Saturday, 10 December
Vigil of Sunday
by Joseph and Marian

Sunday, 11 December
Third Sunday of Advent
by John and Theresa Gillis

Monday, 12 December
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Fst)
by Mary Elizabeth Troilo Acker and family

Tuesday, 13 December
St. Lucy, virgin, martyr (OblMem)
07:00 pm — ROSE HELMAN
rescheduled from 05 Dec

Wednesday, 14 December
St. John of the Cross, priest, doctor (OblMem)
rescheduled from 27 Nov

Thursday, 15 December
Advent Weekday
by OPM

Friday, 16 December
Advent Weekday
by OPM

Saturday, 17 December
Late Advent Weekday
by OPM
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — PAUL KOWALICK
by his wife, Patricia, and family

Sunday, 18 December
Fourth Sunday of Advent
by his mother, Ida Mae Canavan


Saturday, 10 December
Vigil of Sunday
by Granny and Pap

Sunday, 11 December
Third Sunday of Advent
by the HNS

Monday, 12 December
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Fst)
by his sisters, Mary and Florence

Tuesday, 13 December
St. Lucy, virgin, martyr (OblMem)
08:00 am — HELEN WINKLER
by John and Marguerite Rooney

Wednesday, 14 December
St. John of the Cross, priest, doctor (OblMem)
07:00 pm — JAMES D. and ELLA (Smith) PURCELL
by their grandsons: Francis, Jimmy and Brian Purcell

Thursday, 15 December
Advent Weekday
by Edward and Barbara Wascavage and Samantha

Friday, 16 December
Advent Weekday
by his wife, Jean

Saturday, 17 December
Vigil of Sunday
by their family

Sunday, 18 December
Fourth Sunday of Advent
by Arthur and Joyce Engle

stjos/stvdp: 12.11.2011 - 01

03 / 04 DECEMBER

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes: $1,044.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $53.00 from the second collection (plate); $270.00 from the Dues envelopes; $5.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $5.00 from the Christmas flowers envelopes; $56.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,433.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1.433.00) 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 $281.83 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $892.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $93.50 from the second collection (plate); $223.00 from the Dues envelopes; $45.00 from the Christmas flowers envelopes; $49.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,302.50
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — $0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,302.50) 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 $539.68 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Wednesday, 14 December
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 15 December
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 16 December
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel


Wednesday, 14 December
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
Scripture Rosary at about 03:40 pm

Friday, 16 December
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

Vespers at about 07:30 pm, followed by Chaplet of Divine Mercy
"How sweet, the presence of Jesus to the longing, harassed soul!
It is instant peace, and balm to every wound."

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

stjos/stvdp: 12.11.2011 - 02

In the 24 April 2011 bulletin, I mentioned that I had hired a new accountant — DIANE ADAMS — to serve our two parishes. Diane has been coming in for a few hours each week in order to keep us current with our bills and accounting. At the time she came on board, she told me that she was hoping to secure full-time employment and that, if and when she found a full-time job, she would probably give notice that she would be leaving. So, I knew from the beginning that Diane would not be with us for long. Happily for her, she did secure a full-time job and, several weeks ago, gave me notice that she would like to wrap up her work here as soon as I could hire a replacement. I have found a replacement and I think that he will serve us well.
Diane’s last day was this past Wednesday (07 Dec). Let me say that she did a fine job and I would certainly give her a glowing recommendation if she ever needed one.
Please know that our new accountant is GREGORY VERCHICK. I had not had any prior acquaintance with Greg, but he comes highly recommended. He lives and works in Pottsville and has recently been doing some part-time accounting work for the parishes in Frackville. I am confident that Greg will be an asset to our parishes.
Girl’s hooded jacket (Faded Glory, size 4) with pink, blue and purple polka dots. It was left at St. Joseph’s. If anyone desires to be reunited with this garment, please let the pastor know.
THE CANDLE in front of the Infant of Prague statue in St. Vincent dePaul Church burns in memory of James McAvoy, at the request of Sharon Smith.
THE VASE OF FLOWERS in front of the Our Lady of Fatima statue in the entry way outside Our Lady’s Chapel of St. Joseph Church has been placed there in loving memory of Joseph Vevasis (whose birthday is 11 December) by his wife, Bernie Vevasis and family.
As most persons know who are responsible for paying utility bills, the electricity rates have gone through the roof. Not only is electricity expensive, it is also complicated, by which I mean it used to be so simple: PPL sent you a bill and you paid the bill. It was all very cut and dried. Then competition came into the picture.
We still have to buy our electricity from PPL but now we have to decide which supplier will supply the electricity that is supplied to PPL.
I don’t profess to understand this stuff all that well, but I’m understanding it a little better than I used to.
Be that as it may: This past year, I went with DOMINION as our provider’s supplier. (Am I using the right terminology? DOMINION supplied and PPL provided?)
Now I have decided to drop DOMINION and go with UGI. UGI is offering us a rate of .0763 per kilowatt hour, in contrast to the DOMINION rate, which (I don’t have the exact number in front of me right now) was significantly higher.
I trust that I have made the right decision. I presume DOMINION won’t think so!
By the way, I learned something I never knew: I told the UGI rep that I thought UGI was “the gas company”. He said that UGI has branched out. Now, they supply not only gas but also electricity. I said to him, “Well, I guess gas does have a tendency to expand.” I don’t think he got it.
I also told him that UGI should change its initials to UG&EI (United Gas and Electric Institute). He said he would forward that suggestion to the Front Office. I think he was just humoring me.

