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By JOHN FRANKO 

Staff Writer

There are two groups of people who particularly need the support of the church, said Deacon Ralph Bachner. People who have lost a loved one to death and those who are struggling with separation and divorce.

But while the losses are similar, he found that there was often little ministry to the latter.

Catholics in the Diocese of Pittsburgh are invited to discover the true meaning and impact of what happened to them on the day they were brought to the baptismal font.

“Back to the Font,” a morning of reflection, is an opportunity this Lent to consider and renew the call to discipleship as followers of Jesus.

Shared governance model expected in future in other regions of the Diocese of Pittsburgh

Bishop David Zubik of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh today announced a regional education system designed to ensure vibrant and sustainable Catholic elementary schools in the North Hills region as part of the On Mission for The Church Alive! planning initiative.

Effective in the fall of 2017, ten Catholic elementary schools in the North Hills will become a ministry of all 32 parishes in the region, which will provide support for all of the schools. Each school will continue to have a principal while a regional administrator will supervise operations.

By ROBERT P. LOCKWOOD

A few months ago I made a September pilgrimage to Cape Cod. The Cape is my back story. I was a kid there, a teenager, a college guy. My honeymoon was in Cape Cod and we introduced it young to our own kids. My parents retired to the Cape and we visited them with the grandkids.

A big part of my Cape memories are rooted in my older brother, John. We were kids there together in 1960s summers, grown-ups visiting together later on.

By Father Frank D. Almade

The numbers are staggering. Americans watch an average of more than four hours of television a day. If you add this up over a year, it’s 61 days. If you add this up over 40 years, it’s just shy of seven years. Phew! That’s a lot of TV watching. What useful things could we do if we left our easy chairs and broke away from the “boob tube?”

By PHIL TAYLOR 

Associate Editor

The main speaker for St. Paul Cathedral’s Race and Reconciliation Dialogue Group’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration was former Freedom Rider Robert Lavelle. However, it was sixth-grader Eve Rectenwald who wowed the crowd while reading her award-winning essay.

January 25, 2017

WASHINGTON—President Donald J. Trump today issued an executive order to construct a wall at the U.S./Mexico border, to significantly increase immigrant detention and deportation, and  to disregard/preempt/overrule the judgment of state and local law enforcement on how best to protect their communities.

By Bob De Witt 

Correspondent

Bishop David Zubik asked young adults to give their honest feedback. They did just that.

About 100 of them gathered Jan. 5 at St. Paul Seminary in Crafton to offer input on the planning initiative On Mission for The Church Alive! The goal of the focus group session was to learn how the church can be more alive and effective in reaching younger Catholics.

“After age 13 you’re on your own (for faith formation) until you get married and hopefully come back to church,” one man said.

JANUARY

All Saints Parish in Etna marks its 100th anniversary ... Father Robert Reardon, a priest of the diocese for 56 years, dies at age 82 ... Father Warren Metzler, longtime pastor of St. James Parish in Wilkinsburg, dies at age 78 ... Several groups from the diocese, including St. Patrick in Canonsburg and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, brave blizzard conditions to attend the 43rd annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. ... Bishop David Zubik issues a decree to close St. John Vianney Parish and its church building in April.

Posted: Wed., Jan. 04, 2017

The Downtown Pittsburgh streets were quiet on a rather dark Christmas Eve morning, but the joy that filled Lawless Hall of St. Mary of Mercy Parish was palpable.

“God bless you,” bellowed Santa Claus, who bore a striking resemblance to Father Nicholas Vaskov, administrator of St. Mary of Mercy. He was happily handing out gift bags to more than 150 guests at a Dec. 24 dinner for the homeless and underprivileged.