• Surviving Divorce program, St. Aloysius Parish, Littlestown begins February 25th, 6:30-8 p.m. For information, or to register, contact Kathy, 410-259-2159.


  • “Encounter the real Presence,” a Lenten retreat for college-aged young adults in the Diocese of Harrisburg will be February 29th, 9 AM to 4 PM, Saint Pius the Tenth, Catholic Church, Selinsgrove.  Register on-line at  [Must register by Feb. 20, 2020]


  • The Diocese of Harrisburg’s chaplaincy program is hosting “Masses for Healing from Addiction”. The Next Masses will be in March at:
    • Saint Joseph, Milton, Wednesday, March 4, 6:00 PM
    • Saint Ignatius Loyola, Orrtanna, Wednesday, March 18, 6:00 PM
    • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lancaster, Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m.

For future Masses go on-line at: .  And click on: “List of Masses for Healing from Addition”


  • The Harrisburg Diocesan Guild of the Catholic Medical Association and Saint Thomas More Society of Central Pennsylvania invite all Catholic Medical Professionals, Medical Students, Catholic Legal Professionals, and Law Students to a Lenten Day of Reflection, March 7th, 8:30 AM to 12 PM, Diocesan Center Harrisburg.  There is no cost to attend. To help with planning RSVP to  by February 28th. 


  • La Santa Messa Per La Festa Di San Giuseppe: Italian Mass For The Feast Of Saint Joseph.  Sunday, March 15th, 1 PM, Church Of The Holy Spirit, Palmyra.  A dinner reception after Mass.  For more information, contact: Maria Disanto, 717-554-5698 or Mariella Amato, 717-278-9420.


  • Prayer Shawl Retreat offered by the Diocesan CCW:  9:30 AM, March 21st, Good Shepherd Parish, Camp Hill.  For all the information contact Kathy at 717-448-8899


  • A number of Catholic schools are already accepting pre-kindergarten registrations for the 2020/2021 school year among them are:
    • Resurrection Catholic School, Lancaster: Enroll by calling 717- 392-3083.
    • Sacred Heart School, Lancaster:  To tour the school or to register call 717-606-2670.
    • Saint Joan of Arc School, Hershey: To enroll call 717-533-2854


  • Perohi and kielbasa sale at Saint Ann Byzantine Catholic Church, Harrisburg, Wednesdays, 11:30 to 1:00, and Saturdays, 9 to Noon during Lent.


  • Saint Patrick Parish, Carlisle, Lenten Soup and Scripture Series, first six Fridays in Lent from Noon to 1 PM in the Parish Activity Center. 


  • Here are some plan ahead dates:
    • The Diocese of Harrisburg Men’s Conference will be March 28th, Bishop McDevitt High School.  Keynote Speaker: Bill Donahue, President of the Catholic League, author, and frequent guest on EWTN.
    • The Harrisburg Council of Catholic Women presents the following:
      • 95th Annual Convention: April 25th, Diocesan Center, Harrisburg, Keynote Speaker: Sarah Christmyer, Catholic author, Bible teacher, and speaker with a special love for lectio divina and journaling as ways to draw close to Christ.
      • 10th Annual Weekend Retreat: June 12th to the 14th, Mount Saint Mary, Emmitsburg: Retreat Master, Father Chris Alar, from the The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  Father Alar is an Apologist, Author, speaker on Divine Mercy, and the Director of the Association of Marian Helpers.


  • Plan ahead for May 17th: A Day trip to Pittsburgh including The Flight 93 National Memorial, The Church Brew Works, and St. Anthony’s Chapel, home to the largest collection of publicly venerable Christian relics in the world outside of the Vatican. Sponsored by St. Catherine LabourĂ© Parish in Harrisburg.  For all the information, including cost, contact Deb: 717-564- 1321.


  • The Saint Joseph Leisure Club, Mechanicsburg is offering: “A Tour of Biblical Proportions”, June 23rd  through the 26th.  Visit popular Kentucky destinations including the “Creation Museum”, encounter a full size Noah’s Ark, a 19thCentury German neighborhood, and so much more. To find out all the details call 717-737-8600.


