As all of you know, in addition to my responsibilities as the Administrator of our Northern Butler County Catholic Community, I also serve as the Director of the Slippery Rock University Newman Center. My ministry to the college Community of Slippery Rock is a very rewarding aspect of my ministry. For many years I have been involved in young adult ministry and this includes work with many college students. Throughout my nearly eight years as a Catholic priest, serving young people has always been a passion of mine, and I know each of you share my interest in making sure our wonderful Faith Tradition is passed on to the younger generation.

I had an opportunity this past week to take part in what is known as the “Seek Conference.” This conference is held every two years at a different location in the United States. This past conference was held over four days in Indianapolis. I was able to travel with students from Slippery Rock University, as well as other universities in the Pittsburgh area, to Indianapolis for this incredible conference. Nearly 20,000 young people from around the country participated in this event which included Mass, Confessions, Prayer opportunities, and dynamic speakers. It was truly inspiring to see so many young folks from around the country come together and share our faith in Jesus Christ!

I certainly spent much of my personal prayer time in Indianapolis bringing to our Lord the intentions of not only our college students, but also the intentions of each our Parish communities. I was so struck that many of the talks we listened to centered around the importance of community and fellowship. While the presenters were speaking to college students, their message was one, I felt, that speaks directly to the experiences our own parish communities are going through, namely, the importance of community and fellowship. Many of the speakers described just how important it is for all of us to come together to strengthen one another, inspire one another, and to work together as we all face the future. It is my hope that as we begin this New Year together all of us can work throughout each of our Parishes to find new and creative ways to foster community and fellowship. There is no doubt that just like the college students I spent these past days with, each of our Parish groupings face challenges toward building our community across our three Parishes. We face challenges of distance, alterations in schedules, and other unique difficulties that can seem hard to overcome. Yet, our Lord will help us continue to grow closer together.

This weekend we are hosting our Northern Catholic Community Pot-Luck Dinner at St. Christopher Parish. I want to thank everyone that made this Dinner possible for us! I am aware of the work that has gone into making this pot-luck dinner possible, and I am grateful for everyone’s time, energy, and commitment. This gathering is an opportunity for us to spend time getting to know each other better and grow in faith and friendship. It is my hope that this dinner is just the beginning of so many ways our Parishes can come together to help strengthen our shared faith in the Gospel! As each of us seek to make our faith communities stronger let us all continue to rely on the guidance of our Lord and the example of community and fellowship!................................

MAGNIFICAT PITTSBURGH PRAYER BREAKFAST - Ladies, come to the Magnificat Pittsburgh prayer breakfast on Feb. 9, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at the Double Tree by Hilton, Cranberry Twp. Hear the story of conversion of Sr. Mary Gianna Thornby, DLJC. Sr. Thornby grew up with little faith, but experienced conversion after surviving the shootings at Columbine High School. Hear her Columbine experience and her journey to a loving God, conversion to Catholicism, and to final vows in 2018 as a religious sister. She serves at The Ark & The Dove in Gibsonia. Cost of the breakfast is $23. To register, call Kay, 724-772-6749 or Pam, 412-461-8906 or go to Registration deadline is Feb. 1.

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