Saturday, 06 September
Vigil of Sunday
by Douglas and Concetta Platt

Sunday, 07 September
23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
by Michelena Piccolo

Monday, 08 September
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Fst)
08:00 am - MARY PALERINO (18th anniversary)
by her son, Joseph, and his wife, Marie

Wednesday, 10 September
by the family

Friday, 12 September
Holy Name of Mary (OptMem)
08:00 am - ALICE WAYNE
by M/M Henry Wayne

Saturday, 13 September
St. John Chrysostom, bishop, doctor
08:00 am - PAUL and CAMILLE TEGANO
by their family

Vigil of the Exaltation
by Charles Monaghan

Sunday, 14 September
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
11:30 am - CHARLES MORAN
by Thomasina Moran


Saturday, 06 September
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm - MARY USIC
by Jean Majikas and family

Sunday, 07 September
23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
by Uncle John and Aunt Jeannie

Tuesday, 09 September
St. Peter Claver, priest (OblMem)
by Eileen Rowland

Thursday, 11 September
07:00 pm - KAREN WEYMAN
by Charles and Rita Ketusky

Saturday, 13 September
Vigil of the Exaltation
by their family

Sunday, 14 September
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
by the members of the HNS

stjos/stvds: 09.07.2008 - 01


Saint Joseph Parish: $1,857.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $139.00 from the second collection (plate); $135.00 from the dues envelopes; $482.00 for the Missionaries of the Poor; $100.00 from the loose. Thank you.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish: $1,060.00 from the envelopes; $201.60 from the second collection (plate); $475.00 for the Missionaries of the Poor; $56.00 from the loose. Thank you.

PLEASE PRAY FOR A PRIEST of our Diocese who died suddenly on Tuesday, 2 September. At the time of his death, Father DAVID C. LIEBNER was the assistant pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Orefield PA. Before that - and for several years - he had been the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Minersville. The deceased is a nephew to our own Father David M. Liebner, pastor emeritus of St. Vincent dePaul Parish.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Patrick Church, Pottsville, at 11:00 am on Tuesday, 9 September.
If anyone wishes to send a Mass card or a note of sympathy to our former pastor, here is his current address:

Rev. David M. Liebner
St. Francis Villa
900 W. Market Street
Orwigsburg PA 17961

Eternal rest grant unto Thy priest, David, 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.


Date: Monday, 8 September (which is also the birthday of the Blessed Mother)
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Mother Cabrini Church, 214 N. Shamokin Street, Shamokin PA 17872
Occasion: 400th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Mother in Siluva, Lithuania
Other: The principal celebrant of the Mass will be The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of                 Harrisburg.
                Reception will follow in the parish hall.
                8 September also happens to be the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
                Fr. Connolly will be a concelebrant and is willing to give a ride in his car to the first three persons                 who ask.
Directions: West on 54 to West on 901 into Shamokin. Turn left onto Tioga Street; take a slight right onto E. Webster Street; turn right onto N. Shamokin Street to church.

stjos/stvds: 09.07.2008 - 02


He is still the new kid on the block, still trying to find out who is who, and who does what, and what goes where, and when it is all supposed to happen and why, etc., etc.
So, give him five more years and he'll have it all down pat - at which time he'll either be dead or else be told he has to retire - at which time Girardville can start all over again with the new guy.
In addition to which, always remember this nugget of statistical wisdom, which was taught me many years ago in the seminary by the incomparable Rev. Francis ["Fast Frank"] Kearney (R.I.P.).
In any given parish in the Catholic Church, the parishioners are divided into three categories:

The 10% who are active and involved in the parish, and who swear by the pastor.
Another 10% who are active and involved in the parish, but who swear at the pastor.
The 80% who come for palm on Palm Sunday and really aren't all that sure who the pastor is.
WITH THE ABOVE IN MIND, please note two things:
#1 - I don't care for the custom of listing in the bulletin the names of those who are scheduled to be lectors or altar servers for the following weekend. I prefer that there be a "head lector" and a "head server" who will assign lectors and servers for the coming weekend and will call them to assign them and to verify that they will be there.
So, I have asked
Charles Sherman to be the "head lector" for St. Vincent dePaul Parish and Phil McCarthy to be the same for St. Joseph Parish.
I have not yet asked anyone to be the "head server" for either parish, but I'll get around to it very soon.
Here are the names of current lectors, as far as I know.
StJosPar: Phil McCarthy; Steve McCarthy; Ann Jacavage; Tom Gower; Bill Byrne; Mary Beth Dougherty; Frank Smith
StVdPPar: Ed Wascavage; Charles Sherman; Pat Brehm; Janet Paulukonis; John Smolock
WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MORE LECTORS! PLEASE CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING! To volunteer, call the Rectory or else call Mr. Sherman or Mr. McCarthy.
#2 - Now, in regard to CCD
Here is where you will have to go into heavy duty "be-patient-with-the-pastor" mode. I have decided that our two parishes will NOT have CCD on Tuesdays from 4:00 to 5:30 pm.
I have decided instead that we will have
CCD on Sundays from 6:00 to 7:30 pm and that we will start on Sunday, 14 Sept.
I did not come to a final decision on this until Friday evening (5 Sept). However, the thought had been percolating in my brain for a while.
Trust me that I have what I consider to be good reasons for this decision.
If you like the decision, that's great!
If you don't like it, please do your best to live with it!
As I see it now, some of the classes will be held in St. Joseph Rectory, some in St. Vincent dePaul Rectory and some in the former St. Joseph (Immaculate Heart) School.
Parents of children who are currently signed up will be called this week, to firm up the plans.

stjos/stvds: 09.07.2008 - 03


Our Lady of Siluva: "Lithuania's Greatest Treasure"
First Widely Known Apparition of the Mother of God in Europe

