Sunday, July 31, 2011

Farewell to Mr. Mark Wilke

Today we sadly bid farewell to our summer seminarian - Mr. Mark Wilke.  Having arrived 2 months ago on June 1, he's been involved in so many things here in the parish - Vacation Bible School, the Theology of the Body class, home visits, communion calls, youth group trips and outings, to name just a few of them.  It's been a great pleasure to have him here this summer and a privilege for our parish to be part of his formation as a Catholic priest for our Diocese.  We promise to hold Mark in our prayers - just as we pray regularly for our own parish seminarians (Steven Arena, Andrew Hartung & Joey Barvir).  God bless you, Mark!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Archbishop Sambi, Papal Nuncio to U.S. dies at 73

Washington D.C., Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Holy Father’s diplomatic representative to the U.S., died in the evening of Wednesday, July 27, at the Baltimore hospital where he had been placed in assisted ventilation after complications following a lung surgery performed two weeks ago.

On Monday, the nunciature, along with Archbishop Sambi's family, who traveled to Baltimore from Italy after the worsening of Archbishop Sambi’s conditions, asked “Bishops, priests, religious, and lay faithful” to offer “sacrifices and prayers” for the nuncio's recovery.

Archbishop Sambi was appointed by Pope Benedict in 2005 as the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. He began his duties in Washington, D.C. in February of 2006.

The archbishop was born in the northern Italian town of Sogliano sul Rubicone in 1938, and was ordained a priest on March 14, 1964, for the Diocese of Montefeltro. Archbishop Sambi was fluent in English, Spanish, and French, and held doctorate degrees in Theology and Canon Law.

He joined the Vatican diplomatic service in 1969 and served in the nunciatures or apostolic delegations to Cameroon, Jerusalem, Cuba, Algeria, Nicaragua, Belgium, and India.

In 1991 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia and in 1998 was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine.

During his difficult tenure as Nuncio in Israel, Archbishop Sambi pushed for safeguards on freedom of religion, equality for monotheistic religions, and increased access to and worship in the holy places.

Recently, Vatican experts voiced Archbishop Sambi as a strong candidate to move to a senior position at the Vatican.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi’s funeral will be at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC on Saturday August 6th –feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord at 2:00 pm.

The funeral will be televised live by EWTN.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Archbishop Sambi - Apostolic Nuncio to US - gravely ill

Late Friday evening the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted the following advisory from the apostolic nunciature on the condition of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican representative to the U.S.:
The Most Reverend Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio, underwent a delicate lung surgery two weeks ago. Unfortunately, there have been post-surgery complications. Currently he has been placed on assisted ventilation to attempt recovery of his lung function. The Apostolic Nunciature and the Nuncio’s family kindly ask that Bishops, priests, religious, and lay faithful offer sacrifices and prayers for the health of the Apostolic Nuncio.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Saint Mary Magdalene

She is called "the apostle to the Apostles."  St. Mary Magdalene was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdale, in northern Galilee, and her culture and manners were those of a Gentile.  St. Luke records that she had seven devils removed from her.   She was present at Our Lords' Crucifixion, and with Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, at Jesus' empty tomb.  

Tradition holds that fourteen years after Our Lord's death, St. Mary was put in a boat by the Jews without sails or oars - along with Sts. Lazarus and Martha, St. Maximin (who baptized her), St. Sidonius ("the man born blind"), her maid Sera, and the body of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin.  They were sent drifting out to sea and landed on the shores of Southern France, where St. Mary spent the rest of her life as a contemplative in a cave known as Sainte-Baume.  She was given the Holy Eucharist daily by angels as her only food, and died when she was 72.  St. Mary was transported miraculously, just before she died, to the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments. 

After having "7 devils" exercised from her by the Lord, she and the other holy women humbly served Jesus and His Apostles.  When Our Lord was crucified, she was there at the foot of His cross, unafraid for herself, and thinking only of His sufferings. No wonder Jesus said of her: "She has loved much."  After Jesus' body had been placed in the tomb, Mary went to anoint it with spices early Easter Sunday morning.  Not finding the Sacred Body, she began to weep, and seeing someone whom she thought was the gardener, she asked him if he knew where the Body of her beloved Master had been taken.  But then the person spoke in a voice she knew so well: "Mary!"  It was Jesus, risen from the dead!  He had chosen to show Himself first to Mary Magdalen, the "apostle of the Apostles."

One thing that characterizes Mary Magdalene's life is that she always sought the One whom she could not find.  Her presence at the cross and the tomb are evidence of this.  This longing caused her love for the Lord to grow ever stronger.

We, in our lives, may often wonder why the Lord isn't present to us or doesn't reveal Himself to us.  Perhaps, like with St. Mary Magdalene, the Lord merely desires that, by our seeking, our desire for Him would increase all the more.  Let us ask St. Mary Magdalene's intercession that we might never cease looking for the Lord - and that, through our longing, our love for Him would always grow deeper.

Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us!

New Offices Open for Business

On Wednesday, July 19 - after packing, LOTS of help moving boxes, unpacking, computer set-up, new phones, furniture assembly - our new parish office is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!  So far, we love our new "digs" - Regina is thrilled to have windows!  

Our new parish office provides a reception and work are for Regina, our parish secretary; office space for myself, Mary Little (finance) and a new development position.  There are handicapped accessible rest rooms and a large meeting area which can be divided into three smaller areas.  There's also a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave and coffee station.  

The new school office will be the new MAIN ENTRANCE for the SCHOOL.  Everyone who gains access to the school will have to enter the new office and pass by Nina Miller, our school secretary.  Besides an area for the school secretary, there is also a private office for Mr. McDonald (our new principal).  Peg Wagaman, our parish Director of Religious Education, also has office space in this new building - since, being religious education, most of her work occurs in and around the school.  Lastly, there is a large meeting room, two handicapped rest rooms and space for the LIU (Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12) - so there will be no more "yellow van."

You are welcome to come by the new office any time - even just to look around.  Our office hours remain as they have been: Monday - Thursday from 8:30am until 3pm.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Archbishop Charles Chaput to become next Archbishop of Philadelphia

The news has broken that Cardinal Rigali, the Cardinal Archbishop of Philadelphia, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 75, will retire and be replaced by the current Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput.

Cardinal Justin Rigali held a news conference this morning at 10am to announce that Pope Benedict XVI had named Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M., Cap. as the 13th Bishop and 9th Archbishop of Philadelphia.  Archbishop Chaput will be Installed on Thursday, September 8, 2011, the feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 2:00 p.m.  The Holy Father has also appointed Cardinal Rigali as Apostolic Administrator with all of the responsibilities of Archbishop until the Installation of Archbishop Chaput.

Archbishop Chaput, who is 66, is a member of the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin.  He was ordained a priest in 1970 and became a bishop at the age of 43.  At that time he became the Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota.  Since 1997 he has served as Archbishop of Denver.  A member of the Prairie Band Potowatami Tribe, Archbishop Chaput is the second Native American to be ordained a Bishop in the United States and the first Native American Archbishop.

Father Bateman Sworn in as Captain in PA Air National Guard

On Saturday morning, I was finally sworn in as a Chaplain and member of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.  The Base Chaplain, Lt. Col. Richard Dennison, swore me in.  A number of family and friends were able to join me at the headquarters of the 193rd Special Operations Wing located at the Harrisburg International Airport including my mom and step-dad and my brother and his wife; Paul & James Clement, Dan Pierce & Andrew Knepper (all from St. Andrew) and families from my former parishes of Sacred Heart in Lewistown and St. Joseph's in Hanover.

With these simple words, it all happened: "I, John Bruce Bateman, Jr, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; that I make this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Captain in the National Guard of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania upon which I am about to enter, so help me God."

My thanks to everyone in our parish for their support and encouragement as I take on this additional responsibility to minister to the men and women who defend our nation's freedom as members of the 193rd SOW of the Pa Air National Guard.

A ceremonial swearing in is being planned for the parish... stay tuned.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Big Move Begins...

After years of talk...

After months of planning and building

The day has arrived!

Our parish office staff has begun packing up and preparing for the move into our brand new office buildings!  And Saturday will be the day that all the office essentials and supplies make it across the parking lot an find their new home.

While there are a few minor things that still need to be completed in the buildings to comply with Labor and Industry requirements, we were given the "go ahead" to move into our new facility.  The parish office building (along N. Broad Street where the home used to stand) provides offices for our parish secretary, Regina Plummer; our parish director of finance, Mary Little; our new development position; and, of course, for me - Fr. Bateman.  In addition there is a small kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, sink and coffeemaker.  Then there are several meeting rooms that can be divided into 3 small rooms or opened up to make one larger room.

The new school office building will become the home for Nina Miller, our school secretary, and our new principal, Pat McDonald.  It will also become the new home for our parish director of education, Peg Wagaman (that was a big decision for Peg - having worked in the parish office for many years, the move to the school building - where most of her activities take place - was a difficult decision and will require some adjustments for all of us).  In addition, the school building also has a large conference room (again with a kitchenette) that can be used as a classroom or a lunchroom for our faculty during the school year.

Bishop McFadden will be coming to Saint Andrew Parish in September to officially bless the new buildings and at that time we'll hold an official "Open House."

Until then, thanks for your patience as the office remains close this week and early next week - giving us time to pack, unpack, get set up - in order to welcome people into our new home on Wednesday.