SAINT JOSEPH CHURCH
Saturday, 07 February
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm JUNE ANN PELLEGRINO (1st anniversary)
by Eileen Rowland
5th Sunday of Ordinary Time
11:30 am WALTER BRENNAN
by Joan McCarthy
08:00 am ROSEMARY OCONNELL
by Jean Weist
Our Lady of Lourdes (OptMem)
08:00 am WILLIAM KARPYN
by Walter Karpyn
08:00 am MARGARET BRENNAN
by Thomas Brennan Jr.
St. Cyril, monk, and St. Methodius, bishop (OblMem)
08:00 am CATHERINE FURLONG WOLFE
by the Jack McCarthy family
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm THOMAS P. OCONNOR
by Carmen and Kathy Forke
6th Sunday of Ordinary Time
11:30 am JOSEPH C. CHIARETTI
by Doreen Wiley
SAINT Vincent dePAUL CHURCH
Saturday, 07 February
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm EDWARD M. WASCAVAGE
by Aunt Sharon and Uncle Kelly and family
5th Sunday of Ordinary Time
08:30 am DECEASED: HOLY NAME SOCIETY
by the HNS
St. Scholastica, virgin (OptMem)
08:00 am Gods Blessings and Good Health: JODI PALERINO BAKLEY
by her family
07:00 pm HAROLD BURNS
by his wife, Mary
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm JOHN LIPSHULTZ and son, JOHN
by Anna Chikotas
6th Sunday of Ordinary Time
08:30 am DOROTHY BECK CATIZONE
by Betty Fulmer
31 January / 01 February
Saint Vincent DePaul Parish: : $968.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $65.25 from the second collection (plate); $15.00 from the Catholic Relief envelopes; $283.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $5.00 from the Christmas envelopes. $107.00 from the loose. Thank you .
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel
Wednesday, 11 February
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
Friday, 13 February
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel
STOPPED BY POLICE FOR DUI
We try to provide a little something for everyone in this parish bulletin. Some people love scandal, especially if it involves priests. So, we try to accommodate them. Would you like to know more about what happened? Read on!
Here are the facts: Yours truly left Holy Infancy Rectory (Bethlehem)
a little before 11:00 pm last Sunday (1 Feb). I was heading back
to Girardville. Everything was fine and dandy until I got to
Schuylkill Haven, a little south of Cressona, on Route 61. Then
the traffic came to a standstill. I wasnt sure what it
was all about. I figured it was either some late-night construction
or else an accident. Nothing much I could do about it. So, I
just went into waiting mode. Little by little, the line of traffic
crept forward a bit, then halted again. You know how it is. Been
there, done that!
FRANCES KASTINAVAGE CUTHIE,
Eternal rest grant unto Frances, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
TWO PRIESTS OF THE DIOCESE
OF ALLENTOWN died this past week. We commend them to the Lord
and to your prayers.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Animae eorum, et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen
of this bulletin will notice that Fr. Druckers name has
been added to the masthead of the bulletin (see page
Some will ask, Why are you just getting around to putting his name on the masthead now? Why hasnt it been there all along i.e. since the two of you arrived here last July?
The fact is that Fr. Drucker had asked me to defer listing his name on the masthead until he would tell me it was okay.
So, just this past week, he told me it would be okay.
So I did.
And now you know!
The following Letter to the
Editor appeared on page B6 of the Hazleton Standard-Speaker on
Tuesday, 3 February 2009.
Catholic Church too resistant
#02 I was raised Roman Catholic but I havent been a practicing Catholic for approximately 19 years. My religious upbringing has been a positive experience but I feel I have grown in a more spiritual direction.
#03 According to the Roman Catholic Churchs statistical data, in 1962, the year I was born, there were approximately 58,000 priests in the United States. This was mostly due to the influx of immigrants from the previous generation. Since then, however, the numbers have drastically declined.
#04 In 10 years there will be fewer than 15,000 priests under the age of 70.
#05 In 1962 there were also close to 600 seminarians in the United States, but today there are fewer than 100.
