Day 100: The next hundred…

Here we are – day 100!  What a journey it has been, we truly thank the thousands of you who have stopped by and shared in the stories of these past 100 years.

This final story isn’t a narrative of the past, or even the present – but more of a promise to the future: the next 100 years and beyond.  We’ve done a lot since 1912 for the people and communities of Northeast Ohio, but there is still more to do.  Throughout the year, we have adopted the Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila as a “theme” for our centennial anniversary…

Christ has no body now, but yours.

No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which

Christ looks compassion into the world.

Yours are the feet

with which Christ walks to do good.

Yours are the hands

with which Christ blesses the world.


Our hands have always helped those in need, or hearts have always been open and ready to serve, and our mission is just as strong today as it was yesterday, and it will remain so tomorrow.  We are Christ here on Earth to the least among us.

We thank you for being a part of the journey in these first 100 years – we welcome you along as we enter into the next 100.  Stay tuned for more stories!

Day 99: History Lesson (80’s to present)

Bishop Anthony M. Pilla (Bishop of Cleveland from 1980 – 2006) appoints Fr. Walter H. Jenne as Secretary for Social Concerns.

Institutional orphaned population dwindles at Parmadale and more special needs children are accepted for treatment from the Cuyahoga County Department of Children Services, the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court and the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability; children also accepted from similar systems outside of Cuyahoga County.


  • Catholic Counseling Center establishes the first outpatient chemical dependency treatment program under contract with Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court.
  • Ground-breaking for Rose-Mary Center Children’s wings

Fr. Jenne recruits J. Thomas Mullen as consultant to restructure members of the Federation of Catholic Community Services


  • The first Intensive Treatment Facility built at Parmadale opens.
  • Matt Talbot Inn’s Board of Trustees founds Scarborough House, a three-quarter way house for recovering women. [Scarborough House spins off and becomes its own 501(C)3 organization; receives support from the Franciscans].

Rose-Mary Center’s first group home for adults, Euclid House, was opened.

August 1991
Creation of Catholic Charities Services Corporation for the purpose of planning, coordinating and assisting with the development, maintenance, operation and management of Catholic social programs and services for individuals, families, youth and young adults, elderly, disabled, poor and underprivileged. J. Thomas Mullen is President/CEO. [Two subsidiaries were subsequently formed in 1992: Catholic Social Services Corp of N.E. Ohio; Catholic Youth and Community Services Corp.]

March 19, 1992
Catholic Social Services Corporation of N.E. Ohio is formed under the parent company Catholic Charities Services Corporation and includes:

  • Catholic Counseling Center
  • Catholic Social Services of Cuyahoga County
  • Catholic Social Services of Lorain County
  • Catholic Social Services of Lake County
  • Catholic Social Services of Geauga County
  • Catholic Social Services of Medina, Ashland and Wayne Counties

July 1, 1993
Catholic Social Services and Counseling of Cuyahoga County is formed upon the merger of Catholic Social Services of Cuyahoga County and Catholic Counseling Center – at this point the services include Christ Child DePaul Day Care, Big Brothers and Sisters, DePaul Young Parent Program for pregnant or unwed teen mothers, Adoption/Birth Parent Services, Volunteer Services, Migration and Refugee Services, Outpatient Mental Health for youth and adults, Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment and Prevention for youth and Hispanic adults, Employment Services, Senior Nutrition Center Programs, Hispanic AIDS Education, Family Life Education and others. The agency has 15 service locations in Cuyahoga County. Anthony DeBaggis, Jr. is Executive Director. The merger was recommended by United Way and mandated by the new corporation.


  • Bishop Pilla appoints J. Thomas Mullen as the first layperson as Secretary for Social Concerns.
  • Catholic Charities Facilities Services, Inc. is established and is responsible for buildings and asset management for the properties within the Catholic Charities system of services. In the following years, Catholic Charities Housing was created for the purpose of developing affordable housing throughout the diocese. [To date, 14 housing projects have been completed, totaling over 1,100 living units. No Catholic Charities funds are utilized for these developments]
  • Some programs of Catholic Social Services of Cuyahoga County are “moved” to other entities: Volunteer Services becomes part of CCSC, Migration and Refugee Services become part of Parish Social Ministry, Adoption and Birth Parent Counseling is transferred to Catholic Social Services of Lorain County. DePaul Center is closed and sold to Cuyahoga Community College.
  • The last Humilty of Mary Executive Director of Rose-Mary Center, Sr. Rosemary Hammer, retired; and the first lay Executive Director patricia A. Colombo was hired.
  • The second Intensive Treatment Facility built at Parmadale opens, along with the Multi Purpose Center.


