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Irwin school grateful for late bishop

| Thursday, July 4, 2013, 12:56 a.m.
The Most Rev. Anthony G. Bosco, a former Pittsburgh auxiliary bishop, served as bishop of Greensburg from 1987 until 2004. He died Tuesday at age 85 at his home in Unity Township.

For many, the memory of Greensburg Bishop Emeritus Anthony G. Bosco will be refreshed each time they cross the Veterans Bridge in North Huntingdon Township.

“We at Queen of Angels Catholic School are blessed to be able to carry on the legacy of Bishop Bosco by educating our students in the Bishop Anthony G. Bosco Center,” said school administrator Linda Holsopple.

Bosco, 85, died on Tuesday at his home in Unity Township.

“He was a faith-filled, humble servant of the Lord who loved his priesthood and the church,” said Bosco's successor, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt.

Bosco, a former auxiliary bishop of the Pittsburgh Roman Catholic Diocese, served as Greensburg's bishop from 1987-2004.

Greensburg diocesan spokesman Jerry Zufelt said Bosco's achievements included a regionalization effort meant to help parishes in a given area work together.

In 1995 Bosco appointed the pastors of Immaculate Conception in Irwin, St. Agnes and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in North Huntingdon and St. Barbara in Harrison City as their canonical administrators.

What once was Norwin Junior High East was purchased by the Greensburg diocese for $750,000 and renamed for the late bishop in 2005.

“The Queen of Angels Catholic School family will keep Bishop Bosco and his family in our prayers during this difficult time,” Holsopple said.

Queen of Angels succeeded the Immaculate Conception and St. Agnes parish schools, which were merged in 1992.

In 1999 structural problems at the old St. Agnes building forced the diocese to move those in grades 2-8 to the former Sacred Heart parish school in Jeannette.

Queen of Angels would be located there as well as in the old Immaculate Conception school where younger children were placed for six years.

On Sept. 21, 2000, Bosco launched an “Honoring Our Past ... Shaping Our Future” capital campaign that raised more than $28 million.

Queen of Angels benefited from that, as well as a $50,000 campaign spearheaded by Barbara Braun, then owner of Chesterfields restaurant.

“I love faith-based education,” Braun told attendees at a 2007 breakfast at the school.

“All of the things we needed for renovations came from the money raised by Chesterfields and a committee of businesses and members of the community,” then-Queen of Angels principal Marie Sonnet said.

Their support went beyond the collection plate. In August 2005, after the diocese took over the former Norwin school, hundreds of volunteers painted walls, moved furniture, unpacked boxes and tackled other tasks to get it ready for classes.

Longtime school director of marketing Ruth Ann Noblick called them “angels.”

“These volunteers really came through for us,” Noblick said. “They came to us and never asked for anything.”

On Sept. 9, 2005, Bosco and Brandt concelebrated a Mass at the new center to commemorate its opening.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or