September 8: The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a feast that has been celebrated since at least the 6th century. In the Catholic Church, we honor Mary because of the role she played in the History of Salvation. Mary, who was conceived and born without original sin, was prepared by God to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Our Savior. She is our Mother too, and we honor her by celebrating her birthday similar to how we celebrate the birthdays of our mothers.

It is providential that it is the same day we launch our Capital Campaign, the “Save Our Lady Fund”. We entrust to her Motherly care and protection all our plans and actions. We recommit ourselves in our devotion to her and pray through her intercession for our spiritual and material needs. If every one of us would daily pray the Holy Rosary (or a decade of the Rosary or at least a few Hail Marys during the course of the day) we will all be amazed at what she will do for us!

May the celebration of the Birthday of Our Mother Mary bring us closer to God, to her Son Jesus and to one another.

God is good!!! All the time!!!

All the time!!! God is good!!!


August 25th, 2019

As a follow up of the Parish meeting which we held on July 28, 2019 at Our Lady Help of Christians, on the weekend of August 3/4, at all the Masses I outlined my concerns regarding our two Churches. I called for an urgent meeting of all the members of the Parish and Finance Councils, and the Buildings and Properties Committees for August 12, 2019. At that meeting it was agreed to request from the Diocese some written information, in the event that Sacred Heart Church closes, on requirements, procedures and liabilities. The written response from the Diocesan CFO and CEO of HCAS (Harrisburg Catholic Administrative Services) was addressed to me. Part of the email says:

“Regarding the matter of consolidating or merging parishes, final decisions on those matters rest solely with the Bishop of the Diocese. 

Regarding the hypothetical questions posed in the event Bishop were to grant permission for a consolidation or merger, I offer you the following: In the event of a consolidation, all debt would become the responsibility of the surviving location, which I would presume would be the parish.  In the event the mission church would remain with the parish (i.e. would not be alienated), all costs including those for insurance, maintenance (major and minor), upkeep, repairs, and taxes would need to both budgeted and borne by the parish. In the event permission would be granted for an alienation (i.e. sale), any proceeds of the sale would be applied against the consolidated outstanding debt.  It is important to note, in the event that the mission church no longer exists as a worship site, it would go on the property tax rolls. I would encourage you to consult with the Office of Worship prior to undertaking any such effort.  The existence of cemetery property is an additional factor which would also need to be carefully considered.”

We continue to pray and trust in the Lord who is all good and loving.

God is good!!! All the time!!!

All the time!!! God is good!!!


August 18th, 2019

Last weekend was our Missionary Co-operative weekend. It was our participation in helping others to live a decent life, helping those who are less privileged in life to experience God’s love thru us.

Apology to the parishioners who turned up for the Sacrament of Penance and had to wait for some time since the guest priest was late in his travel over Peter’s Mountain.

Since I had the weekend off I went for Mass on Saturday evening to the Most Blessed Trinity Parish, Tremont. It is a beautiful Church and appeared to me to be a little smaller than our Churches. Fr. Paul Rothermel, the Pastor, gave a wonderful homily. They had an organist, no choir, and everyone sang. I also noticed that no one had any emergency that would make a person leave Church immediately after Holy Communion without waiting for the Final Blessing! Actually, we all left after the final hymn. I guess some thought they had a new parishioner: one person said, ‘Welcome, it was nice meeting you’, and Fr. Rothermel said, ‘I hope to see you again, soon!’ Probably it was because I did not introduce myself and I was dressed in ‘civilian’ clothing, or as a child at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Lewistown told me when I was dressed that way, “Today you are putting on ‘people’s clothes”.                  

God is good!!! All the time!!!

All the time!!! God is good!!!


July 7th, 2019

In Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, the word for ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’ is ‘Tena Yistilign’, which literally means, “May God give you good health on my behalf!” In the three languages I learnt while working in Ethiopia, the people always begin their greeting with the word ‘Selam’ or ‘Asham’ or ‘Nagea’, literal meaning is ‘Peace!’ but understood to mean ‘How are you? And then spend a long time with greetings – they are not in a hurry.

The Gospel this weekend poses a strong challenge to us. Jesus tells the ‘seventy two others’ the urgency of the mission. The last sentence of our Parish Mission Statement states, “Guided by the Holy Spirit, we strive to live the Gospel of Jesus in our lives and to bring the truth of Christ’s salvation to the communities around us.” How have we lived that this past week? We participate in that mission by forming a community that is able to comfort its suffering and discouraged members, those who are having it so hard in life; a community of peace that gives all believers and non-believers joy, peace and hope.

God is good!!! All the time!!!

All the time!!! God is good!!!


June 30th, 2019

!!! With Much Gratitude!!!

