Message from Father Langan, April 10-11

April 10-11, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are indeed people of the Resurrection.  Though the worlds greatest even occurred on a specific day in history, we live it every day of our lives.  Over the next seven weeks (a week of weeks), we commemorate the Great 50 days  which culminates on the Feast of Pentecost.  All of us who have been Confirmed experienced our own Pentecost when the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity descended upon us bringing the Seven-fold gifts.  In just a few weeks, 18 of our young parishioners will be receiving the Gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed through the imposition of hands by our Ordinary, Bishop Bambera.  The candidates have been preparing diligently for this day and we support them by our prayers and fraternity.  They are to be commended for the good works they did during Holy Week in preparing and delivering Easter meals for many in our community.  May they continue to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in giving what they have received.

This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday.  We take the time to contemplate the compassionate Heart of our Savior and the every abundant mercy that endlessly flows from His Heart.  We shall have a special service celebrating Divine Mercy beginning at 2:30PM in St. John’s.  Confessions will be heard at 2:00PM before the service.  There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Adoration, and devotions until the 3 0’Clock hour and the chanting of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, concluding with sung Vespers and Benediction.  Granted by Mother Church on this day is a special plenary indulgence for those who offer prayers for the Pope, make a good Confession 20 days before or after the Feast day, seek to detach oneself from sin and devotedly receive Holy Communion.

Finally, I wish to express my profound gratitude to those who have made our Holy Week and Easter worship so uplifting and deeply spiritual.  Much work is done “behind the scenes” by those who would recoil should I mention their names.  Our Lord, of course, knows who you are and my words of thanks are miniscule compared to His recognizing your good works.

Let us continue to keep the Feast in joy and gladness.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Easter Message from Father Langan

April 3-4, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Regularly my nephews and niece send pictures and videos of the babies in our family.  The little ones are at that point now when they start to babble, it’s as if they are trying to speak, but their “words” are incoherent.  Nonetheless there is something being conveyed, mysterious though it be.  Trying to convey the same enthusiasm regarding the Resurrection of Our Lord leaves us somewhat speechless or perhaps wordless.  We rejoice in, we believe in, we ponder a mystery that is difficult to explain, yet absolutely true.  Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death and fulfilled the promise that eternal life is our destiny.  The fulfillment of that destiny can only be arrived at when we join our individual Passover with the Passover of Christ.

In his mercy and love for us, Christ gives us every necessary help (grace), most especially through the Sacraments, to complete the journey to our real homeland.  The living waters of Baptism following from His wounded heart set us on a course destined for that eternal shore.  Sometimes those waters may be rough and perilous, but the Savior is always within us.  He unburdens us just as He unburdened the frightening disciples on that first Easter Sunday night as he breathed the Holy Spirit upon them and forgave them their sins.  He nourishes weary spirits, and because of the pandemic this past year, there are indeed many weary spirits.  There is a famine in the land and across the globe since innumerable souls have not been fed with He Who is the Bread of Life.  Sadly, people do not even realize they are starving.  I don’t mean physically, but spiritually.  At least, because of our ability to livestream the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is some nourishment for souls in the hearing of the Word of God.  But Christ has given us more, much more in the Holy Eucharist, for as He said: “Unless you eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, you will have no life within you”.

May the power of Our Lord’s Resurrection conquer the evil of the pandemic, restore our parish family life with the return to Holy Mass of our fellow parishioners and once again and always renew the life of all who proclaim:  Jesus Christ is Lord!

A Blessed Easter to all,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, March 27-28

March 27-28

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Hosanna to the Son of David:  “Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Today commemorates our Divine Savior’s entrance into the Holy City of Jerusalem and His accomplishment of Our Heavenly Father’s plan for our salvation.  These days of Holy Week are an intense representation of Christ’s saving work.  By prayer and ritual we are invited to participate intimately in the work of our redemption.

On Palm/Passion Sunday, Mother Church places branches in our hands, blessed palms, that we might honor Our Lord and King and pledge loyalty and fidelity to Him.  We are very much aware of our fellow Christians throughout the world who suffer and are persecuted for their Faith.  We stand in solidarity with them and offer our fraternal love and support.

On Holy Tuesday Bishop Bambera summons his priests to join him in the consecration of the new Sacred Oils:  Oil of Catechumen for those who are candidates for Baptism; Chrism for Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders; Oil of the Infirm for the anointing of the sick.  The Chrism Mass will be at 4:00PM in St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Faithful are encouraged to participate virtually this year.  At this Mass the priests renew their priestly vows and call upon their parishioners to assist them with their prayers.

The Passion of the Lord dominates the Sacred Triduum (Three Days).  We begin with Morning Prayer (Lauds) on Holy Thursday morning at 7:25AM in St. Mary Magdalen.  Holy Thursday evening at 7:00PM in St. John’s we commemorate the Lord’s Last Supper wherein He institutes the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (the First Mass) the Holy Priesthood; and the giving of the Mandatum (the new commandment) “love one another as I have loved you”’  Following the Mass, there will be a procession to St. Mary Magdalen with the Holy Eucharist for Adoration until 11:00PM.

Good Friday begins with Morning Prayers at 7:25AM (SMM).  The Way of the Cross (Stations) at 9:00AM (SMM) followed by the blessing of the relic of the True Cross on which our Savior died.

The main celebration of the day begins at Noon in St. John’s as we commemorate the Lord’s Passion.  We go in heart and mind to Calvary where we have been cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb.

At 3:00PM we begin the Novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy which culminates on the Octave of Easter-Divine Mercy Sunday.

Good Friday evening at 7:00PM in St. John’s we chant in Hebrew, Latin, and English the most ancient and hauntingly beautiful dirges of the burial of Christ in the Office of Tenebrae.

On Holy Saturday, Morning Prayers will be offered at 7:25AM (SMM).  Please note that this year the Blessing of Easters baskets will take place at 10:00AM in the courtyard of St. Mary Magdalen, NOT in Holy Family Hall.  We prayerfully prepare for the Great and Glorious Vigil of Easter at 8:00PM in St. John’s.  During this Night-of-Nights, we recall the history of our salvation and renew all things in Christ, Who has conquered sin and death.

These are the days most important in the spiritual life of each one of us in the Family of Faith.  Let us therefore either in person or virtually come to be with our Blessed Lord and avail ourselves of the abundant graces that come from celebrating these holy days.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Livestream Changes Will be Occurring

Announcement:

St. John the Evangelist Parish is changing how we live stream services this weekend (March 27th & 28th).  Please click HERE to view the live stream.

Details

Beginning with the Saturday Evening Mass on March 27, we will move the live and previously recorded broadcasts of services off of Facebook and onto the Parish Website: honesdalecatholic.com

Live streams for all services can be watched by clicking Watch Online – Live any time after the live stream has started.  You can also get to this page by going to the parish website (honesdalecatholic.com) and clicking “Watch Online” then “Live” on the website menu.

We will continue to live stream Mass from St. Mary Magdalen Church starting at 5:20pm on Saturday evenings, and from St. John the Evangelist Church starting at 10:20am on Sunday mornings.  Additional services (including Holy Week services) will be listed on the Watch Online – Live Schedule.

You can also find a list of previously recorded services by clicking Watch Online – Previously Recorded.

In addition to moving our videos to the Parish website, we have made a number of changes to improve your watching experience.  This includes the ability to watch services in true High Definition (simply click the “gear” icon  located on the bottom right side of the player and set the “Quality” to “1080p”).

Message from Father Langan, March 20-21

March 20-21

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On this Fifth Sunday in Lent there is a change of tone and emphasis regarding the days ahead.  Though some six centuries before the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth the prophet Jeremiah heralds:  Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with His people.  This new covenant is inscribed upon the hearts of all those who have been Baptized into the Death and Resurrection of Our Lord.  It is most important to remember that we are not passive recipients of the Covenant, but that is takes two parties, God and each one of us individually, to ratify the Covenant.  How then is this accomplished?  The answer is before us in today’s Gospel:  “…and once I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.

Did not Our Divine Savior say repeatedly:…”that if you would be my disciple you must die to yourself, take up your cross and follow me.”?  That is our affirmation of the New Covenant.  It is the course of life that we are set upon.  These forthcoming days set the Cross before our eyes.  We recognize that the Cross bore the weight of our sins as Jesus took them all upon Himself.  He and our Heavenly Father along with the Holy Spirit longed to show we creatures the immensity of their love for us.  What more could God possibly have done for us that He has not done?

When we contemplate this New Covenant, forged in the mystery of the Cross, it should create a longing within us to make a return to the Lord.  Abundant graces are bestowed upon those who participate in these most important days ahead.  If unable to be in person, sanctify the High Holy Days of our Faith by virtual attendance.  Be honest about recognizing the spiritual hunger within you because of social restrictions and ask Our Lord to satisfy your longing until you can soon be in His Presence again.

