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  • Today's Readings

  • Calendar of Events

    • Tuesday, August 14
      St. Maximillian Kolbe
      “I don’t know what’s going to become of you!” How many parents have said that? Maximilian Mary Kolbe’s reaction was, “I prayed very hard to Our Lady to tell me what would happen to me. She appeared, holding in her hands two crowns, one white, one red. She asked if I would like to have them—one was for purity, the other for martyrdom. I said, ‘I choose both.’ She smiled and disappeared.” After that he was not the same. He entered the minor seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in Lvív–then Poland, now Ukraine– near his birthplace, and at 16 became a novice. Though Maximilian later achieved doctorates in philosophy and theology, he was deeply interested in science, even drawing plans for rocket ships. Ordained at 24, Maximilian saw religious indifference as the deadliest poison of the day. His mission was to combat it. He had already founded the Militia of the Immaculata, whose aim was to fight evil with the witness of the good life, prayer, work, and suffering. He dreamed of and then founded Knight of the Immaculata, a religious magazine under Mary’s protection to preach the Good News to all nations. For the work of publication he established a “City of the Immaculata”—Niepokalanow—which housed 700 of his Franciscan brothers. He later founded another one in Nagasaki, Japan. Both the Militia and the magazine ultimately reached the one-million mark in members and subscribers. His love of God was daily filtered through devotion to Mary. In 1939, the Nazi panzers overran Poland with deadly speed. Niepokalanow was severely bombed. Kolbe and his friars were arrested, then released in less than three months, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. In 1941, Fr. Kolbe was arrested again. The Nazis’ purpose was to liquidate the select ones, the leaders. The end came quickly, three months later in Auschwitz, after terrible beatings and humiliations. A prisoner had escaped. The commandant announced that 10 men would die. He relished walking along the ranks. “This one. That one.” As they were being marched away to the starvation bunkers, Number 16670 dared to step from the line. “I would like to take that man’s place. He has a wife and children.” “Who are you?” “A priest.” No name, no mention of fame. Silence. The commandant, dumbfounded, perhaps with a fleeting thought of history, kicked Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek out of line and ordered Fr. Kolbe to go with the nine. In the “block of death” they were ordered to strip naked, and their slow starvation began in darkness. But there was no screaming—the prisoners sang. By the eve of the Assumption, four were left alive. The jailer came to finish Kolbe off as he sat in a corner praying. He lifted his fleshless arm to receive the bite of the hypodermic needle. It was filled with carbolic acid. They burned his body with all the others. Fr. Kolbe was beatified in 1971 and canonized in 1982. Father Kolbe’s death was not a sudden, last-minute act of heroism. His whole life had been a preparation. His holiness was a limitless, passionate desire to convert the whole world to God. And his beloved Immaculata was his inspiration.
    • August 14, 5:30 PM - August 15, 11:59 PM
      SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
      The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory". This doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility. While the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church believe in the Dormition of the Theotokos, whether Mary had a physical death has not been dogmatically defined. In Munificentissimus Deus (item 39) Pope Pius XII pointed to the Book of Genesis (3:15) as scriptural support for the dogma in terms of Mary's victory over sin and death as also reflected in 1 Corinthians 15:54: "then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory". The New Testament contains no explicit narrative about the death or Dormition, nor of the Assumption of Mary, but several scriptural passages have been theologically interpreted to describe the ultimate fate in this and the afterworld of the Mother of Jesus. In the churches that observe it, the Assumption is a major feast day, commonly celebrated on 15 August. In many countries, the feast is also marked as a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church. MASS for the SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION will be offered on Tuesday, August 14th at 5:30 pm, On Wednesday, August 15th, Mass will be at 8 am and Noon.
    • Tuesday, August 14, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
      CHOIR REHEARSAL
      The Weekly gathering of the choir to review repertoire, learn new music, and share fellowship as liturgical musicians
    • Thursday, August 16
      St. Stephen of Hungary
      The Church is universal, but its expression is always affected—for good or ill—by local culture. There are no “generic” Christians; there are Mexican Christians, Polish Christians, Filipino Christians. This fact is evident in the life of Stephen, national hero and spiritual patron of Hungary. Born a pagan, he was baptized around the age of 10, together with his father, chief of the Magyars, a group who migrated to the Danube area in the ninth century. At 20, he married Gisela, sister to the future emperor, Saint Henry. When he succeeded his father, Stephen adopted a policy of Christianization of the country for both political and religious reasons. He suppressed a series of revolts by pagan nobles and welded the Magyars into a strong national group. He asked the pope to provide for the Church’s organization in Hungary—and also requested that the pope confer the title of king upon him. He was crowned on Christmas day in 1001. Stephen established a system of tithes to support churches and pastors and to relieve the poor. Out of every 10 towns one had to build a church and support a priest. He abolished pagan customs with a certain amount of violence, and commanded all to marry, except clergy and religious. He was easily accessible to all, especially the poor. In 1031, his son Emeric died, and the rest of Stephen’s days were embittered by controversy over his successor. His nephews attempted to kill him. He died in 1038 and was canonized, along with his son, in 1083. Reflection God’s gift of holiness is a Christlike love of God and humanity. Love must sometimes bear a stern countenance for the sake of ultimate good. Christ attacked hypocrites among the Pharisees, but died forgiving them. Paul excommunicated the incestuous man at Corinth “that his spirit may be saved.” Some Christians fought the Crusades with noble zeal, in spite of the unworthy motives of others. Today, after senseless wars, and with a deeper understanding of the complex nature of human motives, we shrink from any use of violence—physical or “silent.” This wholesome development continues as people debate whether it is possible for a Christian to be an absolute pacifist or whether evil must sometimes be repelled by force.
    • Thursday, August 16, 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
      Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
      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, August 16, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
      Pastoral Council
      The Pastoral Council gathers for its Bi-monthly meeting to discuss furthering the mission of the parish.
    • Thursday, August 16, 6:00 PM - 6:20 PM
      Evening Prayer and Benediction
      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, August 18
      St. Louis of Toulouse
      When he died at the age of 23, Louis was already a Franciscan, a bishop, and a saint! Louis’s parents were Charles II of Naples and Sicily, and Mary, daughter of the King of Hungary. Louis was related to Saint Louis IX on his father’s side and to Elizabeth of Hungary on his mother’s side. Louis showed early signs of attachment to prayer and to the corporal works of mercy. As a child he used to take food from the castle to feed the poor. When he was 14, Louis and two of his brothers were taken as hostages to the king of Aragon’s court as part of a political deal involving Louis’s father. At the court, Louis was tutored by Franciscan friars under whom he made great progress both in his studies and in the spiritual life. Like Saint Francis he developed a special love for those afflicted with leprosy. While he was still a hostage, Louis decided to renounce his royal title and become a priest. When he was 20, he was allowed to leave the king of Aragon’s court. He renounced his title in favor of his brother Robert and was ordained the next year. Very shortly after, he was appointed bishop of Toulouse, but the pope agreed to Louis’s request to become a Franciscan first. The Franciscan spirit pervaded Louis. “Jesus Christ is all my riches; he alone is sufficient for me,” Louis kept repeating. Even as a bishop he wore the Franciscan habit and sometimes begged. He assigned a friar to offer him correction—in public if necessary—and the friar did his job. Louis’s service to the Diocese of Toulouse was richly blessed. In no time he was considered a saint. Louis set aside 75 percent of his income as bishop to feed the poor and maintain churches. Each day he fed 25 poor people at his table. Louis was canonized in 1317 by Pope John XXII, one of his former teachers. When Cardinal Hugolino, the future Pope Gregory IX, suggested to Francis that some of the friars would make fine bishops, Francis protested that they might lose some of their humility and simplicity if appointed to those positions. Those two virtues are needed everywhere in the Church, and Louis shows us how they can be lived out by bishops.
  • updates

    ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT is observed in our parish on Thursdays from Noon until 6 pm.
    The day concludes with Vespers and Benediction at 6 pm.
    All Catholics are invited to join us in adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament each Thursday.

    Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius are selling raffle tickets for their annual drawing held on August 15. Support the work of the sisters by buying a ticket. Call the parish office 570-823-4988.

    The Solemnity of the Assumption will be observed with a VIGIL MASS on Tuesday, August 14th at 5:30 pm and MASSES on Wednesday, August 15th at 8:00 am and Noon.

    The Coronation of Mary will be observed on the FEAST OF THE QUEENSHIP of MARY, AUGUST 22nd at 6 pm.

    Our Annual Fall Harvest Dance will take place on September 14th in St. Mary's Hall from 6 - 10 pm. Tickets go on sale August 18th.

    A Theme Basket raffle will be held in conjunction with the dance. Tickets for the Basket raffle will be available in the vestibule of the church beginning on August 18th.

  • A Message from Bishop Bambera

    As you may already know from media reports, the Diocese of Scranton has been the subject of a statewide Grand Jury investigating child sexual abuse in six of the eight dioceses of Pennsylvania. Public release of the report is expected in the coming weeks.

    I want to take this opportunity to offer my deepest apologies to the victims of sexual abuse, to their families, to the faithful of our Church and to everyone impacted by the behaviors described in this report. While difficult to face, this is the only way for us to move forward in a more positive way as we learn from the past.

    You will be kept apprised of new developments through various channels of communication as more information is released. Once again, I am deeply sorry for these past actions and the pain caused by the behaviors described in this report, and I will continue to do all that I can to ensure the safety and well-being of our children.

    Faithfully yours in Christ,
    +Joseph C. Bambera
    Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.
    Bishop of Scranton.

  • Upcoming Gatherings


    FAITH SHARING COMMUNITIES
    St. Andre Faith S eekers  will meet with  Jackie Barkus at 6 pm on Monday, August 13, 2018 in the Fr. Murgas Meeting Room of the Parish Office

    Disciples of the Spirit of Jesus will meet with Sr. Madonna  on Saturday, August 18th 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 Sunday, August 19 at 2:00 pm in the home of Elaine Snyder.

    PARISH ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCILS

    . PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
    Thursday, August 16, 2018
    6:00 p.m.

    PARISH LIFE COUNCIL
    Thursday, August 23, 2018

    6:00 pm

    LITURGICAL COUNCIL
    Thursday, September 6, 2018
    6:00 p.m.

    PARISH ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF MEETING
    Thursday, September 13, 2018
    1 pm

    PARISH SOCIAL JUSTICE COUNCIL
    Thursday, September 13, 2018

    6:00 p.m.
     
    PARISH FINANCE COUNCIL
    Thursday, September 20, 2018
    6:00 p.m.

    PARISH CATECHETICAL COUNCIL
    Tuesday ,September 27, 2018

    6:00 p.m.
     
    All Administrative Councils will meet at 6:00 pm on Thursdays in the Church for Vespers. Meetings will follow immediately in the Fr. Murgas Room.
     
    PARISH COMMITTEE MEETINGS

    DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
    Monday, August 6, 2018
    6:30 p.m.
    Lower Meeting Room

    TOY BINGO COMMITTEE
    Wednesday, August 22, 2018

    6:30 pm
    Fr. Murgas Room

    YOUNG AT HEART COMMITTEE
    Tuesday, September 18 , 2018
    1:00 p.m.

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

  • Word on Fire