Bridging the Gap
August 7, 2009
Some people at that time thought that the Church was dying. The “movers and shakers” in 18th Century France had decided that the Catholic faith had lost all influence. The proverbial “THEY” said that the Church had lost any ability to stir souls and win hearts. Not unlike our own day, a new secularization foolishly tried to claim victory over Jesus Christ.
It was in this environment in 1786 that a boy was born to a peasant family in a remote part of France. He would grow up in the shadow of the French Revolution.
July 24, 2009
The week is over. A pilgrimage to our “sister” mission in Chimbote, Peru is much, much more than a memory. As I shared with you in this “Bridging the Gap” communiqué the week before last, ten of our seminarians: Mike Ackerman, Eric Campbell, Mike Conway, Deacon Rob Fleckenstein, Deacon Dr. Tom Gillespie, Levi Hartle, Ken Marlovits, Michael Roche, Anthony Sciarappa and Carl Stuvek, joined Monsignor John E.
July 10, 2009
It is going to be a long trip and in just a few days.
With Msgr. John Kozar, Pittsburgh priest and national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, and 10 of our seminarians, I will be leaving Sunday, July 12, for a five-day visit to Chimbote, Peru. It takes about 18 hours on planes and in airports to get from Pittsburgh to Lima, Peru.
June 26, 2009
Several weeks ago, I wrote the article titled "Our Lady embarrassed," which you had the opportunity to read in that issue of the Pittsburgh Catholic. The article was triggered by the decision of the University of Notre Dame to bestow an honorary doctorate upon President Barack Obama. But the article went further. I hooped to address situations in your life and mine where we embarrass Our Lady and our church with thoughts, words and deeds that run contrary to the Gospel of Jesus.
As you might imagine, reaction to my article was swift. Many applauded my position; many denounced it.
May 29, 2009
My first ad limina visit was with Pope John Paul II in the spring of 1998, one year after my ordination as a bishop and my appointment as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Our chief shepherd then, Bishop Donald Wuerl, was responsible for presenting the report to the Holy Father. He also was responsible for answering any questions the pope might have about our diocese. Bishop William Winter and myself were also privileged to be presented to the pope by Bishop Wuerl.
During the course of 10 days, we were in close proximity to the pope.
May 22, 2009
Last January, on Martin Luther King Day to be exact, most of our seminarians from St. Paul's and I had the chance to do something very special. We had the precious opportunity to go to the Uptown section of the city of Pittsburgh and cook steaks and all the trimmings and serve a number of guests who came to the Jubilee Soup Kitchen that day. These guests are folks who might otherwise not have a hot meal.
May 8, 2009
Just about two years ago, I received a sad phone call from my good friends — Germaine and Michael — with the news that Germaine's mom, Dorothy, had just died. The news was at one and the same time a surprise and not a surprise. "Mom Klein," as she referred to herself when she wrote to me (and how I experienced her), suffered with Alzheimer's for five years and had been at death's door several months before her death.
April 3, 2009
Throughout the past year, there has been an ongoing discussion and study of making a change in how the diocese and our parishes are organized pastorally and practically. The goal is to help me as diocesan bishop to maintain and even grow my close contact with all the parishes and other faith communities in the diocese.
What we have been looking at is moving from a system of deaneries to what are called “regional vicariates.” This week, I thought it would be good to discuss this with you a bit deeper.
March 13, 2009
At the beginning of the Jubilee Year 2000 and the Third Millennium of Jesus, Pope John Paul II led a moving service of public apology for the mistakes that had been made in the past and for anyone harmed in the name of the Church by its “sons and daughters.” How many times, the Holy Father asked, “have Christians not recognized Christ in the hungry, the thirsty and the naked, in the persecuted and the imprisoned and in those incapable of defending themselves?” He asked forgiveness for “all those who have committed acts of injustice by trusting in wealth and power and showing contempt for th
February 27, 2009
As I wrote my pastoral letter, "The Church Sharing!" (available at www.diopitt.org), bishops are not economists. At least not this bishop. So please do not expect any pithy comments from me on how well the recently voted upon economic stimulus package by our Congress will work in addressing the hard times we are now facing.
I was surprised, however, that an early version of the bill included $200 million to fund contraceptives. There was no real explanation of how fewer kids would stimulate the economy. Thankfully, this idea got the axe pretty quickly.