• The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament

Mass Times

Saturday Vigil
4:00pmHoly Cross
5:30pmBlessed Sacrament

Sunday
8:00amHoly Cross
9:30amBlessed Sacrament
11:00amHoly Cross

Daily Mass
Mon, Wed, Fri: 8:00amHoly Cross
Tues,Thurs: 7:30amBlessed Sacrament

Reconciliation

Saturdays
Holy Cross
3:00pm to 3:45pm

Blessed Sacrament
3:15pm to 3:45pm

Outreach Services

ServicePhone
AA Helpline1-800-640-7545
Al-Anon1-800-339-9006
Birthright of Scranton570-961-1133
National Hotline For Abortion Recovery1-866-482+5433
Rachel’s Vineyard Post Abortive Healing1-877-467-3463
PA 24 Hour Child Abuse Hot Line1-800-932-0313

Latest Tweets

Prayer for an End to Infanticide

The U.S. Senate recently failed to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act—legislation that prohibits infanticide by ensuring that a child born alive, following an attempted abortion would receive the same degree of care to preserve her or his life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. Please pray for an end to infanticide:

“Jesus, Lord of Life, transform the hearts of all elected leaders to recognize that infanticide is wrong and must not be tolerated. Open hearts and minds to recognize and defend the precious gift of every human life.”

MY SACRIFICE AND YOURS

Celebrating the Eucharist is the most important thing we do as Catholics. Participating at Mass is more than receiving Holy Communion – it is offering a sacrifice. All of the baptized are called by God to offer a sacrifice at Mass.

In the booklet shared on Ash Wednesday and this weekend, Father Paul Turner explains the meaning of the sacrifice of the Mass and how we share in this sacrifice as priestly people by our Baptism. Each section of the pamphlet includes some questions for reflection and a discussion, a helpful tool entering into our Lenten experience. “My Sacrifice and Yours” is a beautiful exploration of Christ’s sacrifice and our participation in this sacrifice at Mass.

LENTEN ECUMENICAL SERVICES

Lenten Ecumenical Services

Sponsored by the Ministerium of the Mid Valley

Wednesdays in Lent, all services at 7:00 PM

• Wednesday, March 13
Holy Cross Parish, 200 Delaware Avenue,
Olyphant, PA 18447
Message: Rev. David Brague

• Wednesday, March 20
St. James/St. George Episcopel Church
398 Washington Avenue, Jermyn, PA 18433
Message: Rev. David Repenning

• Wednesday, March 27
Peckville United Methodist Church
722 Main Street, Peckville, PA 18452
Message: Msgr. Michael J. Delaney

• Wednesday, April 3
Blakely Baptist Church
201 Main Street, Blakely, PA 18447
Message: Rev. Daniel Jones

• Wednesday, April 10
First United Presbyterian Church
1557 Main Street, Peckville, PA 18452
Message: Rev. Andrew Kurovsky

Fellowship and refreshments follow each
service. All are invited to participate in prayer
with our neighbors and friends of the Christian
Churches of the Mid Valley as we prepare for
Easter.

Ash Wednesday Schedule 2019

Ash Wednesday

March 3, 2019 - Mass and Distribution of Ashes

7:30 a.m. Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop

8:00 a.m. Holy Cross Parish – Olyphant

12:00 p.m. Holy Cross Parish – Olyphant

5:30 p.m. Blessed Sacrament Parish – Olyphant

7:00 p.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE C

First Reading: 1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9,12-13,22-23 David does not kill Saul.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103:1-4,8,10,12-13 A song in praise of God’s mercy.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 As we bear the image of Adam, so we will bear the image of the one from heaven.

Gospel Reading: Luke 6:27-38 Jesus teaches his disciples to be merciful as God is merciful.

Background on the Gospel Reading:

Today’s gospel reading is a continuation of the teaching that began in last Sunday’s gospel. We continue to hear Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain. Recall that in Luke’s Gospel, this teaching is addressed to Jesus’ disciples. This is in contrast to the parallel found in Matthew’s Gospel, the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus’ words are addressed to both the disciples and to the crowds.

