Pastor’s Note-October 31-November 1

October 31-November 2, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Only every 8 years are we able to celebrate All Saints Day on a Sunday.  We remember all those holy men and women and children who have gone before us and are waiting for us to join them in Heaven.  This Solemnity gives us a glimpse of eternal life for all who hope in the Lord.

One may ask, “How does one become a Saint?”  Well, from the moment you were Baptized you did become a saint.  All sin, original and actual (if you were Baptized after the age of reason) was washed away in those saving waters; you were then made a child of God with a heavenly destiny; and also a member of Christ’s Mystical Body – the Church.  So what happened to tarnish our saintliness – the reoccurrence of sin!  God in His infinite goodness does not leave us wallowing in our sinfulness. He provides the remedy – namely the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  When we cooperate with God’s mercy, the grace of our Baptismal innocence  is restored.  The penances we take on help to restore the justice due to God because of the destructive nature of our sinfulness.  Penance helps to restore the breach in our relationship with God and others.

The Saints in heaven were keenly aware of this during their earthly struggles and constantly had recourse of God’s healing forgiveness.  They emptied themselves of self-love and gave their lives completely to God and the service of others.  This heroism is what we must emulate as we honor them and hope one day to join them.

Those who did not break themselves off for the love of God and neighbor, but who did not reach that level of perfect love while on earth may find themselves in the waiting room outside of Heaven.  Their saintliness has to be perfected by the purifying fire of God’s consuming love and by our prayers and sacrifices for them.  Our love and concern for our beloved does not end with death.   Death  cannot conquer love and so we offer our love beyond the grave for those souls imploring our help, just as we implore the help of the Saints to assist us in our earthly challenges.  The offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the foremost means of assisting the Souls in Purgatory; the Holy Rosary; and the offering of our own inconveniences  and sacrifices can also be applied to the relief of their Souls.

During the month of November we give special attention to Souls in Purgatory and remember especially those who have been called from our midst.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and may the perpetual light shine upon them.  May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.  Amen.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

P.S.  If you are planning on the Sacrament of Matrimony in the coming year, it is imperative that you immediately begin arrangements with your parish priests.  In addition to your personal catechesis, couples are required to participate in Pre-Cana classes.

Below is the list for 2021 classes.  Please register as soon as possible to be assured of space.  You may register on the Diocese of Scranton website.

Saturday, January 23, Tannersville (tentative)

Sunday, February 6, Wilkes-Barre)

Sunday, March 21, Scranton

Saturday, May 15, Duryea

Saturday, June 26, Dickson City

Sunday, July 25, Scranton

Saturday, August 21, Tannersville (tentative)

Saturday, November 6, Dickson City

Sunday, December 5, Scranton

Pastor’s Letter-October 24 and 25

October 24-25

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Remembrance is a powerful tool in setting our moral compass and making our way through life.  There is, however, a grave danger if our remembrance is not based on fact, but fantasy.  The desire for truth and honest appraisal of our past must be the criteria for a balanced present and hopeful future.  Sadly, a rant-mentality seems to be infecting our society and the pursuit of truth is literally thrown out the window.  It’s almost impossible to rationalize with those who have a fictitious notion of the past.

Honesty demands that we understand our human nature as broken by original and actual sin.  The only repairer of this brokenness is Jesus Christ.  It is complete folly to think we human beings can create a more just and peaceful world without Him.  In our scriptures today we hear Our Lord remind the Israelites of their past, where they had come from and what they overcame – and not on their own.  It was the commandments which gave direction and purpose to them, love of God and love of neighbor was to be their destiny.  Our Lord reminds them of that in today’s Gospel which He proclaims just a few weeks before He is put to death.

May our remembrances always be crystal clear and truthful. We remember what God has done for us and what we must do for one another.

This coming Sunday, November 1st is the Solemnity of All Saints.  We shall have our regular Mass schedule; the following Monday is All Souls and in addition to the 7:25 and 12:05 Masses, we shall have an evening Mass at 6 PM in St. Mary Magdalen.

Remember that next Saturday night the clock “falls back” one hour as Daylight Savings Time ends.  And finally, for your information, since January, 2020 we have had 28 new families join our parish family, that includes 49  persons totally.  We are very glad they have come to make their home among us and as soon as this pandemic ends we will welcome them at one of our monthly hospitality gatherings.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Mass Reservation Update

We kindly ask that all parishioners continue to make reservations for all Masses especially for the Sunday Masses as they are getting full to the allowed capacity. Reservations can be made during office hours (Monday to Thursday, 9 AM to 4 PM; Friday 9 AM to Noon). Reservations cannot be taken on the weekends. We also kindly ask that masks be worn through the entire Mass and everyone keeps social distance. Please exit the church immediately after the Mass is over.

Pastor’s Letter-October 17-18

October 17-18

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

Two famous rulers dominate the Scripture both Old Testament and the Gospel:  Cyrus the Great and Tiberius Caesar.  In the first reading the prophet Isaiah extols Cyrus as God’s Chosen Monarch. Though not a Jew not acquainted with the Torah he liberates the Jewish people and assists them in their return to the Promised Land and the rebuilding of Jerusalem.  He, in a sense, becomes an instrument of the Lord’s work. In the Gospel, Our Lord distinguishes God’s role from Caesar’s when asked about the paying of taxes. “Give to God what belongs to God, and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.”  Our Lord makes us think about what really belongs to God in our lives. Sometimes, we can get mixed-up in answering this, but every now and then, we are reminded of the beautiful hymn: “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow,” and we are able to put things in proper perspective.

