Saturday, June 24, 2017
125th Anniversary Cookbook

St. Leo's is now offering a brand new
125th Anniversary Cookbook, 
including many parish member favorites, Fr. Jim's favorites, his dog Clancy's favorites, as well as favorite international recipes.

Please send your $10.00 donation to:

St. Leo's Cookbook
2573 St. Leo Place
Cincinnati, OH 4522 

For more information
call us at 513-921-1044 or
email us at

Cookbook Update

Cookbook Capers


Prepare for a Job as a Seamstress 

Join our local seamstresses preparing for sewing jobs at St. Francis Seraph Ministries. With enough participants at St. Leo we may even become a branch of their services here in the parish. 

Come sew with us every Friday morning, 9:00am-Noon. 

Learn the necessary skills and plan for a job with added income for you and your family. You’ll also enjoy the companionship of other creative women in the process! 

For more information call Sr. Ann Vonder Meulen, osf at 280-7849. 


Culture Fest
at St. Leo's
Saturday, July 15, 2017

1:00 - 9:30 pm

6:00 pm Mass

The Celebration begins at 1:00 pm featuring Music, Munchies, Merriment, and Much More including 6:00 pm Mass, ending at 9:30 pm!

Music Groups from St. Leo and other partnering parish musicians will provide music.

A variety of Guatemalan, Mexican and Salvadorian cuisines will be featured. Be daring and try the Fruta with the special seasoning! It’s delicious and refreshing.

Our festival isn’t about making money for the parish. It is mainly about bringing our faith and a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving to God into our parking lot and then onto the streets and neighborhood. It is about inviting others to come and give thanks with us as we share our cultures with them. 


St. Leo Food Pantry Needs Your Help

The FreeStore Foodbank is accepting donations to support the Hunger Walk until June 30th!

100% of your donation to the Hunger Walk on behalf of St. Leo Food Pantry is credited to St. Leo's Freestore Foodbank account.  We count on your donation to St. Leo's Account all year round.  Help us help our brothers and sisters in need by supporting the St. Leo Food Pantry Hunger Walk Team.

Click here to make a donation to the Hunger Walk on our behalf.

Be sure to indicate you are supporting the St. Leo Food Pantry.

Call 513-482-FOOD (3663) to make a donation using a credit or debit card.


Click here to Donate.

St. Leo’s stained glass windows are in serious need of repair and restoration.

 All of the windows are nearly 100 years old and are showing signs of lead fatigue, bowing, and putty deterioration. The area of most concern is in the ventilation section of the windows where the glass edges are showing extreme bowing and  breakage.

 The first three windows that were in greatest need of repair have been restored and re-installed just in time for Easter!

 Because of the high cost, we hope to repair and restore the remaining windows at the rate of 1 or 2 windows per year. To date we have received $12,2225.00, toward the  total $25,000 expected cost of the entire project.

 We ask you to consider making a donation to help build our Stained Glass Window Fund. Your gift of beauty will enhance our worship experience for many years to come.

Click here to Donate.




Responsible for evaluating inventory and managing weekly orders with the Freestore Foodbank and other food resources. Updates and works with volunteers regarding availability of items and various food pantry matters. Approx. 15 hours/week. Please call Stephanie at 513-921-1044 X 20.


Congratulations to St. Leo's students attending St. Boniface School who received Third Quarter Honors:

Second Honors:  Aimable Niyongabo, Jacques Hatungimana

Good Effort:  Eric Niyonkuru, Joni Ntirampeba, Diana Mutuyimana, Beata Ndayishmiye, Venyete Harumukiza

No Absence/No Tardy: Angel Uwineza, Joseph Igaba, Vinyete Harumukiza

St. Leo's Need Your Help!

2 volunteers are desperately needed for Monday, January 9th, from 9:00-noon, to pick up groceries from donor/vendors and deliver to St. Leo Food Pantry. Please call 921-1044 x 30.

On days with inclement weather, check out the following stations for St. Leo event cancellations:
WCPO  -  Channel   9
WXIX   -  Channel 19


Many, Many Thanks!



Various Programs organized by
the St. Leo Pantry Volunteers & Parish Staff, 
in Cooperation with the North Fairmount Community Center, 
and many Dedicated Volunteers and Donors

St. Ignatius Church
St. Dominic Church
St. Jude Church
St. Simon Church
St. Thomas More Church
St. Xavier Church
Our Lady of the Visitation Chuch
Church of the Nativity
St. Columban, Loveland
St. Andrew Church, Milford
Elder High School
LaSalle High School
Moeller High School
St. Xavier High School
Whole Foods
Numerous Individual and Generous Donors!


Thank you again and again to the many, many volunteers who made the First Ladies for Health FREE Health Day at St. Leo’s a big success!  

Our heartfelt thanks to the volunteers who arrived at 8:00 am to help carry the tables and chairs up the stairs and into the parking lot; the student volunteers who helped entertain the children at the Kid’s Zone, as well as traffic control and trash pick-up; the grill crew who cooked hot dogs all afternoon; the multitude of professionals from so many health care institutions who donated their professional expertise, and to the hard working clean-up crew who worked long and hard to put everything away.



Responsible for the purchased and donated acquisition of food, evaluate weekly inventory, and manage weekly orders with the Freestore Foodbank and other food resources, for pantry needs, parish needs, and neighborhood functions as needed. Approx. 20-25 hours a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Please call Stephanie at 513-921-1044 ext. 20.