These words from Jesus’ teaching are familiar to us. They constitute the crux and the challenge of what it means to be a disciple: Love your enemies, turn the other cheek, give to those who ask, do unto others, lend without expecting repayment, judge not lest you be judged.

There are several similarities between Luke’s and Matthew’s report of Jesus’ great teaching. Both begin with the Beatitudes. Matthew includes nearly all the content that Luke does; the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel is longer than Luke’s Sermon on the Plain. There are, however differences in language and nuance. For example, Matthew presents this portion of the teaching as a contrast between Jesus’ teaching and the teaching of the law and the prophets. This is in keeping with Matthew’s concern to address his predominantly Jewish audience. It is likely that Luke omits this contrast because it was unnecessary for the Gentile believers for whom Luke is writing.

Another point of contrast between Matthew and Luke’s presentation is the terminology. In Luke, Jesus contrasts the behavior of his followers with the behavior of “sinners.” In Matthew, Jesus contrasts the behavior desired with the behavior of tax collectors and Gentiles. Matthew concludes the teaching about love of enemies with the admonition to be perfect as God is perfect; Luke concludes by emphasizing God’s mercy.

In both Gospels, Jesus’ words challenge those who would follow him to be more like God. God loves us beyond our expectations, beyond anything we can possibly imagine. In response to God’s love, we are to love as God loves, beyond expectations and with a depth beyond imagining.

SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE C

First Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-8 Put trust and hope in the Lord, not in human beings.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 1:1-4,6 Blessed are those who follow the law of the Lord.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12,16-20 Our hope for resurrection is sure because Christ has been raised from the dead.

Gospel Reading: Luke 6:17,20-26 Jesus teaches the crowd the way to happiness.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Last Sunday we heard Jesus call Peter to be his disciple. Jesus then travels with Peter and the other disciples. Luke reports acts of healing (a person with leprosy and a paralytic man) and the call of Levi, the tax collector. Jesus also replies to questions from the Pharisees regarding fasting and the observance of the Sabbath. In the verses immediately before today’s gospel reading, Jesus is reported to have chosen 12 men from among his disciples to be apostles. Apostle is a Greek word that means “one who is sent.”

Today’s gospel reading is the beginning of what is often called the Sermon on the Plain. We find a parallel to this passage in Matthew 5:1-7,11 that is often called the Sermon on the Mount. As these titles suggest, there are differences and similarities between these gospel readings.

When spoken from the mountaintop in Matthew’s Gospel, we can’t miss the impression that Jesus is speaking with the authority and voice of God. The mountaintop is a symbol of closeness to God. Those who ascend the mountain see God and speak for God; recall the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. As Luke introduces the location of Jesus’ teaching, Jesus teaches on level ground, alongside the disciples and the crowd. Luke present Jesus’ authority in a different light. He is God among us.

Another distinction found in Luke’s version is the audience. Luke’s Sermon on the Plain is addressed to Jesus’ disciples, although in the presence of the crowd; Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount is addressed to the crowd. In keeping with this style, the Beatitudes in Luke’s Gospel sound more personal than those in Matthew’s Gospel—Luke uses the article “you” whereas Matthew uses “they” or “those.” There is also a difference in number: Matthew describes eight beatitudes; Luke presents just four, each of which has a parallel warning.

The form of the Beatitudes found in Luke’s and Matthew’s Gospel is not unique to Jesus. Beatitudes are found in the Old Testament, such as in the Psalms and in Wisdom literature. They are a way to teach about who will find favor with God. The word blessed in this context might be translated as “happy,” “fortunate,” or “favored.”

