Lifetime Achievement Award: Monsignor Raymond E. Riffle to be honored for life’s passion for church’s charitable mission

Monsignor Raymond E. Riffle, who directed the growth of Catholic Charities during 25 years as its director, is just the fourth recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Monsignor Riffle served as director of Catholic Charities from 1995-2020, when he was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese by Bishop Larry J. Kulick. “I can think of so many other people who worked so hard and who do so many things and have done so many things over their lifetimes,” Monsignor Riffle said about the honor. Monsignor Riffle’s life has been one of service to the church, Bishop Kulick said. “In his leadership, Monsignor Riffle was able to influence and support the work of the Bishop and the mission of the Church,” Bishop Kulick said. “He brought a great level of integrity, along with his team, to help Catholic Charities do the work they do.” Monsignor Riffle is the adopted child of the late Charles and Clare Riffle of East McKeesport. The family, which includes his sister, Rita Moore, of Tampa, Fla., who is also adopted, went to St. Robert Bellarmine Parish. Monsignor Riffle attended the parish elementary school. Monsignor Riffle’s priestly formation began at the former St. Joseph Seminary, Greensburg, and continued at the former St. Fidelis Seminary, Herman, and the former St. Pius X Seminary, Erlanger, Ky. He earned a master of divinity degree at Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, in 1979. Monsignor Riffle was ordained a priest May 5, 1979, at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral by the late Bishop William G. Connare. After earning a master’s degree in formative spirituality from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, he became Diocesan Vocations Director. In 1992, the late Bishop Anthony G. Bosco asked Monsignor Riffle, who had been a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities since 1984, if he would consider being director of the agency. He returned to school and earned dual master’s degrees in social work and public administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1995 and was appointed Director of Catholic Charities on June 21, 1995. Two major changes at Catholic Charities under his leadership were the move of the offices from downtown Greensburg to the Robertshaw House on the Pastoral Center campus and the development and growth of the agency’s Information and Referral Services, he said. Other positive influences in his life were his father and the late Father Robert Brannon, pastor of St. Agnes Parish, North Huntingdon, where Monsignor Riffle served his first parochial vicar assignment. “My dad was a man of faith. He always told me, ‘Never worry about the money. God will take care of you,’” Monsignor Riffle said, praising his father’s work ethic, devotion to God, strength of character and congeniality. “If we talk about not worrying about the money, we need to be able to help if we are in a position to provide assistance for those who do worry about the money,” Monsignor Riffle said. He hopes he has continued the legacy of social service in the Diocese of Greensburg and that the strength of the past will help the new Director, Melaney Hegyes.


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