Phone: 216-696-6525

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

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Offices Parish Life Catholic Lay Organizations

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Catholic Lay Organizations

Catholic Lay Organizations provide the faithful of the Diocese the ability to use their gifts and talents in service to the Church.

We are blessed by the prayer, presence and good works of so many organizations and lay movements within the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. We encourage those who may have an interest in becoming a part of any one of these groups to reference the contact information listed in the Catholic Directory.

  • Avilas. The Avilas were established in 1972 to promote new vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life and to also be steadfast in prayer and support for the priests, deacons and vowed religious who now serve God’s family in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.
  • Catholic Blind Community. The Apostolate to the deaf, hard of hearing and blind offers religious, social and supportive services to impaired individuals and their families.
  • Catholic Renewal Ministries. Catholic Renewal Ministries was established under the name of Catholic Charismatic Renewal in 1976 to foster the charismatic renewal in the Diocese of Cleveland.
  • Catholic Daughters of the Americas. From its inception in 1903, Catholic Daughters of the Americas has grown into the largest organization of Catholic women in the Americas. The purpose of the organization is to participate in the religious, charitable and educational apostolates of the Church.
  • Catholic Engaged Encounter of Cleveland. Catholic Engaged Encounter of Cleveland was established in 1986 to provide preparation for couples marrying in the Catholic Church. Married couples, along with a priest or deacon, share their personal experiences so the engaged can examine their relationship.
  • Catholic Order of Foresters. The Catholic Order of Foresters was established in 1883 as a fraternal society. It is committed to providing members with opportunities for spiritual, social and charitable growth.
  • Christ Child Society. The Cleveland Chapter was established in 1916 and is a Roman Catholic service organization. Currently, the society raises money by selling handmade baby items, children’s clothing and thrift items at its east and west side stores. Funds raised are directed to programs to help needy children.
  • Christian Family Movement. Christian Family Movement is a national network of parish/ neighborhood small groups. Through the use of programming available from the CFM USA Office and the dynamics of small group interaction, Christian values are reinforced and families are encouraged to reach out in action to others.
  • The Community of Jesus, the Living Mercy Established in 2008, the Community of Jesus, the Living Mercy, is a lay community following in the footsteps of St. Mary Euphrasia through a covenant relationship with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Consecrated to the Mother of Sorrows, through the taking of private vows, the Community is committed to seeking the face of Christ and revealing His mercy to the wounded heart, especially to those women and men who suffer after abortions.
  • Community of the Little Brothers and Sisters of the Eucharist. This is a ministry of presence among our poor and handicapped brothers and sisters. The lifestyle is contemplative in the midst of the world.
  • Contemplative Outreach. Founded in 1984 by Father Thomas Keating Contemplative Outreach is a network of faith communities committed to the process and transmission of Christian transformation. Centering Prayer is the method by which this process is initiated and sustained.
  • Cursillo. Cursillo is a Spanish word meaning “little” or “short course.” It is a three-day course which begins on Thursday evening and ends on Saturday night. The objective of Cursillo is to transform all environments for Christ, through personal sanctification and by bringing Christ to the environments of home, work, and community.
  • Enthronement of the Sacred Heart. This apostolate propagates a “way of life” for God’s people and fosters the Eucharistic life of individuals and families, which in turn extend to parish family and communities. This work places high priority on the spiritual formation of apostles in order to bring about a devotion to the person of Jesus.
  • Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. This organization was established in 1095. Its purpose is to defend, support and maintain the Holy Sepulchre (the place of our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection) and the pilgrims to the same and to preserve and protect the Christian presence in the Holy Land.
