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Offices Chancellor Diocesan Memorandum December 2023

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Diocesan Memorandum

December, 2023 | Vol. 57, no. 12 | Prot. No. C-45/2023

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
“The annual appeal for the Retired Fund for Religious will encourage donations on December 9th and 10th throughout the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and throughout the rest of the country. The additional collection will provide much needed support for senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests whose communities lack sufficient retirement funding. For most of their lives, the elder religious worked for little to no pay. There were no 401(k) plans or pensions. Many religious communities do not have enough retirement savings and struggle to provide for aging members. Monetary donations will also assist with medications, nursing care, and so much more. Please give to those who have given a lifetime.”

Office for Worship

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 aid here (under the category “Liturgical Year and Calendar”).

January 2023 Liturgical Calendar
The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, will be celebrated on Monday, January 1, 2024; however, the obligation is lifted this year. 

The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. is celebrated on January 15th.  Fr. John Judie from the Archdiocese of Louisville will celebrate the 12:00 pm Mass at the Cathedral in observance of the day.  Prayers for the end of racial discrimination may be included in the intercessory prayers for the day.  The prayers for Mass may be taken from the Mass “For the Preservation of Peace and Justice” (see #30, alt). 

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins Thursday, January 18th.  Specific intentions from the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions may be inserted into the General Intercessions at Mass: from the Mass for the Unity of Christians (#17), For the Evangelization of Peoples (#18), and For Persecuted Christians (#19).  Prayer services with other Christians would also be appropriate, see Book of Blessings 553-573, or Household Book of Blessings 133.

In 2019, Pope Francis declared that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God. Parish communities are encouraged to find their own ways to mark January 21, 2024, Sunday of the Word of God, with a certain solemnity. 

The Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children is Monday, January 22. On this anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade (1973), all dioceses of the United States observe a "day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion". The Mass "For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life" (#48/1A or B) from Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions may be celebrated with white vestments, or the Mass "For the Preservation of Peace and Justice" (#30) with violet vestments.

The annual diocesan Mass for Life will be celebrated Friday, January 19, at the Cathedral at 10:00 am. 


Angel Scholarship Fund Year-End Promotional Messaging
Encourage year-end giving at your school and parish by utilizing one or more of our new 2023 year-end messages in your bulletin, newsletter, as a pulpit announcement, or as an e-blast. This marketing effort could be exactly what your school or parish needs to reach its 2023 ASF fundraising goal. Year-end messaging can be found in the ASF Marketing Toolkit. Please contact Fred Roberts, 216-902-1312 with any questions.

2023 Catholic Charities Appeal – over $14 million pledged as of October 31.  

Solicitation Letter: Our fourth and final letter of 2023 hit households the week of November 13. This letter emphasized supporting the hungry and homeless population throughout the diocese. For every dollar donated, three 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 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 2024 Appeal will take place in all parishes Feb. 10-11 with the Follow Up Appeal occurring June 1-2. Contact Sarah Gozur at or 216-696-6525 x1910 with questions.

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 2023, 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 Mary Lou Ozimek of the Catholic Community Foundation at 216-696-6525 x 4070 or visit

#weGIVECATHOLIC - Northeast Ohio’s Online Day of Catholic Giving
This year's #weGIVECATHOLIC, Northeast Ohio’s Online Day of Catholic Giving, was a huge success. The Catholic Community Foundation would like to recognize all of the diocesan, parish, and school employees and volunteers who ran campaigns with the 240+ participating organizations. We could not have done it without your support. Be on the lookout for a full report in January's memorandum.  


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 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 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)

Please note, we are only able to take requests from Diocesan clergy. Clergy who are either extern priests or deacons or from a religious order must contact their own diocese/religious community for a letter of suitability.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact the Office of Clergy and Religious at 216-696-6525 x2440 or x2930.

Please be aware, 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 Wednesday, December 20, 2023 to Tuesday, January 2, 2024, to please submit your requests by Monday, December 18th. However, if you are in need of a Letter of Suitability for an emergency or funeral during this time period, please email Fr. Joe Mamich. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


We encourage parishes to put the following announcement and the attached flyer in their bulletins during the month of December.

Bulletin announcement:

The Diocese of Cleveland invites our Catholic Schools, Parish Catechetical Programs, and Homeschool Communities to participate in an art contest during the Parish Year of the Eucharistic Revival.


Eucharistic Revival

Eucharistic Revival Asian Celebration| Sunday, December 3, 2-5pm | St. Clarence, N. Olmsted
During this Parish Year of Eucharistic Revival, the Asian Catholic Community will gather for a reflection on our Revival theme, “Gathered, Blessed, Broken, Shared” followed by the celebration of Holy Eucharist. Our guest presenter is National Eucharistic Preacher, Fr. Binh Nguyen from the Society of the Divine Word and Chaplain of the Eucharistic Youth Movement. All are welcome. Learn more

National Eucharistic Congress
Members of the diocesan team for the Eucharistic Revival have been traveling to the districts to discuss the discernment and selection process for our diocesan delegation to the National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024. Because there are a limited number of tickets available for delegates, we encourage parishes to organize their own pilgrimage groups. Families and individuals are also encouraged to attend on their own. Tickets are available at Click on the “Congress” tab at the top of the page.

