Saturday, 17 October
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — EDWARD and KATHRYN (Cuff) KUCHINSKY
by Kay Ellen

Sunday, 18 October
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — JOSEPH RIZZARDI Sr.
by the Rizzardi family

Monday, 19 October
SS. John deBrebeuf and Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs, and their companions, martyrs (OblMem)
by Jim and Cindy Coyle

Wednesday, 21 October
08:00 am — God’s Blessings on JUSTIN WITT
by Jim and Eva Gontis

Friday, 23 October
St. John of Capistrano, priest (OptMem)
08:00 am — GERALD and MARY SMITH
by Jonas Smith

Saturday, 24 October
St. Anthony Mary Claret, bishop (OptMem)
08:00 am — God’s Blessings on SETH NAGY
by Jim and Eva Gontis
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — MARY DEVANEY
by Patricia Kowalick

Sunday, 25 October
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — TOMEE LEIGH GOWER (22nd anniversary of birth)
by her family


Saturday, 17 October
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — Deceased: STATUTIS and YEGAITIS FAMILIES
by Jean Statutis Majikas

Sunday, 18 October
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — GEORGE W. FISHER
by Jim and Georgann Connell

Tuesday, 20 October
St. Paul of the Cross, priest (OptMem)
by Charles and Kathy Sherman

Thursday, 22 October
07:00 pm — In Thanksgiving for favors received (St. Philomena and St. John Capistrano)
by Catherine Lucas Whitney

Saturday, 24 October
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — JOSEPH V. KRICK
by his wife, Carole

Sunday, 25 October
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Mom and Dad

stjos/stvdp: 10.18.2009 - 01

10 / 11 OCTOBER

Saint Joseph Parish
Parish receipts: $1,585.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $77.00 from the second collection (plate); $144.00 from the Dues envelopes; $686.00 from the Fuel envelopes; $81.00 from the loose. Total: $2,573.00
Non-parish receipts: $-0-
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the parish receipts ($2,573.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($290.08), plus our weekly premium for property and casualty insurance ($444.49), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($358.17), the sum total of which is $1,092.74, one sees that $1,480.26 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Parish receipts: $987.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $103.00 from the second collection (plate); $75.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $40.00 from the Fuel envelopes; $80.00 from the loose. Total: $1,285.00.
Non-parish receipts: $-0-
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the parish receipts ($1,285.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($183.92), plus our weekly premium for property and casualty insurance ($267.81), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($250.98), the sum total of which is $702.71, one sees that $582.29 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Wednesday, 21 October
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 22 October
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 23 October
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

IT IS OUR PERMANENT POLICY to be available to you for Confession at almost any hour of almost any day. If the Confession schedule does not suit you, simply call the Rectory and make an appointment with the priest to go to Confession. Barring some circumstance that would make it impossible, I will be happy to be available to you to hear your Confession. This invitation is unrestricted. Non-parishioners as well as parishioners are welcome to take advantage of it.


Wednesday, 21 October
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 23 October
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel


stjos/stvdp: 10.18.2009 - 02


by Rich Heffern

Iurodstvo is the Russian word for the idea of “holy foolishness.” It’s a form of asceticism that has been practiced within the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries.
Its practitioners feign madness, Marx brothers-like behavior, in order to provide the public with spiritual guidance. The aim too is to avoid praise and acclaim for perceived holiness. It’s a radical form of humility as well.
According to Russian Orthodox scholar Svetlana Kobets: “The holy fool’s exploit is that of secret sanctity, which above all promotes the non-ontological understanding that all of God’s created world is a sacred place.
“By feigned madness the holy fool opts to say that the lowliest of the low can be not the poor wretch he appears to be, but a holy one and God’s prophet. He shares his power and authority with all the weak, mocked and despised, thus symbolically destroying clear-cut distinctions between the profane and the sacred.”
In the Russian church it is regarded as the most difficult and controversial of all ascetic practices. Thirty-six iurodivyi (holy fools) have been canonized by the Orthodox church. Many are venerated locally.
”Unlike other ascetics, the fool in Christ does not renounce the profane world. … Instead of going into hermetic or monastic seclusion he becomes a part of secular life,” Kobets writes.
This tradition has its origins in the early history of the Christian church. Indeed, the patron saint of holy fools is St. Simeon Salos of Emresa. He retreated to the Syrian desert in the 6th century to devote his life to prayer, living on nothing but lentils.
A few decades later, Simeon returned to town a completely different man. He tied a dead dog to his waist and entered town dragging the carcass. Simeon would throw nuts at the priests during the worship service and publicly ate sausage on Good Friday.
The seemingly nutty monk also helped people in the town, though never when someone else might notice and never taking credit. Simeon’s saintly deeds were done away from the spotlight. No one could dispute that Simeon was a holy person, even the priests he pelted with nuts on Sunday. Simeon poked fun at every attempt people made to feel themselves “holier than thou.”
In Russian history the greatest of the “holy fools” was Basil the Blessed, a man so revered that the famous onion-domed cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square next to the Kremlin was named in his honor. In the 16th century, St. Basil walked through Moscow wearing nothing more than a long beard. He threw rocks at wealthy people’s houses and stole from dishonest traders in Red Square.
It’s reported that Tsar Ivan the Terrible feared no one but Basil. Once the saint went to Ivan’s palace and forced the tsar to eat raw meat during the Lenten fast saying, “Why abstain from eating meat when you murder men?” Countless Russians died horribly for much less, but Ivan was afraid to let any harm come to the saintly Basil.
In the year 1555 Tsar Ivan commissioned two Italian architects to build the famous cathedral that has become the icon of Russia. After its completion, the story goes, he asked the architects if they could build an edifice more beautiful and dazzling than the one they had just completed. When they replied affirmatively, he had them blinded. He was that kind of guy. Only Basil stood up to him.
The idea of holiness in Orthodox spirituality is varied. There is no one prescribed way. The vocation of the “holy fool” meant renouncing the world, even its respectability and intelligence. It was a way some chose to become close to God, echoing St. Paul’s famous words about God choosing the foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.
Jim Forest, author and secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship, writes: “Holy fools pose the question: Are we keeping heaven at a distance by clinging to the good regard of others, prudence, and what those around us regard as ‘sanity’? The holy fools shout out with their mad words and deeds that to seek God is not necessarily the same thing as to seek sanity.
“We need to think long and hard about sanity, a word most of us cling to with a steel grip,” Mr. Forest continues. “Does fear of being regarded by others as insane confine me in a cage of ‘responsible’ behavior that limits my freedom and cripples my ability to love? And is it in fact such a wonderful thing to be regarded as sane? Adolph Eichmann, the chief administrator of the Holocaust, was declared ‘quite sane’ by the psychiatrists who examined him before his trial.
“Holy fools challenge an understanding of Christianity that gives intellectually gifted people a head start not only in economic efforts but spiritual life,” Mr. Forest writes. “But the Gospel and sacramental life aren’t just for smart people. At the Last Judgment we will not be asked how clever we were but how merciful.”
NOTE: If any member of our Girardville parishes would like to be a Holy Fool, please check first with the pastor. He might have a few suggestions about how to practice holy foolishness in the Ville of Girard.

