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

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