MASS SCHEDULE: 19 - 26 May

Saturday, 18 May
Vigil of Pentecost
05:30 pm — FRANCIS L. MORAN
(95th anniversary of birth)
by his family

Sunday, 19 May
by Lucretia Christman

Monday, 20 May
St. Bernardine of Siena, priest (OptMem)
08:00 am — Deceased: PETER DeLUCA FAMILY
by the family

Wednesday, 22 May
St. Rita of Cascia, religious (OptMem)
by Helen Wayne

Friday, 24 May
08:00 am — God’s blessings on DOTSIE GAVERICK WIEAND and family
by Marilyn Stefanski

Saturday, 25 May
St. Bede the Venerable, priest, doctor; St. Gregory VII, pope; St. Mary Magdalene dePazzi, virgin (OptMems)
08:00 am — Rev. WILLIAM E. LaFRATTA
by EBC
Vigil of Trinity Sunday
05:30 pm — Deceased: AMEDIO ZELLI FAMILY
by Rosemary Catizone Zelli

Sunday, 26 May
Trinity Sunday
by Alfred and Anne Zielinski
by M/M Maurice McDonald and family

 MASS SCHEDULE: 19 - 26 May

Saturday, 18 May
Vigil of Pentecost
by his grandparents, John and Barbara Petrousky

Sunday, 19 May
08:30 am — Deceased: CONNELL and KARVOIS FAMILIES
by the James Connell family

Tuesday, 21 May
St. Christoher Magallanes, priest, and companions, martyrs (OptMem)
08:00 am — God’s blessings on EBC
(47th anniversary of ordination)
by friends

Thursday, 23 May
07:00 pm — HELEN T. KRICK
by Betty Davies and Betty Sue Puglia

Saturday, 25 May
Vigil of Trinity Sunday
04:00 pm — IRENE GILLIS
by M/M John Gillis

Sunday, 26 May
Trinity Sunday
08:30 am — CHARLES and MARY SHANER
by Charles and Kathleen Sherman

stjos/stvdp: 05.19.2013 - 01

11 / 12 MAY

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes: $1,017.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $39.00 from the plate; $210.00 from the Dues envelopes; $164.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $257.00 from the Ascension envelopes; $102.00 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: $919.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $41.00 from the plate; $25.00 from the Dues envelopes; $162.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $265.75 from the Ascension envelopes; $62.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,474.75
Receipts for non-parish purposes: - 0
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,474.75) 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 $683.92 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Wednesday, 22 May
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

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

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


Wednesday, 22 May
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
Scripture Rosary at about 03:40 pm
followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

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

stjos/stvdp: 05.19.2013 - 02

Today (Pentecost Sunday) is the last day of The Easter Season (also known as The Paschal Season, also known as Paschaltide).
So, after the last Mass in each church, we shall walk the Paschal candle down the aisle in order to signify the change of liturgical seasons.
However, the Paschal candle re-appears for Baptisms and for Funerals throughout the year.
So, it’s not as though we won’t EVER see it again.
It’s just that we won’t see it as prominently as we have been since the Easter Vigil.

                                                           WE SHARE THE MAIL
(The following falls under the category of “liturgical humor” or, at least, an attempt at same.)
TALKING ABOUT PASCHAL CANDLES, I had an email interchange with a friend of mine this past week. In his previous email to me, he had wished me a “happy final week of the Easter season”. In reply to this, I wrote as follows:

A certain melancholy descends upon me as I contemplate the retirement of the Paschal Candle from the sanctuary. I tend to form emotional bonds with Paschal Candles. That’s never a good idea. It’s a kind of co-dependence. Every year, after Pentecost, I feel the need to go back to a 12-step-program for Paschal Candle Dependency. Each meeting starts off with me saying, “Hi! My name is Edward and I’m here because my Paschal Candle just broke up with me. This is the 46th year in a row that this has happened!” Then all the other guys say, “Hi, Edward!” Then they hug me and give me coffee. It’s nice. It’s comforting.

