Christmas Schedule-2020

Vespers and Benediction

Sundays During Advent

November 29, December 6, 13, 20

4:00 PM at St. John the Evangelist

Confessions will be heard every Saturday at St. Mary Magdalen from 10:30 AM to Noon


2:00 PM-St. John the Evangelist

4:00 PM – St. John the Evangelist

6:00 PM St. Bernard, Beach Lake

9:00 PM – St. John the Evangelist

Christmas Day

7:30 AM – St. Mary Magdalen

9:00 AM – St. Joseph, Rileyville

10:30 AM – St. John the Evangelist

12:15 PM – St. John the Evangelist


Area Penance Services

Sunday, December 6 – 2:00 PM, St. Thomas More (by reservation only-570-698-5584)

Monday, December 21 – 6:00 PM, St. Mary Magdalen

Pastor’s Letter, November 28-29

November 28-29

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We come now to the Holy Season of Advent marked by the stillness and sobriety of a world afflicted.  Unlike previous Advents where people are wrapped-up in manic activity perhaps this Advent can be very special in that it’s a time of quiet waiting and anticipation.  The waiting is to be centered on Christ’s coming.  We await, like ancient Israel, for a Savior and Redeemer.  He came, but a great many did not recognize Him.  He comes, daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and still myriads do not recognize.  Indeed He will come again, and for sure there will be no uncertainty and ignoring the almighty Judge and Lord of the world.

Our Scriptures remind us to prepare.  As we wait for the Lord, it is not passive exercise.  Isaiah, the Advent prophet, prays that God “might meet us doing right,” rejecting our sinful ways, hence the need for making a worthy Confession.  Our Lord Jesus warns His disciples that they must keep watch because, like the servants not knowing when the Lord of the house will return, we don’t want to be asleep when we should be ready to receive Him.  St. Paul assures the Corinthians that they “are not lacking in any spiritual gift” as they want.  Neither are we!  But are we engaging these gifts?

Please remember the Mass schedule for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is expanded. 

There will be 4 Masses on the Eve, December 24th:  2 PM-St. John; 4 PM-St. John; 6 PM-St. Bernard; 9 PM-St. John.

Christmas Day:  7:30 AM-St. Mary Magdalen; 9 AM-St. Joseph, 10:30 AM-St. John; 12:15 PM-St. John.

Reservations are required by December 15th.  If you must cancel after making reservations, please call the Parish Office so that others may be able to attend.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Pastor’s Letter, November 21-22

November 21-22

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On this final Sunday of the liturgical year we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  Most of our solemnities, like Christmas and Easter, are focused on biblical events.  In contrast, “Christ the King” is focused on an idea.  The original motivation for the feast was to celebrate the dominion of Christ that transcends national boundaries and that makes war a sacrilege against the Body of Christ.  Today as it its inception, war, hatred, terrorism torment many areas of the world.  Our work as peacemakers is never over.  Charity and love of the broken are the hall-marks of those who belong to the Kingdom of Christ.

Our Lord in today’s Gospel very poignantly reminds us of the Day of Judgment.  Yes, He will come as King and Judge.  We must be ready for that day.  If we have been faithful and charitable the day or reckoning should not disturb us.  Thanks to today’s Gospel we know how we can inherit eternal life:  feed the hungry: welcome the stranger; cloth the naked; visit the sick and the imprisoned.

At today’s 10:30 Mass we recognize our 8th grade students who will be receiving the Bishop’s Youth Awards.  We commend our young parishioners who have attained this honor because of their faithfulness to Christ and His Church and for their service to our community.  The recipients are:  Mason Avery, Christopher Bateman, Jeanine Busnel, Elizabeth Meagher, Eric Meagher, Abigail Suhosky, and Cassie Ursich.  May God continue to enliven their faith and bring their good deeds to fulfillment.