stjos/stvdp:12.11.2011 - 03


Is your name “Brian”? Do you know anyone named “Brian”? Even if you answer “No” to both of these questions, you would do well to take the time to read this account of the life and death of Brian Lacey, a man who gave up his life for Jesus Christ and the One True Church. Today (10 December) is the 420th anniversary of his glorious and triumphant death!
They had been killing Catholics for a long time. They were about to stop. But not before they killed Brian Lacey.
The Laceys started out in Normandy, France. They were great Norman knights, in the service of dukes, lords, kings and each other. A true knight knew no fear and was a man of honor. He was trained in the arts of warfare and learned to use his skills only for the protection of women and children, for justice, and for the defense of the Catholic Faith.
A knight was a soldier on horseback, a man of great skill and great character. Before he was knighted, he spent a whole night in Church, on his knees. In the morning he received Holy Communion - and his suit of armor. His sword was blessed and dedicated to the service of widows, orphans and the Church. He was ready to be called into service whenever needed.
Unfortunately, there were frequent, ruthless revolts between kings and their rivals. The Church knew it couldn't banish from men's hearts the desire for power so it did what it could to make these warring rivals a little less barbaric. The Church established the "Truce of God" which meant no warfare on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Holy Days, Advent or Lent. They also instilled in the knights that it was cowardly to attack the weak and defenseless.
Out of this system arose many great fighters - defenders but not murderers. Two of them were Hugh de Lacey and William de Lacey. Both were knights in the 11th and 12th century. Crossing the English Channel from France, they were hunting in what is now south Wales, close to the English border. William de Lacey took shelter in an ancient chapel dedicated to St. David. In the chapel that night he was confronted by God with his pagan-style way of life - and he was ashamed. He decided to give up all earthly goods and live as a hermit, studying and praying. A priest named Fr. Ersinius and other supporters joined him. In 1118 William's kindhearted relative, Hugh, put his wealth to good use by giving full monetary support to William. Soon a priory and church named for St. John the Baptist were built. Augustinian priests came to live, teach and work among the Welsh people. The monastery was called Llanthony Priory, parts of which still stand in the countryside of Gwent, Wales.
Living and defending the Faith would become even more important for future generation Laceys. They were ready - most of them - for it was embedded in their hearts, minds and souls.
Over the next five centuries, Laceys came to Britain. Some lived in Wales and southern England but many settled in the county of Yorkshire in northern England. The Catholic Faith was preached and embraced all over England but in Yorkshire it was especially strong. It was second only to Canterbury, which lies in central England. Yorkshire had its first Catholic bishop in 314 A.D. and by the 8th century it had become the center of European education, thanks to St. Peter's Catholic Church and the Cathedral of St. Peter. Very soon, there were over 100 Catholic institutions in Yorkshire. Great monasteries, convents and magnificent churches were built. Catholicism was loved and lived. These were good times.
Lust and power changed all that. Henry VIII, King of England from 1509 - 1547, grew tired of his wife Catherine, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, the great Catholic leaders of Spain. Catherine and Henry married in 1516 and had one child, Mary. By 1527 Henry became enamored with one of Catherine's ladies-in-waiting. He wanted a divorce. Pope Clement VII said no but obedience and submission had become foreign to Henry, a man who, during an earlier and holier time in his life, wrote wonderful works defending the Catholic Faith. But he defied the pope, "put away" his wife and married Anne Boleyn in 1533. That act poisoned Henry - poisoned with defiance, pride and a mad obsession to make others "take his side" by turning away from the Faith, too. The poison was contagious and spread like wildfire to all the power-hungry men around the king. Soon, many Catholics would pay for Henry's sins - with their lives.
King Henry VIII started his own religion, declaring himself head of the Church of England. He expected all his government workers and even the bishops to give up their Catholic Faith and follow him. Many did so, but not the real men of Faith and character. Soon, they were made examples of. But first, more domestic problems. By 1535 Henry had grown tired of Anne Boleyn and had "fallen in love" with Jane Seymour. Anne and Henry had an infant daughter, Elizabeth, but that didn't stop Henry from beheading her and marrying Jane. Then he turned his attention back to subjugating the men of England. Henry took control of the monasteries, confiscating their land and giving it to members of the middle-class. This strengthened allegiance to the king and made it easy for Englishmen to leave a Church they obviously never fully embraced.
Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher were two of the first to refuse to give up their Catholic Faith. Henry was enraged. He had them beheaded in 1536.
That was the same year that the brave and trusting Catholics of Yorkshire organized their Pilgrimage of Grace. King Henry VIII had closed 300 religious houses in York. A York lawyer, Robert Aske, wrote a petition to the King: "The closing of so many religious houses is a hardship because the religious community helped the needy economically and helped all the citizens spiritually. Therefore we ask that the laws against the activities of the Catholic Church be repealed." 40,000 men signed the petition and would march with Mr. Aske to London, behind a banner emblazoned with a crucifix, the five wounds of Christ, a chalice and Host.
King Henry VIII heard of the march and feared not only this large "army" but also the possibility of an army coming from Rome and other Catholic countries. He sent the Duke of Norfolk and 8,000 soldiers to meet the Pilgrimage of Grace. The two sides met on Doncaster Bridge on October 27, 1536 and the leaders arranged a meeting with the King on November 2. At the meeting, King Henry charmed the leaders from York with generous promises of a free parliament and general amnesty for all who wanted to remain in the "old religion". Mr. Aske went back to York and disbanded his Pilgrimage on December 8. Within weeks the King's men were back in York, arresting and imprisoning the Pilgrimage leaders. Henry's thirst for blood was unleashed and he sent his henchmen in. Terror reigned. Peasants were hung in the village for all to see. Monks were hung from church steeples, bodies left hanging for weeks. Robert Aske was publicly executed. This is his sentence, the same sentence Henry and his successors would carry out over and over again for the next 150 years:

