Leader Spotlight: Susan Lithgow

Susan Lithgow is a staff member at Gamaliel Pittsburgh affiliate, Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) in Pittsburgh, PA. She has lived in Pennsylvannia for 51 years and has worked for PIIN as office manager since July of 2010. Susan is a member of Saint James Roman Catholic Church in Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh. She has attended Gamaliel trainings in the past and is an active member of both her Church and the city of Pittsburgh. 

How did your work with Gamaliel begin? 

I was interviewed for this job by PIIN Executive Director and St. James parishioner, Lois Campbell. I was not too familiar with Gamaliel, but once I spoke with Lois about the work that was done within the organization, I was confident that it was a network I wanted to join. How does working with PIIN support your growth as a Catholic? Gamaliel is so much an extension of what we learn in Church. I am on the Peace and Justice Committee at St. James and also volunteer with the food bank. Many people don’t understand that the work within Gamaliel directly aligns with the teachings of the Church. It is not about one’s political beliefs, rather caring for your neighbor and serving others. 

How do PIIN and Gamaliel align with Catholic Social Teaching? 

In Matthew 25:40 it states: “Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” This is not only my personal philosophy, but also in line with the work of Gamaliel. 

What issues within PIIN are important to you and your values as a Catholic? 

We have multiple task forces on issues that are important to me as both a member of PIIN and as a Catholic. Certainly gun violence is important to us, as well as supporting our school system. Personally, transportation is very important to me, as I spend about two hours of my day commuting on the bus. As Catholics, we are encouraged to advocate for equality and equity for all. This is all part of that vision as a Catholic and as a member of the Gamaliel network. 

How did National Leadership training help you grow as Gamaliel staff? 

I use tools that I gained in training in both my personal and professional life. I work daily with many people and work to remember the value of claiming voice and power within my every day life. As Gamaliel staff, I know that these are important parts of training and also important parts of my life so that I can continue to grow and develop as a part of PIIN, as a member of St. James and as a resident of Pittsburgh.

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