40 Days for Life Campaign Runs Through Nov. 5

TOLEDO, OH—Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo is hosting the ecumenical 40 Days for Life Fall Campaign in Northwest Ohio now through Sunday, November 5, 2017.

You can participate in the 40 Days For Life Fall Campaign in three ways: prayer and fasting, community outreach and peaceful vigil. We invite you to pray for an hour in front of Capital Care Network, the Toledo abortion clinic, located at 1160 W. Sylvania Avenue. Sign up at: www.40daysforlife.com/toledo.

May our prayer bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life.

Since the iPrayer Vigilnternational 40 Days for Life Campaign began in 2007, over 750,000 volunteers in over 40 nations have stood in prayerful witness at abortion clinics to witness to the dignity of human life. Through these prayerful campaigns, over 13,305 lives have been saved, 154 abortion workers have quit their positions, and 89 abortion facilities have shut down!

An Opening Prayer Vigil  kicked off Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo’s 40 Days for Life Fall Campaign with an hour of peaceful prayer, beginning at 6 p.m., Wednesday, September 27.  Members of the Northwest Ohio Pro-Life campaign gathered to pray for the end of abortion on the sidewalk of Capital Care abortion facility, 1160 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo, OH. 

Join the movement, and help us end abortion in Northwest Ohio! To learn more, email Office for Life & Justice Director Peter Range at prange@toledodiocese.org. 

Oct. 14 Celebrate The Dignity of Life With Bishop Daniel E. Thomas

TOLEDO, OH—Join Bishop Daniel E. Thomas for a Mass to celebrate the dignity of life! The 9 a.m. Mass, on Saturday, Oct. 14, will be held at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 4555 N. Haven Ave., Toledo, OH.

Following the Mass, Bishop Thomas will lead a EucharistiBishop Thomas Leading Processionc Procession to Capital Care Network, Toledo’s last remaining abortion facility, 1160 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo, OH.

Music with Nick De La Torre and the St. Catherine’s Choir. Fellowship and food will be shared at St. Catherine’s parish following the Eucharistic Procession.

Join us for this powerful time of prayer and peaceful witness for life! 

For more information, or for your group to be recognized in attendance, please contact Director of the Office for Life and Justice, Peter Range at prange@toledodiocese.org or at 419-214-4933.  

“Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ.” – Pope Francis

Catholic Charities Seeks Churches to Host Prayer Vigils for Life

After a three-year hiatus, Ohio resumed executions by lethal injection on July 26, 2017. Lethal injection court battles and the power of prayer staved off executions during that time period.

Beginning in January, 2017, people of all faiths across Northwest and West Central Ohio have gathered together to pray for the victims of crime, those facing execution and the abolishment of Ohio’s death penalty.

Candlelight Prayer Vigil

Vigils for Life have been held at St. Francis de Sales Chapel-Toledo, St. Paul the Apostle Church-Norwalk, St. Gerard Church-Lima, and Lourdes University Queen of Peace Chapel-Sylvania.

Catholic Charities Office for Life & Justice is looking for parishes throughout the Diocese of Toledo to host a vigil each month, including in May and monthly thereafter. Parishes interested in hosting a vigil should contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at 419.214.4958; or email nlyster@toledodiocese.org.

Thank you for considering, as we seek to build a culture of life through prayer and love of every human person!

July 25 Hour of Prayer For Life On Eve of Execution

PORT CLINTON—People of all faiths are invited to Immaculate Conception Parish in Port Clinton for an Hour of Prayer for Life on Tuesday, July 25, at approximately 5:45 p.m., immediately following Mass at 5 p.m. The prayer vigil, led by Fr. John C. Missler at Immaculate Conception Church, 414 Madison Street, Port Clinton, OH.

We pray this evening of peaceful prayer will bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life, as we pray for victims of crime and those facing execution.

