Message from Father Langan-August 22-23

August 22 and 23,

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

So often we hear references to “the Church”s an institution, a semi-corporation, an international organization and various other nomenclatures that reduce “the Church” to a thing, monolethic and perhaps impersonal.  This misconception and distortion of “the Church” has sadly affected even Catholics. Therefore, as we hear in today’s Gospel  according to Matthew, Our Lord’s adominition: “…I will build my Church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it.”   It should give us pause to renew our understanding of just what “Church” means.

Ancient Israel, having been led out of slavery in Egypt, we formed into a people by God Himself through His champion Moses. The Israelites, believing in the one true and only God, and following His Ten Commandments became known as the Qahal Yaweh – the Assembly of God. In other words they were gathered together in a single community of faith, bound by a moral code because of God’s love for them. Most of the Old Testament, after Genesis, records the on and off relationship Israel had in following the covenant forged on Mt. Sinai.   As we know, the Qahal was not only a chosen people they had a duty and responsibility to spread the good news of there being one God who dramatically “pitched His tent” in the midst of His people. Very often Israel was negligent in fulfilling its mission to the world.

In the course of time the Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, taking upon humanity through Mary, has come to pitch a new tent, a much more elevated covenant which is renewed in a new Qahal. That ancient Aramaic word has gone through several translations over the centuries. The early Church used the Greek Ekklesia, the Latins used ecclesia, the Germans – Kirche, English – Church. We see the etymological evolution coming from that primary word Qahal.  So we then are that new Qahal, New Church which Our Lord founded on the faith of St. Peter. Christ was, is and always will be the head of His Church, but He, in His infinite wisdom, so often beyond one understanding, entrusts His Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, to a human agent, an earthly Vicar. That Vicar, caretaker and teacher, is Peter and his successors. 

Just as God is one, so too He made His Church One, not splintered, not divided, not multiple “assemblies” but, One. That unity is to reflect God Himself in Holiness. That unity and holiness is no longer for a particular group of people or nation but now is for all peoples, everywhere, at all times, ergo Catholic or universal. The guarantee that these truths be preserved during the course of time and place is that it be Apostolic. In other words, the Qahal- the Church can only proclaim, preach and teach what the Apostles themselves received from the Lord Jesus. The truths of the Faith can never be subjected to public opinion, popular vote, or manipulation. The Truth of the Faith never changes. (period).

This saves us from the winds of uncertain change, prevailing opinion, or fads. Hence, Simon bar Jonah was well-named by Christ: “You are the Rock.” Many currents may buffit and attack that Rock, but by God’s grace, it cannot be subject to passing trends. 

With this in mind, we have a clearer understanding of “Church”.  We understand that it is Christ’s Mystical Body. We, who are Baptized, are the Church. We are one in the Body of Christ, and as living cells we all have an important part to play in keeping these cells healthy and vibrant with right-teaching i.e. following the Gospel, and being fortified by the Ssacraments,  most especially the Holy Eucharist – the greatest gifts Our Lord has left to His Church.

Our congratulations to all who last weekend and this weekend who have made their First Holy Communion.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan-August 15-16

August 15-16

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ it is in our frail nature to see the possibility of good things rising out of bad.  Most of us do have a positive outlook on life, but at times it can be strained and put to the test.  What, may we ask, is a “good thing” which has come as a result of the pandemic (which we constantly pray will come to an end)?   To answer this query we hear resonated from the last line of today’s reading from the prophet Isaiah:”…..My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.”

Because of social distancing and the wearing of masks, I have observed that more people are devoting time, before and after Mass, to silent, meditative prayer.  I know that we miss each other and especially the beneficial socializing that takes place around Mass time.  But a wonderful air of reverence has been the effect of our inability to communicate with each other.  When things hopefully get back to normal, we will have more opportunities to see how we are all doing, especially at our after-Mass hospitality.  In the meantime, we appreciate the solemn silence necessary to prepare for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, for us to remember what the Lord indeed has done for us.

This weekend, both Saturday and Sunday and next weekend as well, the children in our First Communion Class will be receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.  We commend them and their parents for their patience as they have prepared and waited for this special day.  Also on August 30 at 1:00 PM, our candidates for Confirmation will receive the fulfillment of their invitation into the Church and the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Let us keep all of these young parishioners in our prayers that they continue to be loyal members of the Church desiring to follow Christ faithfully.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Novena to Our Lady of the Assumption-August 7 to 15

Novena to Our Lady of the Assumption
August 7 to 15

Lord Jesus Christ, You have destroyed the power of death and given the hope of eternal life for body and soul. You granted your Mother a special place in your glory, and did not allow decay to touch her body. As we rejoice in the Assumption of Mary, grant us renewed confidence in the victory of life over death. Amen.

Day One: Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, we believe in your triumphant assumption into heaven where the angels and saints acclaim you as Queen of Heaven and earth. We join them in praising you and bless the Lord who raised you above all creatures. With them we offer you our devotion and love. We are confident that you watch over our daily efforts and we pray that you may intercede for us in our needs (mention your request). We take comfort from the faith in the coming Resurrection and we look to you, our life, our sweetness and our hope. After this earthly life, show us Jesus, the blest fruit of your womb, O kind, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.

Day Two: Mary, Assumed into Heaven, we venerate you as the Queen of Heaven and earth. Your own Son led you to a throne of glory in Heaven next to His own. As you tasted the bitterness of pain and sorrow with Him on earth, you now enjoy eternal bliss with Him in Heaven. As our loving Queen, intercede for us in our needs (mention your request). We thank Jesus for having put a most beautiful crown upon you head, while all the Angels and Saints acclaim you as their Queen. O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.

Day Three: O Mother, Assumed into Heaven, because you shared in all the mysteries of our Redemption here below, Jesus has crowned you not only with glory but with power. With your most glorious and powerful intercession, help us O loving Mother and present to Jesus our request (mention your request). O Queen assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.

Day Four: O Dearest Mother Mary, God placed you at His right hand that you may dispose of the treasures of grace by a singular title – that of Mother of God. In the midst of all the Saints you stand as their Queen and ours – dearer to the Heart of God than any creature in God’s Kingdom. You pray for your children and distribute to us every grace won by our loving Savior on the Cross. With your most holy title, please intercede for us in our needs and ask Jesus to grant our request if it be for the good of our souls (mention your request). Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen

Day Five: O merciful and loving Mother, may your glorious beauty fill our hearts with distaste for earthly things and an ardent longing for the joys of Heaven. May your merciful eyes glance down upon our struggles and our weakness in this vale of tears. Hear then loving Mother, our request and plead to Jesus for us (mention your request). Crown us with the pure robe of innocence and grace here, and with immortality and glory in Heaven. Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen

Day Six: Mary, our dear Mother and mighty Queen, take and receive our poor hearts with all their freedom and desires, all the love and all the virtues and graces with which they may be adorned. All we are and all we might be, all we have and hold in the order of nature as well as of grace, we have received from God through your loving intercession. Help us dear Mother to surrender to God all that we have including our petitions (mention your request). Our Lady and Queen, into your sovereign hands, we entrust all, that it may be returned to its noble origin. Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen

Day Seven: Mary, Queen of every heart, accept all that we are and bind us to you with the bonds of love that we may be yours forever and may be able to say in all truth: “I belong to Jesus through Mary”. Our Mother, Assumed into Heaven and Queen of the Universe, ever-Virgin Mother of God, obtain for us what we ask for if it be for the glory of God and the good of our souls (mention your request). Our Mother, assumed into Heaven, we love you. Give us a greater love for Jesus and for you. Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen

Day Eight: Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, we rejoice at your title as Queen of Heaven and Earth. You have given your holy fiat to God and became the Mother of our Savior. Obtain peace and salvation for us through your prayers, for you have given birth to Christ our Lord, the Savior of all mankind. Intercede for us and bring our petitions before the Throne of God (mention your request). Through your prayers, may our souls be filled with an intense desire to be like you, a humble vessel of the Holy Spirit and a servant of the Almighty God. Pray for us O Queen Assumed into Heaven, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Day Nine: O Blessed Mother Assumed into Heaven, after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, we rejoice that you have at last been taken to the throne prepared for you in Heaven by the Holy Trinity. Lift our hearts with you in the glory of your Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity. Teach us how small earth becomes when viewed from heaven. Make us realize that death is the triumphant gate through which we shall pass to your Son and that someday our bodies shall rejoin our souls in the unending bliss of heaven. From this earth, over which we tread as pilgrims, we look to you for help. In honor of your Assumption into Heaven we ask for this favor (mention your request). When our hour of death has come, lead us safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of God for all eternity together with you. Pray for us O Queen Assumed into Heaven, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Message from Father Langan-August 8-9

August 8-9 (19th Sunday of Ordinary Time)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Today’s Gospel concludes with Our Lord entering the storm-tossed boat of His disciples.  And when He did, miraculously, the wind and sea calmed down.  Though there is much to glean from the entirety of this passage, the concluding statement certainly has much to offer us today.  We may very well feel like we are being tossed and turned in many directions because of the prevailing pandemic and indeed there is confusing unrest and violence scouring our land.  It is for many unnerving.  We long for calm and peace, but where is it?

True peace only comes when we invite and welcome Jesus into our personal little boats.  An old adage goes like this:  “O Lord, your sea is so fast, and my ship is so small….”  The vastness of Our Lord‘s sea is not something to frighten or overwhelm us; rather, we understand it as His Mercy and comfort for which we long.  Every time then we find ourselves distressed and disordered by the prevailing circumstances it’s time to re-invite the Lord into our humble vessels that we may be courageous in navigating uncertain waters.