Are you looking for something worthy to do? Are you and a friend looking for something to do together? Two men with muscle are needed to pick up food items and meats on Friday mornings. This volunteer opportunity requires driving to 2 locations in the Rookwood area, lifting and stacking supplies in the cargo van, transporting the items back to the food pantry and then moving them from the van to the shelves. Please call Stephanie at 513-921-1044X20.


Shopping escorts are needed to accompany guests as they “shop” for the items they need.  Escorts are needed for Mondays, Wednesday and/or Fridays from noon to 4:30 pm. Please call Stephanie at 513-921-1044X20.

Burundi Women's Choir sings at the Catholic Charities Southwest Ohio 100th Anniversary Event Honoring 100 Champions of Mercy. The Faith Community of St. Leo's was honored as one of the Champions of Mercy. 


Volunteers Needed

Since our maintenance man, Rick, is still limited with his back injury, a morning or afternoon here and there is being planned to do "project" work.

We’d like to finish sanding and painting the three arches at the front doors of church along with one inside trim before the cooler weather sets in.

Two to three people with some experience in sanding and painting the intricate doorframe and one person for the side that needs to be scraped down to the wood and polyurethanes would be a huge help.

If you might be interested in helping, please call the parish office at 513-921-1044. Thank you!


Our Saint Leo's Faith Community is proud to be included as one of Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio's 100 Champions of Mercy!

Acts of mercy occur in churches, schools, health care facilities and communities each and every day. In order to reflect and celebrate mercy in our community, Catholic Charities will honor Champions of Mercy who serve the poor, protect the vulnerable or welcome the stranger.

Eat at Chili's, support Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, August 1 through August 31, 2016.  Click here for Chili's Give Back Vouchers:  Eat at Chili's.pdf


English as a Second Language Volunteers Needed.

Classes are held on Saturdays, from 10:00 until Noon, in the rectory at St. Leos.

We currently teach English to Spanish and Burundi speaking students, but welcome all interested in learning English. We can always use English speakers to help students practice.


St. Leo's welcomed members of the Archdiocesan Offices who joined us on Sunday, June 5, 2016,  to present St. Leo's parishioner, Dr. Jonathan Trauth, with The Spirit of Sr. Dorothy Stang Award. 

Sr. Dorothy Stang was a Sister of Notre dame de Namur and native of Dayton, Ohio. She was murdered in Anapu, in the State of Para, in the Amazon Basin of Brazil in February 2005. She was very outspoken in her efforts on behalf of the poor and the environment and an advocate for the rights of poor farmers to farm land in a sustainable way in the Amazon region of Brazil. Her dream was to have some of the land designated as a federal reserve where the poor farmers would always be safe; where they could till the soil and establish their own income-producing businesses through sound development; and where the farmers and their families could always live in peace and with dignity. However, some wanted her work stopped and she received threats upon her life. Such resistance eventually led to her assassination. 

The Spirit of Sister Dorothy Stang Award is granted by the Sisters of Notre dame de Namur and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Offices of Mission, Catholic Social Action, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and Evangelization and Catechesis. The Award is granted to someone who has demonstrated Christ-like solidarity with the poor, shows care for the Earth, and applies Catholic Social Teaching in cross cultural service. With these criteria, Jon Trauth helps keep the Spirit of Sr. Dorothy Stang alive in Cincinnati and right here in North Fairmount at St. Leo. Congratulations, Jon! Many thanks to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Archdiocesan Offices for making this award possible and for encouraging all of us to care for the needs and rights of others and to give witness with Christ-like example to our faith.

Click here for more information about the Sr. Dorothy Stang Award.



We are so proud of their hard work and accomplishments and so we say “Well done!!” to:

Our college graduates:        
Jonathon Trauth, who will get his doctorate in counseling from the University of Cincinnati
Anna Combs, who graduated from the University of Dayton
Gabrielle Bolin,  Mt. St. Joseph University
Michael Rieger, the University of Michigan

Our high school graduates—all of whom are going to college:
Antoinette Ndayitwayeko, Withrow, who will be attending the University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash         
Mariejane Tuyizere, Withrow, who will be attending University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash
Octavie Igaba, Mother of Mercy, who will be attending University of Toledo
Pascal Irabona, Withrow, who will be attending UC Blue Ash
Alexis Nizigiyimana, Cristo Rey, who will be attending UC Blue Ash
Charlotte Niyonkuru, Withrow, who will be attending UC
Gerald Ndayishimiye, Withrow, who will be attending UC
Sandrine Ilumbu, Mother of Mercy, who will be attending Wright State University.

Our grade school graduate:
Davon Elliot who completed studies at St. Joseph school and will be attending Elder high school.  

We look forward to all the great things they are going to accomplish! CONGRATULATIONS!


On Sunday, May 15th, Pentecost Sunday, 39 parishioners received the Sacrament of Confirmation and 12 parishioners received the Sacrament of Baptism.

  • Civilize It: Dignity beyond the Debate. 
    What does mercy look like during Election Season? “Civilize It” is a campaign to promote civility, clarity and compassion in electoral politics and among ourselves. 
  • Take the pledge at!

Volunteers Needed Now!

Especially for Mondays and Fridays, 12:00 noon - 4:30 pm, 

assisting our clients.

Needed:  someone on Mondays who can pick up at Kroger anytime between 10:30am and 11am then deliver and unload at the Pantry.

Needed:  shopping "escorts" on Mondays and Fridays, Noon - 4:00 pm, to walk through our shopping aisles with clients. 

Click here for:  Food Pantry Job Descriptions

Contact Stephanie Sepate, at 513-921-1044 or email:


NEW at St. Leo's - Free Sewing Classes

Fridays, from 9:00 am - 12:00 noon, in the rectory.

