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Diocesan ‘Heart of a Shepherd’ Campaign at Sacred Heart

To donate or make a pledge to the Heart of a Shepherd, click here.

Sacred Heart Parish is participating in the diocesan-wide Heart of a Shepherd campaign, a historic effort endorsed by Bishop Edward Malesic to support the men of our diocese who are called to serve and those who have served. This is an opportunity for all of us within the Diocese of Cleveland to recommit ourselves to the leaders of our faith by raising the funds necessary to:

• Complete essential renovations to Borromeo and Saint Mary Seminaries
• Provide the proper care to the priests who have dedicated their lives to shepherding our faith by fully funding the Clergy Pension Fund
• Offer newly-ordained priests financial tuition assistance

In addition to the Diocesan focus of this campaign, Sacred Heart Parish is using its designated portion of funds for the capital needs of our parish. We have an opportunity to improve several aspects of our parish, such as (but not limited to):

• Refinishing the pews in the church, and;
• Replacing the Ed Building roof, which is 60+ years-old.

Our goal, established by the diocese and based on last year’s offertory collections, is $79,364.  Sixty-five cents of every dollar raised up to this goal will support our parish. For every dollar raised beyond our goal, 80¢ of each over-the-goal dollar will stay at Sacred Heart!


Watch a video highlighting aspects of the “Heart of a Shepherd” campaign.

Fr. Mark Latkovich, president-rector of St. Mary and Borromeo Seminaries, spoke at the 5 August 2021 First Friday Club of Cleveland. You may watch his entire presentation about the “Heart of a Shepherd” campaign in the video below, or read the synopsis of his presentation in the verbiage below the video:

Work on a major renovation project is well underway at the diocesan seminaries on the campus of the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe. Father Mark Latcovich, president-rector of Borromeo and Saint Mary seminaries updated the First Friday Club of Cleveland on the Heart of a Shepherd (HOS) campaign at its first in-person lunch meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“I am humbled to be here,” Father Latcovich said. He told the group that there are five phases to the seven-year campaign: the dream, pre-campaign, the campaign, the 2020 “pause” and renovations.

In the dream phase, Bishop emeritus Anthony Pilla wanted to ensure that the Diocese of Cleveland retained its own seminary. He developed a vision, with consultation from other stakeholders, for a campus that would house formation and ministry training for the entire diocese. The Center for Pastoral Leadership, as it was named, was developed on the campus of Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe. For a time, Borromeo also was a high school as well as the minor or college seminary. Saint Mary Seminary, the major or graduate seminary, was located on Ansel Road in Cleveland. It moved and shared a campus with Borromeo. Offices for the permanent diaconate, lay ecclesial ministers and continuing education and formation also are housed on the CPL campus.

In 2005, shortly before his retirement, Bishop Pilla approved hiring an architect to plan widening of the seminarians’ residence hall rooms. The late Bishop Richard Lennon, who served the diocese 2006-2016, also supported the project.

“The plan was to turn a monastic building into a contemporary one,” Father Latcovich said. It called for reducing Borromeo’s 67 cell-like rooms to 35 rooms that would be about 40% larger. On the Saint Mary side, 85 cell-like rooms would be converted to 48 rooms that would be about 60% larger with private bathrooms,

Father Latcovich said the building is solid, but the infrastructure – including plumbing, electrical and heating, ventilation and cooling were outdated and needed work. He recounted times when pipes burst causing damage and fuses would blow cutting electricity to areas of the building. Also, there was no air conditioning and hallways were very narrow.

In 2019, then-Bishop Nelson Perez examined the plans. Father Latcovich described him as “a man of action,” saying that he was “intrigued by the project” and suggested looking at other colleges to ensure the project included needed improvements. Some revisions were made, including eliminating dormitory-style bathrooms so that two rooms would share a bathroom.

The next phase of Heart of a Shepherd, as the initiative was named, was the pre-campaign, during which the Catholic Community Foundation, the fundraising arm of the diocese, was involved to determine the timing and the best way to present the campaign. This phase included interviews with donors, a survey of priests and input from the seminary boards and the Cleveland Foundation.

“There was overwhelming agreement the campaign was needed,” Father Latcovich said, with a strong majority supporting HOS and willing to donate. The College of Consultors also approved before Bishop Perez took the next step, seeking approval from the Vatican. That occurred in 2019.

During the campaign phase, materials were prepared and plans arranged to present HOS to a pilot group of parishes. The campaign rolled out in phases, with foundation staff members working with pastors to present HOS to parishioners. Initial results were strong.

Then Bishop Perez was elevated to archbishop of Philadelphia and soon after, COVID-19 struck so things slowed down during what Father Latcovich called “The Pause 2020.”

“I was beginning to feel like Moses,” Father Latcovich quipped, saying he wondered if he’d ever see the project hit the finish line.

HOS continued quietly throughout the pandemic while the diocese was under the guidance of Father Don Oleksiak, who served as diocesan administrator until the installation of Bishop Edward Malesic in September 2020. With his approval, some funds on hand were used to upgrade the CPL electrical infrastructure.

Because of the pandemic, Father Latcovich said changes were made to the campaign. “We knew that parishes were hurting financially and we needed to find a way to help them. Six options were considered and three were selected that would allow parishes to share in the pledges collected as part of the HOS campaign. “This allowed parishes to get some money for some of their pressing needs,” he explained.

The revisions rolled out in fall 2020. HOS has met or exceeded the target goal for each phase of the campaign, Father Latcovich said. Of the approximately $30 million raised, $8 million will go to parishes. There is one more push coming this fall for another group of parishes.

The final phase, renovations, is underway. Bishop Malesic used a sledgehammer last November to symbolically begin the demolition phase in the Borromeo wing. Everything was removed to the exterior walls and rooms were reframed in the larger size with shared bathrooms and new lounge space. Father Latcovich said state-of-the-art HVAC, electrical, plumbing and safety features are included in the renovations. Fixtures, furniture, flooring, etc. were selected for durability and easy maintenance and cleaning.

Once the Borromeo wing is completed later this fall, the seminarians will move in and work will begin on the Saint Mary wing. When that work begins, some Saint Mary seminarians will be relocated to temporary housing at St. Casmir Parish in Cleveland.

Father Latcovich said there is excitement about the project that extends beyond the Diocese of Cleveland. He said the Diocese of Youngstown sends some of its seminarians to Cleveland for formation and education. Bishop David Bonnar recently pledged $250,000 from the Youngstown Diocese for HOS.

In addition to work at the seminary and assistance to parishes recovering from the pandemic, HOS has components that will provide funding for the priests’ retirement fund and to help recently ordained priests to repay their college debt.

Once construction is completed in about another year, Father Latcovich said he anticipates an open house so people from across the diocese can see the finished project. He’s also optimistic there will be enough funding to renovate Resurrection Chapel.

Click here to visit the home page of the Heart of a Shepherd campaign – whereat you can view:

♦ Additional videos
♦ Read FAQs (frequently asked questions)
♦ View updates on the campaign and renovations, and;
♦ Make a pledge or donation
♦ Read about IRA Charitable Rollovers, deferred gifts, and matching donations.