Message from Father Langan-May 30-31

May 30-31

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is the great Solemnity of Pentecost – the 50th day of Easter which closes this blessed season marked by the anxieties and sorrows caused by the Covid virus.  In spite of this, we are people who have been redeemed by Christ and promised a destiny far beyond what this world can provide.  Hopefully, in the midst of this world-wide fear, people have paused and taken an account of their life especially in relationship to God.

Indeed we have witnessed innumerable acts of self-denial as heroic souls have jeopardized this own health and safety in order to tend to and care for the afflicted.  Though one PUNY recognition will never be enough, our Heavenly Father keeps account of what we have done for others.  Selflessness is a form or expression of courage.  And among the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit, courage has been more evidenced than in recent years.

Prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit, the apostles and disciples were timid and filled with self-doubt.  When the mighty wind and tongues of fire, manifestations of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, theirs lives were radically altered.

Though the birth of church issued forth from the wounded heart of Christ on the Cross.  The blood and water symbolize the rebirth in Baptism and the Blood sustenance for the journey to Heaven.  The day of Pentecost ushered the Church out of infancy into, so to speak, young adulthood.  Emboldened and courageous, filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the disciples and apostles went into the world to witness to Christ.

Thirteen young parishioners would, this day, have received the same power of the Holy Spirit were it not for the restrictions placed on gathering in sizeable groups.  This past Sunday I had the good experience of interfacing with these serious young people by way of Zoom and assured them that the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation will happen as soon as possible.  Also, I assured them of the collective prayers of all their fellow parishioners.

Fortunately, the restrictions have been relaxed and we are able this Saturday and Sunday to begin, though on a limited basis, the public celebrations of Holy Mass.  At the 10:30 on Pentecost Sunday, we have the added joy of welcoming into our parish family, Faith Bronson Miletta, wife of Brandon Miletta.  Faith will be baptized, confirmed and receive our Lord in the Eucharist.  Though separated still by the consequences of Covid, we extend to her, nonetheless, our prayers, companionship and continued support as she journeys with us in our witness to Jesus Christ.

Again, my thanks to all who are so faithful in your following the Mass though the video and to our team who is facilitating it.  It is most appreciated that you continue your support of the parish so we don’t fall behind in playing our bells.  As Jesus said:  “the only debt we should have is the debt to love one another.”

A Blessed Pentecost,

Father Langan

Pentecost Mass Schedule

Next weekend (May 30 and 31), we will re-open our Churches in our Parish for public worship to celebrate Pentecost Sunday.  We will follow our usual weekend Mass schedule:

                        May 30            4:00 PM-St. Bernard

                                                5:30 PM-St Mary Magdalen (Broadcast)

                        May 31            7:30 AM-St. Mary Magdalen

                                                9:00 AM-St. Joseph, Rileyville

                                                10:30 AM-St. John the Evangelist (Broadcast)

As stated in Father Langan’s Pastor letter of May 23-24, ONLY 20 parishioners will be permitted to attend each of the five weekend Masses and daily Mass.  YOU MUST call the Parish Office between 10:00 AM and 4 PM to make a reservation on a first come – first serve basis.  We will begin receiving reservations beginning on Wednesday, May 27 for the Masses.  Your name will be put on a list and checked off when you arrive at the church at the designated entrance.  You will be escorted to your pew where you will remain seated for the duration of the Mass.  Prior to the Mass, directions will be made regarding the reception of Holy Communion.  Those who wish to make their confessions will be included in the reservation process.  

We shall do our best to accommodate as many as possible.  Please continue your kind and understanding patience as we work through this.  Blessings to all.

NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

COME HOLY SPIRIT, FILL THE HEARTS OF THY FAITHFUL AND ENKINDLE IN THEM THE FIRE OF THY LOVE.