Votive Candle Prayer VigilAfter a three-year hiatus, Ohio’s plan to resume executions by lethal injection appears to be moving forward. At this time, the State is going through their preparation checklist for the execution of Ronald Phillips on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Diocese of Toledo Bishop Daniel E. Thomas urges all Catholics and people of goodwill to:

1. Pray for the victims of crime, those facing execution, and those working in the criminal justice system;

2. Reach out to the families of those affected by violent crime by bringing Christ’s love and compassion;

3. Learn about the Catholic Church’s teaching on capital punishment and educate others in this vital area of concern by visiting: http://www.usccb.org/…/death-penalty-capital-puni…/index.cfm;

4. Advocate for the end of the death penalty by sending a postcard and by calling Governor John Kasich at: 614-466-3555, urging clemency for all 139 individuals on death row in the State of Ohio.

5. Join us for a series of monthly Candlelight Prayer Vigils for the abolition of the death penalty being planned throughout the Diocese of Toledo.

Churches of any faith denomination interested in holding a Prayer Vigil, or individuals interested in volunteering for Catholic Charities Jail & Prison Ministry, should contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at 419.214.4958 or email him at nlyster@toledodiocese.org

June 26 Prayer Vigil to Abolish Ohio's Death Penalty

MANSFIELD—People of all faiths are invited to St. Peter Catholic Church in Mansfield for a Prayer Vigil to Abolish Ohio’s Death Penalty on Monday, June 26, beginning with Mass at 5:30 p.m. The 30-minute prayer vigil will immediately follow Mass at 6 p.m. at St. Peter Church, 60 South Mulberry Street, Mansfield, OH. We pray this evening of peaceful prayer will bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life, as we pray for victims of crime and those facing execution.

Votive Candle Prayer VigilAfter a three-year hiatus, Ohio’s plan to resume executions by lethal injection has been delayed until July. On Jan. 26, 2017, a federal judge ruled midazolam, used in the State of Ohio’s execution drug protocol, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. 

Diocese of Toledo Bishop Daniel E. Thomas urges all Catholics and people of goodwill to:

1. Pray for the victims of crime, those facing execution, and those working in the criminal justice system;

2. Reach out to the families of those affected by violent crime by bringing Christ’s love and compassion;

3. Learn about the Catholic Church’s teaching on capital punishment and educate others in this vital area of concern by visiting: http://www.usccb.org/…/death-penalty-capital-puni…/index.cfm;

4. Advocate for the end of the death penalty by sending a postcard and by calling Governor John Kasich at: 614-466-3555, urging clemency for all 139 individuals on death row in the State of Ohio.

5. Join us for a series of monthly Candlelight Prayer Vigils for the abolition of the death penalty being planned throughout the Diocese of Toledo.

Churches of any faith denomination interested in holding a Prayer Vigil, or individuals interested in volunteering for Catholic Charities Jail & Prison Ministry, should contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at 419.214.4958 or email him at nlyster@toledodiocese.org

Diocesan Jail & Prison Ministry Gather in Findlay - March 11

FINDLAY— Anyone currently involved with or interested in volunteering for Catholic Charities Jail and Prison Ministry is invited to attend this half-day educational session. The event will be held Saturday, March 11, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Activity Center, 750 Bright Road, Findlay, OH. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

This event is open to anyone currently involved with or interested in volunteering for this Catholic Charities ministry. Topics to be discussed include:

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  • Mission/Vision of the Jail & Prison Ministry, Nick Lyster, Justice Ministry Coordinator;
  • Catholic Social Teaching Context, Peter Range, Director of Office for Life and Justice;
  • Evangelization training, Deacon Joe Malenfant, Sr. Director Discipleship & Family Life;
  • Best Practices from Northwest and West Central Ohio ministry facilities; and
  • Volunteer recruitment.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The event runs from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cost is $15 to cover morning refreshments and lunch.

Please RSVP to Nick Lyster, Catholic Charities Justice Ministry Coordinator at 419.214.4958 or email him at nlyster@toledodiocese.org.

Candlelight Vigil for Life in Lima - March 20

People of all faiths are invited to join Rev. Michael Sergi and the Northwest Ohio community for a Candlelight Vigil for Abolishment of Ohio’s Death Penalty on Monday, March 20, from 7 to 8 p.m. at St. Gerard Church, 240 W. Robb Avenue, Lima, OH. We pray this evening of peaceful prayer will bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life, as we pray for victims of crime and those facing execution.