God’s peace be upon you as we make our ascent to Calvary,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, March 13-14

March 13-14, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We have come to Laetare Sunday, the half-way marker of Lent.  Even in the midst of Lent we remain joyful (Laetare) people because of God’s abiding love for us in spite of our sinfulness.  Of course, we are not meant to wallow in our sinfulness, but rather come to the Lord, Who is rich in mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Nothing gives a person greater joy than to be relieved of the burden we carry because of sin.  Even though we may have repressed them or consigned then to the deep recesses of our conscience they fester there nonetheless and dis-cease our relationship with the Lord and others.  In both the Old Testament lesson and the Gospel of today we are reminded of how easy it is to drift from God and His Holy Commandments.  When that happens despair, confusion, and grasping at the things of this world only brings disaster.

There is only one place that we may turn for redemption and that is Jesus Christ.  He Who was lifted up on the Cross, allowed that to be for our reconciliation with the Father.  It is that redemption, reconciliation and relief that comes to us in the Sacrament of a good Confession.  Next Sunday, there will be a communal celebration of Reconciliation with individual confessions at St. Thomas More, in Lake Ariel beginning at 2:00 PM.  There will also be additional Confessions in our own parish on Monday evening of Holy Week, 6:00 PM, as well as before and after daily Masses.  Please consult the flier in the bulletin regarding further times and places.  On Saturday, March 20, we will be conducting our in-house retreat for the 18 Confirmation candidates who will receive the Sacrament on April 22.  Please keep them in mind and prayer as they prepare for this most important encounter with the Holy Spirit on their journey of Faith.

With blessings on your Lenten journey,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan-March 6-7

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

We fail, we sin, we fall and who picks us up?  It is the Lord!  God knows how prone we are to let the world have its way with us.  Why else would He have given us the Ten Commandments.  They are for OUR benefit – to keep us safe and sound.  They promote the dignity of the human person reminding the glory of God.  But, as we know, these fragile temples can easily accumulate that which dims its beauty, i.e., sin.  Just as Our Lord cleansed the temple of Jerusalem so, too, He is ready to cleanse us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  He uses His sweepers, his priests, to take care of the “dirty work” and restore the pristine glory of our souls.  No one likes a dirty house, much less a dirty soul.  Let the cleaners in.  They are happy to do the work of the Lord.

On Monday afternoon this past week, I had the pleasure of meeting with two young men, David and Adrian, who have passed through the “valley of the shadow of death” and by the grace of Almighty God have been restored to the joyful life of being a child of God.  These men have courageously shared with me their history, of alcohol and drug addiction and their years of sobriety and interior peace.  The Corona Self-Help Center, Inc. (Drogadictos Anonimos/Drug Addicts Anonymous) is a non-profit association that offers all of its services free of charge.   Their mission is to help people with problems of addiction to recover, regardless of their legal, or economic status of ethnicity.  Primarily, its focus is on people who cannot receive help because of their legal situation and do not have resources to solicit help in places that require payment.

They support themselves by producing very beautiful tee shirts and donations from the neighboring communities.

So impressed was I by their presentation that I have invited them to give a short presentation following the weekend Masses of March 20-21.

Hopefully you will be able to support their good and noble work either with a donation or the purchase of their tee shirts.

Blessings on your Lenten journey,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, February 27-28

February 27-28, 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

Tests are a fact of life!  I have never met anyone who “enjoys” taking tests or having to be tested whether it be academic, medical, for employment or otherwise.  Tests mean stress and who in their right mind wants to go through it.  We wait for the results many times with fear and trepidation.  When the results are favorable we exalt and when not, we are in agony.  Either way, however, we get a good look at who we are and what we are capable of doing or where we need improvement.  The test exposes our character.

Today’s Old Testament lesson from Genesis starts with God putting Abraham to the test.  As heart-wrenching as it was, he passed with “flying colors” and we ourselves are part of the results.  Do we not acclaim Abraham to be “our father in faith”, (cf. Eucharistic Prayer 1)?  We cannot always anticipate what the results may be, but if God is putting us to the test it is because He wants us to see ourselves in relationship to Him as loving, trustful and obedient, God gains nothing by this test; we gain everything.

Very often our loving Father softens the angst with regard to the “test”.  He certainly does in the Gospel of the Transfiguration.  Forty days from this revealing of Jesus’ divinity, the apostles will be in the midst of Our Savior’s Passion.  Seemingly, everything they hoped for would be dashed.  In the midst of trial it is easy to forget the blessings and goodness that preceded.  Perhaps it is the same with us.  We forget all the good that the Lord has bestowed on us.  The test overwhelms and we lose sight of the results yet to come.  Like Abraham, we need to remember that God is indeed faithful to us and has only our best interest in store.  Be not afraid of the test nor cower from it.  The best is coming.

We offer our congratulations to our children who on Saturday made their First Confession.  We commend their parents and catechists who diligently prepared them for this important day.  They beautifully passed the test, and may they now experience the love of Jesus more profoundly in their lives.  May we as well.

Blessings on your Lenten journey,

Father Langan