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Vacation Bible School

We have been given the green light to plan for VBS this summer. The date is July 12 to 15. Masks will be required. The snack “ritual” will have to be tweaked. However, we need volunteers to help pull this off. You will need to have your volunteer clearances. Directions for completing the process are…

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Community Headlines & Events

Lauren Barron, Peyton Broyan, Adam Cindric, Ivy Faleski, Crue Flick, Daniel Getz, Chase Hinchliffe, Anthony Hyde, Charles Kurian, Arden Littlewood, Kendall Marcotte, Anna McCracken, Shaela McCrone, Malin Nespoli, Christian Parker, Brooke Polczynski, Jack Scerbo, Ellen Sorg, Owen Steeber, Nadia Troiani, and Angelina Zucal.
Congratulations to all of you and may you grow in the love of Jesus in Holy Communion.

St. Columba School Seventh and Eighth Graders flank Monsignor Robert E. Lawrence as he blesses the landscaping project completed by both classes. This was the Seventh Grade’s third community project of the year; this one completed with the help of Bloomsburg Home Depot manager Michael Yohn who provided a donation of shrubs, trees, flowering plants, and bulbs and Brown’s Landscaping which installed the mulch. Additional invaluable aid was provided by Mrs. Morino and Mrs. Dillon. Thank you to everyone who helped or supported this effort.

Father Richard Mowery
has been appointed by Bishop Gainer to be the next pastor of St. Columba Church. Father Mowery had been Newman Chaplain at Bloomsburg University until two years ago. He is excited about returning to Bloomsburg. He will be a great fit for our parish.

Recently, we ordered Breaking Bread Missals for our pews. In case you would rather have your own personal resource, Breaking Bread Missal is available as an app on your phone or tablet for $4.99. It’s a great way to participate in the liturgy, whether at home or in church. Visit the “google play” or “app store” to purchase your own e-missal if you would prefer this option.

We are opening up a new ministry team this month: the Greeting Card ministry team will be asked, from time to time, to send greeting cards or letters to those who indicate a sense of loneliness or isolation, to the bereaved, the ill, or anyone else who comes to our attention with this particular need. Please reach out to the parish office if you would be interested in being called up-on from time to time for this outreach.

Please note that Jerome A. Kleponis, a seminarian of the Diocese of Harrisburg, is being considered for the Order of Deacon. This announcement is made in accordance with the law of the Church. If anyone knows of any reason why this person should not be ordained, they have an obligation in conscience to contact the pastor of this parish or Father Jonathan P. Sawicki, Director of Vocations in the Diocese of Harrisburg, as soon as possible.
Jerome is a member of St. Columba Church. He will be ordained a transitional deacon on May 15, 2021 with the expectation of being ordained a priest next year. The faithful of the Diocese of Harrisburg are asked to pray for those men who are being called by God to service in the Church.

This Week in Our Parish

The SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION is scheduled to be administered to our eighth grade students on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Columba Church.

In the parking lot of our church, at noon, the Rosary will be prayed, in conjunction with America Needs Fatima. May 15 is the closest Saturday to May 13, when in 1917, the first apparition occurred to Lucia dos Santos, Francisco, and Jacinta Marto, in Portugal.

Mrs. Karen Konkolics is offering an altar server training class at the end of May. If your child is in 5th grade (fall 2021) up to current 12th grade and he/she is interested in being a part of this ministry, please call 570-441-3459 for more information or to register. There will be 4 – 1.5 hour long sessions.

HOLY COMMUNION WILL BE DISTRIBUTED at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday for those who want to come to the church after Sunday Mass just for Communion.

During this COVID-19 Pandemic, it is highly recommended that reception of Holy Communion be on the hand because of the concern of the transmission of the virus to others when received on the tongue. If you determine to receive on the tongue, please wait until the end of the Communion line. Thank you to everyone for your understanding.

Parish Stewardship

May 2, 2021 – $11,403
May 3, 2020 – $10,990

This Week’s Offering – Weekly
Next Week’s Offering – Weekly

Have you made your commitment to the Diocesan Annual Campaign?
If you are contributing by check, please make it payable to the “Diocese of Harrisburg.” You may send your envelope directly to the diocese or you may put it in our parish Sunday collection basket.

ASSESSMENT – $96,150
PLEDGED – $71,610
% OF GOAL – 74.5%
GIVERS – 194

CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES RICE BOWLS thus far amounts to $1,024.33. Please bring in your Rice Bowls if you have not yet done so. We are accepting them at the parish office or in the sacristy. 75 percent of your gift supports Catholic Relief Services’ programs around the world. 25 percent of your donations go to hunger and poverty alleviation in tour own community. With CRS Rice Bowl, families learn about how our sisters and brothers across the globe overcome hardships like hunger and malnutrition, and how through Lenten alms, we have the power to make the world a better place for all.