Additional Updates

  • A daily schedule for the National Eucharistic Congress is live. You can now explore what this incredible experience will look like day by day. Scroll through the updated schedule to see many powerful opportunities for encounters with Christ through prayer and the sacraments. And check back in January when even more details are announced.
  • Do you want to be a part of the Congress but can’t make the full 5-day experience? Participate as much as you can with day and weekend passes.This new option will be available for purchase in January 2024.
  • Due to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, prices have dropped for some Congress passes. Families can now bring children 12 and under for free.
  • Thousands of Catholics who otherwise would not be able to afford the trip will receive passes sponsored by the Solidarity Fund. Click here to be notified when the applications open in January 2024.

Black Catholic Ministries

Live Youth Nativity Scene | December 14, 6-8pm | St. Aloysius, Cleveland
Come out to St. Aloysius Church to enjoy and engage in the true meaning of Christmas. Hosted and enacted by St. Aloysius Elementary School students, the Live Nativity Scene will also include the Diocesan Youth Praise Dancers from St. Agnes/OLOF, a selection from the St. Mary’s Elementary School Gospel Choir, St. Adalbert Altar Servers, and members of Holy Spirit Youth Club. Live animals will be in the stable; the camel’s presence will be weather dependent.   The guards will accept your donations at the gate.

Hispanic Ministry

"Marriages of Hope” Retreat | Saturday, December 2, 9am-7pm & Sunday, December 3, 9am-4pm | Sacred Heard Chapel, Lorain
For more information, please contact Misael Mayorga at 216-696-6525 ext. 2530.

Human Life Office

Moving Forward after Issue 1
On behalf of Bishops Malesic and Woost, and the Office for Human Life, I want to extend heartfelt thanks for all the concerted efforts, countless hours of education, vigils, homilies, and passionate advocacy through the efforts of each of our pastors, priests and parish communities, and their endeavors to defend the right to life by advocating against Issue 1. Moved by your deep faith, self-sacrifice, and energy, it has been a privilege to work with all of you throughout this campaign.

Although we are all disheartened by the outcome of the election, we will never cease doing what we do best... More than changing laws, we want to use our ministry to change the culture through our witness of love. We want to save lives (especially eternal ones). Be assured, that our focus continues to be on forming, informing, and accompanying women and families from throughout the entire life journey from conception through natural death. We will work harder to share all the incredible support networks that already exist throughout our diocese, so that no woman or girl must ever seek to end the life of her child. Make certain to bookmark the pregnancy resources page on our website. Together, we will prove that God, that life, wins in the end. We are here to ‘Protect Them Both.’

Mass for Life
Mark your calendars for the Mass for Life on Friday, January 19 at 10:00 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Look for more information to follow, as all high schools, elementary schools, and home schoolers are invited to celebrate life and commemorate what would have been the 51stanniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Lay Ecclesial Ministry

Finding Meaning & Accompaniment in Suffering | December 2, 10am-12pm | Center for Pastoral Leadership, Wickliffe
In this workshop, Kara Yoder, PCC Counselor will help identify the impact of our own losses to better prepare to minister to others. More details here.

If you or someone in your parish currently working in a leadership position is interested in pursuing certification for the Lay Ecclesial Ministry program, find more information on our website or email Michelle Nowak, Director to discuss the program further.

Marriage & Family Ministry

St. Lucy’s Day | December 13
The Xavier Society for the Blind provides resources for those with visual impairments. The organization commemorates St. Lucy on her feast day every year, as she is a patron of the blind.   They provide free religious, spiritual, and inspirational reading materials in braille for children and adults. Bulletin editors can share the website and resources in their bulletin.

Blue Christmas Resources
Blue Christmas is a Western Christian tradition to help comfort fellow parishioners that are grieving and struggling to find joy and hope during the season. A toolkit is available on our website that can be edited for your parish’s needs.

Retrouvaille | January 26-28 | Cleveland, OH
We strongly encourage parishes to share information about Retrouvaille in the parish bulletin, especially over the holiday season. Visit the website for more details on registration. We will help sponsor a couple if there is a financial need.

Jubilee Mass for Married Couples | Sunday, June 9, 2024, 2pm | Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
Please have this published in your parish bulletin at least twice between now and June. Visit our website for more info. Any clergy interested in concelebrating the Mass can email Erin Marie Raines in the MFM office.

Youth Ministry

Youth Minister Bootcamp: Divorce Care for Teens with Luke Brown, LPCC | December 14, 10am-12pm | St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Parma
Join Luke Brown, LPCC, therapist and founder of Sacred Heart Counseling, as he helps us learn how to better care for tweens and teens affected by divorce. Find more details and register here by December 11.

Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap West | December 19, 7pm | Forest City Brewery, Tremont
Sr. John Paul Myers, O.P., “On Hope in Advent” | Cost: $5 | Register here.

Theology on Tap East | December 20, 7pm | Bar Louie, Lyndhurst
Brittany and Brian Liberatore, “What do we wish we knew about marriage?” | Cost is $5 for under 21, $7 for 21+ | Register here.


Young Catholic Professionals, Cleveland Chapter
St. Joseph Saturday Retreat | Saturday, December 16, 2023 | St. Christopher Parish | 20141 Detroit Road, Rocky River | Bp. Michael Woost | Click here for registration.

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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.


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