MASS SCHEDULE: 02 - 09 MAY 2010

Saturday, 01 May
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm - DAN and ANNA (Kerrigan) McCARTHY and STEPHEN McCARTHY
by Phil McCarthy

Sunday, 02 May
5th Sunday of Easter
11:30 am - DECEASED: CDA Court St. Cecilia #1529
by the CDA

Monday, 03 May
SS. Philip and James, apostles (Fst)
by Mike and Rosemary (Coyle) Fazio

Tuesday, 04 May
Easter Weekday
07:00 pm - MARTIN R. McNAMARA Jr.
by Barbara Sciarrone Kasper

Wednesday, 05 May
Easter Weekday
08:00 am - FRANCES BURNS
by her brother, John

Thursday, 06 May
Easter Weekday
08:00 am - THOMAS J. POWANDA Sr.
by Joseph T. Cescon (+) and family

Friday, 07 May
Easter Weekday
by their family

Saturday, 08 May
Easter Weekday
08:00 am - Msgr. JOHN A. AUCHTER
by EBC
Vigil of Sunday
by the Mahanoy Creek Watershed Association

Sunday, 09 May
6th Sunday of Easter
by her daughter, Bernadine Ranieri Chupasko

 MASS SCHEDULE: 02 - 09 MAY 2010

Saturday, 01 May
Vigil of Sunday
by Michael and Margaret Yesalavage

Sunday, 02 May
5th Sunday of Easter
by Ann McAndrew and family

Monday, 03 May
SS. Philip and James, apostles (Fst)
by the family

Tuesday, 04 May
Easter Weekday
by his wife, Alice

Wednesday, 05 May
Easter Weekday
07:00 pm - PAUL and CAMILLE TEGANO
by their family

Thursday, 06 May
Easter Weekday
by the HRS

Friday, 07 May
Easter Weekday
by her aunt, Mary Marioni

Saturday, 08 May
Vigil of Sunday
by Jim and Anna Mae Gownley

Sunday, 09 May
6th Sunday of Easter
by the HNS

stjos/stvdp: 05.02.2010 - 01

24 / 25 APRIL

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes: $1,284.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $114.00 from the second collection (plate); $41.00 from the Dues envelopes; $55.00 from the Easter envelopes; $15.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $72.00 from the loose. Total: $1,581.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: - $0-
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,581.00) 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 $488.26 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $954.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $99.00 from the second collection (plate); $28.00 from the Dues envelopes; $27.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $51.00 from the loose. Total: $1,159.00.
Receipts for non-parish purposes: - $0-
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,159.00) 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 $456.29 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Wednesday, 05 May
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

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

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

If these times don't suit you, you can always call for an appointment to go to Confession. If you don't like Fr. Connolly, you can always confess your sins to Kateri, but keep in mind that she is not bound by the seal and she does tend to be a blabbermouth.


Wednesday, 05 May
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
(Scripture Rosary at about 03:40 pm)

Friday, 07 May
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel
(Chaplet of Divine Mercy at about 07:45 pm)


stjos/stvdp: 05.02.2010 - 02

daughter of Paul J. (Sr.) and Maureen (Vivian) Zielinski
daughter of Mark J. and Regina (Zielinski) Grimaldi,

will receive their FIRST HOLY COMMUNION today (Sunday, 02 May) during the 11:30 am Mass at St. Joseph Church.
Madelyn is a member of St. Agnes Parish, Sellersville PA.
Maria is a member of St. William Parish, Philadelphia PA.
The pastors of these two parishes have given permission for the girls to receive First Holy Communion in Girardville, because that is the town where "Uncle Edward's churches" are.
For those who are interested in genealogy: Madelyn's father, Paul, and Maria's mother, Regina, are brother and sister. Their parents are Alfred and Anne (Connolly) Zielinski. Anne is my sister - my "big" sister. (I am also blessed with two "little" sisters.)
There is a Schuylkill County connection here: The late Paul M. Zielinski, great-grandfather of both girls, was born and raised in Shenandoah.
I invoke the blessing of God upon these two beautiful girls - my grandnieces - and upon their families. May we all be together in Heaven!