As we listen to this Gospel, the Beatitudes jar our sensibilities. Those who are poor, hungry, weeping or persecuted are called blessed. This is, indeed, a Gospel of reversals. Those often thought to have been forgotten by God are called blessed. In the list of “woes,” those whom we might ordinarily describe as blessed by God are warned about their peril. Riches, possessions, laughter, reputation…these are not things that we can depend upon as sources of eternal happiness. They not only fail to deliver on their promise; our misplaced trust in them will lead to our demise. The ultimate peril is in misidentifying the source of our eternal happiness.

The Beatitudes are often described as a framework for Christian living. Our vocation as Christians is not to be first in this world, but rather to be first in the eyes of God. We are challenged to examine our present situation in the context of our ultimate horizon, the Kingdom of God.

PRAYERS AND BEST WISHES FOR BILL KOSYDAR

Bill Kosydar has served at Blessed Sacrament Parish, called to join us in our mission and ministry on May 27, 2011. We thank Bill for his dedication to his work and his kindness to our people, especially those in need of care and consolation at the death of a loved one. We thank God for the gifts and skills he has given to Bill and ask God to guide his path as he begins new employment. May you continue to serve God and God’s people in the new adventure before you.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-2a,3-8 Isaiah describes his vision and call from the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 138:1-5,7-8 A song of thanks to God who saves us.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (shorter form, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8,11) Paul reminds the Corinthians of the gospel that he announced to them.

Gospel Reading: Luke 5:1-11 The fishermen (Simon, James and John) leave their fishing boats and follow Jesus.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Last Sunday, we heard how Jesus was rejected in his hometown of Nazareth. In the verses that follow, Jesus travels to the town of Capernaum and begins his ministry of teaching and healing. While in Capernaum, Jesus cures a man possessed with a demon and heals Simon’s mother-in-law. After spending some time there, Jesus prepares to preach in other places. The fact that Jesus had previously been in Simon’s home and healed his mother-in-law suggests that this encounter is not the first between Jesus and Simon Peter. We can read today’s Gospel, therefore, as a description of the developing relationship between Jesus and Simon Peter.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches from Simon’s boat. Jesus turns to Simon and instructs him about where to lower the fishing nets. Simon and others have been fishing throughout the night and have not caught anything. Simon protests, claiming that such an effort would be futile. Simon ultimately obeys Jesus and lowers his nets into the deeper water as directed. Notice here that Peter calls Jesus by the title “master.”. He already recognizes Jesus as a person of authority. They catch so many fish that the nets begin to tear; Jesus’ presence has created abundance out of scarcity, just as it did at the wedding feast at Cana, which we heard at Mass just a few weeks ago.

Simon Peter becomes a follower of Jesus immediately. He calls Jesus “Lord” –the title given to Jesus after his Resurrection—and protests his worthiness to be in Jesus’ presence. Today’s Gospel therefore, marks a turning point in the relationship between Jesus and Peter. Two of Simon’s partners are also named as witnesses to the event descried in today’s Gospel: Zebedee’s sons, James and John. Yet Jesus’ words are addressed only to Simon. Jesus gives Simon a new job, telling him that he will become a different kind of fisherman. No longer will he catch fish; instead he will catch people. In these words, we hear the beginning of the leadership role that Peter will have within the community of disciples. Peter was chosen for this role. His task will be to bring others to Jesus. Already he is doing so; the Gospel tells us that all the fishermen with Peter also left their nets and followed Jesus.

We continue to speak of Peter’s leadership and influence in the Church today when we call the pope the “successor of Peter.” We participate in the mission of the Church when we bring people to Christ through the example and positive influence of our lives.

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SICK

Our Lady Of Lourdes

Monday, February 11th Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The World Day of the Sick was instituted by Saint John Paul II in 1992 and has three permanent themes. First, it reminds the faithful to pray intensely and sincerely for those who are sick. Second, the celebration invites Christians to reflection and respond to human suffering and third, this day recognizes and honors all persons who work in health care and all who serve as caregivers.

