MASS SCHEDULE: 08 - 15 June
SAINT
JOSEPH CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE

Saturday, 07 June
Vigil of Pentecost
05:30 pm — JULIA CLARKE
by the Clarke Trust

Sunday, 08 June
Pentecost
11:30 am — GEORGE CANAVAN Sr.
by George, Bob and Ida Mae

Monday, 09 June
St. Ephrem, deacon, doctor (OptMem)
08:00 am — MARGARET FARENISH PUDDU
by Salvatore and Mary Modesto

Wednesday, 11 June
St. Barnabas, apostle (OblMem)
08:00 am — God’s blessings and mercy on HENRY WAYNE
by his wife, Eileen

Friday, 13 June
St. Anthony of Padua, priest, doctor (OblMem)
08:00 am — MATTHEW J. MARCINAK
by Alfred and Anne Zielinski

Saturday, 14 June
Weekday
08:00 am — ALBIN H. ZIELINSKI
by Frank and Rose Popeck
Vigil of the Most Holy Trinity
05:30 pm — RUSSELL WEIST
by his wife, Jean

Sunday, 15 June
The Most Holy Trinity
11:30 am — JAMES F. NEARY.
by Betty Moran

 MASS SCHEDULE: 08 - 15 June
SAINT
VINCENT dePAUL CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE 
     

Saturday, 07 June
Vigil of Pentecost
04:00 pm — JAMES J. GOWNLEY
by M/M Joel Digris

Sunday, 08 June
Pentecost
08:30 am — DECEASED: HOLY NAME SOCIETY
by the HNS

Tuesday, 10 June
Weekday
08:00 am — ARLENE KITSOCK NEY
by Mary Draugelis Miller

Thursday, 12 June
Weekday
07:00 pm — ANDREW POWLICK
by his daughter, Barbara, and her husband, John Petrousky

Saturday, 14 June
Vigil of the Most Holy Trinity
04:00 pm — WILLIAM and MARY (Lenahan) CANAVAN
by the Canavan and the Gillis families

Sunday, 15 June
The Most Holy Trinity
08:30 am — DECEASED: FISHER FAMILY
by Jim and Georgann Connell

stjos/stvdp: 06.01.2014 - 01


COLLECTION TOTALS FROM LAST WEEKEND:
01 / 02 JUNE


Saint Joseph Parish
:
Receipts for parish purposes: $1,404.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $58.00 from the plate; $289.00 from the Dues envelopes; $25.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $286.00 from the Ascension Day envelopes; $126.00 from the loose.
Total: $2,188.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($2,188.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($269.31), plus our weekly premium for various insurances ($298.15), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($358.17), the sum total of which is $925.63, one sees that $1,262.37 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent dePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes:

Receipts for parish purposes: $883.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $69.00 from the plate; $160.00 from the Dues envelopes; $5.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $308.00 from the Ascension Day envelopes; $219.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,644.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,644.00) 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 $839.46 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

CONFESSION SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Tuesday, 10 June
02:30 to 3:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 12 June
06:00 to 07:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 13 June
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

Tuesday, 10 June
02:00 to 04:00 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church
Scripture Rosary at about 03:40 pm
concluding with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Friday, 13 June
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

stjos/stvdp: 06.01.2014 - 02


Pope Francis’s Remarks About Priests and Celibacy
The following is a news item I came across this past week.
Pope Francis is turning heads over his recent comments about priests and celibacy. During a spur-of-the-moment news conference after his historic three-day trip to the Holy Land, Francis told reporters that it is “not a dogma” that members of the clergy abstain from sex. “It is a rule of life that I appreciate very much, and I think it is a gift for the church, but since it is not a dogma, the door is always open.” Celibacy in the church is a tradition dating back 1,000 years.

