MASS SCHEDULE: 1320 FEBRUARY
SAINT
JOSEPH CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE

Saturday, 12 February
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — HAROLD BURNS
by his wife

Sunday, 13 February
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — JAMES and ANGELINA (Ranieri) PALESTIS
by Bernadine Chupasko

Monday, 14 February
St. Cyril, monk, and St. Methodius, bishop (OptMem)
08:00 am — HAROLD BURNS
by his family

Tuesday, 15 February
Weekday
07:00 pm — ARTHUR E. LAUDEMAN
by OPM

Wednesday, 16 February
Weekday
08:00 am — MICHAEL J. CLARKE
by the Clarke Trust

Thursday, 17 February
The Seven Founders of the Order of Servites, religious (OptMem)
08:00 am — God’s Blessings on GUY and SHIRLEY RECLA FAMILY
by Shirley

Friday, 18 February
Weekday
08:00 am — ANN REBER
by Reynold Reber and family

Saturday, 19 February
Weekday
08:00 am — Deacon STEPHEN ANDRUSISIAN
by OPM
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — EARL RICHARDS
by Vytus and Teresa Karavage

Sunday, 20 February
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — MARIAN (Ranieri) MONTEROSSO
by Bernadine Chupasko

 MASS SCHEDULE: 1320 FEBRUARY
SAINT
Vincent dePAUL CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE 
     

Saturday, 12 February
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — ADOLPH and MAMIE PETROUSKY
by Ed, Barbara and Samantha

Sunday, 13 February
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — Deceased: HOLY NAME SOCIETY
by the HNS

Monday, 14 February
St. Cyril, monk, and St. Methodius, bishop (OptMem)
07:00 pm — EDWARD and FRANCES LUSHIS
transferred from 07 Feb

Tuesday, 15 February
Weekday
08:00 am — JOHN P. BLOZOSKIE
by Peter and Violet Smolock

Wednesday, 16 February
Weekday
07:00 pm — ELIZABETH EICHENBERG
by OPM

Thursday, 17 February
The Seven Founders of the Order of Servites, religious (OptMem)
07:00 pm — JAMES L. KENNEDY
by M/M John Gillis

Friday, 18 February
Weekday
05:00 pm — THOMAS KUPUSNICK
by OPM

Saturday, 19 February
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — MARGARET RYAN WHEELER
by Elizabeth Ryan

Sunday, 20 February
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — Deceased: LIPPAY FAMILY
by Jim and Georgann Connell

stjos/stvdp: 02.13.2011 - 01


COLLECTION TOTALS FROM LAST WEEKEND:
05 / 06 FEBRUARY


Saint Joseph Parish
:
Receipts for parish purposes: $1,249.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $64.00 from the second collection (plate); $332.00 from the Dues envelopes; $25.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $485.00 from the Fuel envelopes; $42.00 from the loose.
Total: $2,197.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: -0-
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($2,197.00) 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 $1,045.83 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $867.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $34.00 from the second collection (plate); $214.00 from the Dues envelopes; $362.00 from the Fuel envelopes; $56.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,533.00.
Receipts for non-parish purposes: -0-
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,533.00) 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 $770.18 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

 CONFESSION SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Wednesday, 16 February
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 17 February
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 18 February
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

Keep in mind that Confession is available outside the scheduled times to anyone who asks. If you want to go to Confession, simply tap the priest on the shoulder or (preferably) call the pastor and agree with him on a time. Fr. Connolly does not consider such requests to be “an imposition” on his time. He is happy to make the sacrament available.

 EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

Wednesday, 16 February
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
(Scripture Rosary at about 3:40 pm)

