Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission:

“Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church

Holy Baptism is the first Sacrament of Initiation. Baptism gives us access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and joined with Christ, sharing in His mission and destined for eternal life. In Baptism the Christian is sealed with the permanent spiritual mark of belonging to Christ, therefore Baptism cannot be repeated.

The rite consists of pouring water over the head while saying ”I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The ordinary minister of the sacrament is a priest or deacon, although anyone can baptize in the case of an emergency. The rite also includes anointing the forehead with the Sacred Oil of Chrism, signifying the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized. The white garment symbolizes that the newly baptized has “put on Christ”.  The candle is lit from the Paschal candle, symbolizing that the newly baptized are “the light of the world”.


is typically celebrated the third Saturday of each month in our Church.


contact Nora Valovage,  717-980-3618,





The Code of Canon Law requires that children to be baptized have at least one, but no more than two, godparent(s) or one godparent and one Christian Witness (a non-Catholic baptized Christian). When there are two godparents, they must be one male and one female. Catholic Godparents must provide a Certificate of Eligibility, a letter from his/her parish stating he/she is eligible to be a sponsor. Please see Godparent Guidelines – Code of Canon Law

The requirements to be a godparent:

  • Must be someone other than the parent of the one to be baptized.
  • Must have received the sacraments of baptism, Holy Eucharist, and confirmation.
  • Must be at least 16 years of age.
  • If there will be two godparents, one must be male and one must be female.
  • A godparent must be leading a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken; therefore,
    • If married, must be married in the Church.
    • If single, must be striving to live a chaste life and cannot be living with a person outside of marriage.
    • Must be a practicing Catholic, registered in a parish, who regularly attends Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and receives the Holy Eucharist. Registration in their local parish is encouraged so that they may participate fully in the life of the Church through their parish.


Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church. 

At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. In Christ’s memory and until his glorious return, we continue to celebrate as Christ did on the eve of his passion.

“Christ instituted the Eucharist as a memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church. 


“By the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obligated to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church

Confirmation unites us more firmly to Christ and renders our bond with the Church more perfect.

The rite consists of anointing the forehead with the Sacred Oil of Chrism with the Bishop speaking the words “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Every baptized person not yet confirmed can receive this sacrament.

Anointing of the Sick

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, often referred to as Extreme Unction or Last Rites, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for those in immediate danger of death but also for those suffering from physical, mental, or spiritual sickness. When a priest confers this Sacrament, the individual receives from the Holy Spirit the Graces of strengthening, peace, and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. Also, the Sacrament formally unites the suffering of the individual with that of Christ’s Passion and confers a Grace that contributes to the sanctification of the whole Church.

If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again.  If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated.  It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. If circumstances suggest it, the Anointing of the Sick should be received following the Sacrament of Penance.

Finally, for those who are about to leave this life, the Sacrament completes the holy anointings that mark the whole Christian life and fortifies the individual for their final journey. In such cases, the priest will also often offer the Eucharist in the form of Holy Viaticum (food for the journey).


If you have a loved one who is actively dying, please do not wait until the last moment to call the priest for Anointing. He may not be immediately available, and your loved one may not receive the sacrament in time. At the very start of a serious illness is the time to call the priest for anointing—not at the very end, at the moment of death.


If you or a loved one is homebound and would like to receive the sacrament, call the parish office to request one of the priests to come to you at your residence.

To set up a time to receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick at the church, feel free to ask one of the priests immediately after a Mass at the parish. You can also contact the parish office to set up a time to receive the sacrament.


Confession is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in his love and mercy to offer sinners forgiveness for offenses against God and against your sisters and brothers. Confession brings reconciliation between God and the penitent, between the penitent and others, and to the individual penitent.

One goes to Confession privately behind a screen or face-to-face with the priest. Preparation for the Sacrament of Penance consists of a good examination of conscience. This examination, guided by the Ten Commandments, prepares one to confess sins to the priest. Confession presumes the penitent is truly sorry with a firm resolve not to sin again.




