Retired bishop will teach at Seton Hill

| Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004

GREENSBURG -- Retired Greensburg Bishop Anthony G. Bosco's biggest adjustment in returning to the classroom may be the classroom itself.

Bosco has joined Seton Hill University as an adjunct professor to teach "Faith, Religion and Society" at the campus in Greensburg. His first class is Aug. 31.

"It's a core subject but I think it's appropriate in the world in which we live and the age the students are," he said. "It's particularly appropriate in light of the election and its moral issues."

During the 13 years he taught "Religion, Medical Ethics and Marriage" at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh in the 1950s and 1960s, Bosco's teaching tools included a blackboard and maybe an overhead projector.

Now, overhead projectors aren't even allowed in Seton Hill's classrooms. Some subjects are taught in "smart classrooms," which feature a podium that has been described as resembling the console of the Starship Enterprise. Instructors can control all of the room's audio-visual capabilities and other technology from the podium.

Bosco, who served for 15 years as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg, won't be in a "smart" classroom this semester. That won't preclude him from learning to embrace the new technologies, said Dr. Mary Ann Gawelek, dean of academic affairs.

"His challenge now will be fully utilizing technology on a face-to-face basis," she said.

Bosco, who served on the board at Seton Hill for 17 years, is no stranger to modern technology. He also teaches a distance learning class through the University of Dayton that includes students from as far away as the United Arab Emirates.

He enjoys the classroom. "You get to see the lights turn on" in students, he said.

Bosco submitted his resignation to the Vatican in August 2002 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75. Monsignor Lawrence E. Brandt, of Erie, was installed as bishop of the Greensburg diocese on March 4.

Bosco said he'll be able to relate to his students because they "have the same hopes that all young people have."

The course he'll teach at Seton Hill is described as an exploration of the fundamental roles of faith and spirituality in human growth and development and in the shaping of human cultures. Students will compare and contrast Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Gawelek said the university is very pleased to have the bishop on its faculty.

"When he served on the board, I used to tease him about teaching, but he didn't have the time then," she said. "He has a wonderful rapport with college-age students."

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