MASS SCHEDULE: 19 - 26 August

Saturday, 18 August
Vigil of Sunday
by Jean Birster Weist

Sunday, 19 August
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — In Honor of OUR LADY OF KNOCK
by the Ladies of the Ancient Order of Hibernians

Monday, 20 August
St. Bernard, abbot, doctor (OblMem)
08:00 am — No Mass at St. Joseph’s
this morning

Tuesday, 21 August
St. Pius X, pope (OblMem)
07:00 pm — No Mass at St. Joseph’s
this evening

Wednesday, 22 August
The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (OblMem)
08:00 am — No Mass at St. Joseph’s
this morning

Thursday, 23 August
St. Rose of Lima, virgin (OptMem)
08:00 am — No Mass at St. Joseph’s
this morning

Friday, 24 August
St. Bartholomew, apostle (Fst)
by OPM

Saturday, 25 August
St. Louis, king; St. Joseph Calasanz, priest (OptMems)
08:00 am — IDA PILONE
by Alfred and Anne Zielinski
Vigil of Sunday
by the James Connell family

Sunday, 26 August
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
by OPM
11:30 am — God’s blessings and health: Msgr. EDWARD J. O’CONNOR
by EBC

 MASS SCHEDULE: 19 - 26 August

Saturday, 18 August
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — LEON RYAN
by his sister, Elizabeth Ryan

Sunday, 19 August
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Jim and Georgann Connell

Monday, 20 August
St. Bernard, abbot, doctor (OblMem)
by OPM

Tuesday, 21 August
St. Pius X, pope (OblMem)
08:00 am — JOSEPH V. GUDONIS
by M/M Ray Wayne

Wednesday, 22 August
The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (OblMem)
by OPM

Thursday, 23 August
St. Rose of Lima, virgin (OptMem)
07:00 pm — JOSEPH V. GUDONIS
by Joseph and Dolores Bonner

Friday, 24 August
St. Bartholomew, apostle (Fst)
05:00 pm — WILLIAM LABIE
by the Labie family

Saturday, 25 August
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — PATRICK and TED YACKERA
by the Yackera family

Sunday, 26 August
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Peter and Violet Smolock

stjos/stvdp: 08.19.2012 - 01

11 / 12 AUGUST

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes:

Receipts for parish purposes: $1,117.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $79.00 from the plate; $105.00 from the Dues envelopes; $260.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $169.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,730.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — $56.00 from the Mission Cooperative envelopes —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,730.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($269.31), plus our weekly premium for various insurances ($512.77), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($358.17), the sum total of which is $1,140.25, one sees that $589.75 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $899.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $72.00 from the plate; $45.00 from the Dues envelopes; $235.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $200.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,451.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — $67.00 from the Mission Cooperative envelopes —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,451.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($231.00), plus our weekly premium for various insurances ($308.85), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($250.98), the sum total of which is $790.83, one sees that $660.17 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Thursday, 23 August
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 24 August
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel


Friday, 24 August
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel
Vespers (Evening Prayer) at about 07:30 pm, followed by Chaplet of Divine Mercy,
concluding with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

THERE WAS A WRONG DATE in last weekend’s bulletin (12 Aug), in the “Collection Totals” section. The figures were correct, but the date was not. The figures were for the 04 / 05 August collections, not the 11 / 12 August collections. Sorry for the error.

AND ONE MORE ERROR TO CORRECT: In the 05 August bulletin, in the article about the death of Joseph V. Gudonis, we gave his age as 85. We were off by one year. Mr. Gudonis was 86. [RIP]    

THE FLOWER ARRANGEMENT IN FRONT OF THE STATUE OF THE BLESSED MOTHER in St. Vincent dePaul Church was placed there in loving memory of Blase J. Draugelis by his family.                             

stjos/stvdp: 08.19.2012 - 02

The 08:30 am Mass at St. Vincent dePaul Church on Sunday, 12 August 2012

The 11:30 am Mass at St. Joseph Church on Sunday, 12 August 2012

stjos/stvdp:08.19.2012 - 03

In case you’re not familiar with the concept “shunning”, it refers to the practice, peculiar to some religions — the Amish come to mind as an example, but there are others — of excluding from their community persons who do not conform to the rules of the community. This shunning involves the shunning even of one’s own family members.
In connection with this whole sad business of “shunning”, I bring to your attention a letter purportedly written by a man to his adult son. (I became aware of it via the Internet.) The son’s name is James. Apparently, James has “come out of the closet” as the saying goes and has declared himself to be “gay”. I presume, although I am not certain, that James has taken up residence with a “boyfriend”.
Here is the text of the letter:

This is a difficult, but necessary letter to write. I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our time together, but that is all in the past. Don’t expect any further conversations with me. No communication at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house. You’ve made your choice, though wrong it may be. God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle. If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends and I will understand. Have a good birthday and good life. No present exchanges will be accepted. Goodbye.

