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Offices Chancellor Diocesan Memorandum March 2021

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Diocesan Memorandum

March, 2021 | Vol. 55, no. 3 | Prot. No. C-10/2021

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.



The CRS Collection is one of the twelve national collections established by the bishops of the United States so that, by combining resources, we can more effectively carry out the global mission of the Church. It offers Catholics a convenient opportunity to help more than 100 million people at home and abroad through a charitable contribution during Mass. The CRS Collection supports six Catholic organizations (Catholic Relief Services; USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development; USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services; Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.; USCCB’s Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church; and the Holy Father’s Relief Fund) that advance the international social ministry of the Catholic Church.  The CRS Collection is taken up in the Diocese of Cleveland on Laetare (or “Rejoice”) Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Lent (March 14, 2021). If you are interested in learning more please contact CRS Diocesan Director Kelly Davis at 216-296-0062.

CRS Rice Bowl
CRS Rice Bowl is a faith-in-action program that provides resources for use in parish and school community settings, with complementary materials for families to foster their faith life at home. Through CRS Rice Bowl, US Catholics respond to Pope Francis’s invitation to ‘share the journey’ with members of our human family around the world, and commit our Lenten prayers, fasting and almsgiving to deepening our faith and serving those in need. CRS Rice Bowl contributions support projects that assist the poor both overseas and here in the United States. 75% of CRS Rice Bowl contributions are sent to Catholic Relief Services and help fund development projects overseas that help increase and maintain communities’ access to food. 25% of the contributions fund local poverty and hunger alleviation programs in the Diocese of Cleveland through the Catholic Charities Emergency Hunger and Shelter Fund. CRS Rice CRS Rice Bowl begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021, and ends with Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. If you are interested in learning more please contact CRS Diocesan Director Kelly Davis at 216-296-0062.

Office for Worship

During this Year of Saint Joseph, the Church has made a plenary indulgence available to all the faithful who satisfy the usual conditions (confession, Eucharist, prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father, a spirit of detachment from sin, and the intention to gain the indulgence for one’s self or someone in purgatory), as well as perform one of the prescribed works, as follows:

  • Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, or take part in a spiritual retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph
  • Following St. Joseph’s example, perform a spiritual or corporal work of mercy
  • Recite the Holy Rosary with your family or your fiancé
  • Entrust your daily activity to the protection of St. Joseph
  • Pray through the intercession of St. Joseph that those seeking work can find dignifying work
  • Recite the Litany of St. Joseph for Christians who suffer all forms of persecution
  • Recite any prayer or act of piety legitimately approved in honor of St. Joseph, in particular on March 19, May 1, on the 19th of any month, and every Wednesday

This gift of a plenary indulgence extends particularly to the elderly, the sick, the dying, and all those who, for legitimate reasons, are unable to leave their homes, if, detached from all sin and with the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the usual conditions, recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, comfort of the sick and patron of a good death, offering with confidence to God the pains and trials of their life.

April 2021 Liturgical Calendar Reminders:
April 2021 begins with the celebration of Holy Thursday on April 1, Good Friday on April 2, and the Easter Vigil on April 3. 

On Holy Thursday, the tabernacle should be entirely empty.  In diocesan parishes where physical distancing will be difficult to maintain due to larger than expected attendance during the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Bishop Malesic has given permission for an additional Mass of the Lord’s Supper to be celebrated on Holy Thursday, at the discretion of the pastor.

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.

After the Homily, where a pastoral reason suggests it, the Washing of Feet follows; however, the foot-washing may be omitted. If pastors choose to include the Washing of Feet, only those who have received both vaccines should have their feet washed. It is not recommended to do a large-scale foot-washing of the entire assembly this year. Please remember that only feet are to be washed. The number of those who will have feet washed can be limited to only a few.

The procession for the Transfer of the Blessed Sacrament should include only the ministers, not the entire congregation (Roman Missal, pg. 313, no. 38). In order to accommodate physical distancing requirements, the altar of repose should be located in the main church this year to allow for social distancing for the period of adoration after Mass. As with last year, the Eucharist may also be reserved in the tabernacle due to a special permission granted by the Holy See for the time of this pandemic.

