MASS SCHEDULE: 17 - 24 August

Saturday, 16 August
Vigil of Sunday
by Mary Clarke Brown

Sunday, 17 August
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — In honor of OUR LADY OF KNOCK
by the Women of the AOH

Monday, 18 August
08:00 am — JOE and ELEANOR McDONALD
by Mary Alice and Anna McDonald

Tuesday, 19 August
St. John Eudes, priest (OptMem)
by Jeff Galvin

Wednesday, 20 August
St. Bernard, abbot, doctor (OblMem)
08:00 am — HENRY WAYNE
by Gene and Sara O’Hearn

Thursday, 21 August
St. Pius X, pope (OblMem)
07:00 pm — JAMES J. GOWNLEY
by M/M J. Gownley

Friday, 22 August
The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (OblMem)
08:00 am — Rev. THOMAS A. HORAN
by M/M Joseph L. Recla

Saturday, 23 August
Vigil of Sunday
by her sister, Jean Birster Weist

Sunday, 24 August
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:30 am — EDWARD BRADSHAW Jr.
by his family

 MASS SCHEDULE: 17 - 24 August

Saturday, 16 August
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — ALBERT GILLIS
by M / M John Gillis

Sunday, 17 August
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Theresa Gudonis

Saturday, 23 August
Vigil of Sunday
04:00 pm — WILLIAM LABIE
by Edna and family

Sunday, 24 August
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
08:30 am — GEORGE and ANN PATRICK
by Jim and Georgann Connell

stjos/stvdp: 08.17.2014 - 01

09 / 10 AUGUST

Saint Joseph Parish
Receipts for parish purposes: $2,684.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $33.00 from the plate; $80.00 from the Dues envelopes; $194.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $62.00 from the loose.
Total: $3,053.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — $ 5.00 from the Central and Eastern Europe envelopes —
— $96.00 from the Mission Co-op envelopes
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($3,053.00) 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 $2,113.61 is available from this collection for operating the parish.

Saint Vincent dePaul Parish:
Receipts for parish purposes: $732.00 from the Sunday envelopes; $65.00 from the plate; $20.00 from the Dues envelopes; $132.00 from the Building maintenance envelopes; $91.00 from the loose.
Total: $1,040.00
Receipts for non-parish purposes: — 0 —
Analysis: When one deducts from the total of the receipts for parish purposes ($1,040.00) 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 $221.30 is available from this collection for operating the parish.


No confessions are scheduled this week
for reason given on page 03 of this bulletin.


Exposition is not on the schedule this week
for reason given on page 03 of this bulletin.

On page 03 of the 16 August Pottsville Republican, you will see (or have already seen) an article about AQUA requiring the Borough of Girardville to install backflow devices for the Borough Hall and for the former school building on “A” Street. In a recent bulletin, I mentioned that AQUA required the same for St. Vincent dePaul Parish (but not, as far as I know, for St. Joseph Parish). AQUA plays hardball. They told us (and the Borough) that, if we didn’t have the work done by a certain date, they would cut off our aqua! I also mentioned that we contracted to have this work done and that it would cost us $625.00. Just so you know: The work has been done for StVdP Parish and the bill has been paid. WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE StVdP HOLY NAME SOCIETY AND THE HOLY ROSARY SOCIETY FOR PAYING THE BILL! Next time you see a Holy Name man or a Holy Rosary lady, say “Thank you!”

WELCOME HOME, JASON! You may recall that, in the 01 June 2014 bulletin, we told about a child who was born on 28 May and, since then, has been in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit of the Geisinger Medical Center. He had been born at an estimated 25 weeks in utero. We give thanks to God that Jason Michael Donmoyer has come home to Girardville! He is a miracle child! A family member pointed out to me that Jason was baptized (in periculo mortis) on the Solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven (29 May) and came home on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven (15 August). The Lord speaks in mysterious ways. What a heavenly child!

stjos/stvdp: 08.17.2014 - 02

I am going on vacation from Monday, 18 August, to Monday, 25 August, inclusive.
I’ll be back before you know I’m gone.
Fr. Brennan has kindly agreed to cover the Masses during that time.
There are some alterations in the Mass schedule. Please take a close look at page 01 of this bulletin.
There will not be the usual schedule of confessions but I am sure that Fr. Brennan would be happy to hear your confession if you ask him to do so.
There will not be the usual schedule of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
If there is any urgent need to contact me, you can call or text me on my cell phone.
I am going (along with another priest) to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan — in particular to Regina and to Moose Jaw. I’m not sure how many bars I’ll find on my cellphone in that area once I get there.
Please read that last sentence carefully. I’m concerned about bars on the cellphone, not bars.
I had stayed behind a bit after Friday evening devotions (01 August) in St. Joseph Chapel in order to put things away and set up for the next day. When I exited the chapel to walk to my car, I saw two young children: a boy about five years old and a girl about six — standing right outside the door. They had been riding their bikes and, I guess, were taking a break. I didn’t recognize them, although they are probably local children. They looked somewhat startled to see me. To put them at ease, I smiled at them and said, “Hiya, kids!” The little girl smiled, but didn’t say anything. The little boy smiled and said, “Hiya, God!”
Hiya, God???
Good grief!
But I didn’t correct him.
Maybe I should have taken time to clarify things, to explain to the lad that I am certainly not God! God is not an elderly bearded man in a black cassock who needs a car to get from one place to another. Maybe I should have explained to him that God is PURE SPIRIT. “Hear, O Israel, the LORD is God and ONLY the Lord!” On the other hand, I remember that, when I was his age, I might not have had a perfectly clear distinction in my head between God and the Priest. God is, indeed, “pure spirit”, but “pure spirit” is a difficult concept to grasp when you’re five years old. At that age, one needs tangible, visible representations.
But the temporary confusion didn’t do me any harm when I was his age. I figured it all out soon enough. It won’t be long before that little boy figures it out too, and I shall be rightly and promptly demoted to who and what I am.
But in the meantime, I thought to myself: What an awesome thing, what a weighty thing it is to be a priest. A priest is a living icon of God.
Even after forty-eight years as a priest, the thought fills me with fear and trembling.
Dear God, please help me not to mess it up!

stjos/stvdp: 08.17.2014 - 03


QUESTION #01 — This question came from five-year-old Brady. He asked it as I was on my way from StVdP Rectory to the church for the 04:00 pm Mass this past Saturday. He and his parents were also on their way to Mass. Unfortunately, because there wasn’t time, I had to give him a very brief answer. Here was his question: “Is God a boy?”
A charming question! A simple and beautiful question!
I had to think quickly on my feet, so here is the answer I gave him: “Yes, Brady! God is a Boy. At least He used to be a Boy just like you. Then He grew up and became a grown man like your Daddy here! Okay?”
I hoped that that was a satisfactory answer, satisfactory at least for a five-year old lad. Not very sophisticated, not drawing any fine distinctions, but true, nonetheless, as it fell out of my mouth.
God was, indeed, a Boy and now He is a Man.
But what are we talking about?
We are talking about Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is not God the First Person nor is He God the Third Person, but He is God the Second Person. God is all Three Persons taken together, and God is each One of the Three Persons taken separately. There is only One God, but this One God is Three Persons. Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God and only the Lord!
Because I tend to belabor the obvious, let me say that God the First Person and God the Third Person were never boys, nor did They “grow up and become men”. God the First Person and God the Third Person never became human, nor will They ever become human.
(I realize that that is perfectly obvious to you who are reading this, but sometimes it feels good to say the obvious! Sometimes the obvious is not quite as obvious as we think it is! It all depends on the person to whom you are speaking.)
And, to tell you the truth, God the Second Person was not always human like us: a male human who started out as a boy and grew up to become a man.
Nevertheless, God the Second Person has always existed. There was never a time when He did not exist. There will never be a time when He will not exist. But He was not always a human.
He became a human approximately two thousand fourteen years ago (give or take a few years, depending on the accuracy of our calendars) and, needless to say, when He became a human, He started off as a Boy and then grew up to be a Man.
It is important to note that God the Second Person was not under any compulsion to become human. His becoming human was not anything integral to His Being. It was a decision He freely made. If God the Second Person had never become human, He would still be God the Second Person, happy, glorious, immortal and eternal. He does not need us. We need Him.
But, thanks be to God, God the Second Person did become human — for our sake and the sake of our salvation.
Now here is something that some Christians do not realize, even those who are far older than Brady:
God the Second Person, known best to us as Jesus Christ, did not become human only for a time and in order to accomplish some agenda. God the Second Person, having once become human, continues to be human and will never cease to be human. A trillion years from now, God the Second Person will continue to be human. Always He is God — that goes without saying — but always He is human. He is God and He is Man. He is the God-Man. He is NOT a human who became God. That would be absurd. No human can become God. On the contrary, He is the God-Person Who became human.
He stooped down to us. “He did not shrink back from the Virgin’s womb”, as the hymn expresses it.
God the First Person and God the Third Person are not human, but God the Second Person is human. Jesus is no less God because He is human and He is no less human because He is God.
Jesus is the only way for us to have union with God the Third Person and then, in the fullness of time, to have union with God the First Person, at which point God will be all in all.
QUESTIONS #02 and #03— These questions came from twelve-year-old Luke. Luke is a deep thinker. I am paraphrasing them, but I think I’m pretty close to the way he asked them.

