Our Mission: Rooted in Catholic social teaching and impelled by love, the Social Justice Commission of St. Angela Merici seeks to promote justice as the way to peace, uphold the dignity of every person, and foster solidarity and respect for the poor in our community and the world. We hope to achieve this through prayer, reflection, education, advocacy and action on various social justice issues.

“It has always been our desire to reach out to the marginalized so as to extend God’s love, hope and mercy to them. The Social Justice Committee of SAM enables us to do this with joy and gratitude!”
— John and Isabel Tobey, SJC members

The Social Justice Commission of St. Angela Merici holds four general body meetings and works on various service projects throughout the year to both discuss and promote social justice issues. SJC meets in the Parish Center at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of September, November, February, and April. Our five subcommittees meet in alternate months based on the committees’ activities. The Commission also collaborates with the Social Concerns group of our parish cluster partner, St. Christopher Parish. Both churches are partnered with St. Colman Parish through the Church in the City initiative. Members of all three parishes meet during the year to discuss ways in which each of the parishes can assist each other.

In 2016, the Social Justice Commission reorganized into five subcommittees each to focus on specific ministries, namely: Local Outreach; Global Outreach; Advocacy; FIAT; and Education, Prayer, & Reflection. Each subcommittee is an avenue to introduce new issues to the Commission while continuing the established activities such as those listed below.


To get involved with any subcommittee or activity, please contact SJC secretary, Leah Struchen Deans, at leah.struchen.deans@gmail.com.


FIAT (Faith in Action Together) advent weekend of service

Latin for Mary's "yes" to God, FIAT at St. Angela Merici stands for “Faith in Action Together.” FIAT is our parish’s way of saying "yes" to God's call to serve those in need. This annual weekend of service brings together hundreds of SAM parishioners serving the community in numerous ways during the first weekend of December. Opportunities to reach out to those in need are offered throughout Cleveland, Fairview Park, and right at St. Angela. FIAT serves about 20 agencies including kids in foster care, nursing home residents, homeless families, low income men struggling with healthcare, survivors of domestic abuse, refugees, pediatric patients and their families, at-risk youth, and first responders. Sign-ups begin in November through the bulletin.

Saint Angela’s Annual Advent Tradition Continues!

FIAT 2017 Weekend of Service

What is FIAT?

Latin for Mary's "yes" to God, FIAT is St. Angela's way of saying "yes" to God's call to serve those in need. This parish-wide weekend of service brings together hundreds of parishioners serving the community in many ways. Opportunities are offered throughout Cleveland, Fairview Park, and right at St. Angela's.

When is FIAT?

F.I.A.T. 2017 will be Friday, December 1st to Sunday, December 3rd.

 How do I sign-up?

Please sign up for our service activities at the link below:


Sign-ups are first-come, first-served this year.

Additional activity information and coordination will be communicated after sign-ups are completed.

Note: ‘special/unscheduled activities’ below are listed on Thursday only for the sake of signing up.


Email fiatSAMFairview@gmail.com or call Matt at (585) 794-0400 with any questions!

Special Unscheduled Activities

These activities can be done in addition to regular FIAT service opportunities.

 To sign up for these activities, click on Thursday on the sign-up page. They are listed on Thursday only for the sake of signing up.

Bakers needed! Special event for 2017!!

If you do not mind baking a few dozen cookies for FIAT, or sharing Christmas cookies you’ve already made, then we need you! We bring cookies to many of the FIAT activities and, this year, we are planning a special parish event to support F.I.A.T. that also needs cookies! Cookies can be made prior to the weekend. Additionally, we’ll be having a special FIAT Christmas Cookie Walk parish activity to support our FIAT efforts and to celebrate as a parish community. See upcoming bulletin announcements for more details on this special event.

 Are you crafty? Blankets and other handmade items needed.

Womankind is a group that helps babies and families in need. Womankind will gladly take blankets such as fleece tie blankets that require no sewing, quilts, or crocheted baby afghans (approximately 36” x 40” for the size). They also would also be grateful for baby gowns or infant pajamas; sizes ranging for babies up to 24 months. Items can be made prior to the weekend; further pickup/delivery coordination will occur after sign-ups are complete.