The rest of this little bulletin article is “commentary”. It is my commentary. It does not come from Mount Sinai or from the Vatican. You are free to disagree with it, if you wish. Of course, if you do disagree, you will be wrong. That’s how confident I am that what I am saying here is soundly Christian and soundly Catholic. I add “Catholic” because I am wary of anything that is “Christian” but not “Catholic”.
It is my opinion that “Dad” is profoundly wrong in what he wrote to his son, James.
Someone will say (perhaps): “But, Father Connolly, you have made it abundantly clear at various and sundry times that homosexuality is grievously sinful. Aren’t you contradicting yourself?”
No! Not at all!
First of all, I want to clarify something. I have never said that “homosexuality is grievously sinful”. I have said (and I take my cue from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and from common sense) that “homosexual actions are grievously sinful” and that homosexual inclination is a serious disorder, but a disorder is not the same thing as a sin. For example, it is a sin to get drunk on purpose and the inclination to get drunk is a disorder, but the inclination to get drunk is not a sin. As has been said many times: If you want to understand the Catholic Faith, you have to be able to walk and to chew gum at the same time!
I ask myself this question: What would I do if I had an adult son who not only had a homosexual inclination but who also acted on it and even went public with it and lived the so-called homosexual lifestyle?
First of all, I would be sad — very sad. Then I would pray for him. Then I would sit down and talk with him. It is possible that, in the first conversation, I might lose my cool and holler at him. (If I did, I would apologize for hollering.) Then I would pray for him again. Then I would look for advice from sensible persons. Then I would pray for him. Then I would offer to send him for help. Then I would pray for him. Then I would pray for him again.
But never, never, never would I stop loving him! Never, never, never would I exclude him from visiting me or from family gatherings. Never, never, never would I speak badly about him to others nor tolerate others speaking badly about him to me. Always, always, always I would hold out hope for his conversion and cure. I would never give my fatherly blessing to his sinful lifestyle, but I would never withhold from him my fatherly blessing and love. After all, he is my son, come hell or high water! (Remember how David mourned for Absalom.) As for my funeral, I would hope he would take part in it. Maybe even do a reading? And after my funeral, I would continue to pray for him.

stjos/stvdp: 08.19.2012 - 04

For the benefit of those who might not know, the Pottsville Republican carries a daily feature called “Thunder / Enlightning”. People call a certain number and give the name of the town in which they live and then they vent their spleen on whatever. It is immensely amusing (sometimes) and occasionally maddening. One good thing about it is that it provides fodder for this particular parish bulletin!
The following “fodder” appeared in the 15 August edition.

I would like to know why in the Catholic Church we cannot be like the Protestant churches where the congregation gets to pick their pastor and also where the congregation gets to terminate that relationship if it is not a good relationship for their congregation.
                                                                                                                                              Schuylkill Haven

