Lenten “Life in the Spirit” in Plymouth

February 26, 2011

Jim Gialanella with Fr Robert Kelleher

Above is a pic of Jim Gialanella discussing with Fr Bob Kelleher the plans for the upcoming Life in the Spirit Seminar to be held at All Saints parish.  Fr Kelleher is the Pastor of All Saints parish.

Our Community will be collaborating with a team from All Saints Parish, with the Service Team of the CCR in our diocese, and with the Light of Christ Prayer Group from the Back Mountain area, to present this program.  Here are the some details:

All are invited to the “Life in the Spirit” program that will be presented each Tuesday evening during Lent at All Saints Parish in Plymouth.  This program leads the participants to a deeper personal encounter with Jesus Christ, and an openness to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives through an awakening of the Sacramental power of their Baptism and Confirmation.

The program begins on March 15th.  Each session will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the parish education center at 135 Willow St (near Willow & Eno Sts), Plymouth.  The sessions will include music, prayer, personal testimony, teaching, and group discussion.

There is no charge to participate in this program.  Members of other parishes are welcome to attend.  Advance registrations are encouraged.  To register, contact Mollie or Jeanette at the parish office at 779-5323.

Please pass this information about the program on to others who would benefit from taking this step to draw closer to the Lord.

Multi-Team planning session on 2/23/2011


Live in the newness

February 23, 2011

In his Angelus address this past Sunday, Pope Benedict said:

He who welcomes the Lord in his life and loves him with all of his heart can begin again. He is able to do God’s will: to realize a new form of existence animated by love and destined for eternity.

When I go to Mass, I often recall a particular teaching of Pope John Paul II on Holy Communion, and the newness of life that it brings to us:

22. Incorporation into Christ, which is brought about by Baptism, is constantly renewed and consolidated by sharing in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, especially by that full sharing which takes place in sacramental communion.

Because of how frequently and repetitively I fail, this concept of “newness” is a source of great consolation to me.  It motivates me to avoid dwelling despairingly on the past (after appropriate repentance, of course), but to look forward with hope to new opportunities to be faithful to the will of God.  Such newness is possible only because of the mercy of our loving Lord.  Such hope comes from having faith in that mercy, as we hear in Lamentations 3:21-23

But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope:  The favors of the LORD are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent;  They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness.


B16 on evangelization

February 21, 2011

From this past Saturday:

Your great task in evangelization is therefore to propose a personal relationship with Christ as key to complete fulfillment…..At the same time, it must be recognized that new initiatives in evangelization will only be fruitful if, by the grace of God, those proposing them are people who truly believe and live the message of the Gospel themselves…..This is surely one of the reasons why basic ecclesial communities have had such a positive impact throughout the country. When formed and guided by people whose motivating force is the love of Christ, these communities have proven themselves to be worthy tools of evangelization as they work in conjunction with local parishes.

View of the CCR from the top

February 10, 2011

A while ago I took the time to read many of the messages from Pope John Paul II to the various expressions of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.  Here (based on my calculations) are the top ten issues most frequently cited by our Holy Father in those messages, either affirming the CCR for its progress in them, and/or exhorting the CCR to grow in them:

  1. Building bonds of unity, trust and cooperation with local Bishops
  2. Evangelization; going forth to proclaim the Gospel and bearing witness to it by the way we live
  3. Commitment to growing in holiness:  prayer, the Word, sacramental life, openness to the gifts of the Spirit
  4. Fidelity to and formation in authentic Catholic doctrine
  5. Broadened ecclesial vision, better ecclesial formation, and growth in ecclesial maturity
  6. Focus on the ‘higher gifts’ that will better serve the common good
  7. Service to the local Church (i.e., the diocese) and parishes
  8. Commitment to seek true ecumenism
  9. Generosity in sharing with the poor and less fortunate
  10. Openness to collaboration with priests


Are we living up to JP2’s expectations?