Here is my comment on the news article.
#01 — I’m sorry but whoever the reporter is who wrote this article, he or she is a Dummkopf! (That’s German for “Dumbhead”. I know that word because, when I was a child, my mother sometimes called me a “Dummkopf”. That always made me laugh! My mother was German and tended to call a spade a spade. She didn’t know how funny she was!) Pope Francis never said that it is not a dogma that members of the clergy abstain from sex. What a silly thing for the reporter to say that the Pope said! He said that it is not a dogma that only celibate men can be ordained to the priesthood. There is a huge difference. You do see that, do you not?
#02 — The reporter is also mistaken in saying that celibacy in the Church is a tradition dating back 1,000 years. Actually, it dates back far more than 1,000 years. As an admired custom and as a suggestion, it can be dated back to Apostolic times. As a law binding clergy in certain parts of the world, it can be dated back to AD 302 (Council of Elvira). As a law binding on all bishops, priests and deacons in the Latin Church, it can be dated back to AD 1215 (4th Council of the Lateran).
#03 — It is true, as the Pope (actually) said, that celibacy is “not a dogma”. I am sometimes surprised when people speak of it as if it were. It is a tradition. It is a discipline. It is a policy. Traditions, disciplines, policies — by their very nature — are subject to change.
#04 — People sometimes conflate in their minds the dogma that only men can be ordained to the priesthood with the tradition that only celibate men can be ordained to the priesthood. The two are not in the same ballpark. One is a “dogma”. It cannot be changed. No Pope can change it. If any Pope tried to change it, he would be a heretic and would immediately cease to be Pope. There is no possibility that the Church will ever ordain women to the priesthood. On the other hand, celibacy is a “tradition”. It should not be changed without good reason, but it could be changed. It is ultimately up to the Pope to determine whether there is “good reason”.
#05 — The recent news about the soldier in Afghanistan who was captured by the Taliban and held as a hostage and has now been released at the price of our releasing five bad guys from Gitmo prompts me to make this analogy: When a man is ordained to the priesthood, he implicitly agrees that, if ever he is taken prisoner by enemies of the Church and held hostage, he will not agree to being released at the price of harm accruing to the Church. To be a celibate priest is to accept the fact that one’s life is expendable. Nothing is more important to a celibate priest than his Spouse, the Catholic Church. He is willing to die for Her and would much rather die for Her than accept being released at the price of harm being done to Her. That is one reason why a priest does not have a particular woman as his spouse. He already has a Spouse — a Spouse who consumes all of his passion and all of his capacity for giving and receiving love.
#06 — It is my opinion that celibacy should be retained as a condition for the reception of the Order of Priesthood in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. But I am not the Pope. Whatever the Pope decides in this regard will be acceptable to me. It is he who has “the care of all the churches” plus the burden and the grace that accompany it. But, even if (as I think is unlikely) he decides to abolish mandatory celibacy, there will always be those men who will voluntarily embrace celibacy — and perfect chastity along with it, of course.

stjos/stvdp: 06.08.2014 - 03



100th ANNUAL LITHUANIAN DAYS
Theme
: "Amber / The Gold of the Baltics”
Saturday, 16 August and Sunday, 17 August 2014
Schuylkill Mall, Frackville, PA

**** FREE ADMISSION / FREE ENTERTAINMENT ****
There will be a Program Booklet.
Be a part of history by taking out a space in the booklet
in order to advertise your business or to commemorate your family.

Full page: $100.00 Approximate size 8 ½ x 11''
Half page: $ 65.00 Approximate size 8 ½ x 5 ½”
Quarter page: $ 35.00 Approximate size 4 ¼ x 5 ½''
Black and White Only
CUT OFF DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS JUNE 16
Everyone who purchases at least a ¼ page ad ($35.00) will receive a complimentary booklet.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU!
ACIU LABAI FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
GO TO THIS WEBSITE TO FIND THE FORM FOR SUBMITTING YOUR AD.
http://kofl144.weebly.com/100th-annual-lithuanian-days.html
(If you don’t have access to a computer,
feel free to ask Fr. Connolly or Ian to print out a form for you.)

