As baptized followers of Jesus Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit, we strive to proclaim the Gospel by promoting a welcoming community; celebrating the Eucharist and living our faith with charity, peace and justice.
Pastor: Monsignor Michael Delaney
Today’s Gospel, the story of the astrologers and the star of Bethlehem, is unique to Matthew’s Gospel. Note that Matthew does not call them kings or “magi” but “astrologers,” nor does he give their names or report where they came from – in fact, Matthew never even specifies the number of astrologers (because three gifts are reported, it has been a tradition since the fifth century to picture “three wise men”). In stripping away the romantic layers that have been added to the story, Matthew’s point can be better understood.
The gifts of the astrologers indicate the principal dimensions of Jesus’ mission:
- gold is a gift fitting for a king, a ruler, one with power and authority;
- frankincense is a gift for a priest, one who Offers sacrifice (frankincense was an aromatic perfume sprinkled on the animals sacrificed in the Temple);
- myrrh is a fitting “gift” for some one who is to die (myrrh was used in ancient time for embalming the bodies of the dead before burial).
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Monday, January 9 brings the Christmas season to an end. To mark the day, here is a reflection composed by Howard Thurman, an African-American theologian, educator, and civil rights leader.
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the Kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
- to find the lost,
- to heal the broken,
- to feed the hungry,
- to release the prisoner,
- to rebuild the nations,
- to bring peace among the people,
- to make music in the heart.
The traditional New Year’s blessing of homes begins with the Feast of the Epiphany on January 8, 2017. Since the majority of families are unable to be present for the house blessing during weekdays “The Book of Blessing of the Catholic Church” allows for a lay person to offer the prayers for the traditional house blessing. This allows the family together at their convenience. Blessed chalk will be available at all masses the weekend of January 7 & 8.
Financial Statements for the 2016 calendar year will be mailed in late January 2017, upon request only. Donations for tax purposes for 2016 should have already been made. If you would like a tax statement for your donations please call the office at 570-489-0752 or 570-489-1963.
Monday, January 23, 2017; 6:30 PM; Holy Cross Parish.
All are invited to join in Prayer-Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Adoration and Benediction, as we lift up, honor and validate the dignity and sanctity of life from conception until natural death. We place ourselves in the Lord’s Eucharistic Presence praying for the conversion of hearts and the protection of unborn children.
Proud of Being Catholic (Excerpts of an article written by Sam Miller, prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman – (Not Catholic)
Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church? Do you know – the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. Your graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, all at a cost to you. To the rest of Americans it’s free.
The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students. The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics – in the United States today. But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.
Let me give you some figures that you as Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8% of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed. Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia; 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic problem.
A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving. The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.
Walk with your shoulders high and your head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States. Then remember what was written in Jeremiah:
‘Thus says the Lord: Stand by the earliest roads, ask the pathways of old. Which is the way to good, and walk it; thus you will find rest for our souls.’
Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions.
With the beginning of the flu season, just a few reminders about some common-sense practices that will help curtail the spread of the flu. Remember, if you are sick or not feeling well, there is no obligation to attend Mass on Sunday.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists a number of helpful practices. Frequently wash your hands with warm water and soap. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when you are coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have a tissue or handkerchief, cough into your elbow rather than into your hand. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs spread this way.
If you do not feel well or have a cough, please avoid receiving the Precious Blood from the cup when it is offered. Be conscious that those around you may not shake your hand at the Sign of Peace because they may not be feeling well.
If we all practice these common, everyday precautions, hopefully we can prevent a significant outbreak of the flu in our community.
If your marriage is tearing the two of you apart, if there is little or no meaningful communication, if you are considering separation or divorce, then the Retrouvaille Program can help you, Retrouvaille is helping couples put the pieces back together and to rediscover a more loving relationship.
The next local program will be Feb. 24-26, 2017 at The Ramada Inn, Clarks Summit, PA . Registration Required. All calls confidential. Cost is by donation. For more information or to register call 1-800-470-2230 or visit www.helpourmarriage.org. Why run it for so long? Because it often takes troubled couples awhile to accept that they may need some help.
The Christmas shopping season will officially be underway this Friday! When purchasing items from Amazon.com, please consider logging into your account via the Amazon Smile Program. A portion of your sale will be donated to our home at no additional cost to you!
To help, log in to your account at smile.amazon.com/ch/24-0832764.
There is St Mary’s Cilla Assisted Living. If you are interested in living here for just the winter months or a shorter period of time to stay active and keep busy during the long winter, call 570-795-2810.
Our parish family welcomes all who joined us for the celebration of the Eucharist this weekend. If you are not a registered member of the parish and would like to join the parish, please contact the parish office or see Monsignor Delaney for more information.
