MASS SCHEDULE: 11 - 18 JANUARY 2009
SAINT
JOSEPH CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE


Saturday, 10 January
Vigil of the Baptism of the Lord
05:30 pm — DOMINICK GRASSO
by his family

Sunday, 11 January
The Baptism of the Lord
11:30 am — AGATHA SCULLY
by Tom and Holly Barrett and Noelle

Monday, 12 January
Weekday
08:00 am — MICHAEL and MARY CLARKE
by the Clarke Trust

Wednesday, 14 January
Weekday
08:00 am — MARY HALEY
by Paul and Patricia Kowalick

Friday, 16 January
Weekday
08:00 am — HANNAH McLOUGHLIN
by Robert McDonald

Saturday, 17 January
St. Anthony, abbot (OblMem)
08:00 am — WILLIAM LLEWELLYN
by his nephew, Christopher J. Chapman

Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — ANTHONY CATIZONE
by his wife, Jean

Sunday, 18 January
2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
11:30 am — RAYMOND D. REINOEHL
(1st anniversary)
by his mother, Ida Mae Canavan

 MASS SCHEDULE: 11 - 18 JANUARY 2009
SAINT
Vincent dePAUL CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE

                      
Saturday, 10 January
Vigil of the Baptism of the Lord
04:00 pm — EDWARD M. WASCAVAGE
by Helen Caponis Bickowski Williams

Sunday, 11 January
The Baptism of the Lord
08:30 am — DECEASED: HOLY NAME SOCIETY
by the HNS

Tuesday, 13 January
St. Hilary, bishop and doctor (OptMem)
08:00 am — MARIAN SQUIRES
by Bill Schappell and family

Thursday, 15 January
Weekday
07:00 pm — JOSEPH C. CHIARETTI
by Camille Dattilio

Saturday, 17 January
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — EDWARD M. WASCAVAGE
by Employees, Highmark Blue Shield

Sunday, 18 January
2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
08:30 am — DECEASED: SMOLOCK and GUGIE FAMILIES
by M/M Peter Smolock

stjos/stvds: 01.11.2009 - 01


 COLLECTION TOTALS FROM LAST WEEKEND:
03 / 04 Janiuary


Saint Joseph Parish:
$1,400.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $105.00 from the second collection (plate); $435.00 from the Dues envelopes; $188.00 from the Initial envelopes; $394.00 from the Holyday (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) envelopes; $157.00 from the loose. Thank you.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish: $971.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $357.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $682.00 from the Holyday (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) envelopes; $20.00 from the Fuel envelopes; $104.00 from the loose. Thank you.

 CONFESSION SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Thursday, 15 January
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 16 January
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 16 January
07:30 to 08:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

EXPOSITION OF BLESSED SACRAMENT

Friday, 16 January
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 16 January
07:00 to 09:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

stjos/stvds: 01.11.2009 - 02



UPDATE ON
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION TOTALS

(thus far)
St. Vincent dePaul Parish: $2,754.00 + $10.00 = $2,764.00
St. Joseph Parish: $6,664.00 + $428.00 = $7,092.00
Thank you!
We are willing to accept Christmas 2008 donations “after the fact” — even up to and including Easter Sunday 2009 and, beyond that, up to and including Christmas 2009 and beyond that!

THE DATE OF FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
for our two parishes will be:
SUNDAY, 24 MAY 2009

Who are the children of our two parishes who are eligible to receive their First Holy Communion?
This question is to be answered by parents and pastor in harmony with one another and according to Church law.
The question of whether a child is eligible to receive his or her First Holy Communion is summarized in Canons #913 and #914 of the Code of Canon Law.

Can. 913 §1 For holy communion to be administered to children, it is required that they have sufficient knowledge and be accurately prepared, so that according to their capacity they understand what the mystery of Christ means, and are able to receive the Body of the Lord with faith and devotion.
§2 The blessed Eucharist may, however, be administered to children in danger of death if they can distinguish the Body of Christ from ordinary food and receive communion with reverence.
Can. 914 It is primarily the duty of parents and of those who take their place, as it is the duty of the parish priest, to ensure that children who have reached the use of reason are properly prepared and, having made their sacramental confession, are nourished by this divine food as soon as possible. It is also the duty of the parish priest to see that children who have not reached the use of reason, or whom he has judged to be insufficiently disposed, do not come to Holy Communion.

