Clergy Days 2015

Priests and deacons from across the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh attended the annual Presbyteral (Clergy) Days May 26-27 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Munhall, Pa. Although there is a pervasive spirituality present, the two day convocation is primarily designed to provide parochial information and address administrative issues. Presenters and speakers for the conference included:

• Updates by Jim Althans and Pam Courie of Althans Insurance, who provide parish property insurance, special events and liability coverage to parishes of the Archeparchy;

• Updates by Bert Reimann and Ann Dicks of Employee Benefit Services, providers of healthcare coverage for clergy and lay employees of the Archeparchy;

• Seminary faculty, staff, and program and updates by Dr. Sandee Collins, Library Director, Professor of Sacred Scripture, also Director of Media Outreach for the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius;

• Father Dennis Bogda and Deacon Raymond Zadzilko reported on the responses received from the recent survey of the Archeparchy’s Diaconate;

• “General Housekeeping” items were discussed by Protosyncellus Father Andrew J. Deskevich and the Archeparchy’s Financial Officer, Gregory Popivchak;

• Special guest speaker Bishop Bohdan Danylo of the Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josaphat (Parma, Ohio) presented “Vibrant Parishes,” an overview of the program and plan used in the Ukrainian Catholic Church worldwide to initiate an increase of membership and encourage current members to partake of the full life of the Church;

• Amy Armanious, RN, DNP, MSOL presented “Care for One Another,” an overview of Bethany Ministry and practical tips and solutions for finding and engaging pastoral resources to help parishioners overcome the difficulties they face;

• Cathy Chromulak, General Counsel for the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh presented one of the conference’s most intense sessions on the new laws regarding Protection of Children, mandatory reporting of abuse and the clergy’s prime role;

• Special guest speaker Father Eugene Lauer, a semiretired priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh who serves Prince of Peace Parish presented “Vatican II as accomplished through the ministry of Pope Francis,” and also related several humorous anecdotes about parish life and his own experiences in parishes as a young priest;

• Metropolitan William conducted the final session of the conference, and gave results of the family survey which went out to all parishes in advance of the Synod on Family which will take place this fall.

• A highlight of the conference was a special recognition dinner on Tuesday, May 26 to honor all clergy celebrating milestone anniversaries of ordination, and especially to bid farewell to Bishop-designate George D. Gallaro, who soon would leave his assignment of over 10 years to become Bishop of the Italo-Albanian Eparchy of Piana degli Albanesi near Palermo, Sicily. A priest of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, Father George served the Archeparchy as Judicial Vicar and Professor of Canon Law and Ecumenism at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh.