updated March 26th at 2:50 PM 

Bishop Gainer Suspends Holy Week and Easter Masses

Directive Follows Decree from Pope Francis

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Today, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer regrettably announces that no public Masses will be celebrated for Palm Sunday, Holy Week or Easter. This difficult decision was made after careful consideration of the decree (In time of Covid-19 (II)) issued by Pope Francis, and in following the recommendations of state and local government and, most especially, out of continued concern for the health and wellbeing of the faithful during these unprecedented times.
“Our Diocese, our nation and our world are experiencing the unthinkable with the coronavirus. With this global pandemic in mind, the Holy See, Pope Francis, has decreed that all Holy Week and Easter Masses will be celebrated, but that countries impacted by coronavirus and in cases where restrictions regarding the assembly and movement of people are in place, the bishop and priests may celebrate without the presence of the faithful. With the restrictions and recommendations from our state government, and in consideration of the highly contagious nature of this virus, it would be irresponsible of me to open our parish while still in the midst of this pandemic,” said Bishop Gainer. “Please know the impact of this announcement is not lost on me. I too am deeply hurting by not being able to gather with the faithful for the celebration of Mass.

“Although we cannot come together for public Masses during this holiest time of year, our priests will celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Masses. Many of our Parishes are live streaming these Masses and I encourage the faithful to participate in Mass through these online means.”

Parishes throughout the Diocese have been asked to bless the palms used on Palm Sunday and to make them available for parishioners at a later date. The Chrism Mass in which the Holy Oils used in celebrating the sacraments are blessed and which traditionally is held during Holy Week, and includes a gathering of all priests from the Diocese in order to renew their priestly promises, has also been postponed. Parishes within the Diocese have been asked to prepare worship aids and distribute them to parishioners, allowing the faithful to more actively participate in the Holy Week and Easter Masses remotely. Additional information on live stream options and resources for parishioners are available on the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website, www.hbgdiocese.org/coronavirus.


Additional COVID-19 prevention measures and recommendations from the Diocese are also available on the website.

Rachel A. Bryson

Executive Director of Public Relations | Diocese of Harrisburg


A Message from our Pope

This Friday, March 27, at 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. in Rome) via a live video stream, Pope Francis will be imparting the Urbi et Orbi blessing and granting a Plenary Indulgence to all those who participate. The blessing will be live streamed on the Vatican News website www.vaticannews.va  at 1 p.m. All members of the faithful are encouraged to participate in this special event.

(The term Urbi et Orbi (which means “for the city and for the world”) signifies that a papal document is addressed not only to the City of Rome but to the entire Catholic world.)


An Update From our Pastor: Father Bob
March 20 th at 10:30 AM

In an effort to comply with state and diocesan directives to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, the following change will happen on Monday, March 23rd:

 Beginning on Monday, March 23rd, St. Mary’s Parish Office will be able to answer phone calls from 9 am to 12 noon only.  You may leave messages after that period. All other inquiries, please use email stm@abvmlebpa.org.

To reiterate, the parish and mission facilities are closed until further notice.  Please do not come to St. Mary’s or the Fatima Mission. Masses and the celebration of other sacraments are suspended until further notice. To request the Last Rites for someone in danger of death, please use the Emergency Number: 717-708-6698.

Please go to our parish website Parish website and our parish Facebook pageSt. Mary’s Facebook Page for updates, changes and spiritual resources.

And remember, right now, what it means to be a good Catholic is to be a good citizen. May each of us do our civic duty and comply with the guidelines and directives issued by the CDC, the State of Pennsylvania, Lebanon County and the Diocese of Harrisburg. Doctors, nurses and first responders are not at home so they can help us. Let us stay at home to help them.



