The COMMISSION ON CATHOLIC COMMUNITY ACTION, established in June 1969, is the social-justice arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. It was begun by Bp. CLARENCE G. ISSENMANN to respond to racism, discrimination, and poverty. Auxiliary Bp. William M. Cosgrove and George A. Moore, a journalist and founder of the Catholic Interracial Council, served as the commission's first co-chairs. Richard M. Kelley became the first executive director. The commission addressed both parishes and individuals and cooperated with public and private agencies. It also evaluated diocesan offices and recommended ways to respond to the needs of the poor and minorities. In 1971 HARRY FAGAN, commission staff member and in 1975 named executive director, launched Action for a Change, a course that applied the Gospel to social problems. Individuals were trained at the parish level to involve themselves in issues such as housing, self-help, and hunger. In 1972 Fr. Daniel Reidy became executive director of the commission. During his tenure the commission assisted local grass-roots organizations, such as the Buckeye-Woodland Community Congress, the St. Clair-Superior Coalition, the HEIGHTS COMMUNITY CONGRESS, Active Clevelanders Together, and the Senior Citizens' Coalition. It also organized a hunger center network and launched a coordinated effort to improve the criminal justice system. In 1995 Leonard N. Calabrese served as the commission's executive director.

Archives, Diocese of Cleveland.


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