Saturday, 09 December
Vigil of Sunday
4:30 p.m. - SAMUEL J. SPLEEN
(9th anniversary)
by his wife, Lee, and sons

Sunday, 10 December
2nd Sunday of Advent
7:45 a.m. - CHARLES F. KUTCH
by his wife, Mary, and family
by Roman and Jennifer Carestia and family

Monday, 11 December
St. Damasus I, pope (OptMem)
by her parents, Glen and Mary Ann

Tuesday, 12 December
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Fst)
12:05 p.m. - GERALD WEISS
(1st anniversary) by John S. Joy and family
7:00 p.m. - FRANCES MAZZUCA GARDNER (11th anniversary) by her mother, Julia

Wednesday, 13 December
St. Lucy, virgin, martyr (OblMem)
12:05 p.m. - JOSEPH A. PALKO
by his wife, Carmella, and their daughter, Joanne


Thursday, 14 December
St. John of the Cross, priest, doctor (OblMem)
12:05 p.m. - ALFRED CATALINI
(41st anniversary) by his daughter, Rose Marie
7:00 p.m. - JOSEPH A. FABIANI
(4th anniversary) by his wife, Johanne, and family

Friday, 15 December
Advent Weekday
12:05 p.m. - Health and God's Blessings on RONI J. KEVY by Ed and Catherine Snopek

Saturday, 16 December
Advent Weekday
8:00 a.m. - DANIEL F. SMITH
(2nd anniversary) by his mother, Catherine

Vigil of Sunday
4:30 p.m. - GUY LUPPINO
(anniversary of birth) by his wife, Kathryn, and family

Sunday, 17 December
3rd Sunday of Advent
7:45 a.m. - JOHN KLEMA
by Andy and Clare Alfonsi
10:45 a.m. - AGNES OWENS
(anniversary of birth)
by her daughter, Kitty Owens DiCello


stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 01


02 / 03 DECEMBER

Saint Joseph Parish
from the envelopes and $101.00 from the plate. Thank you.
When one deducts from the sum of these two figures, $2,227.00 the parish's weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments, $358.85 plus the weekly premiums for property and liability insurance, $149.20, the sum of which is $508.05, plus its weekly obligation to All Saints School, $987.21, the sum total of which is $1,495.26, one sees that $731.74 of this collection is available for operating the parish.

Saint Francis deSales Parish
from the envelopes and $99.20 from the plate. Thank you.
When one deducts from the sum of these two figures, $317.20 the parish's weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments, $55.15 plus the weekly premiums for property and liability insurance, $56.72, the sum of which is $111.87, plus its weekly obligation to All Saints School, $197.44, the sum total of which is $309.31, one sees that $7.89 of this collection is available for operating the parish.


Sat       02 Dec

Elva S won $100.00
Sun      03 Dec

Paper Carrier won $150.00
Mon     04 Dec

Linda M won $50.00
Tues     05 Dec

Nobody won $50.00
Wed     06 Dec

Dan D won $50.00
Thurs   07 Dec

Leonard D won $50.00
Fri       08 Dec

Nobody won $50.00

stjos/stfds:12.10.2006 - 02


Tuesday, 12 December
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
at St. Joseph's

Thursday, 14 December
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
at St. Joseph's

Friday, 15 December
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
at St. Francis deSales'

THE SANCTUARY LAMP at St. Joseph Church is offered, during the week of 10 - 16 December, in loving memory of Dennis C. Weiss, at the request of his son, John, and family.

And while we're on the subject of profits, you might want to know that the profit from last Sunday's Spaghetti Supper  [3 Dec] came to $1,001.11!
Isn't that grand?
Actually it is grand - it's one grand plus a dollar eleven.
Needless to say, this is one profit that doesn't cry!

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 03



11 December
David A. Cooper
Barbara Rehnert Kull
Clyde V. Neifert Jr.

12 December
Annette Doyne Kline
Brandon J. Macaluso

13 December
Ryan E. Fessler

14 December
Ronald J. Carestia Sr.
Brenda B. Mennig
Tara Tranquillo

15 December
Joseph T. Cescon
Noah D. George
Anna Arnt Tice

16 December
David A. Hauptly Jr.
Jaime L. O'Donnell
Joseph M. Mazzuca
Mary Morris Nolley

17 December
None, as far as we know.


Little girl:             Bless me, Father, I have sinned. It has been two weeks since my last confession                             and these are my sins: I ate meat on Friday.
(Long pause)
Grumpy priest:
   Yes, yes! You ate meat on Friday. Anything else?
Little girl:            Yes, Father.
(Long pause)
Grumpy priest:
   Well, didn't you hear me? I said, "Anything else?"
Little girl:            Mashed potatoes and corn.