  • Families in Christ Jesus. This organization was established in October 1987 for the purpose of bringing families to Christ. They are a movement of Catholic Christian communities who believe in the urgent need to respond to God’s call to defend and proclaim His Gospel on the family.
  • Faith & Light, USA. An international ecumenical association of people with developmental disabilities, their families and friends who meet to pray, share and celebrate together.
  • First Friday Clubs. The First Friday Clubs of Greater Akron, Cleveland and Lorain were founded with the purpose of bringing the best Catholic thinkers, teachers, and leaders to the diocese on a monthly basis to promote a better understanding of the significant issues impacting church, family, work, and community life. These luncheon series take place in three locations throughout the diocese.
  • Gentle Woman Fellowship. The Gentle Woman Fellowship was established on October 2, 1981 and is a group of Catholic women who are endeavoring to grow in the fullness of the Spirit and to deepen their knowledge of their Christian faith in union with their beloved Pope.
  • Holy Name Society. Holy Name Society is a confraternity of the Catholic Church established in 1264 to counteract the Albigenisan Heresy which denied the possibility of the Divinity of Christ. It is a spiritual organization which assists members in their own personal sanctification and the sanctification of all.
  • International Order of Alhambra. A Catholic international organization founded in 1904. It is a fraternal organization of Catholic men dedicated to assisting persons who are developmentally disabled. Alhambra focuses its primary efforts on providing assistance to developmentally disabled persons through its charitable programs and projects.
  • Juan XXIII Community. John XXIII is an international apostolic movement born in Puerto Rico in 1973. The movement has its own charism and works with the marginalized people from society and inactive Catholics to bring them to the life of the Church.
  • Knights of Columbus. A fraternal benefit society of Catholic men founded in 1882. Its purpose is the dedication to the principles of charity, piety, brotherly love and patriotism. The society provides and engages in educational, charitable and religious activities as well as social welfare, and war and public relief.
  • Knights of St. John. Organized as a fraternal organization in 1886 as the Roman Catholic Union of the Knights of St. John, the Order was founded under the protection of St. John the Baptist. The modern Knights of St. John has for its purposes: to foster a feeling of fraternity among its members; to improve their moral, mental and social condition; to aid and support members and their families in case of need; and to participate in a special way in the functions of the Catholic Church.
  • Knights of St. Peter Claver. Founded in1909, the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary is the largest African American lay Catholic organization and is located in 34 states. They provide an opportunity for all parishioners to be actively involved in their Catholic faith by living the Gospel message.
  • Legion of Mary. The Legion of Mary is organized on the model of any army. Through a balanced program of prayer and service the Legion of Mary strives to help others grow in the faith. Their goal is to bring others to Jesus through Mary by the works they do.
  • Ministry of Mothers’ Sharing. Women gather to form a network of mutual support to grow spiritually and to inspire and affirm each other, their spouses and children. It is a nationwide program providing a Catholic Christian community and spiritual growth for mothers.
  • Neocatechumenal Way. . TheNeocatechumenal Way is approved by the Holy See and experienced through small communities within a parish. It seeks to help us understand God’s call for our conversion and how this can dramatically change our lives. We do this by researching our Catholic faith and openly sharing what we have learned with one another and discussing how this can impact our lives. The end result is a caring community that reflects the love shared by the original Holy Family and is able to share this faith with others in a Spirit of love and courage.
  • Our Lord of the Miracles Community. Our Lord of the Miracle is a Peruvian devotion brought to the Diocese of Cleveland and other dioceses in the US in order to spread, cultivate and maintain the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. It continues this devotion by organizing, promoting and maintaining traditional events for the entire Catholic community with its annual Mass celebration and street procession.

