• 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

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

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


Holy Cross
3:00pm to 3:45pm

Blessed Sacrament
3:15pm to 3:45pm

Outreach Services

AA Helpline1-800-640-7545
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


A canonization is a statement by the Church that a person who has lived a holy life is now with God in heaven. While it’s often mistakenly expressed that the Church “credits” or “makes” saints. The reality is that a person’s holiness speaks for itself. A process of study, prayer and discernment concludes with this formal recognition that a person’s name should be placed within the “canon” of the saints, the list of all who are universally venerated by the Church. Acclaimed as holy and admirable examples of the faith, these saints may be invoked in the official prayers of the Church. Churches may be built in their honor, a feast day is set aside in their memory, and they may be designated as special patrons. All those who are canonized are united to the Church as powerful intercessors, and we ask, therefore, for their prayers and those of the whole communion of saints.

Our new saints:

- Nunzio Sulprizio. St. Numzio was only 19 years old when he died in 1836. He is lauded as a model for workers and young people.

- Maria Katharine Kasper. Born in Germany, Saint Maria Katherina cared for the poor and abandoned, formed religious community the “Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ”, died 1898.

- Francesce Spinelli. St. Francesco was a priest of the Diocese of Bergamo, Italy. A co-founder of the Sacramentine Sisters and the Sister Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. He died on February 6, 1913.

- Nazaria Ignacia de Santa Teresa de Jesus. Saint Nazaria Ignacia founded the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church, caring for women, orphans, soldiers and many others.

- Vincenzo Romano. Saint Vincenzo proclaimed a simple message of love aimed at educating the faithful. He died December 20, 1831.

- Oscar Romero. Saint Oscar used his pulpit to speak out against poverty, injustice and violence. On March 24, 1980, a gunman assassinated him while he celebrated Mass. The death of this holy martyr has inspired many to fight for the oppressed.

- Pope Paul VI. Saint Paul VI was elected pope in 1963 in the midst of the Second Vatican Council. He implemented Church reforms and worked toward justice and peace, bringing the world a message of human dignity and development. He died August 16, 1978.

Saints of God, pray for us.

Readings for October 21, 2018

FIRST READING: Isaiah 53:10-11 Through his suffering, the servant of Yahweh will justify many.

RESPONSORIAL: PSALM: Psalm 33:4-5,18- 19,20-22 A prayer of praise for God’s mercy.

SECOND READING: Hebrews 4:14-16 Jesus is the high priest who sympathizes with our weakness.

GOSPEL READING: Mark 10:35-45 (shorter form Mark 10:42-45) Jesus teaches that those who wish to be great must be the servant of all.

Readings for Sunday October 14, 2018

FIRST READING: Wisdom 7:7-11 Wisdom is preferred above gold and silver.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Psalm 90:12-13,14- 15,16-17 The Lord fills us with love and joy.

SECOND READING: Hebrews 4:12-13 The Word of God exposes the heart.

GOSPEL READING: Mark 10:17-30 (shorter form Mark 10:17-27) A man with many possessions asks Jesus what he must do to gain eternal life.


An AED (automated external defibrillator) is placed in the sacristy at Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross Parishes. On Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 PM in Kelley Hall, Holy Cross, Olyphant; an AED training session will take place. The session allows the trainee to learn how and when to use an AED. All are welcome to participate.


Your generosity helps:

Serve, comfort and care for thousands of our friends and neighbors each year through a variety of Catholic Social Services and Parish Outreach programs.

Support our retired priests and those who are ill, who have faithfully served our Diocese for many years. Assist our men in formation to become priests and deacons as we look to the future of our parishes and our Diocese.

Prepare our children for fulfilling and faith-filled lives through education in our Catholic schools and in our parish religious education programs.

Provide opportunities in our parish communities for everyone to more fully share their personal gifts in devoted service to God and one another.

Joyfully spread the Gospel and the message of our Catholic faith to all members of our Diocese and our community.

To make a donation to this year’s Annual Appeal, please visit www.AnnualAppeal.org or call 570-207-2250.

