Guest Contributors

Read insights into the Catholic faith from clergy and lay readers from across the diocese.

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…

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.