On Good Friday, in diocesan parishes where physical distancing will be difficult to maintain due to larger than expected attendance at the celebration of the Lord’s Passion and Adoration of the Holy Cross, Bishop Malesic has given permission for an additional celebration of the Lord’s Passion and Veneration of the Cross to be celebrated on Good Friday, at the discretion of the pastor. The second liturgy should not be in the morning.

A special intercession should be included as the 11th of the Solemn Intercessions. Unless Rome provides a different text for 2021, the text from 2020 should be used. This text in English and in Spanish may be found on the Office for Worship website under Resources.

The 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. 330, no. 19) In either case, the cross should not be venerated by touch, especially not by a traditional kiss; a genuflection or bow of the head would be appropriate. Social distancing should be observed if the congregation approaches in procession.

Holy Communion is to be taken from the tabernacle and replaced in the tabernacle, in accordance with the Vatican’s COVID-19 Decree regarding the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which is carried over by permission for 2021.The earliest start time for the Easter Vigil this year is 8:30 p.m.  Consideration should be given to physical distancing of the faithful at the blessing of the fire and preparation of the candle and during the procession into the church.  At the discretion of the pastor, if physical distancing cannot be maintained, the gathering of people at the fire may be limited to the ministers and the elect with their godparents.

Easter Vigil
The earliest start time for the Easter Vigil this year is 8:30 p.m. Only the priest and other ministers should participate in the blessing of the fire and preparation of the candle and the procession into the church. Candles are not to be used by the congregation during the Lucernarium and the Renewal of Baptismal Promises because of the increased possibility of spreading the virus when extinguishing the candles. The Lumen Christi is sung as usual with only the ministers holding lit candles in the procession; or the blessing of the fire, preparation of the candle and procession into the church may be omitted entirely. If omitted, the Paschal candle is lit within the church, and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) follows. While normally sung at the ambo, the Exsultet may be sung by the deacon from his chair (distanced from the priest’s chair) or by a cantor in another location.

Christian Initiation may be omitted, and celebrated at another time, at the discretion of the pastor. The Renewal of Baptismal Promises alone is necessary. Baptism should be done by pouring, not immersion, and the water used for baptizing each individual should afterward be given to the ground via the sacrarium or otherwise. Water should not be re-used for subsequent baptisms. Confirmation should proceed per the pandemic Confirmation Ritual Guide for pastors, available on the Office for Worship website. Candidates for full communion may be received into the Church at another time.

Holy water fonts should remain empty. You may wish to provide small pre-prepared bottles of holy water for distribution at the end of Mass on Easter.

September 2021 Liturgical Calendar Notes:

Wednesday, September 1st is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.  Even if no special Mass formulary or readings are selected for the occasion, it would still be appropriate to mention the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and its significance in the homily, petitions, and/or concluding announcements.

The anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist on Monday, September 6th is observed as a solemnity in the Cathedral and as a feast in the parishes of the diocese.  This day coincides with Labor Day and with the Diocese of Cleveland Special Day of Prayer for Human Rights and Equality. 

September 19th, the third Sunday in September, is Catechetical Sunday.  The ceremony for the blessing and commissioning of catechists is intended to take place at the Eucharistic liturgy on Catechetical Sunday. If this is not possible, the blessing and commissioning may be celebrated at Mass at another time, or it may be used outside of Mass, perhaps with the praying of the Liturgy of the Hours or at a simple commissioning service. “Order for the Blessing of Those Appointed as Catechists” can be found in the Book of Blessings, no. 491.


Catholic Charities Appeal

Love Your Neighbor: The 2021 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal is in full swing and gifts are being processed as quickly as possible. A special thanks to parishes across the diocese for conducting the annual Parish Appeal weekend last month and utilizing the new tools to reach parishioners in the pews as well as those live streaming. This weekend historically raises nearly $4 million towards a goal of $13.5 million. We could not do it without the support of the pastors, staff and volunteers willing to adjust during the pandemic.