Another historical figure graced this past week, namely Christopher Columbus. This devout Catholic visionary has been maligned and misrepresented by those who prepared a “fake” history in order to advance a disordered agenda. Happily, the Knights of Columbus have produced a superlative documentary entitled: “Courage and Conviction: The True Story of Christopher Columbus.”  It is readily available on the internet or on EWTN. I highly recommend it to all who are serious about knowing the truth about our historical beginnings.

And speaking of beginnings, of the 27 books in the New Testament, today we read from St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Thessalonians. It was written about 20 years after the Lord’s Ascension

in the years 51-53 A.D.. Up until this time the Gospel was orally transmitted. Now there was a written word of encouragement to early Church in Thessalonika. These words we read today started the New Testament and the rest is history!

Kindly remember that the Diocesan Annual Appeal is underway and our parish goal is $64,000. Prayerfully consider what sacrifice you are able to make for the Church’s continuing mission.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

St. John Henry Newman

Saint John Henry Newman’s

Meditation on Hope in God our Creator

In preparation for the one year anniversary of Saint John Henry Newman’s canonization on October 13, we offer the following meditation which the saint wrote on Hope in God our Creator.  It is not only absolutely beautiful, but will give an incredible boost to anyone who is suffering from feeling unwanted or unloved.   Please share this meditation with someone you love:

God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself; but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory—we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God’s counsels, in God’s world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his—if, indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—still He knows what He is about.  (John Henry Newman, March 7, 1848)

Pastor’s Note, October 10-11

October 10-11

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Who doesn’t like to attend a wedding reception?  Most people do and unfortunately because of the prevailing pandemic many such receptions have been postponed or cancelled.  We feel deprived if we are not given the opportunity to celebrate love and extend warm heartfelt congratulations to a newly-married husband and wife.

Our Lord uses this very imagery of a wedding banquet to reflect the joyfulness of Heaven.  But as he points out one must be properly dispersed and appropriately attired to join in the celebration.  In other words, wedding crashers are not allowed.  Neither can we crash our way into Heaven.

Think of how earnestly one prepares for attendance at a wedding reception.  We look our best in order to honor the bride and groom.  How much more then when we enter this heavenly banquet that has already begun on earth – namely the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Our wedding garment is the state of our souls.  Just as we would be horrified to dishonor the couple all the more so should we be diligent in our preparation for the banquet of the Holy Eucharist.  The last thing we would want is to dishonor our Lord who has extended the invitation to us.

Fortunately,  through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus Himself adores us for participation in the Royal Banquet.  Through the ministration of His priests, He guarantees us a place at the table.  He does the clean-up; we need only to come humbly before Him with sorrow for our sins.

I remind you that in addition to our daily confessions before and after Mass and prior to the Sunday Masses we now have Confessions available for you on Saturday mornings from 10:30 – 12:00 in St. Mary Magdalen or in the event of a funeral at St. John’s.  Attire yourself in the mercy of God and be prepared to enter the Banquet either here or in the glory to come.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Pastor’s Note-October 3-4

October 3-4

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

A happy coincidence occurs this week in the Sacred Scriptures with a 8-day festival celebrated by our Jewish friends.  Beginning at sundown on Friday, October 2nd and continuing until October 9th, Sukkoth or feast of booths is commemorated.  This is the harvest festival which gives thanks to God for the bounty of the land.  It is the basis for our secular celebration of Thanksgiving, also meant, but often forgotten to show our gratitude to God for all that He has given us.

Generally in the backyards and fields of the Jewish people, you will see temporary booths or huts set up and ornamented.  Harvesters would live in them while “bringing in the sheaves” of wheat, barley and vegetables.  It was a time to be grateful to God who gives life and sustains it.

From both the Gospel and the Prophet Isaiah we hear of vineyards and harvesting.  What should be a time of gratefulness and rejoicing has been perverted, neglected and infected with envy and greed.  What should have been life-giving became just the opposite and blessings received were lost.

The month of October is a time for us to reflect upon the sanctity of human life most especially the vulnerable life of the unborn.  First,  we respect the life-giving Creator of all.  We recognize He has a plan and it is good.  The prevailing heresy in many circles is that we can dispense with those lives that are inconvenient or burdensome.  This erroneous mentality is contrary to the law of God.

As faithful Catholics we have a solemn obligation to stand up for and speak out when it comes to protecting innocent life.  We use what heaven has provided for us through the hands of the Mother of God – the Rosary.  Padre Pio repeatedly reminded us that this is the powerful weapon that will conquer sin and convert the most hardened of hearts.

Join us in unleashing power of prayer for the respect for life on this coming Saturday, October 10 at the Rosary Rally in Central Park in front of the courthouse.  Holy Mass will be offered in St. Mary Magdalen at 11 AM and the Rally begins at Noon to 2 PM.  In the event of inclement weather, our rally will take place in St. Mary Magdalen.

Remember also that we are adding an additional opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Every Saturday morning from 10:30 AM to 12 Noon, confessions will be heard at St. Mary’s.  In the event of a funeral, they will be at St. John’s.    Hope to see you at the rally.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Prayer to our Blessed Mother During the pandemic

PRAYER TO OUR LADY FOR COVID19 BY POPE FRANCIS

“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.