This was his reply to the above:

In your support group, do you guys ever address the fact that, in order to enjoy the light of the beloved Paschal Candle, you NEED to slowly destroy the one you love? That THE VERY SAME ACT of lighting the candle also--and BECAUSE of the fire that allows the candle to be beautiful--reduces that same candle to a cloud of smoke and a puddle of formless wax? Do you comment upon—and / or weep over--the cruel irony entailed in such a dynamic? Do you question what sort of a just God would not only ALLOW for such a tragic situation, but actually DEMAND that such a tragedy be set up on His altars and perpetuated for His purported Glory? If not, I'd humbly suggest bringing it up at this year's meeting.

                                                           FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Today, during the 11:30 am Mass, two children of St. Joseph Parish will receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time. They are: Isabelle Niedzwiecki and Shawn Butler. Next Sunday, 26 May, another child will receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time, also at the 11:30 am Mass. He is Marcus Smith. We hope to provide photos of the children and more information in next weekend’s bulletin.

stjos/stvdp:05.19.2013 - 03

I RECEIVED A CALL FROM THE CHANCERY OFFICE this past week. I was asked to attend a meeting in Allentown on Monday, 20 May, at 02:00 pm in order to discuss “parish restructuring”. There will be a few other priests at the meeting. I am not certain exactly which other priests, although I presume it will be priests from the northern Schuylkill County.
I am mentioning this in the bulletin ON PURPOSE, so that no one can say that I am “hiding” anything. I have never played any games with my parishioners about anything — least of all about parish restructuring. Some people entertain deep-down suspicions that the parish priest knows something, but isn’t saying.
That is absolutely and totally untrue.
If I know something, I tell you.
If I don’t know anything, I tell you that I don’t know anything.
Unfortunately, there are always a few persons who were born with a defective “trust gene”. We will never be able to convince these persons that we are not concealing something! They would rather listen to unfounded rumors! So it is and so shall it ever be!
When I get back from the meeting, I’ll tell you what I learned.
Allow me to review information from the past:
I arrived in Girardville in July of 2008. I had just come from Pottsville / Mount Carbon.
The two parishes of which I had been pastor in those towns had just been consolidated into St. Patrick Parish, Pottsville.
Bishop Cullen was our bishop at that time.
A Synod proposal was afoot at that time for the consolidation of parishes in northern Schuylkill County. This proposal came from the Synod.
When Bishop Cullen retired, all proposals were put on a back burner.
Everything would now depend on the new bishop, whoever he might be.
Then, in July of 2009, Msgr. John Oliver Barres became our bishop.
Some anticipated that Bishop Barres might act on the proposals, but he did not do so.
No doubt, he did not want to rush into anything. This was prudent of him.
In regard to our own area of concern, there was a proposal that the eight parishes in Ashland, Frackville, Girardville and Gordon be reduced to three: one in Ashland, one in Frackville, one in Girardville.
Actually, there had been a counter-proposal that the eight parishes be reduced to one and that that one should be a “brand new parish” located in Fountain Springs.
That, more or less, is where it stood at the time of Bishop Cullen’s retirement.
Bishop Barres is not bound by Canon Law to accept either of these proposals. He may do as he thinks best, after consultation with various and sundry persons.
He even has the option of doing nothing and letting everything stay as it now is. I rather doubt that that will be the option on which he will settle.
So, there we are!
I shall let you know what I learn from the meeting.
Always I find that my head struggles with my heart when it comes to “parish restructuring”. My heart says, “Leave it alone!” But my head says, “But does Girardville NEED and can Girardville AFFORD two separate parishes? What best serves the needs of the people?”