Thank you one and all for your generosity! Where we stand:

we stand:

Holy Cross $50,000.00 goal, 74% of goal, $36,834.00 in pledges and donations.

Blessed Sacrament $17,000.00 goal, 104% of goal! $17635.00 in pledges and donations.

Remember that 75% of all donations collected over goal are returned to the parish.


You may make a gift to your parish or to the Diocesan Annual Appeal directly from your IRA?

If you are 70 ½ or older and have a traditional individual retirement account, you can use all or part of your required minimum distribution to support your parish or the Diocesan Annual Appeal without having to count the transfers as income for federal tax purposes.

Distributions must be sent directly to your parish or the Diocese by the plan administrator of your IRA. For more information please contact Jim Bebla, Diocesan Secretary of Development, at Jim- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 570-207-2250.


Today, we celebrate and honor the inviolable dignity of each and every human life. We recognize the sin of abortion, physician-assisted suicide, our state’s death penalty and all other actions that threaten the life and dignity of the human person.

On this day, we also recognize the ways in which our own Church, throughout its history, has failed to protect its young people and to respect the integrity of their claims against its clergy members.

This Sunday, we ask you to pray for all vulnerable members of our community, from the unborn to the struggling family.

We pray especially for healing for all those who feel isolated, hopeless, or ashamed. We also continue to pray for those who feel pressure to make difficult decisions with regard to respecting life, and with those in positions of power, that we may support them as a community of faith to create a culture of life.


First Reading: Genesis 2: 8-24 God creates woman from Adam’s rib.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6 A prayer for God’s blessing.

Second Reading: Hebrews 2:9-11 Christ was made perfect through suffering so that we might all be consecrated.

Gospel Reading: Mark 10:2-16 Jesus teaches against divorce and welcomes the children.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today we continue to read from the Gospel according to Mark. For the past three Sundays, we have been hearing Mark’s reports of conversation between Jesus and his disciples. Recall that in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus uses these private moments to teach his disciples in greater detail about the Kingdom of God. Beginning with today’s Gospel, Jesus returns to Judea, Jewish territory and resumes his public ministry. The first verse of Chapter 10 of Mark’s Gospel tells us that crowds gathered around Jesus, and he taught them, as was his custom. Immediately, the Pharisees approach Jesus to test him.

The Pharisees question Jesus about the lawfulness of divorce. Under specific conditions, divorce was an accepted practice among the Jewish people during the time of Jesus. It was regulated by the Law of Moses, as found in Deuteronomy 24:1-5. This law only permits that a husband may divorce his wife if he finds her to be indecent. This is the justification that the Pharisees reference when Jesus inquires about the commandment of Moses. In reply, Jesus quotes from the Book of Genesis and counters that God’s original intention was that men and women would become one flesh in marriage. Jesus describes the teaching of Moses as a concession made to God’s original intention because of human stubbornness.

At first glance, the final part of today’s Gospel seems unconnected to the previous teaching about divorce. When read together, however, these passages present a strong picture of Jesus’ emphasis on the importance of family. God intended for women and men to be joined together in marriage. Among the purposes of marriage is the raising of children. By welcoming children and fostering their relationship with God, parents and families bear witness to the Kingdom of God.

At the end of today’s Gospel, the people were bringing their children to Jesus, and again Jesus’ disciples show that they just don’t get it. Recall that in the Gospel for each of the past two Sundays, Jesus has taught his disciples the value and importance of these “little ones” in the Kingdom of God. Yet in today’s Gospel, the disciples try to prevent people from bringing their children to Jesus. Jesus reprimands his disciples and welcomes these children. Again Jesus offers these children as an example of the kind of complete trust and dependence upon God that ought to be the attitude of all believers.

Blessing Of Pets 2018

Blessing of Pets

On Sunday, September 30 at 1:00 PM in Holy Cross Parking Lot we will share a blessing and prayers for all of our pets. Come one, come all—bring your cherished pets—ant farms or snails, turtles and snakes, dogs and cats, horses and cows. (stuffed animals are always welcome—just keep them away from teething puppies!) The blessing is shared each year in connection to our celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi (October 4) who reminds us to be stewards of God’s creation. St. Francis, pray for us.