  • 15-decade Rosary for Life, every third Saturday of the month following the 9 a.m. Traditional Latin Mass at St. Lawrence Chapel, Harrisburg to pray for an end to abortion. For information, contact Chris, 717-432-5415.


  • Can you spare three hours a month to assist in a prison ministry at Dauphin County, Camp Hill Prison or Keystone Work Release? No experience necessary and orientation will be provided. Call Bob: 717-571-4217.


  • Project Rachael opens the door to compassion and healing to both women and men suffering in the aftermath of an abortion.  No matter what you are feeling you are not alone.  For confidential care after an abortion call 717-857-2282.  Project Rachel: Peace starts here.


  • You can help Catholic Charities' Foster Care Program by donating unused car seats and booster seats (Note: thay must be new).  Better still, consider becoming a foster parent.  To donate or to explore the possibility foster parenting call Nicole or Kathy at 717-564-7115.


  • Parents interested in obtaining home schooling support in the Classic Catholic Tradition through Regina Caeli can contact Candice at 717-476-4054.  The Academy information is at


  • A solemn high Traditional Latin Mass will be celebrated every Sunday at 1:30 PM at St. Joseph’s Parish, Lancaster.  For more information visit


  • All are invited to join St. Joan of Arc’s pro-life committee every 1st Friday 6:00 - 7:00 pm in the St. Lucy Chapel praying for all the innocent unborn children lost to abortion.


  • If you are hurting after abortion, consider attending a weekend Rachel's Vineyard Retreat!!  For information go to  or call 877-HOPE-4-ME (877-467-3463)


  • Can you spare three hours a month to assist in a prison ministry at Dauphin County or Camp Hill Prison? No experience necessary and orientation will be provided. Call Bob: 717-571-4217.


  • Are you choosing a school for your child? Consider Catholic Schools. To find out more contact a school near you by using the school finder at  You’ll be happy you did!


  • The Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families needs fresh fruits and vegetables, cleaning supplies, trash bags, and more. Donate at the Diocesan Center or the shelter, 120 Willow Road, Harrisburg. Call 717-652-8740 before delivering.


  • Mychal’s Message seeks to meet the basic needs of the homeless while restoring dignity with love.  To learn more visit or call Sharon at 717-203-0746.


  • Is there stress in your marriage?  Maybe a program specifically for married couples can help – It’s called Retrouville.  For confidential information call 1-800-470-2230.



Lent: A time of penance: pray more, fast, and give alms

(Make it meaningful – pray, fast, give alms out of a love for God.  Love your fellow man, but, it means nothing if you don’t love God first.)

In the Christmas Season we witnessed the event of the Word becoming flesh, and we offered our adoration: To be astonished like the shepherds and Magi – Incarnation: God taking on a human nature while remaining God with neither division nor confusion.  This child “born unto us” came for the purpose to die, and die willingly to save mankind from sin and death.  Jesus did it out of love for the Father first, and then because He loves each and every one of us.  Our response to what He did: “Follow me!” Said He.  Do we follow as He did?

Jesus’ earthly life had and end.  Like Jesus, our lives will have an end: something we don’t like to think about.  True, Jesus is with us in the Eucharist: In the tabernacle in every Catholic Parish.  But think about the historical facts reported by eyewitnesses: Jesus didn’t just die; He rose from the dead; and, He ascended into heaven.  We are offered the same, and, note the operative word “offered” NOT guaranteed.  

To be saved one must prepare for one’s own inevitable end, as strange as it might seem to some, it begins with the Sacrament of Baptism and the reception of the other Sacraments.  For all of us, these Sacraments are at a minimum: Confession (or if you prefer Penance), First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. You might ask, “Why?”

The quick answer, in a phrase, is: “Jesus said so.” If we follow Christ, we are to enter into the life He offers and not necessarily the life we may want.  We are to do, as He commanded, “Pick up your Cross, and follow Me.”

To enter into the Life of Christ requires a response and it starts with a spiritual response, which we Catholics ritualize in the Sacraments in order to obtain the supernatural graces promised by the Christ: Remember He said that He would not leave us orphans. However, responding to Jesus does not end with the Sacramental beginnings: As we live our lives, we must daily respond to Him by obeying His command to follow Him.

