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Easter 2024

Brothers and Sisters in Christ. May the Lord Bless You and Keep You. Our Church provides so many wonderful opportunities for us to grow in grace. The seasons of the Liturgical Year represent some of these wonderful opportunities because they so clearly reflect the Paschal Mystery. As we enter into the Easter season we enter into a season of Grace through a transition time between the two seasons of Lent and Easter, what is the Holiest of Weeks, hence its name “Holy Week.”

Holy Week makes present in a most profound way the reality of the Paschal Mystery: Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection. We participated in liturgies more profoundly with devotion that focused intently on each of the steps our Savior took to Calvary. We shared in His joyous entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem by waving branches and proclaiming Hosanna in the Highest. On Holy Thursday we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist at the Mass of the Last Supper and also the institution of the ministerial Priesthood. As Christ washed the feet of His disciples, the foundation of a priesthood of service was confirmed and it is remembered by the Priest-Celebrant’s actions of love, mirroring our Lord. During Good Friday we cry out for Jesus’ blood as we joined the angry crowds before Pilate.

Beside Mary Magdalen and the faithful women who ministered to Jesus, we sit outside the tomb as the Tabernacle is emptied and the Eucharistic Presence of Christ is removed. We wait in hope for a New Dawn. And finally on Saturday at the Easter Vigil, we gather in darkness and begin our worship by sharing in the story of the History of Salvation told through the readings of the Old Testament and the igniting of the Easter Fire. This holy light signals the fulfillment of all of God’s prophesies. The night is set ablaze and the Light of Christ is manifested once more through the illumination of the Easter Fire and the hearts of the faithful.

We will then spend 50 Days celebrating the Easter Season and the New Life bought to us through Christ’s Resurrection. It is a time for us to truly celebrate what God has done for His people. It is a time to embrace our faith more fully: in our families, in our churches, in our Divisions.     We are an Easter People. 

                        Death has no victory over us.         We live in Christ and so we have eternal life.

May this Easter Season, fill you with the power and hope of New Life. May the Risen Lord, lift you up to reign with Him in Glory. Let us pray for one another, that we may reflect the Light of Christ in all we say and do this Easter Season.      May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.          Fr Timothy, T.O.R.

March - Lent 2024

My fellow Hibernians, one and all,


Happy Irish-American Heritage Month!


As we have entered the month of March, our minds turn towards our beloved Patron Saint – Saint Patrick. Just as we started last month with beloved Saint Brigid in our hearts, we now turn to Pádraig. This is the season of marches and celebrations, where we share our Irish heritage and culture and I am sure we have already made our St Patrick day plans.

However, before we raise a Glass, let’s make sure we get to Mass.

Every Saint Patrick Day we should start and end with prayer; and there is no greater prayer than the celebration of Holy Mass. This year, March 17th falls on a Sunday, so we should already be planning on Mass. But if you reflect back on past Saint Patrick Days, did you always make it a priority to get to Mass? I want to tie this question into our current liturgical season. And since I did not get a post on to our website for the beginning of Lent (shame on me) please indulge me now to tie into this corner for March, a Lenten theme. 

I shared with my parish at Ash Wednesday Mass that I have a special focus this Lent for my own Penances. I decided to focus all my efforts this Lent to truly make it the best Lent of my life. I consistently pray for all my parishioners each day. As a Hibernian chaplain, I also pray daily for each of you. I want all of us to know we are loved unconditionally by our Father in Heaven. I want you to know in the very depths of your hearts the redeeming grace of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross that sets us free. And what I truly want for you is that your lives will be transformed, and transforming for others, for the Glory of God and the Salvation of Souls. This is my prayer daily, but for Lent, I especially pray that our sacrifices this lent will help bring a sister or brother who has walked away from God, back into the fold and the practice of our faith

As the pastor of SJV parish, God holds me responsible for all his flock here in Mundy’s Corner, those practicing their faith and those not. God expects me to strive to bring the Gospel into the lives of all His people, especially all baptized Catholics, whether they are seeking Him or not. In fact, we all, through our baptism, are called to extend the Good News and the Invitation of God’s Grace. As your chaplain, I have also assumed this task for both my division and our state board. 


