Tuesday, July 23, 2024

St. Catherine of Siena Parishioners Welcome Bishop to Quarryville for Pastoral Visit on Father’s Day

In the pastoral countryside of southeastern Lancaster County, members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish have been celebrating their faith as far back as 1830, gathering for Masses in a tree grove and in private homes six decades before the borough of Quarryville was established.

The history of the Diocese’s southeastern-most parish, just ten miles north of the Maryland border along the historic Robert Fulton Highway, includes St. Catherine’s Chapel built in 1844; a second church built in the borough and dedicated in 1896; and the current church dedicated in 1999.

Wherever they’ve worshipped – from hickory tree groves to parishioners’ homes when winter roads were too dangerous to navigate to church, and to the current church across the highway from Solanco High School – the faithful of St. Catherine of Siena have been a community centered on Christ.

On Father’s Day, June 16, parishioners welcomed Bishop Timothy Senior for a pastoral visit as he joined Father Olusola Adewole, OP, pastor, in concelebrating Mass at the church. St. Catherine’s is named for a Doctor of the Church known for her service to the poor and sick, mysticism and depth of Church teaching.

In his homily, the bishop reflected on the day’s readings from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, calling us to walk by faith, and the story of the mustard seed in from the Gospel of Mark.

St. Paul reminds us of “the seriousness with which we need to embrace our faith and seek to grow in holiness as disciples of Jesus,” Bishop Senior said. “We’re always longing for or looking toward what is to come. What we do here matters. We’re ultimately invited to cooperate with God in bearing fruit in this life.”

“As St. Paul says, we walk by faith and not by sight. We don’t always see where He is taking us or leading us, but we hold on tightly to Him,” he said.

When we trust in God and follow His path, we bear fruit, and sometimes that happens in unexpected ways, the bishop said.

“Maybe it’s in a chance encounter with another person, or reaching out to someone you don’t usually talk to, or reaching out to someone you’ve been avoiding that you need to talk to,” he said.

“Let’s be open to how God is always looking to have us cooperate with Him to sow the seeds, so He will come and bear the fruit,” Bishop Senior said.

At the conclusion of Mass, Father Adewole expressed gratitude for the bishop’s presence, and said he was eager for him to “see what we do here.”

The parish has vibrant youth ministry and religious education programs with upwards of 60 young people; a pro-life ministry active in events, prayer and education; and a Good Samaritans ministry that focuses on the spiritual, education and social wellbeing of senior parishioners, the homebound and those in nursing homes.

“Thank you, Bishop, for choosing Father’s Day to come and celebrate with us,” Father Adewole said. It’s a great blessing for us.”

(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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