Welcome to St. James Church!

St. James

Welcome to St. James Roman Catholic Church in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.   Please take the time to check out our various ministries St. James has to offer.   
We hope you will visit us!

Rev. William S. Lange, Parochial Administrator

Visit Us:
8320 Brookside Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027 

Rectory Phone: 215-635-6210
Rectory Fax: 215-3346
Rectory Email: stjameselkinspark@comcast.net

Weekend Mass Schedule:
Saturday 5:00 p.m., 
Sunday 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

Daily Mass:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m

Holy Day Masses
8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Sacrament of Reconciliation:
 Saturdays 4:00 - 4:45 p.m.


Help Us Bid Farewell to Fr. Lange

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Father Lange, Parochial Administrator at St. James Parish since last June, has been appointed by Archbishop Nelson Pérez to serve as Parochial Vicar at Visitation B.V.M. Parish in Trooper.  We are most grateful for Father Lange's leadership this past year, particularly as we found ourselves in unprecedented times. 

Please join in as we wish Father Lange all the best with his new assignment.
 
Refreshments will be served after the 8:30 and 10:30 Masses on Sunday, July 5 in the vestibule of church.
 
Thank you!
Event Planning Committee
 

Happy Daddy’s Day!

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Happy Daddy’s Day! Scripture scholars tell us that when Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer the title he gave us for our Father is technically closer to “Daddy” than the more formal “Father.” It informs us that His Father and Our Father is a loving God that might correct us in our needs, but ultimately just adores us.   This weekend, as we think of our earthly fathers, let us be grateful to them, but also our heavenly father who always adores us – even when we don’t deserve it!
 
Pray for those fathers still with us and for those awaiting to welcome us into our eternal home with God, our Father.
 
Pax Vobiscum,
 
Fr. Lange

The End of an Era, as a New One Begins

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Our first “Yellow Phase” weekend for Mass went well, I think.  Thanks to all of you for making it so!

It is with great sorrow that I announce the closing of our St. James Nursery School.  It has served our parish well for 38 years, but with an extremely small incoming class this coming year and for the foreseeable future, it does not seem feasible to continue to make something happen where it cannot work well.  This is mostly due to demographics more than anything else.  It has nothing to do with do with the wonderful program that this has been. Mrs. Judy Coughlin founded the program 38 years ago and it has been a very sweet aspect of our parish life ever since.  Mrs. Lori Hegarty took over in 2009 and has also maintained it as a wonderful program since then, along with her most recent helpers: Grace Gallagher, Angela Burke, and Gina Foell.  It has been a program that touched the hearts and lives of many families and little ones and the world has been a better place for it.  We thank everyone involved, especially Lori, for the work and LOVE that has been integral to this program.

Fortunately, we have a new tenant that while serving a different ministry is indeed still a ministry that should help the lives of others.  The Breathing Room Foundation will move in immediately to provide assistance to individuals and the families of those dealing with cancer.  Their stated mission is as such:

Provide those affected by cancer with personal, individualized support to alleviate the emotional, physical, and financial strain that a cancer diagnosis brings. It is our goal to ensure our families have the “breathing room” they need to allow them to concentrate their efforts on regaining their health.

More can be found at their website at https://breathingroomfoundation.org.

Congratulations to all of our graduates from grade school, high school, college, and trade schools.  You are our hope in a world that seems to have dwindling hope.  Take our prayers for you and help our world and yours to rejoice.  May any celebration that seems to be lacking now be more than made up for by your futures!

I am happy to inform you that our business manager, Mr. Greg Garrison, brings us good news in that our parish is doing well despite the struggles we have had all had to face in these strange times.  This is true for two reasons.  Firstly, the generosity of our parishioners has been nothing short of magnificent!  All have given from their hearts while some (those who have been personally able to do so) have also given tremendously in very large amounts from their wallets.  The Lord repays everyone according to their hearts regardless.

But our business manager has also been successful in obtaining a special loan to pay our employees’ salaries that will enable the loan to become a kind of grant under certain conditions.  It seems that we will be able to meet these conditions!

For these and all of your great gifts, Lord, we are most grateful.

Deo gratias,

Fr.  Lange


Welcome Back to Saint James Parish!

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Welcome back to St. James Parish! 

During this “Yellow”, intermediate phase of bringing back the celebration of Mass, the Archdiocese asks us to follow the procedures below.

GENERAL POINTS

The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation continues to be lifted during the Yellow Phase. You are not required to attend Mass at this time.