  WE ACKNOWLEDGE WITH GRATITUDE the receipt of donations to the StFdSPar Memorial Fund as follows:
In memory of
Mary Reilly Merrick
Gerald and Lorraine Spotts
Fred Knorr and Tiffany Reedy
John and Susan McCord


stjos/stfds: 12.03.2006 - 04


son of Albert J. and Raydell (Yeich) Wychunas

daughter of
Joseph S. and Elizabeth (Dunmoyer) Marko

will marry one another today (Saturday, 9 December) during the 4:30 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph Church.
Gerald and Tina are members of St. Francis deSales Parish, Mount Carbon. They are being married at St. Joseph Church for convenience sake. Fr. Connolly secured the necessary permission from the pastor of St. Francis deSales Parish.
The Sacrament of Matrimony is "a great mystery". The sacramentally married husband and wife make visible the great nuptial union between Jesus and His Church.
And, so, starting today, we will recognize Gerald as an image of Jesus, the Divine Husband and we will recognize Tina as an image of His Bride, who is Holy Mother Church.
From this time forward, the union of Gerald and Tina is holy. It is to be permanent, faithful and open to children, God willing.
The two are to strive for holiness.
They are to live with one another in a state of tenderhearted love and mutual forgiveness, bearing with one another and carrying one another's burdens.
We are grateful to God for leading Gerald and Tina to this day. May God grant them all the graces they will need in order to live out the meaning of the vows that they speak.

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 05


I have edited it only a little, without omitting anything important.
There are quite a few persons in our two parishes who would benefit from reading this.
However, they probably won't read it.
So, why don't you sit down with one or two of them and read it to them or, at least, give them the gist of it.?

Holiday Depression & Stress
The holiday season is a time full of joy, cheer, parties, and family gatherings. However, for many people, it is a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures, and anxiety about an uncertain future.

What Causes Holiday Blues?
Many factors can cause the "holiday blues": stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial constraints, and the inability to be with one's family and friends. The demands of shopping, parties, family reunions, and house guests also contribute to feelings of tension. People who do not become depressed may develop other stress responses, such as: headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating, and difficulty sleeping. Even more people experience post-holiday let down after January 1. This can result from disappointments during the preceding months compounded with the excess fatigue and stress.

Coping with Stress and Depression During the Holidays
Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable. Try to set realistic goals for yourself. Pace yourself. Organize your time. Make a list and prioritize the important activities. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Do not put entire focus on just one day (e.g., Christmas Day). Remember it is a season of holiday sentiment.

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 06

Activities can be spread out (time-wise) to lessen stress and increase enjoyment.
Remember the holiday season does not banish reasons for feeling sad or lonely; there is room for these feelings to be present, even if the person chooses not to express them.
Leave "yesteryear" in the past and look toward the future. Life brings changes. Each season is different and can be enjoyed in its own way. Don't set yourself up in comparing today with the "good ol' days."
Do something for someone else. Try volunteering some time to help others.
Enjoy activities that are free, such as driving around to look at holiday decorations; going window shopping without buying; making a snowman with children.
Be aware that excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
Spend time with supportive and caring people. Reach out and make new friends or contact someone you have not heard from for awhile.
Save time for yourself! Recharge your batteries! Let others share responsibility of activities.

Can Environment Be a Factor?
Recent studies show that some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which results from fewer hours of sunlight as the days grow shorter during the winter months. Phototherapy, a treatment involving a few hours of exposure to intense light, is effective in relieving depressive symptoms in patients with SAD.

Other studies on the benefits of phototherapy found that exposure to early morning sunlight was effective in relieving seasonal depression. Recent findings, however, suggest that patients respond equally well to phototherapy whether it is scheduled in the early morning or afternoon. This has practical applications for antidepressant treatment

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 07


since it allows the use of phototherapy in the workplace as well as the home.

Coping With the Loss of a Loved One During the Holidays

The holiday season can be especially difficult for people grieving the death of a loved one.
"Traditionally, it is a time of family, friends and laughter. But for people who are in the grieving process, the holidays can enhance feelings of personal grief and separate us from what used to make us happy," Cynthia Bozich-Keith, a clinical assistant professor at Purdue University School of Nursing, said in a prepared statement.
She offered the following suggestions to help grieving people cope with the holidays:
Be gentle with yourself by taking time out to care for yourself by slowing down your pace or pampering yourself.
Eat a nutritious diet, exercise, avoid alcohol and get adequate sleep.
Discuss your feelings with people close to you. Talk about the person who died. Sharing memories may help you with the healing process.
Set limits and be realistic about what you can do in terms of holiday preparation and activities.
Don't feel guilty if you do enjoy yourself during the holidays. It's not disrespectful to the memory of your loved one if you have a good time.
Celebrate life.