stjos/stvdp: 08.17.2014 - 04

(a) If God knows ahead of time everything that is going to happen, including everything that human beings will decide to do, how can we say that human beings have free will?
(b) A man and a woman get married but, soon after they’re married and before they have any children, the man is killed in an accident. Does God know the children they WOULD have had if the man had not been killed?
In regard to (a): It is true that God knows everything that will ever happen, including those things that depend upon human decision. It is also true that human beings have free will. It seems, at first, that this is a contradiction. Closer examination shows that it is not. God’s foreknowledge and human freedom can and do co-exist. If this is not immediately clear to you, welcome to the club! Scholars throughout the ages have tried to understand how God’s foreknowledge and human freedom can co-exist.
To tell you the truth, I have thought about this problem many times and have read a lot about it. The most insightful thing I have learned is this: God does not experience events as being either past or future. He sees everything as being present. If, right now in 2014, we were to ask God, “Who is the President of the United States?”, He would say, “George Washington” and then He would name every president from Washington to Obama and would even name all those persons who will be president after Obama. We would be inclined to say, “George Washington and those other men You named up to George W. Bush all used to be the president but they aren’t anymore. In fact, most of them are dead! Obama is the president now!” God would say, “To Me, all of them are alive and all of them are president. Your ‘now’ is not My ‘Now’. My ‘Now time’ is all of your ‘now times’ plus all of your ‘future times’ plus all of your ‘past times’. Past and future are irrelevant to Me. I live in the ETERNAL NOW”. We would probably say, “God, You’re making my head spin.” Then we might ask, “Well, who will be president after Obama?” He would say, “That’s for the people of your country to decide. You have free will, don’t you?” We might say, “But if You already know who will be president after Obama, then aren’t you already deciding for us?” He would say, “Of course not! Just because I know doesn’t mean I am forcing you to do anything!” Then God would say, “Think about it!”
In regard to (b): This is another interesting question and it is a little easier to answer. Here is a word I would like you to learn. The word is “futurible”. What is a futurible? A futurible is something that is or was possible but, as a matter of fact, never became actual and is never going to become actual. For example: There was a girl I kind of liked when I was in grade school. Her name was Elaine. I kind of think that she liked me too. Other kids use to tease us about it. You know how kids are! They used to say “Edward loves Elaine” and goofy, embarrassing stuff like that. Well, after eighth grade, Elaine’s family moved out of the neighborhood. I never saw her after that. (That pretty much proves it wasn’t “true love”.) And, of course, as you very well know, eventually I went into the seminary and became a priest. By doing so, I made a decision that I would never get married and never have any children. But we all like to play “just suppose”. So, I say, “Just suppose I never became a priest and just suppose I got married to Elaine, would we have had children? I guess so! I would have hoped so!” So, the question is: “Does God know what those non-existent children would have looked like and how they would have turned out?” The answer is, “Yes! God knows all things, even the things that could possibly have happened but, as a matter of fact, never happened and never will happen.” That’s what we mean by “futuribles”.
QUESTION #04 — A family came to Mass at St. Joseph’s last Sunday. They were visiting from El Paso TX. One of the family was a boy named Ian. I asked Ian, “How old are you?” He said, “Thirteen”. I said, “Oh, you look older. I thought you were fifteen or sixteen.” He then asked, “How old are you?” I said, “Seventy-six”. He said, “Wow, I thought you were about forty!” What a smart kid! All I can say is that he has a great career ahead of him in politics. Look for him to be Governor of Texas someday!

