We are extremely grateful for your past generosity and ask that you consider participating in this year's Diocesan Lenten Appeal. This is your opportunity to be part of our great "mission of mercy" and help the less fortunate among us. Your support helps us bring Christ, who is mercy, to the many people of our diocese.
To participate in this year's Diocesan Lenten Appeal, you can fill out and return the commitment card that was mailed to you, complete a card on Commitment Weekend, make your commitment online or contact The Catholic Foundation at 724-552-2502.
Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty
"The Lord's mercy is often realized through his people … through acts of kindness, generosity and help." - Msgr. V. Paul Fitzmaurice
One facet of the Appeal is that 100% of funds raised over the parish goal are returned to the parish. At St. Agnes Parish in North Huntingdon, these funds had traditionally gone to renovation of the church. Last year, as pastor Msgr. V. Paul Fitzmaurice said, "We needed to look beyond ourselves." Through a connection that one parishioner, Cynthia Kandra, had with a Sister Elvira, who has devoted her life to serving the poor children of Masbate, Philippines, it was decided to help support the nun's efforts in this remote village.
Visit the Imprisoned
"The diocese makes it possible for me to bring the Catholic message behind the fences and razor wire." - Father James Petrovsky
For more than 10 years, Father James Petrovsky has been on a mission of mercy, visiting the SCI Fayette prison twice weekly. Father Petrovsky said, "You could call it a vocation … a calling. I just got eased into it and took it to heart. In essence, we have a small parish. It's a community." The Appeal makes this kind of mercy possible, allowing the diocese to support one priest and his dedication to bringing the good news of Jesus Christ into what may seem to be the most unlikely of places.
Comfort the Afflicted
"Ours is a healing ministry. We bring a new start to people who have had a bad situation." - Msgr. William R. Rathgeb
For Catholics who have had the misfortune of a failed marriage, the Tribunal offers reconciliation and forgiveness through the annulment process. Annulments allow someone to remarry and once again receive the sacraments. Msgr. William R. Rathgeb, judicial vicar for the diocese, said, "This is important because it's the only way a Catholic can resolve a failed marriage issue." A significant portion of the costs of annulments, primarily personnel, are covered by the diocese. Of particular importance to those who cannot afford the fee, this is made possible by support of the Appeal. Furthermore, this support becomes even more significant now that Pope Francis has asked that this process be free to all.
"Oftentimes the biggest mercy shown through God is that the person is able to forgive themselves." - Msgr. Raymond E. Riffle
Project Rachel, a post abortion counseling resource, operates under the theme – "Hope After Abortion." For those who struggle in the aftermath of an abortion, Catholic Charities offers this special program to help them come to peace with themselves. Msgr. Raymond E. Riffle, managing director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg, said, "It is not uncommon for someone to confess over and over again that they've had an abortion because they don't feel like they're forgiven. It is a tremendous internal struggle and we assist people with that." As with so many of the programs and services offered by Catholic Charities, Project Rachel is made possible through the support of the Diocesan Lenten Appeal.
Instruct the Ignorant
"We provide opportunities for those of all ages to encounter Christ. So that through this encounter, all may come to know the mercy of God and his great love for each of us." - Barbara Zucconi
Barbara Zucconi, faith formation director at St. Anne Parish, Rostraver, is one of the many people throughout the diocese who help parishioners encounter Christ and deepen relationships with their faith through the church. As she put it, "I love what I do at our parish. I don't call it a job. It's a ministry, a vocation. It's a wonderful experience to be part of someone's spiritual journey." From helping a couple prepare for the baptism of their infant and working with second graders getting ready for their first communion to youth ministry and RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), the work of Barbara and others like her is supported by people's generous giving to the Appeal.