Priest Jubilarians

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The following priests of the Diocese of Pittsburgh are celebrating special anniversaries of ordination:

 

60th: Fr. Raymond Boccardi

Father Raymond Boccardi celebrates a time of remembrance on his 60th anniversary of priestly ordination. He says he is surprised by the many former parishioners who have kept in touch with him -- for more than 60 years.

He was born on July 31, 1924, in Ellwood City and attended Ellwood City Elementary School and Brunnersdale High School.

He was ordained on Feb. 2, 1952, by Bishop John Dearden at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. His first Mass was offered at Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Ellwood City.

Father was influenced to become a priest by Sister DeChantal, a Franciscan from Millvale.

His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. William in East Pittsburgh from February 1952 to June 1956. He served as parochial vicar at Regina Coeli on Pittsburgh's North Side from June 1956 to April 1960; and Mother of Sorrows in McKees Rocks from April 1960 to May 1961.

He also served as parochial vicar at St. Hilary in Washington, Pa., from May 1961 to May 1963; St. John the Evangelist on Pittsburgh's South Side from May 1963 to May 1964; and St. Vitus in New Castle from May 1964 to April 1969.

Father was named pastor of St. Andrew in Butler in May of 1969. He would remain its pastor for nearly three decades until February 1994. He was later appointed administrator at St. John Parish in Fenelton, Pa., and served from February 1994 to August 1999.

Reflecting on his years as priest, Father's most memorable ministry was his first assignment at St. William.

Father Boccardi retired from active ministry in August 1999. He will observe his diamond jubilee with a private celebration.

 

60th: Fr. Donald McIlvane

On the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination, Father Donald McIlvane reflects on his most memorable ministries of person-to-person visits and working for social justice in cooperation with the NAACP, Martin Luther King Jr., Jim McCoy, Charles Kindle, Monsignor Charles Rice, Charles Harris and Nelson Mandela.

He was born on Dec. 19, 1925, in Hollis, New York City. He attended Bellrose Elementary School and Chaminade Catholic High School in Long Island, N.Y. After his family moved to Pittsburgh, he graduated from Mount. Lebanon High School and attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Father had three siblings, a brother, Robert (deceased), and two sisters, Roseanne McIlvane Casey (deceased) and Mary Elizabeth McIlvane, now living in Florida. He also has many nieces and nephews.

During World War II, he was a sailor in the United States Naval Reserve and stationed on the Yale Victory ship from 1942-1945. He was aboard the ship at Okinawa in southern Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He was influenced to become a priest by Jesuit Father Philip Sullivan while a student at Georgetown.

He was ordained on June 7, 1952, by Bishop John Dearden at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. He celebrated his first Mass at St. Bernard Church in Mount Lebanon. At the time Father Joseph Lonergan was its pastor.

Father would advise someone considering a life in ministry to "speak with various priests, to pray and to be open to change and growth in the church."

His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Stephen in Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood from June 1952 to June 1957. He then served as parochial vicar at St. Paul Cathedral from June 1957 to October 1960; and Resurrection in Pittsburgh's Brookline neighborhood from November 1960 to June 1962. He also served as chaplain for the Allegheny County Jail from June 1962 to April 1966.

Father was sent as a representative of the Catholic Interracial Council of Pittsburgh and walked with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights marchers in the historic Selma-to-Montgomery March on March 7, 1965, to support voting rights for African-Americans.

He was appointed administrator at St. Richard in Pittsburgh's Hill District from April 1966 to June 1976.

In June 1976, he was named pastor of Corpus Christi in Pittsburgh's East End until November 1985. He then became pastor of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Midland, Pa., from November 1985 to June 1992.

From June to December 1992, he went on sabbatical at St. John Fisher in Churchill and awaited assignment from December 1992 to January 1993. He was assigned as a part-time parochial vicar at St. John Fisher from January 1993 to June 1994.

In April 1994, he traveled to South Africa as a documented observer of the free elections when black South Africans voted for the first time and Nelson Mandela ran for president. He paid his own expenses to attend for six weeks.

"I was proud to be there for Nelson Mandela after he had been held in prison for 25 years and came out and ran for election. It was symbolic because of the apartheid. It was a beautiful thing. There was no hatred and no violence. It was building a new society in South Africa without vengeance. That is pure religion -- just justice. A society where everybody is treated equally," he said.