Community Lunch Begins 4th Year!

Congratulations to our volunteers who help us to conduct our weekly community lunch.

We have served 11,298 meals over 146 weeks totaling 292 volunteer hours with the assistance of 60 + volunteers. We’re grateful to our dear friend Michael McDonnell who prepares and transports lunch to us from St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen each week. Thanks to our volunteers who come by to set up, serve, spend time with our neighbors and friends and then stay for cleanup. Thanks to our parish staff as well and a huge chunk of gratitude is extended to Jackie Musyt for coordinating and supervising our efforts.

We will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on Thursday, October 4 at 6:30 PM (it is also the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi) in Holy Cross Parish with all of our volunteers who assist us each week.


First Reading: Numbers 11:25-29 The Lord bestows his spirit on the seventy elders.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19:8,10,12-13,14 The Law of the Lord brings joy.

Second Reading: James 5:1-6 James chastises the rich.

Gospel Reading: Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48 Jesus teaches that whoever is not against him is for him.

Background on the Gospel Reading:

Today we continue to read from the Gospel of Mark. Recall that last week we heard Jesus chastise his disciples for their argument about who among them was the greatest. Jesus taught them that the greatest among them will be those who serve the least ones. In today’s Gospel, the disciple John questions Jesus about an unknown exorcist who was driving out demons in Jesus’ name. John’s question might have been motivated by jealousy. Previously in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus healed a boy whom the disciples had been unable to heal. John’s question is further evidence that the disciples have not yet grasped Jesus’ words to them. They continue to compare themselves to others who seem to have greater healing powers, and they do not want to share the power of Jesus’ name with others.

Today the demon possession described in the Gospels might be seen as a form of mental illness, but the need for healing these syndromes was as real then as it is now. Exorcism was a common practice in firstcentury Palestine, Some people had the power to heal the symptoms of possession. One of the strategies used was to invoke the name of a person or figure who was believed to have the power to heal.

The disciples observed that the unknown exorcist invoked Jesus’ name and was successful in his healing efforts. This unknown healer recognized the power of Jesus’ name, yet he was not a follower of Jesus. In his reply to his disciples, Jesus acknowledges that deeds of faith can precede the words of faith. He also teaches that the disciples should not be reluctant to share Jesus’ healing powers with others.

Later in this Gospel, Jesus teaches us not to create obstacles for those who are just beginning to have faith but to encourage even the smallest signs of faith. The Greek word used here for sin also connotes “stumbling” or “causing scandal.” In vivid terms Jesus teaches his disciples the consequences to those who would put obstacles before people who are on the road to faith.


First Reading: Wisdom 2:13, 17-20 The just one is put to the test.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 54:3-4, 5, 6 & 8 A prayer for God’s protection.

Second Reading: James 3:16 –4:3 James teaches about the wisdom from above.

Gospel Reading: Mark 9:30-37 Jesus teaches his disciples that the greatest are those who serve all.

Background on the Gospel Reading: In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus again predict his passion, death, and Resurrection to his disciples. The setting here is important. Jesus and his disciples are preparing to journey through Galilee, a Jewish territory in which Jesus has already encountered problems with the Pharisees. Perhaps this is why Mark indicates that Jesus was trying to journey in secret. In predicting his passion, Jesus is acknowledging the danger they will face and is trying to preparing his disciples for it. Yet Mark tells us that the disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying and were afraid to ask what he meant. Such hesitation on the part of the disciples is not characteristic behavior. Peter had no fear about rebuking Jesus in last week’s Gospel. Perhaps this is an indication that the disciples were aware that a new situation was emerging.

Mark paints a vivid picture in today’s Gospel. Having arrived at Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples enter a house. In this private place, Jesus asks his disciples about the argument they had while they were journeying. Again, the disciples are uncharacteristically silent and afraid to answer. They have been found out. Jesus then summons the Twelve, whom Mark identified earlier in his Gospel as those chosen by Jesus to preach and to drive out demons. To this select group of disciples, Jesus teaches that those who would be first in God’s kingdom must be servants of all.

