Holy smoke

It’s been said nature abhors a vacuum. Well, it is also true Walt Disney World abhors spontaneity. Every aspect of the Disney experience in its four Parks, two water parks and numerous resorts are executed like clockwork: Guests are not … Continue reading

Sounds of the season

Archeparchial choir presents annual “Christmas at the Cathedral”   The Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholic Archeparchial Choir (PBCAC) presented its annual “Christmas at the Cathedral” concert Dec. 16 at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Munhall, Pa. The choral program featured hymns … Continue reading

Vatican opens medical center for homeless

VATICAN CITY — Just before Christmas, the Vatican announced it had opened a new medical clinic for the homeless and the poor, expanding services previously offered in a small space just outside St. Peter’s Square. The Merciful Mother Clinic, which … Continue reading

Pope: Come to manger with love, charity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY — Jesus’ birth in a stable, God’s coming to earth in extreme simplicity, teaches Christians that love is more valuable than anything else and is what will change the world, Pope Francis said.

“In Bethlehem, we discover that the life of God can enter into our hearts and dwell there. If we welcome that gift, history changes, starting with each of us,” the pope said in his homily at Mass Dec. 24 in St. Peter’s Basilica. After the singing of the “Kalenda,” the ancient Christmas proclamation, and the ringing of the basilica’s bells, Pope Francis lifted a cloth revealing a statue of the baby Jesus, and he gently kissed it.

St. Peter’s Basilica was filled with a new light for the Christmas Mass. For the first time, the basilica’s new LED lighting was used — 700 light fixtures contain 100,000 LEDs and, according to the Vatican, will bring an energy savings of 90 percent.

In his homily, the pope noted how the Christmas story leads believers back to Bethlehem, which means “house of bread.”

“Tonight,” he said, “as we hear the summons to go up to Bethlehem, the house of bread, let us ask ourselves: What is the bread of my life, what is it that I cannot do without? Is it the Lord, or something else?” Continue reading

Serving our North Side neighbors

Seminarians serve food at light of Life Rescue Mission Deacon Kevin Bezner and Seminarians John Welch and David Vonderohe serve an evening meal at Light of Life Rescue Mission in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Nov. 28. I just returned from Thanksgiving … Continue reading

A child is born in Bethlehem

Faithful visit annual live nativity at Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, PA. Hundreds of cars waited in line Dec. 2 to view Mount Macrina Manor’s Drive-Thru Live Nativity, which was held on the grounds of Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Mission 2018

St. Gregory in Upper St. Clair, PA. Following the Nov. 18 Divine Liturgy, St. Gregory’s children were ready for this year’s Thanksgiving Mission. To express our “thank you” we visited the Tri Community South EMS in Bethel Park, Pa. The … Continue reading

“An expression of hope for our Church”

62nd Annual St. Nicholas charity dinner focuses on seminarians, church’s future Archbishop William Skurla called the 15 seminarians who study at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. “an expression of hope for our Church.” … Continue reading

Christmas Eve on Ninth Street

Christmas Eve dinner at my grandma’s house in Charleroi, Pa. always focused on pirohi. You name it, it was on the dining room table: potato, cheese, sauerkraut, cabbage and lekvar. Christmas is a time for family gatherings and the annual … Continue reading

On the move

“What we enjoy today is their legacy and gift to us”

History shows us that there is constant m o v e m e n t among people. Whether driven by a need to improve their lives or whether forced by an unfriendly environment or by hostile forces, humans have always managed to travel to better their lot. From the earliest days, we read in the Bible that Adam and Eve had to move out of the Garden of Eden. Their son Cain was compelled to wander the earth after he killed his brother. Even Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus, and while He was still young, the family became immigrants in a strange land after fleeing to Egypt.

Many of us, in our personal histories, can acknowledge that our grandparents or great-grandparents were immigrants coming from Eastern Europe. They crossed the great Atlantic Ocean, usually under extremely poor conditions. For the most part, they were not welcomed in this strange land of a different language and customs completely unknown to them. But as they struggled, worked hard, and helped each other, they became acclimated to an entirely different way of life. What we enjoy today is their legacy and gift to us. Continue reading