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Lessons on evangelization from the largest parish in the United States


April 5, 2017
Leah Libresco

One of the largest Catholic parishes in the U.S. attracts new parishioners because of its active ministries. They have more resources to help the poor while focusing on “Three S’s”: spiritual, social, and service.

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Bishop Zubik says more reorganization on horizon for Pittsburgh’s Catholic schools

February 19, 2017 2:25 PM
By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bishop David Zubik said Sunday that the sweeping reorganization of Roman Catholic schools in the North Hills will likely soon be duplicated in the rest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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Catholic diocese announces plans for North Hills elementary schools

February 18, 2017 5:36 PM
By Elizabeth Behrman / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Parishioners and parents at North Hills Catholic schools said they were sad Saturday, but not surprised. 

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Bishop Working To Reverse Declining Catholic School Enrollment

February 9, 2017 5:49 PM
By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s been a steady decline in local Catholic Mass attendance over the years, but nowhere is the drop off more evident than in the Catholic elementary schools.

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Catholic schools in North Hills first in line under Pittsburgh diocese’s restructuring plan

By Natasha Lindstrom
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

Eleven Catholic schools in the North Hills will be the first in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to undergo restructuring as part of a broader overhaul to meet shifting needs and constraints across a six-county territory.

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Catholics asked to provide input for plans in Pittsburgh diocese

By Tom Davidson, Beaver County Times
Oct 28, 2016

As Nobel laureate Bob Dylan famously wrote, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

In the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, those changing times have become a call for action. Last year, Bishop David A. Zubik launched On Mission for the Church Alive!, an initiative that calls the faithful to respond to the changing face of the diocese, which serves more than 630,000 people in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence and Washington counties.

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Parishes prepare for interim and long-term restructuring

By Mike Tony, Herald-Standard
Oct. 18, 2016

The parishes of southeastern Washington County are coming to a crossroads, but now their members know what their options are.

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Diocese lays out short and long-term parish plans

By Natalie Reid Miller
October 16, 2016

BENTLEYVILLE – Several possibilities were presented to those who attended Sunday’s parish consultation session at Ave Maria Church, including an interim plan officials said is necessary to alleviate pastoral, administrative and financial concerns.

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Joining forces

Oct 18, 2016

Change apparently is inevitable for local Catholics.

But thanks to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, discord need not be.

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Catholic churches in county look at re-configuration

By Mary Grzebieniak
Oct 14, 2016

More Catholic churches in Lawrence County would close some time after 2018 in a re-configuration model discussed Wednesday at Mary Mother of Hope Parish.

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Catholic parish merger options are discussed

Falling numbers to spur changes

By Amanda Spadaro
Eagle Staff Writer
Oct. 14, 2016

More than 70 Catholics gathered at the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church Thursday night to discuss plans for a parish merger under the guidance of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh begins unveiling models for reorganization

BY NATASHA LINDSTROM
Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, 10:39 p.m.

Helen Schaefers took a seat in the pew, picked up a palm-sized electronic clicker and grimaced slightly.

“I don’t do anything technical; I drive my grandkids’ crazy,” Schaefers, 78, of Marshall said with a soft chuckle, as she fiddled with the automated response device given to her and some 400 fellow parishioners gathered inside St. Alexis Church in McCandless.

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Pittsburgh diocese unveils ideas for parish mergers

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 11, 2016 12:00 AM

After spending months preparing its faithful for it, the Diocese of Pittsburgh gave its first sense Monday of just how big a reduction it plans in Roman Catholic parishes and the churches they use:

Very big — particularly with smaller parishes in older communities with relatively light Mass attendance.

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Pittsburgh Diocese Addresses Shrinking Numbers, Consolidation

October 10, 2016 6:47 PM

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For the past two decades, St. Albert the Great Catholic Church in Baldwin and those in surrounding communities have been losing parishioners and not attracting new ones.

In a consolidation that has become commonplace throughout the Diocese, St. Albert’s merged with three other parishes to form Holy Apostles Parish, with just Fr. Stephen Kresak and one vicar to attend to them all.

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Church steeples and mill chimneys

By Bishop David A. Zubik
October 2, 2016 12:00 AM

Our diocese must embrace change to revitalize the Catholic mission in Pittsburgh

When I was growing up as a kid in Ambridge, two kinds of towers embraced our town: church steeples and mill chimneys.

