Bishop Bambera’s Message to the Faithful
July 1, 2020

Returning to Weekend Masses….one step at a time…

As we work to re-open our churches safely, I am pleased to announce that we will begin celebrating  PUBLIC MASSES on SATURDAYS, starting next weekend, JUNE 27th.

Saturday Masses:

4 pm at Our Lady of Victory

5 pm at Gate of Heaven

Even if we are in the Green Phase, we must still follow all the guidelines set forth by our Bishop for social distancing, so the attendance at these Masses will be limited.  

Reservations are a must for Saturday evening Masses.  To make a reservation please call Gate of Heaven or Our Lady of Victory parish office (GOH: 570-675-2121, ext 105 / OLV: 570-639-1535). 

You can all make a reservation on line ( Click on the reservation link.

Reservations must be placed by Thursday at 3 pm to give us time to compile a list and sent out the confirmations.    We will be able to take approximately 30 at OLV and approximately 50  at GOH.  Once you make a reservation, you will receive a confirmation.  You must bring the confirmation with you to Mass.  If you want to attend Mass on Saturday you must call each week beginning on Monday for the following Saturday.

Please be patient and kind and remember that we would like to be able to give as many parishioners as possible the chance to attend Mass.  Please understand that we have to evaluate everything we are doing and work with changing guidelines.  My assumption is that Saturday Masses will continue. 

Father Daniel Toomey

Distribution of Communion for all parishioners who are live-streaming Sunday Mass

There will be an opportunity to receive Holy Communion in the Our Lady of Victory parking lot and the Gate of Heaven parking lot  at 11:30 am every Sunday.

We will still be live-streaming Masses on Sundays at 8am from OLV and 10am from GOH.  You are welcome to receive Holy Communion after watching the live stream.  Sunday at 11:30am we will be distributing Holy Communion in both of the church parking lots. Please be aware of instructions and guidance by staff.

Important for Gate of Heaven:  Please go to the parking area near Spring Street, and receive instructions.

Important for Our Lady of Victory:  Please go to the far parking lot along Lakeside Road, and receive instructions.

Upon directions from the staff, you will leave your car and proceed to the place where communion is distributed.   Please wear a mask and social distance from people in other cars.

As we continue to move forward, we are planning to have communion in the parking lots every Sunday.  We will evaluate the effectiveness of this process weekly to determine if we will continue.

Father Daniel Toomey

Outdoor Confessions Every Saturday from 2 – 3:30

During the month of June (even month), confessions will be at Our Lady of Victory. Confessions will be at GOH for the month of July (odd month).

We will continue the outside procedures until further notice.

Public Mass update from the Pastor….

Earlier, we sent out a very detailed letter inviting all back to public Masses during the Yellow phase. We have sent this out to all our parishioners and have posted it on the website and on Flocknote. Based on conversations with several parishioners I am aware some people have simply skimmed the letter and think they can just show up for Mass. Please note the Mass schedule is different. And please note that we have protocols and guidelines that we must follow to ensure that we provide a safe and healthy environment. Please read the entire letter. This letter can be found on our web titled – ‘Parish Information for the Yellow Phase and Making Mass Reservations’

We have begun offering public Masses on the weekdays in the morning and evening. We continue to provide a live-stream from each church for Sunday Mass. The Bishop continues to provide a dispensation from weekly attendance at Mass, so please know if you do not feel comfortable coming back to Mass you can stay at home and pray with us on the Internet.

After we establish our protocols by having weekday Masses, we will then start having Saturday evening Masses while we continue to live-stream for Sunday Masses. I will keep you informed of our planning. Please be patient, there are many requirements that must be followed – we want you to be comfortable coming to Mass knowing that we are providing you a safe and healthy environment.

Father Daniel Toomey

A Note from the Pastor regarding the Parish Prayer Hour

At our Parish Prayer Hour, we pray for our parishioners and all that we do as a parish.  The Parish is always in need of prayer, but now even more.   We are in the Yellow phase, and we must now restart Masses and other programs, according to standards and ways of proceeding that we could never have imagined before –  we want ensure the safety and well-being of all.