Friday, 18 February
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel
(Vespers and Chaplet of Divine Mercy at about 07:30 pm)

stjos/stvdp: 02.13.2011 - 02


THE PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY REPORT
If you do not know what I am referring to, I am inclined to say “let sleeping dogs lie”. Feel free to ignore the rest of this article.
If you do know what I am referring to, please continue reading.
I am referring to the report of the Grand Jury XXIII to the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Criminal Trial Division, that was charged by the District Attorney with investigating the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and employees of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The report was signed off on by Renee Cardwell Hughes, Supervising Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, on 21 January 2011 and was released to the public this past week.
I have read the entire report and can only say that I am utterly disgusted and dismayed at what I read.
The actions of the three priests and one layman (a teacher in a Catholic school) that are described in this report are absolutely beyond the pale. The report stirs up in me profound anger and deep sorrow and shame.
I am well aware of the fact that, as a Christian, I am called to forgive all sin and to strive to be compassionate towards sinners.
May God give me — and all of us Catholics — the grace to do so.
But I cannot and will not be told that I must not react in public with any sort of anger. There is a time and a place for anger. If this is not the time, I don’t know when the time will ever be.
I am angry at the Church of Philadelphia. The message directed to the angel (presiding spirit) of the Church of Thyatira is more apt at this time than is the message directed to the angel (presiding spirit) of the (ancient) Church of Philadelphia:

To the angel of the church in Thyatira, write this: "The Son of God, whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like polished brass, says this: ‘I know your works, your love, faith, service, and endurance, and that your last works are greater than the first. Yet I hold this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, who teaches and misleads my servants to play the harlot and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her harlotry. So I will cast her on a sickbed and plunge those who commit adultery with her into intense suffering unless they repent of her works. I will also put her children to death. Thus shall all the churches come to know that I am the searcher of hearts and minds and that I will give each of you what your works deserve. But I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not uphold this teaching and know nothing of the so-called deep secrets of Satan: on you I will place no further burden, except that you must hold fast to what you have until I come.’”

Apparently the Son of God “whose eyes are like a fiery flame” has utilized a grand jury in order to bring to light some of the filth and some of the arrogance that has sullied the garment of the Bride of Christ in Philadelphia.

The Book of Malachi takes on new meaning for me when I think about what has happened in the Church of Philadelphia. Here are a few verses for the sake of meditation:

And now, O priests, this commandment is for you: If you do not listen, and if you do not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, says the LORD of hosts, I will send a curse upon you and of your blessing I will make a curse. Yes, I have already cursed it, because you do not lay it to heart. Lo, I will deprive you of the shoulder and I will strew dung in your faces, The dung of your feasts, and you will be carried off with it. Then you will know that I sent you this commandment because I have a covenant with Levi, says the LORD of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace; fear I put in him, and he feared me, and stood in awe of my name. True doctrine was in his mouth, and no dishonesty was found upon his lips; He walked with me in integrity and in uprightness, and turned many away from evil. For the lips of the priest are to keep knowledge, and instruction is to be sought from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way, and have caused many to falter by your instruction; you have made void the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts. I, therefore, have made you contemptible and base before all the people, Since you do not keep my ways, but show partiality in your decisions. Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek, And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner's fire, or like the fuller's lye. He will sit refining and purifying (silver), and he will purify the sons of Levi, Refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in days of old, as in years gone by. I will draw near to you for judgment, and I will be swift to bear witness Against the sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers, those who defraud the hired man of his wages, Against those who defraud widows and orphans; those who turn aside the stranger, and those who do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.

Let us pray:
Spare, Lord Jesus, spare Your people, and do not be angry with us forever.
Forgive us, O Lord, our lust, our unfaithfulness, our sacrilege, our cowardice.
Do not abandon us, O Lord!
For the sake of Your Holy Mother and of all the saints and of our godly ancestors, spare us, O Lord.
Do not allow us to continue to be a laughing stock among the pagans!
Come and purify the sons of Levi!

stjos/stvdp: 02.13.2011 - 03 / 04


History of St. Vincent dePaul Parish Girardville, PA
Istorija Švento Vincento dePaul Parapijos Girardville, PA

