Be a ‘Thanks-Giver’

Recently, a colleague came up to me in our employee break room and announced, “I have a challenge for you!” “Really?” I asked, “Please explain.” He said that for about 20 years, he has felt a whole lot of anger toward the culture’s ingratitude. “We have all forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about! It has melted into a day of football and parades. Does the American culture really have nothing in which to be thankful? We have forgotten all about it! I challenge you to write an article about it!”

After this conversation, as I filled up my mug of coffee, I thought, “We are truly called by God to be ‘thanks-givers!’” Let me explain.

Mass Celebrates the Giftedness God Has Bestowed on Every Person

Greeting people as they arrived for the Diocese’s annual Mass Celebrating the Gifts of People with Disabilities, Jenny Laudeman demonstrated loud and clear the message she wanted to share.

“I want to tell the people coming to the Mass today to be nice and loving and kind to others, especially people with special needs,” she said. “Make them happy; don’t make them sad. Make them feel joy and happiness and love. Treat them just like anyone.”

Inaugural Summit Gives Best Practices for Communications

In an outreach to parishes and schools on best practices for websites, social media and media relations, the Diocesan Communications Office presented its inaugural Communications Summit, Nov. 13 at the Diocesan Center in Harrisburg.

The interactive training offered ideas, tips and “how-to’s” for effective communications, including ways to connect to young people through social media, insights into creating and maintain an attractive website, and how to interact with members of the media.

Pumpkins Add Spice to ‘Pennies for Life’ at St. Teresa of Calcutta School

At St. Teresa of Calcutta School in Adams County, Father Milton and Sister Gertrude have been busy this fall encouraging students to support pro-life causes.

Throughout the month of October, their bespectacled and smiling faces looked on as students donated coins and dollars to the Diocese’s Pennies for Life campaign.

But the religious twosome didn’t do it through classroom visits or the celebration of Mass.

Lancaster Catholic Earns Cardinal Newman Society Status

Lancaster Catholic High School was recognized on Oct. 28 as a Catholic Education Honor Roll School by the Cardinal Newman Society. LCHS is one of just three high schools in Pennsylvania to earn the honor.

“It is great affirmation for Lancaster Catholic to be recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll,” Lancaster Catholic’s president, Tim Hamer, remarked. “This distinction confirms our commitment to the mission of Catholic education. I applaud the leadership, administration, students, parents, teachers and staff for their hard work in assuring a strong Catholic identity permeates all that we do in preparing our students to be future leaders in both society and the Church.”

St. Joan of Arc School Awarded for Distinction in STEM

St. Joan of Arc School in Hershey has been recognized for its Program of Distinction in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA-CESS). St. Joan’s is the fourth school in the nation to receive this award.

MSA-accredited schools are eligible to apply for Program of Distinction recognition for outstanding programs in specific fields. The STEM Program of Distinction recognizes schools that show a commitment to ensuring graduates are prepared to succeed in STEM classes in college and are well-positioned to pursue a STEM-related career.

Day of Dialogue Addresses Hope in Midst of Division

Responding to division is society and in the Christian Church, the annual LARC Day of Dialogue brought together clergy and parishioners of local Christian traditions for prayer and discussion.

The annual event is a joint effort of the Lutheran, Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in central Pennsylvania for prayer and greater cooperation between the Churches. Titled “Division on Society, Division in the Church: Healing and Hope for the 21st Century,” the gathering was Oct. 28 at the Diocesan Center in Harrisburg.

Eagle Scout Scores for Lourdeshouse

Jacob Beeghley, a Scout with Troop 23 at St. Catherine Labouré Parish in Harrisburg, focused his recent Eagle Scout project on assisting the residents of Lourdeshouse, Catholic Charitie’s maternity home for women and their babies.

Beeghley, a freshman at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg a member of its wrestling team, hosted a wrestling clinic for elementary through high school students. Instead of charging an admission fee for the clinic, led by Messiah College’s wrestling coach Bryan Brunk, Beeghley requested that attendees bring toiletries and cleaning supplies for Lourdeshouse.

Alberto Rodriguez Named Diocesan Archivist

Alberto Rodriguez joined the Diocese of Harrisburg earlier this month as the new Diocesan Archivist. Rodriguez holds membership with the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists, The American Geographical Society, The Society for American Archeology, The American Historical Association, The American Philatelic Society and the Society of American Archivists.

As the Archivist for the Diocese of Harrisburg, he is responsible for seeing the artifacts of the Curia are arranged and safeguarded in accordance with Canon Law and in accordance with up-to-date practices of the Vatican and archival standards.

‘You Never Know How Far Your Arms Can Reach,’ Lourdeshouse Graduate Says at Catholic Charities’ Fundraiser

Outstretched arms greeted Rashanda Loyd 16 years ago when she entered Lourdeshouse Maternity Home. Pregnant and in high school, she “felt unwanted, unneeded. It was a struggle being in high school and not knowing what to do, not knowing where to go, not knowing who I could turn to.”

She found Lourdeshouse, a residential program of Catholic Charities that gave her support, maternity care a path forward.