The 2017 calendars are available this weekend in Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament Parishes. A special thanks is extended to the Michael P. Glinsky Funeral Home in Olyphant and to the John F. Glinsky Funeral Home in Throop for their donation to Holy Cross Parish and Blessed Sacrament for sponsoring the calendars.
The Social Concerns Committee of Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross Parishes are once again providing a hot dinner at Christmas for the residents of St. Anthony’s Haven (a homeless shelter). The women of the Social Concerns have been working diligently throughout the year and have accomplished many worthy projects. Thank you for your generosity to all of the parish projects that help to raise money. Thank you.
On the Care of our Common Home
Our Social Concerns Committee is hosting a presentation on Pope Francis recent teaching “Laudato Si” on the Care of our Common Home” Monsignor Vincent Grimalia will present information and lead conversation on the important topics which surface from Pope Francis ‘ historic encyclical.
When: Monday, December 5 @ 6:30M Where Blessed Sacrament Parish Hall
All are invited and welcome. Refreshments will be served.
St Francis of Assisi Soup Drive: Monsignor Joseph P Kelly, Director of St Francis Kitchen has asked that local parishes collect cans of soup to help fill a specific need at the kitchen. We ask that you drop off soup cans next weekend October 22-23 in the vestibules of our parish churches. Thank you for your generosity.
The Catholic Churches of Olyphant and Throop welcome you to a free Community Meal at Holy Cross Parish at 12 Noon each Wednesday. The nutritious meal is prepared at St. Francis Kitchen, Scranton.
Our Catholic life begins and ends in the Parish because a Parish is the gathering of God’s faithful people. Today, more than ever, we must connect with our fellow parishioners, reinforcing our faith and keeping it vital for the next generation of Catholics. It is crucial that we foster a rich parish life, where families and friends come together in the spirit of Catholic fellowship. The Office for Parish Life assists in all aspects of Liturgy and Worship, Service & Social Concerns, Community and Family Development. Your gifts fund such programs as networking and training for Youth .Ministry Leaders, Directors of Religious Education, Music and Liturgical Ministry, Bereavement Support, Social Concerns and Parish Councils.
Care & Education to Priests:
“Answering God’s call to a life of service to His People” Our priests and deacons unconditionally answer the call to serve God’s people meeting increasing needs throughout our Diocese. Contributions to the Annual Appeal fund ongoing formation of our priests, permanent deacons, seminarians and deacon candidates. These funds also help us to care for and support our 96 retired or ill priests, many of whom continue to generously assist with the celebration of Masses, the visitation of the sick and by offering spiritual guidance to all in need. Appeal gifts also assist the Vocation Office, which has been blessed with encouraging growth, in guiding those who are considering priesthood through a comprehensive discernment process. We are grateful to currently have 11 seminarians pursuing the priesthood in the Diocese of Scranton. Your gift to the Annual Appeal directly supports the celebration of the Eucharist, men in clergy formation, proclamation of the Gospel and administration of the Sacraments within our parish communities.
Educating the future generations of the faithful
Shaping the next generation of the faithful through a Catholic education in our schools and parishes is an essential mission of the Diocese of Scranton. Last year, more than 5,100 elementary, middle and high school students benefitted from the academic programs and spiritual guidance offered by our Catholic Schools. More than 15,000 children received religious education in parish based-programs, instilling in them an intimate knowledge of the faith and the love of God and fostering a desire to serve one another.
If you didn’t bring your phone to Mass today, it’s not too late to make a gift or pledge using your cell phone. Gifts are appreciated in any amount and are fully tax-deductible. Will you help by sharing your gifts?
To text a gift using your cell phone to support the ministries and services supported by the Diocesan Appeal, just…Text the word “Appeal” to number 91999, and follow the prompts. We appreciate your generosity. May God bless you.
Living Faith, Serving with Mercy “The great gift of mercy lies at the heart of all that we do as a church, and it also lies at the heart of the support we receive from the Diocesan Annual Appeal.”
Where we stand:
Holy Cross Parish: HOLY CROSS:We are at 99.66% of our $50,000 goal; $49,830.00 ($170.00)
Blessed Sacrament: Congratulations!! We are at 107% of our $17,000 goal;$18,515.00, $1,515.00 over. Remember that 75% of collected appeal donations above goal will be returned our parishes.
As Augustine is remembered as saying “He who sings prays twice” Come join our parish choirs and help lead our parishes in prayers.
Choirs began meeting on Wednesday, September 7th at 6:30 pm. In both Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament Parishes. Holy Cross is under the direction of Mary Therese McKane, Blessed Sacrament.
The Social Concerns Committee of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament Parish, under the direction of Monsignor Michael Delaney, is pleased to announce that Ms. Susan Scanland MSN, CRNP,GNP-BC, CDP, CSP will be presenting a Sunday Seminar on Alzheimer’s and other Dementias October 16, 2016. The lecture, which is free to the public, will take place at Blessed Sacrament Parish (St. Anthony’s Church) at 2 PM.
