Content about Religion


The closing of Emanuel's Lutheran Church on North Fremont Avenue in Bellevue marks yet another passing of a long-established house of worship in the North Boroughs. With active membership no longer topping 50, a dramatic falling-off from nearly 600 members in the early 1960s, the congregation simply could no longer meet the expenses of maintaining the gothic-styled church that was dedicated in 1909, with additions and embellishments made throughout the century that followed.


Sr. Virginia Cummings Sr. Virginia "Ginny" Cummings, OSF, 89, of the School Sisters of St. Francis of the United States Province, died Friday, July 10, 2015 in Mt. Assisi Convent Motherhouse, Ross Township.


Russell Bookser Russell Noel Bookser, 63, of Denton, TX, formerly of Pittsburgh and the husband of the late Debra Keast Bookser, died Friday, May 22, 2015 in Presbyterian Hospital, Denton. Mr. Bookser was retired from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He was a member of Stanfield Masonic Lodge in Denton. He was a former member of Brighton Heights Lutheran Church, Laurel Gardens Volunteer Fire Co. and a social member of Sgt. Joseph D. Caskey American Legion Post #80, all in Pittsburgh.


Rosella Hanni Rosella Giunta Hanni, 93, of Independence Village, Frankenmuth, MI, formerly of Pittsburgh and wife of the late Anthony Giunta and Richard Hanni, died Sunday, April 12, 2015. Mrs. Hanni enjoyed reading and an occasional trip to the casino.


Avonworth High School's girls' bowling team will take its perfect 10-0 season record to state championship competition, with playoffs beginning today in Lancaster. Pictured above, from left are Sarah Svoboda, Hannah Schoeppner, Lauren Schoeppner, Kimmi D'Ottavio, Emily Grambo, Kara Rudzik, Paige Adams, with coach Jeff Schoeppner.

Over the course of the season, the team lost just one game, to Bishop Canevin, and by only four points. While the team was disappointed with that loss, it did not blemish the perfect record, as each match is determined by best-of-three games.


Even though she never sought the top spot of Ben Avon Borough government, Claire Wilwohl served three terms as the mayor, deciding not to run for a fourth term in 1998, but having compiled a list of accomplishments that ranged from procuring grants for new street lighting to officiating at the weddings of 25 couples, to helping the "Lorenzo's Oil"crew with any needs during the several months of filming the movie in the borough.


Scott Berger Scott W. Berger, 53, of Bellevue, died Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. He is survived by two siblings, Duaine Berger and his wife Sue and Robin Berger; three nieces, Anna Everitt, Rochelle Berger and Amanda Berger; his nephew, Justin Berger; the Eich family; and cousins. Friends were received at Stephen M. Brady Funeral Home, North Side, until the time of a blessing service on Monday.

William Kenny William V. Kenny, husband of the late Martha Baer Kenny and Laura Cegan Kenny, died Friday, Jan. 2, 2015.


Fr. Thomas Ferris Fr. Thomas B. Ferris died Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Fr. Thomas had been assigned to St. James Parish, Sewickley, St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh and had spent five years with the St. James Society in missions to South America, St. Joseph Parish, Coraopolis, St. Agatha Parish, Ellwood City, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Finleyville, St. Patrick Parish, Canonsburg and St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish, Brighton Heights.


Helen Fabina Helen Fabina, 91, of Bellevue, died Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. She is survived by four nephews, Frank DiCicco and his wife Sue, Larry DiCicco and his wife Patti, Marc DiCicco and his wife Donual and Paul DiCicco and his wife Liz; and grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mary Fabino; her sister, Anna DiCicco; her nephew, Matthew; and her niece, Michelle. There was no visitation. Arrangements were made by Stephen M. Brady Funeral Home, North Side.

David McKnight Jr.


The brass bucket beside Mary Helene Fader's comfy chair in her sunroom holds copies of "Archaeology" magazine, Wellesley College publications, issues of "The New York Times." Many friends and relatives may not recognize the Mary Helene reference, and so she will be referred to throughout this story as Diz, the nickname bestowed upon her by her sister many years ago, the name that has stayed with her throughout her life.


The Ladies of Charity of Risen Lord Parish, 3250 California Ave. in Brighton Heights, will hold a “Gathering of Women” on Sunday, May 5.

It will start with an 11 a.m. mass, and include a light luncheon. Speakers will include Letty Calvetti on spirituality, and the county sheriff on safety.

Cost is $5. Reserva-tions are due by April 29. The Ladies of Charity will be at the church doors April 20-21 and 27-28 to take reservations, or call (412)761-1507.