This is why my focus this Lent is on this specific task: The Redemption of all baptized Catholics in my parish boundaries, especially those not living their faith, and all Hibernians in Pennsylvania. I have such a passionate desire for all our sisters and brothers to come home to their parish churches to receive mercy and love, forgiveness and healing, most profoundly through the celebration of the Sacraments, most especially through the Holy Eucharist. This is our heritage as Catholics, our inheritance as Hibernians. The Catholic faith has been handed down for 2,000 years to comfort us, guide us, protect us, and raise us up in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Irish ancestors lived, and sometimes died, to hand on to us our glorious faith. 
All of humanity needs God’s Grace. My Lent this year will be focused on offering all of my penances and sacrifices for the souls in my parish boundaries, to open up their hearts to the Love of the Lord and to Come Home to the practice of the faith for the redemption of their souls. I extend this as well to you and your loved ones. I pray that you all might deepen your love for the faith Saint Patrick brought to our people. I ask you to help me by offering prayers and penances this Lent for the same purpose. Our efforts this Lent could transform our Hibernian communities and especially our families, to more fully receive the Glory of Christ this Easter. What an awesome dream to have, the Love of God transforming lives and healing hearts. Together, we can make this dream, reality. May our Good Lord fill you with His peace this Lent and make your sacrifices, in His name, fruitful for the salvation of souls, so we can truly celebrate this Saint Patrick Day with hearts overflowing with Celtic Joy, Faith and Love. 

Fr. Timothy Harris

February 2024

November 2023

My beloved Brothers in the Lord,


As we enter the Month of November, the Church calls us to once more embrace fully the reality that: We Are an Easter People! And in fact, it was at that first Easter Vigil in 433 AD, where St Patrick lit the Easter Fire, that would begin the wholesale conversion of Ireland to Christianity.  Through the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been ransomed from sin and death and have been offered Eternal Life. This whole month of November is filled with Scripture that reminds us of our mortality in this world. We need to understand that this life that we share here on Earth will one day pass away. Our earthly existence is tainted by mortality because of humanity’s sins. When Adam and Eve committed the first sins (and we all have added to this list) death entered God’s creation.

Sin leads to death, first to death of the Spirit then death of the body. But in the Fullness of Time, the Father sent His only Begotten Son on a rescue mission. The Logos, the Word of God, took upon Himself our wounded flesh and blood in the incarnation, taking to Himself the proclivity of man to sin. Our Lord faced every temptation that we face and chose to live in the light of Our Father’s love, giving ol’ satan a kick in the arse and sending him on his way. After Jesus fulfilled the earthly mission the Father gave Him, proclaiming the Gospel by manifesting the Kingdom through healing and forgiveness, He then embraced His Cross, the punishment for our sins. By His Resurrection, we are all offered the remedy of Grace that frees us from sin and death and promises us Eternal Life.

We are called to embrace our crosses in this life and turn to God to receive the necessary Grace for carrying our crosses. Through Christ Jesus, we are able to face our mortality, and the mortality of this world around us, embracing in faith, the Kingdom to come. Each November, we are reminded of this mortality as we celebrate All Saints Day, the feast of the Victorious of God in Heaven: those women and men who embraced God’s Grace through this life’s journey and were lifted up in Christ’s Resurrection. These Holy Siblings of ours now pray for us who are still on our journey. On November 2nd, we also remember all our departed during All Souls Day. We do not know whether they are in Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell, but we lift them up in prayer. 

Through our prayers, those in Purgatory might quickly receive the purification of their souls they need to be able to enter God’s Kingdom. Our prayers for their souls, act as an added cleansing action with the Father’s love, helping to sanctify them for the Kingdom. And when we pray for our deceased loved ones, we share again the joy of their living souls in our hearts until the day we all might live together in God’s Heavenly Kingdom. Through our prayers we are alive in Christ Jesus, death has no hold on us, for we are freed by the mercy of God.

Rath Dé Ort – Fr Timothy…

My Hibernian Brothers,


It is good to address you once again in my role as chaplain. It has been an interesting winter so far. I had the wonderful opportunity to join with fellow Hibernians for the Annual March for Life in Washington DC this past month. It is always a privilege to stand up for all life, especially the unborn. As we now turn to the “traditional” Irish almanac, we find that today, the first of February and the feast day of our beloved Saint Brigid, we are transitioning into the time-honored Irish spring. (not the bar of soap) This was the time that our ancestors began embracing the hope of a new season of growth. 
Saint Brigid has been a wonderful symbol of this hope. She is one of the 3 patron saints of Ireland, along with Saints Patrick and Columcille. She was born into slavery back in the year of 451 AD. Yet throughout her life, especially from an early age, she always reflected the holy glow of Christ in her generous and caring manner. Her desire to help provide for the poor became the foundation for her vocation to serve God as a vowed religious. 
We celebrate on February 2nd, not only the feast of the Presentation of Jesus, but also the World Day for Consecrated Life. Our Church honors the women and men who commit themselves to serve God’s people in His name by embracing the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Saint Brigid not only made these vows but lived them well. I too was called by God to take these same vows as a Franciscan Friar of the Third Order Regular. I was also called to ordination to serve God and His holy people as a sacramental minister. All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus are called to serve God by building up His kingdom her on Earth. We are not all called to the vows of a religious vocation, but we are all called to share our time, talents, and yes, even our treasures for the Glory of God and the salvation of souls. 
Whenever it feels like this may be too difficult a task, let us reach out to our patron saints to ask for their prayers on our behalf. Brigid loves to pray for us to grow in the wonderful charity and Irish hospitality that she exemplified so ideally. Please know that one of the greatest services that God has called me to, is to pray for you. I pray that you are blessed by the Lord, but also that you answer His call in your life to be a blessing to others. We will be entering into the season of Lent on February 14th. Let us make this Valentine’s Day, one dedicated to the love of God and of each other as we embrace the sacrifices of Ash Wednesday.


