Message from Father Langan, September 25-26

September 25-26

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We continue our contemplation of the essential and fundamental belief we have in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.  These days there in much division among people.  Good intentioned solutions are being offered by well-meaning folks but unfortunately, they have it all wrong.  Unity can only come when we looked to, listen to, and follow Christ.  He is the source of all unity since He made us to be one as He and the Father and the Holy Spirit are One.  All that lives, whether visible or invisible, comes from God the author of life.  We start here.  Since there are those who do not recognize this fact how can there be unity.  Division has already raised its ugly head and will continue its destructive advance until truly enlightened minds are united in this basic principle of life.  Unless we are together in this affirmation, what is there to talk about?

Next, we recognize that there is possible and necessary union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  As we read in Sacred Scripture: What God is there so close to His People as the God of Israel is to us ?”  How much closer or more united could we be than in the Holy Eucharist?

To better understand this Holy Union let us look the encyclical of Pope Francis entitled Lumen Fidei (June 29, 2013):

 “The truth which faith discloses to us is a truth centered on an encounter with Christ, on the contemplation of His life and on the awareness of His presence!  St. Thomas Aquinas speaks of the Apostles –Faith Which Sees!–in the presence of the Body of the Risen Lord.  With their own eyes, they saw the Risen Jesus and they believed; in word, they were able to peer into the depths of what they were seeing and to confess their faith in the Son of God, seated at the right hand of the Father.

It was only in this way, by taking flesh, by sharing our humanity that the knowledge proper to love could come to fruition.  For the light of love is born when our hearts are touched and we open ourselves to the interior presence of the beloved, who enables us to recognize His mystery.  Thus, we can understand why, together with hearing and seeing, St. John can speak of faith as touch, as he says in his First Letter: ”  What we have seen with our eyes and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life (1 JN 1:1).  By His taking flesh and coming among us, Jesus has touched us and through the Sacraments He continues to touch us even today; transforming our hearts, He increasingly enables us to acknowledge and acclaim Him as Son of God and Lord of Life.

The Sacramental character of faith finds its highest expression in the Holy Eucharist.  The Eucharist is the precious nourishment for faith: an encounter with Christ truly present in the supreme act of His love, the life-giving gift of Himself.”

Is not this, my friends, the most important means by which unity can be effected amongst us?

With Blessings, 

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, September 18-19:

September 18-19

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This week we make the transition into the beautiful season of Autumn.  As sweaters and jackets are pulled out of closets and daylight wanes  we note a transition taking place in Our Lord’s mission as recorded in today’s Gospel.  He and His disciples leave the relatively placid surroundings of the Galilee for the hectic bustle of Jerusalem.  Things, as they say, “will start to heat up”.   Our Lord will more and more remind His followers the reason for His coming in the flesh of humanity, namely, “to pay the price for our sinfulness”.  Many do not want to hear that and so they turn their attention to other matters such as “who is the greatest”… change the focus and avoid the reality.  This seems to be a common occurrence in our modern times.  We, of course, know that as painful as reality may be from time to time, we must face it with the courage that comes from the presence of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.  We must not shut Them out or divert our attention to things that will not give the peace we need.

“I am with you always”, says the Lord.  That Holy Presence can and does get us through everything, even sickness and death.  The most intimate Presence of Our Divine Lord is in the worthy reception of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  How one who has indeed received Our Lord in the Eucharist and may presently absent themselves from His glorious Presence is a sad and truly self-defeating attitude.  To allow the distractions of the world rather than the attraction of Christ to dictate one’s path is a road that leads to nowhere.

Yes, we are in a time of transition.  Let us take a lesson from Mother Nature.  As the earth prepares to receive its rest and be receptive to what is necessary for its renewal may we do likewise as we open ourselves to God’s saving grace in the Sacramental life of the Church. 

A reminder that next Sunday we will be commissioning our Catechists at the 10:30 Mass as we commemorate Catechetical Sunday.  These fellow parishioners have volunteered for the awesome work of educating, along with parents, our children in the ways of Faith.  As parents lead by their good example in weekly participation at Holy Mass and family prayer, e.g. grace before and after meals, family Rosary and other devotions, our devoted catechists enliven the Faith of our young ones as they grow in love and knowledge of the Lord.  It is a cooperative work of God.