✔️Click here to donate ; safe and secure   During this difficult time, despite the fact that we cannot attend HolyMass, we need to continue to support our parish so as Father Bob said, “We can keep the lights on.”
Thank you so much. May you experience God’s peace through these trying times.
you can donate online by following this link or mail your envelope to Assumption BVM, 2 N. 8th Street, Lebanon, PA 17042


✔️New Information regarding pie sale. Bob Mettley is waiting to hear from Sycamore  to be sure they will fill the order, however  you can still  order. Bob will hold  all the money . If Sycamore finds they can’t fill the order,  he will refund  all the money to those who ordered.
Here is a link to an order form, if you need one. Print it out and mail it with your money to Assumption BVM,  2 North 8th Street, Lebanon , PA 17046 . Please write “pie order” on the envelope.
Easter Pie Sale


From the Pastor    Click here to read this message from our Pastor. posted March 18th at 10:30 AM
✔️Nursing Home Visits Suspended: posted March 18
First Friday visits to the home bound and pastoral visits to nursing homes are suspended. Anointing and Viaticum (Last Rites) are still available to those in danger of death.

✔️Penance Update:

Bishop Gainer’s recently issued a number of directives to his priests and deacons. The directive regarding the Sacrament of Penance (during the Coronavirus Pandemic) states;

“The faithful should be urged to request the sacrament of penance only in danger of death.”

In order to comply with this directive and those of the CDC and PA State officials to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus to one another and to priests:
…….the March 22nd Penance Service has been cancelled;
………extended times to hear confessions on March 25th and 26th from 7-9 pm have been cancelled.
Also, regularly scheduled confessions on Tuesdays at 7:15 am and Saturdays from 4-5 pm have been cancelled until further notice.


✔️Bishop Gainer Temporarily Suspends All Masses

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Today and effective immediately until further notice, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, out of great concern for the health of the faithful and in union with the Bishops of Pennsylvania, has temporarily suspended all daily and weekend Masses in the Diocese of Harrisburg. Additionally, Bishop Gainer has suspended all public liturgies and devotions, and has asked that all churches and chapels be closed, including all perpetual adoration chapels.

Bishop Gainer made this decision after careful consideration of the recommendations from public health officials, and out of great concern for the health and well-being of the faithful, our clergy and parish staffs, given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“For Catholics, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our life in Christ, strengthening us to remain firm in our faith as we journey through this life. Making this difficult decision to temporarily suspend Masses and close our churches was not made lightly,” said Bishop Gainer. “Rather, this decision has been made after careful discussions and considerable reflection on the advice being provided from healthcare professionals. I deeply care for all those members of my flock. As chief shepherd, it is m y duty to see to their spiritual health, and now in these challenging times, also to their physical welfare. I continue to pray for all those impacted by this virus, for our medical professionals caring for the ill and for all people facing these uncertain times. I also pray for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Mary, health of the sick.”

A listing of live broadcasting and/or recordings of Masses from parishes throughout the Diocese is available on the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website. Daily and Sunday Masses are also available from EWTN on Comcast channel 291 in the Harrisburg area, or online at https://video.ewtn.com/daily-mass.

Additional resources for parishes and the faithful will be available, also on the Diocesan website, in the coming days. These resources will include ways the faithful can continue to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

Please visit the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website for the most up-to-date information regarding the Diocese’s response to COVID-19, including a listing of Diocesan event cancellations and postponements, as well as additional COVID-19 prevention measures and recommendations.



✔️Updated March 16th at 2:00 PM 
✅Silent Lunches on Wednesdays are now cancelled.

✅No daily Mass.

✅Stations of the Cross on Fridays are now cancelled.

✅Adoration is now suspended on Wednesdays.

✅From Rashko: Please be aware, due to the unknown for mass, we are canceling all music practices and events until further notice.


EWTN Holy Mass Online


Below is a suggested prayer of spiritual Communion.

Jesus, really present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar, since I cannot now receive thee under the sacramental veil, I beseech thee, with a heart full of love and longing, to come spiritually into my soul through the Immaculate Heart of thy most Holy Mother, and to abide with me, thou in me, and I in thee, in time and in eternity. Amen.


