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  • Today's Readings

  • Calendar of Events

    • December 17 - December 24
      During the last eight days of Advent, which are usually called the “Late Advent weekdays”, the Gospel heard at weekday Masses shifts to the infancy narratives. It might surprise some that not all four Gospel accounts tell us about the infancy of Jesus. Only Matthew and Luke do. In his prologue (John 1:1-18), John one-ups those two evangelists by accounting for the life of God the Son from all eternity in brief and brilliant poetry. Mark begins his Gospel account (the shortest of the four) with Jesus already an adult.
    • Tuesday, December 19, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
      The Weekly gathering of the choir to review repertoire, learn new music, and share fellowship as liturgical musicians
    • Thursday, December 21
      The energetic life of Peter Canisius should demolish any stereotypes we may have of the life of a saint as dull or routine. Peter lived his 76 years at a pace which must be considered heroic, even in our time of rapid change. A man blessed with many talents, Peter is an excellent example of the scriptural man who develops his talents for the sake of the Lord’s work. He was one of the most important figures in the Catholic Reformation in Germany. His played such a key role that he has often been called the “second apostle of Germany” in that his life parallels the earlier work of Boniface. Although Peter once accused himself of idleness in his youth, he could not have been idle too long, for at the age of 19 he received a master’s degree from the university at Cologne. Soon afterwards he met Peter Faber, the first disciple of Ignatius Loyola, who influenced Peter so much that he joined the recently formed Society of Jesus. At this early age Peter had already taken up a practice he continued throughout his life—a process of study, reflection, prayer and writing. After his ordination in 1546, he became widely known for his editions of the writings of Saint Cyril of Alexandria and St. Leo the Great. Besides this reflective literary bent, Peter had a zeal for the apostolate. He could often be found visiting the sick or prisoners, even when his assigned duties in other areas were more than enough to keep most people fully occupied. In 1547 Peter attended several sessions of the Council of Trent, whose decrees he was later assigned to implement. After a brief teaching assignment at the Jesuit college at Messina, Peter was entrusted with the mission to Germany—from that point on his life’s work. He taught in several universities and was instrumental in establishing many colleges and seminaries. He wrote a catechism that explained the Catholic faith in a way which common people could understand—a great need of that age. Renowned as a popular preacher, Peter packed churches with those eager to hear his eloquent proclamation of the gospel. He had great diplomatic ability, often serving as a reconciler between disputing factions. In his letters (filling eight volumes) one finds words of wisdom and counsel to people in all walks of life. At times he wrote unprecedented letters of criticism to leaders of the Church—yet always in the context of a loving, sympathetic concern. At 70, Peter suffered a paralytic seizure, but he continued to preach and write with the aid of a secretary until his death in his hometown (Nijmegen, Netherlands) on December 21, 1597. Peter’s untiring efforts are an apt example for those involved in the renewal of the Church or the growth of moral consciousness in business or government. He is regarded as one of the creators of the Catholic press, and can easily be a model for the Christian author or journalist. Teachers can see in his life a passion for the transmission of truth. Whether we have much to give, as Peter Canisius did, or whether we have only a little to give, as did the poor widow in the Gospel (see Luke 21:1–4), the important thing is to give our all. It is in this way that Peter is so exemplary for Christians in an age of rapid change when we are called to be in the world but not of the world.
    • Thursday, December 21, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
      We gather every Thursday to honor our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament with a time of Eucharistic Adoration. Come and present your needs to the Lord. Thank Him for His Presence in this Sacrament. Pray for your needs and the needs of the world.
    • Thursday, December 21, 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM
      Join in the Evening Prayer of the Church as we bring our day of Adoration to a close. When Father is available, we have Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
    • Saturday, December 23
      John was a country lad who made good in the big city and the big university of Kraków, Poland. After brilliant studies he was ordained a priest and became a professor of theology. The inevitable opposition which saints encounter led to his being ousted by rivals and sent to be a parish priest at Olkusz. An extremely humble man, he did his best, but his best was not to the liking of his parishioners. Besides, he was afraid of the responsibilities of his position. But in the end he won his people’s hearts. After some time he returned to Kraków and taught Scripture for the remainder of his life. He was a serious man, and humble, but known to all the poor of Kraków for his kindness. His goods and his money were always at their disposal, and time and again they took advantage of him. He kept only the money and clothes absolutely needed to support himself. He slept little, ate sparingly, and took no meat. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, hoping to be martyred by the Turks. He made four pilgrimages to Rome, carrying his luggage on his back. When he was warned to look after his health, he was quick to point out that, for all their austerity, the fathers of the desert lived remarkably long lives. John of Kanty is a typical saint: He was kind, humble and generous, he suffered opposition and led an austere, penitential life. Most Christians in an affluent society can understand all the ingredients except the last: Anything more than mild self-discipline seems reserved for athletes and ballet dancers. Christmas is a good time at least to reject self-indulgence.
    • December 23 - December 25
