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 Latest Diocesan News

Below you'll find the latest news relevant to the Diocese of Greensburg. You can also find more news in The Catholic Accent, the official bi-weekly newspaper of the diocese.
February 13, 2017
First Golden Apple Award winners suprised in classrooms

Three teachers at Catholic schools in the Diocese of Greensburg received surprise visits in their classrooms today when they learned they were winners of the diocese's first Golden Apple Awards for teaching excellence. The honorees are: Bernadette Grace, a third-grade teacher at Mary Queen of Apostles School, New Kensington, where she has served for four years; Christy Gilkey, a fifth-grade teacher at Queen of Angels Catholic School, North Huntingdon, where she has served for 10 years; and Joette Salandro, visual and performing arts teacher at Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School, where she has served for 27 years.  Ms. Salandro has taught in the diocese for 37 years.

The awards will be presented at the first Celebration of Catholic Schools Breakfast, March 9, from 8-10 a.m. at the Greensburg Country Club.  In addition to the Golden Apple Awards, the breakfast will feature the awarding of Innovation Grants to advance learning in the classroom and recognition of the businesses that support Catholic education by contributing to the Scholarship Partners Foundation through the state-sponsored EITC tax credit programs.

Mike Clark, WTAE-TV news anchor, will serve as emcee. The breakfast is sponsored by the Office for Catholic Schools and The Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Greensburg to support Catholic schools in the diocese.Tickets are $25 each.  Learn more about the event, purchase tickets or become a sponsor​
February 3. 2017
Bishop Malesic's Letter on Welcoming the Stranger

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Several actions have been taken and executive orders promulgated in the opening days of the new administration, some of which we applaud and some of which are cause for concern for us as Christian believers.

We are able to applaud those actions which are meant to protect the unborn, and we were delighted at the presence of the Vice President at this year’s March for Life.  These are positive developments and hopeful signs.

Yet, as a Pro-Life Church, we know that the demands of the Gospel of Life that we preach continue after the birth of our children and extend beyond our national borders. 

Let me be clear, the United States has every right to and should secure its borders as a way to protect us from harm.  This right is a basic teaching of our Church.  Yet, many of my brother bishops and I have serious concerns about those executive orders that would make it difficult, if not impossible in some instances, for us to carry out our call from Jesus to welcome strangers and fulfill the commandment of love: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).  This is critical for us, since the Lord says he will judge us at the end of time on the basis of how we treated our brothers and sisters during our time on earth.  As Jesus told us, “Whatever you did not do for one of these least brothers of mine, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25:40). 

Indeed, there are people, our brothers and sisters, who are fleeing for their lives after experiencing life-threatening terrorism or extreme hardship in their home countries.  Some are young, some are old, some are Muslim, and many are Christian.  They are looking for a place of shelter, comfort and peace for themselves and their families. We would do the same in similar circumstances.  There are innocent people who are knocking at our door asking for safe shelter.  We should not reject their needs like the wealthy man who rejected poor Lazarus sitting just outside his door (Luke 16:19-31). America has been and must continue to be a place of refuge for people such as these.  

I am gratified to know that Catholic Christians in America have been among the most welcoming people, knowing that nearly all of us have come from immigrant families ourselves.  At one time, our forebears fled the hardships of their homes from many countries around the world.  I think of this when I read the Scripture passage that gives God’s law to His people: “When a foreigner resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one.  You shall treat the foreigner who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the foreigner as yourself; for you too were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD, am your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34).

The issue of welcoming refugees while protecting our borders is a complicated one, as is indicated by the strong differences of opinion about it in our country today.  As followers of the teachings of Jesus, we must continually bring the light of his Gospel to our discussions surrounding this and other difficult, complex matters.  Balancing the reasonable and appropriate measures we need to take to ensure the safety of our citizens while at the same time fulfilling the Gospel mandate to extend our compassion to others may not always be easy or simple; but, it is both necessary and obtainable when people of good will work together.

Recently our Sunday Gospel was taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapter 5).  In it, Jesus reminded us that we will be blessed if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, show mercy and make peace.  If we pray — and we should — God will give us the wisdom to know what is right and the courage to live in justice and love with others who share our common world.  This is the only way to find true blessing.  This is the only way to true and lasting peace.  

