2019 Matthew 25 Grants Awarded

Food. Clothing. Shelter. We may often find ourselves taking these three basic needs for granted, never having to wonder when we will eat again and where we will sleep. But for far too many men, women, children and families throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg, these three basic needs are challenging to meet.

That’s where the generosity of supporters of the Matthew 25 Grant Program fill in the gaps, providing much needed and, in some cases, life-saving support.

St. Thomas More’s Feast Proves Time for Reflection on Religious Freedom

On June 22, the Church paused to remember a saint who remained faithful in the face of political persecution, even as it meant death.

Bishop Ronald Gainer celebrated Mass on the Feast of St. Thomas More at St. Theresa Church in New Cumberland. In the Diocese of Harrisburg, the annual Mass is sponsored by the St. Thomas More Society of Central Pennsylvania, established by Catholic lawyers and judges to promote Christian principals in the law in the spirit of St. Thomas More.

Bishop Gainer Appoints New Chancellor

Barbara Roth has served the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Tribunal office for 40 years. She has worn many hats during this time; secretary, office manager, case manager and advocate are all titles she has carried. But as of July 1, Roth can add another “hat” – chancellor.

“Last week, Bishop Gainer spoke to me to see if I would consider taking on this role,” Roth said. “After speaking with Dr. [Carol] Houghton, I said yes.”

Giving Life for Love

Some time ago, I was listening to Catholic radio and the host told the following story that is worth repeating.

A young couple, Patricia and Tom, with a four year old named Jimmy, excitedly waited for the birth of another child. Unfortunately, Patricia went into premature labor, and their little girl, Cindy, was born with a rare anomaly in her blood. She needed a blood transfusion. Cindy’s parents were not matches. Jimmy was the only member of the family with a suitable blood type.

Chant Camp Immerses Students in Sacred Music, Liturgy

As 15-year-old Ryan Kerris ascended the stairs to the choir loft of St. Lawrence Chapel in Harrisburg for the first time, an expression of awe broadened across his face.

Ryan, a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Mount Carmel, was introduced to the Latin Mass a year ago, and came to St. Lawrence last month for a chant camp hosted by the Mater Dei Latin Mass Community.

Retiring Chancellor Reflects on Service, Looks Forward to New Opportunities

After a lifetime of service, the Chancellor for the Diocese of Harrisburg, Dr. Carol L. Houghton, STD, JCD, is starting her next life chapter. Dr. Houghton retired from the Diocese on June 30, but not before reflecting back on her 33 years of service.

“I started in a part-time role in June 1986. I was teaching full-time at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary at the time. When I was working part-time, I started in the Tribunal as a Defender of the Bond and then I became a Judge,” said Houghton. “My entire time with the Diocese has been in the Tribunal.”

Bishop Blesses Building Foundation as Carmel Construction Progresses

Construction of the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph continues in Fairfield, Adams County, as volunteers are hand-building the Vestry, which will contain the recreation and work rooms for the Discalced Carmelite Nuns.

Nine Discalced Carmelites moved from the at-capacity Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Elysburg to the Fairfield Carmel last July. The blueprints for the monastery farmstead require authentic materials and craftsmanship for a chapel, a refectory, a novitiate, a building for the professed, a caretaker’s home, chaplain’s quarters and a guest cottage.

Scout Mass Illustrates Activities that Help Scouts Grow in Faith

Celebrating the achievements of Diocesan youth was on full display on Sunday, June 16 with the annual Scout Mass. Bishop Ronald Gainer congratulated and distributed awards to members of the Diocese’s Girl and Boy Scouts, American Heritage Girls and Venture Crew troops. Parents, family and friends came out to congratulate the scouts for their hard work and achievements in receiving awards directly related to their Catholic faith.