      Due to the approaching Solemnity of Christmas, our weekend Mass schedule will be adjusted. THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT Saturday, December 23rd VIGIL MASS for the 4th Sunday of Advent will be at 4:00 pm and 5:30 pm Sunday, December 24th SUNDAY MASS for the 4th Sunday of Advent will be at 8:00 am ONLY THERE WILL BE NO 11:00 am SUNDAY MASS this weekend. THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRISTMAS Vigil Mass for Christmas will be at 4:00 pm Sunday, December 24th Mass of Christmas Night will be at 10:30 pm Sunday, December 24th. (Please note, neither of these Masses fulfills your Sunday obligation. These Masses fulfill only the Christmas obligation. You must attend Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday morning to fulfill your Sunday obligation.) Monday, December 25th Mass of Christmas Dawn - 8:00 am Mass of Christmas Day - 11:00 am
    • December 24 - December 25
      On this day, the Church focuses especially on the newborn Child, God become human, who embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. We need no other special saint today to lead us to Christ in the manger, although his mother Mary and Joseph, caring for his foster-son, help round out the scene. But if we were to select a patron for today, perhaps it might be appropriate for us to imagine an anonymous shepherd, summoned to the birthplace by a wondrous and even disturbing vision in the night, a summons from an angelic choir, promising peace and goodwill. A shepherd willing to seek out something that might just be too unbelievable to chase after, and yet compelling enough to leave behind the flocks in the field and search for a mystery. On the day of the Lord’s birth, let’s let an unnamed, “non-celebrity” at the edge of the crowd model for us the way to discover Christ in our own hearts—somewhere between skepticism and wonder, between mystery and faith. And, like Mary and the shepherds, let us treasure that discovery in our hearts. Reflection The precise dating in this passage sounds like a textbook on creationism. If we focus on the time frame, however, we miss the point. It lays out the story of a love affair: creation, the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, the rise of Israel under David. It climaxes with the birth of Jesus. From the beginning, some scholars insist, God intended to enter the world as one of us, the beloved people. Praise God!
    • December 24 - December 25
      VIGIL of CHRISTMAS December 24 4 pm MASS at NIGHT December 24 10:30 pm MASS at DAWN December 25 8:00 am MASS of CHRISTMAS DAY December 25 11:00 am
    • December 25 - January 6
      Sometime in November, as things now stand, the "Christmas season" begins. The streets are hung with lights, the stores are decorated with red and green, and you can't turn on the radio without hearing songs about the spirit of the season and the glories of Santa Claus. The excitement builds to a climax on the morning of December 25, and then it stops, abruptly. Christmas is over, the New Year begins, and people go back to their normal lives. The traditional Christian celebration of Christmas is exactly the opposite. The season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and for nearly a month Christians await the coming of Christ in a spirit of expectation, singing hymns of longing. Then, on December 25, Christmas Day itself ushers in 12 days of celebration, ending only on January 6 with the feast of the Epiphany. Exhortations to follow this calendar rather than the secular one have become routine at this time of year. But often the focus falls on giving Advent its due, with the 12 days of Christmas relegated to the words of a cryptic traditional carol. Most people are simply too tired after Christmas Day to do much celebrating. The "real" 12 days of Christmas are important not just as a way of thumbing our noses at secular ideas of the "Christmas season." They are important because they give us a way of reflecting on what the Incarnation means in our lives. Christmas commemorates the most momentous event in human history—the entry of God into the world he made, in the form of a baby. The Logos through whom the worlds were made took up his dwelling among us in a tabernacle of flesh. One of the prayers for Christmas Day in the Catholic liturgy encapsulates what Christmas means for all believers: "O God, who marvelously created and yet more marvelously restored the dignity of human nature, grant that we may share the divinity of him who humbled himself to share our humanity In the birth of Jesus, God has put down the mighty from their seats and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. Nothing will ever be safe or normal again. In the words of Michael Card, we are called to "follow God's own fool." And yet, paradoxically, this greatest of revolutionaries was not a rebel. The one who revealed the surprising meaning of God's Law and turned the tables on human traditions nonetheless submitted to be circumcised according to the teaching of Moses. Finally, on Epiphany (January 6), the celebration of Christmas comes to an end. "Twelfth Night" (as all lovers of Shakespeare know) is the ultimate celebration of Christmas madness (Shakespeare's play features one of his many "wise fools" who understand the real meaning of life better than those who think they are sane). Epiphany commemorates the beginning of the proclamation of the gospel—Christ's manifestation to the nations, as shown in three different events: the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the turning of water into wine. In the Western tradition, the Magi predominate. But in the Eastern churches, Jesus' baptism tends to be the primary theme. In the Bucharest subway, children leading lambs walk through the trains in commemoration of the Lamb of God to whom John pointed. Orthodox Christians traditionally have their homes blessed with holy water on or around this day. Nowhere is Epiphany celebrated more joyously than in Ethiopia. Pilgrims from all over the country converge on the ancient city of Aksum, where they bathe in a great reservoir whose waters have been blessed by a priest. Epiphany is often a forgotten festival. As the true end-point of the Christmas season, however, Epiphany sends us into the world to live out the Incarnation, to witness to the light of Christ in the darkness. Following Jesus, we have been baptized into his death and resurrection. Whether we are called to martyrdom, or to prophetic witness, or simply to faithful living in the joys and sorrows of our daily lives, we live all of our days in the knowledge of our dignity, redeemed through Christ and united to God. We are part of the strange society of people whose world has been turned upside down, and we go out to witness to this topsy-turvy truth: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: and we beheld his glory … and of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:14, 16).
  • updates

