Patti Schirripa is bursting with excitement about the church renovation of her beloved Holy Trinity Parish in Robinson, but not just about its physical beauty. She’s also praying for a different kind of transformation.
“I want to see all Catholics come back to Christ,” Schirripa said. “I pray the Lord puts in their hearts that they want to return. There is peace in this troubled world, and that peace is Christ.”
Every Advent, the Angel Tree at St. Catherine of Sweden Parish in Allison Park is adorned with more than 800 name tags, each representing someone in need. In a scene that’s repeated in parishes across our diocese, families eagerly choose an angel, ready to share their precious gift of faith.
“Our parishioners see their faith as a gift that’s been passed on through the generations,” said Father Steve Neff, pastor of St. Catherine of Sweden. “We can’t wait until Christmas for the gift of Jesus. We’re ripping it open with excitement!”
Fr. Harry Bielewicz understands that Our Campaign for The Church Alive! is a unique opportunity to invest financial resources in people and programs as well as places. It’s also a teachable moment that will help his people live the gospel message.
The pastor of St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Michael the Archangel parishes in Butler is forming six teams of parishioners who will use campaign funds to evangelize, reach out to the poor locally and in Appalachia, help families afford a Catholic education, invest in adult faith formation, and maintain church buildings.
For many of us, Thanksgiving Day means family, food and football. We feast on all three until we’re ready to burst. Other than saying grace, we may forget why we’re celebrating in the first place.
But what if we transformed November into an entire month of Thanksgiving? It’s a thought that resonates with pastors across our diocese who are using the opportunity of Our Campaign for The Church Alive! to not only raise much-needed resources, but to help parishioners practice Christian stewardship.
When Bishop David Zubik held his first meeting with the board of directors of Our Campaign for the Church Alive!, Inc., nearly two years ago, he had an important message to deliver.
Their responsibility as volunteer members of the board, he told them, is to assure trust, accountability and transparency in all that they do.
Ashley was desperate. Twenty-one years old and two months pregnant, she had just dropped out of college. Her father was urging her to get an abortion. He believed having a baby now would ruin her life.
Then she saw a Catholic Charities flyer. It turned out to be a lifeline.
Luke Sutton is fascinated with flowers and gardening. Ask him any question—he’s a walking encyclopedia when it comes to plants, according to his father.
These days, it’s Luke himself who’s growing, thanks in large part to Saint Anthony School Programs which serve children with autism, Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. Soon, more young people will benefit, thanks to a significant gift to Our Campaign for The Church Alive!
Benefiting all the people of the Diocese of Pittsburgh across six counties, Our Campaign for The Church Alive! addresses urgent needs—to strengthen parishes, invigorate evangelization, revitalize sacramental life, support education and formation in the faith, train pastoral and lay leaders, and serve the poor and marginalized. In a recent interview, Bishop David Zubik discussed the positive response to the campaign to date.
More than 40,000 donors have contributed or pledged financial gifts to the campaign. As bishop of the Church of Pittsburgh, what does this say to you?
The smile that lit up Father John Lynam’s face reflected the same joy shining from B.J. Osso and Sister Cynthia Wessel and Jennifer Turner—without being asked, their children made a beautiful sacrifice for God.
In this case, it was Erik Matthews, about to enter third grade at East Catholic School, donating a bag of coins to Fr. Lynam’s parish, Madonna del Castello in Swissvale.
Father Jim Farnan remembers when he was growing up that his dad always dreamed of owning a Cadillac. But with seven children, providing for them was far more important than anything material. The kids went to college. His father never bought that Cadillac.
“But he enjoyed a peace and sense of satisfaction that he never sacrificed his children’s welfare,” Father Farnan said. “He always chose what was most important.”