2020 Diocesan Annual Appeal
      “Bound Together in Hope”

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Words from the Pastor

As Pastor, I want to assure all our parishioners that the person who attended Mass on August 22nd and then tested positive for COVID, is doing well.  We, as a parish, are also doing well.  I am thankful to God for this!

As a Parish, I think and feel that we have been doing a great job at providing a safe environment at Masses.  We have a sanitizing procedure that is followed after each and every Mass is completed.  Regarding the August 22nd Confirmation Mass, one of the CCD instructors texted me: “I felt safer at Mass (today) than anywhere else since March.  We were all taking care of one another because of our brotherhood in Christ.”  We were also blessed with a fantastic professional cleaning crew that came in and sanitized Gate of Heaven after we determined that there was a problem that weekend.

I would like to suggest that we all be people of prayer, and not let anxiety bring us to worry.  As people of God, we want to be clear-headed in all that we do and think about—listening to the Holy Spirit that wants to strengthen and guide us.  May we let the Holy Spirit into our lives, just as the young adults did that Saturday afternoon at Confirmation.  Amidst the challenging times in which we currently live, God is with us, providing us love, hope, and strength in so many ways—directly for us, and also through others.  May we be that source of God’s providence in other’s lives, in all that we say and do.

Father Daniel Toomey
Pastor

Any One of Us

Any one of us, could decide one day to attend a Mass to praise and worship our Lord the way the Apostles taught us.

Any one of us, could have been at the Mass on August 22, 2020 at 1 pm at Gate of Heaven Church.

Any one of us, after following all the CDC guidelines for a safe and healthy Mass, could go home at the end of the day… to our own home… and receive a phone call from a friend.

Any one of us, at any time, could hear from a friend; and hear them tell us that they are COVID positive. At that moment, any one of us could realize that you were with that friend a few days ago.

Any one of us, could have to muster the courage to be honest and call the pastor to inform him that you were at Mass that day and now must be tested to see if you have COVID 19.

Any one of us, could have to wait a day or two, or more, to find out the results of the test; knowing that the results might affect the emotional and physical lives of many others.

Any one of us, could receive a negative test result and be able to go back to life as usual…with that anxiety as a wound…maybe having a sense of empathy that you did not have before.

Any one of us, could receive a positive test result and have to again muster the courage to face the world and be honest and upright…knowing people might be upset…but knowing you will be taking care of people by being honest. Any of one us, could have to call the pastor and tell him, knowing that he must take care of his flock.  You feel guilty because you know it will be difficult for him.

Any one of us, could have to bear the scars of people’s self-righteous, insensitive anger and judgements…trying to convince yourself that you did not do any of this to hurt anyone…trying to realize that something happened to you that you had no control over…you did everything right the way you should, yet you hear blame from everyone…

Any one of us could be YOU.

Please be kind and caring with your remarks, your assumptions, your presumptions, your projections and your opinions.

May we all be in prayer and conscientious about all our words and thoughts.

Father Daniel Toomey
Pastor

Individual who attended Saturday Mass tests positive for COVID-19


August 24, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

An individual who attended a weekend Mass at Gate of Heaven Church has received a positive result from a COVID-19 test today (Monday).

The individual attended the 1:00 p.m. Mass at Gate of Heaven Church in Dallas on Saturday, August 22, 2020.

In continued alignment with Diocesan, state and federal public health and safety guidelines, social distancing and mask wearing was maintained during the Mass.

Anyone who attended Saturday’s Mass is encouraged to keep alert for any potential symptoms of COVID-19, which may include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle pain, headache or a loss of taste or smell.

In accordance with established protocols from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the areas visited by the individual with the confirmed case of COVID-19 have been temporarily closed off and will undergo cleaning and disinfection before any additional Masses or events take place in the building. This should be completed by the weekend, therefore the next Mass to take place at Gate of Heaven Church will be Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m.

On behalf of our parish staff, I offer prayers and support to the individual who tested positive for COVID-19. I also encourage you to ask the Lord to provide healing and comfort to all those who are impacted by the coronavirus.

Father Toomey

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 Tuesday, October 13th at 7 pm on our ‘Gate of Heaven & Our Lady of Victory’ Facebook page.

There will be also be a link on our website, www.goholv.org

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

Click here to Download
Fatima Prayer Packets

UPDATED MASS SCHEDULE
BEGINNING JULY 18-19, 2020

 

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

RECONCILIATION:    Every Saturday 2:00 – 3:30 pm – in the parking lot

Gate of Heaven – odd months (Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Nov)

Our Lady of Victory – even months (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec)

MASSES

SATURDAY

4:00 PM      Our Lady of Victory – open to the public with reservations
5:00 PM      Gate of Heaven – open to the public with reservations

SUNDAY

8:00 AM   Live Streaming of Mass –  (will rotate a broadcast between OLV & GOH)
Facebook Page:  Gate of Heaven and Our Lady of Victory
9:30 AMGate of Heaven – open to the public with reservations
10:30 AM – Our Lady of Victory – open to the public with reservations

Distribution of Communion – 11:30 AM  –  Gate of Heaven parking lot only, for those who are unable to attend any of the weekend or weekday Masses.

While we are in the Green Phase, we must still follow all the guidelines set forth by our Bishop for social distancing.  This will affect the number of people allowed at each Mass.  Attendance will be limited.

RESERVATIONS:  are a MUST for Saturday and Sunday Masses.   To make a reservation call the office of the church you want to attend.

GOH – 570-675-2121, ext 105
OLV – 570-639-1535

Online:  Website: www.goholv.org     Click on the reservation link

Reservations must be received by Thursday at 3 pm prior to the weekend Mass you wish to attend in order to receive a confirmation of your reservation.

WEEKDAY MASS SCHEDULE

Monday   7:00 PM – GOH
Tuesday   7:00 PM –  OLV
Wednesday   9:00 AM – GOH
Friday      9:00 AM –  OLV

          Reservations are NOT needed for the weekday Masses. 

RESERVATION FACTS

  1. The Bishop has made it clear that NO lists will be given to the CDC. These lists were not and will not be used for contact tracing.  We are a life sustaining entity like the food stores and drug stores who also do not register their customers.  The lists are for the convenience of the staff to set up social distance seating in the churches for the public Masses.
  1. The reservation process is to prevent people from being disappointed by being turned away from a full social distanced seating Mass. Reservations will insure all parishioners will have the opportunity to attend Mass.  The social distance seating capacity at GOH is 50 and OLV 40.

Reminder

There is 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 on Sunday Mornings

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 at least one of the parking lots every Sunday.  We will evaluate the effectiveness of this process weekly to determine if we will continue.

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 (www.goholv.org) 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
Pastor

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
Pastor

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.

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: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=266027494461107

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
PARISH PRAYER PACKETS

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
Pastor

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: https://www.facebook.com/GateofHeavenOurLadyofVictory/videos/587777235500066/?t=21

Sacred Heart Mass Prayer Packets

Guidelines for Returning to Mass

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE MASSES ON FACEBOOK FROM GATE OF HEAVEN AND OUR LADY OF VICTORY

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.
Amen

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: https://www.dioceseofscranton.org/media/ctv-catholic-television/rosary-in-response-to-covid-19/

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 GOHOLV.Flocknote.com 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 Formed.org 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

WORD

WORSHIP

COMMUNITY

SERVICE

“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

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