MASS SCHEDULE: 20 - 27 July

Saturday, 19 July
Vigil of Sunday
by Jean Birster Weist

Sunday, 20 July
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Patricia Kowalick

Monday, 21 July
St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest, doctor (OptMem)
08:00 am — JACOB T. OPUDA
by Eileen Croake Wayne

Wednesday, 23 July
St. Bridget of Sweden, religious (OptMem)
08:00 am — VINCENT CAREY
by his son, Tom

Friday, 25 July
St. James the Greater, apostle (Fst)
08:00 am — JOHN BURNS Sr.
by his son, John

Saturday, 26 July
SS. Joachim and Anne, parents of the BVM (OblMem)
08:00 am — God’s blessings on SISTER MARY RAYMOND, OP
by her sister, Carolyn
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — LUCAS J. OPUDA
by the Catizone family

Sunday, 27 July
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
10:00 am — HENRY WAYNE
by George Jambeter
11:30 am — Fr. THOMAS A. HORAN
by EBC

 MASS SCHEDULE: 20 - 27 July

Saturday, 19 July
Vigil of Sunday
by Bernice Yackera

Sunday, 20 July
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by the Connell family

Tuesday, 22 July
St. Mary Magdalene (OblMem)
by his family

Thursday, 24 July
St. Sharbel Makhluf, priest (OptMem)
07:00 pm — JULIA [“Jean”] STATUTIS MAJIKAS
by her family

Saturday, 26 July
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — TED and PATRICK YACKERA
by Bernice Yackera

Sunday, 27 July
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — PETER SMOLOCK
by John Gregis

stjos/stvdp: 07.20.2014 - 01

12 / 13 JULY

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes: $1,052.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $60.00 from the plate; $120.00 from the Dues envelopes; $145.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $66.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,443.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,443.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($269.31), plus our weekly premium for various insurances ($311.91), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($358.17), the sum total of which is $939.39, one sees that $503.61 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent dePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $656.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $51.00 from the plate; $20.00 from the Dues envelopes; $142.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $71.00 from the loose.
Total: $940.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($940.00) our weekly financial obligation to the Diocese, i.e. assessments ($231.00), plus our weekly premium for various insurances ($336.72), plus our weekly subsidy to Trinity Academy ($250.98), the sum total of which is $818.70, one sees that $121.30 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


Tuesday, 22 July
02:30 to 3:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

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

Friday, 25 July
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel


Tuesday, 22 July
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, 25 July
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: 07.20.2014 - 02

VOLUNTEER HELP NEEDED: Ian asked me to “put something in the bulletin” about needing help to pull weeds (etc.) from the flower beds in front of St. Joseph Church and, perhaps, also from the back yard of St. Joseph Rectory. Are there any young people out there who would like to help out? If so, call the Rectory.
THE CANDLE in front of the statue of the Infant of Prague in St. Vincent dePaul Church burns this week in loving memory of Harry Luscavage, at the request of John and Barbara Petrousky.
MARIAN CARDIFF WIRSING, age 80, died in Florida on Friday, 11 July. Fr. Connolly conducted a funeral service for her on Friday, 18 July, at the Sullivan Funeral Home. Interment followed in the St. Joseph Parish Cemetery, Fountain Springs. Marian’s parents are the late James and Julia (Reddy) Cardiff (alternate spelling of Carduff). Her son, Edward Wirsing, is deceased. She is survived by the following: her daughters, Terri, Cathy and Susan; her brother, James; her sisters, Joan and Linda; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Eternal rest grant unto Marian, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
JACOB THOMAS OPUDA, age 32, died in Girardville on Friday, 11 July. Fr. Brennan conducted a funeral service for him on Thursday, 17 July, at the Sullivan Funeral Home.
Jacob’s parents are John J. and Ruth Ann (Kennedy) Opuda. In addition to his parents, Jacob is survived by his daughter, Adara R. Opuda, and his sister, Jennifer M. Opuda. His brother, Lucas J. Opuda, age 27, died just fourteen weeks before Jacob, i.e. on 04 April 2014.
No words can express the depth of the grief of parents who are called upon to experience the death of a beloved son or daughter. The fact that John and Ruth have been obliged to experience the death of both of their sons within the same year leaves us speechless.
And, of course, there is the grief of Jennifer at the loss of both of her brothers and the grief of Adara at the loss of her uncle and then her father — not to mention the grief of so many others.
If ever we needed God, we need Him now.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, have mercy on us all!
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered in St. Joseph Chapel this coming week, once for Jacob and once for Lucas.
Eternal rest grant unto Jacob, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

