In the news:
Citizens Voice – March 19, 2018
Larksville priest pens new passion play
LARKSVILLE — As a young man entering the seminary, The Rev. Gerald Gurka took his work seriously.
So seriously, in fact, that his first thought upon being invited to attend a “living Stations of the Cross” his fellow seminarians were helping to
Times Leader – March 23, 2018
St. John the Baptist Church in Larksville poised for tonight’s Passion play
LARKSVILLE — While local actor Scott Woolnough has portrayed characters as diverse as Hamlet and the strict father in “Footloose,” his latest role has provided a new, religious experience.
“In one rehearsal, I was lying on the ground and the guards were doing the ‘hammering,’” said Woolnough, who portrays Jesus Christ in “Relics of the Passion,” the latest play the Rev. Gerald Gurka, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church, has written. “I looked up (at the crucifix above the church’s altar) and the Jesus that’s up there was looking down at me.
“It was really amazing.”
Prayerful Birthday Wishes to Joe Lipski who recently celebrated 90 years of Our Lord’s Blessings!
Prayerful Birthday Wishes to George Russett as he celebrates 92 years of Our Lord’s Blessings!
Final Penance Service will be held this Sunday, March 25th at 7PM at St. Ignatius, Kingston.
Confessions will not be heard on Saturday, March 31st.
Eucharistic Adoration – After the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Church will remain open until 10:30PM for private prayer.
Good Friday is a day of Fast & Abstinence – The Paschal fast should be observed on Good Friday and continue if possible through Holy Saturday.
On Good Friday, our Church will be open for prayerful reflection and visiting of the tomb until 8PM.
Little White Books for Easter are available in the church vestibule. Please take home a complimentary copy.
Church Decorating for Easter – Monday, March 26th & Tuesday, March 27th after 9AM Mass, and Friday, March 30th at 5:30PM. All are welcome!
Holy Week Office Hours – Out of respect for Holy Week, only business pertaining to Holy Week, Easter, and emergencies will be handled. The office will be closed on Friday, March 30th. Thank you for joining our Holy Observance.
Holy Week Schedule
Mon., March 26th & Tues., March 27th – daily schedule as usual
Tues., March 27th – Chrism Mass at 4PM. All are welcome
– renewal of priestly vows, blessing of oils
– live on CTV from St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton
Holy Thursday, March 29th – No Morning Mass
7PM Mass of the Lord’s Supper (rehearsal 30 minutes prior)
Prayer Vigil after Mass until 10:30PM
Good Friday, March 30th – No Morning Mass
1PM Passion & Veneration of the Cross
Holy Saturday, March 31st – No 4PM Mass
1PM Blessing of Easter Baskets in church hall
8PM Solemn Easter Vigil Mass (rehearsal 45 minutes prior)
Easter Sunday, April 1st – Easter Masses will be celebrated at 8AM and 10:15AM
Faith Formation / Ministry News
- Faith Formation Classes will not be held for the next 2 weeks. Classes will resume at the regular time on Sunday, April 8th.
- Parents are urged to bring their children to as many of the Holy Week Services as possible.
- Deepest Prayerful Gratitude to our 4th Grade Faith Formation Class & their catechist, Ann Marie Angelicola, for ministering at last weekend’s 8AM Mass.
- Thank You to all who made the First Communion retreat a big success. As the students approach the last few weeks of preparation for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, we ask that the members of our parish family remember them in prayer and continue to encourage them on their faith journey.
Baptismal Instruction – The next class will be held on Monday, April 2nd at 7PM in the church hall. If you are expecting or recently had a baby, please call the rectory office to register for this class.
Ministry Schedules for April/May are available for pick-up in the Sacristy and are on our parish website.
Prayer Shawl Meeting and Work Session will be held on Tuesday, April 10th at 6PM in the church hall. All are invited and welcome to join our ministry. If someone you know needs a prayer shawl please contact the rectory. If you aren’t able to attend a meeting, but want to donate a lap robe, shawl or afghan, please contact the rectory office. Thanks!
Deepest Prayerful Gratitude from the Prayer Shawl Ministry to everyone for their recent generous donations!
Deepest Prayerful Gratitude to each and everyone who made our Pierogie Pinching Parties a “scrumditily-umptious” success! Ditto for all the “delicioso” free lunches! Double thumbs up!
Easter Adopt-A-Flowers are $8.00 per Lily and they may be “adopted” in memory of a loved one or your own special intention. Your flower will help beautify our church, in addition to the Easter Flower envelope in your offertory set. At the end of the Easter Season, you may take your Lily home to plant in your garden if you wish. Their re-growth can be a living reminder of your loved one or intention. Adopt-A-Flower cards are available in our church vestibule and may be decorated if you wish. When making your returns via collection basket, please mark envelope “Adopt-A-Flower.” Please have all returns in by March 27th. Deepest Prayerful Gratitude for helping beautify our Easter Celebration!
Flowers to the Homebound – Easter Flowers were delivered to our homebound parish family members this weekend. A “bouquet” of prayerful gratitude to George Goode and all who uplifted spirits with a beautiful Easter Lily.
Capital Campaign Payments are due. Please place payment in an envelope marked “Capital Campaign” and drop in the collection basket or send to the rectory. Thank you!
CRS Rice Bowl: Encounter our Neighbors
We encounter Jesus this week in Jerusalem, a community He knew well. We prayerfully enter our own communities too, encountering those who are hungry and thirsty, those who need our help. How does our Lenten journey motivate us to serve those we meet in our daily lives? Visit crsricebowl.org for more.
When did Holy Week customs begin?
Holy Week observances began in the earliest days of the Church, when devout people traveled to Jerusalem at Passover to reenact the events of the week leading up to the Resurrection. Egeria was a Christian who traveled widely during the period of 381-385 and wrote about Christian customs and observances in Egypt, Palestine, and Asia Minor. She described how religious tourists to Jerusalem reenacted the events of Holy Week. On Palm Sunday afternoon, the crowds waved palm fronds as they made a procession from the Mount of Olives into the city. Of course, the observances probably began years before Egeria witnessed them, but her description is the earliest we still have. The tourists, like Egeria, took the customs home with them. Holy Week observances spread to Spain by the fifth century, to Gaul and England by the early seventh century. They didn’t spread to Rome until the twelfth century. And the purpose of Holy Week still today is to reenact, relive, and participate in the passion of Jesus Christ.