Reader's Retrospective: Vince Pishioneri

This story appears in the Reader's Retrospective feature series. View the full series.

by Julie Gunter

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For Vince Pishioneri, NCR's coverage of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War was a contributing factor in his growing appreciation that current events should be considered through a moral lens.

With little access to other news sources while studying as a seminarian at Benedictine-run St. Vincent Archabbey in western Pennsylvania, Pishioneri relied on NCR to provide news updates in a "unique, different light."

After three years of studying theology, Pishioneri realized that his desire to serve people would take him beyond the institutional church. He made the decision to follow the call of the "social Gospel." While teaching theology at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., he enrolled as a student in the university's School of Social Work.

After working at a Methodist treatment center, Pishioneri was given the opportunity to launch a clinical and residential program as a part of the newly created Barry Robinson Institute (now the Barry Robinson Center), a treatment center for emotionally and behaviorally troubled children in Norfolk, Va.

While there, he attended the Church of the Holy Apostles, located on the center's campus and serving both Catholic and Anglican communities. Pishioneri recalled that parishioners of both congregations would sit in the center between facing altars and participate in liturgies of the Word and the Eucharist that would often overlap and meld.

For the rest of his career, Pishioneri continued his work in the clinical field, with mostly children and families. He worked both at a large private practice and at a psychiatric treatment center in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, where he served as clinical director, among other duties.

Pishioneri and Patty, his wife of 45 years, live in Virginia Beach near their adult sons and their families, where he has embraced retirement: fishing on a small lake, kayaking, volunteering with Catholic Charities, and practicing the concept of mindfulness and Zen since "nothing is more important than this day." His other newfound hobby: becoming licensed as an amateur radio operator. Since 2011, he has connected with other amateur radio operators in 100 countries and all over the U.S.

A version of this story appeared in the June 5-18, 2015 print issue under the headline: NCR a reader's retrospective: Vince Pishioneri.

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