MASS SCHEDULE: 22 - 29 September
SAINT
JOSEPH CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE

Saturday, 21 September
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — CATHERINE (“Dolly”) MOORE
by Alfred and Anne Zielinski

Sunday, 22 September
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — JOSEPHINE BOXER HEDGE
(34th anniversary)
by Tom and Joni Gower

Monday, 23 September
St. Pio of Pietrelcina, priest (OblMem)
08:00 am — SPECIAL INTENTION: Health of grandson
by his grandparents

Wednesday, 25 September
Weekday
08:00 am — CATHERINE HADOCK SLAVICKAN
by Salvatore and Mary Modesto

Friday, 27 September
St. Vincent dePaul, priest (OblMem)
08:00 am — MICHAEL DEVINE
by his brother, Dennis

Saturday, 28 September
St. Wenceslaus, martyr; St. Lawrence Ruiz and companions, martyrs (OptMems)
08:00 am — Rev. EDWARD C. BOLEZ
by EBC
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — ALICE McDONALD WAYNE
by Henry and Eileen Wayne

Sunday, 29 September
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
10:00 am — CHARLIE MORAN
rescheduled from 18 September
11:30 am — God’s blessings: JAMES and JUDITH GONTIS
by James and Eva Gontis

 MASS SCHEDULE: 22 - 29 September
SAINT
VINCENT dePAUL CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE 
     

Saturday, 21 September
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — PATSY HARRIS
by Jeanne

Sunday, 22 September
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — THOMAS FOLLWEILER
by James and Georgann Connell

Tuesday, 24 September
Weekday
08:00 am — CONSTANCE UTARAS
by John

Thursday, 26 September
SS. Cosmas and Damian, martyrs (OptMem)
07:00 pm — IDA BELFIORE ZANGARI
by Mary Frances Rebuck

Saturday, 28 September
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — ALBERT, ADELE, JEROME, KRISTIN and RICHARD YESALAVAGE
by Michael and Margaret Yesalavage

Sunday, 29 September
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — GEORGE W. FISHER
by James and Georgann Connell

stjos/stvdp: 09.22.2013 - 01


COLLECTION TOTALS FROM LAST WEEKEND:
14 / 15 SEPTEMBER


Saint Joseph Parish
:
Receipts for parish purposes: $903.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $61.00 from the plate; $80.00 from the Dues envelopes; $45.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $131.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,220.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,220.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($269.31), plus our weekly premium for various insurances ($491.15), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($358.17), the sum total of which is $1,118.63, one sees that $101.37 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent dePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $869.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $81.00 from the plate; $12.00 from the Dues envelopes; $10.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $64.50 from the loose.
Total: $1,036.50
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,036.50) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($231.00), plus our weekly premium for various insurances ($322.56), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($250.98), the sum total of which is $804.54, one sees that $231.96 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

CONFESSION SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Wednesday, 25 September
02:30 to 03:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 26 September
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 27 September
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

Wednesday, 25 September
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, 27 September
06:00 to 08:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel
Vespers (Evening Prayer) at about 07:30 pm
followed by Chaplet of Divine Mercy

The sinner’s way back to reconciliation with God: (1) Contrition; (2) Confession; (3) Absolution; (4) Reparation.

stjos/stvdp: 09.22.2013 - 02


A day after telling Catholics not to obsess with abortion, the Pope encourages doctors NOT to perform abortions

This is the headline on an article you did NOT see on the first page (or on any page) of the Saturday, 21 September, edition of The Pottsville Republican!
But you did see an article in the Friday, 20 September, edition of that same newspaper that might have given you the impression that Pope Francis wants us priests not to talk about abortion and about gay marriage. THIS IS NOT TRUE!
Rule #01: Always be very cautious when you read in secular newspapers about the Catholic Church and about her teachings.
On the very day (20 September) that we saw the article in the Pottsville Republican, Pope Francis was addressing a group of gynecologists.
Here are a few things he said in that talk — the talk that the Pottsville Republican is not telling us about, unless, perhaps, they are saving it for the bottom of page 34 in some future edition, which I kind of doubt (but maybe I’ll be surprised!):

"In all its phases and at every age, human life is always sacred and always of quality — and not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science!" “Abortion is the product of a widespread mentality of profit, the 'throwaway culture,' which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many." “That mentality calls for the elimination of human beings — above all if they are physically or socially weaker. Our response to that mentality is a decisive and unhesitating 'yes' to life." "Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. And every old person, even if infirm and at the end of his days, carries with him the face of Christ. They must not be thrown away!"

