“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:31

Life in the 21st century can at times be complicated, stressful, and confusing.  For many who are struggling to cope in today’s world, Carolyn and Terry Morris share Christ’s compassion through their “Pathways to Hope” Ministry.  Since 2013, this amazing couple has brought strength to many SJB parishioners by providing helpful informative resources and prayerful support.

Early Years

Carolyn Morris hails from Euclid and grew up in St. Christine Parish.  After graduating from Euclid High School, she obtained an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Cuyahoga Community College.  Carolyn worked for 15 years for Ohio Bell and later oversaw the Hallmark cards collections at three Walgreen’s stores.  Terry Morris was born and raised in Cleveland and Euclid and attended St. Aloysius and St. Joseph Churches.  Following graduation from St. Joseph High School, Terry obtained an Associate’s Degree in Science from Tri-C and Bachelor of Arts degree from Cleveland State University.  He became a Licensed Social Worker and Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor.  For the next 44 years, Terry worked for the Catholic Charities of Cleveland.  He first served as a Behavioral Health Counselor at Parmadale and later as director of the Matt Talbot Recovery Center, where he provided guidance and support to adults with chemical dependencies.  Carolyn and Terry married in 1983 and joined SJB the following year.  In addition to their Pathways to Hope Ministry at SJB, the Morrises serve as Eucharistic Ministers.  As a Comfort Care volunteer at Parma Hospital, Carolyn’s kindness extends far beyond the church.  Carolyn and Terry are the parents of two adult daughters, Theresa and Angela.      

Pathways to Hope Ministry

In 2013, parishioners Ray and Joyce Saunders approached Father Larry Jurcak about an idea for providing hope to those facing challenges.  Together, the Saunders, the Morrises, and Fr. Jurcak created the Pathways to Hope Ministry.   As the Ministry evolved, SJB parishioners Adele and Gary Kopchak, Sharon and Ron Konkoly, Melissa and Tom Tarolla, Martin Cusack, Donna Kiwala, and Linda Faecking also joined this Ministry.  They diligently researched literature from numerous social organizations and developed a resource center which contains pamphlets from local and national agencies.  These resources provide guidance on ways to obtain assistance on a multitude of issues ranging from grief support, family stress, mental health concerns, alcohol and drug addiction, nursing home decisions, and domestic violence.  All pamphlets were approved by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and are available free of charge to those who visit the church.  Brochures originate from such organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Cornerstone of Hope Center, St. Augustine Health Ministries, and One Caring Place of Abbey Press.  Scriptural resources are also available for encouragement.  The Pathways to Hope resource center kiosk is located adjacent to the Activities Center.   

In 2018, a six-week curriculum entitled “The Road to Emmaus” was offered to parishioners by Pathway to Hope team members.  Topics included the following: Co-Dependency, Communication Skills, Tools for Healthy Living, Enabling/Boundaries, Broadening our Understanding of God, and Forgiveness.    In 2021, Melissa Tarolla facilitated a series of Vision of Hope Interviews with parish members.  The Pathways to Hope Ministry also initiated the prayer basket, in which parishioners may write confidential prayer requests and drop them in the basket located near the statue of St. Joseph.  In addition, this Ministry created the prayer line for private intentions, available at sjbprays@sjbparmaheights.org and (440) 862-7448.

Taizé Prayer Service

To offer spiritual support to those in need, the Pathways to Hope Ministry sponsors a quarterly Taizé prayer service.  In this inspirational service, lighting is subdued and the altar is unadorned.  Following a simple style of prayer, the structure of the service includes several chants, scripture readings, periods of reflective silence, lighting of candles, intentions, and a closing prayer.  All attendees are invited to participate in the Service of Light.  Deacon Roger offers the prayer intentions for the church.   “Every member of the Ministry contributes prayers and readings to the Taizé service,” notes Terry.  Parishioner Melissa Tarolla leads the singing in the Taizé service.  She and her husband Tom provide tech support for computer projection of the program. 

The tranquility of the Taizé service reminds us that our Lord is the source of all hope in times of trouble.  “We know that families are struggling with many issues,” says Carolyn.  “The Taizé prayer service is one way that we can provide support for them.  It is peaceful here and they will feel closer to God.”  Terry reflects, “People who are struggling can take time out and come to Taizé to find a quiet place to contemplate and receive spiritual healing.”  All are invited to the next Taizé service which will be held at SJB on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 7:00 PM. 

Future Direction

In 2023, Pathways to Hope Ministry members will further their training by attending a healing retreat at St. Basil’s Church in Brecksville.  Terry and Carolyn Morris wish to acknowledge the support of Fr. Matt, Deacon Roger, and all those who volunteer with them at SJB.  The Pathways to Hope Ministry encourages parishioners to join them either in person or as “Prayer Companions” so that they realize the needs of fellow church members and pray for their intentions.  Please contact the Parish Office for more information on this wonderful ministry.

Submitted by Terry and Carolyn Morris and Christine and Robert Martuch