“Pilgrimage of the heart”

Making a list of all the events and experiences n e g a t i v e l y a f f e c t e d by the coronavirus
pandemic is an exhausting experience.
Everyone’s personal worlds have been thrown for a loop. Continue reading

There’s no place like home

I did something on June 7 I haven’t done in a long time. Almost three months, in fact. I went to church.

With Allegheny County entering the “Green Phase” June 5, churches in Archeparchy of Pittsburgh have begun reopening their doors to faithful.

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Singing God’s praises through life

St. Gregory Cantor George Tichi Celebrates 90 Years

After George Tichi left the operating room following bypass surgery to alleviate blocked arteries in 2000, the first words out of his mouth was a Troparion.

“When I was coming out of the anesthetic, I vaguely remember I was singing the Troparion from Theophany,” said the cantor at St. Gregory in Upper St. Clair, Pa. of 45 years.

“The nurses and doctors were startled; (they) wanted to know what I was saying. The nurse there recognized the melody as being a religious melody.

“I still know the Slavonic rendition of it today. I can sing it off the top of my head.”

After turning 90 years old on May 24, George is still using his voice to praise God.

The coronavirus situation didn’t put a damper on his birthday party, as 34 honking cars filled with family and friends from St. Gregory drove past his house in Mount Lebanon, Pa.

“I was so very surprised. You could have bowled me over. They kept it a secret from me…of all the people who ever
knew about it, nobody ‘spilled it out’. I knew nothing about it,” George said.

“They wouldn’t let me go outside where they had all the preparations and everything. Then I heard someone say,

‘Where are they? When are they coming?’ I didn’t know who ‘they’ were and what ‘they’ were doing. Then I saw the police; when they came down, they turned their sirens on and flashing lights.”

George was born in the Greenfield section of Pittsburgh, Pa. and was baptized, made his First Holy Communion and married his wife of 70 years, Patricia, at St. John Chrysostom.

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Hair today, gone tomorrow

I saw an interesting question going around on Twitter the other day: What changes in your life that have been necessitated by being quarantined may carry over whenever our lives get back to normal?

(Or, as normal as can be expected, that is.)

There were a variety of intelligent comments. Some people may continue to work from home, if possible and permitted by their boss. Continue reading

Calling all young writers!

Near the beginning of the film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” writer and reporter Lloyd Viogel (Matthew Rhys) is accepting an award for one of his stories. Lloyd begins his remarks by saying someone once asked him why he … Continue reading

What do you do with the mad that you feel?

There’s a scene in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” in which writer Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) asks Joanne Rogers (Maryann Plunkett), the wife of Fred Rogers, if it’s difficult living with a saint. Joanne is taken aback by the … Continue reading

Preparing the next generation of priests

Chris Singel, master of ceremonies for the 63rd annual Saint Nicholas Charity Dinner, said many heartfelt words extolling the virtues of seminary life. But he said you don’t have to take his word for it. “Listen to Mr. (Fred) Rogers. … Continue reading

Security blanket

I’m a big fan of Easter eggs. Of course, I enjoy seeing the many colorful pysanky meticulously designed each year to signify the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But there’s another kind of Easter egg. They’re unexpected messages or features hidden … Continue reading

“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