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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
Offices Chancellor Diocesan Memorandum February 2024

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Diocesan Memorandum

February 2024 | Vol. 58, no. 2 | Prot. No. C-6/2024

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.


Office for Worship

We are delighted to announce that Mary Hrich will be joining the diocesan staff on February 1, 2024, as Director of the Office for Worship.  Mary previously served for 25 years as Director of Liturgy and Music for St. Mary Magdalene parish in Willowick.  Please join us in welcoming Mary to the Office.

A Liturgical Preparation Aid for Lent, the Sacred Paschal Triduum and Easter, provided by The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, is available for download free of charge here.

Rite of Election Reminder
The 2024 Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion will be celebrated on Sunday, February 18, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.  All parishes are asked to register their catechumens and candidates for full communion for this special celebration no later than February 4.  The registration link was sent by email to all Priests, Parish Life Coordinators and Deacons on January 2, 2024.

The Diocesan Evening of Confession returns this year on February 28th.  All parishes in the diocese will welcome the faithful from 5-8 pm.  All are invited to participate in the Sacrament of God’s mercy at their own parish or any parish in the diocese.

Mystagogy: More than an Easter Vigil Review, Monday, March 4, 10:30am – 2:30pm, Church of the Resurrection Parish Center. All those involved in any way in the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults are invited for a late morning and afternoon of reflection on the power of mystagogy, which is essential for the OCIA, but can bring power and meaning to all of parish life. The session will be led by Michael Ruszicki, the director of sacred music and liturgy a Saint Mary of the Lake Parish in Chicago and training and events manager at Liturgy Training Publications.  $12.00 per person includes lunch. Register here.   Sponsored by the Office for Worship and the Office of Ongoing Formation for Clergy.

The annual Pittsburgh Catholic Youth Choral Festival & Mass will take place March 16th at St. Paul Cathedral. Children’s and youth choirs of the Diocese of Cleveland are invited to participate. A festival brochure with more information is available here

March 2024 Liturgical Calendar Reminders:

The Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 17. The practice of covering crosses and images throughout the church from this Sunday may be observed.  Crosses remain covered until the end of the celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, but images remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

The Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is celebrated on Tuesday, March 19.  It is not a holyday of obligation.  It is the custom in some places to bless on this day bread, pastries, and other food and to give a large portion of it to the poor.  For the Order of Blessing of St. Joseph’s Table, see Book of Blessings #1679-1700.

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is transferred from Monday, March 25 to Monday, April 8, 2024.  

The Chrism Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday of Holy Week, March 26 at 7:00 pm. At this special liturgy, all the holy oils that will be used in our diocese for the coming year will be consecrated. This is also an opportunity for priests of the diocese to renew themselves in their priestly vocation. Please be advised that, in an effort to be fair and non-partisan, general seating for the Chrism Mass will be first come, first served; saving of seats for others not present will not be allowed.  Doors will open at 6 pm. Holy Oils may be collected after the Mass. Thank you for your freewill offering when you collect the Holy Oils for your parish. 

On Holy Thursday, March 28, the tabernacle should be entirely emptied before Mass begins. The Rite of the Reception of the Holy Oils may be done in conjunction with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, or it may be done at another time.  The old oils are burned or buried.

On Good Friday, Adoration of the Holy Cross may take place in either of the two forms provided in the Roman Missal. If, because of the large number of people or arrangement of the church, it is not possible for all to approach the cross in procession, the individual adoration may be done by only the priest and a few of the faithful, with the majority of the assembly adoring the cross in silence from their seats. (Roman Missal, pg. 185, no. 19) 

Easter Vigil, Saturday, March 30. The earliest start time for the Easter Vigil this year is 8:30 pm.

Office of the Chancellor

Vendors of goods from the Holy Land
Bishop Edward C. Malesic has granted permission to the following vendors to sell religious articles from the Holy Land at the Catholic Parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland. 

