Saturday, 05 September
Vigil of Sunday
by Alice Walaconis Chiaretti

Sunday, 06 September
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — ELLIE BOXER (48th anniversary)
by Tom and Joni Gower

Monday, 07 September
by Dennis and Kelly Devine

Wednesday, 09 September
St. Peter Claver, priest (OblMem)
08:00 am — MICKEY and DAUNE DEVINE
by Dennis and Kelly Devine

Friday, 11 September
by CDA, Court St. Cecilia #1529

Saturday, 12 September
Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary (OptMem)
by Kevin Pinto
Vigil of Sunday
by his wife, Argia

Sunday, 13 September
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — JAMES O’DONNELL (25th anniversary)
by Margaret O’Donnell


Saturday, 05 September
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — MARY USIC
by Jean Majikas and family

Sunday, 06 September
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — DAVID G. and BASTINA (Folino) NICASTRO
by Ralph and Debbie Chiplonia

Tuesday, 08 September
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Fst)
08:00 am — MONA WOLFGANG
by Peter and Violet Smolock

Thursday, 10 September
by Alice Walaconis Chiaretti

Saturday, 12 September
Vigil of Sunday
by Anna Chikotas

Sunday, 13 September
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by the HNS

stjos/stvdp: 09.06.2009 - 01

29 / 30 AUGUST

Saint Joseph Parish
Parish receipts: $1,071.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $128.00 from the second collection (plate); $16.00 from the Dues envelopes; $95.00 from the Summer Banks envelopes; $117.00 from the loose. Total: $1,427.00
Non-parish receipts: $-0-
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the parish receipts ($1,427.00) 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 $334.26 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Parish receipts: $915.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $102.00 from the second collection (plate); $61.00 from the loose. Total: $1,078.00.
Non-parish receipts: $ 0 –
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the parish receipts ($1,078.00) 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 $375.29 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Thursday, 10 September
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 10 September
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 11 September
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

Please note that, in addition to the times scheduled, the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) is available to anyone who requests it at almost any time. Just call the Rectory or tap Fr. Connolly on the shoulder and say, “I’d like to go to Confession”. I will do my best to accommodate your request.


Thursday, 10 September
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 11 September
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel


Whenever I pass by the church, I stop to make a visit,
so that, someday, when they carry me in, the Lord won’t say, “Who is it?

stjos/stvdp: 09.06.2009 - 02

Sunday, 20 September
Father Sheridan Room, St. Joseph Parish
Grades 3 to 8 (girls):
Grades 3 to 6 (boys):
Insurance charge is $25.00 per child.
Contact: Dominic Grasso (276-1683) or Diane Whalen (874-1392)
HOLY NAME SOCIETY (StVdPPar): Customarily, there are meetings each second Sunday of the month. Please note that there will not be a meeting this coming Sunday (13 Sept).
I KNOW A FAMILY where there was a great deal of argument and dissension among the members: husband, wife, adult son, adult daughter. They could never see eye to eye. So, they came up with a solution. Each one of them owned a car: a Chevy, a Ford, a Toyota and a Volkswagen. It was expensive to own four cars, what with insurance and all that. So they decided to buy one car and share it. They settled on a Honda. Now, their family life is beautiful and harmonious. They are all of one accord.


“With your whole heart honor your father;
your mother’s birthpangs forget not.
Remember, of these parents you were born;
what can you give them for all they gave you?”

Sirach 7, 27-28

This particular Scripture passage came to mind recently when a gentleman in the parish told me that he was born on 7 September. He noted, with a touch of humor, that 7 Sept is Labor Day this year. Not only that, but the day on which he was born was also Labor Day. We were in agreement that there was a certain appropriateness to being born on Labor Day.
Bottom line: Regardless of the day on which we were born, we would do well to remember with gratitude the birthpangs of our mothers. If they are deceased, we should pray for them. If they are still breathing air, we should be kind to them --- and pray for them too.

If you can possibly come to Mass that day,
it would mean a lot to her.
It would make her happy.
Making one’s Mother happy has a ripple effect.
It redounds to one’s own advantage.
And, when Mary is happy, Jesus is happy.
Jesus is very much attached to His Mother,
don’t you know?
He even turns water into wine for people
who ask His Mother to intercede with Him for them.

stjos/stvdp: 09.06.2009- 03

a member of St. Joseph Parish, died on Thursday, 03 September.
Born on 04 September 1981, she died just one day prior to her 28th birthday. Her death was not anticipated.
Susan is the daughter of Gary E. and Rita (Shemonis) Romanot.
She has a brother: Gary J. Romanot.
She was baptized on 04 October 1981 by Fr. Gillespie in St. Joseph Church.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial for Susan at St. Joseph Church at 11:00 am on Wednesday, 09 September. There will be a viewing from 8:30 to 10:30 am in the McDonald Funeral Home.
The interment will take place in the St. Joseph Parish Cemetery, Fountain Springs.
Whenever there is the death of a young person, our hearts go out to the bereaved parents and other family members.
This is a difficult time for the Romanot family. May our gracious God and Father sustain them in the time of their grief.