The 2018-2019 Bishop Annual Lenten Appeal Parish goal for Our Lady Help of Christians was $20,600.00; amount collected: $17,935.00; outstanding pledges: $70.00; balance due from parish: $2,665.00. The Parish goal for Sacred Heart was $9, 200.00; amount collected: $8, 537.00; outstanding pledges: $60.00; balance due from parish: $663.00. I asked the PCCWs of both Churches for help and they responded generously to my appeal and paid the balances owed to the Diocese. SH PCCW will pay also for the repair of the AC compressor at SH estimated at $6,558.00 and donate another $9,779 for the general running of the Church. We thank these wonderful ladies for the awesome job they are doing in our Churches. We ask God’s abundant blessings on them. Please, make it a point to express your gratitude whenever you meet any of them. Another reason to say:

God is good!!! All the time!!!

All the time!!! God is good!!!


June 9th, 2019

Pentecost Sunday

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost which is considered the birthday of the Church. We call to mind the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus as they were together in one room. The Advocate or Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had promised, descended on the disciples to teach and remind them and to give them courage to be faithful to Jesus. We receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation, and the Holy Spirit is always at work through the Sacraments of the Church. Let us ask ourselves if we are using the gift of the Holy Spirit to draw us more deeply into the mystery of Christ and to empower us to live the Gospel message with courage and conviction. Let us ask the Spirit to pour upon us anew the seven gifts, that our lives of faith may be filled with wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and reverence for God. And may we use the varied gifts that the Spirit has given us to build up our community and our world. 

God is good!!! All the time!!!

All the time!!! God is good!!!


May 26th, 2019

SACRED HEART CHURCH

On Sunday May 12, I requested Mel Gochenaur to try to locate where the water leakage on the pew under the choir loft (SH) was coming from. He saw what he thought was rotting wood beams. He called in Denny and Frank Kasper who confirmed that there are major support beams for the steeple that are rotted and part of the beams has fallen to the bell tower floor. Frank called it a structural damage that should be addressed as soon as possible. I have informed Very Rev Fr. Dave Danneker, the Vicar General, and Terry Conner, the Director of Buildings and Properties. Terry came Thursday, May 23, 2019 to assess the damage. He is also arranging for a structural engineer from Conewago to come and have a full damage assessment.

God is good!!! All the time!!!

All the time!!! God is good!!!


May 12th, 2019

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Every year, the 4th Sunday of Easter is “Good Shepherd” Sunday. The Gospel passages read at Mass come from Chapter 10 of the Gospel of St. John. Each year we reflect on an aspect of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Jesus the Good Shepherd who knows each of us by name, holds our hands on the journey to eternal life, forgives and brings us back when we wander off and risk being lost or injured.

It is the Sunday that we pray for vocations. We ask the Lord to call and send more men and women to work in his vineyard. We ask him to sanctify and strengthen those He has called. We pray for the priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters who have ministered to us, both living and dead. Encourage your children, grandchildren, or other young people to consider a vocation as a priest or a religious brother or sister. And pray a rosary for more young men and women in our diocese to respond to God’s call.

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!

All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


My trip home.

 I travelled from Newark airport, New Jersey, through Togo (West Africa) and to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where I had an overnight stopover, and then on to Uganda. It was on Thursday at around 8pm Ugandan time when I arrived home.

On February 8/9, we had our family reunion: 4 of my brothers and 3 sisters came although some of their kids could not come because of school (the school system in Uganda is different from that of the United States). We had a great time together. My brother, the priest, could not come. Celebrating the Mass with the Liturgical dance incorporated in it was also great. It was rather long but it is only after the Mass that you noticed how long it was!

  On February 16, we travelled the more than 700 miles to Nairobi, Kenya, for the General Assembly of the Apostles of Jesus. We contracted a bus that took us and brought us back after the Assembly. We had a great time together. Apart from being together with my brother, it was great to meet some classmates whom I had not met since ordination.

  I had a wonderful time with my family. I spent most of the time at home with my mum, my two brothers and their families and the children of the neighbors who spent most of their time also with us. The temperature ranged between 55°F – 85°F with very low humidity. Our main challenge was having to collect water from more than a mile away.

  My mum, my brothers and sisters and their families were all so very grateful for the gifts that you sent for them. They marvel at how people who do not know them, whom they have never met and may never meet, could be so kind-hearted and generous to them. They told me to pass their gratitude and prayer for each one of you!

God is good!! All the time!! All the time!! God is good!!


!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!

We celebrate the Solemnity of Christmas, the Birthday of Jesus Christ Our Lord. It is one of the greatest interventions of God into human history.  While it is true that God cannot be seen, and no person has ever seen God (John 1: 18), God can be met, listened to, and touched in the person of Jesus. Jesus makes the Father visible. “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1: 14)The birth of Jesus reveals to us that the father loves us, God loves human beings. And Jesus teaches us how we, too, can love just like the Father! May we become part of that love, joy and peace in our families, in our communities and in the world. May our Christmas celebrations affirm that.

God is Good!!
All the Time!!


December 2nd, 2018

“ADVENT”

The Church’s Liturgical Year begins with the first Sunday of Advent. The season of Advent is the time when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. For the first two weeks the readings guide us to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ at the end of time, and the last two weeks for the coming of Christ at Christmas as He did at Bethlehem centuries ago. It is the time for conversion, a change of heart, hope, and joy-filled expectation.

