Saturday, 16 August
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm - ALBERT GILLIS
by M/M John Gillis

Sunday, 17 August
20th Sunday of Ordinary Time
11:30 am - Deceased: LAOH
by the members of the LAOH

Monday, 18 August
Jane Frances deChantal, religious (OptMem)
08:00 am - TOMMY BALSAVAGE (5th anniversary)
by his parents

Wednesday, 20 August
St. Bernard, abbot, doctor (OblMem)
by their family

Friday, 22 August
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (OblMem)
08:00 am - JULIA CLARKE by the Clarke Trust

Saturday, 23 August
St. Rose of Lima, virgin (OptMem)
by EBC

Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm - MARY ALICE
by her husband, Wade

Sunday, 24 August
21st Sunday of Ordinary Time
11:30 am - STEPHEN P. McCARTHY
by Joan McCarthy


Saturday, 16 August
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm - ALBERT and MARY PEKITUS
by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Sunday, 17 August
20th Sunday of Ordinary Time
(3rd anniversary)
by her husband, Bruno

Tuesday, 19 July
St. John Eudes, priest (OptMem)
08:00 am - MEL KERR
by his wife, Bianca

Thursday, 21 July
St. Pius X, pope (OblMem)
by Antoinette Cinelli

Saturday, 23 August
Vigil of Sunday
by Joseph T. Cescon and family

Sunday, 24 August
21st Sunday of Ordinary Time
by Edna Labie and family

sstjos/stvds: 08.17.2008 - 01

EDWARD MICHAEL WASCAVAGE, a member of St. Vincent dePaul Parish, died on Sunday, 10 August 2008, in Lock Haven (PA). A full-time student at LHU, Edward had been taking some courses during the summer session and had been working at the local K-Mart.
Born in Baltimore (MD) on 02 June 1987, Edward was 21 years old.
Edward is the beloved son of Edward M. and Barbara (Petrousky) Wascavage. He is the brother of Samantha M. Wascavage. He is a grandson of Edward L. and Janet (Gaborek) Wascavage and of John T. and Barbara (Powlick) Petrousky.
Edward received all of the sacraments of initiation at St. Vincent dePaul Church: Baptism on 21 June 1987 from Fr. David M. Liebner; First Holy Communion on 14 May 1995, also from Fr. Liebner; Confirmation on 30 October 1998 from Fr. William T. Campion, VF.
Edward served the parish as an altar boy for several years.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in St. Vincent DePaul Church on Thursday, 14 August. Fathers Liebner, Karpyn and Drucker concelebrated along with Father Connolly. The interment took place in the parish cemetery.
The sudden and entirely unanticipated death of a person so young leaves all of us grasping for words. The loss defies description. It is immense.
All of us stand in solidarity with Edward's mother, father, sister, grandparents and others who loved him. We beg the heavenly Father for strength in this time of trial.
We invoke the compassion of God upon Edward and ask that he be given a share in the glorious resurrection that is coming.
Eternal rest grant unto Edward Michael Wascavage, 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.

09 / 10 AUGUST

Saint Joseph Parish
Saint Joseph Parish: $1,473.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $114.00 from the second collection (plate); $66.00 from the dues envelopes; $100.00 from the summer banks envelopes $103.00 from the loose.

Saint Vincent dePaul Parish
Saint Vincent DePaul Parish: $1,005.00 from the envelopes; $119.00 from the second collection (plate); $135.50 from the loose; $92.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes.
Thank you.

