Saturday, 20 June
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm - JEAN GOWER
by her family

Sunday, 21 June
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am - STEPHEN DYSZEL Sr.
by Tom and Mary Yesalavage

Monday, 22 June
St. Paulinus of Nola, bishop;
St. John Fisher, bishop, martyr;
St. Thomas More, martyr (OptMems)
08:00 am - Health and God's Blessings on MARIE
by Rose

Wednesday, 24 June
Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Sol)
by Thomasine Moran

Friday, 26 June
08:00 am - EDWARD WALSH
by the Walsh Trust

Saturday, 27 June
St. Cyril of Alexandria, bishop, doctor (OptMem)
by their sons: Francis, Jimmy and Brian
Vigil of Sunday
by Argia Yurenka

Sunday, 28 June
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by M/M Albert Amberlavage


Saturday, 20 June
Vigil of Sunday
by John and Barbara Petrousky

Sunday, 21 June
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by his family

Tuesday, 23 June
08:00 am - EDWARD LUSHIS
by Alice Chiaretti

Thursday, 25 June
07:00 pm - MARY WINKLER
by Jeanette and Helen Winkler

Saturday, 27 June
Vigil of Sunday
by their family

Sunday, 28 June
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am - In Thanksgiving to SAINT ANTHONY
by Rose D'Alfonso Popeck

stjos/stvdp: 06.21.2009 - 01

13 / 14 JUNE

Saint Joseph Parish
$2,205.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $111.00 from the second collection (plate); $132.00 from the Dues envelopes; $76.00 from the loose. Thank you.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish: $1,408.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $113.00 from the second collection (plate); $79.50 from the Catholic Home Missions envelopes; $161.00 from the Peter's Pence envelopes; $130.00 from the loose. Thank you.


Monday, 22 June
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

Wednesday, 24 June
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 25 June
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church


Monday, 22 June
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

Wednesday, 24 June
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church


FATHER CONNOLLY will be the retreat master for a group of young adults at the Malvern Retreat House this week from Thursday night (after the 7:00 pm Mass) until Saturday night (25 to 27 June). He is making arrangements for a priest to celebrate the parish Masses on Friday and Saturday.

stjos/stvdp: 06.21.2009 - 02

From: Michael & Julia Six
Sent: Saturday, June 20, 2009 8:14 AM
Subject: Mary Immaculate Center to close!

Dear Friends and Family,
I was informed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia this week that they intend to close Mary Immaculate Center after July 24, 2009 - just five weeks from now! Everyone is stunned. MIC has become a financial burden on the Archdiocese, it is located outside the territorial boundaries of the Archdiocese, and it is no longer fulfilling the purpose for which it was purchased (Spirituality Year for Seminarians). While I lament this action, it is understandable considering the current financial situation. I commend the Archdiocese for keeping MIC in operation for the past twenty years.
We are all hoping and praying for a good Catholic buyer for the property. It would be a crime to allow such a beautiful place to lie dormant and crumble. Those of you have experienced MIC know what I mean. For the rest of you, I encourage you to make a visit to Northampton, PA or a virtual visit through the website,
Please pray also for our staff, two of whom live on the property. You can well imagine their grief and worry at this time.
Is this the time to form the Friends of Mary Immaculate Center Foundation? Let me know what you think. The thought of closing the center down is already breaking my heart.
In the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,
Michael A. Six, Administrator

I am printing this email because I thought it would be of interest to more than a few persons. Perhaps you have visited Mary Immaculate Center. In my opinion, it is the most beautiful Catholic property in the Diocese of Allentown (although it is not and never has been the property of the Diocese of Allentown). For many years it belonged to the Congregation of the Mission, better known as the Vincentians. Its primary use was as a theological seminary, viz. Mary Immaculate Seminary. In addition to Vincentians, many diocesan priests were educated there. About twenty years ago, no longer able to maintain it as a seminary, the Vincentians sold the property to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which has been using the property as a center for spiritual and educational purposes.
Are there any Catholic billionaires out there who wouldn't mind parting with a few measly million dollars in order to purchase this property and turn it over to the Diocese of Allentown? It would make a nice gift for the new Bishop-elect!

Retreat Opportunity! Why not treat yourself to A Time Apart with Jesus? Grow in Love with the Lord and our Catholic Faith. Learn about Our Lady's Missionaries of the Eucharist.
When: Friday evening, 10 July, to Sunday noon, 12 July 2009
Where: National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA.
In addition to opportunities for daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration, conferences will be offered on Prayer, Liturgy of the Hours, Prayer with Sacred Scripture, Catholic Spirituality, and How to Live the Universal Call to Holiness in Our Culture. For those interested in the spiritual life and having a structured prayer life, please contact Our Lady's Missionaries of the Eucharist (610-582-3333;

stjos/stvdp: 06.21.2009- 03


Note: Like all letters printed in "We Share The Mail", this one is authentic. I always prefer that letters carry the name of the sender but, because the writer of this letter is obviously sincere and simply wants an authentic answer to a serious question and because the matter is of general interest, I am happy to answer it in the bulletin.