He also served as chaplain for the Sisters of Divine Providence Motherhouse in Allison Park from June to December 1994.

Father retired from active ministry in December 1994. He offers Mass every Tuesday at St. James in Wilkinsburg as he has done for many years.

Plans are tentative for an anniversary celebration this summer at St. Nicholas Church in Millvale. A time and date will be announced.

 

60th: Fr. Walter Wichmanowski

Father Walter Wichmanowski, former U.S. Army chaplain and colonel, celebrates his 60th anniversary of priestly ordination and expresses gratitude saying, "Deo gratias for my family, the church, friends, and country USA and comrads-at-arms! Amen."

He was born on July 26, 1925 in Pittsburgh to Stefan and Helen (Blaskiewicz) Wichmanowski. His parents were U.S. citizens who emigrated from Poland in 1911. He was baptized at St. Adalbert and attended St. Adalbert School and St. Michael High School on Pittsburgh's South Side.

Following high school graduation, he was drafted in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was trained as an infantryman, private first class, and assigned to company 1, 119th infantry regiment, 30th infantry division and served in three major campaigns in the European theatre of operations. After serving over two years, he received an honorable discharge and returned home.

He enrolled in Duquesne University in preparatory classes for the seminary under the G.I. Bill. In 1948, he transferred to St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe. He was ordained June 7, 1952, by Bishop John Dearden at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood.

Father's first assignment was parochial vicar at St. Ladislaus in Natrona from June 1952 to June 1956. He was also parochial vicar at St. Josaphat on  the South Side from June 1956 to June 1957; and St. James in Wilkinsburg from June 1957 to November  1961.

He served as military chaplain for the U.S. Army with the Archdiocese for Military Services in Washington, D.C., from November 1961 to August 1983. He was given a variety of assignments in the United States, Europe and Asia. During the Vietnam War, he was a second brigade chaplain, first infantry division. After completing a total of 30 years of federal service as both officer and enlisted, Chaplain Wichmanowski retired from active service and returned to Pittsburgh in 1983.

In August 1983, he was named pastor of St. Bartholomew in Penn Hills for eight years until he retired from active ministry in June 1991.

Father Wichmanowski is brother of the late Julia, Mrs. John Gawrich; Helen, Mrs. Edward Krynski; Hedwig, Mrs. Ray Sierka; Father Joseph Wichmanowski, prison chaplain and pastor; principal Henry A. Wichmanowski, World War II, order of the Purple Heart; and is the maternal grandson of Julia Blaszkiewicz

Father resides at Vincentian Home in McCandless Township.

 

50th: Fr. Mark Glasgow

As he observes his 50th jubilee of ordination in the priesthood, Father Glasgow is very grateful to his family and his friends as well as the bishop, priests and parishioners for helping him along the way.

"I am grateful for the timing with the spirit of Vatican II and what it made possible in the liturgy, social and societal concerns and relations with people of other faiths. I also am grateful for the patience and understanding of parishioners in the six parishes I've been privileged to work in over the years. Despite the difficulties we have expanded over the past years, the priesthood is a wonderful life!"

He was born on April 22, 1935, in Youngstown, Ohio. He attended school in Boardman, Ohio, St. Anne School in Castle Shannon and graduated from Bethel Park High School.

Following studies at Grove City College he later received a bachelor's degree in 1958 from St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

Father Glasgow was ordained on May 19, 1962, by Bishop John Wright at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. His first Mass was celebrated at St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park.

Through the deep spirituality of his mother he was inspired to become a priest. He recommends to those considering a life in ministry to "pray a lot about it and get a lot of advice." He said it was difficult for him to preach effectively, but halfway through his ministry he tried to push the notes aside and just talk and he found that to be much more effective.

His first priestly assignment was at St. Cyril of Alexandria on Pittsburgh's North Side as parochial vicar from May 1962 to June 1966. He then served as parochial vicar at St. Bernard in Mount Lebanon from June 1966 to June 1970; and St. Peter on the city's North Side from June 1970 to November 1974. He was a member of the Priest Council from January 1968 to January 1970.

He was administrator of St. Paschal Mission and St. Louis, both in West Sunbury, Pa.; Epiphany Mission in Boyers, Pa.; and St. Alphonsus in Murrinsville, Pa., from November 1974 to June 1983.

