Starting on December 1, the Rosary will be prayed as a group on Sunday after the 9:30 am Mass. We will use the pews in the front of the church, near the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Please join us and bring your family and friends.
More information: (917) 346-8157 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The holidays are upon us and we know that this can be a difficult time for many who are feeling the loss of a loved one. We at St. Joan of Arc understand this loneliness and pain. We invite you to join us on Saturday, December 7 in the Parish Center after the 9:00 am Mass for coffee and friendship. Please RSVP.
Call to RSVP: (717) 533-2007
Support local children with cancer by getting your Christmas presents wrapped by Bishop McDevitt Elves on December 8 & 22 from 7:00 am - 1:00 pm in the St. Joseph Center. For a free-will offering, you will get a break from the holiday madness! The McDevitt Mini-Thon supports the Four Diamonds Foundation at Penn State Children’s Hospital.
Bring your loose change to support the McDevitt Mini-Thon. Canners will be on-site after morning Masses on December 8 & 22 to collect donations.
The Christmas Giving Tree Program, sponsored by the St. Vincent de Paul Society, is underway! St. Joan of Arc parishioners have been very generous in the past in creating a blessed Christmas for our neighbors in need!
Trees are decorated with ornaments that list recipients and suggested gifts will be placed in the church on Saturday, November 30 and will remain until December 13. If all ornaments are taken before December 13 and you have not gotten one, you can make a donation to the St. Vincent de Paul Society or the Hershey Food Bank and bring it to the cafeteria during gift collection times.
Gifts and donations will be collected in the cafeteria before and after Masses on the weekend of December 14 (5:00 pm Mass only) and until 12:30 pm on Sunday, December 15. Gifts will be distributed to local families in need. Thank you for your continued support.
This past week, the priests of the diocese had a “Clergy Day” at the diocesan center. Once or twice a year, we get together and receive updates on issues that pertain to our ministry in the parish. Most of the morning this past time was spent on learning about the Permanent Diaconate in our diocese. As you know (I hope you know!), Joe Gusherowski from our parish is scheduled to be ordained a deacon in June of 2020. The amount of academic work that Joe has done these past four years is really unbelievable. The theological and pastoral training he is getting is outstanding. When Joe is ordained a deacon (Deo volente or “God willing”), he will join with the other deacons in the diocese in serving the local Church. I hope that Joe will be assigned to our parish (assignments are based on need). He will join Deacon Mortel in serving in the parish. I am truly grateful for Deacon Mortel’s ministry and friendship and wisdom since my coming here as pastor. Sometimes we forget to thank the wives of our deacons and deacons-to-be. Cecile Mortel is a wonderful support to Rod, and to the parish, and to me. For this I am very grateful. Rhonda Gusherowski, Joe’s wife, has been supporting Joe through these years of training and I thank her for her goodness as well. Ordinations are special moments in the life of a parish. Keep praying for Joe Gusherowski and Rhonda as he comes down the “homestretch” toward diaconate. And keep praying for Rod and Cecile Mortel as well!
Some updates on things happening in the parish:
The month of November is the time in which we in a special way remember our loved ones who have died. Our Catholic Faith tells us that “for those who have died, life is changed, not ended.” We are living in an age in which this truth is not readily embraced. For so many people, death is not the privileged moment when we finally meet the Lord face to face but, rather, just the end of our lives here on this earth. Rarely in the history of humankind has there been such an unhopeful understanding of death and of a world beyond this one. I think for so many people in our world today (and especially among our young people), hope in heaven, in the resurrection of the body, in a world beyond this one is just too much to hope for! There is a quiet despair in many people’s lives that the promises of religion seem almost like a fairytale—a good story but not in any way connected to objective truth. But, to quote Shakespeare, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” The reality of heaven is not something that we can rationally explain. Again, Saint Paul: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, the mind cannot begin to comprehend what God has prepared for those who love Him!” I believe with all my heart that this world is not all there is. We are destined for something greater than this world. We were created for glory. And I believe that all the loved ones who have gone before me I shall see again. I cannot explain it. I cannot describe it. But I believe it more than I believe in the ground I walk on, than I believe in anything that is right before my nose.
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