"Solemn Novena 2023"

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Novena Preachers:

Rev. Melvin Shorter  C.P. 

Father Melvin's Biography

Fr. Melvin A. Shorter, C.P. is the first of two children born to the late Edithand Melvin Shorter of Baltimore, Maryland. He was educated in the public school system of Baltimore Maryland, graduating from Baltimore City College (High School). He attended Coppin State College graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education.

Upon graduation, he was employed by the Social Security Administration in Baltimore as a Career Development Specialist and later as a Personnel Relations specialist. He worked for the Administration until 1981. In 1981, Fr. Melvin entered the Passonist Novitiate in Pittsburgh, PA.

In 1982 he took first vows as a Passonist and entered Catholic Theological Union earning a Masters of Divinity with an emphasis on Word and Worship. Upon graduation, he was ordained in New York. He returned to Pittsburgh, PA for his first ministry assignment. While in Pittsburgh, he conducted Parish Missions and Retreats.

After one year in Pittsburgh, he was asked to join four other Passonist to reestablish a Passionist presence in Greenville, N.C. He ministered in St. Gabriel’s parish. Also, while in North Carolina he continued doing Itinerate Preaching. In 1989, He joined the parish staff of St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Atlanta, GA and became pastor in 1990. In 1996, Fr. Melvin served as one of five Catholic Chaplains at the 1996 World Summer Olympic Games.
While in Atlanta, Fr. Melvin was elected to the Provincial Council as Consultor. He ministered in both ministries until 2004 at which time he was asked to join two other Passionists in an experimental project in Harlem, New York. In2008, he joined the Passonist media ministry while continuing with Itinerate Preaching until 2010 when he was asked to join the Parish Staff at St. Joseph Parish in Paris, France. St. Joseph’s parish is the only all English-speaking parish in all of France. The parish ministers to people from over sixty different nations.

In Paris, Fr. Melvin served on a commission that remembered the 9/11 tragedies of the United States on its commemoration of its tenth anniversary. He also served on a commission that celebrated the 200th Anniversary of English used in worship services in France. He also ministered with an ecumenical commission in Paris. This group met regularly in support of the many faiths that celebrated worship in English He served as one of several chefs who weekly provided a three-course, sit down lunch for the hungry. While in the Parish, he conducted Bible Study Groups, prepared families for Baptism and was chaplain to a group of Missionary Sisters of Charity.

Fr. Melvin is currently the Rector of the community at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center. He also continues his ministry of conducting Retreats, Days of Reflection and Parish Missions.
Fr. Melvin enjoys traveling, reading, films, theater and cooking.

 Br. Andre Mathieu C.P.

Brother Andre's Biography

Brother Andre Mathieu, C.P., is a native of Hartford, CT. He made his profession of religious vows as a Passionist in 1962. During the past fifty­ eight years, he has served in various pastoral, formation and leadership positions in the Eastern Province (region) of the Passionists.

For the past thirteen years, he has been a member of the Passionist Community, St. Ann's Monastery, Scranton, Pa. Prior to his assign­ment at St. Ann's, he was a member of the Passionist Preaching Minist1y for eighteen years, directing parish missions ands retreats for clergy, religious and laity in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

Brother Andre holds a Master's degree in Pastoral Theology from Boston College as well as a Master's degree in Gerontology from the College of New Rochelle, NY. He has a Certification in Thanatology (Death Studies) and has directed workshops and retreats on Spirituality and the Dynamics of Grief and Loss.

Mass Schedule

Novena Devotions
After: 8:00 & 11:45 A.M. Masses
After: 5:30  & 7:30 P.M. Masses
And at 3:30 P.M. (Novena Only)

Daily Masses
7:00, 8:00 & 11:45 A.M.
5:30 P.M. & 7:30 P.M.

Lower Basilica for 45 minutes prior to
Each Mass (except 7:00 A.M.) and the 3:30 P.M. Novena Service
Confessions will not be available following the services.

Sunday Mass Schedule (July 23rd)
8:00, 11:45 A.M.
5:30 P.M. & 7:30 P.M.

