MASS SCHEDULE: 03 - 10 August
SAINT
JOSEPH CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE

Saturday, 02 August
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — Deceased: CLARKE and SNYDER FAMILIES
by Thomas J. Clarke

Sunday, 03 August
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — EDWARD BRADSHAW Sr.
by his family

Monday, 04 August
St. John Vianney, priest (OblMem)
08:00 am — FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS
by Jerome T. Gilmartin

Wednesday, 06 August
The Transfiguration of the Lord (Fst)
08:00 am — Rev. THOMAS A. HORAN
by Celeste DeLuca

Friday, 08 August
St. Dominic, priest (OblMem)
08:00 am — ROSALIE BURNS KELLY
by her brother, John Burns

Saturday, 09 August
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, virgin, martyr (OptMem)
08:00 am — Rev. THOMAS A. HORAN
by EBC
Vigil of Sunday
05:30 pm — TOMEE L. GOWER
(14th anniversary)
by her family

Sunday, 10 August
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — RAYMOND WAYNE
by his son, Henry (+) and Eileen

 MASS SCHEDULE: 03 - 10 August
SAINT
VINCENT dePAUL CHURCH
GIRARDVILLE 
     

Saturday, 02 August
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — JOSEPH V. GUDONIS
by his family

Sunday, 03 August
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — JOHN J. D’ALFONSO Jr. (47th anniversary)
by his family

Tuesday, 05 August
Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (OptMem)
08:00 am — JOSEPH C. CHIARETTI
by his wife, Alice

Thursday, 07 August
St. Sixtus II, pope, and companions, martyrs; St. Cajetan, priest (OptMems)
06:30 pm — DECEASED: HOLY ROSARY SOCIETY
by the HRS

Saturday, 09 August
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — EDWARD M. WASCAVAGE
by Mom, Dad and Samantha

Sunday, 10 August
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — DECEASED: HOLY NAME SOCIETY
by the HNS

stjos/stvdp: 08.03.2014 - 01


COLLECTION TOTALS FROM LAST WEEKEND:
26 / 27 JULY


Saint Joseph Parish
:
Receipts for parish purposes: $2,113.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $50.00 from the plate; $51.00 from the Dues envelopes; $30.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $80.00 from the loose.
Total: $2,324.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — $10.00 from the Central and Eastern Europe envelopes —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($2,324.00) 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 $1,384.61 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent dePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $884.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $81.30 from the plate; $7.00 from the Dues envelopes; $7.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $43.25 from the loose.
Total: $1,022.55
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — $10.00 from the Central and Eastern Europe envelopes —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,022.55) 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 $203.85 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

CONFESSION SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Tuesday, 05 August
02:30 to 3:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Thursday, 07 August
05:30 to 06:30 pm
St. Vincent dePaul Church

Friday, 08 August
06:30 to 07:30 pm
St. Joseph Chapel

EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

Tuesday, 05 August
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, 08 August
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: 08.03.2014 - 02


WHY I DON’T USE CONTRACEPTION

by Rachel Lu

I converted to Roman Catholicism almost a decade ago. At the time, nobody was talking about wars on women, so when I read about Catholic prohibitions on birth control, I naively supposed that most Catholic women actually followed the Church’s teachings on birth control. It’s right there in the Catechism, after all. Reading some books on the subject, I decided there was a lot of merit in this idea about the contraceptive-free life. My husband and I (both Catholic converts) gave it a go.
Imagine how pious I felt when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services demanded that employers pay for employees’ contraception, and the media clued me in to the fact that I was part of an elite squad. The 2 percent. The Catholic Mom Marine Corps. The Barefoot and Pregnant Dream Team.
Now that everyone is talking about contraceptives, I get lots of chances to out myself as a Catholic freak. Many people are quite amazed to meet a pants-wearing, educated woman who actually favors the contraceptive-free life. I get lots of amusing questions. And it’s National NFP Awareness Week, so an opportune time to talk about chemical-free contraception. Here then, for our readers’ benefit, are the FAQ.
1. Are there really Catholics who take this contraceptive rule seriously? Including ones who can read?
Sure. Among committed and orthodox Catholics, the Church’s teachings on sexual ethics are taken very seriously. Of course, we don’t go around searching one another’s medicine cabinets, but in social circles of serious Catholics I find it’s generally taken for granted that married couples will adhere to this teaching. I know many highly educated and accomplished Catholic women who live contraceptive-free. It’s not just a rule for us. It’s a whole different approach to life and sex and marriage.
Of course, there are also lots of lukewarm Catholics who can’t be bothered about what the Church says. Still others think of themselves as faithful Catholics, but get most of their cues from the popular culture, which convinced them that the whole no-contraceptives rule was effectively dead letter. For a long time the clergy mostly went along with this, and lots of people have told me their priest or deacon told them back in the day that artificial contraceptives were “no big deal.”
Those people have recently gotten a bit of a rude awakening. It didn’t come from Rome. It came from progressive liberals who insisted on pressing the point. People who thought they were (mostly) on the side of the angels were suddenly shocked to find themselves in bed with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. By picking a fight with the Church, progressives inadvertently taught many Catholics, yes, the Church does still care about contraceptives.

