Saturday, 04 October
Vigil of Sunday
by their family

Sunday, 05 October
27th Sunday of Ordinary Time
11:30 am - MATTHEW BRIEL
by M/M George Canavan and family

Monday, 06 October
St. Bruno, priest; Bl. Marie-Rose Durocher, virgin (OptMems)
08:00 am - PAUL and CAMILLE TEGANO
by their family

Wednesday, 08 October
by Bob McCann

Friday, 10 October
by Joseph T. Cescon and family

Saturday, 11 October
08:00 am - Rev. ALBERT T. CERVELLA
by EBC

Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm - JOSEPH CONNOR
by his daughter, Anne

Sunday, 12 October
28th Sunday of Ordinary Time
11:30 am - JOHN and ROSE DANOWSKY
by the Rizzardi family


Saturday, 04 October
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm - Health and God's Blessings on
by friends

Sunday, 05 October
27th Sunday of Ordinary Time
08:30 am - JOHN and ANNA MATLOCK
by Joseph and Alice Chiaretti

Tuesday, 07 October
Our Lady of the Rosary (OblMem)
by Wynn and Louis Staudenmeier

Thursday, 09 October
St. Denis, bishop, martyr and his companions;
St. John Leonardi, priest (OptMems)
07:00 pm - ALBERT W. DEIBLER Jr.
by Joseph and Marie Palerino

Saturday, 11 October
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm - LEON RYAN
by Elizabeth Ryan

Sunday, 12 October
28th Sunday of Ordinary Time
08:30 am - Deceased: HOLY NAME SOCIETY
by the members of the HNS

stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 01


Saint Joseph Parish: $2,491.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $89.00 from the second collection (plate); $45.00 from the Dues envelopes; $160.00 from the Block envelopes; $81.00 from the loose. Thank you.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish: $988.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $538.00 from the Fuel envelopes; $20.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $100.61 from the loose. Thank you.


Wednesday, 08 October
04:00 to 05:00 pm
in St. Joseph Chapel

Thursday, 09 October
06:00 to 07:00 pm
in St. Vincent DePaul Church

Friday, 10 October
01:00 to 02:00 pm
in St. Joseph Chapel

The mills of God
When I was a child in Most Precious Blood School (grades 1 to 8) in Philadelphia, there were certain characteristic and predictable words and phrases that were addressed to us children - as needed - by "the Sisters" (i.e. the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill who ran the school). One of these phrases was particularly appropriate in a case where some child had done some dastardly deed, but had managed to conceal his identity in the doing of same. Sister would give the anonymous villain a fair chance to identify himself and to take the punishment like a man. However, doers of dastardly deeds are usually not brimming with enthusiasm to turn themselves in. So, after waiting a reasonable amount of time for a public confession, Sister would utter these ominous and prophetic words:

"The mills of God grind slowly,
but they grind exceedingly fine."

When I was a very young child, although I had a fair idea who God was, I wasn't 100% sure what a mill was and was utterly clueless why God would have any mills and, granted He had some mills, what exactly the mills would be grinding and why. However, as time passed, it all became clear to me! It was a METAPHOR!
This particular metaphor came to mind today (Saturday) as I was driving over to St. Joseph Chapel for morning Mass. I turned on the radio to catch the news and learned that the jury in Las Vegas had brought back guilty verdicts on all twelve counts filed again O.J.Simpson! Not only that, but they did so exactly 13 years after he had been acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman!! You can't buy a coincidence like that!
"Poor Orenthal" I thought. "Off to the slammer he goes. He pushed his luck just a little too far. It's all catching up with him now." And the next thought that came to my head was ------ yes, you guessed it!

"The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine!"

(The placement of this bulletin item immediately after the Confession schedule is not entirely coincidental!)

stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 02


Verbum sat sapienti

Archbishop Burke: Democrats risk becoming a "Party of Death"
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, until recently the Archbishop of St. Louis (MO), has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the post of Prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature. (This is somewhat analogous to being appointed Chief Justice of the United States.)
In an interview with Avvenire, voice of the Italian Bishops' conference, Archbishop Burke weighed in on the present state of the Democratic Party.
He was asked if he knew that the August Democratic National Convention in Denver featured a guest appearance by Sheryl Crow, a musician whose performance at a 2007 benefit for a Catholic children's hospital the archbishop had opposed because of her support for abortion and embryonic stem-cell research.
"That does not surprise me much," the archbishop said.
"At this point the Democratic Party risks transforming itself definitely into a 'party of death' because of its choices on bioethical questions …."
Archbishop Burke said the Democratic Party once was "the party that helped our immigrant parents and grandparents better integrate and prosper in American society. But it is not the same anymore."

