By Dave Mayernik
Chris Singel, master of ceremonies for the 64th annual St. Nicholas Charity Dinner, was the latest to offer those words to clergy, religious, and faithful who were happy to be back together. The annual dinner, held Dec. 5, returned to St. John the Baptist Cathedral Center in Munhall, Pa. after taking a year off in 2020 due to COVID. The dinner, which benefits the Byzantine Catholic Seminary is co-sponsored by the Greek Catholic Union and the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. Singel pointed out the many “exciting changes” coming to the Seminary:
- The Association of Theological Schools reaffirmed the Seminary’s accreditation for 10 years, the longest period of time which it can be affirmed.
- The Seminary was also approved to offer online credited courses in all 50 states, territories, and districts of the United States.
- The Seminary began work on a new 10-year strategic plan which includes exploring a doctorate degree in ministry and establishing grants and scholarships for M.A.T. students.
- Initiatives also include a four-story elevator, a new welcome center entrance, chapel renovation and creating a Heritage Gallery.
George Juba, president and chief executive officer, Greek Catholic Union, presented Archbishop William Skurla with the fraternal organization’s annual contribution to the Seminary, which this year totaled $125,000. He also presented $250 checks funded by the G.C.U. Foundation to this year’s nine seminarians.
A highlight of the evening was a video presentation, created by Mark Collins, the Seminary’s Adjunct Professor of Research, which captured its uplifting spirit on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of B.C.S.
“We’re thankful we have a great staff to work with and all the great support you provide through gathering here for the St. Nicholas Celebration and throughout the year praying and offering up new men to come into the Seminary and become new leaders within the Church,” Archbishop William Skurla, president of the Seminary, said.
The Greek Catholic Union, the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, the Seminary and the St. Nicholas Celebration Committee thank everyone involved with the 2021 event who helped in any way to ensure its success.