stjos/stvdp: 08.03.2014 - 03



2. Do natural methods of delaying pregnancy really work? Or are contraceptive-free couples liable to end up with 15 kids?
The rationale behind natural fertility methods is fairly straightforward. A man’s fertility tends to stay fairly constant from one day to the next, but a woman is typically fertile for just a few days each month. The trick, then, is to figure out which days those are by observing external physiological signs. That information can be used either to achieve a pregnancy or to delay it.
Does this “work” for everyone? As a practicing Catholic I feel honor-bound to say it can, and I think that’s technically true. Realistically though, some people’s physiology reads like an article in The Federalist (Clear prose! Incisive logic!), and others more like an Egyptian hieroglyph or at least a column in the Huffington Post. If you fit into the former category, natural family planning (NFP) is a wonderful tool, and may well save you from years’ worth of artificial hormones and other unpleasant things. If you’re in the latter set, that’s a tougher row to hoe.
One particular frustration relates to the fact that major physiological events (like pregnancy or childbirth) understandably interrupt the body’s natural rhythms. That makes it especially difficult to judge when you might be fertile. The upshot is that it’s hardest to employ the method at precisely the times you most want it.
As someone firmly in the Egyptian-hieroglyph category, I understand how stressful it can be to be constantly wondering whether you are or might be pregnant. Still, nobody’s physiology is a completely closed book. Pretty much any woman can learn to identify at least occasional periods in which she almost certainly is not fertile. After that, it’s your call how much you want to trust to probability (or, if you prefer, Divine Providence).
Let’s not forget, though, that artificial birth control is also less than 100 percent effective. At least we Catholics know when we’re cracking the door for another possible family addition.
3. Doesn’t it bother you to feel that your Church and Catholic community regard you as a “breeder”?
My Church and community see my natural capacity for fostering new life as a wonderful thing. So no, that doesn’t bother me.
I find that most non-contracepting women have similar feelings. They call the contraceptive-free life “empowering” and “freeing.” It pleases them that their womb is regarded as a feature of their body and not a bug. They like it when their pregnancies occasion celebration rather than criticism.
The term “breeder” implies that a fertile woman should be valued (like livestock) more for her physical capacities than for her virtue or rationality or other human excellences. That is indeed offensive. But of course, nobody actually uses that word except progressive liberals. No conservative friend has ever confused me for my reproductive system.
I understand why some women are afraid that a perpetual proclivity to pregnancy might be used as an excuse to prevent them from pursuing other goals. But some of us (call us dreamers!) think it’s possible to stay committed to personal excellence without suppressing our body’s natural rhythms. We can breed without being “breeders,” just as we can eat without being “eaters” and sleep without being fundamentally dormant. All of the body’s natural capacities can be incorporated into a well-lived life.
I would also note that we “breeders” employ our rational faculties quite a lot in understanding and appreciating our fertility, and in using that information for our own and our family’s benefit. Many other people just try to medicate their natural fertility away. I’m not sure we’re the ones who are slave to our physiology.

