Michael Vujas, Catholic Cemeteries Association “The Year of Mercy, Catholic Burial Traditions, Acts of Grace we are able to Bestow Toward Others”

novemberMichael Vujas started in the Cemetery/Funeral business in 2001. The opportunity has provided growth professionally and spiritually, while developing a more grateful, positive attitude; it has been a life changing experience.

In 2011, Michael became involved with the Family and Parish Programs arm of the Cleveland Catholic Cemeteries Association. Communicating with parishes, parish groups and organizations, their mission is to educate and provide information to individuals and families in the Diocese of Cleveland, before the need arises. The Final Gift program has helped over 1,000 families in the last three years.

Michael has been married for 40 years, has 5 children along with 5 grandchildren. He resides in Wadsworth, Ohio.

“Living Our Faith in the Workplace with Others”

Rick Krivanka has served as Executive Director of the Jesuit Retreat House since July 1, 2014.  He has a great love for Ignatian spirituality and its remarkable relevance to the lives of people in our time.

He previously served as Director of the Pastoral Planning Office for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland for over 32 years. He provided consultation, facilitation and project management services to the diocese, religious communities and parishes related to planning, organizational development, leadership and spiritual formation, pastoral councils, team building and staff development, research, stewardship and community building. He began his service to the Diocese as a college student representative on the steering committee to form the first Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Following his role as Director of Pastoral Planning, Rick worked as an independent consultant in the areas noted above locally and nationally, as well as with health care and non-profit organizations.

Rick received certification as a Spiritual Director as a graduate of the Ignatian Spirituality Institute at John Carroll University. He has an M.S. in Organizational Development and Analysis and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. In 1995 he received the Lumen Gentium Award from the Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development (CPPCD) in recognition of outstanding leadership and contributions in support of pastoral planning within the Catholic Church. In 2016 he received the Yves Congar Award from CPPCD in recognition of his service, initiative and creativity as a CPPCD member in support of pastoral planning and consultative processes.

Rick and his wife Barbara live in South Euclid, OH and are the parents of four young adults – a daughter and three sons.


“Transforming Urban Cleveland, One Student at a Time”

Richard F. Clark, Presidentclark

St. Martin de Porres High School

Rich was born in Boston and raised in Chicago. He is a graduate of Loyola Academy, ’69, Chicago, Georgetown University, ’73, and holds an M.A. in Religious Education from Loyola University, Chicago, ’77.

In 1973 Rich returned to Loyola Academy, his alma mater, where he taught Theology until 1991. He was part of the founding team of Loyola’s Peru trip which took high school students to live and work in Peru for 8 weeks in the summer. This Service Immersion Trip has been replicated throughout the Jesuit High School system. In 1991, he became the first lay principal of Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland. During his tenure as principal, enrollment rose from 1190 to 1400 and the campus added an intramural gym, a 400-seat Chapel, a completely remodeled main classroom building, and a state of the art science building.

In 2003, Rich left Saint Ignatius to begin a new high school in Cleveland: Saint Martin de Porres High School. The mission of Saint Martin is to provide a co-educational, college preparatory, Catholic high school experience to those who in no other way could afford access to such an education. In August of 2004, Saint Martin opened its doors and welcomed 104 ninth graders. Today, there are over 400 students enrolled and the Class of 2015 marked the eighth graduating class.

Saint Martin de Porres High School is part of the Cristo Rey Network, a national network of 30 schools which provides this quality education through a unique work study program. Students are placed in entry level jobs at Cleveland businesses and non-profits. Each student works five days a month in a team of four students; each team earns $29,000, which supports 40% of the school’s operating budget. One hundred forty companies in the Cleveland area take part in the Corporate Work Study Program and help students to build professional relationships and gain experience that will prepare them for success in college and in life. The average family income for Saint Martin students is $26,000 for a family of four. Seventy-three percent of Saint Martin students are African American, 15% are multi-racial, 9% are Hispanic and 3% are Anglo- American. Students come to Saint Marin eager to learn, motivated to succeed, and excited to develop relationships within the school community and at their workplaces.

Rich is married to Moira, theology teacher and administrator at Magnificat High School in Rocky River, and has three children: Will, Kevin, and Bridey.


“Spread the Good News at all Times…Use Social Media if Necessary”

Jeff Stutzman serves the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland as the Social Media Coordinator and Webmaster for the Communications Department where he manages the diocese’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In 2015 Jeff worked on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Social Media Team that assisted in coverage and monitoring of Pope Francis’ first Apostolic journey to the United States.

Before working for the Communications Department, Jeff served as a media consultant in the diocese’s religious education office. He has spoken and has been published regarding faith-based media around the diocese and the country.

Jeff is a product of Catholic schooling. An alumnus of St. Ignatius High School and John Carroll University, Jeff graduated with a degree in communications and religious studies. A life-long Catholic, Jeff also serves as Youth Minister for his parish, St. Thomas More in Brooklyn. Jeff and Joyce, his wife of 13 years, live in Parma where they raise their 2 daughters, Jenna and Jaime.


“Strengthening Communications Within the Diocese”

Deacon Jim

Deacon James J. Armstrong, APR, is the executive director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. A veteran of the field of communications, Deacon Armstrong has worked in radio, television news, and public affairs for more than 40 years. He has earned three local Emmy awards for his work as a television journalist at the NBC affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio where he helped oversee news coverage from 1978 to 1991. Deacon Armstrong is also the former Director of News and Information at the Cleveland Clinic. While at the Cleveland Clinic, he worked with journalists from around the world to bring their readers, listeners, and viewers the latest news in medicine and healthcare. He has also produced numerous award-winning, medically-oriented television and radio programs.

In 2008, Deacon Armstrong was selected by the diocese to help direct a major reconfiguration of the 214 parish diocese, serving as special assistant to Bishop Richard Lennon.

Prior to his return to the Catholic diocese in 2015, Deacon Armstrong served most recently as director of communications for Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center in Akron, Ohio from 2013 to 2015.  He was the director of public and media relations at the MetroHealth System, the public sector safety net hospital system in Cleveland, Ohio from 2012 to 2013 after serving there since 2010 as the marketing manager for cardiology and orthopedics.

Deacon Armstrong is a graduate of Cleveland State University having earned a degree in communications. In 2001, he was ordained to the Order of Deacon for service in the diocese after four years of study at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe, Ohio. He currently ministers at St. Bridget of Kildare Parish in Parma, Ohio.

In addition to his ministerial and communications work, Deacon Armstrong is an advocate of health education and has a special interest in heart and kidney disease. He has been involved in many health-related public awareness campaigns, including efforts to promote colorectal and prostate cancer screening. He served from 2003-2007 on the Council of Public Representatives at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  Deacon Armstrong also created, produced and co-hosted the Akron General Health Connection radio program still airing on WTAM radio in Cleveland.

Deacon Armstrong also holds several memberships in professional organizations, including the Public Relations Society of America through which he maintains a national accreditation in the field of public relations.

Deacon Armstrong, his wife Lori and daughter Felisha live in Sagamore Hills, Ohio.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     armstrong


“Lectio Divina”

Fr. Gary Hoover, O.S.B., 58, was elected the 7th abbot of St. Andrew Abbey in Cleveland on Wednesday morning, August 6, 2014 during an election held at the monastery.  Abbot Hugh Anderson, O.S.B., the abbot president of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine monasteries presided over the election.

Abbot Gary assumed immediate jurisdiction over the community of 30 monks that sponsors Benedictine High School.  Monks from the abbey also staff Assumption Parish in Broadview Heights, Ohio and the monastic community also sponsors Loyola Retreat House in Clinton, Ohio.  The Benedictine monks came to Cleveland in 1922 from St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois.  Other apostolic works of Saint Andrew Abbey include weekend parish assistance in the diocese of Cleveland and maintaining the Slovak Cultural Institute located at the abbey.

Abbot Gary is the son of Ray and Dorothy Hoover of Garfield Heights.  He has one brother Mark of Bay Village who graduated from BHS in 1975.  His mother, Dorothy Miho, worked as the main office secretary at Benedictine High School from 1947-54.  Abbot Gary attended Elmwood Elementary School in Garfield Heights and graduated from Benedictine High School in 1974.  He professed vows as a Benedictine monk in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from John Carroll University in 1979 and a master’s degree in Non-Profit Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1984.

Joining the faculty of Benedictine High School in 1980, Abbot Gary has taught theology and sociology.  From 1989 – 1994 he served as treasurer of Saint Andrew Abbey. In 1996 he assumed the duties of school chaplain, a position that later developed under the title of Director of Spiritual Life.  For 18 years Abbot Gary ministered to Benedictine athletic teams and worked extensively with the student retreat program.  During the last two decades he has also assisted on weekends at St. Ambrose and St. Colette’s Parishes in Brunswick, Ohio.

He was appointed prior, or second superior, of Saint Andrew Abbey in 2008 by former Abbot Christopher Schwartz, O.S.B.  In July of 2013, he was named administrator of the monastic community following the resignation of Abbot Christopher for health reasons.


“Caring for Our Common Home: Pope Francis’ Impact on Ecological Responsibility “


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Since 1982, Dan Misleh has been involved in the social mission of the Church beginning with two years in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Alaska through today.

As founding executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant—a partnership of 14 national Catholic organizations including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops—he has helped engage the Catholic community at the national, state and diocesan levels in a serious and sustained conversation about a Catholic approach to climate change focusing on the promotion of the common good, the protection of poor people, and the exercise of prudence with the goal of more fully implementing the U.S. Catholic bishops’ 2001 statement on climate change and Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Besides the Covenant’s ongoing campaign, The St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor, which has enrolled over 20,000 Catholic individuals, schools, parishes, and other organizations, the Covenant is widely seen as the primary organization promoting Laudato Si’ in the U.S.