V/SEND FORTH THY SPIRIT AND THEY SHALL BE CREATED;

R/AND THOU SHALT RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

LET US PRAY; O HOLY SPIRIT, OUR LORD AND OUR GOD/WE ADORE AND HUMBLY ACKNOWLEDGE HERE IN THY SACRED PRESENCE THAT WE ARE NOTHING, WITHOUT THY OPERATION WITHIN US./COME GREAT PARACLETE OF THE BLEST/FULFILL THE PROMISE OF OUR SAVIOR/WHO WOULD NOT LEAVE US ORPHANS/AND ENTER OUR MINDS AND HEARTS AS THOU DIDST DESCEND ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST UPON THE HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS AND UPON HIS FIRST DISCIPLES./GRANT THAT WE MAY HAVE A PART IN THOSE GIFTS WHICH THOU DIDST SO GENEROUSLY BESTOW UPON THEM.

TAKE FROM OUR HEARTS ALL THAT IS NOT PLEASING TO THEE/AND MAKE OF THEM A WORTHY DWELLING PLACE FOR JESUS OUR LORD.  ILLUMINE OUR MINDS/THAT WE MAY SEE AND UNDERSTAND THE THINGS THAT ARE FOR OUR ETERNAL WELFARE.  INFLAME OUR HEARTS WITH PURE LOVE OF THE FATHER, THAT, CLEANSED FROM ATTACHMENT TO ALL UNWORTHY OBJECTS/OUR WHOLE LIFE MAY BE HIDDEN WITH JESUS IN GOD.  STRENTHEN OUR WILL/THAT IT MAY BE COMFORTABLE TO THE WILL OF OUR CREATOR/AND GUIDED BY THY HOLY INSPIRATIONS.  AID US TO PRACTICE THE HEAVENLY VIRTUES OF HUMILITY/POVERTY/AND OBEDIENCE WHICH ARE TAUGHT US IN THE EARTHLY LIFE OF JESUS.  DESCENT UPON US/O MIGHTY SPIRIT/THAT/INSPIRED AND ENCOURAGED BY THEE/WE MAY FAITHFULLY FULFILL THE DUTIES OF OUR STATE IN LIFE/CARRY OUR DAILY CROSS WITH PATIENCE AND COURAGE/AND ACCOMPLISH THE FATHER’S WILL FOR US MORE PERFECTLY/MAKE US/DAY BY DAY/MORE HOLY/AND GIVE TO US THAT HEAVENLY PEACE WHICH THE WORLD CANNOT GIVE.  O HOLY SPIRIT/THOU GIVER OF EVERY GOOD AND PERFECT  GIFT/GRANT TO US THE INTENTIONS OF THIS NOVENA OF PRAYER (HERE ADD YOUR INTENTIONS).  MAY THE FATHER’S WILL BE DONE IN US AND THROUGH US. AND MAY  THOU/O HOLY SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOOD/BE PRAISED AND GLORIFIED FOREVER AND EVER.  AMEN.

FIRST DAY:  COME, O HOLY SPIRIT/THE LORD AND LIFEGIVER/TAKE UP THY DWELLING WITHIN MY SOUL/AND MAKE OF IT THY SACRED TEMPLE./  MAKE ME LIVE BY GRACE AS AN ADOPTED CHILD OF GOD./PERVADE ALL THE ENERGIES OF MY SOUL/AND CREATE IN ME A FOUNDATION OF LIVING WATER SPRINGING UP INTO LIFE EVERLASTING.  (CLOSING PRAYER)

SECOND DAY:  COME, O SPIRIT OF WISDOM/AND REVEAL TO MY SOUL THE MYSTERIES OF HEAVENLY THINGS/THEIR EXCEEDING GREATNESS AND POWER AND BEAUTY./TEACH ME TO LOVE THEM BEYOUND ALL PASSING JOYS AND SATISFACTIONS OF EARTH./SHOW ME THE WAY BY WHICH I MAY POSSESS THEE/AND HOLD THEM HEREAFTER/MY OWN FOREVER.  (CLOSING PRAYER)