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Nehemiah 8:2-4a,5-6,8-10 Ezra reads from the book of the Law and interprets it for all to understand.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19:8,9,10,15 A song in praise of the Law of the Lord.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 (or shorter form, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14,27) Paul explains that all were baptized into the one body of Christ.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21 In the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus reads aloud from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and announces that this Scripture is now fulfilled.

Background on the Gospel Reading: Today’s Gospel reading combines two separate passages taken from the Gospel of Luke. First we hear the opening verses where Luke establishes the purpose of his Gospel. His style is typical of polished Greek and Roman literature. In this passage, we learn that Luke may have written to a specific person. Theophilus; but the word Theophilus may also be a general reference, functioning as the phrase “Dear Reader” might in contemporary writing. In Greek, the word Theophilus translates as “lover of God.”

Today’s Gospel reading then skips several chapters in which one would find the Infancy Narratives, Jesus’ baptism by John, the temptations Jesus faced in the desert, and the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. In chapter four of Luke’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus is in his hometown of Nazareth, attending the synagogue on the Sabbath, which is said to be his custom. In this account, we find another important clue that Jesus lived as a faithful, observant Jew. We will continue to read from Luke’s Gospel in sequence for the next two Sundays.

As Jesus stands in the synagogue, he reads from the scroll handed to him; it contains the words of the prophet Isaiah. At this early moment in his ministry, Jesus announces his mission in continuity with Israel’s prophetic tradition. This reading from Isaiah defines Jesus’ ministry. We will find more evidence of this as we continue to read from Luke’s Gospel throughout the year. Jesus’ ministry will include bringing glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, healing to the sick, freedom to the oppressed, and proclaiming a year acceptable to the Lord.

Through this text from Isaiah, Jesus announces God’s salvation. The “year acceptable to the Lord” is a reference to the Jewish tradition of Sabbath years and jubilee. The Sabbath year was observed every seventh year. It was a year of rest when land was left fallow and food stores were to be shared equally with all. A year of Jubilee was celebrated every fiftieth year, the conclusion of seven cycles of Sabbath years. It was a year of renewal in which debts were forgiven and slaves were freed.

This tradition of Jubilee is the framework for God’s promise of salvation. And yet in Jesus, something new begins. Jesus not only announces God’s salvation, he brings this salvation about in his person. Jesus is Yahweh’s Anointed One, filled with the Spirit of God. The Kingdom of God is now at hand. It is made present in Jesus, in his life, death, and Resurrection. Jesus will send the Holy Spirit so that the Kingdom of God can be fulfilled.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ gift to the Church. The Holy Spirit enables the Church to continue the mission of Jesus. When we do what Jesus did—bring glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, healing to the sick, and freedom to the oppressed—we serve the Kingdom of God.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2-PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

This day the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs 40 days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, sine the blessing and procession of candles is included in this day’s liturgy.

Candles blessed this day are available to be taken home for family use. Candles are available in the vestibules of our parishes. Suggested offering $3.00.

January 22, Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.” As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms.

A great prayer for life is urgently needed,

a prayer which will rise up throughout the world.

Through special initiatives and in daily prayer,

may an impassioned plea rise to God,

the Creator and lover of life,

from every Christian community,

from every group and association,

from every family and from the heart of every believer.

……..Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 100

INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 18-25, 2019

The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:18-20). According to Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute GEII)…, Christian communities “become newly aware of their unity as they join in a common concern and a common response to an unjust reality. At the same time, confronted by these injustices, we are obliged, as Christians, to examine the ways in which we are complicit. Only by heeding Jesus’s prayer ‘that they all may be one’ can we witness to living unity in diversity. It is through our unity in Christ that we will be able to combat injustice and serve the needs of its victims.” To purchase materials for your worship community for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, check out GEII on the web…

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years…, in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity. By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.” (cf. John 17:21)

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be marked locally on Thursday at 12:10 PM at St. Peter Cathedral, Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, gathering pastors, leadership and members of various Christian congregations reaching across Northeastern PA. All are invited to come and join in this beautiful prayer calling us to celebrate our dedication to building up the Body of Christ in our time.

