May 17, 2020

From Fr. Jim’s Virtual Desk

Transfiguration Parish Cemetery

Over 400 individual gravesites at the cemetery are available at a cost of between $1200-$1300/each

It is a small, beautiful, peaceful area that has been well maintained over many years.  Contact Transfiguration Parish office 724-265-1030

Gentle Reminders Regarding The Cemetery

  • Fresh flower or plants, or artificial flowers, or small statues/plaques are permitted.
    • These cannot go beyond the limits of the individual plot or interfere with grass cutting. Please check your gravesites to ensure compliance.
    • Again, we are a small cemetery with a limited budget for upkeep.
  • Artificial flowers have normal wear and tear requiring replacement.
    • Transfiguration Cemetery pays for and maintains the grass cutting and tree cutting as necessary.
    • Transfiguration does not pay for, cannot afford, garbage/refuse disposal.
      • The flowers you provide for the gravesite are your responsibility to dispose of at your own home or business.
        • Many artificial flowers have been thrown into the beautiful woods surrounding the cemetery transforming it into a garbage dump.
      • If you have disposed of artificial flowers, etc. in the surrounding wooded area next to the cemetery, please take some time to clean-up some of the mess.

Religious Education

  • First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
    • Principles
      • We must follow the directives of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, working within the parameters of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Allegheny County Health Department standards.
      • We must have an opened fully functioning Parish; working Mass schedule, opened offices and departments that meet the day-to-day needs of the Parish, etc.
        • I will make this determination and convey this to you our beloved parishioners ASAP.
      • We must assess the needs of the parents and implement a time-lined plan. In the case of Confirmation, the availability of a confirming bishop and large enough venue.
        • Dear parents, I recognize how important these moments are to you and your children and will assist in any reasonable way.
      • First Holy Communion
        • If the aforementioned principles are met and there are no other ceremonies scheduled (wedding, etc.).
        • Must work within the Parish and Religious Education schedules.
      • Confirmation
        • Bishop Zubik has reserved the right to confirm solely with a bishop.
        • There are confirmations in the Spring and Fall, with a gamut of possibilities and venues, including venues outside our parish.
      • Due to Covid-19, it is difficult to give a clear picture regarding Religious Education in the upcoming school.
        • Nonetheless, religious education will go on. Again, there is an entire gamut of possibilitiesàall onlineàall classroomàonline with occasional classroom experienceàZoom, etc.  The Diocese and public health agencies will guide the educational model.
      • Parents we understand the great challenges you face, we hear about it all the time, nonetheless religious education and attendance at Mass must be a priority.      

Parish Merger and New Name

  • All relevant paperwork is now submitted to the Diocesan officials.
  • This paperwork will be reviewed by the Regional Vicar, Presbyterial (Priest) Council, College of Consulters, Bishop Zubik’s Senior Staff with a final decision by Bishop David A. Zubik.
  • Certain intermediary steps were eliminated, considering the issues we are facing.
  • We should be receiving word by the end of the month.
  • Regarding my continued tenure at the new Parish.
    • I have not asked to be transferred.
    • Bishop Zubik has not given any indication he intends to transfer me, in fact just the opposite.
    • Nonetheless, the needs of the Diocese do change.
    • If I am name Pastor, my residence will remain on the Transfiguration Campus with new offices on the Saint Victor Campus.

Thank You To All Our Parishioners

  • In these trying times, especially in the financial area, our parishioners’ generosity toward both parishes has been wonderful and definitively needed! This is especially so in that both parishes lost significant income from canceling the Community Fish Fry.  Just a few reminders.
    • It is completely understandable the people must cut back in giving.
    • The offertory collection is the MOST important contribution you could make since that is our “paycheck”.
    • If you would like to make a large one-time gift, say from a Last Will and Testament or tax return or for some other reason, please consider programs such as Religious Education, Social Service Ministry, etc.
    • In the end, if you have money to spare, please put that toward Parish Share Program.
    • Again, this giving plan should only last until things get back to normal.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!

  • To all the people who work at both parishes paid, unpaid, etc. Each person has gone above and beyond what is expected of them.  Each of our parishes would be in trouble if it weren’t for their great efforts!!
    • Oh, how much I miss working with these wonderful people in the office every day!
  • Thank you for all the wonderful notes you have sent, text messages, Easter Greetings & gifts, and birthday cards & gifts (62 years old-how time flies).
    • There is the same heartache in missing the daily Mass group and everyone on Sundays! You haven’t any idea how much you light-up my world!!
  • Please rest assured of my continued prayers for you and I certainly appreciate your prayers for me.

God’s blessings to one and all, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Fr. Jim