If you have ever wished you could alter a piece of clothing or actually make something for yourself or your family on a sewing machine, then you are invited to join us!

We begin with sewing things that are useful to you in your home: pot holders, sewing bag, purses, hand towels, aprons, baby clothes and more. There is no fee, but we ask that you come ready to enjoy the company of others and help one another as you learn new skills.

You will receive a starter sewing kit, the fabric you need to learn new skills, and the use of an electric sewing machine. Kathy Heile, Beth Kiley and Ann Vonder Meulen, OSF are the instructors in our class who will be delighted to help you learn what others have taught us. We guarantee that you will find out how creative you are, and even begin developing new items and patterns yourself! Come join in the fun every Friday, from 9:00am to 12 noon.

We are eager to have you join us! No need to register - just show up!


NUEVO en St. Leo - Clases de costura gratis

Viernes, de 9:00 - 12:00 del mediodía, en la rectoría.

Si alguna vez han deseado podría alterar una prenda de vestir o hacer algo para usted o su familia en una máquina de coser, están invitados a unirse a nosotros!

Empezamos con las cosas de costura que son útiles para usted en su casa: agarraderas, bolso de costura, bolsos, toallas, delantales, ropa de bebé y más. Hay ninguna cuota, pero pedimos que vengas preparado para disfrutar de la compañía de otros y ayudarse mutuamente como aprenden nuevas habilidades.

Usted recibirá un kit de costura de arranque, la tela que usted necesita para aprender nuevas habilidades y el uso de una máquina de coser eléctrica. Kathy Heile, Beth Kiley y Ann Vonder Meulen, OSF son los instructores en nuestra clase que estarán encantados de ayudarle a aprender lo que otros nos han enseñado. Le garantizamos que usted encontrará cómo creativo eres y hasta empiezan a desarrollar patrones y nuevos artículos! Ven y Únete a la diversión todos los viernes, de 9:00 a 12:00.

Estamos dispuestos a unirse a nosotros! No hay necesidad de registrarse - solo demuestran para arriba!

Many, many, many thanks to all the dedicated, wonderful, loyal volunteers (you know who you are!) who helped us move the Food Pantry, shelving, supplies, furniture and food items, cold, frozen, and endless canned goods and dry goods from its former home in the basement to its new home in the former Kroger building across the street. It was a humongous, nearly overwhelming job, but we all did it together and it looks like we'll be opening the new "choice" pantry on Wednesday as planned. We can't thank you enough. Your hard work was much needed and truly, deeply appreciated! Thank you again and again!
St. Leo's is one of several churches throughout the Archdiocese that have been named as pilgrim sites for the Holy Year of Mercy.

This means that we are open to visitors throughout the year who may want to make a pilgrimage to our church for prayer and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

During the Holy Year there will be opportunities for Exposition and Sacrament of the Sick, TBA; Pilgrims are encouraged to add petitions to our Book of Prayers for the Faithful, add names to our Book of the Faithful Departed, and place petitions in our prayer wall (in our parking lot).  Pilgrims may also bring canned goods for our food pantry.

Click here for more information.


St. Leo's was mentioned Monday, November 9th, in a story by Rich Jaffe on Channel 12 News about the non-profit, Childhood Food Solutions.

Click here to see the story.


In August, our Food Pantry served 1,370 individuals, including 735 children in 347 families.  Busy As Can Bee!

Not only were we the site selected for Archbishop Schnurr to bless letters going to congress, but many organizations and parishes have chosen St. Leo as recipient for Pope Francis’s request to support Caritas’ Food For All world-wide campaign to combat hunger, particularly during the Week of Action this month. Thank you to all the new and all the long-standing organizations, groups, and individuals who have remembered St. Leo as they conduct their “Pope Food Fund Drives.”


Q. How long does the food last for a family?

AWe try to make sure our clients receive food to last at least one to two weeks.

Have a question? Email it to 

NEEDS FOR October:  Peanut Butter (of course, of course, said the horse, of course!) soups, canned meats, canned potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, baked beans, tuna, bar soap, toothpaste, laundry detergent, diapers (3,4,5), quart-sized ZipLoc bags, and plastic and paper grocery bags. 

Monetary donations are needed for additional food and hygiene purchases, and operational expenses to keep the pantry functioning, including such items as: freezers, refrigerators, pest control, van use, repairs & gasoline for multiple trips for food pick-up, and Pantry related errands. 

Monetary donations are NEVER used for the general parish operating expenses, staff, or pantry management expenses.

Stephanie Sepate


photo by Kevin Eigelbach

St. Leo's was recently featured in a story by Kevin Eigelbach of the Channel 9 Insider.  Read the entire story at:

Many, many thanks to the Cathedral Deanery for nominating St. Leo Food Pantry to receive a portion of the 2015 Lenten Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl Program. This gift is much needed and most appreciated!
Mercy senior values educational opportunities

Nancy Nzobigeza is grateful for the educational opportunities she’s had. (Courtesy Photo)

Nancy Nzobigeza is grateful for the educational opportunities she’s had. (Courtesy Photo)

By Eileen Connelly, OSU
The Catholic Telegraph

When she receives her diploma at Mother of Mercy High School’s graduation ceremony on June 1, Nancy Nzobigeza’s heart will be filled with the gratitude for the education she has received and determination to help other young woman have the same opportunity she’s had.