We are chancing off $200.00 worth of Redner’s and Boyer’s gift cards.
Drawing will be held on Labor Day.
Chances are $2.00 each / three for $5.00.
On sale in Sheridan Room or in back of upper church after weekend Masses.

stjos/stvdp: 07.20.2014 - 03

Mass of Christian Burial
St. Joseph Church, Girardville PA
08 July 2014

Rev. Msgr. James A. Treston
Pastor Emeritus, St. Ignatius Parish
Sinking Spring PA

Good morning, Bishop Cullen, family members, members of St. Joseph Parish!
I extend sincere sympathy to you on the death of Father Thomas Anthony Horan — a great priest, churchman, Irishman, friend.
In September of 1952, upon entering through the doors of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to begin studies for ordination to the priesthood, I encountered a young man sitting on one of the four tall chairs adorning the main corridor. I introduced myself and learned that he was Tom Horan. Like me, he was also was a “new man”.
Without realizing it at the time, the seeds of friendship were planted that day, a friendship that became stronger in the years following ordination.
Fr. Tom was ordained for the young diocese of Allentown in May of 1962 and was assigned as an assistant pastor at several parishes. He was appointed to Holy Rosary Church, Mahanoy Plane. That was his first pastorate and, upon the closing of that parish, he became pastor of St. Mary Magdalen in Lost Creek and then Our Lady of Good Counsel, Gordon.
Each of these churches was in the immediate vicinity of his boyhood church, St. Joseph, Girardville — his pride and joy!
He reflected often on family stories centering around the parish. It was here that his vocation to the priesthood was engendered and nurtured.
Little did he know at ordination what awaited him. There would be the anticipation with the accompanying anxiety, the disappointment, the suffering, the pain, the support of family and friends, the loving care of the staff at the Villa, the grace of perseverance, the surrender to God’s will and, finally, the passage through the portals of death to hear the words of welcome recorded by Isaiah in our First Reading: “Behold our God, to Whom we look to save us! This is the Lord for Whom we looked. Let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us!”
Reflecting on the priesthood of Father Tom, I must say that I always admired the manner in which he carried his cross of suffering and pain. I truly believe that he answered “yes” when, like Simon of Cyrene, he was asked to help Jesus carry His cross.
Early in his priesthood, he suffered a heart attack and then a massive stroke which paralyzed his right side. He followed the physical therapy directives and, after some time, was able to function.
He loved his priesthood and kept in touch with many of his classmates and friends. He began to take vacation trips with priests and parishioners from far and wide. It was on a trip to Ireland where he was called “the Vicar” for the first time, a name by which many came to address him for more than thirty years. I share this story.