 GIFT-CARD PROFIT FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2014
$87.50
for St. Vincent dePaul Parish
$109.50 for St. Joseph Parish
Total profit so far for 2014
$518.50
for St. Vincent dePaul Parish
$651.50 for St. Joseph Parish
Total profit since we began the gift-card program (22 July 2012)
$2,636.00
for St. Vincent dePaul Parish
$3,019.00 for St. Joseph Parish
THANK YOU FOR BUYING OUR GIFT CARDS!
I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST ANTS as long as they stay outside where God intended them to stay. But when they poke their little noses into the Rectory, I take decisive action. With that in mind, I appointed Ian as Captain of the Ant Patrol. So, he placed some ant traps outside and also took a can of insecticide that was in the basement and sprayed it outside around the perimeter of the Rectory in order to discourage the little beasties from antering the sacred precincts. When he came into the Rectory, he told me, “This ant-spray smells like sin.” That made no sense to me, so I asked him “What does sin smell like?” He showed me the can, on which was printed the word “UNSCENTED” and underneath in smaller letters the words “SIN AROMA”. I gave him my “deer in the headlights” stare and told him, “SIN AROMA” is Spanish for “WITHOUT AROMA”. I’m pretty sure he already knew this. He was just putting me on. Score one for Ian! I thought that was pretty funny. I told him, “Hey! Way to go, kid! You know what? That’s bulletin material!”

 REMEMBER THE POOR!
They sure remember us!
Next time you pass by one of the poor boxes, please don’t just pass it by.

stjos/stvdp: 06.08.2014 - 04


Background
In Pennsylvania, until recently, the law defined marriage as “[a] civil contract by which one man and one woman take each other as husband and wife”.
In addition to this, in 1996, Governor Tom Ridge signed the following amendment to the Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania.

It is hereby declared to be the strong and longstanding public policy of this Commonwealth that marriage shall be between one man and one woman. A marriage between persons of the same sex which was entered into in another state or foreign jurisdiction, even if valid where entered into, shall be void in this Commonwealth.


This amendment had passed the Pennsylvania State Assembly by a vote of 177 to 16.
It had passed the Pennsylvania State Senate by a vote of 43 to 5.
On 20 May 2014, Judge John Jones, by judicial decree, overturned these marriage laws of the State of Pennsylvania, declaring them to be unconstitutional.
On Thursday, 05 June 2014, the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation sponsored five rallies in the State of Pennsylvania. The particular purpose of these rallies was to encourage Governor Corbett to appeal (before it is too late) the decision made by Judge Jones.
These rallies were held in the five cities in Pennsylvania that have federal courthouses. They are: Allentown, Erie, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton.
Father Connolly was the speaker for the Allentown rally.
This is the text of his speech.

Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning, etc.

#01 — We have gathered here today in order to exercise our First Amendment right to assemble peaceably and to petition the government for redress of grievances. We are here today to ask His Excellency, Thomas Corbett, Governor of Pennsylvania, to change his mind. We are here to ask him, respectfully but firmly, to appeal to a higher court the decision rendered by the Honorable John Jones, United States Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, wherein he declared, against all reason, that marriage does not enjoy the equal protection of the law. We are here today to bear witness before God and our fellow citizens of the Commonwealth that we will not go gently into that dark night. The dark night to which I refer is the dark night brought upon us by the decision of Judge Jones wherein he declared null and void the manifest will of the people and the legislature and the governor of Pennsylvania, that marriage is exclusively between man and woman.

#02 — Perhaps someone will say to me that I have it all backwards, that Judge Jones declared that, because the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States requires that all persons must enjoy the equal protection of the law, it follows that the definition of marriage must be expanded, so that freedom can be expanded. Freedom is a good thing, is it not?

#03 — We say that this is deceitful. The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment had no intention whatsoever of changing the definition of marriage. Throughout recorded history, from the dawn of the human race, in all nations and among all tribes, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, marriage has been understood as a contract uniting man and woman. Never in the history of the human race has it been understood as anything other than this.

#04 — If we ask ourselves, “Why has marriage been understood exclusively as the union of man and woman?” the answer is so blazingly obvious as hardly to need explanation. It is because it is only from the union of man and woman that new human beings come into existence!

#05 — In fact, we declare that we hold this truth to be SELF-EVIDENT, that the union of man and woman is the means whereby new humans come into existence. (I trust that that is not exactly a new piece of information for anyone gathered here today.)

#06 — It is due to the fact that the union of man and woman produces new human beings who will be new citizens for the State, that the State has always asserted a right to grant — or even, for good reason, to deny — licenses to marry. (Recall that the word “license” — from the Latin “licentia” — means “permission”.) The State has a vested interest in the procreation of new citizens. The State likewise has a vested interest in seeing to it, insofar as it is possible, that these new citizens will be nurtured and raised in homes in which one man and one woman exercise love and jurisdiction over their children.

