Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh



More members of the Catholic parishes in Butler are responding to the gospel call to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and care for the sick as they help their neighbors in need.

A second round of 11 grants has been awarded to local organizations from donors to Our Campaign for The Church Alive! at St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Michael the Archangel parishes. This year, all parishioners were invited to get involved.

“We put announcements in our bulletin asking for names of local service agencies needing assistance,” organizer Fred Vero said. “You feel like you’re helping your fellow man. This is what God wants us to be doing.”

“People see this as helping our community,” said Father Harry Bielewicz, pastor of the three Butler parishes. “They have connections to these groups and responded with generous hearts.”

Community Health Clinic of Butler County received a grant to help raise public awareness and support.

“We’re a non-profit, community based volunteer organization that provides primary health and dental care to our uninsured, income-eligible neighbors,” director of development Jim Cunningham said. “Before we opened in 2008, many of our patients used to end up in the local emergency room.”

Clinic patients earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but have no health benefits and often cannot even pay for the lower deductibles, co-pays and premiums offered through the Affordable Care Act.

The Lighthouse Foundation, a Christian outreach organization that provides transition and interim housing, job training and financial literacy and operates the largest food bank in Butler County, received funds to purchase food.

“More families have signed up for assistance this year,” said Theresa Berryman, marketing and grant manager. “It’s hard for some people to ask for help, but we understand that all it takes is one crisis to not have enough money to buy healthy food.”

The Grapevine Center, which runs a drop-in center for people suffering from mental illness, will use their grant to offer classes designed to improve clients’ self-sufficiency.

“We really appreciate the gift and the thoughtfulness of donors,” executive director Bette Peoples said.

The Butler County Outreach of Catholic Charities received funding to help jobseekers.

“Our Employment Preparedness Program teaches resume writing and interviewing skills, including how to speak to a potential employer and dress appropriately,” program director Amber Crowe said. “Often people can get a job but don’t keep it, so we follow up to see how they’re doing.”

Other local organizations receiving grants from the Butler parishes in 2016:

  • Connecting2Tomorrow, a job mentoring program for young people;
  • My Choice Medical Clinic, a non-profit organization offering care to anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy or the after-effects of abortion;
  • Lifeline of Butler County, an emergency pregnancy service for women who cannot cope with their unplanned pregnancies;
  • Community Care Connections, Inc., helping children and adults with disabilities live more safely and independently;
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Butler’s food bank;
  • Butler Meals on Wheels;
  • Butler Area School District, which received a grant to help purchase an Automated External Defibrillator for the Senior High School auditorium.

Other funding from the parishes support need-based Catholic tuition scholarships and the Chimbote Mission Foundation.

To learn more about the impact of Our Campaign for The Church Alive!, visit