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Offices Chancellor Diocesan Memorandum November 2020

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Diocesan Memorandum

November, 2020 | Vol. 54, no. 11 | Prot. No. C-50/2020

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.



Catholic Campaign for Human Development National Collection: 21-22 November 2020
Many American families are struggling to make ends meet but the struggle is even more difficult for the nearly 46.2 million Americans living in poverty. Your donation will empower local communities and strengthen families that are on the margins.  Parishes and organizations in the Diocese of Cleveland are using the funds from the CCHD campaign via awarded grants to bring about real change and sustainable processes that help people in poverty break this cycle.  Please help us continue this good work by supporting the collection for CCHD.

Help support the mission and work of CCHD by:

  • Praying  for the nearly 46.2 million Americans who feel the negative impact of the economy which includes job loss, salary freezes and reduction of  benefits 
  • Announcing  the CCHD Appeal in the weeks before hand and distributing the promotional materials which each parish will receive in the mail
  • Sharing the stories of our funded groups - for a listing of funded diocesan projects visit the Diocesan Social Action Office webpage.

Bulletin Announcements are available here. For parish resources visit the National Collections website. This year, parishioners and our community can donate online by visiting 

For additional information, contact Jon Gromek, Diocesan Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Retirement Fund for the Religious: 12-13 December 2020
The annual Retirement Fund for Religious donation and collection will be on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2020.   Funding to support aging religious communities this year is critical, as donations go directly for medications, nursing care and other cost of living needs.  The season of giving is unique this year and in addition to in pew or weekend collections, parishes are encouraged to promote mailing donations to the diocese office of Clergy and Religious at Cathedral Square Plaza (attention: Fr. Dan Schlegel).  Included in this memo are bulletin inserts and graphics that may be used on parish websites.   

For more information, click here or email Brooke Uehlein or Christina Harrison


Office for Worship

December 2020 Liturgical Calendar
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls on Tuesday, December 8, and would be a holy day of obligation if the obligation were not dispensed. Vigil Masses for the Solemnity may be celebrated after 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 7. 

The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus (Christmas) is celebrated on Friday, December 25, and would be a holy day of obligation if the obligation were not dispensed.

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, is celebrated on Friday, January 1st, and would be a holy day of obligation if the obligation were not dispensed. Vigil Masses for the Solemnity may be celebrated after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 31.

Weddings within Mass may be celebrated on these Solemnities.  Please reference this online chart for the pattern of a Wedding Within the Mass of the Day.

May 2021 Liturgical Calendar
The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated in the Diocese of Cleveland on Sunday, May 16, 2021, not as a holyday of obligation on “Ascension Thursday.”  Scriptures and Orations for all Vigil and Sunday Masses should celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, not the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

Confirmation is scheduled to be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.  Please contact the Cathedral Rectory Office for registration information.

The Solemnity of Pentecost is celebrated on Sunday, May 23, 2021.  Masses after 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost, either extended form or simple form.  The extended form of the Pentecost Vigil resembles the Easter Vigil, in that four Scripture readings, psalms, and corresponding prayers are proclaimed prior to the singing of the Glory to God. The Collect follows the Gloria, and the Epistle reading follows the Collect.  After this, the extended Vigil Mass proceeds as the simple Pentecost Vigil.  Masses on May 23 should celebrate the Pentecost Mass during the Day.

The Obligatory Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, is celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost, which this year falls on Monday, May 24. The Mass formulary to be used is # 10B of the Votive Masses.  Proper Lectionary readings in English and Spanish are available at


November plenary indulgences for the faithful departed
In consideration of the current pandemic, the Apostolic Penitentiary has modified (by decree of October 22, 2020) the conditions required to obtain the usual plenary indulgences for the faithful departed. The visit to the cemetery to pray for the deceased, and the visit to a church or oratory with recitation of the ‘Our Father’ and Creed there, may this year be fulfilled at any time during the month of November. The sick and those unable to leave their homes may obtain the same plenary indulgences by pious prayer for the deceased before an image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary. Usual conditions for the reception of plenary indulgences apply.



SECURE Update -- Year-End Giving
Consistent messaging is key to year-end giving. A menu of Communication Templates has been created for pastors to utilize during November and December. All templates can easily be customized to represent your parish. The templates are included as attachments to the Diocesan Memorandum. They are also stored on the Secure Program page of the Catholic Community Foundation website.

2020 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal

Thanks to over 39,000 donors the Appeal is at 63% of our $13.5 million goal with a total of $12,694,689 raised as of 30 September. We are most grateful, especially during the pandemic, for those who have supported the Appeal as we continue to serve those in need. There is still time to give.

