"> Georgiann Benkovic – Prince of Peace

Memorial Day

Dear Friends

All too often people see this weekend as the “beginning of summer” – the first backyard cookout of the season, the beginning of families’ summer visits to the shore or the cabin, and for all of our kids Memorial Day weekend is a sign that the school year is nearly at an end. But our enjoyment Memorial day has come at a tremendous cost – our freedoms, our American Liberties, are not free. Just as our adoption as sons and daughters of God came at the cost of Jesus’ death of unconditional love, our American principles were backed by the sacrifices – all too often on the battlefield – of our veterans.

Memorial Day is a time for visiting cemeteries, They are places of quiet but profound witness. The dozens of flags we see waving in the breeze on those hillsides and above those stone monuments are signs that a veteran is buried there. Some of those veterans died in battle: defeating slavery, defending our nation’s orders, defeating fascism and communism and terrorism, and ultimately defending the proposition that we “are endowed by (our) Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among those are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

On Memorial Day we also visit our other deceased loved ones. They were immigrants who came to this land lured with the promise of roads paved in gold but then realized they would also be filled with hardship and perseverance. On these same roads those immigrants often said farewell to their sons and daughters who would return “home” to fight for other peoples’ liberty and freedom.

This Memorial Day – Monday, May 29 – Holy Mass will be offered at 9:00 am. Please come together that we may pray for the happy rest of our beloved deceased, and let us exercise our gift of the free practice of religion to offer the Sacrifice of Praise in gratitude for the blessings we have in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Fr. Jonathan Sawicki, Pastor

Sunday, May 28th

Dear Friends,

This Saturday, June 3rd at 10:00 am Bishop Gainer will ordain three new priests for the service of our Local Church. You are ALL warmly invited and encouraged to attend the priestly ordination of Kevin Key, Richard Groff and Chiedozie Ononuju.

Bishop Timothy Senior will be installed as the 12th Bishop of Harrisburg on Wednesday, June 21st. at St. Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg. This Mass must be by invitation-only due to the limited seating at our Cathedral, but you are all warmly invited and encouraged to attend the Vespers (Evening Prayer) at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Harrisburg on Tuesday, June 20th at 6:00 pm Please come as parish groups as well as individuals!

Pentecost Weekend!

Last, but most important of all: this weekend we celebrate the “Birthday of the Church” – the Feast of Pentecost. May we open our hearts to the inspirations and guidance of the Holy Spirit more and more. May the Holy Spirit not only enlighten us, but indeed dwell within us and animate us in all we do.

This weekend I am serving as chaplain of our Diocesan Office of Youth & Young “Come Alive” Young Adult Retreat in East Waterford, PA. Please pray for the success of this retreat and for the nearly 100 young adults from throughout the diocese on the retreat this weekend!

Have a Blessed Memorial Day!

Fr. Johnathan Sawicki, Pastor

What Does It Mean to Be Catholic?

What Does It Mean To Be Catholic? 

The Catholic Church was founded by Christ and his Apostles.  There are four marks or characteristics of the Church, and we are reminded of them each time we pray the Nicene Creed at Mass.

One:  Means all members are united as the Body of Christ, given life by the one Spirit.  We acknowledge one Lord, one faith, one Baptism.

Holy: Means the Church is centered on God.  It is Christ who, by his sacrifice, makes the Church holy.

Catholic:  Means universal.  The Church is for all times and all people.  The Church is “the fullness” of the means of salvation”. (CCC830)

Apostolic:  Means the Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles.  We teach the doctrine of Jesus as it has been handed down through the apostles and their successors, the pope and bishops.

Each Catholic is called to full and active participation in the life of the Church and has the right and responsibility to:

1.) Attend Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation.

2.  Confess your sins, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a least once a year.

3.  Receive the Eucharist.

4. Observe the days of fasting Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstinence on Ash Wednesday in Lent established by the Church.

5. Help to provide for the needs of the Church

Encountering Christ and being a witness to his love means we are called to live like Jesus and work for justice and peace in this world by living the 10 commandments, the Beatitudes, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

We are called to stand for the: Life and dignity of the Human Person, Call to Family, Community and Participation, Rights and Responsibilities of the Human Person, Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, Dignity of Work and Rights of workers, Solidarity of the Human Family, Care for God’s Creatures.