This Thursday is the memorial of Padre Pio.  On Sunday, the 26th, we will renew our prayer group in his honor and call upon his intercession especially for the sick and suffering, those who are so dear to his heart.   Our worship begins at 2:30 in St. Mary Magdalen and concludes about 4:00 P.M. with Vespers and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, September 11-12

September 11-12

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This time of the year and in particular this weekend our minds turn to the horrific attacks of 9/11.  We mark the 20th year since our nation and our world has been so radically altered and the feelings and emotions are still, and will probably always be, so raw and sorrowful.  There is however, a resilience that is part and parcel of our American spirit and our Faith sustains us and helps us not to be paralyzed but continue to affect good in spite of evil.  This is the grace of God at work in us. 

The state of the world today may cause us to lose hope.  Tragedy in Afghanistan, especially the 13 service men and women who lost their lives in trying to do good for people they did not know; hundreds of innocent Afghans seeking freedom from cruelty and oppression whose lives have been lost; an uncertain future for many stranded behind enemy lines; and the most recent loss of Navy personnel off the coast of California, can not only weary us but make us numb to one bad thing after another.  There is indeed the temptation to lose hope and cry out, “where are You Lord?”  Despair is anathema to the spirit of Christ within us.

It is not always easy to foster hope if we only set our eyes on the things of this world.  Always, always we must keep our focus on Jesus.  Especially when life gets out-of-sorts, our gaze must not turn from the Crucified One.  We live in the shadow of the Cross – the great sign of contradiction, which restores our hope in ourselves, our humanity and our world.

We keep ever in our prayers those who make the ultimate sacrifice to guard us and keep us safe from those with evil intent.  Make God watch over them always and let no harm come to them.  We are grateful for their service.

 Are sincere gratitude to all who made our annual flea market a great success.  We are indeed grateful to all who made contributions and it seems that this year there were more than usual amount of donations.  Thanks to Martha Bergesen and all the’ busy bees’ that put together and helped to sell those beautiful items.

Blessings on all of you,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, September 4-5

September 4-5

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Continuing with our reflection on the Most Holy Eucharist we turn our attention to Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis” given on February 22, 2009.

“In the Eucharist, the Son of God comes to meet us and desires to become one with us.  Eucharistic adoration is simply the natural consequence of the Eucharistic celebration, which is in itself the Church’s supreme act of adoration.  Receiving the Eucharist means adoring Him whom we receive.  Only in this way do we become one with Him, and are given, as it were, a foretaste of the beauty of the heavenly liturgy.  The act of adoration outside of Mass prolongs and intensifies all that takes place during the liturgical celebration itself.  Indeed, only in adoration can profound and genuine reception mature.  And it is precisely this personal encounter with the Lord that then strengthens the social mission contained in the Eucharist, which seeks to break down not only the wall that separates the Lord and ourselves, but also and especially the walls that separate us from one another.

I heartily recommend to the Church’s pastors and to the people of God the practice of Eucharistic adoration, both individually and in community.  Great benefit would ensue from a suitable catechesis explaining the importance of this act of worship, which enables the faithful to experience the liturgical celebration more fully and more fruitfully.  Whenever possible, it would be appropriate, especially in densely populated areas, to set aside specific churches or oratories for perpetual adoration.  I also recommend that, in their catechetical training, and especially in their preparation for First Holy Communion, children be taught the meaning and the beauty of spending time with Jesus, and helped to cultivate a sense of awe before His Presence in the Eucharist.

Dear Parents, in meditating on these words from Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, consider the promises you made at the time of your child’s Baptism to raise them in the love and practice of the faith.  What could be more beneficial for their souls than, along with weekly participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, you would bring your loved ones into the Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharistic Chapel?  I am sure that you and they would be enveloped in a peace and joy that you have never experienced before and that your family life will be enriched and prosper beyond your imagining.   He is always there waiting for you and if you think, mistakenly, that there is no time in your hectic schedules just try it and see what graces the Lord has waiting for you.  

With Blessings,

Fr. Langan

Message from Father Langan, August 28-29

August 28-29

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Sadly and unfortunately, Father Sahd will be leaving us this coming Monday, August 30th.  This devoted and hardworking priest has endeared himself to the members of this parish and will be greatly missed.  Father Sahd, long before he came to Honesdale, has determined that God is calling him to serve the Church in a monastic community where his future will be totally in the Lord’s hands.  We can only wish him the very best and pray that the Lord who has already done great things with him will continue to bring them to fulfillment.

