Sunday, April 14, 2024

Diocesan Notebook – November 23

Masses and Prayer Services

The next Caelorum at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Hershey will be Wednesday, December 14 at 7 p.m. Join your brothers and sisters in Christ this Advent season as we come together to adore, praise and worship our Lord and Savior. Feel the power of his presence and never-failing love as he attends to your needs and strengthens and blesses you with his abundant Mercy. If you are unable to attend, you may watch the live stream or recording at the Caelorum Facebook page For more information, call 717-215-4175.

The Epiphany Italian Mass/Epifania del Nostro Signore will be Sunday, January 8 at 12:15 p.m. at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg, celebrated by Father Joshua Brommer. The Italian Apostolate Ministry Committee will provide a reception after Mass. For more information, contact Mariella Amato at 717-278-9420 or Maria DiSanto at 717-554-5698 or

An ecumenical, inter-religious Candlelight Remembrance Service for anyone who has experienced the death of a friend, family member or loved one to suicide will take place on Sunday, December 11, at 6 p.m. at Sacred Heart Basilica, Conewago. For more information, please contact Sue Poist at 717-624-2055 or All are welcome, regardless of when the suicide occurred. It is a time for us all to come together to let you know you are not alone.

Knights of Columbus – The Christopher Club, Mount Carmel, will have its annual Blessing of the Manger, Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m., at their club. This is a community event open to all area residents. Area priests and ministers of various faiths participate in the program. The club is beautifully decorated for the season. Traditional complimentary food, desserts and cookies are provided. It is an enjoyable evening of music and singing with family, friends and neighbors. A visit by St. Nick or Santa Claus is anticipated.

St. Joseph Parish in York and Father Steve Fernandes, OFM, Cap., invites York area churches to join in celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Wednesday, January 18 at 7 p.m. Stephen Falencki, Coordinator of Music at St. Joseph Parish, is recruiting choir members and musicians from the various churches to lead the service in song and praise. If interested in joining this Combined Church Choir, please contact Stephen at 717-755-7503, ext. 248, or

Tuesday Evening Prayer Devotions resume at St. Patrick Church in Carlisle, Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. Join others in praying the Rosary for an end to abortion, The Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the clergy of the Diocese, and novena prayers to Our Mother of Perpetual Help for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life. Devotions are every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at St. Patrick Church on Pomfret Street in Carlisle, except during inclement weather and during 40 Hours. The devotions began in May of 1994 and are returning after a hiatus since the start of the pandemic. For information, contact Henry Treffinger at 717-701-5676 or

Education & Enrichment

Retrouvaille offers a welcoming and loving space to couples who have been living with the misery of a failing marriage. Retrouvaille offers hope: hope that it is not too late, hope of a different and better marriage. Retrouvaille helps couples show each other mercy through the opportunities it provides to listen, to forgive, to be reconciled and to move into their futures believing that God loves them and with His help and their efforts, their marriages can be healed and restored. Retrouvaille provides help for marriage problems/difficulties/crises. The next Retrouvaille weekend is in Mechanicsburg, January 13-15. For more information about an upcoming Retrouvaille Weekend program for couples, contact the registration team at 717-356-2185 or visit

All young adults ages 18-39 are invited to the Diocesan Center for a day of reflection and celebration to welcome in the Advent season, Saturday, December 3. The day will be split into two parts. The first will be filled with informative talks by speakers such as Bishop Ronald Gainer and the new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Zack Haney. There will also be time for discussion, prayer and Adoration. Lunch will be provided. We will then celebrate Mass together before heading into the second, evening portion, which will feature a Christmas/Advent party followed by games, dancing and more! Participants are welcome to attend either session or both. Cost is $20 per session or $35 for both. Afternoon session is 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with Mass at 4 p.m. Evening session is 5-8:30 p.m. Registration coming soon. For more details, please visit

An Advent Evening of Reflection will be presented by Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC, on Monday, December 5, at 7 p.m. at St. Katharine Drexel Church, in Mechanicsburg. The title of the talk is “Mary, Woman of the Eucharist.” The evening is sponsored by the Parish Council of Catholic Women.

Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Lykens will offer an Advent presentation entitled “Survival of the American Family in a Cancel Culture,” Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. with a light lunch during the last hour of the program. The presentation will address the problems we as families face, from loneliness to violence, from affliction to addiction, from hope to healing and recognizing that the place of the wound is the place of healing. The presenter will be Msgr. Michael T. Mannion from the Diocese of Camden, N.J., a staunch pro-life advocate who has implemented many pro-life programs in New Jersey and throughout the country. He also serves as Chaplain to the New Jersey State Police and the Philadelphia Division of the FBI. Please register by Saturday, November 26 by calling or texting 717-329-3016 or by email at This event is sponsored by Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Council of Catholic Women and the Knights of Columbus Father Mark O’Neill Council #2486.

