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First, I’d like to address who I am and a little about the current situation.  My name is Fr. Stephen Logue, I was ordained a priest just under 3 months ago.  Since then I have been stationed as the parochial vicar at St. Rose of Lima parish in York.  In light of events here at St. Margaret Mary’s, I have been transferred to the position of parochial vicar here for the next 4 weeks.  After that, the plan is for me to return to Rome, where I have been studying for the last four years, to finish up my current program.  But, until that time, I am yours.  I will make myself as available as possible to discuss the current situation here at our parish, in our diocese and the state, or any other questions and concerns you may have.  Unfortunately, I cannot offer specific hours or locations at this time since I am still new here, but, if you contact the office, they can put you in touch with me.  And I will work to make these things known.  I know there are a lot of questions and concerns that I am not able to answer satisfactorily in a homily.  So, my role is to be someone you can talk to and, most important of all, to provide the sacraments, the surest source of God’s strength in the world.

Now, about our situation here.  I know there has been some confusion in communication and for that, I am sorry.  Because of that, and in the interest of transparency, I want to take this opportunity to tell you everything I know.  In the Grand Jury report that was released almost two weeks ago, the name of your pastor, Fr. Helwig, was included.  As has been stated before, there are absolutely no allegations of sexual misconduct directed at him.  As he described in his letter, he is taking a break from ministry at this time.  This is for his own health and well-being and of his own initiative.  So, please keep him in your prayers.  Again, if you have any questions or concerns about this which you would like to discuss, I am here for you.

Regarding the recent Grand Jury report itself, I want to be clear first and foremost to all survivors of abuse, especially those at the hands of clergy.  I am so incredibly sorrowful and heartbroken at the heinous crimes you endured at the hands of these men.  And while painful to read, I feel I now have some insight, however small, into the horrors you suffered and the burden your bore for so long.  So, I want to say, I believe you and I am sorry.  I know I speak on behalf of all faithful priests when I say we are shocked, horrified, and saddened beyond words both of the original crimes and the crimes of the coverup.  I have seen firsthand the righteous anger and resolve of so many priests of our diocese who have been working tirelessly to make God present in our churches and communities.

There have been a number of people, both priests and laypeople, (although mostly brother priests) who have said to me that they are sorry that I have to start my priesthood in the middle of all of this.  And I truly, sincerely appreciate their compassion, while bearing in mind that my sufferings are nothing compared to the survivors.

There is one thing you should keep in mind though.  I knew what I was getting myself into.  Now let me be perfectly clear, never have I known of a crime of anyone associated with the diocese before law enforcement, never did I know the horrific detail spread before us in the report, and never did I know about ongoing abuse.  But I did know that priests had done these and equally condemnable actions.  I knew, again, after it was public knowledge, that the Grand Jury investigation was underway.  And I knew, when I approached the altar for ordination three months ago, that the release was immanent, and I had some idea that the findings would shake us to the core.

So you might ask me, why?  Why would I give my life for an organization whose members could perpetrate these crimes and whose leaders could cover them up?

As seminarians, we are often asked to give our vocation story.  Basically the same question (“why?”) but without the surrounding concerns.  And we all, myself included, can talk about feeling called and the example of holy priests and the importance of the Church in our lives.  But one of the priests forming us would say that when someone asks us why, the real answer should be “because Jesus Christ suffered and died on the Cross for my sins.”

And nothing has made this truth clearer to me than this scandal.  I certainly did not become a priest for the terrible priests and bishops, and I realized that I didn’t even become a priest for the excellent, holy, and even saintly priests and bishops.  I became a priest because Jesus Christ suffered and died on the Cross for my sins.

I didn’t lay down my life on the marble of our cathedral almost three months ago for those who came before me who have taken the lives of others in a way so difficult to heal.  I laid down my life on that marble because Jesus laid down His life for me on the Cross.  I laid down my life on that marble so that I could have a chance to show you that Jesus laid down His life for you too.

I did not promise to pray for the people of God throughout every single day for the rest of my life for those who made the same promise but then preyed on instead of praying for.  I made it for Jesus, who prayed constantly, even spending 40 days and nights in the desert in prayer to the Father and through that had the strength to bring the Good News to the nations.  I pray so that I can have a share in that same strength.

I did not promise obedience for those who were obedient only to their own interests and to their view of the Church which was more important to them than her most vulnerable members.  I made that promise for Jesus who throughout His time on earth, was obedient to the Father and through that obedience brought salvation to the world.  I am obedient so that, as John the Baptist says, “I might decrease, and He might increase.”

I did not promise to live a life of chastity for those who violated this promise more horrendously than their other promises.  I made this promise because Jesus, and thousands of saints since, lived a life of celibate chastity without resorting to acts of barbarism.  Instead, this free gift of themselves helped them to live a life both spiritually fruitful and fulfilling and to be a witness to the people of God.  I am celibate so that when people look at me they might more easily see Jesus.

And I do not stand at that altar today offering bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Jesus offered up for us for those who said those words with their voices and not their hearts and then proceeded to take instead of give.  I do offer it because Jesus said “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”

I do all these things for Jesus who made it clear that they were to be passed down to us through the hands of the Church and her priests despite the faithlessness and sins that have plagued the Church to varying degrees from the very beginning, starting with Judas.

So, I stand before you today as Joshua and as Peter.  Not in relation to my personal holiness, but in relation to a choice that I offer.

When Joshua was speaking to the Israelites today it was because they had just conquered the Promised Land and many of the tribes of Israel had given in to the local practices of worshiping foreign gods.  Joshua calls them all back to the place where they and their ancestors had promised to serve the Lord and asks them to make a choice: resolve to serve God or serve these foreign gods.

