Diocesan Event Celebrates Life and Legacy of Venerable Augustine Tolton, First African-American Priest

“In this Church, we do not have to fight for our rights because we are black. She had colored saints: Augustine, Benedict the Moor, Monica. The Church is broad and liberal. She is the Church for our people.”

Father Augustine Tolton, the first African-American priest, delivered these words at the First Black Catholic Congress in Washington, D.C., in 1889.

The words are as relevant today as they were then, said the presenters of a Zoom session the Diocese hosted July 31 to promote Venerable Tolton’s cause for canonization and a film about his life and legacy.

Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms

Even though as a book reviewer I have a steady stream of books coming to my doorstep, occasionally I will revisit books that have impacted me. I have often written – and in my podcasts spoken of – the very real battle surrounding all of us. Spiritual warfare is real. When it is said that the devil prowls around the earth looking to ruin the souls of man, it’s true. Adam Blai explains the demonic in his must-read book Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms.

What Blai does in this book is offer a guide for readers to understand how to defend themselves against the demonic. You might ask just what credentials Blai has that make him the perfect person to write this book. Well here’s your answer. Blai is an auxiliary member of the International Association of Exorcists in Rome. He regularly trains priests on how to perform exorcisms, and he has written the “training manual” currently used by exorcists.

Stop and Hear the Whisper of God

Last night was the first time in a very long time that I made a point of watching the national news. It’s not that I’m not interested in what’s going on in the world, but I’m not interested in the almost panicked way in which the opening reports are shared. I actually can feel my pulse increase and fear rise in my heart, even after all this time.

This morning, as I opened the internet to a news site, I took notice that of the top 20 stories, the first 10 of them were all about COVID-19 and the effects of the pandemic on each of us, as well as how the economy has been harmed. All of the reports sound the alarm of “Be prepared for the next moment of doom!” It is enough for me to run from my computer and shut myself in my bedroom and declare that I’m hibernating until 2021 or until the pandemic ends.

Annual Pilgrimage for World Peace to Be Held at Basilica and Grotto

The annual Pilgrimage for World Peace through Mary, which draws attendees to from the Diocese to the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, Md., on the first Thursday of August, will take place Aug. 6 this year.

Due to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, the pilgrimage will take place at both the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the National Shrine Grotto.

Father John Hoke, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Milton, and Father Michael Reid, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Hanover, will lead the retreat. Participants should make their own travel arrangements and bring their own lunch.

Musician at St. Joseph Parish in Mechanicsburg Shares Gift of Music with Two Published Compositions

From the choir loft at St. Joseph Church in Mechanicsburg, Randy Rhoades has shared his gift of music for several decades.

He has assisted with pre-school music activities and music for Vacation Bible School over the years. Currently, he is a member of the Sanctuary Choir and the director of the Contemporary Music Ensemble.

And now, he is sharing his musical gifts beyond the church sanctuary.

Diocesan Notebook – July 30

Spiritual Offerings

Live, virtual Caelorum event, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m., with Caelorum group from St. Joan of Arc Parish in Hershey. Facebook event with live praise, worship and Scripture reflection. A link to the live event will be available at the Caelorum Facebook page. Call Lou at 717-215-4175 for information.

Pilgrimages & Retreats

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

Obituaries – July 30

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.

Survey in Next Week’s Edition Seeks Feedback to Determine Future of The Witness

Your voice is needed to help determine where The Catholic Witness goes in the future.

To assist us in planning the newspaper’s path as we move forward, we’ve developed a survey that will be featured in a special mailed edition of The Witness on August 7. The printed edition will be mailed to all subscribers next weekend. It will also be distributed to those who receive the weekly digital edition, available for sign-up at www.hbgdiocese.org/the-catholic-witness-newspaper/catholic-witness-signup/.

The Called: Father Tri Luong

Father Tri Luong
Hometown: 25 miles south of Saigon
Education: Catholic grade school, seminary and government schools in Vietnam; St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
Current Assignment:Pastor of St. Anne Parish in Lancaster, and Pastoral Care of the Vietnamese Community in Lancaster