Professional and poor: the story of Margaret Mary Vojtko—UPDATED

I think this is a story that needs to be told.  When we think of the poor, we don’t usually think of people like this. It comes from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  On Sept. 1, Margaret Mary Vojtko, an adjunct professor who had taught French at Duquesne University for 25 years, passed away at the age [Read More...]

Ordination Update: 25 New Deacons for Pittsburgh

They are a diverse bunch: The men of the deacon class of 2013, who have made this formation journey together, are a diverse yet cohesive group: They range in age from 45 to 64, with the average being 55. One is single; the rest are married and, collectively, they have a total of 49 children [Read More...]

Carnegie Mellon president apologizes for “highly offensive” pope parody

You may remember this story from earlier.  Details:  A Carnegie Mellon University coed’s semi-nude papal parody in a spring carnival parade was “highly offensive,” university President Jared Cohon said on Wednesday. “We have procedures for a reason: to protect both the university’s interests and those accused of violating our community standards or policies. We will [Read More...]

Parishioners tackle purse snatcher during Mass

Details: The suspect accused in a string of purse thefts in Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill section is now in police custody after being arrested Sunday morning during a church service. “The individual came in about 10 minutes after the service started, and he sat right here, about five pews from the back of the church,” said [Read More...]

“Go and announce the gospel of the Lord”

That was the theme of the retreat I preached this weekend to the deacons of Pittsburgh in scenic Latrobe, Pennsylvania, at St. Vincent’s College.  (That’s the basilica pictured above.)  It was a rewarding weekend in many ways, and I left well-nourished physically AND spiritually!  Thank you to all of those whose prayers and warm wishes accompanied us. [Read More...]

Saints in storage: inside Pittsburgh’s warehouses for used religious items

Another sign of the times, from Pittsburgh: warehouses for used tabernacles, statues and religious items: As a seminarian, the Rev. Joseph McCaffrey knelt before a tabernacle in the chapel at Mercy Hospital, where his mother was being treated for a brain tumor, and prayed for her recovery. Later, when he was named pastor of Ss. [Read More...]

Men of steel: number of deacons more than doubles in Pittsburgh

A reader sent me the picture below: dalmatics and stoles awaiting their deacons before today’s ordination in Pittsburgh. The local paper did a nice write-up about the diaconate recently, noting: “The full vision and mission of the diaconate as a ministry of service can be manifested in a variety of ways,” said Deacon Stephen Byers, [Read More...]

The deer hunter priest

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette comes this unusual story of a priest who also hunts.  Amazing but true: here’s a priest looking for big bucks, but not in the collection plate… Meet Mr. Mike Zavage (above, on the left), and his son, Father Mike Zavage: Deer hunting for many is a solitary sport, but in the [Read More...]