The Vocations Office is part of the Center for Pastoral Leadership in the Diocese of Cleveland.
Led by Fr. Michael McCandless, we accompany single Catholic men and women in vocational discernment. This includes providing resources and guidance to those who are starting to discern, hosting events for discerners, and facilitating applications to become a seminarian here in the Diocese of Cleveland.
In addition, we encourage lay people to encourage vocations in their own families and communities. We ask everyone to join us in prayer that men and women will respond to God’s call in their lives.
Meet the Vocations OfficE
Fr. Michael McCandless was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland in 2008. He served as parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Painesville before being appointed as Director of the Vocation Office in 2010. Fr. McCandless also currently serves as the liaison for the region six vocation directors for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors.
Fr. Eric Garris was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland in 2017. He served as parochial vicar of St. Raphael Parish in Bay Village and St. Gabriel Parish in Concord before being appointed the Assistant Director of Vocations in 2022.
When you reach out to the Vocation Office you’ll be greeted by Mary. Mary Avenoso has been a dedicated member of the Vocation Office for over 35 years. In addition to her secretarial responsibilities, Mary acts as liaison for the various vocational support groups and religious orders within the diocese. You may also recognize Mary for her key role in our annual Bishop’s Seminary Brunch fundraiser.
Maggie Zbiegien joined the Vocation Office team in 2016. Among other things, Maggie is responsible for the Vocation Office events, social media and communications, and facilitating the application process to the seminary. Maggie is happy to assist you in any of your discernment needs.