    The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception will be observed on Friday, December 8th.
    The Vigil Mass will be on Thursday, December 7th at 5:30 pm
    On the Feast Day Masses will be offered at 8:00 am and Noon.

    CHRISTMAS WEEKEND SCHEDULE
    The Fourth Sunday of Advent
    Saturday, December 23, 2017   4 pm and 5:30 pm
    Sunday, December 24, 2017    8 am ONLY
    THERE WILL BE NO SUNDAY 11 AM MASS on December 24th!
     
    THE SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
    SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24th
    4:00 pm  VIGIL MASS of CHRISTMAS

    10:30 pm  SOLEMN MASS AT NIGHT

    MONDAY, DECEMBER 25th
    8:00 am  Mass of Christmas Dawn

    11:00 am  Mass of Christmas Day

    Please Note: Participation in the Sunday Night Christmas Masses does NOT fulfill your Sunday Obligation. It only fulfills your Christmas Obligation. You must participate in Mass either Saturday evening or Sunday Morning to fulfill your Sunday Obligation.

    HUGE GIFT CARD RAFFLE
    Because of the generosity of our parishioners, we were able to cover the needs of our recent Toy Bingo and can offer another chance to spread holiday Cheer.
    • Tickets will be sold beginning November 25th
    $1.00 each, 6 for $5.00, 13 for $10.00, 30 for $20.00
    • Final drawing will be December 17th after the 11:00AM Mass. 
    •   Great gifts or stocking stuffers.
     
    AND THE PRIZES ARE:
    First Prize Second Prize Third Prize
    $400 Value $225 Value $110 Value
    $50 - Anthracite Café $30 - Chacko's $25 - Walmart
    $45 - Movies 14 $25 - Wegman's $25 - Toys R Us
    $30 - Chacko's $25 - Patte's Sports Bar $25 - Wegman's
    $25 - Julie's Cozy Café $25 - Grotto Pizza $15 - Norm's Pizza
    $25 - Applebee's $25 - Toys R Us $10 - Rodano's
    $25 - Olive Garden $25 - Friendly's $10 - Rodano's
    $25 - Grotto Pizza $25 - Julie's Cozy Café  
    $25 - Patte's Sports Bar $25 - Longhorn Steakhouse  
    $25 - Toys R Us $20 - Huns Café 99  
    $25 - Toys R Us    
    $20 - Toys R Us    
    $20 - Toys R Us    
    $20 - Longhorn Steakhouse    
    $20 - Huns Café 99    
    $20 - Dukey's Café    

     

  • Upcoming Gatherings


    FAITH SHARING COMMUNITIES
    St. Andre Faith Seekers  will meet with Michael Boris at 6 pm on Monday, December 4th in the Fr. Murgas Meeting Room of the Parish Office

    Disciples of the Spirit of Jesus will meet with Sr. Madonna  on Saturday,December 9th at 10:30 am   in the Fr. Murgas Meeting Room of the Parish office. There is still room in this group for anyone desiring to join.
     
    Sharers on the Journey with Christ  will meet with Rosemary Shedlock on Monday, December 11th at 2:00 pm in the home of Elaine Snyder.

    PARISH ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCILS

    PARISH LITURGICAL COUNCIL
    Wednesday, December 6, 2017
    10:00 a.m.

    PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
    Thursday, December 7, 2017
    6:30 p.m
     
    PARISH SOCIAL JUSTICE COUNCIL
    Thursday December 14, 2017
    6 p.m
     
    PARISH FINANCE COUNCIL
    Thursday, January 18, 2018
    6:30 p.m.
     
    All Administrative Council Meetings take place in the Fr. Murgas Conference Room of the Parish Office
     
    PARISH COMMIT TEE MEETINGS

    DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
    Monday, December 4, 2017
    6:00 p.m.
    Lower Meeting Room

    YOUNG AT HEART COMMITTEE
    HOLIDAY GATHERING
    Wednesday, December 6, 2017
    5:00 p.m.
    Anthracite Restaurant
    Scott St.
    Wilkes-Barre, PA

    All Parish Committee Meetings take place in the Fr. Murgas Room of the parish office, unless otherwise specified.

  • Word on Fire