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Amazing Grace at Catholic CharitiesDecember 20th, 2011
Steve Feldmann, the new Director of Agency Advancement for Catholic Charities SouthWestern Ohio, has an amazing story.
Steve’s birth mother was single mother and started working with Catholic Charities before his birth to have him placed for adoption. Steve was put in the care of Catholic Charities upon his birth and placed at St. Joseph Infant & Maternity Home. He then went into foster care and was eventually placed in St. Joseph Orphanage. He was adopted out of the Orphanage at 8½ years of age by a couple volunteering there for the summer. But because he was ve was born with a cleft lip and other birth defects, Steve continued a relationship with the agency throughout the remainder of his childhood as he underwent multiple corrective surgeries.
Steve is an attorney and government/community affairs professional who has previously served in leadership positions with Kohne O’Neill/Student Lending Works, Fischer Homes, and Student Loan Funding. He also served as staff counsel to U.S. Representative John Boehner in Washington, D.C. He holds a law degree from the University of Kentucky, an M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.A. & A.A. from Thomas More College.
He is a parishioner at St. Maximilian Kolbe in West Chester/Liberty and a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He lives in West Chester with his wife and two children. His family is also a foster family and currently has a foster son. Steve is on the Board of Advisors for St. Joseph Orphanage, an alumnus of Leadership Cincinnati, and on the visiting faculty at the Miami University Regional Campuses as an instructor on business law.
Steve is thrilled to be part of the agency that has meant so much to his life and success. He will be responsible for outreach, marketing, development and communications for the agency.
Saluting Black CatholicsNovember 3rd, 2011
Today, Nov. 3, is the feast of St. Martin de Porres, the first Black American recognized as a saint. He was canonized by Blessed John XXIII in 1962.
This month is also Black Catholic History month — a good time to reflect that there are about 3 million African American Catholics in the United States, and about 4,000 in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Learn more at our Office of African American Catholic Ministries.
Engaged or disengaged?October 5th, 2011
Members of Archdiocese of Cincinnati staff take a day of reflection each year to pray together and to step back as a group and reflect on what we are about. This year our speaker for this annual day of reflection was Matthew Kelly, a Catholic writer and business consultant.
Kelly’s company has done some fascinating research, the surprising results of which he shared with us.
You may heave heard that in any organization about 80 percent of all the time and money is contributed by 20 percent of the members. In surveying thousands of Catholic parishes around the United States, Kelly’s people learned that the Catholic core group is even smaller – 7 percent rather than 10 percent.
The upside of this unhappy news is that engaging just an extra 1 percent of the Catholic population would increase the total of engaged Catholics by 15 percentage points. That would be a huge impact.
Kelly is writing a book about what he calls the four signs of engaged Catholics – prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization. But a couple of other things he said about engagement vs. disengagement intrigued me.
Can the future be bigger than the past? Can I influence it? Kelly says that people who answer those questions “yes” are engaged; those who answer “no” are not.
He also said highly engaged people tend to act out of the happiness principle and those who are disengaged act out of a pleasure principle. What’s the difference? Pleasure, unlike happiness, cannot be sustained beyond the activity producing it. It’s immediate gratification.
Are you engaged or disengaged?
New name, same missionOctober 3rd, 2011
The former Family Life Office of the Archdiocese has a new name. It’s now the Family and Respect Life Office.
While the office’s mission to help families in a broad range of areas hasn’t changed, the new name reflects that this is the office dealing with respect life concerns.
Fittingly, the change comes during Respect Life month, a time when parishes take up a collection to fund grants provided by the office to support the pro-life activities.
