Good Shepherd’s Nativity Celebrates God with Us

On a cold winter’s night a week before Christmas, thousands of faithful came to Good Shepherd Parish in Camp Hill to ponder and gaze upon a Living Nativity display.
With roles played in large part by youth of the parish, and featuring live animals used in productions at the Sight and Sound Theater, the drive-through event brought to life five scenes leading to the first Christmas.

This Year’s Vatican Christmas Tree Features Ornaments Handmade by the Homeless

Reaching a height of nearly 100 feet, the Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square this year is adorned with handcrafted wooden ornaments made by the homeless, as well as children and other adults.
Before the Christmas tree lighting ceremony Dec. 11, Pope Francis said that he wanted the Christmas tree and nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square to be “a sign of hope” in a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bishop Gainer’s Christmas Letter 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Many Christmas Carols have fascinating backstories. The beloved Carol, Joy to the World, has one such interesting history. Isaac Watts, born in England in 1674, was reflecting one day on Psalm 98 and he was greatly moved by the fourth verse, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Watts took pen in hand and wrote a four stanza poem which he entitled, Joy to the World. The words fit the tunes of several hymn melodies of the day. However, many refused to sing the hymn because Watts dared to change the wording of the Psalm to suit his poem.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help School Rallies Donors to Contribute in Excess of $145,000 through Extraordinary Give

Our Mother of Perpetual Help School in Ephrata made quite the debut in its foray into the Extraordinary Give last month. The PreK-8 school rang up an astounding $145,127 in Lancaster County’s annual day of giving on Nov. 20. The one-day marathon inspires donors to make online contributions to boost local non-profits and schools at the start of the holiday season. The event is an initiative of the Lancaster County Community Foundation.

Faculty, students and parents reveled as they watched the donations climb, and rejoiced in seeing the support for their school.

Diocesan Youth Council Offers Christmas Gifts to Guests of Cathedral’s Meal Program

Three days before a snow storm encased central Pennsylvania in nearly two feet of snow, teenagers with the Diocesan Youth Council spread some warm holiday cheer to several dozen guests of the Cathedral Parish’s Sunday evening meal in Harrisburg.

Stationed behind tables stacked with Christmas gifts, cookies and hot chocolate, the teens offered the presents and treats to nearly 50 men and women on Dec. 13.

Film Chronicles Life and Legacy of Father Patrick Peyton, ‘The Rosary Priest’

The life of Father Patrick Peyton, an Irish-American priest who traveled the world hosting hundreds of Rosary rallies and encouraging families to pray together, is the subject of a new film now available for online purchase.

The documentary-style film “PRAY: The Story of Patrick Peyton,” includes footage of Father Peyton, who lived from 1909-1992, as well as interviews with those who knew him.

A Letter from Bishop Gainer on COVID Vaccines

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As our world continues to suffer due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I ask that you join me in continuing to pray for an end to this pandemic. I also ask that you continue to offer prayers and gratitude for those in medical and emergency response professions. Their efforts have been nothing short of heroic during this year.