THE SANCTUARY CANDLE in St. Joseph Church burns this week in memory of Thomas Balsavage, at the request of his parents.
THE SAINT JOSEPH PARISH FINANCE COUNCIL met this past Wednesday with Fr. Connolly in the St. Joseph Rectory meeting room. We agreed to quarterly meetings, with the next regular meeting scheduled for October. However, we shall have a "non-regular meeting" on Tuesday, 16 September, at 7:00 p.m. in order to catch up on some business.
IN CASE YOU HEARD THE FIRE ALARM RINGING in St. Joseph Rectory this past week, please know that there was no fire. The pastor accidentally set off the alarm when he pushed a certain unlabeled button to see what that button does. Now he knows what that button does.

stjos/stvds: 08.17.2008 - 02



One day last week I drove to Ashland to say Mass in the St. Anne's Chapel of St. Joseph Church. Not sure at first where to park, I drove around the block a couple of times looking for on-street parking. While doing so, I noticed a car parked along the curb near the church. What caught my eye were some words written rather artfully on one of the side window panels. The words were as follows:
"Gee, that's bizarre!" I thought to myself, "I wonder what that's all about!"
So, I am left to conjecture. I have to presume that the words sum up the owner's self-perception - at the very least, the mask (persona) she chooses to project to others. I say "she" rather than "he" because the words have a flirty connotation that prompts me to presume "female" rather than "male". Or, perhaps, it is a man who suffers from gender-identity confusion. The words are kind of witchy, not to mention an adjective that rhymes with witchy! Whether man or woman, the person is clearly a damaged soul. May the Lord have mercy on her!
Later that same day, I was in Pottsville. I was waiting for the green at Norwegian Street and Route 61. There was a teenage boy standing on the corner smoking a cigarette. He might have been 18 years old. He looked kind of scruffy. He was wearing a message shirt - big bold letters on the back of his shirt. Here was the message:
"IT'S ALL ABOUT BLOWING UP S---." (The final word was that ubiquitous, unlovely term for excrement.)
So, I had to do some more conjecturing, since I didn't have the time or the leisure to interview the lad to find out just what he hoped to convey with that message.
Obviously, he was referencing something akin to his philosophy of life. "It's all about" seems to be shorthand for "My concept of the purpose of my existence is". So, what the young man was telling me and other passersby was that he has come to the conclusion that the purpose of his existence is the blowing up of excrement. I think that's bizarre and kind of sad. I think the boy is a loose wire and kind of dangerous. He might be the lad referred to in Proverbs 10,1: "A wise child is a father's joy, a foolish child, a mother's grief." I sure would not want him to take my daughter to her senior prom, if I had a daughter, which, of course, I don't, but some of my friends do and I wouldn't want him taking any of them to their senior proms!
What do the woman in Ashland and the boy in Pottsville have in common?
They have a lot in common actually! Both of them are lost souls. Both are nihilists, i.e. practitioners of the philosophy that reality is ultimately stupid and pointless. Both are subjectivists, believing that they construct their own reality, that there is no such thing as Truth, that those of us who believe in objective truth are. The two of them are sheep without a shepherd. They don't know Jesus from a watermelon. They are full of contempt and arrogance and attitude. They need to be rescued from Hell. They need, at the very least, to be prayed for and, if they will stand still long enough to hear it, they need to hear the gospel of repentance and salvation.
There are zillions of people "out there" who are very much like these two persons. It is possible that one or two or three of them live in Girardville. Who knows? Maybe even in Mahanoy Plane, but I'm not sure about that.
I wouldn't want to hazard a guess about Shenandoah, Ashland or Gordon!
For Christ's sake - and for theirs - we (you and I) must do what we can to expose them to the Light. Jesus is the Light.
Be that as it may, the pastor always - almost always - takes a few days vacation in late August. It's his major R&R time of the year. So, somehow or other, you'll just have to struggle along without him from Sunday afternoon (17 Aug) to Thursday night (21 Aug). It will be difficult, no doubt, but you will survive! The chain of command, during the pastor's absence, will be: Kateri, followed by Ginny, followed by Ian. Fr. Drucker will celebrate the Masses from Monday to Thursday inclusive.

stjos/stvds: 08.17.2008 - 03

 IT HAS BEEN MY CUSTOM FOR A GOOD MANY YEARS to launch into The Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel after each Mass, in the hope that the congregation will pray it along with me. Very recently, a parishioner suggested that I print this prayer in the bulletin because there might be some persons who do not have it committed to memory or might not know it at all. With that in mind, we print the prayer here. The prayer was written originally in Latin and there are a few variations in the English translations. We note some of the variations in the parentheses.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle (the conflict).
Be our protection
against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits,
who prowl (roam) about the world
seeking the destruction (ruin) of souls.


