Saturday, 08 January
Vigil of the Baptism of the Lord
05:30 pm — ANTHONY and CONCETTA CATIZONE (86th anniversary of wedding)
by Joe and Marian Kleeman

Sunday, 09 January
Baptism of the Lord
11:30 am — PETER and SAL PALESTIS
by Bernadine Chupasko

Monday, 10 January
08:00 am — God’s blessings on JOHN BRANCA
by his sister, Susan

Tuesday, 11 January
by his family

Wednesday, 12 January
08:00 am — EMMA BUEHNER
by Jack and Rose McCarthy

Thursday, 13 January
St. Hilary, bishop, doctor (OptMem)
08:00 am — ALBERT and HELEN FORAN
by OPM

Friday, 14 January
by OPM

Saturday, 15 January
08:00 am — Rev. JOHN F. HARVEY
by EBC
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — STEPHEN DYSZEL Jr.
by his mother (+), wife and family

Sunday, 16 January
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — RAYMOND D. REINOEHL (3rd anniversary)
by his mother, Ida Mae Canavan


Saturday, 08 January
Vigil of the Baptism of the Lord
04:00 pm — JAMES L. KENNEDY
by Michael and Peggy Yesalavage

Sunday, 09 January
Baptism of the Lord
08:30 am — DECEASED: Holy Name Society
by the HNS

Monday, 10 January
by Andy McDonald

Tuesday, 11 January
08:00 am — JAMES L. KENNEDY
by Arthur and Joyce Engle

Wednesday, 12 January
by OPM

Thursday, 13 January
St. Hilary, bishop, doctor (OptMem)
by his wife, Jean

Friday, 14 January
by Bernice Stefanowicz

Saturday, 15 January
Vigil of Sunday
by Joseph and Theresa

Sunday, 16 January
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — JAMES L. KENNEDY
by the Flannery family

stjos/stvdp: 01.09.2011 - 01

01 / 02 JANUARY

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes: Receipts for parish purposes: $738.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $55.00 from the second collection (plate); $232.00 from the Dues envelopes; $20.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $121.00 from the Initial Offering envelopes; $260.00 from the Christmas envelopes; $179.00 from the Solemnity of Mary envelopes; $53.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,658.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: - 0 -
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,658.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($329.54), plus our weekly premium for property and casualty insurance ($464.00), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($358.17), the sum total of which is $1,151.17, one sees that $506.83 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $1,043.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $63.00 from the second collection (plate); $392.00 from the Dues envelopes; $20.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $80.00 from the Christmas envelopes; $293.00 from the Solemnity of Mary envelopes; $160.00 from the Initial Offering envelopes; $62.00 from the loose.
Total: $2,113.00.
Receipts for non-parish purposes: - 0 -
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($2,113.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($229.38), plus our weekly premium for property and casualty insurance ($282.46), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($250.98), the sum total of which is $762.82, one sees that $1,350.18 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Wednesday, 12 January
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 13 January
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 14 January
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel


Wednesday, 12 January
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
(Scripture Rosary at about 3:40 pm)

Friday, 14 January
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel
(Vespers and Chaplet of Divine Mercy at about 07:30 pm)


A PERSON WHO IS too busy to pray IS too busy.

