Giving Thanks in Millersville Means All Are Welcome

It’s beautiful sign when word meets deed in a gracious manner. That has been a tradition on Thanksgiving Day at St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Millersville for 35 years.

When you drive south on Millersville Road crossing over the meandrous Little Conestoga Creek, you ascend up a steep hill that takes you into the college town. And what greets you atop that summit is a visible sign that states: St. Philip’s Thanksgiving Dinner: All Are Welcome.

From Dismissive Shrugs to First Vows

Sitting at Mass during her freshman year at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School in Coal Township 20 years ago, Mary Mensch shrugged off the celebrant’s message about homegrown vocations.

When Father Charles Persing predicted, “There will be one priest and one sister from this student body,” Mensch allowed the possibility to pass right over her, confident that the priest’s estimation was made for another girl.

Headless Horseman Rides again at Bishop McDevitt

First published in 1820 by American author Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has ever since been a popular tale of haunted mystery and human intrigue. Set the along the Hudson River in Tarrytown, N.Y., “this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of Sleepy Hollow,” Irving wrote. “A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land and to pervade the very atmosphere.”

Add a haughty, superstitious school master named Ichabod Crane, a wealthy, pretentious Katrina Van Tassel and a fearsome soldier-ghost dubbed by locals as the Headless Horseman, and the makings of a great drama come alive.

Trinity Eagle Scout Helping to Keep Normandy Alive

“I do not want what these guys did to ever be forgotten,” Christopher Adam, a Trinity High School sophomore, said about his recently completed Eagle Scout project at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle.

Seventy-five years ago this past June 6, 160,000 Allied Troops stormed a 50-mile stretch of five beaches near Normandy, France, to liberate Europe from the grasp of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi forces. 16 million Americans fought in World War II, and less than 500,000 are still alive today – some 1,100 die every day, so the sands of time are slowly marking the passing of the Greatest Generation.

Catechists Encouraged to Make Disciples at Annual Conference

“Our job is to take Christ out and reach all those who have fallen away.” These opening words from Peter J. Murphy, PhD, opened his keynote address to the more than 300 men and women who gathered for the annual Diocesan Catechetical Conference on Nov. 9. The event, hosted by the Diocesan Office for Evangelization and Catechesis, was at the Diocesan Center in Harrisburg.

Murphy, the Director for Families and Schools of Discipleship Mission Team for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the former Executive Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the catechists gathered that there are really only two things they need to do to evangelize – listen to the Holy Spirit and go do it.

Be a ‘Thanks-Giver’

Recently, a colleague came up to me in our employee break room and announced, “I have a challenge for you!” “Really?” I asked, “Please explain.” He said that for about 20 years, he has felt a whole lot of anger toward the culture’s ingratitude. “We have all forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about! It has melted into a day of football and parades. Does the American culture really have nothing in which to be thankful? We have forgotten all about it! I challenge you to write an article about it!”

After this conversation, as I filled up my mug of coffee, I thought, “We are truly called by God to be ‘thanks-givers!’” Let me explain.

Mass Celebrates the Giftedness God Has Bestowed on Every Person

Greeting people as they arrived for the Diocese’s annual Mass Celebrating the Gifts of People with Disabilities, Jenny Laudeman demonstrated loud and clear the message she wanted to share.

“I want to tell the people coming to the Mass today to be nice and loving and kind to others, especially people with special needs,” she said. “Make them happy; don’t make them sad. Make them feel joy and happiness and love. Treat them just like anyone.”

Inaugural Summit Gives Best Practices for Communications

In an outreach to parishes and schools on best practices for websites, social media and media relations, the Diocesan Communications Office presented its inaugural Communications Summit, Nov. 13 at the Diocesan Center in Harrisburg.

The interactive training offered ideas, tips and “how-to’s” for effective communications, including ways to connect to young people through social media, insights into creating and maintain an attractive website, and how to interact with members of the media.

Pumpkins Add Spice to ‘Pennies for Life’ at St. Teresa of Calcutta School

At St. Teresa of Calcutta School in Adams County, Father Milton and Sister Gertrude have been busy this fall encouraging students to support pro-life causes.

Throughout the month of October, their bespectacled and smiling faces looked on as students donated coins and dollars to the Diocese’s Pennies for Life campaign.

But the religious twosome didn’t do it through classroom visits or the celebration of Mass.

Lancaster Catholic Earns Cardinal Newman Society Status

Lancaster Catholic High School was recognized on Oct. 28 as a Catholic Education Honor Roll School by the Cardinal Newman Society. LCHS is one of just three high schools in Pennsylvania to earn the honor.

“It is great affirmation for Lancaster Catholic to be recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll,” Lancaster Catholic’s president, Tim Hamer, remarked. “This distinction confirms our commitment to the mission of Catholic education. I applaud the leadership, administration, students, parents, teachers and staff for their hard work in assuring a strong Catholic identity permeates all that we do in preparing our students to be future leaders in both society and the Church.”