In my 44 years as a priest and thirty years as a pastor these past 30 some months with Father Sahd have been pure joy.  He literally waited on me hand and foot during my recovery from surgery and has always gone beyond what was expected in service to the parishioners and neighbors alike.  His boundless energy and joyful spirit brought untold comfort and consolation to so many.  His deeply mystical and spiritual life brought us all closer to the Lord.

As Father Sahd embarks on the next phase of his journey with the Lord may he go with the assurance of our profound love and affection for him.  He will be forever in our prayers until, God willing, we meet again in the eternal banquet of the Lord.  Farewell dear brother and friend.

God in His goodness, of course, has not abandoned us.  We are indeed blessed to have another enthusiastic and selfless priest to minister to God’s people in the person of Father Dominic Sabi.  Many of you have already had the good fortune of meeting and getting to know Father Dominic.  We hope that he has a long and enjoyable ministry in these hills of Wayne County.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, August 21-22

August 21-22, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Sunday we joyfully celebrate the 150th Anniversary of St. Joseph Church in Rileyville.  An occasion such as this makes us pause and reflect on the innumerable blessings that God has bestowed on this community in northern Wayne County.  Though our church may be tiny it is filled with people with big hearts.  The fervor of Faith at St. Joseph is realized in the parishioners who give so much of their time and treasure to keep this jewel shining brightly.   With the completion of the roof and the outside painting the church is even more radiant than before.  New sidewalks will keep us steady underfoot and the cultivation of the grotto garden draws our visitors and parishioners alike to a serene and prayerful encounter with the Lord.  Take great pride in your beautiful and inviting church. And thanks to all ,who in such a short time, have risen to the task of making this anniversary memorable.

A thousand thanks to all who help prepare the church, the hall, and the grounds.  Despite all the restrictions due to Covid, our choir under the direction of Betty Ann Rutledge, was able to come together to lift our voices in praise and assure Bishop Bambera of the vibrancy of Faith in these hills.  Thanks for all the effort in preparing for the Pontifical Mass.  Women of Altar and Rosary went above and beyond in getting everything in pristine shape.  We are truly grateful for all their good work.

Our contractors under the direction of Augie Stile worked diligently, in spite of weather restrictions, to complete as much as possible. I am sure everyone will agree that the renovations have lifted the profile of our church in which we take great pride.  Again, thanks to all mentioned and unmentioned for all the good work you do for the greater glory of God and the building up of our community of  Faith.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, August 14-15

August 14-15, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This past week we have been blessed to welcome our newly appointed Assistant Pastor, Father comes to us from Ghana in West Africa.   His Bishop has commented that in the past our country has sent many missionaries to Africa and now is the time to return the favor by sending missionaries to the US.  For this we are truly grateful.  Father Dominic , by the providence of God could not have come at a better time.  Father Sahd has been laid up with the flu and, as we say in the Navy, Father Dominic has “hit the deck running”.

We pray that Father Dominic will have a fruitful and joy-filled ministry here in our parish and help us to more appreciate the magnificence of the Catholic (Universal) Church to which we belong.

We continue our meditations on the Most Holy Eucharist:

From Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004).  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  Both the public and private devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist even outside Mass should be vigorously promoted, for by means of it the faithful give adoration to Christ, truly and really present, the High Priest of the good things to come (Heb 9-11) and Redeemer of the whole world.  “It is the responsibility of sacred pastors, even by the witness of their life, to support the practice of Eucharistic worship and especially exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.

The faithful should not omit making visits during the day to the Most Holy Sacrament, as proof of gratitude, a pledge of love, and a debt of the adoration due to Christ the Lord Who is present in it.  For the contemplation of Jesus present in the Most Holy Sacrament, as a communion of desire, powerfully joins the faithful to Christ, as is splendidly evident in the example of so many saints.  “Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, a church in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved should be open to the faithful for at least some hours each day, so that they can spend time in prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament”. (Code of Canon Law, 937)

With Blessings 

Fr. Langan

Message from Father Langan, August 7-8

August 7-8

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we follow the path of our Sunday Gospel readings we see that we are being drawn ever more deeply into the Lord’s revelation of Himself as the Bread of Life.  Our meditation on this reality leads us to more intense and grateful prayer.  This week’s reflection comes from “Ecclesia de Eucharistia, an encyclical letter on the Eucharist and its relation to the Church, given by Saint John Paul II on April 17,2003.