THIRD DAY:  COME, O SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING/AND ENLIGHTEN MY MIND/THAT I MAY KNOW AND BELIEVE ALL THE MYSTERIES OF SALVATION/AND MAY MERIT AT LAST TO SEE THE ETERNAL LIGHT IN THY LIGHT/AND IN THE LIGHT OF THY GLORY TO HAVE THE CLEAR VISION OF THEE AND THE FATHER AND THE SON.  (CLOSING PRAYER)

FOURTH DAY:  COME, O SPIRIT OF COUNSEL/HELP AND GUIDE ME IN ALL MY WAYS/THAT I MAY ALWAYS DO THY HOLY WILL./INCLINE MY HEART TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD/TURN IT AWAY FROM ALL THAT IS EVIL/AND DIRECT ME BY THEY PATH OF THY COMMANDMENTS TO THE GOAL OF ETERNAL LIFE.  (CLOSING PRAYER)

FIFTH DAY:  COME, O SPIRIT OF FORTITUDE/AND GIVE COURAGE TO MY SOUL./MAKE MY HEART STRONG IN ALL TRIALS AND IN ALL DISTRESS/POURING FORTH ABUNDANTLY INTO IT THE GIFTS OF STRENGTH/THAT I MAY BE ABLE TO RESIST THE ATTACKS OF THE DEVIL. (CLOSING PRAYER)

SIXTH DAY:  COME O SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE/AND MAKE ME UNDERSTAND AND DESPISE THE EMPTINESS AND NOTHINGNESS OF THE ENTICEMENTS OF THIS WORLD./ GIVE ME GRACE TO USE THE WORLD ONLY FOR THY GLORY AND THE SALVATION OF THE CREATURES./MAY I ALWAYS BE VERY FAITHFUL IN PUTTING THY REWARDS BEFORE EVERY EARTHLY GIFT.  (CLOSING PRAYER)

SEVENTH DAY:  COME, O SPIRIT OF PIETY/POSSESS MY HEART/INCLINE IT TO A TRUE FAITH IN THEE/TO A HOLY LOVE OF THEE/MY GOD/THAT WITH MY WHOLE SOUL I MAY SEEK THEE/AND FIND THEE MY BEST/MY TRUEST JOY (CLOSING PRAYER)

EIGHTH DAY:  COME, A SPIRIT OF HOLY FEAR/PENETRATE MY INMOST HEART/THAT I MAY SET THEE/MY LORD AND GOD/BEFORE MY FACE FOREVER/AND SHUN ALL THINGS THAT CAN OFFEND THEE SO THAT I MAY BE MADE WORTHY TO APPEAR BEFORE THE PURE EYES OF THY DIVINE MAJESTY IN THE HEAVENS OF HEAVENS/WHERE THOUGH LIVEST AND REIGNEST IN THE UNITY OF THE EVER-BLESSED TRINITY/WORLD WITHOUT END.  (CLOSING PRAYER)

NINTH DAY:  COME, O HOLY COMFORTER/AND GRANT ME A RELISH FOR HEAVENLY THINGS./PRODUCE IN MY SOUL AND FRUITS OF VIRTURE/SO THAT/BEING FILLED WITH ALL SWEETNESS AND JOY IN THE PURSUIT OF GOOD/I MAY ATTAIN UNTO ETERNAL BLESSEDNESS.  (CLOSING PRAYER)

CLOSING PRAYER: 

LET US PRAY:  O GOD, WHO DIDST INSTRUCT THE HEARTS OF THY FAITHFUL BY SENDING THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT/GRANT US BY THE SAME SPIRIT TO BE TRULY WISE AND EVER TO REJOICE IN HIS HOLY CONSOLATION/THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD.  AMEN.