God bless you always.


Fr Timothy…

New Year's Message – Fr Timothy J Harris, T.O.R.

My Dear Brothers in Christ, I pray that we are all greeting this New Year with clear vision for our future. If however, you were up a wee bit late New Year’s Eve and enjoyed a wee dram (or 2 or 3) of the “Water of Life,” then you may need to wait until the second or third of January for that clear vision. 


We begin the month of January with a wonderful Solemnity – Mary, the Holy Mother of God. The Church in America did something a few years ago that I do not agree with: it made Holy Days of Obligation no longer an obligation, if they fall right next to a Sunday. The day is still considered a Holy Day and a Solemnity, however this year, January 1st is not a Holy Day of Obligation. 


Now Brothers, I must also share with you that I never cared for the term “Holy Day of Obligation” to describe Sundays and the other Solemnities for which, Holy Mother Church calls us to attend Mass. I prefer to refer to them as Holy Days of Opportunity. We live in a nation that has many problems. And within our churches in the US, we are seeing fewer priests. Yet we can find within a short drive from our homes, daily Mass offered for our salvation. There are many lands in the world today, where daily Mass is simply not available. And in fact, there are towns and villages where you would be lucky to have a Sunday Mass 3 or 4 times a year. And of course, I pray that we all remember the effects of Cromwell and the penal laws in Ireland in the 17th century. These heinous acts sought to exterminate our faith from the Emerald Isle and made the very celebration of the Mass illegal. The history of our own beloved order was built upon protecting our faith, our clergy, and our ability to receive the gift of grace of the Most Holy Eucharist. Unfortunately this most wonderful opportunity that we have today that is too often ignored or even spurned. Christ died for us to set us free from sin and death. His Holy Mother Mary constantly intercedes for us before her Son. We are graced with such wonderful opportunities to worship our Lord and to celebrate with thanksgiving His sacrifice that sets us free. It is why the Mass is called the Holy Eucharist, from the Greek work εὐχαριστία (eucharistia) which means Thanksgiving. 


Brothers, if you have allowed yourselves to get into the habit of skipping Mass, then maybe the most important New Year’s resolution you could make is to turn this trend around. As men, we are called to be a witness for our families of the courage of Christ Jesus. And as Hibernians, we are pledged to defend and live our Catholic faith. Why would any of us, not embrace the opportunity to receive our Lord and give Him thanks at Holy Mass when we have such availability. We should respond as our Holy Mother did when she received Christ at the Annunciation, with humble and joyful obedience and love. 


May our Holy Mother bring you and yours, closer to her Christ Child this Christmas Season and revive your practice of our faith, the Catholic faith handed down to us through unbelievably dark times by our Irish ancestors whose faith witness is the foundation of our faith today.  Pax et Bonum,   Fr Timothy 

Christmas Message – Fr Timothy J Harris, T.O.R.

My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ…. The time has arrived, and we welcome into our hearts and homes the Beloved Christ Child. Joy to the World, the Savior is Born. 
The season of Advent called us to prepare a home for the Christ Child, who found no home to welcome Him the night of His Birth. The people of Bethlehem slept, unaware of the Savior’s Birth. In true poverty, the Holy Family settled in for this Moment of Grace when the Christ Child would enter into the world around Him. The dichotomy present in the Nativity should never be lost on us. The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Son of the Living God and His Mother and Foster Father were relegated to the poverty of an animal stable to avoid the elements and the dangers of the outside world. Yet in this most humble setting, the Love of the Holy Family turned it into a Palace for the newborn Prince of Peace
Wherever you find yourself this Christmas, know that, if you open your heart to receive the Christ Child, He can transform your state of life into a blessed dwelling of God. Christ came two thousand years ago to fulfill the Father’s promise, that if we would be His people, He would be our God. Jesus came to share in our lives, to take our flesh and blood upon Himself, to be one with us – Emmanuel: God with us. 
He wants so much to be fully a part of our lives. Now is the time to welcome the Christ Child into our hearts. Let Him know that there is plenty of room in Your Inn for Him. And may this most Holy Season of Christmas bring a Re-birth and New Life into your faith. God Bless and Keep you.


