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Cleveland: Cloistered nuns receive surprise Christmas gift

7:43 PM, Dec 21, 2010   |    comments
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When Lynn Kolodka decided to sell the ring she hadn't worn in years she thought she might get a couple hundred dollars for it. Then she took it to Jim Mataich's 650-Gold store, and discovered its real value.

"The actual purchase price is going to be $2,500," Mataich told a surprised Kolodka. She soon decided what to do with the unexpected windfall.

"I was just praying in the car and it just kind of popped into my head. I'm going to sell it and give it all to charity, to the Poor Clare nuns."

Kolodka knew of the congregation through a priest who mentioned them and their good works. She considered other worthwhile local organizations, but saw a need that was not well known.

"They do make a sacrifices and unfortunately the religious organizations like the Poor Clares are not as well represented and as well funded," Kolodka explained.

When she informed Mataich of her intention to take the money and give it all away, the gold buyer was moved. He rarely had customers who did anything but pocket the money to meet whatever needs they had.

"To have somebody come to me and say I'm selling this ring because I want to donate the money to charity was a breath of fresh air," Matiaich told WKYC. "Especially with Christmas right around the corner."

Mataich, a Catholic, then eyed the pile of gold crucifixes and other religious items people had sold to him over the years, objects he was reluctant to melt because of their religious significance.

"I decided to not only match her donation," he revealed, "but to increase it to a total of $10,000." Mataich said he felt he could add in the melt value of the religious objects if the proceeds were donated to a religious charity.

When Kolodka and Mataich drove with the check to the nuns' residence at the Shrine of Saint Paul on East 40th and Euclid Avenue, they were met by the local Superior of the Order, Sister Mary Thomas, PCPA.

"I can't thank you enough. This is beautiful," she told her visitors as she graciously accepted the unexpected donation on behalf of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. "God will bless you in ways you'll never know. This is just love in person, thank you."

The Sisters plan to use the money for much needed winter repairs to the property and for their services to the poorest of the poor, including a new ministry to children in India who have autism. The nuns say those children are often discarded and left to suffer.

"You know, we were just praying and asking the Lord, 'please send us someone,'" said Sister Mary Regina. "And in walk two people with a check for ten thosuand dollars."

"This is truly an answer to our prayers."


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