#06 This has resulted in many seminaries closing.
#07 There were approximately 180,000 nuns from various religious orders in 1962. They were the backbone of Catholic education, but within the next twenty years they will be virtually non-existent.
#08 The data also show that 75 percent of Catholics went to Mass on a regular basis in 1962, but today its fewer than 20 percent. This is mostly due to changing demographics. The younger generations are relocating for better employment opportunities. The average person will relocate five times in a lifetime and his or her parents traditional Church is no longer their core belief system.
#09 Many modern theologians would describe todays Catholics as being cafeteria Catholics because they pick and choose their beliefs. There are fewer devout Catholics than there were in 1962. Back then, a greater number followed the Churchs mandates dogmatically.
#10 A study was conducted in 2002 at Fordham University a Roman Catholic University. They conducted a poll among their undergraduate and graduate students. The study is interesting because it makes a clear distinction between religion and spirituality. A growing number of college-age students are beginning to make that distinction as well.
#11 The study found that 89 percent of the students polled believe in God and describe themselves as being spiritual rather than religious. 75 percent of the students did not practice the faith they were born into. However, their spirituality is a significant part of their positive outlook on life. On the other hand, 11 percent polled were either atheists or agnostics.
#12 The difficulties within the Church are mostly due to a lack of change and a chronic denial among the Churchs hierarchy. The data reveal that, unless drastic changes are made soon, the Catholic Church as we know it wont be around 30 years from now.
#13 Men and women are equal, and the Churchs beacon of light must shine on the spirit of the times, such as by allowing women to become priests and allowing priests to marry.
#14 People in todays world are also more educated than their ancestors and they are searching for the answers on their own. They are no longer relying on religious institutions telling them what they can and cannot believe.
#15 The popularity of best-selling self-help books reflects this spiritual trend as well. They are being bought by people between the ages of twenty-three and forty-five. These modern day seekers have a deep spiritual hunger. They are searching for a substantial understanding of themselves in relation to others.
#16 Religion on the other hand has a tendency to give us simplistic black and white answers. The reality of life, however, can be very complex and very gray.
#17 The Vatican is very concerned about its loss of revenue. That is why many of the church properties will go up for sale. They are also concerned about where the future bishops and cardinals are going to come from. This will most likely bring about drastic changes out of necessity rather than convenience.
#18 I may not be a religious person but I am spiritual by nature. Centuries ago the inward journey was taken by a few privileged souls, but in todays culture it has become a healthy trend among the youth.
Thomas F. ONeill
My comments, paragraph by tedious paragraph!
#01 Okay, no problem with that paragraph!
#02 Uh, oh! Big problem with that paragraph, Mr.
#03 Okay, no problem!
#04 I dont have any data at hand to refute this assertion, so Ill have to give you a pass. But keep in mind that statistics that project ten years into the future are always suspect.
#05 It is absurd to say that there are only 100 seminarians in the USA! Where did you get that? Statistics put out by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) tell me that (as of 2008) there were 5,029 seminarians in the USA.
#06 It is true that a number of seminaries have closed. Quite frankly, some of them deserved to close. Good riddance to them! Excellent seminaries like Mount Saint Marys (Emmitsburg) and St. Charles Borromeo (Overbrook) are doing rather well, thank you!
#07 It is true that the number of women entering religious communities (and persevering therein) is drastically down over the past fifty years. However, there are encouraging signs of revitalization in many traditional communities. You say that within the next twenty years, (women in religious communities) will be virtually non-existent. I point out to you once again that there is considerable hubris in predicting the future, especially about matters that depend on the breath of the Spirit.
#08 Once again we are playing dueling statistics. You say that fewer than 20% of Catholics go to Mass on a regular basis. A Gallup poll from 2008 tells me that 36% of Catholics attend Mass every weekend. Do I know for sure whether its 20% or 36%? No, I dont. Whichever it is, its not good. But dont be too keen on being numbered among the majority, Mr. ONeill. Those who follow the majority are in for a big disappointment. Keep Matthew 7, 13-14 in mind: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
#09 You say that there are fewer devout Catholics today than there were in 1962. There is also more adultery, fornication, sodomy and drug addiction today than there was in 1962. Whats your point?
