CATHOLIC COMMISSION OF WAYNE,
ASHLAND AND MEDINA COUNTIES
“Promoting Peace and Justice by Advocating for the Poor and Powerless”
The diocesan district of Wayne, Ashland, and Medina counties comprises about 40% of the 8-county area of the Diocese of Cleveland and contains 15 parishes. WAM is predominantly rural with extremely productive agricultural farm lands and extensive, natural open lands. The Ohio Agricultural and Research Development Center in Wooster, part of The Ohio State University, is considered one of the top agricultural and bio-energy research centers in the United States. Our economy contains two of the most highly developed micropolitan areas in Ohio and the U.S. in Ashland and Wooster cities, as well as the exurb/hub of Medina connecting with Wadsworth and Brunswick. Our network of towns and small cities connects colleges, a vibrant cultural life, and varied economies in a dynamic far-flung web that is self-sustaining.
Our reality is about family farms attempting to hold their own against the corporate farms, single mothers needing transportation to their jobs, the downward turn in economic fortunes which produce the growing wave of foreclosures and families without viable support systems. Our district contains a significant working population of immigrants from Mexico and Central America who constantly fear intolerance, racial profiling, deportation, and the traumatic splitting up of their families. We, as an important member and actor within the Ohio Catholic Rural Life Conference, join Catholic leaders from dioceses across the state to take on these rural issues which are in truth urban issues as well.
We lead in building local organizational support and action to provide mentorship and networking for families coming out of poverty; initiate accountable relationships with local legislators and officials for dignified treatment of prisoners and immigrants, betterment of neighborhoods, better medical access, etc.; establish the Unity Catholic Federal Credit Union branch to serve Catholics in Wayne and Ashland; educate parishes by making the connection from charity to justice and social action; network organizations and our faith community in our tri-county legislative district to respond to area issues with a stronger, more unified voice; build bridges of understanding between rural and urban peoples across our diocese and Ohio on issues such as food security, sustainability, and our environment.
Patrick J. O’Bryan, Executive Director
547 E. Bowman Street
P.O. Box 109
Wooster, OH 44691
UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS:
Sr. Helen Prejean Interview on "Meet Your Neighbor" on public access channel 21
More info here
Sr. Helen Prejean,CSJ is an acclaimed author of two books "Dead Man Walking" and "The Death of Innocents." She began her work in prison ministry in 1981 in New Orleans, LA. The Roman Catholic sister has witnessed five executions in Louisiana and today educates the public about the death penalty by lecturing, organizing, and writing. As the founder of "Survive," a victim's advocacy group in New Orleans, she continues to counsel not only inmates on death row but the families of murder victims as well.
Sr. Helen will be in Northeast Ohio on November 15 and 16.
PARISH OUTREACH SERVICES: “Developing
Parish Social Action”
• Diocesan Education & Training Center for Social Justice
• Resources, materials & reflection guides for Parish programs
• Parish Outreach Network (Call 330-263-6176 to become your parish’s representative)
• Programs, Training & Technical Assistance for Parishes
SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION: “Developing Lay Leadership”
• Catholic Social Teaching education & training – CST on-line summary
• Workshops / Facilitation / Parish & Group Retreats
• Community-based Issues Forums
ADVOCACY/ISSUES: “Addressing Public Policy”
• Latest Dioc. Legislative Hotline
• Building Community Alliances around Local Issues
We Gather and Stand Together Project Overview
Immigrant Workers in Ohio Survey Results
Ashland Center for Nonviolence
NCRLC – National Catholic Rural Life Conference
Ohio Catholic Rural Life Conference
The Diocesan Social Action through the 5 Catholic Commissions working within the eight counties of the Diocese of Cleveland seeks to shape a more caring society and a more peaceful world through justice education, advocacy, community development and organizing. Our work is based on the call of the Gospel to work for the respect and dignity of all human life, the elimination of poverty, to speak out against injustice, and to promote the common good.