“THE ANGELUS”

“The Angelus,” is derived from the opening words of the prayer in its Latin version: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae (“The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary”). “The Angelus” is a traditional Catholic devotion that commemorates the Incarnation. It recalls the moment when the Angel Gabriel appeared and revealed to Mary that she would conceive and bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26–38). The devotion is traditionally practiced by reciting the prayer three times daily: 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm.  The Angelus is usually accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell, which is a call to prayer.

The Angelus is said throughout the year except during Eastertide, from Easter Sunday through Pentecost, when the Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven) is recited in its place. It is a great tradition. We start the day with the Angelus and morning prayer and pause in prayer at noon and at 6:00pm when we hear the Church bell. It is our way of giving thanks to God for His gift of Salvation, our willingness to say “Yes” to His will like our Mother Mary, and a wonderful way of being grateful for the many blessings and graces He (God) showers upon us.

“APPRECIATION”

A big thank you so very much’ to those who attended the Sunday Masses at Our Lady’s and Sacred Heart for your overwhelming response to my appeal to help us take out the old hymnals and put in the new ones. Kudos to all the kids for giving it their all! Keep it up kids!!


The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Holyday of Obligation

 Friday, December 7, 2018 – 7:00 PM – Vigil Mass: Sacred Heart

Saturday, December 8, 2018 – 9:00 AM – Mass: Our Lady’s


 Advent Penance Service

 Saturday, December 15, 2018 – 10:00AM in Our Lady Help of Christians Church

 God Is Good!!! All The Time!!! 

All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


November 4th, 2018
The Solemnity of All Saints

 On All Saints’ Day we remember those obscure, non-canonized, not beatified, uncelebrated, anonymous saints. They are those whose names aren’t found in the Liturgical Calendar of the Church: great, great, great, great grandparents, grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, husbands and wives with their children, brothers and sisters, nephews, nieces and cousins, relatives, neighbors, friends and enemies, and the list goes on and on. They are people who didn’t do something extraordinary in life, just ordinary people who knew how to love and be good; people like us who lived holy and good lives and now enjoy the rewards of eternal happiness in the presence of God. We are inspired by their lives and examples and they accompany us thru their prayers for us.

The Commemoration of All Souls

The Catholic Church teaches of the 3 options after death: Heaven; Purgatory; Hell. While the Church has not said anyone went to hell, she says there are many people in Heaven and Purgatory.

Those who die without sin go to Heaven; those who die with venial sin go to Purgatory; those who die in mortal sin go to Hell.

Purgatory is the condition/state during which all the bad in a soul is purged out, a time of purification to make up for his/her imperfections before being admitted to the company of Saints in heaven.

Traditional Catholic belief holds that just as our prayers can help someone who is living on earth, our prayers can help also those who have died. We pray for the dead that they may be released from any sinful things that hold them back from heaven.

By our prayers and good works done in their honor we can help them thru their process of purification and get them to heaven.God is Good!!! All The Time!!!

God is Good!!!  All The Time!!!

All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


October 28th, 2018

PRAYING FOR THE DEAD

 The Catechism of the Catholic Church #1020 states,The Christian who unites his/her own death to that of Jesus views it as a step towards him(Jesus) and an entrance into everlasting life.” With our baptism we become the adopted sons and daughters of God, joined with Jesus, the same Jesus who rose from the dead. For us who believe, life does not stop at death. In the “Preface of Christian Burial” we pray, “Lord, for your faith people, life is changed, not ended.” The Catholic Church teaches of the Saints in Heaven, the Souls in Purgatory being purified before entering Heaven, and we, the living here on earth. We believe we are all united around the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ. This is the Communion of Saints that we profess in the Apostles’ Creed. We can still be close to our loved ones who have died by praying for them, and they will be close to us by praying for us. In praying for them whether in public, like during the Mass of Christian Burial, a Mass offered in memory of a deceased, a prayer service in a Funeral Home, at the graveside, or in private, and making sacrifices for the souls of the deceased, we ask God that in case there is anything in the person that needs to be purified, God may do so and transfigure the person to enjoy His love, peace and everlasting life. Death is a fact of life, and we all have to face it when the time comes. And it may come at a time when “our visa to heaven” is not in perfect order. It is wonderful to know that God, in his infinite mercy, will answer the prayers offered, and sacrifices made, by those who are still living on our behalf.

Our Churches are in need of repairs to be done. The Buildings and Properties Committee has identified what needs to be repaired or improved both at Our Lady Help of Christians and at Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Diocesan Buildings and Properties Office has proposed 2 contractors based in Harrisburg. We would like to ask if you know of any contractor who is able to do the work, let him/her contact the Parish Office.

* This Sunday at Sacred Heart we will receive Larry Muggio into Full Communion of the Catholic Church. After reciting the Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed) together with all present, he will add, ‘I believe and profess all that the Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God’. He will then be confirmed, and later on he will receive Holy Communion for the first time. We are very grateful to Mel and Noreen Gochenaur, Sheila Sowers and Nora Valovage for the use of their time, talent, and treasure in sharing the tenets of our faith with Larry.  We warmly welcome Larry into our Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady Help of Christians family. We pray for God’s blessings on him and on all of us.