Lithuanians began to immigrate to the United States in the latter half of the 19th century. They came to the United States seeking a better life and religious freedom. During the 19th century in Lithuania, the country was under control of Russia and the Czar. The Czars of Russia imposed the policy known as “Russification” on the Lithuanian people. They were forced to learn the Russian language and join the Russian Orthodox Church. They were prohibited to read, write, or speak Lithuanian. No one could practice the Catholic faith in Lithuania. So, many left their homeland for “Amerikoje” or “America”.
Many Lithuanian immigrants in our area began working in the coal-mining industry, so some began to settle in the coal-mining town of Girardville. The Lithuanian population of the Girardville area grew at a faster pace in the 1890’s and early 1900’s. At first the Lithuanian people of Girardville had to attend St. Joseph Church, in Girardville, the nearest territorial Catholic church. Or travel to St. George Church in Shenandoah to attend Mass with other Lithuanian Catholics. In 1904, the first Lithuanian Catholic Masses in Girardville were held at the Girard Opera House (27 E. Main St.). This site was later used as the Girard Movie Theater, then roller skating rink. The building was then empty for many years. It was demolished in 2010. Rev. Antanas (Anthony) M. Milukas, from St. George Parish in Shenandoah, celebrated Mass there from 1904-1907. In the fall of 1906 Father Milukas started to organize a parish. This parish would be named St. Vincent dePaul. Some of the founding parishioners were: Sylvester Bielauskas, John Greblick, Walter Marcincavage, Frank Shimulaitis and Mr. Chapley, an uncle of Father Milukas. The first person baptized in the parish was George Želvio on January 27, 1907. The first marriage in the parish was between John Bendokas and Elizabeth Litwinavage on February 12, 1907.
Note: There is an error in the parish’s 50th, 75th and 100th anniversary books. The error is that Joseph Jurgaicio and Josephine Sanavaitytes are listed as the first couple married in the new parish. Actually, Joseph and Josephine were the witnesses for the marriage of John and Elizabeth. (I give Ian Getzey credit for discovering this error and I thank him for bringing it to my attention.)
Some of the first altar servers were: Joseph Ackronias, Anthony Bann, and John Bernotas. In October 1907, Father Milukas purchased the former National Guard Armory and surrounding grounds at 2nd and C Streets from the owner, the Girard Estate, for $8,000.The Girard House Hotel was originally located on this site facing Mahanoy Avenue. A house was purchased on 2nd Street to be used as the parish rectory, previously the home of the Cepukaitis family. The Armory was converted into a church. It was blessed by the Most Reverend Patrick J. Ryan, Archbishop of Philadelphia, on November 1, 1907. Enthusiasm was tremendous among the local Lithuanian Catholics, since they now had their own church. Donations amounted to $7,245.64 during the first year of the parish’s existence. However, these were still difficult financial times for the newly formed parish.
On May23, 1908, Rev. Simnas (Simon) Pautienius succeeded Father Milukas. He was pastor for about two years when, on May 10, 1910, Rev. Jonas (John) Dumcius was appointed pastor. He was pastor for about one year until Rev. V. Taškunas was appointed pastor on March 22, 1911. He remained pastor until October 1911 when Rev. M. Durickas became pastor. In 1913 Rev. F. Augustaitis became the sixth pastor. During Father Augustaitis’s time a new rectory was built beside the church for $3,000. It was a three-story wooden structure. In 1916, Rev. Jeronimas (Jerome) Valaitis was appointed as the seventh pastor of our parish. He was determined to reduce the debt of the parish and make repairs to the church, which was starting to deteriorate. However his efforts were vain, due to the hard times of World War I. Father Valaitis became sickly and downhearted, so he returned to his native country of Lithuania in 1920. Rev. Ignacas (Ignatius) F. Valanciunas was assigned as pastor on June 15, 1920. Father Valanciunas found the church in poor condition and in desperate need of repairs. Discussion began as to whether to build a new church or not. Some parishioners wanted a new church now, when others did not want to put another financial burden on the parish. Finally in 1923, it was decided to build a new church. Parishioners and townspeople began to help demolish the church. During the building of the new church, Mass was celebrated in the basement of St. Joseph Church. The cornerstone of the new church was blessed and laid by Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, Archbishop of Philadelphia, in November 1925. Cardinal Dougherty himself was a former parishioner of St. Joseph Parish, Girardville. The church is constructed of brick and is of English Gothic style. It is 150 feet long by 50 feet wide. Freeman of Reading was the Architect. There are four bells in the steeple. They have diameters, in inches, of 44, 34, 29, and 22. One was purchased by Father Valanciunas; another was donated by parishioner Mr. Offshany, and the remaining two purchased by the parishioners. Rev. Kaulakis of St. Casimir Parish in Philadelphia blessed the bells. The overall expenses were about $996,000. Many individuals and societies donated money for the stained glass windows, Stations of the Cross, altar rails, statues, and many other items, in addition to their parish pledges. Many of these names can still be seen today on the stained glass windows and the Stations of the Cross. Attached to the back of the church is a three story school, with two classrooms on each floor. The school is 40 feet long by 50 feet wide. Directly under the church is the parish hall. Due to the lack of funds, the school was not opened when it was completed. Instead, the school was rented to the Girardville Public School System for a few years. Construction was completed by May 30, 1926, when the church was blessed by Cardinal Dougherty.