Votive Candle Prayer VigilAfter a three-year hiatus, Ohio’s plan to resume executions by lethal injection is on hold. Jan. 26, 2017, a federal judge ruled midazolam, used in the State of Ohio’s execution drug protocol, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The three individuals granted stays of execution are now scheduled for execution at a later date this year: Ronald Phillips, May 10; Gary Otte, June 13; and Raymond Tibbetts, July 26.

Diocese of Toledo Bishop Daniel E. Thomas urges all Catholics and people of goodwill to:

1. Pray for the victims of crime, those facing execution, and those working in the criminal justice system;

2. Reach out to the families of those affected by violent crime by bringing Christ’s love and compassion;

3. Learn about the Catholic Church’s teaching on capital punishment and educate others in this vital area of concern by visiting: http://www.usccb.org/…/death-penalty-capital-puni…/index.cfm;

4. Advocate for the end of the death penalty by sending a postcard and by calling Governor John Kasich at: 614-466-3555, urging clemency for all 139 individuals on death row in the State of Ohio.

5. Join us for a series of monthly Candlelight Prayer Vigils for the abolition of the death penalty being planned throughout the Diocese of Toledo.

The next Candlelight Prayer Vigil is planned for Tuesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at St. Gerard Church, 240 West Robb Avenue, Lima, OH, with Rev. Michael D. Sergi presiding.

Churches of any faith denomination interested in holding a Prayer Vigil, or individuals interested in volunteering for Catholic Charities Jail & Prison Ministry, should contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at 419.214.4958 or email him at nlyster@toledodiocese.org.

For more info contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at nlyster@toledodiocese.org

Candlelight Vigil for Life in Norwalk - Feb. 14

People of all faiths are invited to join Msgr. Kenneth G. Morman and the Northwest Ohio community for a Candlelight Vigil for Abolishment of Ohio’s Death Penalty on Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 7 to 8 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 91 East Main Street, Norwalk, OH. We pray this evening of peaceful prayer will bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life, as we pray for victims of crime and those facing execution.

Votive Candle Prayer VigilAfter a three-year hiatus, Ohio’s plan to resume executions by lethal injection is on hold. Jan. 26, 2017, a federal judge ruled midazolam, used in the State of Ohio’s execution drug protocol, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The three individuals granted stays of execution are now scheduled for later execution: Ronald Phillips, May 10; Gary Otte, June 13; and Raymond Tibbetts, July 26.

Diocese of Toledo Bishop Daniel E. Thomas urges all Catholics and people of goodwill to:

1. Pray for the victims of crime, those facing execution, and those working in the criminal justice system;

2. Reach out to the families of those affected by violent crime by bringing Christ’s love and compassion;

3. Learn about the Catholic Church’s teaching on capital punishment and educate others in this vital area of concern by visiting: http://www.usccb.org/…/death-penalty-capital-puni…/index.cfm;

4. Advocate for the end of the death penalty by sending a postcard and by calling Governor John Kasich at: 614-466-3555, urging clemency for all 139 individuals on death row in the State of Ohio.

5. Join us for a series of monthly Candlelight Prayer Vigils for the abolition of the death penalty being planned throughout the Diocese of Toledo.

The next Candlelight Prayer Vigil is planned for Tuesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at St. Gerard Church, 240 West Robb Avenue, Lima, OH, with Rev. Michael D. Sergi presiding.

Churches of any faith denomination interested in holding a Prayer Vigil, or individuals interested in volunteering for Catholic Charities Jail & Prison Ministry, should contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at 419.214.4958 or email him at nlyster@toledodiocese.org.

For more info contact Justice Ministry Coordinator Nick Lyster at nlyster@toledodiocese.org

Forum Addressed the Death Penalty in Ohio

On Thursday, Oct. 16, Ohioans to Stop Executions hosted the “Voices of Experiences: The Death Penalty”  at the Franciscan Center of Lourdes University.  The event was sponsored by Catholic Charities and was part of a series of Town Hall Forums to address the recommendations given by the Ohio Supreme Court Joint Task Force to increase the fairness and accuracy of the death penalty in Ohio.

In 2007, Ohio was assessed as falling short in 93% of the American Bar Association (ABA) standards for a fair and accurate state death penalty system, according to  www.oste.org.