stjos/stvdp: 08.03.2014 - 04


4. Do friends and family think you’re crazy?
I imagine some of them do. They’re pretty tactful. When we had two babies 15 months apart, we did get some reactions, and that interval once precipitated a hilarious conversation in which an acquaintance told me how well I was handling my “crisis pregnancy.” Oh, modern world!
Once kids are born and named and flashing adorable grins, most people decide it’s all right for them to stay. I don’t lose any sleep over whether people secretly think my husband and I are weird.
5. Doesn’t it stress your marriage to live contraceptive-free?
Of course! Kids will always stress a marriage. So will practically any other worthwhile project that you and your spouse undertake.
However, it’s also true that living without contraceptives constantly underscores our fundamental belief that our married life has a purpose. We didn’t get hitched just in order to make the world stand around cooing over our shared passion for football, Thai food and philosophy. As we see it, we’ve been commissioned as family-builders and transmitters of human life. All the other joys and sorrows and headaches and heartaches that our shared life brings us must be understood in that context.
Contraceptive-free life has its challenges, but it constantly reminds spouses of their mutual commitment to the project. And couples who do it very rarely call it quits.
6. Are you hoping to end up with 15 kids?
As God wills. But also, no.
7. Don’t you sometimes wonder whether you could do something more interesting with your life, rather than having all these babies?
All right, so nobody ever asks me that point-blank. But it’s sometimes implied in other gently probing questions that people ask, about whether I’m fulfilled, or “really doing what I want” or “adequately using my education”. That sort of thing.
It could be taken as an insult. I’m generally not too bothered. I understand how it might seem like motherhood has taken me off the fast track. Also, I’m not above feeling flattered when people imply that’s where I belong.
However, I don’t feel like I waste very much time. As demanding commitments go, I see the contraceptive-free life as a great value. I’m surprised how rarely people appreciate this. When I reflect on the lives of other people I know, I note how many there are who pour enormous resources into getting degrees they don’t use, or agonizing over that next little promotion, or weathering the heartache of multiple failed relationships as they search relentlessly for their soul-mate. What do these people have to show for all their trouble?
I have three healthy children, a happy marriage, a supportive community, fulfilling outlets as a writer and teacher. I also bake fresh bread, grow lovely tomatoes, and know by name multiple volunteers at our local children’s museum, and I still manage to play Fantasy Football and keep up with the news. Apart from that, I suppose my life is kind of a waste, but I don’t have time to worry about it when dinner’s on the stove and the azaleas need pruning. Check back in twenty years and I’m sure I’ll be more remorseful.
Truthfully, I know that I’m greatly blessed. I couldn’t have such a wonderful life without a supportive husband, family, community, and Church. If people suggest that I’m unusually blessed, I’ll happily concur. Why then do people imply instead that I’m unusually repressed? These are the mysteries.

stjos/stvdp: 08.03.2014 - 05


A MAN WAS ARRESTED and charged with breaking and entering. He pleaded “not guilty”. During his trial, the officer who made the arrest was being cross-examined by the attorney for the defense. The following dialogue took place.
Q: Officer, did you see my client fleeing the scene?
A: No, sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender, running several blocks away.
Q: Oh?? And who, if I may ask, provided you with the description?
A: The police officer who first responded to the scene.
Q: A fellow police officer provided the description of the alleged offender?? Do you trust your fellow officers?
A: Oh, yes, sir! With my life!
Q: With your life? Really? Let me ask you this then, Officer. Do you police officers have a room where you change your clothing in preparation for your daily duties?
A: Yes, sir. We do!
Q: And do you have a locker in that room?
A: Yes, sir! I do.
Q: And do you have a lock on your locker?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Now why is it, Officer — if you trust your fellow officers with your life — that you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with these same officers?
A: Well, you see, sir, we share the building with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.

stjos/stvdp: 08.03.2014 - 06


THE FOLLOWING APPEARED IN THE THUNDER / ENLIGHTENING FEATURE of the Pottsville Republican on 27 July.

Kudos to Theresa Gaffney. Her stand against gay marriage is right and just. She is not like those weak-kneed politician judges. They hide behind the Constitution. They twist and turn it into something evil. The founders of the Constitution must be turning in their graves when they see it turn from good to something evil. I get sick to my stomach when they call it a marriage. It is nothing but a sinful relationship.

Pine Grove

Her stand against gay marriage is just the polar opposite of the words right and just. She stands for unconstitutionality and discrimination. I said this before, but I just don’t know how some people get so anti-someone else. Take care of your own affairs and don’t worry about people who are just trying to find happiness in their lives. Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.
The Commentator