In November 1928, the Holy Name Society was organized and continues to serve the parish today. On August 28, 1933, Rev. Michael F. Daumantas was appointed as the ninth pastor of our parish. Father Valanciunas was transferred to St. Casimir Parish in Philadelphia. In Father Daumantas’s time, a new marble altar was imported from Italy and was erected in 1935. This is the same altar that is in the church today. In 1937, the parish celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. A dinner was held in the parish hall and a thirtieth anniversary souvenir book was published. It was written entirely in Lithuanian, which was common in the earlier years of the parish’s existence. The interior of the church was repainted for the first time in 1939. In September of 1939, St. Vincent dePaul School was established. The Sisters of Jesus Crucified were invited to teach at the school. They resided on the third floor of the school. The first Superior was Sister M. Gabriel. The opening enrollment of the school was 108. By 1957 there were 187 children attending our parish school. In May 1940, Rev. Albin J. Neverauskas (Nevers) was appointed as the first assistant pastor of our parish.
In 1945, through the efforts of the pastor and parishioners, a convent was established for the sisters who resided on the third floor of the parish school. Conditions at the school were tight, with only one small bathroom and a classroom used as a bedroom for the sisters. The Girard Mansion, across the street at 104 E. Mahanoy Avenue, was given to the parish by the Girard Estate. However, it cost more than $13,000 to renovate and furnish. A chapel with a beautiful pink marble altar was constructed inside the convent. Cardinal Dougherty blessed the convent on October 13, 1945.
During the late 1940’s the pastor, Father Daumantas, served as treasurer of the Lithuanian Priest League in America, and president of the local chapter. The parish had over 500 families in the late 1940’s. This is about as many families as are enrolled today at St. Vincent dePaul Parish and St. Joseph Parish combined. In 1947, Rev. Jerome J. Bagdonas succeeded Father Albin Nevers as assistant pastor. Father Bagdonas was also a writer for the local Lithuanian newspaper, Saules, Mahanoy City. In 1949 Rev. Jonas (John) Buikus, a refugee from Lithuania (then part of the USSR), which had been ravished during the Second World War, was given a home at St. Vincent dePaul Parish to assist our parish. In 1949 a celebration was held to honor Father Daumantas’s twenty-five years as a priest.
The church was repainted for the second time around 1950. In 1951 Father Bagdonas was replaced by Rev. Joseph A. Neverauskas (Nevers). In 1952, the home at 100 East Mahanoy Avenue was purchased by the parish to be used as a new rectory. Built in 1832, the home is the first building ever built in Girardville. The rectory that was built next to the church during Father Augustaitis’s time was deteriorating due to the lack of care. In 1953, a banquet was held for Father Daumantas to celebrate his twenty years as pastor. Shortly after, he returned to his original home diocese in upstate New York. The assistant pastor, Father Joseph Nevers, was promoted to pastor of our parish in 1953. On 11 May 1955, Rev. Andrew J. Degutis was assigned as pastor. Father Joseph Nevers was transferred to the now closed St. Louis (Our Lady of Siluva) Parish, Maizeville. In 1957, the parish celebrated its golden jubilee. Mass was celebrated and a banquet was held in the parish hall on 01 September. Former pastor Rt. Rev. Msgr. Valanciunas was the main celebrant.
On 30 May 1959, Father Degutis celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Father Degutis served as pastor of our parish until he became ill. So, in 1967, Rev. Pascal J. Sabas was appointed administrator of the parish. By 1967 there were mixed nationalities in the parish and English had replaced Lithuanian. Because of this, Lithuanian-born Father Buikas, who had resided at our parish since 1949, left for another assignment. The parish hall was remodeled in 1968. Also in 1968, St. Vincent dePaul Parish School and St. Joseph Parish School formed an affiliation. Even-number grades attended St. Vincent’s and odd-number grades attended St. Joseph’s. In 1970, Father Sabas was appointed pastor and Father Degutis went to the Archdiocesan Home for Sick and Aged Priests in Newtown, PA. Father Sabas was the first non-native-Lithuanian pastor of our parish. The convent (the Girard Mansion) was sold in 1970 for $8,800. The pastor moved his residence to the unused first floor school rooms, and the rectory on Mahanoy Avenue became the new convent. In the meantime, a new rectory was planned to be built next to the church. The old rectory attached to the church was demolished. The ground-level side entrance was added to the church during this time. Previously, this spot had been the entrance to the old rectory. The stairs next to the church and surrounding area were constructed along with the new rectory. The new rectory was dedicated on 06 June 1971. This is the current and fourth rectory the parish has had. In the forty years of the current rectory’s existence, nine different priests have lived here: five pastors and four residents.