God’s little lambs have patiently been waiting to receive Our Lord in their First Holy Communion.  The next two weekends the class will be divided up so that we will have four First Communion Masses:  Saturday, August 15th at 10 AM; Sunday, August 16th at 9:30 AM, and Saturday, August 22nd at 10 AM, Sunday, August 23rd at 9:30 AM.  All Masses for First Holy Communion will take place at St. John’s and we wish to accommodate family members ONLY for these special occasions.  Kindly plan on attending another Lord’s Day Mass other than Sunday, 9:30 over the next 2 weekends.  The children and their families greatly appreciate your understanding.

Also, our candidates for Confirmation will be receiving the Sacrament on August 30th at 1:00 PM in St. John’s.  Again, we ask your consideration in not attending unless you are immediate family.  For those who wish to participate virtually, all these Masses will be livestreamed in the usual manner.  Please keep all our children and youth in your prayers for these special days.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, August 1 & 2

August 2 and 3

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In Matthew’s account of the multiplication of loaves and fish, we hear the consequence of Our Lord’s Largesse:  “the people and ate were satisfied.”  Or as some translations notes”….they had their fill”.  Either way those who flocked to Jesus indulged in His unlimited mercy and compassion.  In our personal lives we recount all the times Christ has indulged us, indeed overwhelmed us with His mercy.  There is no greater evidence of this than in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Is there any limit to God’s mercy”? No, there isn’t.  Though we at times lack the vision of seeing progress in our on-going conversion, each humble confession is an indulgence of God’s grace into our souls.  He sees it since He gives it.  Perhaps at the end of our life’s journey we will come to appreciate it if not beforehand.

In addition to the ordinary indulgence of grace, Our Lord has granted exceptional moments in time to be set free from the temporal punishments due to sin.  Sins confessed are indeed forgiven, but always justice, or making right for our hurts and faults, must be satisfied either here on in purgatory.

God has granted to St. Frances of Assisi his humble request on a night in July, 1216 in the tiny chapel (Portiuncula) of Assisi that whosever makes a pilgrimage to and confesses their sins would be granted the indulgence of freedom from purgatory as long as they remained in the state of grace.

Pope Innocent III extended to all parish churches throughout the world this indulgence to be kept from Vespers (the afternoon of August 1st until sundown on August 2nd, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels.

The conditions to obtain this plenary (full) indulgence of the Pardon of Assisi for oneself or for a departed soul is as follows:

  1. Sacramental Confession (during 8 days before or after August 2nd).
  2. Participation  at Holy Mass and reception of the Holy Eucharist.
  3. Recitation of the Apostle’s Creed, Our Father and also a prayer for Pope Francis’ intention
  4. And finally a visitation to your parish church or a Franciscan parish.  Because of the prevailing pandemic one may participate virtually though watching Mass on TV and making a spiritual communion. 

With grateful hearts we approach Our Lord for all the good He bestows on us.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan-July 25 & 26

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

Every day we are bombarded with many voices, many opinions, many which conflict with each other. So we are faced with the dilema: “Who do we believe?” It is most important not to make decisions based upon emotional re- actions no matter how strong those emotions may be, but rather discern what is best by em- ploying the virtue of wisdom. And, one might ask: “Where is that wisdom to be found?”

In today’s first scripture reading at Mass (Kings 4:42-44) Solomon inherits the Kingship of Israel and Judah from his father David. Rather than access his power and dominion he turns in all humil- ity to God and asks the Lord for the wisdom to be a just, temperate and wise ruler over those entrusted to his care. The prayer comes from the depths of his sincere heart. Rightfully, we admire and commend such humility and confidence in God. Solomon realized he could not rule by his own wits.

In these days of turmoil, we need to approach God with the same humility and confidence. Earnestly we pray for the resurgence of wisdom in our own lives and in the lives of those whom we entrust to make the right decisions for our general health, welfare, and peaceful good order. St. Peter reminds us to always pray for the civil authorities, even though these same authorities would bring persecution, he still took the higher ground as prescribed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a well-informed conscience. May we too invoke the wisdom of Solomon adn follow unreservedly the Holy Spirit’s promptings in all we do!
A thousand thanks for all the beautiful cards, Masses, spiritual bouquets that I have been receiving daily for a speedy recov- ery. At my recent therapy session they were astounded by the progress I have made thus far. I told them I have a lot of people praying for me. Never I doubt the power and efficacy of prayer.

With Blessings,

Father Langan


Novena Prayer to Saint Ann, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Begin by Making the Sign of the Cross:In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Priest : Incline unto my aid, O God.