The North Hills Chorale will present its holiday concert, "A Bouquet of Carols," at the Kearns Spirituality Center chapel on the campus of La Roche College.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Free will offerings will be accepted. Guests also should bring a non-perishable food item.


Julia Bamberger Julia Bamberger, 97, of Bellevue, wife of the late William Bamberger, died Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. She is survived by four children, Richard Bamberger, William Bamberger, Connie Redman and Barbara Boyd and her husband Howard; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law, Kay Bamberger. Friends were received at the Lawrence T. Miller Funeral Home, Bellevue. A Mass of Christian Burial was held in the Church of the Assumption on Monday. Burial was in St. Boniface Cemetery.


Dorothy Drucis W. Dorothy Drucis of Avalon, wife of the late Thomas Drucis, died Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. Mrs. Drucis grew up on the North Side and attended Oliver High School before graduating from Duff's Business School. She worked in the engineering department at Crucible Steel and for Derby & Co. She then became a real estate agent, working for Young Agency, Bernhard Realty, Northwood Realty and Stonebridge Real Estate.


Christ Church at Grove Farm recently installed Rev. Jon Panner as the new senior pastor and rector.

Panner and his wife, Susie, were introduced to church members in April. and after he preached at services, members voted to approve him. The vote of the membership brings to a close a process that began in September 2010 with the announcement that the Rev. Dr. John Guest planned to retire in December.



It was a nerve wracking week for the Avonworth softball team, a period that seemed promising until a 9-5 loss at Keystone Oaks last Saturday dashed any hopes of post season play in the WPIAL playoffs.

The 'Lopes needed a win to stay alive heading into their final section game against OLSH this past Monday, with the final playoff spot from the section on the line between the two teams.


Avonworth’s Montee’a Hunter gets a shot in the Lady “Lopes’ first WPIAL playoff game against Elderton last Friday. The girls went on to defeat Bentworth before falling to Bishop Canevin in the quarter-finals Friday night.



The Northgate Flames (2-0) were shooting high Friday night, when they hosted the Crusaders from Bishop Canevin (2-0), but the fire was put out when the Crusaders defense rained on the Northgate parade. The Crusaders, who had given up only 6 points total in their two games this season, held Northgate scoreless, shutting them out 42-0.

Northgate kicked off to the Crusaders to start the game, and right off the bat the Flames snuffed out a very good Crusader offense, after allowing them only one first down before forcing them to punt.


Rev. James Forrest Rev. James A. Forrest, 87, of Avalon, died Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011. Rev. Forrest was a member of the Anglican Church of North America. He is survived by his wife, Sharon Forrest; four children, Robert, Gillian, Jonathan and Jennifer; his sister, Nancy Forrest Burkholder; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.



Just like last year, the Avonworth football team opened the season against Bishop Canevin, and the results were no different as the Antelopes fell to the Crusaders at home 33-6.

Untimely turnovers again proved to be the ‘Lopes downfall as new head coach Duke Johncour will have to wait another week for a chance to secure his first win.

"We moved the ball up and down the field, but the turnovers kill you," said Johncour.

The Antelope offense was led by tailback Ricky Lawniczak, who rushed for 154 yards on 17 carries.


Avonworth's Ricky Lawniczak picks up some yardage during the Antelopes' season opener against Canevin on Sept. 2.


William Kisling Sr. William R. Kisling Sr., 78, of Bellevue, died Wednesday, June 29 2011. Mr. Kisling was a longtime member of Northgate Church. He was an avid sportsman and outsdoorsman. He is survived by his wife, Nancy M. Kisling; four sons, John R. Kisling and his wife Jean, Thomas W. Kisling and his wife Toni, William R. Kisling Jr. and Ty Kisling; two sisters, Irene Roof and her husband Jack and Virginia Klimko and her husband Edward; and five grandchildren, Kelly, Brian, Zachary, Justin and Tyler Kisling.



It was a grueling week for the Avonworth softball team, but it was well worth it as the Lady ‘Lopes secured a spot for the upcoming WPIAL playoffs.

The 'Lopes started off by hosting Brentwood last Thursday. After surrendering a lead late, the girls were able to come back in the final inning to win 9-8.

"We had a couple of mental mistakes but the good thing, though, is that we were able to come back," said head coach Chris Knox.


Ash Wednesday services with imposition of ashes and Holy Communion will be held at Emanuel’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10 N. Fremont Ave., in Bellevue on Wednesday, March 9, at noon and 7:30 p.m.

Anyone with questions can the church office at (412)766-6633.