St. Vincent dePaul School ceased to exist in 1972. The Sisters of Jesus Crucified had taught at the school for all thirty-three years of its existence. They left for different assignments. The convent / former rectory on the corner of East Mahanoy Avenue was sold to Michael Yesalavage on 07 August 1972. In September 1972, a new organ was installed. It replaced the old pipe organ that had been used since the church was built. On 01 August 1977, Rev. James J. Lofton became pastor. Father Sabas was transferred to St. Ignatius of Loyola in Sinking Springs. In September 1978, plans were finalized to completely remodel the inside of the church. The work began on 01 October. This renovation cost about $119,703.
New pews and carpet were installed. The church was rewired and equipped with new lighting. The bathroom was added. A confession room was added, which replaced the old confessionals, and the inside of the church was completely redecorated and repainted. These are just some of the many things that were done. The parishioners pledged large amounts of money to make this renovation possible. The Holy Rosary Society purchased the new bronze tabernacle for $1,800.The newly remodeled church was blessed by the Most Reverend Joseph M. McShea, founding bishop of Allentown, on April 20, 1980. In 1982, the Parish observed its diamond jubilee. Mass was celebrated and a banquet was held on October 24. A jubilee book was published.
In October 1985, Rev. David M. Liebner replaced Father Lofton as pastor. Father Lofton was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in New Philadelphia. In January 1987, the parish hall was renovated again, which included an enlarged kitchen. In April of that year the Holy Rosary Society purchased the stained-glass windows in the confession room, for $1,600. And in February 1991 the Holy Rosary and Holy Name Societies began their annual — now famous! — Chinese auction. In July 1992, the original slate roof on the church began to leak and was replaced. Then in 1995, the rectory roof required replacement. In September 1998, the restrooms in the parish hall were remodeled and updated. In July 2000 the church stained-glass windows were repaired. In 2004, the large stained-glass window which had been located directly above the altar was relocated to the wall behind the altar, for $6,686. In the spring, the church interior was repainted for the fourth time for the cost of $33,289. The Holy Rosary and Holy Name Societies provided $11,000 of the cost.
On 15 June 2004, Father Liebner retired and a banquet was held in the parish hall in his honor. Father Liebner was named Pastor Emeritus. The Most Reverend Edward P. Cullen, third Bishop of Allentown, appointed Rev. Gregory R. Karpyn as pastor. Father Karpyn had already been serving as pastor of St. Joseph Girardville since 2002. Now that both parishes in Girardville had the same pastor, the two parish offices combined into one in 2004 at St. Vincent DePaul Rectory. Father Karpyn also moved his residence here in November 2005. In 2007, the parish observed its centennial. The celebration lasted from 27 to 30 September, with the closing Mass celebrated and banquet in the parish hall on the last day. A centennial book was published. On 15 July 2008, Rev. Edward B. Connolly became pastor of both St. Vincent dePaul Parish and St. Joseph Parish in Girardville, succeeding Father Karpyn. He is the sixteenth and current pastor of St. Vincent dePaul Parish. Since the closing of many churches in our diocese, our parish has become the only parish in the Allentown Diocese to be named St. Vincent dePaul. It is one of five Lithuanian parishes remaining in the diocese. In the order of their founding, they are: St. George, Shenandoah (still a parish, although a parish without a church); St. Vincent dePaul, Girardville; SS. Peter and Paul, Tamaqua; St. Michael, Easton; Annunciation BVM., Frackville. Our parish is the second oldest Lithuanian parish in the diocese, next to St. George. It is the thirty-eighth oldest parish in the diocese and the sixteenth oldest in Schuylkill County. Prior to the closing of churches in 2008, it had been the seventieth oldest parish in the diocese.
Our parish has changed a lot since its founding by our Lithuanian ancestors who worked hard for its establishment and longevity. Very few members of our parish are conversant in Lithuanian at the present time, whereas just about everyone was in years past. The parish has become a mix of nationalities. Always will our roots be in Lithuania but, along with St. Joseph Parish, we are all one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church serving the people of Girardville and vicinity.

