|About the Author . . .|
Dianne Danz was born in Lancaster, PA, the daughter of St. Anthony of Padua parishioners Mae (Bradshaw) and Vincent Danz. Could William and Catherine Bradshaw, upon moving from Philadelphia to their home on East Chestnut Street, Lancaster (St. Anthony parish) in 1926, have expected that a granddaughter would today serve as parishioner, lector at Mass, parish historian/archivist, and navigator of this history?
A graduate of St. Anthony School and Lancaster Catholic High School, Dianne is a graduate of Millersville University having earned a degree in Education with a major in Library Science. With certification to teach grades K through 12 in the public schools of five US states, Dianne’s appetite for variety was satisfied by working in each of those levels of education as a librarian—a career of 41 years. In addition to working in different areas throughout the US, Dianne did a stint with the DOD Schools at Misawa Air Base in Japan. Dianne accepted a position in Oxford, PA in 1983 and returned to Lancaster to live. She spent the last 22 years of her career as an elementary librarian in Oxford.
Upon her return to Lancaster, Dianne participated in parish ministries as lector, CCD teacher, and was a member of the Parish Pastoral Council for eleven years. Her training as a librarian qualified Dianne as the person to fill the vacancy of historian following the death of Edgar Musser (a remarkable parish historian) in 1988. A pressing need existed to organize historical material discovered following Musser’s death. As our present parish historian/archivist, Dianne has painstakingly sorted, read, and bound our precious historical documents, photos, relics, and treasures into organized volumes of history. Through “St. Anthony’s History by Decades” Dianne immerses our treasured past into the true baptism by fire—the Internet, where all the world can share our history.
In the 1990’s, then St. Anthony of Padua pastor Rev. Charles McDonald, CSsR learned of Dianne’s writing skills and her experience on the theatrical stage. He introduced her to the parish archives and assigned Dianne to creating a staged history to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the parish in 1995. Dianne wrote and produced the 1995 play A Circle of Hands as well as two additional musical productions. She has authored Personal Moments in History: The Story of St. Anthony of Padua Parish and Its People and A Circle of Guardians—an explanation of the painted and stained glass art in our church. Dianne’s third published title, Fortresses of Faith, is the story of Sacred Heart Academy, its founders, and their connections to St. Anthony parish. Having been an “Academy” student of piano for eight years, Dianne is today a member of the Holy Cross Alumnae of Sacred Heart Academy and serves as historian.
Dianne Danz believes “that history needs not only to be preserved but also to be cherished and publicized, so that people of the present realize their own importance in the history of the parish.” The title of her play A Circle of Hands explains the connection each of us has with one another. She explains “The people who founded the parish comprise the upper half of the circle, and their spirits reach down to us from heaven, as we reach up to them to make the circle. And the hands of God are over all of us.”
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