Bridging the Gap: A Grand Slam Home Run

It was a grand slam home run!  This past Sunday, tens of thousands of people lined up outside of Heinz Field, not for a Steelers game but for an opportunity to come together with Jesus.

Driving in the Left Hand Lane

Thanks for joining me in the leadership of this Church by “driving in the left hand lane” toward God’s Kingdom, driving with a determination to help each other ultimately move forward to become citizens of God’s Kingdom in heaven.

Wow! What a Reality!

Whether at age seven or seventy-seven, First Communion is something we never forget.  Most of us can describe what we were wearing, who was there, the name of the priest who celebrated the Mass.  And we remember so clearly that moment when we received the Body and Blood of Jesus.

The “Plus” Sign

But the sign of the cross, God’s “plus sign” is meant to say something about our lives as Christians as well. It is meant to be a sign from us to the world in which we live.

Set your heart on God

So don’t set your heart on the things of this world. Instead set your heart on knowing, loving, and doing God’s will. In this, you will discover the life God made you for, a life that is abundant and eternal in its blessings. You will experience the eternal love of God, a love that you…

Whose life is it, anyway

Bishop Zubik recalls the inspirational example of the late Fr. Patrick Rager, stricken with ALS but still ministering to people, to demonstrate why all lives are precious.

Graces in every season

As we enter a new liturgical season, Father Rich Jones urges us to make the most of the time we are given, and put into practice what we learn from the pulpit.

Path of Conversion

The path of the Magi is a road to conversion as we enter a new year.

O Come Let Us Adore Him

Christmas blessings to God’s people in the Church of Pittsburgh.


How many times do we fail to act on our good intentions? As Christmas approaches, Bishop Zubik encourages us to do those good deeds that we have shelved for another time.

Three days that should affect us deeply

A world without suffering sounds ideal, doesn’t it? But Father Matthew Hawkins points to the Feast of the Holy Innocents following Christmas to show how suffering breaks our hearts open and allows us to authentically love.

Guadalupe Mass set for Dec. 13

The diocese will celebrate the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe with Mass at St. Paul Cathedral on Mon. Dec. 13 at 7 pm.

Look to Mary this Advent

As we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Dec. 8, may our hearts be opened a bit wider for the coming of her divine Son this Christmas.

‘The priest has no face’

Some Catholics like to know which priests are going to say Mass. Father Frank Almade doesn’t think it’s a good idea to post the names of celebrants in advance, and explains why.

From where I sit…

Sister Mindy Welding helps prepare the faithful for the Synod, which calls us to dialogue and discernment.

Deacon Steve Byers: A seat at the synod table

Deacon Steve Byers reflects on what it must have been like to be seated at a table with Jesus, participating in a discussion with him. We are invited to participate in a similar exchange of ideas through the upcoming synod.

Fr. Mike Sedor: What’s the point?

We’re hearing a great deal about the Synod. But why does Pope Francis want Catholics to get involved? Fr. Mike Sedor explains the point of it all.

Veterans Day 2021: Answering the Call

Let us salute our veterans, thanking and honoring them for all they have risked in service to their country, and also pray for them.

A Synod? It’s about time

By Ellen Mady, Co-Chair of the Diocese Synod Organizing Team In learning how to count as a child I picked up on certain significant numbers. Some never change—God willing I’ll always have 10 fingers and toes, two eyes and one nose. Other numbers do change. There are no longer nine planets. None got sucked into…

Destined for heaven!

La voz del mensajero Una columna de Jorge Vela, director del Apostolado Hispano En espanol followed by english ¡Destinados para el cielo! Hace unos meses tuvimos la oportunidad de ver los Juegos Olímpicos en Japón. Durante esos días pudimos ser testigos de grandes sueños hechos realidad por muchos de estos grandes atletas. Algo que es…

Bridging the Gap: 5:03 am

As we approach All Souls Day on Nov. 2, Bishop Zubik reminds us of the opportunity to pray for our loved ones.

Three ways of renewal

The Church has begun three related initiatives for renewal: Eucharistic presence, evangelization and the Synod. It is an opportunity for all Catholics.

Fr. Rich Jones: Our Lady is our help

As the Church dedicates October to the Rosary, Father Rich Jones tells us how this prayer can be a powerful ally on our behalf.