Finally, I pray to God that we will make good moral decisions on behalf of our citizens, as well as the many new refugees and immigrants who are seeking safety or a better way of life in our country.  As Christians who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have been given the freedom in the Spirit to discern what is right and do what is good.  As Jesus said to his disciples who were being tossed about during a storm: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). 

Peace to you and blessings upon those you love.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Edward C. Malesic, JCL
Bishop of Greensburg

Resources:
To help refugees, especially those from war-torn Syria, go to Catholic Relief Services or the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.


​January 26. 2017
Youth Rally and Mass for Life Time Change at Verizon Center in DC

We are pleased and honored that senior White House, Congressional leaders and a special guest will now be participating in March for Life activities.  To account for increased security at the March, times for our Rally and Masses for Life have changed. 

  • Doors at the DC Armory will now open at 6:00a.m., with the Rally at 7:00 a.m., and the Mass at 8:00 a.m.  
  • Doors at the Verizon Center will now open at 6:45 a.m.; the Rally will start at 7:15 a.m., and the Mass at 8:30 a.m.
  • The Adult and Family Rally will begin at 8:30 a.m., at St. Matthew’s Cathedral; the Mass will take place at 9 a.m.

This will allow for plenty of time for all to fully participate in the March.

Also, please be aware that due to heightened security, new security check points may be in place for the March itself, and groups headed directly to the March should be in place before 10:30 a.m. Learn more.

 

-From http://youthrallyandmassforlife.org

January 10, 2017

Father Patrick J. O’ConnorFather Patrick J. O’Connor, priest for 52 years, dies at 85

Father Patrick J. O’Connor, a retired priest of the Diocese of Greensburg, died Jan. 10, 2017, at St. Anne Home. He was 85 and served as a priest for 52 years.

Father O’Connor was born April 30, 1931, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, to the late Francis and Estella (McIlroy) O’Connor. He attended Catholic elementary schools in Windsor and Detroit and graduated from St. Theresa High School, Detroit.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth, Mich.; and the former Our Lady of Loretto Seminary, Loretto.

Father O’Connor was ordained a priest by Bishop William G. Connare May 23, 1964, at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg.

Father O’Connor served as associate pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Uniontown (1964-66); St. John the Baptist Parish, Scottdale (1966-70); and St. Sebastian Parish, Belle Vernon (1970-71).

He served as pastor of the former St. Michael Parish, Glen Campbell, and its mission, SS. Peter & Paul Parish, Arcadia (1971-73); associate pastor of St. Pius X Parish, Mount Pleasant (1973-75) and pastor of St. Ambrose Parish, Avonmore (1975-81); the former St. Leonard Parish, Monessen (1981-88); St. James the Greater Parish, Apollo (1988-92); St. Joseph Parish, New Kensington (1992-96); and St. James Parish, New Alexandria (1996-97).

He served as senior priest active with residence at St. Mary (Nativity) Parish, Uniontown (1998-99) and at St. Therese, Little Flower of Jesus Parish, Uniontown, from 1999 until his retirement Jan. 31, 2006.

Father O’Connor also served as diocesan spiritual director of the Holy Name Society (1999-2006) and served on the Board of Consultors (1969-72) and the Priests’ Council (1991-96).

Funeral arrangements for Father O'Connor have been completed and are as follows:

Viewing: Thursday, January 12, 2017

4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Parlor of The Bishop Connare Center
2900 Seminary Drive
Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601

Christian Funeral Mass: Friday, January 13, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Joseph Chapel
The Bishop Connare Center
2900 Seminary Drive
Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601

Committal

Priests' Plot
Greensburg Catholic Cemeter
Greensburg, Pennsylvania

​​January 7, 2017
OFFICIAL

The Most Reverend Edward C. Malesic, JCL, Bishop of Greensburg, has made the following appointments:

Effective Saturday, December 31, 2016

Retirement
The Reverend John T. Sweeney retired as Pastor of Holy Family Parish, West Newton, Pennsylvania, with residence at Neumann House, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Effective Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sabbatical
The Reverend Daniel L. Blout on sabbatical from Jan. 15 to April 19, 2017, at Institute for Continuing Theological Education (ICTE) at the Pontifical North American College, Rome, Italy, while continuing as Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and upon his return, continuing as Administrator of Saint Benedict Parish, Marguerite, Pennsylvania.