stjos/stvdp: 12.11.2011 - 04

"Death Sentence: You shall be led from whence you came and from there shall be drawn through the city to the place of execution where your body shall be hanged by the neck; being half-alive, you shall be cut down and thrown to the ground, your bowels to be taken out of your body and burnt before you, being alive; your head to be smitten off and your body to be divided into four quarters; and after, your head and quarters to be sent where the king shall appoint. And may God have mercy on your soul."
The king or queen appointed that the slain's head and "four quarters" be displayed throughout the city, until there was nothing left of them, so all people could see what would happen to them if they defied the Head of the Church of England.
There is no record of names of the trusting souls who marched in the Pilgrimage of Grace or of the brave ones who became the first Yorks to die for the Catholic Faith but it is very likely there were Laceys among them. At least two more still had to die.
Meanwhile, Henry and Jane had a son, Edward, in 1537. Jane died following childbirth.
No matter. Henry met, married and divorced Anne of Cleves, a German princess whom Henry said was ugly. Instead of beheading her, he beheaded his friend, Thomas Cromwell, the man who had arranged the marriage. Then he married 19-year-old Catherine Howard, whom he beheaded two years later. The next year he married Catherine Paar, and he finally died 3 years later, in 1547.
Then it was up to the children of this "father" who murdered their mothers, to run all of England! It was Elizabeth, Henry's daughter, who would eventually become queen and carry on her father's murderous legacy.
Queen Elizabeth was often called "Good Queen Bess" yet she was anything but good to English Catholics. Elizabeth fined Englishmen if they didn't attend Anglican services, she made Mass illegal and those caught attending Mass were fined and imprisoned. She tried to make all Englishmen take an Oath to her, proclaiming her Supreme Head of England and the Church. The penalty after two refusals to take the oath was death. Rosaries, pictures of saints, and Catholic prayer books were illegal and priests could be executed as traitors, along with anyone else suspected of "Catholic activity".
Catholics went into hiding, going about their daily business like any other good Englishman but meeting for Mass in secret, hiding priests, teaching their children in darkness. Elizabeth came up with a simple plan to catch Catholics. She announced that she would pay people for any and all information on Catholic activity. Love of money truly is the root of all evil - a perverted love that makes war in families. Those who chose to remain faithful to the Catholic Church now knew that their enemies could be the very people they lived with.
We do not know the year of Brian Lacey's birth but we know the age of his cousin, Montford Scott, whom Brian traveled with. Brian was probably about the same age. That means he was born around 1555-1560. He would have been raised on stories about the brave souls in the Pilgrimage of Grace and he would have lived through the martyrdom of Elizabeth's first victims. York was the home of the greatest number of English who refused to give up their Catholic Faith so young Brian witnessed their courage, determination and deaths.
Brian came from a successful but not royal family, as he was described as a "Yorkshire Gentleman". The term "gentleman" was used in those days to describe a "freeman of good reputation and some money by way of a trade, belonging to a family of high social station, owning property, being chivalrous, honorable, distinguished, kind, amiable and of correct behavior".
Brian Lacey came from a long line of knights and defenders of the Truth. He was determined to be one of them.
