The Art of Listening

My last two articles were mostly stories and then a sentence or two about the stories. You might have wondered, “What the heck is Sister doing? What is the point of this? Has she completely lost her mind?” Believe it or not, you would not be the first person who thought so!

The two stories I shared are stories that are very close to my heart. Stories that make you wonder and reflect. Stories that demand to be told or to be read to by someone, rather than just reading them. A good story told to us by a skilled storyteller makes us actually listen.

Lebanon Catholic Honors First Responders, Students in EMT Program

Observing the 18th anniversary of 9/11 and praying for the lives lost that day, the Lebanon Catholic School community welcomed first responders to a Blue Mass to pray for their safety and express gratitude for their service.

Father Robert Gillelan, pastor of Assumption BVM Parish in Lebanon and principal celebrant, blessed St. Michael prayer cards that were distributed to the honored guests, as well as first-responder vehicles on site.

‘40 Days for Life’ in York Opens with Mass at Newly-Renovated St. Patrick Church

The 40 Days for Life campaign – a peaceful and prayerful demonstration for the sanctity of human life and an end to abortion – got underway in cities and towns throughout the country this week, with members of the pro-life community taking to prayer, vigil at abortion clinics and community outreach.

In York, this year’s campaign began with a solemn Mass celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gainer on Sept. 22 at St. Patrick Church. The celebration of Mass, followed by pro-life testimony during a kick-off dinner, bolstered the faithful in their advocacy for life.

Secretary of Education Visits Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School to Promote Education Freedom Initiative

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited the Cathedral campus of Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School on Sept. 19, along with Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, to talk about school choice and freedom of education.

Seventh-grade teacher Johnnie Hicks and his class presented a special tribute for Secretary DeVos, including a geographical lesson involving her home town of Holland, Mich. After her time with the seventh-graders, Secretary DeVos visited the younger students to help with their learning experience.

Cathedral Parishioners Serve at Food Bank as Part of ‘Mercy Matters’ Activity

In a service activity for Hunger Action Month, more than 20 parishioners from the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick in Harrisburg volunteered at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank on Sept. 11, amassing 42 service hours for the organization.

The service project was an activity of the parish’s Mercy Matters Committee. Established early last year, the committee’s mission is “to educate, plan, organize and engage parishioners in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and respond to current social needs” and build relationships with local outreach ministries.

Veneration of Padre Pio Relics on Feast Day

“Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer.” These words spoken by St. Pio of Pietrelcina, commonly known as Padre Pio, were certainly on the minds of the countless members of the faithful who traveled to St. Peter Church in Elizabethtown on Sept. 23. On the feast day of St. Padre Pio, the parish was blessed to host two relics of this gentle friar who bore the wounds of Christ.

Catholics throughout the greater Elizabethtown area flocked to St. Peter’s throughout the day, bringing their prayers and petitions and asking for Padre Pio’s intersections. Two relics – a glove and robe – were on display. Following veneration of the relics and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a Mass with Prayers for Healing was held.

St. Joseph Parish in York Celebrates Capuchins’ 40 Years There

The people of St. Joseph Parish in York demonstrated their love and gratitude for the Capuchin Franciscan Friars who have served their parish and school for 40 years with an anniversary Mass on Sept. 7.

The celebration extended to nearly 20 Capuchins who have previously served St. Joseph’s, and who returned to the parish to concelebrate Mass with Bishop Ronald Gainer and Father Thomas Betz., OFM Cap., Provincial of the Capuchin Friars’ Province of St. Augustine based in Pittsburgh.

National Conference of Burmese Catholics Returns to Founding Roots in Harrisburg

The National Conference of Burmese-American Catholics gathered for its tenth annual conference at Trinity High School in Camp Hill, Aug. 31-Sept. 1, returning to the roots of the now-national organization.

The purpose of the NCBAC is to bring together Burmese Catholics living in the United States, and provide opportunities for growth in the faith, prayer, worship and community building. It is under the auspices of the Asian-Pacific Islander Subcommittee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Father Bateman Reflects on Three Years in Rome

Father John Bateman, a priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, returned to the Diocese this summer following more than three years in Rome, where he served as Secretary to the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and earned a degree Canon Law. Currently serving as a Canonical Consultant in the Diocesan Tribunal, Father Bateman offered this reflection on his time of service and study in Rome:

It is SO good to be home! After three-plus years living/working/studying in Rome, I am very happy to be back in the Diocese. My journey to Rome to work for Cardinal O’Brien (who is the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem), receive my degree in Canon Law and actually become a member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre was truly led by God. The blessings that God has showered upon me these past three-and-a-half years are clear evidence of the Lord’s presence and direction. 

Students Receive Blessings in York Catholic’s Renovations

Students at York Catholic High School began their year with striking renovations on campus aimed at enhancing their academic and extra-curricular experiences.

Through the efforts of its “Grow Today, Impact Tomorrow” Capital Campaign, York Catholic unveiled a new turf athletic field on Aug. 19 and celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony for renovated classrooms and facility-wide air conditioning on Sept. 5.