• 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

Notice Regarding Reporting 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 Services Laws, reports of suspected child abuse should also be made immediately by phone to the 24-Hour Child 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).

LET’S HAVE THE BEST LENT EVER

Best Lent Ever is a free, daily email program that will help those who participate have a truly life-changing Lent. This year’s program is based on Matthew Kelly’s newest bestseller, “Resisting Happiness”.

We all know the things that make us happy, but we don’t always do them. Lent is an opportunity to change that. This year we invite you to do something different.

This book leads readers, in a deeply personal way

to the realization that they cannot get to where they want to go without God. It is specifically written to re-engage disengaged Catholics and inspire individuals to grow in their spiritual lives.

How Does It Work?

1. All are encouraged to visit BestLentEver.com to sign up.

2. Beginning Ash Wednesday, March 1st, participants will receive daily emails with practical tips, short inspirational videos from Matthew Kelly, and personal reflections.

3. Participants will discover how to open their hearts to God and do more than just give up chocolate for Lent – helping all to have our Best Lent Ever.

4. The Book “Resisting Happiness” has been handed out at all Ash Wednesday Masses – free of charge, as our gift, take it home for your spiritual Lenten prayer.

5. Sessions for Prayer and Conversation – each Tuesday night during Lent at 6:30 PM in Kelley Hall at Holy Cross and/or each Thursday morning following 7:30 AM mass in Blessed Sacrament Parish Hall. We will conduct sessions about “Resisting Happiness”.

The book “Resisting Happiness” will be available to all who would like a copy – please call the Rectory 570-489-0752 or 570-489-1963 to reserve a copy or sign up in the gathering spaces of our parishes. There is no fee. Books are free. During Lent we will also conduct sessions for prayer and reflection as we review “Resisting Happiness.”

Deanery Communal Services for 2017

Come Fount, of Every Blessing/h3>

Please Note- Rescheduled:

We are happy to host this event which has been rescheduled due to the March snowstorm. Wednesday, April 19, 7:00 PM- Holy Cross Parish, Olyphant, Preaching: Rev. Virginia Miner. Refreshments to follow the service.

  • March 8 Peckville United Methodist Church, 725 Main St. Peckville
  • March 15 Holy Cross Parish at St Patrick's Church, 200 Delaware Ave. Olyphant
  • March 22 SS James & George Episcopal Church, 3998 Washington Ave., Jermyn
  • March 29 Blakely Baptist church, 201 Main Street, Blakely
  • April 5 First United Presbyterian Church of Lackawanna County, 1557 Main St., Peckville

All Services begin at 7:00 PM

Church Chuckles

Little Girl at Prayer

A LITTLE GIRL’S PRAYER:

Dear God, please take care of Daddy and Mommy and my sister and my brother and me. And please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we’re gonna be in a big mess.

The Solemnity of the Epiphany

Epiphany

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).

NOW THE WORK OF CHRISTMAS BEGINS

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.

HOUSE BLESSING

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

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.

DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE LEGAL PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN

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.

The Feast of the Holy Family 2016

The Holy Family

This Feast falls on a Friday (December 30) this year, making this Christmas week, this Octave of Christmas, a most grace filled time. Beginning with the Christmas 3 fold celebrations:

  • Dec 26 the Feast of ST Stephen, the first Martyr
  • Dec 27 the Feast of St John the Evangelist
  • Dec 28 The Feast of the Innocents, The Church invites us to unpack the Mystery of the Incarnation and savior Various aspects of “the Word made flesh”

The Family: The “little church”

The Feast of the Holy Family is a celebration of the family. That unique nucleus of society that gives us life, nurture and support throughout our journey on earth. Families are the first and best places for the love of God to come alive. Within our families we experience the heights of joy and the depths of pain.

The Fathers of the Second of the Second Vatican Council called the Family, “the first and vital cell of humanity…the domestic sanctuary of the Church” Families reflect the love of Christ, a love that is totally selfless, limitless and unconditional both in good times and (especially) in bad times. The Feast of the Holy Family calls us to rediscover and celebrate our own families as harbors of forgiveness and understanding and Safe places of love welcome and acceptance.

Christmas 2016

CHRISTMAS

Readings:

Mass of the Vigil: Matthew 1: 1-25; Isaiah 62: 1-5; Acts 13: 16-17, 22-25

The readings for the Vigil Mass of Christmas celebrate Jesus’ birth as the fulfillment of the First Covenant.

For Matthew, the story of Jesus begins with the promise to Abraham – that Jesus is the ultimate and perfect fulfillment of the Law and Prophets; so Matthew begins his Gospel with “a family record” of Jesus, tracing the infant’s birth from Abraham (highlighting his Jewish identity) and David (his Messiahship).