Parishes are asked to send their envelopes and completed transmittal form via UPS or FEDEX to:  Agilis/Catholic Community Foundation, 2381 Crossroads Blvd., Albert Lea, MN 56007

Continue to thank your parishioners for their support of the Appeal with a message in your bulletin, on your website, and e-newsletters. Please share the impact of Catholic Charities and the appeal with your social media followers by sharing and retweeting Facebook and Twitter posts from the Catholic Community Foundation. Use the resources available online to make your efforts easier. Click here to view the video or read the stories of those impacted by your gifts. Click here to donate online. Contact Karen Joyce, 216-696-6525 x1910 or Sarah Yantek at x1049 with questions or for additional information.

College Scholarship Available
Applications for the Andrew Gregory Rodgers and Pauline Rodgers College Scholarship Fund for students of Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain are due April 15th. Applications and more information can be found online

Emergency Response Fund
The purpose of this fund is to assist pastors in immediately being able to help families and individuals in the parish community who ask for financial assistance to purchase food, pay their rent, fill their prescriptions or pay utility bills. Pastors can begin the simple application process at Applications are reviewed weekly. If you have any questions, please contact Colleen Rigo, 216-696-6525 x4080.


Employee Benefits

Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, the requirement for repeating an annual physical will be waived once again for the 2021-2022 plan year.  Persons currently receiving the physical and/or tobacco incentives will continue to do so.  Persons who are NOT currently receiving the incentive may do so by completing a physical at any time and the incentive will be applied beginning in the month following the submission of the incentive form to the Health Benefits Office. 

Employees with a spouse covered under the medical plan with no current surcharge are to confirm their status by completing the Working Spouse Verification Form.  The form must be returned to the Benefits Office no later than May 1, 2021.

Forms and more information can be found on the Employee Benefits website.  Please contact the Employee Benefits Office, at (216) 696-6525, ext. 5040 or with any questions. 


Called for More: The Disciple Maker Index
A new interactive way of assessing the spiritual health of parish life will be rolled out across the Diocese this Lent. Developed by the Pennsylvania-based Catholic Leadership Institute, the Disciple Maker Index (DMI) is a survey tool created to:

  • Allow parishioners to reflect upon their spiritual growth and discipleship;
  • Identify the ways in which the parish effectively supports that growth and look at opportunities to support that growth more in the future;
  • Provide valuable input to help pastors and parish leaders make decisions and plan effectively;
  • Help pastors and parish leaders have a sense of where to focus their evangelization efforts.

The survey can be completed online, on your phone or, if required, via hard copy. Each parish will receive a personalized link to the survey to share with parishioners. Individuals can also go to and select their parish. The survey will be available for all parishioners across the Diocese to participate in from February 20 – March 22.

We ask you to stress the importance of responding to this survey to the members of your parish community. If parishioners ask you about the survey, please:

  • Remind them about the dates the survey will be live: February 20 – March 22.
  • Encouragethem to respond as soon they can. We want to hear from as many people as possible.
  • Assurethem that the parish leadership will receive a summary report of the aggregate data and that no one at our parish will have access to individual survey responses.

Thank you for your help with this! For more information, visit our website at or contact Lynette Saenz.

Vocations Office

Bishop’s Seminary Brunch Virtual Event – March 21, 2021
Please join us this year from the comfort and safety of your home as we present the 37thannual Bishop’s Seminary Brunch. Join us on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 12:00 Noon by visiting and clicking on Bishop’s Seminary Brunch 2021.

Come and See Weekend - March 26-28, 2021
This Come and See weekend experience at Borromeo and Saint Mary Seminaries provides and overnight retreat for men between 17 and 44 years of age, offering the opportunity to experience life at the seminary.  Please take a few minutes to identify a few potential candidates and contact

Fr. Michael McCandless, Vocation Director, at 440-943-7660 We will see that they receive a personal invitation.  Please note that due to Covid, space for this weekend is limited.