#07 — I beg you to understand that I am not here today in order to foist my religion on you or on anyone else. Your religion is your business, as my religion is my business. We are not endorsing some particular sectarian doctrine when we say that we want the State to grant special status to marriage. Marriage pre-existed any religion. Marriage goes back to the Garden. (If you are not a particularly religious person, then I am willing to revise that assertion slightly: Marriage goes back to the dawn of the human race.)

#08 — I am not here to ask Governor Corbett or anyone else to support what some people — unfortunately — call “traditional marriage”. It might surprise you when I say that I do not approve of the term “traditional marriage”. Why? Because such a term implies that there are two kinds of marriage: traditional and non-traditional. (By “non-traditional marriage”, they mean, of course, the union of two persons of the same sex.) But there are not two kinds of marriage. There is only one kind! I do not ask the State to punish or to penalize persons of the same sex who choose to live in intimate physical union. Personally, I don’t like the idea that persons of the same sex should live in intimate physical union, but I say “live and let live”. Let God be the judge! I do not ask the State to punish such persons. I simply say that such unions are not “non-traditional marriage”. The fact is that such unions are not “marriage” in any sense of the term. Plain and simple. They are not “marriage”! If they are not “marriage”, then what are they? It is not my business to give names to such arrangements. Call them what you will. I say only this: They are not marriage! Only marriage is marriage, and marriage always involves the union of man and woman.

#09 — With all due respect to the Honorable Judge John Jones, I say that no court, not his court nor any court superior to his, nor even the Supreme Court of the United States, can overturn the fundamental law of God. (If you are not a religious person, feel free to change that expression to “the fundamental law of Nature”.)

#10 — We have all, perhaps, heard about the middle-school teacher in a General Science class who asked the children if they knew why it is that — even though the Earth is in constant rotation around its axis and in constant revolution around the Sun — none of us “fall off the face of the Earth”. Nor do the trees and buildings or mountains fall off. None of the children ventured to answer the question. So, the teacher painstakingly explained Isaac Newton’s Law of Gravity, which is as follows: Any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Hearing that, one of the youngsters asked in awe: “That’s amazing! But what kept things from falling off before Mr. Newton made that law?”

#11 — My point in retelling this joke, in case it is not already obvious, is that there are certain laws that are not of merely human origin. These laws come from God. (Once again, if you are not a religious person, you may change the word “God” to “Nature”.) Neither the Honorable John Jones nor any human person nor any combination of human persons can repeal the law of gravity. Neither can the Honorable John Jones nor any human person nor any combination of human persons repeal the law of marriage, which is that it is a union of man and woman.

#12 — Someone will say, “Father Connolly, you and your ilk are nothing more than bigots.” To which I reply, “Friend, you are being unfair to us. We are not bigots. What we are is persons who respond to logic and order, persons who want to live in an ordered and logical society!” I borrow these words of St. Thomas More: “I say no man harm, I wish no man harm, I think no man harm”. (And, to update Thomas, let me add just for the record, that I say no woman harm, I wish no woman harm, I think no woman harm.)

#13 — Logic tells me that no one needs a license from the State in order to love. If two persons of the same sex love one another, they don’t need a license from the State to do so. If they love one another so much that they wish to share their earthly goods and make one another the beneficiaries of their estates, there are abundant avenues available to them to make such arrangements. When a man and a woman go to a county courthouse in order to secure a marriage license, they do so because their prospective union is the kind that is capable of engendering new human beings and because they want to establish in law their mutual rights and obligations to their offspring and because they want there to be no ambiguity about this and because they want to give their children the inestimable advantage of calling a woman “Mother” and a man “Father”. This advantage is a right, a right to which every child coming into this world is entitled.

#14 — Someone is bound to say that this gathering is pointless, that the die is cast, that we will never go back to the day when marriage was exclusively between man and woman. I respectfully suggest that this is cynical. We must avoid cynicism and defeatism. We cannot simply say, as the Duke of Norfolk said to Thomas More who would not consent to the King’s unlawful marriage to Anne Boleyn: “Oh, confound all this. I'm not a scholar, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not but — naughty word alert! — damn it, Thomas, look at these names! Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship?”
To which Sir Thomas More replied, “And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me ….. for fellowship?”
We are here today because our consciences compel us and because we believe that God will vindicate those who adhere to the Truth.