So, what was Pope Francis’s point in telling priests and bishops not to “obsess” with abortion and gay marriage and other such things?
The key lies in the word “obsess”. A parish priest who has nothing else to preach about other than abortion, contraception and gay marriage can, I guess, be said to be “obsessing” on the issues. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is primarily a message of God’s mercy to sinners. But mercy does not rule out judgment. To understand that last sentence, it is necessary to be able to walk and to chew gum at the same time! A theologically well-balanced priest preaches both MERCY and JUDGMENT. But, first of all, mercy!

stjos/stvdp: 09.22.2013 - 03



WE SHARE THE MAIL

Please note: Very soon after I received this email, I contacted the writer and asked her for permission to reprint it in the parish bulletin — as is and without any editing. I also asked her for permission to include her name. She gave me permission to do both, i.e. to reprint her letter and to include her name — for both of which I am grateful. I also told her that I would “answer” her email in the bulletin, although at the time, I had not yet formulated an answer. The bulletin article to which Mrs. Palko is referring can be found on page 08 of the 08 September 2013 bulletin. All bulletins, current and past, can be accessed on line at the parish website.

Sent: Mon 9/16/2013 --- 09:07 am
From: Bob and Sue
To: Fr. Connolly
Subject: JUST SAD
Dear Father Connolly,
Although I am no longer a parishioner of Saint Joseph Church, I do read the church bulletin on line every week.
I read with interest your analogy concerning the demolition of “St. Joseph’s School” since that was the name when I was educated there for 11 years before the high school was closed at the end of my junior year in 1956.
My question is, if your surgeon told you he could save your limb with a certain surgical dressing to prevent further damage, would you still choose to have an amputation?
Well, insurance would have covered an emergency repair to the school roof before further damage was done.
The leak did not cause the building to deteriorate overnight.
And, as far as “condoms and pills” being to blame, I have never heard of anything so ludicrous in my 73 years on God’s good earth.
If the hard-working people of the parish are not permitted to blame the person or persons in charge of over-seeing the parish entrusted to them then “who” do they blame?
Let’s put blame where blame belongs. It was sheer neglect all those years damage was taking place to that building.
Shame! Shame! Shame!
I will continue to hold my memories close to my heart. No wrecking ball will destroy them.
Respectfully,
Suzanne M. (Connors) Palko

