Diocesan News

August 6, 2020

Protocols and Enhancements in Play as Student-Athletes Return to Sports

As teams return to their fields, courts and tracks for summer workouts and the official start of practice in a few weeks, the safety of student-athletes is the ultimate goal.

Diocesan high school administrators, athletic directors and coaches welcomed hundreds of student-athletes back to campus in June and July, and they did so with well-defined protocols to safely resume athletics.

In a recent interview with several high school athletic directors, The Catholic Witness learned about the schools’ safety measures for returning to sports, and how students are responding.

Diocesan News, News & Views, News\Events
August 5, 2020

Diocesan Event Celebrates Life and Legacy of Venerable Augustine Tolton, First African-American Priest

“In this Church, we do not have to fight for our rights because we are black. She had colored saints: Augustine, Benedict the Moor, Monica. The Church is broad and liberal. She is the Church for our people.”

Father Augustine Tolton, the first African-American priest, delivered these words at the First Black Catholic Congress in Washington, D.C., in 1889.

The words are as relevant today as they were then, said the presenters of a Zoom session the Diocese hosted July 31 to promote Venerable Tolton’s cause for canonization and a film about his life and legacy.

Diocesan News, News\Events
July 30, 2020

Annual Pilgrimage for World Peace to Be Held at Basilica and Grotto

The annual Pilgrimage for World Peace through Mary, which draws attendees to from the Diocese to the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, Md., on the first Thursday of August, will take place Aug. 6 this year.

Due to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, the pilgrimage will take place at both the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the National Shrine Grotto.

Father John Hoke, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Milton, and Father Michael Reid, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Hanover, will lead the retreat. Participants should make their own travel arrangements and bring their own lunch.

Diocesan News, News\Events
July 30, 2020

Survey in Next Week’s Edition Seeks Feedback to Determine Future of The Witness

Your voice is needed to help determine where The Catholic Witness goes in the future.

To assist us in planning the newspaper’s path as we move forward, we’ve developed a survey that will be featured in a special mailed edition of The Witness on August 7. The printed edition will be mailed to all subscribers next weekend. It will also be distributed to those who receive the weekly digital edition, available for sign-up at

Diocesan News, News & Views, News\Events
July 29, 2020

Knights of Columbus Founder to be Beatified in October

Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus Catholic fraternal organization, will be beatified on October 31, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints announced this week.

The congregation made the announcement on its website and Twitter page July 20.

A miracle credited to the intercession of the priest was approved by the Vatican and announced by Pope Francis on May 27. A child who was diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb was miraculously healed following prayers for the intercession of Father McGivney.

Diocesan News, News\Events
July 23, 2020

Catholic Schools Make Plans to Resume In-Person Class

“Welcome Back.” These two words can be associated with many of life’s major moments and it is these two words that teachers, principals and all those in Catholic schools in the Diocese look forward to saying this August. After months of planning, preparation and prayer, our Catholic schools are making plans to meet in-person for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

Daniel Breen, Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Harrisburg, led an extensive planning exercise to assist our 36 schools in preparing for the upcoming school year. “Our goals in planning were to take a prayerful approach to providing a Catholic education for our students; to maintain a holistic view of our students and of their needs; and to provide a safe, joyful school environment that follows the current scientific research on schooling during this pandemic. I believe we achieved that, though the work will continue. I am so grateful for the input and hard work of our principals and I am particularly grateful for the outstanding teamwork of our school reopening task force.”

Diocesan News, News & Views, News\Events
July 23, 2020

Writer/Director of “Across” Wants Film to Hit Viewers in the Heart Diocese to Host Screening of Tolton Movie July 31

The writer and director of “Across,” a short film that tells the story of Venerable Augustine Tolton’s childhood escape from slavery, hopes it hits viewers on an emotional and life-changing level.

“First and foremost, I want them to be entertained and moved by an incredible true story,” Christopher Foley said of the short film. “To put the impact of a movie into words is often to blunt it. If it is done well, a film will hit people on an emotional level, hit them in the heart. So, I hope that they just come to love Father Tolton as much as I do.”

Diocesan News, News\Events
July 16, 2020

Interview with Spiritual Director Reveals Beauty of Directing One’s Attention to God’s Work in their Life

This fall/winter, the Diocese will begin a formation program for candidates to discern the call to serve as spiritual directors. In conjunction with the start of the program, The Catholic Witness connected with Carol Morel, BODV, MACM, spiritual director and program team member. In this Q&A, Morel explains the purpose of the ministry, the call to serve as a spiritual director, and how the formation program will unfold.

Define what a spiritual director is, and what they do.

The spiritual director is a person of prayer, gifted by the Holy Spirit with faith, wisdom and discernment to accompany a person one-on-one through the journey into union with God. The spiritual director knows the territory from personal experience and the study of spiritual theology – and can therefore recognize and support certain transitions along the way, as well as identify potential pitfalls.

Diocesan News, News\Events
July 16, 2020

Diocese Announces Formation Program for Spiritual Directors

To accommodate the growing desire among the faithful for guidance in the spiritual life, the Diocese of Harrisburg is providing for the formation and supervision of spiritual guides. This formation program assists up to 15 candidates in discerning the call to this ministry, and – through a doctrinally sound, systematic, and applied study of the interior life – prepares them to offer spiritual direction in their parishes.

This program seeks candidates with the capacity to emulate St. John of the Cross’s three-fold characteristics of a spiritual director: learned (in ascetical and mystical theology), experienced (in contemplative prayer), and discreet.

Diocesan News, News & Views, News\Events
July 16, 2020

Bishop Edward Malesic of Greensburg named 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland

Early Thursday morning, July 16, Pope Francis named Most Reverend Edward C. Malesic, JCL, Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio.

In Cleveland, he fills the vacant see left by Archbishop Nelson Perez, who was installed as the Archbishop of Philadelphia in February 2020. Father Don Oleksiak will continue as administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland until Bishop-designate Malesic is installed as the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland on Monday, September 14, during Mass at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in downtown Cleveland.

Diocesan News, Media Releases, News & Views