The Called: Father Matthew Cannon

Father Matthew Cannon
Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Education: St. Leo the Great School in Rohrerstown; Lancaster Catholic High School; St. Vincent College in Labtrobe, Pa.; St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia; Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
Current assignment: Parochial vicar at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Harrisburg

Annual Diocesan Camp Offers Fun, Faith and Fellowship – Virtually

The location was different but the fellowship and fun were the same during this year’s Diocesan camp for people with disabilities. Traditionally held on the grounds of Camp Kirchenwald in Lebanon County, plans were changed this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 virus.

“The decision to host a virtual camp this year was all about sustaining our camp community’s bonds and relationships while providing some escape from Covid’s impacts,” said Lawrence Kiley, director of the Diocesan Office of Ministry with People with Disabilities. “A core group of staff and volunteers decided we had to do something to connect our camp families and friends. Basically, we all missed seeing our campers, and could not wait for another year to pass. We all agreed that a virtual opportunity to connect, at least for those able, would be very important, as it is with any other family during these trying times.”

The Annual Assumption Tradition of Blessing the Sea

For hundreds of years, Catholic parishes in coastal cities have participated in the tradition of blessing the sea and praying for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Feast of the Assumption.

While believers in landlocked areas may be unfamiliar with the practice, it is a longstanding tradition that provides an opportunity not only to pray for safe travel at sea during the coming year, but also to profess one’s faith outside of church walls, one priest told CNA.

Sacredness of Silence

When I was in college, I majored in special education with a concentration in elementary education and an undeclared minor in art. The second year of my undergraduate work, we students were farmed out to several education facilities in the area.

Since I majored in special education, not only was I required to have experience in a variety of educational facilities that served special needs students, I was also mandated to experience alternative educational programs. Once such program served students living in an emergency shelter. These students, with their mothers, escaped abusive home environments and were living temporarily in the shelter until their moms could establish themselves with housing and a job.

Diocesan Notebook – August 20

Spiritual Offerings

Good Shepherd Parish in Camp Hill’s Mass of Remembrance for all families who have experienced the loss of a child (through miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth or early death), on Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. in the church. Take this opportunity to remember your children, and to name them if you have not. Those who have not been given a name can be listed with your last name, such as “Baby Jones.” Names will be brought to the altar to be remembered by our parish family. Names of children who have been submitted in previous years will be included in this year’s remembrance. Submit your child’s name for remembrance by mailing to the Parish Office at 3435 Trindle Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011 and marking the envelope “Mass of Remembrance.”  You may also call Mrs. Geri Andregic at 717-761-4789 or e-mail your child’s name to Everyone is welcome to attend this Mass.

Fundraisers & Events

St. Ann Byzantine Catholic Church in Harrisburg’s Drive Thru Slavic Food Fest, Sept. 19 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., or until sold out. Hot platters of halupki (cabbage rolls), perohi, kielbasa, and halushki for $12. There will be no hot ala carte items. Frozen foods will also be available. Nut rolls with walnut, poppy seed or apricot filling are $10. Frozen perohi by the dozen with potato & cheese, farmer cheese, cabbage, sauerkraut, prune or apple fillings will be sold for $6.  Smoked kielbasa will be available in rings or sticks for $7. Quantities are limited, the sale is on a first come, first served basis, no orders will be taken. Church is located at 5408 Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA. Visit

Here’s to Pope Clement VIII

For many of us, the best part of waking up is that first cup of coffee. Of course, after thanking God that we did wake up to another day. Leaving aside arguments on the benefits of coffee or the dangers of drinking too much of it, brewed coffee has an intriguing history and one in which the papacy played a decisive role.

There are multiple legends about the discovery of the coffee bean and how it later became a popular brewed beverage. One story tells how a shepherd named Kaldi in Ethiopia noticed how his sheep became hyperactive after eating the red berries from a certain plant in their pasture. He tried a few of the berries himself and soon was as overly active as his flock. The legend continues that a monk who was passing by rebuked Kaldi for “partaking of the devil’s fruit.” However, in short order the monks discovered that these berries could help them stay awake during their long hours of praying.

Catholic Schools Participate in CDC Cleaning Training

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg continue to prepare for the start of the school year and this week administration and custodial staff from all 36 schools in the Diocese participated in the Custodial Considerations During Covid-19 training. This training, presented by High Environmental Health and Safety Consulting Ltd., reviewed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations regarding proper cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing of facilities to prevent the spread of this virus.

“This training was perfect for administrators and custodial staff because it provided a clear framework for us to use to develop comprehensive cleaning plans,” said Sr. Danielle Truex, principal of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School in Lancaster. “The key takeaways guided us to determine our particular facility needs, choose the most effective and safe products for different types of cleaning and disinfecting, and use those products in a manner that maximizes their effectiveness against the coronavirus.”

PCC Condemns Recent Increase in Anti-Semitic Acts

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC), on behalf of all the Catholic Bishops in Pennsylvania, condemned the hateful anti-Semitic acts recently seen in the Commonwealth. These crimes have included the painting of swastikas on synagogues.

“These acts are offensive and hurtful to all of us,” PCC Executive Director Eric Failing said on behalf of the bishops. “Hate is never right, but it is especially heartbreaking when you see innocent people targeted because of their religious beliefs.  We remain resolute in standing beside our Jewish brothers and sisters as we condemn the attacks and the hateful sentiment that fuels them.”