Dear Mrs. Palko:
Thank you for writing. I appreciate the fact that you read the bulletin on line and that you took the time to contact me. It is good to know that, even though you don’t live in the area anymore, you continue to hold St. Joseph Parish, Girardville in your heart.
Let me comment on two points you raise. You write, “My question is, if your surgeon told you he could save your limb with a certain surgical dressing to prevent further damage, would you still choose to have an amputation? Well, insurance would have covered an emergency repair to the school roof before further damage was done. The leak did not cause the building to deteriorate overnight.”
My comment: Well, I guess this is why they say, “All analogies limp!” So, let me get away from analogies and simply state the facts: Soon after I arrived in July of 2008, I saw a building that had a noble past but no future. I saw a building with a leaking roof and considerable damage to the third floor. We had no money to repair the roof. Insurance money does not cover putting on a new roof. Insurance would not have covered any emergency repair. The insurance we have on the building is strictly liability insurance. But you might say that we could have borrowed money to repair the roof. But we were (and are) already carrying a huge debt. And, if some creditor were so foolish as to have lent us money to repair the roof, what would we then have done with the building? It would continue to sit there, vacant and unused, with the exception of occasional uses of the hall in the basement of the building, uses that could not possibly justify the money that we would have to spend on upkeep, heating, water and sewage and insurance premiums. The building had become a white elephant. I grant you a noble white elephant, but a white elephant nonetheless. It had become a drain on the parish. It was and is a liability. Repairing the roof would have been (pardon the cliché) “shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic”. Someone might ask, “But were any efforts made to see if the building could be converted to some other use?” The answer is “Yes”. Early in my time here, I made inquiries about converting it into a senior-citizen apartment building. No one was interested. No one saw this as financially feasible. Bringing this building “up to code” would have been prohibitive.
And, of course, there is the maxim you and I have heard many times: “There are three main factors when considering the value of a property. #01 is Location; #02 is Location; #03 is Location.”
There is a bright side to the demolition of the building: There will be a vacant lot and there are many uses for a vacant lot. My mind conjures up images of a one-story multi-use parish building plus parking lot. (Of course, you must know that I have “champagne tastes and a beer pocket book”.)
You also write: “And, as far as ‘condoms and pills’ being to blame, I have never heard of anything so ludicrous in my 73 years on God’s good earth.”
Well, I can only smile and say the obvious: Artificial contraception lowers the number of babies born, does it not? That can hardly be denied. After all, there is no evidence that would suggest that men and women have ceased to have intimate relations with one another. Nevertheless, there are not nearly as many babies in Girardville as there used to be. You graduated from high school in 1957, so let me use that as a “base year”. In 1957, there were FIFTY (50) babies baptized in St. Joseph Church, Girardville. How many babies have been baptized in St. Joseph Church, Girardville, so far in 2013? The answer is “ONE”. How many in 2012? The answer is “FOUR”. How many in 2011? The answer is “THREE”. How many in 2010? The answer is “THREE”. These numbers do not include a handful of babies who “came from out of the parish” to be baptized here for one reason or the other, but they don’t count as St. Joseph Parish babies.
So, who is to blame for the demise of the school and, soon, of the building itself? Well, I shall refrain from answering that question because I think the answer is already written in God’s book.
Dear Suzanne, I hope I have not been contentious or disrespectful in commenting on your letter. I simply wanted to lay some facts on the table. If and when you visit Girardville, I would be grateful if you would come to visit me. We could have some tea or coffee or ginger ale and, maybe even a cookie!
In Christ Jesus –
Fr. Edward B. Connolly

stjos/stvdp: 09.22.2013 - 04


The following should have been printed in the bulletin of 25 August, but it wasn’t. The pastor had been on vacation the previous week and this item got lost in the shuffle. My apologies to the members of the Bilsky family. So, better late than never……
THE FLOWERS IN FRONT OF THE BLESSED MOTHER statue in the chapel of St. Joseph Church were placed there in memory of Catherine Bilsky on her birthday, by Nathan, Bernadette, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

FALL FEST FOOD SALE

St. John’s Ukrainian Catholic Church will be selling the following food items at its picnic grove in Maizeville on Saturday, 28 September, from 12:00 noon to Sell-out:
Bean soup / Bleenies / Pyrohy / Halupkie / Kielbosi / Hot dogs / Baked goods.

COME AND ENJOY OUR DELICIOUS UKRAINIAN FOOD!

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS HOAGIE SALE
Sign-up sheets are in back of church (both churches) and in the Fr. Sheridan Room.
$5.00 each / Regular hoagie only!
Delivery date: 11 October 2013
Deadline for orders: 08 October 2013
THANK YOU, Mr. Richards (Wade-O) and Mr. Haluska (Ed)!
These two gentlemen put up scaffolding in St. Joseph Church in order to re-attach the “wallpaper” (for want of a more exact term) that periodically (because of moisture) droops down from the ceiling. What would we do without parishioners like them? Thank you, thank you, thank you!

