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Offices Chancellor Diocesan Memorandum December 2022

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Diocesan Memorandum

December, 2022 | Vol. 56, no. 12 | Prot. No. C-48/2022

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.



The Retirement Fund for Religious is an annual collection that raises funds that are distributed to religious communities throughout the eight counties of the diocese and across the country. 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. The in pew collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be December 10 – 11, 2022. Donations are also accepted online .

You are encouraged to give to those who have given a lifetime by donating to this collection. Your generosity provides vital support and helps to ensure ongoing viability for religious communities. Most importantly, please pray for God’s blessing on all religious. Rest assured, they are praying for you.

Office for Worship

Revised Order of Penance

In June 2021, the USCCB approved a new English translation of the Order of Penance for use in the dioceses of the United States. A decree of promulgation was issued in June of this year, permitting use of the new translation beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Use of the new translation is mandatory beginning with Divine Mercy Sunday, April 16, 2023. After that date, no other English translation of the rite may be used.

The new ritual book provides options for invitation to the Sacrament at the beginning of the rite, options for Scripture readings, various versions of the Act of Contrition, and optional dismissal texts. Priests should pay special note to the minor modifications the new translation makes to the Prayer of Absolution:

God, the Father of mercies,
through the Death and Resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and poured out [from “sent”] the Holy Spirit for [from “Spirit among us for”] the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God grant [from “give”] you pardon and peace.
And I absolve you from your sins,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. 

Pre-orders of the new ritual book are available from these publishers:

Catholic Book Publishing Corp.

Liturgy Training Publications


Midwest Theological Forum

A free webinar from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions on the revised rite is available here.

Advent & Christmas Liturgical Preparation Aid

The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions has made available a free booklet to help prepare liturgies during the Advent and Christmas seasons. Download the aide in English and Spanish here. 

December 2022 Liturgical Calendar
Recently added by Pope Francis to the Roman Calendar (2019), the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto, December 10, recalls the mystery of the Incarnation. Since the Middle Ages, veneration for the Holy House of Loreto has powerfully illustrated the evangelical virtues of the Holy Family.

Different translations of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Litany of Loreto, are available and may be used by the faithful. The USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship has offered one English translation, which is also available on the Office for Worship website.

January 2023 Liturgical Calendar
The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, is celebrated on Sunday, January 1. Vigil Masses for the Solemnity may be celebrated after 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 31. Although this day coincides with the Special Day of Prayer for World Justice and Peace in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, the Mass for the Preservation of Peace and Justice may not be used on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, as noted in the Ordo

In 2019, Pope Francis announced that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God. Parish communities may determine how best to mark January 22, 2023 as Sunday of the Word of God.

The Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children is Monday, January 23. The annual diocesan Mass for Life will be celebrated on Friday, January 20, at the Cathedral at 10:00 a.m. Attendance is limited to pre-registered high school or parish groups. Registration is first-come, first-served. The Mass will be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person. Please reference the regional Ordo for liturgical options for readings and orations.


An updated flyer is available which explains the role for the diocesan tribunal. Please download and print, and make available to those who may be interested in the ministry of the tribunal.


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 2022, know that we gratefully accept gifts of cash and appreciated assets such as stocks or bonds. 

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

2022 Catholic Charities Appeal – a total of $12,549,815 been raised as of 31 October.

Solicitation Letter: Our fourth and final letter of 2022 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.

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 2023 Appeal will take place in all parishes Feb. 18-19 with the Follow Up Appeal on June 3-4. Email Sarah Gozur or call 216-696-6525 x1910 with questions.


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. Please note that there is a separate letter of suitability request for pilgrimages outside the United States.

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 their mailing address, as well as their Bishops’ full name i.e. Bishop David J. Bonnar, not Bishop Bonnar)
  • The beginning and ending dates of this ministry
  • 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 or x2440.

