The Eleventh Annual John Cardinal Wright Vocations Mass was held on August 25th, 2013, at 4:30pm. This year, the Vocations Mass and the Awards Dinner was held at St. Paul's Seminary, 2900 Noblestown Rd. Crafton, PA 15205.
The Principal Celebrant was Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, class of 1967,
and the Concelebrant was Pittsburgh's Bishop David A. Zubik, (Honorary Class of 1967).
We would like to thank the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the seminarians and faculty and especially Father Joseph Mele, rector of St. Paul Seminary, for allowing us to use their facility for our celebration.
To see photos of past Vocation Masses and Awards Dinners,
On May 27, 1900, the cornerstone was laid for the new "St. Paul Orphan Asylum" on "a plateau at Idlewood between Crafton and Carnegie". The land, described as "17 acres of ground with good orchard and several acres of timber", was purchased for $28,000. Children took up residence in the new building in 1902, and by 1919 the number of children residing there had reached 1,200. In addition to more land, other improvements were made (a chapel wing in 1907, a hospital unit in 1911, a school building in 1920, new maintenance building in 1924 and a new boys dormitory in 1927). The last addition, an activities building containing a gymnasium, swimming pool and auditorium, was dedicated in 1956. The tremendous work continued until August 1965, when its program was combined with that of Holy Family Institute in Emsworth. In September 1965, John Cardinal Wright, then Bishop of Pittsburgh, opened St. Paul Seminary on the orphanage site.
Preparing for Mass...
2013 John Cardinal Wright Vocations Mass
Bishop Zubik welcomes Cardinal DiNardo back to St. Paul Seminary, where they met a few years ago.
The 11th Annual Vocations Mass was held in the Bishop John McDowell Auditorium at the seminary. Cardinal DiNardo was the celebrant. Bishop David Zubik and retired Aux. Bishop William Winter concelebrated, and they were joined by BLS alumni and other priests of the diocese.
2013 John Cardinal Wright Awards Dinner
A buffet dinner was served at the Cardinals Great Hall at St Paul Seminary.
Over 125 attended, including Cardinal DiNardo, Bishop Zubik, Bishop Winter, and the seminarians and faculty of St Paul Seminary.
2013 John Cardinal Wright Awards Winners
This years John Cardinal Wright Award Winners were Mr. Chris Rebstock, BLS'71, Fr. Joe Freedy, Mr. Gary Gayda, BLS'71,
and Fr. Frank Almade, BLS'71. Bishop Winter, Cardinal DiNardo, BLS'67, and Bishop Zubik pose with the winners.
Mr. Christopher Rebstock, ‘71, Senior V-P of Global FoodBanking Network
After graduating from the Latin School, Chris entered St. Paul Seminary. He determined that he was not called to the priesthood. Chris has held positions with food banks since then. His career reflects a long-time commitment to social justice issues – particularly hunger. He and his family share a dedication to supporting and addressing poverty and hunger. Chris is married and has four children and three grandchildren. Chris and his wife live in Chicago.
Fr. Frank Almade, ‘71, is pastor of four parishes in New Castle, PA. He formerly served as a pastor in Sharpsburg, the Hilltop communities. He also served in two positions in the diocese, Vicar for Clergy & Secretary for Ministerial Leadership, and Secretary for Social Concerns. He was ordained a priest in 1978. Fr. Almade earned a Ph.D. in theology from Duquesne. He is the author of "Just Wages for Church Employees", and has taught at Duquesne, SS. Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary, and the catechist enrichment and deacon formation programs.
Mr. Gary Gayda, ‘71, Controller, Hapad, Inc. He graduated the Latin School, then attended Duquesne, earning an Accounting Degree in 1977. Married the same year, he worked as an accountant, and in '86 started a consulting firm. In 1996, Gary set-up a reunion for the class of '71, and began the alumni database. In 2000, The BLS Alumni Assoc. was incorporated. Gary set up the original website, BLSALUM.ORG, which he still manages. He has been on the Board for the past 12 years, and does all the photography. Married to Susan, for 36 years, they have two grown children.
Fr. Joseph Freedy, Director of Vocations. Fr. Freedy was born in Bethel Park, and attended high school there. He earned a scholarship to State Univ. of New York at Buffalo to play football, Fr. Joe was the starting quarterback for 3 years and graduated in 2002 with an degree in communication. He entered St. Paul Seminary and earned a Master’s Degree in philosophy from Duquesne. He attended the North American College in Rome. Fr. Freedy earned an STB from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and an STL from the John Paul II Institute. Ordained a priest by Bishop Zubik in June, 2008, Fr. Freedy served at several parishes before being named Director of Vocations for the Diocese.