Catholic News Service
29 Sept 08

I just became aware of a website that has photographs of some of the tombstones at St. Joseph Parish Cemetery, Fountain Springs. It is possible some of our people would like to take a look at it.


Date: Tuesday, 14 October
Leave from: St. Joseph Church, Ashland
Time: leave at 8:00 am / return at about 10:00 pm
Itinerary: Pope John Paul II Museum
Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
World War II Memorial
Sponsor: Knights of Columbus, Sarto Council #1322, Ashland
Price: $35.00
Contact: Frank Birster at 875-2929
Francis Goncalves at 874-4307

stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 03


a member of Saint Joseph Parish, died this past Sunday - 28 September.
Born on 3 October 1947, he was 60 years of age.
James is a son of the late James and Joan (Carey) Fitzgibbon.
He is survived by his wife, Judith Messino Fitzgibbon, and by his three brothers: Thomas Fitzgibbon, Joseph Fitzgibbon and Daniel Fitzgibbon.
In addition to these, James is survived by his stepdaughter, Kristin Felix, and by two step-grandchildren.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph Church, Girardville, on Saturday, 11 October, at 11:00 am.
Interment with full military honors will take place in St. Joseph Cemetery, Fountain Springs.

Eternal rest grant unto James, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Prayer Pilgrimage
Saturday, 11 October
8:00 am
Mass at Notre Dame of Bethlehem Church, Bethlehem
15 decades of the Rosary at the abortion mill.
If anyone wishes to go, please let Fr. Connolly know.
I HAD NEVER BLESSED A SKUNK IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE until today (Saturday, 4 October 2008). It's not that I had ever declined to bless a skunk. It's just that no one had ever asked me to bless one. But, during the Blessing of the Beasts held on the lawn next to St. Vincent dePaul Rectory, in the midst of all the dogs (and a couple of cats) there came this beautiful and elegant skunk who came up and asked to be blessed. Her name is Penelope. I am told that she eats carrots and broccoli and other vegetables and that, for protein, she eats worms. She also eats dogfood. Bless the Lord, who made the skunks and all the other beautiful creatures with whom we share this planet!

stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 04


My brothers and sisters in Christ,
The American Catholic bishops initiated Respect Life Sunday in 1972, the year before the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States. Since that time, Catholics across the country observe the month of October with devotions and pro-life activities in order to advance the culture of life. This October, our efforts have more significance than ever. Never have we seen such abusive criticism directed toward those who believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death.

As Catholics, we should not be surprised by these developments. Forty years ago, Pope Paul VI predicted that widespread use of artificial contraceptives would lead to increased marital infidelity, lessened regard for women, and a general lowering of moral standards especially among the young. Forty years later, social scientists, not necessarily Catholics, attest to the accuracy of his predictions. As if following some bizarre script, the sexual revolution has produced widespread marital breakdown, weakened family ties, legalized abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, pornography, same-sex unions, euthanasia, destruction of human embryos for research purposes and a host of other ills.

It is impossible for me to answer all of the objections to the Church's teaching on life that we hear every day in the media. Nevertheless, let me address a few. To begin, laws that protect abortion constitute injustice of the worst kind. They rest on several false claims including that there is no certainty regarding when life begins, that there is no certainty about when a fetus becomes a person, and that some human beings may be killed to advance the interests or convenience of others. With regard to the first, reason and science have answered the question. The life of a human being begins at conception. The Church has long taught this simple truth, and science confirms it. Biologists can now show you the delicate and beautiful development of the human embryo in its first days of existence. This is simply a fact that reasonable people accept. Regarding the second, the embryo and the fetus have the potential to do all that an adult person does. Finally, the claim that the human fetus may be sacrificed to the interests or convenience of his mother or someone else is grievously wrong. All three claims have the same result: the weakest and most vulnerable are denied, because of their age, the most basic protection that we demand for ourselves. This is discrimination at its worst, and no person of conscience should support it.