Message from Father Langan-May 23 and 24

May 23-24

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Monday, June 1st, the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, we shall, on a limited basis start re-opening our Churches in Wayne County for public worship.  At this time, our daily Mass schedule will be as such:

Monday-Friday, 7:25 AM and 12:05 PM Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Confessions will be heard 20 minutes before the Masses and on Saturday morning,  8:00 A.M. (being First Saturday).  On First Friday, Holy Hour will follow the noon Mass.

The Lord’s Day Masses:  Vigils at 4 PM at St. Bernard’s; 5:30 PM at St. Mary Magdalen (Broadcast)

Sundays:  7:30 at St. Mary Magdalen; 9:00 at St. Joseph’s; 10:30 at St. John the Evangelist (Broadcast)

Confessions will be heard prior to Masses.  Social distancing will be strictly followed.  Please wear a mask when making your confession.

ONLY 20 parishioners will be permitted to attend each of the five Masses and daily Mass.  YOU MUST call the Parish Office between 10:00 A.M. and 4 P.M. to make a reservation on a first come, first serve basis. We will begin taking reservations on Wednesday, May 27 for the Masses.   Your name will be put on a roster and checked off when you arrive at the church.  You will be escorted to your pew.  Kindly remain in place until the conclusion of Mass and then exit the church without socializing.  Prior to Mass, directions will be made regarding the reception of Holy Communion.  Upon entering the church, a bulletin will be presented to you, which will contain the hymns (all missalettes and prayer cards have been removed from the pews so as not to spread contamination).  Please take the bulletin with you and do not leave in the pews.  Both before and after Masses, the pews will be sanitized.  We are tremendously grateful to Dave, Sharon and Mike Flederbach for their most generous donation of sanitizers and gloves, which will be used in all churches.

Each weekend, we expect to accommodate 125 of our parishioners at Mass.  After the first 20 reservations are taken, you will be put on the list for the next week and after several weeks, you may call to reserve again; thus, we will rotate our congregation.  Remember that those in a vulnerable situation should not feel obliged to participate physically at Mass.

We shall do our best to accommodate as many as possible.  Please continue your kind and understanding patience as we work through this.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan- May 16 and 17

May 16-17

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On this Sunday before the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension, we are, once more, spiritually transported to the Upper Room as Jesus gives his farewell discourse (actually began in last Sunday’s Gospel).    He encourages His followers to have a strong spirit of love  and promises to send the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide them.  The promised Advocate comes, of course, at Pentecost, and as we see in the Acts of the Apostles, inspires and strengthens Philip, Peter, and John to proclaim the Gospel.

Later on, we hear Peter fulfilling Jesus command to “feed the sheep” by exhorting them to remain true to Christ even in the midst of suffering and persecution.  Pope Francis and his predecessors do the same in our own day and age.  Many words of encouragement and hopefulness have come to us from Our Holy Father and our bishops.  They remind us always to keep ourselves focused on Christ and place all our trust in Him.

Happily, I witness the good and positive actions on the part of the faithful as we struggle through these days.  Parishioners have been very conscientious and generous knowing that we still have parish expenses and bills to pay.  Thank you for your loving support and thoughtfulness.  Also, many thanks to those who have made and are continuing to make sacrificial  offerings for our local needy families and individuals.  Contribution of all amounts – some quite substantial, have been to allotted our  St. Vincent de Paul account, which specifically is earmarked for the poor.  Despite your own financial constraints, you have been mindful of those in our midst who need assistance at this time.  God knows the goodness of your hearts and truly it will be recognized by Him.

Father Sahd and I are also thankful for the kind letters and notes of support, especially those who have expressed their gratefulness for the internet broadcast of Masses and Sunday evening Vespers.  We are glad to reach as many as we do and it only makes us more anxious to see you face-to-face.  We also appreciate the gifts of food for your priests.  Thank you for taking such care of us.  You are just like the good and faithful women who took care of the Lord and His disciples.