The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church.  This worship is strictly linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.  The presence of Christ under the Sacred  Species reserved after Mass–a Presence that lasts as long as the Species of bread and wine remain–derives from the celebration of the Sacrifice and is directed towards communion, both sacramental and spiritual.

 It is pleasant to spend time with Him, to lie close to His breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in His heart.  If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the “art of prayer”, how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament?  How often, dear brothers and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation, and support!

This practice, repeatedly praised and recommended by the Magisterium, is supported by the example of many saints.  Particularly outstanding in this regard was St. Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote: “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the Sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.”  The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before It outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very Wellspring of grace.

We are very pleased to welcome into our parish family Fr. Dominic Sabi who has been assigned by Bishop Bambera as the new assistant pastor.  The parishioners of Honesdale, Rileyville and Beach Lake and northern Wayne County extend their famous hospitality and loving support as Fr. Dominic begins his service and care for them.  Fr. Sahd will be with us until the end of August helping Fr. Dominic to “learn the ropes”, of which there are many in our parish.  Keep them in your prayers.

On Sunday, August 22, 2021, Bishop Bambera will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of St. Joseph Church in Rileyville.  The Mass is at 9 AM.  Parishioners from all our various churches are most welcome to come and attend the Mass and join in the reception following in St’ Joseph’s hall.  If you intend to come to the reception please call and make a reservation by August 10th.  Call Kathy Stile at 570-224-4934.

With Blessings

Fr. Langan

Message from Father Langan, July 31-August 1

July 31-August 1

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Continuing with our reflections on the Most Holy Eucharist today we read from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2002) issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, entitled: “Visiting the Blessed Sacrament”

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a form of Eucharistic worship, which is widespread in the Church and earnestly recommended to her pastors and faithful.  Its initial form derives from Holy Thursday and the Altar of Repose, following the celebration of expressing the connection between the celebration of the Coena Domini (Supper of the Lord) Mass.  This adoration is a most apt way of expressing the connection between the celebration of the memorial of the Lord’s Sacrifice and His continued presence in the Sacrament of the Altar.  The reservation of the Sacred Species, so as  to be able to administer Viaticum to the sick at any time, encouraged the practice among the faithful of recollection before the Tabernacle and to worship Christ present in the Sacrament.

Indeed, this worship of adoration has a sound and firm foundation, especially since faith in the Lord’s Real Presence has as its natural consequence the outward and public manifestation of that belief.  Therefore, the devotion prompting the faithful to visit the Blessed Sacrament draws them into an ever deeper share in the Paschal Mystery and leads them to respond gratefully to the gift of Him Who through His humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of His Body.  Abiding with Christ the Lord, they enjoy His intimate friendship and pour out their hearts before Him for themselves and for those dear to them, and they pray for the peace and salvation of the world.  Offering their entire lives with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, they derive from this sublime colloquy an increase of faith, hope, and charity.  Thus they foster those right dispositions that enable them with due devotion to celebrate the Memorial of the Lord and receive frequently the Bread given us by the Father.

I would like to express in my own name and on behalf of all our clergy and parishioners sincere thanks to those who have made the renovation at St. Mary Magdalen possible  We are ever grateful to Mary Kilgallon, Mark Hook and Jeanne Bentley for their remembrance of St Mary Magdalen Church in their bequests.  Without their generosity the work would not have been possible.  Those who executed the work are to be commended for outstanding expertise and superb workmanship.  Our own Wayne Earley served as general contractor with Grimm construction.  His going the extra measure and attention to detail is unsurpassed.  We are truly grateful.  Bill Edsall tended with utmost care the installation of the electrical maze necessary to accommodate the ac equipment.  Dave Kinzinger HVAC has made our former hot box into a most comfortable, quiet, and pleasant house of worship.  Bill Farrenge of Village Carpet installed the new flooring which brings a bright and clean and easy to clean freshness,  Bob Keck transformed our rickety old pews into what looks brand new, what a monumental job!  Fran Panzar and Eroh Schaffer reconstructed our High Altar as only fine carpenters can do.  The many workman (including our own John Lukan) used a lot of muscle in bringing our renewed church to its present glory.

We are most grateful to all of them and pray God’s blessing on them now and always.

With Blessings,

Fr. Langan