The end of the year is a good time to make charitable contributions to those in need. Here are some suggestions for giving here at St. Joan of Arc:
As you make your Christmas donation to the parish, please consider an additional contribution to support these various needs and ministries in the Church. All checks can be made out to St. Joan of Arc. Please indicate in the memo or on an envelope where you want these monies to go. As always, I am very grateful for your great generosity! God bless you!
PARISH MANAGER POSITION AVAILABLE:
St. Joan of Arc Parish is accepting applications for the Position of Parish Manager. This important position is responsible for the day-to-day running of the parish office with respect to personnel, scheduling, and administrative concerns such as the implementation of diocesan and parish policies and guidelines. This position will also involve the overseeing of plans for building and property enhancement and/or expansion according to diocesan and governmental agencies. In sum, the Parish Manager will assist the pastor in the overall administration of the parish. At least three years of experience in business administration and personnel supervision is required. Salary, hours and benefits are negotiable.
Application forms are available on our parish website at: www.stjoanhershey.org/pm or contact Father Al Sceski at (717) 533-7168, ext. 102. Please submit application by January 15, 2018.
Today we begin the great Season of Advent. Father Arena and I were both talking recently about how this is our favorite Season of the Church year. Maybe it is the time of year with its short days and long nights; maybe it is the excitement of the season as people prepare for Christmas; maybe it is the liturgies of Advent with its sense of hopeful expectation. There is just something special about this time of year. When the rest of the world is celebrating Christmas from before Thanksgiving, let us Christians slow down, take a deep breath, and really experience the uniqueness of Advent. This doesn’t mean that we don’t get ready for Christmas but perhaps it means that we pray a little longer, reflect on God’s gift of his Incarnate Son with greater intensity and… just learn to wait in quiet expectation. You can’t rush the spiritual life! Don’t rush Christmas by letting Advent pass you by!
We are starting to advertise for a new Parish Manager to take the place of Dr. Barbara Hasson. I have purposely not hired someone right away so that I can get an idea of the real needs of the parish and what this position will entail. One of the responsibilities of the Parish Manager was the directing and supervising of all matters pertaining to buildings and grounds. Dr. Hasson did a fine job doing this and before her retirement taught our Maintenance Director, Matt Dunkle, what this part of the job involved. I am naming Matt as the new Director of Facilities starting at the beginning of the new fiscal year in July. (He is already doing the work now as Director of Maintenance.) Matt will be in charge of not only buildings and grounds but also the custodial staff.
As we move forward with the Parish Manager position, we want to get the best possible person and that may necessitate flexibility regarding hours, salary, benefits, etc. The position will be responsible in assisting the pastor in the overall administration of the parish with respect to all matters pertaining to personnel, finance, parish committees and organizations, and scheduling. Look forward to an advertisement about this position soon. It might be just the opportunity you are looking for!
Next week at the Noon Mass, Bishop Gainer will be with us as our Celebrant and afterwards will bless our new Parish Center and new Convent. There will be a light reception to follow. I have heard so many good things about our renovations and I know that the priests, the deacon and our staff are all acclimated to our new space and we are enjoying it just fine. The Sisters have told me that they love their new home and I am so happy about that as well. We have alleviated some of our space issues but we still have a few more to address, as well as addressing the fact that our Education Center (for REP and our parochial school) is 70 years old next year. I know that I have been talking about my vision for the future in bulletin columns and informally to parish organizations and individuals over the last two years but soon we (the Parish and Finance Councils, the Development Committee and the Building and Planning Committee) will give the parish a more formal presentation about our needs and ideas about where to go in the future. Look forward to more conversation about this in the new year! Until then, hope to see you all next week as we celebrate with our bishop this wonderful project of which we can be justly proud!
Once again, congratulations to Rev. Mr. Matthew Morelli, our parishioner, who was ordained to the diaconate this past Saturday at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. We are blessed to be having seven ordinations to the priesthood next spring. Please keep all of our seminarians in your daily prayers.
