Saturday, 19 January
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — WILLIAM E. DANDO
by Jim and Teresa Neary

Sunday, 20 January
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — RAYMOND D. REINOEHL (5th anniversary)
by his mother, Ida Mae

Monday, 21 January
St. Agnes, virgin, martyr (OblMem)
by their family

Wednesday, 23 January
St. Vincent, deacon, martyr (OptMem)
by Robert and Denise Getzey

Saturday, 26 January
SS. Timothy and Titus, bishops (OblMem)
08:00 am — God’s blessings on RONALD WERLEY
by Jim and Cindy Coyle
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — PHILIP D. McCARTHY
by Richard and Mary Elizabeth Pastula

Sunday, 27 January
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
by OPM
11:30 am — MAXIM F. SORIA
by Alfred and Anne Zielinski


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

Sunday, 20 January
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — MARCO RITRO
by the James Connell family

Tuesday, 22 January
Day of Prayer for Legal Protection of Unborn Children
08:00 am — God’s blessings on ROBERT KRICK
rescheduled from 15 Jan

Thursday, 24 January
St. Francis deSales, bishop, doctor (OblMem)
by his family

Friday, 25 January
Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle (Fst)
05:30 am — God’s blessings on EBC (75th BD)
by the Thye family

Saturday, 26 January
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — JOSEPH V. GUDONIS
by the Gillis family

Sunday, 27 January
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — God’s blessings on EBC
by friends

stjos/stvdp: 01.20.2013 - 01

12 / 13 JANUARY

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes: $1,049.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $44.00 from the plate; $108.00 from the Dues envelopes; $65.00 from the Initial Offering envelopes; $81.00 from the Solemnity of Mary envelopes; $50.00 from the Fuel envelopes; $229.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $140.00 from the Christmas envelopes; $23.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,789.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,789.00) 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 $648.75 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent DePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $760.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $107.50 from the plate; $20.00 from the Dues envelopes; $55.00 from the Initial Offering envelopes; $217.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $72.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,231.50
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,231.50) 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 $440.67 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


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

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


Wednesday, 23 January
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
Scripture Rosary at about 03:40 pm
followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Because of the MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington DC on Friday, 25 January, there will be the following alterations to the normal schedule:
NO MASS at 08:00 am on Friday, 25 Jan, in St. Joseph Chapel.
Instead, there will be a Mass at 05:30 am in St. Vincent dePaul Church.
at 06:30 pm in St. Joseph Chapel on 25 Jan.
• NO EXPOSITION at 06:00 pm in St. Joseph Chapel on 25 Jan.

stjos/stvdp: 01.20.2013 - 02


The following is an email exchange I had this past week with a friend of mine. I am printing it in the bulletin because it covers a few bases that — I think — might be of general interest. I say “general interest” at least for those who think about such matters. It has to do mostly with Verse 16 of Chapter 5 of the First Letter of John (1 John 5,16). I hope you will read it.
12 January 2013
Hi, Father,

It has been a long time. Hope you are well. I do have a question. Yesterday's reading from 1 John said we are not to pray for those who commit deadly sin. This rang a chord with me because after the terrible shootings in Connecticut, on that first night, I went to sleep praying for those dear people, I even prayed for the young man who did the shooting. I pleaded over and over again for mercy for him. The next morning, I had this clear thought that I should not pray for him, that it was the devil. It was so strong that I indeed did stop praying for him. When I heard the reading from John yesterday, it really has me wondering. Do you have any answers for me? I thought charity demanded that we pray for all men and let God do the judging.
Ann Marie

