Disabilities Camp ‘Family’ Reunites at Kirchenwald

In mid-August, Caitlin Nealon made the nearly 3,000-mile journey from her home in San Jose, Calif., to Lebanon County for the Diocese’s annual camp for people with disabilities.

A highlight of the summer for more than 30 years, the week draws both new and returning campers and counselors to Camp Kirchenwald for hiking, fishing, arts and crafts, swimming, a talent show and – most importantly – camaraderie.

Giving Your Life Away

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a young maiden with her grandparents. Their home was of modest size and she, being the only child, had the freedom to go into any room except one. This room was constantly locked. The only key, to her knowledge, was in the possession of her grandmother. The young maiden tried over and over again to find out what was in this forbidden room. Her grandmother would say, “Hush child, you are not old enough to understand.”

One night, her curiosity got the best of her. As she pretended to be asleep, she watched her grandmother take the lamp and unlock the door to the secret room. As her grandmother closed the door behind her and locked it again, the young maiden snuck up to the key hole, hoping to see what was going on in the room. She could hear her grandmother humming, but could see absolutely nothing. Her grandmother called through the closed door, “Child! Stop your nosiness! Go to bed!”

Dr. Scott Hahn Offers Hope for Hard Times during Stop in New Oxford

The state of the Church and the results of a recent Pew Study weighed heavily on the heart and mind of Dr. Scott Hahn as he returned to New Oxford on Aug. 24 to present three talks to nearly 500 attendees from throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg, Maryland and as far away as Scranton.

The Pew Study Dr. Hahn referenced in the first of three talks indicates that 70 percent of Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. For those under the age of 25, the number is worse; nearly 80 percent do not believe, and some even attested they had never heard of the Real Presence.

‘40 Days for Life’ Campaigns Planned in Local Communities

Give witness to the sanctity of human life and promote an end to abortion through the 40 Days for Life campaigns, which will take place in several locations throughout the Diocese this fall.

40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. The movement calls for participants to witness to the sanctity of human life through a three-point program of activities: prayer and fasting, constant vigil at abortion clinics, and community outreach.

Diocesan Superintendent Reflects on Schools’ Commitment and Ability to Teach the Whole Student

Dan Breen, a native of Massachusetts and a former Catholic school principal in Tennessee, was appointed the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Schools on July 1. In this role, he will oversee the operation of the Catholic schools in the Diocese. He will also work to support the Catholic identity of our schools, and support pastors and principals with their school related responsibilities.

As a new academic year began, Breen participated in a question-and-answer interview to tout what Catholic schools have to offer, and to celebrate those dedicated to their mission.

Program Examines Plight of Refugees

The subject of immigration has been all over the news and all over the country in recent months. On Aug. 15, it was front and center at the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick in Harrisburg.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference joined Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg and other community service organizations to encourage everyone to support the plight of refugees around the world and to treat all people with love and respect. The program was organized by the Cathedral Parish’s Mercy Matters Committee.

Sacrificial Love

During a recent jubilee Mass, the priest celebrant gave a truly amazing homily about the nature of God and love. I was instructed to record the homily so that the individuals celebrating their jubilee could reflect on the message.

As I type this, the recording is playing in the background. In his homily, Father reminded us that we are called to love one another as Jesus loves us. Think about this. Jesus is God and his love is divine as well as eternal. How can mere human beings love with that same type of love? The short answer: We can’t. However, we are called to love over and over again, to love others each day with sacrificial love. THIS we can do!

Young Adults from Diocese of Harrisburg begin Nine-Month Journey with National Evangelization Teams

For nearly 40 years, NET Ministries has challenged young Catholics to leave behind their families, schools and jobs to travel the United States for nine months, sharing the Gospel with young people in parishes and schools.

Each August, 175 young adults ages 18-28 set out on the journey to serve with the National Evangelization Teams (NET), witnessing to their faith and inviting peers to live for Christ.

Diocese Launches Podcasts

We’ve all been faced with those times of waiting. Traffic, appointments, checkout lines; waiting is a part of life. The Diocese of Harrisburg now has a new resource to help turn these waiting times into opportunities for deeper growth in the faith.

Through the generosity of those who contributed to the Catholic Communications Campaign collection and through a partnership with Breadbox Media, the Diocese recently launched two podcasts, with a third coming soon.