stjos/stvdp: 10.18.2009- 03

To the Editor:
First, I would like to point out that I am neither suggesting nor insinuating that any historical truths be withheld, nor sugarcoated, nor that we should deprive anyone of any known historical truths, but let's straighten out what needs to be imprinted on our youths at such a young age, this is NOT a sober picture.
Having said that, as both a first-generation American and Italian-American, I was both insulted and disturbed by the article on Christopher Columbus and its contents on Monday's front page.
Should we insist that we bring forth the truths of past American figures such as George Washington, who owned slaves, and had soldiers shot for attempts of desertion, or Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves and had an affair with one of his female slaves?
Possibly, the truth that John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were thought to have had sexual affairs while married? Mohammed spread the word of Islam by the sword, but that isn't the intent of true Islamic faith. How about our future history depicting our now president, who had known relationships with a fanatic who was considered to be a terrorist? Didn't he just receive a Nobel Prize?
It has also been debated at higher levels of education that our founding fathers, to some extent, were considered traitors to England, terrorists and saboteurs. By definition, quite the truth, but hardly what we expect to be taught to the young impressionable minds of our youth.
I'm willing to bet neither of the teachers in the above-mentioned article have any knowledge of being a naval officer or captain of a ship, much less during the mindset of the 15th century, when ship crews were illiterate and rough in nature. Considering that this type of sailor was getting ready to possibly sail off the "edge of the Earth," I would certainly expect that Columbus' demeanor was hard and strict, just to maintain control.
He landed in an unknown land, thousands of miles away from any type of assistance. All of a sudden he is supposed to be the rational peacekeeper, betting his life and that of his crew that the only known ways of European expansion should not be used in America? How can they teach the history of the man, when they do not show knowledge of the history of the era?
The concept that Columbus did not discover America because it was inhabited is absurd.
He discovered that the world was not flat, and that new lands, and new people, existed beyond the known confines of Europe, which led to massive colonization and a new frontier. I wonder if these teachers of history would have volunteered to be on Columbus' crew.
If we follow the conclusion that it was not a discovery, then strike Lewis and Clark from the history books. Did someone really discover the atom? After all, it's always been there. Is the discovery of new planets and constellations only a discovery because they have no known life? Let's get serious, are these the same people who want to change the meaning of Christmas, and deny us the reality of the Holocaust?
Unlike math or English, the totality of history increases every day of our lives. Do we need to believe that there is so little other history to tell our children of 7 years old, that we need to explain that Christopher Columbus was mean? Are we placing Columbus in a category with Saddam Hussein? Now that's someone I can understand as mean.
We do not need the impressionable minds of our future starting their lives thinking Columbus was a bad man. When they reach an older age where they can understand and decipher the bigger picture, they should have the opportunity to know the finer aspects of anyone we recognize in history. However, it is wrong to set this impression at that young an age.
We see our youth not being able to compete globally because we are displacing the basics of education with teachings that would be more appropriate at a later age. I hope these new Columbus haters can spell, count and tell time before they advance to first grade. If they want to tear down the icons of our history, beware of who may be next. The truth is good, but let us put it in perspective so as not to dilute the minds of our future.
These people that believe they are making a difference might be, but I'm pretty sure it's not the difference we want our children to see, at least not in kindergarten. I don't think this is what the president had in mind with educating our youth. We have to stop tearing down our history, or we soon will have none. Knowing the truth must be all-encompassing, and it should not displace the good.

Ralph N Butera
Note: I was delighted to see this letter in the Wednesday, 14 October, edition of The Pottsville Republican. The writer is a friend of mine, a postmaster, a retired Lieutenant Colonel, the father of a priest of the Allentown Diocese, and one of my former parishioners (St. Joseph Parish, Pottsville). His defense of the reputation of Christopher Columbus is a service to the truth and to the community. We do well to remember that there is considerable anti-Catholicism behind the efforts to diminish the reputation of Christopher Columbus. Let us not be swept up in the tide of anti-Columbus historical revisionism. Thank you, Mr. Butera!

stjos/stvdp: 10.18.2009 - 04

RECENTLY I WAS VISITING A WOMAN who is a friend of mine and a resident of Rest Haven Nursing Home, sometimes referred to as “the county home”. She is 96 years old and her mind is as clear and as sharp as mine — if not clearer and sharper than mine!
She told me a story, the gist of which is this: There is a woman, a fellow resident of Rest Haven, who has been extremely reclusive and non-communicative. She lives on the same floor as the woman whom I was visiting. Her facial expression and her body language send out the message: Leave me alone! I don’t want to be bothered. I’m not interested. Go away!
My friend says that this woman has had the reputation, among residents and staff, of being a grouch. No one cared to have anything more to do with her, beyond what was absolutely necessary.
She told me that she had made several attempts to initiate conversation with her, but was given the clear message that she should just go away and peddle her papers elsewhere!
However, she was determined that she would break through.
I won’t give the story in detail. Suffice it to say that, after several tries, her efforts were rewarded.
The woman eventually responded with civility and even with appreciation for kindness rendered.
My friend told me that she feels that she is on a mission from God: determined to spread sunshine where she finds darkness and wanting everyone around her to know that they are loved by God and are, indeed, lovable.
I left Rest Haven after the visit giving thanks to God for the wisdom of this lady — a wisdom worth taking to heart.
I would be happy to print in the bulletin the names of parishioners who are sick.
I don’t take the initiative on this, because I hesitate to print information that some persons might consider invasive of privacy.
So, let me put it this way: If you want me to put into the bulletin the names of parishioners who are sick and who would like to be remembered in prayer, please give a call to the Rectory. I would be more than willing to print their names and request prayers for them.
Just call (or email) the Rectory.
If you experience a death in your family — in particular, a parent, a parent-in-law, a grandparent, a brother or a sister, a brother-in-law or a sister-in-law, a son or a daughter, a son-in-law or a daughter-in-law — we would like you to let us know about it. We would like to print the name of the deceased in the bulletin in order to request prayers for him or her.
Just call (or email) the Rectory.

