Christ-Like Service Must Continue through Priesthood, Bishop Tells New Deacons

Reveling in finally reaching the ordination day of four men to the diaconate on Aug. 22, Bishop Ronald Gainer said such days of celebration and joy are much needed in a time of face masks and social distancing.

“We have all been counting the days, and counting the days, and counting the days,” he said of the previously twice-delayed liturgy for the men: two Diocesan seminarians, a former minister in the Church of Christ and Episcopalian priests, and a native of India in formation for a religious order that serves in the Diocese.

Clergy Assignment Announced

Bishop Ronald Gainer announces the following change to clergy assignments:

Father John M. Kuchinski to Chaplain of York Catholic High School. Father Kuchinski remains pastor of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, York. This change takes effect August 29, 2020.

Parishes’ Creative Vacation Bible School Methods Bring Families in on the Fun

In parishes throughout the Diocese, summertime means Vacation Bible School.

Religious educators, parish staff and volunteers spend months planning out the annual week of activities, which attract children for arts and crafts, songs and snacks as they learn about their faith.

Confirmation students put on plays to act out Scripture passages for the children, and musicians lead the kids in songs and dances that often get them carried away. Lessons are designed to get the kids excited about their faith, and to gleefully express it.

Trinity Launches ‘Faith in our Future’ Campaign for Enhancements to Educational Environment

Trinity High School in Camp Hill is embarking on a triad of significant upgrades to its educational environment, backed by a “Faith in our Future” capital campaign kicking off this summer for the $8.5 million project.

The campaign will support renovations to Trinity’s facilities, to include a new façade that will allow for the installation of an energy-efficient HVAC system; a renovated auditorium with enhanced staging, lighting, sound, seating and flooring to enhance liturgies, assemblies and the performing arts; and the installation of turf for use by more than 200 student-athletes who play at COBO Field. This aspect of the campaign will also provide for new gym bleachers for safety and accessibility.

Readiness Workshop Acclimates Kindergarten Students at St. Patrick School in Carlisle

At St. Patrick School in Carlisle, kindergarten teachers offered their annual Kindergarten Readiness Workshop in person, with special modifications for public health concerns.

Teachers Jessica Melphis and Jolene Cramm have held a class for rising kindergarten students for several years. This year, the preparation took on a lot of added safety features and discussion.

The students and teachers practiced appropriate social distancing (with the help of hula hoops as their personalized work stations) and wore masks. Each child was provided with their own set of materials. In regular kindergarten work, the students practiced identifying letters and letter sounds, as well as identifying numbers and counting.

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.