FEAST OF ST. BLAISE-FEBRUARY 3

Saint Blaise was martyred in Armenia in 316. He served as a holy Bishop and was known to have worked ardently for the benefit of his people.

At all Masses February 2nd & 3rd, all are invited to receive the traditional blessing as we seek healing of body and spirit.

“Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, Bishop and martyr, may you be healed of every ailment of the throat and all other ailments, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR

Remember us, O God;
from age to age be our comforter.
You have given us the wonder of time,
blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.
Bless your children at the turning of the year
and fill the months ahead with the bright hope
that is ours in the coming of Christ.
You are our God, living and reigning, forever and ever.
R/. Amen.

Diocese Adds Names to List of Credibly Accused Individuals

Following the release of the Grand Jury report last year, Bishop Bambera made a promise that he would be more open and transparent in the way that the Diocese handles occurrences of child sexual abuse. That commitment remains true.

In August, the Diocese published on its website a list of all clergy, staff and volunteers who had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Since then, additional victims have come forward. Eleven new names have been added to the online list. Those new names are listed below. We will continue to alert you periodically in the case that additional individuals are added to this list.

If you are aware of additional allegations of wrongdoing or any information that should be included on this list, please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator Mary Beth Pacuska at 570-862-7551 or Monsignor Thomas Muldowney, Vicar General at 570- 207-2269. If you have suffered abuse by clergy or anyone working on behalf of the Diocese, you are encouraged to contact Mary Beth Pacuska.

These names have been added to the original list of credibly accused individuals:

DIOCESAN CLERGY

Polcha, Michael C.
Pulicare, Michael J.

MEMBERS OF RELICIOUS ORDERS

Bourbon, Francis C. (S.J.)
Fertal, Joseph (SVD)
Garrity, Stephen M., (S.J.)
Long, Arthur J. (S.J.)
Pisaneschi, Sister Clare (M.P.F.)
Rebovich, John (OSJ)

LAITY

Maroni, Mark
Smith, Richard
Yarros, David

Notice Regarding Reposting Sexual Abuse of a Minor

It is the policy of the Diocese of Scranton to report any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to law enforcement. If you are a victim of sexual abuse committed by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Scranton, you are encouraged to immediately report the matter to law enforcement. If any priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the diocese of Scranton has cause or reason to suspect that a minor has been subjected to any form of abuse, including child sexual abuse, the matter will be reported to law enforcement. In accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Service Laws, reports of suspected child abuse should also be made immediately by phone to the 24-HourChild Abuse hotline (ChildLine) at 1-800-932-0313 or electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis

It is also the policy of the Diocese to adhere to all civil and state regulations. To this end, the Diocese is equally committed to adhering to the norms of the Code of Canon Law and to upholding the tenets of the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which includes supporting victims of sexual abuse in their pursuit of emotional and spiritual well-being. As such, information regarding an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor should also be reported to the Victim Assistance Coordinator Mary Beth Pacuska at 570-862- 7551 or to Diocesan officials, including the Vicar General, Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, V.G,. at 570-207-2269.

FEASTS OF THE EPIPHANY AND THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord – the manifestation of the Christ to the Gentiles. The feast is traditionally celebrated the 12th day after Christmas, January 6th (hence the Christmas Carol: the 12 Days of Christmas). In the diocese of the United States, however, this feast has been moved to the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. On Monday, the Church concludes the Christmas Season with the celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord celebrates a turning point in the life of Jesus. It was time for Jesus as the anointed servant of God to begin his ministry. The Father pronounces Jesus as his beloved Son and Jesus began his public ministry. As we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, we are reminded of our own rebirth in baptism. We are invited to look to Jesus and to our own lives and to listen to where Jesus is calling us. Through Jesus we are blessed on our mission in life.