Administrator
The Reverend Monsignor James T. Gaston, VF, Administrator of Our Lady of Grace Parish, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Saint Benedict Parish, Marguerite, Pennsylvania, during the time of The Reverend Daniel L. Blout’s sabbatical. Monsignor Gaston will remain Pastor of Mother of Sorrows Parish, Murrysville, Pennsylvania, Vicar Forane of Deanery III and continues in all other diocesan appointments.

Effective Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Resignation
The Reverend Ronald L. Cyktor, Jr., at his own request, resigned as Pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Coral, Pennsylvania.

Administrator
The Reverend Monsignor Michael W. Matusak, VF, continues as Administrator of Holy Family Parish, West Newton, Pennsylvania, while remaining Pastor of Saint Therese, Little Flower of Jesus Parish, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Administrator of Saint Joseph Parish, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish, Fairchance, Pennsylvania, Saint Hubert Parish, Point Marion, Pennsylvania, Vicar Forane of Deanery V and continues in all other diocesan appointments.

The Reverend Alan N. Polczynski, Administrator of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Coral, Pennsylvania, while remaining as Pastor of Saint Thomas More University Parish, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Assistant Episcopal Master of Ceremonies.

Special
The Reverend Ronald L. Cyktor, Jr., will assist in providing Pastoral and Sacramental Ministry to Saint James Parish, Apollo, Pennsylvania, Saint Gertrude Parish, Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, and Christ the King Parish, Leechburg, Pennsylvania, with residence in the rectory of Saint James Parish, Apollo, Pennsylvania, while continuing as Assistant to Very Rev. Daniel C. Mahoney, VF, as Bishop’s Representative for Matters Pertaining to the Celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the Diocese of Greensburg.

The Reverend Daniel J. Ulishney, Assistant Chaplain to Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School, Connellsville, Pennsylvania, while remaining Parochial Vicar to the Partner Parishes of Saint Rita, Immaculate Conception and Saint John the Evangelist in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

The Reverend Arnel Aldave Estrella, Pastoral and Sacramental Ministry to Holy Family Parish, West Newton, Pennsylvania, with residence in the rectory of Holy Family Parish, West Newton, Pennsylvania.

​November 9, 2016
Bishop Edward C. Malesic's Post-Election Statement

In our democratic process, we rely on the will of the people to make our major political decisions. We now have a president-elect and local, state and national winners from yesterday's election. Congratulations to all of them.

We appreciate all the candidates who offered many good ideas and proposed solutions to today's complex issues.

I would like to thank all of you for your participation in the voting process. As faithful followers of Christ, we know that we must continue to depend on God's mercy and guidance as we seek to move our nation forward together.

I offer a prayer for us all from the Roman Missal: 

O God, who arrange all things
according to a wonderful design,
graciously receive the prayers
we pour out to you for our country and state,
that, through the wisdom of its leaders
and the integrity of its citizens,
harmony and justice may be assured 
and lasting prosperity come with peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen. 

God bless our country and all of you.

October 27, 2016
Catholic author to present lecture on Mercy Nov. 12

GREENSBURG — The diocese will continue its focus on the Year of Mercy with a lecture by Catholic author, TV and radio host Mike Aquilina Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel at the Bishop Connare Center.

Aquilina, author of more than 50 books on Catholic history, doctrine and devotion, will discuss "Making Mercy Accessible: Pope John Paul II and the Apostolate of Confession."

The lecture, which is being sponsored by the Diocesan Heritage Center, is being held in conjunction with the center's two current exhibits: Jesus, the Merciful Face of the Father and Rich in Mercy: The Life of St. John Paul II.

Aquilina has co-authored works with Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, theologian Scott Hahn, composer John Michael Talbot and hall of fame musician Dion.

Aquilina, who lives in Bridgeville with his wife, Terri, is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and appears weekly on Sirius radio's "Sonrise Morning Show." He has hosted 10 series on EWTN and two documentaries on early Christianity.

Admission is free, but attendees are asked to register online or by calling 724-552-2505.