  • Catholic Social Services Corporation of N. E. Ohio is merged into Catholic Charities Services Corporation. Anthony DeBaggis, Jr. retires as Executive Director of Catholic Social Services of Cuyahoga County and the position is eliminated. [Some entities under Catholic Youth and Community Services are eventually also merged into Catholic Charities Services Corporation, e.g. Matt Talbot Inn, St. Martin De Porres, Fatima Family Center, etc.]
  • St. Anthony Adult Day Center, a social day program for seniors with developmental and or physical disabilities, was opened.

Bishop Anthony J. Pilla dedicates the Ellen Bonnie Mandel Sensory Garden and Sensory Room at Rose-Mary Center, one of the first of its kind in Ohio, providing sensory stimulation and activities for the children.

Establishment of Catholic Community Care, an alliance of Catholic hospitals and nursing homes within the diocese


  • Catholic Charities Health and Human Services incorporated for the purpose of overseeing the management and operations of the supporting organizations – [Catholic Charities Corporation, Catholic Charities Services Corporation, Catholic Charities Facilities and Housing Corporation, Rose-Mary Center, St. Augustine Health Campus, Catholic Charities Parish and Community Services, Diocesan Social Action, Catholic Social Services of Summit County, CYO and Community Services of Summit County – and with links to Catholic Community Care and Caritas Connection]. J. Thomas Mullen named President and CEO.
  • Parmadale Family Services merges with Catholic Charities Services of Cuyahoga County.

Catholic Charities Services Corporation establishes Matt Talbot for Women, a residential treatment center for women who are addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs, and their children. This is in direct response to a need identified by the Cuyahoga County Dept. of Children and Family Services. This is a “sister” organization to Matt Talbot Inn.

Establishment of Caritas Connection, a formal partnership between Catholic Charities Health and Human Services, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, and the CSA Health System

Merger of Catholic Community Care and Caritas Connection to form Catholic Community Connection

Catholic Charities Community Services incorporated to oversee the management of employment and training, family centers and day care programs within Catholic Charities Health and Human Services


  • Merger of Catholic Social Services of Summit County into CYO & Community Services
  • Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (as of 2006) dedicates the new Parmadale Institute, a state-of-the-art secure residential treatment facility for youth between the ages of 11 and 21 years old. Located on the campus of Parmadale Family Services in Parma, Ohio, the Parmadale Institute is licensed for up to 80 children able to be housed in 5 distinct living units for 16 children each, by the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH). Also accredited by the Joint Commission. The Parmadale Institute includes over 100,000 square feet of secure residential and therapeutic facilities, and features a 50,000 square feet secure outdoor courtyard to promote therapeutic activities and recreation within the complex. The Parmadale Institute is designed to provide services for youth with the most intensive and high frequency behavioral health needs, including youth with a history of mental illness; intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD); issues of drug abuse and chemical dependency; and a significant history of aggression and/or self-injury.


  • Summit County organization, CYO & Community Services, joins Catholic Charities Community Services
  • Patrick Gareau appointed President and CEO for Catholic Charities Health and Human Services


  • Rose-Mary Center celebrates its 90th anniversary—of service to community as a member of Catholic Charities
  • Catholic Charities celebrates its 100th anniversary

Day 98: History Lesson (60’s and 70’s)

Our timeline continues…

Catholic Charities sponsors acquisition of 15 acres of land in Warrensville Heights for Little Sisters of the Poor home for the aged


  • Fr. Michael Ivanko appointed Director of Catholic Charities
  • Catholic Counseling Center is formed through a merger of the Catholic Child Guidance Clinic and the Catholic Youth Service Bureau, serving children and adolescents from preschool to age 21, and their parents. Richard Kelly is its first Executive Director.


  • Catholic Counseling Center adds a School Social Work Section.
  • Matt Talbot Inn is founded by Fr. Bernard Scarborough, O.F. M. as a halfway house to provide residential care for men recovering from alcohol and other drug addiction. It is named after the Venerable Matt Talbot, an 18th century Irishman who overcame the affliction of addiction by submitting to God, his Higher Power. [Matt Talbot Inn is currently a 27-bed primary residential treatment center for men recovering from addiction].