From Music Director: 


✔️Please be aware, due to the unknown for mass, we are canceling all music practices and events until further notice. Thank you

✔️The following policies regarding ALL events/rehearsals are in effect:

Due to the Diocesan mandate for all school activities (including musicals) be immediately cancelled or postponed until at least April 15. Therefore, we are in need to RESCHEDULE, NOT CANCEL the show. ALL PIT MEMBERS MUST SUBMIT IN WRITING WHAT DATES WILL WORK:
April 24, 25, 26                       May 1,2,3
May 9,10,11



Please be vigilant to watch emails, social media for further contacts. Thank you for your continued work for our Lord Jesus Christ.

With prayers for all:

Mr. Rashko F. Nutaitis
Director of Music

From Director of Religious Education

Updated March 13th  11:40 PM

To All Parents/Guardians of RE Students,

As information is being updated hourly, I have received an email from the Diocese of Harrisburg regarding all Religious Education Classes and Youth activities.  They are recommending that we cancel all classes until further notice.

Let your Love for God Change the World,
Never Let the World Change your Love for God!

AnneMarie Boltz
Coordinator of Religious Education




The above link is a resource from the diocese for Coronavirus Information and Resources.



Saint Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg – Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass and weekday noon Masses are live streamed to the Diocesan YouTube channel

Good Shepherd Parish – Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass and 8:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday are live streamed to the Parish Facebook page.

Prince of Peace Parish, Steelton – Sunday 10:30 a.m. Mass is live streamed to the Parish website, Facebook page and MyParish App

Saint Andrew Parish, Waynesboro – Fr. Malagesi’s homilies are recorded and posted to the website on a weekly basis.

Saint James, Lititz – The following Masses are live streamed: 5 p.m. Saturday; 7:30, 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday; and 9 a.m. daily Mass, Monday through Saturday.

Saint Joan of Arc – Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass and 9 a.m. weekday Masses, Monday through Saturday, are live streamed to the Parish Facebook page.

Saint John Neumann – The following Masses are live streamed to the Parish website: 4 p.m. Saturday; 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday; and 9 a.m. weekdays, Monday through Friday.

Saint Joseph Parish, Danville – Sunday Mass is recorded and airs on SEVC Channel 8 at 1 p.m. on Thursdays

Saint Joseph Parish, Mechanicsburg – The following Masses will be live streamed to the Parish Facebook page: 4 p.m. Saturday and 8, 9:45 and 11:30 a.m. Sunday.


✔️Out of an abundance of caution and following the directive of the Pennsylvania State Government, Lebanon Catholic is closed (effectively immediately) until March 29, 2020. Parents and guardians – any important information will be shared with you via email during these next two weeks. Thank you.


Magnificat free. Click here

During this challenging time, many of the faithful may be unable to attend Mass.
Magnificat is honored to provide complimentary access to our online version to help people pray from home.

Below are two resources for parishioners. The first is regarding Spiritual Communion and the second is Sunday Prayer that can be said to keep the Lord’s Day holy. These resources will also be posted to the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website.

Spiritual Communion

aa7cf84ad9d123bc8d2b76bf7a839ac7_Spiritual Communion

Sunday Prayer: Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy

b489abd73220506ded9e39d6c67898a9_Sunday Prayer at Home


Prayer for the End of the Coronavirus (found on Sacred Heart of Jesus Cornwall PA, Website)

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.”
At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus.
May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.
Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.
Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease
that knows no borders.
Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.”
Come to our aid now,
that we may experience your healing love. Jesus Christ, healer of all,
stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you
in your eternal peace. Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.
Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process.
May they know your protection and peace.
Be with the leaders of all nations.
Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks.
May they know your peace,
as they work together to achieve it on earth.
Whether we are home or abroad,
surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few,
Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare.
In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.
Jesus Christ, heal us. Amen