He was named pastor of St. Peter on Pittsburgh's South Side from June 1983 to October 1992. From January 1986 to January 1991 he was the spiritual director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. He also served as part-time military chaplain for the V.A. Health Care System in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood from September 1988 to October 1994. He was also the team ministry moderator at St. Maximilian Kolbe in Homestead from October 1992 to October 1994. Father currently serves as military chaplain for the V.A. Health Care System in Oakland since October 1994.

"My work at the V.A. Hospital gives me a chance to really share in the healing ministry that is very rewarding," Father said. He would like to work as long as he can with his health and still make some contributions.

Father Glasgow will celebrate his anniversary privately with family in Chicago.

 

50th: Fr. Lawrence Holpp

On the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination, Father Lawrence Holpp advises men considering a life in ministry to be aware that they could be given any work in the diocese because "God has surprises for us all."

Father was born on May 1, 1934, in Pittsburgh. In 1956, he received a bachelor's degree from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe. He was ordained and celebrated his first Mass on the same day on June 30, 1962, at St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park.

His first assignment was with the Society of Missionaries of Africa from 1962 to 1977. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Pittsburgh in May 1977.

He served as parochial vicar (pro-tem) at St. Benedict the Abbot in McMurray from October to December 1972; and St. Henry in Pittsburgh's Arlington Heights neighborhood from November 1973 until October 1981.

In October 1981, he was appointed pastor of St. Martha Mission and served for 13 years until May 1994; and pastor of St. Joseph in Coraopolis for 19 years until July 2000.

He then served as pastor of St. Ignatius of Antioch in Bobtown, from July 2000 to July 2009. From January 2005 to February 2008, he held the position of chaplain for the State Correctional Institution in Greene County.

Father Holpp currently is administrator of St. Ignatius, a position he has held since July 2009. 

He said all of his assignments were unasked for, but he was prepared. His most memorable ministry was his service as a missionary in Zambia, East Africa.

A Mass of Thanksgiving and social will be held on Saturday, June 30, at St. Ignatius on the date of his ordination to the priesthood.

 

50th: Fr. John Keane

Father John Keane is observing his golden jubilee of priestly ordination.

He was born in Pittsburgh and attended St. Raphael School in Pittsburgh's Morningside neighborhood. He also graduated from Central Catholic High School in the city's Oakland neighborhood.

In 1958, he received a bachelor's degree from St. Vincent College in Latrobe and in 1975, he earned a master of divinity degree from St. Vincent Seminary.

He was ordained on May 19, 1962, by Bishop John Wright at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood.

Father's first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Therese of Lisieux in Munhall from May 1962 to December 1968. He then served as parochial vicar at St. Winifred in Mount Lebanon from December 1968 to May 1973; and St. Maurice in Forest Hills from May 1973 to January 1975. He was administrator of St. Maurice from January 1975 to November 1977.

He was named pastor of St. Maurice in November 1977 and served until May 1993.

He held the position of assistant director of chaplaincies and campus ministry at the Diocese of Pittsburgh Pastoral Center from May 1993 to July 1994. He was appointed diocesan director of the office for chaplaincies from July 1994 until May 1998. During this time, he was an elected member of the Clergy Personnel Board from January 1996 to January 1997.

He also served as administrator at St. Pius V in McKeesport from June 1996 to August 2003.

In August 2003, he was appointed pastor of St. Pius V and served until June 2005, when he also retired from active ministry.

 

50th: Fr. Joseph Pudichery

Father Joseph Pudichery is celebrating a golden jubilee of priestly ordination. He would advise men considering a life in priestly ministry with the following words: "You are making a life-long commitment. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He will hold your hands and will be walking along with you. You will feel that every day with Jesus is a day better than the previous day. At the end of your life, you will have a sense of fulfillment that you have done something worthwhile with your life."

He was born on Jan. 30, 1937, in Ernakulam, India. His grandfather indirectly influenced him to become a priest as he prayed for priests every evening at the end of the family prayer of the holy rosary.

He was ordained on March 10, 1962, in Ernakulam, India. He celebrated his first Mass at the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Cheranallore, Kerala, India. He served as an administrator for eight years in four parishes in various locations in India from 1962 to 1970.

Father received a master's of arts degree from Kerala University in India in 1970 and received a master's of arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973. He earned a doctorate in philosophy from Pitt in 1975.

His first assignment was parochial vicar (pro-tem) at Mother of Good Counsel in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood from September 1975 to January 1976. He spent time in religious discernment from January to October 1976. He served as a chaplain in a hospital from October 1976 to May 1978.