Prayer allows us to open ourselves up to God’s action in our lives.   Prayer is a time when we humbly approach our Lord and submit our lives, intentions and plan for his guidance, insights, strength and providence.

You can view the Parish Prayer Hour at:


Fatima Devotions at Our Lady of Victory Church at Harveys Lake

For the past 14 years, we at Our Lady of Victory have held Fatima Devotions on the 13th day of each month from May through October.

Over the years, hundreds of people have come to Our Lady of Victory to pray these prayers with us.

We will once again be live-streaming the devotions, just as we did last month.  For the month of July, please join us on Monday, July 13th at 7pm on our ‘Gate of Heaven & Our Lady of Victory’ Facebook page.

There will be also be a  link on our website,

Fatima Prayer Packets are available on the website.   Please consider joining us this year!

Click here to Download
Fatima Prayer Packets

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

Please come join us for the Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. It will be live streamed only with no public Mass.

I am the Spiritual Director of the Sacred Heart Enthronement Guild. I invite you to the vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on Thursday June 18, 2020, at 7 pm.

Through the devotion to the Sacred Heart we grow closer to Christ our savior. In addition to the devotion, we are also able to declare Christ as our King through the enthronement ceremony. This is quite easy to do. Just as simple it is to do. It can be a powerful force of blessing and spiritual protection. During the Mass we will lead you through the Enthronement Prayers.

I invite you to join us and declare Christ the King of your home, your lives, your businesses – invite Christ to be the center of all aspects of your life. This can be a time of renewal for all who have already enthroned Jesus Christ as their King through the ceremony.

The Sacred Heart Mass prayer packets are available by clicking on the link below. We will be live-streaming the Mass on Thursday June 18, 2020 at 7 pm on our ‘Gate of Heaven & Our Lady of Victory’ Facebook page.

You can view the service at:

Sacred Heart Mass Prayer Packets

Guidelines for Returning to Mass


In preparation for the live stream of the Holy Mass on Sunday

The following prayer is very important to help you enter into the communion part of the Mass…so as to experience a spiritual communion with the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

You may pray it when I am receiving the Body and Blood of Christ at the altar, just before I purify the vessels. 

Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

After Spiritually receiving the Graces of Holy Communion you may pray the following prayer

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever. Amen.

(CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Join with Bishop Bambera and Catholics around the world as we pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary in Response to COVID-19 during this live broadcast on Catholic Television.

Watch the live broadcast at:

As Pastor, my concern is for the safety of all my parishioners and my staff.  I believe we have to be safe and sensible during this time of concern.  The Gate of Heaven and Our Lady of Victory offices will be closed to walk-in traffic beginning on Monday March 16 until further notice.  The office staff will be able to monitor the phones and manage all your needs and parish business accordingly. 

Gate of Heaven Church will be open for regular hours as usual.  Please monitor the website for details.

Please sign-up for Flocknote, our on-line parish community, so that you can receive messages from us.   Go to and sign up.   You will then be on the sign-in page and you may enter your ‘email’ and ‘cell phone number’ then click ‘next’ and select the groups from whom you would like updates. You may also elect to receive the bulletin electronically from the group titled ‘weekly bulletin’.

Please consider the profound spiritual benefits at this time through our access to the website, which is essentially ‘Netflix for Catholics’.   The passcode for access is: VAMGCT

If you are attending Mass please be sure to provide a safe distance of 6 feet between yourself and other parishioners (family members excluded).   Please do not come to Mass if you are sick.  If you have allergies and appear to be sick, this yields the same concern – please stay home for the emotional sake of others. 

Please be safe and sensible, blessings. 
God bless you, 
Fr. Toomey





“May we pray for the wisdom and courage to embrace not merely the story of Jesus’ birth but especially his life, death and resurrection – at the heart of which we discover the surest means of achieving life and lasting peace.”
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera