CLAM ministry is a parish committee dedicated to knowing, caring and giving to the Cleveland Latin American Mission in El Salvador. Through education of our parishioners, we hope to develop knowledge about our Salvadoran brothers and sisters. We will encourage travel to El Salvador creating personal encounters that nurture caring relationships. We will raise funds creating giving relationships that improve lives in El Salvador. All this is done to fulfill our calling to care for the poor and bring us all closer to Christ. The CLAM Team meets the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Office Large Meeting Room.  For more information, contact Mary Ann Tinus 440-668-2365, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  


Our parish plans to travel this summer from July 10 to July 17.  If you are interested in traveling with us, please contact Deacon Mark Janezic at 440-384-o435 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ST. RITA’S 2015 – 2017 MAIN PROJECT: Donating to Build Homes in Teotepeque Parish

MUCHAS GRACIAS:  Our CLAM Team extends a huge thank you to our parishioners for your generosity to the Operation Rescue Housing Project in the Teotepeque area of El Salvador. To date, eight individual families have each donated the cost of a house, $2,000 per family, for a total of $16,000.  And with parishioner donations and proceeds from our Mystery Dinner,  we have raised over $15,000 for seven parish-donated houses.  Your kindness of $31,000 to the “poorest of the poor” will provide much improved living conditions.  Fr. John Ostrowski, our Cleveland priest in Teotepeque, has set a goal of 100 houses among the 24 small communities that he serves.  To date, over 75 houses have been donated, and over 25 have been built thus far.  We can be very proud of the 15 houses that St. Rita has donated.  If you would still like to contribute, please make your check payable to St. Rita CLAM Team, memo: housing project, and place in the collection basket or drop off at the Parish Office.

     One of the St. Rita homes is shown below.  The  new owners are the Ayala family, Miguel, a hard working man and his wife Mercedes, with an 8-yr. old daughter and a 1-yr. old son.  They are a very young family filled with gratitude and hope.  They work in agriculture and maintain constant hope despite a shortage of economic resources.



       The family felt especially blessed to be recipients of this project since they did not think that they would be considered because they are not Catholic.  They were very emotional when they received news that they had been chosen for a new home.  Miguel says “The Catholic Church is a great blessing; always helping the poorest without making any differentiations.  I’m so grateful to all the Catholics who made this project possible!”



Los Lotes Chapel – Named Santo Domingo, or St. Dominic, the members have now painted the interior and exterior of their chapel a beige paint, in addition to a cross above the front door.  The plaque to thank St. Rita Parish hangs inside the chapel.  Father Paul Schindler, pastor of the parish of La Libertad and its 20+ cantons' chapels, stands along with members of the chapel, who are now building the latrines and parking area.  Mary Ann Tinus recently visited El Salvador and met the lady who is caretaker of the chapel.  The members are most grateful to our parish for providing the funds to build this sacred space for them.  Thank you again, St. Rita!  Que Dios les bendiga….May God Bless YOU.

Of the $31,000 that was raised in 2014-15, $18,000 were used for the Los Lotes chapel.  $5,000 were donated to complete the funds needed for the canton of La Pedrera in building a bigger chapel.  The remaining $8,000 was given to Fr. Paul Schindler to build a kitchen and dining room inside his parish Retreat House, with a start at building dormitories for retreat participants.

We at St. Rita Parish support the CLAM TEAM in their efforts to evangelize and
show them that we have a one-on-one partnership with the people of CLAM’s El Salvador mission. 
Muchas gracias!

Travelers from our June 2015 trip to El Salvador: L to R, with Los Lotes members included among them : Harry Smith, Daphne Held, Grace Blanchard, Pat Basista, Lindsay Fullerman, Dave Blanchard, Sarah Held, Karen Smith and Mark Janezic, the leader and organizer of the trip. In the center is Fr. Paul Schindler, the Cleveland Missionary priest serving the area of La Libertad, which includes Los Lotes.

 St. Rita parishioners have been traveling regularly over the years, visiting the martyrs’ sites, the various sites served by our missionaries, and just walking and praying with the Salvadoran people in their humble lives. In 2015 eight parishioners, including three college students, traveled to these areas in El Salvador, led by Mark Janezic.  They were able to share a few of their reflections, as seen below.

Download Adobe ReaderDave Blanchard
Download Adobe ReaderDaphne Held
Download Adobe ReaderHarry Smith
Download Adobe ReaderPat Basista

     We have held fundraisers and received donations through our parish Charity and Social Justice envelopes to raise money for many purposes: to place windows and doors in one chapel and flooring in several others; to help buy safer, smokeless stoves for many families; provided prom/bridal gowns for girls to wear for their “quiceañeras” or fifteenth birthday.  St. Rita families and ministries also sponsor students in the Catholic Academy in Teotepeque. 


Now in its third year, 14 St. Rita parishioners and 5 parish ministries have been sponsoring students who attend the Catholic Academy of San Pedro el Apostol parish in Teotepeque.  Since Salvadoran elementary schools only have half-day sessions, the Academy provides English, Computer Skills and Catholic Formation to the  students for the other half of their school days.  Each sponsor donates $180 per year to sponsor a student.  The money is used for the Academy's budget.  The students write letters to their sponsors, and we encourage the sponsors to correspond as well.  Our annual stewardship for this program is $3,060.  If you would like to support this project, please contact Mary Ann Tinus for details, 440-668-2365, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

St. Rita donated 100 bilingual and Spanish books to the Catholic Academy of Teotepeque, initiating their new library.

Rene, Gerardo Daniel, Enrique with Bilingual Books Donated by St. Rita Parish


Rene and Gerardo with Bilingual Books

Pamela & classmate describe English word
meanings at Catholic Academy.


In 1964 the Diocese of Cleveland began its ministry to El Salvador after Pope John XXIII asked the diocesan bishops to consider taking steps to become part of the missionary work of the Church.  Since 1964 the  Diocese of Cleveland has had 31 diocesan priests, 30 women religious and 8 lay women serving in this Central American country. 

      The deaths of Cleveland Missionaries Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay missionary Jean Donovan in l980 thrust the existence of  the Cleveland Mission in El Salvador into the world’s eyes.   During the 12 years of civil war in the country, our missionaries maintained the presence of the Catholic Church.  The end of the civil war in El Salvador brought about the ability of ordinary parishioners from the Diocese to travel to the El Salvador Mission.  Since then, many of our Cleveland parishes travel on a regular basis to the missionaries’ towns  and the nearby cantóns or villages.  Many have formed a sister parish relationship with a particular village church.  These parish relationships have endured and are growing even stronger, as the number of religious missionaries from our diocese have decreased.

Sr. Dorothy Kazel

Use the link below to learn more about our own Cleveland connection to El Salvador.

In the Parish of San Pedro el Apostol of Teotepeque, Father John Ostrowski serves 26 cantóns, or communities, visiting each one on a monthly basis, offering Mass, baptizing, marrying, hearing confessions, etc. on that assigned day.