Poster Available – Women and Men In Formation
Our new poster for 2021 featuring the women and men in formation for consecrated life from or within the Diocese of Cleveland were mailed to all parishes and schools.  To request additional posters and also posters of our seminarians contact the Diocesan Vocation Office at 440-943-7630 or 

Youth and Young Adult Vocation Presentations
Fr. Michael McCandless is available for in-person presentations and visitations to parishes and to meet individually with those inquiring about priesthood and consecrated life.  For further information contact the Diocesan Vocation Office at 440-943-7630 or email


Office for the Protection of Children

Working together to keep our children safe.  Protecting children starts at our parishes, and keeping your location’s VIRTUS database current makes it more beneficial. Take this time of year to review your location’s VIRTUS database.  We are here to help you with updates! 

  • If you send us a list of inactive accounts, we will remove them from the database for you. 
  • Is your location in need of a local administrator to maintain your VIRTUS database? Have someone in mind? Please contact this office so that we can make sure the person is trained.
  • Remember to check your database for expired background checks (five years or older). Ask those whose background checks have expired to log into their VIRTUS accounts and complete a background check through

Sharon Minson, Esq., 216-696-6525 ext. 1157

Debbie Morris, 216-696-6525 ext. 1158

Marriage and Family Ministry Office

Download Family Perspectives

The Year of St. Joseph and The Year of the Family.  Pope Francis has focused special emphasis on St. Joseph this year and has declared March 19, 2021 through June 22, 2022, The Year of the Family in the lead up to the X World Meeting of Families, which has as its theme “Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness”

Daily family prayer is one way for families to make every day a holy day. Please share the domestic church resource, “The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home” by David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler, with your catechists or in your parish bulletin.  It has practical help for households on the path toward holiness. 

Visit the Vatican’s Amoris Laetitia website for more information on the Year of the Family and downloadable brochures, and watch the Marriage & Family Ministry website for additional resources dedicated to this special celebration. 

Child Abuse Awareness Month.  April is Child Abuse Awareness month. A USCCB video, available here, has helpful tips for what a family can do to protect their children as well as a reminder of the Catholic Church’s commitment to help. Please share the website and bulletin insert with your parish. 

Globally, the last Sunday of April is recognized as Blue Sunday, a day of prayer for abused children. Ten million people participated in prayer on this day last year. Please encourage our families and parishioners to join their hearts with others on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Click here to read more and to access printable and electronic resources that you can share to increase awareness. 

Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office

Pastoral Care of Family Workshops. In collaboration with the Office for Marriage and Family Ministry, a series of workshops will be offered this spring focused on Pastoral Care of the Family.  Presenters include Fr. Dan Schlegel, Terri Yohman and Jason Lewis. Lay ministers and parish staff members are invited to participate.  Online sessions, on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm will focus on the following topics:

  • March 13: The Sacrament of Marriage and Marriage Preparation
  • April 24: The Domestic Church and Joy of Family Life
  • May 15: Accompanying Families in Difficult Times

Register to attend one or all three sessions on our website. Please contact our office if you have any questions at

Young Adult Ministry Office

Young Adult Ministry Collaboratives. The Young Adult Ministry Office is constructing regional young adult ministry collaborative groups throughout the diocese.  Each collaborative group will consist of four parishes working together.  One parish will serve as lead with three others significantly contributing to the collaborative each month. We are gearing up for a late spring launch for this initiative. If you would like to participate in a collaborative, please contact Mike Hayes, Director of Young Adult Ministry.


Disability Services

Summer Camp Employment Working with Children with Disabilities
Catholic Charities Disability Services’ Camp Happiness will be interviewing college students and young professionals to work this summer at our two camp locations in Wickliffe and Parma.  This is a great opportunity to experience a job that is truly one of service and is fun and personally fulfilling for the staff. Camp Happiness is from June 14 to July 30, 2021 from 9:00am to 3:00pm (includes one week of training and six weeks of camp).  If you are interested in learning more about working at camp, email Lauren Mailey or call 216-334-2963. You can also find information on our website.