stjos/stvdp: 05.19.2013 - 04

If you shop at Redner’s, please ask for a gas card (save a tape card).
OR ELSE, take one of the cards that we shall have available to hand out after Mass this weekend (or at the Rectory, during the week).
If you already have such a card, that’s fine. Just use the one you have.
Have the cashier scan your card when you check out.
On your receipt there will be a line that says: “Today’s 1%-save-a-tape total: $XXXX.”
If you do not have your card scanned, then your receipt is worthless.
It must be the whole receipt.
Do not cut them.
If, by chance, you forget to scan your card at checkout you can always bring that receipt back to Redner’s and have them credit it for you.
Bottom line: By doing the above, you will be making it possible for St. Joseph Parish or St. Vincent dePaul Parish to receive a rebate of one-percent of the total you have spent!
You can check this out at:
If you are not enrolled in the Perpetual Care of St. Joseph Cemetery in Fountain Springs, the Annual Care Fee is due for the grass cutting.
                                                           Full lot (4 graves) is $25.00
                                                          Half lot (2 graves) is $20.00.
This can be sent to Joseph Woodward, 1530 Spruce Street, Ashland PA 17921 or you can pay it to Mr. Woodward directly at the Cemetery on Memorial Day.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO if someone you know, perhaps someone you work with, has the very bad habit of using the Holy Name of Jesus (or Jesus Christ) as a “throw-away word”. The first and most obvious thing you should do is to ask him to stop doing that, at least stop doing it in your presence. Another thing you could do is punch his lights out, but that option is fraught with legal consequences, so forget I even mentioned it. The other thing you could do would be this: Each time he blasphemes the Holy Name, you say out loud: “Blessed be the Name of Jesus Christ now and forever!” You could accompany this with the Sign of the Cross.

stjos/stvdp: 05.19.2013 - 05

Recently, I was asked to offer Mass for some schoolchildren. (This was not at Trinity Academy!) I am asked periodically to offer Mass for these children and am always happy to do so. This particular Mass was in conjunction with a May Procession, so the readings for the Mass were Marian readings.
The person who organizes the liturgy uses The Children’s Lectionary. In case you’re not acquainted with The Children’s Lectionary, it is a book of readings for Mass that has been simplified for the comprehension of young children. I must admit that I am not fond of using The Children’s Lectionary but, because the Church approves its use in restricted circumstances, I have no conscientious objections to using it, if that is what the persons in charge want me to use.
The Gospel passage I was asked to read is the well-known passage from the first chapter of Luke, the part that has to do with the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary.
Fortunately, I had read the passage ahead of time from The Children’s Lectionary, so I knew what was coming up. In the text as it was in front of me, it was written:
“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this happen to me? I am not married.’”
No way was I going to read those words to the kids! So, I altered it. Here is what I said:
“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this happen to me? I don’t know man.’“
I doubt that any of the children had the foggiest idea what “know man” means. But I didn’t really care whether they knew or not. If they did, they did and if they didn’t, they will someday.
But it would have been misleading to have them think that Mary was not married when she became pregnant with Jesus. She was married. She was married to Joseph at the time she became pregnant. But she did not become pregnant by Joseph, as we all know! The two were not living together.
I remember once hearing the Rev. Jesse Jackson waxing eloquent on Mary as “an unwed mother” and then making various and sundry applications to the current scene.
I hollered at him through the TV set: “Yo, Rev! Where did you go to seminary? You should know better than that!” There was no evidence that he heard me.
Bottom line: Mary was NOT an unwed mother!

We hope that everyone in the two parishes will be contributing to the BAA for 2013.
Please do so!
If you cannot afford ten or twenty thousand, please consider ten or twenty.
On the other hand, if you can afford ten or twenty thousand, please go for it!
It is a worthy cause.
Not only is it a worthy cause, it is our very particular responsibility.
Sometimes people will say, “Do you think it will matter to God on Judgment Day whether or not or how much I contributed to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal?”
My answer is always: “Of course it will matter! Whatever would make you think that it would not matter?”