#10 Fordham University is a Roman Catholic University in much the same way that you, Mr. ONeill, are a Roman Catholic person. It started out Catholic, still calls itself Catholic, but is just playing a game. You say that a growing number of college-age students are starting to make the distinction between being spiritual and being religious. Im really not impressed, Mr. ONeill. I suggest you not be too impressed either! One of the selling points for being spiritual as opposed to being religious is that, if youre spiritual, you dont have to get your butt out of bed to get to Mass on Sunday morning and you NEVER have to go to Confession.
#11 No need for me to make any comment on this. Weve already covered this subject.
#12 Your suggested remedy for the ills of the Catholic Church is CHANGE. Ah yes! Good old change! Well, thats the same high level of intelligence that drove the successful candidate in the most recent presidential campaign. Yes, we can! Change you can believe in! But these are slogans for adolescents and other simple life forms, Mr. ONeill! Here is the slogan I prefer: JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER! You can find that in Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 8.
#13 Now you introduce one of the really old chestnuts,
viz. that women should be ordained to the priesthood and that
priests should be allowed to marry. I dont have time to
go into any detail but let me summarize it this way:
#14 I take it that you yourself are one of these people in todays world more educated than your ancestors, not relying on institutions, etc., etc. Lots of luck, Mr. ONeill! Once you have it all figured out, please let me know how I can go about raising myself from the dead. Im not educated enough to know how to do that on my own. So, for now, Im going to stick with Jesus and the Catholic Church.
#15 Maybe you can send me the names of some of those self-help books you know about that can lead me to have a substantial understanding of myself in relation to others. Ill reciprocate. Ill send you some of my favorite self-help books, books that have led me to have a substantial understanding of myself in relation to others and, in addition, have given me some pointers as to what I need to do to get my act together before I go for judgment. Some of the authors are Thomas Kempis, Francis deSales, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius Loyola, Alphonse Liguori, Therese Martin, Brother Lawrence, G.K. Chesterton, John XXIII, Fulton Sheen and a zillion others who were pretty good Catholics.
#16 I feel sorry for people who dont believe in black and white, but believe that everything in life is various shades of grey. They are doomed to live in constant ambiguity and uncertainty, where nothing is ever true or false or good or bad. They never know for sure which way is up. They are the perpetual neurotics. God help them!
#17 Do you have some spies at the Vatican who are feeding you this inside information about what the Vatican is concerned about? Does it make you feel important to think that you are privy to what goes on in the Vatican. Let me tell you, Mr. ONeill, not even Benedict XVI has figured out the Vatican yet and, if he hasnt, I doubt that you have!
#18 You say of yourself that, although not religious, you are spiritual by nature. Knock, knock, Mr. ONeill! What did I tell you about hubris? There you go again! And not only that, but you imply that you are one of those enlightened persons who are taking the inward journey. Well, bully for you! Make sure you dress appropriately for the trip, and please write if you get work! Perhaps, when you have time, you will write a book about your inward journey. Is it anything like a colonoscopy? I had one of those once --- twice actually. It was okay, but I prefer the outward journey --- towards the God Who is not me!
DO CHINESE PARISHES HAVE
I do not know the answer to this question,
but I do know the answers to some related questions:
Q When will the famous St. Vincent
dePaul Parishs Chinese Auction be held?
Brennan, Rev. Edmund J.
Connolly, Rev. Edward B.
Dougherty, Mary Beth
Drucker, Rev. James N.
Kilker, James R., Esq.
Richards, Wade O.