Upcoming Women of Grace Events – Save the date, April 1, 2023, at the Diocesan Conference Center, for “Welcome Women of Grace: The Grace of the Prayerful Woman.” A morning event will be offered for the Spanish-speaking community, “Bienvenidas Mujeres de Gracia: La Gracia de la Mujer Orante.” For more information, contact Chris Arnold, Regional Coordinator, at 717-379-6041 or

Save the date for the HDCCW’s 97th annual convention. The Harrisburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women invites all women of the Diocese to attend their annual convention, Saturday, April 15, 2023. The theme will be “Live in the Love of Christ.” Watch future editions of The Witness and the HDCCW’s website, for additional details.

Calling all young adults (20s and 30’s) – A young adult Catholics group is forming in Franklin County. Open to young adults from local parishes, including St. Andrew the Apostle, St. Rita, Immaculate Conception, St. Mark, Corpus Christi and Our Lady of the Visitation. Please join our Facebook group for more information, or reach out to the co-leaders with any questions or ideas. Find Franklin County PA Young Adult Catholics on Facebook at, or email Rachel Little at or Anissa Freeman at

The Mental Health Ministry at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Mechanicsburg is offering two types of spiritual support groups: a group for individuals who are experiencing mental illness, and a group for family members and friends of those experiencing mental illness. Meetings are now being held on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings of each month. We will gather in the Bayley Conference Room for open discussion, and then move to separate locations for the Spiritual Support Group meetings. Participants are welcome to either join us for open discussion at 7 p.m., or arrive at 7:30 p.m. for the small group meetings, which will meet separately until 9 p.m. Contact Pastoral Assistant Donna Nebistinsky for more information at or 717-697-6929.

Are you looking for like-minded folks for prayer, discussion, and fun? Join the Companions of Pauline for quarterly meetings in the convent at Penn State Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill. The group meets from 2-4 p.m. for prayer, discussion, and fun, in-person or via Zoom as we follow the charism and spirituality of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt, foundress of the Sisters of Christian Charity. Vespers follow in the hospital chapel. Text or call Sister Donna Marie, S.C.C. at 570-335-3586 or e-mail

The Knights of Columbus invite the faithful to join the Father McGivney Guild. Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, is one miracle away from sainthood. All are welcome to join the Father McGivney Guild, and receive a periodic newsletter with information about the life, works and spirituality of Father McGivney. The Guild also offers a weekly Mass for the intentions of its members. To join, go to

Have you served in the military? The Catholic War Veterans are reactivating their Central Pennsylvania Chapter. Any baptized Catholic who has served in uniform can join. Are you interested? We need you. The first year of membership is free. For more information, contact Col. (ret) Bob DeSousa at or 717-648-8317.

Retreats & Pilgrimage

The Diocese of Harrisburg is heading to World Youth Day 2023! Young adults are invited to come celebrate with our Holy Father Pope Francis in Lisbon, Portugal. Experience a week of unity, fun and a deep encounter with Jesus Christ. Along the way, we will be also be stopping in Fatima to visit the apparition sites of Our Lady. The pilgrimage will be July 30-August 7, 2023. Young adults ages 18-39 at the time of departure are invited to attend. Cost is $2,998 per pilgrim, with an initial deposit of $500. For registration and additional information, including our itinerary, please visit: Questions can be directed to Zack Haney, Director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, at 717-657-4804, ext. 307, or

Save the Date for MOUNT2000: Back after a hiatus due to COVID, all teens are invited to join us for MOUNT2000, “Kenosis: Make Room for God.” This weekend retreat includes Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, exciting nationally known speakers and musicians, and breakout sessions led by seminarians. MOUNT2000 will be February 3-5, 2023, at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. Make plans to join us for this inspirational event.

Events & Fundraisers

The Flower of Carmel Hermitage, Inc., is seeking volunteers to assist in the development of funding and construction of a Laura in the Diocese of Harrisburg. If you are interested in helping with this important project, learn more and contact the hermitage via its website, or e-mail

St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Annville will have a Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 10, from 9 a.m. until the cookies are sold out. Hundreds of dozens of cookies will be available to choose from. Cookies are $8 per pound. There will also be a basket raffle.

St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Annville will welcome the Hershey Handbell Ensemble for a Christmas concert, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the church.