Summer Camp programs for children and young adults with disabilities
Did you know that our Diocese offers summer camp programs for children and young adults with disabilities?  Catholic Charities Disability Services’ Camp Happiness will offer two in-person locations, as well as virtual offerings, from June 21 to July 30, 2021. These programs are a ministry to families who have children with disabilities, offering respite and providing life-enhancing activities in a Catholic setting.  They are a great way to meet new friends, learn new things and just have fun!  If you have a family member with an intellectual or developmental disability or know someone who does, email Lauren Mailey or call 216-334-2963. You can also find information on our website.


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

CCA Grief Support Group Leader Opportunities:
We are seeking compassionate individuals to serve as substitute and/or virtual Support Group Leaders in our monthly grief support program.  “Substitute leaders” will be available to lead any of our six in-office grief support groups when a regularly scheduled Grief Support Leader is unavailable.  “Virtual leaders” will lead a regularly scheduled monthly online support group.  Qualified candidates will be Certified Ministers of Consolation through the Diocese of Cleveland, have a calling to serve the bereaved in our communities, and a compassionate and listening heart.  Candidates will have the ability to work with diverse groups of people with varying grief needs and will be beyond any significant personal grief/loss.  Grief support leaders will facilitate and guide discussions, not counsel.  Support group leaders will receive a small stipend for each session led.  Minister of Consolation Training may be provided if all other qualifications are met. Download flier.

In-office Grief support groups meet the 3rd Sunday of every month from 3-4 pm. 

Virtual Grief support groups meet the 3rd Sunday of every month from 5-6 pm.  *Support meets on the 4th Sunday if the 3rd Sunday is a holiday (i.e. Father’s Day).

All interested candidates contact Rhonda at 216-930-4866.  Please respond by 3/12/2021.

CCA One-Year Anniversary Mass –  March 19th :
We pray for your peace and consolation and we remember your dearly departed loved ones from the past year in our special One-Year Anniversary Mass.  This Mass is celebrated annually on March 19th, the feast day of St. Joseph, the patron saint of a happy death. This year’s One-Year Anniversary Mass will be celebrated at 10:00am on March 19, 2020 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 4341 E 131st Street, Garfield Heights, OH 44105.  For more information contact Rhonda or at 216-930-4866.

CCA Virtual Grief Support March 21st:
The Catholic Cemeteries Association will be hosting a 2ndVirtual Sunday Grief Support Group on Sunday, March 21 at 5pm. This second “trial-basis” support group, hosted via Zoom, will help us to determine if there is a need for an ongoing monthly virtual Grief Support Group.   The discussion topic is “Easter: Springing Forward and Rising Up with Jesus”.  Registration is free and open to anyone seeking bereavement support without the “in-office” contact.  Register for our virtual Sunday Grief Support group here.   For more information, contact Rhonda or at 216-930-4866


COAR Peace Mission St. Oscar Romero Day Prayer Service | Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 7:00 p.m. | Limited (100) in-person attendance, unlimited livestreaming

COAR, the Community Oscar A. Romero, has been a refuge for children in need in El Salvador.  It is the oldest organization in the world named for St. Oscar Romero. This year we invite all those in solidarity with our Diocesan mission in El Salvador to join in a celebration. Registration and more information: 440-943-7615 or check our website .

First Friday Club of Cleveland

The Captivating and Curious Posture of JOY: How we are called to live as Missionary Disciples - Presented by:  Miguel Chavez | Thursday, March 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. 

Way of the Cross for Those in Recovery (In-person and Virtual Options) | Monday, March 1 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. | Fr. Bob Kraig | Free

Men’s Lenten Retreat | Friday, March 12, 5:30pm - Sunday, March 14, 11:00 a.m. | Fr. Greg Hyde, SJ | $180

March Morning Prayer for Women | Monday, March 15 from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, SC | $10

Women's Lenten Retreat | Friday, March 19, 5:30 p.m. - Sunday, March 21, 11:00 a.m. | Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, SC | $180

Cinema & Conversation: Son of God | Monday, March 22 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. | Free Will Offering

Holy Week Individually Directed Retreat and Days of Prayer | Monday, March 29, 5:30 p.m. - Friday, April 2, 1:00 p.m. | $450



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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