Jesus then calls forward a child and teaches the Twelve that to receive a child in Jesus’ name is to receive both Jesus and the one who sent him. We might easily fail to understand the significance of this action. In first-century Palestine, children were without status or power, possessing no legal right. In this action, Jesus is teaching his disciples and us that when we serve the least ones among us, we serve Jesus himself. Who are the people without power or status in our society that Jesus is calling us to serve? Do we do so willingly? Jesus teaches that God’s judgement of us will be based on this criterion alone.


Mark DeCelles, a seminarian preparing for priestly ministry for the Diocese of Scranton, was kind to leave the Book of Christian Prayer (also referred to as the Liturgy of the Hours or the Breviary) in the Saint John Paul II Adoration Chapel for adorers prayerful use. Mark’s inscription: “Dear Parishioners of Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross Parishes, Thank you for a wonderful summer!”

“Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves more reservedly to Him.”----- St. Ignatius of Loyola Please pray for our seminarians, but more importantly, pray that more Christians, whether laypersons, seminarians, priests or religious may have the courage to abandon themselves without reserve into His hands.

We thank Mark DeCelles for his kindness and pray for him as he continues his discernment and formation. If you would like to drop a note of encouragement and support to Mark:

Mark DeCelles
St. Mary’s Seminary
5400 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21210-1994


This Sunday’s Readings:

First Reading: Isaiah 50:5-9

The suffering servant of Yahweh is assured of God’s help

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

A prayer of praise to God for his salvation.

Second Reading: James 2:14-18

James teaches that faith must be demonstrated in one’s works.

Gospel Reading: Mark 8:27-35

Peter declares that Jesus is the Christ, and Jesus teaches that those who would follow him must take up his or her cross.

Background on the Gospel Reading:

Today’s reading is the turning point in Mark’s Gospel. In the presentation of the life and ministry of Jesus found in the Gospel of Mark, the deeds of Jesus have shown Jesus to be the Son of God. Yet many, including Jesus’ disciples, have not yet realized his identity. In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks the disciples for a field report by asking what others say about him. He then turns the question directly to the disciples and asks what they believe. Peter speaks for all of them when he announces that they believe Jesus to be the Christ.

The word Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for Messiah, which means “the anointed one.” At the time of Jesus, the image of the Messiah was laden with popular expectations, most of which looked for a political leader who would free the jewish people from Roman occupation. Jesus does not appear to have used this term for himself. As we see in today’s reading, Jesus refers to himself instead as the Son of Man, a term derived from the Jewish Scriptures, found in the Book of Daniel and in other apocryphal writings. Many scholars suggest that the phrase Son of Man is best understood to mean “human being.”

Now that the disciples have acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, Jesus confides in them the outcome of his ministry: he will be rejected, must suffer and die, and will rise after three days. Peter rejects this prediction, and Jesus rebukes him severely. The image of Christ that Jesus is giving is not the image of the Messiah that Peter was expecting. Jesus then teaches the crowd and the disciples about the path of discipleship: To be Christ’s disciple is to follow in the way of the cross.



First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23

God’s kindness is forever.

Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36

Paul Sings praise to God.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-20

Simon Peter acknowledges Jesus as the Christ and is given the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. It is important to read today’s Gospel and next week’s Gospel as two parts of a single story. These readings are a turning point in Matthew’s Gospel. This week we hear Jesus name Simon Peter as the rock upon which he will build his Church. Next week we will hear Jesus call this same Simon Peter “Satan” when he reacts negatively to Jesus’ prediction about his passion and death.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples what people are saying about his identity. The disciples indicate that most people believe that Jesus is a prophet of Israel. Then Jesus ask his disciples who they believe that he is. Simon Peter answers, identifying Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.

Jesus commends Simon Peter for this profession of faith, indicating that this insight has come from God. Because of Simon Peter’s response, Jesus calls him the “rock” upon which Jesus will build the Church. This is a word play on the name Peter, which is the Greek word for “rock.” Peter is then given special authority by Jesus, a symbolic key to the Kingdom of Heaven. Peter will play an important role in the early Christian community as a spokesperson and a leader.

