May 20, 2018

Important On Mission Reminders. Beginning on October 15, 2018, the new clergy team will begin its assignment in our announced grouping which includes Good Shepherd, Word of God and Madonna del Castello. The new administrator for all four parishes will be Fr. Larry Adams. He will be assisted by Fr. Jeremy Mohler and a parish chaplain, Fr. Vince Kolo, as well as deacons Joe Dougherty and Keith Kondrich (Fr. Daniel will remain in residence, too). Our parish grouping has been designated a category B grouping which means that there will be a three-year time frame for the grouping to transition into a new parish. On October 15 of this year no parish will close (in fact, all 188 parishes of the diocese will continue to exist). However, new daily and weekend Mass schedules will go into effect beginning on October 15. Those schedules have not yet been decided. For our grouping, the maximum number of Sunday Masses (which includes Saturday night) is nine (9). Currently, our four parishes offer eleven (11) Sunday Masses. Each parish must have at least one Sunday Mass (this is parish and not church building—remember that Good Shepherd has two church buildings). The new Mass schedule, when announced, will be a tentative schedule. A period of time will be set aside to determine if the Mass scheduled works or if some adjustments need to be made. Every effort will be put forth to properly and appropriately receive the input of our parishioners as the implementation of On Mission moves forward. I will do my best to keep you all well informed on the process.

Eucharistic Adoration in Every Parish: As part of the implementation stage of On Mission there will be Eucharist adoration in the diocese from April 17 until October 14. Each parish will host an adoration as a time to pray for their grouping and for a successful transition. Adoration dates and times for our grouping are: July 2 from Noon to 6:00 PM at Madonna del Castello; July 10 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Word of God; August 30 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Sacred Heart Church of Good Shepherd Parish; and on our Feast Day, September 22, from 9:30 AM to 4:45 PM at Saint Maurice. For a complete listing of adoration places and times see the bulletin board by the Welcome Desk or check the diocesan website.

July 25 Special Speaker dealing with Forgiveness will be at Saint Maurice: Forgiveness is something that is hard to understand, to offer to others and, most especially, to give to ourselves. I have often been asked to do more about forgiveness within the parish. I am happy to say that our parish family will be able to have a truly remarkable opportunity to better understand forgiveness. On July 25, Saint Maurice will be hosting internationally known speaker Captain Guy Gruters. Guy was an Air Force pilot and a POW. As a result of being shot down over North Vietnam he was captured and spent five years as a POW in six different POW camps, twice kept in the famous Hanoi Hilton. While in the camps, he experienced a thorough conversion experience and was able to forgive his enemy. You may have seen Guy on EWTN where he has appeared on three separate occasions. He brings to us a powerful and much needed message. Mark your calendar for July 25. This will be a talk you definitely do not want to miss.

May 13, 2018

Mother’s Day: On behalf of the entire Parish staff I would like to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers and godmothers in the Parish who have taught us the love of God and nurtured us to maturity. We also keep in thought and prayer all of those deceased.

They assigned him to where his gifts will be best utilized. These past few days I have heard (and read on social media) people commenting on the moves involved with On Mission for the Church Alive! I am so pleased to say that many people have said that they are happy because the priests they know have been assigned in ways that highlight their special gift of ministry. This is the ultimate point of On Mission. We are all called to share our God-given gift with the Church. Each and every one of us! May these new assignments not be moments of sadness but opportunities to highlight the best we all have to offer. Together, we can truly realize the goal of On Mission for the Church Alive! which is to actively engage all baptized Catholics in evangelization by fulfilling our place within the Body, by sharing our unique gifts. As we know from Ephesians, chapter four, “grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift and he gave different graces/gifts to equip us for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the full stature of Christ.”

