Serra Club celebrates 70th annual dinner

The Serra Club of Pittsburgh honored Father Michael Stumpf with the Good Shepherd Award at its 70th Annual Reception and Dinner Honoring the Newly Ordained Priests of the Diocese of Pittsburgh Aug. 20 at the LeMont Restaurant on Mount Washington.

Joining him were the newly-ordained priests — Fathers Brendan Dawson, Timothy Deely, David Egan and Mingwei Li.

In accepting the award, Father Stumpf thanked the Serrans for their support of priestly vocations and said that it was “humbling” to receive an award from the organization. As a shepherd, no priest stands alone in their ministry, he noted. They are supported by so many.

It was an “interesting” time to receive the award, he said. It came on the heels of the first anniversary of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on clergy abuse that has resulted in much “soul searching” within the church. “This has certainly been a unique and challenging time for priests,” he said.

Father Stumpf recognized the joys and the hopes, and the challenges that the priesthood brings. He said that as the church continues to experience conversion, priests must be integrated human beings who discern their gifts and strengths. They must also help the faithful identify their own gifts so that they can discern their role in the church.

“Everyone within the community is full of the gifts from God,” he said. 

Father Stumpf pointed out that he was grateful for all those who have supported him and made it possible for him to receive the award. A large contingent was present from the Mount Washington/South Side grouping, where he serves as administrator.

Father Tom Sparacino, rector of St. Paul Seminary in Crafton read a letter from Bishop David Zubik, who is recovering from recent back surgery. The bishop recognized Father Stumpf and the new priests, and the Serrans for their service.

Aux. Bishop William Waltersheid presented the newly ordained priests and seminarians of the diocese.

“What an awesome life that is,” he said of the ministry of the new priests. “What a blessing you are to the diocese.”

Dolores Warwick, co-vice president of membership for the Serra Club of Pittsburgh, presented Bishop Waltersheid with a check for the Serra Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Other officers for the Serra Club are William Caye II, president; William and Audia Otto, co-vice presidents for programs; Joan Head, vice president for communications; Dr. Alice Hirsch, vice president for vocations/parish relations; John Warwick, co-vice president of membership; Bonnie Makarewicz, secretary; and Paul Wilt, treasurer.

The Serra Club of Pittsburgh strives to foster and promote vocations to the priesthood, and to support priests in their ministry. It also works to encourage and affirm vocations to consecrated religious life, and to assist its members to recognize and respond in their own lives to God’s call to holiness in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

New members are welcome. For information, call 412-456-3000.