Several Outreach Initiatives are done regularly at St. Joseph Parish through the generosity of our parish and parishioners. If you would like more information on opportunities through our parish or efforts lead by parishioners of the parish for St. Vincent dePaul or the West Side Catholic Center, please email Stewardship@stjosephavonlake.org.

Social Justice Ministry

Who we are:   Saint Joseph and Holy Spirit Parishes have formed a ministry group for Social Justice. 

What we do:  Educate individuals about the social justice issues surrounding our communities, and participate with local groups to support and provide assistance and knowledge where we can.


If you are interested in joining the Social Justice Ministry, we meet via Zoom at 6:30pm the second Thursday of each month. We would love to meet you! If you have any questions, contact Donna Dugan at (440) 937-9210 or ddcorita@aol.com. Thank you in advance for your generosity, concern and prayers for those less fortunate than ourselves.


The Diocesan Social Action Office seeks to shape a more caring and peaceful world through justice education, advocacy, community development and organizing. CLICK HERE to be taken to their website for up-to-date news and actions that can be taken.

For more information, go to: www.ohiocathconf.org/

Always Our Children

Gay & Lesbian Family Ministry

The LGBT Family Ministry aims to support all persons and their families in their quest for wholeness and holiness. The Body of Christ in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is called to reverence each person as a unique reflection of God's presence in our midst. We commit ourselves to become a community of care, support, formation, reconciliation and witness to justice with and among gay and lesbian persons, their parents, family members, and all who minister in and with this community.



If you would like to be part of our group here at St. Joseph Parish, please contact the Parish Office for more information, or just attend a meeting!

Outreach Groups

Parish outreach groups exist to provide a place of support, affirmation and spiritual guidance to gay and lesbian Catholics.


Gesu Parish, University Heights
Contact: Fr. Michael Vincent, SJ, (216) 932-0617

Blessed Trinity Parish, Cleveland
Contact: Fr. Doug Koesel, (216) 671-5890

Support Groups for Parents

St. John Vianney Parish, Mentor 
Contact: Fr. Tom Johns, (440) 943-3445


St. Joseph Parish, Avon Lake
Contact the parish office, (440) 933-3152


If a sufficient number of people express interest, the ministry is willing to support the formation of additional groups in other areas of the diocese. Please contact Sister Rita Mary Harwood (216-696-6525 x2200) for more information.

Determined to Develop - Malawi Mission

Takupokelerani (or Welcome) to Determined to Develop (D2D). We are an NGO registered in the United States as a 501(c) 3, tax deductible, organization working in Malawi. D2D is based in the rural community of Chilumba, in the Karonga district of northern Malawi, Africa, and works side-by-side with members of the community to address their needs and provide assistance in the overall development of the wider community. We focus on programs supporting education, women’s empowerment, health and nutrition, and the environment. Yet the majority of our efforts and funding is used to run a large education program, sponsoring over three hundred youth from the local area, who would not otherwise be given the opportunity to attend school.

All  of  our  work  is  vetted  by  traditional  leaders from  the  community, including Village Headmen (Chiefs) and local village development committees before they pass planning stages. Such collaboration with the community ensures that we are meeting real, rather than perceived needs.

We see our job as providing assistance to some of the more vulnerable members of society, to allow them to reach their full potential to benefit themselves and ultimately Malawi as a whole.                                                                                      

Note from the Executive Director:

On behalf of the Determined to Develop team I would like to thank you for your generous commitment in sponsoring Mphatso Chakuchanya and in supporting our wider program. It is donations such as yours, which allow us to continue our work and ensure that as many children as possible in our local area can attend school and receive the education and support they deserve.

The sponsorship program means we are able to safeguard Mphatso’s secondary school education; something which unfortunately for many youth in Malawi is not guaranteed. Yet our work in securing young people’s education in Malawi would not be possible without the on-going support from our overseas donors. So thank you again for your assistance to Mphatso. Your donation will provide a life changing experience for him and open up his opportunities for the future.

You will receive personal updates from Mphatso three times a year at Easter, August and Christmas, during his school holidays.

Thank you and warm regards,                                                                                                     



Matthew Maroon

Executive Director, Determined to Develop


2022 Ministry Impact Report