God is good! All the time!

All the time! God is good!


October 21st, 2018

My apologies to the PCCW of Our Lady Help of Christians: Their donation toward the front of the Church restoration was $5,600, and not $5,500 as was reported in the previous bulletin. It was my mistake and not of the Parish Secretary who does the bulletin.

World Mission Sunday

World Mission Sunday calls us to offer prayers and financial support, through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, for the worldwide mission of Christ. We help missionaries in their essential mission work for the Church, in their challenges and successes, and in the differences they are making in the lives of the people they serve.Your prayers and sacrifices will support priests, religious, and lay pastoral leaders who are proclaiming the Gospel, building the Church and serving the poor and most vulnerable in our world. Their work and witness to Christ bring both practical help and God’s love, a witness to the fact that

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!

All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!

  *This weekend we receive Shelley and Gary Klinger into Full Communion of the Catholic Church. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) defines it as, ‘The Liturgical Rite by which a person born and baptized in a separated ecclesial community is received, according to the Latin rite, into the full communion of the Catholic Church.’ That is, a person who was validly baptized in a different church, after having received both doctrinal and spiritual preparation, is accepted into the Catholic Church. During the Mass, after reciting the Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed) together with all present, the person adds, ‘I believe and profess all that the Catholic Church believes, teaches and proclaims to be revealed by God’. The person is then confirmed and later on will receive Holy Communion for the first time. We warmly welcome Shelley and Gary Klinger into Our Lady Help of Christians and Sacred Heart of Jesus family. We pray for God’s blessings on them and on all of us.

*We would like to thank Peg Troutman for sponsoring the plaques for the stained-glass windows of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We are also grateful to Pat and Nancy Savage, who gave of their time and talent to install the plaques.  We pray for God’s abundant blessings on them!!


October 14th, 2018

On Saturday, October 20, 2018, at the 4:15pm Mass, our Parish will receive Gary and Shelly Klinger into Full Communion of the Catholic Church, and we shall bestow on them a special blessing for their 32 years of marriage. They completed the 2016 – 2017 Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults’ Course, but their reception to the Full Communion of the Catholic Church was delayed pending the annulment, by the Tribunal, of their former marriages. It has been a rather long wait during which they continued to participate in our Sunday and HolyDays of Obligation Liturgies. We appreciate their patience.

  We are grateful to Fr. Miller, who started their preparation, and to Melvin Gochenaur, who completed it. We eagerly look forward to their becoming full members of our community.

 God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!

  All The Time!!! God Is Good!!! 


October 7th, 2018

The estate of Evan R Bostdorf established the Evan R. and Marguerite H. Bostdorf Fund #2 with The Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Mr. and Mrs. Borstdorf named Our Lady Help of Christians parish as one of the beneficiary. The fund was disbursed into our account at the beginning of the month of September, in the amount of $6,721.00. We are very grateful for their generous donation and we pray for them.

Our Churches are in need of some urgent works to be done. At Our Lady, we have the front of the Church and around the windows, Sacred Heart has the two Crosses that also are crumbling and around the windows too. We have set up the Buildings and Properties Committee that will help us in identifying such issues and recommending the way forward.

Looking at our financial situations, we may have to take loans in order to get the works done. Our Lady has some funds in the saving account, thanks to the parishioners who have been giving restricted donations for building and to O.L.’s PCCW who donated $5,500 to the building account. Sacred Heart does not have any savings. Suggestions are welcome.

                 God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!

                All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


September 30th, 2018

October is designated as the month of the Rosary. The Rosary is a valuable instrument of prayer and meditation; we ask for the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. During her life on Earth, she embraced the fact of total dependence on God with her whole heart and soul, and lived it as the ‘Handmaid of the Lord’. In her we have a very powerful intercessor, one who knows our human condition, and helps us to live in the grace of God.

During the month of October… at Our Lady, we will pray the Rosary and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary before the 4:15pm Mass on Saturdays. At Sacred Heart it will be before the 10:45am Mass on Sundays.

                 God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!

                All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


September 23rd, 2018

**Potential Sponsors/Godparents for the Sacraments of Baptism/Confirmation**

The Code of Canon Law #872 states, “Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation, or, together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.”

#873 – 874 list the requirements for sponsors which also apply to Confirmation sponsors.

Ideally, the sponsor at Baptism may also be the sponsor at Confirmation. A person only needs one sponsor, male or female, but may have two sponsors, one male and one female. The parents of the child cannot serve as sponsors.  In the case of an emergency (when death is imminent), no sponsor is needed.

To be a sponsor, a person must be chosen by the person to be baptized/confirmed, or by the parents or guardians of a child, or in their absence, by the pastor or minister of the sacrament.

Only practicing Catholics can be sponsors/godparents. A practicing Christian of another denomination may be a Christian witness to the baptism. That is because the sponsor/godparent not only is taking responsibility for the religious education and spiritual formation of the baptized/confirmed person, but is also representing the Church, the community of faith, into which the person is being baptized/confirmed.