May the Name of Jesus Christ be praised forever.
Gegužes Jezaus Kristaus Vardas buti giriamas amžinai!

stjos/stvdp: 02.13.2011 - 04 / 05 /06 /07 /08


PLEASE NOTE
We are including in this edition of the parish bulletin a history of St. Vincent dePaul Parish. See pages 05 to 08.
You might recall that, this past August, we did the same for St. Joseph Parish.
If you go to our parish website, you will see that the history of St. Joseph Parish, complete with photographs, is posted there and will be a permanent entry in said website.
Either this week or next, we will do the same for the history of St. Vincent dePaul Parish. It will be posted on the website, complete with photographs.
“I would be remiss” (as speakers say at banquets) if I were to neglect to give credit where credit is due. Ian Getzey (Saturday office boy) is responsible for putting these histories into their final form and for prompting the pastor to put them into the bulletin and onto the website. It would not have happened without him.
My only contribution to the cause was to do some final editing for spellings and punctuations, etc.

WHILE ON THE SUBJECT OF PARISH HISTORIES, please remember that we are selling the newly published History of the Diocese of Allentown for a mere pittance: $25.00!
This is a limited-edition book. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. The Diocese is observing this year the 50th anniversary of its founding. This provided the rationale for putting out this history book. The history of our diocese, like that of any diocese, is primarily a history of the parishes that comprise the diocese. So, you will find in this book a summary of the history of St. Joseph Parish and of St. Vincent dePaul Parish, together with photos of the churches.
You can purchase your copy of the book in the back of the church after Mass or else you can come to St. Vincent dePaul Rectory during the week when the secretary is here.

ERROR IN RECENT EDITION OF SCHUYLKILL COUNTY TELEPHONE DIRECTORY
Yours truly (EBC) is listed in the directory with the number (570) 276-6032. I’m sorry to say that, if anyone calls that number, it will not be answered. Reason: That’s our fax line. We rarely use it as a voice line. The correct number for reaching the pastor is (570) 276-6033 and, of course, his cell phone, which is (570) 617-9107. Both of these numbers are on the masthead of the parish bulletin and on the parish calendar. I don’t take the rap for the error. I would tell Verizon about it, but I have had frustrating experiences in the past dealing with Verizon and trying to find a human being to whom I can tell my troubles. I swear that Verizon is entirely operated, if not owned, by Androids who merely simulate human speech. If Verizon tells you that they care, don’t count on it.

