Saturday, 19 March
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — ANTHONY ROWLAND (46th anniversary)
by Eileen Rowland

Sunday, 20 March
2nd Sunday of Lent
11:30 am — MARY BOXER MALL (24th anniversary)
by Tom and Joni Gower

Monday, 21 March
Lenten Weekday
08:00 am — JAMES HOLLEY
by OPM

Tuesday, 22 March
Lenten Weekday
by Shirley Losch Recla

Wednesday, 23 March
St. Toribio de Mogrovejo, bishop (OptMem)
08:00 am — DOLORES MACK
by CDA Court St. Cecilia #1529

Thursday, 24 March
Lenten Weekday
by Jim and Cindy Coyle

Friday, 25 March
The Annunciation of the Lord (Sol)
08:00 am — RUSSELL WEIST
by his wife, Jean

Saturday, 26 March
Lenten Weekday
by David and Susan Thye
Vigil of Sunday
by her husband, Dennis

Sunday, 27 March
3rd Sunday of Lent
by his brothers and sisters


Saturday, 19 March
Vigil of Sunday
by John and Barbara Petrousky

Sunday, 20 March
2nd Sunday of Lent
08:30 am — FRANK E. WHYTENA
by Jim and Georgann Connell

Monday, 21 March
Lenten Weekday
by OPM

Tuesday, 22 March
Lenten Weekday
by his wife, Jean

Wednesday, 23 March
St. Toribio de Mogrovejo, bishop (OptMem)
by M/M John Koons

Thursday, 24 March
Lenten Weekday
by Gina M. Yekenchik

Friday, 25 March
The Annunciation of the Lord (Sol)
05:00 pm — Deceased: DRAUGELIS FAMILY
by the Draugelis and Miller families

Saturday, 26 March
Vigil of Sunday
by his wife and his son

Sunday, 27 March
3rd Sunday of Lent
by his family

stjos/stvdp: 03.20.2011 - 01

12 / 13 MARCH

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes: $952.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $68.00 from the second collection (plate); $60.00 from the Dues envelopes; $169.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $97.00 from the Ash Wednesday envelopes; $75.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,421.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: $97.00 from the Black and Indian Mission envelopes; $192.00 from the Rice Bowl envelopes.
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,421.00) 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 $269.83 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $851.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $68.00 from the second collection (plate); $60.00 from the Dues envelopes; $152.00 from the Building Maintenance envelopes; $181.00 from the Ash Wednesday envelopes; $49.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,361.00.
Receipts for non-parish purposes: $77.00 from the Black and Indian Mission envelopes; $111.00 from the Rice Bowl envelopes
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,361.00) 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 $598.18 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Sunday, 20 March
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Joseph Church

Wednesday, 23 March
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 24 March
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 25 March
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Sunday, 27 March
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Joseph Church

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.


Wednesday, 23 March
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
(Scripture Rosary at about 3:40 pm)

stjos/stvdp: 03.20.2011 - 02

There was an incorrect total given for the StVdPPar collection for the weekend of 19 / 20 Feb.
The correct total is $1,665.00 (not $1,176.00).
The correct figure for sum “available from this collection for operating the parish” is $902.18 (not $413.18).
My apologies for the error.
The elderly gentleman who types the bulletin has been duly reprimanded for this error. I would fire him, except that he told me really needs the job. He told me that he had neglected to add the sum of the “other collections” to the sum of the “Sunday envelopes”.
This was simply a “bulletin error”, not an error in the bank deposit.
First of all, learn how to pronounce it.
You pronounce it RETRO-VI (“vi” as in “violet”)
Now that you can pronounce it, what does it mean?
It means something like “taking another look”.
What is it really?
It is a Catholic-based program designed to help marriages that are stressed or in trouble.
Retrouvaille has helped countless married couples in all stages of disillusionment or misery in their marriages.
Retrouvaille can help your marriage too.
The next Retrouvaille program will be held at St. Joseph in the Hills Malvern Retreat Center, Malvern PA on the weekend of 08 to 10 April 2011. All calls are confidential. For more information, call 1-800-470-2230 or 302-832-8044 or visit the web site:
This past Wednesday (16 March), two persons died, both of whom are especially dear to me, together with their families.
The funeral of one of these persons was scheduled for Saturday morning (19 March).
In order for me to participate in this funeral, I needed to absent myself from the 10:00 am Mass at St. Joseph’s and from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
I felt very sad that I needed to be absent from these two important events in the life of the town of which I have the privilege to be pastor. I have always experienced it as a great honor to be driven around in the parade as if I were a person of importance! But I felt an urgent need to be at the funeral of this friend of mine. So, I asked Father Brennan if he would be so kind as to celebrate the 10:00 am Mass for me and if he would also take my place in the parade.
He agreed to do so, for which I am grateful. (I think he had a good time!)
The funeral of the other friend of mine is scheduled for Monday morning (21 March).
But, wouldn’t you know it?
Mr. Drosey’s funeral is scheduled at exactly the same time in St. Joseph Church.
I asked Fr. Brennan if he would be willing to celebrate the funeral Mass for Mr. Drosey. He regrets that he is unable to do so because he has an urgent appointment on Monday morning.
So, I called my friend and predecessor, Fr. Karpyn, and asked him if he would be able to celebrate the funeral Mass for Mr. Drosey. He kindly agreed to do so. I am grateful to him.
I extend to the Drosey family my regret that I cannot be with them for the funeral.
Life is filled with conflicts of schedules.
All of us experience such conflicts.
We wish we could bi-locate.
Since we can’t bi-locate, we ask God to help us to make the right choices.