February 8, 2011

From a message of soon-to-be-Blessed Pope John Paul II in the latter 
weeks of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000:

7. Participation of the lay faithful in the life and mission of the Church is expressed and supported by various associations, many of which are represented at this congress. Especially in our times, they represent an important means for deeper Christian formation and more effective apostolic activity. The Second Vatican Council says:  “Associations are not ends in themselves; they are meant to be of service to the Church’s mission to the world. Their apostolic value depends on their conformity with the Church’s aims, as well as on the Christian witness and evangelical spirit of each of their members and of the association as a whole” (Apostolicam actuositatem, n. 19)……

Today we can speak of a “new era of group endeavors of the lay faithful”. It is one of the fruits of the Second Vatican Council. Along with the associations with a long and praiseworthy tradition, we observe a vigorous and diversified flourishing of ecclesial movements and new communities. This gift of the Holy Spirit is another sign of how God always finds appropriate and timely responses to the challenges posed to faith and to the Church in every historical era. Here too we must thank the associations, movements and ecclesial groups for their work in Christian formation and for the missionary enthusiasm they continue to bring to the Church.


…I invoke upon everyone the protection of Mary, Queen of Apostles and Star of the new evangelization.

Evening of Prayer and Healing

February 7, 2011

In observance of the World Day of the Sick, an Evening of Prayer & Healing will be sponsored by St Monica’s Parish in West Wyoming on Thursday, February 10th, (the Vigil of Our Lady of Lourdes) in Our Lady of Sorrows Church on Eighth Street with guest, Fr Pio Mandato FMHJ.  Here’s the schedule for the evening:

6:30 p.m. — Rosary
6:45 p.m. — Songs of Praise
7:00 p.m. — Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & (Evening Prayer)
.     .     .     .    .Prayer for Healing & Sacrament of Reconciliation
.     .     .     .    .Benediction & Compline (Night Prayer)

All are welcome!

Regional Prayer Meeting tomorrow

February 6, 2011

Tomorrow (Monday) is the quarterly Regional Prayer Meeting sponsored by all of the local CCR prayer groups and open to all.  It begins at 7:30 pm at St Mary’s School auditorium in Avoca.  Songs, praise, spiritual gifts, testimony, teaching, and fellowship with refreshments.  If you’re planning to go, please consider inviting someone!  If you’d like to go but need a ride, contact Walt, and he’ll try to arrange something.

Men’s Breakfast recap

February 6, 2011

Our Community’s Spiritual Advisor, Fr Leo McKernan, hosted his first Men’s Breakfast yesterday at his parish, St Monica in West Wyoming.  It seemed to me to be an overwhelming success.  Here’s a quick recap:

About 70 men attended.  A group of eight men ventured through the sleet and freezing rain on a 90-minute ride all the way from the Montoursville/Bastress/Jersey Shore area of Lycoming County!  Coffee and donuts were available upon arrival, and there was plenty of pre-program fellowship happening.  After Fr McKernan welcomed all, Ted Mike and Paul Walters led music and song for some prayer time.  It was invigorating to hear the men’s voices resounding in the high-ceilinged parish hall.  Jeff Carter gave a brief witness of his initial life-changing encounter with the Lord, and how he strives to fall more deeply in love with God as his life in the Spirit continues.  A sumptuous breakfast followed, including scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, and plenty more coffee and donuts.  It was prepared by several men from St Monica’s parish.  Atty Glenn Yanik then delivered a riveting talk under the theme “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13) in which he reviewed the actions of Federal Judge John Roll, who was shot to death while shielding a friend who had already been shot at the infamous Tuscon/Safeway incident last month.  Glenn reviewed the aspects of Judge Roll’s life as a Catholic which undoubtedly prepared him to act in such a courageous manner on that day.  Glenn encouraged us all to emulate Judge Roll by incorporating into our lives as Catholic men those disciplines which will enable us to remain in communion with Jesus, and will prepare each of us for whatever challenging situations we may encounter.  The program concluded with some announcements by Fr McKernan, and a final song, “Press On”.  Plenty of post-event fellowship continued in the hall.

Fr McKernan has scheduled the next Men’s Breakfast for Saturday, April 30th.

