Saturday, 07 February
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — JUNE ANN PELLEGRINO (1st anniversary)
by Eileen Rowland

Sunday, 08 February
5th Sunday of Ordinary Time
by Joan McCarthy

Monday, 09 February
by Jean Weist

Wednesday, 11 February
Our Lady of Lourdes (OptMem)
by Walter Karpyn

Friday, 13 February
by Thomas Brennan Jr.

Saturday, 14 February
St. Cyril, monk, and St. Methodius, bishop (OblMem)
by the Jack McCarthy family
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — THOMAS P. O’CONNOR
by Carmen and Kathy Forke

Sunday, 15 February
6th Sunday of Ordinary Time
by Doreen Wiley


Saturday, 07 February
Vigil of Sunday
by Aunt Sharon and Uncle Kelly and family

Sunday, 08 February
5th Sunday of Ordinary Time
by the HNS

Tuesday, 10 February
St. Scholastica, virgin (OptMem)
08:00 am — God’s Blessings and Good Health: JODI PALERINO BAKLEY
by her family

Thursday, 12 February
07:00 pm — HAROLD BURNS
by his wife, Mary

Saturday, 14 February
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — JOHN LIPSHULTZ and son, JOHN
by Anna Chikotas

Sunday, 15 February
6th Sunday of Ordinary Time
by Betty Fulmer

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 01

31 January / 01 February

Saint Joseph Parish:
$932.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $101.00 from the second collection (plate); $315.00 from the Dues envelopes; $65.00 from the Catholic Relief envelopes; $144.00 from the loose. Thank you.

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 .


Wednesday, 11 February
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 12 February
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 13 February
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

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 02


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 wasn’t 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!
Eventually, I saw lights flashing and policemen buzzing around and I saw something that caught my attention. There was a booth set up on the side of the road, with one or more policemen seated inside the booth. Then I saw a sign that read as follows:
DUI: SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT. Then it dawned on me what this was all about. I had heard about these DUI checkpoints, but had never come across one.
Little by little, as the cars inched forward, an officer would signal the driver to stop and to roll down the window. Finally, it came my turn to stop. I did so and pushed the button to open the window. The policeman stuck his head into the car and greeted me enthusiastically. He put his face unusually close to mine. I thought, “Gee! What a friendly cop!” Then he asked me how I was doing. I thought it was awfully kind of him to be concerned for the state of my health. So, I told him that I was doing “reasonably well, thank you for asking”. I was going to go into some more detail on my medical history, but, all of a sudden, he seemed to lose interest. Short attention span, I guess. He handed me a leaflet that informed me that the Law does not look with favor upon persons who drive while under the affluence of incohol. I was about to explain to him that I was in total agreement with the leaflet and that I commend him on his zeal and that, as for myself, I never, never, never drink and drive and that I love and respect the United States of America the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Borough of Schuylkill Haven and the Borough of Cressona and all persons of good will. But he didn’t seem interested in further conversation. He said, “Okay, buddy! Have a good evening!” I wanted to assure him: (a) that I had already had a good evening and (b) that I would do my utmost to see to it that the rest of the evening would also be good. But, already, he was conversing with the driver of the car behind me. So, off I went into the night, headed for home sweet home in the Ville of Girard and saying to myself,
“Gee, this is the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long time! I think I’ll write it up for the bulletin”.

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 03


a former member of St. Vincent dePaul Parish, died on Sunday, 1 February, in Jersey Shore PA.
Born on 4 July 1916, she was 92 years old.
She is one of the seven children of the late Felix and Eva (Sakatauskas) Kastinavage.
On 4 November 1937, she was married to Vincent Cuthie at Annunciation BVM Church, Frackville, in the presence of Father Stanley Norbutas.
At the time of Vincent’s death in December of 1981, they had been married for 44 years.
All six of Frances’s brothers and sisters are deceased: George Kastinavage; Peter Kastinavage; Charles Kastinavage; Kris Kastinavage; Margaret Kastinavage; (Sister) Justine Kastinavage.
Frances and Vincent have three children: Vincent Cuthie; Leon Cuthie; Mary Louise Cuthie Cannon.
There are five grandchildren: Richard Cuthie; Mark Cuthie; Charles V. Cannon; Frank W. Cannon; Francine M. Cannon.
There are three great-grandchildren: Gage A. Riggle; Sadie O. Cannon; Owen W. Cannon.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Vincent dePaul Church on Saturday, 7 February. The interment took place in the parish cemetery.