stjos/stvdp:03.20.2011 - 03

It has been my custom for many years to “give ashes” on Ash Wednesday to the children at the St. Joseph Center for Special Education and, afterwards, to the staff and inmates of the Schuylkill County Prison.
The children at the Center are remarkably and delightfully uninhibited — sometimes disconcertingly uninhibited.
Before putting the ashes on their foreheads, I gave them a simple discourse on the meaning of what we were about to do.
I reminded them that all of us have to die sometime and that we all want to go to Heaven when we die.
I was about to draw a theological conclusion from what I thought was a solid and unassailable premise when I was interrupted by a little boy (8 or 9 years old) who told me in no uncertain terms that he did not want to go to Heaven when he died.
I asked him where he wanted to go when he died. Did he know some desirable alternative that I did not know? I was hoping that I could get him to change his mind.
He was adamant and unyielding. He told me that he doesn’t want to go to Heaven when he dies. He said he wants to stay in Minersville.
Minersville, I take it, is where the boy abides with his family.
I didn’t quite know where to go with that.
Few things are more pathetic than a preacher who has just been shot down by an 8-or-9-year-old dissenter in the congregation.
Of course, if the truth be told, I have never lived in Minersville.
I have passed through Minersville a good many times and have even had occasion to visit there, but I’ve never actually spent an overnight in Minersville.
Maybe I should spend some time there.
I’ve heard that West Virginia is “almost Heaven”.
Is it possible that Minersville is also “almost Heaven”?
Or could it be that Heaven is “almost Minersville”?
I have to be honest and say that I doubt it.
I hope the boy changes his mind.
I say that jokingly, of course. It is irrelevant whether he changes his mind.
This boy, like all of the children at the St. Joseph Center, is signed, sealed and delivered for Heaven, at least as far as I can tell. This is the distinct advantage that comes with being “developmentally challenged”. (We used to say “retarded” but we’re not allowed to say that anymore, so God forbid that I would violate the canons of acceptable speech by saying that anyone is “mentally retarded”.)
If God makes you “developmentally challenged”, He compensates by giving you a free ride in exchange for the humiliation He imposes on you in this life.
May God bless and protect all “developmentally challenged” children and adults!
As it pleases the Lord, so let it be done. Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!
From the St. Joseph Center, I went to the Schuylkill County Prison.
I’ve always said, “It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”
The Warden and the Staff at SCP are always courteous and accommodating. At least, that is my experience. So are the residents. My heart always goes out to them.
A prison is a Valley of Humility and Deprivation.
What touches my heart in particular on Ash Wednesday at the SCP is when I go back to solitary. Solitary isn’t exactly solitary. Because of overcrowding there are usually two or three guys in a cell. They are locked in for 23 hours a day. Prison rules prohibit opening the cell doors in this block for non-essential reasons. So, in order to receive ashes, the inmate has to kneel down and position his forehead at the “sallyport” in the cell door. A “sallyport” is sort of like a “mail slot”. Yours truly also has to kneel down in order to place the ashes on the forehead. I need to hold on to the cell door in order to get myself down on my knees and then up again. Good exercise!
Under such circumstances, it’s kind of a downer to say, “Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.” I almost wish that I could come up with something a tad more upbeat, but I trust that those ominous words of Scripture work towards the recipient’s salvation. I pad my part slightly. After imposing the ashes, I touch the man gently on the cheek and say, “God bless you”. Some of them reciprocate, asking God to bless me too. I appreciate that.
May all who are incarcerated have the spiritual wisdom to offer up their sufferings to God in union with the Lord Jesus on the Cross. That sounds like a platitude, I know. But it is the only sensible and realistic way to deal with the sufferings of this life. Always we carry around in our bodies the sufferings of Christ. Now it was time to go back to Girardville.
Driving north on 61 and coming near Frackville, I find myself involved in a collision, the details of which I shall omit. Suffice it to say that my car skidded to the right and hit a traffic sign.
I could hardly believe it. It all happened so suddenly and — obviously — so unexpectedly.
I jammed on the brakes and came to a screeching halt.
I looked around and found that the only damage that was done was to my car. The rear windshield was smashed and glass was scattered all over the back seat. Also, I lost my right fog light. There was some small damage to the traffic sign, but nothing of any consequence.
After surveying the situation, I said a prayer of thanks to my guardian angel for protecting me from initiating my return to dust right there on 61. I would prefer a more dignified setting. As they say, it could have been worse! The damage to the car can be repaired. Still, there is that haunting reminder of one’s own mortality and fragility.
When I got back to Girardville, it was almost time for the 07:00 pm Mass. Fr. Brennan was scheduled to take that Mass, but I would help him with the distribution of ashes.
Then, after Mass, I went to a parishioner’s home. I had promised to bring her ashes. I sat at her kitchen table and, for the zillionth time that day, said, “Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.”
If you say that often enough, you start to believe it! I do remember that I am dust and that unto dust I shall return. This helps me to maintain focus. I believe in God the Father Almighty and I believe in the resurrection from the dead and the life everlasting. Amen.