President Reagan famously said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
We say, “Governor Corbett, tear down this decision!”

God bless the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!
God bless the United States of America!
Thank you.
Amen.

stjos/stvdp: 06.08.2014 - 05



HAVE YOU SEEN THESE TWO BOOKCASES?

Do you know where they are and what they’re all about?
Well, let me tell you!
One of these is in the vestibule of St. Joseph Church, near the steps leading up to the choir loft.
The other one is in the vestibule of St. Vincent dePaul Church.
As you can see, they are filled with Catholic literature and CDs.
Pardon me for explaining but not everybody knows what a CD is.
Sometimes a CD is a Certificate of Deposit, but that’s not the kind of CDs these CDs are. These CDs are Compact Discs.
When you and I were young, Maggie, we used records. But now the young folks use CDs (Compact Discs). You stick one of them into a CD player and — voila! — out comes sound. In the case of these particular CDs, lectures and talks and such stuff come out.
And they are really good and interesting talks (very much unlike the homilies you hear in the two churches in Girardville, but we’re not going to mention any names!)
Take a look at these two bookcases. As soon as we get them, we are going to put on price labels, so you know how much to put into the money boxes.
This is NOT a fundraising project. We just hope to break even. This is a “parish education project”. Please support it. We can all benefit from a bit of Catholic education.

stjos/stvdp: 06.08.2014 - 06


                                                                                           

Trinity Academy will miss these two compassionate and generous women. They are selfless in their dedication. Truly, they are an example for all who follow Christ and serve Him by serving others.

Sister Mary Ann Spaetti, IHM
Principal
Trinity Academy

On behalf of St. Joseph Parish and St. Vincent dePaul Parish, I thank Sister Jeanette and Mrs. Eiche for all their years of service — with special gratitude for the years they spent in Girardville at St. Joseph (later Immaculate Heart of Mary) School. Sister Jeanette served in Girardville from 1997 to 2006. Mrs. Eiche served in Girardville from 1972 to 2006. Both continued to serve (2006 to 2014) when our school was closed and consolidated into Trinity Academy, Shenandoah. Now they are retiring. They did us all a lot of good. “Let them rest from their labors, for their good works follow them.”

EBC

 GOD BLESS THE FOUR NEWLY ORDAINED PRIESTS OF
THE DIOCESE OF ALLENTOWN!


Father James M. Harper III
Father Kevin M. Lonergan
Father Mark R. Searles
Father Daniel E. Kravatz Jr.

 BISHOP’S ANNUAL APPEAL
Have you made your contribution yet?
If you have, thank you.
If you have not, please do so.
Sooner is better than later.
But later is better than never.

stjos/stvdp: 06.08.2014 - 07


CHANGE IN SCHEDULE!
This schedule change is for the month of June 2014 only!
The Tridentine Mass (“extraordinary form Mass”) is celebrated at 11:30 am on the last Sunday of each month.
The last Sunday of the current month is 29 June.
HOWEVER, it will be changed — this month only — to the previous Sunday.

SO, PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TRIDENTINE MASS
WILL BE CELEBRATED AT 11:30 AM ON 22 JUNE, NOT ON 29 JUNE.

As usual, on Sundays when the 11:30 am Mass is “extraordinary form”, we will have a 10:00 am Mass in the “ordinary form” on that day.
Reason for this change: Fr. Connolly is committed to being in Flagstaff AZ on 28 June in order to officiate at the wedding of one of his grandnieces.

