Friday, October 15, 2021
The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland will begin its synodal process with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Edward Malesic at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 17 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. All are invited to attend. The Mass will be livestreamed on the diocesan website.

The Vatican announced the Synod on Synodality to listen, as the entire people of God, to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the worldwide Church. The theme for the synod is “Towards a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.”

Bishop Edward C. Malesic appointed Lisa M. Durst as secretary of Parish Life and Development, replacing Sister Rita Mary Harwood, SND, who retired from the position in August.

Durst will work under the direction of the vicar general/moderator of the curia for the diocese, and will provide leadership for the offices of the secretariat. She also will work collaboratively with the bishop’s senior staff, parishes and various other groups within the diocese. Among her duties, Durst will be responsible for collaborating with the vicar for evangelization for the purpose of planning and executing diocesan wide initiatives, recommending programming and resources for diocesan wide initiatives and preparing reports in areas of responsibility.

There was palpable excitement on Oct. as about 350 women gathered for the sold-out third annual Cleveland Catholic Women’s Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfield. Inspired by St. Faustina, the theme was “Divine Mercy: The More a Soul Trusts, the More it will Receive.”

After being forced to meet virtually last year because of the pandemic, event organizers and attendees said they were happy to be together again in person. Jenn Martin, one of the organizers, told the group it was beautiful to see the diversity of women in attendance in terms of age and vocations.

Miguel Chavez’s enthusiasm permeated the room as he spoke about “Joy: How are we called to be Missionary Disciples,” at the Theology on the Rocks West’s Oct. 11 meeting at the Double Tree by Hilton in Westlake. About three dozen people attended the program.

Chavez is director of the Diocese of Cleveland’s Office of Missionary Discipleship.

He offered his definition of a missionary disciple, telling the attendees that “missionary disciple are roving storytellers who captivate hearts to Christ by telling the greatest love story in the history of the world.”

Members of the five Serra Clubs in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland gathered at the cathedral rectory on Oct. 12 for an evening social, prayer and discussion.

“I’m delighted to welcome you to my home,” Bishop Edward Malesic told the group of about 50 who attended the event. Also present were Father Mike McCandless, diocesan vocation director; Father Alex Spenik, who was ordained in May and serves as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish, Painesville; seminarian Jeff Lindholm from St. Bernadette Parish, Westlake; and Father Joe Hilinski, pastor, St. Barbara Parish, Cleveland, and the diocesan delegate for ecumenical and interfaith affairs.

Holy Trinity Parish in Avon, located at the intersection of Detroit and Nagel roads, was busy the evening of Oct. 13 as parishioners, brother priests, family and friends of Father Vince Hawk celebrated his installation as pastor of Holy Trinity, one of the oldest parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland.

Prior to celebrating the 7 p.m. Mass. Bishop Edward Malesic prayed over Father Hawk, who pledged his loyalty to the Church and signed documents making his appointment official with parish and school administrators, pastors from across Lorain County and priests from his past assignments serving as witnesses.

The altar servers were lined up and ready as Deacon Larry Gregg, who served as emcee for Bishop Edward Malesic, made sure each knew his or her part for the St. Paschal Baylon School Mass on Oct. 13.

They were ready – and excited – to be involved in the all-school Mass being celebrated by Bishop Malesic. The St. Paschal community welcomed the bishop with a green and yellow banner and a balloon bouquet outside the church doors. Father John Thomas Lane, SSS, St. Paschal pastor, and Father Juancho Ramos, SSS, parochial vicar, concelebrated. St. Paschal Baylon Parish in Highland Heights is a ministry of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.

Members of the Keeping the Faith task force continue working on proposals that will help strengthen Catholic education in the Diocese of Cleveland and ensure its vibrancy and affordability to all who desire a Catholic education. They presented reports and proposed change ideas to the full committee during a plenary session on Oct. 12.

The task force was announced by Bishop Edward Malesic during Catholic Schools Week 2021, which was observed Jan. 31 to Feb. 7. The initiative evolved from a think tank created in 2019 by Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson Perez during his time as bishop of Cleveland.

The Sisters of Charity Health System announced that president and CEO Thomas J. Strauss will step down from his position effective Dec. 31n after five years of service to the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine.
Stepping into the role on Jan. 1, 2022, will be Janice G. Murphy, who currently is president of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in downtown Cleveland.

“When we asked Tom to join us in 2017, the business of health care was rapidly changing,” said Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and chair of the public juridic person of SCHS.

In his weekly Scripture reflection, Bishop Edward Malesic talks about salvation, telling the disciples how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God, using the analogy of it being “easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” This puzzled the disciples, who wondered who could be saved. Jesus said the rich have a more difficult time grasping God because they spend so much time holding on to worldly things. The disciples realized that we tend to grasp at material things and wondered about how difficult it is to “pass through the eye of the needle.”
Read the entire reflection here.
And finally...
Did you know that Catholic Charities Disability Services & Ministries discontinued its Walk of Hope fundraiser after 44 years? Watch for information on a new fundraiser they plan to begin in spring 2022.

The diocesan Young Adult Ministry will have a pumpkin carving/Halloween-themed event at 6 p.m. Oct. 21 at St. Christopher Parish in Rocky River. That same evening at 7 p.m., there will be Eucharistic devotions at St. Bernard Church in Akron and Theology on Tap Chagrin Falls will have a guest speaker at 7 p.m. at Holy Angels Church. Click here for more young adult ministry programs.

 “Generative Spirits: Conversations with Catholic Sisters,” a podcast sponsored by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, is featuring a two-part program with Sister Rita Mary Harwood, SND, the recently retired head of the diocesan Secretariat for Parish Life and Development. The first program aired Oct. 8; the second will be released Oct. 22. In a separate 10-minute program recorded just days before his death, Sister Harwood talks about the late Cleveland Bishop emeritus Anthony Pilla.
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