My comment
While on the subject of “fodder”, it appears that someone in Schuylkill Haven is discontent with his or her spiritual fodder.
I would like to say a word of encouragement to my fellow fodders who are pastors of parishes: In this day and age, it is a mark of distinction to be criticized, even insulted, in Thunder / Enlightning. I would go so far as to say that, if a priest has been a pastor for more than three years and has not appeared in Thunder / Enlightning in a pejorative context, he must not be doing his job! So, fodder on, dear fellow Fodders of Schuylkill County!
Onto the question as to why we in the Catholic Church cannot be more like our brethren and sistren in the various Protestant churches.
The answer is elementary, my dear Watson: We cannot be more like the Protestant churches because then we would cease to be the Catholic Church and would be one of the Protestant churches, and that would hardly be a positive development!
The Catholic Church is intrinsically hierarchical. It is not democratic.
If it ever became democratic, it would cease to be the Catholic Church.
Let’s use Girardville as an example.
In 2008, there was need for a major re-shuffling of priests, due in large part to the consolidations and mergers of parishes. One of the casualties of the consolidations and mergers was a priest name Connolly, then pastoring in Pottsville. Bishop Cullen had to do something with him. It was illegal to shoot him and he wasn’t old enough or sick enough to put out to pasture. So, since Father Karpyn’s services were required elsewhere, it was decided to send Father Connolly to Girardville. What was Father Connolly supposed to do? Go up to Girardville and interview for the position of pastor of the two parishes? Some members of the interview committee might think he would be the cat’s pajamas and others might think he would be the kiss of death. Some might say that he was too old and others might say he was pleasingly mature. Some might say that he looked mean (which would not be good) and others might say that he doesn’t look mean, he just looks serious (which is good). Some might say that we want a real honest-to-goodness Irishman and he’s only half Irish. Some might say that we don’t want a priest with an Irish name like Connolly but we want a priest who has roots in Lithuania or, at least, somewhere east of the Danube.
The interview committee might have wound up in total disarray and they might have started shooting one another. That would not have been good! That would not have been the Catholic way!
So, Bishop Cullen, exercising his God-given authority, sent Connolly to Girardville and said, “God bless you, my son! Do your best and remember to keep in touch!”
Let me sum up here by saying: “God forbid that we would ever come to the day where Catholic congregations would have the canonical right to hire and fire their pastors!” That would be utter bedlam. Truth would then take a back seat to popularity. Jesus said, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” He did not say, “You shall experience Popularity and Popularity shall set you free.”
In any given parish, there are 10% of the people who swear by the pastor, another 10% who swear at the pastor and then there are the 80% who don’t really care.
In fact, I would estimate that there are at least a few members of the parishes here in Girardville who have yet to learn that Father Karpyn left in 2008 and handed the keys over to a new guy named “Connolly”.

stjos/stvdp: 08.19.2012 - 05

I AM GRATEFUL TO FATHER BRENNAN. He has agreed to take all of the Masses from 16 to 23 August, while I shall be away on vacation.
In making up the Mass schedule for that particular time period, I did not want to change the weekend schedule in any way. (Not a good thing to do!)
However, the weekday schedule is negotiable.

Now, a few words about the weekday Mass schedule “in general”.
As you recall, when I first came to Girardville, I maintained the weekend schedule that Fr. Karpyn had established and, as far as I can recall, I did the same with the weekday schedule that he had established, although I did add an 08:00 am Saturday Mass to the weekday schedule.
I did all that before I factored Fr. Brennan into the equation.
At a certain point, Fr. Brennan approached me and indicated his willingness to offer a daily Mass. I was more than happy to accept his offer. I told him he was giving Girardville a great gift, viz. the availability of at five additional celebrations of Mass per week.
So, I doubled the number of weekday Masses here in Girardville.
Fr. Brennan’s Mass schedule and my Mass schedule are fairly consistent and it has worked out very well, although both he and I wish that attendance at weekday Mass would be greater than it is.

An important thing to know is that Canon Law forbids a priest to offer more than one Mass per day, UNLESS THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE REQUIRE IT.
Interpretation of “the needs of the people” is pretty much up to the individual pastor.
My interpretation of “the needs of the people” is that one weekday Mass is sufficient, EXCEPT IN THE CASE WHERE THERE ARE TWO PRIESTS AVAILABLE.
So, my rule of thumb is this: When both Fr. Brennan and I are available — which is most of the time — there are two weekday Masses.
When only one of us is available, there is only one weekday Mass.

All of the above is my attempt to explain why there is only one weekday Mass during my week of vacation.

As to the particular scheduling of these weekday Masses, I pretty much left that up to Father Brennan, who looked at his schedule for the week and asked me to schedule the Masses accordingly. (In a couple of cases, I asked him to adapt his schedule to a particular Mass because someone had requested that time slot for an intention.)

So, now you know!
You might not have needed to know, but I thought I would tell you anyway!