Another argument goes like this: "As wrong as abortion is, I don't think it is the only relevant 'life' issue that should be considered when deciding for whom to vote."

This reasoning is sound only if other issues carry the same moral weight as abortion does, such as in the case of euthanasia and destruction of embryos for research purposes. Health care, education, economic security, immigration, and taxes are very important concerns. Neglect of any one of them has dire consequences as the recent financial crisis demonstrates. However, the solutions to problems in these areas do not usually involve a rejection of the sanctity of human life in the way that abortion does. Being "right" on taxes, education, health care, immigration, and the economy fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of a human life. Consider this: the finest health and education systems, the fairest immigration laws, and the soundest economy do nothing for the child who never sees the light of day. It is a tragic irony that "pro-choice" candidates have come to support homicide - the gravest injustice a society can tolerate - in the name of "social justice."

Even the Church's just war theory has moral force because it is grounded in the principle that innocent human life must be protected and defended. Now, a person may, in good faith, misapply just war criteria leading him to mistakenly believe that an unjust war is just, but he or she still knows that innocent human life may not be harmed on purpose. A person who supports permissive abortion laws, however, rejects the truth that innocent human life may never be destroyed. This profound moral failure runs deeper and is more corrupting of the individual, and of the society, than any error in applying just war criteria to particular cases.

Furthermore, National Right to Life reports that 48.5 million abortions have been performed since 1973. One would be too many. No war, no natural disaster, no illness or disability has claimed so great a price.

In saying these things in an election year, I am in very good company. My predecessor, Bishop Timlin, writing his pastoral letter on Respect Life Sunday 2000, stated the case eloquently:

Abortion is the issue this year and every year in every campaign. Catholics may not turn away from the moral challenge that abortion poses for those who seek to obey God's commands. They are wrong when they assert that abortion does not concern them, or that it is only one of a multitude of issues of equal importance. No, the taking of innocent human life is so heinous, so horribly evil, and so absolutely opposite to the law of Almighty God that abortion must take precedence over every other issue. I repeat. It is the single most important issue confronting not only Catholics, but the entire electorate.

My fellow bishops, writing ten years ago, explained why some evils - abortion and euthanasia in particular - take precedence over other forms of violence and abuse.
The failure to protect life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the 'rightness' of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as 'the temple of the Holy Spirit' - the living house of God - then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house's foundation [emphasis in the original]. These directly and immediately violate the human person's most fundamental right - the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand. Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, 23.

While the Church assists the State in the promotion of a just society, its primary concern is to assist men and women in achieving salvation. For this reason, it is incumbent upon bishops to correct Catholics who are in error regarding these matters. Furthermore, public officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion. As I have said before, I will be vigilant on this subject.

It is the Church's role now to be a prophet in our own country, reminding all citizens of what our founders meant when they said that ". . . all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." The Church's teaching that all life from conception to natural death should be protected by law is founded on religious belief to be sure, but it is also a profoundly American principle founded on reason. Whenever a society asks its citizens to violate its own foundational principles - as well as their moral consciences - citizens have a right, indeed an obligation, to refuse.
In 1941, Bishop Gustave von Galen gave a homily condemning Nazi officials for murdering mentally ill people in his diocese of Muenster, Germany. The bishop said:
"Thou shalt not kill!" God wrote this commandment in the conscience of man long before any penal code laid down the penalty for murder, long before there was any prosecutor or any court to investigate and avenge a murder. Cain, who killed his brother Abel, was a murderer long before there were any states or any courts or law. And he confessed his
deed, driven by his accusing conscience: "My punishment is greater than I can bear. . . and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me the murderer shall slay me" (Genesis 4:13-14)"

Should he have opposed the war and remained silent about the murder of the mentally ill? No person of conscience can fail to understand why Bishop von Galen spoke as he did.

