Friday, April 19, 2013

Special Women Religious - Congratulations!

     This past Sunday at Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit of the Diocese of Pittsburgh celebrated their 100th Anniversary.  It was on April 25, 1913, that the congregation was founded by charter with Bishop Canevin of Pittsburgh, and this congregation, many of Polish background, came to serve Southwestern Pennsylvania.  They taught in many schools and parishes and presently run the Martina Spiritual Renewal Center as well as Marian Manor Nursing Home.  Their motherhouse is located in the West View section of Pittsburgh.

     I mention them because I was blessed to have them teach me in my formative years - from full day Kindergarten with Sister Veronica (who taught my dad in first grade) through my 8th grade year.  They taught at Saint Joseph parish school in my home town of Uniontown.  A number of women from the parish joined the Community over the years, and one of them, Sister Philomena Zurowski, was a friend of the family (she babysat my dad when they were kids).  If memory serves me, in addition to Sister Veronica, I was taught by Sisters Assumpta (8th grade), Hilaria, Imelda, Bonaventure (4th grade) and Sophie.  Although I never had her in class, Sister Rose was the musician of the group.

     Their Mission Statement reads:

We, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit of Pittsburgh,
declare our mission is to be joy-filled disciples of Jesus, prophetically witnessing to the presence
and the power of the Holy Spirit,
aware of our call to work for the transformation
of society into a Gospel community,
reconciled with God and one another.

      My best wishes and profound gratitude to this remarkable group of women on this important anniversary.  For more info check out their web page at

     The other Community of Women Religious to which congratulations is do are the Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh who after many, many years of serving the area from their Monastery on Perrysville Avenue in Ross Township are MOVING to a brand new Monastery that will serve the needs of the aging Sisters and yet maintain their vibrancy.  This is a bold and courageous endeavor that God is blessing.  From there they will continue their mission through social service, care of the aged, education, counseling, pastoral ministry, foster parenting, tutoring, nursing, peace and justice advocacy and spiritual direction.

     I worked with the Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh in my assignment at Saint John the Baptist in Scottdale and have always enjoyed their fine Benedictine hospitality at the former monastery.  I can't wait to visit the new home.

     Sister Benita DeMattheis is the Prioress.  Their new address is:
Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh
3526 Bakerstown Road
Bakerstown, PA 15007-9705
Their web site is:  Check them out, and the pictures of the new monastery, and if you might be able and inclined to help them in some way with the project, I am sure that the Sisters would be most grateful.  Congratulations Sisters!

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