Please stay home if you are sick.

Please stay home if you are at higher risk of severe illness with COVID19. If you are uncertain about your risk status, please consult your doctor and also the CDC Guidelines at this link.

Mass will continue to be available via live-stream at the Cathedral on the Saint James Facebook page, other parishes, and other television networks like EWTN. Catholicphilly.com keeps an ever-growing list at this website.

MASS SCHEDULE

The Mass schedule remains the same here at St. James: Saturday Vigil, 5:00pm; Sunday morning 8:30am and 10:30am. Weekdays Masses will be Monday through Friday at 8:00am.   Seating at the daily Mass will be restricted to the front pews of the church.

BEFORE COMING TO MASS

Please wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water.

Before entering the Church, please put on a face mask or cloth covering. Exceptions to this are “children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, and anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance” (CDC Guidelines).  The mask is otherwise mandatory.

Please do NOT come to Mass if you are sick or are at higher risk for severe illness with COVID19 (see above).  Remember the obligation for Mass attendance is still suspended.

ENTERING THE CHURCH

Missalettes or song books will not be in the pews during this period. You are welcome to bring your own missal/readings with you. Please remember to take them with you afterwards.

Hand sanitizers will be available at the Church entrances. Please use the hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the Church.  The holy water fonts will be empty.

Bulletins will be available as usual.

SEATING

Please be seated upon entering the church.

When taking your seat, please sit in pews NOT blocked by tape.   Every other pew will be open to ensure proper social distancing.

Members of the same household may sit together as normal. Please place 6 feet between your household and members of a different household.

DURING MASS

While we may have a cantor at Mass, songbooks will not be available.  Singing will be simple and attentive to the main Mass parts.  There will be no choir until the “GREEN” phase.

A collection will be taken up during the Offertory as usual using long-handled baskets.  There will be no offertory procession, though the collection will be placed in front of the altar by one of the ushers.

The Sign of Peace will be only a smile or a nod to your neighbor.

The Precious Blood will not be distributed during Mass during the Yellow Phase.

RECEPTION OF HOLY COMMUNION

Please maintain social distancing in the Communion line. Please keep several pews between yourself and the person in front of you while in line and when returning to your pew.

During the Yellow Phase, the faithful are asked to receive Holy Communion in the hand.

When offered the host, respond “Amen” and remove or let down one side of the mask.  Receive in your hand and place the host in your mouth.  Restore the mask and return to your pew, allowing for social distancing.

EXITING THE CHURCH

At the conclusion of Mass, please exit the Church and proceed directly to your car. Please do not congregate for any reason and remember social distancing in the aisles on the way out.

Please leave your mask on until you exit the Church.

We will need a few volunteers after the weekend Masses for an abbreviated cleaning (loose papers/books removed, door handles and pew railings sanitized, etc.).  Volunteers, please meet Fr. Lange near the confessionals after Mass.  The church will be more fully sanitized during the week.

The “Green” phase will follow at some point down the road.  We will adjust accordingly when that time comes.  I think we all pray that it will be sooner than later!

Fr. Lange


Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! Public Masses Will Resume June 6

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Glory, glory, hallelujah!  We are making progress with a return to public Mass.  On the weekend of June 6th and 7th we will open up the doors of the church to celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity!  Mass times will be as usual: Saturday, 5:00pm; Sunday, 8:30am and 10:30am.

But we have to remember that this is an intermediate phase corresponding with the state’s “Yellow” mode.  There will still be restrictions.  We hope to have a strategy in place to be revealed with details for re-opening the church.  We plan on publishing details here next week. The Archdiocese has promised to provide information and guidelines for us.  I do know that social distancing, including masks and six-foot separations, will continue to be paramount. 

It is important to remember that the requirement for Sunday Mass attendance is still lifted for any and all of us.  I especially ask those most prone to the harshest effects of COVID 19 to wait at least until the next phase, the “Open” or “Green” phase to return to public Mass. This transitional “Yellow” phase while quite uplifting, is still not the “Green” phase.  Even in the “Green” or “Open” phase I believe some restrictions will remain in place.  We will cross that bridge when we get there.

In the meantime I hope we all take the opportunity to take with us on our continued spiritual journeys the things we might not have faced before, things that might have made us stronger, spiritually and otherwise.  Perhaps we want to put the past few months behind us, but it might be a good thing to reflect on our experience.  I think God is always finding ways to teach us in our faith, perhaps most of all during our struggles.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!  To God, the Most Holy Trinity, be the glory for all Good that comes our way.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen.