  • Rose-Mary Center changed its mission to serve children with developmental disabilities
  • CYO of Summit County incorporated to encourage, promote and conduct activities toward the betterment of community, especially its youth


  • Bishop Clarence G. Issenmann (Bishop of Cleveland from 1966 – 1974) appoints Fr. Casimir Ciolek as Director of Catholic CharitiesCatholic Charities Bureau is renamed Catholic Family and Children’s Services.

St. Augustine Manor incorporated at 7818 Detroit Avenue to provide services not limited to but primarily for elderly persons

30 autonomous social service agencies affiliated with the Diocese and recipients of Catholic Charities funding formed voluntary alliance, Federation of Catholic Community Services which becomes a centralized programming, planning and administrative body. Its first Executive Director is Frank Catliotta from 1972 – 1983.

Catholic Counseling Center adds the Youth Outreach Program on Near West Side which developed into the Hispanic Services Office.


  • First women elected to Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities Corporation
  • St. Anthony Home for Boys merges with Parmadale and children from its original site of 8301 Detroit Avenue move into cottages 4, 18 and 20. There is a name chage to “Parmadale Family Services” as a result of the union of Parmadale Children’s Village of St. Vincent DePaul and the St. Anthony Home for Boys and Young Men.


  • Fr. Edward J. Camille develops diocesan Secretariat management system.
  • Bishop James A. Hickey (Bishop of Cleveland from 1974 – 1980) appoints Fr. Camille as the first Secretary for Social Concerns, which includes the director of Catholic Charities.

Catholic Social Services of Cuyahoga County is formed through a merger of Catholic Family and Children’s Services, Catholic Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the DePaul Maternity and Infant Home.

Day 97: History Lesson (30’s, 40’s, and 50’s)

It’s the final week of our 100 days of sharing!  Here, is another bit of the timeline that’s gotten us to 100 years of service!

Catholic Charities has branch offices in Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Barberton and Massillon. Central office in downtown Cleveland serves as clearing house for admission of all children to institutional care and future placement.


  • Fr. LeBlond appointed Bishop of St. Joseph, Missouri
  • Fr. Michael Moriarity appointed Director of Catholic Charities

Declaration issued that Catholic Charities Corporation conduct Annual Appeal to assist direct services, raising $186,163

September 1937
Introduction of Catholic Youth Organization, designed to serve youth, coordinate and organize youth activities, serve young people at parish level and speak on behalf of youth in the community

The Sisters of the Incarnate Word take over the administration of the Home of the Holy Family after Ellen Donovan dies.

Fr. Albert Murphy, Ph.D. leaves post at National Conference of Catholic Charities in Washington to assume position of Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities in Cleveland.


  • Catholic Youth Service Bureau established, emphasizing a professional approach to youth services, rather than a commendable volunteer plan, to serve adolescent boys and girls.
  • The Diocese of Cleveland acquires the Cunningham Sanitarium on E. 185th and Lakeshore; a new building (later becoming St. Joseph Academy) is called St. Joseph-on-the-Lake.


  • Diocese of Youngstown established, leaving 8 counties within the Diocese of Cleveland serving 450,000 Catholics
  • Bishop Edward F. Hoban accepts the deed to the Delaney home, another generous gift to the Diocese, which is located adjacent to Rose-Mary Center, and is named St. Theresa’s Home for Preschool Children

March 1944
109 girls remaining at St. Joseph Orphanage for Girls are transferred to St. Joseph-on-the-Lake (formerly the site of Cunningham Sanitarium).


  • Bishop Edward F. Hoban (Bishop of Cleveland from 1945 – 1966) dedicates additional cottages at Parmadale Children’s Village to accommodate over 100 girls transferred from the former St. Joseph Orphanage for Girls in 1948. Cottages 16, 18, and 20 were added. The girls moved into the side near the administration building (the Family Center).
  • Catholic Charities central office moves to Chancery Building
  • Catholic Charities opens branch office in Painesville
  • Catholic Charities assumes responsibilities for Catholic children following the dissolution of the Cleveland Children’s Bureau of the Humane Society

Catholic Charities Bureau added new agency, Resettlement Council, in response to a growing refugee and immigrant population, and to coordinate efforts on behalf of displaced newcomers to Cleveland

May 15, 1949
The new Rose-Mary Home, which joined the Grasselli and Delaney Homes and was considered to be a state-of-the art Center for children with physical disabilities, was dedicated to coincide with the 31st annual Catholic Charities Campaign. Auxilary Bishop Floyd L. Begin officiated.


