Longtime Holy Family pastor 'Father Miro' to leave East Deer church for Bridgeville parish
By R.A. Monti
Published: Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
East Deer soon will lose one of its most recognizable citizens.
The Rev. Miroslaw Stelmaszczyk, better known as “Father Miro,” the longtime pastor at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in the Creighton section of East Deer, will be transferred next month.
“Effective Oct. 28, Father Miro will be the pastor at St. Barbara's in Bridgeville,” said the Rev. Ron Lengwin, a spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. “The pastor there is retiring.”
The move was a surprise to Stelmaszczyk, who started at the parish in October 1998.
“I came in October and leave in October,” Stelmaszczyk said. “I was in Bridgeville, and the parish there was Holy Child.
“I always said, in Bridgeville I had only a child and, when I came here, I had Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the whole family,” he said, referring to the names of the churches.
Lengwin said the Rev. Aaron Kriss, the pastor at Holy Martyrs Church in Tarentum, also will serve as Holy Family's pastor.
Lengwin said the two churches aren't merging and there aren't currently plans to reduce the number of Mass celebrations at either.
“We need to make moves periodically. (Stelmaszczyk) is included among a few others who are being transferred over the next couple of months.”
Stelmaszczyk was informed personally by the bishop about the transfer plans, something he couldn't refuse.
“When I was ordained, I asked my father if I could stop listening now. He said to me, ‘My dear son, after your ordination, you have to listen to your bishop and to your people.'
“This is like a new challenge for me,” he added. “My new chapter and new challenges for Holy Family. These were a wonderful, wonderful 15 years.”
During his time at Holy Family, Stelmaszczyk became somewhat of a celebrity throughout the A-K Valley. Stelmaszczyk was known to frequent many local farmer's markets and food events selling his famous potato pancakes, to raise money for the church of about 300 people.
Because of this, many folks dubbed him the “Potato Pancake Prince.”
Stelmaszczyk, a native of Kraszewice, Poland, was honored this year by the The Pittsburgh chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation as the Polonian of the Year.
Stelmaszczyk gave the opening prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011.
“Father Miro will be a loss for our community because of the enthusiasm he brought to everything he did and all of the activities he was involved with,” said Tony Taliani, the chairman of the East Deer Commissioners and a member of Holy Family. “He's been very good for our community. I can't say enough about what he's meant.”
Stelmaszczyk said he will always cherish his time at Holy Family.
“The people were a wonderful inspiration in my priesthood and faith,” he said. “I've been a priest for 37 years, almost half of them have been spent at Holy Family.
“I know that they will keep strong faith, a good spirit and always support the church and the mission of the church,” he said. “This is not about you or me. Simply, this is God's kingdom — where we all belong.”
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Classes cancelled Wednesday at Acmetonia Primary School
- Allegheny Township board approves RV sales lot on Route 356
- Charges against police chief have Springdale mayor crying foul
- Valley’s marina owners ready to repair ice-damaged docks
- Fear of building collapse closes Tarentum road
- 4 men to stand trial for home invasion, shooting in Lower Burrell
- Harmar bald eagles get crack at parenting
- Wreck closed Leechburg Road in Lower Burrell early Friday
- Vandergrift derailment fans fears over oil shipments
- Allegheny Valley keeps Colfax options open
- New Ken gas station robbed Friday morning