stjos/stvdp: 01.09.2011 - 02

I realize that “ethnic humor” is not politically correct. So, please do not read this joke if you are PC. If you do read it, please realize, just for the record, that I have my Polish brother-in-law’s permission to put this in the bulletin. So, please refer all complaints to him. His name is Alfred J. Zielinski.
A YOUNG MAN OF POLISH DESCENT fell in love with a young woman of Mexican descent. The young man’s mother did not approve of the friendship. She did not like Mexicans and preferred that her son marry a Polish girl she had picked out for him. But the young man was determined to marry the Mexican girl and he did. His mother refused to attend the wedding and proceeded afterwards to do whatever she could to break them up. One day she snuck into the young couple’s apartment without their knowledge and started to look around for evidence of “bad cooking” and “bad housekeeping” — anything she could find to prove that the girl was not a worthy wife for her son. She opened a closet and inspected the contents. She found the evidence she needed!
So, as soon as possible, she called her son and told him she had to speak with him privately. When he arrived at his mother’s house, she said to him in a triumphant tone: “I told you that Mexican girl was no good for you! Do you realize she is planning to murder you and collect on your insurance policy?”
The young man said, “Mother, what are you talking about? How can you say such a thing? I love my wife and my wife loves me. What makes you say that she is trying to murder me?” His mother pulled out her evidence and said, “Just look at this jar I found in your closet! She hid it in the back of the shelf, behind some other containers, so you wouldn’t see it! Look at the label on this container. It says POLISH REMOVER!”
WADE O. RICHARDS, St. Joseph Parish custodian, wishes to thank all those who expressed condolences to him on the occasion of the death of his brother, David. Wade-O appreciates any prayers offered for his brother and family, together with Masses arranged for the happy repose of his soul.
If you have not already done so, please pick up your envelopes for 2011. They are in the back of St. Vincent dePaul Church and in the Sheridan Room. Also, take the rest of the 2011 calendars either for yourself or to give to friends and neighbors.
If you see a box of envelopes “sitting there” and if you are willing to go a bit out of your way, may I suggest that you deliver the box to the person whose name is on the label?
That would be a good deed. We should do good deeds whenever we can.

Washington DC
Monday, 24 January

Sign up for the bus sponsored by StJos and StVdP Parishes.
Picking up and dropping off in Girardville, Frackville, St. Clair, Pottsville and Hamburg
$50.00 for an adult and $15.00 for a child. Discounts (and even freebies) for those who ask.
Call Susan Thye at (570) 385-5924 or else call Fr. Connolly or Ginny at the Rectory.

stjos/stvdp: 01.09.2011 - 03

Background: Jeanne is a friend of mine. She is a Catholic and a professor at a university. Kevin is an acquaintance of Jeanne. He works for a Protestant campus ministry organization. Kevin wrote to Jeanne with some interesting questions about Catholic belief. Jeanne forwarded his email to me. I then wrote back to Jeanne with my answers to Kevin’s questions.
Dear Fr. Connolly:
Greetings from Philly. I hope that this note finds you well. I'm writing to ask if you might have any thoughts in response to the questions posed to me below; they are from Kevin, an acquaintance of mine in DC who is a prominent figure in Protestant campus ministry circles (he works for Intervarsity). If you have any time for a very brief review of the three questions below, that would be helpful. I know that you are very busy, though, so if you don't have time, please feel free to decline.
Gratefully yours,
Here are his questions:
Is it possible to be a Roman Catholic and not be a Christian? I’m NOT asking, “Is it possible to be a good Roman Catholic and not be a Christian?” Please explain.
#2: Is it possible to be a Roman Catholic Christian and never attend Mass? (i.e. believe, intellectually, all the things the Church teaches and yet never worship with other Catholics)
#3: Roman Catholic Jack Johnson is sitting on the train in a seat next to atheist Sam Smith. Jack is explaining to Sam who Jesus Christ is. After 2 hours, Sam says, “Yes, yes, it all makes sense! I want to become a Christian right now!! How do I become a Christian? What must I do to be saved?” How would Jack answer Sam? What distinction, if any, would Jack make between Sam’s personal decision to follow Christ and Sam’s need to be baptized and join the Roman Catholic Church? Would Jack tell Sam that he can and should believe on Christ right now in this train, and then, as a step two, make sure he gets baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, be catechized, etc; or would Jack tell Sam these are not two distinct steps but really one, so Sam should wait until he gets to church before he seeks after Christ by faith; or something else? At what point (humanly speaking) does Sam actually cross over from death to life and “become a Christian”? How exactly are faith, baptism, church membership all related within Roman Catholicism? (Does one “become a Christian” and then “enter the Roman Catholic Church,” as two distinct yet inseparable actions, or are these two inseparable?)


