With Ash Wednesday marking the beginning of Lent, a season of prayer and repentance for Catholics, Cleveland Bishop Edward C. Malesic is encouraging the faithful to enter into the three spiritual exercises of increased prayer, greater fasting, and more generous almsgiving. On Friday, February 19, Bishop Malesic will take to Facebook Live at 10 a.m. for a 15-minute conversation to further examine these time-honored Lenten practices. The event, to which all are invited, will also be live-streamed on the Diocese of Cleveland website, www.dioceseofcleveland.org.
Bishop Malesic is also encouraging the faithful to participate in the 2021 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal that raises funds to serve people in need throughout Northeast Ohio. The 2021 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal, which has a goal of $13.5 million, will be introduced in all 187 parishes of the Diocese this weekend, February 20-21. This year's Annual Appeal kicks off with a $1 million matching gift, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor couple who believe in Catholic Charities' mission and wish to encourage others to support it as well.
"During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on almsgiving, which is giving money or goods to help care for our brothers and sisters in need. The 2021 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal presents a special opportunity to help people who are suffering, especially in light of the pandemic. Thank you to the faithful who generously support the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal. This is an act of mercy that allows us to look beyond ourselves and seek the good of another," says Bishop Malesic.
The theme of this year's Catholic Charities Annual Appeal is "Love Your Neighbor," told through the stories of local people whose lives have been made better with the help of Catholic Charities. These stories of hope, captured in videos, can be viewed at www.CatholicCommunity.org/videos. Catholic Charities in Northeast Ohio, one of the region's most significant health and human service providers, assists over 400,000 people in need annually throughout the eight-county Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Wayne). Catholic Charities addresses the region's most pressing social issues, such as hunger, homelessness, addiction, families in crisis, and care for the elderly. Last year's Appeal surpassed its goal, raising more than $14.4 million thanks to the generosity of nearly 44,000 donors.
Donations to the Appeal can be made securely by texting "CCHope" to "41444" or visiting www.catholiccommunity.org/Match. Donors can also call 216-696-6525 x1049 to donate. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $1 million.
For more information regarding the programs and services of Catholic Charities, visit www.ccdocle.org. The Catholic Charities Annual Appeal is managed by the Catholic Community Foundation, www.catholiccommunity.org.