Eternal rest grant unto Susan, 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

THE HEALTH CARE DEBATE CONTINUES. I am well aware of the fact that, whenever I make a comment that implies some criticism of President Obama and / or of some Democratic politicians, there are some parishioners whose feathers get ruffled. This is especially true in Girardville, which has a long and proud tradition of identifying with the Democratic Party.
Let me tell you something: I come from a long line of Irish Catholic Democrats. When I was a child, FDR sat at the right hand of the Father as far as my parents and other distinguished elders were concerned. (There is a bit of Irish hyperbole in my saying that, but you know what I mean.)
I was politically aware from a very young age. The first time I ever got into a schoolyard fight was this: I was ten years old. It was 1948. Harry Truman, the Democratic incumbent, was running against Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican challenger. A boy came up to me in the schoolyard and said — without so much as a “how do you do?” — “Are you for Dewey or are you for Truman?” I said, without hesitation and without fear, “I’m for Truman!” The kid sucker-punched me in the face. I fell to the ground, got up again and returned the punch. We both wound up on the ground and punched each other until the Sister separated us and led us, much chastised, into the classroom. I mention this because I want people to know that, at a tender age, yours truly shed blood for Harry Truman! I bear the wounds proudly! When Adlai Stevenson ran against Dwight Eisenhower (twice), I mocked those who said, “We like Ike” by countering with, “We need Adlai badly”. When JFK was assassinated, I shed copious tears. I loved Bobby and shed more tears when he was assassinated. I tell you these things so that you know that the Democratic Party was my first love as far as politics is concerned. But I want everyone to know that my conscience is captive to God and to His Holy Catholic Church and when I tell you that President Obama is not to be trusted when he says that his proposed health-care bill does not include provisions for bumping off unborn children and persons who are sick and elderly, I tell you the God’s honest truth. Obama did not die for my sins. I owe him nothing. I ask all Democrats (and Republicans and Independents) who have consciences to face the plain truth. I beg God to see to it that the current Obama healthcare-reform bill go down to glorious defeat. We must love God and the Truth and the Babies and our Elders more than we love any political party.

stjos/stvdp: 09.06.2009 - 04

BISHOP JOSEPH E. MARTINO offered his resignation as Bishop of Scranton to Pope Benedict XVI this past June, although this fact was not made public at that time. The Pope has now accepted the offer of resignation and, so, Bishop Martino is now “the retired Bishop of Scranton”. This became official on Monday, 31 August. A news conference was held. Anyone who would like to see the conference in its entirety can do so by going to Scroll down to the news conference and download it. It is worth watching. It takes about 39 minutes.
Along with many others who respect and admire Bishop Martino, I am sad to see him take leave. He is a good and holy man and has been a stalwart champion of the pro-life movement.
He said that his resignation was prompted by stress and insomnia. No one doubts that this is the truth. He had a tough row to hoe as Bishop of a diocese that, like our own Diocese of Allentown, has been undergoing consolidations and closures of parishes and schools. It has taken its toll on the Bishop.
I sometimes wonder how Bishop Cullen endured it all. He probably has a switch in his head that enables him to “just turn everything off” before going to bed at night. This is a wonderful switch to have. Apparently, Bishop Martino did not come equipped with such a turn-off switch.
All of us are born with certain temperaments. Apart from a few minor adjustments that it is possible to make, we are the way we are. Some persons are capable of enduring stressful situations and some are not. Some persons think nothing of diving off cliffs into deep water and swimming with sharks. For others, this is the stuff of bad dreams. Some persons can endure prolonged noise. Others cannot. We are not called upon to judge people for having temperaments that are different from our own and we do well not to do so.
Bishop Martino is a self-confessed bookworm. I think that, on the scale between extroversion and introversion, he leans considerably more toward the latter.
Julius Caesar (in the Shakespearean play of the same name) made this insightful observation in regard to Cassius (one of the conspirators and soon-to-be assassins):

Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

Act I, Scene ii

(One reason I remember this line is that I played the role of Cassius when I was in college. I had a lean and hungry look about me in those days, but not anymore!)
Perhaps, when Pope Benedict is choosing a bishop to head a diocese where he foresees that there will be a need for the new bishop to break some eggs to make some omelets, he should cast his eyes around on those auxiliary bishops (or priests) who are “fat, sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o’nights”.
Bishop Martino is 63 years old — relatively young as bishops go. We hope and pray that, after he has had a chance to catch his breath and get some much needed rest, he will continue to render valuable service to the Church as pastor, teacher and bishop.
May God bless His good and faithful servant and keep him in His love.
We thank Bishop Martino for his selfless and courageous leadership

Couples need quiet time to nourish a healthy relationship. Spend quality time together at a Marriage Encounter.
The next weekend is 18 – 20 September at Mariawald Retreat Center in Shillington. Call 1-800-787-7679 or go on-line at for more information.
YOU MAY HAVE HEARD that there are some changes coming in the prayers of the Mass. Without going into any detail right now, I would like to offer my observation (for what it is worth): The changes are a positive step in the right direction. I applaud the changes. They have not been officially announced yet, let alone implemented. I suggest that, when the announcement is made and the changes implemented, you welcome them. To a great extent, these changes are an attempt to get back to what we should have been doing all along. If you are interested in checking out these changes, I suggest you tap into the following website:

stjos/stvdp: 09.06.2009 -05


a member of St. Vincent dePaul Parish, died on Sunday, 30 August.
Born on 19 March 1919, she was 90 years old.
She is one of seven children of the late Metro and Anna (Roback) Harkaway.
Her brothers and sisters are: Julia Harkaway Miller (deceased); Eva Harkaway Ruman (deceased); Nicholas Harkaway (deceased); John Harkaway (deceased); Stephen Harkaway (deceased); Olga Harkaway Rio.
She was baptized on 30 March 1919 by Fr. B. Zoldan at the St. John Greek Catholic Church, Maizeville.
Mary was married to Arthur D. Engle, who died in 1959.
Mary has three sons: Robert Henning (deceased); Ronald J. Henning; Arthur D. Engle.
She has two grandchildren: Ronald Henning and Colleen Engle Shearn.
She has two great-grandchildren: Nicole Henning and Ryan Henning.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Vincent dePaul Church on Wednesday, 2 September, at 11:00 am. There was a viewing in the church prior to the Mass. The interment took place in Christ Church Cemetery, Fountain Springs.

Eternal rest grant unto Mary, 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.

BISHOP JOHN O. BARRES will make a pastoral visit to Schuylkill County on Wednesday, 30 September. He will offer Mass in St. Patrick Church, 4th and Mahantongo Streets, Pottsville, at 7:00 pm.
All of the people of Schuylkill County are cordially invited and encouraged to attend. There are no tickets needed for admission. First come, first seated. After the Mass, there will be a reception with light refreshments in the Parish Center. The Bishop will be happy to greet those who come to the reception.
Parking will be available in the parish parking lots in front of and in back of the church. Additional parking will be available in the City Parking Garage at 2nd and Mahantongo Streets. Members of all parish choirs are invited to participate in the choir for the Mass. Please see your pastor for information.