My dear friends, I beg you not to be misled by confusion and lies. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, does not ask us to follow him to Calvary only for us to be afraid of contradicting a few bystanders along the way. He does not ask us to take up his Cross only to have us leave it at the voting booth door. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI said that "God is so humble that he uses us to spread his Word." The gospel of life, which we have the privilege of proclaiming, resonates in the heart of every person - believer and non-believer - because it fulfills the heart's most profound desire. Let us with one voice continue to speak the language of love and affirm the right of every human being to have the value of his or her life, from conception to natural death, respected to the highest degree.

October is traditionally the month of the Rosary. Let us pray the Rosary for the strength and fortitude to uphold the truths of our faith and the requirements of our law to all who deny them. And, let us ask Our Lady to bless our nation and the weakest among us.

May Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Lord of Life, pray for us.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, D.D., Hist. E.D.
Bishop of Scranton

By mandate of Bishop Martino, this letter is being read in every Catholic parish in the Diocese of Scranton this weekend and a copy is being included in every parish bulletin.
We in Schuylkill County are not, of course, part of the Diocese of Scranton.
However, this letter is so excellent and the matter so urgent, I think it should be read by Catholics throughout the USA.

stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 05/06/07/08

son of William L. and Mary Ann (Gallagher) Devaney,
daughter of Daniel J. and Theresa (Gudaitus) Heintzelman,
became husband and wife in Jesus Christ today (Saturday) during a Nuptial Mass at St. Joseph Church, Girardville.
Fr. Connolly received the vows and celebrated the Mass.
Eric J. Smith and Andrea M. Dyszel were the principal witnesses.
This will be a permanent union.
This will be a faithful union.
This marital union will be open to God's gift of children.
We give thanks to God
for His goodness to Daniel and Rachel.
May they grow old together, ever more deeply into God.
May they be together in Heaven,
surrounded by their children, their grandchildren
and their great-grandchildren.
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Devaney!

 St. Vincent dePaul Parish Finance Council meeting
Monday, 6 October
7:00 pm
St. VdP Rectory

Catholic Daughters of America meeting
Tuesday, 7 October
7:30 pm
Father Sheridan Room

stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 09


People Now Kneel to Receive Communion on the Tongue at Papal, Public Masses

by Helen Hull Hitchcock

Pope Benedict has introduced a liturgical change in Masses he has celebrated this summer. The usual practice of those who receive Holy Communion directly from the pope has been to receive on the tongue while standing. But beginning at a May 22 Mass held outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran, people who receive Holy Communion from Pope Benedict are kneeling, and receive directly on the tongue. At all public Masses since then - including World Youth Day celebrations in Australia in July - those who receive the sacrament from the Holy Father have knelt on kneelers specially placed in front of the altar by ushers for the occasion.
The papal master of ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, commented that kneeling and receiving Communion on the tongue helps to emphasize "the truth of the Real Presence [of Christ] in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful, and introduces the sense of mystery more easily". In the same June 26 interview with the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, Monsignor Marini said that he believes that this practice will become the norm at all future papal celebrations.
Indeed, at large public Masses, kneeling to receive Communion from the principal celebrant is likely to become the norm. At a recent Mass celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW), people knelt on kneelers to receive.
Last February, in an interview by Bruno Volpe for Petrus, Archbishop Ranjith said that he believes receiving Communion on the tongue would help people to recover a greater sense of the sacred, "reinforcing thereby that in the Eucharist there is really Jesus and that everyone must receive Him with devotion, love and respect".
"Why be ashamed of God?" the archbishop asked. "Kneeling at the moment of Communion would be an act of humility and recognition of our nature as children of God".
Also, in a July 31 interview with La Repubblica, Archbishop Ranjith again emphasized the importance of a recovery of the sacred and a sense of transcendence to which the gesture of kneeling to receive Communion contributes.
Archbishop Ranjith also wrote the preface to Dominus Est, a book on the Real Presence in the Eucharist by Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, that reportedly analyzes receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling. The book was published in January by the Vatican's Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Here Archbishop Ranjith wrote, "The best way to express our sense of reverence to the Lord in Mass is to follow the example of Peter, who as the Gospel tells us, threw himself on his knees before the Lord and said, 'Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinner'". (Luke 5:8)

Reprinted from the September 2008 edition of Adoremus. The emphases (bolding) are my own.