1.         Mr. and Mrs. Ibrahim Abufarha of Holy Land Shepherds, 5220 Sandallwood Cir. Grand Blanc, MI 48439

2.         Mrs. Suhair Musleh of Holy Land Gifts, 4850 Lynn Place, Warren, OH  44483

3.         Mr. Roni Salsa of Land of Peace, Inc., 35436 Mound Rd., Sterling Hts., MI 48310 

The permission is granted effective February 21, 2024 until February 20, 2025.

If you are contacted by any of the individuals named above, please know that they have the Bishop’s permission to do so and that you can determine whether or not to permit them to display religious articles from the Holy Land at your parish.  

There have been some reports of confusion by parish staff between vendors; for example, that a booking has been made by one vendor, then a new booking made with a second vendor while parish staff were under the impression that this was merely a rescheduling of the date of the first vendor. If in doubt, you may wish to ensure that you are speaking with the correct vendor by calling back to the contact number originally given to you at the time of the first booking. Some vendors have expressed disappointment at the poor sales they have experienced when they have visited a parish shortly after another vendor has visited the same parish. 

If you have any feedback (good or bad) regarding your experience with these vendors, kindly let me know so that it can be considered prior to making a decision regarding next year’s vendors.


Angel Scholarship Fund: Congratulations on all your hard work raising ASF dollars in 2023. We are actively working to account for all 2023 donations and will send final information as soon as everything is accounted for. In the meantime, we highly encourage schools to take advantage of the state now allowing Ohio taxpayers to receive a tax credit for 2023 up until April 15, 2024. This is a great opportunity to reach donors who have not already given, and now know their tax liability. Get a head start for dollars raised in 2024 by directing donors to our donation page online or using our new mail-in contribution form.

Fund A Dream: Student-to-donor matches were sent out at the end of the year. We ask that you please follow up with your school’s FAD sponsors by extending an invitation from you inviting them to your school's Catholic Schools Week Mass. Additionally, applications for students to apply for a FAD scholarship for the 2024-25 school year opened on January 8. Please email Kaitlyn Novicky if your school has a preferred FAD Liaison, unless otherwise stated your DOC email will be used.

Parish Legacy Gift Opportunities. The Catholic Community Foundation has many different resources to assist your parish in promoting legacy gifts in support of your parish. If you are interested in these opportunities, please email Jackie Brauser or call 216-696-6525 x1640.

Our Gift to You: A Free Will-Writing Resource
We’ve partnered with FreeWill to make it easier for our community to create their Catholic legacy. Using this online tool, you can write a legal will for free and protect your blessings, while including the necessary language to create an eternal legacy gift in your plans. This resource takes 20 minutes or less and can be paired with an attorney for more complex estates. We invite you to visit  to write a free, legal will.

Creating a Lasting Legacy [sample bulletin announcement]
As Christian stewards, we share the responsibility of making our Church a true community of faith and a vibrant source of service to the larger community. That includes providing financial support for today's needs - and building a firm financial foundation for tomorrow. Your IRA can be a tool to help you do this.  If you are 70 ½ years old or older, you can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution today for up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to our parish. It will not count as taxable income, and it can satisfy your “required minimum distribution”. Looking to the future, consider naming our parish as a beneficiary of your IRA. Speak with your financial advisor, visit, or contact Mary Lou Ozimek at 216-696-6525 x4070 for more information. 


In May 1991 the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland issued a Parish Finance Council Policy document for use by all of our parishes and their finance councils. The document has served us well but over time has become outdated. Bishop Malesic has promulgated a new Parish Finance Council Statutes document with an effective date of February 1, 2024.  

Some of the key items that have been updated from the prior document are:

  • Broad references an explanation of the canons that are applicable to parish financial governance
  • Clearly recognizes the parish finance council as an advisory body and establishes the pastor’s authority (consistent with canon law) over the parish and the finance council but also identifies those items where a pastors are required to consult under canon law
  • Requires the parish finance council to meet with the Diocesan Finance personnel after completion of the tri-annual parish review by the Diocese.
  • Clarifies membership requirements for parish finance council members, including independence requirements and exclusions of parish employees and relatives from serving on the council.  A conflict of interest policy is included
  • Includes a confidentiality statement that all Council members are expected to sign annually.