Swim in the depths of your faith

In his monthly column, Jorge Vela offers insights on how the process of learning to swim mirrors our spiritual lives.

Inheriting traits from Jesus

Bishop Zubik writes that we need to know about Jesus and to know Him. But it is especially important for us to become more like Jesus.

Fr. Rich Jones: Living your faith

How are we living out our faith? Are we modeling Jesus in our actions, attitudes and motivations? Fr. Rich Jones offers some questions and insights about putting our faith into daily practice.

Bridging the Gap: A Tale of Two Booties

God’s ultimate dream for us is to get to heaven. Bishop Zubik shares how his baptismal robe and baby booties remind him of this final destination of his and our lives.

Fr. Hawkins: Hope & help for Haiti

The destruction of churches in Haiti by a series of natural disasters is cause for alarm, and a wake up call for all Christians.

Fr. Rich Jones: Mary lifts the lowly

As we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we pray that our lives magnify the great love and mercy of God.

Jorge Vela: Never forget God

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic that has gripped the globe, Jorge Vela reminds us of the opportunity to continue to help those in need and never forget God.

Reaching out to the stranger

As St. Benedict the Moor marks its one year anniversary as a personal parish for Pittsburgh’s African American community, Father Hawkins reflects on the importance of achieving racial and cultural diversity.

Church law changes

Fr. Michael Sedor, diocesan director for canonical services, explains the changes to church law announced recently by Pope Francis.

‘Don’t let it go to your head’

Bishop Zubik recounts the lessons of his parents and Pope Paul VI to let Jesus into our hearts in order to become more like Him.

Embracing our brokenness

Father Matthew Hawkins reflects on the nation’s civil unrest one year after the death of George Floyd, and how we can find meaning in the Eucharist.

Jorge Vela on Mary’s love for us

Jorge Vela, diocesan director of Hispanic Apostolate, reflects on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s great love for all her children.

Bridging the Gap: Waiting For…

There are times in our lives when Jesus calls us to wait. As we approach Pentecost, Bishop Zubik reflects on how prayer can transform our anxious waiting into anticipation.

The Holy Spirit- Devouring Fire!

Father Rich Jones writes that the Pentecost should shake us up as the Holy Spirit sparks us to become saints.

Key deadline to support schools

Businesses that support Catholic schools through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program and have been approved must renew by May 17.

Faith Forum: Why join a parish?

Father Charles Bober explores a new survey showing fewer than half of Americans belong to a specific house of worship, and the implications for the Catholic Church.

Growing in love of Jesus

Jorge Vela, director of Hispanic Apostolate, asks how is your personal experience of the love of Jesus going in this Easter season?

Bridging the Gap: Please Mr. Postman

Bishop David Zubik writes that Christ is not only the Light of our lives on Easter Day, or on the eight days that follow Easter, or the fifty days that lead to Pentecost or every Sunday. He is the Light on into the future.

Fr. Jones: Mixed tears, Easter joys

The centerpiece of the Christian faith is our belief that Jesus rose from the dead, demonstrating that life continues beyond this world. This world is a place of gestation toward something higher, more permanent, and more splendid.

Healing and renewal

Father Matthew Hawkins reflects on how God is providing new hope after more than a year of difficulty related to the pandemic.

Bridging the Gap: No Be Worried!

Bishop David Zubik writes that when God asks us to not be afraid, He understands that moments of fear are real because Jesus Himself experienced it.

Envisioning parish life

Father Frank Almade, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, envisions what life in our parishes could be like, post-pandemic.

Imitating Saint Joseph

Sr. Jeanne Rodgers with the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Baden reflects on the Year of Saint Joseph on the occasion of the feast day of her congregation’s patron saint.

Become a Eucharistic Missionary

Jorge Vela, diocesan director of the Hispanic Apostolate, invites Catholics to enter more deeply into Holy Week by becoming a Eucharistic Missionary.

Take 5 with Father Levi

Five questions for Father Levi Hartle, who loves praising the Lord and bringing others to God through praise.

Bridging the Gap: 3-2-1

Bishop David Zubik invites the faithful to reflect upon two “snapshots” this Lent–Jesus going into the desert, and where we are at this present moment in life.

