Monday, May 18, 2015

100 Years

     Saint Rita of Cascia parish in Connellsville, a parish of the Diocese of Greensburg, celebrated the 100th year of their founding yesterday with a Mass with Bishop Lawrence Brandt, our diocesan administrator, Father Bob Lubic, the pastor, parishioners as well as priests and friends of this Italian parish family.  Our diocese has many ethnic parishes in our towns (Italian, Slavic, Irish, German, etc).  In fact, Connellsville at one time had an Irish parish (the territorial parish), Italian, Polish, Slovak and Croatian.  It now has three churches served by one pastor and a parochial vicar.

     I spent nearly three years in Connellsville in the mid-eighties at Saint John the Evangelist Slovak Church, just up the street from Saint Rita's.  I would visit there often, for the people were / are warm and friendly (and great cooks).  The ladies from the Christian Mothers and other ladies groups were always most generous with me.  Whether at their festivals or their annual cookie sales, I would always end up with a "care package" to take back to the rectory.  Their pastor at the time, the late Father Mike Bucci, would always wonder aloud why they were feeding that Slovak priest from up the street.  He would say this as he was being taken care of by these same ladies.  I have fond memories of good time and great friends.

    I was invited to join yesterday's festivities, and although not able to attend the early afternoon Mass because of a baptism, I was able to join them for the dinner celebrations, for which I am once again grateful.

    Pray for the people of Saint Rita Parish.  May they continue to experience the love of God.

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