Giving Tree Present Collectors/Delivery Drivers Needed

Saint Angela's annual Giving Tree will be collecting gifts the same weekend as FIAT. We need assistance both with sorting gifts after Masses and delivering gifts during the week. Deliveries are located throughout Cleveland. More information about times and locations will follow if you are available for either of these services.

Listing of FIAT Weekend Opportunities:

After registration closes, further details on the selected activities will be communicated to those registered.

For food-providing activities, meals will be coordinated among the participants and reimbursement funds may be available.

See specific activity details, below, for time, number of volunteer slots, and age restrictions.

Friday Service Opportunities:

St. Malachi’s Backdoor Ministry Meal Service

24590 Washington Ave, Cleveland
2 Shifts – 8:20 am to 10:20 am, 10:10 am to 12:10 pm.
Making and serving breakfast or lunch for those in need at St Malachi's rectory and drop in window. Approximately 6 volunteers per shift, all ages.
Catholic Worker Storefront 

4141 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, 44113

2:30 till 5:30 pm

In your own home, prepare part of a simple meal (soup or sandwiches) for 50-70 guests at this drop in center for low income or homeless individuals. Take to Catholic Worker Storefront, serve and clean up.  5 volunteers, all ages.

Ronald McDonald House Meal Service

10415 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
5:00 pm to 7:30 pm 
Prepare a meal at Ronald McDonald House & serve a planned dinner (SAM provides) for 100 residents. 10 volunteers, ages 13+.

Saturday Service Opportunities:

Project Sunshine Craft Making

St. Angela’s Social Hall

10:30 am till approximately Noon

Assemble craft kits for pediatric patients at Fairview Hospital.  Up to 40 volunteers; note that this activity is ideal for families with children 7th grade and under.


Willowood Manor Christmas Party

20665 Lorain Road, Fairview Park 44126

11:00 am till 1:00 pm

Throw a Christmas pizza party for the residents of this senior living community, play games, do a craft.  Bring cookies if you’d like.  15 volunteers or 3 families, all ages.


Ohio Guidestone Christmas Party

Berea Campus – Address TBD

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Throw a Christmas party for the kids of Ohio Guidestone helping with craft, carols, garlands, ornaments, and holiday cookie making. Up to 12 volunteers, ages 18+.

 Ohio Guidestone Gift Bag Sorting

St. Angela’s Social Hall

1:00 pm till approximately 2:30 pm

Assemble Christmas gift bags for the children in Ohio Guidestone’s foster and treatment programs from donated presents.  Up to 40 volunteers, all ages.

O’Neill Health Care Christmas Party
4800 Clague Road, North Olmsted
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Throw a Christmas party for the residents of this senior living community, play games, do a craft.  Bring cookies if you’d like.  Approximately 12 volunteers, all ages.
Frontline Coat Sorting
1744 Payne Ave, Cleveland OH 44114
11:00 am to approximately 3:00pm 
SAM volunteers will assist in sorting new coats for about 150 children who have recently struggled with homelessness. Activity includes sorting by size, tagged with child’s name and bagged with family name. Approximately 8 volunteers, ages 17+.
Domestic Violence Center of Cleveland Dinner Delivery
Undisclosed location
4:30 pm dinner drop off
Prepare dinner (or part of it) at your home  and drop it off for 12 women and 20 kids escaping domestic violence situations.  3-4 volunteers or families, all ages.