It will be a great joy for me, as pastor, to give First Holy Communion to the children. However, as I understand the law of the Church, the pastor has the right and the duty to decline to give First Holy Communion to a child who is not “properly prepared”. As pastor of St. Joseph Parish and of St. Vincent dePaul Parish, I declare that a child is not “properly prepared” if he or she does not (a) attend Mass regularly on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation and (b) receive regular religious instruction, which usually means either Catholic school or CCD.

IF YOUR CHILD IS ELIGIBLE, PLEASE CALL THE RECTORY [276-6033] TO LET US KNOW THAT YOU WOULD LIKE HIM OR HER TO RECEIVE FIRST HOLY COMMUNION ON 24 MAY! IF YOU ARE UNCERTAIN WHETHER YOUR CHILD IS ELIGIBLE, PLEASE CALL THE RECTORY TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS THE MATTER WITH THE PASTOR --- who promises to be very kind, sweet, understanding, helpful and lovable.


stjos/stvds: 01.11.2009 - 03


 

DEAR ABBY:
I'm 16 and know in my heart that I'm gay, even though I'd give anything not to be. So far, I have kept this to myself, but I don't think I can keep it within forever.
Please tell me how you "come out." I am worried sick about what will happen, since my parents belong to a church that believes homosexuality is a terrible sin.
Will my parents still love me? Will my friends reject me? Will my sister, who I've always been close to, be afraid to keep sharing a room with me?
As hard as I have tried, I can't change the feelings I have inside, so I know I have to deal with this, but I don't know what to do. Please help me
.
TORMENTED GIRL IN LOUISIANA

DEAR TORMENTED GIRL:
I can only imagine the stress and anxiety you are experiencing. My heart goes out to you.
As you clearly point out in your letter, sexual orientation is not a choice, but something a person is born with. Not knowing your parents or your inner circle of friends, I can't predict how they will react if you tell them you are gay. But if your instincts tell you that your family will react badly, then I advise you to wait to come out until you are out of their house and self-supporting.
In the meantime, allow me to share two helpful resources. The first is PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). This organization has been around since the early 1980s, and from it you will receive specific advice on how to deal with your parents. Its Web site is www.pflag.org, and I highly recommend it.
The second is the Trevor Helpline, a nationwide, 24-hour crisis helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people. Its toll-free number is (866) 488-7386. You can find out more by going to www.thetrevorproject.org.
ABBY

