Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bye-Bye, Bishop's House

In keeping with tradition, you lot got first word on it, but back in the Burgh today's Post-Gazette picks up the story of Bishop David Zubik's decision to relinquish the Episcopal Manse:
The decision ends a 57-year tradition of bishops living at the 2 1/2-story, 11-bedroom brick home on Warwick Terrace.

The 9,248 square-foot home, built in 1911, is appraised at $1,498,400 on the Allegheny County property Web site.

Bishop Zubik announced his intentions last week before 240 Catholic priests from Pittsburgh who were at the triennial gathering of diocesan priests at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, W.Va., for continuing education, fellowship and recreation.

They applauded his announcement.

"It was an ancient tradition of the bishop to live at the seminary to assist with the formation of priests and to get to know them better," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese.

"It's also a sign of our need to foster and encourage vocations in the priesthood."

Father Lengwin said no decision has been made about the future of the house, which sits on a private drive on 1 3/4 acres....

The first bishop to live in the residence was the Most Rev. John Dearden, the diocese's seventh bishop, in 1950. It has been the residence of every bishop since....

Its most famous visitor may have been Giovanni Cardinal Montini, who stayed overnight in 1951. In 1963, he became Pope Paul VI.

According the county property Web site, the house has 24 rooms, six full baths and one half-bath.
In an interview with the Steel City's ABC affiliate late on the night of his July appointment, Zubik related his finding that, in Catholic life, the temptation remains of being “attached to buildings,” which can lead some to forget that the church is “bigger than buildings.”

Standard set + standard followed = credibility won... and not just for the gospel of building-detachment.

The installation festivities begin tonight with the customary Evening Prayer gathering in St Paul's Cathedral. To unite the diocese in prayer "for the needs of the church," each of Pittsburgh's 214 parishes have been asked to hold a Holy Hour concurrent with the 7-8pm cathedral service, or at least to remain open for private prayer.

John Heller/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette