Mark Your Calendar

Women’s Spirituality Day

Amy Brooks will be one of the presenters during Women’s Spirituality Day at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Munhall, Pa. on May 6.      Brooks, who was born with with the rare condition of Tetraphocomelia — having no arms or legs —  is the author of “Unseen Arms,” an autobiography of survival, a positive attitude and deep faith in Jesus Christ.  She was abandoned by her birth parents and adopted by a Christian family.    Brooks will challenge and inspire you in a way that promises to change your life forever.  Call the Office of Religious Education at 412-322-8773 to register or download the brochure at

Catholic, Lutheran bishops celebrate unity

The Catholic and Lutheran bishops, representing the Dioceses of Greensburg and Pittsburgh, the Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will celebrate their unity in Jesus Christ and commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation next month.

Three events this year will reassess shared histories and divisions, examine the progress of 50 years of ecumenical dialogue and witness together the mercy of God in proclamation and service to the world.

The first event, “An Evening of Repentance,” will be held   7 p.m. March 14 at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cathedral in Munhall, Pa. The theme is “Repentance” and evening prayer will be followed by a Lenten meal.

Subsequent events will be held in June and October

Genealogy workshop

 “Nashi Predky — Our Ancestors” Family History Group of the Ukrainian Historical and Educational Center of New Jersey will host a “Rediscovering Your Family Stories” genealogy workshop 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. May 6 at the Ukrainian American Citizens’ Club, 302 Mansfield Blvd., Carnegie, Pa.

The organization’s goal is to help Ukrainians and others in the United States learn about their family histories, collect stories and documents about their immigrant ancestors and get advice on preserving family records.

Workshop topics include: the basics of Ukrainian genealogy, finding and using Ukrainian church records, and the history of Lemkos, Boykos and Hutsuls.  Featured speakers are Justin Houser, Michael Buryk, Rich Venezia and Michelle Chubenko.

Cost is $55, which includes breakfast and lunch. Register online at workshop. Save $10 by registering before March 31.

Saint Vincent College Summer Program for Youth

Saint Vincent College will host the seventh annual Faith and Reason Summer Program, an intensive, one-week introduction to the Catholic, liberal arts tradition June 11 to 16.

The program is directed by Dr. Michael P. Krom, associate professor and chair of the philosophy department.

It is designed for advanced high school and first-year college students who are seeking an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith and its integration in college education. Students age 15 and older are invited to apply for admission to the program.

All staff are Benedictine and lay professors on the faculty of Saint Vincent. Participants will have an opportunity to explore the relationship between faith and reason, examine the perennial questions of humanity, develop their communication skills, learn how to analyze difficult arguments, prepare for college studies and integrate their moral, intellectual and spiritual development.

Each day is structured around the Saint Vincent monastic schedule of prayer and Mass. During the class sessions, students analyze and discuss selected reading passages in a seminar setting. There is also leisure time for recreational activities, movies and excursions to attractions in the Laurel Highlands and Pittsburgh areas. Housing in a college residence hall and three daily meals in the college dining hall are included in the $495 cost. Saint Vincent College students serve as residence hall directors.

Limited scholarship funding is available for Byzantine youth. Further information is available by contacting Krom at 724-805-2844 or michael. Students may register online at

Metropolitan Cantor Institute online programs

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute will offer the following online courses in 2017: Introduction to Liturgy: Feb. 12 to April 7. An eightweek introduction to the liturgical services and traditions of the Byzantine Rite. The course will cover the liturgical day and week, fixed and moveable feasts, the Divine Liturgy and holy mysteries. This is an introductory course that establishes liturgical knowledge for further cantor education.  (No singing component.) Tuition: $50.

Introduction to Church Singing: Feb. 12 to April 7. An eight-week course that covers the fundamentals of plain chant: musical scales and notation, ear training, basic vocal technique, and the simplest chant melodies: singing on a single pitch, chanting to the usual psalm tone, and singing basic responses such as “Amen” and “Lord, have mercy.”  Students will record their singing for review and feedback. Tuition: $75.

All courses require a computer, Internet access and speakers or headphones. For courses which require recording of singing, students will use a computer microphone or digital tape recorder.

Course material will all be recorded and students watch or listen on their own schedule. Weekly assignments will ensure a steady pace of learning.

Courses are intended for the education and formation of cantors for the Byzantine Catholic Church; others will be admitted on a space-available basis.

Courses are graded on a pass/fail basis, and aim at an understanding of the liturgy, mastery of the plain chant, and the ability to lead congregations in prayer. Students are expected to work hard, learning with other cantors and those wanting to become cantors.   To register, fill out the registration form on the Cantor Institute website at and submit it with the appropriate tuition by Feb. 9.

Poustinia retreat at Mount St. Macrina

A bible, an icon, a small loaf of bread and a jug of water are one’s companions during this time of listening to and resting in the Lord from 7 p.m. Feb. 24 to 11 a.m. Feb. 26 at House of Prayer, Mount St. Macrina, 500 W. Main St., Uniontown, Pa. Hosted by the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great. Offering is $75. Registration is due  by Feb. 17. Breakfast is provided on Saturday and Sunday. For information, call 724-438-8644.