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Bishop Zubik celebrates Mass, shares Papal Blessing at Serra Catholic

| Thursday, March 27, 2014, 2:09 p.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
The Most Rev. David A. Zubik, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, is joined by the Rev. Stephen Kresak and Serra Catholic High School principal Timothy Chirdon in sharing a Papal Blessing.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
The Most Rev. David A. Zubik, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, celebrates Mass with Serra Catholic High School staff and students on Wednesday in McKeesport.

The Most Rev. David A. Zubik emphasized the action of God's love as he shared a Lenten Mass and Papal Blessing with the students and staff of Serra Catholic High School on Wednesday.

“Take a look at your life,” said Zubik, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. “Think about when somebody did something very small for you, but it meant a great deal.”

Those moments are examples of God's love in action, he explained. When something is appreciated, it is received as a great act of love; and on the flip side, those acts are performed with genuine care.

Zubik shared a personal story, recounting his help in moving his 91-year-old aunt to a senior citizens home. While helping her unpack, he opened a small shoebox to find a greeting card he had given her when he was just 5 years old.

“I had taped inside the card one stick of Juicy Fruit gum,” Zubik said. “Sixty years later her eyes welled up with tears and she spoke about how much that card meant to her.”

The readings and homily of the Mass reflected Biblical messages that God's law, a law of love, was intended to be lived. The bishop spoke of the Pharisees who, according to scripture, knew God's laws intellectually but did not call them into action in their own lives.

Zubik said Lent challenges individuals to be more Christ-like by asking them to give up something, “meant to make their hearts more tender.”

Serra Catholic High School is comprised of a diverse staff and student body that all exist for one purpose — to know the love of God in their minds and hearts, Zubik said. He expressed hope that Serra's staff and students accept a Papal Blessing as a reminder of Pope Francis' love and a call to live it daily.

Principal Timothy Chirdon recalled his reaction to the pope's election last year.

“I was tremendously moved by the first words and actions of our new Holy Father, in particular the name that he chose: Francisco,” Chirdon said. “Our school, founded over 50 years ago in the tradition and values of St. Francis of Assisi, remains ever committed to the ministry that he led.”

Chirdon told Zubik that his visit confirms ongoing support to the school's mission as it leads students to “follow Christ's command to be light in the world.”

Zubik will return to McKeesport on Friday for the Corpus Christi fish fry at the parish's downtown social hall and Stations of the Cross at the Versailles Avenue church at 7 p.m.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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