A Christian who is not Catholic, although perhaps a very holy Christian, cannot fully attest to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Likewise, a Catholic can only be a Christian witness for someone who is baptized into another Christian denomination. (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism, #57)

Sponsors/godparents serve a special role in the life of the baptized person. Therefore, they should be chosen not just because of a blood relationship or friendship, rather, a sponsor should be a trustworthy witness of the faith who will help the sponsee/godchild attain salvation.

The Sacramental Sponsorship Form at the back of the bulletin has the requirements for a Sponsor/Godparent.

You may also view/print the Form here.

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!
All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


August 19th, 2018

God Is Good!!!
All The Time!!!

GRATITUDE!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your generous donations to the Missionary Co-operative Program last weekend. Our Lady Help of Christians contributed $858.00, Sacred Heart of Jesus contributed $321.82.
Your generosity will help in making a difference in the lives of the people in the Archdiocese of Cap Haitien, Haiti, and it is a witness to the fact that

All The Time!!!
God Is Good!!!


August 12th, 2018

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We will celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. It is a Holyday of Obligation.

The Assumption of Mary is one of four Marian Dogmas about the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church. In 1950, Pope Pius XII in ‘Munificentissimus Deus’ (The Most Bountiful God) declared that: “ …..the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory…” Though not defined until 1950, the Assumption of Mary has been believed from the time of the early Church.

Assumption is different from Ascension. Assumption refers to Mary, at the end of her earthly life, being taken up body and soul into heaven; Ascension refers to Jesus going to ‘sit’ at the right hand of the Father: Jesus ascends by his own power while Mary was assumed into heaven by God.

The Assumption of Mary is an anticipation of the glorious resurrection of all those who have died and will die in the state of sanctifying grace. Our risen body will be united to our soul, and for those who are with God in heaven, their bodies will be glorified bodies, just like that of Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!
All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


August 5th, 2018

GRATITUDE

We wholeheartedly thank all those who responded generously to our appeal to help us get closer to our Lenten Appeal goals. We received $269.00 for Our Lady’s, and $362.00 for Sacred Heart. Thank you so much for your support of our parishes.

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!
All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


July 22nd, 2018

The Apostles Of Jesus: Who We Are

The official name of our Order is: “The Religious Missionary Institute of the Apostles of Jesus.

The Apostles of Jesus is the first Religious Missionary Institute founded in Africa in 1968. The Order was founded by two Italian Missionaries to Uganda, Bishop Sisto Mazzoldi and Rev. John Marengoni. Today the Apostles of Jesus number over 400 priests and brothers serving all over the world.

This year we, the AJs (Apostles of Jesus), are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of our foundation. While the main celebration which will bring together many of the AJs will be held September in Uganda, here in the United States, we will have our celebration in the Diocese of Allentown.

On Thursday, July 26, 2018 we will celebrate our Golden Jubilee with Mass at Queenship of Mary, Northampton. You may join us if you have time. You may not understand many of the hymns which will be in Kiswahili (I will not get into the difference between Kiswahili and Swahili) but it will be an experience you will not easily forget.

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!
All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


July 15th, 2018

I had a great time visiting with my family, relatives and friends back home. The excitement of seeing my mum, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, and neighbors helped me deal with the long and boring 17 hours flight to Uganda.

We celebrated the 25th Anniversary of my ordination on Friday, May 25, 2018. It was in my home village. The Mass was celebrated outside with tarpaulins providing shades for the very many people who turned up – remember that I am related to more than a thousand people who do not need invitations to show up. We had lunch together, entertainments, traditional and other dances. The celebrations lasted till Saturday afternoon.

Is it hard to leave home? A week before I was to travel I told my mum that my time at home was up and her reply was, “I asked the girls to grind some coffee for you because I knew that your time is almost up to go back.” I think the formation to religious life has worked both ways: for me and for my family too.

It is great to be back: another reason to say:

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!

All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


June 24th, 2018

After many years of service as the Financial Secretary/Bookkeeper of Our Lady Help of Christians and Sacred Heart of Jesus Churches, Eileen Hoffman has decided to retire. We are very grateful for all that she did and continues to do for our parishes. We pray that the Lord may continue to bless her and her family.

The Harrisburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women has chosen Kali Whitcomb from Our Lady Help of Christians as one of the recipients of their Scholarship Award. Joyce Scott, head of the Women’s Council in the Diocese will present the Award to Kali on Saturday, June 30, 2018 after the 4:15pm Mass. Congrats, Kali Whitcomb.

The family of Joseph W. Jones, through the Bishop J. W. Shanahan Assembly #0917, Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, Harrisburg, has donated a Chalice and Paten to Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Williamstown. We will bless the Chalice and Paten on Sunday, June 24, 2018 at the 10:45am Mass. They will be used during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in honor of Joseph W. Jones who passed away on June 8, 2017.

God IS Good!!! All The Time!!!

All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


May 6th, 2018

Congratulations to our kids who made their First Holy Communion and Confirmation. It was a great weekend and we thank the kids who made it possible. Without them we wouldn’t have had that wonderful weekend.  