stjos/stvdp: 02.13.2011 - 09


Free Advice on How to Raise Your Kids

by Matthew Archbold

New parents will often ask me questions about how to raise children because I have five children, none of whom are (currently) in jail.
Asking me for parenting advice is a bad idea but I understand what it’s like to have many children and not know what you’re doing. The Bible tells us to be fruitful and multiply but after that the Bible kinda hangs us out to dry. Well, that’s where I step in, I guess. I decided I’d like to help other parents by offering the beginnings of a database of fracases they’ll eventually encounter after they’ve been fruitful.
Most Common Fracases
#01 — “You’re in my spot!”
- There’s going to be a spot on the couch that becomes THE most coveted spot by children in the house. And children, once in that spot, will not eat for days and will allow their bladder to expand to the size of Rhode Island before giving up THE SPOT. I once told my child that she was going to have to go to the hospital to have her tonsils removed and she asked whether she could have THE SPOT back when she came home from the hospital.
So when a child comes running to you complaining that he just got up from HIS SPOT for one teeny tiny second and someone stole HIS SPOT should a parent start inquiring how long the accused had been in the spot and what were the reasons for the accuser’s departure? You see, I tried that. It doesn’t get you anywhere. There are too many layers to this problem.
It seems to me that, for bathroom breaks, one shouldn’t lose title to his spot. But if one got up for a snack I believe that implies forfeiture of said spot. But what if he were also retrieving a snack for the person who took the spot? Ah. That’s where things get difficult.
Solution - You take the spot. And the snack(s)! And don’t leave until you achieve bedsores.
#02 — “Hey, that’s Mine”: I don’t think I’ve gone a day in six years where I haven’t heard “Hey, that’s mine.” This is both common and complicated. It’s a bit tricky because older siblings can essentially lay claim to every toy or every piece of clothing in the house. And we can’t have an official passing-down ceremony for everything, so sometimes things just pass on to younger kids. They just do. My eleven year old couldn’t fit a pair of pants past her shin but she got teary eyed when I proposed that the eight-year-old wear them.
The ten-year-old hasn’t looked at a Barbie in months but, if she sees the three-year-old with her Barbie, it’s like the three-year-old just reached in and took out her spleen.
Solution - With clothes it’s simple. If it doesn’t fit it must be handed down the line. But with toys it’s a little more difficult. If older child hasn’t touched aforementioned toy in four months (longer if it’s a seasonal toy) then it may pass on to whichever younger child becomes enamored with it. If there’s still fighting, threaten to give the toy to charity. That’ll quiet them down. The unfortunate side of this is that my children live in constant fear of needy children.
#03 — “She’s not Sharing!” - This is the flipside of the “Hey that’s Mine” argument. This just means the one who’s attempting to commandeer the toy got to you first.
Solution - See above solution.
#04 — “She wants to watch yada yada, but I want to watch gaba gaba” - I used to hear this all the time but I don’t hear it much anymore since I came up with the solution.
Solution - TV goes off and everyone must read for a half an hour. I know I know I shouldn’t make reading a punishment but…well I have no defense. But it gets very quiet after I say this and I’ve come to be very appreciative of quiet.
#05 — “I’m the only one cleeeeaaaaning!!!!” - This occurs when you tell a group of children to clean an entire room. I used to tell them all to go upstairs and clean their room and tell them I didn’t care how long it took but they couldn’t come out until it was done. I think my kids spent the entire 2007 in their room and all they did was throw everything they owned into the hamper.
Solution - Cleaning cannot be a communal activity. Each child must be given very specific jobs. The younger the child, the more specific the job. My three-year-old is currently in the “hand that to me” phase. Anything more general than that she loses her concentration and may try to eat whatever it is she should be putting away. Hint: spread the children throughout the house so they can’t see if the other children aren’t cleeeeeeeeaning.
#06 — “Why should I make my bed if I’m just going to sleep in it tonight?”
Solution - I actually have no answer to that. It makes no logical sense to make the bed. But my Mom made me do it and now you’re going to do it. It’s like algebra. Don’t think about why you’re doing things, just do them.
#07 — “He’s copying me!!!!” - I’m not sure what joy is brought to a child by imitating another child but clearly it brings some inner warmth because I cannot believe how many times one of my children will copy the other even to the point of approaching me and repeating the accusation “She’s copying me!!!!” to me. And telling your child that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” doesn’t help.
Solution - There’s nothing that can be done. Kids are going to copy other kids. You can punish. You can yell. You can scream. As sure as the sun will rise kids are going to copy other kids. It’s kind of funny anyway.
#08 — “You’re not the Boss of Me!!” — My kids will often say this to each other.
Solution - This one is easily solved. I am the boss of all little people in this house.
#09 — It’s My Turn
- Every single game ever played by children eventually devolves into an argument over whose turn it is. Every single one!
Solution - Telling kids that the first shall be last and the last shall be first doesn’t go very far. Actually, the more children you have, the easier this gets. Children from big families learn fast that it’s not always their turn.
#10 — “I’m Telling!” Here’s how it happens. Kids are in the other room, things go quiet for a little bit and then seemingly out of nowhere someone screams “I’m telling!!!” and you hear little footsteps approaching. Now, on the one hand you don’t want to raise a tattle tale. Buuuuuut on the other hand it’s nice having a spy in their camp. Keeps ‘em honest.
Solution - Don’t make the rookie mistake of punishing the child for tattling before you squeeze every last piece of info out of her. Wait until she’s done telling you everything every one of your children and some of your neighbors’ children have done since 2009 and then and only then do you punish her for tattling. And then you also punish the kids who got tattled on.
Note: Don’t send the tattler into the same room as those who’ve been told on. It’s like sentencing a cop to prison. It gets ugly fast.