  • Fr. Frederick Mohan appointed Director of Catholic Charities Bureau
  • Catholic Charities opens office in Wooster
  • Catholic Service League of Akron opens Lenora Hall home for working girls

Catholic Big Brothers and Sisters program becomes a separate program under Catholic Charities Bureau.


  • Parmadale Children’s Village accepts the girls from the defunct Holy Family Children Home.
  • Parmadale adds a convent and an administration building.

Marycrest School for girls opens in Independence [Marycrest was established in 1948 from the House of Good Shepherd; at first in Wickliffe and then moved to Independence in 1986; their Wickliffe building was sold and became the Boromeo Seminary]

Catholic Child Guidance Clinic is established for five- to eleven-year-old children with emotional problems, providing expert clinical interventions.

Dominican Sisters open 25 bed temporary facility to serve “all needy incurable cancer victims without regard for race, color or religion, free of charge.” First patient admitted in October was non-Catholic.

June 1959
Archbishop Hoban dedicates 100-bed Holy Family Home, built with funds raised by Catholic Charities Corporation. In the 3 years since its inception, 1,224 patients were served, 781 of whom were Catholic.


Day 96: The Garden

Another beautiful story recently published by the Plain Dealer!  This one was posted last Thursday by reporter Julie Washington.  Thank you, Julie for sharing this lovely story!

The world doesn’t need more asphalt. It needs more black-eyed Susans, spreading pine trees and trickling waterfalls.

St. Augustine Health Ministries, a long-term-care facility on Cleveland’s West Side, came to this brilliant conclusion a few years ago and started raising money to turn a corner of its parking lot into a green oasis.

The money was raised, the pond was dug, and now that the garden has had a few years to flourish, marketing director Dana Carns invited me to see St. Augustine’s Life Enriching Gardens and learn about how this project has affected lives there.

“We’re in the city surrounded by cement,” Carns said. She and other administrators felt it was important for patients to have green space, a retreat where they wouldn’t need to be supervised.

The garden has filled that need and more. Staffers take their breaks in the garden. Visiting families hang out there; kids love to ride on the wheelchair-friendly glider with grandparents or have squirt-gun fights.

Rain was threatening on the morning of my visit, but it held off long enough for Carns to stroll through the garden with me. A wide, concrete path wound between hostas and ornamental trees. A meditation area surrounds a statue of the Virgin Mary, which was donated along with benches and brick pavers. A waterfall and pond teeming with koi added the gurgle of running water.

It’s also the place where music therapy classes meet in nice weather. “It stimulates their senses,” she said.

Oreo, the center’s resident cat, considers the green space her domain. Residents make a game of searching for Oreo, whether she’s peeking out from a leafy hiding place or stretched wide on a bench.

Soon the rain came, and we retreated inside. Carns told me how the center spent five years raising nearly $300,000 for the garden and worked with a professional contractor and landscaper to build it. The center’s maintenance staff keeps up the garden, which is closed to the general public.

St. Augustine is a faith-based and not-for-profit health care facility offering skilled nursing, assisted-living, long-term and hospice care. Many of its 250 residents suffer from brain injuries, multiple sclerosis or other illnesses that leave them with limited physical functions.

“We try to bring life to them as much as we can,” Carns said.

“Full of life” certainly describes resident Marian Klepak, a smiling, upbeat woman who would only admit to being in her 70s. Her grandmother passed along a love of gardening to Klepak; the move to St. Augustine hasn’t stopped her from puttering outdoors.

“It’s fun. All the people enjoy it,” Klepak said. “I love those lilies [in the pond], they’re beautiful.”

Carns and I dropped in to the arts-and-crafts room, where creative-arts specialist Kristine Webber described the garden-related projects she uses to connect residents to the garden — picking pine cones for art projects, fashioning frogs and snakes out of clay, and painting pet rocks. Recently, she helped residents make plant markers to help identify the garden’s botanicals.

“We get to go out on our back porch at home. Now they have a place to go,” Webber said. “They love it, and it’s very calming.”

As I left St. Augustine, I took one more walk through the garden to savor its peacefulness. Klepak had told me how the ever-changing kaleidoscope of flowers, birds and the cat enticed her and other residents outdoors.

And I smiled recalling her suggestion that other nursing facilities put in gardens for their residents. “They’d be happier,” she said.

Day 95: Javier’s Story

‘Javier’ is a 13 year old camper with Down syndrome and a hearing impairment. He communicates minimally, but when he does, he uses basic sign language. Javier has been attending the SumFun program since he was 6 years old.