Fr. Lange


Stock's Pound Cake Fundraiser

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We have rescheduled the Stock’s Pound Cake Fund-raiser for the weekend of June 13 – 14. We are hoping that you will participate in this fund-raiser, to help make-up for those we have had to cancel, due to the Coronavirus.

Parishioners are encouraged to ask family and friends to join in. All orders must be paid in advance,
no later than Sunday, May 31. Please fill out the downloadable form below.  Checks should be made payable to St. James Church and left on the back porch of the Rectory or mailed to Saint James Rectory.

Download Stocks Pound Cake Order Form

Curbside pick-up will be outside our School Hall on Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Please help us make this fund-raiser a success. If unable to participate, please consider making a
donation. Any questions please call Dolores Wlodarczyk – 215-379-5696.

Thank you.
Event Planning Committee


Fr. Lange's Reflection: While it's Not a Merry May, it Can be a Mary May

This month of May has not been too terribly merry thanks to the COVID 19 virus. But while merriment may not have been a part of it, Mary should be. Most of the countries in the New World have been consecrated to the Blessed Mother. Even the United States has been consecrated to Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception (hence why it is a holy day of obligation for us.) Many people and countries are asking for her prayers as we endure this pandemic, even though the traditional May celebrations for her have had to be cancelled.

Still, we are free as individuals to pray the Rosary or many other Marian prayers asking for her help. One of my favorites is often included by many as part of the Rosary. It is called the Memorare:

...Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that
never was it known that anyone who fled to thy
protection, implored thy help or sought thy
intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this
confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my
Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and so…

Mary, Queen conceived without sin, Mother of God and us all, Pray for us.
Fr. Lange


Statement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Regarding the Projected Resumption of the Public Celebration of Mass

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The Archdiocese of Philadelphia released the following statement on Friday, May 22, 2020:

In mid-March, the celebration of public Mass was suspended in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the obligation for the faithful to attend Mass was dispensed. Those decisions were not made lightly and were always intended to be temporary measures.

They were made out of necessity for the common good and in recognition of the fact that all of us share a responsibility for the preservation of public health, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this unprecedented time, the Archdiocese has made every effort to provide for the spiritual needs of the faithful as well as the temporal needs of those who benefit from its many charitable works.

It is important to note that Catholic churches in the Archdiocese have never been closed. Local parish churches have remained open for private prayer as well as the celebration of the Sacraments Baptism, Penance, Matrimony, and funeral Masses at the discretion of the local pastor and with respect for guidelines from public health officials as they have evolved over time.

Based on recent statements from government officials at the state level, it is anticipated that the five-county region comprising the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will move into the “yellow” phase of the statewide re-opening plan by Friday, June 5th. As such, it is projected that the celebration of daily and Sunday Masses will resume beginning on Saturday, June 6th.

The administration of the Archdiocese has been working in consultation with public health officials to ensure that such a resumption takes place within the context of state approved guidelines and is actively working to provide appropriate guidance to its clergy so that all will be as prepared as possible when the public celebration of Mass begins again. All of us are eager to open the doors of Church wide for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.


Fr. Lange's Reflection: Heading into Ascension Thursday

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Recently, I engaged in a webinar from the Archdiocese regarding the opening of the churches
for Mass again. No, dates have not yet been decided, but discussed were some interesting issues that will arise as we (hopefully) approach that date in the future.

We are somewhat tied to what the state will do regarding the opening up of commerce in each of the
counties using the red, yellow, and green phases. It was made clear that the archbishop will have his own approach and will not allow the state to dictate everything the church will do. We look to the state for guidance due to the law, but also because the state has much greater access to scientific and medical data.

Nevertheless, there will be difficulties. For example, some counties adjacent to each other may be at
different levels at the same time. One county may still be at the red level while another next to it may
be at the yellow level and that can certainly cause confusion. And if we begin Masses again in yellow
counties in which larger gatherings may be allowed but still limited in size, how will we be able to
determine who can come to Mass and who cannot attend? The Archdiocese says that it is working on
many of these details. I have started to imagine how we might do things here.

