Diocesan News

May 28, 2020

At Baccalaureate Mass, Bishop Tells Graduates to Strive for Ultimate Achievement as Disciples of Christ

Bishop Ronald Gainer’s message to the Class of 2020 opened with an honest recognition of their loss at the end of their senior year, and the words on many of their minds: It’s just not fair.

“It’s not fair that every graduating class gets to walk to Pomp and Circumstance, and the Class of 2020 graduates, minus the pomp and under the most unconventional circumstances,” he said.

“I recognize and I sympathize with you, that almost all of the normal senior activities – activities that you looked forward to for years – were lost during this pandemic. Even the normal informal opportunities to say goodbye to classmates and friends have vanished during this time,” he said.

Diocesan News, News\Events
May 22, 2020

Father John C. Kemper Dies

Father John C. Kemper, PSS, died on May 21 in Baltimore. A native of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Father Kemper had been the Provincial Superior of the Society of St. Sulpice until his resignation in April for failing health from esophageal cancer. He was 62.

John Charles Kemper was born in Kulpmont on July 29, 1957, to John and Lois (nee McCabe) Kemper. He is survived by his mother and his three sisters: Georgiann Hyduk, Marsha Williams, and Marion Zakrzewski.

Diocesan News, News & Views, News\Events, Obituaries
May 21, 2020

Studies, Prayer Continue for Seminarians via Remote Formation

In the midst of hungering for Sacramental Communion, longing to return to the seminary, praying for the lives impacted by COVD-19 and navigating the challenges of remote learning, seminarian Richard Groff has come to understand that the struggles associated with the current pandemic are part of his formation.

Not being able to attend Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist “has been one of the biggest challenges for me as a seminarian,” he said in a Zoom interview from his home.

Diocesan News, News\Events
May 14, 2020

Essential Oils, Atypical Time: Chrism Mass Celebrates Sacramental Life of the Church

The stark setting of this year’s Chrism Mass, also called the Mass of the Holy Oils, illustrated the radical change from life as we know it during this time of pandemic.

Typically celebrated with a standing-room-only congregation of priests, clergy, religious, seminarians and lay faithful, the Mass is a highlight of the liturgical year. It unites the faithful in support of their priests as the latter renew their promises of priestly service. It celebrates the sacramental life of the Church as the bishop blesses the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens, and consecrates the Sacred Chrism.

Diocesan News, News & Views
May 14, 2020

Parishioners to ‘Gather Again’ in ‘Yellow’ Counties

Two months have passed since parishioners in the Diocese of Harrisburg have been able to attend Mass in person. That is about to change for those living in Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. These four counties recently transitioned from “red” to “yellow” and the parishes in these counties can reopen their doors this weekend.

“Like many, our parishes and parishioners have been asked to sacrifice so much since the stay at home orders took effect in mid-March. I know this experience has been incredibly difficult, especially since we have not be able to gather together in person for Mass. I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for the continued faith and support our parishioners have shown to their local parishes during this time,” said Bishop Ronald W. Gainer. “As the stay at home orders begin to lift and we are able to gather together again for Mass, I ask our parishioners to continue supporting your parish during these times of transition. There will be changes to Masses and in-person gatherings for the foreseeable future as a means to ensure your protection, as well as the protection of your loved ones, our pastors and parish staff, and all of their families. Please be patient with us as we continue to travel this unexpected and ever changing path.”

Diocesan News, News & Views
May 8, 2020

Guidelines Announced for Parishes in ‘Yellow’ Zone Counties

As counties transition from “red” to “yellow,” the Diocese of Harrisburg has provided new guidelines for parishes in these “yellow” zones. These guidelines were developed after reviewing the directives from the Governor’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as studies provided through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Diocese will review and amend these directives as this situation continues to develop.

Diocesan News, Media Releases, News & Views
May 7, 2020

A Commemoration of God’s Infinite Mercy

“The great story of Divine Mercy – mercy poured out for us in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ – is at the heart of the Paschal Mystery,” Bishop Ronald Gainer said in his homily on Divine Mercy Sunday, which he celebrated at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg on April 19.

A live stream of Holy Mass, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was broadcast on the Diocese’s Facebook and YouTube pages for the faithful to participate.

Diocesan News, News\Events
May 6, 2020

Bishop Gainer will be celebrating the Chrism Mass for the Diocese of Harrisburg on Tuesday, May 12

Bishop Ronald Gainer will be celebrating the annual Chrism Mass for the Diocese of Harrisburg at 10 AM on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 in the Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick, Harrisburg. This liturgy will be live streamed on the Diocese of Harrisburg YouTube channel:

The Chrism Mass offers the faithful a solemn occasion to witness the blessing of the oils and the consecration of the Sacred Chrism that will be used in the celebration of the sacraments throughout the coming year. Also during this Mass, the priests of the Diocese will remotely renew their commitment to priestly service that they made on their day of their ordination.

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

Holy Family Radio Holds Month-Long Pledge Drive in May

The life patterns of almost everyone have been impacted by the recent health crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus. Holy Family Radio has been a beacon in the night of this terrible storm. For almost 10 years, the station has aired daily broadcasts of the Holy Mass and many other inspirational programs. Holy Family Radio is available locally at 720 AM on the radio dial. Its signal can also be streamed 24/7 at, or via an app.

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to be there for people with this ministry to share and nourish their Catholic faith during this time of crisis,” said Betty Girven, President of the Board of Directors of the ministry.

Diocesan News, News\Events