"Try to ride the wave of emotions and accept that feelings of sadness and pain are unavoidable and are heightened during certain times. The intense feelings will pass, but grief is an ongoing process. Don't ever expect closure. It gets easier with time, but there will always be an empty space at the table," Bozich-Keith said.

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 08

The following is not from the National Mental Health Association. It is from me (EBC):

If you have had a death in the family, please cope with it appropriately. Do not think that you are complimenting the deceased by being visibly miserable. On the contrary, you are being disrespectful to the deceased by acting as if your life has no meaning now that he has departed.
Quite frankly, grief that hangs around too long is an indication that there was something "not right" in the relationship between the deceased and you. It is well known that depression (prolonged grief) is usually due to unresolved anger against the deceased or else unresolved guilt in regard to the deceased.
If you are angry at the deceased or if you do feel guilty about how you treated the deceased, then by all means go talk to your parish priest in confidence. It is possible that he might suggest that you talk to a psychologist. Then again, maybe not. A conversation with the parish priest might be sufficient.
However, if you are not angry at the deceased and if you do not feel guilty about how you treated him, then what's the point of moping around for months and years after his death?
Do you think that the deceased would like to come back to you in order to resume living the life he had with you before he died, but is prevented from doing so because of death?
No way!
The deceased is either in heaven or in hell. (I know that there is a purgatory, but we don't need to make that a separate category, inasmuch as purgatory is simply a vestibule to heaven.)
So, if the deceased is in hell (God forbid!), he has no love for you whatsoever. In which case, why would you want him to come back to you? Better he should stay far away!
And, if the deceased is in heaven (God grant it be so!), he is having such a rollicking good time that it would be cruel and thoughtless for you to want him to come back to you.

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 09

St. Joseph Parish sold 665 calendars.
St. Francis deSales Parish sold 38 calendars.
Total number of calendars sold: 703.
At $5.00 each, the gross revenue amounted to $3,515.00.
Deduct from this the following:
$2,150.00 in prizes;
$70.00 in printing;
$41.51 in postage.
Total deductions: $2,261.51.
Net revenue: $1,253.49.
Divided between the two parishes
in proportion to number of calendars sold by each:
St. Joseph Parish (94.6%) earned $1,185.73.
St. Francis deSales Parish (5.4%) earned $67.76.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE WITH GRATITUDE the receipt of a contribution to the StJosPar Memorial Fund as follows:
In memory of
Olga Sinkovich Seador
Katherine Manzo and Rosaria Manzo Visalli
THERE IS A RESTAURANT in Wyomissing (PA) the name of which is VIVA. The street address is 901 Hill Avenue. I have never been to this restaurant. However, I would like to express my appreciation for a check ($13.37) made out to StFdSPar that was received from the Director of Marketing of this restaurant. Apparently VIVA has a program whereby 10% of "banquet food and non-alcoholic beverage purchases" can be sent to the church of one's choice, if one presents a copy of the parish bulletin to the waiter / waitress. Thank you to the parishioner (or maybe a non-parishioner) who directed this donation to StFdSPar.
If you are inclined to dine from time to time in Berks County, we suggest you check out VIVA!

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 10

I WENT TO THE POTTSVILLE POST OFFICE one day this past week in order to mail a package.
While I was there, I took notice - how could anyone not take notice? - of the seasonal artwork painted on the PO windows by the PAHS Sketch Club.
The art work prompts a few comments from me, but, first of all, I had better make a few disclaimers, lest I inadvertently ruffle any feathers that I don't mean to ruffle!
DISCLAIMER #1: I am all in favor of the fact that the P.O. allows its windows to be used to display the artistic talents of some of the children of our local public high school. I hope that this practice continues for years to come!
DISCLAIMER #2: I harbor no ill will whatsoever towards anyone connected with the project. I love the United States Postal Service! May God bless the Postmaster and all those who work for and at the Pottsville branch of the USPS! May God bless the principal, the faculty and all the students of Pottsville Area High School and, in particular, those associated with the Sketch Club! I wish all of the above and their families and friends their choice of any or all of the following: A MERRY CHRISTMAS and / or A HAPPY CHANUKAH and / or A MEANINGFUL KWANZAA and / or SEASON'S GREETINGS and / or A COOL YULE and / or A BLISSFUL SOLSTICE. You name it, I wish it for you!
Now that the disclaimers are taken care of, let me move towards the point.
But, first let me summarize for you what appears on the PO windows:

IMAGES: (1) Several plump, comical birds; (2) Sleigh; (3) Fireplace; (4) Santa Claus; (5) Man wearing African-type hat lighting candles for Kwanzaa; (6) Fir trees; (7) Snowman (or are we obliged now to say "snowperson"?); (8) snowflakes; (9) dove with olive branch; (10) boy and girl singing; (11) boy wearing yarmulke lighting Chanukah menorah resting on table draped with cloth decorated with stars of David.