stjos/stvdp: 07.20.2014 - 04

Father Horan, accompanied by Father Tom King, my classmate, now deceased, then pastor of St. Jerome’s in Tamaqua, Father Joe Whalen and myself, at that time pastor of St. Canicus Church, Mahanoy City. We planned a trip to Ireland to visit the Church of St. Canicus in County Kilkenny. It was from this parish that there had come a Father Michael McGovern, who served the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the 1800s. When Father McGovern was an assistant in St. Jerome’s in Tamaqua, he was asked by the Archbishop to found a parish in Mahanoy City and he was allowed to select a name for this parish. He chose the name “St. Canicus” (Latin for Kenneth), his boyhood church. This common connection between the two parishes provided the reason for our trip to Ireland, with at least 45 people on board.
As we traveled through Ireland on a motor-coach, the courier would entertain us. Going through County Wicklow, the courier called our attention to a directional road sign indicating a side road to the Village of Bray. He then informed us of the famous pastor there who was affectionately referred to as “the Vicar of Bray”. While he was telling us this story,-who do you think was asleep? Yes, Father Tom!
The more the courier told us about the Vicar of Bray being all things to all men, we priests thought his words could be predicated of Father Tom. From that moment we, together with many others, always referred to Father Tom, as “the Vicar.”
When he retired, the Vicar took up residence at his family home in Girardville, just up the street from the church. But he continued his priestly work, helping out at parishes when needed and then serving as chaplain of St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading several days a week.
As you may know, the Vicar was a devoted and very knowledgeable bridge player. He joined a bridge club in Reading and played weekly. Names of the winners were published in the Reading Eagle. His name was among them several times.
Also, I might add, he accompanied me on several parish trips and cruises. He met people and had the facility for remembering their names. All enjoyed his company. He never appeared to allow any of his infirmities to impede him.
On at least two of the trips to Ireland, he and I were privileged to offer Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock in County Mayo, the county of our ancestors — once at the wall where the apparition took place and the other at the parish church.
His last years were not on the sea nor on a bus nor in his home but within the Holy Family Villa for Priests, where he received excellent care and was ever so grateful.
I recall the words of St. Paul to Timothy, which, I am sure, were part of the Vicar’s mindset: “For I have already been poured out like a libation and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well. I have finished the race. I have kept the Faith.”
Everyone loved the Vicar — a priest, a pastor, a friend, a patient who personified the eight Beatitudes proclaimed in St. Matthew’s Gospel.
This day, may he hear Jesus, the great High Priest, echo those words of welcome: “Rejoice and be glad, Vicar, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

stjos/stvdp: 07.20.2014 - 05


The following appeared on 15 July
Judge Jones: Good job at blowing your liberal progressive smoke. Bishop Zubik is right and if more clergy would have spoken sooner, this Sodom and Gomorrah, man-with-man, woman-with-woman perversion would not have gotten this far. All 13 judges can tell yourself that this doesn't make it different. Commentator: I know you buy into this 100 percent. You say it's about equality. Nonsense! I wonder how long it will be before some sicko will be able to marry his horse.


You're right! I buy into this 100 percent, and only because it's the right thing to do. To ban gay marriage is not only discriminatory, it's unconstitutional. It would be the same situation if the Legislature banned marriages for people who live in Tremont.

The Commentator

The following appeared on 17 July
Congressional candidate Dr. Moylan and Register of Wills Santai-Gaffney are going to support the Defense of Marriage Act by denying those they feel are not deserving of formalizing their relationship. That formalization ensures legal protection for their property and their next-of-kin. Why don't Dr. Moylan and Santai-Gaffney campaign to outlaw divorce if they're so concerned? These two are just pandering for votes and not respecting people's rights; and if they say this is a moral issue, then let God decide, not politicians.


If God does decide, how do we get his decision? I suspect from mortal humans like Moylan and Gaffney. That's what this country is all about. The right to express your opinion, and your right to object. What I don't understand is how some people can be anti-anything toward other decent people. They should take care of their own affairs and don't worry about what other people are doing.

The Commentator

I hope it is obvious to the reader why I bother to reprint excerpts from Thunder / Enlightning in the bulletin and then offer commentary on them. In case it’s not obvious, let me put it in a few words. The opinions given in the T / E column, although not Pulitzer Prize material, do give us an idea of what is going on in the minds of our friends and neighbors and how they evaluate the passing scene. Taken all together, it’s a kind of “philosophy of the marketplace”. As a priest in Schuylkill County, I am interested in people’s “philosophies of life”. I think part of my job as a priest is to offer my own “philosophy of life”, a philosophy based primarily on REASON.
So, here goes!
I am more interested in what “The Commentator” has to say than in what the anonymous callers have to say. That’s because we all know who he is. It is Schuylkill County’s worst-kept secret that “The Commentator” is Henry Nyce, the publisher of the Pottsville Republican. We would like to think, since he holds such a responsible and distinguished position in our community, that Mr. Nyce would exercise rationality when he makes his comments.
But notice a few things that he says in the 15 July entry:
He says that he is 100% in favor of the legalization of same-sex marriage because “it’s the right thing to do”. He says that it is “the right thing to do” because to do otherwise would be discriminatory. But, of course it’s discriminatory to ban same-sex marriage! Lots of things are discriminatory. Life is full of discrimination and I thank God for it! For example: If a 12-year-old lad applies for a driver’s license in Pennsylvania, he is told to go home and come back when he is 16. That’s discrimination! But is it “reasonable discrimination” or “unreasonable discrimination”? I think it is reasonable. There are hazards aplenty on our streets and highways. We don’t need to add to them by licensing 12-year-olds.