Dear Jeanne:
Right now I have only enough time to give “spontaneous” answers to Kevin’s questions. If I had more time, I would do some documenting. The questions are not especially difficult and I feel confident that my answers are accurate, even if not documented.
Here are my answers:
No, it is not possible to be a Roman Catholic without being a Christian. If a person is a good Roman Catholic, he is also a good Christian. If a person is a bad Roman Catholic, he is also a bad Christian. All Roman Catholics without exception are Christians, but (obviously) not all Christians are Roman Catholics.
To expand on this just a smidgen: A Christian is a person who (a) believes the following essential doctrines about Jesus of Nazareth: that he is the Lord, that he is the Second Person of the Trinity incarnate; that he is the Messiah; that he is the Savior; that, having been crucified and having died, he is now risen from the dead; that He has ascended to His Father; that He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and (b) has been baptized with water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
So, a person is a Christian on the basis of faith and baptism.
Still expanding on this: Is it possible for a Christian to lose his salvation? Yes, it is possible for a Christian to lose his salvation. How is it possible? It is possible for a Christian to lose his salvation if he obstinately refuses to live according to his faith. Therefore, it is highly probable (almost certain) that there are Christians who are in Hell. But, if they are in Hell, are they still Christians? Yes, they are still Christians! They are Christians in Hell! I think that some of our Protestant brethren would find it difficult to affirm that awful possibility. I remember being told that, if a priest goes to Hell, his sufferings will be intensified because “from him to whom much is given, much is expected”. The same principle would apply to “Christians in general”. A Christian who goes to Hell will experience greater suffering than a non-Christian who goes to Hell.
#2: Yes, it is possible. Not only is it possible, it is a lamentable reality! There are many Roman Catholic Christians who never, at least almost never, attend Mass. Yet, many of these will believe intellectually all the things that the Church teaches. The great drama of salvation takes place primarily in the will of the individual person. Examples of the gap between intellect and will are superabundant. I think most persons addicted to heroin are intellectually convinced that heroin is ruining their lives. Between the intellectual conviction that heroin is bad and the firm resolution to refrain from ingesting it there is a chasm that can be overcome only by grace.
Persons who are in Hell are not there because, during their time on Earth, they were poorly informed. They are in Hell because, having been at least sufficiently well-informed, they refused to act on the information.
#3: If I were Jack, I would tell Sam the same thing that Peter told the crowd in his sermon from the balcony on the first Christian Pentecost (cf Acts 2, 14-36) After Peter had given the fundamental message about Jesus, the people who heard him were “deeply shaken” and asked Peter what they should do. Peter told them, “You must reform and be baptized”.
Notice seven distinct things happening as a result of Peter’s evangelical sermon:
(a) The people believed.
(b) They committed themselves to reformation / repentance.
(c) They were baptized.
(d) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ instructions (magisterium of Church).
(e) They participated in the communal life (implying an essential need to be in fellowship with their fellow-believers).
(f) They participated in the “breaking of bread” (earliest name for the Eucharist). We Catholics would say they started to go to Mass.
(g) They participated in common prayer with one another.

We notice that (a) and (b) are internal responses. They cannot be verified by an outside observer. However, (c) to (g) are external responses based on the initial two internal responses. Because we all live in a time continuum, there is (obviously) a period of time between the time a person believes and repents and the time the same person gets baptized.
At what point does a person become a Christian? A person becomes a Christian immediately upon making the surrender of faith, i.e. immediately upon believing AS LONG AS HIS “BELIEVING” INCLUDES THE INTENTION TO REPENT AND TO BE BAPTIZED.
If a person “believes” but not does not intend to repent nor to be baptized, then he does not REALLY believe, in which case his apparent belief does not make him a Christian.
The Catholic Church officially teaches that “Baptism is necessary for salvation, in fact or at least in intention.” This makes it clear that, although baptism is necessary for salvation, nevertheless it is possible that a person could be saved even if, as a matter of fact, he died without baptism, as long as his “unbaptized condition” was not due to his refusal to be baptized, but was due to circumstances beyond his reasonable control. As has often been observed, the Church is bound by the sacraments, but God is not bound by the sacraments.
Going back to Sam the atheist. If he believes what Jack taught him, he will make haste to arrange to be baptized and to do the other things as specified above. If he does not do so, there is good reason to infer that Sam does not really believe.
In trying to draw a relationship between initial faith and sacramental baptism, I am tempted to make the analogy of “temporary license plates” (faith) that allow one to drive a car for a limited period of time and “permanent license plates” (baptism) that allow one to drive the car indefinitely. The former imply that the latter are “on their way” from PENNDOT. However, it’s probably not a good idea to trust any analogies I draw at 03:00 am! I have to go to bed! I hope these answers are helpful — or, at least, not harmful!
In Christ Jesus –