We say thank you to Nora Valovage and all the teachers of our Religious Ed Program. You are great, and we pray that the Lord may continue to bless and strengthen you in what you are doing.

Thank you to the parents and grandparents. We appreciate what you are doing in passing on the faith to the young generation. And to all our parishioners who turned up for the services, thank you for your presence and support.

We are very grateful to the PCCW for providing and serving lunch to the Bishop and the Apostles of Jesus priests who came for the Confirmation. It was a wonderful moment of relaxation to all who shared in what you provided.

Welcome to Fr. Chrisanth Mugasha, AJ.  He is the priest who will cover for me when I leave for my home vacation. His home country is Tanzania, which borders Uganda to the south. He was ordained a priest in 1999. Currently Fr. Mugasha is working as a Chaplain at NYU Medical Center in New York. He will be here for five weeks

God IS Good!!! All The Time!!! All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


April 22nd, 2018

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

On the 4th Sunday of Easter the Church throughout the world prays for vocations. We pray that the Lord will send more men and women to work in his vineyard. While it is true that God will always provide for his Church, it is also true that God gives vocations to men and women in response to prayers (Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest: Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2).

Let us make a special effort to ask the Lord for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life. We pray for the priests who have ministered to us, both living and dead. Keep our priests in your prayers throughout the week. Encourage your children, grandchildren, or other young people to consider a vocation as a priest or religious brother or sister. Pray a rosary for more young men and women in our diocese to respond to God’s call.

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!
All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


April 15th, 2018

CONFIRMATION

The Sacrament of Confirmation is one of three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism and Eucharist are the other two). Confirmation perfects the grace received in Baptism and strengthens our personal relationship with Christ. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, knowledge, fortitude, counsel, piety and fear of the Lord – that we receive in confirmation give us the strength to courageously and confidently profess and defend the faith and to spread it throughout the world. When we respond to the grace of Confirmation and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, we begin to bear the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1832; Gal 5:22)

Our Confirmation for both Our Lady Help of Christians and Sacred Heart will be on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 10:00 am at Our Lady Help of Christians. Bishop Gainer will be the one to confirm our kids. Please, plan to join us that day to witness to the fact that:

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!! All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


April 8th, 2018

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

We celebrate the infinite mercy of God, the unconditional love and mercy of God for us. Our God is a God of mercy, a God who sent His Son to redeem us by his Passion, Death and Resurrection. No matter how grave and numerous our sins may be, if we decide to return to him in repentance, he will not hesitate to pardon us. We are celebrating the same mercy that led the Risen Christ to go in search of his disciples to reassure them of his forgiving love.
GRATITUDE

Thank you so much to all who worked tirelessly during our Lenten Fish Fry. Even though I do not mention names, know that I greatly appreciate giving your time and talent to make the fish fry a success.

I also thank all those who turned up for the fish fry dinners whether it was a take-out or eat-in (and in case there was something missing in your order, sorry!), and all those who bought the raffle tickets. It was a great way to support our Parish and an encouragement to those behind the delicacies.

Income: Expenses:
Fish Fry =$16,067.25 Sysco: $7,236.73
Candy= $42.00 Boyers: $491.03
Raffle Tickets =$3,013.00 Tickets:$550.81
Total= $19,123.06 Total: $8,278.57

Balance: $10,844.49

The 4th place cash raffle winner donated back to the Church $50.00. We thank them for their donation. So, for the 2018 Lenten Fish Fry we made $10,894.49.

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!! All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


April 1st, 2018

 Alleluia! Jesus Christ Is Risen! Alleluia!

Today we celebrate one of the greatest mystery of our faith – the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We could quote passages from both the Old and New Testaments, but even then we wouldn’t understand how such an event could have happened. It remains a mystery.

Our baptisms show that we believe in Jesus’ teaching that he would rise from the dead. And the Gospels tell us that the appearance of the Risen Jesus was totally unlike that of Lazarus whom he (Jesus) had restored to life. He had a new kind of existence, so different that Mary and the Apostles often did not recognize him.

On Easter Day we celebrate our faith, joy and witness. The new life that is in Christ should transform us so that we can also become agents of renewal or renewed life to others, and that is possible because:

God IS Good!!! All The Time!!! All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


March 25th, 2018

Baptism is the beginning of our covenant relationship with God. The Lenten season, then, is a preparation for us to renew our baptismal promises. As we walk our journey of faith, we honestly acknowledge the presence of sin and its consequences for us and the world. And with trust in God’s love, mercy and forgiveness, we repent, confess, receive absolution and make reparation where we can.

During Holy Week, we celebrate God’s mercy, love and care for us in the Institution of the Holy Eucharist, in the Passion and Death of His Son, and in the Resurrection of Christ – victory over the slavery of sin and death, and the beginning of a new life.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Mel and Noreen Gochenaur continued the work of Fr. Miller in the preparation of those who were coming into our Church. In our first Parish Council meeting, in response to my appeal for a Team approach to the RCIA program, Deacon George Garber, Sheila Sowers and Nora Valovage volunteered to team up with them to form the RCIA Formation team for our two Churches.