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 between Sunday, December 18, 2022 to Monday, January 2, 2023, to please get in your requests by Wednesday, December 14th. However, if you are in need of a Letter of Suitability for an emergency or funeral during this time period, please contact Fr. Dan Schlegel. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Angel Scholarship Fund
There is still time this year for every Ohio Taxpayer to benefit while supporting Catholic schools through the Angel Scholarship Fund. Thanks to Ohio’s new tax credit scholarship program, taxpayers can contribute up to $750 for individuals or $1,500 married filing jointly by the end of 2022 and receive it all back as a credit when filing taxes next spring. Donors can designate the school at which the funds will be used or give to the area of greatest need. Must donate by December 31, 2022 to qualify. Click here for complete details.

A customizable Fall/Winter 2022 Marketing Calendar can be downloaded from the ASF Marketing Toolkit. Congratulations to 100 schools on securing designated ASF contributions. More than $1 million has been contributed so far in 2022, and we still have the opportunity for a strong close this month. Designated ASF Contribution Reports were emailed on November 15th to schools with designated contributions; these reports list all designated ASF contributions (except anonymous donors). Reports will continue to be sent on or around the 15th of each month. 


Eucharistic Revival

Video Testimonies of the Eucharist
During the Presbyteral Convocation in October, several priests recorded video testimonies answering the question, “What does the Eucharist mean to me?” Starting Thanksgiving Day, we will be dropping a new video each day up and through Christmas on all our diocesan social media pages. As you watch these videos, we hope you are inspired by the testimonies, and that they will help you fall more deeply in love with Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. Please follow us and share using the hashtag #EucharistCLE.

Billboard Campaign
To celebrate the Eucharistic Revival, we have also rented 33 billboards in all eight counties that reside within the Diocese of Cleveland. The billboards feature quotes about the Eucharist from Saints and famous Catholics through our 2,000 years of Catholic tradition, going all the way back to Jesus himself. They reveal the truth of Jesus the Son of God and his true presence in the Eucharist. We hope you will share your excitement of seeing these billboards. When you see the signs, we encourage you to share pictures of them through social media and tag us at #EucharistCLE. The Billboards will be up for four weeks through the entire season of Advent. Please use them as conversation starters to invite people back to church, or to consider becoming Catholic for the first time.

Bl. Carlo Eucharistic Miracles Display
The next exhibition will be held at Mary Queen of Peace in Old Brooklyn from December 26, 2022 – January 9, 2023. To sign up to host the display, visit our website.

Virtual Orientation: Parish Year of the Eucharistic Revival | January 18, 1:30 – 3 pm
The Parish Year of the Eucharistic Revival will begin on the Feast of Corpus Christi in June 2023. To kick off the Parish Year, we are inviting all parishes to organize a Eucharistic Procession. We will be offering a virtual orientation to discuss the logistics for organizing the procession, as well as other initiatives for the Parish Year of the Eucharistic Revival. Please register at

Black Catholic Ministries

In consultation with the new director, Sr. Jane Nesmith, SBS, the Office for Ministry with African American Catholics has been renamed the Office of Black Catholic Ministries to reflect the broader scope of the ministries which will be offered to parishes and schools.

National Black Catholic Congress
On Saturday, 29 October 2022, the Office of Black Catholic Ministries held a day of reflection in preparation for the 13th National Black Catholic Congress. The synthesis report is available on our website.

The National Black Catholic Congress will take place on July 20-23, 2023 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center located in National Harbor, MD. For more information, please contact Sr. Jane.

Child Protection

The Child Protection Office just completed the annual USCCB on-site audit. Thank you for all of your support in maintaining safe environments for our children. The auditors recognize that it is crucial for each parish to have a VIRTUS Local Administrator. This person is responsible for making sure all employees and volunteers are compliant with our policies. Some parishes did not name a local administrator when returning the Annual Audit Compliance form.

We set up virtual, one-hour trainings for new administrators at least twice per week and we can add sessions as needed. The training clarifies all the requirements for up-to-date record-keeping and compliance. Notify Sharon Minson or Debbie Morris, to schedule a training session if you’re new to the role.

