How's Work?: Heavenly Messenger

Meet Peggy Connolly, the electronic sign manager for the Capuchin Friary.

PEGGY CONNOLLY
Job: Electronic Sign Manager, Capuchin Friary

Editor’s Note: The Capuchin-Franciscan Friary at the corner of Butler and 37th streets in Lawrenceville is marked by an electronic message board that regularly dispenses nuggets of Scripture-inspired wit and wisdom. Peggy Connolly is the author of the sign’s messages.

So what do you do, besides work on the sign? 
I’m the accounts payable and medical clerk; I do the checks. When somebody needs to be put on insurance, I put them on or take them off. I pay the bills that come in for that. I get all the friars’ explanations of benefits.

In a way, the sign that faces Butler Street is an “explanation of benefits.” How did you come to run it? 
My boss said, “Would you like to do the sign?” So I said yes.

Can you tell me a little bit about the sign? 
The Capuchins have been serving Pittsburgh since 1873, I think, and they put up that sign for inspiration. St. Francis is the one who started the Capuchin order so they follow [his] teachings, which is to serve the poor and spread the word of God. There’s a poem that St. Francis has that says, “Let me be an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let there be love, where there is doubt, faith.” So basically we want to spread [his] message through the message board as well.

How do you come up with what goes on there? 
It can come from anything: something I might read or search on the Internet, [or] sometimes it’s just what’s going on in the world.

Why do you think the sign is important? 
You know, I might put up “Where there is God, there is hope.” So somebody might look up at that and say, ‘Wow.’ If someone’s feeling alone or something and they look up at the sign then they realize they’re really not alone. Hopefully. I don’t really know how many people notice that — but hopefully they do.

What drew you to this job? 
I have a lot of respect for the Capuchins. It’s really a joy to work for them and learn from them. They truly believe in what they do.

Does humor have a place on the board? 
Yes, I’ll try to put a [humorous] one up on Monday. Here’s one: Smoking or non-smoking section?
 

 

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