Personal note: Fr. William J. McHale was the pastor emeritus of St. Mary Parish, St. Clair, at the time that I came to know him. He was living in retirement at St. Joseph Rectory (Pottsville) when I became pastor of that parish in 1986. We became "housemates" and good friends. He used to say to me, by way of consolation, when I would lament the insanity going on in the Church, "Don't worry about it. Just keep on doing what you're doing. Whenever there is an ecumenical council, the Church goes crazy for a hundred years afterwards. But give it time. It will settle down." I always hoped that Fr. McHale's optimism would be vindicated. The more I see of Pope Benedict XVI, the more hopeful I am that Fr. McHale was right. VIVA IL PAPA!.

stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 10


In last weekend's bulletin, I said that I would not knowingly give Holy Communion to anyone who had a pierced tongue.
A friend of mine called me in order to discuss the matter with me.
This friend shares my abhorrence for the practice of having one's tongue pierced. However, because she wanted to be technical, she said that she was not sure that I would be "within my rights" to decline to give Holy Communion to someone under those circumstances because, as she put it, having one's tongue pierced is not necessarily "grave matter". Grave matter is, of course, the principal element in mortal sin. Grave matter is the one element about which we can have some measure of certainty when it comes to evaluating the moral quality of an act performed by another person.
In my conversation, I mentioned that the piercing of one's tongue is (quite obviously) an indecent sexual act, not a mere frivolity. As such, I believe that it is "grave matter".
My friend sent me the following email in response to our telephone conversation. I think it is a remarkably perceptive email. It makes the point better than I had made it.

Dear Father Connolly:

Alright, let me see if I understand this.
Self-giving Holy Love vs. the Worship of Baal

The Holy Eucharist is our spiritual intercourse with our Creator. In and through it our dignity is raised and our personhood made whole by the consummation of the act. Man becomes one with Christ and is divinized.
Tongue piercing is purely sexual. It denotes that the person who allows his tongue to be pierced is handing over ownership of his tongue to his or her "lord", for the sake of enslavement.
This degrades the whole person to a mere part or sole purpose. The personhood is lost. Christ is gone.
One must not approach Christ Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb, who gives Himself to us totally and freely, with a tongue that is pierced. If we were worshipping Baal instead of Jesus, a pierced tongue might be an acceptable symbol of one's loyalty. However, we go to Mass, not in order to commune with the golden bull, but to consume the flesh and the blood of God made man.
Therefore, not only is it inappropriate, it is also sacrilegious to approach the Holy Union in so unclean a manner. It is proof of the ignorance of the recipient - ignorance about "so great a mystery". Surely these persons are to be pitied.
Lord, forgive them. They know not what they do.


stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 11

They'll Believe in Anything: Study says atheists are more irrational

A new Gallup study, "What Americans Really Believe," suggests that if anti-religious crusaders Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins want a more rational, less superstitious world, they should encourage people to go to church. A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that, according to the study…

"…traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians…

The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?

The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did."

These findings are in line with the myth-shattering work of recent historians, who've discovered that more people believed in witches and the paranormal after the Protestant Reformation than in the era before. A major reason for that was the authority of the Catholic Church, which was a bulwark against popular superstition and irrationality during the Middle Ages-Monty Python notwithstanding.

G.K. Chesterton had it right when he said: "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing-they believe in anything."

Don't ever go to receive Holy Communion unless you are in the State of Grace.
You may presume that you are in the State of Grace if you are a baptized believer in Jesus Christ, a member of the Catholic Church, in union with the Pope and, to the best of your knowledge, you have not committed any mortal sin that you have not already repented of and confessed in the Sacrament of Penance.
Keep in mind that the deliberate missing of Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation is a mortal sin.
Keep in mind also that all deliberate illicit sexual actions are mortal sins.
An illicit (mortally sinful) sexual action common in our society is the use of artificial contraception, i.e. anovlulant pills and contraceptive devices, including but not limited to condoms.

stjos/stvds: 10.05.2008 - 12



 StJoseph Mass Schedule | StVincent Mass Schedule

Sacrament of Penance | Related Links

Web Site designed, donated & maintained by BackDoor Web Design

Disclaimer and Terms of Use