In today’s Gospel, Peter’s recognition of Jesus’ identity is credited to a revelation by God. This will contrast sharply with Jesus’ rebuke of Peter in next week’s Gospel. When Peter rejects Jesus’ prediction of his passion and death, Peter is said to no longer be thinking as God does but as humans do.

The use of the term church in today’s Gospel is one of only three such occurrences in Matthew’s Gospel. Peter in this Gospel is being credited as the foundation for the Church, a privilege granted to him because of his recognition of Jesus’ identify. The Church continues to be grounded in the faith that Jesus Christ is Lord.


Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace,
Listen to our prayers,
and join to your own suffering on the cross
the pain of all who have been hurt
in body, mind, and spirit
by those who betrayed the trust placed in

Hear our cries as we agonize
over the harm done to our brothers and

Breathe wisdom into our prayers,
soothe restless hearts with hope,
steady shaken spirits with faith:

Heal your people’s wounds
and transform our brokenness.
Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace,
so that we may act with justice
and find peace in you.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.


……Adapted from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

13th Annual Family Festival

Highlights from Saturday

Highlights from Friday


13TH ANNUAL FAMILY FESTIVAL IS HERE!!! The 13th Annual Family Festival of Blessed Sacrament Parish will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 17, 18, & 19. Join us after 5:30 PM Mass (Saturday, August 18). Piggie Dinner available until 7:00 PM or sold out! (in the Parish Hall).

Piggies, Potato Pancakes, Chrusciki, Haluski, Corn on the Cob, Free Ice for kids! (courtesy of J&J Snack Foods Mia Products), Pierogi, Pizza Frita, Broccoli & Noodles, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Pizza, Sausage & Peppers, Hot Dogs, Porchetta Sandwich, Hamburgers, French Fries, Funnel Cake Fries, Wimpies, Bake Sale, Breakfast, Bingo, Pirate Ship, Entertainment by “Ned the DJ,” and much more!

On Sunday (today, August 19), we begin with 9:30 AM Liturgy followed by a Cash Breakfast-eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, orange juice and coffee. Bingo will follow at 1:30 PM, seating begins at 12:30 PM, games start at 1:30 PM. Tickets available at the door. Bingo admission includes entrance in Bingo Raffle with a first place prize of $100. Basket Raffle and 50/50 grand prize drawing to follow at 4:20 PM.


If you can help clean-up and dismantle the tents outside on the Parish Grounds it will take place this weekend (Sunday, August 19) beginning at Noon. All Sunday events take place in the Parish Hall. All ages are welcome. If young people need service hours, this is an excellent opportunity. THANK YOU to Blessed Sacrament Parish Holy Name Society for purchasing specially designed baseball t-shirts for the participants in our PLAY WIFFLE! Event.


First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34:2-3,4-5,6-7

Second Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20

Gospel Reading: John 6:51-58

On this Sunday, we continue to read from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. Today’s Gospel elaborates further on the teaching that Jesus began in our liturgy last week. In that reading, the crowds wondered about how Jesus could say that he had come down from heaven because they knew Jesus to be the son of Joseph. In this Gospel, some have difficulty with Jesus’ teaching that he is the living bread sent from God. Recall that Jesus had told them that just as God gave the Israelites manna to sustain them in the desert, so now God has sent new manna that will give eternal life. We hear the concluding verse of last week’s Gospel repeated in today’s reading: Jesus himself is the bread sent by God; Jesus’ flesh is the bread that is given for the life of the world.

Among the stumbling blocks for those who heard but did not understand Jesus is the teaching that the bread that Jesus will give is his own flesh. In response to the people who quarreled over his words, Jesus teaches with even greater emphasis that salvation comes to those who eat his Body and Blood. Jesus doesn’t seem to answer the question posed about how salvation will come about, perhaps because this reality can only be understood after his death and Resurrection. Instead, Jesus teaches about the life that he will give to the world.

To many ears, Jesus’ words are jarring and difficult to hear. Many who heard Jesus could not accept what he said. Many today continue to struggle to accept these words. But they are important words because they reveal our intimate connection with Jesus.

