Please be advised that our Online Giving Program will be temporarily unavailable on Tuesday, March 13 starting at 2:00 AM due to maintenance updates. This planned outage is anticipated to take up to 7 hours to perform and should be back online by Tuesday, March 13 at 9:00 AM.
During this maintenance window, please be aware that you will not be able to log into or access our Online Giving Program. We apologize for the inconvenience and greatly appreciate your patience. Many blessings to you!
Our Lenten Parish Penance Service will be celebrated next Sunday night, March 18, at 7:00 pm. Lent is a time for us to acknowledge our sins and to turn back to the Lord. For us Catholics, we are privileged to have this wonderful Sacrament of Reconciliation. For those who go frequently, you understand what a grace this Sacrament truly is. For those who have not been there for a while, may you return to this beautiful Sacrament without fear or trepidation. You are meeting the merciful Lord in confession and he is always “slow to anger and rich in compassion.” It is good to make an examination of conscience before you go in to confess your sins. The priest will help you if it has been a long time. Tell the priest how long it has been since your last confession and confess your sins. Give an idea of how many times you have committed your sins. It also helps if you tell the priest what your state in life is (single, married, widowed, religious, etc.) Listen carefully to the priest’s advice and the penance he gives you. Make an Act of Contrition (the one you learned as a child is fine or you can pray it from the heart). Hear the words of absolution and truly believe that your sins are forgiven. Make use of this Sacrament as often as you can (and you need!) You will not regret it!
P.S. I am happy to share that a name has been selected for the meeting space in the old parish offices and Meeting Room C. This space will now be known as the “Holy Family Center”.
Rally in Harrisburg Monday, March 12 (Capitol Rotunda, 2:30pm) - New legislation (House Bill 2050, Senate Bill 1050) would improve Pennsylvania by prohibiting by law an abortion of any child solely due to a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome. The lead sponsors of this legislative effort - Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, State Representative Judy Ward and State Senator Scott Martin - are formally announcing this legislation at a rally in the State Capitol Rotunda on Monday, March 12th. Opponents are already mobilizing against this common sense legislation - all the more reason why we want to fill the Rotunda with people like who in support of this effort. Questions? Contact PA Family Council at 717-545-0600.
To support this legislation online go to: pacatholic.org
Bulletin sponsorships are essential to our parish's communication efforts. The weekly bulletin is the primary source of communication our parish has to get information to parishioners on a regular basis. The cost of producing a publication like this each week would be a financial hardship if it wasn't for our bulletin sponsorship program.
We are so very grateful for the generosity of our bulletin sponsors! If you would like more information about becoming a bulletin sponsor for St. Joan of Arc Church, please contact Mike Jurosky at (717) 648-5996 or email: mjurosky@Diocesan.com
All families with children currently enrolled in REP should have received a letter regarding our simplified plan for 2018-19 registration. If you did NOT receive this letter, contact the REP office. *Don't forget the "Pre-Registration" tuition discount ends March 31st!
Those NEW to REP: If you have a student in grades K-8 for the 2018-19 school year, who will not be attending a Catholic school or be taught in a Catholic homeschool program, registration materials can be found on the parish website, in the rear of the church, or in the parish office. Please contact the REP Office with questions or concerns at (717) 533-7168, Ext. 306 or REP@stjoanhershey.org
This week's message from Father Al...
This weekend marks the 150th Anniversary of the Diocese of Harrisburg. Formed in 1868 from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, our 15 - county diocese (originally 17 until in 1910 the Diocese of Altoona - Johnstown was founded) is the largest area-wise in Pennsylvania and consists of 88 parishes and 7 missions. As of the latest Catholic census, we have 233,910 Catholics in our diocese. We have 30 elementary schools, two schools K to 12 and 5 high schools. We have 127 active diocesan and religious priests; 36 retired priests; 65 active and retired permanent deacons; one religious brother; and 176 active women religious! (And a partridge in a pear tree!) We are a thriving diocese with a faith-filled laity of which, in my mind, St. Joan of Arc is right up there at the top when it comes to the goodness of our people!
This year there will be a number of diocesan events planned to celebrate our sesquicentenary. One of the big events will be a diocesan pilgrimage in November to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. I hope our parish will be well-represented. As we begin this anniversary year, let us pray for God’s continued grace upon the Diocese of Harrisburg. May we, in our time and our place, bring God’s Kingdom to earth!
The Bishop’s Annual Lenten Appeal is used to fund the many ministries of Bishop Gainer in the Diocese of Harrisburg. Each parish is assessed an amount to be paid to the diocese depending based on the size of the parish and our previous fiscal year’s income. We are the third largest parish in the diocese and last year, if you remember correctly, we had a good year from a financial standpoint. Because of that, our assessment for the Lenten Appeal is large: $264,300. But I know we can make it if we are all in this together! (Part of my job as pastor is to be a cheerleader for all the things we have to do! Rah! Rah!)
For the past couple of years, I have been making a special plea to those who have not given to the Lenten Appeal. That plea is especially important this year. We cannot expect the same people to do the lion’s share of the work of the Church year after year after year. Please be generous this year! Do what you can. Pledge something. Be part of the team. All this goes to doing great work in bringing the Kingdom of God into our little part of the world here in the Diocese of Harrisburg. God bless!
February is National American Heart Month. One aspect of heart awareness and health is your blood pressure.
Effects of high blood pressure:
High blood pressure can damage your health in many ways. It can seriously hurt important organs like your kidneys, heart and brain. Fortunately you can control your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems.
Controlling High Blood Pressure: You can make changes to your lifestyle that will help you control your blood pressure. Your doctor might prescribe medications that can help you. By controlling your blood pressure, you will lower your risk for the harmful effects of high blood pressure.
First Friday Adoration: Notice of Change
First Friday Eucharistic Adoration will take place on March 2, 2018 in the Chapel of the Parish Center following the 9:00 am Mass. Benediction will be at 5:00 pm due to the Lenten season and Stations of the Cross taking place at 7:00 pm in the Church. April’s First Friday Eucharistic Adoration will resume the new schedule of Benediction at 7:00 pm.
We have begun the great Season of Lent. Lent is a time for spiritual renewal, of conversion, of intensifying our spiritual practices. The fasting and abstaining that the Church requires is a reminder that this a special time in the life of the Christian. Discipline is the key. Of course, if the things we give up or do in Lent is just a matter of human willpower, we really have missed the point. It is God who begins all good things in us and brings them to completion. The discipline we need is to hear the Word of God in our lives, to learn how to be humble, and to put our trust in the Lord’s power and grace to transform our lives. The spiritual practices we do are all means to the end of having a deeper faith and trust in the Lord. Have a good and holy Lent!
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