Sunday Service Opportunities:

St. Malachi’s Backdoor Ministry Meal Service

24590 Washington Ave, Cleveland
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Making and serving breakfast or lunch for those in need at St Malachi's rectory and drop in window. Approximately 6 volunteers, all ages.
Ennis Court Catholic Nursing Home Christmas Party 
13315 Detroit Rd, Lakewood
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Bring cookies, visit with residents, paint nails, play bingo, sing Christmas carols, do a craft.  Approximately 10 volunteers, all ages.
O’Neill Health Care Christmas Party
20770 Lorain Rd. Fairview Park, OH 44126 
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Throw a Christmas party, play a game, and visit with residents spreading holiday cheer!  Approximately 10 volunteers, all ages.
Frontline Gift Sorting
1744 Payne Ave, Cleveland OH 44114
3:00 pm to approximately 6:00pm 
SAM volunteers will assist in sorting children’s toys and other gifts by age and gender for transport to the Slovenian home. Approximately 8 volunteers, ages 16+.
Family Promise of Greater Cleveland 

3470 E. 152nd St. (Near Shaker Heights)

4:30 drop-off; may stay till 7pm

Make dinner in your own home and bring to this organization which temporarily houses about 10 moms and about 15 children to serve and eat with the families.  Approximate 6 volunteers or 2 families, all ages.

Joseph’s Home Dinner Service

2412 Community College Ave., Cleveland 44115
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Bring dinner, serve, & eat with up to 18 residents and staff at this transitional facility run by the Srs of St. Joseph for low income men recovering from health issues. 4 volunteers, all ages.

St. Colman Neighborhood Meals

Four times a year, St. Angela Merici hosts a free Saturday meal at our Church in the City partner, St. Colman, www.stcolmanparish.org,  located at W. 65th Street and Lorain Avenue in Cleveland.  On Saturday afternoon, SAM volunteers set up, serve, and clean up dinner at St. Colman. Other St. Angela parishioners contribute baked goods and raffle prizes. The meals, funded by SAM and prepared by parishioners who are food professionals, are often themed around holidays or seasons.  Themed raffle prizes are also awarded to dinner attendees.

St. Angela also helps to keep St. Colman's "take-a-book" library well-stocked with donated books, and magazines, especially children's books.


Please contact Judy at judysolmoles@att.net or 440-779-5115 if you would like to get involved by serving on Saturday, providing baked goods, books, or raffle prizes.


Lenten Soup Supper

In the spirit of Lenten sacrifice, the Social Justice Commission hosts a soup supper during Lent. All are invited to share a simple meal of soup, salad, and bread, and to hear speaker. Attending this meal is a great opportunity to be reminded of our common journey throughout the Lenten Season.

Giving Tree

Shortly before the start of the Advent Season, the SAM Ladies Group sets up giving trees in each of the church's three vestibules. The trees contain paper ornaments asking for donations for local agencies and persons in need.  The Ladies Group partners with SJC to recruit volunteers to call local organizations, trace and cut out ornaments, decorate the trees, then sort and deliver the donated gifts. 

Global Partnership in El Salvador

The Cleveland Diocese has supported the Catholic faith in El Salvador since 1964. The SAM Social Justice Commission is forming a relationship with Santo Domingo parish in the town of Chiltiupán. Our first mission trip took place in June, 2014. SJC is working on solidarity projects and financial support currently, and future parish trips in conjunction with other Cleveland parishes are in store.

catholic relief service (CRS) parish ambassador corps.

St Angela Merici was selected as a pilot parish for Catholic Relief Service’s Parish Ambassador Corps., which is administered in our parish through the Social Justice Committee. The Parish Ambassador aims to promote a sense of global solidarity among SAM parishioners by engaging them in three CRS ministries: Ethical (Fair) Trade, Rice Bowl collections during Lent, and Legislative Advocacy.

Ethical trade, formerly known as “Fair Trade,” is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to and securing the rights of marginalized producers and workers. The Social Justice Commission offers opportunities to the parish community to engage in ethical trade through sales at various times during the year. Items offered through ethical trade at SAM can include coffee, chocolate, jewelry, and gifts, among many others.  To learn more, visit the CRS website at http://ethicaltrade.crs.org.

To get involved with CRS at SAM, please contact Parish Ambassador Carole Iseli at caiseli@outlook.com.

“I believe that, yes, the times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal. Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry. We all have to think if we can become a little poorer, all of us have to do this. How can I become a little poorer in order to be more like Jesus, who was the poor Teacher?”
— Pope Francis


To Get Involved

Please contact SJC secretary, Leah Struchen Deans, at leah.struchen.deans@gmail.com or 814-397-2401.