Hope House was founded in October of 1981 by Tom Leonhardt when he was a Jesuit. In 1983, Carolyn Horvath, (at that time a member of Companions of the Redeemer), became its director. Hope House was meant to be a space where folks could spend quiet time, make personal retreats either as individuals or as groups, receive spiritual direction, attend programs, participate in worship services, discuss books, whatever might contribute to people’s personal growth.
During the years there were gatherings of small prayer/growth groups, discussions and trainings in non-violence, experiences of the creation spiritual tradition through the Book Original Blessing by Matthew Fox, Dance Circles celebrating Dances of Universal Peace, Eucharistic liturgies created by the presider or a group of presiders. Liturgies are fully participative, using inclusive language, with presiding by whomever wishes. No ordained person is required here. Integral groups are: Emmaus Community, a Eucharistic Community which gathers on Sunday mornings at 10:00am: a Buddhist Sangha called Flowing Water, which gathers on Monday evenings from 7:00-8:00pm. Periodically folks gather for a Dance Circle celebrating Dances of Universal Peace. Also, occasionally Hope House hosts a teaching and attunement to Reiki for folks wishing Reiki attunement under Circle of Light Reiki Guild.
Since Hope House is the #1 unit in a four unit flat, there is a chapel, a reading/meeting room, bedroom, office, restroom and kitchen. So guests are able, if they wish, to spend overnights. Though for two years, Hope House was located in a full house across the street from its current location, it is again in its original location.
Hope House is open to seekers from any spiritual tradition. When Hope House was founded it was a Roman Catholic facility. Hope House has ceased to be a Roman Catholic facility.
On October 1st (Saturday) and October 2nd (Sunday), 2011, we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Hope House.
On August 22, 2012, we submitted to the IRS a request for reclassification of Hope House status from a religious organization non profit status to a church. In January we received a request from the IRS for some further clarification of the documents originally sent. They asked for pictures inside and outside which we sent. We responded to their further questions and sent contact information about our landlord and a copy of the lease agreement. On March 11, 2013, we received the requested reclassification as a church, so Hope House of Prayer, Inc., is now a recognized by the IRS and by the State of Ohio as a church. The documentation submitted to the IRS stated that Hope House of Prayer, Inc. would not ordain anyone. However Hope House of Prayer, Inc. would recognize ordination by other organizations. Hence, the Coordinators of Hope House can now recognize the ordination of Hope House members who now no longer would need to belong to other orgainzations to officiate weddings and do hospital visitation. They will need only to send Hope House documentation to the appropriate places and receive the documentation authorizing their ministry for public ministries such as weddings and hospital visitation. Hope House currently recognizes ordination for ministry of the following persons: Bill Appleton, Pam Bittner, Carolyn Horvath, Linda Krasienko, John Joseph McKinney, Tom Leonhardt, Roselle Orlando, Sandi Schmidt.
Carolyn and Tom are aware that they will not be able to continue as Co-Directors of Hope House indefinitely. Therefore the plan for transition is that Eileen and Joe Pappalardo will become Co-Directors of Hope House of Prayer at such time as Carolyn and Tom either choose or are unable to continue in their current role. The physical address will change to the Pappalardo address in Lakewood. Documents for the transition have been drawn up.