Brian's relative, William Lacey, was one of Queen Elizabeth's first martyrs. He was described as a "gentleman of substance and a staunch Catholic". After the death of his second wife, William went to Rome and became a priest. Knowing the great danger but also the great need, Fr. William Lacey went back to York, England to minister to his friends and family. He was captured while celebrating a secret Mass and was executed on August 22, 1582. Brian was around 22 years old.
In 1577, Montford Scott, Brian's cousin, also became a priest and went back to England to help keep the Faith alive. Fr. Scott and Brian Lacey traveled all over England, smuggling pamphlets, tiny books, rosaries, medals and crucifixes into every town. Fr. Scott would hear confessions in the middle of the night, celebrate Mass at daybreak - then leave. They did this for seven years - until Fr. Scott was captured in 1584. He was put in prison in the Tower of London for seven years, one year for each year of his "acts of treason".
Brian kept working but in 1586 he was caught and thrown in the Newgate prison in London, a place where public executions took place every day. He was interrogated three times but kept his integrity and loyalty, refusing to sacrifice his eternal life for a few more years on earth. He was released from prison, went back to helping Catholics, was arrested and released again. Fr. Scott was also released. It was 1591 and both men had only a few more months to live.
They took up their work and were captured again on July 1, 1591. Fr. Montford Scott was drawn, hung and quartered the next day. Brian was thrown into prison at Bridewell - this time to be tortured over and over again by Queen Elizabeth's vicious "Catholic catcher", Richard Topcliffe. Topcliffe wanted names of Catholics from Brian Lacey. He wanted places where Masses were held. He wanted to know how those "dirty priests" got in and out of England. Brian: the very name means "strong". He stayed true to his name, his heritage and his God. He suffered but he did not break.
The torture went on for five months. All the while, more and more Catholics were being hunted. November 8, 1591 was an especially "fruitful" day for the Catholic catchers - they jailed two priests, one woman and three laymen. Their trial was set for December 4. Topcliffe was tired of trying to get Brian Lacey to talk so he sent him before the judge with the others. The verdict came down on December 5: six were to be drawn, hung and quartered. The woman, Mrs. Swithin Wells, would be imprisoned until her death.
On December 10, 1591 at 8:00 a.m. young Brian Lacey was led out of his cell and "drawn" to Tyburn in London. There he was told that if he changed his faith he would be spared. Brian said he would live and die in the True Faith.
Just before he was hung, Richard Topcliffe couldn't resist one more torture. Probably the cruelest of all. "Do you care to know who informed on you, Brian Lacey? It was Richard, your brother!"
Brian died a painful death but with these words on his lips, "Lord, have mercy on his soul".
Brian Lacey was beatified a martyr on 15 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI. His Feast Day is 10 December.


stjos/stvdp: 12.11.2011 - 05

You know, of course, that Rosie recently announced her engagement to Michelle Rounds, do you not? So, I presume there is a wedding coming up in the near future. I have been checking my mail each day to see if I am invited.
I know, of course, that I shall check the “regrets” box but, at the same time, I don’t want to hurt Rosie’s feelings. I wonder if I should be honest about it or if I should tell a little white lie and append a note to the reply card and say:

“Gee, Rosie, I just feel SO sorry that I can’t go to your wedding. I would just love to be there, but I have an absolutely unbreakable commitment to take my cat to her orthodontist in Camden NJ that day and you know how hard it is to reschedule appointments with veterinary orthodontists! So, all my best to Michelle and you as you start your new life together. Love, EBC”.