stjos/stvdp: 09.22.2013 - 05


OH! NOW I GET IT!
In the Old Testament, it was prescribed that “if a male lies with a male as with a woman”, the two of them should be stoned.
As much as I disapprove of males lying with males, I must admit that I always thought that the penalty was kind of over the top. I don’t approve of capital punishment and I don’t like the idea of throwing stones at anyone, not even the most wicked of all. People who do approve of males lying with males have always been quick to point out to us who don’t approve that we are leftovers from a barbaric culture. I have to admit that “the stoning thing” did not enhance our argument and didn’t win us any support in the public forum. We always felt we had to “explain it away”.
However! I just realized something! It’s all in the interpretation! That’s why we shouldn’t rush to judgment on those “barbaric Old Testament customs”. We have to let them gel until their real meaning emerges!
Here’s my point: The State of Washington recently legalized same-sex marriage and the smoking of marijuana on the same day! So, now I finally understand what the Book of Leviticus was trying to tell us: If a male lies with a male as with a woman, the two of them should be stoned. And it is entirely possibleeven probablethat they are! Stoned, I mean.
GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE!
I admit to not being the president of the Barack Obama Fan Club. This is due to his enthusiastic support for abortion and same-sex marriage and other such nasty stuff.
However, I think he deserves to be commended on how he has handled the Syrian situation.
As everyone knows, it seemed as if we were to about to send missiles into Syria — missiles that would, I presume, have put a dent in Assad’s capacity to wage chemical war but which would also certainly have brought about the deaths of innocent human beings. (I include among “innocent human beings” even members of the Syrian military. After all, a soldier in the Syrian army is just a poor grunt who happened to be born and raised in Syria and was drafted into the Army and given a rifle and told to defend his country. Soldiers are not usually philosophers and theologians.)
President Obama, very much to his credit, held back his hand. He turned the matter over to Congress, which was the constitutionally correct thing to do. He probably knew that Congress would diddle on the matter and that this would give him (and Syria and Russia) time to reflect on the matter. As we all know, Syria used the “reflection time” to agree to turn its chemical weapons over to the UN. Just how sincere Assad is about handing them over is something we don’t yet know. But Obama averted war. Maybe he only delayed it. Time will tell. I admire any President who does not beat the war drums and who is willing to “give peace a chance”.
President Obama also deserves to be commended for agreeing to meet with President Rashouni of Iran. The two will probably meet next week at the UN in New York. Will any good come of this meeting? I have no idea, but I’m sure no bad will come of it. Unlike the war hawks at Fox News and elsewhere, I do not think that the greatness of the United States of America lies in its capacity for making war. And I do not believe that Iran is an intrinsically evil nation.
WAR IS ALWAYS BAD.
• WAR KILLS AND MAIMS HUMAN BEINGS.
• WAR BRINGS OUT THE WORST IN HUMAN BEINGS.
• WAR IS NOT A GAME TO BE ENJOYED.
• WAR IS NOT SOME SORT OF “PASSAGE RITE INTO MANHOOD”.
• WAR IS JUSTIFIABLE ONLY IF IT IS TRULY DEFENSIVE
• AND ONLY IF IT IS ABSOLUTELY THE LAST RESORT AFTER EVERYTHING ELSE HAS BEEN TRIED
• AND ONLY IF IT IS PROPORTIONATE (the benefit to be attained is greater than the evil that it is meant to correct)
• AND ONLY IF IT IS DECLARED BY THE LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY (in the USA, that’s the Congress).

stjos/stvdp: 09.22.2013 - 06


“GEE, THAT PRETTY MUCH SUMS IT ALL UP!“

Here is a quote that I put in my file some time ago “for future use”.
My problem is that I can’t, for the life of me, remember who said it.
I’m not even sure if I knew who said it at the time I filed it away.
Here goes the quote.
Please read it and savor it — and a tip of my biretta to whoever first said it!

"All who do good, and all who do evil, and all saints, and all Nazis, and pirates, and Communists and Mormons, Swedenborgians, and Satanists, and plumbers, and students who are getting F’s, and little kids and old coots, and profoundly brain-damaged folk and really brilliant scientists, and tall, and fat, and short people, and Muslims, and atheists, and Jews, and Buddhists and everybody else with a pulse are redeemed. Stalin is redeemed along with St. Damien of Molokai. Jack the Ripper and St Francis of Assisi are both redeemed."