Susan Scanland is a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner/Certified Dementia Practitioner and a national Alzheimer’s expert. Over 34 years of practice, she supported family caregivers, diagnosed and treated all dementias in long-term care, assisted living and home care. Ms. Scanland is the founder of Dementia Connection® LLC, a dementia education and consultation business.
Susan is one of two nurse practitioners in the world to receive the Certified Speaking Professional Award (CSP) through the National Speakers Association. She has presented over 600 seminars in the United States and Canada, as well as the International Conference on Vascular Dementia in Valencia, Spain.
Ms. Scanland has been nationally certified as a gerontological nurse practitioner since 1984 and is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). She holds a Nursing Faculty Specialist position at the University of Scranton. Susan has also taught in geriatric faculty positions at Binghamton University (SUNY) from 1999-2004 and the Wyoming Valley Family Practice Residency in Kingston, Pennsylvania from 1987-1999. She received her MSN from the University of Pittsburgh and BSN from Wilkes University.
The Social Concerns Committee and Monsignor Delaney hope that you will attend this Sunday Seminar and gain insight into this topic that greatly affects our families and our friends.
Too Busy to Pray?
If we are too busy to pray, maybe we are just too busy. In today's world many people are busy doing good and necessary things. Accomplishing primary tasks instead of dwelling on secondary ones is a matter of setting our priorities aright. Jesus set the example as he withdrew from the crowds to pray and commune with his heavenly Father. "But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray (Luke 5:15-16 NASB). Surely, preaching and healing the sick were good and necessary pursuits; but despite the clamor of the crowds, Jesus often forsook them for a higher priority, prayer.
Provident God, You bless us with the gift of Jesus Who cares for us as a good shepherd. By our Baptism we are anointed and sent to continue the mission of Jesus. Guide Your people to prayerfully choose a way of life that best serves you with their gifts. Empower us by Your Holy Spirit to live dedicated lives as married and single people, as deacons, priests, and religious. United with Jesus, our shepherd, we are one with You, now and forever. Amen.
When you go on vacation in the summer, do you take a vacation from Mass? Do you make the days of summer lazy by staying home on Sunday? Here are four reasons to fit Mass into your summer schedule. 1) After Jesus’ resurrection, his followers formed the early Church by gathering and keeping his message alive. Every time you attend Mass, you help to keep Jesus’ message alive – but that can only happen in church. 2) At Sunday Mass, millions of people you don’t know are praying for you and with you. Where else can you get that kind of help? 3) Attending Mass connects you to the Communion of Saints – the saints in heaven, the souls in purgatory, and believers on earth. That’s powerful company! 4) Mass is the way a Catholic fulfills the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day. If God tells you to do something, it’s a good idea to do it. To find a church or Mass time anywhere in the United States, visit www.masstimes.org.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY – SPIRITUALLY ADOPTED BABY
Your spiritually adopted baby was born this month – nine months after his/her mother conceived him/her. The only change at birth is a change in the external life support system of the baby. He/she is not different now than he/she before birth except that he breathes and eats differently. He began as a 46 chromosome cell and has developed over the past nine months into this unique human baby. Never before in history nor ever again will anyone exist who is just like your spiritually adopted baby. Your prayers saved his/her life. Thank you on behalf of the little babies that you cared enough to pray for him/her and his/her mother.
Catholic Social Services of The Diocese of Scranton offers compassionate counseling in a safe, comfortable environment where your privacy is always respected. Counseling is about self-discovery and can be used for personal growth or when distressing conditions exist and you need a bit of extra support… help is available. Anyone who struggles with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, life transitions or a variety of emotional or psychological conditions is welcome. For more information or to make an appointment, call 570-207-2283.
God our Father,
You made each of us to use
Our gifts in the Body of Christ.
We ask that you inspirev 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.
Through Christ our Lord.
As we celebrate Memorial Day please remember in your prayers all the men and women who are currently serving in the armed forces as well as those who have served in previous years. May God bless them and keep them safe.
Dear God, Hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen
- CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES
- Prayer for Vocations
- Youth Group News
- Confraternity of Christian Women
- Let Us Put Our Hope in Jesus
- HELP PAYING FOR GROCERIES
- What is unique or different about the way Catholics read and are exposed to the Bible
- The Ultimate Test of Greatness
- The People of Yes
- PRAYER FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
- Support Christians in the Holy Land
- Pope Francis Calls to Those Who Feel Far From God
- IMPORTANT - CHOIR LOFT SAFETY
- Pope Francis on Evangelization
- Know a Marriage That Needs Help
- Outreach Services
- Parking Around Parish
- Prayer of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
- Realize Above All
- LOVE FOR THE POOR & THE WORKS OF MERCY
- Seek the Face of God in Everything