Father Connolly,
I am writing this letter to you because I know you will give me the honest answer. I am from a town north of the mountain and I would like an answer to the question "Can a practicing Catholic join the Masonic Lodge?" I have been approached several times to join, being told that Catholics can join. I read obituaries in newspapers of Catholics (holding) membership. However, I am not sure if Catholics can join. Years ago, I thought Catholics were forbidden to join by threat of excommunication. Did Vatican Two change this? Does Pope Benedict XVI have a statement about this? Your educated and trusted answer will be greatly appreciated and I will follow your advice. Thank you.
Practicing Catholic

Dear Practicing Catholic:
Let me give you an answer that is short and to the point and then I'll back up and give an extended answer:
Here is the short answer: No, a Catholic absolutely may not join the Freemasons and remain in good standing in the Catholic Church. Catholics are forbidden by the Church to join the Masons. If a Catholic, knowing that the Church prohibits membership in the Masons, were to join anyway and were to do so willingly and not under duress, he would certainly be committing a mortal sin. If someone tells you otherwise - and someone probably has already told you otherwise - that person does not know what he is talking about.
Feel free to stop reading here, if you wish. But you might want to read some more.
Here is an extended answer: Freemasonry is a religion, a false religion. Members of the Masons will tell you that Freemasonry is not a religion, that it is simply a lodge or a fraternity or a fellowship and that it respects all religions and doesn't interfere with anyone's religion and that you can choose to believe or not believe any religion you want and you can still be a Mason and that many of their members are very active in their churches and that there are many Protestant ministers who are Masons. All of this is very interesting but irrelevant. I refer you to the Two Rules:

Rule #1: Freemasonry is a religion, a false religion.
Rule #2: If anyone tells you that Freemasonry is not a religion, please refer back to Rule #1.

Masons will often point out to prospective members that the Freemasons do a great deal of charitable work. They will point in particular to the well-known charitable work done by the Shriners (a subdivision of the Freemasons) on behalf of crippled children. We commend all charitable work done everywhere by everyone, certainly including the good work done by the Shriners. However, the fact that a certain organization does charitable work does not authorize a Catholic to seek membership in that organization. Presbyterians, Lutherans, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, Jews - all of these groups do charitable work, but a Catholic cannot (logically) seek to become a member of any of these groups and, at the same time, retain his good standing in the Catholic Church. We've all been told that Mussolini made the trains run on time (and let's give him all the credit in the world) but that doesn't justify our signing up to join the Black Shirts.

You mention that you have read obituaries in which the deceased is identified both as a Catholic and as a Mason. I have had to deal with this only once in my life as a priest. (This was many years ago.) I was totally unaware that the deceased was a Mason until I arrived at the funeral parlor to say the Rosary on the night before the funeral Mass was scheduled. My way of handling this difficult situation was simply to say to myself: It's too late now to make an issue of this! I'm not about to upset the widow and children by raising the issue of the incompatibility of the dual membership of the deceased. I'm going to presume that the deceased was in a state of simple (i.e. non-culpable) ignorance and just commend it all to God. So, I made the prudential decision to keep my mouth shut. You win some, you lose some and some are rained out! It was a reminder to me that we priests are much to blame for not instructing the people about the teaching of the Church in regard to membership in the Freemasons.
If, however, I had a parishioner who was a Mason (this is a hypothetical situation, not a real one, as far as I know) and if I were aware of it, I would tell him that he was obliged to resign from the Masons. If he refused to resign, I would decline to give him Holy Communion. If he died without repentance, I would consider myself obliged in conscience to decline to have a public Catholic funeral for him. Before finalizing this decision, I would, of course, consult with the Bishop and be guided by his directions in the matter.

You mention that "years ago" a Catholic incurred excommunication for joining the Masons but that this seems now not to be the case. You are correct. You ask whether the Second Vatican Council changed this. No, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) did not change it. The change came in 1983, when the Church issued a revised Code of Canon Law. In an attempt to put a smiley face on Canon Law, the Church decided to cut down on the number of offenses that incurred the penalty of excommunication. So, the Church decided not to impose excommunication on Catholics who join the Masons, but to impose a lesser penalty. Here's what the Church said in 1983 (using my own words): "Don't join the Masons! But, if you do, we won't excommunicate you the way we used to. We just won't let you receive Holy Communion." Well, so much for being a nice guy! Here is what some people thought the Church said: "Go ahead and join the Masons if you want to. We won't excommunicate you!" As the warden said to Cool Hand Luke: "What we have here is … failure to communicate!" I think that, back in 1983, the Church was thinking, "We'll get more flies with honey than with vinegar." In retrospect, there is a lot to be said for vinegar.