Please note that we will be celebrating 8 Christmas Masses. Bishop Bambera has allowed us to have a Christmas Eve Mass at 2:00 PM. It will be held at St. John’s. Also on Christmas Eve 4:00 PM at St. John; 6:00 PM at St. Bernard, and 9:00 PM at St. John. On Christmas Day – 7:30 AM at St. Mary Magdalen; 9:00 AM at St. Joseph; 10:30 AM at St. John; and 12:15 PM at St. John. Please make your reservations by December 15. We hope having 8 Masses will accommodate everyone who desires to be at Christmas Mass. If you have to cancel your reservation, please do so no later than December 15.

Thursday is Thanksgiving and we shall offer the great Thanksgiving of the Holy Eucharist at 9:00 AM in St. Magdalen.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Pastor’s Letter, November 14-15

November 14-15

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Trust is a very important word and practice in our present circumstances.  It is so important to Our Lord that He makes it the focus of the parable we hear today.  “Talents”, of course, were a form of money in our Lord’s day; today we use the same term when it comes to recognizing the abilities and capabilities that we uniquely possess.  The talents that we possess may indeed be refined and should be refined by us, but ultimately, they are God’s gifts to us and our recognition of those particular talents in a sense define who we are what God’s purpose may be for our proper use of those talents.

By God’s beautiful and mysterious design, He has entrusted us with the talents that are for returning His glory and serving our brothers and sisters.  A proper education from parents and educators and catechists assist us in developing and expanding the talents already latent in our person.  What a great and fulfilling venture that can be.  Not to mention how many will benefit from the employment of our personal gifts.

But, to be sure, there will come the day when we have to give an account of how well or not we have used the gifts God has given us.  As our liturgical year draws to a close, (remember next Sunday is the Solemnity of Christ the King – the culmination of this strange and unique year), we set our hearts on being prepared for whatever God has in store.  Wisely, like the ideal wife in the reading from Proverbs, we are about the Lord’s work.  Should he find us occupied with using His gifts in service to others we have nothing to fret about.  May the lessons to today’s Scriptures encourage us to be faithful stewards ever ready for the Lord’s return.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Pastor’s Letter, November 7-8

November 7-8

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

In the Eastern or Greek rites of the Catholic Church and in Orthodox Divine Liturgy there is this proclamation by the deacon or priest:  “Wisdom be attentive”. These words prepare the congregants to listen actively to the Words of the Holy Gospel. Though this command is not part of our Latin rite, we could very well learn to prepare ourselves for the Wisdom that will penetrate our ears, our hearts, and our minds as Our Lord speaks to us through His Sacred Word.  What, after all, is wisdom? God has something to say to us for our benefit, and then He freely allows us to either accept it or turn a deaf ear to it. There certainly are consequences for what we decide.

When the wisdom of God enters into us, we start to see things in a different way. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins makes this quite clear. The unattentive, foolish virgins are mindful only of themselves. They lacked foresight; they were unprepared for contingencies; they expected others to bail them out.  As a result of their self-concern, they missed out on the joyous celebration to which they had been invited.  On the other hand, the wise virgins anticipated a longer wait; they did not think so much of themselves as they did of the bridegroom who they were waiting to honor. They made prudent judgments and so were well-prepared for the unexpected arrival.  How then, are we prepared for the unexpected? Have we been prudent in attending to the wisdom of God’s urgings in our life? Do we take time to ponder the mystery of our existence and its culmination when our earthly journey comes to an end. Those who are always ready and prepared through a life of repentance and grace (Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist) never need to fear. When Jesus, the Bridegroom comes, they will be welcomed into the heavenly banquet.

Following the 10:30 Mass on Sunday, 10 of our seniors will receive the Bishop’s Youth Award. This recognition is bestowed upon those young Catholics who demonstrate a love for their Church and exemplify discipleship by their faithfulness to Christ and His teachings. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to them and pray that in the years ahead they will grow in wisdom and

devotion to the Faith. the recipients are: Nathanael Bateman, John Christiansen, Conor Coar, Azlyn Fritz, Brooke Landers, Eric Lukan, Hannah McConnell, Abigail Meagher, Paul Meagher III, and Shannon O’Day.

With Blessings,

Father Langan