Diocesan Superintendent Reflects on Schools’ Commitment and Ability to Teach the Whole Student

Dan Breen, a native of Massachusetts and a former Catholic school principal in Tennessee, was appointed the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Schools on July 1. In this role, he will oversee the operation of the Catholic schools in the Diocese. He will also work to support the Catholic identity of our schools, and support pastors and principals with their school related responsibilities.

As a new academic year began, Breen participated in a question-and-answer interview to tout what Catholic schools have to offer, and to celebrate those dedicated to their mission.

Program Examines Plight of Refugees

The subject of immigration has been all over the news and all over the country in recent months. On Aug. 15, it was front and center at the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick in Harrisburg.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference joined Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg and other community service organizations to encourage everyone to support the plight of refugees around the world and to treat all people with love and respect. The program was organized by the Cathedral Parish’s Mercy Matters Committee.

Sacrificial Love

During a recent jubilee Mass, the priest celebrant gave a truly amazing homily about the nature of God and love. I was instructed to record the homily so that the individuals celebrating their jubilee could reflect on the message.

As I type this, the recording is playing in the background. In his homily, Father reminded us that we are called to love one another as Jesus loves us. Think about this. Jesus is God and his love is divine as well as eternal. How can mere human beings love with that same type of love? The short answer: We can’t. However, we are called to love over and over again, to love others each day with sacrificial love. THIS we can do!

Young Adults from Diocese of Harrisburg begin Nine-Month Journey with National Evangelization Teams

For nearly 40 years, NET Ministries has challenged young Catholics to leave behind their families, schools and jobs to travel the United States for nine months, sharing the Gospel with young people in parishes and schools.

Each August, 175 young adults ages 18-28 set out on the journey to serve with the National Evangelization Teams (NET), witnessing to their faith and inviting peers to live for Christ.

Diocese Launches Podcasts

We’ve all been faced with those times of waiting. Traffic, appointments, checkout lines; waiting is a part of life. The Diocese of Harrisburg now has a new resource to help turn these waiting times into opportunities for deeper growth in the faith.

Through the generosity of those who contributed to the Catholic Communications Campaign collection and through a partnership with Breadbox Media, the Diocese recently launched two podcasts, with a third coming soon.

Summer Drama is King

For the past four summers, St. Theresa School in New Cumberland has offered a musical theater camp for elementary students. The several-week program is hosted at Trinity High School in Camp Hill, where the camp attendees are treated to wonderful production quality sound and lighting systems to enhance the musical production. This year’s chosen production was The Lion King, mirroring Disney’s summer blockbuster release in theaters.

The camp is run by BJ Meagher, the Director of Bands at Trinity, who, along with several assistants, help the attendees with singing, acting, choreography and set creation. The costumes and sets are fashioned out of basic items transformed into striking props.

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Celebrates a Century in New Holland

Nestled in “Pennsylvania Dutch Country,” among Amish homesteads and Baptist churches, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish has been a bastion of the Catholic Church for a century.

For 100 years, parishioners have upheld the parish’s mission of living “the Catholic Tradition of Word, Sacrament, social justice, and respect for life” while welcoming all into “a believing, worshiping, loving, and serving community.”

A Love to Set the World on Fire

Just after Easter, I received a card from one of the readers of The Catholic Witness. The cover of the card featured a reproduction by Virginia Thomas of the Apparition of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary. In this rendition of the apparition, St. Margaret and Mary and Jesus’ glances are completely enwrapped in each other. In her writings, St. Margaret Mary said of her experience of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “One day, as I knelt before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar, … Jesus Christ, my sweet Master, presented Himself to me, … with His five wounds shining like so many suns. From all parts of His Sacred Humanity there issued flames but especially from His adorable breast, which was like a furnace. Opening it, He showed me His loving and lovable Heart as the living source of those flames. Then he revealed to me all the unspeakable marvels of His pure love… .”1