Have you ever said that to your husband or wife? Do you wish you could take your “talk” to a deeper level of listening and understanding? Learn how on a
REGISTER TODAY for the upcoming weekend:

6 to 8 November, at St. Francis Friary, Easton
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Call 1-800-787-7679 or go online to

The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.

stjos/stvdp: 10.18.2009 - 05

Anyone who makes it to his or her 97th birthday certainly merits a mention in the parish bulletin!
We have a St. Vincent dePaul parishioner who reached that remarkable milestone this past Thursday.
Sophie Helen Dobrosielski D’Alfonso was born on 15 October 1912.
Her parents were Julian and Josephine (Hojnicki) Dobrosielski.
Her husband was John J. D'Alfonso, Sr. who died in l970.
She has 3 daughters: Dorothy Ann D'Alfonso; Rose Marie D'Alfonso Popeck and Josephine (D'Alfonso) Hammond.
(Rose Popeck and her husband, Frank, are also members of St. Vincent dePaul Parish.)
She has one son: John J. D'Alfonso Jr., who died in l967.
She has three grandchildren: Lisa Marie Popeck Behrens; Rachel Mary (Hammond) Wolovich; Joseph John Hammond.
She has five great-grandchildren: Zakk Thomas Wolovich; Tyler James Wolovich; Luke Andrew Behrens; Bryan Daniel Behrens; Caroline Elaine Behrens.
Mrs. D’Alfonso is a devout Catholic. She was a faithful member of St. Joseph Parish (Pottsville) until it closed and then she transferred her membership to St. Vincent dePaul Parish, Girardville. Frequently, whenever possible, she comes up to Girardville in order to attend Mass at St. Vincent’s (sometimes at St. Joseph’s).
We are grateful to God for the many years He has granted thus far to Miss Sophie. We would be pleased if He would allow her to remain among us for a few more years at least. It is hard for me to picture Miss Sophie without a smile on her face. It seems that God has given her the gift of tranquility.
May Miss Sophie live to be a hundred (or more) and, when time is up, may she go immediately to see God.
Happy Birthday, dear Mrs. D’Alfonso!

Yes, there will be CCD classes on Sunday, 18 October.
The reason I specify this is that some people might wonder if we have CCD classes when the weather is unpleasant.
Unpleasant weather conditions are no reason to cancel CCD.
Dangerous weather conditions might be a reason, but not unpleasant!
We are made of sterner stuff than that!



You did know that, but you forgot, didn’t you?
Well, it would be nice if you would pray for priests. Pray especially for your pastor, Fr. Connolly. And, while you’re at it, say a prayer or two for Fr. Brennan and Fr. Horan and Msgr. Coyle and Fr. Karpyn and Fr. Mongiello and Fr. Gillespie and Fr. Gillis and all other priests who do or did have a connection with Girardville.

 stjos/stvdp: 10.18.2009 - 06

I received the following e-mail this past week from a friend of mine. It made me smile. With his permission, I re-print it here, but without attribution.
Dear Father Connolly:
I enjoyed your directives on sneezing and expectorating in church. I am just glad the woman with the hemorrhage did not encounter our Lord during a flu epidemic. She would not have been allowed to touch the tassel of Jesus and hence would never have been cured of her infirmity. I still believe in the words of Jesus Christ: "I came that you may have life and have it abundantly."
I received the following note in the St. Joseph collection basket this past weekend. It was not signed.
Two suggestions:
#1 — Latin Mass, one month in St. Joseph’s, one month in St. Vincent’s.
#2 — Vote on things being moved from main church to chapel.
My reply:
Thank you for the note. All suggestions are gratefully received, but I do respectfully request that such notes be signed. Have no fear about signing your name. I am not neurotic nor am I insecure. I do not easily take offense.
Here are my thoughts on the matters you mention:
#1 — There is some wisdom in your suggestion about alternating the Latin (Tridentine) Mass between the two churches. Here are my reasons for choosing not to implement your suggestion:
(a) The height of the “permanent altar” at St. Vincent dePaul Church is such that I just cannot offer Mass on it. The table of the altar is too high. If I were six feet eight inches tall, I might be able to do it. Alas! I am only six feet tall. When I first came to Girardville, I wondered about the peculiar height of this altar. I had never seen an altar that was so high. Fr. Karpyn explained to me that it was constructed this way so that the priest, while offering Mass at the free-standing altar would not block the people’s view of the tabernacle. This is an anomaly I have to live with. Offering the Tridentine Mass at the free-standing altar presents difficulties with such things as the placement of the altar cards.
(b) Even if the above were not the case, I am afraid that alternating the Tridentine Mass would lead to constant confusion. I would need to alter the time of the Tridentine Mass each month in order to fit the parishes’ weekend Mass schedules. People would always be calling to find out “where and at what time is the Latin Mass this month”. In addition to this, I am currently dependent on a small schola (choir) that comes from out of town. They would not be able to get to Girardville in time for an 8:30 am Mass.
#2 — You have a legitimate point here. I presume you are referring to my having had the Infant of Prague statue (and case) removed from the vestibule of the church and placed in the chapel. If I had it to over again, I would have put something into the bulletin in order to solicit the opinions (if any) of the parishioners. I apologize for not having done that. Let me try to make amends by saying this: If any parishioners wish to express an opinion on the placement of the Infant of Prague statue (and case), please do so by writing me a brief note. However, please sign the note if you write one! Please write either: “I prefer that the Infant of Prague statue be returned to the vestibule of the upper church.” OR “I prefer that the Infant of Prague statue remain in the chapel.” Please do this before the end of the month.
But please keep in mind that, if I ask Wade O to return the statue to the vestibule, I risk incurring his wrath and the wrath of the men who moved it to the chapel. My life might be in danger. They are very strong guys and might be tempted to gang up on me and beat me up. That would be an unpleasant experience.