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Downsizing the diocese means parish changes

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 25, 2016 12:00 AM

The social hall beneath the sanctuary of St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Homestead filled with the aroma from the weekly Friday fish fry. Parishioners served fresh meals and desserts and chatted with the regular patrons, Catholic and non-Catholic, coming from the Steel Valley and beyond.

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Church’s mission, then & now

BY BISHOP DAVID ZUBIK
Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, 8:57 p.m.

When I’m tempted to feel overwhelmed by the challenges before me, I think of my first predecessor, Bishop Michael J. O’Connor, who was installed to lead the newly created Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1843. In those days, the diocese had just 16 priests to serve 40 parishes across 19 counties in the commonwealth. In each of those parishes and in every one of those counties, Bishop O’Connor championed outreach to everyone: every nationality, every race with the help of his priests.

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We need to make our worship better,’ Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik says

BY NATASHA LINDSTROM
Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh must focus on “better homilies, better music and more people” as its six-county territory attempts to reverse a series of “sobering” trends and prepares for a major overhaul in 2018, Bishop David Zubik said Wednesday.

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Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik, Catholic faithful look to future of diocese

By Tom Davidson, The Beaver County Times
Friday, May 20, 2016

PITTSBURGH — The shepherd of the region’s Catholic population is calling for his flock to be visionaries and missionaries.

In doing so, Bishop David A. Zubik is asking the more than 600,000 members of the Pittsburgh Diocese to answer tough questions about their faith and the future of their churches.

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‘Church Alive’ spurs diocese
Bishop Zubik lays out initiative

Sunday, May 22, 2016
By Amerigo Allegretto
Eagle Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH – Structural changes and a more “evangelical” approach may be on the horizon for Catholic churches in Butler County and in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The diocese unveiled its plan Friday morning for all member churches at the 50th annual observation of World Communications Day.

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Pittsburgh Catholic diocese launches new initiative as it faces decline in parishioners, priests

By Frances Zajac, Uniontown Herald-Standard
Sunday, May 22, 2016

Facing a decline in parishioners and priests, Bishop David Zubik announced the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is undergoing a diocesan-wide planning initiative that may call for the closing of some churches and schools but includes plans for evangelization as he invites all Catholics to look upon their communities as a mission field.

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Bishop: ‘Embrace evangelism’ Zubik outlines plan for Pittsburgh diocese

By Nancy Lowry, New Castle News
Sat. May 21, 2016

Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik calls on area Catholics to become more evangelical and excited about their faith and sharing Jesus with others as the next step is taken in the Mission for The Church Alive. This multi-year plan will determine how to restructure the 199 diocesan parishes to make the best use of resources

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Catholic bishop outlines plans for change

By Natalie Reid Miller, Observer-Reporter | Washington County
May 20, 2016

PITTSBURGH – Parishes in Washington and Greene counties are among the first to experience changes before implementation of “On Mission for the Church Alive!” the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh’s initiative to address drastically declining congregant participation.

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Post-Gazette.com

Diocese of Pittsburgh prepares to restructure

Facing sharp declines in everything from the numbers of priests to laypeople’s participation in church life, the Diocese of Pittsburgh is preparing a major restructuring in the region’s largest religious organization.


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Urban parishes in Diocese of Pittsburgh struggle to make ends meet

By Natasha Lindstrom
Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, 11:00 p.m.

Almost half of 200 parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh are losing money, even as some churches in suburban and gentrified urban areas grow so rapidly that they struggle to accommodate members amid a shortage of priests.

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For U.S. Catholics, growing numbers, fading rites

September 6, 2015 12:00 AM By Peter Smith
There may be more American Catholics than ever, but they’re doing fewer Catholic things. Such is the paradox that Pope Francis will be facing when he touches down in the United States later this month.
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Deacon Administrator Helps Priests to Focus on Sacramental Ministry

CLARKSVILLE — The 9 a.m. weekday mass at St. Thomas Roman Catholic Church in Clarksville is sparsely attended. There are only three parishioners in the pews, but each is a daily communicant who depends upon Fr. Francis Frazer and Deacon Tom Raymond to continue the tradition. More
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Catholic Priests Spread Thin as Numbers Dwindle

By Natasha Lindstrom
Sunday, June 7, 2015, 11:12 p.m. The newly ordained Rev. Michael Ackerman had a challenging first assignment last summer: Serving more than 3,500 families on a three-priest team across four Catholic churches near the Ohio border in New Castle. On a typical weekend, Ackerman would celebrate a Mass or two at one church, preside over baptisms and a wedding at another and then drive to a third location for an evening youth group. Read More

Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

Click above to watch On Mission for The ChurchAlive! video.