All parents anticipating the Baptism of their first child are required to attend baptismal instruction before scheduling the baptism of their child. The next session will be held Monday, April 3, 2017 in the Parish Center from 7:00 p.m.
The Parish Community of St. John the Evangelist welcomes Benjamin Michael Archer, son of Stephen Miles Archer and Amanda Pramick who was baptized this weekend. May you stay close to Jesus throughout your life.
ASH WEDNESDAY-MARCH 1, 2017
Although Ash Wednesday is Not a Holy Day of Obligation, it’s a wonderful way for us to demonstrate our need for God’s Grace during the Season of Lent by attending Mass and receiving Blessed Ashes.
ASH WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE
MARCH 1, 2017
7:00 AM Upper Church – Mass & Distribution
12:15 PM Upper Church – Mass & Distribution
4:00 PM Upper Church – Mass & Distribution
7:00 PM Upper Church –Mass & Distribution
DAYS OF FAST AND ABSTINENCE
Just a reminder that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. All Catholics 18 years of age and over are bound by Church law to fast; only one large meal and two smaller meals. At the age of 60 (or if one is sick), a person is no longer required to fast. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence where all Catholics 14 years of age and older are required to abstain from meat.
FIRST FRIDAY ADORATION
Friday, March 3rd is First Friday. Adoration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end with Benediction at 4:30 p.m. Come
and spend an hour with the Lord in prayer.
SORROWS OF MARY AND STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Will be conducted in St. John the Evangelist Church on Fridays of Lent beginning on March 3rd. Sorrows of Mary at 5:45 p.m., followed by Stations of the Cross at 6:00 p.m.
THE MEANING OF LENT
“The annual observance of Lent is the special season for the ascent to the holy mountain of Easter.” Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes before the celebration of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday (this year, April 2nd).
“Through its twofold theme of repentance and Baptism, the season of Lent disposes both the catechumens (those to be baptized and confirmed at the Easter Vigil) and the faithful already baptized, to celebrate the Paschal Mystery (the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus). Catechumens are led to the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist) by means of the Rite of Election, the Scrutinies, and catechesis. The faithful who are already baptized, listening more intently to the word of God and devoting themselves to prayer, are prepared through a spirit of repentance to renew their own Baptismal promises.”
Traditional Lenten practices include: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.
Explanation of Lent taken from the
Ceremonial of Bishops, paragraph #249.
NO FLOWERS AROUND THE ALTAR
Starting March 1st through April 16th no flowers will be placed on the altar during Lent.
DONATION OF BREAD & WINE
From the very beginning of the Church, it was customary for the faithful to donate the bread and wine used at the celebration of Mass. If you would like to participate in this ancient tradition, you can make a donation of $50 to purchase the bread and wine used at the weekend and weekday Masses.
The bread and wine this week has been donated in memory of Neil Bellanca, by Mother and Father Elaine and Lewis Bellanca
On Wednesday we begin our celebration of the Lenten season. It truly is a “celebration” because, as we have ashes placed on our foreheads, we give special attention to the fact that we are truly blessed with an abundance of God’s grace. We demonstrate our gratitude through increased prayer, fasting and being generous in making sacrifices of our time, talent and treasure. May we allow our hearts and minds to undergo a continual conversion as we open them to the love and peace of our Lord.
FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
MARCH 5, 2017
First Reading (Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7)
Second Reading (Romans 5:12-19)
Gospel (Matthew 4:1-11)
PRAY FOR YOUR PASTORAL MINISTERS
We ask you to pray for your priests, deacons, and religious, but especially for Father Peter Tomczak who celebrates his birthday on Thursday 3rd, and Father Michael Finn who recently underwent back surgery and celebrates his birthday on Wednesday, March 1st. We pray also for our Seminarians, William Asinari, William Beechko, II, Robert Dogal, Ryan Glenn, Nick Jennings, Jonathan Kuhar, Andrew McCarroll, Kevin Miller, David Sebolka, Shawn Simchock, Mark Watrucki. May the Spirit continue to guide them to the Priesthood.
