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  • Today's Readings

    • Reading 1  Zec 2:14-17
      or  Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
      Responsorial Psalm  Judith 13:18bcde, 19
      Gospel  Lk 1:26-38
      or  Lk 1:39-47
  • Calendar of Events

    • Wednesday, December 12
      Our Lady of Guadalupe
      The feast in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to the 16th century. Chronicles of that period tell us the story. A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower, and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady. Juan was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared, and within it stood an Indian maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared. Eventually the bishop told Juan to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan’s uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Juan to try to avoid the lady. Nevertheless the lady found Juan, assured him that his uncle would recover, and provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma. On December 12, when Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground, and the bishop sank to his knees. On the tilma where the roses had been appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac. Mary’s appearance to Juan Diego as one of his people is a powerful reminder that Mary—and the God who sent her—accept all peoples. In the context of the sometimes rude and cruel treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards, the apparition was a rebuke to the Spaniards and an event of vast significance for the indigenous population. While a number of them had converted before this incident, they now came in droves. According to a contemporary chronicler, nine million Indians became Catholic in a very short time. In these days when we hear so much about God’s preferential option for the poor, Our Lady of Guadalupe cries out to us that God’s love for and identification with the poor is an age-old truth that stems from the Gospel itself.
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    • Thursday, December 13
      St. Lucy
      Every little girl named Lucy must bite her tongue in disappointment when she first tries to find out what there is to know about her patron saint. The older books will have a lengthy paragraph detailing a small number of traditions. Newer books will have a lengthy paragraph showing that there is little basis in history for these traditions. The single fact survives that a disappointed suitor accused Lucy of being a Christian, and she was executed in Syracuse, Sicily, in the year 304. But it is also true that her name is mentioned in the First Eucharistic Prayer, geographical places are named after her, a popular song has her name as its title, and down through the centuries many thousands of little girls have been proud of the name Lucy. One can easily imagine what a young Christian woman had to contend with in pagan Sicily in the year 300. If you have trouble imagining, just glance at today’s pleasure-at-all-costs world and the barriers it presents against leading a good Christian life. Her friends must have wondered aloud about this hero of Lucy’s, an obscure itinerant preacher in a far-off captive nation that had been destroyed more than 200 years before. Once a carpenter, he had been crucified by the Romans after his own people turned him over to their authority. Lucy believed with her whole soul that this man had risen from the dead. Heaven had put a stamp on all he said and did. To give witness to her faith she had made a vow of virginity. What a hubbub this caused among her pagan friends! The kindlier ones just thought her a little strange. To be pure before marriage was an ancient Roman ideal, rarely found, but not to be condemned. To exclude marriage altogether, however, was too much. She must have something sinister to hide, the tongues wagged. Lucy knew of the heroism of earlier virgin martyrs. She remained faithful to their example and to the example of the carpenter, whom she knew to be the Son of God. She is the patroness of eyesight. If you are a little girl named Lucy, you need not bite your tongue in disappointment. Your patron is a genuine authentic heroine, first class, an abiding inspiration for you and for all Christians. The moral courage of the young Sicilian martyr shines forth as a guiding light, just as bright for today’s youth as it was in A.D. 304.
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    • Thursday, December 13, 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.
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    • Thursday, December 13, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
      Social Justice Council
      Our Parish Social Justice Council Monthy Meeting to discuss ongoing services our parish supplies to the homebound, infirm, hospitalized and elderly parishioners of our parish, as well as outreach initiatives to assist the poor and disadvantaged through Catholic Social Services The Meeting will begin with participation in Vespers and Benediction in the church at 6:00 pm and then move to the Fr. Murgas Room for discussion.
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    • Thursday, December 13, 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.
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    • Friday, December 14
      St. John of the Cross
      John is a saint because his life was a heroic effort to live up to his name: “of the Cross.” The folly of the cross came to full realization in time. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34b) is the story of John’s life. The Paschal Mystery—through death to life—strongly marks John as reformer, mystic-poet, and theologian-priest. Ordained a Carmelite priest in 1567 at age 25, John met Teresa of Avila and like her, vowed himself to the primitive Rule of the Carmelites. As partner with Teresa and in his own right, John engaged in the work of reform, and came to experience the price of reform: increasing opposition, misunderstanding, persecution, imprisonment. He came to know the cross acutely—to experience the dying of Jesus—as he sat month after month in his dark, damp, narrow cell with only his God. Yet, the paradox! In this dying of imprisonment John came to life, uttering poetry. In the darkness of the dungeon, John’s spirit came into the Light. There are many mystics, many poets; John is unique as mystic-poet, expressing in his prison-cross the ecstasy of mystical union with God in the Spiritual Canticle. But as agony leads to ecstasy, so John had his Ascent to Mt. Carmel, as he named it in his prose masterpiece. As man-Christian-Carmelite, he experienced in himself this purifying ascent; as spiritual director, he sensed it in others; as psychologist-theologian, he described and analyzed it in his prose writings. His prose works are outstanding in underscoring the cost of discipleship, the path of union with God: rigorous discipline, abandonment, purification. Uniquely and strongly John underlines the gospel paradox: The cross leads to resurrection, agony to ecstasy, darkness to light, abandonment to possession, denial to self to union with God. If you want to save your life, you must lose it. John is truly “of the Cross.” He died at 49—a life short, but full. In his life and writings, John of the Cross has a crucial word for us today. We tend to be rich, soft, comfortable. We shrink even from words like self-denial, mortification, purification, asceticism, discipline. We run from the cross. John’s message—like the gospel—is loud and clear: Don’t—if you really want to live!
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    • Sunday, December 16, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
      Young People's Faith Formation
      Catechists gather with our young people and their families to discuss matters of faith as the children prepare for Sacraments and parents grow in their understanding of the faith.
      Read More
    • Tuesday, December 18, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
      CHOIR REHEARSAL
      The Weekly gathering of the choir to review repertoire, learn new music, and share fellowship as liturgical musicians
      Read More
  • 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.