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.
Fr. STEPHEN F. X. FLYNN, 80 years old, pastor emeritus of Sacred Heart Parish, Bath (PA), died on Sunday 1 February.
Fr. JOSEPH A. BARNES, 77 years old, pastor emeritus of Immaculate Conception Parish, Douglassville (PA), died on Monday, 2 February. It is possible that some St. Joseph parishioners remember Fr. Barnes. He was an assistant pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Girardville, from 1957 to 1959. Ordained to the priesthood in 1957, this was his first assignment.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Animae eorum, et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen

ASTUTE READERS of this bulletin will notice that Fr. Drucker’s name has been added to the “masthead” of the bulletin (see page one).
Some will ask, “Why are you just getting around to putting his name on the masthead now? Why hasn’t 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!


stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 04

The following Letter to the Editor appeared on page B6 of the Hazleton Standard-Speaker on Tuesday, 3 February 2009.
I am re-printing it as it appeared, but with two exceptions: (a) I have corrected a good many (but not all) of the misspellings and grammatical errors; (b) I have taken the liberty of inserting paragraph numbers into the text, to make it easier for the readers of this bulletin to relate my commentary (following page) to the text of the letter.

Catholic Church too resistant to change
#01 — I am writing this in response to the number of letters to the editor about the recent Roman Catholic Church closings. It’s no surprise that the Roman Catholic Church has its difficulties. It’s mostly due to a drastic drop in vocations, lower church attendance, and lack of donations. This has resulted in a growing number of church closings, not just in the United States but globally.

#02 — I was raised Roman Catholic but I haven’t 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 Church’s 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 it’s 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 today’s 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 Church’s 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 Church’s hierarchy. The data reveal that, unless drastic changes are made soon, the Catholic Church as we know it won’t be around 30 years from now.

#13 — Men and women are equal, and the Church’s 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 today’s 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 today’s culture it has become a healthy trend among the youth.

Thomas F. O’Neill

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 05


My comments, paragraph by tedious paragraph!

#01 — Okay, no problem with that paragraph!

#02 — Uh, oh! Big problem with that paragraph, Mr. O’Neill!
(a) If you have not been practicing the Catholic Faith for the past 19 years, what in the world makes you think that we should give a hoot for your opinion on matters of the Catholic Faith? You’re like a guy who walks out on his wife and, after nineteen years of unfaithfulness and non-support, starts writing letters to newspapers about how the old lady should get her act together! You suffer from what is known as hubris. If you don’t know what hubris is, go look it up!
(b) You say that you “feel that you have grown in a more spiritual direction”. Good grief, Mr. O’Neill! What a crock! I strongly suggest that you stop feeling and start thinking. Better yet, start praying and start reading! Read what? For starters, read the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. And let me point out to you that, generally speaking, people who think of themselves as “spiritual” are a royal pain in the derriere! Did you know that Satan just loves to tempt people toward “the spiritual”. He himself is a pure spirit, you know, and quite fastidious. He despises the physical. He holds the Son of God in contempt for having made the decision to become human! Humans are so, so — how shall we put it? — so physical! When you say that you are “spiritual” as opposed to “religious”, you show that you have fallen for the granddaddy of all con games. Like the Devil himself, you despise the Catholic Church and, in despising her, you despise the sacraments and the Body of Christ. Do you know what you are, Mr. O’Neill? You are a Dualist! For God’s sake, do you realize the implications of that, Mr. O’Neill? You used to be a nice Catholic boy from Shenandoah and now you have become a cotton-pickin’ Gnostic, for crying out loud!

#03 — Okay, no problem!

#04 — I don’t have any data at hand to refute this assertion, so I’ll 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 Mary’s (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 it’s 20% or 36%? No, I don’t. Whichever it is, it’s not good. But don’t be too keen on being numbered among the majority, Mr. O’Neill. 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. What’s your point?

#10 — Fordham University is “a Roman Catholic University” in much the same way that you, Mr. O’Neill, 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”. I’m really not impressed, Mr. O’Neill. I suggest you not be too impressed either! One of the selling points for being “spiritual” as opposed to being “religious” is that, if you’re spiritual, you don’t 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. We’ve already covered this subject.

#12 — Your suggested remedy for the ills of the Catholic Church is “CHANGE”. Ah yes! Good old change! Well, that’s 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. O’Neill! 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 don’t have time to go into any detail but let me summarize it this way:
(a) It is within the realm of possibility that the Church will decide to open the priesthood to married men. It has already done so in a limited way. However, the Church has never allowed priests to get married. I would say that it is most extraordinarily unlikely that the Church will ever allow priests to get married and to continue to function as priests and I think it is rather unlikely that the Church in the Latin Rite will open the priesthood to married men, except in special circumstances.
(b) It is not even remotely within the realm of possibility that the Catholic Church will ever ordain women to the priesthood. It is a metaphysical impossibility. The Catholic Church would cease to be the Church of Jesus Christ if she ever ordained women to the priesthood. It is a dogma infallibly pronounced by the papal magisterium that only men can be ordained to the priesthood. It cannot be “changed by some future pope”. Any pope who tried to change it would immediately cease to be pope! Can I possibly make it any plainer than that? If any Catholic can’t live with that, let him or her go join the Episcopalians or some other pretend church.