In 1251, Lithuania was the last European nation to accept Christianity, becoming the youngest daughter of the Church. There was a time when Lithuania came very close to leaving the Catholic faith. Something happened in 1608 in the little village of Siluva which turned back, once and for all, the tide of the Reformation heresy which was sweeping over Europe and threatening to engulf this little country. Two hundred fifty years before Lourdes and Fatima the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in the village of Siluva, Lithuania.
The story begins in 1457
The story of Our Lady of Siluva actually began in 1457, when Peter Giedgaudas, a diplomat for Vytautas the Great, built the first church in the area and gave the land to the Catholic Church. On one of his many travels he went to Rome and there obtained a magnificent painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the child Jesus. He brought the painting back to Lithuania and put it in the sanctuary of the new church in Siluva. For several generations the faithful worshiped God and honored the Blessed Mother in their little shrine church.
Calvinist controversy
When the Protestant Reformation swept over Europe, not even this little village escaped its impact. In 1532, the local governor became a zealous Calvinist as did many nobility and intellectuals. They in turn forced their will upon the people. The Catholics of Siluva were helpless to resist the repression of their Faith by the powerful gentry. Property owned by the Church was to be confiscated and the land turned over to the Calvinists.
Parish priest hides the treasured painting
When Fr. John Holubka, the parish priest of the Siluva Church, heard what was to happen, he built an ironclad box. He carefully wrapped the treasured painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Child, liturgical vestments, and documents which proved that Vytautas the Great had given the land to the Catholic Church and placed them in the box. Then he sealed the box and buried it deep in the ground near a large rock. His action was truly inspired because a short time later the authorities seized the church. It seemed as if the Catholic faith had come to an end in the once fervent village of Siluva.
God miraculously intervenes
Eighty years passed and the Catholic flock, with no shepherd to guide and nourish it, gradually died out. Only a few of the very oldest villagers dimly remembered that there had been a Catholic Church in their village. Children were reared in the Calvinist creed. Suddenly, through an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, God miraculously intervened. This apparition has been proven an actual event, authenticated by a Papal Decree issued by Pope Pius VI on August 17, 1775. The most remarkable feature is the fact that the miracle took place in a completely un-Catholic atmosphere.
Children see a beautiful woman on a rock
One summer day, in 1608, a number of children were tending their sheep in a field on the outskirts of the village of Siluva. They were playing near a large rock, close to a wooded section of the field, shouting merrily to one another in carefree fun. Suddenly one after another stood transfixed, staring in the direction of the rock. In the silence, there could be heard the sound of loud sobbing. Then the children beheld a beautiful young woman standing on the rock holding a baby in her arms and weeping bitterly. Her overwhelming grief was only too evident. She did not speak, but looked at them sadly as she stood there, weeping as though her heart was breaking. So profuse were her tears that they ran down her cheeks and some of them splashed on the rock. The woman was dressed in flowing blue and white robes, unlike any costume with which the children were familiar. Her long, light-brown hair fell softly over her shoulders. A strange light surrounded both the woman and child.
Boy runs to Calvinist pastor
So startled were the children, they could not speak, but merely stood and stared. Amazement soon turned to fright when the woman with her baby disappeared as mysteriously as she had appeared. Then all began to talk excitedly about what they had seen. One of the boys ran to the village to tell the Calvinist pastor. He was told to stop making up such a fantastic tale and to go back to the fields.
Children tell their parents
When the children returned home in the evening, they told their parents and neighbors about the weeping woman. The news spread quickly through the little village, and the next morning most of the townspeople had gathered around the rock. Some were scoffing loudly, but others were impressed by the children's tearful insistence that they were telling the truth. This was proven because, whether the children were questioned separately or together, each told the same identical story, even to the smallest detail.
The Blessed Virgin reappears
The Calvinist pastor, aware of the crowd that had gathered, became alarmed at the gullibility of his people in believing this "Roman superstition," as he labeled the story. He warned them that this was the work of Satan, who wanted to lead them away. As the Calvinist pastor paused to catch his breath, a heart-rending sound of sobbing was heard. All eyes turned to the rock, and there, standing in their midst, was the weeping lady with the baby in her arms, just as the children had described her.
The people stood in amazement. The pastor, too, could do nothing but stare. The woman's face was clouded in deep sorrow and her cheeks were bathed in bitter tears. Finally the pastor regained his composure and asked, "Why are you weeping?" In a voice filled with sorrowful emotion, she replied, "There was a time when my beloved Son was worshipped by my people on this very spot. But now they have given this sacred soil over to the plowman and the tiller and to the animals for grazing." Without another word, she vanished.
People return to the Church
The belief that the Mother of God had appeared in person to chide them for their neglect of the Catholic Faith quickly grew among the people. Most of them heeded her message and began to return to the One True Church founded by her Divine Son, Jesus Christ. So complete was this return that a decade later, on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, more than 11,000 people received Holy Communion during a mass offered at the scene of the apparitions.
A miracle occurs
Such was the miracle that the Mother of God wrought in the village of Siluva where there had been no church, no priest, no Mass, for almost eighty years. The Bishop appointed Fr. John Kazakevicius to investigate the phenomenon and question all witnesses to the events.
Blind man regains his sight
In many apparitions of the Blessed Mother there is usually a picture or statue associated with the event. Our Lady of Siluva is not an exception. A blind man, more than 100 years old, lived in a nearby village. The stories of the apparitions reached him and he recalled a night, some eighty years before, when he helped Father Holubka bury an ironclad chest filled with church treasures beside a large rock. The villagers led him to the field of the apparitions to see if he could help locate the place where the treasures were buried. No sooner had he reached the spot, then his sight was miraculously restored. Falling to his knees with joy and gratitude, he pointed to the exact spot where the chest had been buried.
Villagers find the buried treasure
The ironclad chest was dug out of the ground and when it was opened, there - perfectly preserved - was the large painting of the Madonna and Child, several gold chalices, vestments, church deeds, and other documents. The painting was enshrined permanently in the Basilica of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is venerated to this day as the Miraculous Image of Siluva.
Miracles continue
Over the years, many miracles have been recorded and the shrine has experienced numerous changes and larger churches had to be built to accommodate the pilgrims. Devotion to Our Lady of Siluva was growing until World War II brought about the destruction of freedom in Lithuania. Since then, this world has seen many changes. We find ourselves surrounded by moral decay and many have lost their way. Today, Our Lady of Siluva is the most powerful intercessor between the human race and Jesus Christ. She once brought Lithuania back to the Church, so let us pray:

Most holy Mother, moved by your tears, may we, as our forefathers did, revive the spirit of adoration of your Son in our hearts. Holy Mother, please strengthen the tottering structure of the shrine that is the family, bring back your wandering children and forgive the sins of our nation.

Our Lady of Siluva, intercede for your wandering children. Bring them home to Jesus. Amen.

stjos/stvds: 09.07.2008 - 04/05

The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology
by Keith L. Moore and T. V. N. Persaud


The title referred to above is probably the best known embryology text in use in medical and graduate schools throughout the English-speaking world.
It is currently in its seventh edition.
The authors are not agents for any religion or "faith system". They are scientists.
Here is what they have to say about "when human life begins":

"Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to produce a single cell - a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."

 In other words:
Human life begins at conception.
That is a scientific fact. It is not a philosophical or religious opinion.
Conception, hence human life, begins in the fallopian tube.
That is a scientific fact. It is not a philosophical or religious opinion.
Conception, hence human life, does not begin in the uterus.
That is a scientific fact. It is not a philosophical or religious opinion.