  • The Philippine American Ministry (P.A.M.) coordinates spiritual, liturgical and social events with the Philippine American Catholics. 

  • Presentation Ministries. Presentation Ministries was founded in the mid 1980’s and focuses on establishing ministries and home-based communities in order to disciple Catholics more deeply for Christ. In summary: 1) draw others to a deep relationship with Jesus through God’s Word; 2) teach and equip through the Holy Spirit and His Gifts; and 3) encourage the formation of home-based communities.
  • Regnum Christi. Regnum Christi is an apostolic movement at the service of mankind and the Church. Founded by Fr. Marcial Maciel in 1959, the Regnum Christi Movement includes lay men and women, as well as deacons and priests. It contributes to spreading Christ’s message to humanity by undertaking personal, organized apostolic activity.
  • Retrouvaille. Offers a weekend and six follow-up discussions for couples who are struggling in their marriages. “There is always hope and help available for those who want their marriages to work.”
  • St. Francis Xavier Mission Association. The St. Francis Xavier Mission Association was formed in 1946 as a way to support the Cleveland missioners through prayer and monetary donations. Over the years, support has included missioners working in the home dioceses, abroad, and also our own diocesan mission team in El Salvador. There are approximately 47 Missions Circles as of 2008.
  • St. Joseph’s Queen of Angels Apostolate. We are a group of faith-based friends combining our talents and treasure to teach and evangelize our Catholic Faith through books, CD’s, videos and speakers.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society. Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings, and adherence to a basic rule.
  • Secular Franciscan Order. The mission of the Secular Franciscan Order is: “Try to live the Gospel according to the life and teachings of St. Francis of Assisi.” Fraternities gather once a month for mutual support and reflection and ongoing formation. They strive towards perfect charity and pledge to live the Gospel by means of the rules approved by the Church.
  • Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites. The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites was established in 1939. It is an association of the faithful who undertake the pursuit of evangelical perfection in the world. Secular Carmelites strive to develop their spiritual life by fostering a life of prayer, sacramental and liturgical prayer (Morning, Evening and Night Prayer of the Church) and if possible daily celebration of the Eucharist.
  • Secular Order of the Servants of Mary (Servites), St. Juliana Falconieri Community. This organization was founded in 1993 and consists of lay men and women who, united by their Christian baptism and directed by the Holy Spirit in the path to holiness, wish to align and unite themselves in the Service of Christ and their sisters and brothers in the world by drawing on the inspiration of Mary, the Mother and Servant of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • Serra. Serra is comprised of Catholic men and women who come together to pray and to work for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life. They are also committed to enhancing their learning of the Catholic faith and wish to share with others. Members of Serra also have the purpose of encouraging those who are in the priesthood, diaconate and religious life.
  • Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, CSA Associates. Established in 1986. The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, vowed members and associates, see themselves as members of the Body of Christ called to share the love of God with those around us. They offer opportunities to grow spiritually, ministerially and personally.
  • Sisters of St. Dominic, OP (Adrian) Associates. The primary purpose of Associate is to respond to a call to live the Dominican charism within a chosen lifestyle. Adrian Dominican Associates are women and men who share values with Adrian Dominican Sisters. They participate in the mission of the Congregation and desire active ministry in the Church and society.
  • Sisters of Notre Dame, SND Associates. Drawn by the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame, the associates are called by God to be a hope-filled presence in the world. This associate relationship deepens their relationship with God through prayer, impels them to radical discipleship and moves them to solidarity with the poor and marginalized.
        • Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, IHM Associates. The love of Jesus Christ united us in community and impels us to proclaim the good news of salvation. We are drawn together in community by Jesus Christ, whom we love and in whom we believe and we rely on the Holy Spirit to preserve the bond of our unity and empower us to serve God’s people.
        • Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland, OSU Associates. The Associate Program is outreach of the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland. The Associates are a group of women who join the Ursuline Sisters in their mission: To transform society through contemplation, justice and compassion.
        • World Apostolate of Fatima / Blue Army. In 1947, this organization was established as a parish movement called the Blue Army. Now, it is a worldwide movement present in more than one hundred countries with millions of members around the world who follow the requests made by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: daily recitation of the Rosary for world peace, and prayers and sacrifices for sinners and reparation to the Eucharistic Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the devotion of the five First Saturdays of the month.
        • Worldwide Marriage Encounter. In the 1970’s Worldwide Marriage Encounter was established with its mission of renewal in the church and change in the world to assist couples and priests by providing them with a Catholic experience and ongoing community support.

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