Father was parochial vicar at St. Vitus in New Castle from May to October 1978. In September 1978, Father began teaching at Duquesne University until June 2005. He also served as chaplain at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville from October 1978 to July 1987. He then served as chaplain at Sewickley Valley Hospital from July 1987 to June 1988. He considers his hospital ministries to be the most memorable.

In June 1988, he was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Luke in Carnegie and served there until October 1992; and at St. Norbert in Pittsburgh's Overbrook neighborhood from October 1992 to November 2005.

He was named pastor of Queen of Heaven Parish in Ellwood City and served the faith community from November 2005 to October 2009.

Father Pudichery has been pastor at Mater Dolorosa and St. Joseph in Chicora since October 2009.

A Mass of Thanksgiving was offered by Father at Mater Dolorosa March 10 on his day of ordination.       

Another Mass of Thanksgiving is planned for noon June 24 at Mater Dolorosa. A reception will follow in Biller Hall.

 

50th: Fr. Matthew Tosello

Father Matthew Tosello is marking his golden jubilee as a priest and missionary.

He was born on Aug. 30, 1934, in Cuneo, Italy. His mother died when he was 3 months old, and his early years were marked with major family adjustment.

"Later followed six devastating years of world war that further splintered our family," he said. "With my siblings we each somehow managed to survive the daily aerial bombardment, the Italian civil war, the SS German endless raids and atrocities that killed some of my relatives, the famine, the dislocations. Even at that young age, in my subconscious, I concluded that the possibility of becoming a priest and missionary would possibly facilitate the establishment of needed purpose, direction and fulfillment in my life."

In fourth grade he felt a call to the priesthood, but his father was doubtful of his readiness and required him to first pass the Italian fifth grade's national comparative exams. He also wanted him to experience the opportunities and demands of a large farming and carpentry life before he would pay for what he judged to be the prohibitively costly seminary tuition. He believes God helped him pass the tests, and in eighth grade he left his hometown and joined an international seminary that trained missionaries for foreign missions. He promised God that if he became a priest and missionary he would build two churches, either in Africa or among the Eskimos.

"At 25, during an Alpine pilgrimage, I was struck by lightning during a hail storm. Two of my classmates died at my side. I walked for 11 hours in the night descending the mountain with the others who had been equally struck and in search of rescuers. That shock confirmed to me that God wanted me to complete my last two seminary years at the Vatican Propaganda Fide University," he said.   

He was ordained on April 7, 1962, at Torino, Italy. His first assignment was to attend advance studies in the United States for a papal program to create the first East African Catholic university in Nairobi, Kenya.

In 1965, he received a bachelor's degree, in 1966 a master's of arts degree and a doctorate degree in 1970 all from Duquesne in Renaissance English literature at the Vatican's request.

"As always, God had other plans for me," he said.

Father Tosello worked as a teacher and member of the English department faculties at universities primarily located in New England.

He was appointed director of Pittsburgh's Consolata House of Advanced Studies and was responsible for public relations for the foreign missions of Africa and Latin America.

A major influence in his life was Professor Foster Provost at Duquesne.

"I benefited greatly from his scholarly depth, integrity, drive for excellence, humility, enthusiasm, and continued sponsorship of my international cultural exposures," he said.

"My other 'maecenas' is Father Giovanni Saffirio, with whom I studied at the international seminary in Italy. A dedicated and bright Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, he drew me into his lifelong involvement with the Neolithic Yanomami Indians of Brazil. Together we have visited the Amazon rain forest several times and have documented the contribution of the Catholic Church among those isolated and internationally famous Yanomami."

When the Pittsburgh House of Studies closed, he served as parochial vicar at St. Therese of Lisieux in Munhall from May 1980 to May 1984; and St. Agatha in Bridgeville from June 1984 to January 1985.

He  was named pastor of St. Christopher in Prospect and performed ministerial activities for Moraine and McConnells Mill state parks from January 1985-August 2009. He was administrator at St. Christopher from August 2009 until his retirement from active ministry in February 2010.

"With great reluctance, at age 75 I had to write my diocesan-required letter of resignation and wondered, 'What now?'"

In reflection, Father said, "Since the day of my priestly ordination, I have been exposed to or directly involved in so many aspects of the life, history and culture of the Catholic church throughout Europe, North America, China, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, that I believe God will somehow consider my fourth-grade promise fulfilled."