Solicitation Letter: 40,000 letters from Bishop Malesic will be in homes the week of 16 November. For those who answer this letter with a donation, their gifts will be matched, up to $100,000, for double the impact. Gifts can be made online; text CCHOPE to 41444; return the pledge card included with the letter.

Thanksgiving phone message from Bishop Malesic: A recorded message from Bishop Malesic will be sent on Wednesday, Nov. 25th to current donors to the 2020 Appeal to thank them for their support.

Save the date: The 2021 Annual Appeal will take place Feb.6-7 with the Follow Up Appeal on May 15-16. As we navigate through the pandemic, look for new, innovative ways to reach donors and support the good works of Catholic Charities. Contact Karen Joyce or 216-696-6525 x1910 with questions.



All Diocese employees and their dependents are eligible to receive a flu vaccine at any CVS Pharmacy at no cost to them. Employees enrolled in one of our health plans need to simply show their CVS/Pharmacy card to their pharmacist.  Those not on our plans need to use a flu vaccine voucher.  Parishes and schools can obtain vouchers for their employees from the Benefits Office by calling (216) 696-6525, ext. 5040 or by e-mail.  Please let us know how many vouchers you need for your site and we will mail them to you. 

Communications Department

The diocesan Department of Communications, with the help of a team of people from other key diocesan departments and secretariats, has finalized production of the 2020-2021 printed Diocesan Catholic Directory. The online version is always available on the diocesan website ( and is updated monthly.

Printed 2020-2021 Catholic directories are available. The cost per copy will remain the same at $20.  You can order your 2020-2021 printed Diocesan Catholic Directory by downloading and filling out the form here, sent along with your payment.

Remember that the online version of the Catholic Directory is updated monthly. It is searchable using the Ctrl + “F” keys on your keyboard. It is downloadable and printable. Your use of the online version is encouraged.

Please direct questions to Sally Benninger, or 216-696-6525 ext. 3130.



African American Ministry
You are invited to participate in a four-part series on the US Bishop’s pastoral letter against racism, Open Wide Our Hearts: the Enduring Call to Love.  This online event is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Newark and will take place on October 28, November 11, November 18 and December 2.  Learn More.

Hispanic Ministry
Adult Formation Class:  Sapiential Books | Sr. Lisa Marie Belz, OSU | November 7, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Via Zoom and Holy Name Church. 

Northeast Ohio Rapid Response Network (NEORRN) Rapid Response Program:

  • November 7, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. | Via Zoom in English.
  • November 14 & 21, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. | Via Zoom in Spanish.

For more information, please email Misael Mayorga in the Office of Hispanic Ministry or call 216-374-9440.

Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office
Congratulations to Our New Certified Lay Ecclesial Ministers! Bishop Malesic presided at Mass on October 24 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist to celebrate the Certification of Lay Ecclesial Ministers.  The newly certified are: Mrs. Lisa Belza, Faith Formation Director at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Litchfield; Mrs. Megan Bolin, Director of Faith Formation, St. Adalbert Parish, Berea; and Mrs. Kathleen Ott, Director of Faith Formation, St. Francis De Sales Parish, Akron.  These dedicated individuals have completed three years or more of spiritual and pastoral formation, college-level theology courses, mentoring in various areas of ministry and field experiences.  We are thankful for their commitment to serve our diocesan community! 

Lay Ecclesial Ministry On-Line Information Sessions: The Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office will host on-line Information Sessions on Tues., November 10. A candidate for admission to the formation process for Diocesan Lay Ecclesial Ministry Certification should possess an attitude of collaboration; have leadership qualities and experience in training/motivating others; have the ability to study theology through an academic institution; make prayer and spiritual formation for ministry a priority; possess a commitment to share in the mission of the Church; respect the authority of the Church and a have desire to work for, with, and in the name of the Church. You or someone you know who has these qualities and has an interest in diocesan certification is invited to participate in an information session on Tues. Nov. 10 via either of the following links: Afternoon session - 1:30-2:30 p.m. or Evening session - 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Office of Marriage & Family Ministry

Click here for Family Perspectives November

The Office for Marriage and Family Ministry has a limited number of scholarships for scoring credits for the Prepare-Enrich inventory, if someone at your parish has a need please contact Terri Yohman for information.

For marriages struggling with pandemic issues and unemployment we recommend this resource  from the USCCB’s “For Your Marriage” website.

Couple to Couple League for fertility planning offers online training in English or Spanish. They offer online classes with instructor follow up, or pace yourself modules that have been well received. Young adults are encouraged to look into the classes even prior to marriage preparation. Find teaching couples within the diocese and across the country here.

For an All Souls’ Day Prayer Service for Families and Students, click here.

A Prayer of Longing, Hope and Comfort during COVID-19 can be found here.

Linking to our website from your parish page? Make sure to update your link to our new website.