While there are other small modifications you will find that much of the document is consistent with the 1991 version. The document is issued and effective on February 1 but it is reasonable to anticipate that some elements of the statute will take a short period of time to implement.  All parishes are asked to complete implementation and execute the statute itself by June 30, 2024 and submit a copy of the executed document to the Finance Office to the attention of Jim Gulick.  If you have any questions on implementation they may be addressed to Jim Gulick in Finance or Kevin Burke in the Legal Office.

Beginning January 1, 2024, the standard mileage rate for the use of a car for business miles driven is 67 cents per mile.  More detail can be found on the IRS website . 


Vocation Office

Stations of the Cross for Religious Vocations Booklet 
Written for the Avilas of the Diocese of Cleveland these booklets are available for parish use and free of charge through the generosity of the Knights of Columbus. For more information or to place an order, please email Mary Avenoso or call 440-943-7630.

Save the date: Bishop’s Seminary Brunch
The 40th Bishop’s Seminary Brunch will be held on Sunday, 14 April 2024, 12 Noon to 3:00 p.m. at Landerhaven.  This is a fundraising event to benefit our seminarians.  Consider filling a table of ten by inviting your parishioners and friends to attend.  Individual tickets are also available.  For more information, please email Mary Avenoso or call 440-943-7630.  Click here to purchase a table, tickets, or donate.


Bulletin Announcement 
“My Daily Prayers” is a free daily recording of prayers led by the bishops and priests of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and delivered each day directly to you through your email. Lasting about 7 minutes, “My Daily Prayers” invites you into prayer, sharing information about each specific day and offers encouragement to enter into deeper personal relationship with our living God. Come together in prayer with “My Daily Prayers”. Sign up at

The following bulletin inserts are available: 3x4 (pdf) | 7.5x5 (pdf) | 3x4 (jpg) | 7.5x5 (jpg)


Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, Disability Services & Ministries Three (3) Sensory Friendly Masses at the Center for Pastoral Leadership 
Disability Services & Ministries is happy to support three upcoming Sensory Friendly Masses for individuals with autism and their families. These masses will be celebrated on the following Saturdays - February 17, April 20 and May 4 at 4:30 pm at the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Center for Pastoral Leadership, 28700 Euclid Avenue, Wickliffe. A sensory-friendly Mass is designed to welcome individuals who struggle with sensory overstimulation in a welcoming, stigma-free environment. Lights are lower than normal and there will be no music or microphones. Those with sensory sensitivities are invited to bring comfort items that will help make the environment more accommodating. The priest will make his homily short, practical, and literal and mass will be approximately 30 minutes. After we will gather at the St. Anthony Center for light refreshments (drinks/crackers), but please bring safe foods that your children enjoy. Please contact Andrea Staron for more information.



Eucharistic Revival Art Journal
The Catholic Faith has always espoused art as a way to express a love for God. In creating beauty, we often create a new opportunity for many people to connect with God through beauty. The Eucharistic Revival provides artists the opportunity to create works to mirror the great love Christ has for us through the Eucharist in artistic renderings. Therefore, Diocese of Cleveland is conducting a call for entries for artists to submit works of art centered on the Eucharist. “What does the Eucharist mean for you?”  Select Winners will have their works displayed in both our online journal and additionally at an “Opening” this summer in the Diocese. Early submissions will also be considered for a national Eucharistic art competition. Learn more

Eucharistic Miracles Display
February 17 - March 2, 2024 | St. Paschal Baylon Parish, Highland Heights
You are invited to view the Eucharistic Miracles exhibit outside the Saint Ann Shrine of Saint Paschal Baylon’s Parish Office from February 18 until March 2nd from 9-11am weekdays and weekends, 9am-Noon. Please park in the Wilson Mills Horseshoe parking lot and enter through either of the entrances for the Parish Office or the accessible Saint Ann Shrine entrance outside, down the ramp.