Father Tosello resides at St. James in Sewickley and pursues his cultural areas of research while helping serve the ministries of St. James in "word and sacraments."

Father recently left for Jerusalem. While in the Holy Land he will offer Masses of Thanksgiving for reaching his unexpected 50 years of being a priest, missionary, teacher, and U.S. citizen. While there, he plans to include all his friends he has met over the years in his Mass intentions.

"In fact, if my health cooperates, I intend to periodically resume some of my past 'vacations' as chaplain for pilgrimages and cruises. So thanks for everything America, my second land of opportunity!" Father said.

 

50th: Fr. Miroslaus Wojcicki

Father Miroslaus A. Wojcicki celebrates a time of remembrance on his golden anniversary as a priest in the service of Jesus Christ.

He was influenced in his vocation by his brother and uncle who were both in the priesthood.

As he reflects on 50 years as a priest, Father recommends to those considering the ministry to “be faithful to God and love your people.”

Father Wojcicki was born on Jan. 17, 1938, in Poland. He was ordained at Lomza, Poland, on June 3, 1962. He celebrated his first Mass at St. Michael Church in Jablonka, Poland.

Following his ordination, he immediately served as administrator of Resurrection in Bakalarzewo, Poland, from 1962 to 1967, due to the pastor’s illness. During eight years in Poland from 1962 to 1970, he recalled how the Catholic Church was persecuted and clergy were harassed by communist agents.

He was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Josaphat on Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood from August 1972 to August 1975. He then served as parochial vicar at St. Adalbert on the city’s South Side from August 1975 to October 1978; and Holy Family in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood from October 1978 to October 1980.

He was named pastor of Guardian Angels in Pittsburgh’s West End from October 1980 to February 1994. He remembered the closing of the church as a very sad event. From February to May 1994, he held the position of administrator at Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rankin.

Father Wojcicki is in his 18th year serving as pastor of Holy Cross in East Pittsburgh. A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at St. William Church in East Pittsburgh at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 3. A reception will follow in East Pittsburgh Veterans Hall.

 

25th: Fr. Ladis Cizik

As Father Ladis Cizik marks his 25th jubilee of priestly ordination, he recalls the strong faith of his father, Ladislaus G. Cizik, his mother, Mary Mrvos Cizik and his uncle, John A. Cizik, who influenced his decision to become a priest.

Father Cizik believes there will be no peace in your heart unless you do God's holy will and he recommends that a man considering a life in priestly ministry should talk to his pastor, the diocesan vocation director or the vocation director of a religious community where he feels called.

"Pray, discern and entrust the entire process to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of priests," he said.

He was born on March 23, 1955, in Homestead and attended St. Anne School in Homestead and Divine Redeemer School in Ambridge. He graduated from Quaker Valley High School. In 1977, he received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Duquesne University. From 1977 to 1982, he worked as a Certified Public Accountant for Price Waterhouse. He earned a master of divinity and a master of arts in church history from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., in 1987.

He was ordained on May 23, 1987, by Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. He celebrated his first Mass at Divine Redeemer Church in Ambridge.

Father Cizik's first assignment was parochial vicar at St. Alphonsus in Springdale from June 1987 to August 1991. He then served as parochial vicar at St. Catherine of Sienna from August 1991 to January 1992; and Most Holy Name of Jesus from January 1992 to May 1993. During this time, he was chaplain for the Knights of Columbus from December 1987 to January 2000. He served as chaplain for Canonsburg General Hospital and for the rehab, nursing and elderly facilities and Western Center in the Canonsburg area from May 1993 to January 2000, while in residence at St. Benedict the Abbot in McMurray. 

In January 2000 until June 2003, he was the national executive director of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima-USA. Father said each of his assignments has been memorable in its own way; however, serving as executive director, vice president and editor for the apostolate's official worldwide publication, SOUL magazine, was most unique.

"While living at the National Blue Army Shrine in Washington, N.J., I directed major repairs and renovations to the shrine and its complex and established several new spiritual attractions, including a pilgrimage house, a candle house, a Catholic cemetery and a pro-life monument of the Blessed Virgin Mary entitled, 'Mary, Mother of the Life Within,'" he said.

Since coming back to Pittsburgh, he has served as chaplain to the residents and staff for rehab, nursing and elderly facilities in the East Suburban Deanery. He also serves as chaplain (since 1988) to the Divine Child Jesus Saint Padre Pio Prayer Group in Beaver Falls and to the Beaver Valley Blue Army in Baden (since 2003).