​October 25, 2016
PCC Voter's Guides

The links below are to the three PCC voter guides for the races for U.S. president, U.S. Senate and the statewide races (attorney general, auditor general and state treasurer). Each guide is designed to be copies front-and-back on a single, 8.5x11 sheet of paper.  Bishop Malesic has asked that these be distributed in a manner that best suits the individual parish as determined by the pastor. They can be inserted in bulletins, placed in the gathering area to be picked up after Mass or handed out by the ushers after Mass.

October 19, 2016
How to help victims of Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew devastated many places in the Caribbean, especially Haiti, and the southeastern United States.

To help people in Haiti and the Caribbean, donate to Catholic Relief Services online at www.crs.org or by check to: Catholic Relief Services, 228 W. Lexington St., Baltimore, MD 21201-3443

To help people in the U.S., donate to Catholic Charities USA online at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org or by check to: Catholic Charities USA, P.O. Box 17066, Baltimore, MD 21297-1066

​October 5, 2016
Bishop Malesic's Pro-Life Letter​​

Dear Friends in Christ,

Every person asks the question: "What is my purpose on this Earth?"

Here is a general answer: I am here to show God's love to the world.

By virtue of our very existence, we reflect God's love.  This is true because God, who is love, made us in His image and likeness. If every person is like a valued piece of artwork painted by the hand of God, then we should protect what God has made out of respect for God's work among us. This calls us forth to act.

This year's theme for Respect Life Month is "Moved by Mercy." We have seen God's mercy in Jesus, the face of God.  And having received this great love for ourselves, we are called to extend God's compassion and love to our neighbors, especially those who are most in need. 

As a Pro-Life Church, we support and defend life from its very beginning at conception until its natural end in death.  

At one time I was just two cells old, though I did not realize it at the time. I was alive — and the work of God was being accomplished in the growth of my newly created body. That is why we work so hard to support human life, which begins at conception.

I applaud those who pray peacefully to end abortion, vote for politicians who understand the goodness of life in its most innocent and fragile stages and help women find alternatives to ending the life of their unborn child.  

I also support and encourage people who help young parents after a child is born.  This is extremely important and at the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus — to help those who are struggling in life. 

You see, respecting life isn't just talk. It is action. 

Since we live in a culture that accepts ending the lives of our youngest children, we must also reach out to bring healing where there is hurting.  Many women, and yes, even men, live with the shame and regret of an abortion in their past. As a Pro-Life Church, all of us are called to offer the possibility of God's healing love and mercy to everyone in a compassionate, non-judgmental way.

If people are brave enough to share their post-abortive suffering with you, pray with them for their healing.  Then assure them that it's never too late to seek God's forgiveness.  Assist them in finding a priest or other church leader with a compassionate ear.  Encourage that person to reach out to Project Rachel or attend a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat, which specializes in post-abortion healing.

Respecting life includes welcoming sinners — ourselves included!

Another increasingly difficult topic today is physician-assisted suicide.  Of course, our hearts go out to people who are suffering at life's end.  But good palliative care and hospice programs offer better alternatives to intentionally overdosing on drugs in order to find relief from pain.  And, although the arguments in favor of physician-assisted suicide are sometimes attractive, the results are not.  In countries that have widely adopted the practice, it is increasingly evident that people near death are encouraged to prematurely end their lives so that they will not be a financial and emotional burden on others.  This is just wrong. 

Respecting life simply means that we don't kill innocent life, because God is the author of life. We are not. 

The drug epidemic, which is out of control, is another tragic reality for us. We must pray for those who are addicted to heroin and other death-dealing drugs.  We must pray for their families who suffer terribly over the addiction of their loved one.  And we must continue to actively engage our community in finding practical and effective solutions through adequate prevention and successful treatment programs.

Respecting life requires that we struggle with those who struggle themselves in life.     

Finally, respecting life requires that we take care of our environment.  We must leave this world as we found it — ready to be enjoyed by the next generation.  Pope Francis has reminded us that we must not be allured by our disposable culture, which makes us selfishly think only of ourselves in the present moment, instead of being good stewards of creation for the future.

To respect life requires that we take care of the place in which we all live together, our family home. 

These are just a few of my reflections on respecting life as we begin this month.  I hope you have your own reflections.

In the end, respecting life as a Pro-Life man or woman means that we treat each other with kindness, mercy and love. 