Lastly, let us all continue to place ourselves, our loved ones, our nation, and our world under the loving care of Our Blessed Mother.  Pray the Rosary every day.  She will not let us down.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan- May 9 – 10

May 9-10

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Though I don’t know where this theatrical verse comes from, it certainly carries a great weight for us on our spiritual journeys.  I’m sure it was meant in reference to sweethearts.  It speaks powerfully of our longing and desire to  have communion with the Lord.  In the gospel today, we once again go back to the Upper Room on that first Holy Thursday night.  The Seder has come to an end.  Something extraordinarily new and mysterious has happened – the Master washed the disciples feet (the new commandment); He feeds them with His Body and Blood (the Holy Eucharist);  and empowers these sinful men to continue His presence in the world (the New Priesthood).   Now He has a heart-to-heart talk with them to prepare for His departure.  Hearts that just moments ago had been in ecstasy are now troubled, sad, and confounded.  Silently, they must have asked themselves. “what’s this all about – where is he going?”  Almost reluctantly He pulls them even deep into the mystery of who He is.  Jesus’s words speak of a longing to be once again at the Father’s right hand.  In His humanness, He experiences the “absence” of unity and oneness with the Father.  He knows it is coming, by Way of the Cross, and prepares the way for all who follow Him to have that longing fulfilled.

At the encounter with Mary Magdalen at the tomb, He tells her that He is ascending to the Father.  In a sense He can’t wait for that reunion – the absence has intensified His longing.  Perhaps the absence we are experiencing now is intensifying our longing for God as well.  Maybe we, even just a little bit, has started to take God’s Presence for granted.   This “absence” reminds us of not only do we miss Jesus, but also feel we are running on “empty.”  We are famished for Our Eucharistic Lord.

The good thing is that we know He will indeed feed us again.  How more intensely we will relish that communion.  How much more faithfully we shall recognize Him in the Breaking of the Bread.  Even though we, for a time, cannot partake of Our Lord in the Eucharist.  We certainly can meet Him in His word.  These days allow us to become ever more familiar with the Sacred Scriptures – The Bible, both Old and New Testament.  Reading, meditating on the Word and praying have always been the practice of Catholics in what is called Lectio Divina – the divine reading.  Not only will this sustain your spiritual life, but also prepare you for a greater appreciation of the Sacraments wherein Christ is present to us.

Every Catholic home should have a Bible (be sure it’s a Catholic Bible with all 73 books) which reverently has a place on a family altar (perhaps a special prayer corner in your house).  Along with the Bible, there should be a Crucifix, Holy Water (always available from your parish): and an image of our Lady (the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary would be the best); individual rosaries and holy cards and a place to put your petitions to God.  The family altar can be the heart of the domestic (home) church).  Here families and individuals gather to pray and receive strength and consolation daily.

Mothers, who have that special gift from God to make a house a home, can certainly bring her imagination and creativity to bear in fashioning the family altar.  Just as Our Blessed Mother made a home for Jesus and Joseph, mothers should call upon Her guidance in this loving task.  May God bless all mothers as they shelter and comfort their families through the days of our confinement.

Easter Blessings Upon All,

Father Langan

Updated Mass Schedule

The Holy Mass will continue to be broadcast on the weekends (Saturday at 4:00 PM at St. Mary Magdalen and St. John the Evangelist (Sundays at 10:30 AM) on our Facebook page until further notice.  Vespers will be broadcast on Sunday evenings at 6:00.

The church will remain open after the 10:30 Mass for private prayer.

For those who do not have Facebook, please click or go to the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/stjohnshonesdale/

and you will be taken to the St. John the Evangelist Facebook page. Please know that there are other Facebook pages that have been made for our parish, but they are not maintained by the Parish Office, and, therefore, will not have the current Masses and information.

USCCB – (U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOP)-RESPONDS TO CORONAVIRUS

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following regarding Coronavirus (COVID -19):

With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity; that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that are all one family under God.