During the month of May, Father Cizik will celebrate his anniversary in more than 13 different places and times, including each rehab, nursing and elderly facility and his Padre Pio and Blue Army groups, with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and by praying the rosary.

The Blue Army Mass will be on First Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church in Baden. The Padre Pio Mass will be on Sunday, May 13th, at 2 p.m. at Divine Mercy Parish in Beaver Falls. All are welcome at these two Masses.

Father Cizik currently resides at Our Lady of Joy Parish in Plum.

 

25th: Fr. Edward Czemerda

On the blessed occasion of his silver anniversary of priestly ordination, Father Ed Czemerda reflects on his most memorable years in the priesthood serving in the diocesan office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, confirmation retreats, National Catholic Youth Conferences that empower youth and adults in parish ministry, and his campus ministry at Washington and Jefferson College.

He was born on July 25, 1955, in New Kensington. He attended John F. Kennedy Elementary School and Deer Lakes High School in Russellton, Pa. He was influenced to become a priest by his home parish pastor, Father George Jackovic.

He received a bachelor's degree in music from Illinois State University in 1978; a master's of arts degree in 1986 from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe; and a master's of divinity degree from St. Vincent Seminary in 1987.

Father Czemerda was ordained on May 23, 1987, by Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. He celebrated his first Mass at Holy Family Church in Creighton.

His advice to someone considering a vocation to the priesthood is to "Trust the voice of God's spirit in your heart and allow Christ to help you carry life's crosses."

In June 1987, he served as parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist in Unity until June 1992. He was education chaplain at Quigley Catholic High School in Baden; and parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist in Monaca from June 1992 to February 1993. He then served as parochial vicar at St. Ferdinand in Cranberry Township from February 1993 to October 1996.

During this time, he was CCD deanery director for the Butler deanery from September 1995 to October 1996. He served as coordinator of spiritual formation of youth at the Gilmary Diocesan Center from October 1996 to March 2002.

In March 2002, he was named pastor of St. Albert the Great in Baldwin and served until February 2004. He was also sports chaplain for youth and young adult ministry in Pittsburgh from May 2003 to February 2004. In February of 2004 until February of 2005, he was on a leave of absence for reasons of health.

He served as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception in Washington, Pa., from February 2005 to January 2007. During these years, he was sports chaplain for youth and young adult ministry in Pittsburgh from February to July 2005.

In January 2007, he was parochial vicar at St. Anne in Castle Shannon until June 2009.

He has been serving in replacement ministry for three years at St. John Vianney Manor in Crafton since November 2009.

Father said he is surprised by the changing demands with fewer priests and many parishes and churches.

He will offer a Mass of Thanksgiving at 2 p.m. on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, at Holy Family Church in Creighton with light refreshments to follow in the church social hall. All are welcome to attend.

 

25th: Fr. Michael Maranowski

Father Michael Maranowski is celebrating his silver anniversary of priestly ordination. While a student at Penn State, he remembers the influences of Father James May and Father Andrew Campbell, Benedictines from St. Vincent in Latrobe who were campus chaplains.

"The priesthood is a wonderful vocation. There are many wonderful experiences and people that God allows to enter your life. If you trust God and keep him central in your prayers and heart, he will provide you with many blessings," he said.

He was born on May 29, 1960, in Pittsburgh. He attended St. Joseph School in O'Hara Township and graduated from Fox Chapel High School. In 1982, he received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Penn State University. In 1986, he earned a master of divinity degree from Mount Saint Mary in Emmitsburg, Md.

Father Maranowski was ordained on May 23, 1987, by Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. He celebrated his first Mass the next day at his home parish of St. Joseph.

Reflecting on 25 years in the priesthood, Father Maranowski says there have been many surprises and challenges. "The way one gets through these surprises and challenges is to allow God's graces to flow and to learn what God has presented you," he said.

His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Sylvester in Brentwood where he served from June 1987 to September 1991. He then served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township from September 1991 to January 1998; and St. Vincent de Paul in New Castle from January 1998 to June 2001.

He was named pastor of St. Wendelin in Butler where he served from June 2001 to December 2004. For the last seven years, he has been the pastor of St. Malachy in Kennedy Township.

Father noted that his entire priesthood has been in parish ministry.