THE HOLY ROSARY SOCIETY will meet on Thursday, 06 May, in the St. Vincent dePaul Parish Hall, after the 06:30 pm Mass. There will be some discussion about a special event to be held on Wednesday, 26 May.
THE CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS OF AMERICA, Court St. Cecilia #1529, will install its officers for the upcoming year during the 11:30 am Mass today (02 May) at St. Joseph Church.
After the Mass, the women and their guests will adjourn to the Fountain Springs Country Club for a special banquet honoring their 60th anniversary.
THE CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS OF AMERICA, Court St. Cecilia #1529, will meet on Tuesday, 04 May, at 07:00 pm in the Sheridan Room.
SOMETIME AGO A LETTER WENT OUT TO SAINT JOSEPH PARISHIONERS soliciting donations for the upkeep of the St. Joseph (IHM) School building. As of this date, a total of $1,328.00 has been received. We are grateful to all who donated.
BOTH OF OUR PARISHES HAD VISITORS THIS PAST WEEK, in both cases sent by the Diocese: On Thursday, a gentleman came to examine the roofs of both churches. On Friday, two architects came to poke around and take pictures. I anticipate some more visitors next week: an electrical engineer and a structural engineer. All of these visitors are, of course, making their rounds, inspecting various other churches in the Diocese. What we are to infer from all of this is something I do not know, except the obvious: Facts are being gathered preparatory to decisions being made. We shall see.

stjos/stvdp: 05.02.2010- 03

Last Sunday (25 April) was Good Shepherd Sunday. The children of Trinity Academy were encouraged to write notes to their parish priests. That is the context within which to read these letters. One of the fringe benefits of being a parish priest is the occasional receipt of mail such as this. I shall try to prove worthy of it. At this point in my life, I know that love directed to the parish priest is love directed to Jesus, for Whom the parish priest is no more than a faint image.
Dear Fr. Connolly,
You're a very good shepherd and the best pastor in the world! Since you came here, I learned more about God. You're very nice to me too, and Happy "Good Shepherd" Sunday.

Dear Fr. Connolly
Today is Good Shepherd Sundy and it is ware you are the Shepherd and we are your Sheep. And it's a very happy day. You are a very nice and best pastor in the whole wide world.
All I like to say is: Happy "Good Shepherd" Sunday!

Happy "Good Shepherd" Sunday, Fr. Connolly!
Thank you for being my pastor!! God loves you! You are the best priest ever!! You are a gift from God! You are my shepherd and I am your sheep. You are the best!!

It's Good Shepherd Sunday and thank you for being my priest, Father Connolly. I really appreciate you! I know you care about me and I really care about you! I can tell as soon as I see you at the end of Mass. I know because you loved me the first time you said my name. This letter is from your good friend,

The following is an email exchange between a parishioner and me. I am withholding the name.

Dear Fr. Connolly:
I was reading the book or Sirach and was pondering on the passage about how the length of our lives compare to one grain of sand out of all of the sand. God sure doesn't give us long to prove ourselves does he? Our lifetimes seem long, but when you envision all of the grains of sand, and each one of them compares to a lifetime, I'd hate to spend the time of all of those lifetimes in suffering and torment and would love to spend that much time in happiness.
That also made me think of something else. If God gave us free wills, then I guess we can reject him even when we are in heaven. I'm not sure why anybody who is already in heaven and has knowledge of heaven and hell would want to do so, but I guess it can be done.

Your question about free will and heaven is excellent. I hope my answer is understandable.
Let me put it this way: We tend to think of our free wills as our capacity for choosing to make EITHER good decisions OR bad decisions. In this present life, we are aware that we are often conflicted between doing "the right thing" or "the wrong thing", between doing "the smart thing" or "the stupid thing". This is so much a part of our experience that we tend to think that, when we get to Heaven, we will continue to be conflicted in this manner. If that were the case, then, theoretically, it would be possible to disobey God, to reject God, even whrn we are in Heaven.
However, it is NOT possible for persons in Heaven to disobey God or to reject God or to hate God. Same principle operates in Hell: It is NOT possible for persons in Hell to obey God or to accept God or to love God.
When we first hear this, we draw a false conclusion. We say, "Well, then, I guess when a person gets to Heaven (or to Hell), he loses his free will!"
But that is not so!
Persons in Heaven continue to have free wills BUT their intellects (power of knowing) are so illuminated with God's grace that they always and infallibly know what is truly good and what is truly evil, as a result of which their wills (power of choosing) are always and infallibly drawn to what is good.
The human will (by its very nature) is always drawn to what the human intellect perceives to be good. This is true both in this life and in the next.
The problem in this life is that our intellects are often befuddled and confused about what is really good and what is only apparently good. For example, an alcoholic will often perceive the fifth of whiskey to be something good for him to consume. But, of course, for an alcoholic, a fifth of whiskey is not really good for him to consume. It is only apparently good. One might say that it is "good in the short run" but "bad in the long run". It is "good" insofar as it will taste good and will make him feel good (temporarily) but it is "bad" insofar as the overall welfare of the man is concerned.
A person in Heaven has his act entirely together. He is (to put it as simply as possible) REALLY SMART and TOTALLY WELL-INFORMED. In addition to which, a person in Heaven is TOTALLY IN CONTROL of himself.
Let me use a far-out example: Is it possible (at the present time) for you or me to commit some horrendous crime, e.g. to round up a group of little children, lock them in a house and then deliberately set fire to the house, so as to enjoy the experience of them being burnt to death? (Admittedly, this is a blood-curdling example. I use it only to make the point!)
The answer to this horrible question is this: YES, it is theoretically possible. On the other hand, NO, it is not practically possible. Why is it not "practically possible"?
It is not "practically possible" because both your intellect and mine would immediately recognize the idea as evil, in addition to which, both your will and mine are trained to run away from carrying out evil deeds, especially deeds that are so totally evil.
If a person were to commit such a deed, we would have to draw the conclusion that the person is either profoundly wicked or else out of his mind.
Nobody in Heaven is either wicked or out of his mind. Therefore, nobody in Heaven ever does anything wicked or insane. This is not a limitation on free will. It is actually the perfection of free will.
A person who always does the right thing is much freer than a person who always does the wrong thing or than a person who wavers between doing the right thing and the wrong thing.
If that last sentence makes sense to you, than that is the answer to your question.
No, it is not even possible for a person in Heaven to reject God. Why not? Because a person in Heaven is totally "all together", totally holy, totally in harmony with God.
We sometimes distinguish two words: LIBERTY and FREEDOM. Liberty is the capacity to choose between good and bad. Freedom is the liberty always to choose the good.