Now you know: Tomorrow (20 May) we resume Ordinary Time. We shall be in the 7th Week of Ordinary Time.

stjos/stvdp: 05.19.2013 - 06

Background: This is an email I received from a gentleman — Tom Carey — whom I do not know personally, only via a few email exchanges. He is a former member of St. Joseph Parish and, apparently, reads the bulletin on line. (His reference to “penguin joke” can be checked out on page 03 of the 12 May bulletin.) I thought his reminiscence about the Connerton Post Office and the Saturday window lady was interesting and entertaining. Perhaps this rings a bell with someone else?

Father, that penguin joke was pretty sad. I was just browsing some of last year’s bulletins, and saw a question about the Post Office in Connerton. It brought back a lot of memories — mostly bad memories. The office was located in the living room, or parlor, of the Reddy family home. At that time, you had to go to the Post Office to get your mail. Miss Peg Reddy was my teacher for first through third grade. She also manned the "window" on Saturdays. My Mom or Dad would take me with them to get our mail, and get a first-hand report of my conduct from the previous week. Thank God for the mailman!
Tom Carey

My comment: I get the impression from this email that young Tom Carey’s conduct in school left something to be desired — at least in his earlier years. Maybe his conduct improved as time went by! Apparently, he has turned out okay, for which we say, “Thanks be to God!”

Recently, I received a letter from a “boy” whom I taught at Allentown Central Catholic High School way back in 1973-74. His name is Garry Koch. Garry graduated from high school in 1975. I don’t recall that I have had any contact with him since then, nor have I had any information about what has transpired in his life over the past 38 years.
To my utter surprise, Garry informed me that he is going to be ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Trenton on Saturday, 01 June, and will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, 02 June.
Doing the math, I come to the conclusion that the “boy” I taught in high school must now be either 55 or 56 years of age!
I am proud of Garry and grateful that he is going to be a priest.
If I am absent from the parish on Sunday, 02 June, you will know that I am attending the first Mass of my former student, Father Garry Koch. I am hoping to find a priest to take one or both of the Masses for me on that day.

Is it possible that there is some “old guy” out there who “always used to think about becoming a priest”, but let time slip by and never acted on it. If so, why not talk to some priest about the possibility that you might yet be a candidate for Holy Orders?

stjos/stvdp: 05.19.2013 - 07

IF I WERE TO ASSERT THAT THE IMPRUDENT AND EXCESSIVE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL IS A PROBLEM IN SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, I don’t think anyone would accuse me of uttering an untruth, nor say that I am asserting something that has never been said before.
According to one recent study I came across, 18% of the people in the County drink excessively. In other words, alcohol intake is a problem for 18% of the residents of the County. That’s an awful lot of people!
But I’m not particularly interested in statistics. I’m more interested in individuals.
Quite frankly, I’m more interested in individuals who are members of St. Joseph Parish and St. Vincent dePaul Parish or who should be members by virtue of the fact that they identify as Catholics and live in the Girardville area.
If YOU are someone who drinks excessively, I would like to ask you, with all due respect, to face up to the fact and to resolve to do something about it.
I don’t mean “do something about it eventually”. I mean “do something about it now”. By “do something about it now”, I don’t mean “pretty soon”. I mean “now” as in “right now”, as in “today”.
What do I suggest you do?
Here is one suggestion that won’t cost you a dime:
I suggest that you call your parish priest and ask him for “fifteen minutes worth of your time”. Call (570) 276-6033 (Rectory) or (570) 617-9107 (cell) to set an appointment.
Then stop around to the Rectory and say to the priest, “I just want to tell you something confidentially”.
Then say, “I want you to know that I have an alcohol problem. I drink too much and I know I need to stop. Would you say a prayer for me?”
Then I’ll say a prayer for you. And I won’t tell anybody!
I’m not pretending that this is a “magic solution” and that all of your problems will be over. But, you know, it would be a start! All good things start with God.

stjos/stvdp: 05.19.2013 - 08

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