Dan has spoken to dozens of local, regional and national Catholic groups on the Catholic approach to climate change and Laudato Si’. He has written numerous articles on climate change for a variety of organizations, publications and online journals including: Catholic Health World, Today’s Parish Minister, Catholic Digest, US Catholic, Journal of Religion and Sociology, Catholic Charities USA and Monday Developments. He has appeared on TV and radio and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the UK’s Guardian and other news outlets.

Prior to becoming his work at Catholic Climate Covenant, Dan served the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops first as a policy advisor and then as the Director of Diocesan Relations for the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development (1995-2006).

He has trained Catholic leaders around the country in the principles of Catholic social teaching, parish social ministry, community organizing, and the Catholic approach to issues such as agriculture, environment, criminal justice and the death penalty.

Dan graduated with a degree in business management from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and holds a master’s degree in theology from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California. Dan is the 2015 recipient of the Harry A. Fagan Award by the Roundtable Association of Social Action Directors for his “unique contributions made to the achievement of the Catholic vision of social justice in the national or international community.” Dan and his wife Susan live in Cheverly, Maryland and have three children.

May 2015 Promo Shot

“The Building of the Churches in Cleveland: The Good News and the Bad News”

After Father Manning was ordained a Catholic Priest for the Diocese of Cleveland in 1972, his pastoral assignments were at St. Luke Parish in Lakewood (1972-74) and St. Bartholomew in Middleburg Heights (1989-94). Between these assignments, Fr. Manning was a full time faculty member of Borromeo College and was part of the Administrative Team for Permanent Diaconate Program, from 1980 through 1984.

For 21 years he was the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Cleveland until 2015.  With all this experience, he was asked to be Adjunct Faculty Member at St. Mary Seminary and the Graduate School of Theology.  In addition, Bishop Lennon called him to be Delegate to the Senior Clergy.

Father Manning has Academic Degrees from Borromeo College, St. Mary Seminary, the Graduate School of Theology and John Carroll University.  With this background, he serves on many committees and boards and gives talks on the history of the church  at several area Catholic schools and the Cleveland First Friday Club.


Father Manning published his Doctor of Ministry Dissertation:  The Effect of the Cleveland Scholarship and Testing Program on the Catholicity of West Park Catholic Schools, 2007 and “The History of St Mary Seminary, 2012.


“The School and the Community: Reflecting and Serving the Neighborhood”

Richard  J. Osborne is president of Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School in the Collinwood/Euclid neighborhood of Cleveland. He is a 1969 graduate of St. Joseph High School, which merged with Villa Angela Academy in 1990, and the University of Cincinnati.

Osborne became chairman of the VASJ Board of Advisors in 2009. Two years later, he was named the school’s president. In his five years as president, the school has enjoyed rapid enrollment and financial growth.

Enrollment is up more than 60 percent over four years ago and is on track to increase again next year. The school also is enjoying record-setting support from its donors. Among the beneficiaries has been the school’s Endowment Fund, which has grown significantly.

Among many other improvements throughout the school, the Founders Chapel has been refurbished, the gym has been renovated, and the Technical Building is being transformed to accommodate an innovative computer education initiative. Osborne has been committed to the success of the neighborhood surrounding VASJ. During his tenure, he has served on the boards of Northeast Shores Development Corporation and Shore Cultural Centre. He also has been a member of the   Advisory Council. The hospital gave him its 2015 Community Service Award.

In what he calls his “previous life,” Osborne was a longtime journalist. In 2007, he was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame. He wrote or edited several regional books and was the author of A Community of Faith (1998), a commemorative publication for the Diocese of Cleveland. Prior to his current role at VASJ, he was publisher and editor of Ohio Magazine.


Citizen of the World: Suffering and Solidarity In the 21st Century”

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Father Donald H. Dunson is a moral theologian on the faculty of St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, Ohio. He earned a doctorate in Religious Studies from The Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium in 1994.

He currently teaches courses in fundamental moral theology, sexual ethics, global issues, and social justice. Recently his research has been focused on the plight of vulnerable people.

In 2001, he lived in East Central Africa while documenting the plight of AIDS orphans, homeless children, child soldiers, and sexually exploited youths. Father Dunson has continued to visit there each year, living in solidarity with the youths he writes about and offering them educational assistance through the founding of the St. Kizito Foundation.

His first book, “No Room at the Table: Earth’s Most Vulnerable Children,” published by Orbis Books in the Fall of 2003, is currently in its fourth printing. His most recent book, “Child, Victim, Soldier: The Loss of Innocence in Uganda,” was released on September 30, 2008.

Since 2012 Father Dunson has been Pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Elyria, Ohio.dunson2