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Photos from Around the Diocese

140 attend parish family retreat in Frenchtown
FRENCHTOWN—About 140 people from the ages of 4 to 90 participated in the March 26 parish family retreat presented at St. Hippolyte Parish in Frenchtown. People from both St. Hippolyte and its secondary mission church of Our Lady of Lourdes attended the event led by Myracle, the Mercyhurst University youth retreat and Catholic leadership education team. The retreat was sponsored by St. Hippolyte’s parish council. Pictured, from left, are: Joyce Tarr, Katie Mattis, Mike Dale, Steve Dale and Alan Cumpston. Katie Mattis, at age 90, and Alan Cumpston, age 4, were the oldest and youngest at the retreat.

116 Punxsutawney parishioners participate in retreat
PUNXSUTAWNEY—Ss. Cosmas and Damian Parish in Punxsutawney recently completed its 33 Days to Morning Glory Parish Retreat. Eighty parishioners participated in nine different groups that met for six weeks. An additional 36 completed the retreat independently. Participants gathered after the Saturday evening Mass on the Feast of the Annunciation to pray the Consecration Prayer, followed by a reflection and a special blessing by Msgr. Joseph Riccardo, pastor, pictured at center. The celebration concluded with a catered meal in Winkler Hall.

Student Mass kicks off church sesquicentennial
FRANKLIN—Students at St. Patrick School in Franklin kicked off the school’s sesquicentennial Feb. 22 with a student-led Mass celebrated by Bishop Lawrence Persico. Afterward, the bishop joined Msgr. John Herbein, pastor, deacons, faculty, students and parish staff for an Italian lunch. Deacon Kyle Seyler, a St. Patrick School graduate, was in attendance. He will be ordained to the priesthood in June. In the photo, eighth-grader Andrew Burda presents Bishop Persico with a spiritual bouquet.

St. Luke School hosts annual science fair
ERIE—Several students and science teachers from St. Luke School in Erie pose for a photo after capturing silver and gold medals in the annual diocesan science fair for fifth- and sixth-graders. St. Luke hosted the event this year. Pictured in the bottom row, from left, are: Brady Godlewski, Trey Thompson, Jaclynn Donovan, Annabelle Greissinger and Morgan Oljeski. In the top row, from left, are: Ms. Rachel Burbules, Lillian Drabic, Ella Fedor, Abigail Marinucci, Daniel Dausey, Tyler Firman, Eric Cox, Aidan Baldauf and Sue Coverdale.

Farm Bureau visitors read to students in Clarion
CLARION—As part of Ag Literacy Week, the Clarion, Forest and Venango Farm Bureau purchased agriculture-related books to share and donate to local schools within those respective counties. Allison Beichner of the Farm Bureau is pictured reading Before We Eat: From the Farm to the Table to first-graders at Immaculate Conception School in Clarion. Linda Stahlman, also of the bureau, visited the school.

Students do math to benefit St. Jude’s Children Hospital
RIDGWAY—Over the past several years, students at St. Leo School in Ridgway have raised more than $20,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Tenn. Recently, students held their annual math-a-thon, collecting $2,600 for St. Jude’s. All students in kindergarten through eighth grade participated by doing math problems and then collecting pledges from family members and friends. Pictured are students who brought in the highest pledges. In the front row, from left, are: Elena Mendez, Karys Raubenstrauch and Kayla Kielbowick. In the second row, from left, are: Javan Himes, Lily Bish and Frank Howard. In the back row, from left, are: Kate Raubenstrauch and Anna Biondi.

Women at St. Bartholomew Parish gather for Lenten program
SHARPSVILLE—Thirty women from St. Bartholomew Parish in Sharpsville gathered for fellowship, dinner and discussion with Father Matthew Strickenberger, pastor, as they journeyed through “33 Days to Morning Glory,” a retreat program held every Monday evening in Lent. The women consecrated themselves to the Blessed Mother at Mass on April 3. The parish will begin another session of “33 Days to Morning Glory” Monday evenings in July.

Children celebrate first reconciliation in Smethport
SMETHPORT—On April 5, several students received their first reconciliation at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Smethport. Pictured in the front row, from left, are: Jamie Doutt, Laynee Cosper and Calidonia Dart. In the back row, from left, are: Zachary Hungiville, Father Vince Cieslewicz, pastor, and Aidan Hollowell. Absent from the photo is Ruby Meyer, who celebrated the sacrament on April 8.

Psychologist from Australia commits to monastic program
ERIE—Colleen Leathley, a 52-year-old registered psychologist on a mid-life sabbatical, has made a five-month commitment to be a participant in the Benedicta Riepp Monastic Experience Program of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. The program offers an immersion in a daily rhythm of prayer, work, outreach to the marginalized, communal life, hospitality, peace and nonviolence.

A native of New Zealand, Leathley has worked for the past 26 years in Sydney, Australia. She hopes to integrate her background in psychology with spirituality. Pictured with Leathley, center, at the April 4 ritual commitment ceremony at Mount St. Benedict are Sister Stephanie Schmidt, left, director of monastic formation, and Sister Anne Wambach, prioress.

Oil City students raise funds for Tanzania home
OIL CITY—Students at St. Stephen School in Oil City raised $322.97 for the Majengo Children’s Home in Tanzania after hearing about orphan children in Majengo, not far from Arusha Catholic Seminary, where Erie Benedictine Sister Marian Wehler had served as a missionary under the auspices of the Mission Office of the Diocese of Erie. Sister Marian visited Tanszania last year and shared her experiences with the St. Stephen students. Debbie Mitchell, eighth-grade teacher, said students collected money in one week during Lent.
Pictured in the front row, from left, are: students Edwin Weikert, Ailish McGrail, Brianna Barnett and Scott Finch. In the back row, from left, are teacher Debbie Mitchell, and students Mariah Wessell, Maddox Wenner and Zoey Empson.