You asked whether Pope Benedict XVI has issued any statement on the matter of Catholics joining the Masons. As a matter of fact, he has. However, it was back in his pre-Pope days, when he was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. In 1983, while Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he issued the following Declaration after Pope John Paul II approved it and ordered it to be published.
Read it and tell me if it leaves any ambiguities whatsoever.
Fr. Edward B. Connolly

stjos/stvdp: 06.21.2009 - 04


Declaration On Masonic Associations
Issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on November 26, 1983.

It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church's decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous code.
This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance is due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.

Therefore the Church's negative judgment in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.
It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on February 17, 1981 (cf. AAS 73 [1981] pp. 240-241).

In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation.
Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, November 26, 1983.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect
Jerome Hamer, OP, Titular Archbishop of Loria, Secretary

stjos/stvdp: 06.21.2009 -05



 I would have guessed 20.


Did we elect these people?


'We had no idea anyone was buried there.'


Please, anyone, if you've seen this man . .









What goes around comes around!


I didn't know we could choose.


What are the odds? 


Civil War planes?
Let me know how that works out.


Ok, that's just mean.


This one says it all.


I'm saying GREAT paint job.

stjos/stvdp: 06.21.2009 - 06


Background: Lisa is a young woman who was my "Saturday office girl" for a while when I was pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Pottsville. She has gone on to bigger and better things now. She is a doctor living in Louisiana and married to a guy named Joe.

From: Lisa XXXXX
Sent: Friday, 12 June, 2009 11:50 PM
Subject: You're on TV !!!

Hey Father Connolly!!!!!
Guess what?!?! Joe and I just finished watching Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup and began flipping through channels... and there you were!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We don't have cable, therefore no EWTN. But because Louisiana is super Catholic, 3 of our 25 stations are Catholic stations... and you're currently on one of them!!!!!! So crazy to see a bit of Pottsville (I guess Girardville now) down here in little ol' Baton Rouge! I love it! You're having a conversation with a gentleman named Anthony Buono. Father Groeschel is now speaking as your "special guest"... this is so cool :) Ah! I feel like I'm getting a little touch of home despite being so far away...
thank you :)
I hope you're having a lovely weekend,

Dear Lisa:
Let me tell you how it happened: EWTN held a nationwide contest to find the best-looking priest in the USA, to put him on TV. Needless to say, I won. So, I went down to Alabama and made some TV programs with Anthony Buono. It was fun. However, I am still the same shy, modest, humble, unassuming, aw-shucks, small-town priest you remember from Pottsville. Thanks for watching. Come and visit me in Girardville. Nice town. Great people.
My kindest regards to Joe. Tell him to be nice to you.
Love -

This is the name commonly given to a condition which can be described as "being allergic to wheat and to wheat products". It is a condition of "gluten intolerance". Persons who have this condition often suffer severe pain if they ingest gluten. Catholics who have this condition might find that receiving Holy Communion is problematic because of the gluten content in the host (which is always made from wheat flour). If there is anyone in our two parishes who has this condition and if the reception of Holy Communion causes you any unpleasant side effects, please let Fr. Connolly know about it. He can do one of two things to resolve the dilemma: (a) give you Communion under the form of the wine alone: (b) give you Communion in the customary way but using an altar bread that is certified "low gluten". I have a small supply of these altar breads. If I know that someone (whom I can identify) who needs to avoid gluten, will be coming to Communion, I will make certain that I consecrate one of these specially prepared altar breads. I will do this in such a way as to keep this particular altar bread (host) separate and apart from the regular hosts.

We invoke God's blessings on parishioner EDWARD BURNS, who was recently appointed to the post of Mayor of Girardville, in order to fill out the unexpired portion of his predecessor's term.
We wish him every success.
May the borough benefit from his leadership.
May he keep both his sanity and his sense of humor.
"Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown!" (Shakespeare)
Congratulations, Mayor Burns!

stjos/stvdp: 06.14.2009 - 07


Oliver and Marjorie Barres
and their two daughters, Margaret and Mary,

were received into full communion with the Catholic Church on the Vigil of Pentecost in 1955. This photo was taken at about that time. It appears on the back cover of the hardback edition of Oliver's book: One Shepherd, One Flock, which is his spiritual diary leading up to his decision to enter the Catholic Church. Prior to their conversion, Oliver and Marjorie were ordained ministers in the Congregational Church.
They went on to have six children, the fifth of whom, born in 1960, is Msgr. John Oliver Barres.
Oliver and Marjorie live in Bethlehem PA. God willing, they will live to see their son, John Oliver, ordained a bishop and installed as Bishop of Allentown on 30 July 2009.
We invoke God's blessings on this couple and on all their family. We are grateful that they did not stop at two.


            stjos/stvdp: 06.21.2009 - 08                      


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