The season of Lent begins March 1st. The Lenten season has a double character, namely to prepare both catechumens and faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery. The catechumens, both with the Rite of Election and Scrutinies, and by catechesis, are prepared for the celebration of the sacraments of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation); the faithful, ever more attentive to the word of God and prayer, prepare themselves by penance for the renewal of their baptismal promises.
CROSS OF INTENTIONS
Once again, a special cross will be placed in the cross-aisle of the church. This Lenten season, you are invited to take a small paper cross and write your special intention on it and place the paper cross on the Lenten Cross of Intentions. Throughout Lent we pray in a special way for the intentions placed on our Cross of Intentions.
COLLECTION OF PALM
As we approach the season of Lent, you are invited to bring to church the palm that you received last year and place it in the baskets near the main doors. The palm will be burned and used for ashes on Ash Wednesday.
THE LIGHT IS ON FOR YOU
On Monday, March 6th, March 13th, March 20th,
March 27th and April 3rd, from 6:00-7:00 p.m., and on all Mondays in Lent, we will be offering confessions here at St. John the Evangelist Church, together with all the Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Scranton. This outreach is called “The Light Is On For You” and is an effort on the part of the Diocese to highlight the importance of the sacrament of Reconciliation in the life of Catholics and make it as easy as possible for every Catholic to come or to return to this great source of God’s mercy and healing love.
We give thanks for the members of our Liturgy Commission who faithfully prepare our church with an environment that calls to mind the simplicity of the Lenten season. May we cherish this special time for personal prayer and reflection on the wonder and glory of God’s love for us.
CARE AND EDUCATION OF DIOCESAN PRIESTS
A second collection will be taken up the weekend of March 4th and 5th for the care and education of all diocesan priests. Envelopes for this collection were included in your packet of envelopes. Thank you for your prayerful support and generosity.
PITTSTON CITY ST. PATRICK’S PARADE
Mass will be celebrated in St. John the Evangelist Church on March 4th at 9:00 a.m.
HONORING SAINT CASIMIR
The members of the Knights of Lithuania, Council 143, will honor their patron saint and one of our parish patron saints, St. Casimir, Sunday, March 5th at the 10:00 a.m. Mass.
NO ENTRANCE HYMN DURING LENT
As a way of marking Lent as a special time of prayer and penance, there will be no entrance procession or gathering hymn throughout the season of Lent. Instead, the presider will take his place at the presidential chair a few minutes before Mass begins. When it is time to begin Mass, the presider will stand and invite the congregation to stand and begin the liturgy. Mass will begin with the normal greeting (“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit).
ROAD TO RESURRECTION
In keeping with a long standing tradition for the Catholic parishes the Road to Resurrection will once again be held on Wednesdays of Lent. The annual Lenten journey will begin at St. Maria Goretti, Laflin, on Wednesday, March 8th with Mass at 7:00 p.m. and Rev. Walter Jenkins, C.S.C. as guest homilist. On Wednesday, March 15th, Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Eucharist, Pittston. The guest homilist will be Rev. Walter Jenkins, C.S.C. The third step on the Lenten journey will be hosted by Sacred Heart of Jesus, Dupont, on Wednesday March 22nd with Rev. Thomas Petro. On Wednesday, March 29th Mass will be held at St. Monica’s Parish, West Wyoming, guest homilist will be Rev. Chase Pepper, C.S.C. The last step on the Road to Resurrection will be hosted by St. John the Evangelist Parish on Wednesday, April 5th at 7:00 p.m. with Rev. Joseph Mosley as guest homilist. All are welcome and encouraged to make this journey of faith and prayer.
SCHEDULING MASS INTENTIONS
Mass intentions are currently being accepted for March, April and May, 2017. Mass intentions are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. In order to ensure that Masses are available to all parishioners, a Mass intention for a particular person/family can only be scheduled twice per year. Also, Mass intentions may be changed based on the availability of a priest or if there are any unforeseen changes in the daily Mass schedule.
