Serving our North Side neighbors

Seminarians serve food at light of Life Rescue Mission

Deacon Kevin Bezner and Seminarians John Welch and David Vonderohe serve an evening meal at Light of Life Rescue Mission in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Nov. 28.

I just returned from Thanksgiving break, not long into the Philippian Fast, when six seminarians of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, including myself, joined Marc Grant, the Seminary’s food service controller, in feeding about 150 hungry men, women, and children at the Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side of Pittsburgh Nov. 28.

Marc said he chose Light of Life so that we could have a direct experience of serving our less fortunate Seminary neighbors. Our experience began after lunch in the Seminary’s kitchen, where we gathered to help Marc prepare and cook large trays of chicken, pasta with meat sauce and broccoli. Once the food was ready, we loaded up our cars for the short drive to the mission. On the way, we stopped at Breadworks, a local bakery, to pick up bags of fresh baked rolls for the meal.

After a tour of the mission, we set up the food line and tables for two evening meals, one for the mission’s residents and one for men, women, and children seeking a hot meal. As we served the hungry, we were moved by the joy of the children as they ate and the gratitude of the men and women for the meal we helped prepare.

While we could not help but feel heavy in our hearts for the suffering they endure in their daily lives, we were also filled with hope. We heard and witnessed a number of the success stories of those who had come in for a meal, stayed for the resident program, and left with a greater sense of personal responsibility and the skills to
manage and change their lives with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Later, at our own evening meal of a greater amount of food in more comfortable surroundings, each of us expressed our joy in serving our neighbors as a Seminary team and our hope that serving the less fortunate at Light of Life would become a regular pastoral formation activity for seminarians.

Deacon Kevin Bezner is in his final year of formation at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary.

For further information on the Seminary, go to and check out the newly-released video “Forming Leaders for the Church.”

Right: Seminarian David Vonderohe cooks some of the food for the evening meal at Light of Life Rescue Mission.

Below: Seminarians Kyprian Wojciechowski and John Welch catch a breath between meal duties at Light of Life Rescue Mission.