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 11


WORDS: (1) Kwanzaa; (2) Roll Tide (x 2); (3) Happy Holidays; (4) Ho-ho-ho.

Okay, now we've arrived at THE POINT!
Nowhere on the PO windows do I see any of the following images:
(1) a baby; (2) a mother who has just given birth to a baby; (3) a man whose wife has just given birth to a baby; (4) a stable; (5) a manger; (6) a shepherd; (7) a magos (aka "wise man"); (8) a star shining bright over a stable.
Nowhere on the PO windows do I see any of the following words: (1) merry; (2) Christmas; (3) God; (4) Jesus; (5) Christ; (6) holy.

Can anyone explain this to me?
I have three suppositions, none of which is helpful to my understanding.

#1 - I am fairly certain that no USPS authority forbade that any of the above words or images be painted on the PO windows. I take it for granted that the USPS is open to religious expression. They issue a religious stamp for Christmas each year, do they not?
#2 - I am fairly certain that no authority at PAHS forbade the children to paint or write anything Christian on the PO windows.
#3 - I am fairly certain that [law of averages!] one or more of the children who did the painting is a Christian (either Catholic or Orthodox or Protestant) and maybe even goes to church with some frequency.

If this be so (the three suppositions listed above), then will somebody please explain to me how the windows of the Pottsville PO got painted for Christmas without one single solitary reference to Christmas?
But is it possible that one or more of my suppositions is mistaken? I guess it is possible. So, if anyone knows something that I don't know about this, please let me know and I will put it into next weekend's bulletin.

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 12


SOME PERSONS HAVE ASKED ME, "What the heck was the cat doing in the confessional?" They are referring to the fact that, on Tuesday, 5 December, between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m., Kateri, the Official Cat of St. Joseph Parish, was seen emerging from the confessional.
Please understand that, as a priest, I have to be extremely circumspect in talking about what anyone does or says in Confession. I am going out on a limb by even acknowledging in print that Kateri came to Confession this past Tuesday evening. Actually, it's not so much that she "came to Confession", but rather she "came into the confessional". There is a difference, you know. She came in via the penitent's side. I was unaware of her presence until she leapt through the porthole between the priest's side and the penitent's side and landed in my lap. Believe me when I tell you I was startled. So, I just put her down on the floor on my side of the confessional because I wanted to be as discreet as possible in getting rid of her. It was my intention, at the right moment, when nobody would notice, to pick her up and expel her bodily from the bosom of Holy Mother Church or at least from St. Joseph Church. However, just as I was about to do so, a penitent came in. I tried to remain calm and dignified and to stonewall the fact that I was harboring a cat in the confessional. I had just started hearing the confession of the person when Kateri jumped up from the floor onto my knees and into the porthole. This startled the penitent somewhat, but - thank God! - he has a good sense of humor. I apologized to the penitent and asked him to expel Kateri from the confessional. He did so and, very soon, it was back to business as usual. We wish to assure one and all that we do not intend to make a practice of harboring cats in the confessional. HOWEVER, just in case you ever see Kateri, the Official Cat of St. Joseph Parish, sitting in the confessional with the pastor, please be aware that she is bound by the seal of confession and is absolutely forbidden to meow your sins to anyone.
Every year during Advent, we solicit your donations of "baby things". We have a crib set up in the front of St. Joseph Church. This is meant to serve as a reminder and as a receptacle for your gifts. People who attend St. Francis deSales Church can simply leave their gifts in the back of the church. You know what we mean by "baby things", do you not? We mean clothing, layettes, nursing bottles, cans of formula - anything you think a mother of a newborn child might appreciate having. Whatever you give, plus whatever monetary donations you give, will be given to young mothers and mothers-in-waiting who are in difficult circumstances.

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 13



Saturday, 09 December
Vigil of Sunday
by Debra Deramo McDonald and sons

Sunday, 10 December
2nd Sunday of Advent
by the family
12:15 p.m. - WILLIAM E. BRENNAN
by his sister, Anne, and his brother, Vincent

Monday, 11 December
St. Damasus I, pope (OptMem)
10:00 a.m. - JOHN J. KANE
by bequest

Wednesday, 13 December
St. Lucy, virgin, martyr (OblMem)
by Shirley Losch Recla

Friday, 15 December
Advent Weekday
10:00 a.m. - DICK YUENGLING Sr.
by Nancy Dombrowny Haag

Saturday, 16 December
Vigil of Sunday
by John and Diana Consugar

Sunday, 17 December
3rd Sunday of Advent
9:15 a.m. - EDWARD W. KULL
by his wife, Barbara
by Kathy Goetz Buehler

stjos/stfds: 12.10.2006 - 14


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