Job Openings

The Diocese of Harrisburg is seeking an administrative assistant for the Secretariat (Department) of Catholic Life and Evangelization. This position provides administrative support for department ministries, events and programs and acts as department receptionist. Seeking a mission-oriented team player with an eye for detail. The successful candidate must be a Catholic in good standing with advanced verbal, interpersonal and written communication skills, the ability to develop project timelines and meet deadlines, be respectful and courteous, have initiative and a spirit of innovation, and be able to work independently and collaboratively. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED and previous work experience as an administrative assistant or similar role. Must have proficiency with MS Office programs, web browsers and familiarity with office equipment. The ability to speak Spanish is a plus. This position is open to candidates looking for full-time or part-time hours and offers a competitive wage and benefits package for full-time hours. To view the full job description, please visit To apply, please send a resumé and cover letter to by Friday, December 9.

The Diocesan Secretariat for Education is seeking a full-time Administrative Assistant. This confident individual with superior organizational and administrative skills will work as part of an administrative team in the Department of Education. Successful candidates will share a passion for Catholic education, possess high levels of verbal, interpersonal and written communication skills with the ability to use some independent initiative and judgment. An ability to maintain good public relations is essential. A high level of proficiency in all MS Office applications is essential with a thorough working knowledge of database management and Excel spreadsheets. An experience of working in Catholic schools or a parish CCD program would be helpful but not essential. Knowledge of Diocesan parish /school structures would be beneficial. Competitive salary and benefits. Please send résumé and cover letter to:

The Diocese of Harrisburg is seeking a part-time kitchen cook at the Priests’ Retirement Home in Harrisburg, for Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Candidate should have a friendly disposition and provide weekend food services to the priests living in the Retirement Home, an independent living facility of 15 apartments. The cook works independently and without close supervision, and must have an excellent knowledge of food hygiene and food preparation. The weekend cook is responsible for providing lunch and dinner to a pre-set menu. Must be able to stand and walk continuously throughout the working day; reach, stoop, bend, lift and carry up to 50 lbs.; manipulate various food products, dietary supplies and equipment; have visual acuity and color discrimination for examining cooked and stored food; have taste and smell discrimination in determining nutritional quality and palatability of foods; have ability to work with chemicals and cleaning agents; and tolerate exposure to temperature and humidity changes as in entering refrigerated storage areas, working at ovens, ranges, dish-washing machines, and at steam tables. Required to have (or will be given the opportunity to obtain) ServSafe Certification. Please send résumé to or via mail to Human Resources, Diocese of Harrisburg, 4800 Union Deposit Rd., Harrisburg, PA 17111.

St. Theresa Parish in New Cumberland has an opening for a maintenance/custodian position. The expectation for this position is to have a functional knowledge of electrical, mechanical, plumbing, painting, carpentry, roofing, or HVAC and cabling processes. The position requires trouble-shooting ability and immediate response to problems and emergency situations. The individual should be versed in basic home repairs and be knowledgeable in the use of hand and power tools and the operation of cleaning equipment. This person must be a versatile, skilled individual. It is essential that this person be adaptable, flexible and have the ability to work without supervision. Responsible for the maintenance needs of the entire campus. Must maintain a high degree of confidentiality, be pleasant and have a helpful attitude. Two to three years of related work experience and/or certificates of completion for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, wiring classes required. Full-time position, $17/hour plus benefits. Contact Randy Meholick at 717-829-6176 or

St. Theresa Parish in New Cumberland is seeking a cook/housekeeper responsible for keeping the residence clean, orderly, and presentable at all times; for the day-to-day operation of the kitchen and dining area; and for preparing, cooking and serving meals for the priest(s) in residence. This individual is responsible for planning and executing a cleaning schedule for a parish rectory that may have multiple occupants. The position requires varying degrees of physical exertion, to include lifting (at least 50 lbs.) stretching, bending, climbing stairs and operating cleaning equipment. This individual should possess adequate cooking skills and a working knowledge of hygiene, and proper food handling. Creativity in menu planning and knowledge or interest in basic nutritional requirements would be helpful. Organizational skills, a working knowledge of home safety procedures, adaptability, flexibility, dependability and the ability to take instructions and meet deadlines for scheduled meals, as well as work without supervision, are essential. Absolute trustworthiness and the willingness to maintain confidentiality are essential. Position is 20 hours a week, $18 per hour. Contact Elaine Herald at 717-774-5918 or

Do you have a heart for life, supporting families and educating the youth of our community? Morning Star Pregnancy Services has openings for a Client Services Director and community educators. To learn more about these opportunities, visit

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Submission Deadline

The deadline for submissions to the biweekly Notebook/Parish Obituaries listing is every other Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Please refer to the Publication Schedule for edition dates and deadlines.

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