Hispanic Ministry

Encuentro Matrimonial “Matrimonios De Esperanza” Retiro | Matrimonial Encounter “Marriages of Hope” Retreat

December 3 & 4, 2022 | 9:00am-6:00pm | St. Mary, 242 N. State St. Painesville, OH 44077

Aproveche esta oportunidad de crecer grandemente en el área del encuentro personal, con el matrimonio y Dios. | Take advantage of this opportunity to grow greatly in the area of personal encounter, with marriage and God. For more information, please contact Misael Mayorga.

Lay Ecclesial Ministry

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in Pastoral Care: Emotional Self-Regulation | Saturday, December 3, 9:00am-Noon | Center for Pastoral Leadership

Learn cognitive restructuring and mindfulness as pathways to greater wisdom and stress management. Fostering greater emotional intelligence will increase your confidence in ministering to God’s people. Register at

Marriage & Family Ministry

Catholics for Family Peace
Fostering awareness and education about domestic violence is critical for our parishes. Catholics for Family Peace has extensive downloadable resources in English and Spanish for signage and bulletin inserts as well as homily tips. Click here for valuable resources.

The MFM office has coordinated a support group for those grieving a loss to suicide this past fall with Cornerstone of Hope Counselors. If your local parish/s or geographic region is interested in hosting and could fill 10-15 spots, please reach out to Terri Yohman for details.

Women’s Health/Fertility Awareness
Veranova Health Clinic has opened a new clinic at 7379 Pearl Road in Middleburg Heights. Click here for more details about their offerings.

Natural Family Planning
Holy Rosary is offering Natural Fertility Planning sessions for those struggling with infertility or choosing Natural Family Planning. It begins January 14 and registration can be found here: NEO-NFP.

The office is also rebuilding resources and contacts within the diocese to further awareness and education around this important topic. Please email Maria if you have information or are interested in more details.

Marriage Mentoring/Enrichment
Marriage Mentor Training will be hosted at St Gabriel parish, Concord, in February. There are three levels of Marriage Mentoring that are vital to preparing our couples for marriage, as well as supporting current marriages. Priests and Deacons can review the discernment page here about qualifications. If you are interested in hosting or supporting your current Marriage Mentors, please email Terri to get started.

Nicole Melchi, Gottman therapist, and her husband have organized an interactive presentation to help with communication skills among families and co-workers as well. If your parish is interested in hosting next spring, please email Terri to set up a date.

Office of Youth Ministry

YM Bootcamp: Youth Ministry Resources | December 14, 1-3pm, St Basil the Great Parish
Wondering what is out there to help you do effective youth ministry with 6th-12th graders? Representatives from different youth ministry organizations will present on resources they offer, including Alpha Youth, Life Teen, ProjectYM, YDisciple, and more.

Join us for this Youth Minister Bootcamp formation event. While YM Bootcamp is designed for newer youth ministers, even 5+ year veterans can benefit from a refresher and the collective wisdom of the group as we discuss these important topics. Register by December 12.

Turning the Tide: A Series on Mental Health | Jan 18, Jan 25, Feb 1, 10:00 am – Noon | St. Charles Borromeo Parish
We are all well aware of the need for good mental health, for ourselves and for those to whom we minister. Please mark your calendar to join the Office of Youth Ministry for this three-part series to discuss how we can better serve our teens in this area. Check out Springtide Research's most recent report: The State of Religion & Young People 2022: Mental Health–What Faith Leaders Need to Know. Register by January 13.

Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap | December 20, 7 pm | Forest City Brewery, Cleveland

Sr. Anna Rose Ciarrone, T.O.R., will speak on preparing our hearts in hope during the season of Advent. Look for registration information on our website.


Disability Services & Ministries

National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) Formation Classes
The NCPD helps persons with disabilities and their families find a home in the Church, and informs parishes of the many strategies, big and small, that will help make their parishes more accessible. Check out their formation classes: Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities; Sensory Friendly Masses; Five Tasks of Catechesis for Diverse Learners; and Parish Based Mental Health Ministry. Email or call Megan Bonilla, Catholic Charities Disability Services & Ministries Advocate and Services Coordinator, at 216-939-3869 if you are interested in learning how to be more inclusive in your parish.