July 25 Special Speaker dealing with Forgiveness will be at Saint Maurice: Forgiveness is something that is hard to understand, to offer to others and, most especially, to give to ourselves. I have often been asked to do more about forgiveness within the parish. I am happy to say that thanks to the hard work of parishioner Jeff Ladik our parish family (and our local community) will be able to have a truly remarkable opportunity to better understand forgiveness. On July 25, Saint Maurice will be hosting internationally known speaker Captain Guy Gruters. Guy was an Air Force pilot and a POW. He flew over 400 combat missions in Vietnam and on various occasions won significant combat awards, among them two Silver Stars and two Distinguished Flying Crosses. As a result of being shot down over North Vietnam, he was captured and spent five years as a POW in six different POW camps, twice kept in the famous Hanoi Hilton. While in the camps, he experienced a thorough conversion experience and was able to forgive his enemy. To Catholic and other religious groups, Guy’s talks stress forgiveness, family leadership and the love experienced in war. You may have seen him on EWTN where he has appeared on three separate occasions. Or perhaps you have heard him speak at one of his many engagements which include many TOT young adult events. Guy brings to us a powerful and much needed message. Do yourself a favor and mark your calendar now to set aside the evening of July 25 for this talk. In the following weeks more information will be provided about this event.

May 6, 2018

On Mission; now what: On Mission for the Church Alive! has been going on since April 12, 2015. We are three years into the process and our projected end date is still three years away (2021). What does that mean for us?

First off, it means we now have a clear view of where we are heading. Up to this point we have been preparing ourselves for inevitable change, planning for the worst while hoping for the best. Of course we were not really planning for the worst; we simply were making plans for the most extreme possible outcome―we were not going to be caught unprepared. Yet, we hoped for the best and that hope was the theological kind, not simply a wish. We gathered our information, attended the On Mission meetings, held our town-hall gatherings and shared our findings with the diocese. Then, knowing that theological hope involves action, we began the process of expanding our understanding and living of Church. We have formed new relationships with the churches around us and have welcomed our neighbors into our faith journey, all of this having been done in the spirit of the Church being the Body of Christ. Likewise, we have begun to address important physical plant issues that are making our campus safer, more accessible, and even a little more beautiful, thus presenting a visual representation of the welcoming and inviting community which we are. We/YOU have done great work! We are ready to move forward with the next stages of the Bishop’s call to be On Mission.

So, what is next? First, it is important to remember that no churches are closing at this time. During the next few months the parish staff will continue to receive training from the diocese and transitional support from the Secretariat for Parish Services. The next announcement we should anticipate will be the interim Mass and confession schedule (the publication of which should occur sometime in August). Likewise, the board for the Pittsburgh-East Regional Catholic Elementary Schools planning process continues its work. You can follow their developments at https://diopitt.org/pgh-east.

Let us remember, and stay focused on the fact, that Saint Maurice has a wonderful Pastoral Plan (formed under the leadership of Fr. John) which guides us as we move into the future. Our parish has a highly professional, dedicated, and service minded staff that works extremely hard to bring Christ alive for all of us. Additionally, we have wonderful parishioners who have vision and motivation to take the Church into the world and proclaim in word and deed the Good News. Our parish family has embraced our pastoral mission as well as the On Mission initiative and we will continue to do so boldly and confidently. Our next six months will be filled with ongoing evangelization and outreach. The new clergy team better not be resting on their laurels because Saint Maurice surely isn’t!

Personally, I am looking forward to my next six months as this parish family continues to be a shining light for everyone to see what is truly a Church Alive! I hope you share with me the excitement of this process. For as our only Catholic President of the United States once said: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” -John F. Kennedy

April 29, 2018

On Thursday, April 26, all the clergy of the diocese met at the seminary for the annual spring clergy convocation. Normally, these things serve as a chance for some continuing education and spiritual enrichment (and dinner!); this time it was about praying together and being commissioned for On Mission. At the convocation, the new parish groupings were announced and the clergy received their new assignments.

This weekend, I  read a letter from the Bishop to the parish , informing you of the new grouping and which clergy will staff that grouping (included below). This letter will also be mailed to every household in the parish and included in next week’s bulletin.

Some groupings are not going to be a surprise and yet others will be. In some cases, there will be an entirely new clergy team, in others there will be only a few changes; and, I suppose, there are some cases where staffing may have remained the same. But it is important not to focus on what has happened in other parts of the diocese but rather what new opportunities are being presented to us as a growing faith community.