Strengthening Our Faith Grants (Part of the Rooted in Faith – Forward in Hope 2020 Initiative)
Provides funding for innovative and effective parish faith formation programs.  Monies awarded build capacity for sacramental preparation as well as youth, young adult and adult faith formation efforts.  There is a limit of $25,000 on the amount that may be requested. 

Catechetical Media Grants (funded by the annual Matching Funds Campaign of the Ohio Knights of Columbus)

Monies awarded provide critical funding for current, media-based catechetical materials and technology for faith formation.  There is a limit of $3,000 per parish or school each year. 

Applications are currently available in Digital Academy or contact Alicia Breeden in the Office of Catechetical Formation 216-696-6525 ext. 1920.



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

Monthly Sunday Grief Support November 15th:
Catholic Cemeteries Association continues with our monthly in-office grief support groups on November 15th with limited seating for social distancing.    We meet the 3rd Sunday of every month from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Saint Joseph Cemetery, Avon (NEW office);
  • Holy Cross Cemetery, Akron (office);
  • Holy Cross Cemetery, Brook Park (office);
  • Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland (office);
  • All Saints Cemetery, Northfield (office);
  • All Souls Cemetery, Chardon (office).

Meeting sites are sanitized and seating is arranged so everyone is at a safe distance.  Participants are requested to RSVP so we can plan appropriate social distancing at each location.  Participants are required to wear protective facial coverings.   The November topic is “Thanks-giving Grief/Preparing for the Holidays”. 

Please make note of this special appeal to east side parishes to let your grieving families know about our free and safe in-office monthly grief support meetings.  Our All Saints Cemetery (Northfield) and Calvary Cleveland (Miles Ave) offices have very low attendance and sometimes there are no attendees.  While we do not want a crowd to show up (for safe social distancing) we do want to make sure the grieving in our communities are not left to walk this difficult journey alone.  We have very compassionate, trained group leaders who are there monthly praying for our bereaved whether or not participants arrive.  Please advise those in your parish who are in contact with the bereaved, to reach out and suggest one of our east side grief support groups.  Even if you have grief support at your parish, this is a free source of additional support for them.  They will be blessed by attending.  To RSVP or for questions, please contact Rhonda at 216-930-4866. 

Cemetery Sunday
Regretfully, after much prayer and consideration, we have decided to cancel this year’s Cemetery Sunday Mass on November 8th. With close to or over 100 attendees at many of these indoor Masses, we are unable to safely socially distance and protect our valued families, clergy, Knights of Columbus and cemetery staff. We understand the great comfort our families receive from these Masses, as well as the priest celebrants, but in effort to safeguard everyone, we think it best to cancel the event in hopes of a return to all of our memorial celebrations next year.  Families are still able to stop by any cemetery office at their convenience to pick up a Christmas ornament November 1st - December 31st.

“A Closer Walk With Thee” – New Monthly Grief Support E-Newsletter:
Please continue to inform your grieving parishioners about Catholic Cemeteries Association’s new monthly grief support e-newsletter named, “A Closer Walk with Thee”.  This e-newsletter is emailed the first Tuesday of each month to any family/individual who has expressed an interest in our bereavement programs.  To subscribe to this valued grief support resource, visit Grief Support E-News signup, or contact Rhonda at 216-930-4866.



First Friday Club of Cleveland
Virtual Chat with the Most Reverend Edward C. Malesic - Hosted by Bishop Roger Gries, OSB | Thursday, November 5, 2020 | Program begins at Noon | Live Webinar 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. 

A Deeper Look at the Suffering of Racial Injustice Through the Arts and Conversation | Monday, November 9, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. | Free Will Offering

60 Minutes from Belfast - A Livestream Event - Becoming Unstuck | Saturday, November 14, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. | Fr. Brendan McManus, SJ and Jim Deeds | Pay what you can $10-$50

November Morning Prayer for Women | Monday, November 16, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, SC | $10

November Pre-Baptism Class for Parents | Monday, November 16, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. | $20/couple

Finding Calm Amidst the Storm: Coronavirus and Crisis - Via Zoom Livestream | Tuesday, November 17, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Brenna Davis | $10

Building a Vision for Your Retirement: Embracing the Next Chapters of Life | Friday, November 20, 6:00 p.m. - Sunday November 22, 11:00 a.m. | Rick Krivanka & Guest Speakers | $200

Cinema and Conversation: “The Secret Garden” (2020) | Monday, November 23, 7:00 p.m. | Free will offering.

Sr. Ignatia AA Women’s Retreat - Spirituality in Sobriety | Friday, November 27, 6:00 p.m. - Sunday, November 29, 11:00 a.m. | Rebecca N., Therese M-B. and Sue R. | $180



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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