My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Happy Easter! I know it has been a short while since I sent you a “monthly wrap up”…. I am sure you would understand that the Lenten Season kept me and your parish team quite busy! Nonetheless, in this e-mail I have included an update on March AND an update on April. And rather than keep you waiting even longer, let us get right to what took place!
Here is some of what took place during the month of March:
1. Confirmation Retreat (top row; first picture) -What a beautiful weekend! Children reaching their Sacrament of Confirmation (and some Baptism) had a retreat with young adults from Steubenville’s SENT Mission’s Team! The concluding message that students heard was, “He wants you. God needs YOU in order to change the world – in order to make disciples of the world. The joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction that you get when you say yes to Jesus is something you won’t get anywhere else. Take this Sacrament (The Eucharist), go out into the world and give Jesus your yes!” Thank you to the SENT team, chaperones, volunteers and our incredible Religious Education Director, Armando Torres, for giving our youth this opportunity to grow closer to Jesus as Intentional Disciples through His Church!
2. Welcome to the team Deacon Pete! (top row; third picture) – As you should know by now, to help us better build the Kingdom of God at Saint Joseph’s and on Cabbage Hill, I am very pleased to announce that we have hired Deacon Peter Jupin as our new Pastoral Associate! I am sure that you have already had the chance to get to meet him, and if you have not, be sure to give him a big Cabbage Hill “welcome” when you do!
3. Quilting Club Closed up shop, or “folded up fabrics” (middle row, first picture) – the Tree of Life Quilters, a group of ladies from our parish who love to quilt, turned in their sewing needles, materials and threads and called it a day. After 21 years of making quilts for newborns in our parish and quilts for our elderly in St. Ann’s Nursing Home, these ladies closed up shop and disassembled their group. With each thread of the needle, these ladies (and the many who came before them), would intentionally pray for the recipient of each quilt that they gave away. They met twice monthly spanning over two decades time resulting in over 200 quilts made! We appreciate their hard work and dedication to this “little” way of sharing Christ’s love as Intentional Disciples. Thank you, ladies, for all that you did over the years!
4. St. Joseph Feast Day Celebration (middle row, second picture) – He may be known as the Saint who’s depicted as not having much to say in Scripture, but that doesn’t mean that parishioners did not have much to say about him! In fact, several dozens people, young and old alike, came out to celebrate our Patron Saint, St. Joseph on his Feast Day. Thank you to Joe & Hermina Cunningham and the Latin Mass Community for organizing this event to celebrate our dear St. Joseph!
5. Stations of the Cross (bottom row, second picture) – What see you here are two pictures: Top – Father Olkowski led the Stations of the Cross in the traditional form of St. Alphonsus Liguori & Bottom – Deacon Jupin leading parishioners in Stations of the Cross.
6. A study on the book of Exodus (bottom row, third picture) – I was so thrilled to be able to offer this study on the Book of Exodus! Thank you to all who joined me!
Here is some of what took place during the month of April:
1. Living Stations of the Cross (top row; first picture) -It was a beautiful night of reflection on the Passion of our Lord. If you missed it, you can watch it through Facebook Live here. And to see more photos from this years Living Stations, you can do so here and here.
2. Palm Sunday Mass (top row; third picture) – What see you here are two pictures: Top – Father Olkowski celebrated Palm Sunday Mass for our Latin Mass community & bottom is photos from our Palm Sunday Procession. To view more photos, visit here and here.
3. Holy Thursday Mass (middle row, first picture) – Washing of the Feet “Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.” John 13:5
4. Good Friday (middle row, second picture) – “Behold the Wood of the Cross, on which hung the Salvation of the World.”
5. Easter Mass (middle row, third picture) – Christ is Risen! Truly He is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! To see more photos from this year’s Easter Mass, click here.
6. Easter Mass in the Extraordinary Form (bottom row, first picture) – Special thanks to Fr. Szada for offering the Traditional Latin Mass on Easter Sunday. Despite the long drive from the Carmelite Monastery in Elysburg, he always arrives radiating the joy of Christ to us all. To see more photos, click here.
7. Annual Children’s Easter Egg Hunt (bottom row, second picture) – thank you to Jim and Jen Weber for organizing another fun-filled Easter egg hunt for our children! To see some adorable photos are good times being and by all, click here.
8. New Parishioners registered (bottom row, third picture) – Karibu! Welcome! Our parish team registered 5 families (a total of 27 people, not all pictured here) from Congo! These families were refugees from Congo that resettled to Lancaster and are permanent residents. Fr. Deo was able to translate in Swahili for them so that Joanne and Joan could register them to become an “official” part of our parish family! Isn’t our Universal Faith awesome?! Please join us in welcoming them below, and if you see them at Mass, or at an event, be sure to say, “Karibu!” which means, “welcome” in Swahili!
As you can see, our Lord has blessed us abundantly with so much that has taken place at our parish during the months of March and April… When I look back and reflect, I cannot help but be overcome with gratitude for the blessings He is bestowing upon our parish… please join me in thanking Him today!