stjos/stvdp: 08.19.2012 - 06

“OH MY DEAR NELLIE GRAY, they have taken you away, and I’ll never see my darling anymore!”
Well, that’s not exactly true.
Provided we get to Heaven, we will see Nellie Gray again.
The way I see it is this: If Nellie Gray ain’t goin’ to heaven, ain’t nobody goin’ to heaven!
Let’s cut to the last verse:
“Oh, my darling Nellie Gray, up in heaven, let us pray, and they'll never take you from me anymore!”
Yes! That’s more like it!
A great woman died this past Monday (13 August). Her name was Nellie Jane Gray. She was 88 years old. Nellie was a Texan, a convert to the Catholic Faith. During the 2nd World War, when she was 19 or 20 years old, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). After the war, she went to Georgetown University, where she earned a Bachelor’s in Business and a Master’s in Economics. Then she went on to the GU Law School and became a lawyer. She worked in DC for the Department of Labor and for the State Department.
All of that impressive resume was “dust and ashes” as far as Nellie was concerned when, on 22 January 1973, the Supreme Court issued its infamous Roe v Wade decision — the decision that, for all practical purposes, legalized abortion throughout the land.
Nellie decided that “this must not stand!” She started a movement of pro-life advocacy that culminates each year in THE MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington DC, a nationwide gathering of pro-life advocates, held on or about the anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision.
I remember seeing Nellie at the podium this past January (2012) and being amazed that this venerable woman “takes a licking and keeps on ticking”.
Cardinal O’Malley of Boston has called Nellie Gray “the Joan of Arc of the Gospel of Life”. Nellie did, indeed, give her everything in the cause of saving the lives of countless babies.
One of my keenest personal memories is the day — believe it or not — when I took Nellie Gray out to supper at a restaurant near Reading PA. The year was 1984. I was a teacher / chaplain at Alvernia College (now University) and had invited her to speak to my students. I remember thinking, even way back then, that I was in the presence of a great woman. I was, indeed!
May God be good to Nellie Gray! I have no doubt that He will.
Nellie did not live to see the overturn of Roe v Wade, but I am confident that the day will come when the Holy Spirit of God will act to convert the hearts of the vast majority of our citizens. When that day comes, we will see with crystal clarity that to be “pro-choice” in the matter of killing unborn babies is an utter abomination. To vote, knowingly and deliberately, for a “pro-choice” candidate when it is possible to vote for a “pro-life” candidate is grievously sinful. This is not my “private right-wing opinion”. It is what the Catholic Church teaches.
Just in case anyone is wondering: Yes, I did pay for Nellie’s supper! You see, Nellie was a lady. She was not a feminist. She grew up in a world where the man picks up the check. That was a good world in which to grow up.
Eternal rest grant unto Nellie Gray, 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.

The Deli on Main
25 E. Main Street, Girardville PA
This is a new subs-and-sandwiches shop that opened recently.
The owners asked me to tell you that they will donate one dollar “to the church” for every four dollars that they take in on Saturday, 25 August. That is kind of them! I recommend you give them some business, especially on 25 August. If you do, let them know whether you want the money to go to StJosPar or to StVdPPar.

stjos/stvdp: 08.19.2012 - 07

The following was the winning entry for a caption for this particular photo — although, come to think of it, it was the only entry!

YOUNG MAN IN BLACK SUIT: “Pardon me, Ma’am, but it seems to me that you are sitting in my chair. Would you mind getting up, so I can sit down?”
WOMAN SEATED IN CHAIR: “I beg your pardon, young man! This is my chair! Now you go find your own chair before I call a Security Guard!”

Now that I’ve had my fun with these two distinguished persons, I can tell you the facts. After leaving Girardville last Sunday (12 August), Bishop Barres stopped by the Schuylkill Mall (Frackville) in order to greet the folks at the 98th annual Lithuanian Days festival. Whom did he run into but Julia [“Jean”] Statutis Majikas! For those who don’t know: Mrs. Majikas is the eldest and most venerable member of St. Vincent dePaul Parish. It’s not considered good manners to tell a lady’s age, but I’ll whisper it in your ear and please don’t tell anyone: God willing and the creek don’t rise, she will observe her 99th birthday next month!
This past Sunday, Jean took her son, John Majikas, out for a ride. (John had been good all week, and she wanted to reward him. Besides, she wanted him to learn something about his Lithuanian heritage.) While at the Mall, John snapped this picture of his Mom with Bishop Barres kneeling at her side. As far as I know, the only other person on the planet to whom the Bishop kneels is Pope Benedict. So, that really says something about Mrs. Majikas!
Sorry we can’t identify the other persons in this photo. But that’s okay. We’re pretty sure they know who they are, and that’s all that really matters. We thank them for appearing in our parish bulletin.

It’s that time of year again!
It’s time to sign up the children for CCD (religious education classes)!
Parents: If you have a child in public school, grade one to grade eight, please sign him / her up for CCD!
Call St. Vincent dePaul Rectory for a registration form.
CCD classes will begin on Monday, 17 September 2012, and will be held in St. Joseph Rectory or in the Sheridan Room (next to St. Joseph Chapel).

stjos/stvdp: 08.19.2012 - 08


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