catholic organizations as part of the diocesan synodal process. Participants will learn how to lead the listening sessions and/or train others as small group facilitators. We will also share ideas for gathered sessions and other creative strategies.

For more information about these events, please contact Misael Mayorga at 216-374-9440, or by email.                 

Young Adult Ministry

Journeying to Christ - A Lakeshore Young Adults Advent Mission
Our newest young adult pod has launched in the Euclid area.  They are hosting a “floating mission” at 7pm on the Thursdays of Advent. Fr. Michael McCandless will kick off the event on December 2 at St. Jerome in Cleveland.   

  • December 2, St. Jerome, Cleveland (Theme: Prepare)
  • December 9, St John of the Cross, Euclid (Theme: Navigate)
  • December 16, Our Lady of the Lake, Euclid (Theme: Anticipate)
  • December 23, SS. Robert and William, Euclid (Theme: Arrive)

For more information, visit our website, and/or contact Brianna Wilson .

Service Project
St. Bridget of Kildare Parma and Mary Queen of the Apostles | Service Project - Care packages for Women’s Shelter | Event will be held at St. Bridget of Kildare, Parma December 11th 6:30-8pm .  | For more information please contact Dana Steimle, 440-886-1468 x17.


First Friday Club of Akron

Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, Bishop of the Eparchy of Parma | Friday, December 3, 2021 | Our Lady of Cedars, 507 South Cleveland Massillon Road, Fairlawn, OH 44333 | Registration and more information here .

First Friday Club of Cleveland
The First Friday Club of Cleveland, a forum for Catholic thought, founded in 1958, provides a wonderful opportunity for nourishment of mind and spirit. Come and listen to inspiring and thought provoking speakers as you enjoy a luncheon and the fellowship of friends and colleagues.

Dr. Ray Guarendi, Catholic Psychologist, Author and Speaker | Thursday, 2 December 2021, 12:00-1:00 p.m. | The City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44114 | | Registration and more information 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.  Please note: JRC no longer offers Pre-Baptism classes.

Calix AA Men’s Retreat | Friday, December 17, 5:30pm - Sunday, December 19, 11:30am |  George B. and Patrick M. | $200

December Morning Prayer for Women | Monday, December 20 from 9:30 - 11:00am | Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, SC | $10

Cinema & Conversation: It's a Wonderful Life | Monday, December 20 from 7:00 - 9:00pm | Free Will Offering

A New Year’s Eve Retreat at JRC – “See, I Am Doing A New Thing” | Friday, December 31, 5:30pm - Saturday, January 1, 11:30am | Bill Hobbs | $100

Submissions for the next Memorandum should be made to Ann Marie Perkins by the 7th of the preceding month. Guidelines for submissions are available here.

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