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Cleveland-Bratislava Sister Cities Organization Plans Centennial Event

On Monday, June 11, 2018, we took a breather and only attended one event, which was the bimonthly meeting of the "Cleveland-Bratislava Sister Cities" organization at the Garfield Heights Public Library.


From Dr. Stephen J. Sebesta, we learned about a celebration that he is instrumental in planning that will commemorate the founding of the country of Czechoslovakia in 1918 that is scheduled to take place at Bohemian National Hall the last weekend of October 2018. For this occasion, many Czech, Slovak, and Rusyn organizations are joining forces to make this a very special affair.

The main speaker of the night was Fr. Damian J. Ference, who impressed us as a very versatile and accomplished individual who will be stepping down from his current position as Director of Human Formation & Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe, Ohio, in order to spend three years in Rome furthering his education in Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas.

During his time with us, Fr. Ference discussed his faith and the circumstances that motivated him to become a priest, as well as the various positions he has held and the people who assisted him along the way.

Fr. Ference said the two things that his Slovak heritage has given him that have figured most prominently in his life are his Catholic faith and a very strong work ethic, which have helped him put his faith to wonderful use in the service of God and humanity.

He talked of how his grandparents immigrated to the United States from Europe in 1910 and met in Yonkers, New York. Eventually they moved to Cleveland where his grandfather found work as a boilermaker. Later, in 2004 and 2006, Fr. Ference and his own father were able to travel to the locales where both his grandparents grew up, which was an immensely rewarding experience.

For more about Fr. Ference, read his blog posts here. We particularly liked the review he wrote of "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," which he likens to the works of Flannery O'Connor, an author he very much admires.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison

Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC



Aimee Jannsohn