Ground Broken at St. John Neumann to Welcome St. Anne School

Tramping the muddy upturned earth at the groundbreaking ceremony for their new school, students from St. Anne’s in Lancaster had reason to cheer on Feb. 2.

It wasn’t because of Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring that day, or even the burst of flurries from a snow squall as they pitched shovels into the ground. Rather, the excitement centered on the promise of a new chapter in St. Anne’s history.

World Day of the Sick Uplifts in Prayer Those Who are Ill

Each February 11, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, commemorating the Blessed Mother’s appearances to young Bernadette in 1858 in Lourdes, France, today a pilgrimage site where people find healing in the holy waters that flow from the grotto where Mary appeared.

In one of her 18 apparitions to Bernadette, who suffered from asthma, Our Lady encouraged that the faithful unite their suffering with the sufferings of Christ.

Respect Equals Success for Crusaders’ Coach Kauffman

Grit requires longevity to prove it true. When you drive over Chickies Hill and descend the long funneling way into Columbia, Lancaster County, what strikes you as you peer down upon the industrial town along the Susquehanna River is the tenacity it houses. In a very good way, Columbia is gritty, and it is quite easy to have respect for that kind of discernable toughness.

Coach Lamar Kauffman is Columbia – born and raised – where he learned how to compete and excel in sports. He played basketball at Columbia High School in the 1950s and then was an assistant at the school under Coach Elmer Kreiser. There coaching for the Crimson Tide, Coach Kauffman learned the lessons of playing hard all 32 minutes, and it’s where his trademark full-court trapping defenses were born.

Diocesan Pastoral Council Holds Inaugural Meeting

Fulfilling his promise to involve more lay member in Diocesan operations, Bishop Ronald Gainer hosted the first meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Council in early February. This board includes nearly 30 lay members, two religious sisters, two permanent deacons and two priests.

The Council is a consultative board that assists Bishop Gainer by providing advice, presenting his questions to the faithful whom the council members represent, and assisting with researching and coordinating Diocesan programs and activities. This Council also assists the faithful by presenting their concerns to Bishop Gainer, serving as a constructive means of communication between the faithful and Bishop Gainer.

Create a Safe, Sacred Space for Listening

One of the pictures I treasure from my childhood is of me when I was probably two years old. I was dressed in a bright pink frilly dress and my thin blond hair was a mass of wispy, unruly ringlets. My sister, who was ten at the time, stood holding me, dressed in the same dress as me. We were both next to a spindly cherry tree in full bloom with pink blossoms.

As the tree and I both grew, I discovered that I found a sacred place under its boughs. You see, the root system of this tree grew very close to the surface. Within its twists and turns, I found a spot that perfectly supported not only my back but also my neck and head. Under this tree, I learned how to read, how to sew invisible stitches on a hem and how to play chess. Under its boughs, I felt God’s protective love because, nestled within its root system, I discovered a safe space.

Seminarian Aaron Lynch and St. Charles Classmates Blessed by Encounter with Pope Francis during Pilgrimage to Italy

A planned pilgrimage led to an unexpected encounter with Pope Francis for about a dozen seminarians from St. Charles Borromeo in Philadelphia last month.

Aaron Lynch, a seminarian of the Diocese of Harrisburg, and his Theology III classmates were in Italy on pilgrimage as part of a formation program made possible by an endowment from the late Auxiliary Bishop Louis DeSimone of Philadelphia, who died in October of 2018.

Listening from the Heart

Much of my time working in Information Technology is listening to folks describe “what it’s supposed to do” but doesn’t. Sometimes, I have to translate what people are telling me with what I know about how a computer or another technical device works. Sometimes, I have to talk them off the ledge of throwing their computer out a window – literally.

As I began writing this article, the Help Desk phone rang from an individual trying to download a file from the intranet, only to watch it disappear into cyber oblivion. He started our conversation frustrated: “I am going to quit using anything electronic that comes from the Diocese. I hate computers! You folks in IT speak a different language than most people.” I asked him to take a breath and then worked my magic. I connected with his computer and saw that he was saving the document, not just opening it. The fuming gentleman on the phone turned calm and appreciative, very thankful for the bone I threw him!

Knights in New Holland Host Marian Icon in Prayerful Support of Persecuted Christians

Offering prayers and inspiring support for persecuted Christians throughout the world, Gene Skurlak of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in New Holland turns to the Knights of Columbus’ commissioned icon of Our Lady, Help of Persecuted Christians.

“We can pray to Our Mother to end this terrible disease of persecution,” says Skurlak, a member of Council 13451 at the eastern Lancaster County parish.