Nzobigeza and her family (father, Jeff, mother, Lena, and older sister, Winnifrida) overcame a great deal to find peace and security in the United States. They escaped their war torn East African homeland of Burundi to settle in Tanzania, where refugees have been viewed with fear and suspicion. The family was forced to change its name and the girls had to pretend to be Tanzanian in order to attend school. “We had to live like different people,” Nzobigeza recalled.

gradHer father came to Cincinnati in 2001 and eventually went to work for Catholic Charities. For years, he struggled to bring his wife and daughters to the United States, his efforts stymied by Tanzanian immigration officials. Lena Nzobigeza came to Cincinnati in 2010, joined by her younger daughter a year later, after Mercy agreed to sponsor the academically gifted young woman’s student visa. The whole family was reunited last year when older daughter Winnifrida was finally able to leave Tanzania. She is now a student at Xavier University.

Nancy Nzobigeza quickly embraced student Life at Mercy.

“From my first day here, I felt welcomed,” she said. “Everyone was great. In Tanzania, I couldn’t tell people about my background or share who I am. Here I’ve been able to express myself and people have accepted me for who I am. It’s a very good feeling.”

During her sophomore year, Nzobigeza began volunteering as an English tutor at St. Leo Parish in North Fairmount, a haven for a diverse population of refugees, immigrants and native Cincinnatians. She helps refugee children with their schoolwork and helps the adults prepare for their citizenship exams. It’s a cause that’s “dear to my heart,” Nzobigeza said. “I share my gifts and try to make their lives better. I tell the children to take advantage of whatever chance they have to study, to continue their education.”

Thanks to her experience at Mercy, where she has been involved in a variety of activities, including the French Club and helping with school open houses, Nzobigeza has come to greatly value the importance education. “I feel like if you have an education, you can accomplish anything. My education has made me everything I am,” she said.

Nzobigeza plans to attend the University of Cincinnati, where she’ll study biological science. She hopes to one day become a doctor. “That goes back to when I was a little kid,” she explained. “I had surgery and a hospital stay and actually loved the hospital environment. I want to travel and save lives and give back for the good care I received.”

Although not sure when, Nzobigeza would like to eventually return to her homeland. “I want to work for change and help others have the opportunities I’ve had. I hope to be an inspiration for other young women.”

This graduation feature originally appeared in the June 2015 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph


The great quote for fires, falling from tall buildings, and sky-diving landings.

For St. Leo, a reminder to please DROP what you’re doing and re-enROLL if you haven’t yet done so. We have been able to supplement projects and outreach programs with the donations from Kroger from the percentage of your purchases! Thank you!  Your involvement is very much appreciated!

Re-Enroll or Become a member online at with your Kroger Plus card. Select St. Leo from the list or enter our ID#28680 and click confirm.  You still benefit from the coupons and special deals provided through the Kroger Plus card.


St. Leo’s is proud of all of its graduates as they take the next steps in realizing their dreams and sharing their gifts with the wider community. And for many of these graduates their experience at St. Leo’s is woven into their academic projects and research.

“Reflecting the Multicultural Face of God,” a study of ways to develop a multicultural worship, was the thesis of Sara Mankus,’ long-time member of the music ministry who received her master’s in theology from Xavier University. She based her work on her experience at St. Leo’s where the entire community has begun to sing the same words in English, Spanish, and Kirundi for special holy day songs for feasts like Christmas and Easter. Goal is to eventually have the entire community singing the same words together regardless of the language of the song.

Jon Trauth who first came to St. Leo's several years ago to do an internship for the theology program he was involved in at Xavier University, will also be receiving a master's degree in theology from Xavier. Topic of his research is the theology of debt. He discussed the debt the refugees had when they arrived and the programs St. Leo started to empower them to improve their lives and get out of debt. St. Leo's also is involved in his counseling doctoral dissertation about using horticultural therapy as a means of helping refugees deal the trauma they experienced living through war.

Jim Elfers, a new parishioner who teaches at Moeller high school, completed his capstone project getting feedback from immigrants and refugees about what it is like to be part of a multicultural parish.

Jocelin Morrow and Natasha Lovely, University of Cincinnati students who were social work interns at St. Leo this year did their senior project on difficulties refugees face in getting employment. Jocelin will be going to Boston College where she received a $25,000 scholarship for graduate studies in clinical social work. Natasha will be doing graduate work at the University of Michigan in a social work program that includes classes on effecting systemic changes in society.

Janvier Manishimwe graduates from Withrow University High School and plans to become a policeman.

Completing grade school are Arnold Bernardo who graduates from Resurrection School and will be attending Cristo Rey High School next year. Also going to Cristo Rey will be Janvier Musavyimana who graduates from St. Boniface School. Pascasia Irakose also graduates from St. Boniface and will be attending Mother of Mercy High School where she has received an inspiration scholarship.

Angela Anno, Pastoral Associate


St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in North Fairmount has become a haven for a diverse population of refugees, immigrants and native Cincinnatians. Read more about the church and its Burundian refugee parishioners at


St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in North Fairmount has become a haven for a diverse population of refugees, immigrants and native Cincinnatians. Read more about the church and its Burundian refugee parishioners at


St. Leo's presence in the North Fairmount neighborhood of Cincinnati was featured on the front page of the City Beat newspaper.  Click here to read the article:  Seeking Refuge



Michelangelo sculpted the Pietà in 1498–1499,    taking less than two years to complete. His depiction of the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion on the rock of Golgatha is one of the most famous pieces of sculpture known by so many across the world.

Showing the "religious vision of abandonment and a serene face of the Son", Michelangelo did not want his version of the Pietà to represent death, but rather a representation of the communion between man and God through Christ’s gift of life.