#14 — I take it that you yourself are one of these “people in today’s world” more educated than your ancestors, not relying on institutions, etc., etc. Lots of luck, Mr. O’Neill! Once you have it all figured out, please let me know how I can go about raising myself from the dead. I’m not educated enough to know how to do that on my own. So, for now, I’m 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. I’ll reciprocate. I’ll 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 don’t 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. O’Neill, not even Benedict XVI has figured out “the Vatican” yet and, if he hasn’t, I doubt that you have!

#18 — You say of yourself that, although not religious, you are “spiritual by nature”. Knock, knock, Mr. O’Neill! 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!

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 06

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 Parish’s Chinese Auction be held?
A — Sunday, 22 February 2009.
Q — Where will it be held?
A — In the St. Vincent dePaul Parish Hall.
Q — What time?
A — Doors will open at 12:00 noon.
Q — How can I help?
A — You can purchase a packet of tickets for $15.00 and donate three prizes.
Q — What else can I do?
A — You can donate some baked goods on the day of the event or the day before.
Q — Anything else?
A — If you are a person who does crafts, you can donate some of your work to the “crafts table”.
Q — Is there some person I can call to answer my questions about the Auction?
A — You’re always welcome to call Fr. Connolly, but if you prefer to speak with a grown-up, you would do better to call Nancy Kennedy at 570.276.6411.

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 07

THE FOLLOWING PERSONS ATTENDED the “joint parish meeting” held on 4 February in the St. Vincent dePaul Parish Hall. They are:
Brennan, Rev. Edmund J.
Connell, Jim
Connell, Marilyn
Connolly, Rev. Edward B.
Dando, Jean
Dougherty, Mary Beth
Drucker, Rev. James N.
Gower, Joni
Gower, Sharon
Gregis, John
Gudonis, Theresa
Jacavage, Anne
Kilker, James R., Esq.
 Majikas, John
McCarthy, John
McCarthy, Rose
Miller, Mary
Neary, Jim
Neary, Teresa
Richards, Wade O.
Sherman, Charles
Squires, Mary Kay
Vabolis, Ann
Vevasis, Bernadette
Whitecavage, Annetta
Yesalavage, Thomas

SAINT MATTHEW THE EVANGELIST PARISH (Minersville) is sponsoring a Bus Trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show on Thursday, 5 March. This year’s theme is “Bella Italia”. Cost is $50.00 and includes admission to the Flower Show and bus transportation. Bus leaves Quandel’s 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 Quandel’s Lot at 7:00 am and departs New York at 7:00 pm. Call Maria Quinn at 544-2340 for reservations.

Joe Tinari did a very good deed for St. Joseph parishioners by removing a lot of the gunky ice and snow from the angle-parking area in front of the church and rectory. It makes a big difference!

Joe is an ice man and a nice man!

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.

John is also an ice man and a nice man!

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 08

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:
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 don’t want to rock the boat unnecessarily, I just breathe a sigh of resignation and circle
But the fact is that I am not
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 doesn’t describe me.
I am a
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 I’ll 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 person’s 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. Cescon’s “very excellent and noble” custom be practiced by others.

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 09

to Mass at St. Joseph Church and at St. Vincent dePaul Church.
Some of God’s children have the condition known as AUTISM.
This condition makes it difficult — at times impossible — for them to sit still and be perfectly quiet. So, if a little boy or girl who is autistic should happen to come to Mass with his or her Mom and / or Dad and should happen not to be a model of propriety while at Mass, what is the proper way for you and me to react? Should we give the child “the look”? You know what I mean. I mean the look that says:

“What’s wrong with you, little boy? Can’t you see you’re creating a ruckus? Why don’t you behave? I always behaved myself when I was your age! Why doesn’t your mother take you home? Why did she bring you here in the first place?”

I respectfully suggest that this is NOT the appropriate reaction.
Not at all!
Not by a country mile!
The appropriate reaction is NO reaction.
This, of course, requires self control.
Ironically, adults who lack this kind of self-control wind up criticizing little kids who lack self-control!
Kind of funny, isn’t it?
So, what we are saying is this:

If a child acts up in church,

(Reactions that are invisible, inaudible and otherwise imperceptible are acceptable.)

Or, let’s modify that a bit: If you do need to react, let it be with a smile or, better yet, with a prayer.
It is not easy being the mother, father or person in charge of a restless child, especially if the restless child is coping with some sort of autistic condition.

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.

stjos/stvdp: 02.08.2009 - 10




 StJoseph Mass Schedule | StVincent Mass Schedule

Sacrament of Penance | Related Links

Web Site designed, donated & maintained by BackDoor Web Design

Disclaimer and Terms of Use