I believe masks, gloves and safe distancing will still be in force but that might raise questions for the
distribution and reception of Communion. Since public speaking is very difficult while wearing a mask, I envision “zones” in the sanctuary wherein the cantor stays at and near the cantor station, the
priest remains at the altar even for the Gospel and homily, and the lector would remain on the side of
the lectern. I am not sure yet what to do with altar servers because of their close contact with the priest. All ministers would begin with mask and gloves on, but for speaking and singing parts the masks might be temporarily removed.

Obviously, the priest would place his mask back on for the distribution of Holy Communion. I would be open to suggestions going forward. I hope to have a plan in place before things change. Hopefully we could have everything in place when the time comes, but adjustments might have to be made as needed. 

Thursday, May 21 is Ascension Thursday. It would normally be a holy day of obligation but under these circumstances the obligation is lifted and there will be no public Mass offered. One question often asked is what Jesus did during the time between Easter and the Ascension. We have nothing written in Scripture, but scholars have given thought to that question.

Perhaps he gave direct instruction to the Apostles and some of the disciples about how His Church would look and grow. Perhaps He spoke rather personally to the Apostles and others about what lies ahead for them. For many, this would be a time of consolation since so many would be martyred. But it would also be a consolation regarding Jesus’ presence being missed by them so directly. Ten days after Ascension Thursday is Pentecost Sunday which commemorates the down-pouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit. One of the titles of the Holy Spirit is Consoler. Jesus would have reminded them of this gift that would console their feelings of loss for him, but also what might lie ahead for them in their lives of evangelization and eventual death. Part of that consolation would also be that “where He goes, we will follow.”

The Ascension denotes Jesus’ completion of his earthly ministry and His entrance into glory with His Father. The Apostles (and we) will experience that, too. Jesus continues that consolation even now through the Holy Spirit. Our public and personal experiences of the pandemic seek consolation. Knowing that Christ reigns, knowing that we have the opportunity to let Him grow within us, and that Heaven awaits us someday are reasons enough to be grateful to God for His consolation.

Thank you, Lord for Jesus’ Ascension into glory.
Thank you for the consolation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Fr. Lange


Father Lange's Reflection: Big Brother? 1984? A Brave New World?

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May God bless all mothers this weekend and always. Their love for us is always a marvel to behold, but many truly shine these days as they help children understand and bear their own hardships during these confusing times. Happy Mother’s Day to all who provide the love and care of a mother.

When I attended St. John Bosco grade school in Cleveland, I had to walk a mile to the nearest public grade school to catch a bus from there to SJB. This was in cold, snowy Cleveland.   And yes, it was uphill both ways. More often than not I would run into a school mate on the way named Bob Pipick. I remember him telling me once along the way about a book his older brother was reading entitled 1984.   He told me about Big Brother and the constant surveillance by the government on its own people who had only one way to live and that way was according to Big Brother. I remember being scared by what Bob told me even though I was in fourth grade. The year 1984 was still in my future and I thought the book was a prediction about what would happen by that year.

I eventually read the book by George Orwell in high school and still found it chilling. Obviously, the year 1984 would come and go and the “predictions” were not quite in place. However, some say that they see many of the trends form the book in our own times.

In some ways they might be correct as I see some of our constitutional rights corroded and because of technology, some are indeed watching us like Big brother, though for the moment it is more from the corporate world as they try and identify us as much as possible in order to sell something.

I read another sci-fi book in high school called “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley and I believe in many ways that our present world is closer to the trends in that book. There is a strong central government (a single world government) as well as surveillance. But also, science has replaced God as human reproduction is replaced by machines and designed by humans. The idea of families and people born having mothers is seen as savage as it is still practiced on remote reservations where “savages” live. Drugs were routinely taken for every little thing but especially as a way of psychological control.

Whichever novel you believe is closer to how our world is directed, both were alarming. I used the word “were” here because like the frog in slowly boiling water, our society does not see the ideas expressed in these books as present now, or are less afraid because we are already so much amidst these things we do not see the effects these ideas and realities bear upon the human soul.

Both eschew religion and God. Our Creator, who knows us better and what is best for us than any of us could ever completely understand, is replaced by science. And science seen as apart from God, is control, a way of designing people and society to visions which are inherently incomplete due to their lack of respect and dignity given by God, the Creator.

Please, may faith rule our lives even in these particularly faith-challenging times. Pray for the children. Teach the faith to the little ones whom Jesus calls to himself.

May God bless those mothers at whose feet we were taught our faith. God bless all women who, in a loving and motherly way, will continue to pass the faith to our little ones.

Happy Mother’s Day,

Fr. Lange