Year of St. Joseph Feature: St. Joseph Parish in Hanover

Overlooking the growing community of Hanover, St. Joseph Parish stands as a beacon of faith and a model of its patron saint along the suburban ridge of Grandview Avenue south of town.
Tracing its roots to the first celebration of Mass for a handful of Catholic families in 1806, St. Joseph Parish today is home to more than 7,200 parishioners – a vibrant and active community of Anglo and Hispanic members.

Father Dan Powell Receives National Catholic Education Award

Excitement abounded at St. John Neumann School in Lancaster on March 9 as Father Dan Powell, pastor, received the “Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award” from the National Catholic Education Association. This award recognizes outstanding contributions and achievements related to Catholic Education. Only three pastors are selected annually to receive this national award. The surprise announcement was made following the morning recognition of student achievements.

“I thought I was there to encourage our students to use the gifts God has given to them to the best of their ability. I did that and then all of a sudden the focus shifted. I was speechless. At first I did not completely understand what was happening. Once I understood what was happening, I felt very humbled. I also thought of all the other people who were a big part of making this relocation of our school a reality. I am honored this award can bring to light all the fine work so many have done,” said Father Powell.

Husband and Wife Complete Pilgrimage to Each of Diocese’s 96 Churches

If Ron and Genny Little had their own version of the song “I’ve Been Everywhere,” the locational lyrics in the quicktime verses might look something like this:
I’ve been to Bloomsburg, Doylesburg, Elysburg, Millersburg
Quarryville, Marysville, Bonneauville, Danville
Middletown, Jonestown, Myerstown, Lewistown
Lebanon, Steelton, Benton, Lancaster, Manchester, Ephrata, Columbia and Catawissa…

Bishop Gainer Begins Pastoral Visits to Patron Churches of St. Joseph

Marking the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX proclaiming St. Joseph as the patron and protector of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis honored that December 8, 1870, announcement to the world with his apostolic letter, Patris corde, dedicating this current liturgical year to the venerated foster father of Jesus.

There are nine parishes named for St. Joseph in the Diocese, and Bishop Ronald Gainer will be making a pastoral visit to each throughout the year. The locations that have churches to the patron saint are Berwick, Bonneauville, Dallastown, Danville, Hanover, Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Milton, and York.

Bishop McDevitt Student Awarded Full Scholarship to St. Vincent’s

St. Vincent College president Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., has announced that Miranda Keller, a senior at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, has been awarded a four-year, full-tuition scholarship as a winner of the College’s 40th annual Wimmer Scholarship Competition.

Keller was awarded the scholarship, valued at more than $150,000, after placing among the top five in the Scholarship Competition, which drew 143 entrants.

Obituary: Sister M. Rita O’Leary, IHM

Sister M. Rita O’Leary, formerly Sister Rita Regina, died peacefully in Camilla Hall on Thursday, Feb. 25 in the 65th year of her religious life. She was 85.

Sister Rita was born on Aug. 31, 1935, in Harrisburg. Her parents, James and Emma Elizabeth (Hatton) O’Leary, raised their family in the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick in Harrisburg. Rita attended St. Patrick Cathedral Elementary School and Harrisburg Catholic High School (later named Bishop McDevitt). Rita graduated from “Catholic High” in 1953, and after graduation she attended College of Mount St. Joseph On-the-Ohio for one year.  Later, while in Community, Sister earned degrees from Immaculata College, West Chester State College, and Catholic University of America.

Ruth and Aaron: Nearer Perfection

Amidst all the death Americans had to endure this winter, the passing of baseball great Henry “Hank” Aaron seemed to garner but a mere footnote in the back of the book. Hardly fitting for arguably the best ball player to ever play. “Hold on,” you say, “what about Babe Ruth?” Not close, since numbers rarely lie. Aaron played 21 seasons and belted 755 homeruns – which was 41 more than Ruth – amassed nearly 1,500 extra base hits and knocked in 2,297 teammates over his career, played mostly for the Milwaukee and then expansion Atlanta Braves.

This humble Mobile, Alabama, native grew up in the Depression Era and Jim Crow segregated South, when African Americans were wise not to seek the bright lights of fame. Young Hank used to toss balls up on their sharecropper shanty and run to the other side to make a diving catch. He was an extraordinary athlete in high school and began his career in the Negro Leagues before ascending to professional baseball in his early 20s.