"I have served in five parishes and each has been memorable. My first assignment as parochial vicar at St. Sylvester in Brentwood involved learning how to be a priest under two different pastors. I was also assigned to a merged parish with four worship sites. My first pastorate was at a small country parish," he recalled.

A Mass of Thanksgiving will be offered by Father Maranowski at St. Malachy Church at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 20. A light reception will immediately follow in Weirauch Hall.

 

25th: Fr. Joseph McCaffrey

As he celebrates 25 years in the priesthood, Father Joseph McCaffrey remembers his mother, Alice, as the one person who influenced him the most in his vocation.

"She made God very real for me. She taught me to pray and to believe in a God of love and mercy. My mother inspired me by her great love and inner peace and joy. She was a remarkable woman whose contagious laughter could fill a room and dispel any sorrow. She truly personified for me the gentle love and great joy of Christ. Attending daily Mass with her as a child influenced me to listen closely to God's call in my own life. Though she never suggested that I become a priest, nor forced it in any way, when I announced that I felt God calling me to the priesthood, she was very supportive and encouraging," he said.

Father McCaffrey was born on Aug. 7, 1960, in Canonsburg. He attended Muse Elementary School, Cecil Junior High School and graduated from the former Immaculate Conception High School in Washington, Pa.

In 1983, he received a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University. He earned a master's of arts degree from Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, in 1987. And he was certified as an FBI chaplain through the FBI Academy in 1992. 

He was ordained on May 23, 1987, by Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. He celebrated his first Mass at Holy Rosary Church in Muse.

His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin in Whitehall from June 1987 to February 1989. He held the positions of secretary and master of ceremonies to the diocesan bishop from February 1989 to June 1990. He served as parochial vicar at St. Benedict the Abbot in Peters Township; assistant chaplain at Western Center in Canonsburg; and assistant chaplain for Mayview State Hospital in Bridgeville from June 1990 to September 1995. During this time, Father McCaffrey was also CCD deanery director for the Washington West Deanery from May 1992 to October 1994.

He was an elected member of the Clergy Personnel Board from March 1991 to April 1994 and chaplain for the FBI from May 1992 to the present.

In September 1995, he was named pastor of St. James the Apostle in New Bedford, Pa., and served the faith community until June 2002. At the same time, he served as chaplain for the Youth Development Center in New Castle, Lawrence County. While he was pastor at St. James, Father was an elected member of the Priest Council in Lawrence County; and twice appointed to the board of consulters.

He has been pastor of SS. John and Paul in Franklin Park/Marshall Township since June 2002.

Reflecting on his life as a priest, he gives credit to God for blessing him in remarkable and surprising ways.

  He said the Lord allowed him to become a private pilot with an instrument rating, a deputy game warden and chaplain to the FBI. He has built two churches and two chapels, and is privileged to bless many children every week at Mass. All of the interests and activities that he had formerly wished to participate in, God allowed to happen in his vocation. An ingenious plan was struck with his parish's Protestant neighbors to build their church in exchange for property adjacent to the existing church site that allowed his parishioners to build a new church.

"It is truly remarkable! I could have never imagined the journey. That is perhaps the most surprising thing of all -- I got to do all of these amazing things as a priest," he said.

Some of his most memorable experiences, besides building a new church as pastor at SS. John and Paul and a parish office and interfaith chapel at the Youth Development Center while serving as pastor of St. James the Apostle, is working with then-Bishop Donald Wuerl and then-Father David Zubik in the bishop's office and being involved in the FBI on many historical events, including the crash of USAir Flight  427  and United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.

Father's advice to someone considering a life in ministry is to tell them the priesthood is a great adventure. "Do not be afraid to give yourself to God. When we place ourselves completely in his hands, every day is a surprise; every day is a new adventure. There will certainly be tremendous challenges that come our way, but through these trials, God stretches us and our hearts to grow in ways that we would never know without the experience of the cross. Another great joy is meeting the beautiful people we encounter along the way. The parishioners and people I have encountered over the years as a priest have opened doors for me, and allowed me to have experiences that I would never have had if I had not been privileged to be a priest," he said.

A Mass of Thanksgiving will be offered by Father McCaffrey at SS. John and Paul Church at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 24. The date also commemorates his 10-year anniversary as pastor. A reception will immediately follow on parish grounds in the Cardinal DiNardo Center. All are invited, especially friends, family and anyone from his previous assignments.