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Welcome to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish. Please feel free to explore our site to learn more about our parish. If you are new to our community, we encourage you to become a member of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque parish.

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Message from Our Pastor

Dear Friends,

The gift that keeps on giving, or rather is given and re-given and re-given...Fruitcake. Everyone “says” they don’t like them, but...come the Christmas Season and they are a staple on every dessert table. The Canadians call it Christmas Cake; the French, Gateau aux fruits; Germans, Stollen; Irish, Barmbrack; Italians, Panforte or Panettone; New Zealanders, Tennis cake; Portuguese, Bolo Rei; Romanians, Cozonac, Spanish, Bollo de higo; Swiss, Birnenbrot; UK, Christmas, or, Figgy, Pudding (yes, like in the song). Seems the more it’s soaked in liquor, the tastier it becomes.

The earliest recipe is found in documents from ancient Rome...pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins mixed into a barley mash. The Middle Ages add honey, spices and preserved fruits. Pope Innocent VIII, in what’s known as the Butter Letter, or Butterbrief of 1490, gave permission for the use of butter and milk in the German, Stollen fruit cakes. Leave it to the Americans, of the 16th century, to add high concentrations of sugar to preserve the candied fruits!!!

A popular English myth that goes back to medieval England states that, “the pudding should be made on the 25th Sunday after Trinity, that it is to be prepared with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and the 12 Apostles, and that every family member stir it in turn from east to west to honor the Magi and their journey.”

Traditionally the puddings were made four weeks prior to Christmas. The collect used that Sunday read, “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people... that they, bringing forth the fruit of good works, may be rewarded...” The day became known as Stir-up Sunday and everyone in the house gave the mix a good stir, making a wish as they did so.

Did I “stir up” your desire to devour this very religious dessert? If so, you might want to check out some Trappist Monasteries. The Trappists are rather famous for their fruitcakes, fudge and cheese. Not a promotion, nor do I receive monetary compensation or free fruitcake, but I recommend The Trappists of Gethsemani Abbey, Bardstown, KY (800-549-0912); or Holy Spirit Monastery, Conyers, GA (800-592-5203). Or try one of our local bakeries. Better yet, make your own. Remember, it’s better when it’s a “spiritual” event.

God bless us!

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque pray for us!
Fr. Charles L. Persing,

Mass Schedule

 Weekly Mass Schedule

Saturday Vigil: 5:00 p.m.

Sunday: 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. & 11:15 a.m.

Monday: No Mass
Tuesday – Saturday: 8:30 a.m.

Holy Day Vigil: 7:00 p.m
Holy Day: 8:30 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Penance: Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by appointment. A parish penance service is held during both Advent and Lent at announced times.


For directions to the church and rectory located at 2800 Paxton Church Road in Harrisburg, click here to enter your starting address.

The parish office and St Margaret Mary School remian at 2848 Herr Street in Harrisburg.


There are no cancellations at this time.

Online Giving

For your convenience, we now offer the ability make your weekly offerings electronically. To register for your secure account, click on the myEoffering button below.