18 January 2013
Dear Ann Marie:

As you can see, I have taken a bit of time in order to answer your question. I didn’t want to give you a simple “top of my head” kind of answer. So, I did a little bit of homework.
To tell you the truth, this verse — 1 John 5,16 — is a real head-scratcher.
After reading a few commentaries on it, I didn’t feel quite so stupid.
The fact is that every commentary I read basically said that it is not 100% clear what John is referring to.
This goes for both Catholic and Protestant commentaries and also conservative and liberal commentaries.
So, you and I are in good company when we say that we don’t quite understand it, at least not for certain.
Before giving you my exegesis of 1 John 5,16, I’ll make the following comment, which I think is useful for all times and places:
That’s probably one reason why — when you and I were kids (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth) — reading the Bible was not highly emphasized in Catholic circles. We Catholics tend to think that the Catholic Church was wrong not to have emphasized Bible reading for laypersons “back in those days”. I used to think that, but have come to modify my opinion. I can easily see now that reading the Bible — some books more than others, of course — can be downright confusing. In fact, if I were teaching the Catholic Faith to “ordinary people” and if I had to choose between handing out Bibles and handing out good, solid Catechisms, I would definitely choose handing out Catechisms. Notice I said “if I had to choose between Bibles and Catechisms”. In an ideal situation, I would not have to choose. I would hand out Catechisms first and then supplement the Catechism with the Bible.
So much for that!

stjos/stvdp:01.20.2013 - 03

Now, a few words about trying to understand 1 John 5,16: “If anyone sees his brother committing what is not a deadly sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not deadly. There is sin which is deadly; I do not say that one is to pray for that.” (RSV/CE translation)
One thing to notice is this: John does not specify exactly what he means by “deadly sin”. Commentators are generally in agreement that “deadly sin” (in the context in which John is writing) is APOSTASY FROM THE FAITH. In the mind of John, there is no sin worse than that. And, come to think of it, I can’t think of any sin worse than that either!
One might be inclined to think that MURDER or RAPE or ADULTERY are worse than APOSTASY. But, when you think about it, they’re really not. The persons who are the unfortunate victims of murder, rape or adultery do not lose their eternal salvation because of these atrocities. In addition to which, the person who is guilty of murder, rape or adultery, even though he is in deep mortal sin, still (presumably) has not lost the Faith, as a result of which he is still capable of being reconciled to God. Apostasy from the Faith puts a person outside the possibility of salvation. Why? Because Apostasy from the Faith cuts a person off, not only from the life of grace but also from the means whereby he can regain the life of grace. In other words, Apostasy from the Faith is “sin against the Holy Spirit”. And we know what Jesus had to say about “sin against the Holy Spirit”. To refresh your memory, you can check out Mark 3,29: “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”
Another thing to notice is this: John does not say that we are not allowed to pray for persons who have committed deadly sin. He simply says, “I do not say that one is to pray for that”. In other words, John is saying something like the following. (Obviously I am paraphrasing him!) “Listen up, people! I do want you to pray for people who have committed sins that are not deadly, because I am sure that God will hear you and will respond to your prayer. On the other hand, I’m not giving you any kind of guarantee that God will hear you if you pray for people who are apostates from the Faith. They had their chance and they blew it! If you want to pray for them anyway, go right ahead! I’m not going to try to stop you. But you’re on your own if you do that! Maybe God will hear you and maybe He won’t. He already gave those people a chance at salvation and, if they chose to throw it away — well, they made their bed and now they can lie in it!”
It is always important to interpret Scripture verses in context. Verse 16 of chapter five presupposes that we have read verse 14. Verse 14 says, “And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (RSV/CE translation)

