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.

Lebanon Catholic Kicks off School Year with Mass and Blessing of Renovated Gym

The Lebanon Catholic School community of students, families, faculty members, alumni and supporters gathered on Assumption Hill Sept. 1 for a “back to school” Mass that included the blessing of the school’s renovated gym by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.

The gym is the hub of activities at Lebanon Catholic, which enrolls students in PreK-12, and the site of the first community-wide liturgy that kicked off the start of a new school year.


Once upon a time, a young person came across a cottage deep within a forest. This cottage was a truly magical abode since it was the home of the Master Builder. Upon approaching the front door, the young person raised their hand to knock. The door opened and a voice said, “Welcome my daughter/son! Come right in!”

As the young person’s eyes adjusted to the room’s lighting, they saw the project on which the Master Builder was working; a life-size crucifix. The Corpus was lying on the table while the cross was propped against the wall.

San Juan Preschool Celebrates 15 years of Early Childhood Development

September 2 marked the 15th anniversary of San Juan Bautista Preschool in Lancaster, and its commitment to early childhood development. The celebration kicked off this month with a campaign to raise $15,000 in 60 days, with a matching gift, giving the school the potential to raise $30,000.

The anniversary also celebrates the high school graduations of the preschool’s first graduating class 15 years ago.

Marian Pilgrimage Draws Catholics to Centralia

The annual Marian Pilgrimage at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Centralia drew hundreds of Eastern and Latin Rite Catholics to the near-ghost town in Columbia County on Aug. 25.

The church, with its spotless white bell tower, overlooks the once-flourishing coal town, rendered desolate since the underground mine fires that ignited in 1962. Each August, the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia hosts a Marian pilgrimage on the church grounds, drawing worshipers from along the east coast.

Excitement Permeates First Day at New Holy Trinity School

The celebration of the inaugural first day at the new Holy Trinity School in York illustrated the excitement, energy and faith-filled love already in existence there.

A combination of the former St. Joseph School in Dallastown and the former St. Patrick School in York, Holy Trinity – located in the former St. Patrick’s building – opened its doors with a celebration that featured a school-wide Mass, a red carpet walk and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Disabilities Camp ‘Family’ Reunites at Kirchenwald

In mid-August, Caitlin Nealon made the nearly 3,000-mile journey from her home in San Jose, Calif., to Lebanon County for the Diocese’s annual camp for people with disabilities.

A highlight of the summer for more than 30 years, the week draws both new and returning campers and counselors to Camp Kirchenwald for hiking, fishing, arts and crafts, swimming, a talent show and – most importantly – camaraderie.

Giving Your Life Away

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a young maiden with her grandparents. Their home was of modest size and she, being the only child, had the freedom to go into any room except one. This room was constantly locked. The only key, to her knowledge, was in the possession of her grandmother. The young maiden tried over and over again to find out what was in this forbidden room. Her grandmother would say, “Hush child, you are not old enough to understand.”

One night, her curiosity got the best of her. As she pretended to be asleep, she watched her grandmother take the lamp and unlock the door to the secret room. As her grandmother closed the door behind her and locked it again, the young maiden snuck up to the key hole, hoping to see what was going on in the room. She could hear her grandmother humming, but could see absolutely nothing. Her grandmother called through the closed door, “Child! Stop your nosiness! Go to bed!”