On the other hand, I could write a note something like the following:

“Dear Rosie, the reason I can’t go to your wedding is as follows: I was thumbing through my Bible the other day and just happened to come across Paul’s letter to the Romans. Here is a passage that struck me and that I would like to share with Michelle and you: ‘God therefore delivered them up to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and the men gave up natural intercourse with women and burned with lust for one another.’ (Romans 1, 26-27a) If you read the whole passage (Romans 1, 18-32) it will give you the heebie-jeebies! It’s really kind of scary. So, here’s what I’m saying: I can’t go to your wedding because I’m afraid that God will get mad at me for lending my support (and presumed approval) to gay marriage. So, please don’t take this personally. I sure do want you to go to heaven and I want Michelle to go to heaven too. At the same time, I know that God doesn’t allow two persons to get married if both of them are women or if both of them are men. I’m as sure as I can be that persons who do that go to Hell. But we’re still friends, Rosie! So, I’ll see you next time you’re in Girardville. Until then, please know that I wish you well and I wish Michelle well, but I wish the two of you well as separate, distinct units, not as a couple, if you know what I mean. Love, EBC.”

One of the dilemmas we occasionally find ourselves in is this: We are committed to Jesus Christ and we don’t want to do anything that would offend Him. At the same time we have friends and relatives who want us to participate in their wrongdoing. We want to “do the right thing” but we find that doing the right thing might alienate us from one or more of our friends or relatives. Maybe it would be better to placate our friends and relatives and throw the Lord Jesus under the bus?
Do you think so? If you do think so, I suggest you change your mind. I love my friends and relatives but one thing is for sure: I’m not going to risk going to hell to make any of them happy! The practical applications of this principle are sure to come up in your life! Maybe it won’t be a “gay wedding” but it might be a wedding that initiates a marriage that violates the laws of God in some other way — what we call “an invalid union”. For example, your brother (never married) wants to marry a woman who is divorced, whose prior marriage had never been annulled by the Church. She is not, of course, “free to marry” by the laws of God and His Church. Would you attend this wedding “for the sake of peace in the family”? If that is your decision, you are committing a mortal sin.
None of us can “have it both ways”! We cannot simultaneously offend God and please Him.

stjos/stvdp: 12.11.2011 - 06



Thursday, 22 December
06:30 pm


The Cardinal Brennan Fieldhouse
Fountain Springs, PA


to enjoy an inspiring performance by

Students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8!!!

No Admission Charge
Good Will Donations Accepted!

FYI …The concession stand will be open at 05:30 pm
for the purchase of food and refreshments
prior to the Christmas Presentation

stjos/stvdp: 12.11.2011 - 07


by Herb Weisbaum, The ConsumerMan

Shop at a major retailer between now and Christmas and there’s a good chance the clerk at the register will offer you an instant discount – 10 to 20 percent off your entire purchase – if you apply for the store’s credit card first. What should do you do?
“I know that it's very tempting, but always say no,” advises Beverly Harzog “It's just never, ever a good idea to try to get approved on the spot when you haven't even read the fine print.”
Some retailers offer their version of a Visa and MasterCard. Others, like Macy's, Saks, Ann Taylor, Gap and Best Buy, also have their own credit cards that can only be used in their stores.
If you're a regular customer, you may want to take home the application (yes, you’ll miss out on the instant impulse savings) to see if the card makes sense for you. The private label cards often offer special deals that aren't available to the general public.
Just remember this: Cards offered by retailers tend to be one-size-fits-all. They have the highest interest rates – usually 10 points more than a regular credit card – even if you have a good credit score.
“The terms of these credit cards are actually very poor,” says John Ulzheimer with “The interest rates are almost always in the mid-20s and the credit limits to start are almost always below a thousand dollars.”
Ulzheimer calls these the sort of terms that are offered to people with really bad credit. “You would never accept these terms on a general use credit card like a Visa or MasterCard, but we gladly accept them for a retail store card.”
With an interest rate in the mid-20s, an unpaid balance could easily erase any savings you'd get if you applied for the card to get the instant discount.
Why not apply for the card, snag the savings and never use the card again? That seems logical, but any time you apply for credit it lowers your credit score a little. It may be only a couple of points, but you can’t be sure.
“You don’t know what you don’t know,” warns Ulzheimer. “You have no idea what’s going to happen to your score.”
What it your score drops just enough to put you in a less attractive rate tier? You could wind up paying more for all of your credit, including credit cards, future car loans, even a mortgage refinance.
“Whatever discount you got the day of your shopping is meaningless in the grand scheme of things if you’re paying more interest during the life of the loan that you’re taking out,” Ulzheimer cautions.
Worse yet, if your score is already on the borderline and that new credit account drops it even lower, you could be rejected when you apply for credit.
Remember: Canceling the card after you get the discount won't help. Any damage that’s been done to your score is done. Closing the account does not reverse that.

stjos/stvdp: 12.11.2011 - 08

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