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!
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