I think what makes these words so powerful (at least to me) is that they express in a vibrant and humorous way what I think Pope Francis is trying to get across to all of us — much to our consternation, no doubt!
(True confessions: A little bit to my consternation at first, but not so much anymore.)
Pope Francis has been reminding the Church of something the Church needs to be reminded from time to time.
And what might that be?
It is this: God (for reasons reserved to Himself) is MERCIFUL BEYOND MEASURE!
Every once in a while, I am tempted to suggest to Him that He pull back on His mercy, that He not be so overwhelmingly, doggone merciful, because I know a few people who need a good punch in the nose. I want to tell God that, if He keeps it up, people are going to take Him for a fool. Fortunately, God does not ask me for my advice. (It occurs to me that I would not make a very good God.)
In and through Christ Jesus, God has redeemed the whole damn human race. Everybody (and his grandmother) has been redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, shed for us on the Cross on Calvary.
I just came across a news item this past week about a guy in Massachusetts who was sentenced to 27 years in jail for plotting to kidnap, torture and cannibalize a child. He never got around to doing it, thank God, but he had everything set up to do it. He even had some torture equipment and a child-size coffin in his basement. When I read that, I thought “scum of the earth” and “worse than any name” and “unworthy to live”. But, then, I think to myself, “But he has been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ!”
So, in the highly unlikely case that I ever get to visit this guy in jail, I won’t say to him, “Die, you scumbag!” Instead, I shall say, “Brother, God loves you! You have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb! Will you accept the pardon and salvation God so freely offers you?” Then I would wait for his response. If it’s “Yes”, he has a chance. If it’s “No”, well, that’s where judgment takes over. But not until the definitive “No”. Not until the definitive “No”!

stjos/stvdp: 09.22.2013 - 07



 SWEET LITTLE BOROUGH OF GIRARDVILLE

My comment: Apparently, this poem / song was written in 2007. I arrived in Girardville in 2008. That’s my “excuse” for saying (quite truthfully) that I had no idea that anyone had written a poem about Girardville! Until a few days ago! And then I came across it while reading a history of Girardville. So, for those who are already familiar with it but might like to read it again and for those who, like me, are (were) clueless, here it is!

Little town we love best in our county’s northwest,
of your charm we ne’er can have our fill.
On your bridges we schemed ways to follow our dreams
in our sweet little borough, Girardville.

Once a tiny hamlet, it did not take long
to grow to a boom town three thousand folks strong.
Parker Road that cuts through it was a wild country ride
‘til new businessmen filled Main Street with storefronts and pride.
Though Stephen Girard chose not to bequeath
his fortune to us, we found one underneath.
A thousand tons brought up from deep underground.
Old Girardville gave all ‘til the coal mines went down.

Little town we love best
in our county’s northwest,
of your charm we can ne’er have our fill.
On your bridges we schemed
ways to follow our dreams
in our sweet little borough, Girardville.

We grew up in Girardville, ‘neath summer blue skies.
Spent our days climbing the green hills that ‘round our town rise.
By the Mahanoy Crick in the springtime we played,
and down Perdokies Hill in the winter we sleighed.
We grew up in Girardville, roller skates on our feet,
Marched in step to Legion’s Drum and Bugle Corps beat.
Block parties, centennials, holiday celebrations,
traditions passed down to the next generation

One day we grew up, waved our small town good-bye.
There were no jobs to get, no matter how hard we tried.
Some went off to college, others to distant shores.
Served their country or labored so they wouldn’t be poor.
Yet they never forgot the town left far behind.
When you’re from Girardville, it’s a state of mind.
You can take us away by car, train, plane or bus,
but you never can take Girardville out of us.

Little town we love best
in our county’s northwest,
of your charm we can ne’er have our fill.
On your bridges we schemed
ways to follow our dreams
in our sweet little borough, Girardville.

Loretta Murphy-Birster, 2007)

stjos/stvdp: 09.22.2013 - 08


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