stjos/stvdp: 05.02.2010 - 04 / 05

KATIE LEE McMONEGAL, daughter of Patrick and Virginia McMonegal, was married to JOHN ROSS DOMALAKES, son of (Judge) John E. and Susan Domalakes, today (Saturday, 01 May) in Holy Annunciation Church (formerly St. Gabriel Church), Hazleton, PA, in the presence of Father Edmund J. Brennan, delegatus. Katie is / was a member of St. Joseph Parish, Girardville. John is / was a member of Annunciation Parish, Frackville. Both Katie and her husband, John, are 2001 graduates of Cardinal Brennan High School.
May God bless them abundantly. May they exemplify the essential elements of Christian marriage: fidelity, permanence and openness to God's gift of children.
THE CHILDREN WHO WILL BE RECEIVING FIRST HOLY COMMUNION at St. Joseph's on Sunday, 23 May, at the 11:30 am Mass have completed three sessions with Fr. Connolly. There are three more sessions scheduled: 04:00 to 05:00 pm at St. Vincent dePaul Rectory on the next three Tuesdays: 04, 11, and 18 May. Parents are reminded to see to it that the children are present for these sessions.
The first three sessions emphasized the sacrament of Penance (Confession). The next three will emphasize the sacrament of Holy Eucharist.
I told the children after the last session (27 April) that they are now eligible to make their First Confessions. I told them that they are to find out (from the bulletin) when Confessions are being heard at the two parishes and that they are to make their First Confessions at one of these scheduled times.
There is a reason for my doing this: I want them to learn from the very beginning that "going to Confession" is a NORMAL and ROUTINE thing to do. I have long been of the opinion that, by scheduling a special time for them to make their first Confessions, they will subconsciously infer that they need to wait until I schedule "special times" for them to make subsequent Confessions.
It would be highly praiseworthy if the parents who accompany the children to First Confession would also go to Confession, unless the parents are in a state of perfection, in which case there is probably no need (chuckle, chuckle).
Another point I wish to make is this:
By admitting the children to First Holy Communion, I am presupposing that these same children will be faithful in their attendance at Sunday Mass.
It is not possible for the parish priest to see to it that the children go to Mass on Sunday. His only powers are the powers of encouragement, exhortation and, when all else fails, fulmination.
Seeing to it that the children go to Mass is, quite obviously, the solemn responsibility of the parents.

 stjos/stvdp: 05.02.2010 - 06

I MENTIONED IN LAST WEEKEND'S BULLETIN that I had been persuaded to register online for a chance to win a four-thousand dollar shopping spree at Sears. Now, a follow-up on that. No, I have not been notified that I won the shopping spree! If I do win it, I'll be sure to let you know. (Don't hold your breath!)
What has happened is that I am now on Sears's e-mailing advertising list. That's no great surprise.
What was a surprise was this: The most recent email advertisement I received had the following in the subject line:

Mother's Day Indulgences at Our New Gifting Boutiques

My first reaction was: Good grief! I didn't know that Sears had added Indulgences to its line of merchandise! Isn't the selling of Indulgences strictly verboten? Was not the selling of Indulgences one of the charges that was leveled against the Catholic Church by the Protestant dissenters of the 16th century? (A false charge, by the way!)
Opening the email and glancing at it briefly, I realized that Sears is using the word "Indulgences" in a non-theological sense. "Indulgences" in the mercantile sense means "non-essential luxuries" or something like that.
Then I had this further thought: With Mother's Day just around the corner (09 May), maybe those of us whose mothers are deceased might want to do something in the way of providing them with a "Mother's Day Indulgence!"
What can one possibly do for one's mother if she is deceased? Doesn't the fact that a person is deceased separate us from the possibility of "doing something good" for him or her?
If you are a Catholic, you should already know the answer to that!
Prayer of petition on behalf of the dead is an integral part of our Catholic Faith.
Here is a suggestion for a Mother's Day gift for your deceased mother: Pray the Rosary for her - preferably in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. By doing so, you can gain a Plenary Indulgence applicable to the souls in Purgatory. You can ask God to apply this indulgence to your mother. If she is in Purgatory and if God accedes to your request to apply the indulgence to her, what greater gift could she receive? If she is already in Heaven, it is highly likely that God will allow her to direct the application of this indulgence to some relative or friend of hers who is in Purgatory.
It is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they might be released from their sins.
This is something to keep in mind not just on Mother's Day, but every day.

THANK YOU to Wade O. Richards for removing the pine tree from in front of St. Joseph Church. That tree had seen better days. It was on its way out, as the many brown branches indicated. My amateur opinion is that it was not the right kind of tree to have been planted in that particular spot. Two reasons: (a) It needed more soil to stretch out its roots than that little plot of ground could afford. (b) It didn't fit in with its surroundings (not a good aesthetic effect).

stjos/stvdp: 05.02.2010 - 07



I was in the Confession Room of St. Vincent dePaul Church this past Wednesday (28 Apr) between 02:30 and 03:30 pm. I was in between customers and was praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on my Rosary beads. From the corner of my eye, I spied something moving on the floor in front of me and to the right. It was a rather large insect, moving slowly along the carpet in my direction. I thought it strange that an insect of any sort would want to go to Confession. I wasn't sure if he wanted face-to-face or behind the screen. Then it occurred to me that he had probably wandered in here by mistake and almost certainly had no interest in being absolved of anything and probably didn't even know the Act of Contrition. Looking more closely, I ascertained that it was a bumblebee: Bombus Apidae Hymenoptera! The creature paused frequently, apparently confused as to just exactly where he wanted to go.
(I say "he"; it could just as well have been "she". What do I know about bumblebee gender? Anyway, I'll continue with "he".)
I had ample opportunity to study the creature. He had a halo of gold "fur" covering his head. He was a good inch long, quite portly and he waddled when he walked. His wings (which seemed inadequate to his girth) were beautiful. There were iridescent stripes running through the transparent film. I thought to myself: How exquisite! A mobile gem! A living, walking, flying jewel! A masterpiece of the genius of the Creator!
Beautiful though he was, I knew that the Confession Room was not an appropriate venue for him. The next customer might be disconcerted to see a bumblebee bumbling around whilst he (the penitent) is trying to unburden his conscience.
(Then, of course, there is the issue of confidentiality. A bumblebee is clueless about confidentiality and might very well feel unconstrained about buzzing around G'ville, dispensing ill-gained information.)
But I didn't want to do anything to harm the creature. Stomping him or swatting him with a newspaper would be quite unseemly. What Would Jesus Do?
In front of me was a window. A window! Yes, that's what I'll do. I'll pick him up and toss him out the window. After all, God made him for the great outdoors! However, transporting him to the window would take some engineering. I had no intention of picking him up with my fingers. He might misinterpret my intentions and sting me! So, I had an idea. I already had my rosary in my hand, so I swung the rosary down to the floor in the hope that he would latch onto it. I'm happy to say that he did! Then I lifted the rosary ever so carefully to the window. The creature hung on for dear life, having no idea what fate awaited him. Then I opened the window and gave the rosary a good swing. The creature lifted his wings and took off. The last I saw him, he was headed west towards 2nd Street. Maybe he had it in mind to get himself a beer. A bumblebee can always find a bumblebeer on 2nd Street in Girardville! This episode marked a first for me. Never until 28 April 2010 had I used a rosary as a BED (Bumblebee-Evacuation Device).
Every story needs a moral, so here's one: When you are in dire straits, when you have lost your way, when you are far from home and have no idea how to get back, when everyone scorns you and says that you are a no-good son of a bee - and a bumbling bee at that! - then take out your rosary beads and hold onto them for dear life. Mother Mary will see to it that you get home safe.

                      stjos/stvdp: 05.02.2010 - 08                      


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