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Carlisle Knights Distribute Coats for Kids

As the weather turned cold, the Knights of Columbus in Carlisle heated up their commitment to the community with free winter coat distributions for children. Knights of Columbus Council #4057 at St. Patrick Parish in Carlisle distributed 96 brand new, warm coats to children at Lamberton Middle School, and Hamilton…

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Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and more than 800 faithful gathered at St. Joseph Church in Hanover for Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gainer and concelebrated by more than 10 priests of the Diocese. The feast marks the Marian apparition in 1531 to St.…

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Youth Travel the World to Celebrate Christmas

Youth from across the Diocese experienced Christmas early on Saturday, Dec. 14, during the inaugural Around the World event. Coordinated by the Diocesan Office of Multicultural Ministries, the event celebrated the Christmas traditions from various cultures, explaining their unique, yet similar, ways of celebrating the birth of Christ. Before decorating…

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The Heart of Christmas

Recently, as I was driving to work, I switched on the radio to listen to some Christian music. To my chagrin, even though in my world it was Advent, the station was blaring Christmas music. I was totally tempted to turn off the radio and growl at the culture for…

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Father Thomas R. Hoke Dies

Father Thomas R. Hoke pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Spring Grove, died suddenly on Dec.14. He was 70 years old. Father Hoke was born in Hanover on May 16, 1949, to the late Henry J. Hoke and Pauline C. (Schrader) Hoke. He attended St. Joseph Catholic School in…

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On a Mission with Coffee

Last November, with two master’s degrees in hand, Nicholas Higgins was planning to find a job as an industrial engineer in Florida. Today, he’s in rural Newville, working to open a coffee shop to benefit the people of Honduras. “I’ve had a total conversion. It is very clear that God…

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A Perfect Gift

Soon after the birth of my son Charlie*, who has Down syndrome, a visitor asked whether he was “mild, moderate, or severe”—referring to his level of cognitive impairment. I knew the terminology, but the question shocked me. In my arms I held my beautiful baby boy, who defied easy categorization.…

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Listening with the Heart

Words. Words. Words. In today’s culture, words are little packets of information that fly from our fingers or our months with little or no thought. I never truly thought much about words until I began writing for The Catholic Witness. Writing causes me to slow down and actually reflect on…

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From Dismissive Shrugs to First Vows

Sitting at Mass during her freshman year at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School in Coal Township 20 years ago, Mary Mensch shrugged off the celebrant’s message about homegrown vocations. When Father Charles Persing predicted, “There will be one priest and one sister from this student body,” Mensch allowed the…

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