Catholic Charities remains charitable arm of Bishop

Catholic Charities remains charitable arm of Bishop

By Jennifer Miele

Chief Communications Officer

GREENSBURG — The annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg was a “hybrid” event for the first time in the organization’s 67-year history. About half of the staff and a third of the trustees joined via video conference, while the rest gathered at Rizzo’s Malabar Inn, Crabtree, for their first in-person meeting with Bishop Larry J. Kulick.

Dr. Paul Niemiec, Interim Managing Director of Catholic Charities, detailed the swift and well-coordinated response made by staff and volunteers to those in need during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than $250,000 of relief funds were distributed for clothing, food, utilities, rent and other needs.

“I am proud of the excellent work being done to support the community during this unprecedented time,” Niemiec said.

Bishop Kulick echoed his comments.

“As we move forward, and as it has been for 67 years, the structure of Catholic Charities is going to remain as the charitable arm of the Bishop in the good works of the Diocese,” Bishop Kulick said. “It will be the instrument by which we bring the corporal works of mercy to the people of the Diocese.”

Just after being ordained and installed, Bishop Kulick selected Msgr. Raymond E. Riffle as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. Msgr. Riffle had served as Managing Director of Catholic Charities since June 21, 1995. Since his ordination on May 5, 1979, he has held a number of positions in the Diocese and its parishes.


During his entire time as Managing Director, Msgr. Riffle was assisted by Executive Secretary Sharon Grabowski. She was hired March 20, 1972, and was celebrated at the meeting for her 49-year tenure.


Board President Tom Gothie announced that Catholic Charities’ annual Paul R. Smiy Memorial Golf Outing is scheduled for Aug. 6, starting at 10 a.m. at Ligonier Country Club. The annual Designer Purse Bash and Crystal Bake Sale is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Barn in Ligonier. More information will be posted soon at


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