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.

Day 90: St. Martin de Porres

The Senior Department at St. Martin de Porres serves up to sixty-five individuals a day. Some attend for the full five-hour program and others just come in to partake in the daily lunch.

A lovely couple came in daily to have lunch. They would converse with the people at their table and leave shortly after. The wife became ill and was hospitalized for an extended length of time. During her stay at the hospital her husband continued to come to the center to have lunch and receive the support of the seniors and staff during his difficult time.

One day, while driving between the center and the hospital the husband was in a car accident. He could no longer drive and had to be admitted to a rehab facility. The staff remained in contact with the family so that the seniors who were eager to know could be kept up to date with the condition of both the husband and wife.

Sadly, the wife passed away not long after. The seniors at the center were quite saddened when they received the news. Center staff made transportation arrangements for those seniors that had the desire to attend the funeral and pay their respects.

One day, the husband called and mentioned he was interested in receiving transportation to and from the center so that he could continue in the lunch program. Arrangements were made and he began to attend the center daily for the five-hour program.

Today, he is still excited to come everyday and has been participating in the exercise classes. He socializes with the other seniors and has commented that he didn’t realize what he had been missing.

What started out as just an opportunity to have lunch amongst peers has turned into a time for socialization and fun. This gentleman takes full advantage of the services offered by the center from the emergency food bag to supportive services in helping him link to other resources in the community. He has expressed his gratefulness for what the senior center has to offer him and the fellowship with staff and seniors. While he misses his wife, he is happy to have his days filled with people to intermingle with and not be home alone.

 -Submitted by Patrica P., St. Martin de Porres

Day 89: John Paul’s Story

This is an email that I recently received from a parent who emailed me about enrolling his son who has autism into our day camp for children with special needs. -From a staff member this past spring when we asked for stories to be shared.

I am both anxious to enroll John Paul and excited for him to be there again. He loves it. He was at St. Eugene’s last summer. I was really impressed with the team there. Let me tell you about one experience. I frequently took John Paul to children’s hospital for therapy and other appointments.

One day at the hospital we were walking through the lobby and come to find the Sum Fun team from St. Eugene’s was there too. We were all surprised to see each other, but what was touching was why they were there. After camp was over for the day, they stopped to see one of their campers who was admitted to the hospital.

That really touched me both then… and as I am writing it now.

Day 88: Camp Cheerful

Residents of St. Augustine Health Campus are packed and READY!

Boxes have been packed with equipment & supplies, buses were loaded and the resident campers headed out on Sunday for their week-long camping adventure at Camp Cheerful.

In addition to the Campers, residents who want to enjoy “Day Camp” but want to be home to sleep in their own beds, will depart from the Campus! Although activities are planned, the beauty of this trip is that Residents will be able to choose from a wide variety of things to do ~ whenever they want!

Click here to view the camping week schedule. If you would like to join us call Mary at 216-939-7711.

This is another example of how St. Augustine Health Ministries lives out our Mission of “Promoting Quality of Life and Independence of each person entrusted to our care.”

THANK YOU! It is only through commitment of our staff, numerous volunteers (individuals and groups) and donors (both monetary and in-kind) that we are able to embark on such an adventure as Camping!

Please join us TODAY, WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22 at Camp Cheerful in Strongsville as we celebrate and give thanks for all who have been a part of this Healing Ministry throughout our history.

Day 87: History Lesson (the 1920’s)

As we near the end of our 100 days of sharing, we will reflect more on the past 10 decades that brought us to this point… our timeline continues…

Please note, as most things dating back this long ago, some conflicting dates or facts may have been recorded – if you discover any discrepancies or errors, contact Samantha at smealy(at)clevelandcatholiccharities(dot)org to correct the error.

April 8, 1919
Catholic Charities Corporation is incorporated. First lay Board of Catholic Charities

Corporation established representing 90 parishes.. Fr. LeBlond is first diocesan director of Catholic Charities Corporation. First fundraising drive raised $50,000. [I have that the first appeal in 1919 raised $ 79,000]. Corporation was founded to build facilities and help retire debt. Herman J. Trenkamp, a prominent Catholic businessman organizes Catholic laymen to raise funds and relieve the diocese’s growing annual deficit. Cleveland Community Chest (predecessor to United Way) would pay for direct human services.

Procured land in Parma Township

Catholic Service League opened office in Akron

Big Brother Department of the Catholic Charities Bureau of the St. Vincent DePaul Society offers preventative and protective work for boys at the Juvenile Court.

September 1922
Rose-Mary, The Johanna Grasselli Home for Crippled Children is established, through the generous gift of Caesar A. Grasselli, who donated his summer home on Euclid Avenue to the Diocese. Responsibility for the care of the children and management of the Center was given to the Humility of Mary Sisters.

Big Sisters was formed to help pre-delinquent and immigrant Catholic girls

Sept 27, 1925
Parmadale Children’s Village of St. Vincent de Paul was dedicated, housing 450 boys aged 6 – 16. The new campus is the outgrowth of the St. Vincent DePaul Orphanage (established in 1853) and the St. Louis Orphanage in Louisville, Ohio. Parmadale is managed by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine charged to oversee Parmadale. Cardinal Patrick Hayes of New York City dedicates the village for boys 6 – 16 at 6753 State Road, Parma. [Cardinal Hayes was founder of the New York archdiocesan Catholic Charities in 1920; he was known as “the Cardinal of Charities”].