“Before that Host of pardon and peace…”

February 5, 2011

In this post on his Vultus Christi blog yesterday, Dom Mark Kirby OSB shares some teaching on Eucharistic Adoration by Bd Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (1839-1905), Bishop of Piacenza.  It included these beautiful thoughts:

Before that Host of pardon and peace, the tumult of our earthly desires subsides, our obsession with worldly matters calms down, pride loosens its grip on us, love and compassion for our brothers and sisters quickens, a holy rivalry in good works heats up, and the longing for a holier life intensifies.

Don’t you hear a voice coming from that Tabernacle, a voice that ennobles and dignifies your very sufferings, assuring you that the tears you shed at the altar are counted by him who takes care of the lily of the field, of the bird in the forest and of the least hair of our head? Oh, indeed, here our spirit finds strength in the power of resignation and hope. Here, where confidence in God soars, nothing is hopeless. Here we are all sons and daughters of God. He who comes here to draw the strength that wells up from that divine Tabernacle is not at the mercy of fate or of enemies….

Pope Benedict encourages Community

February 4, 2011

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI met with members of the Emmanuel Community centered in France (not to be confused with the Emmanuel Community in Brisbane, Australia).  Several lines in his address seems like they would apply to all Communities:

In particular I invite your community to live a genuine communion among its members. I encourage you therefore to deepen your spiritual life giving an essential place to your personal encounter with Christ, the Emmanuel, God-with-us, so that you will allow yourselves to be transformed by him and have the passionate desire of the mission mature in you. In the Eucharist you find the source of all your commitments in the following of Christ and in his adoration you purify your look on the life of the world.
This communion, which is not simply human solidarity among members of the same spiritual family, is based on your relationship with Christ and on a common commitment to serve him. The community life you wish to develop, in respect of the state of life of each one, will be, hence, a living testimony for society of the fraternal love that must animate all human relations.

CCR events in February

February 1, 2011

Here are this month’s events being sponsored by the Scranton CCR:

Feb 2 (Wed)
Men’s “Pizza Night” at Colarusso’s in Jessup.  Open to all.  Contact Jim Conway 346-3828.

Feb 7 (Mon)
Regional Prayer Meeting sponsored by all of the local CCR prayer groups and open to all.  Held in St Mary’s School auditorium in Avoca.  Starts at 7:30 p.m.  Songs, praise, spiritual gifts, testimony, teaching, and fellowship with refreshments.

Feb 12 (Sat)
CCR Leader’s Day – Current leaders, potential leaders and aspiring leaders are invited to this highly interactive day of prayer, talks and discussion as we seek to surface the ways in which the Lord would use the CCR to support the New Evangelization in our diocese.  Held at the Holy Family Spiritual Renewal Center near Nanticoke PA.  Starts at 8:00 a.m. and concludes with a dinner at 5:00 p.m.  The Holy Family Center offers double-occupancy rooms, in case you’d like to arrive on Friday evening and not have to travel early Saturday morning.  The number of rooms is limited, so room reservations will be accepted on a first-come/first-served basis.  The cost per person is $20.00 for one night’s lodging and Saturday’s meals, or $10.00 for all day Saturday including meals. (The Service Team is subsidizing the retreat in order to keep the cost for attendees low).  It is very important that we receive reservations no later than February 7th.  You may contact us to register by calling 344-2214, or by sending an email to ccrenewal [AT] Comcast [DOT] net

Feb 20 (Sun)
Mass followed by prayers for healing at St Mary’s Church in Avoca.  Rosary at 6:30 p.m., followed by Mass at 7:00 p.m.

Marriage Retreat in NJ with the Herbecks

February 1, 2011

Received the following notice via email from the diocese of Trenton NJ:

Marriage RetreatPresenters: Peter and Debbie Herbeck of Renewal Ministries in Ann Arbor, MI. Peter is Vice President of Renewal Ministries and is co-host, along with Ralph Martin, of The Choices We Face on EWTN. There are no overnight accommodations. All meals will be provided on Saturday. A snack will be available on Friday night. Dates/Times: Friday, March 4, 2011, 7:30 am to 10:30 pm and Saturday, March 5, 2011, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Price for the retreat is $50/couple. Location: Church of St. Veronica, Howell. Contact Debbie Gaudino at 732-618-7843 or email  “deborahgaudino [AT] gmail [DOT] com” for more information.