New media in old MilfordJuly 11th, 2011
Fr. Rob Waller, pastor of St. Andrew Church in Milford, was one of the priests who attended our program on blogging for priests last month. He sent me the following update about what his parish is doing to explore the digital continent:
1. We are already livestreaming all Masses.
2. We are updating our parish website.
3. We are developing further our parish Facebook page.
4. Pastor already has a YouTube channel.
5. Pastor is just recently on Twitter — and is now tweeting.
6. Pastor has created a blog on WordPress.
7. We will be getting it all linked together.
8. Youth Ministry has a Facebook page as well.
That’s the way to do it! Check out Fr. Waller’s blog at http://milfordandrewpastor.wordpress.com
Exploring the Digital ContinentJuly 1st, 2011
As you read in the e-pistle, Pope Benedict XVI this week made history by sending the first papal tweet.
He did so in announcing the launching of a new Vatican news portal in cyberspace, www.news.va, which brings together in one website communications from various Vatican news operations — print, audio and video. This new venture should surprise no one. What the Vatican likes to call “the digital continent” has been the subject of the past several World Communications Day addresses from the Holy Father.
In the Archdiocese, we too are exploring the digital continent. This week we brought in Helen Osman, secretarty of the communications for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and her husband John, who is both a computer expert and a Ph.D. candidate in catechesis. On Thursday they gave two great presentations, one to archdiocesan staff and one to priests, on the subject of blogging.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, as the author of the Hebrews reminds us. But exciting new ways to communicate this Good News seem to emerge every day. We’re trying to make the most of them. You’ll be seeing more of that in the months ahead.
Our Newest Catholic High SchoolJune 2nd, 2011
Archbishop Emeritus Daniel E. Pilarczyk will preside Sunday (June 5) at the dedication and blessing of the new DePaul Cristo Rey High School in Cincinnati. Although Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr cannot attend because of his confirmation schedule, he sent the following letter of support:
Helping Child Abuse VictimsMay 26th, 2011
Sandy Keiser, a social worker and 40-year veteran of Catholic Charities, is the new Victims’ Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Officially, she doesn’t start until July 1, but she’s already transitioning into the role. Check out her wonderful interview on WXIX-TV, Ch. 19.
Sandy will be reaching out to anyone who was abused as a child by a priest, employee or volunteer repreesenting the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. She will arrange counseling and try to bring healing. If you or anyone you know can benefit from her ministry, please contact her at 513-263-6623, and at email@example.com.
Making Big Dreams Come TrueMay 19th, 2011
Chatfield College, perhaps the least well known Catholic institution of higher learning in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, had its graduation exercises on Saturday with Archbishop Schnurr as the commencement speaker.
Chatfield is a unique institution — Ohio’s only three-year liberal arts college. Students (mostly non-traditional) at its campuses in Brown County and Over-the-Rhine can earn an associates degree and get in one additional year of credits toward a bachelor’s degree. Since its founding by the Ursulines of Brown County in 1971, about half of the school’s approximately 1,000 graduates have earned a promotion and 40 percent have earned bachelor’s degrees. Two of them became priests.
Chatfield’s motto, appropriately, is “Where big dreams come true.” In his commencement address, Archbishop Schnurr urged the new graduates to keep dreaming.
“The education you received here at Chatfield is certainly important,” he told them. “But it is not by itself sufficient to insure success in realizing your dream. You have to be clear about what God wants for you, create a plan for getting there, and then stick with it.”
Good advice for any dreamer!
The Next Best Thing to Being ThereMay 3rd, 2011
At the Archdiocesan offices we are still joyous over the news that Fr. Joe Binzer will be ordained a bishop at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 9. He will be our first auxiliary bishop since the late Bishop Carl Moeddel retired in 2007.
Unfortunately, the Cathederal of St. Peter in Chains can only hold about 1,200 people with extra chairs set up — far fewer than would like to come. So the event has to be invitation-only. But everyone with Internet access will be able to watch it live at www.CatholicCincinnati.org. Afterwards the video will be archived at that website for anyone who missed it.
In addition, the ordination will be broadcast live over Sacred Heart Radio in Cincinnati, 740 AM and 89.5 FM.