stjos/stvdp: 10.18.2009 - 07

Do you think it's your husband? If that's what you think, then try this experiment:
Pick up your dog and take him or her into the garage. Ask your husband to accompany you. Tell him you need him to help you get something out of the trunk of the car.
When you get to the garage, ask your husband to open the trunk of your car and ask him to reach in to get something out. Tell him you’re sure you saw a hundred dollar bill stuck in the back of the trunk (or something like that).
Tell him he has to reach way back, way, way far back — all the way to the back of the trunk.
While he is bending over and leaning in, grab his legs, push him all the way into the trunk and, real quick, since you already have your dog in your arms, toss the dog into the trunk too. Then, real quick — timing is very important here —
slam the trunk door shut!
Now, close the garage door and walk away.
Go take a shower or have a sandwich or say the rosary or watch TV or something.
After one hour, return to the garage. Unlock the trunk and open it up. Now comes the acid test. When you open the trunk, which one will act really happy to see you and will probably kiss you? Will it be your husband or will it be your dog?
This really works...!
The only way you’ll know is if you try it!

I was making conversation last Sunday with some of the CCD children. I don’t know all of their names yet and I wanted to learn some names. I said to one little boy: “What’s your name?” He said, “William”. I said, “What’s your last name, William?” He said, “Joyce”. I said, “Joyce? I know a very nice lady in St. Joseph Church whose name is Mrs. Joyce. Is she your grandmother?” He said, “Yes”. I said, “You know what? I had a Mass yesterday for your grandfather. Your grandfather died, didn’t he?” He said, “Yes”. I said, “Well, God bless him! I hope you see your grandfather in heaven someday.” Then, just to make sure I had the right family connection, I said to William, “Your grandfather’s name was John Joyce, wasn’t it?” He said, “No”. I said, “No? Well, I thought it was John. What was his name?” He said, “Pop-Pop”. I said, “Oh, okay! Pop-Pop! Well, I think your Pop-Pop is the same one that people called John Joyce.”


Next Sunday (25 October) being the last Sunday of the month, the 11:30 am Mass at St. Joseph Church will be celebrated according to the Extraordinary Form.
Please note: When a Mass is celebrated for a particular intention (as it almost always is), it is the custom in most parishes (and it is the custom here in Girardville) for the lector to mention the intention at the Prayer of the Faithful and for the priest to mention it during the Eucharistic Prayer. This is the custom when the Mass is celebrated according to the Ordinary Form (what is often referred to as the Novus Ordo Mass).
At a Tridentine Mass, there is no lector nor Prayer of the Faithful, in addition to which the priest prays the Eucharistic Prayer silently.
I want everyone to know that, despite the fact that the specific Mass intention is not as “obvious” at a Tridentine Mass as it is at a Novus Ordo Mass, nevertheless the priest does include the particular Mass intention to the Lord during the Eucharistic Prayer.
Therefore, next Sunday during the 11:30 am Mass, I shall mention to the Lord the name of the deceased person (Tomee Leigh Gower) during the commemoration for the faithful departed.


                      stjos/stvdp: 10.18.2009 - 08                      


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