[Please visit our website for the most updated schedule of events and the Bereavement page for details about our Grief Support offerings.]

Free In-Office and Virtual Monthly Grief Support: 3rd Sunday of every month (*4th Sunday, if the 3rd Sunday falls on a holiday)

Catholic Cemeteries Association continues to offer free monthly in-office and virtual grief support groups. In a comfortable and supportive environment, you’ll find a warm fellowship of people with similar grief experiences led by trained Ministers of Consolation. The groups are open discussion around a monthly topic or whatever is on your heart. If you attend grief support at another organization, consider ours a free source of additional support. Come. Listen. Be in the presence of those who understand. RSVP’s are appreciated but not required to attend.

3:00 – 4:00 pm IN-OFFICE (Cemetery main office buildings):

  • All Saints, Northfield | 480 W. Highland Road
  • All Souls, Chardon | 10366 Chardon Road
  • Calvary Cleveland | 10000 Miles Avenue
  • Holy Cross, Akron | 100 E Waterloo Road
  • Holy Cross, Brook Park | 14609 Brook Park Road
  • St. Joseph, Avon | 32789 Detroit Road

5:00 – 6:00 pm (Virtual, via Zoom):

Registration is free and open to anyone seeking bereavement support in a virtual setting. Join by computer or by phone. Register (in advance of the meeting) here with your email address to receive login instructions and download the handout materials. For more information, contact Rhonda at 216-930-4866.

“A Closer Walk With Thee” – CCA Monthly Grief Support E-Newsletter:
Subscribe to Catholic Cemeteries Association’s monthly grief support e-newsletter, “A Closer Walk with Thee”. This helpful grief resource is emailed the first Tuesday of each month to any family/individual who has expressed an interest in our bereavement programs. To subscribe, go to the signup form or contact Rhonda at 216-930-4866.


Christmas Eve Sensory Friendly Mass | St. Augustine Church, Cleveland | Click here for more information.

THEOLOGY ON THE ROCKS WEST - For Adults 40 & Over|
Fr. Joe Koopman, Professor of Moral Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary will discuss BioEthics.| Monday, December 12, 7:00 p.m. | LaCentre (25777 Detroit Rd., Westlake. Click here for more information and to register in advance.

First Friday Club of Akron
Will and Liz Yoho, Speaking on Their experiences of being Extras is the Biblical Drama, ‘The Chosen’ | Friday, December 2, 2022 | Our Lady of Cedars, 507 South Cleveland Massillon Rd., Fairlawn, OH 44333 | Registration and more information here.

First Friday Club of Cleveland
Bishop Roger Gries | Thursday, December 1, 2022 | 11:30 am – 1:00 pm | The City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Ave., Cleveland OH 44114 | Registration and 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. 

With Joyful Hope: An Advent Evening with Ignatian Spirituality Project | Thursday, December 1, 6:00 - 7:30pm | FREE

Advent: Ignatian Reflection & Luncheon - Encounter Advent, Deepen your Prayer, Ignatian Spirituality | Tuesday, December 6, 10:30am - 12:30pm | Fr. Paul O’Connor, SJ | $40

Ancient Practices for a Modern World. Part I - Advent Session | Thursday, December 8, 8:30am - 3:30pm | Bill Hobbs | $40

December Sabbath Days - a Personal Retreat Day | Wednesday, December 14, 8:30am - 3:30pm | $50

Calix AA Men's Recovery Retreat | Friday, December 16, 5:30pm - Sunday, December 18, 11:30am | $225

December Morning Prayer for Women | Monday, December 19, 9:30 - 11:00am | Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, SC | Registration not required, walk-ins welcome.

Cinema & Conversation: A Christmas Carol (1999) | Monday, December 19, 7:00 - 9:00pm | Registration not required, free will offering.

* * *

Submissions for the next Memorandum should be made to Ann Marie Perkins by the 12th of the preceding month. Guidelines for submissions are available here.

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