My comment on what The Commentator (Henry Nyce) has to say
First of all, in case anyone wonders why I continue to comment on what the Commentator has to say, my reason is simply this: As a parish priest, I am in the Truth Business. That presupposes that Truth is something that can be known, that it is something above and beyond mere opinion. If you don’t presuppose that there is such a thing as “objective truth”, then you won’t be able to understand why I feel constrained to counter Untruth when I come across it, especially in such a widely-circulated forum as The Pottsville Republican.
I am not acquainted with Theresa Santai-Gaffney, the Schuylkill County Recorder of Deeds. I am not aware that I have ever met her. All I know about her is that she is engaged in a legal battle to be relieved of the obligation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This fact alone makes her “one of the good guys” in my book. But the Commentator says that her stand on this matter is not “right and just”. But by whose standards is it not “right and just”? The Commentator will say that the Recorder of Deeds is obliged to carry out the ruling of Judge Jones wherein he invalidated the law of Pennsylvania that restricted the definition of marriage to two persons of opposite sex. Well, if Santai-Gaffney is not allowed to contest this ruling, then how did Kathleen Kane, the State Attorney General, escape the Commentator’s criticism when she refused to defend that same law, after she had taken an oath to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth, whether she agreed with them or not? If Santai-Gaffney is not doing what is “right and just”, then how was Kane doing what was “right and just”?
And how can Santai-Gaffney be said to be standing for “unconstitutionality”? The constitutionality of same-sex marriage has not yet been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. It is still a moot question. While on the subject of what is or is not “constitutional”, I think of Rosa Parks. She refused to sit in the “colored section” of the bus and took her seat in the “whites-only section”. She was acting contrary to the Constitution of Alabama. Would the Commentator have criticized her for standing for “unconstitutionality”?
And the Commentator says that Santai-Gaffney stands for “discrimination”. I won’t even go into that. I already discussed discrimination in a recent bulletin article. “Discrimination” is a word that intellectual lightweights use in order to intimidate those who don’t agree with them. There is “reasonable discrimination” and “unreasonable discrimination”. So much for “discrimination”!
Then the Commentator advocates that we all mind our own business and “take care of [our] own affairs” and “don’t worry about people who are just trying to find happiness in their lives”.
That kind of rhetoric is Swiss cheese. It’s full of holes! Lots of people are “trying to find happiness in their lives” in all the wrong ways and all the wrong places. Are we supposed to turn a blind eye to them? What kind of a society would we be if we all zoned out and just “let it be”? I remember once seeing a teenager shoplifting when I was in a certain store. I didn’t know the kid from Adam, but I told him to put it back or else I would tell the clerk. He put it back. I sure rained on his parade! Poor kid! I guess he was just trying to find happiness in his life!

SAINT JOSEPH PARISH FUNDRAISER: We are chancing off $200.00 worth of Redner / Boyer gift cards.
Take a chance! $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00. Tickets on sale after Mass in Sheridan Room or back of church.

stjos/stvdp: 08.03.2014 - 07


 
ROBIN THE BOY WONDER SEES THE LIGHT!

Robin the Boy Wonder (secretly Dick Grayson) is the ward of Batman (secretly Bruce Wayne, who lives in the Stately Wayne Mansion).
By and large, Robin is a pretty good kid. He is honest and truthful and usually obedient but — every once in a while, not unlike some other teenagers — he gets mouthy with his elders and says stupid stuff.
In the scene depicted above, Robin had just told Batman that he doesn’t “feel like going to Mass”. Batman said, “Feel like? Oh, spare me!” Then Batman told Robin that he will go to Mass and that, if he doesn’t go, he is going to get his little robiny wings clipped! At that point, Robin trots out that tired old chestnut, “I believe in God, but you don’t need to go to church to be a good Catholic!”
Batman wastes no time with argumentation or persuasion. He cuts to the quick. Using an open hand — prudently not making a fist — he delivers a smart slap to Robin’s right cheek, which stings for about five minutes, but Robin gets the message. He sniffles, takes off his mask (so he can wipe his eyes) then blows his nose into his handkerchief. Now he is as good as new! He says, “I’m sorry, Bruce. I won’t say anything stupid like that anymore.” Bruce (i.e. Batman) says, “I forgive you, kid! Sorry I had to smack you, but it was the only way I could get some sense into your head.” “That’s okay, Bruce” says Robin. “Listen, I’m ready to go to Mass now and I want to receive Holy Communion. Do you think Fr. Connolly will hear my confession before Mass starts? I need to confess that I was sassy and stupid.” Batman says, “I’m sure the good old priest will hear your confession if you ring the Rectory doorbell and ask him.” So, off they went in the Batmobile to go to Mass! All in all, it was a lesson learned and a good day in the life of Robin the Boy Wonder!
Bottom line: You can’t be a good Catholic if you deliberately don’t go to Mass every Sunday (or Saturday night). If you think otherwise, you’re dumber than mud!

stjos/stvdp: 08.03.2014 - 08


 

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