A Look Back to 1941

Family & Community Services, Inc.

Family & Community Services, which grew out of the Catholic Charities Bureau of the Ravenna deanery, first opened its doors in 1941. This article announcing the opening of the office was published on September 8, 1941:


Catholic Charities Opens Office in Ravenna

New Agency Serves Portage, Geauga County Deanery

Miss Dorothy Sweeny, an attractive and business-like young lady, sat behind a new desk in an old but neat appearing home at 221 S. Prospect st., Ravenna, today and explained the opening of a branch office of the Catholic Charities Bureau to serve Portage and Geauga counties.

First pointing out that agency opened Tuesday under the name of the Catholic Charities Bureau of the Ravenna deanery, Miss Sweeny said that the increasing work in the area within the last few years and the construction of the new shell loading plant near Ravenna, bringing many Catholic families to the area, had prompted the establishment of the Ravenna office.

“Dorothy Sweeny . . . directs charities office.”

“Establishment of the office,” she continued, “means that the work carried on formerly on a part-time basis can now be carried on full time and social service to Catholic families and children will be facilitated. Our work will include service in the fields of family and child welfare.”

The new social agency’s board of directors is headed by the Very Rev. Leo A. Schlindwein, pastor of the Ravenna Immaculate Conception church and dean of the Ravenna deanery. The Rev. Fr. Robert D. Delmedge, pastor of St. Peter’s church, Rootstown, is secretary.

Membership of the board is composed of two lay members of each of the parishes within the deanery and the pastors: the Rev. Fr. Frederick J. Bertram of St. Joseph’s church, Randolph; the Rev. Fr. John B. Holcomb of St. Patrick, Kent; the Rev. Fr. Anthony L. Battes of St. Joseph, Mantua; the Rev. Fr. Edward F. Sullivan of St. Edward, Parkman; the Rev. Fr. James J. Maruna of St. Patrick, S. Thompson, O. and the Rev. Fr. Oldrich A. Mazanec of St. Rita, Solon, O.

Miss Sweeny will be in charge of the new office, assisted by a full-time secretary. A graduate of Ursuline College for Women in Cleveland, she attended the social school at Western Reserve univer-city for two years. She has been working in this territory for six months preparing for the office opening.