I encourage you to take some time today or during the week to ask yourself: "Am I respecting my life; do I respect and care for the life of those around me; and do I appreciate the life of God within me and my neighbors (including those in the womb)?

Let us pray for each other, and thank God each day for his wonderful gift of life.  

God bless you and those you love.

Your brother in Christ,

The Most Reverend Bishop Edward C. Malesic, JCL


​September 19, 2016
Diocese of Greensburg Political Campaign Activities Policy

With the November 8, 2016, general elections approaching, this is a reminder to parishes about voter guides and what is permitted and not permitted during the campaign season. I would like to draw your attention to the policy on diocesan e-mail stated below. Also, this activities policy applies to homilies in which candidates are endorsed from the pulpit because of a single issue.

The Catholic Accent will produce a PCC-approved voter guide prior to the election that will include information about the races for the U.S. House and Senate, Pennsylvania statewide races, and the Pennsylvania General Assembly (House and Senate) in districts within the Diocese of Greensburg. The voter guide material will be made available to the parishes and posted to the diocesan website.

Diocese of Greensburg Political Activities Policy

As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Church is prohibited by the Internal Revenue Code from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. The ban is absolute. Any amount of such participation in a political campaign, no matter how slight, can put the tax exempt status of the Church in jeopardy. Therefore, voter guides or flyers that are single issue guides or that endorse candidates that support single issues cannot be used as bulletin inserts or distributed in parishes.

Both the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) have issued guidelines for political activities for Catholic churches and organizations. Two areas of concern that come up in our parishes at election time are voter guides and campaign literature in church parking lots.

VOTER GUIDES

The PCC has reviewed and approved a series of voter guides that can be used in addition to guides published by the USCCB and PCC. They are: Our Sunday Visitor's A Guide to Catholic Voting, In the Voting Booth and Talking to Kids about Elections and Current Events and the Diocese of Pittsburgh's bulletin insert .

While the Faithful Citizenship booklet has been used by parishes for years and continues to be an important resource, the PCC notes that bulletin inserts based on the booklet may be more practical for use in the parish. They can be found at this link.

The approval of these outside voter guides is meant to complement, not replace, any efforts of the PCC or diocesan bishop to provide election-related information.

CHURCH PARKING LOT LEAFLETING

Church parking lots are not public forums as a public street or shopping mall would be and remain dedicated to accommodating the religious activities of the church. If a church grants permission for the distribution of campaign literature anywhere on its property, it must do likewise for all of the candidates or advocacy groups that wish to do so, no matter how repugnant the content of the literature is to Church teaching. Churches must avoid complicity in the dissemination of material endorsing or opposing political individual candidates. Therefore, churches may neither favor nor disfavor any particular group that seeks to distribute materials of that type on portions of its property that are generally accessible to the public. At the same time, the law does not impose any obligation on a church to actively monitor and prevent the leafleting of cars parked in its lots.

Some groups will leaflet during Mass without notifying the parish and/or the pastor. If questioned about a leaflet campaign, note the last sentence in the paragraph above and the fact the Diocese of Greensburg does not authorize any leafleting or pamphleting.

DIOCESAN E-MAIL

You are also asked not to use the diocesan e-mail system for publishing information endorsing or repudiating candidates that support single issues. You could lose your e-mail privileges.

If you have any questions please contact the Office of the Vicar General, The Rev. Msgr. Larry J. Kulick, JCL, at 724-837-0901.

September 16, 2016 

Diocese of Greensburg statement about statewide grand jury

"The Diocese of Greensburg has received a subpoena from the statewide investigative grand jury. The diocese is cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, with law enforcement officials in this matter. No additional comments can be made at this time due to the nature of a grand jury.

The Diocese of Greensburg takes the protection of all children and young people seriously. Names and facts of any allegation of misconduct will continue to be reported immediately to the proper civil authorities. A longstanding policy of zero tolerance has been and continues to remain in place in the diocese so that anyone who has a criminal history of child abuse or a credible allegation of child abuse has been removed from ministry, employment or their volunteer position. Every report of suspected abuse of a child or young person — sexual, physical and emotional — made to the diocese is immediately reported to ChildLine and the appropriate District Attorney.

We pray for all victims of abuse, and continue to educate the children and adults in the Diocese of Greensburg on how to spot and report abuse."