Early this year, The Ohio Supreme Court Joint Task Force made over 50 recommendations to address the findings of the Ohio Death Penalty.  Those recommendations have yet to be implemented.

At the event, students and members of the community heard testimonies of people who has experienced death row from different viewpoints. Speakers included Charles Keith, whose brother was on Ohio’s death row before his sentence was commuted, Terry J. Collins, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and oversaw more than 30 executions, and Derrick Jamison, who spent almost 20 years on death row before being exonerated in 2005.

Jamison is one of six people exonerated from Ohio’s Death Row. He was convicted in 1985 for the murder of Gary Mitchell, a bartender who fell victim to a bar robbery, which Jamison did not commit. After spending nearly two decades on death row, Jamison’s conviction was overturned due to evidence that was withheld from his original trial. He is now free man who lives in Cincinnati and voices his experience on death row.

“I don’t think one person should have the right to say you live or die,” says Jamison in an interview for the Dayton City Paper in 2011.

“The government says it’s wrong to kill and then they turn around and murder you. I watched them take young men out of their cells and murder them. I watched a lot of my friends die. I tell stories all around the world and people are astonished that this sort of thing is still going on. We are the only civilized country in the world that still kills its citizens.”

Click here to read more of his story.

Death Row Facts from otse.org:

  • There have been 316 death sentences in the state of Ohio since 1981.
  • An innocent person on death row will spend an average of 17.5 years in prison before being exonerated.
  • Since 1999, there have been 53 men executed.

 

In the town of Lima, you can’t help but look at the massive buildings that sit behind the snowy fields. Most of these buildings are state correctional facilities that have housed thousands of inmates over the years.

The brick building, known as Allen Correctional Institution, is where Sue Bishop and her team of 40 volunteers go about four times a year to minister to the inmates behind these prison doors.

“We want our inmates to walk away knowing that God loves them and that there are people out there who care,” Sue says.

Giving God a Chance

From Friday to Sunday, the inmates and volunteers join together to pray, share stories and participate in activities. They end the weekend with Sunday Mass.

“We have a turnout of about 100 inmates,” says another volunteer, Leanne Kerschner. “At Mass in the prison, everybody’s participating, everybody’s praying, everybody’s singing. It’s just a really great atmosphere. It’s wonderful.”

Greg participated in several retreats during his time at Allen Correctional from 1988 to 2007.

“I was wandering aimlessly. I thought I’d just do my time and get out and go home,” he says. “I’d been away from church for a while. Then the light came on.”

The prison chaplain suggested Greg give God a chance and attend the retreats. Hearing the volunteers talk about their own experience of overcoming problems helped Greg take a fresh look at his life.

“You can be humbled to realize you have so much when you feel like you don’t have anything,” he says.

After going on more retreats, he found a new sense of purpose. He was confirmed in his childhood Catholic faith by Auxiliary Bishop Robert Donnelly while still in prison. With a new direction in life, he spent his free time at Allen Correctional studying tax law and taking college classes. He graduated with a financial degree from Ohio University while still incarcerated.

He credits Sue and her team for helping him get to where he is now – a faithful church member and owner of his own business. He also reaches out to those just released from prison to help them reintegrate into society.

Whoever is Forgiven Much

“We minster to a lot of guys who just made bad choices,” Sue says. “The faith of some of these guys is amazing.”

Leanne agrees: “I think it goes back to the Bible verse that says whoever is forgiven much, loves much. Knowing that they are forgiven from something big makes them love more.”

Sue remembers an inmate who had strong hopes of getting parole but was denied. “I was crushed,” she says. “We got there and I said, ‘I don’t even know what to say.’ ”

She pauses again and with a soft tone in her voice says, “He turned to me and said ‘It’s ok … God has something else planned for me.’”

Greg thanks the team for making a difference in his life.

“They have their struggles in life, but they still found time for us,” he says. “It put me in the right direction, and let me know God’s always there.”

“A friend told me about La Posada. I came and I was surprised because it doesn’t look like a shelter. It looks just like a home. I was so glad when they told me we could stay. They’ve been so good to me. Honestly, none of this would be happening if I hadn’t been here. They’ve helped me so much.” – Marquita, La Posada resident

Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio

 

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