People: O Lord make haste to help me.Priest: Let us pray.O Almighty God Father of mercies and Giver of all good gifts we kneel before You to honor You in Your Saints; and to seek their intercession in our many needs. We are truly sorry for all our sins; and humbly ask Your pardon. Please grant our petitions and a full measure of the indulgences granted by Your Vicar, the Pope and draw us ever nearer Your Divine Heart. Amen

Prayer to Saint Ann, Mother of The Blessed Virgin Mary

With a heart full of sincere and filial veneration, I prostrate myself before You, O Blessed Saint Ann, You are that beloved and privileged creature who, because of your extraordinary virtue and sanctity did deserve of God that chief of graces, of giving life to the treasury of grace, the Blessed among women, the Mother the Incarnate Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ah: In consideration of such exalted favors, please O most tender Saint, receive me among the number of your truly devoted servants, for such I profess myself to be and wish to remain for the rest of my life. Surround me with your efficacious patronage and obtain for me a knowledge of my sins and sorrow for them, an ardent love of Jesus and Mary, and a faithful and constant observance of the duties of my state in life. Save me from all dangers in life and assist me at the hour of my death that I may safely reach Paradise, there to praise with you, most happy Mother, the Word of God made man in the womb of your most pure daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Amen.

One Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father……..

Prayer to Saint Ann to Obtain A Special Favor

O Glorious Saint Ann, filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affair which I recommend to you under your special protection [here mention silently your intentions] Please recommend it to your daughter the Blessed Virgin Mary and lay it before the Throne of Jesus so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Please continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face and with you and Mary and all the Saints praising and blessing Him for all eternity. Amen.

THREE TIMES:Good Saint Ann, Mother of her who is our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope, pray to Her for us and obtain our requests.



HYMN TO ST. ANN (sung to the tune of Immaculate Mary)

Hail Mother Mary, O gracious Saint Ann,God’s Marvelous Choice from the whole Race of Man:(Chorus) O Good Saint Ann, Saint Ann pray for us. O Good Saint Ann, Saint Ann pray for us.

Sweet Child of election deemed worthy to bear.The Virgin of Virgins, Christ’s Mother, most fair.(Chorus)

Look upon our sorrows, give ear of our plaint, Behold our afflictions, O powerful Saint.(Chorus)

Message from Father Langan-July 11 & 12

July 11 and 12 (Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we hear the Parable of the Sower and the Seed.  Perhaps some of you have planted gardens in your yards for produce and flowers and with this exceptionally nice weather, have appreciated how quickly things have grown.  Soon you will be happily reaping the fruit of your labors.  Our Lord has the same anticipation and expectation.  At Baptism, He has planted the word in your heart and soul.  Patiently, He has nourished and tended the tender shoots with His grace.  He pulls out the weeds (the Sacrament of Reconciliation); He feeds the plants with Sprigs of Salvation (the Holy Eucharist); He fortifies the soul with energy (Confirmation); and even places stalks along those plants that need strength and encouragement.  The Good Shepherd is also the Good Farmer.  He knows what the seed needs to grow and He gives it.

But seeds sometimes seem to have a mind of their own.  Strangely, the spring up in the most unexpected places and we are astounded to find them in a small crack of payment or concrete.  Sadly, the “glory “ of the seed lasts only a moment without having fulfilled its purpose that is to flourish and multiply.

What is particular about this Sower is that He has a simple requirement – receptivity and cooperation.  That responsibility falls to us.  Will the seed lie dormant in us and simply wither away or will we humbly ask the Sower to provide the nutrients that will yield a bountiful harvest?  So, how does your garden grow?

One of the highlights of the month of July is the Annual Novena to St. Ann.  Because of the prevailing pandemic, many erstwhile pilgrims will be unable to travel to the Shrine in Scranton.  As usual we shall pray the novena in our parish beginning Saturday, July 18th until the feast day, July 26th.  Novena prayer fliers will be available.  When you take one, please keep it with you and do not return it.  St. Ann will certainly be hearing our particular intentions for an end of this virus and take it into consideration.

Thanks to all for your continued prayers, cards, and good wishes as I’m slowly recovering.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Reservation Update

In order to facilitate social distancing of 6 feet or more between individuals (households may sit together), you are required to make reservations for all Sunday and daily Masses. Parishioners must reserve their seats by calling the Parish Office at 570-253-4561 Monday to Thursday between the hours of 9 AM and 4 PM and Friday from 9 AM to noon. Please no reservations via text messages or email after hours.

For now, Masses at St. Mary Magdalen are limited to 32 people; 41 at St. John the Evangelist; 40 at St. Bernard in Beach Lake and 25 at St. Joseph in Rileyville. In the meantime until further notice, we will be celebrating outdoor Mass behind St. John’s Church at 11:30 on Sundays (no reservations for this Mass is required).

Face masks must be worn at all the Masses.