    Religious Education Classes for our Young People at 9:30 am in Fr. Zolcinski Hall. For more information contact the parish office at 570-823-4988.

    The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception will be observed on Saturday, December 8th.
    • Unlike other holydays that are not obligatory when they fall on a Saturday or a Monday, The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is always obligatory because it is the patronal feast of our nation.

    • The Vigil Mass of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION will be on Friday, December 7th at 7:00 pm. 

    • Mass on the Feast Day will be at 9:00 am

    • The Saturday evening Vigil Masses at 4:00 pm and 5:30 pm will not satisfy the Obligation of the Immaculate Conception.

     

  • Upcoming Gatherings

    FAITH SHARING COMMUNITIES
     
    St. Andre Faithseekers   will meet with  Jackie Barkus at 6 pm on Monday, December 3in the Fr. Murgas Meeting Room of the Parish Office

    Disciples of the Spirit of Jesus will meet with Sr. Madonna  on Saturday, December 15  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, December 16 at 2:00 pm in the home of Elaine Snyder

     
    . PARISH ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCILS

    PARISH CATECHETICAL COUNCIL
    Wednesday, November 28, 2018

    6:00 p.m.
     
    PARISH LIFE COUNCIL
    Thursday, November 29, 2018

    6:00 pm

    PARISH ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF MEETING
    Thursday, December 6, 2018
    1 pm
     
    LITURGICAL COUNCIL
    Thursday, December 6, 2018
    6:00 p.m.
     
    PARISH SOCIAL JUSTICE COUNCIL
    Thursday, December 13, 2018

    6:00 p.m.
     
    PARISH FINANCE COUNCIL
    Thursday, January 17, 2019
    6:00 p.m.
     
    PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
    Thursday, February 21, 2019
    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, December 5, 2018
    6:30 p.m.
    Lower Meeting Room

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

  • Word on Fire