On Sunday 24 April 1994, Pope John Paul II recommended this prayer be used by all Catholics as a prayer for the Church when he said, "May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians: 'Draw strength from the Lord and from His mighty power' (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church. Although this prayer is no longer required to be recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world."

ENCOURAGEMENT FROM BOROUGH COUNCIL: A kind and gracious lady called me from the Borough headquarters to tell me that the Council was looking into getting clearance for me to have the mirror mounted on the utility pole. (See last weekend's bulletin.) Apparently, the Borough is not authorized to give permission. Mounting anything on a pole is something that has to be cleared with PENNDOT and, perhaps, by whichever utility company owns the pole. I am grateful to the Borough Council for facilitating this matter. It is my hope that, just in case I am wiped out on Route 54 before the mirror is mounted, perhaps someone will put a plaque under it, designating it as the Father Connolly Memorial Mirror. That would be a comfort to my family.


PARENTS OF CHILDREN IN PUBLIC SCHOOL, GRADES K TO 8 should please call the Rectory (276.6033) ASAP in order to let us know that your child will be attending CCD this school year. If you call at a time when no one is there to answer, leave the following information: (a) your name; (b) the name(s) of the child(ren); (c) his/her/their grade(s) in school; (d) a telephone number where we can reach you. CCD will be held on Tuesdays from 4:00 to 5:30 pm.

stjos/stvds: 08.17.2008 - 04

A Eulogy for

[Note: The following words were spoken after Holy Communion at the Mass of Christian Burial held in St. Joseph Church, Girardville, on Monday, 4 August 2008. The speaker was James T. Gallagher, a son of the deceased. I asked Dr. Gallagher for permission to reproduce this eulogy in the parish bulletin. It provides some "points of meditation" for men and boys who aspire to be successful husbands and fathers. If I were to link it to something that Jesus said, it would be this: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added to you." May Edward L. Gallgher rest from his labors, for his good deeds follow him.]

On behalf of my brothers and sisters, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to you for attending our father's funeral Mass. Your presence at a Mass in memory of his life is the greatest tribute which you could have paid our father.
Our dad's religion is what molded him into the honorable man that he was. There was no greater force in our dad's life than God. As a little boy when I was assigned to serve 5:45 daily Mass, it was our dad who walked me down to this church on dark winter mornings, and when the other altar server didn't show up, our dad served Mass with me. He continued to serve as an altar boy at daily Mass long after my days on the altar. Part of our mother and father's daily routine was attending daily Mass until their health no longer permitted it.
None of us ever heard our dad utter a profanity…..even when during a televised baseball game, the Phillies didn't perform up to his expectations. He never smoked; he never drank alcohol; he was a great role model for my siblings and me to follow.
However, the greatest example he set for us was that of being a devoted husband. He was fortunate that he shared more than 60 years of his life with the love of his life, our mother. During their retirement, after having raised 7 children, they finally experienced their long-awaited empty nest. Every night between 7 and 8 PM, anyone entering our home would intrude on our mom and dad watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Every night they would sit on the sofa, holding hands. Our dad adored the ground our mother walked on, and since Mom passed away in 2002, he has been quietly missing her. He had us around for visits, but no one could ever take the place of his Margie.
Dad had the greatest sense of humor and shared that humor with us until his final days. He always had a witty quip to share with us at the times we least expected.
Our dad loved to play cards and was a regular at the rummy games until his buddies passed away, one by one. As Amadeo Zelli, Jackie McDonald, Juicy Tinari, Jackie Connors, and Jake Sebastian abandoned the game, our dad finally found himself spending afternoons back at home.