Confession begins with the (1) Sign of the Cross and the penitent greeting the priest with the words, (2) “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was ….” (weeks, months, years).

The penitent (3) confesses sins to the priest, who stands in the name of Christ and the Church. The priest will help you make a good confession. If you are unsure or uneasy, ask the priest to help. Place your trust in God, a merciful Father who wants to forgive you. Following the confession of sins, say, (4) “This is all I can remember. I am sorry for these and all my sins.”

The priest will assign you a (5) penance. The penance takes into account your personal situation and supports your spiritual good. It may be a prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service, or sacrifice; whatever the penance, the individual is joined in some way to Christ and the cross.

The penitent will then pray an (6) Act of Contrition. This prayer expresses true sorrow for the sins confessed. This prayer may be expressed in one’s own words or one may use one of the formal prayers of sorrow.

My God,
I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong
and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance,
to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ
suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.
(Rite of Penance, no. 45)

The priest, acting in the person of Christ, will absolve you from your sins by saying the prayer of (7) Absolution. As the prayer is ending, the penitent makes the (8) Sign of the Cross and responds, “Amen.”

The priest will express some (9) words of praise and blessing. The penitent leaves, completing the (10) assigned penance.




“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”  – Catechism of the Catholic Church. 

We, your parish family, here at Good Shepherd Parish are happy to assist you in your preparation for a lifetime together. We know this is an exciting and busy time for both of you and your families and we hope that the resources we share with you will give you a strong foundation for a healthy and happy marriage.

On the day of your marriage, you will enter into a sacred covenant with God and each other. What you celebrate on your wedding day is the public expression of our commitment to living that covenant each day of your life together. It is the duty and responsibility of the Church to help you understand fully the nature of this covenant and the duties and responsibilities of married life. It is the role of the Church to nurture you now as you prepare for that great day when you exchange your marriage vows and to continue to support your commitment after you are married.

Our Marriage Preparation Program is a 10-12 month process where you will meet with couples who have traveled the same road and know firsthand the challenges of married life. Through this program their experiences, thoughts and insights will provide you with information; but more importantly they share themselves with you.

Your meetings with the priest or deacon will also provide you with opportunities to discuss the nature of this beautiful sacrament and the importance of your continued Spiritual growth as a couple.

Please contact Nora Valovage, 717-980-3618, , to confirm your wedding date availability and to begin your marriage preparation process.

More information can also be found at the Diocese,


Like other couples in your parish or family, you may be wondering if your marriage is fully recognized by the Catholic Church. Catholic Church law ordinarily requires baptized Roman Catholics to marry before a priest or deacon. Unless they received a “dispensation from canonical form,” Catholics who exchange vows in the presence of ministers from other religious traditions or civil officials are not considered validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

Regardless of what happened in the past, the Catholic Church invites you to bring new meaning to your lives by embracing the vocation of marriage and dedicating your family’s mission to sharing God’s love.

Convalidation is not simply a “blessing” of an existing union. It requires that a new, free act of consent be made.

Ten Steps toward Convalidation can be found in Convalidation. Bringing Your Marriage Into the Church

Holy Orders

“In the measure in which they participate in the office of the apostles, God gives priests a special grace to be ministers of Christ among the people. They perform the sacred duty of preaching the Gospel, so that the offering of the people can be made acceptable and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Through the apostolic proclamation of the Gospel, the People of God are called together and assembled. All belonging to this people, since they have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, can offer themselves as “a sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God” (Rom 12:1). Through the ministry of the priests, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect in union with the sacrifice of Christ. He is the only mediator who in the name of the whole Church is offered sacramentally in the Eucharist and in an unbloody manner until the Lord himself comes. The ministry of priests is directed to this goal and is perfected in it.” – Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis), #2

Are you being called by the Father to be a priest?  Please contact our Parish Office.