Synod Update
The USCCB has invited dioceses to contribute to the ongoing discernment taking place in preparation for the next Synod of Bishops in October 2024 by deepening aspects of the Synthesis Report that are fundamental to the Synod's theme. The consultation is guided by the question: “HOW can we be a synodal Church in mission?” Parishes will not be required to hold their own listening sessions but may do so, if they so choose. We will be inviting a select group of representatives from across the diocese to participate in listening sessions before the end of March. For any additional questions, please contact Fr. Damian Ference or Lynette Saenz.

Love Beyond Words: National Marriage Week | February 7-14
The Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth is offering many resources to celebrate the gift of married life including an "at-home" marriage retreat. This downloadable booklet is designed for married couples to carve out time for one another to reflect, discuss and pray about their union. Parish bulletin editors, marriage ministry teams, and pastors can find resources, homily helps, social media graphics on the For Your Marriage website, here.

Office for Child Protection | USCCB Charter Requirement
In our continued effort to comply with the requirements of the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Office for Protection of Children & Youth is asking parishes to publish the bulletin announcement below at least twice during the Audit period of July 1, 2023 -- June 30, 2024. When published, parishes are asked to forward an electronic copy of the bulletin to Debbie Morris.

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, immediately inform local authorities about inappropriate behavior. Also, please contact the Diocesan Response Service Office at 216-334-2999 or via email at

Extraordinary Ministers Needed | Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Do you believe in the healing love of Jesus Christ? Cleveland Clinic Main Campus is in dire need of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to volunteer for ministry. Schedule is flexible, only a few hours once a week. Free parking, meals included, and complete training provided. For more information, please call Barb Kovacic: 440-946-7875 or Marcy Fritz: 440-885-1232.

Volunteers must be recognized as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion – formation sessions are provided by the Office for Worship twice a year. Check here for dates.


Office of Marriage & Family Ministry
Love Beyond Words – National Marriage Week Kick Off
Saturday, February 3 | 6:30 - 11pm

Cornerstone of Hope
Grieve with Hope Retreat
February 9 – 11, 2024

Office of Black Catholic Ministries
Lenten Revival
February 14 – 16 | 7 - 8:30pm

Office of Marriage & Family Ministry
Marriage Enrichment: Conflict Management & Shared Meaning
Saturday, February 24 | 4 - 8:30pm

Office of Lay Ecclesial Ministry
Ministerial Self-Care with Dr. Ted Raddell
Saturday, February 24 | 10am - 12pm

Office of Lay Ecclesial Ministry
Lay Ecclesial Ministry Information Night
Tuesday, February 27 | 7 - 9pm | Center for Pastoral Leadership
Questions? Email

Office of Marriage & Family Ministry
Behold Retreat for Mother and Daughters
Saturday, March 2 | 10am - 4pm


Cornerstone of Hope, Inc.
Cornerstone of Hope, Inc., a comprehensive bereavement center, is holding its annual Grieve with Hope Retreat on February 9-11, 2024. Click here to learn more.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the loss of a loved one and is searching for ways to carry on, please join Cornerstone of Hope at its annual Grieve with Hope Retreat, February 9th through 11th. This retreat connects grievers facing similar struggles, allows participants to encounter the raw emotions of grief in a safe environment, helps attendees journey through suffering with the risen Christ, and provides grievers the ability to learn how to grieve with hope. 

The parishioners of Saint Mary and Our Lady of Hope invite you to a Lenten Mission beginning on Sunday, March 10th at 7pm., at Saint Mary 340 Union Street, Bedford, OH  44146. This will be a three-day Mission (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) that will begin at 7pm., each night, ending on Tuesday, March 12th.  Rev. Damian Ference, Vicar for Evangelization, Secretary for Parish Life/Special Ministries and Professor of Philosophy at Borromeo Seminary, is our Mission Speaker. The first night, Fr. Ference will talk about God and Creation.  Monday night will be about Sin and Redemption and the final night will cover the Sacraments and Mission.  Please bring your Bibles.

* * *

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

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