stjos/stvdp: 01.20.2013 - 04

So, what John is dealing with is “confidence in prayer”. Prayer is one thing. Confidence that a prayer will be answered is another thing. We cannot have confidence, so John seems to be saying, that persons who used to believe in Jesus and subsequently rejected Jesus will ever be given a second chance. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. The point is that we cannot have confidence that, even if we pray for them, they will get that second chance.
Here is an analogy that occurs to me: In the Law of Moses, if a woman left her husband and married another man (or had intimacy with another man), she was forever forbidden to return to her husband and he was forever forbidden from receiving her back as his wife. It was not forbidden for a woman to be reconciled with her husband after a divorce if she had not been with another man in the meantime. But once she stepped over the line and went with another man, she had performed the definitive act. This is similar to the situation of a person who used to be a worshipper of demons and then was converted to Christ, was baptized and admitted to Eucharistic communion — and then rejected Christ and went back to worshipping demons. He is, in a certain sense, “beyond the pale”.
Now, is it POSSIBLE that God would give such a person the grace to be reconciled with Him? We have to say, “Yes, it is possible, because all things are possible for God”. But it would be EXTRAORDINARY that such a grace, if it were granted, would be efficacious. Should I pray for such a person? Sure! Why not? But be prepared for your prayer not to be fulfilled! There is no money-back guarantee!
If this seems overly harsh, we might want to refer to Hebrews 6,4: “For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.” (RSV/CE translation)
I think of this verse when people ask me why the Church says that it is a mortal sin (deliberately) to miss Mass on Sunday. The reason it is a mortal sin is simply this: If it is deliberate, then it is an act of infidelity and ingratitude and it is the opening to apostasy. If “missing Mass on Sunday” becomes a way of life, as it has for so many of our fellow Catholics, they eventually become, for all practical purposes, “apostates from the Faith”. They put themselves beyond the pale of salvation. There is no neutrality once a person has been brought to Calvary to contemplate the Crucified Lord. He becomes for all who see Him either salvation or damnation. No one is a mere observer. Either we weep for our sins when we see Him or else we join in the general mockery. Persons who have been “enlightened” (baptized) and “have tasted the heavenly gift” (received the Eucharist) and “have become partakers of the Holy Spirit” (been confirmed) and who then go into apostasy “crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt”. It would be foolish to presume that such persons will be saved — although, I grant you that only God knows for sure who will be saved.
One more thing and then I’ll be finished! You ask whether or not you should continue to pray for Adam Lanza, the young man who massacred 27 persons in Connecticut and then committed suicide.
I suggest that you do pray for him. I am certain that there is nothing in Scripture (or the Catechism) that suggests you should not pray for him.
The “troublesome verse” (1 John 5,16) has no relevance to the question of praying for a person such as Adam Lanza.
I haven’t been able to find anything reliable on the Internet about Adam’s religious upbringing. I don’t think he was an apostate from the Faith. He sure was a bad guy, but the whole thing is complicated by the fact that he was exceedingly weird all his life, due (I am almost certain) to circumstances beyond his control. In addition to which, it seems that his father abandoned him and his mother did not adequately supervise him.
I don’t mean to “let him off the hook” because he was nuts. I shall not be surprised if I find out that he went to Hell. But I would be pleasantly surprised to find out that he did not go to Hell. We leave him to God. Meanwhile, you do well to pray for him. No prayer is ever wasted.
With kindest regards –

stjos/stvdp: 01.20.2013 - 05

BRADLEY PETCHULIS is the recently-acquired / recently-hired accountant for St. Joseph Parish and St. Vincent dePaul Parish. He comes into the Rectory for a few hours, once or twice a week, in order to keep us honest.
Brad replaces Gregory Verchick, who needed to cut back from some of his part-time commitments in order to invest himself in a new full-time job.
I was quite satisfied with Greg’s work. Although “we hated to see him go”, we are happy that he introduced us to Brad. I think Greg taught Brad everything he knows about accounting or maybe it was the other way around, I’m not sure.
One way or the other, it is now Brad’s job to keep the books in order, to pay the bills and taxes on time and, by so doing, to keep the pastor out of jail and off the Bishop’s carpet.
Brad’s full-time job is with Mar-Lin Markets, located (needless to say) in Mar-Lin PA.


There will be representatives from the CDA in the Sheridan Room at 01:30 pm on Sunday, 27 January. I believe they will be the same women who were with us after each Mass last weekend (12/13 Jan). They are hoping that some women will stop by in order to learn more about the Catholic Daughters. I am hoping the same.