This is the mystery that is at the heart of our eucharistic theology. In the elements of bread and wine, Jesus’ Body and Blood are made truly present. When we share in the Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus himself comes to dwell within us. This communion with the Lord makes us one body, brings us eternal life, and sends us forth to be Christ’s body for the life of the world.


The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (a Holy Day of Obligation) is August 15.

Mass schedule: Tuesday, August 14….5:30 PM at Blessed Sacrament.

Wednesday, August 15….7:30 AM blessed Sacrament; 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM at Holy Cross.


We are grateful to have had the pleasure of sharing these past weeks with Mark DeCelles, Ph.D., a seminarian preparing for priestly ministry to, for and with the People of God of the Diocese of Scranton.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld said, “As soon as I believed that there was a God, I understood that I could do nothing other than to live for him.”

The process of discernment, study and spiritual formation, responding to God’s invitation to priestly ministry, is filled with joys and challenges. Mark, in his openness to sharing his many talents as well as receiving the faith and example of the good people of Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross Parishes, has given witness to his desire to “live for God.”

We ask Almighty God to bless and to deepen that desire as Mark moves forward in prayer and preparation. We pray this prayer for vocations for Mark and all those discerning a call to priestly ministry.


God our Father, You made each of us to use our gifts in the Body of Christ. We ask that You inspire young people whom you call to priesthood and consecrated life to courageously follow Your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest so that the Gospel is preached, the poor are served with love, the suffering are comforted, and Your people are strengthened by the sacraments.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen


It’s hard to believe that August is already upon us. A new school year is right around the corner, with new joys and new possibilities, new things to learn, people to meet, places to be.

For me, it is a bittersweet time, since August 5 marks the last day of my summer assignment here at Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament. I am so very grateful to have had the privilege of accompanying this community during the past eight weeks, to pray with you, mourn with you, celebrate with you, learn with you. I have been edified by your faith and lifted up by your kindness and love.

What a wonderful gift, to have been able to minister to you alongside Monsignor Delaney. Many thanks to Monsignor for putting me up and putting up with me; to him and Deacon John for mentoring me and challenging me to grow in pastoral ministry; to all the parish staff for your help, support and encouragement; to the altar servers and liturgical ministers who showed me the ropes; to all those who participated in Vacation Bible School, adoration and benediction, and our adult bible study in Kelley Hall; and to all the parishioners of Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross for your generosity, hospitality, kind words, and prayers.

You will always have a special place in my heart. As I return to seminary later this month, I humbly request your continued prayers for me, as I will be praying for you. God bless you all.


Thank you so much for all you do for us!



Mark 6: 1-6

Ezekiel 2: 2-5

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

Mark begins a new theme narrative with today’s Gospel: the blindness of people to the Power and authority of Jesus. The people of his hometown reject his message. They consider Jesus too much “one of them” to be taken seriously. They are too obsessed with superficialities – occupation, ancestry, origins – to realize God present in their midst and to be affected by that presence.

Today’s first reading is the story of another prophet who experienced trying times. Ezekiel is called by God to speak his word to his own people – Judean Jews who have been repatriated from their beloved Jerusalem to Babylon. They are a defeated, distrusting people who feel abandoned by God and suspicious of anyone who claims to speak of the God they, in fact, had themselves “rebelled” against.

In the final reading in this weekly series from his letters to the Corinthians (second reading), Paul reflects on the difficult challenge of discipleship.


The authority of inspiration.

There is the kind of authority that one possesses by virtue of an office or position, the authority that bestows the “power” to make decisions and set policy. But there is another kind of authority that one possesses by virtue of study, performance or commitment to a high set of moral and ethical standards, an authority that give that individual the “power” to inspire. Such is the authority of Jesus. His authority is not derived from his ability to manipulate the fears, suspicions, apathy or ignorance of those around him but from the spirit of mercy, justice and compassion he is able to call forth from them. Those who speak not to our emotions and wants but to our consciences, who speak not in catchy slogans and buzz words but in the conviction of their actions possess the authority of Jesus that is deserving of our respect and attentiveness.


Have a happy and safe 4th of July!