For the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Vatican loaned the Pietà for installation in the Vatican pavilion. A conveyor belt moved people, who stood in line for hours, past the sculpture. It is housed in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

Several decades ago, St. Leo was gifted with a beautiful representation of the Pietà in memory of the Schuchart Family. Over the years, the wear and tear, fragments of the more fragile areas of the statue cracked or missing, and chipping paint called a friend of the parish to totally refurbish our Pietà. To repaint it with its former colors would have shown the flaws; it was decided to paint it all one color, especially in keeping with the make-up of our parish—all one people. After months and months of prayerful restoration, our Pietà finally came home, quite appropriately, the day before Ash Wednesday.

As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, we are grateful for Michelangelo’s reminder of the ultimate gift in our midst. The St. Leo Pietà has been given a new life; let us all celebrate a season of renewal in our own lives as Lent ends and as we rejoice in the hope and joy of Easter’s Alleluias!

- Stephanie Sepate

Parishioner Pascasia Irakoze, daughter of Maria Karenzo and Joseph Misagaro and an 8th grader at St. Boniface school won an inspirational scholarship to Mother of Mercy High School for the following speech. We are most proud of her and her achievement.  Click here to read her winning speech.

In December, our Food Pantry served a total of 1,417 people, including 796 children in 368 families. 


Last month it was Broken Records and now it’s Breaking Records! The average was 31 families served each day we were open in December! What a daunting realization that so many families are in such great need.

It takes great organization and commitment— and lots of love! Just see the articles that feature our Pantry Director, Shirley Cade, and a young friend of the Parish who drove himself nuts—literally! And, of course, there’s always our Wednesday Pick-up Van Band, some who are shown in the photo here!

NEEDS FOR FEBRUARY: Peanut Butter, cereal, canned tomatoes, potatoes, bar soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste (Aim $.89 at Kroger), toilet tissue, dish washing liquid (small), laundry detergent, diapers-sizes 3,4,5, large brown paper bags, plastic grocery bags and Quart-size Zip-Loc bags.

Monetary donations are needed for additional food and hygiene purchases, and operational expenses to keep the pantry functioning, including such items as: freezers, refrigerators, pest control, van use, repairs & gasoline for multiple trips for food pick-up, and Pantry related errands. Monetary donations are never used for the general parish operating expenses, staff, or pantry management expenses. 

Monetary donations are NEVER used for the general parish operating expenses, staff, or pantry management expenses.

Stephanie Sepate


Our Pantry is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so it’s always great to have some extra helpful hands from 12:30-4:00 pm. 

Drivers on Wednesdays to share the “load” from 8:00 am—noon, driving and lifting required, even once a month would be helpful.  

For students looking for service hours,projects, etc., serving others through our Food Pantry is a perfect opportunity and life-changing experience! 

Donate Now

Thank You! 


Help support our many spiritual and corporal acts of mercy by shopping at Kroger's. 

All you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card. 

You will still receive your mileage points and other customer rewards, while you support St. Leo's!

Register online at:  

Be sure to have your Kroger Plus card handy and register your card with St. Leo the Great Church after you sign up. Enter St. Leo's NPO #28680 or search for St. Leo the Great Church.

Thank you for thinking of us!


Many, many thanks to the faculty, staff and students at La Salle High School, who delivered a bountiful supply of food supplies and cleanliness items to benefit our St. Leo the Great Food Pantry.  Due to La Salle's abundant generosity, the 1,300 individuals that we serve each month will enjoy bountiful holiday dinners not only for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, but also through the coming cold winter months. The children of God that we serve, as well as all of us at St. Leo’s are most grateful.


On days with inclement weather, check out the following stations for St. Leo event cancellations:
WCPO  -  Channel   9
WXIX   -  Channel 19

“We really are serving a lot more people. They really are in need,” says Pantry Director, Shirley Cade. In light of our escalating numbers, the Food Pantry will be open the first week of November and December on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in addition to the regular schedule.

“All of you who have been baptized into Christ
 have clothed yourself with Him.
There does not exist among you Jew or Greek,
slave or free, male or female.

All are one In Christ Jesus.”

(Galatians 3:27, 28)

St. Leo’s joyfully celebrated 7 infant Baptisms and one First Communion during our 10:30 am Sunday Mass.  On a glorious September morning our entire St. Leo community welcomed our newest members with open arms and loving hearts.  What a magnificent way to celebrate and enact the embrace of God!

At the same time, we welcomed one more young person to our Eucharistic table to be nourished spiritually and to join us in moving ever closer to God our father in heaven.

The church was packed with parish members, families, friends, and visitors as we cheerfully received these precious young ones into our church family with exuberant applause and singing.  God continues to build us into his holy temple here at St. Leo’s, as we watch out for each other and we care for one another and all others as brothers and sisters in the Lord, Jesus Christ. 

The ripple effect is taking place with our Burundi refugees. Venancia took her Oath of Citizenship on August 29th. With that, three of her minor children also became citizens the same day. Gilbert, her oldest son, had already become a citizen earlier in the year. How exciting! Imana Ishimwe!


Everybody Loves a Picnic

All of us at St. Leo’s are truly, deeply grateful to our Covenant Parish, Our Lady of the Visitation, for inviting us to join them at their annual parish picnic.  Not only did they include St. Leo’s in the food, fun and fellowship, they sent a bus to transport St. Leo’s parishioners so that they would be able to attend. 

St. Leo’s filled the bus as well as both of our passenger vans and a couple of more carloads to boot!  Everyone who attended felt so very welcome.  We were delighted to be a part of God’s Universal Church with our partner parish at this end-of-summer social event.