                 stjos/stvdp: 09.06.2009 - 06

It was hard to miss it. I’m referring to the story on the front page of the 1 September edition of the Pottsville Republican. A former employee of a late and lamented high school of the Diocese of Allentown is suing the Diocese for two hundred thousand dollars. She alleges: (a) that she was discriminated against when it came to being considered for alternate employment when the school went south; (b) that, while employed there, she was sometimes addressed as “Toots” and “Sweetheart” by one or more of the priests who worked at the school and was sometimes offered car rides and dinner.
Now, let me tell you the God’s-honest truth: All I know about this is what I read in the newspaper. I know nothing more. I am in a state of total, blessed and blissful ignorance about what actually transpired, except for what I have recounted here. No one could possibly know less about it than I do. I rejoice in my ignorance about this matter. As the late Al Capone is reputed to have said when someone suggested that he extend his business activities into Canada: “Canada? I don’t even know what street Canada is on!” So, I’m like Al Capone in that regard. I don’t even know what street these allegations happened on!
Well, then, if I am so abysmally ignorant of the facts and have nothing to add to the story, why am I even mentioning it? I’m glad you asked. — You did ask, didn’t you?
I am mentioning it because I have a (somewhat) parallel story. Allow me to tell you the story (as if you had a choice): Just a few days ago, I stopped into a Turkey Hill convenience store. (What a strange name! There are no turkeys walking around and it’s not even located on a hill, but that’s what they call it.) But I digress! Back to my story! I had a very small and modest purchase to make at the Hill of the Turkey.
The young woman who waited on me was very upbeat, very friendly. I did not and do not know her at all — not in any way, shape or form — but she was indisputably the sweetest and most congenial Turkey Hill clerk I have ever encountered! And I don’t mean just Turkey Hill. I mean any and every convenience store I have ever done business with in my whole, complete and entire life.
As soon as I stepped through the door, even before I had had a chance to orient myself, she said, “How ya doin’, Babe?” I was startled, but managed a laconic reply: “Reasonably well, thank you! And yourself?”
You are probably supposing
that I was dressed in civvies but, if that’s what you’re supposing, I respectfully tell you that you are mistaken. I was dressed as I am most of the time when I am out in public: black pants, black shoes and socks, long-sleeved black clerical shirt. I think I might have had my white clerical collar tucked inside for the sake of comfort but, making allowance for that, I think it was fairly obvious that I was a Catholic priest or else a clergyman of some High-Church persuasion.
I stepped up to the counter and she said, “What can I do for you, Honey?” I don’t get called “Honey” or even “Babe” all that often — like never! — and I have to say I was mightily amused and even a smidgen flattered, although I do try not to draw unwarranted inferences if and when I am the recipient of affectionate terms of address from attractive young women. I am more accustomed to being addressed as “Father” or “Sir” or “Rev” or “Preacher” and sometimes “Mister” or “Buddy” or “Knucklehead”.
Maintaining my customary grave composure,
I told her what I desired to purchase. At least three more times in the course of the (approximately) two-minutes time it took for us to complete the transaction, she called me “Babe” or “Honey”. (I recall that Humor almost always rides in tandem with the Unexpected.)
Now, what is my point in telling you all of this? My point is simply this: I walked out of the Turkey Hill that day feeling like a million bucks! One thing I have no intention of doing is consult an attorney to see if I can extort two-hundred thou from the Turkey Hill Corporation in order to assuage my wounded dignity.
Au contraire (that’s French, I think), I might make it a point to drop in there again. Who knows? I might luck out and that same friendly lady will be on duty when I do.
Please do not be scandalized or alarmed! I am a deliriously happy priest and have been for more than 43 years. With the help of Him Who loves me, my commitment to celibacy and the practice of chastity are non-negotiable. And be assured that, if the nice young lady should offer me any rides in her car or invite me out on a dinner date, I shall politely decline. But file a lawsuit? Perish the thought! It is to laugh!

stjos/stvdp: 09.06.2009 - 07



           JOHN COUGHLIN                                                          BRIDGET KEENAGHAN COUGHLIN
         Born in Ireland in 1830                                                      Born in Ireland in 1830
         Emigrated to USA in 1849                                                 Emigrated to USA in 1845
         Married Bridget in 1852                                                    Married John in 1852
         Died in Girardville in 1884                                                Died in Shenandoah in 1906

EUGENE P. COUGHLIN, formerly a resident of Girardville and member of St. Joseph Parish, has set up a website with some interesting information about the Coughlin Clan, starting with John and his wife, Bridget, both of whom emigrated from Ireland when they were teenagers, married here and became the parents of two daughters and nine sons. The two daughters and one of the sons died in childhood. The eight sons who survived into adulthood are the progenitors of those Coughlins who trace themselves back to Girardville.
If you enjoy genealogy, you might want to tap into the website:

In his declining days John Coughlin conveyed to his son, James J. Coughlin, a succinct statement of what he wanted to happen in regard to his funeral. James wrote down his father’s words. A handwritten copy of what James wrote down can be viewed on the website.

Our Dear Father John Coughlin’s Last requests:
“I want to be waked in this room and if any person wants to see me when I am dead let them and then go out. I want no wake and Positively no pipes or tobacco. I will leave the rest to your selves. Bury me where you think fits. I want you six (6) to act as Pawl Bearers. Born the 27th Day of May AD 1830 at 8 o’clock in the morning.”
(Signed) James J. Coughlin
March 12th, 1884


It might occur to the reader that, by saying “I want to be waked” and then saying, “I want no wake”, John was contradicting himself. But I think it is clear what he meant. What he meant to convey was that he wanted a low-budget, “no-frills” wake. In other words: Come in, take a look at me, say a prayer if you care to do so and, as appropriate, speak a word of comfort to my widow and children, but then go home. This is not “an Irish wake”. There will be no ham sandwiches and no free beer.

COMMENTARY: I don’t have the same level of humility or self-confidence that John Coughlin had. In making preliminary plans for my own wake, I would respectfully ask my next of kin to arrange for some food and drink, so that some people will be motivated to take the trouble to show up. As for pipes and tobacco, they can do as they please. If you smoke, just don’t blow any smoke in my face. You wouldn’t want to make me start coffin.


            stjos/stvdp: 09.06.2009 - 08                      


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