Please help us keep our records up to date in the parish office. We have many parishioners who are only listed with a landline, and in many cases that landline has been disconnected. In some cases, parishioners have moved, but we don’t know this until we have sent out envelopes and then they are returned back to us. Simply call or email the office with your updated contact information, so that if we need to get in touch, we can find you! Thank you. It is very helpful to have accurate contact information.

Mass Schedule for this Week

SATURDAY/May 1, 2021
10:00 a.m. First Communion
5:00 p.m. Dudley Cooley (Jerry and Nancy Powers and clan)

SUNDAY/May 2, 2021
8:00 a.m. Gary Quinn, Sr. (Smith Family)
10:30 a.m. People of the Parish

MONDAY/May 3, 2021
7:30 a.m. Pat Sands (Family)

TUESDAY/May 4, 2021
7:30 a.m. Edward Mott (Tom & Lorraine Cesare)

WEDNESDAY/May 5, 2021
7:30 a.m. William Rovito (Naumann Family)

THURSDAY/May 6, 2021
7:30 a.m. John D. Schmalhoffer

FRIDAY/May 7, 2021
7:30 a.m. Edward Taylor (Staniszewskis)
8:30 a.m. Richard Marston (Knights Assembly #974)

SATURDAY/May 8, 2021
8:00 a.m. Dudley Cooley (Larry & Mary Jo Noonan)
10:00 a.m. Confirmation
5:00 p.m. Gerald Carroll (Karen Carroll Miller)

SUNDAY/May 9, 2021
8:00 a.m. People of the Parish
10:30 a.m. Edward Drennen (McKinnon Family)

In loving memory of Eleanor Becker (Pat Flynn). 

In loving memory of Samuel Becker (Pat Flynn). 

In loving memory of Lottie and Adam Leschinsky (Dietz Family).

Do you miss hearing the lovely voices of the choir? Our Saint Columba Music Ministry has been learning to sing together in a new way (temporarily!). We are so thankful to the enthusiastic members of the Music Ministry that shared their talent in a challenging way! Within our YouTube channel (called “Saint Columba Parish”) there is a playlist called “Our Virtual Choir” where you can find Rain Down, Roll Away the Stone, the Sung Exodus Reading, Ubi Caritas, Pietá, In These Days of Lenten Journey, Joy to the World, A Voice Cries Out, and May the Lord Bless You and Keep You. Please give us a listen.

Hearing the Word of the Lord

Perhaps we have thought that God will love us if we love Him. The truth of the matter is that God loves us first. He has taken the initiative and loved us long before we could even know that there was a God. He loved us from the first moment of our existence, long before we could know anything. Jesus calls us His friends. He tells us that He wants His joy to be in us and that He wants our joy to be complete. He tells us that He chose us. When we know that we are loved, chosen, and befriended by our God, then we respond out of love for Him and others.
– Msgr. Bob Lawrence

Be Prepared for the Word of the Lord

Readings for Sunday, May 9, 2021
Acts 10: 25 – 26, 34 – 35, 44 – 48
Psalm 98: 1 – 4
I John 4: 7 – 10
John 15: 9 – 17

Readings for Sunday, May 16, 2021
Acts 1: 15 – 17, 20 – 26
Psalm 103: 1 – 2, 11 -12, 19 – 20
I John 4: 11 – 16
John 17: 11 – 19

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Part Three: Life in Christ
God’s Salvation: Law and Grace

“Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16)
To the young man who asked this question, Jesus answered, “If you would enter into life, keep the commandments”, and then he added, “Come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:16-21). To follow Jesus involves keeping the commandments. The law has not been abolished but man is invited to rediscover it in the Person of the divine Master who realized it perfectly in himself, revealed its full meaning and attested to its permanent validity.

How did Jesus interpret the Law?
Jesus interpreted the Law in the light of the twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Sponsor of the Week

We would like to thank the Sponsor of the Week
for sponsoring an ad in our weekly bulletin. 

Please be aware that another round of similar text messages from someone pretending to be Msgr. Lawrence and asking for iTunes gift cards is happening again. Please know that these scammers are becoming more and more savvy and that this crime is being committed all across the country, stealing thousands of dollars from good-hearted people. Also know that Monsignor will NEVER contact you to ask for monetary help. Anytime you receive a text presumably from Msgr. Lawrence, double check the original cell phone number AND call the Parish Office. NEVER give a caller any personal information. Fraudulent calls and text messages can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission and we encourage you to do so.