Nollaig shona dhaoibh

December 2023 Chaplain's Message


We enter the season of Advent on December 3rd. We begin a new Church year, a new Liturgical year. It is now the time for us to evaluate how we have been living our vocation as Christians over this past year. In our journey with the Lord, we need to honestly assess how we have helped to build His Kingdom and how we have not, and to see where we need to resolve to make changes in our lives that will help us grow closer to God.
The Season of Advent to of
ten gets swallowed up in the Christmas Season and we miss out on the Awesome Opportunity that the Lord affords us. The Season of Advent is a lot like a “time out” for us from God. We are called upon to reflect amidst the busyness of these December days on how we have embraced our dignity as brothers of Jesus Christ. When a child is given a “time out,” they are supposed to spend that time thinking about what they did that caused them to be isolated from their normal activities. When we sin, we become isolated from God, not because He turns His back on us, but because we have turned our backs on Him. 
We are given this gift of Advent to slow down from our chaotic lives and spend some time with God. We are called to remember the reason for this season, and the season I am talking about is not Christmas, but Advent. Christmas will be here soon enough. However Advent is here now to help us prepare for the coming of Christ in Christmas. Remember, Christ is the foundation of Christmas. If we have not kept Christ in our hearts this past year, then NOW is the TIME to clear out the garbage of sin in our lives and make room for our Savior. Through the sacrament of confession, we can be reconciled with our Lord who wishes to dwell with us: Emmanuel – God With Us. 
Jesus came 2,000 years ago to be with us. In the Incarnation, the Lord of all creation humbly took on our wounded humanity so that, through His Life, Death and Resurrection, He could raise us up in His Divinity. May you receive this “time out” in the middle of running around with holiday preparations and truly make time to quietly open your heart to Jesus. May you humbly come before our Lord during these 4 weeks of Advent (and the last week is only a day) and, by ridding your souls of sinfulness, prepare to receive the Savior into your hearts. 
May the gift of Advent prepare you for the great gift of Christ this Christmas. 


Beannachtaí an tSéasúir – Father Timothy…

October 2023

Greetings my brother Hibernians, one and all!


My name is Father Timothy Harris, T.O.R., and I am the newest state chaplain for our Pennsylvania State Board. I was invited to join Fr. Chris Walsh our State Chaplain – East and Fr. Nicholas Vaskov our State Chaplain – West, by our worthy State President, Denny Maher, to serve as your State Chaplain – Central. So, I think we have the whole commonwealth of PA well covered. I will be submitting to you, through our State Webpage, a monthly Chaplain’s Corner to encourage you on your faith journey.


As a Franciscan Friar, I have moved a lot and have had the privilege of serving our Order in many different ways in many different locations. I even had the privilege of being (perhaps the only one in history) a division president as a priest. In my last assignment before coming up to Cambria County, I served at a parish in Sarasota Florida. We began a new division in Manatee County Florida, the St Finnian of Clonard Division, and I was the founding president. Yet, in each of the times when I served as a chaplain, I always looked to provide a monthly homily to be posted on the social media and web resources of the division, state or even national. I feel it is essential to have an active presence on the internet if we want to reach current and future Hibernians. This became so apparent to me during the lockdowns from covid. This is actually a good way to use the internet to reach out to each other and share our faith and culture as proud Hibernians. So, I hope you will check back to our state website to spend a little time in the Chaplain’s Corner and come to a deeper relationship with our Lord. 

For October 2023, it is good for us to know that this month is dedicated to Our Holy Mother Mary, under a very special title: Our Lady of the Rosary. On October 7th, we celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. Parishes throughout the world dedicate extra resources to the praying of the Rosary as a true weapon of Grace against the influence of satan in our world. It is a fantastic devotion where families can gather together in prayer, remembering the famous saying of Fr. Patrick Peyton, “the family that prays together, stays together!” This proud Irish born priest led our nation into a deeper relationship with God through Mary. What a wonderful thing it would be if we had a revival of this devotion and a revival in our Nation as, One Nation, under God. And what a great way to strengthen our Hibernian fraternities if we recognized that our divisions are a family of faith, and that praying the Rosary as a division, together, could unlock grace upon grace for each member and for an increase in membership. May our Lady of Knock, Our Lady of the Rosary, embrace each of you in her blessed mantel and through her intercession, fill all of you and your divisions with an abundance of Grace for an awesome fraternity.


Rath Dé Ort – Fr Timothy…

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