Matthew’s version of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem follows his detailed genealogy. This is not Luke’s familiar story of a child born in a Bethlehem stable, but that of a young unmarried woman suddenly finding herself pregnant and her very hurt and confused husband wondering what to do. In Gospel times, marriage was agreed upon by the groom and the bride’s parents, but the girl continued to live with her parents after the wedding until the husband was able to support her in his home or that of his parents. During that interim period, marital intercourse was not permissible.

Yet Mary is found to be with child, Joseph, an observant but compassionate Jew, does not wish to subject Mary to the full fury of Jewish law, so he plans to divorce her “quietly.” But in images reminiscent of the First Testament “annunciations” of Isaac and Samuel, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and reveals that this child is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Because of his complete faith and trust in God’s promise, Joseph acknowledges the child and names him Jesus (“Savior”) and becomes, in the eyes of the Law, the legal father of Jesus. Thus, Jesus, through Joseph, is born a descendent of David.

Matthew’s point in his infancy narrative is that Jesus is the Emmanuel promised of old – Isiah’s prophecy has finally been fulfilled in Jesus: the “virgin” has given birth to a son, one who is a descendent of David’s house (through Joseph). Jesus is truly Emmanuel – God is with us.

The promise fulfilled is also the theme of Isaiah’s insistence that God will fulfill his promises to the exiled Israelites returning home (first reading). Like the great love of a generous spouse, God not only forgives his people but entrusts to them the promise of the Messiah.

Paul’s sermon to the Jews at Antioch Pisidia in the Acts of the Apostles (second reading) is a concise chronicle of the promise of Emmanuel fulfilled.

Mass at Midnight:Luke 2: 1-14;Isaiah 9: 1-6;Titus 2: 11-14

Centuries of hope in God’s promise have come to fulfillment: the Messiah is born!

Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth (Gospel) begins by placing the event during the reign of Caesar Augustus. Augustus, who ruled from 27 B.C. – 14 A.D.), was honored as “savior” and “god” in ancient Greek inscriptions. His long reign was hailed as the pax Augusta – a period of peace throughout the vast Roman world. Luke very deliberately points out that it is during the rule of Augustus, the savior, god and peace-maker, that Jesus the Christ, the long-awaited Savior and Messiah, the Son of God and Prince of Peace, enters human history.

Throughout his Gospel, Luke shows how it is the poor, the lowly, the outcast and the sinner who immediately hear and embrace the preaching of Jesus. The announcement of the Messiah’s birth to shepherds – who were among the most isolated and despised in the Jewish community – is in keeping with Luke’s theme that the poor are especially blessed of God.

In his “Book of Emmanuel” (chapters 6-12), the prophet Isaiah describes Emmanuel as the new David, the ideal king who will free his enslaved people (first reading). The “day of Midian” refers to Gideon’s decisive defeat of the Midianites, a nomadic nation of outlaws who ransacked the Israelites’ farms and villages (Judge 6-8).

Paul’s letter to his co-worker Titus articulates the heart of the mystery of the Incarnation: the grace of God himself has come to us in the person of Jesus Christ (second reading).

Mass Schedule for Christmas 2016

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 - Saturday, December 24, 2016

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
10:30 p.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

Christmas Day - Sunday, December 25th, 2016

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

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Advent

Readings: Matthew 1: 18-24, Isaiah 10-14, Romans 1: 1-7

Prepare the Way of the Lord

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

The last week of Advent shifts our focus from the promise of the Messiah to the fulfillment of that promise in the events surrounding Jesus’ birth.

Today’s Gospel is Matthew’s version of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem. This is not Luke’s familiar story of a child born in a Bethlehem stable, but that of a young, unmarried woman suddenly finding herself pregnant and her very hurt and confused husband wondering what to do. In Gospel times, marriage was agreed upon by the groom and the bride’s parents; but the girl continued to live with her family after the wedding until the husband was able to support her in his home or that of his parents. During that interim period, marital intercourse was not permissible.

Yet Mary is found to be with child. Joseph, an observant but compassionate Jew, does not wish to subject Mary to the full fury of Jewish law, so he plans to divorce her “quietly.” Bit in images reminiscent of the First Testament “annunciations” of Isaac and Samuel, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and reveals that this child is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Because of his complete faith and trust in God’s promise, Joseph acknowledges the child and names him “Jesus” (“Savior”) and becomes, in the eyes of the Law, the legal father of Jesus. Thus, Jesus, through Joseph, is born a descendent of David.

Matthew’s point in his infancy narrative is that Jesus is the Emmanuel promised of old – Isaiah’s prophecy has finally been fulfilled in Jesus: the “virgin” has given birth to a son, one who is a descendent of David’s house (through Joseph). Jesus is truly Emmanuel – God is with us.