God does not abandon us, he goes with us even now in this time of trail and testing.  In this moment it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.  Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor.  Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.

United with our Holy Father Pope Francis, let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick.  Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus.  May God console them and grant them peace.

We pray also for doctors, nurses, and caregivers, for public health officials and all civic leaders.  May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.

In this time of need, I invite all the faithful to seek together the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I share this prayer with you:

Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.

We fly to you today as your beloved children.

We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.

Pray for us, loving Mother,

And gain for our nation and world,

And for all our families and loved ones,

The protection of your holy angels,

That we may be spared the worst of this illness.

For those already afflicted,

We ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.

Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,

Wipe away their tears and help them to trust.

In this time of trial and testing,

Teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.

Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

We come to you with confidence,

Knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,

Health of the sick and cause of our joy.

Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,

Keep us in the embrace of your arms,

Help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

Message from Bishop Bambera

“As time unfolds, people coming back into normal activities is probably going to happen a little more slowly than some might expect. We will do all that we can to facilitate our return to Mass, but ultimately must provide for the safety of the people God has given to our care.” —Bishop Joseph C. Bambera—

With the national and statewide conversation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic now focused on “reopening” businesses, many people in the Diocese of Scranton are wondering when the suspension of public Masses will be lifted. 

While thankful for the technology that has kept parishes connected for the last six weeks, the Diocese of Scranton fully recognizes the faithful’s strong desire to return to parishes and to receive the Eucharist – which is our Spiritual life-blood. 

Diocesan leadership is currently discussing ways to safely return to sacramental life – even if on a limited basis. Relying on guidance from the state and federal governments, as well as healthcare professionals, we are committed to safely and prudently resuming worship. 

While specific details of “when” and “how” public Masses will resume are still being deter- mined, the following things will be important for parishioners to consider: 

1. The general dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation will remain in place. 

Regardless of when restrictions are lifted in a specific region of Pennsylvania, there will understandably be people, especially people in vulnerable or at-risk groups, who will feel it is safer to stay home than attend Mass. Potential limits on crowd sizes that are allowed in parishes will also play a part. The faithful are encouraged to keep the Sabbath holy by participating in a parish livestream Mass or utilizing Catholic Television. 

2. Livestreaming opportunities should continue due to attendance limitations. 

Recognizing that as regions of the Commonwealth initially transition from Governor Tom Wolf’s “red phase” to “yellow phase,” there will still be guidelines on the attendance numbers for any public gatherings. No one should expect to be able to attend Mass with regularity, so parishes that are currently livestreaming Masses will be encouraged to continue doing so. 

3. Social distancing will be maintained. 

Expect that the recommended social distancing guideline of six feet will need to be respected when entering and leaving a church, as well as in regards to seating and a potential Communion procession. As required by Pennsylvania state guidelines, parishioners would be required to wear a mask and anyone who is showing any symptoms of sickness will be told to stay home. Social gatherings before or after Mass will also not be permitted. 

4. Liturgical changes will be in place. 

Just like when the coronavirus started surfacing in Pennsylvania in March, the Diocese of Scranton established guidelines for the distribution of Holy Communion and exchanging the Sign of Peace without physical contact. Similar guidelines will also be established as any individual church would be allowed to begin worship again. 

5. Safety concerns, in addition to the virus itself, will determine the timeline. 

During Mass on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, Pope Francis prayed for prudence as communities begin lifting their lockdowns. The Holy Father said, “At this time, when we are beginning to receive instructions for coming out of quarantine, we pray that the Lord would give his people – all of us – the grace of prudence and obedience to the instructions so that the pandemic does not return.” As this process unfolds, there will certainly be challenges but the safety of our community will remain the benchmark. As the Diocese moves forward it requests that parishioners stay informed and stay flexible to any updates. 

By working together, the Diocese of Scranton is hopeful that people will soon be able to return to our churches, even if in a limited capacity, with the important understanding that things will not immediately be going back to normal.