On Tuesday morning I received a phone call. I have never received a phone call like this in 29 years of priesthood. It was a woman from Pittsburgh who was visiting Hershey over the weekend. She attended Mass with us on Sunday at the 11:30 am Mass. If I get a call like that, I usually think, “Uh-oh, what did I say in my homily… or, were we not welcoming enough… or, was the parking horrible…or, or, or…” But to my great delight, she wanted to call and tell us how impressed she was with Mass here at Saint Joan of Arc! She noticed that there were not a whole lot of people coming late for Mass; not many left before the closing hymn; the music was beautiful; there was reverence throughout the Mass (and before); people sang; they seemed engaged; she even liked my homily! The one thing she said that I agreed with completely is that we celebrated Mass as the Church wants us to: nothing more, nothing less! I told her that when I was ordained a priest, I remember Bishop Dattilo telling us young priests that the liturgy is not ours to do with what we want. It belongs to the Church! I can hear him saying in his own inimitable way, “So guys, don’t go changing words or prayers, don’t add your own stuff! Don’t add anything to the Mass and don’t take anything away! If you have options, use them, but always remember the Mass is not your own!” I always have tried to do that in my own priesthood. That is why I like traditional hymns and new music; vestments of all styles as long as they are beautiful and worthy; I like Latin but also love my English language; why I pray the prayers as they are written and try to follow whatever the Church tells me (although I admit to mistakes from ignorance all the time). I just think we need to hear this. We are a good parish, celebrating good liturgy, doing good things for the Lord. We don’t hear this often enough!
Our Knights of Columbus Council 6693 is planning a diaper drive to benefit Morningstar Pregnancy Services the weekend of September 21 and 22. The Knights will have a collection station set up in front of the church before all masses. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated. They need diapers in sizes 5 and 6, cash donations, checks payable to Kngihts of Columbus Council 6693, and Similac Advanced Baby Formula. Your support equals increased pregnangy tests and ultrasounds equals more babies' lives saved.
Registration for boys and girls basketball will be held in the gym during the following times:
Mike Wolfe: firstname.lastname@example.org (Boys) | Visit the website
John Polly: email@example.com (Girls) | Visit the website
Our Fall trip to Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center will be the week of October 20th. At this time there are five volunteers who will be able to go.
Our assignment will be in Charley, Kentucky to help restore a woman’s home. We will be replacing floors and floor joists as necessary. Then we will be “replacing walls (sheetrock) starting in the bathroom, then the hall and bedroom as time allows”.
The cost estimate for this project is estimated to be over $3000. Our volunteers will do all we can during the week we are there. Hopefully we can finish enough to make woman’s home more comfortable.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers. Our parish volunteers spend one week each spring and fall to help those who are in need in eastern Kentucky. Our volunteers provide their own tools for each trip as well as their own food. They also provide a variety of building supplies as necessary.
If you would like to join our parish volunteers on our spring trip or if you have questions or suggestions, please call:
Jan and Larry at: (717) 367-1546.
If you wish to donate to our Parish project this fall, send your contributions to:
Jan and Larry Duckart
5455 Ridge Road, Elizabethtown, PA 17022
Please write FBAMC on your check
All women of the parish are welcome to join us for the CCW covered dish dinner on Thursday, September 19 at 6:00 pm in the cafeteria. Bring something to share and learn about the Council of Catholic Women and the exciting year we have planned. CCW is a great way to get involved in our parish community!
Julie Groh: (717) 566-5838
Twenty-two years ago, Beth Frola and Rosemary Connelly began our Parish Nurse Ministry. This wonderful ministry included scores of nurses and health-care professionals from our parish in providing services and information on health care issues from a Catholic Christian perspective. They have been involved with everything from taking blood pressures after Sunday Masses, to preparing and running various seminars and workshops on health-related topics, to organizing our annual Mass with the Anointing of the Sick each Fall. We are very grateful for all of those who have been part of this ministry over the past two decades. At this time, for various reasons, the Parish Nurse Ministry is going to go into an inactive status as a parish organization as of October 1, 2019. This ministry has changed over the years and much of what was done in the past cannot be done now. Privacy laws and liability issues have changed health care greatly in the past couple of years (I don’t have to tell this to all of you still actively involved in the health-care profession!) and has affected parish-based nurse ministry. Of course, parish ministry to the sick will never really die, but it will change. As we take a hiatus away from this ministry as we have known it, I hope and pray that a new generation of health-care professionals will step forward at some time with new ideas and ways of doing parish nurse ministry in the future. Until then, many thanks to those who began this ministry in our parish and to the many who made it possible over the years. May God bless you for your faithfulness and service to the parish! God will reward you!
An update on things happening in the parish:
Listen to this week's daily readings and watch the reflection videos, provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Click on the date to listen to the audio recording of the day's reading, then click the play button to view the reflection video for that day.
To listen to more readings, visit the USCCB website here.
View the August daily reflection videos on the USCCB youtube channel here.
It has been a year since the Pennsylvania Attorney General issued the report on Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Clergy in the state. It was a gut-ripping experience and the Church will be affected by the revelations of crimes and cover-ups for years to come. In our bulletin today, we have an insert from the Diocese of Harrisburg listing some of the actions it has taken to address this horrendous scandal. Please read it and, as usual, I am always open to your thoughts and comments. Here at Saint Joan of Arc, we have tried to address some of the issues with our town hall meetings last fall and the various adult education and prayer opportunities over the past few months. In September, I will present the following nights of education and discussion:
I received quite a bit of input into keeping our Summer Schedule as our regular Mass Schedule throughout the year. Usually, when I ask for feedback about changing something in the parish, I rarely get such a response from those who think it is a great idea. Normally it is the people who oppose a change who write or call. But in this case, it was the vast majority who said they liked the new schedule. Therefore, the Schedule of Masses here at Saint Joan of Arc will be the following:
The Milton Hershey School students attended Mass at 10:30 AM. Starting this Fall, they will attend the 5:00 pm Mass on Saturday.
Thanks, everyone, for your comments and suggestions!
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