The first meeting for the 2017/2018 RCIA lesson was on October 16, 2017, with 4 candidates. The last lesson was on March 19, 2018 with 1 candidate.

At the Easter Vigil Mass, after the renewal of the baptismal promises and the sprinkling with holy water, Anthony Matter will be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church and will receive the sacrament of confirmation.

We are very grateful to the RCIA Formation Team for the great work they have done. As I was once told and I say it to them, “May the Lord refill in abundance what you have emptied out”. And to Tony we say, “A very warm welcome to our family!”

God IS Good!!! All The Time!!! All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!


March 18th, 2018
From the Diocesan Office for Divine Worship,
Covering Crucifixes and Statues

The tradition of covering statues and crosses likely has its roots in the medieval usage of a veil to cover the entire sanctuary during the Lenten season. There is evidence of this since the 9th century in Germany where a “Hungertuch” (hunger cloth)) was in place throughout Lent until Wednesday of Holy Week when, during the proclamation of the Passion, it was taken down at the words “the veil of the temple was torn in two.”

What has been handed on to us today is a vestige of this practice noted in the Roman Missal for the 5th Sunday of Lent. This Sunday traditionally brings the Church into the time of “Passiontide” wherein the intensity of our preparation for the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection is increased. To cover the statues deprives the visual senses of the joy of seeing the fruit of the Paschal Mystery exemplified in the saints. It likewise forces the mind and the heart to focus more intently on the central acts of Christ’s redeeming work of love.

Stained glass windows and Stations of the Cross remain uncovered during this time. And, the processional cross is not veiled since its usage is implied in the rubrics for Palm Sunday and Holy Thursday.

The covering of crosses remains in place until the end of the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday while the statues are to be covered until a convenient time before the start of the Easter Vigil.


February 11th, 2018

This Sunday, February 11, 2018 is “World Day of the Sick,” established by Pope St. John Paul II. It is also the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the day on which many people make pilgrimages to Lourdes to ask Our Mother Mary for both spiritual and physical healings. We remember and pray for those suffering from any illness and their families. Let us pray for those who are ill in our families, communities and especially those on our Prayer List.

Ash Wednesday is on February 14, 2018. We start the 40 days of Lent. The number 40 in the Bible stands for a period of preparation for a great or important event, for instance, the Flood in the Book of Genesis lasted for 40 days and 40 nights to prepare for a better humankind; the people of Israel spent 40 years in the desert to prepare to enter into the promised land; both Moses and Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights to prepare for their missions.

Lent has been considered the time to renew one’s life through prayer, resisting temptations, fasting and alms-giving. Prayer: asking from God the strength, power and the force to convert, believe and live the Gospel; resisting temptations or fight against evil is an essential part of Christian life in order to keep passions and selfishness under control; fasting: the practice of self-denial or giving up our likings to overcome selfishness; fasting is linked with charity, as Pope St. Leo the Great said in one of his homilies,

“……what you spare on ordinary expenses is changed into food for the poor…” In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we show our willingness to repent and convert and be reconciled with God and with one another.

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!!

All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!

 February 14, 2018 Ash Wednesday Mass

11a.m. @ Our Lady Help of Christians    

7pm @ Sacred Heart of Jesus


February 4th, 2018

We have set up two Finance Councils, one for Our Lady Help of Christians and another one for Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Canon Law (Church Law) #537 states that, “In each parish there is to be a finance council which is governed, in addition to universal law, by norms issued by the diocesan bishop and in which the Christian faithful, selected according to these same norms (norms established by the bishop), are to assist the pastor in the administration of the goods of the parish…”

The Finance Council helps with the management of parish funds, prepares and reviews the parish annual budget and parish annual report, formulates and communicates the Annual Financial Report to the Bishop and the Parish Community. No less than quarterly, the Finance Council should review the monthly financial reports – balance sheet, income statements, comparisons to the budget as well as prior year results and cash flow analysis.

Are we there yet? Nope! I love an Ethiopian saying, “Kes be kes enkulal be egru yihedal”, which means, “Eventually an egg will walk on his feet.” We have started and we will get there!

On February 13, 2018 the Finance Councils will meet with the people from the Diocese, and so I have rescheduled the other meetings which we were to have to other dates.

Parish Council Meeting will be on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Meeting will be on Sunday, March 4, 2018

Update on Greeters

Thank you so much to those who have signed up to be greeters for our Churches.

Our Lady Help of Christians:

Tiffany Jones
Tony and Ashley Matter
Mike and Mandy Evans
Vince Lamenza and Warren Thoma will do it on the day they are scheduled to lector in Church.

Sacred Heart:

Jean Daniels
Dawn Drum
Maggie Green
Anne Romberger
Sheila Sowers
Noreen Gochenaur

God Is Good!!! All The Time!!! All The Time!!! God Is Good!!!

Father Mike


December 17th, 2017

Thank you to all for joining me for the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of my ordination to the priesthood.