Kids will be kids!  And all of the kids, the big kids, the little kids, and the kids-at-heart, had a really great time!  The younger ones especially enjoyed riding the rides.  What could be more exhilarating than the thrill of the ride, the wind in your hair, and not a care in the world other than to decide which ride to try next? 

Of course, it just wouldn’t be a picnic without the traditional picnic fare including burgers, brats, metts, and hot dogs.  Even though St. Leo’s is a very diverse, multicultural community, we do appreciate good old-fashioned American picnic cuisine!  We are especially thankful for the bountiful supply of left-overs given to our St. Leo Food Pantry.  Your gift provides the immeasurable gift of dignity for our guests.  Truly a gift of indescribable value! 

Your warm welcome and widespread friendliness made us “feel at home, part of the family, well in.”  We are inspired by your kind embrace and committed to expanding our faithfilled partnership with you, our family at Our Lady of Visitation, in building the Kingdom of God together.

Wording based on lyrics from “Consider Yourself” by Lionel Bart

-Casey Betz

Many, many thanks to St. Leo’s youth group who arrived early in the morning to help set up the tables and chairs indoors and out, laid out the table covers and fanciful table decorations for St. Leo's Children's Event. They also assembled the carnival games, as well as put up the badminton/volleyball net, and improvised a very clever home-made slip and slide. At the end of the day, they also helped clean it all up and put it all way.Congratulations on a job well done!

On Aug 30, 2014, fourteen youth and six adults, mostly from St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Cincinnati, OH, spent 4 hrs kayaking the Whitewater River.


Thank you again and again to the many donors and volunteers who made our St. Leo Children's Event a huge success!  We could not have done it without your bountiful generosity!

The Fall Equinox takes place in a few weeks.With the mild summer, most of us felt the reprieve of expensive utility costs. What looms are the high heating bills and the hope that this winter will be less invasive than the last. What is also on the horizon are increasing numbers of food pantry clients; double the need for food and for volunteers.

Summertime students helping for the whole summer or just a day here and there are headed back to school so this time of year we are especially in need of volunteers, specifically Mondays and Fridays. Arriving by 12:30 and leaving around 4:30 is only four hours. 

Can you share these few hours serving those in need even if it’s just once a month? Please call Shirley Cade, Food Pantry Director at 513-921-1044 ext. 22.

Also, simply keeping us in prayers of gratitude and guidance is a very powerful way of helping! 


Help support St. Leo's many spiritual and corporal acts of mercy by shopping at Kroger's. All you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card. You will still receive your mileage points and other customer rewards, while you support St. Leo's!

Be sure to have your Kroger Plus card handy and register your card with your organization after you sign up.

Enter St. Leo's NPO #28680 or search for St. Leo the Great Church.

Or, do you use your phone number at the register? Call 800-576-4377, select option 4 to get your Kroger Plus card number.

Members must swipe their registered Kroger Plus card or use the phone number that is related to their registered Kroger Plus card when shopping for each purchase to count.

Many, many thanks to the Social Justice Committee at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish for organizing their School House collection to benefit the children at St. Leo's parish.  St. Leo's is truly, deeply grateful for the bountiful collection of school supplies.  Each and every one of our students received an abundant supply of school items to begin the school year.  


St. Leo the Great Parish is seeking to establish a volunteer Housing Advisory Committee that we could call on to help us, when needed, in aiding our recently naturalized citizens/parishioners find good and affordable housing.  We are looking for professionals in the housing industry such as realtors, bankers, lawyers, inspectors, appraisers, etc. who would be willing to offer their expertise.  If you are interested, or if you would like more information, please call Angela at 513-921-1044 ext. 24.


Many, many thanks for the energetic, enthusiastic, high quality service work done by the Alive In You volunteers visiting us this week (July 23-25). We are especially pleased to be able to include our parish youth along with the Alive In You campers in the fun, games and service work.


St. Leo the Great Parish is most grateful to UnitedHealthcare Community Plan for donating 5 laptop computers to provide access to computers and the internet for community members.

These computers will allow us to include computer/internet access for our English as a Second Language Classes, and for our Tuesday Night Tutoring Classes, as well as for our neighbors in our North Fairmount and surrounding communities. 

In addition, some of our students are spending time during summer break learning not only how to use the computers, but also, about how computers actually work.

Many, many thanks to all the folks from Catholic Heart Work Camp, for their hard work upgrading various facilities in and around St. Leo's campus! 


St. Leo the Great Parish is Happy to Announce that as of Tuesday, April 1, 2014,  the St. Leo Food Pantry has expanded our service area to include the Millvalle Neighborhood.

Food Pantry Hours: 12:30 – 4:00 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Except the first Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the Month

Requirements for Service: Guests may visit once every 30 days.
The following documents MUST be presented at EACH visit to determine eligibility using Federal guidelines:
1. Current proof of residence dated within 30 days (gas & electric or telephone bill)
2. Photo ID
3. Social Security Cards for all members of household.

Click here for more information about St. Leo's Food Pantry


Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (ODJFS) appoints Global Music & Wellness (GMW) administrator and fiscal agent of the older refugee program in Hamilton County

Effective October 2013, Global Music & Wellness (GMW) was designated to serve older refugees aged 60 and over living in Hamilton County. Through a strong community partnership we are able to provide: meals, wellness programming, arts, culture and music programs, English as a Second Language Classes (ESL), seminars on healthy eating, educational sessions on legal matters, care management, supportive services, and transportation.
The goals of the program are:

To develop a comprehensive set of services to support a program for older refugees
Assist older refugees in obtaining citizenship and naturalization services
Help older refugees access community resources and enrich their lives with health & wellness activities

The following organizations work closely with GMW to improve the lives of older Bhutanese and Burundi refugees:

Great Oaks Career Campuses                        Cincinnati Recreation Commission
TriHealth                                                       Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra                      Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra
Cincinnati Area Senior Services                      Sycamore Senior Center/Maple Knoll
Pro Seniors                                                   Asian Community Alliance
St. Leo Church                                              UC College-Conservatory of Music –Prep Dept.