That may sound hard.  For those who are veiled in selfishness: hard, yes, but really, who isn’t to some greater or lesser degree selfish?  Nevertheless, our obedience to God starts as a simple reminder that God is always present in our lives: He made us.  We belong to Him.  And why did He make us? To know, Love and Serve Him in this world so that we can be happy with Him in the next.  It all starts for each one of us by remembering that God is with us, and why we exist.  

This brings us to Ash Wednesday. Lent is here! An opportunity to grow closer to Jesus.  Try gazing on the Cross of Christ, and, yes, with the corpus on it: Ask yourself, Firstly, “Why did the Incarnate God do this to Himself?” Secondly, “What does His action have to do with me and why I exist?” You might sense or start to understand something about God’s love for each one of us and how far He will go to save us as you ponder these questions.

Can we save ourselves?  No.  But we can respond to the offer God makes to each and every one of us.  Remember the two phrases that are used when ashes are placed on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday: “Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shall return.”  “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” 

Jesus through the Church stands ready to help each one of us have a Lent in which we grow closer to Christ. Contact the Catholic parish nearest you: inquire about their Lenten spiritual offerings, Confession times, and time you can make a visit to sit before the Lord in the Tabernacle and GO!  Your Lent will be enriched by these simple acts because you will draw closer to Jesus. Why?  Because repentance brings us closer to Jesus, which in turn brings peace, worthy reception of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar (Holy Communion), and more supernatural grace in your life.  If you accept Jesus’ offer to you, and you act upon it, you will find yourself doing the traditional Lenten call to prayer, fasting and almsgiving: It is a guarantee you will be more mindful of God in your life (prayer); the things that bother you or you feel you can’t do without will be of less concern to you (fasting); and, you will be a bit more generous with yourself and possessions (almsgiving).  Cares will begin to melt away.  So what could I expect next? Most likely an invite from the Lord to happiness.  Easter, in all its glory! 

—Laus tibi Domine, Rex aeternae gloriae! (Praise be to thee, O Lord, King of everlasting glory!)

VOCATIONSQuo Vadis and Fiat Days

Quo Vadis Days is for all young men ages 15 – 25 who may be discerning a vocation to priesthood or religious life.  Quo Vadis Days for 2019 has already taken place. Quo Vadis Days for 2020 will be posted here when the information becomes available.  Of course you can always call the Office of Vocations at 717-657-4804, for information on the priesthood.

Fiat Days is for all young women ages 15 – 25 who may be discerning a vocation to religious life.  Fiat Days for 2019 has already taken place. Fiat Days for 2020 will be posted here when the information becomes available.  Of course you can always call the Office of Vocations at 717-657-4804, for information on Religious Life. 




Donations Needed For Interfaith Shelter

The Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families (located in Harrisburg) is in need of the following donations: computer/copy paper, pens, Ziplock bags (gallon, quart, and sandwich sizes), napkins, paper towels, toilet tissue, Pine Sol, and bathrooms cleaners. For more information, contact the shelter at 717-652-8740. Thank you for your generosity!


Read The Catholic Witness Online

Now You Can Read The Catholic Witness Online, wherever you go! Through a free e-mail service, you can receive the diocesan newspaper in an electronic format. Sign up for the e-mail service on the diocesan Web site at Follow the News/Events tab to The Catholic Witness page and click on Catholic Witness E-mail Sign Up. Once you complete the form, you will be added to our e-mail list. Each Friday that the newspaper is published, you will receive an e-mail with a direct link to the latest edition. Registration with the e-mail service will not cancel your mailed subscription. If you prefer to receive the online version instead of a copy in the mail, contact Circulation Coordinator, Susan Huntsberger, at


Catholic Charities Specialized Foster Care Training

Does Your Heart Break when the news of the day highlights how the traumatic events in a family affects the lives of their children? Our foster care children are victims of these tragic events. Will you take a stand and help us in providing permanence for them? Please join us for our next Training Series at Catholic Charities Specialized Foster Care with people just like you, who need to know more before they are ready to become a support for these children. Let the children know they are wanted. Please call Jeff at (717) 564-7115 or (800) 777-7003 or email