Well, I hope this helps because that’s pretty much the summation of all my parenting knowledge. If you’d like to add to this growing database of parental “knowledge” please feel free.

stjos/stvdp: 02.13.2011 - 10 /11


Question: Who said the following?
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here's what happened.'"
Answer: Vice-President Joe Biden
Things to be noted in case you are very young and / or not “into history”:
• The stock market crashed in 1929.
• Herbert Hoover was President from 1929 to 1933.
• Franklin D. Roosevelt was President from 1933 to 1945.
• Exactly how many persons do you think were watching television anytime between 1929 and 1945?
Thank God for Joe Biden! What would we do without him?

Two mildly interesting tidbits of recent occurrence
taken
from the life of a parish priest in a small town
in
the northern reaches of a county named Schuylkill

#01 — I was giving altar-boy lessons to five lads this past Sunday evening. We got to the part where the servers present the wine and water and then wash the priest’s hands. I was showing them the protocol for doing these tasks. One of the boys asked me why the priest washes his hands. I complimented him on his curiosity and proceeded to explain the reason to all five, even showing them the page in the Sacramentary where is printed the prayer the priest says during the hand-washing: “Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin”. Then I gave a definition of “iniquity” and suggested they incorporate the word into their vocabulary. Then (because I don’t see any point in giving a short answer when a long answer will do), I summarized the whole thing by saying: “So, you see, before the priest offers up the Holy Eucharist, he is admitting to God that he is unworthy to do so and that he is a sinner in need of mercy.” This prompted one of the lads to ask me, “What sins do you have?” I wasn’t sure how to interpret this. Did he mean that he had already taken it as a given that I have sins and was simply curious about the genus and the species thereof, or did he mean that he was startled at the very thought that yours truly had ever committed any sin at all? I wasn’t really sure, but I didn’t pursue him on it. I simply told him, “I’ll tell you what. You go get yourself ordained a priest and then, maybe, I’ll go to you for Confession and then you’ll know.” I guess this could come under the general heading of “parish priest provides unusual motivation for boy to consider vocation to priesthood”.
#02 — This happened this past Monday or Tuesday evening. I had just consumed the platter Ginny had provided me for supper and my brain turned to dessert. I opened the refrigerator and spied a small plate covered with plastic wrap. I inspected it and determined that it was some sort of apple concoction with a kind of crust on top. Looked like what my mother would have called “apple crisp” — kind of, sort of, like apple pie, but not exactly. I took it out and then had an inspiration! I remembered that there was a container of some left over vanilla ice cream in the freezer. I took out the ice cream and dipped some over the apple crisp. Apple pie and ice cream! What could be more American? What more could any man ask? So, I sat down prepared to make my taste buds happy! Aargh! It wasn’t apple crisp! It was left over fried potatoes!
What can I say? Not good! Not good at all! Not recommended! So, not wanting to waste anything, I carefully separated the ice cream from the fried potatoes, ate the ice cream and put the fried potatoes back into the refrigerator. It is quite possible that history was made that night right here in little old Girardville. I might be the first human being ever to eat fried potatoes with ice cream.
Believe me: It might be a distinction, but it’s no great honor.

stjos/stvdp: 02.13.2011 - 12

 

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