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Offices Chancellor Diocesan Memorandum February 2021

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Diocesan Memorandum

February, 2021 | Vol. 55, no. 2 | Prot. No. C-5/2021

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.




Black and Indian Mission Collection | February 20-21, 2021
The weekend of February 20-21, 2021 is designated for the Annual Collection for the Black and Indian Missions here in the United States.  Pope Francis reminds us in Lumen Fidei (51), “Faith helps us build our societies in such a way that they can journey towards a future of hope.” 

During this weekend which is the first weekend of Lent our parishes will take up the 134thannual National Black and Indian Mission Collection.  Your support of this collection helps build the Church in our African American and Native American communities from coast to coast (including our diocese, which received a substantial grant which funded projects here).  Parish Religious education programs, evangelization projects, youth & young adult outreach efforts and diocesan ministries depend on your generosity to help us spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Any parish who is interested in submitting a grant proposal for an evangelization project, please call the Parish Life Office at 216-696-6525, ext. 3500 for an application and criteria. Applications are due to Cary Dabney no later than April 19, 2021. Please email Cary for questions or additional information or call 216-696-6525, ext. 3020.

Office for Worship

Spiritus Domini released, allowing for the ritual Institution of women to Lector and Acolyte

Pope Francis’s motu proprio, Spiritus Domini, was released on January 11, 2021.  You may have seen news articles of varying degrees of accuracy on this document in the secular media.  This motu proprio was the result of years of discussion flowing from synodal documents, and involves a change to canon 230 §1.  The motu proprio itself may be read on the Vatican website; a letter further explaining the theological significance of the motu proprio may also be found on the Vatican website.

Rooting the ministries in the universal baptismal call and not in relation to sacramental ordination, the Pope wrote, “to offer to lay persons of both sexes the possibility of accessing the ministries of acolyte and lector, in virtue of their participation in the priesthood of the baptized, the awareness will grow, through a liturgical act [of institution] as well, of the precious contribution that many lay persons, including women, have been offering for some time in the life and mission of the Church.”  He concludes, “the decision to confer these offices even on women, which entails stability, public recognition, and a mandate on the part of the bishop, will make more effective everyone’s participation in the work of evangelization.”

Institution to the stable ministries lector or acolyte is not necessarily meant for every lay person who is currently a reader or altar server in their parish. Criteria for expanding these ministries—which are currently received almost exclusively by those preparing for the priesthood and diaconate—would need to be developed by each episcopal conference and diocesan bishop. At this time, there is no clear indication of when any change may occur or what the result would be.

March 2021 Liturgical Calendar Reminders:

The Diocesan Evening of Confession has been canceled for this pandemic year 2021.  Parishes should continue to ensure that the faithful have suitable opportunities for sacramental confession. 

The Solemnity of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is celebrated on Friday, March 19, 2021; however, this solemnity is not a holyday of obligation.  A Vigil Mass for St. Joseph may be celebrated Thursday, March 18 after 4:00 p.m.  Masses celebrating St. Joseph are to be celebrated on Friday, March 19.

The Solemnity of the Annunciation is celebrated on Thursday, March 25, 2021; however, this solemnity is not a holyday of obligation.  A Vigil Mass for the Annunciation may be celebrated Wednesday, March 24 after 4:00 p.m.  Masses celebrating the Annunciation are to be celebrated on Thursday, March 25. 

The diocesan Chrism Mass is historically celebrated on the Tuesday of Holy Week, which falls on March 30, 2021.  Given the ongoing pandemic, it is likely that attendance will be limited.  Please monitor diocesan communications, and plan to join in prayer via livestream. 

August 2021 Liturgical Calendar Notes:

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated on Sunday, August 15, 2021.  Vigil Masses for the Assumption are to be celebrated after 4:00 pm on Saturday, August 14.  Masses on Sunday, August 15 should be for the Solemnity. 

Weddings Within the Mass of the Day may be celebrated on Solemnities.  Please reference this online chart for more information.


2021 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal

$1 Million Match Challenge continues! Give now and Double your Impact.

UPDATE: Parish In-Pew Appeal has been moved to 20-21 February

Due to COVID restrictions, this year’s appeal will have additional resources available for the planning and implementation of the in-pew appeal. Watch for an email invitation to parish staff and volunteers with a link to join a training session.