DEAR TORMENTED GIRL:
The first sentence of your letter is very interesting. Permit me to analyze it for you.
You write, “I’m 16 and know in my heart that I’m gay”. Allow me to point out to you that your heart is deceiving you. Some people think that, because they know something “in their heart” then it must be true. On the contrary, the human heart is full of deceit. “More deceitful than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?” (Jer 17,9)
The human heart became corrupted in the garden, when Mother Eve and Father Adam handed over their hearts to Satan. Ever since then, there has been a struggle going on between the Heart of God and the craw of the Evil One for possession of the hearts of human beings. I can assure you that, if your heart tells you that you are gay, your heart is lying to you. You are not gay. You are not homosexual. You are heterosexual. You are being tempted to think you are homosexual, but you are not. Trust me: you are not!
A person can trust his heart only if he has exchanged his heart for the Heart of Jesus Christ — or, at least, is in the process of making the exchange.
The second part of that first sentence you wrote is also interesting and it shows that you still have some good sense and that there is hope for you. You wrote, “even though I’d give anything not to be (gay)”. Good for you! Your own words tell me that you recognize that there is something WRONG, something STRANGE, something ECCENTRIC, something QUEER, something UNHAPPY, something OUT OF KILTER, something BIZARRE, something DISTASTEFUL about homosexuality.
You probably wrote to Abby because you already knew, from reading her columns, that she has a very positive outlook on homosexuality. You are looking for someone to tell you that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. You probably knew that Abby would tell you that.
Let me tell you flat out that Abby is one of many Sirens in today’s world. Do you know what I mean by a “Siren”? I mean (metaphorically) a woman who sits on the rocks in the sea, singing a song that is so beautiful to listen to that it tempts the sailor to steer his boat towards the rocks in order to hear more. Guess what happens to the boat and to the sailor when he does this! (If you don’t understand what I’m referring to,
go ask your English teacher about the Sirens in Homer’s Odyssey.) What I’m trying to tell you, dear Tormented Girl, is that Abby is not a reliable guide to a morally good life!
You probably wrote to Abby because you are looking for some authority figure to tell you that persons who believe that homosexuality is wrong — persons like your parents, persons like me — are misinformed. You are looking for someone to tell you that religious persons — persons like your parents, persons like me — who believe that homosexuality is sinful are either stupid or cruel or, maybe, both.
I am a Catholic priest, dear Tormented Girl. I guess that qualifies me to be known as “a religious person”! I want you to know that I am as certain as I can be that I am neither stupid nor cruel. There is even some evidence that I can be (and often am) sympathetic!
Let me deal with the sympathetic part first of all: I want you to know that I have great sympathy for you. It would not be an exaggeration for me to say that I love you. I do not mean “love” in a romantic or gushy sense. I mean “love” in the sense that
(a) I do not condemn you or mock you and (b) I want you to be happy and (c) I want you to be the best person you can possibly be and (d) I am positive that God loves you. Notice I did not say that I am positive that God would love you if only you would change. No, I am positive that God loves you right now, even though you believe (falsely) that you are gay!
It is possible, although I cannot be certain, that you are a Catholic. (There are lots of Catholics in Louisiana!) I say this because you say that your local church teaches that “homosexuality is a terrible sin”. It is possible, however, that you are not a Catholic, but, rather, a member of some Protestant denomination that adheres to traditional values — may God bless them for that!
Let me clarify for you what the Catholic Church teaches. We do NOT teach that “homosexuality is a terrible sin”. We DO teach that:
(a) the condition known as homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered”; (b) all homosexual actions are intrinsically wrong; (c) persons who knowingly and deliberately commit homosexual actions commit serious sin; (d) all sin can be forgiven (except the sin against the Holy Ghost).
There are several possible explanations as to why you “feel” that you are homosexual. A psychiatrist I know would say that you are suffering from a malady known as SSAD (Same Sex Attraction Disorder). He says that there are three principal reasons why a girl like you might have SSAD:

(1) MISTRUST OF MEN;
(2) WEAK FEMININE IDENTITY;
(3) LONELINESS.

I don’t have enough room in this letter to go into greater detail. However, I’m sure you are computer literate at your age. So, let me suggest that you check out the following website for some detail:
http://www.narth.com/docs/ssad.html

A few more things: If you ARE a Catholic, make an appointment with your parish priest (or some priest). Open up your heart to him in confidence. Talk to him about making a good confession. Talk to him about being pure and chaste. Talk to him about what you think your vocation might be.
But, if you are NOT a Catholic, I strongly suggest that you look into becoming a Catholic. It is only in the Catholic Church that you will find the Truth in perfect balance.
What I mean is this: (a) Unlike one kind of Protestant (the liberal kind), we have not sold out the store. We do teach that it is sinful to perform homosexual actions and to foster homosexual imaginations. (b) Unlike the other kind of Protestant (the conservative kind), we are not interested in throwing lightning bolts of condemnation at every poor sinner who comes down the pike. We believe in Hell, but we don’t believe that God gets any jollies out of sending anyone to Hell. In fact, to tell you the truth, we Catholics don’t care much for the expression that God “sends” anyone to Hell!
God does NOT want you to go to Hell, dear Tormented Girl. Satan does! And there are some human counselors who work for him! God, on the other hand, wants you to be a saint in Heaven. Do not succumb to the lie that you are “gay”. You are not gay. You are a beautiful child of God, just a bit confused, that’s all. Resist any temptation to be unchaste with any woman or girl (or with any man or boy, for that matter!)
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary enfold you in their loving care!

EBC

stjos/stvds: 01.11.2009 - 04 / 05


 

15-year-old can't get up in the morning
Q — My 15 year old son often does not get up on time to get to school on time. He stays up too late and has his radio on all night. At times he seems to be addicted to computer games. I would like to get some advice as to how to deal with this situation.
A — At some point teens will have to take responsibility for actions such as not getting up on time -- flunking college classes and getting fired from jobs. But for now, if the radio and computer are tempting him to stay up too late, THEN TAKE THEM AWAY UNTIL THE WEEKEND. He may throw a huge fit, but he had the opportunity to make a mature decision about bedtime and clearly he is not yet mature enough. Tell him when he thinks he is mature enough you will let him manage his own time again.
Computer over-use has been a serious problem for my 17-year-old for the past several years. I learned it is an
ADDICTION. My son plays online games and will play for 12 or 14 hours straight, every single day if no one objects, playing from the time he wakes up till he falls asleep in the early hours of the morning. He'll skip meals to play. He will wait till we have gone to bed and then play games till 3 or 4 in the morning every single night. Of course he cannot get up at 7am to go to school. He has never been very academically motivated, and the computer addiction greatly exacerbated the academic problem. He is no longer in school. He is waiting to take the high school equivalency exam. He is a good kid, sweet, and he has other (non-academic) interests and talents besides the computer. His social life comes ahead of computer games, so the problem is not completely desperate, but computer use continues to be a big, big problem. It uses up all his time and keeps him from other activities like music and recreation. He is not writing computer programs or being otherwise creative. He is playing games for hours and hours on end.
The only thing that works is physically removing the computer. We tried many other tactics. We'd say ''computer after homework'' but he'd say he had no homework. We tried taking away the computer till grades improved, and they'd improve, he'd get the computer back, and grades would take a nose dive again. We tried locking the keyboard in the trunk of our car (he found another keyboard), unplugging the internet connection (he plugged it back after we went to bed) and taking out the graphics card (he borrowed one from a friend). So we have to take the CPU and lock it up. I feel like an ogre. I know how important email and instant messaging are to teens and I really hate to take it away. I am myself a software engineer who's on the computer all day. I like games myself. But he is completely unable to limit the time he spends on games. It really is an addiction. Now he gets his computer only on the weekends. Even though he is not in school anymore and has very little else to do, he complains continually and bitterly about this but even he agrees that he cannot control himself.
My advice: TAKE THE COMPUTER AWAY. Give it to him on weekends if his grades are satisfactory. Don't crumble if he complains. Hold your ground. He will find other things to do.

MY COMMENT
Somewhere in the Ville of Girard and / or in the Plane of Mahanoy — or it might be in the Ville of Browns or in the Creek that is Lost, or in the Land of the Ash or in the Heights of Shen, and maybe in each of these venues — there is a teenage boy, probably more than one, of whom the parents have lost control or, to be more accurate, of whom the parents have surrendered control, as a result of which the boy is going to hell in a handbasket and, very likely, taking his parents and a couple of his siblings with him.
He comes and goes as he pleases. He rarely, if ever, eats a meal with his family but, like a barbarian of old, pillages the family food supply as it suits him. He is full of sugar. He goes to bed when he feels like it and gets up when he feels like it. He goofs off in school, has a TV and a computer in his bedroom and is a god unto himself. (You would be horrified if you were to check out his Internet “history”.) This boy knows little or nothing about the true God. Sometimes it seems as though he has sold his soul to the Evil One. His parents live in fear of him. If you know a family like this, talk to Fr. Connolly in confidence about what, if anything, can be done.

stjos/stvds: 01.11.2009 - 06


 

C.S. LEWIS ON THE SUBJECT OF CATS vs DOGS
In case you are not acquainted with C.S. Lewis, you might want to know that he was one of the foremost writers of the 20th century in the area of religion. He had some extraordinary insights. Some of his writings were popularized recently in the Narnia films, e.g. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. Lewis had something to say about cats in comparison to dogs that I think is very amusing. I am re-printing it here. I think it will come to my mind from now on every time I read the story that starts out: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray; one of them was a Pharisee and the other a publican …..”

