"The Fighter with a Heart"

The founding and charter Chaplain of AOH Division One in Allegheny County, he is one of America's great labor priests.

Msgr. Charles Owen Rice was born in New York of Irish immigrant parents. In 1937, he was one of the founders of St. Joseph's House of Hospitality. This same year he joined his first picket line at the Heinz plant in Pittsburgh. Also, he marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the "Spring Mobilization for Peace" in New York in 1967, and stood with workers in the Pittsburgh area as they lost their jobs and livelyhood with the shut down of the steel plants in the 1980's.

Msgr. Rice, though, was not a social activist who happened to be a priest. Rather, he was a pastor of souls who profoundly cared about the well being of people. He did not limit himself only to the "spiritual" side of his parishioners, but recognized that it was the whole human person who needed Christ's ministry.