stjos/stvdp: 01.09.2011 - 04 /05

I doubt very much that I shall ever have a chance to thank Pope Benedict personally for all the things I have learned from him. I have read (and am reading) a number of his books and discourses and so often find myself underlining a paragraph or a sentence and saying, “Oh yes! Now I get it! Thank you, dear Holy Father!”
Pope Benedict, whether writing as Pope or as Joseph Ratzinger, is (to say the least) a brilliant man. We are so fortunate to have him as Pope! Whenever we sing, Long Live the Pope! I am editing it slightly in my mind: Long live this Pope! And whoever happens to succeed him too, of course! (But, please God, not succeed him in the very near future, please!)
Let me give just one example: In his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Ratzinger commented on the episode of the Hebrew people dancing around the golden calf. He said that the people knew that the calf was not God, but they simply wanted a god that was less remote and less challenging.
When I read that, I said, “Oh yes! Now I get it! Thank you, Benedict!”
I had always wondered how those people could have been so stupid as to think that that golden calf was God, especially after all they had experienced from the true God, Who had just delivered them from Egypt “with signs and wonders”.
Now it makes sense to me.
Almost everybody knows the fundamental truths about God, but so many persons refuse to believe the fundamental truths.
Why do they refuse to believe?
They refuse to believe because it is not convenient!
They want a comfy-cozy god, a god whom they can control, a god who dances to their tune, a god who assures them that “everything is hunky dory” and that he really doesn’t mind what they do.
Frank Sinatra’s song “I Did it My Way” is the anthem for the worshipers of the god who always sees everything MY way.
So, if you have a friend who says that sodomy is an acceptable alternative to normal sexual relations or who says that a woman has a right to have an abortion or who says that one religion is as good as another religion, please know that you have a friend who is dancing around the golden calf.
Warn him or her to stop dancing because Moses is about to come down from the mountain and just might aim those stone tablets square on your friend’s skull.

stjos/stvdp: 01.09.2011 - 06



That is the message that will soon be placed on the parish message board on the southeast corner of Main and Richard Streets. I think it is a message relevant to our particular time and place and culture. I suspect (don’t know for certain) that there might be some person in Girardville (or else in Lost Creek or down in the Shoe) who smokes pot.
Like almost all messages posted on billboards or signboards, it is necessarily short and to the point. It doesn’t say everything that needs to be said about the subject, but it does say something that is substantially true. It doesn’t mention other things (related things) that are equally sinful, nor does it give any nuances.
So, in order to cover a few bases that can’t be included on a signboard, let me add the following:
In order for something to be a sin, the person who is doing the act has to know that it is sinful and he has to do it deliberately. Notice I said that he has to know that it is sinful. He does not have to believe that it is sinful in order for it to be a sin. Knowing something is pretty much a matter of common sense plus information from a reliable source. Believing something is knowing something plus having the humility to accept it as applicable to one’s own life. I think most persons who smoke pot know that it is sinful but refuse to believe that it is sinful. These persons are living a lie.
As far as “deliberately” is concerned, I presume that anyone who does smoke pot does so deliberately. It would be hard to imagine someone “accidentally” smoking pot!
Deliberately getting drunk on alcohol (or whatever else there is that makes one drunk) is also a sin, of course.
One minor nuance: If it is true that smoking pot is the only recourse for a person who has chronic pain, I think it would be morally permissible for that person to smoke pot. But we all know that this is an area prone to rationalization.
As for me, I take Ibuprofen. And sometimes I offer it up.

stjos/stvdp: 01.09.2011 - 07

ALFRED E. NEUMAN will not be taking part in the MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington, DC on Monday, 24 January. I feel bad about this because he is a pleasant young man, very friendly, and smiles a lot. I told him that our parishes are sponsoring a bus from Girardville to DC (and back again!) and that, if he couldn’t afford the price, I would either give him a discount or else give him a free ride. I told him that it is important for people to show up, so that our politicians and fellow citizens will know that we are serious about THE RIGHT TO LIFE OF UNBORN BABIES. I told him that we will take good care of him and let no harm come to him and make sure he gets something to eat. I even promised him a “window seat” on the bus and told him that he would make friends with the nice people on the bus. I told him that abortion is the deliberate killing of little children, the most defenseless human beings on the planet. After all that, do you know what he said to me? He said, and I quote:


stjos/stvdp: 01.09.2011 - 08

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