Dear Friends in Ministry, As the end of the academic year approaches, many parishes and Catholic high schools look for ways to recognize and thank exceptional young men and women.…
Some time ago, I was told the following story: A young man was asked by a friend to be picked up at the airport. He was coming home after spending some time on vacation in Ireland.
Several years ago, when I was a middle-school teacher, I looked with fear and trepidation at the beginning of the new school year. You see, the incoming class was a class that was “notorious” since kindergarten! The issue, I was told, was that each of them thought they were in charge! Knowing that I was going to face a difficult year if I didn’t use this as an opportunity to teach about the importance of service, I took it to prayer.
Reverencing the history, people and cultures of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Catholics from across its 15 counties gathered at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Harrisburg for the Solemn Mass opening the Sesquicentennial Year on March 3 – exactly 150 years to the day that diocese was established by Pope Pius IX.
I grew up in a somewhat rural part of New Jersey. In my yard, we had several old trees that had gnarly branches and roots that came to the surface. Under our Japanese Cherry Tree, I found a spot between the exposed roots that fit the contours of my body perfectly.
The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and images of the Passion were brought to life in a tableau-style presentation that combined prayer, poignant hymns, powerful voiceovers and rich symbolism as the Diocese of Harrisburg ushered in the opening weekend for its 150th anniversary.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Conewago, established in 1730, is the oldest parish in the diocese. In 1787, its stone church was erected, and became the first church in the United Stated to be named for the Sacred Heart. It was named a National Historic Site in 1975.
The following homily was delivered by Bishop Ronald W. Gainer at Mass for the Solemn Opening of the Sesquicentennial Anniversary Year held at Holy Name of Jesus Church, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on March 3, 2018
“Father, you need us, as much as we need you” is the phrase that Clare McCarrick, one of my parishioners at Our Lady Lourdes Church in New Holland, tells me every time we gather to worship or to celebrate other church activities.
Recently, I had the privilege of attending a Mass for which Bishop Gainer was the main celebrant. The liturgy marked the end of the retreat for the candidates in the diocese’s permanent diaconate program as they prepared for being called to lector.