Baptism Of the Lord

GREETING THE NEW YEAR THE CATHOLIC WAY

No fear, no matter what comes. Bring it, 2019.

According to Fides News Service, as of October 2017, there are 1.28 BILLON Catholics in the world. Some 70.4 million of them are in the United States. The USA has a population of approximately 330,000,000 people. That works out to about 22 percent of the American population being Catholic.

From the pope down to the vagrant, each of us is an individual creation made by God. We are all unique. Incredibly, we will all be judged individually. And, as Catholics, we will be held to a higher standard. After all, we proclaim that we are part of the Mystical Body of Christ, which has the deposit of faith. No matter how we lived our lives, the common denominator for all of us will be: How much we loved each other.

Based on that, here are some points to consider if we focus, before all else, on pleasing God in the New Year, the Catholic way:

• Never forget that you are God’s individual creation and therefore a gift He has bestowed on the world. Be humbled by the fact that He certainly has you in the palm of His hand. Without Him you are nothing.

• Be happy with who and what you are. God made you and loves you. If you feel you need to change to please Him, you can do it. Just ask for His help.

• The choices you make are your responsibility. Sometimes our choices hurt us. Embrace them and learn from them and move on. Thank God for the experience.

• Sometimes NOT getting what you want or what you think you need is a blessing. If you trust God, you will thank Him. When “one door closes another opens.”

• Always count your blessings, not your troubles.

• Always do your best. The “best” is all God expects from each of us.

• You can make it through whatever comes along. Grace will be there, but it only comes one day at a time. Don’t fret about the future.

• Prayer is the most powerful of weapons and can be your greatest ally in all diversity.

• Don’t take things too seriously, especially yourself.

• The key to happiness is to give of yourself, not to “get” for yourself.

• Miracles happen; you are one – I am one – we all are one.

• Temptation is everywhere. It is okay to say “NO.”

• Finally, never fail to help a neighbor, whoever it may be, even a stranger.

We all will experience “highs and lows” during the coming year. As Catholics, we have the armor of the Church to shield us and the angels and saints to help us fight our battles with the evil one.

St. Michael the Archangel will always “defend us in battle.” St. Anthony will help us find lost items. St. Jude will help us through seemingly impossible barricades. Good St. Joseph is ready to help us, and especially to help all men be good fathers and husbands. St. Monica will help moms and St. Dymphna will help those experiencing emotional difficulties or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. And, of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary is always there for all of us.

Virtually every day of the calendar year honors a particular saint, and that saint is especially inspiring with certain needs – such as St. Padre Pio who is the patron of adolescents and volunteers, or St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyred in the Holocaust, who is the patron of drug addicts. Help is always available when you are Catholic.

Lastly, we have in place for our salvation the most beautiful thing this side of heaven: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We can actually be at the foot of the Cross and then witness the resurrection. Yes, that’s what is happening at Mass. It is there for all us every day if we so CHOOSE. Then there are the sacraments, always available to build us up and restore us to where we should be, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2019 – “No Fear”

……….By Larry Peterson for Aleteia

Happy New Year!!!

REJOICE AND BE GLAD!

REJOICE AND BE GLAD!

CHRISTMAS 2018

MERRY CHRISTMAS, ONE AND ALL!

Rejoice and Be Glad!

Rejoice!

- a second grader excitedly stops by with his Dad to drop off the Christmas gift they’ve chosen for a young boy;

- our social concerns committee provides Christmas dinner for the homeless at St. Anthony Haven;

- an organization calls for “2 more families” happily adopting more people to bring Christmas joy;

- gifts are shared with local nursing homes and Saint Joseph Center, carols are sung at homes of shut-ins, flowers taken to the homebound, our children celebrate with Santa;

- we ask for 100 bottles of shampoo and 200 + show up!

- our parish vestibules are filled with packages to share with special families;

- our weekly community lunch brings gifts to share with our guests;

- countless kindnesses and faith-filled gestures of devotion are extended to those in need.