stjos/stvdp: 03.20.2011 - 04 / 05


(That’s what the Japanese ideographs mean.)
Bishop Barres has asked each parish to take up a collection for the relief of our Japanese brothers and sisters who have lost everything in the recent disaster.
We will take up this collection next weekend (26 / 27 March).
Please be as generous as your means allow.
If you don’t have any yen, dollars will do.
Whatever is collected will go to Catholic Relief Services, which is a highly reputable and trustworthy entity.
Money given to CRS is not likely to be misused — neither by dishonest employees nor by unworthy recipients.
We will not have special envelopes for this collection.

LAST MONTH I attended a lecture given by Rabbi Joe Murray. “Murray” is not a common name among rabbis. He told us his story. He grew up Catholic in Schuylkill County. When he turned 18, he decided he no longer wanted to practice the Catholic religion or any religion. He became, for all practical purposes, an atheist. At the age of about 38, he converted to Judaism. Not long after that, he became a rabbi. His story was interesting. I listened to it politely. My reaction after hearing his story was sadness, not anger. I notice that I am not angry against people who are not Catholic, not even against people who used to be Catholic, but no longer are. But I am sad for them.
The existence of God is obvious to me. If anyone thinks that God does not exist, I doubt his sanity or his honesty. I could more easily be convinced that I do not exist than that God does not exist. And, when it comes to Jesus, I can’t imagine why anyone, once he has encountered Him, would not accept Him. It is so obvious that Jesus is God in human flesh and is the Way, the Truth, the Life.
I pray for Rabbi Murray, that the scales will fall from his eyes. I pray for all Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and other non-Christians, that they will come to know and love Jesus Christ. He is the only Way to the Father.
Despite politically correct assertions to the contrary, there is no other way.

