“Mary, Cause of Our Joy”

“Why do we have to do this? Why do we come for the Pilgrimage? Why do we pray, in particular, to the Mother of God?”

These questions were posed by Archbishop William Skurla to open the 85th annual Pilgrimage in Honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 at Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa. He also supplied an answer for the faithful gathered in the pews and sitting on rolling, grassy hills.

“Praying to the Mother of Perpetual Help has given us consolation. It’s one of the most effective ways of engaging the mercies of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Archbishop William told pilgrims over the generations, the Pilgrimage has been a way of preventing disaster and intervening in personal plights.

“We pray that the Mother of God will intercede not only in our own lives but in the lives of those that have fallen astray. That they become people who are more attuned to the mercies of God in their life; that they open their hearts to the goodness that can come from each and every person that is alive today.”

Pilgrimage weekend included Divine Liturgies, opportunities to receive the Mystery of Reconciliation, Children’s Pilgrimages, enrichment sessions, and a candlelight procession beginning and ending at the Continue reading

Beat ’em Bucs!

Altar Servers Cheer for Pirates on “Faith and Fun day” Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day That may need to become the new official motto of “Faith and Fun Day.” But an evening Pittsburgh rain shower didn’t dull … Continue reading

Building the Kingdom Of God

The 50th-anniversary celebration of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Archeparchy of Pittsburgh June 23 at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Munhall, Pa. brought together clergy, sisters, faithful and esteemed guest Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches at the Vatican in Rome.

Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla offered some perspective on the momentous occasion during his comments at the banquet following the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. He thanked all religious and faithful who attended, some who traveled from “one coast to the other” to be at the celebration. “It is through their dedication and generosity to our parishes across the United States that we have all of you building up our little portion of the Kingdom of God, which He has entrusted to us.”

The Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church in the United States was formed by Pope Paul VI, who issued a decree on Feb. 21, 1969, entitled Quando Quidem Christus. By virtue of this decree, the Holy Father officially created the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church. The Eparchy of Munhall thus was elevated to Archeparchy, and the Eparchy of Passaic was Continue reading

Silence is golden

The fifth Sunday of Holy Pascha is the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. During the reading of the Gospel of Saint John 4:5-42, we hear of Jesus Christ’s encounter with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. During Father Valerian Michlik’s … Continue reading

“Disney Week” on the Mount

Mt. Macrina Manor Celebrates National Skilled Nursing Care Week   Employees and residents of Mt. Macrina Manor in Uniontown, Pa. took a tumble down the rabbit hole to Wonderland last month. They celebrated National Skilled Nursing Care Week May 12 … Continue reading

Hospitals for sinners

During one scene in historian Kenneth Clark’s d o c u m e n t a r y televisions series “Civilisation,” which aired in the United Kingdom 1966 to 1969, he is standing near the River Seine in Paris, France. … Continue reading

Less is more

“The Great Fast is the time to get in touch with these traits of our character” During Deacon Michael George’s Homily at St. Gregory in Upper St. Clair, Pa. on March 31, the Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast, he … Continue reading

The joys of Saturday evening Vigil

I usually go to Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings but for important reasons, I attended two Saturday evening Vigils last month. They were offered for the repose of the souls of my grandparents, Helen and John, of Charleroi, Pa.; and … Continue reading

Breaking Bread

At her home in Staten Island, N.Y., Patricia Dietz enjoys baking all manner of breads. But her decision to travel more than 350 miles from New York to Uniontown, Pa. to attend a bread baking retreat at the Sisters of St. Basil the Great’s House of Prayer on Mount St. Macrina had more to do with wanting to lift her inner spirit.“I needed a retreat, actually.

I like to bake bread. I wanted to experience a bread baking retreat to see how Sister Carol (Petrasovich, OSBM) would tie it into the bread.” Patricia was one of nine participants in the Feb. 16 retreat, as they baked loaves of Lenten bread, or bread without any dairy ingredients. It was the first time the Sisters of St. Basil the Great hosted such a retreat. A second retreat was held on March 16.

A retired secretary, Patricia is a Basilian Associate and cantor at St. Thomas the Apostle in Rahway, N.J.She said the experience was quite moving. “It was very prayerful. We were praying as we were kneading the dough, the Lenten bread.” Sister Carol explained the activity of kneading the bread was a metaphor for how Christ shapes us to be good Christians. “As we knead the bread, God ‘kneads’ us and ‘works’ us,” Patricia said. Continue reading

An iconic pizza party

A pizza party at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methoidus in Pittsburgh, Pa. Feb. 15 included an impromptu iconography lesson courtesy of Marylyn Barone. Marylyn, who created icons for three students who will graduate this year, pointed … Continue reading