This past week we celebrated the wonderful Solemnity of All Saints as well as the Commemoration of All Souls. These two days begin the month of November in which we remember in a special way all of our beloved dead and also those who have been forgotten. We remember (with sobriety, not morbidity) the fact that all of us must die one day but it is our Christian hope that one day we shall see the Lord face to face. It is truly a Christian sentiment to “Remember death!” (Memento mori)
The month of November is truly the month of the dead but also the time of changing weather. Please be patient as we move from cooling to heating the church. It is hard enough to negotiate “thermostat wars” at home, much less for such a big space as ours! Wear layers if necessary. It is in things like this that we learn patience.
Next Sunday at the 10:30 Mass, Matthew Morelli will preach his first homily as a deacon of the Church. It is wonderful to have Matthew as part of our parish. I encourage you to come and hear him and then gather in the school cafeteria immediately after Mass for a light reception. May we have many more vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life from our parish!
The former parish office space (we still need a name for it!) has been painted and new carpet installed. We will begin to use this space by mid-November for parish ministries and organizations. The rooms will be:
When you are booking rooms, keep the number of people in your group in mind. We won’t know what to do with all this new space! (Only kidding… I know we will!)
*Note: Room information can be found on our parish website under the parish menu by selecting “Facilities & Scheduling”.
I am very pleased to announce we have a new Director of Music here at Saint Joan of Arc. Mike Davis will take this position in mid-November. He was a long-time music teacher in the Hershey School District and Director of Music at Saint Joseph Parish in Mechanicsburg. He is excited about working here in Hershey and I know that he will add so much to our music ministry. Welcome aboard, Mike!
I want to thank in a very special way Kit Ryan and Mary Catherine Tierney who have been so generous with their time and talent during this transition period. They have been wonderful. I also want to thank the choir for being patient…and faithful…to the music ministry here at the parish during this time. There are transitions in life and we always need fidelity and patience to get through them!
God bless you and let’s all look forward to making beautiful music here at Saint Joan’s for the glory of God!
Father Al's weekly message from this past Sunday:
This weekend at the noon Mass we are kicking off our celebration of the 90th Anniversary of Saint Joan of Arc Parochial School. Ninety years is quite a milestone in any lifetime but ninety years for a Catholic School is quite an accomplishment. I was reading the initial letter from our first pastor, Father Phelan, to the bishop at the time, Bishop Philip McDevitt, asking for permission to build a Catholic school here in Hershey. He gives all the reasons why it would be advantageous and then comes to the point of his letter: May we please borrow $4000 to build the school! $4000!!! To build a school!!! Ah, those were the days!
Our school has had an illustrious history with thousands of alumni coming through our doors. This year we have 352 students in Pre-school through 8th grade. For the entire ninety years we have had the privilege of having the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy as teachers and principals in our school. What a blessing! Our school has taught the Catholic Faith year in and year out for 90 years. What a special privilege to bring the love and mercy and teaching of Jesus Christ to the children of our parish! Ad Multos Annos! To many more years!
*Reminder: Father Al's message is posted each week on our parish blog (parish website - www.stjoanhershey.org)
Next week we celebrate Our Annual Eucharistic Devotions here at St. Joan of Arc. Known also as “Forty Hours”, we come together as a parish family to recognize the great gift we have in the Holy Eucharist. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar calls us to take time from our busy schedule, make a visit to the church during this time and, if possible, make the evening devotions. Please sign up for a half hour of adoration at the back of the church.
Starting on October 6th, we will have our First Friday Exposition in the Saint Lucy Chapel in the new parish Center. Immediately after the nine o’clock Mass we will gather in the chapel and expose the Blessed Sacrament. We will continue with Evening Prayer and Prayer for the Sick at 7:00 pm and Night Prayer at 9:45 pm. We will do this during October, November and December and then assess how it is working for the new year. There are two reasons why we are doing this: first, the chapel is a much more intimate space and, second, there are times when no one is in the church when the Blessed Sacrament is on the altar which is strictly forbidden by the Church. In the Parish Center, there are people around all the time which is necessary for prolonged adoration.
We really have a week dedicated to the Holy Eucharist! Stop in and make a visit!
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