Virtual Preview Meetings: 1 Feb., 10-11 am or 3 Feb., 2-3 pm

13-14 February: Announcement Weekend: All parishes are asked to use the preprinted Bulletin Inserts received in their parish kits and the Announcements and Prayers of the Faithful available at

20-21 February: Commitment Weekend: All parishes are asked to conduct the In-Pew Appeal this weekend with the pastor speaking from the pulpit and facilitating the completion of pledge envelopes.

Convenient, no contact ways to give:

Catholic Lawyers Guild

Lawyers Guild Scholarship
Applications for the Martin T. Galvin Memorial Scholarship for high school students pursuing a Catholic education are available to students through Digital Academy or on the Lawyers Guild website: Applications are due 15 March.

The Annual Lenten Reflection with Bishop Malesic for Lawyers Guild members will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, 3 March at 6:00 pm. The event is free to all members and a guest. For more information, please contact Colleen Rigo at 216-696-6525 x4080 or visit


Tabor Fund Grant Awards
Tabor applications are available for the 2021A cycle at Awards are intended to provide an opportunity for ministers to refresh and/or re-energize their spirituality, faith, mind, and/or physical well-being as part of fostering personal development and improving their ministry. The application deadline is 15 March.


The IRS has released the 2021 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rate for the use of a car for business miles driven is 56 cents per mile, down 1.5 cents from the rate for 2020.  More details can be found on the IRS website .

Fraudulent Unemployment Claims are possible!  If you receive a request from ACR (Associated Compensation Resources) to complete a questionnaire such as a Request for Separation Information or a Notice of Account Personal Identification Number (PIN) from ODJFS for one of your employees that did not file for unemployment, please respond: Claimant has not applied for any unemployment benefits.  FRAUD.  Please forward via email as soon as possible to Cathy Slezak at ACR to allow the matter to be investigated appropriately or call her at 216-731-8215. 


Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future- Join the Secretariat for Parish Life and Development in a virtual book discussion for Lent. We will offer discussion groups for Clergy and Pastoral leaders on Pope Francis’ Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future. In this book, Pope Francis explores what the COVID crisis can teach us about how to handle upheaval of any kind in our own lives and the world at large. Discussion groups will be held weekly on two days. Register for either Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00p.m.beginning February 16 OR Wednesdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m. beginning February 17, on our website.

Office for the Protection of Children

For all of us who are interested in and committed to keeping our kids safe and helping victims/survivors thrive in the Catholic Church, the USCCB's Child and Youth Protection Office has recently recorded a podcast with theologian Dr. John Sheveland from Gonzaga University.  Dr. Sheveland provides ideas for healing in a post-traumatic Church. Listen on Soundcloud or Apple Podcasts.

Office of Ministry to African American Catholics

For just over 15 years, a collaborative of African-American parishes across the Diocese of Cleveland have annually held a 3-day Lenten Revival. Due to the continuing restrictions of COVID-19, the celebration will not be held in the traditional setting this year. The Office of Ministry to African American Catholics will offer an alternative way to observe the annual celebration. Details will be available in the coming weeks on our website. For more information, contact Mr. Cary Dabney by email or at 216-696-6525 ext. 3020.

Office of Hispanic Ministry

The Diocesan Office of Hispanic offers the Matrimonios Exitosos (Successful Marriages) program. A marriage enrichment program for married couples and those living together, as well as couples preparing for marriage. This program is a comprehensive resource for marriages in crisis and for strengthening healthy marriages and families. Contact Misael Mayorga for more information by email or at 216-696-6525, ext.4300.                               

Marriage and Family Ministry Office

National Marriage Week and World Marriage Day- Beginning February 7th and ending with World Marriage Day on February 14th, join the USCCB in celebrating National Marriage Week. This year’s theme “To Have, To Hold, To Honor” focuses on building a culture of life and love. Find resources in English and Spanish including homily suggestions, flyers, prayers for those who are married and prayers of the faithful here.

Family Perspectives - Please consult the Ordinary Time I resource in last month’s diocesan memorandum for weekly devotions through February 14th. The Lent and Holy Week resource in this month’s memorandum for weekly devotions through March 28th is also available on our website. If your parish would like a direct copy of the Family Perspectives each cycle, please sign up for our Family Perspectives email distribution list using this form. Questions? Email Jason Lewis.   

Survey Results - In October 2020, the Office of Marriage and Family Ministry (MFM) conducted a survey of clergy and ministry leaders to assess and prioritize aspects of the work of the office in the following pastoral areas: Leadership Development and Training; Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage; Marriage Enrichment; Family Enrichment; Pastoral Care; Promoting Ministry with Different Cultural Families; Family Planning Education And Support. The survey response was very positive with 169 surveys completed. Download the report here.