In prior years, during the five weeks of service, he resisted group activities, and was very shy about interacting with the other campers and counselors. Typically, it was well into weeks four or five before Javier was comfortable enough with the people and the routine to begin to participate and enjoy himself.

This summer, with the expansion to an eight week program, Javier was able to acclimate himself to the camp and still ease into four full weeks of activities. In the 2nd half of the summer, Javier enjoyed cooking activities, arts and crafts, horseback riding, swimming and more in a way that he had never done before. By the end of the summer, he was utilizing sign language to communicate in a more regular manner than he had achieved in prior summers, and he was even using his social skills in an appropriate manner to initiate play with other campers, something the staff had not seen him do in prior years. The additional three weeks of service added in 2011 made a huge difference in the progress that many of the campers were able to achieve during their summer break.


Day 94: Holy Family

Today’s story comes from a beautiful letter written to the editor of the Plain Dealer.  You can read the original post here.

Any family knows how hard it is to deal with a loved one who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Watching my mother fight this disease for the last three years has been very difficult for my family. With this burden on all of our shoulders, a blessing for not only my mother but the entire family was the care received at Holy Family Hospice located in Parma.

A smile stretched across my mother’s face when she knew Paula Jackson, social worker, and home nurse Monique Wright were on the way for a checkup. Not only did they make her feel better, but also provided my father with much comfort about the situation. Answering any questions, being available for phone calls at any given time, was a relief to all of us.

God bless my father for the care he gave my mother, for my brother and my three amazing sisters who never left her side as the time got worse.

As family members, we do not want a loved one to suffer, but the special people at Holy Family made the final days less painful.

From the clinical manager Joe Stupecki and to his whole staff, you are all unbelievable. Each and every one made my mother’s last few weeks very peaceful and much easier on my family. Thank you again to Jeff Moenich, Sheri Blazer, Sister Margaret-Mary, Father Simon, Theresa, Paul, Audrey, Annie and the rest of the staff at Holy Family. You truly are a gift from God.

Thank you.

Michael Arena and family

Valley City

Day 93: Walk by Faith

After careers in the business and political worlds I came to work at the Rose-Mary Center. What a difference! The culture at Rose-Mary was one of self giving as opposed to one of self preservation in the secular world. The goal for all was to make a positive difference in someone’s life rather than financial gain.

The children and adults we serve are an inspiration. They are completely dependent on us for assistance in their basic daily living activities yet remind us daily that we need to be like them in many ways. We need to recognize our own weaknesses and trust in others to overcome them. St Paul tells the Corinthians that we walk by faith and not by light. They were a sophisticated people and they needed a reminder that we are to live by faith in the Lord committed to things we cannot see and trust that if we hold onto his values we will prosper with blessings not of this world

Our parents and families inspire us as well. Many are the occasions when I have sat with worried moms and dads in emergency rooms or surgical family waiting areas while a life hung in the balance. These were times when conversations turned to their acceptance of the difficulties they faced as parents of fragile children. They explained how they came to trust in the Lord to guide them through. They truly walk by faith and not by light.

It has been nearly two decades since I began my ministry at Rose-Mary Center. It has truly been a time of unbelievable spiritual growth for me and as I look back on the circumstances that led me here I too recognize the gentle call from above that opened my ears to a greater good.

 -Ray D., Rose-Mary Center Employee

Day 92: Encouragement

As an African American male with an extensive criminal history, I was at my wit’s end trying to find a job.  A friend of mine referred me to Catholic Charities Employment and Training to get assistance with my job-search.  With the help of my case manager, I created a resume and obtained interviewing skills that gave me the confidence I needed to re-enter the workforce.  I must admit it was not an easy journey, I spent countless hours applying for positions but I stayed determined and was constantly encouraged by the Employment & Training Staff.

As a result, I am now working as a warehouseman with a growing company that has opportunities for advancement, competitive wages, and benefits.  I appreciate the time and encouragement the staff gave me and I would never hesitate to refer friends and family for assistance in their job search.


Day 91: Pay it forward

This story came to us from our “Share your Story” page on the blog!  There are only 9 days left to add your story to them mix!

I was received help from Catholic Charities many years ago. I was married 12 years when my husband left. I had 3 small children and no job. Catholic charities helped me by providing me with food $50 gift certificates to Giant Eagle and checked up on me for weeks. My gas had been disconnected and was completely paid and turned back on by people from the St Vincent DePaul Society that they sent out. I will never forget the help that they gave me and I try to pay it forward now. Thank you Catholic Charities.

-Terri S.