EASTER GIVING TREE
The Christmas Giving Tree was a tremendous success thanks to the generosity of our parishioners. The response was overwhelming and the Kids Clothes Closet was supplied with many beautiful outfits for needy children. An Easter Giving Tree will now be put up at the back of the church to help the many children in need in our area get ready for the warm weather. Help fill the closet with spring/summer clothes by taking an Easter ornament and give an Easter gift of clothes! The unwrapped gifts may be placed under the Easter tree or brought to the parish office by Friday, April 7th. Thank You.
BENEFIT FOR KIDS CLOTHES CLOSET
BALLYHOO ICE CREAM PARLOR at 128 Luzerne Avenue in West Pittston is sponsoring a benefit for our Kids Clothes Closet. An eighteen pound, three foot tall, chocolate Easter Bunny will be raffled off on Thursday, April 13th. Only $1.00 per entry and you can enter as many times as you like.
OFFERTORY DONATIONS AND TAX LETTER
A letter was sent listing your donations to the parish. If you did not receive it and need it for tax preparation, please call the parish office at 570-654-0053. It does not include donations for which you have already received notice of your donations to such items as the bazaar, Fr. McGroarty Community Room, LED lights, etc.
Confirmation with Bishop Dougherty at St. John the Evangelist will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
Just a reminder that a Children’s Liturgy is offered every Sunday at the 10:00 a.m. Mass. The children’s liturgy is for those children in 1st grade and younger. It is an opportunity for them to listen to the Word of God in age-appropriate language and to spend time reflecting in a special way on the message of the Scripture readings.
Pageant signup sheets will be available after all Masses on Feb. 25th-26th and March 4th-5th. There will also be sign up sheets in the school after CCD. For more information call Dee Jenkins at (570) 655-3953.
YOUNG ADULTS AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
The Youth Ministry Groups of St. John the Evangelist, Saint Maria Goretti, and Our Lady of the Eucharist invite all young adults and high school students to join them for the following activities: Ministry Night. Sunday, March 26th, 6:00 p.m. at St. Maria Goretti Hall.
POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
God our Father, you made each of us to use our gifts in the Body of Christ. We ask that you inspire young people whom you call to priesthood and consecrated life to courageously follow your will. Send workers into your great harvest so that the Gospel is preached, the poor are served with love, the suffering are comforted, and your people are strengthened by the sacraments.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
The next ISLI Retreat will be held at Camp Ladore, in Waymart from February 24th-26th, 2017. I.S.L.I. (International Student Leadership Institute) is open to all high school students who wish to learn about leadership and improve their already existing decision-making and problem-solving skills through the teachings of the Catholic faith. Online registration is now open. There are a limited number of space available, so don’t delay. Contact: www.diocesofscranton.org to register.
KNOW HIM, LOVE HIM, AND SERVE HIM TO BE HAPPY FOREVER
The Baltimore Catechism taught us that God made us to “know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world, and to be happy with him forever in the next” in truth, God loves us and wants us to love him back. Knowing Him: Each of us was created with a place in our hearts just for God. Until we discover it, we may try to fill it with earthly things but nothing else fits. Remove the clutter, turn to God and the reward is peace. Loving Him: Jesus asked us to love God with all our hearts because surrendering to God is the best way to experience His infinite love. Show your love by praying daily, seeking Communion with Him often, and thanking Him for his goodness. Serving Him: When we make sure others have enough to eat, warm clothes to wear, and a place to stay, Jesus takes it personally. It’s what He asked us to do.
FRIDAY FAMILY FUN NIGHTS--2017:
April 21st-Picnic in the Pastoral Center
Movie and Popcorn
OUTREACH AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
FREE HEALTH CLINIC
Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. in the St. John the Evangelist Pastoral Center and is on a first-come, first-serve basis. We have had 12,892 visits by 3,906 patients to date. The clinic will be opened on the First Three Wednesdays of Each Month. They will be closed on the fourth and in some cases the fifth Wednesdays.
PEDIATRIC HEALTH CLINIC SCHEDULE
Patients for The Pediatric Health Clinic are now being seen on the First Wednesday and Third Wednesday of the month at the Care and Concern Clinic facility at 37 William Street in Pittston and opens at 4:30 p.m. Please bring your child’s immunization records with you when you register. Parents or guardians must be present to have their child examined. All services are free and confidential. We have had 300 children from 195 families make 1,465 visits to the clinic.
LOAVES AND FISHES
Please support our Greater Pittston Food Pantry. Please remember the needy when you are shopping for your own family by buying a few extra items for the pantry. We are always in need of the following items: cereal, tuna, peanut butter, jelly, canned fruit, soups, vegetables, canned hams and other non-perishable items. The Greater Pittston Food Pantry is located at 37 William Street, Pittston and is a program of the Care and Concern Ministry of St. John the Evangelist Parish. Call 570-654-9923 for more information.
GREATER PITTSTON KIDS CLOTHES CLOSET- HOURS
The Kids Clothes Closet provides clothing to children in need from newborn to size 14/16. Donations of new or gently used clothing are accepted. Due to the increase of the number of families visiting the closet, an increase in donations is greatly needed. Thank you for your generosity. The closet is located in St. John the Evangelist Pastoral Center, William Street, Pittston. Any questions please call 570-654-0053. We have served over 2,664 children from 1,159 families. Total number of visits 6,386. The Kids Clothes Closet will be closed on the first Wednesday of the Month Morning Session Only, also The Kids Clothes Closet will be closed on the last Wednesday of the month evening only.
TOY & BOOK CORNER
The Toy & Book Corner is in need of the following--Books (all ages), Art Supplies, Board Games (all ages); If you are interested in assisting please reach out to Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so very much for all your support of our mission. The Toy and Book Corner will be open the Second Wednesday of Every Month, 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
GREATER PITTSTON FOOD PANTRY
If you or someone you know is in need of food, please call the Greater Pittston Food Pantry at 570-654-9923. Distribution of food is by appointment only.
We are most grateful for the following donations made to the many ministries of the Church and deeply appreciate the thoughtfulness.
CARE AND CONCERN MINISTRIES
(In memory of Norma Zavada) by Sheree Petrikonis, John and Ann Marie Smutko, Richard and Linda Adams, Dominick and Ann Granteed, Paul and Bonnie Robbins.
GREATER PITTSTON FOOD PANTRY
Helene Gershey; (In memory of Alice Fritzen) by Sally Dietrick;
(In memory of Biagio Dente) by Evelyn Hannon Family; (In memory of Frank Licata) by Mother, Betty;
(In memory of Allan Rose) by Rose M. Russo;
(In memory of Dr. Domenico Scarano) by Randall E. and Jane B. Middleton.
FREE HEALTH CLINIC
John and Mary Claire Hetro;
(In memory of Patrick Brennan) by Family of Evelyn Hannon; (In memory of Allan Rose) by Terri and Pat McAndrew.
KIDS CLOTHES CLOSET
(In memory of John Hannon) by Family of Evelyn Hannon.
TOY & BOOK CORNER
(In memory of Jerome Hannon) by Family of Evelyn Hannon.
PEDIATRIC HEALTH CLINIC
(In memory of Robert Hannon) by Family of Evelyn Hannon.
PASTORAL CARE OF THE SICK
If a family member or friend has been hospitalized (especially if they were admitted through the Emergency Room or if they were admitted to one of the hospitals in Scranton) or placed in a long-term facility, please contact St. John the Evangelist at (570-654-0053) so that Msgr. Bendik and Father Leo may visit them. The privacy laws make it difficult for the priests to know if a parishioner has been admitted to one of the local hospitals.
SAVE THE DATE: MAY 28, 2017
Come Celebrate Msgr. Bendik’s Fiftieth Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood. Mass at 3:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. at Genetti’s and dinner to follow at 6:00 p.m. Details to follow.
HOLY NAME SCHOLARSHIPS
Applications for the Holy Name Scholarship for 2017-2018 are now available at the Parish Center. This scholarship is open to all parish members pursuing a post-secondary education. Applications can be submitted to the Parish Office, care of the Holy Name Society. All applications must be received by April 3rd.
ATTENTION CHOIR AND CANTOR MEMBERS
Choir practice will be moved to Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. starting February 28th and will remain so until further notice. Cantor practice will be weekly on Tuesdays as well starting at 7:45 pm.
