The Rev. Canon Dr. Wm. Jay Geisler
The Rev. Canon Dr. Jay Geisler is well known in Pittsburgh for leading steelworkers in a series of protests when their health benefits denied, and their pensions threatened as the steel industry began to shutter the mills in the 1980’s. The steelworkers’ protests culminated in several U.S. Congressional ;Pension Reform bills and a U.S. Supreme Court decision favor of the steelworker. Jay worked with the Roman Catholic labor priest Monsignor Charles Owen Rice.
During the same time, as President of Foodshare he helped to develop a food program which at its peak provided 20,000 boxes of food to steelworkers and others in exchange for $12 and two hours of community service. It was a self-help food program and hand up rather than the traditional hand out program which the proud steelworkers refused to participate in because of
their pride and work ethic.
Currently, Canon Geisler is also working with the Recovery Community in Pittsburgh. Canon Jay cofounded the Oasis Recovery Center to help those seeking recovery from drugs and alcohol. He opened a “Serenity House” for those women seeking housing with a recovery environment with his friend Gus DiRenna. Recently with the help of ARK (Allegheny Recovery Krew) and Gus
he purchased the former “shooting gallery” to renovate to job training and housing in the struggling neighborhood of Carrick.
Father Jay, as he is known to his Catholic friends co-founded the Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference to educate clergy and lay leaders. In addition, he has taught Biblical Studies in a local Community College and has taught at two local seminaries.
Canon Geisler continues to mentor the next generation of Christian religious leaders and provides Pastoral Counseling to seminarians at the evangelical Trinity School for Ministry in the former steel town of Ambridge, Pennsylvania.
Canon Geisler trained clergy in Soroti Uganda on addiction and recovery and has trained clergy in Pittsburgh for over two decades at the annual Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference.
Dr. Geisler earned a Doctorate in Ministry from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Master’s Degree of Divinity and a Masters of Biblical Studies (Summa Cum Laudae) from the Roman Catholic Pontifical College Josephinum.
Jay is married to Jennie Geisler, a well-known Christian Therapist who also works for New Life Ministries nationally. They have two daughters Grace and Emma who are both social workers.