Well, today the card table is full, once again. Dad is once again with his buddies, but even more important, he is finally back in the loving arms of our mom and our brother, Eddie. As my son said to me today, "Poppy's in Heaven, Dad---because if he didn't go directly to Heaven, the rest of us are in big trouble."
We loved him; we respected him; and we'll miss him.

stjos/stvds: 08.17.2008 - 05

PLEASE NOTE THAT our parishes have e-mail addresses. So, if you have trouble sleeping at night and think that it might help your insomnia if you were to sit down and write a letter in order to give the pastor a piece of your mind, OR if you would like to ask him for a piece of his mind, OR if you are looking for the secret to having peace of mind, OR if you have some jokes (clean ones only, of course) that you want to share, OR you have some advice you want to give to a young priest who has just recently moved into Girardville, OR if you would like to volunteer your services to the parish, OR if you would like to complain about the shortness of the sermons, OR if you would like to make an appointment with the pastor in order to discuss the most efficient way for you to transfer all your money and real estate either to him or to one or both of the parishes, you may do any or all of the above by utilizing the modern day marvel known as E-MAIL.

AND WHILE WE ARE DEALING WITH CYBER-MATTERS, please note that the parish bulletin can be accessed on line, beginning with last weekend's edition (10 Aug 08).
The URL is

Now, before anyone gets bent out of shape, allow me to assert that this website is for BOTH parishes. If that is so, then inquiring minds will want to know why it is that the URL references only St. Joseph Parish and not St. Vincent dePaul Parish. It is simply this: While I was pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Pottsville, I set up this website. Because I was able to find a sponsor for it, I don't have to pay for it. It would have been foolish, I thought, to give up this website. So, given the coincidence that I am still the pastor of a parish known as St. Joseph Parish, I chose to keep the same website. But it is unequivocally for both StJosPar and StVdPPar! And, if the spirit moves me, maybe someday I'll get a new website that will reflect the names of both parishes.

HE DOESN'T WANT ME TO THANK HIM IN THE BULLETIN, so I'll do it without mentioning his name. That way, he won't be able to hassle me for blowing his cover. There is a gentleman, a member of St. Joseph Parish, who does a great many good deeds for both parishes and has been a huge help to the new pastor. Most recently, he engineered the removal of the front pews in St. Joseph Church, so as to facilitate our reception of Holy Communion. Thank you, Mr. Anonymous Gentleman whose middle initial is "O" and whose last name is similar to the name of the street that runs between St. Joseph Church and St. Joseph School.

stjos/stvds: 08.17.2008 - 06

THE FOLLOWING OBITUARY appeared in the 10 August 2008 edition of the Pottsville Republican. (I bolded a portion of it.) I reprint it here for two reasons: (a) Sister Patricia is one of our own; (b) her life deserves to be known and imitated.

