Collecting “historical data” for the third twenty-five years of St. Valentine Church and parish has been a difficult task. As the parish has moved beyond the activities of a young parish, such as building a church and school and establishing all the facets of church life that create a parish, it has become easy to view all the activities, programs, and projects that makes St. Valentine Church “the heart of Bethel Park” as nothing more than “business as usual.” Countless employees, volunteers and even the priests who have served the parish see, not history in the making, but the continuing life of a vibrant parish. Many realities have impacted our parish in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. The face of ministry has changed over these years, for various reasons. The numbers of priests and religious in active ministry have declined over the years. Technology plays a role that could not have been imagined during the first fifty years of St. Valentine’s existence. The impact of culture on our society and, therefore, our parish, is undeniable.
Since the parish 50th anniversary, ministry has changed greatly in the Church and in our parish. At that time, most ministry was done by priests, nuns, and the occasional layperson acting as a program manager or coordinator of religious education in our parishes. In the intervening twenty-five years, lay ministers have expanded greatly and have become more professional with the development of the institute for ministries in the diocese and masters programs for religious education and pastoral ministry at Duquesne University. Here at St. Valentine’s, this has resulted in three full-time lay ministry positions at this time: director of religious education, parish social minister, and director of youth ministry. As time goes on, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we anticipate continued adjustments in professional and volunteer lay ministry as well as the introduction of one or more deacons to our parish staff
In October 1982, the Baldwin electric organ was finally replaced with a 17 rank Moller pipe organ. It was dedicated and blessed on October 18, 1982, by Bishop John McDowell. On August 15, 1983, Bill Ryan became the organist and choir director.