“An expression of hope for our Church”

62nd Annual St. Nicholas charity dinner focuses on seminarians, church’s future

Archbishop William Skurla called the 15 seminarians who study at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. “an expression of hope for our Church.” “This is one of the highlights of the year for me to come to celebrate,” he told those attending the 62nd annual St. Nicholas Charity Dinner at St. John the Baptist Cathedral Center in Munhall, Pa. on Dec. 9.

The evening featured a largescreen video presentation featuring how the Seminary forms leaders for the Church. The annual dinner is co-sponsored by the Greek Catholic Union and the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. Proceeds benefit the Seminary. “It is always encourgaing to see how many people come out to support the Seminary and the seminarians. Personally, I think society would have lot less problems if it made more room for God and allowed more room in their lives for God the way our young semianrians have,” said Chris Singel, master of ceremonies.

Chris pointed out financial support to the Seminary has been generous. Students can now earn a Master’s degree online and the Seminary is on the verge of receiving a 10-year accredidation “These good things do not happen by accident. A major factor driving this positive progress is (Father Robert Pipta, rector) working hard in all
these areas.”

“I am filled with thanksgiving to God for the wonderful and surprising ways He takes care of the Seminary,” Father Robert said. George Juba, president and chief executive officer, Greek Catholic Union, presented Archbishop William with the fraternal organization’s annual contribution to the Seminary, which this year totaled $110,000. The organization has donated $3.26 million to the Seminary since 1960.

Chris said he always thinks of the ending of the Jimmy Stewart film “It’s a Wonderful Life” when George makes his check presentation each year. “(I want) to raise a glass and say like Harry Bailey: ‘A toast to my big brother, George! The richest man in town!’” George said change has been the only constant factor over the years.

“Changes occur in all facets of life, primarily due to social and economic factors. Each of us here this evening have witnessed over our lifetime a magnitude of changes and advancements.” He said the life expectancy in 1892, when the GCU was formed, was only 44 years old. Advancements in technology and medicine have certainly changed this number.

George said the GCU has faced challenges and changes over its 128-year history, but the organization continues its mission of protecting families, promoting faith and strengthening communities. “This commitment has stood the test of time over many generations and many administrations and has been unwavering. The good works the GCU and its members continue to perform…continue to uphold the values and traditions of our forefathers.”

He also presented $250 checks funded by the GCU Foundation to the seminarians. The Foundation was organized in 2007 and makes monetary grants for charitable, educational and religious purposes. Seminarians receiving grants are: Subdeacon Nathan Adams, Deacon Kevin Bezner, Chrisopher Davel, Timothy Fariss, Miron Kerul’-Kmec, Michael Kunitz, Christopher LoGrippo, Riley Winstead, Mikhael Naddaf, Robert Jones, David Vonderohe, John Welch, Paul West and Kyprian Wojciechowski. The Greek Catholic Union, the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, the Seminary and the St. Nicholas Celebration Committee thank everyone involved with the 2018 event who helped in any way to ensure its success.