Thursday, August 20, 2015

On the road

     Ever since his Ordination a little over a month ago, Bishop Ed Malesic has been "on the road", travelling the Diocese of Greensburg and using every opportunity to "meet and greet" the good faithful.  He is doing and outstanding job and is winning the praise and gratitude of people throughout the area.  Tonight he will be at my home parish of Saint Joseph in Uniontown, as part of a series of area wide Masses (eleven in all) where he meets for dinner with the local priests, celebrates a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit in one of the churches, and then attends a reception where he makes sure to greet everyone who wants to meet him.

    This Tuesday he was in our area at the neighboring parish of Saint Agnes where about ten priests shared the hospitality of Monsignor Paul Fitzmaurice before concelebrating a wonderful liturgy in a packed Saint Agnes Church (one of our larger ones).  The liturgy saw a combined choir from the three local parishes and shared ministries of lectors and servers.  The bishop's homily was very well received in his easy style, filled with humor and rooted in the message of Jesus as the center of our lives.
The Christian Mothers of Saint Agnes prepared the goodies for the reception, and from the end of Mass until eleven o'clock he greeted people, spoke to everyone and took a multitude of pictures.  It was a great evening.  I've enclosed some pictures from this visit and his previous ones to the parishes, compliments of the Diocesan facebook page.

 Mass at Saint Agnes on August 18th

Mass at Saint Agnes on August 18th
    The bishop began his visits at Saint Thomas More University Parish in Indiana, Pa on July 21st.

Saint Margaret Mary Church in Lower Burrell on July 23rd.

Saint Pius X in Mount Pleasant on August 4th.

Saint Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Kittanning
on August 11th.

and Saint Francis Parish at the Footedale site
on August 13th.
 Father Bill Berkey, Pastor
     In addition, he has been "everywhere" - Slovak Mass at Kennywood park, Mass for the Deacons and their wives on
their annual retreat, celebrant and homilist for the Annual Priests' Day celebration at Saint Vincent, Mass and visit at Saint Anne Home for the Elderly in Greensburg, dinner at the Catholic Charities Golf Outing this past Monday, and so many other opportunities.  On Wednesday he presided at the funeral of one of our priests, Monsignor Bill Charnoki before installing Father John Harrold as pastor in Ford City that evening.  He continues these area Masses and now begins the installation of other new pastors.   He is making his presence known and is bringing the warmth of the massage of Christ's love to the people of God.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Our "Cure of Ars"

     This past Tuesday, August 4th, the Church remembers and honors the Cure of Ars, the parish priest of the French town of Ars in the early 1800's - Saint Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney.  This holy man is recognized as the patron of parish priests, and is one of my favorite saints from my youth.  I guess what drew me to him was the fact that he was not a great student, and had special difficulty with Latin (not one of my favorite disciplines in school), and also the fact that he was a simple parish priest, which I was hoping to become as well.  But he was a man of deep personal faith and possessed a great and deep love of the people entrusted to his care.  In my high school days when I became a Third Order Franciscan with the local Friary in Uniontown, I chose the name Jean Marie.


     On this past Tuesday, I journeyed to Saint Pius X Church in Mount Pleasant for a regional mass and gathering of God's people with our new bishop, Edward Malesic.  Bishop Malesic has scheduled a number of masses and gatherings throughout the diocese (this was the third of these) and is using his first few weeks visiting parishes and communities in order the meet the people and pray with them.  I have to say that he brings with him the spirit of a pastor and a personal appeal that is refreshing.  About fourteen priests gathered for a relaxing dinner, followed by the mass, filled with prayer and song, warmth and laughter, and a great homily that affirmed our existence as Church. 

The bishop then meets every person who visits with him at the reception.  He has to be exhausted by the end of the day, but those who meet him come away with memories and a spirit of joy.  

Pictures courtesy of the Diocese of Greensburg Facebook page
It took Jean Marie Vianney a long time to win the trust and the acceptance of the people of Ars, but when he did, God worked great things there.  In our day things move more quickly, and the Bishop took very little time in winning the acceptance and trust of the people of the Greensburg Diocese as their Cure, or pastor.  What great things await us.  I look forward to his visit in our area on the 18th of August.