Conversations with God Prompt Lancaster Teen to Enter Dominican Order

Autumn Cybulski loves to talk. Conversations with family, friends, after Mass, in her dorm room, on retreats – she’s enlivened by them.

She had quite a few with God during discernment retreats in the past year. They were lively, honest and inspiring dialogues, and they led her to enter the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist this month.

Autumn, 19, attends both St. John Neumann and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parishes in Lancaster. She’s a cradle Catholic from a faith-filled family. Her dad is the Youth Ministry coordinator at St. Mary’s, one of her three sisters is involved in campus ministry at Lancaster Catholic High School, and the Cybulski girls have been familiar faces at the Diocese’s Fiat Days discernment retreat.

The Human Vacuum Cleaner – Baseball Commentary

As this virulent contagion continues to spread to every corner of the world, it is a virus that kills without discrimination, and we all collectively lose what is dear to us. We bicker, squabble, and lose sight of politeness as an invisible pathogen murders us daily. It is fear, I would say, that makes us impolitely ugly. One blessing, which is actually many, I have experienced is being able to talk to a host of wise people during all of this loss. What a gain that has been of late.

Focus on the good, I have been told, focus on the indiscriminate good that has been given to you over a lifetime. Buy a new mirror, it was said to me kindly, one that works, and use it daily to learn to appreciate the good that’s has been freely given. The mirror teaches you to learn how to give it back, this wise one who spoke to me said. Good is what we all should give when something scares us to death.

Sister Dorothy Franz, OSF

Sister Dorothy Franz, OSF (formerly Sister Edward Miriam), died at Field Crest Hospice in Ellicott City, Md., on Aug. 7. She was 80, and had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 60 years.

Sister Dorothy was born in Baltimore. She entered the congregation in 1958 and professed her first vows in 1960. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Neumann University and a masters in administration from Towson University. She ministered primarily in elementary education and parish ministry, where she served as a DRE and director of the RCIA program.

Listening to the Silence

So many of you have asked me, “Where do you get your ideas? Is it hard to come up with new articles week after week? Do you ever get tired of writing?”

All these questions are very good ones! The writing ideas come to me, I believe, through the workings of the Holy Spirit. I always seem to have a plan running through my mind, since it is churning, but it is the Holy Spirit who pokes me and says, “Write about this.” The danger when I don’t listen to Him is that these articles can degenerate to a column about “Sister Says” rather than Him using me as His instrument.

Diocesan Notebook – August 6

Pilgrimages & Retreats

The Carmelite retreat planned at Villa Sacred Heart in Danville for Sept. 18-20 has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Fundraisers & Events

Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Lancaster’s virtual “Recess: At Home,” Greek take-out dinner (Pastitso, lasagna, baklava) will be available for pick-up on Aug. 28. Tickets must be purchased in advance. A virtual silent auction opens Aug. 28 and ends Aug. 29. To order tickets and view the auction items, visit

St. John the Baptist School in New Freedom, Food Truck Fundraisers, Aug. 24 and Sept. 16 from 4-7:30 p.m. Events support the school. Bring your lawn chair or blanket to sit and relax while enjoying your food. Follow the Food Truck Fundraiser event on Facebook to get the most up to date information as to what food trucks will be in attendance. For your safety, CDC, state and local guidelines will be followed by patrons and vendors. For any questions or comments, email

Protocols and Enhancements in Play as Student-Athletes Return to Sports

As teams return to their fields, courts and tracks for summer workouts and the official start of practice in a few weeks, the safety of student-athletes is the ultimate goal.

Diocesan high school administrators, athletic directors and coaches welcomed hundreds of student-athletes back to campus in June and July, and they did so with well-defined protocols to safely resume athletics.

In a recent interview with several high school athletic directors, The Catholic Witness learned about the schools’ safety measures for returning to sports, and how students are responding.

Obituaries – August 6

The names of the following deceased persons have been submitted by their parishes. Please remember in your prayers the happy repose of these recently departed souls and the consolation of their loved ones.

All Part of God’s Plan

A few weeks ago I wrote about the young Italian boy, a wiz at computers, who used his skills to create an exhibition of Eucharistic miracles that has travelled around the world. He died of leukemia at age 15. His Beatification was postponed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Vatican has announced that Carlo Acutis will be beatified in Assisi on October 10. With that announcement more information about this very normal yet so amazing teen has surfaced. The new insights come from an interview given by his mother, Antonia.