There’s gangs, drugs, homelessness, homicides… and a high energy group of people who have rolled up their sleeves and moved from suburban and small town America – to help!  --from Joe’s book: America’s Best Urban Neighborhood


You want us to move where God?  
The inner city?

*The following subject was included in a Catholic Rome in the Rockies Colorado radio show, as it’s been featured in numerous other media spots and talks.  It is also chronicled in Mr. Schriner’s book:  America’s “Best Urban Neighborhood.

Talk capsule:  The family had been living in the equivalent of the Andy Griffith Show’s “Mayberry,” only it was called Bluffton, Ohio (pop. 3,875).  Then one day in prayer, the husband, Joe, got strongly in prayer that the family was to move into a hardscrabble area of Cleveland.  Joe said to God:  “You’re kidding, right?”  Joe’s wife said to Joe:  “You’re kidding, right?”  The answer, both times, came back: “No.”  So the couple packed up their three young kids, waved goodbye to “Mayberry” and took up residence with a group of Catholic Workers (think: Dorothy Day) exhaustively working to make a difference in the city.  The family would end up staying five years.  And Joe and Liz talk about those five years of periodic danger, extremely heartwarming moments with those on the margins, and even some quite humorous times – with dramatic stories that make it all come to life.  And if this otherwise ordinary family can go to the extreme of regularly risking their safety, and some days their sanity, in a rough part of the city, well, your church members will be inspired to ‘risk’ way more for God as well – whether that’s just risking being more active in church affairs, local community affairs, missions trips…

Liz & Joe’s city Rec. Center team

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Joe Schriner

201 N. Jackson St.

Bluffton, Ohio  45817

419-788-5528 /


Liz Schriner

201 N. Jackson St.

Bluffton, Ohio  45817


"Schriner's message is clear and based solidly on Catholic Social Teaching.  The youth and adults alike were truly moved and extremely interested in what he had to say." 
--Gerard Bonner, Youth Ministry Coordinator, St. James Catholic Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

© Joe Schriner - created by Elizabeth Wood