Ahaz was king of Judah from 735-715 B.C. Politically naïve, the headstrong young leader forged an alliance with Assyria against Israel and Syria. The alliance had disastrous consequences for Judah, costing the nation its independence. Isaiah the prophet counsels the foolish king to return to the ways of God which he has abandoned. The prophet challenges Ahaz to ask God for some sign from the Lord that God will once again return and save Judah. Ahaz responds with sarcasm (“I will not tempt the Lord!”). Isaiah then speaks the most famous prophecy regarding the Messiah (first reading). Many interpreted this oracle as referring to Hezekiah, Judah’s next king, but Matthew and the New Testament writers see Isaiah’s words as fulfilled ultimately in Jesus Christ.

Paul’s letter to the Romans was written to introduce himself to the Christian community at Rome in anticipation of his journey there – a journey that Paul eventually made, but as a prisoner. Writing from Greece (most probably Corinth), Paul introduces himself to the Roman community as an apostle of “Jesus Christ, descended from David…but made Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness” (second reading). Jesus as the perfect fulfillment of the Mosaic covenant will be a major theme throughout Paul’s letter to the Romans.

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

The Baptism of Jesus

Matthew 11: 2-11, Isaiah 35: 1-6, 10, James5: 7-10

The picture of John the Baptizer in today’s Gospel is quite different from last Sunday’s thundering, charismatic figure preaching to the crowds along the Jordan. John has been thrown into prison by Herod for publicly denouncing the king’s incestuous marriage to Herodias. Left to waste away in prison, John knew that his end was near.

Jesus sends the messengers back to John to report all they have seen Jesus do, fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah and the prophets of old. While praising John for his faithful witness, Jesus tells his followers that great things will come to all who become prophets of the reign of God.

In today’s first reading, Isaiah prophesies that the Messiah will come as a healer. From our New Testament perspective, our first thoughts are of the miraculous works and healings of Jesus; but Isaiah’s prophecy speaks of the Messiah as a reconciler who heals the divisions among peoples, who restores the justice and peace of God and who brings men and women back to Lord.

The second reading today is one of the few Sunday Lectionary appearances of this obscure letter attributed to James, “the brother of the Lord.” This parable on patience might assure the “little people” in the community that their long wait for Christmas will soon be rewarded; but for the “big people” in the congregation, the image of the farmer waiting for the return of spring broadens our view of Advent from the festive anticipation of Jesus’ birth to the deeper and sobering anticipation of our imminent re-birth in the Resurrection. We must possess the faith and hope of the farmer: Just as the wheat will grow through the snow because of the farmer’s hard work, so will the reign of God be realized in our lives.

NOTE TO PARENTS Please remember to bring your children to Confession to prepare for Christmas.

NOTE TO PARENTS: Please remember to bring your children to Confession to prepare for Christmas. We are unable to provide Confession time during our CCD class time on Sunday, please bring your children during this season of joy to experience the love and forgiveness of our God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Tuesday, December 13th 6:30 pm Holy Cross

Thursday, December 15 6:30 pm Blessed Sacrament

Thank you for all that you do in sharing your faith with your children

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (a Holy Day of Obligation) 2016

Immaculate Conception

December 8th is the Patronal Feast Day of the United States and a Holy Day of Obligation. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the saving work of God in preserving the Blessed Virgin Mary from the stain of original sine from the moment of her conception in the womb of St. Ann .

Our Mass schedule is:

(Dec 7) Vigil Mass

5:30 PM Blessed Sacrament

(Dec 8) Holy Day

7:30 AM Blessed Sacrament

8:00 AM Holy Cross

7:00 PM Holy Cross

ADVENT –Prepare the Way of the Lord

Advent - Prepare the Way of the Lord

THIRD Week OF ADVENT

John’s question, Are you the Messiah? Confronts us with the apparent silence of God in our secular, amoral society. Like, John, we seek a Messiah with decisive answers and vindicating power to over come the hatred, the intolerance, the selfishness that dooms our earth. But like John, we must come to recognize the Messiah in the liberating person of Jesus, the healer and reconciler. Selfless love, compassion and forgiveness revealed in the smallest and hidden ways are the surest sign that the reign of God has come.

BE PROUD THAT YOU ARE CATHOLIC

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.

Christmas Flowers

Christmas Flowers

Anyone wishing to make a donation in memory of a deceased loved one towards the purchase of Christmas flowers is asked to use the Christmas Flower Envelope located in your packet of envelopes. Please write the name you wish to make the donation in memory of on the envelope or on a plain white envelope.

Christmas Giving Trees

CHRISTMAS GIVING TREES are in the vestibules of both parishes. UNWRAPPED gifts to be returned by December 11.

CHRISTMAS WAFERS - OPLATEK

Packets of Christmas Wafers will be available in the main entrance of each church. The donation for each packet is $3.00. The tradition of the Oplatek is that on Christmas Eve, as a family gathers to share their meal, they first break bread and share the Christmas wafer uniting family members and remind us of the unity we share in the celebration of the Eucharist.