Dear brothers and sisters,
Welcome to all visitors, and especially all those who join us in church perhaps for the first time in a while. You are welcome here, and you are why we’re here. I also want to personally congratulate our twelve candidates and catechumens who are entering into the fullness of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil this upcoming Saturday. They are the “fruit” of the life of the Risen Christ found at our parish family, centered in the celebration of the Eucharist and in all the Sacraments. “Making Disciples” is at the center of all we say and do as a church family.
Holy Week, the most solemn week of the year, is upon us today with Palm Sunday, as our Lord joyfully enters Jerusalem, only to be rejected, abandoned, and crucified for you and me. On Tuesday I will join Bishop Bambera and all priests of the Diocese of Scranton at the solemn Chrism Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral at 4:00 PM. All are invited to this beautiful Mass where we priests will renew our promises to the Lord and to the Church, and where the Sacred Oils will be blessed and brought back to every parish in the Diocese. Our solemn services here at St. John’s begin with Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 PM. All are invited on this holy night to spend time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament until 12:00 Midnight. On Good Friday the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, with Veneration of the Cross, will begin at 5:00 PM. On Holy Saturday at 12:00 PM I will bless Easter Baskets. Finally, our Easter celebration begins with the Solemn Vigil of the Holy Night on Saturday at 8:00 PM (there is no Saturday 4 pm Mass or 6:30 pm Mass that day), and Easter Sunday Masses at 8 AM, 10 AM, and 12 PM Come – let us together follow our crucified Savior to risen glory!