Parish Picnic

The planning for our annual Parish Picnic (July 16th at Cibort Park, Bressler) kicked off well this past Monday. I would like to thank all of our parishioners who have stepped forward to assist in leadership and service. Or next Picnic Meeting will be on Monday, June 26 at 6:00 pm in the GYM of our Parish Center. All are invited to attend.

Our picnic has a twofold importance: it is a community builder as well as a fundraiser. Many people commented on the great turnout of people last year, and of course we hope to continue to get the word out to bring more people to our annual picnic. Naturally for the fundraiser side of our picnic, keeping our cost under control is key to a healthy profit, but this year we are also going to ask for business sponsors for our picnic. Many of our places of employment have a budget for advertising, so in the next several weeks we will have sponsorship forms available. If you are able to assist us with sponsorships, we will be very grateful as it will help us have an even greater success.

As I said, we had a productive meeting. Please mark your calendars for the weekend of July 16th – many hands make light the work!

Infant of Prague

It was a little painted statue and stood a foot and a half high, was dressed in exquisite court dress, and cherished as an heirloom wedding gift. It came from Spain during an early spread of devotion to the Christ Child.

In the 17th century, a Spanish noblewoman named Isabel Manrique gave this little statue to her daughter Marie when Marie married a Czech noble. Marie gave it, in turn, to her own daughter Polyxena when the later married.

Polyxena treasured it for many years, but at last gifted it to the Carmelite monastery of Our Lady of Victory.

Shortly afterward the Czech kingdom was invaded by the Saxons, forcing the Carmelites to flee their monastery. The statue of the Christ Child, damaged and tattered was left behind in the ruins of the church.

Ten years later in 1638, a Carmelite priest found it. He took it to his church in Prague and displayed it by the altar.

Suddenly, as he knelt in prayer before it, the statue spoke, saying: “Have mercy on me and I will have mercy on you. Give Me My hands and I will give you peace. The more you honor Me the more I will bless you.”

After this, many miracles were reported to have been wrought through the statue and devotion to the Christ Child increased all the more.

Many saints, such as Therese of Lisieux and Francis of Assisi, were greatly devoted to the Infant Jesus. Nurture love for the Child Jesus in your own home.

The Catholic Company: Bite-Sized Faith


Spiritual Communion:

     My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.  I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.  Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.

    I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.

     Never permit me to be separated from You.  Amen.

Blessed Virgin Mary Grotto

Dear Friends

Visit our Grotto at Prince of Peace Parish-Assumption of the BVM Church. Pray to our Blessed  Mother for peace in our country and the world and ask her assistance to bring friends and families who are not practicing their faith to return to her son, Our Lord Jesus.

Our Blessed Virgin Mary Grotto is the Queen of Peace.

Important 2023 Dates

Solemn Vespers to greet our new diocesan shepherd will be at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Harrisburg at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, June 20th.

Installation of Bishop Timothy C. Senior as 12th Bishop of Harrisburg June 21st. at Cathedral of St. Patrick

Annual Parish Picnic on Sunday, July 16th from 12 noon to 6:30 pm. Mass will be celebrated by our Pastor, Fr. Sawicki, at 11:00 am at Cibort Park prior to the Picnic.

Sacrifice of the Mass

The Sign of the Cross and the Greeting tells us who we are as we gather to enter into the Mystery of Our Lord’s Death and Resurrection.

The Penitential Rite  gives us the opportunity to acknowledge our sinfulness as we approach the Sacrifice of Christ that destroys sin and bring us back into a relationship with God.

The Gloria is a hymn that leads us to praise glorify, adore, thank and ask our Triune God for all we, His sons and daughter, need as we beg His mercy.

The Opening Prayer or “Collect” collects the intentions of the people assembled and presents them to God by the priest who stands in persona Christi (in the person of Christ).

In the Reading of the Old Testament we hear the story of God’s covenant with His chosen people Israel and the revelation of Himself that speaks of His mercy and desire for their salvation.

The Responsorial Psalm is the faithful’s response of praise and thanksgiving to God’s Word in the First Reading . It reminds us that we are not passive listeners to the Word; we are in a relationship of love with the Word of God.

The Second Reading from the New Testament tells us of God’s New and Eternal Covenant forged in the Blood of His Son who is the Word Made Flesh.

The Gospel is a proclamation of an event from the life of Our Savior.  In the readings from Holy Scripture that are not taken from the Gospel, it is God who speaks to His people.  But when the Gospel is proclaimed, it is specifically Christ Jesus, true God and true man, who speaks to us.

The Homily is a vital part of the liturgy of the Mass that explains the Holy Scriptures and instructs us in the Faith.

The Profession of Faith (the Nicene Creed) is the ancient formula of beliefs that unites the people assembled with the Universal Church of all ages in their expression of their Faith in Christ.

General Intercessions or Prayer of the Faithful offers prayers to God for the Church the world, and the need of people both living and dead.

The Preparation Rite is the offering of the bread and wine brought to His altar by the priest on behalf of the people of God assembled.  The people participate in the offering by virtue of their baptism into the priestly people of God.

The Eucharistic Prayer makes present the Mystery of Our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.  Christ’s Sacrifice of the Cross, His offering to the Faith of Himself for the salvation of the world is represented on the altar.  At the words of consecration the bread and wine brought to the altar become the Body Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.  The baptized are called to participate in the sacrifice of Christ that is made present through the ministry of the ordained priest.

The Our Father begins the Rite of Communion.  We are faithful to Jesus’ command to pray in the words He taught us.  The priest prays for deliverance from evil, peace, and freedom from anxiety as we wait for the coming of Christ Our Savior in glory.  The priest extends a greeting of Christ’s peace to all present in the assembly.  The faithful share a sign of peace with one another.  The priest comingles a portion of the Sacred Host that he has broken in the chalice of the Precious Blood. The faithful sing the Agnus Dei. “Lamb of God You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, grant us peace.”

Communion has arrived.  The faithful go forward to receive His Sacred Body.  This reception of the Holy Eucharist effects communion between the individual and God and among the individual members of the Body of Christ.

The priest then blesses the people in the name of the Holy Trinity and dismisses all to go forth to witness to Christ in the world.

No One is a mere spectator at Mass.  All of the baptized are invited to participate in the sacred Mysteries by full, conscious and active participation.  This participation is not limited to eternal expression.  It must also be an external expression of faith and devotion.  The mass is an awesome treasure! It is Christ’s work of salvation active in our midst!

Bishop Gainer-Eucharistic Revival

  June 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.  For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” John 6: 54-55

On June 19th. of this year, a multiyear National Eucharistic Revival began in the dioceses across the United States.  This revival is not another new program, but rather an intense, purposeful focus on the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Recent studies have indicated an alarming trend that a small percentage of Catholics, possibly as low as 30%, truly believe that the Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.  This is a fundamental teaching of our faith.  Without the Eucharist, the real Body of Christ, we cannot be the People, the Catholics, nor the Church that we are called to be.

We believe that “the Eucharistic is the source and summit of the Christian life.  The other Sacraments and, indeed, all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist an are oriented toward it.  For in the Blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch” (CCC, 1324)

Today, our society is plagued with fear, doubt, war, hatred, and an overall indifference to the sanctity of human life.  There is desperate need to experience the love and truth of Christ.  Now, more than ever before, we need this belief of the Eucharist celebrated with renewed vigor in our parishes, Catholic schools, apostolates, ministries and programs.  The Revival aims to do just that.  Clergy, religious, laity, apostolates, movements, parishes and Diocesan leadership will work together with one common goal – to celebrate our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist that all might come to believe.

Throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg I am grateful to the many faithful who already commit themselves to Holy Mass and to Eucharistic Adoration.  In a special way, I see the real love for our Eucharistic Lord alive in so many and invite you to join me in praying fervently for that love to fill the hearts of all Catholics.

As we begin the Diocesan phase of this Revival, I encourage you to frequent our website, www.hbgdiocese.org/eucharist, and visit our app (MyParishApp -Diocese of Harrisburg) for the latest information on our Revival activities.  We will be updating these platforms throughout the year, including ways you can be involved in this important work.

Together, let us respond to Christ’s invitation and open our hearts to Him, present in the Most Holy Eucharist.  United in faith and invoking the intercession of Mary, the Mother of the Eucharist, let us pray this Eucharistic Revival bears fruit for the glory of God.

Sincerely In Christ,

Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, DD, JACL                                                        Bishop of Harrisburg

Bishop Gainer’s “The Faith Alive” Series watch below on the Facebook page of the Diocese of Harrisburg.