Bridging the Gap
April 18, 2010
I was wondering how bad it could get. Then Sally Kalson began her column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (April 11) with the following:
“‘When I was growing up, just about every parish had its pedophile priest and everybody knew who it was,’ said my friend Carrie, who attended Roman Catholic schools just outside of Pittsburgh in the 1960s.”
And I didn’t have to wonder any longer.
That charge was the lead in Kalson’s column citing one of her friends who attended Catholic school just outside of Pittsburgh in the 1960s.
April 2, 2010
We Pittsburghers (and folks from Mahoningtown, Carmichaels, Unity, Cabot, Darlington, and all the towns within the six counties of our diocese) have long been known for, and long been teased about, our local colloquialisms.
“Pop,” “chung gum,” “Skyscraper Cones™,” “Klondikes™,” “chipped ham” are a few of the particulars that are peculiar to Pittsburgh and Pittsburghers.
Certain sections of the city take on a particular “twang”: “Downtown,” “South Side,” “East Liberty.”
The last of those places, East Liberty, a community east of the city and between Shadyside and High
March 12, 2010
There are many ways to remember Bishop John B. McDowell, our beloved auxiliary bishop who died February 25 at age 88 just months shy of the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination and quickly approaching the 45th anniversary of his ordination as a Bishop. He was a devoted educator, a brilliant scholar, an inspiring preacher, an insightful counselor, a beloved friend.
He was also a wee bit frisky.
Thirty-five years ago, when I was a “wet behind the ears” newly ordained priest at Sacred Heart Parish in Shadyside, there were no telephone answering machines.
February 26, 2010
One of the virtues I strive to grow in my life is hospitality.
January 22, 2010
Once again this year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it was my honor with our seminarians at St. Paul’s where I live to host a steak dinner for several hundred guests at the Jubilee Soup Kitchen. Thanks to Sister Ligouri Rossner, who founded the Jubilee Soup Kitchen more than 30 years ago and still guides it every day, the seminarians and I were so privileged to serve so many wonderful people whom society all too casually passes by.
November 6, 2009
At times, the debate over health care has gotten confusing for even the most serious news junkie. House version, senate version. Public option, no public option. Public funding, employer surtaxes and premiums. It’s easy to get lost in the debate. But—Let’s keep this simple.
It appeared just a short time ago that public funding of abortion would not be a part of health care reform.
October 30, 2009
Several weeks ago, I had the family joy of being with my goddaughter, Carla Nicole, as she marked a milestone birthday in her life—her 30th! Her parents, her brother, her future sister-in-law and I all gathered together to help her over the threshold into a new decade.
Given my responsibilities here in Pittsburgh, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to do any shopping in anticipation of her birthday. I did, however, take advantage of that chance at a mall not too far away from her apartment in Florida.
October 2, 2009
In the opening lines of the Bible, and from the Book of Genesis, there are two stories that mirror God as Creator, God Who created the world and everyone and everything on it.
The first story describes God creating the world in seven days, with man and woman created last but the best.
September 4, 2009
There are some things we all learn to appreciate that we didn’t appreciate much when they were happening.
In the summer of 1968, when I was 18 years old, I had one of those times. I was working in the labor gang at Armco Steel in my hometown of Ambridge. Some days, I was shoveling sludge out of pits, the sludge sometimes as high as my chest. Other days, I was assigned to operating a “jackhammer,” breaking up the floor of a blast furnace while the steel mill was “down” so another floor could be installed. I never thought I could be so hot. I never thought I could be so dirty.
August 21, 2009
I have a confession to make. I am a news-aholic! As I am getting myself ready for the day every morning or getting myself ready for bed at night — I always have the news on!
These last few weeks, it has been quite an exercise watching the television reports on “town hall meetings” over proposed health care legislation. It seems that any number of legislators are getting an earful. More shouting seems to go on at these meetings than at a Steelers game at Heinz Field.
I empathize with both sides.