Be Glad!

Pope Francis writes: “The Holy Spirit bestows holiness in abundance among God’s holy and faithful people, for “it has pleased God to make men and women holy and to save them, not as a people…who might serve him in holiness.”

At Christmas we commemorate the birth of Emmanuel, “God with us” as one family, one people. God has “taken into account the complex fabric of interpersonal relationships present in a human community. God enters into the life and history of a people.”

Rejoice and Be Glad!

God continues to enter into our lives, our history, calling us to be a community of faith, holy and joyfilled. Pope Francis writes: “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to serve their families, in the sick, in the elderly who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church. It is a holiness found in our next door neighbors, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence.”

I certainly get that – understand that, see it. I see the holiness of God each and every day reflected and lived out in the faith communities of Blessed Sacrament, Throop and Holy Cross, Olyphant. Signs of holiness at Christmas and everyday – rejoice and be glad!

Jesus Christ is born! May this Christmas find us living our lives in love and bearing witness to this love in everything we do.

Merry, Merry Christmas, may our homes be filled with joy and peace, faith and hope, love and holiness!

United In His Service,
Monsignor Delaney

Mass Schedule for Christmas 2018

Holy Cross Parish – Olyphant
Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Christmas MASS SCHEDULE

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the long-awaited savior of the world, Emmanuel – God with us! The Christmas Mass schedule is as follows:

Christmas Eve - Sunday, December 24, 2018

4:00 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant
4:00 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop
9:00 p.m. Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop
11:00 p.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

Christmas Day - Monday, December 25th, 2018

8:00 a.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant
9:30 a.m. Blessed Sacrament Parish - Throop
11:00 a.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

New Year’s Mass Schedule

New Year’s Day is the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, a Holy Day of Obligation

New Year’s Eve, Monday December 31

4:00 PM at Holy Cross Parish – Olyphant
5:30 PM at Blessed Sacrament – Throop

New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1

9:30 AM at Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop
11:00 AM at Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ The King (Thirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Cycle B

First Reading: Daniel 7:13-14 Daniel prophesies about the coming of the Son of Man.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 93:1,1-2,5 A prayer of praise to God our king.

Second Reading: Revelation 1:5-8 Jesus is the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of all.

Gospel Reading: John 18:33b-37 Jesus is questioned by Pilate about the charge brought against him that he is “King of the Jews.”

This Sunday is the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year. On this Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. Each year we set aside this Sunday to reflect upon this title that we have given to Jesus. In Lectionary Cycle C, we read a portion of the passion from the Gospel of John, which is also part of the Gospel reading proclaimed each year on Good Friday.

Jesus refers to a kingdom that does not belong to this world. This has been mentioned earlier in John’s Gospel. Recall that in his prayer during the Last Supper discourse (see John 17:6-18), Jesus prayed for his disciples who are in the world but do not belong to the world. Yet like Jesus, they are sent into the world for the world’s salvation. In today’s reading, we see Jesus identify the final proof that his kingdom is not of the world: If his kingdom were of this world, then there would be people fighting to save him. Again we hear echoes of John’s theme – salvation is worked out through a cosmic battle. It is helpful to return to the first chapter of John’s Gospel to understand the context for Jesus’ words to Pilate. Jesus came into the world, but the world did not know him. In John’s language, the world prefers the darkness, and yet the light will not be overcome by the darkness.

Truth has been another important theme in John’s Gospel. We see it emphasized in the conclusion of the dialogue between Jesus and Pilate. Those who know the truth will recognize Jesus as king and will know how to interpret this insight. Yet Jesus’ kingship was hidden from many of his contemporaries. Only those chose, those who have the eyes of faith, are able to see. As modern disciples of Jesus, we also struggle at times to recognize Jesus as king. Today’s Gospel invites us to see with eyes of faith that we might recognize that Jesus, through his crucifixion and death, is indeed king and Savior of all.