MONTHLY HOME VISITATIONS
Monsignor Bendik and Father Leo, along with a number of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, visit with the homebound and bring Communion during the first week of the month. If you or a loved one are unable to attend Mass and would like to receive Communion at home, please contact the Parish Office at 570-654-0053 to be placed on our Monthly Visitation List.
SPECIAL NOTE TO PARISH
The Board of Directors and Staff of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce recently sent us a donation to support our Care and Concern Ministries. They wrote: “Pope Francis said: To change the world, we must be good to those who cannot repay us.” Even before Pope Francis, Greater Pittston had the Saint John the Evangelist Parish Community and the Care and Concern Ministries. Please accept this donation as a small contribution toward the important work you and your volunteers perform throughout the year”. How humbled and honored we are along with all the churches, organizations and individuals who join in this ministry.
SOME REMINDERS OF CHURCH ETIQUETTE
As we enter into God’s House, our speech and tone should be somewhat softer and respectful of other individual’s praying. As we enter into the vestibule of the church, we should make sure our cell phones and/or pagers are either turned off or set to vibrate only (the same thing for messages). Any texting or instant messaging (IM) should be done outside of church. All other electronic devices should be turned off (video games, game boys, etc.)
There should be no gum chewing in Church at any time. Please dispose of properly before entering the Church.
AROUND THE AREA
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR UNC’S CAMP KELLY (FORMERLY CAMP ST. ANDREW)
Registration is now open for 2017 summer camp programs at United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA’s Camp Kelly (formerly Camp St. Andrew). Week-long Girls Resident, Girls Basketball, Boys Resident, and Boys Basketball camps are all available, as well as a Father/Son Weekend and Women’s Weekend. For more information, or to register online, visit www.uncnepa.org/campkelly or call 570-346-0759.
WEDDING ANNIVERSARY MASS
His Excellency The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera will celebrate the wedding Anniversary Mass on June 11, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. in the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton, for couples celebrating their 25th and 50th year of marriage in 2017. This is an occasion to recognize the role married couples play in the Church’s mission to bring God’s faithful love into the world. Couples will have the opportunity to renew their marriage vows. A reception will follow in the Diocesan Pastoral Center, where anniversary couples will be able to have their picture taken with Bishop Bambera. Requests for an invitation, with a mailing address that will be accurate, should be made through our office (St. John the Evangelist)
at 654-0053 before March 13th.
PARISH OF ST. BARBARA
The Holy Name Society of St. Barbara Parish, Exeter, will be selling Lenten food on Ash Wednesday, March 1st and every Friday in Lent. This is strictly a take-out event with pick-up from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The food that is available includes: Potato Pancakes, Clam chowder (red). Call the Parish Office (570) 654-2103, during office hours to place your order or order at the door.
NATIVITY OF OUR LORD PARISH-LENTEN FOOD SALES
There will be NO SALE ON ASH WEDNESDAY
They are moving the sale to the following FRIDAY, MARCH 3rd from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (or until sold out) they will feature delicious potato pancakes, famous homemade red clam chowder and seafood bisque along with homemade haluski and frozen pierogi, pizza and a bake sale all available for your eating pleasure. For more information call Helen at 570-457-3502.
HOMEMADE PASTA AND SAUSAGE DINNER
St. Maria Goretti Banquet Center, Laflin Road, Laflin, Pa.
Sunday, March 12th. Noon to 5:00 p.m. Take outs: Noon to 4:00 p.m. (containers will be provided). Tickets available at the door: $10.00. Children 5 years old and younger are Free
MEALS ON WHEELS OF GREATER PITTSTON
Meals on Wheels of Greater Pittston provides a hot meal and light supper for the area’s elderly and physically handicapped. They prepare and deliver over 30,00 meals annually. Local groups hold “canned goods” drives but perishable items still need to be purchased. Meals on Wheels receives no federal or state funding. They depend on the generosity of the community. During the month of February, they are asking you to open your hearts and make a monetary donation to “Greater Pittston Meals on Wheels”, 59 South Main Street, Pittston, Pa. 18640.