Pittsburgh reminds Catholics: it’s a big Church

CNS photo/Chuck Austin, Pittsburgh Catholic From CNS:  An all-night vigil Sept. 13-14 at a Byzantine Catholic church in Pittsburgh provided an opportunity for people of faith to participate in the prayers of the various Catholic churches that are “essential facets” of the culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse city of Pittsburgh. St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic [Read More...]

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...]