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Jesus and Grandparents Raise Her Spirit to be an Example for Others

St. Peter’s young cantor is as inspirational as her voice

Our #FaithInWV feature stories, showcase Catholics who are rising above the odds, giving hope, and leading by example. After reading today’s relatable story about Franchesca Aloi of St. Peter’s Parish in Farmington, we hope she inspires you to also choose to be a blessing.

If you ask the 20-year-old junior at Fairmont State University about herself she is likely to talk more about how amazing her grandparents are; how her parish is super small, but very close; and how fun and genuine her pastor Father Vincy Sebastian Illickal, T.O.R., is. However,


Living Her Faith Brings Life to Others

It’s safe to say when Sadie Shields wakes up in the morning, the first thing she does is to choose joy!

She is a beautiful testament to the Greatest Commandment that is written in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 – “Love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength….”

Through her work in Catholic school, her voice for the voiceless, and her energy she gives to young Catholics in West Virginia, Shields gives life to her faith. “Ms. Shields is a constant reminder for me that true joy can be found in living the


Mazzie Sets Tempo for Music Ministry for 50 years

If the parishes in Harrison County had a heartbeat Jimmy Mazzie definitely provides its rhythm and has enjoyed doing so for the last 50 years.

The Clarksburg gentleman has been playing the piano and organ at Masses since he was 13 years old.

It all started when he was a youngster and primary student at the former St. James Grade School.

“I wanted to take lessons so badly, but I had to wait a few years until I turned 9,” he said. While in his heart he was ready the age was a prerequisite set by Marie Byrnes, who according to Mazzie,


Strong Faith Presented in Song

We are blessed in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston with countless parishioners who share their musical talents each week at Mass. Since we are in the midst of a pandemic their voices and instruments have nearly been silenced. However, more than 40 faithful from around the state believe that when you are given a gift from God you know you need to share that gift no matter what. They collaborated with Bishop Mark Brennan to “sing and make music from the heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19).”

This gift of song was presented as a Christmas message video to all the


Hancock County Man Knows God Redirected His Steps to Better Path

“There’s an old saying, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans,’” Jason Miller said. “That’s pretty much what’s happened to me, as God said back, ‘You know that’s not your plan.’”

Miller has lived in Weirton all his life. He is the eldest of Harold and Christine Miller’s three children. As a child he attended St. Joseph the Worker Parish. He graduated from Madonna High School and soon after went to work in the steel industry. In fact, Miller owned his own steel company, but when the industry hit one too many roadblocks, he ended up


Loyalty Shines from Her Love of God, Country, Family

Janet Davis grew up in a loving, patriotic, and devout Catholic family. She was one of nine children. Her father worked as a civilian aviation mechanic for the fighter squadrons at Mitchel Air Force Base, Long Island, New York.

Her and her siblings attended Catholic school, where empathy and charitable giving was a great focus. She knew the value of hard work, loyalty, and responsibility. As a young girl, she’d enjoyed the times when she would fill in for her brother’s newspaper delivery route. She fondly recalls pedaling her bike up and down the streets of the base tossing the


Wheeling Man Puts Fatherly Love into Pro-Life Ministry

Sitting in the courtyard of the St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Wheeling, appropriately near the statue of St. Joseph our patron saint of fathers, Mark Witzberger, shared how each one of us is called to put our faith in action.

Witzberger and his wife Barbara are the parents of two grown children, Melissa and Jason. He grew up in Immaculate Conception-St. Mary’s Parish in South Wheeling, attended St. Mary’s Grade School, Our Lady of Peace Grade School, and graduated from Bishop Donahue. It is obvious he cherishes his faith, which is not only visible by his unassuming reverent presence at


Remarkable Past Strengthens His Mission

His love for Christ and his mission to evangelize is not only genuine, but unbelievably impressive. You would never know it by Fr. Joseph Konikattil’s humble nature and gentlemanly presence, but he is anything but ordinary.

As an Indian priest serving in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, you can assume his background is interesting, but that might be the understatement of the decade. Unless you have the opportunity to sit down and ask him about his experiences that ultimately lead him here you may not fully appreciate his wisdom or enthusiasm.

Fr. Joseph Konikattil


Unrattled Faith is Key to Happily Ever After

Clarksburg Couple Shares Parish Involvement Keeps Them Lively at 92  

He knew he was no comparison to aviation legend Chuck Yeager, but it was almost as if Jobey Spatafore was trying to break the sound barrier on foot back in summer of 1947, as he raced to catch the 11:30 p.m. bus back to Clarksburg. 

Panting and his heart pounding, he made it to the bus stop, but only to watch the motor coach’s taillights in the distance. Spatafore ended up


Conversion Brings Weirton Family Balance and Peace

Donald Swearingen spent much of the last decade finding reasons why not to become Catholic.
He is a self-proclaimed history nerd, who has always been intrigued by the formation of the Church, and ancient times. It was that passion which lead to a calling he often questioned but could not ignore.
Last summer he signed up for Right of Christian Initiation (RCIA) classes at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling.

“I kept running away from the idea of becoming Catholic, but something kept pulling me back,” Swearingen said.
The road to his conversion story has had its twists, turns, and even drop

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