CTV Coverage
Daily Mass & Novena - Monday thru Friday - 12:00, 3:30 & 7:00 P.M.
except Tuesday July 25th 12:00, 3:30, & 9:00 PM
Saturday & Sundays at   12:00 P.M. & 7:00 P.M.
Solemn Closing Mass July 26th, Live and livestreamed at 7:30 P.M. rebroadcast the following day, on Thursday, July 27 at 1:30 P.M.

Local Coverage on WQMY
Monday thru Friday - 3:00 P.M & 4:00 P.M.
Saturday & Sundays - 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Solemn Closing - July 27 - 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
On Comcast -Channel #11 & #811; Service Electric - Channel #11
Dish - Channel #53; DirecTV - Channel #53
Over-the-Air - Channel #53.1

JMJ Catholic Radio (750AM, 1490AM, & 98.9FM)
6:00 PM Daily

Divine Liturgy - Byzantine Rite:
Tuesday, July 18th at 5:30 P.M.
Bishop Kurt Burnette, D.D.
Eparchy of Passaic
There will be no 7:30 P.M. Mass or Novena Devotions on this day.

Mass of the Anointing of the Sick
Thursday, July 20th at 1:30 P.M. (Upper Basilica)

Mass for Infants, Children and Grandparents
Saturday, July 22nd at 10:00 A.M.
(Outdoors, Weather Permitting)

Sunday, July 23
All Masses with Blessing of Grandparents
Pope Francis has declared the Sunday closest to the
Feast of Sts. Joachim and Ann to be a day for honoring
Grandparents throughout the World.

Spanish Mass - 1:30 P.M.

St Ann’s Feast Day - July 26th
Masses & Devotions
4:30, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 10:00 & 11:45 A.M.
3:30 (Novena only) & 5:30 P.M.
7:30 P.M. Pontifical Solemn Closing with Bishop Joseph Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.

St Ann’s Feast Day - July 26th Language Services
1:30 P.M. -  Polish

Preacher Reflections

Preachers and Reflections are as follows:

Fr. Melvin Shorter, C.P. - July 17, 2023

Br. Andre Mathieu, C.P. - July 18, 2023

Fr. Melvin Shorter, C.P. - July 19, 2023

Br. Andre Mathieu, C.P. - July 20, 2023

Fr. Melvin Shorter, C.P. - July 21, 2023

Br. Andre Mathieu, C.P. - July 22, 2023

Fr. Melvin Shorter, C.P. - July 23, 2023

Br. Andre Mathieu, C.P. - July 24, 2023

Fr. Melvin Shorter, C.P. - July 25, 2023

Br. Andre Mathieu, C.P. - July 26, 2023

History of the Novena

By 1900, Bishop Michael J. Hoban of Scranton sought out the ministerial services of the Passionists for the diocese. After a temporary residence at Harvey's Lake, Pennsylvania from May until October 1902, the Passionists rented a Sloan Avenue home at Round Woods, on Scranton's west side. At that time, they were given responsibility for St. Ann's Parish and began to build the monastery on a nearby plot of land. The monastery was designed by architect Owen McGlynn of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and financially blessed by the generosity of other United States Passionist monasteries and many Scrantonians. Donation records show a high percentage of Irish. The dedication took place on July 2, 1905. St. Ann was the mother of the Blessed Mother and traditionally known to be the patron of miners.

Disaster struck on the morning of August 15, 1911. A coal mine subsidence seriously damaged the monastery. Passionists considered leaving Scranton. On July 28, 1913, two days after the Feast of St. Ann, another underground shift occurred. Two huge boulders moved into place making the Monastery grounds more solid than ever. Immediately local people saw this a sign of God’s grace and helped raise $37,000 so that the Passionists could make the building and foundation secure and livable once again.

St. Ann's Novena began in November 1924 with just a handful of people requesting the rector of St. Ann's Monastery to have a weekly novena honoring St. Ann. This led to the Solemn Novena from July 17-26. St. Ann’s Church was built by famed Boston architects Maginnis & Walsh and dedicated in 1929. Father John Joseph Endler, C.P. (1892-1957) was the popular preacher associated with the Solemn Novena. St. Ann’s Shrine Basilica, the weekly Monday novena and the annual Solemn Novena from July 17-26 is sacred ground. It is an important place of healing, history, and culture for all people of Scranton and Northeast Pennsylvania and those who now connect via social media.

For more Novena information click here

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