The parish office will be closed August 1-3 while the office staff begins moving into the new parish center. If you are available to assist in moving items during this time, please contact the parish office. We are greatly appreciative of your support, patience and prayers during this time of transition.
Next weekend we will have our annual Missionary Co-Operative Appeal. This year we have Father Paul Prabel from the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. The missionary activity involves working with some of the poorest individuals and families in the United States. This former bishopric of our own Bishop Gainer is set in the heart of Appalachia. Our own missionary efforts from our parish through the Father Beiting Mission helps us realize how desperate the needs are of our brothers and sisters in Kentucky. When I was there last year I was shocked at the amount of poverty right in our own country. Please be generous this year. The sacrifice you make can do major good for people whose lives are so different from our own. Remember the words of Jesus as you make your contribution this year: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers or sisters, so you do unto me!”
You can learn more about this mission here.
About the Diocese
St. John Paul II established the Diocese of Lexington on March 2, 1988, erecting it from portions of the Archdiocese of Louisville and the Diocese of Covington.
The diocese encompasses an area the size of Maryland, Delaware, and Rhode Island combined, half of which is in the heart of Appalachia. Roman Catholics comprise over 44,000 of the 1.5 million people in the area or 3% of the overall population, concentrated primarily in the larger cities and towns.
Of the 60 parishes in the diocese, roughly 40 rely on external funding to meet daily expenses. 12 parishes are missions to other parishes in the region. Thee diocese offers the Mission and Ministry Program, providing over $1 million annually for applicant parishes, schools, and outreach ministries in the mountains.
A Snapshot of the Diocese of Lexington
The mountains of Eastern Kentucky and the rolling hills of the Central Kentucky’s Bluegrass region are places of contrasts. The natural beauty and richness of the land belie the grinding poverty and desperation that also exists there. Some wealth stands cheek-to-jowl with deprivation… fine homes next to decrepit manufactured homes. Businesses trade in the same communities where a virtual barter economy still reigns. Beautiful vistas reside by devastated landscapes.
The extraction industries, mining and logging—long the life blood of the region, are dwindling, along with their dangerous but well-paying jobs. Minimum wage jobs are the norm. Many young people leave the area for greater opportunities.
Unemployment rates in most of the Appalachian counties run to 25% or more. Poverty afflicts over 30% of the population. Educational attainment is low, with over 75% of people over the age of 20 lacking a high school diploma. Access to healthcare professionals is well below the national average. Wolfe County, Kentucky, consistently ranks as one of the poorest counties in the United States, with a poverty rate of almost 31%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Beyond the urban areas, Catholics account for less than 1% of the population. While most people in the region self-identify as Christians, some 60% are unchurched. Outreach ministries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington - in all of these areas: education, material assistance, healthcare, etc. - are likely the only contact the needy will ever have with a religious community.
· 16,426 Square Miles
· 50 Counties
· 44,303 Members
· 60 Parishes
· 2 Oratories
· 43 Active Diocesan Priests
· 17 Active Religious Order Priests
· 85 Deacons
· 45 Women Religious
· 9 Seminarians
· 1 Accredited Secondary School
· 13 Accredited Primary Schools
· 13 Federal & State Prisons
About Today’s Presenter: Fr. Paul Prabell: A native of Kentucky, Fr. Paul Prabell has served in Central and Eastern Kentucky for 45 years. He has served as a parish priest, campus minister, and director of priests’ personnel. He presently is serving as the rector of Christ the King Cathedral in Lexington.
Summer is here and we all probably know the importance of skin protection from the sun. Here are a few basic facts:
· Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US.
· The incidence has been increasing over the past few decades.
· Usually skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to Ultraviolet Rays. These rays mostly come from the sun but may also come from man-made sources, such as indoor tanning beds, and sun lamps.
The American Cancer Society gives a simple guideline to assist with sun protection.
The catchphrase is:
Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap!
· Slip on a shirt...
· Slop on sunscreen...
· Slap on a hat...
· Wrap on sunglasses to protect eyes and skin around them.
The Diocese of Harrisburg requires two years of religious education before reception of the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. If your child is not in a Catholic School, you need to register for REP, our Religious Education Program, as soon as possible. Our program covers grades K-8, so any new families should also consider prompt registration so that you receive all information on the coming year's program. For more information and registration options click here
A core group of parishioners provides dinner for our priests at t. Joan of Arc throughout the year. We are hoping to add additional volunteers to this effort to allow for more flexibility in the group. The requirement would be for you to provide one (1) meal per month on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. If you are interested in participating in this ministry and would like more information, please contact Martha Rupert at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-649-9665.
Just a bit of mid-summer news:
We got occupancy on the new parish center around two weeks ago and the staff is presently beginning to move into the newly renovated building. It looks great and I think many of you will especially enjoy the chapel. It is going to be a very special sacred space. The goal is to have everything up and ready for the parish office to be officially opened immediately after Labor Day. We will all have to start remembering to drive to the OTHER side of our parish campus to do
business. It will take a while to get used to it but what wonderful new space! The present offices will be used for parish ministries, organizations and meetings starting after Labor Day as well. You will be able to book those rooms as well starting soon. By the way, along with the names of Saint Margaret, Saint Catherine and Saint Michael for our new meeting spaces, the large space where Susan worked as secretary will now be called Our Lady of Grace!
Also, just a reminder that we now have five new parking spaces on Glen Avenue near the handicapped entrance. These are reserved for those with handicapped parking stickers. Please be mindful of the disabled! I will be talking about future projects here in the parish this coming fall. Stay tuned!
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St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church | 359 West Areba Ave., Hershey, PA 17033 | Phone: (717) 533-7168 | Fax: (717) 520-0526 | Email: email@example.com
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