With the release of the COVID-19 vaccines, Bishop Gainer has prepared a letter addressing the moral concerns of the vaccine options. Inserted into this week’s bulletin is the Bishop’s letter. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities reiterate that, given the urgency of the crisis, “the lack of available alternative vaccines, and the fact that the connection between an abortion that occurred decades ago and receiving a vaccine produced today is remote, inoculation with the new COVID-19 vaccines in these circumstances can be morally justified.”

The Diocese strongly recommends that those who are sick, have a compromised immune system or are considered more vulnerable continue to remain home at this time.
-The dispensation from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass is still in place. All Mass livestreams are strongly encouraged to continue.
-Public Masses may resume at the Pastor’s discretion, so long as social distancing and proper sanitation is observed.
-Sanitation must take place after every Mass.
-All parishioners attending Mass must wear a face mask. Masks may only be removed when receiving Holy Communion. The Diocese has asked us to re-mind everyone that “except in the case of children under 2 years of age and persons with health issues, masks are to be worn as face covering the entire time parishioners attend Mass or any other liturgical event in a parish, including sacramental Confession. They are not permitted to be lowered at any time while in the church except to receive Holy Communion. It is not acceptable for parishioners to lower their face masks while sitting in the pew. Social distancing is to be strictly enforced. The measure of 6 feet between individuals and family groups is to be maintained while seated and moving. Groups are not to gather outside of our churches for social time. Face masks should be worn until a person has left the church property and distanced himself or herself from the other congregants. It should be underscored that this is an act of charity, above all, not an infringement upon a person-al right.”
-Holy Communion will be distributed at the regular time during Mass. We recommend that Holy Communion be received on the hand.
-All hymnals, missals, missalettes and Bibles will be removed. Printed worship aids may be provided for all public Liturgies. These worship aids will be disposed by the user when leaving the church. Projection devices may also be used.

February 2021 My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, One year ago, on February 19, 2020, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg (RCDH) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. While the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the proceedings, we have continued to work in earnest with the Federal bankruptcy court and interested parties. As a step in this process, on February 8 and 9, the RCDH, our present and historical insurance providers, and the survivors of abuse (individually or through a committee representing their interests) met for the first mediation. This mediation process is an effort to work together to reach a consensual resolution regarding the survivor claims against the RCDH.
At this time, there is little I can say as the mediation discussions are confidential. However, I am able to report that progress was made between the involved parties and that all parties intend to continue negotiations and mediation, to reach a consensual resolution that will acknowledge the harm suffered and provide for meaningful and fair compensation for survivors. As was explained at the beginning of this process, filing for reorganization was the only option to right our financial situation, especially after the significant legal and investigative costs we incurred due to the Grand Jury Subpoena and years of declining revenues. I have full confidence that at the conclusion of this process, our Diocese will have a much stronger foundation to build, and rebuild, upon. I also wish to take this opportunity to address our annual financial audit.
Typically at this time of year, we would publish the results of this annual financial audit in The Catholic Witness and on our Diocesan website. Due to the ongoing bankruptcy process, we are unable to release financial statements for the fiscal year end June 30, 2020 until this process is complete. We do provide regular financial updates to the bankruptcy court and all documents related to this process can be found online. We still have several months of reorganization efforts ahead of us.
As this process continues, I encourage you to visit for the most up-to-date information. I humbly ask for your prayers for our Diocese as we continue this process. May God grant us every grace needed during this difficult time. May Mary, Mother of the Church and our Mother, intercede with Her Son to be our strength and support.
Sincerely Yours in Christ, Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer Bishop of Harrisburg

PROCLAMATION OF THE DATE OF EASTER ON EPIPHANY dates from a time when calendars were not readily available. It was necessary to make known the date of Easter in advance, since many celebrations of the liturgical year depend on its date. The number of Sundays that follow the Epiphany, the date of Ash Wednesday, and the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost are all computed in relation to Easter. The following proclamation is a reminder of the centrality of the resurrection of the Lord in the liturgical year and the importance of the great mysteries of faith, which are celebrated each year.
“Know, brothers and sisters, that, as we have rejoiced at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, so by leave of God’s mercy we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection, who is our Savior.
On the seventeenth day of February will fall Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the fast of the most sacred Lenten season.
On the fourth day of April you will celebrate with joy Easter Day, the Paschal feast of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On the thirteenth day of May will be the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On the twenty-third day of May, the feast of Pentecost.
On the sixth day of June, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
On the twenty-eighth day of November, the First Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, To whom is honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Diocese has created a special page that contains several resources, including some Frequently Asked Questions and court documents. Visit the Diocese Information page to learn about this process.

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