Joshua outlines all the good things God has done for them and for their ancestors and then says, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

In the Gospel, Jesus had just finished the Bread of Life discourse, the introduction to the Eucharist, and many found this teaching too hard and left.  They were confused and couldn’t understand what all of that meant and figured it was easier to turn away.  And Jesus, in one of His most profound acts of humility, turns to His closest friends, the twelve, and says “Do you also want to leave?”  To which Peter responds with a simple, but powerful act of faith “Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

He is saying that I don’t get everything you are saying or doing, or how you plan to work through all of this, but I have begun to know you and I love you, so I will trust you.

These recent revelations can be trying for the faith of all of us, precisely because of the compassion and sorrow we feel for survivors.

I am not asking you to put blind trust, or even trust, in men, that is why many faithful priests and bishops have worked tirelessly to establish programs and policies to prevent these crimes, I am asking you to put your trust in God.

I will not stand for what has been done, and covered up, by men but, “as for me and my house, we serve the Lord.”  Because He has “the words of eternal life” and I “have come to believe and [am] convinced that [He is] the Holy One of God.”

 


 

St. Margaret Mary Parish Directory

We invite all members of St. Margaret Mary church to participate in updating our parish directory. The directory is a great resource to learn more about our parish community.   All parishioners who sit for a directory photo session receive a free 8x10 Directory Portrait (1 per sitting) and a free directory.

Click here for the LifeTouch booking page

Look for a table in the Narthex soon to assist with appointment scheduling.Booking Dates: August 27- September 1; September 4-7 and September 24-28 (final week). Pictures will be taken in the Parish Activities Center. Other photography dates will soon be available Look for more information in an upcoming bulletin. Please call the Parish Office with questions at 717-233-3062.


The 26 Week Raffle is Here!

Winners Each Week for 26 Weeks
Weekly Drawings begin June 4, 2018
Grand Prize Drawings November 26, 2018 (a month before Christmas)
Each family is asked to buy/sell at least 2 tickets
Additional tickets are available at the parish office
Return ticket stubs with payment to the parish office or in the collection basket on weekends in an envelope marked “26 Week Raffle”
$25.00 per ticket-weekly prize $50 for 25 weeks
Extra week FREE chance to win one of the Final Grand Prize Drawings
Checks made payable to St. Marg Mary Church

Click here to order additional tickets

 


 

Time and Talent Survey

Our Pastoral Council has comprised an updated Time and Talent Survey.  We are looking for your active participation within the parish. The more hands we have helping, the more we can do and the more responsive the church can be with more voices and ideas being brought forward.   Thank you in advance for your support!


 

Online Time and Talent Survey


 


 

2018 Lenten Appeal

“The commitment that you will make through your gift will touch thousands of lives in ways we may never know. The vocation of marriage and the families of our Diocese will be strengthened through the Office of Family and Respect Life Ministries. Catechists, teachers, and sport coaches will receive training and support through the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis and Sports Ministry; Catholic schools and after-school programs will find their support so that children and young people can grow in the beauty of our Catholic faith. Ministries on college and university campuses will be strengthened and supported so our sons and daughters will know that the Church is still there for them on Campus. A homeless mother and her unborn child will be provided with hope, food, and shelter at Lourdeshouse Maternity Home. The Lenten Appeal enables ministries that individual parishes cannot supply.”

~ Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg

Please keep in mind that your generous contribution to the Bishop's Annual Lenten Appeal can result in a significant financial benefit for our parish.

Donate Now

 

Message from Our Pastor

Readings for the Week of September 16, 2018

Sunday - Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 50:5-9a; Ps 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35
Monday - Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
1 Cor 11:17-26, 33; Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10-17; Lk 7:1-10
Tuesday
1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31a; Ps 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5; Lk 7:11-17
Wednesday - Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr
1 Cor 12:31—13:13; Ps 33:2-3, 4-5, 12 & 22; Lk 7:31-35
Thursday - Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Priest and Paul Chong Ha-sang and Companions, Martyrs
1 Cor 15:1-11; Ps 118:1b-2, 16ab-17, 28; Lk 7:36-50
Friday - Saint Ma-hew, Apostle and Evangelist
Eph 4:1-7, 11-13; Ps 19:2-3, 4-5; Mt 9:9-13
Saturday
1 Cor 15:35-37, 42-49; Ps 56:10c-12, 13-14; Lk 8:4-15
Sunday - Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wis 2:12, 17-20; Ps 54:3-4, 5, 6-8; Jas 3:16—4:3; Mk 9:30-37

Mass Schedule

Weekly Mass Schedule

Saturday Vigil: 5:00 p.m.

Sunday: 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Monday: No Mass
Tuesday – Saturday: 8:30 a.m.

Friday Daily Mass at 8:30 a.m. is celebrated at St. Margaret Mary School Gym 2826 Herr St, Harrisburg.

First Friday is celebrated monthly at 12:15 p.m. at the church.

Holy Day Vigil: 5:30 p.m
Holy Day: 8:30 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Penance: Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by appointment. A parish penance service is held during both Advent and Lent at announced times.

Directions

For directions to the church and rectory located at 2800 Paxton Church Road in Harrisburg, click here to enter your starting address.

The parish office and St Margaret Mary School remain at 2848 Herr Street in Harrisburg.

Cancellations

UPDATED: 1/5/18 @ 9:00AM

There are no cancellations at this time.

 

Online Giving

For your convenience, we now offer the ability make your weekly offerings electronically. To register for your secure account, click on the myEoffering button below.

Click here for additional instruction on setting up you online giving account.