"We were talking about cats and dogs the other day and decided that both have consciences but the dog, being an honest and humble person, always has a bad one, but the cat is a Pharisee and always has a good one. When he [the cat] sits and stares you out of countenance he is thanking God that he is not like these dogs, or like these humans, or even like these other cats!"

Now, thanks to the insight of C.S. Lewis, I know what is going on in Kateri’s mind when she sits and stares at me: “Oh, God, I thank Thee that I am not like Father Connolly!”

HOW TO STAY SAFE IN THE WORLD TODAY
Avoid riding in automobiles, because they are responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents.
Do not stay home, because 17% of all accidents occur in the home.
Avoid walking on streets or sidewalks, because 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians.
Avoid traveling by air, rail or water, because 16% of all accidents involve these forms of transportation.
Of the remaining 33% of deaths, 32% occur in hospitals. So, above all else, avoid hospitals!
HOWEVER — and here comes the good news — you will be pleased to learn that only .001% (that’s one-thousandth of one percent!) of deaths occur in worship services in churches and these are almost always related to previous physical disorders.
THEREFORE, logic tells us that the safest place to be at any given point in time is CHURCH!
(To be fair, I would have to guess that “church” in this case includes synagogues and mosques, although, in today’s political climate, I’m not too sure about mosques.)
TRUE CONFESSIONS: With the exception of the last sentence, I lifted this piece, whole and entire, from a column written by the venerable John Usalis of the Pottsville Republican and Herald.
SLOVAKIA AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC - $3,297
St. John the Baptist RC Slovak Church of Allentown has planned a twelve-day trip, July 6-18, to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Trip includes multi-night stays and extensive sight-seeing in Bratislava, Banska-Bystrica, Kosice and Prague. Air, three and four-star hotels, breakfasts, excursions and all taxes and surcharges are included. A professional tour escort specializing in Slovakia and a full-time motor coach and driver will be with the group throughout the journey. For more details, call Ray Fernandez at 610-868-3817. Limited space is available.
Perhaps, instead of visiting Slovakia and the Czech Republic, you would like to visit Czechoslovakia. If so, feel free to talk to Mr. Fernandez about that. It can probably be arranged. Tell him Fr. Connolly sent you. While you’re at it, ask him if you can pay for the trip with a traveler’s czech.

stjos/stvds: 01.11.2009 - 07


 

 

BEFORE THE CHRISTMAS SEASON COMES TO AN END, Kateri, the Official Beast of the Parish, takes one last lingering look at the Nativity scene in the Rectory. She wants me to remind you that it’s okay for you to take your Christmas decorations down now. The Christmas Season is officially over. It ends with the Baptism of the Lord (11 Jan 09). Tomorrow (12 Jan), we go into Ordinary Time.

Q. What is Bishop Cullen’s favorite time of the year?
A. Ordinary Time!

Contraceptive pill is polluting environment, lowering male fertility, says Vatican newspaper

VATICAN CITY (AFP) — The contraceptive pill is polluting the environment and is in part responsible for male infertility, a report in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said Saturday (3 Jan 09).
The pill "has for some years had devastating effects on the environment by releasing tons of hormones into nature" through female urine, said Pedro Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, in the report.
"We have sufficient evidence to state that
a non-negligible cause of male infertility in the West is the environmental pollution caused by the pill," he said, without elaborating further. "We are faced with a clear anti-environmental effect which demands more explanation on the part of the manufacturers," added Castellvi.

COMMENT: I have said on a number of occasions, both publicly and privately, that, a woman who has any anovulant pills in her possession should, immediately after she has repented of the grievous sin of artificial contraception (with early stage abortion a distinct possibility), take the pills and flush them down the toilet.
I would like to modify that advice. Don’t flush them down the toilet. Apparently they are contaminating the water supply, thereby causing an increase in male infertility. So, let me suggest instead that all anovulant pills (unless used for strictly therapeutic reasons) in anyone’s possession should be incinerated. I presume this suggestion is environmentally tolerable. If it is not, I trust that I shall hear about it!

stjos/stvds: 01.11.2009 - 08

 

 

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