stjos/stvdp: 01.20.2013 - 06

ANDRAYA J. PIKITUS, age 10, a Girl Scout, a faithful parishioner, a student at Trinity Academy and a smart cookie, asked me to publicize the fact that she is an approved vendor of GIRL SCOUT COOKIES and that she would appreciate any business that comes her way. I am happy to accommodate her request that I put something into the bulletin about this. So, please know that your Girl-Scout cookie needs will be taken care of — promptly and efficiently — if you contact Andraya or her mother, Helen, at (570) 462-9825. And, just to remove any crumb of suspicion, please let me spell this out: The pastor has not made any secret deal with Andraya that he will get free cookies in exchange for putting this notice into the bulletin!
PLEASE NOTE that the 11:30 am Mass in St. Joseph Chapel next Sunday (27 Jan) will be celebrated according to the Extraordinary Form. This is our practice on the last Sunday of each month.
There will be a Mass at 10:00 am in the Chapel and this Mass will be celebrated according to the Ordinary Form.
The Mass in the Extraordinary Form is sometimes called “the Tridentine Mass”. Why? Because “Tridentine” is the adjectival form of “Trent”. Trent is the city in Italy where an Ecumenical Council was held (1545-1563). One of the many matters dealt with during the Council of Trent was the laying of the groundwork for the Missal of 1570 promulgated by Pope Pius V. This Missal set the standard for the celebration of Mass in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
Mass in the Extraordinary Form is sometimes referred to as “the Latin Mass”. This is slightly misleading because, although the Extraordinary Form Mass is always celebrated in Latin, it is entirely possible for the priest to celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Mass in Latin as well.
It was Pope Benedict XVI who introduced the terminology “Extraordinary Form” and “Ordinary Form”. Is one of these forms “better” than the other? It is the wise person who answers that question by smiling and saying, “I’ll get back to you on that!”
However, I will say this: The Extraordinary Form de-emphasizes the personality of the priest in favor of concentration on God. If you are not too keen on the particular parish priest whom God has seen fit to inflict on you, you might want to attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass whenever possible. You won’t have to look at the priest’s face as much as you have to look at it when you attend the Ordinary Form, and that, in itself, could be a blessing!
There is something yucky about a priest putting a notice into the bulletin about his own stupid birthday. However, I have been commanded in no uncertain terms to tell everybody that there will be a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY in St. Vincent dePaul Parish Hall at 01:00 pm today (Sunday, 20 January). EVERYBODY IS INVITED!
Please note that today is NOT my birthday. That won’t be until Friday, 25 January, on which day — if I’m still breathing — I shall observe the 75th anniversary of my emergence, head first, from the womb of my dear mother, Pauline Fritz Connolly — very much to her relief, I’m sure! I weighed nine pounds and I forget how many ounces. My mother showed me to my father, Francis E. Connolly. He said to my Mom, “So what do we have to do now?” And she said, “I guess we have to take him home with us.” And that’s what they did. And the rest is history.
I give thanks to God for the gift of life. I am immensely glad that I was conceived and came safely to birth. I am grateful for 75 years of life. I have one big brother (deceased), one big sister and two little sisters. I love all of them. They have been good to me. I love God and every human being and I hope to wind up someday in Heaven.

stjos/stvdp: 01.20.2013 - 07

Historical time:
74 — 4 BC
Principal geographical area:
Judea and Samaria
King Herod the Great is remembered for various things.
Most of all, he is remembered for his having ordered the slaughter of an unspecified number of baby boys, two years of age and younger.
It is impossible to know for certain how many baby boys were killed.
An estimate, based on the population of the area at the time, is “about eighteen”. Eighteen is not a record-breaking number of babies to kill, but it is sufficient.
Apparently, His Majesty’s motive for having these babies killed was political: he wanted to assure the stability of his dynasty and he wanted to keep the peace.
King Herod’s religion was a potpourri of Jewish monotheism, Roman polytheism and Edomite paganism, none of which, so it seems, he took seriously. He was a practical politician.

Historical time:
AD 1889 — 1969
Principal geographical area: Ashland, Schuylkill County, PA, USA
Dr. Spencer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1915. In 1919, he set up practice in Ashland PA.
He was a general practitioner, but his area of expertise was abortion.
From 1919 to 1969 he killed a huge number of unborn babies.
A conservative estimate is that he killed 40,000 unborn babies.
A more generous estimate is that he killed 100,000 unborn babies.
His medical records were destroyed by his second wife — which, I suppose, accounts for the variance in figures.
Apparently, the Doctor’s motive for killing all those unborn babies was altruistic — although he is known to have extracted large fees from women who could afford it — including a good number of celebrities who came from afar for his services.
Dr. Spencer’s religion was Atheism. He was quite out front about that.

Historical time:
AD 1992 — 2012
Principal geographical place: Connecticut, USA
Mr. Lanza came to public attention on 14 December 2012, on which day, after killing his mother, he decided to kill some children. So, he went to the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT and killed twenty children. It seems that killing the children was the main task he had set for himself. In order to get to the children, he had to kill six adults, after which he killed himself.
His motive is unknown. Apparently, he was very angry at “life in general”.
Information about Mr. Lanza’s religion is sketchy. It is known that he was fascinated with Satan, having some sort of a website relationship with him.

stjos/stvdp: 01.20.2013 - 08


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