By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Just two days after undergoing a three-hour back surgery, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik was back at St. Paul Seminary.

“Can’t believe that it’s progressing as quickly as it is,” Bishop Zubik said.

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Just two days out of surgery, Bishop Zubik is already walking the halls of St. Paul Seminary — thankful for the prayers of support for a quick recovery.

“I just want to say thanks to everybody for being so kind and know that I try to do the same for all of you guys as well,” Zubik said.

But after this — his third major back operation in seven years — the hard-charging bishop is determined to follow doctor’s orders to take it slow.

“He basically says you going to have to lay low for 10 weeks. So that’s what it’s going to have to be,” Zubik said. “I will be running the diocese, obviously, but from here at the seminary.”

The wake-up call for the bishop came in December when he lost feeling in his foot and ankle forcing him to park his car and take Uber.

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The operation is to take pressure off the nerve channels and restore that feeling but it may never come back, and the bishop is prepared for that outcome.

“And not become angry over it, or bitter over it, or to become a victim about it,” Zubik said. “It’s a matter to say, let me take a look at how I can let this experience help me to be more compassionate to people who have a lot more pain.”

And he hopes that some good will come of the pain.

“To somehow lift people up and help people say, hey this isn’t the end of the game,” Zubik said, “and through it all there’s an important lesson that can help us to be more loving and compassionate and understanding towards other people.”

And so the bishop has found a lesson in all of this. Rather than diminishing his faith, he says the pain he’s endured has only made his faith stronger and made him more compassionate of the pain of others.

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