A vaccine for our soul

Father Rich Jones, a chaplain at UMPC Mercy, reflects on how faith is helping patients and families get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn from St. Joseph

Pope Francis has declared this as the Year of Saint Joseph. We can be inspired by Joseph’s example of obedient service.

Spiritual inspiration for Latinos

In his monthly column written for the Latino community in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Jorge Vela offers a reflection on ways to grow spiritually.

Technology and ethics

Faith traditions have not been an obvious source of inspiration for tech firms, which tend to be run by hard-driving entrepreneurs whose empires were forged by mastering complex computer processes rather than philosophy.

Vigilia, a Christmas Eve dinner to remember

December 24! For me, as a youngster up to and including today, it is my most special day of the year. More important than my birthday, or my ordination anniversaries or my vacations.

Sharing God’s grace in 2021

Beginnings, such as the New Year, are important because they set the tone for everything that will follow. In sacred scripture we often find the human race is suspended between a blessing or a curse. Our destiny remains a question because the outcome is uncertain.

Passing the Faith

Each week in his post-game news conference, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin assesses the performance of his team by saying, “There is nothing perfect about our play but our record.” He means that though the scores show we have not yet lost a game, the opposition is waiting to dethrone us. The same holds…

An Exile’s Advent

Each Advent, we usually reflect on variations on common themes: prayerful reparation for the coming of Christ, or excited anticipation of the arrival of our savior, or patience practiced by pregnant women. But in this uncommon year of 2020, my thoughts gravitate to a theme rarely explored by Christian preachers—exile.

“Bridging the Gap”: An Extraordinary Year

In an ordinary year, many of us would be busy making plans for celebrations with family and friends for Thanksgiving. We would be preparing to travel or getting the spare bedroom ready for an important visitor. But 2020 has been an extraordinary year.

Ministry to African Americans

Few Black Americans are Catholic, and few American Catholics are Black. No one should be satisfied with this. Members of all parishes, not only those with a large percentage of African Americans, should reflect on how this came to be and why it persists. It can’t be dismissed as “just the way things are.”

Secret of the Saints

One of my favorite patients is a man I’ll call Enzo, a 91-year-old with a full head of hair who emigrated from Italy to West Virginia when he was 25. A widower for more than a quarter century, he still delights in life.

Bridging the Gap: Christmas Eve 2019

Our Holy Father’s newest encyclical letter, Fratelli Tutti, is a call for all human beings to live together as sisters and brothers, sharing with and caring for each other. Its many pages offer us much to reflect on, and each reader will likely find one message or another particularly meaningful or urgent.

Take 5 with Father Dan Waruszewski

One day while Father Jim Bachner was saying Mass, I had a profound sense that some day I needed to be on the other side of the altar, saying Mass.

Faithful Chronicles: Marketing Power

I was working in a diocesan office when “Greek Wedding” came out, and remember one of my staff raved about it. So I went to see it. It was laugh-out-loud funny, so I told all my friends about it. Word of mouth.

Bridging the Gap, with Bishop Zubik

Over the past six months you and I have learned a lot about worshiping “remotely.” We learned how to Zoom for prayer meetings. We learned to FaceTime and YouTube our Masses. We longed for the day when we could return to Mass—as many of you are already able to do. We are making the most…

Take 5 with Father Joe Mele

The desire to be a priest, to love God and neighbor, to be bound more closely to Christ and to spend myself entirely for souls is the cause of my joy.

Catholic Social Teachings and African American Communities

Resilience is the defining characteristic of the African American experience, yet it is rarely acknowledged by politicians nor is it highlighted in mass media. Resilience is the thread that runs through our lives and it has sustained us for more than 400 years.

Take 5 with Father Adam Verona

 1.  How did God call you to the priesthood? People ask me this question often and my answer is always the same: I have wanted to be a priest for my whole life, ever since I can remember. From the time I was a little boy, I have been fascinated with the figure of Christ and…

A Catholic understanding of “Black Lives Matter,” with Fr. Matthew Hawkins

It is a curious thing that the cry “Black Lives Matter” is met with so much opposition and misunderstanding outside of African American communities. This cry means many different things to different people, but it is grounded in reality and in a specific and concrete history and in contemporary social experiences.