Many, many thanks to the volunteers from St. Michael the Archangel Parish community outreach committee who helped clean and organize in St. Leo's Food Pantry, and who re-organized the books in our library, and cleaned the benches, kneelers and woodwork in St. Leo's Church this past Saturday. All of us at St. Leo's are truly, deeply grateful for your ongoing commitment and partnership in building God's kingdom together.
Help support St. Leo's many spiritual and corporal acts of mercy by shopping at Kroger's. All you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card. You will still receive your mileage points and other customer rewards, while you support St. Leo's!

Register online at:

Be sure to have your Kroger Plus card handy and register your card with your organization after you sign up.
Enter St. Leo's NPO #28680 or search for St. Leo the Great Church.
Or, do you use your phone number at the register? Call 800-576-4377, select option 4 to get your Kroger Plus card number.

Members must swipe their registered Kroger Plus card or use the phone number that is related to their registered Kroger Plus card when shopping for each purchase to count.

Many, many thanks to St. James the Greater Parish, White Oak for the beautiful crucifix, baptistry and ambo.  St. Leo's is truly, deeply grateful.


Congratulates to Ernestine, member of St. Leo the Great Parish, whose beautiful photo is shown in one of Cincinnati State's downtown billboards. 


S'no School?

On days with inclement weather, check out the following stations for St. Leo event cancellations:

WCPO - Channel 9
WKRC - Channel 12
WXIX   - Channel 19

Many,many thanks to the young men of LaSalle High School, who delivered over 4,000 lbs. of canned and dry goods to our St. Leo the Great Food Pantry. Due to their abundant generosity, the 1,100 individuals that we serve each month will enjoy bountiful holiday dinners for for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, as well as throughout the coming cold winter months.. All of us at St. Leo's as well as our brothers and sisters in need that we serve are deeply grateful!

For many students a service learning semester abroad is an excellent way to immerse themselves in a different culture and be challenged to look at life through a whole new lens. But for those whose interests or finances make that impossible, a semester at home might be the answer. 
It is for Becky Seipel, a Xavier University student who is spending a semester living in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, taking classes on urban issues and volunteering 10 to 20 hours a week with social service agencies there and at St. Leo’s. 
Becky has worked with Catholic Charities both in Louisville and Cincinnati and hopes to work with refugee resettlement once she graduates. Through her volunteering at St. Leo’s she is working with ESL and tutoring classes and will be helping with Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sunday mornings. Through these experiences she is forming relationships and learning about life through the eyes of immigrants, refugees, and local residents of North Fairmount. 
It’s a win-win for all of us. And for those who aren’t in college, but would like to have a mission experience, St. Leo’s might be the fit for you. Without the expense of a plane ticket you can find out first-hand about life in another country. We are truly a place where home mission meets foreign mission. To learn more, contact Casey Betz, 

- Angela Anno, Pastoral Associate

October 18, 2013 marks the fourth anniversary of St. Leo's Prayer Wall Dedication. 

At the heart of the front section of St. Leo's prayer wall is the statue of the Risen Christ. The front “Community” Prayer Wall was designed by the graduate students from Miami University while the “Saints and Peacemakers” Wall was designed by Barry Davis. 

The theme is carried inside the rectory where more prayer experiences are found. A variety of Barry’s paintings hang in the foyer over the Prayer Table and several individuals have provided their own throughout the offices. 

As always, all are welcome to join in prayer by placing notes in the prayer wall, or calling the office to have a special prayer or intention placed in the wall. And feel free to join the staff at the Prayer Wall if you’re in the neighborhood on Wednesdays around 
10:00 am, in and for all the various seasons of our lives! 

-Stephanie Sepate

Click here for more information about our prayer wall, or to submit a prayer request.

Many, many thanks to our covenant partner parish, Our Lady of Visitation, for including St. Leo’s congregation at your parish picnic at Stricker’s Grove.  Our kids were treated to the thrills of roller coasters and the sweet taste of cotton candy. They were well received and they were very thankful to Our Lady of Visitation for their kindness and incredible generosity. One parishioner summed it up the best when I thanked him and his parish for inviting us to join them this year. He said to me, “Father, you and your parish belong here just as much as I do.” It makes such a big difference for everyone when we treat each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Thanks to Our Lady of Visitation Parish for treating us in this way. Be assured that you are always in our prayers as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our entire St. Leo the Great parish congregation attended Mass at Holy Family Church in Price Hill to pray for immigration reform in solidarity with churches throughout the nation:

The immigration reform mass was also mentioned in the  September 9th issue of the New York Times:


You can tell by our children's smiling faces that Ice Cream Sundae Sunday, sponsored by St. Leo's Children's Liturgy of the Word teachers, was a big success!


Two of our young parishioners, Alexandre Marembo and Gilbert Nzoyisaba, visited Washington DC in late spring as part of one of six Red Cross groups from around the US honored for their work on a video titled "Innocence to Evil." Alexandre was the editor and Gilbert did the camera work on this 14 minute film portraying the use of child soldiers in war-torn countries. If you would like to view their film, go to YouTube and in “innocencetoevil” (no spaces) with “gilbert nzoyisaba” as the person posting the YouTube. While the content can be disturbing, it will also enlighten viewers on the reality of a child’s life in war-torn countries.

