Seminary Board elects new Chair

The Board of the Directors of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. elected Robert Grip as the new chair at its January meeting.

Robert spent nearly 50 years in the field of communications, beginning his radio career in 1970 before entering Boston College, where he earned a degree in Communications. He earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University, then moved into television as a reporter.

His experience in Norfolk, Va. and Mobile, Ala. includes working as a producer, news director, and anchor, the last 34 years anchoring his Mobile station’s main evening newscast. A lifelong Byzantine Catholic, Robert drew on his Slavic background to engage St. Pope John Paul II in conversation twice during the production of a documentary at the Vatican. Later, he returned to Rome with his wife and two daughters for a private audience with the Holy Father.

Bob is now in his second term on the Byzantine Catholic Seminary Board of Directors and is encouraged by the growth in the number of seminarians and other students who attend classes in person and online. “The Seminary offers the perfect setting to discern future service to the Church,” he said.

“I’m particularly encouraged that we are offering education to not only seminarians, but also to Catholics who wish to learn more about the Eastern churches. Generous donors who respond to the Seminary’s An outreach ministry to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. was formed in fall 2018 after learning some Byzantine students attended.

Father Valerian Michlik, Seminarian Michael Kunitz

Father Valerian Michlik and Very Rev. Andrew Deskevich sponsor the endeavor and Father Kevin Marks and Father Adam Horstman offer support by celebrating the Divine Liturgy in Duquesne’s Chapel. While there are many Byzantine churches in the Pittsburgh area, having a place on campus is a great way to find other Byzantines as well as invite new students to the Faith and spirituality.

After initially finding only two Byzantine students at Freshman Orientation in Aug. 2018, word got out and now the ministry reaches out to four students as well as a student at both the University of Pittsburgh and Carlow University. We live in a world that sends our kids across states and eparchies and while keeping in touch with them is difficult, this small act is yielding new fruit. This college ministry can only provide for these students for a few years, but hopefully we can keep them connected to Christ and the Byzantine Church and its Young Adult ministries after they graduate.

This summer, two events are specifically geared toward Young Adults (ages 18 to 35). Mount St. Macrina is hosting a weekend get-away retreat at the Monastery on June 21 to 23. Theosis in Action is hosting a Convocation in New York City on Aug. 1 to 4 filled with guest speakers and nights out on the town. As more of these events are held and are successful we can expect only more blessings when we’ve helped our youth live out their faith.

Divine Liturgies will continue to be celebrated this semester on select Sundays at 6 p.m. (2/2:30pm during the Great Fast) at the University Chapel. There is free parking behind the Chapel on Sundays. All are welcome to attend. If you are interested in attending or staying in touch, contact