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Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Coffee Contacts; First Friday Club of Cleveland Monthly Meeting


On Thursday, January 4th, we went to an Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce "Coffee Contacts" at "Mentor Ridge Health and Rehabilitation" on Norton Parkway in Mentor.

It is a new facility just opened in May of 2017 so Mr. Chuck Hiller, Administrator, and Ms. Abby Kemmerling, Director of Business Development, explained that both long-term care and rehabilitation therapy are provided there. Among the services rendered are 24/7 skilled nursing as well as physical therapy, occupational, and speech therapy.

When it was our time to share, we spoke about helping out at the "Senior Produce Market" the previous day and what a good leader Mr. Duke Li proved to be. We encountered our old friend Ms. Judy Moran, former Lake Counter Commissioner, who now works for the "Lake County General Health District" doing resource development and community outreach. Ms. Moran encouraged us to check out the "Begin the Conversation" series in Lake County which brings different groups together to discuss issues affecting the community including immigration.

We also talked to Mr. Ken Kocsis of "Sleep Number" who told us that his wife is very involved in the "Daughters of the American Revolution" so she attends many naturalization ceremonies and finds them to be very rewarding experiences.


Next we went to the City Club of Cleveland to attend the monthly meeting of the "First Friday Club of Cleveland" which, on this occasion, featured Sister Susan Durkin, OSU, President of the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland, as its keynote speaker.


We had looked forward to attending this lunch because we often attend affairs organized by the Ursuline Sisters and know them to be very concerned about immigration issues; in fact, members of their Order were first brought to Cleveland in 1850 by Bishop Louis Amadeus Rappe to teach the immigrant children. To come to the United States at that time was a demonstration of the "bold faith" that has characterized the Ursuline Sisters over the years and during her presentation Sister Susan talked about the wonderful works that her Order has been involved with. Indeed, it has more than fulfilled its mission of "transforming lives through contemplation, justice, and compassion" and will continue to move forward.


Poignant moments that occurred during the luncheon included two young women named Acacia and Grace from "Beaumont School" in Cleveland Heights offering a prayer to St. Angela Merici who founded the Ursuline Order in Italy in 1535 and Mr. John Fitzgerald, the new president of the First Friday Club, presenting a tribute to Mr. Greg Spielman, the former president in which the latter received a beautiful book regarding the Sermon on the Mount.

Mr. Fitzgerald, himself, took a moment to praise the Ursuline Sisters as well as other committed Orders by noting that "we stand on the shoulders of giants" and many of these giants were religious women who have served and sacrified for their faith and their community throughout history.


During lunch, we sat next to Mr. Steve Suding, Executive Vice President of "Padua Franciscan High School", who once served as a missionary in the Congo for twelve years. Mr. Suding told us about how a refugee family from the Congo recently joined his parish and how all parties involved have been enriched by the relationship.

We had another good conversation with Sister Joanne Gross, OSU, Legal Counsel and member of the Leadership Team for the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland. We spoke of the Order's involvement with immigrants and how such projects as "Esperanza Threads" were launched under its guidance.

After we left the luncheon, we did some research and discovered a public statement in which the Ursuline Sisters declared their support for the DREAM Act of 2017. Here is a link to it:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC





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