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Scenes from St. Mark


St. Mark the Evangelist, Greencastle, and our Mission St. Luke the Evangelist, Mercersburg, endeavoring to live the gospel of Jesus Christ as individuals and as a community of participation of all our members in worship, believing, learning and in service. As a Catholic community of faith, hope, and love, we invite others to join us in our goal of renewal—and welcome them into our fellowship.

Public Masses and gatherings are still suspended

As of May 6 2020, there has been no change to Bishop Gainer’s orders to temporarily suspend all Masses in our Diocese.

On March 17 2020, Bishop Gainer, out of great concern for the health of the faithful and in union with the Bishops of Pennsylvania, temporarily suspended all daily and weekend Masses in the Diocese of Harrisburg. 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. 

Also, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Stay at Home Order remains in effect for our area. Franklin County is still in the “Red Phase” until further notice, which prohibits large gatherings and only permits life-sustaining businesses to open. For more information, see https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#PhasedReopening

Please keep Fr. Walter in your prayers, and remember that he continues to celebrate Masses privately.

More information from our Diocese, including links to live-streaming of Masses and other at-home resources, is available at:

More information from our State Government, including the latest guidance on the Stay at Home Order and phased reopening plan, is available at:

The Catholic Witness is going digital!

Due to Covid-19, The Catholic Witness is temporarily suspending its print issues and transitioning to an all digital format.


In our age, media and news reporting are changing quickly. At The Catholic Witness, we want to report the news in ways that reach Catholics instantly.

Our Diocesan newspaper has brought the truth of Jesus to all those who read it. It has challenged and consoled, informed and formed, united and helped its readership.

We will continue to share in the Church’s mission to tell the Good News of Jesus Christ in the context of today’s world.

Bishop Gainer Joins Fellow Pennsylvania Bishops in Temporarily Suspending 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 my 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, www.hbgdiocese.org. 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, www.hbgdiocese.org, 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. 

CCD activities cancelled

St. Mark’s will not be holding CCD activities at this time. We hope to resume on Palm Sunday, but will keep you posted. Here are the cancelled activities:

  • Sunday, March 15 Stations of the Cross
  • March 15 Confirmation Workshop (hopefully to be rescheduled.)
  • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
  • Veritatis Splendor Discussion
  • 1st Communion Preparation on March 22
  • Family Pilgrimage to the Seton Shrine on March 29

Information about Masses

All masses have been temporarily cancelled. If you’re homebound, you may want more creative ways to keep Sunday holy, so click here for an article on how to make a spiritual communion. The links below provide more ideas.

Bishop Gainer Responds to NY Abortion Law

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our Catholic Church along with many others who cannot tolerate the culture of death have worked tirelessly since the Roe v. Wade decision to end abortion. The Pro-Life cause has made progress as we see the number of reported abortions decrease each year. However, the passage of the Reproductive Health Act in our neighboring state of New York last week could change that.
After last November’s elections, control of the New York state senate changed hands. Immediately, Governor Andrew Cuomo jubilantly announced that his Reproductive Health Act would be given top priority with the new legislature in January 2019. True to his word, on January 22, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – the tragic Supreme Court decision which made it legal to kill unborn children – the New York legislature passed the bill and immediately Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law, to a standing ovation.
This law is dangerous for women and is a death sentence for children. Under this law, abortion is now permitted up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Children born at this stage of life are viable, that is, are routinely able to survive with medical care. This law also provides broad exceptions that would allow abortion up to moments before birth. It allows doctors and non-doctors to legally perform abortions and removes the protection of infants who are born alive during an abortion procedure.
Gov. Cuomo, who proclaims to be Catholic, did not just sign a bill into law; he signed the death warrant for countless, innocent babies, who can now be killed for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. How heart-rending it is that these actions were met by many in the New York legislative chamber with resounding applause.
All people who understand the dignity and sacredness of human life are outraged by the provisions of this law. Now more than ever, we must stand together as a unified Church and pray for the mothers, fathers and children of New York. Now is the time to speak for the unborn and do all we can to peacefully advocate for their rights as human beings.
More than ever you and I must resolve to pray and to work peacefully, yet with firm determination, for the legal protection of the right to life for children in the womb. I pray you will join me in asking our Lord to protect these most innocent and now ever more vulnerable babies’ lives.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
 Bishop Ronald Gainer