If anyone tells you that any one of these facts is not a fact, but is just an opinion or is the belief of "right wing religious nuts", please take a deep breath, make the Sign of the Cross (to ward off the Evil One and to keep you from saying a naughty word) and then make a mental note that the person who says such an absurd thing is one of the following:
A poor, misinformed person, whose education has been sadly neglected.
Misinformed persons should be provided with remedial instruction until they grasp the truth.
A poor, unfortunate person, who is as crazy as a bedbug.
Crazy persons should be treated kindly, delicately and gingerly.
They should be kept in custodial care and allowed to take frequent walks in the fresh, brisk air, accompanied by competent caregivers. Group therapy and pharmaceutical intervention are sometimes appropriate.
A bad person, a liar and a deceiver.
Bad persons should be avoided and, if circumstances require it, should be punished.
If they repent and confess, they should be forgiven, but only if they repent and confess!

BUT, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should a misinformed person or a crazy person or a bad person be elected President of the United States or elevated to the position of Speaker of the House.

Senator Barack Obama says that he doesn't know when human life begins.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says much the same.

Ye gods! It boggles the mind!

stjos/stvds: 09.07.2008 - 06


St. Vincent dePaul Parish and all of Girardville - and all of Schuylkill County - are honored to be able to greet LEOPOLDINE YURENKA who, by the grace of God, will observe her 104th birthday this coming Friday, the twelfth day of September.
May the Lord continue to preserve in His love this beautiful and venerable woman.
Mrs. Yurenka is the widow of Louis, with whom she had two sons, both of who are deceased. St. VdP parishioner Argie Yurenka, the widow of Walter Yurenka, is the daughter-in-law of Leopoldine


Date: 14 September
Time: 7:30 am to 1:00 pm
Place: St. Joseph School (IHES) Building
Price: $7.00 for adults and teenagers; $4.00
         for children (12 and under)
Menu: Eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, sharkfin soup, French toast, pancakes,homefries, juice, coffee and tea.
[Just joking about the sharkfin soup. Trying to see whether anyone actually reads this bulletin.]
Come! Enjoy a good breakfast and support a good cause, viz. St. Joseph Parish!

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE to the Basilica / Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC will take place on Wednesday, 8 October. If you would like to participate, call the Rectory.
KATERI wants me to remind you about the Blessing of the Beasts on 4 October!
The banns of marriage are issued for the second time between
THADDEUS JUDE MADDEN, a member of St. Mauritius Parish (Ashland), and SHANNON THERESA REESE, a member of St. Joseph Parish (Girardville).
If anyone knows of any impediment to the sacramental marriage of these two persons, he or she should notify the pastor (or the Bishop) without delay.
THERE IS A STAINED GLASS WINDOW IN THE CONFESSION ROOM OF ST. VINCENT dePAUL CHURCH. It shows a balance scale with the tablets of the Ten Commandments on one side and, on the other side, some nails and thorns. The nails and thorns, though seemingly lighter in weight than the stone tablets are in the DOWN position, while the Ten Commandments are in the UP position. Does anyone have a clue as to what this means?

stjos/stvds: 09.07.2008 - 07


The following statement (part of the platform) was officially accepted at the quadrennial Republican National Convention held last week in Minneapolis-St. Paul MN. (Emphases are mine.)

Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.
We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.
We have made progress. The Supreme Court has upheld prohibitions against
the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. States are now permitted to extend health-care coverage to children before birth. And the Born Alive Infants Protection Act has become law; this law ensures that infants who are born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to all newborn infants and are not neglected and left to die. We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy.
At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Comment: In last weekend's bulletin, we printed an excerpt from the Democratic Party platform - the part that had to do with abortion and related matters. So, we have to do "equal time" for the Republican platform! We encourage you to retrieve that bulletin and to compare the "abortion positions" of the two parties. Then ask yourself: Do I detect even a tad of difference between the two parties in regard to their philosophies about whether it is acceptable to kill unborn babies? If I do detect a tad or even a semi-tad of difference, do I take this into consideration when I go to vote? And am I aware that God takes into consideration whether I vote and how I vote and why I vote as I do.
As we have noted and shall note again: We are well aware of our duty to refrain from endorsing or opposing any candidate or political party. We love and cherish our tax-exempt status and we do nothing to imperil it. We love our country even more than we love our tax-exemption and more than our tax-exemption or our country, we love God.

stjos/stvds: 09.07.2008 - 08


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