Several of our Withrow students received monetary awards from the Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation for excellence in academics: Alexandre and Charlotte (Anastasia and Renovat's children); Alex (Minani and Rebeka's son); Gerald (Venancia's son); and Janvier (Simeon and Melanie's grandson). Alex (Minani and Rebeka) has been accepted into DePaul Cristo Rey High School.

St. Boniface presented “Annie” in which several of our students participated at the close of the school year. We were lucky to have someone provide a photo of Pascascia (daughter of Maria and Joseph) who was part of the chorus. She will be starting 7th grade in the fall.

This summer Bob Englert channeled the creative talents of some of our youth through a Computer/Video workshop over the course of several weeks. Gerald, Gilbert, Alexandre, Evelyn, Alex, Charlotte, and Pasquel learned the tricks of video editing, how to conduct and film an interview, and how to provide on-screen translations. The goal of the workshop was to learn the ins and outs of creating a finished documentary.

If you asked any of our children how their summer was going, you’d probably hear “it’s boring—there’s nothing to do.” A reading award program was designed so that one-day pool passes were provided for reading books and providing “reports” which the children thoroughly enjoyed! No more being bored!

St. Leo the Great Parish is so incredibly proud of two of our parish members, Alexandre Marembo and Gilbert Nzoyisaba, who just returned from Washington DC where they were members of one of six Red Cross groups from around the US honored for their work on a video: "Innocence to Evil."  

The Cincinnati Red Cross is one of eight chapters that participated in the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Action Campaign Pilot Program. Students near participating chapters could create IHL teams to teach their peers about humanitarian law. Two Cincinnati teams won the competition for projects they created and traveled to Washington May 31-June 2 to collect their awards and participate in the first National IHL Youth Symposium. The Cincinnati chapter will participate in the competition again next year.


Archdiocese Delegation Met Today (Thursday, May 30, 2013) with Rep. Steve Chabot on Immigration Reform!

Photo (from left to right): Tony Stieritz (Catholic Social Action), Bill Tonnis (Our Lady of Visitation), Ruth Ravenna (St. Ann, Groesbeck), Kathy Robinson (St. Martin of Tours, Cheviot), Dave Scharfenberger (Catholic Social Action), Sr. Sally Duffy (SC Ministry Foundation), Rep. Steve Chabot, Sarah Madrigal (Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center), Fr. Jim Schutte (St. Leo Church), Fr. Len Wenke (Archdiocese Pastoral Services and Holy Family Church, Price Hill), Enrique (IJPC)

From Our Friends in New Zealand:

Hello Stephanie,

Thank you so much for the copies of your newsletter with the articles on the jerseys and hats we sent over from New Zealand.  It was really lovely to hear from you and to see your newsletters. 

Winter is starting to settle over here – and while nowhere near as cold as you get – we are starting to feel the effects of cold winds and rain! 

Caprice is going to share the newsletters and the story of your Parish with her class and school – It is amazing how far and wide the love of God can stretch and continue to spread! 

Many joys and lots of blessings to you all.

Kind Regards, Janice Basile 

Take Action NOW and send this electronic postcard to the U.S. Senate and Congress asking that they pass immigration reform.

For more information visit St. Leo's webpage: Justice for Immigrants or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops webpage.


Many, many thanks to the Youth Group at St. John the Evangelist, West Chester for the beautiful hand-made fleece blankets given to St. Leo's most senior members.



There’s more than meets the eye on the scene of a fire.  Obviously, the overwhelming flames, smoke, and evacuation of the family involved is more than anyone should ever bear.  The presence of a chaplain somehow brings a grace to the cacophony of the painful moments evolving before everyone’s eyes.

Several years ago, a friend of mine underwent the horrific experience of a fire at her home. Faces of firefighters who walked up and provided guidance, kind words, and reaffirming hope with a gentleness in total contrast to the scene of the blazing house brought some consolation. Neighbors and friends provided support, extra blankets, a porch upon which to sit while watching the view unfold as opposed to standing in the middle of the street.  These were all touchstones of compassion and sup-port much valued during such a tragedy.

Recently, Father Jim joined the ranks of the Fire Department Chaplains.  He is one of three chaplains working with the Cincinnati Fire Department.  He will be one of those “faces” present at the scene, ready to be a presence to those both watching on, as well as to those fighting the fire.

“I’m happy to be asked because I think it’s a good part of what urban ministry is about.  Also this work is supported by our mission statement that calls us to reach out to our neighborhoods with the love of Christ. Firefighters are certainly our neighbors.  Being a chaplain for the Fire Department fits in well with the spiritual and corporal works of mercy which is a big part of what we believe God wants us to be doing at St. Leo’s.

Right now my main responsibility is to provide the Sacrament of the Sick for any Catholic Firefighter that may request it.  But I can do more if my time allows such as providing spiritual support and presence at any three alarm fire or responding to any major tragedy and helping the Firefighters process their grief and deal with the losses that they have encountered.  The Cincinnati Fire Department has welcomed me with open arms and I am blessed that they consider all of their chaplains to be an integral part of their Department. Besides, I get to wear cool gear and a badge and impress my nieces and nephews.  However, our pastoral staff at St. Leo’s now refers to me as the ‘Barnie Fife’ of the Fire Department!”

May our own dear ‘Barney Fife’ provide the hope, comfort and solace with the compassion and grace a chaplain of the Fire Department is called upon to bestow.


St. Leo The Great Parish

Rev. James R. Schutte, Pastor
2573 St. Leo Place
Cincinnati, OH 45225
513-921-1044 ext. 21


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