Squires, Mary Kay
|SAINT MATTHEW THE EVANGELIST PARISH (Minersville) is sponsoring a Bus Trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show on Thursday, 5 March. This years theme is Bella Italia. Cost is $50.00 and includes admission to the Flower Show and bus transportation. Bus leaves Quandels Lot at 8:00 am and returns to Minersville at 8:00 pm. Call Maria Quinn at 544-2340 for reservations.|
|SAINT MATTHEW THE EVANGELIST PARISH (Minersville) is sponsoring a Free Day in New York Bus Trip on Wednesday, 15 April. Cost is $35.00 and includes a light breakfast and a snack on the way home. Bus leaves Quandels Lot at 7:00 am and departs New York at 7:00 pm. Call Maria Quinn at 544-2340 for reservations.|
John Gregis did a very good deed for St. Vincent dePaul Parish in particular for the persons of both parishes who attended the meeting referred to at the top of this page. John used muscle power, persistence and an ice chopper in order to make the pavement walkable, so that people could enter the side door of the parish hall.
THE DENTIST IN POTTSVILLE WHOM
I HAD PATRONIZED FOR ABOUT TWENTY YEARS
closed up shop recently. So, I had to find a new dentist. I picked
one out, called his office and made an appointment. His secretary
said she would send me a form to fill out and she asked me to
mail it back before my first visit. One of the questions on the
form was a multiple choicer. The dentist wanted to know my marital
status. He wanted to know whether I was:
SINGLE or MARRIED or WIDOWED or DIVORCED or SEPARATED.
Whenever I come across this question on a form, I hesitate.
I am always tempted to write in: None of the above.
But, because I dont want to rock the boat unnecessarily, I just breathe a sigh of resignation and circle SINGLE.
But the fact is that I am not SINGLE.
A single man is a man who is uncommitted and is keeping his options open. He is legally and morally free to do those things that are appropriate for a man to do who hopes to obtain for himself a wife. A single man is a man who is open to marriage if the opportunity presents itself.
But that doesnt describe me.
I am a CELIBATE.
A celibate is not a single man as single man is commonly understood. A celibate is an unmarried man who has accepted the invitation offered by the Lord Jesus when He said: Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it." (Matthew 19,12)
To be a celibate implies not only that a man is committed not to marry, but that he is dedicated to abstinence and to perfect chastity.
I think Ill start a campaign to pass a law that would require that forms that solicit information about marital status include celibate on the list of options.
A MAN DIED
this past Sunday (1 February) who had been a member of the (former)
St. Joseph Parish, Pottsville. At the time of his death, he was
a member of St. Patrick Parish, Pottsville. His name is Joseph T. Cescon. I
knew Mr. Cescon well and had great respect for him. It had been
my privilege to be his pastor from 1986 to 2008.
My particular reason for referring to him in the parish bulletin is this: Mr. Cescon was an exemplar of an exquisite form of charity. Whenever a member of either St. Joseph Parish (Pottsville) or St. Francis deSales Parish (Mount Carbon) died, Mr. Cescon would promptly arrange for a Mass to be offered for the happy repose of that persons soul. He would do the same whenever he became aware of the death of a close relative of a member of either parish! In addition, he would arrange for Mass to be offered on the anniversaries of the deaths of his parents, his wife, his brother and other members of his family.
Mr. Cescon reminded me of that valiant general, Judas Maccabeus, who is praised in the Scriptures for taking up a collection among his men and sending it to the Jerusalem Temple, so that sacrifices might be offered up to God on behalf of soldiers who had been killed in battle. Judas is praised for this by the sacred writer in these words:
In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view, for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.(2Mac 43b-46)
I recommend that Mr. Cescons very excellent and noble custom be practiced by others.
WE WELCOME ALL OF GODS
I respectfully suggest that this is NOT the
DO NOT REACT VISIBLY OR AUDIBLY.
(Reactions that are invisible, inaudible and otherwise imperceptible are acceptable.)
Or, lets modify that a bit: If you do
need to react, let it be with a smile or, better yet, with a
God bless all the children of Girardville and surrounding communities, especially those who come to Mass here!
Now, if you suspect that we have a particular child in mind --- a boy about five years old --- you are correct. We do. He is most welcome here. Let him --- and his Mom and Dad --- know that he is.