Missionary Discipleship Office

All are invited to join us for Livestream Prayer and Meditation on the Parish Life Facebook page:

  • Daily Morning Prayer - using Shorter Christian Prayer, Monday through Friday at 8:45a.m., during Lent.
  • First Friday Rosary Meditation - every first Friday at 12:30 p.m. 

Young Adult Ministry Office

The Office of Young Adult Ministry would like to connect with parishes that have active young adult ministry groups to better connect them with other young adult groups in their area and throughout the diocese.  Mike Hayes is calling identified young adult ministers to connect with them and to begin the process of connecting them to one another.  Feel free to reach out to Mike to discuss how your parish is already ministering to young adults and what additional support the diocese can provide, by email or cell 646-671-3671.

Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office

Summer 2021 Canon Law Course - Anyone interested in future Procurator Training is encouraged to participate in the summer 2021 course in Canon Law. An information meeting will be held on Friday, April 9, 2021, at the Center for Pastoral Leadership from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. with course instructor Lynette Tait, who serves as a Judge on the Diocesan Tribunal. If you are interested in or have questions, contact Lynette at 216-696-6525, ext. 4000. To sign up for the information session, contact Pattie Batchman by email or at 440-943-7669.

Interested in, or have questions about, lay ecclesial ministry? – If you seek to deepen your relationship with Christ, have a desire to know more about our Catholic teachings and traditions, and desire to work for, with, and in the name of the Church you may be called to lay ecclesial ministry. For more information about becoming a certified Lay Ecclesial Minister, contact Pattie Batchman by email or at 440-943-7669.


Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) 2021 CCHD Local Grant Applications Available

The 2021 Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Local Grant applications, including the Local Youth and Young Adult Grant and the Local Community Grant are now available.  The local grants include awards of up to $5,000. We are also accepting nominations for the Fr. David Fallon awards, which include awards of up to $500.

CCHD grants are awarded to parishes and organizations that are working to empower people who are poor and low-income to build better communities and alleviate poverty while promoting the values of Catholic Social Teaching.  These groups work to change social structures and policies which undermine life and dignity, especially for the poor and powerless.

Any organization within the Diocese of Cleveland that complies with the CCHD application criteria and guidelines may apply. Organizations do not have to be Catholic or affiliated with the Catholic Church but must be in union with all CCHD criteria and guidelines.

All applications are due by Friday, April 16, 2021.  Grant Applications and timelines can be found here. For more information contact Jon Gromek, CCHD Diocesan Director


[Please visit our website for the most updated schedule of events.]

The Catholic Cemeteries Association will be hosting a special Virtual Sunday Grief Support Group on Sunday, February 21 at 5pm. This new support group, hosted via Zoom, will cover the same material as our in-person Sunday Grief Support Groups. February's topics are: Experiencing God's Loving Embrace & Preparing Our Grieving Hearts for Lent.   Registration is free and open to anyone seeking bereavement support.  Register for our virtual Sunday Grief Support group here.   For more information, contact Rhonda or at 216-930-4866


The Christ Child Society of Cleveland is a volunteer organization whose mission is to Challenge Childhood Poverty in Greater Cleveland.  Our many programs are designed to specifically address the needs relating to poverty--and its impact on children.  Our volunteer members are a group of dedicated individuals who believe that by providing their time and skills they will benefit others in our community and that their efforts will challenge poverty - one child at a time.

If you are interested in joining us in the challenge, please consider attending our Informational Coffee on March 3, 2021.  For more details, please visit our website To register for the Informational Coffee, please contact:  216-939-3959 or

First Friday Club of Cleveland

Give Up Worry for Lent Presented by: Gary Zimak | Thursday, February 4, 2021 | Live Webinar begins at Noon via Zoom | 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. 

60 Minutes from Belfast - A Livestream Event - Let Your Light Shine | Saturday, February 13, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. | Fr. Brendan McManus, SJ and Jim Deeds | Pay what you can $10-$50

February Morning Prayer for Women | Monday, February 15, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | $10

First Spiritual Exercises: Finding Love in Darkness and Light - Virtual Program | Monday, February 15 (orientation), 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays: February 27, March 6, March 13, March 20 from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. | $100

Send My Roots Rain - Virtual Program | Saturday, February 20, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Kim Langley, M.Ed. | $25. 

Cinema & Conversation: Of Gods and Men | Monday, February 22, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Free Will Offering.


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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