Sister Patricia Mahoney, BVM ((Mel), 72, entered eternal life on 30 July at San Francisco General Hospital surrounded by family and numerous friends.
She was born in Girardville and attended St. Vincent dePaul School until age 12, when she moved with her family to California.
Sister Pat graduated from St. Paul Elementary and High School in San Francisco in 1953, entered the BVM congregation on 8 September 1954, graduated from Mundelein College, Chicago, and began her 49 years of ministry.
She taught junior high students in Chicago and Hawaii, and was a social worker, counselor and clinical director of Drug Addiction Services at the John Howard Association in Honolulu and Wahiawa, Hawaii.
After a period of theological studies in Berkeley, Sister Pat responded to a heartfelt call to serve the poor and to advocate fiercely for peace and justice. Her ministry to the homeless at the Catholic Worker House in Denver for 11 years and in San Francisco at Martin dePorres House since 1990 touched countless guests there.
Her vision was of a "world at peace without a threat of nuclear holocaust, where the hungry have enough to eat, where there is adequate housing, where the elderly can live in decency".
She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas Mahoney and Josephine Sue Bilskie, a brother, Thomas Mahoney Jr. and a sister-in-law, Ann Mahoney.
She is survived by her siblings, Gerald Mahoney and his wife, Kathy, Petaluma, and Anna Mae Mahoney, Walnut Creek; three nieces, a nephew and numerous other relatives. She is also survived by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with whom she shared life for 54 years, and the Catholic Worker communities of Denver and San Francisco, with whom she shared her life for 30 years.
 Services and interment were held in San Francisco.
Memorial donations may be made to Sisters of Charity BVM, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque IA 52003, or Martin dePorres House of Hospitality, 225 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco CA 94103.
THANK YOU TO THE PERSONS who told me the name of the North-South street that runs along the side of the St. Vincent dePaul parking lot. In last weekend's bulletin, I mentioned that I didn't know the name and would like to know. So, just in case anyone else would like to know, the name of the street is VINE STREET. That's "vine", as in "I am the vine and you are the branches."
Someday, when I hit the lottery (as people like to say), one of the things I shall do with my surplus money is purchase large, legible and durable street-name signs for the intersections of every street and alley in Girardville. Then, when I become Emperor of Girardville, I shall make a law that anyone who vandalizes or steals a street sign shall be required to swim with the piranhas or else shall be sent to bed without his supper.
I SAW A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GIRL in Girardville this past week as I was walking up the steps of a house in order to bring Holy Communion to someone. I didn't know who she was. [I still don't know.] She looked to be about three years old. I think she was a next door neighbor to the woman I was visiting. She looked at me and said, "Are you our Daddy?" I hardly knew what to say. Recovering my composure, I said, "Yes, honey, I'm your Daddy."
Best not to analyze moments like that. Just take it as the gift that it is.
Lord, I am not worthy.
Thank you, Jesus.
Our parishes are interested in hiring a maintenance man.
We need someone who can tell at a glance the difference between a screwdriver and a hammer. We need someone who is honest, cheerful, brave and sober.
Inquire at the Rectory.

stjos/stvds: 08.17.2008 - 07

I would like to have bulletin covers for our parish bulletin similar to the kind that many other parishes have. I'm sure you know what I mean. The front of the cover has information about the parish and, in some cases, a question-and-answer kind of feature or an article related to the Scripture readings of the Sunday. The back of the cover has various and sundry advertisements.
The parishes from which I came in Pottsville and Mount Carbon had such bulletin covers.
The way it works is this: There are companies that print these covers. They solicit ads from various and sundry merchants and professionals in the local community. These advertisements pay for the bulletin covers and, in some cases, provide a few hundred dollars in revenue for the parish. (Frankly, the revenue is a very minor consideration).
I have been in conversation with a bulletin company, trying to see if we can have such a bulletin for our two parishes here in Girardville.
The company sent a woman to try to solicit advertisements. However, to her dismay, she was not successful. No one, I guess, thinks it is worthwhile to pay money to advertise in a church bulletin that comes from a little town like Girardville!
I made a suggestion to the woman (the company rep). I said, "If we can't get regular commercial advertisements, maybe we can get 'In Memoriam' type 'advertisements'. Maybe people in the parish (or elsewhere) wouldn't mind paying a few dollars to purchase a space on the bulletin cover for the sake of memorializing a deceased person."
The woman said that this is an idea that has worked elsewhere. She suggested that I present it to the people in the parishes.
So, there we are. I just presented it.
Is this an idea that has a future or should I just forget about having professionally printed covers?
Are we just a bunch of scrawny 98-pound weaklings? Are we going to let those Ashland, Frackville and Shenandoah guys (parishes) get away with kicking sand in our faces on the beach or are we ready to send in that coupon to let Charlie Atlas know that we want to enroll in his program?

stjos/stvds: 08.17.2008 - 08


 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