NEEDED
Someone (man, woman, teenager) who would be willing to serve as lector for the Saturday 05:30 pm Mass in St. Joseph Church / Chapel. There are two gentlemen who have been “regular lectors” at this Mass. One of them has submitted his retirement due to infirmities of age. We would gladly have “kept him on duty” but we must respect his perception of his capacities. So, to coin a phrase: Would someone please step up to the plate? Let Fr. Connolly know if you are willing to serve.
AS YOU ARE LEAVING CHURCH AFTER MASS this weekend, don’t forget to say “goodbye” to the Paschal Candle. It (actually “they” because we have three of them, one each in the two churches and one in the chapel) was first lit with great solemnity at the two Easter Vigil Masses on Saturday, 19 April, and has been lit at each Mass and service since then, up to and including today, 08 June, which is Pentecost Sunday. Now it’s time to put the Paschal Candle on “stand-by duty” only. It will be lit for funerals and for baptisms. What is the liturgical rationale for the seasonal use of the Paschal Candle? An excellent question! You are to be commended for asking. The reason is something like this: The Paschal Candle represents the time that the Risen Christ stayed with the early Church in His visible form (except for ten days after the Ascension). When he withdrew His visible form, He then sent them His Holy Spirit (who is, of course, invisible). The Holy Spirit dwells within us. Our duty (and this is signified by the removal of the Paschal Candle for the greater part of the year) is to make Jesus Christ visible. In other words, you and I are now mini paschal candles! God became human so that humans could become godlike. So “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”. Or something like that! You get it?
I WAS VISITING in the Pottsville Hospital recently and a young man (a patient) came up to me and asked me a question I had never been asked before in my life.
I did not know the young man. I would estimate that he was 22 / 23 years of age.
He asked the question very respectfully, not the least bit sarcastically. He said, “Are you a good priest?”
I smiled and said, “Well, I can tell you for certain that I’m a priest. As to whether I’m a good priest, you’ll have to ask God.”
He smiled and nodded his head but didn’t say anything. I asked him his name. He told me his name.
Then I asked him, “Are you a good man?” He said, “I try to be.”
I said, “Good for you! And I try to be a good priest.”
Then I said, “God bless you!” And he said, “God bless you too”.
And that’s the end of my story. It kind of touched my heart! I hope he and I meet in Heaven.

stjos/stvdp: 08..2014 - 08


 

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE WOMAN
WHO WAS ADDICTED TO DANCING THE HOKEY-POKEY?

Very sad case! Very, very sad!
But it has a happy ending, which is good.
We all like “happy endings”.
You see, it all started when she was 12 years old. She went to a school dance and one of the dances was the hokey-pokey. She took to it right away and really loved it. She thought it was so cool! She danced the hokey-pokey all the way back home. Even when she got into the house, she continued to dance the hokey-pokey. Her mother told her, “Knock off that hokey-pokey nonsense and get to bed!” She tried to do so but, try as she might, she kept jumping out of bed to dance the hokey-pokey. Fortunately, her mother recognized that something was wrong here, so she took her daughter to the ER. The girl danced the hokey-pokey all the way to the ER and in the ER, much to the consternation of the doctors and nurses and much to the entertainment of the folks in the waiting room. They weren’t able to do anything for her in the ER, so they sent her to a psychiatric facility that specializes in unusual compulsions and addictions. She spent the next thirty years of her life there, dancing the hokey-pokey morning, noon and night. The staff tried everything but, eventually, gave up and decided that all they could do for the poor young woman was to provide custodial care and frequent changes of shoes because, when you dance the hokey-pokey morning, noon and night, you tend to wear out a lot of shoes. One day a priest visited the psychiatric facility and asked to see the woman who kept dancing the hokey-pokey. She agreed to speak with him, although it is difficult to have a serious conversation with someone who is dancing the hokey-pokey. Nobody knows what the priest said to her or what prayer he said over her. All that anyone knows is that, by the time the priest had left the facility, the “Hokey-Pokey Gal” (as she had come to be known, for obvious reasons) was sitting down in the dayroom, calm, cool and collected, reading “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy, a book she had always wanted to read but was prevented from doing so because of the hokey-pokey thing. (You have to sit down and concentrate if you want to read “War and Peace”. You can’t very well read it while dancing the hokey-pokey, that’s for sure! It has a lot of complicated names, as do most Russian novels.) The doctor in charge of the facility called the woman’s parents, who were quite elderly by now, and told them that they could come and take her home now because she was no longer dancing the hokey-pokey. They wasted no time getting to the facility and, as they embraced their daughter, they said, “Honey, we’re so happy you’re okay now. But tell us, how come you’re not doing the hokey-pokey anymore?” and she just smiled a sweet smile and said, “Mom, Dad, I was addicted to the hokey-pokey but I’ve turned myself around”.
I know that there is a moral to this story but, for the life of me, I can’t think of what it is. Maybe it’s “never give up” or “the power of prayer” or “watch out when you go to school dances” or all of the above or even none of the above. I’m not sure.

stjos/stvdp: 08..2014 - 09


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