Thank you to the Knights of Columbus for the grandeur they brought to our Liturgy. Special thanks to the PCCW of both churches. From the Liturgy to the dinner, everything was superb – thank you Ladies!! Thank you to Vince, he did an awesome job as the MC.

We thank the Lord and our Mother Mary for a wonderful day. As we say God is good! All the Time! All the time! God is good!

(My mother is grateful for what you did!! She told me to say “Hi”)

4th Sunday of Advent December 23/24

Our Lady Help of Christians

Saturday evening – 4:15 pm

Sunday morning – 10 am

Christmas Masses

Our Lady Help of Christians

Sunday evening – 4pm

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sunday evening – 6pm

Our Lady Help of Christians

Monday December 25 – 10am

Mary Mother of the Church

Our Lady Help of Christians

Monday January 1, 2018 – 10am

Father Mike


December 3rd, 2017
ADVENT

The Church’s new liturgical year begins with the first Sunday of Advent. The season of Advent is the time when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. The first two weeks the readings guide us to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ at the end of time, and the last two weeks for the coming of Christ at Christmas as he did at Bethlehem centuries ago. It is the time for conversion, a change of heart, hope, and joy-filled expectation.

In Advent we celebrate the ‘Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary’ on December 8, and on December 12, we celebrate Her Feast as ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of the Americas.’

The Immaculate Conception states that Mary was preserved from sin because she was to be the Mother of Jesus who is God, and God couldn’t be united with sinfulness. (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church: #491)

Our Lady of Guadalupe recalls the apparition of Our Blessed Mother to Juan Diego on December 9, 1531. She invited all to a life of holiness, prayer and peace.

A big ‘thank you so very much’ to those who attended the  Sunday Masses at Our Lady’s and Sacred Heart for your overwhelming response to my appeal to help us take out the old hymnals and put in the new ones.

Kudos to all the kids for giving it their all! Keep it up kids!! It is another way of saying: “God is good! All the time! All the time! God is good!!”

 Friday, December 8, 2017.

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Holyday of Obligation.

Our Lady Help of Christians:

10:30 AM – Rosary and Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

11:00 AM – Mass

Sacred Heart of Jesus:

6:30 PM – Rosary and Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

7:00 PM – Mass

Saturday, December 16, 2017.

Our Lady Help of Christians:

10:00 AM- Confession for both parishes at Our Lady Help of Christians Church.


 

November 26th, 2017

Visiting Cemeteries

Visiting cemeteries on All Souls Day (November 2), Memorial Day, or on the anniversary of the death or burial of a particular deceased person is a traditional practice in the Catholic Church. It consists of a short prayer service and the blessing of the graves with Holy Water.

At this time of year, our deceased relatives and friends are often in our minds. Our faith tells us that we need not grieve over them because they are in the hands of God. We remember them with love and entrust them to God’s care.

We will be visiting these cemeteries on the following dates immediately after the 8:30am Mass. If you have any person buried in any of them you may join us in praying for them and blessing their graves with Holy Water.

Monday, November 13: German Cemetery, Lykens

Wednesday, November 15: Sacred Heart Cemetery, Williamstown

Monday, November 20: Irish Cemetery, Lykens.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in Peace! Amen.


October 15th, 2017

This is a message from The Office of Pontifical Missions – Diocese of Harrisburg: Next Sunday, our parishes will celebrate World Mission Sunday.  It represents a global sign of the universal Church and Mission. We are invited to reach out and help build the Church in the most remote areas across our world. Your prayers and donations will support churches, hospitals, schools, and vocations to priesthood and religious life.

Please show your generosity as much as possible during this collection, because it provides assistance to the young dioceses in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific Islands.

On October 18, 2017 at Sacred Heart of Jesus, Lewisburg, PA, at 7pm, there will be a memorial Mass for the grandmother and six relatives of Fr. Bernard Wamayosi, AJ, who is the Catholic Chaplain at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA.  In September six of his relatives were buried alive by a mudslide and the shock proved too much for his grandmother.  Join us, The Apostles of Jesus, in praying for repose of their souls and for Fr. Bernard.

October 8th, 2017

During the weekend Masses of October 14 – 15, 2017, our diocese will be consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima.  By special designation of Bishop Gainer, all the parishes in the Diocese of Harrisburg will set aside the prayers and readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time and will, instead, celebrate the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Our Lady, Mother of the Church.

This will be in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the children of Fatima. The first apparition was on May 13, 1917.  On October 13, 1917, during the last of six apparitions, what became known as the ‘Miracle of the Sun,’ when the sun appeared to ‘dance’ about in the sky was witnessed by approximately 70,000 people.

Our Blessed Mother asked for: penance, prayer and devotion to her Immaculate Heart.  The Rosary is a valuable instrument of prayer and meditation; we ask for the intercession of Our Blessed Mother.  During her life on earth, she embraced the fact of total dependence on God with her whole heart and soul, and lived it as the ‘Handmaid of the Lord’.

In her we have a very powerful intercessor, one who knows our human condition, and helps us to live in the grace of God, and all because: God is good! All the time! All the time! God is good!

Father Mike