Minding The Store

Patty Bovee takes on new role as Seminary Press Manager.

Patty Bovee, manager of the Byzantine Seminary Press, adjusts icons at the store in Pittsburgh, Pa. Photo by David Mayernik Jr.

Patty Bovee was retired from MARC Advertising for only a few days before she moved into a new phase in her life as manager of the Byzantine Seminary Press. “I retired to babysit every day with my grandchildren but since I’m here, (my husband’s) babysitting,” she said, with a laugh. “(I retired) June 8 and I started here on June 12. Go figure, right? Didn’t have very much time off. None.” But she wouldn’t want it any other way.

“No. 1, the Archbishop asked me, so I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to the Archbishop,” she said. “No. 2, I think it makes me feel like I’m doing something Parishes of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh raised $52,655 to help the victims affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Archbishop William Skurla requested special collections be taken in all churches on Sept. 16 to 17 and 23 to 24. Funds collected were donated to Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief agency of the United States Catholic Church.

The organization and its agencies respond to immediate needs for necessities such as water, food, shelter and medical care as well as long-term needs to rebuild and recover from widespread destruction. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops requested the special collections be taken to support relief efforts.

“We are all aware of the terrible devastation, heartbreak and destruction left behind by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We pray in thanksgiving with those affected by the storms
who survived with little or no loss or harm. And we also hold in prayer those who are suffering injury, damage to property or any other distress caused by this disastrous weather,” Archbishop William wrote in a letter to parishes.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall Aug. 25 on the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm and Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 10. According to a preliminary estimate from Moody’s Analytics, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused $150 to $200 billion damage in Texas and Florida.

Patty Bovee takes on new role as seminary press manager to continue the Byzantine traditions of the church and whether I’m Roman Catholic or I’m Byzantine Catholic, I’m
involved.” The Byzantine Seminary Press is a religious store near the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. which carries religious books used in Byzantine Catholic churches, calendars, crosses, icons, vestments and other relgious items.

Patty, originally from Kaylor, Pa., lives in Munhall, Pa. and is a parishioner at St. John the Baptist Cathedral. She was raised Roman Catholic and learned about the Byzantine Church when she met her husband, Marty, in 1973. They were married in 1978 and have three sons and three grandchildren. Patty’s previous jobs included positions at the Allegheny County Office of Economic Opportunities, where she met her husband, and at Koppers Inc. for 16 years.

She worked at MARC Advertising for more than 25 years before retiring in June. Patty describes herself as “very active” in the church and has been a member of the Byzantine Catholic Serra Club for the past six years, serving as its president for two years. She also is a member of the Women’s Guild and CAMEO Club at St. John the Baptist. Patty said Internet sales for Seminary Press items have been steady.

Orders are received from as far away as Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Canada. “Internet sales have been going like crazy. This morning, I had three or four. Yesterday, I think I had eight or nine. So, they’re moving. They’re moving quite frequently. “A lot of them are lay people. Some of them are priests. Some of them are nuns. A lot of them are lay people just looking for different types of books we have.”

When not filling orders, Patty makes trips to the bank and performs various accounting duties. “I’m making sure all the balance sheets and earning statement are in balance doing their thing.” Patty said she’s happy to donate her time in service to her Church. “I have to be involved. I don’t know if I can sit at home and every day just to babysit. I would have had to find something to do. I’m not the type of person who sits around. I’m not the type of person who can sit and watch TV.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve seen a whole TV show. “I watch a lot cartoons with the kids. But I have to be active, I have to be doing something.” Time with her grandchildren also includes trips to the zoo and the children’s museum. “I love the Church. I love to be active in the Byzantine church. I wasn’t raised (Byzantine Catholic), but it’s a beautiful, beautiful tradition. “I can truly say I’m happy to be involved in the Byzantine Church.”