stjos/stvdp: 07.20.2014 - 06

For example: I might want to set up a clinic in order to offer my services as a brain surgeon. By and large, brain surgeons earn a pretty good dollar. But if I were to start advertising myself as a brain surgeon and were to start accepting patients, John Law would swoop down on me and lock me up! That would be discrimination! But would it be “reasonable discrimination” or “unreasonable discrimination”? I think it would be “reasonable discrimination”. Why? Because I never went to medical school and have absolutely no qualifications by any objective standard to practice brain surgery.
You can make up your own silly examples to illustrate the point.
And what is the point? The point is simply this: Watch out for people who buttress their arguments by shouting from the rooftops “DISCRIMINATION!” Always pause and ask yourself: Reasonable discrimination or unreasonable discrimination?
I contend that it is not the least bit unreasonable to discriminate between the desire of one man and one woman to seek a license to enter into marriage and the desire of two men (or two women) to seek a license to enter into “marriage”. It boggles my mind when someone fails to see that these two situations are entirely different! The union of a man and a woman is capable of producing new human beings. The union of two persons of the same sex is not. Is this not a significant difference and a reason for “discrimination”? I would think that a person who has risen to the post of publisher of a newspaper would have the intellectual acumen to see how they differ.
And Mr. Nyce says that the banning of same-sex marriage is “unconstitutional”. Well, there are a great many persons — certainly the majority of the Pennsylvania legislature, together with the governor — who think otherwise. It really burdens the 14th Amendment — to say the least —to extract from it a constitutional guarantee for same-sex marriage!
The Commentator also says — I presume with a straight face — that banning same-sex marriage would be the equivalent of banning the marriages of persons who live in Tremont. That is totally absurd! “Living in Tremont” is not a “quality of a person”. Being male or female is a “quality of a person”. Where a person lives is what is known as an accidental property. Being male or female is a substantial property. How in the name of all that is good and holy can Mr. Nyce inflict such nonsense on the community? I would be happy to tutor him in Philosophy 101. We’ll start with the lesson on “substance” vs “accident”.
Now take a look at something he says in the 17 July entry: Picking up on what the caller says about letting God decide, Mr. Nyce says, “If God does decide, how do we get his decision?”
Okay! But notice what is implicit in the question. Implicit in the question is that human beings are unable to know what God decides or what God thinks.
Now, I am fairly certain that Mr. Nyce is not an irreligious man. As far as I know, he aligns himself with some Christian congregation. If that is correct, I commend him!
A fundamental position held by every Christian (and not only Christians) is that God’s decisions are communicated to human beings by REASON and by REVELATION.
Let’s take the shooting down of the Malaysian passenger aircraft over Ukraine and the consequent deaths of 298 innocent persons. Do I know what God thinks about that? Did He approve it? Did He not approve it? Was He neutral about it? It is perfectly clear to me — and I hope to Mr. Nyce — that God did not approve of it. What does God think about the murder of the six million Jews under Hitler? What does God think about adultery or theft or lying or prostitution or child molestation? How did He (does He) communicate His decisions to human beings? There are certain refinements that distinguish Catholic from Protestant theology when answering this question but all of us are agreed that God does communicate His “decisions” to human beings. How? Through Reason and Revelation. If a person does not believe that God communicates His decisions on moral issues to human beings, he or she might just as well identify himself (herself) as an agnostic and stop playing the game of identifying himself (herself) as a Christian. If God did not exist, everything would be permissible!
The Commentator advises you and me and the general public to take care of our own affairs and to stop worrying about what other people are doing.
So, if I know that some parents are hosting a booze party for a bunch of teenagers, I should keep my mouth shut? If I see a drug deal going down on the corner, I should mind my own business and not tell anyone? If I see someone burglarizing the Commentator’s house, I should keep it under my hat?

stjos/stvdp: 07.20.2014 - 07


If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind,
with the same love,
united in heart,
thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness
or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others
as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also everyone for those of others.

Philippians 02, 01-04

stjos/stvdp: 07.20.2014 - 08


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