Also, it is important to remember that these changes do not take effect until October 15, 2018. Why the long delay? Well, the hope is to make the transition as seamless as possible. The last time the diocese did a major reorganization like this, in the early 1990s, well over two-thirds of all the priests were moved – and this was at a time when there were almost 600 priests in active ministry. We’ve learned from that, we hope, and we’re doing it this way because this allows for the outgoing and incoming clergy to meet multiple times, and for incoming clergy to meet with the parish staff multiple times. A critical part of these meetings will be the development of new Mass schedules that take into consideration the needs of the parishes, seating capacity, number of priests, and other factors. These schedules will be announced during the summer. Our Mass schedule will change as a result of this process. How much so is yet to be determined.

Monday, October 15, is implementation day. New assignments and new Mass schedules begin that day. No parishes will close or merge in April, or even in October. Starting in October, we begin the process to eventually merge parishes, which in some cases may involve beginning the process to eventually close buildings.

Yes, there are still many questions that remain to be answered. However, our mission remains the same as always. We all are called to bring forth a Church Alive! that allows each of us to do our part in the building up of the Kingdom.

Groupings and Assignments

Category:

A timeline that will guide the grouping toward merger in an appropriate
length of time. Ideally, groupings in Category A will complete this process by
the end of 2020. Those in Category B will have until the end of 2021.
Groupings in Category C will have until the end of 2023. During this time the
groupings will study and make a recommendation about which buildings will
best serve the new parish.

Parish Grouping
• Good Shepherd
• Madonna del Castello
• St. Maurice
• Word of God

Administrator:
Father Lawrence Adams
Parochial Vicar:
Father Jeremy Mohler
Parish Chaplain:
Father Vincent Kolo
In Residence:
Father Daniel Aboagye
Deacons:
Deacon Joseph Dougherty
Deacon Keith Kondrich

School:
East Catholic School

Category:
B

Clergy Assignments:

All assignments effective Monday, Oct. 15, 2018

The Rev. Kenneth W. Marlovits from administrator of St. Maurice Parish, Forest
Hills, to part-time senior parochial vicar of the parishes within the
Adams/Cranberry/Glade Mills grouping, namely: Holy Sepulcher Parish, Glade Mills;
and St. Kilian Parish, Adams/Cranberry Townships. At the same time, Father Marlovits is also appointed as chaplain to Cardinal Wuerl
North Catholic High School, Quigley Catholic High School, and Vincentian Academy.

The Rev. Lawrence D. Adams from administrator of St. Ursula Parish, Allison Park,
to administrator of the parishes within the Braddock/Forest Hills/Swissvale
grouping, namely: Good Shepherd Parish, Braddock/Braddock Hills/East Pittsburgh;
Madonna del Castello Parish, Swissvale; St. Maurice Parish, Forest Hills; and Word
of God Parish, Swissvale/Rankin.

The Rev. Jeremy J. Mohler from parochial vicar of St. Katharine Drexel Parish,
Southeast Washington County, to parochial vicar of the parishes within the
Braddock/Forest Hills/Swissvale grouping.

The Rev. Vincent F. Kolo from Replacement Ministry, to parish chaplain of the
parishes within the Braddock/Forest Hills/Swissvale grouping.

Deacon Joseph M. Dougherty from diaconal ministry at Good Shepherd Parish,
Braddock/Braddock Hills/East Pittsburgh, to ministry of sacrament and the ministry
of word in the Braddock/Forest Hills/Swissvale grouping. Deacon Dougherty maintains his responsibilities
of ministry of service and charity at Auberle Home.

Deacon Keith G. Kondrich from diaconal ministry at Madonna del Castello Parish
Swissvale and Word of God Parish, Rankin/Swissvale, to ministry of sacrament and
the ministry of word in the Braddock/Forest Hills/Swissvale grouping. In addition, Deacon Kondrich is assigned to ministry of service and charity at the Allegheny County Jail.

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