stjos/stvdp: 03.20.2011 - 06

a member of St. Joseph Parish, died on Wednesday, 16 March.
Born on 29 November 1916, he was 94 years of age.
He is a son of the late Victor and Christine (Spagnolo) Drossi.
Joseph was baptized in St. Joseph Church by Fr. Michael A. Ryan on 06 January 1918.
He was married to Helen R. Barrett Drosey, who died in 2004.
Joseph has six brothers and two sisters: Sal Drosey (deceased); Mary Botella (deceased); Frances Marogelle (deceased); Louis Drosey; Victor Drosey; Thomas Drosey; William Botella; James Botella.
Joseph and Helen are survived by their daughter, Joan Drosey Shalamanda.
There are five grandchildren: Joanne Brindle; Christine Rineer; Diane Abbanato; Patricia Cataldo; Stephen Shalamanda.
There are nine great-grandchildren: Grant Brindle; Jamie Hitz; Kevin Brindle; Johnny Cataldo; Nicholas Cataldo; Adam Rineer; Kendra Abbanato; Stephen Shalamanda; Evan Cataldo.
There are three great-great-grandchildren: Ava Brindle; Ella Brindle; Carter Hitz.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Joseph Church on Monday, 21 March, at 11:00 am. There will be a viewing in the church from 09:00 am until the time of the Mass.
The interment will take place in the St. Joseph Parish Cemetery in Fountain Springs.

Eternal rest grant unto Mary, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
On Thursday, 17 March, I deposited $1,912.00 in the Miners Bank (Frackville) to be credited to the Girardville Fire Victims Fund.
This was the proceeds from all donations received (whether StJosPar or StVdPPar) that were designated for this particular purpose. Actually, the total of donations received came to $1,612.00. I added $300.00, which I took from the PDF (Pastor’s Discretionary Fund). The PDF is money that is dropped into the poor boxes or else is handed to the pastor by various and sundry persons “for good deeds” at his discretion.
May God bless all who contributed to this fund.
I have no doubt that He has and that He will.


America’s Irish Tenor
Sponsored by St. Patrick Parish, Pottsville

         Date:        Friday, 08 April
Time:        07:00 pm
                                           Place:       Pottsville Area High School Auditorium
                                     Price:       $30.00 advance; $40.00 at the door

Tickets are available at St. Patrick Rectory office, 319 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville, on weekdays between 09:00 am and 04:30 pm. For information, call the Rectory (622-1802) during business hours or call Kim Norris (628-0883) after 04:30 pm.

stjos/stvdp: 03.20.2011 - 07


AS IS WELL KNOWN to every member of St. Vincent dePaul Parish, Saint Patrick was a Lithuanian, born and raised in Lithuania, who traveled to Ireland in order to convert the heathen Hibernians to the One True God because he felt sorry for them and didn’t want them to go to Hell. Patrick said to the Irish: “Would you like to be Catholic?” The Irish said, “What’s Catholic?” And Patrick explained the whole religion to them, during which they cried for joy and after which they said, “Well, that’s the religion for us! It’s beautiful and it’s true and it just makes so much sense! We were getting sick and tired of being Druids. There’s no fun in being a Druid. So, how do we go about becoming Catholics?” And Patrick said, “You line up here by the river and I’ll baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and after that, I want you to go to Mass every Sunday and holyday and receive Holy Communion and I want you to love Jesus and His Blessed Mother and say the Rosary and, if you ever learn to read, I’d like you to read the Bible and someday, when you discover the New World and settle down in a town called Girardville, I want you to build a beautiful church in honor of Jesus’ foster father, whose name is Saint Joseph, and I want you to be very kind to the Lithuanians who will be moving in soon after you and will build a beautiful church named St. Vincent dePaul and remember that, if it weren’t for the Lithuanians, you turkeys would all be a bunch of pathetic Druids living in the darkness of sin and idolatry”. So, that’s exactly what they did. They all became Catholics and have been living more or less happily ever after in peace and harmony with their Lithuanian and other non-Irish neighbors, although occasionally not with their English neighbors, but that’s another story for another day.
The Irish were so grateful to Patrick for bringing them the One True Faith that they said to one another, “What can we do for this good man to show our appreciation?” So, inasmuch as Ireland is a land overflowing with beer and potatoes and inasmuch as Lithuanians (at that time in history) didn’t know a potato from a watermelon, although they did know about beer, the Irish put on a Potato Festival for Patrick during which they served him some of their famous Irish potato cuisine: Cepelinai (potato dumplings); Blynai (potato blintzes); Vedarai (potato sausages); Kugelis (potato pudding).
Patrick said he had never tasted anything so delicious in his whole Lithuanian life and asked them for the recipes, which they gave him and which he took with him back to Lithuania, along with several bushels of potatoes, all of which he gave to his housekeeper, who shared them with others and it wasn’t long until Lithuanians throughout the land were feasting on this marvelous Irish cuisine.

stjos/stvdp: 03.20.2011 - 08


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