stjos/stvdp: 08.17.2014 - 05

Doug Smith is on his deathbed and knows the end is near.
His nurse, his wife, his daughter and his two sons, are with him.
He asks for two witnesses to be present and a camcorder to be in place for him to record his last will and testament.
When all is ready, he begins to speak:
“Bernie, my first-born, I want you to take the Mayfair houses."
“Thanks, Pop” says Bernie.
“Sybil, my darling daughter, I give you the apartments in the East End."
“’I’ll take good care of them, Daddy” sobs Sybil.
"Jamie, my son, I want you to take the offices over in the City Centre."
“Sure thing, Dad” says Jamie.
"Sarah, my dear wife, light of my life, I’m giving you all the residential buildings on the banks of the river."
“Okay, sweetie” says Sarah.
The nurse and the witnesses were blown away at this. They had no idea that Doug had such extensive real estate holdings. When Doug had finally slipped away, the nurse said, "Mrs. Smith, your husband certainly must have been a financial genius to have accumulated all this property".
Sarah replied, "Accumulated property? Hah! He delivered newspapers all his life. He was just dividing up his paper route!”

All are welcome to join pro-lifers from all across the state for the 2014 Celebrate Life Banquet. This special evening will feature the Most Rev. Ronald Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg. The banquet will be held Tuesday, 30 September, at the Hotel Radisson Harrisburg in Camp Hill. To register, call 717-541-0034 or visit The banquet benefits the life-saving work of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Fund.
Note: Bishop Gainer is a native of Schuylkill County.


Jesus loves the little children —
all the little children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
they are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.




stjos/stvdp: 08.17.2014 - 06

His Excellency
Mr Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General
United Nations Organization

It is with a heavy and anguished heart that I have been following the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq where Christians and other religious minorities have been forced to flee from their homes and witness the destruction of their places of worship and religious patrimony. Moved by their plight, I have asked His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who served as the Representative of my predecessors, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, to the people in Iraq, to manifest my spiritual closeness and to express my concern, and that of the entire Catholic Church, for the intolerable suffering of those who only wish to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their forefathers.
In the same spirit, I write to you, Mr Secretary-General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq. In renewing my urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, I encourage all the competent organs of the United Nations, in particular those responsible for security, peace, humanitarian law and assistance to refugees, to continue their efforts in accordance with the Preamble and relevant Articles of the United Nations Charter.
The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes. The tragic experiences of the Twentieth Century, and the most basic understanding of human dignity, compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.
Confident that my appeal, which I unite with those of the Oriental Patriarchs and other religious leaders, will meet with a positive reply, I take this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
13 August 2014

stjos/stvdp: 08.17.2014 - 07


O Lord Jesus, Beautiful Shepherd of the sheep,
Thou didst become Man
to suffer and die,
to win salvation for all souls.
Look graciously on the soul of my loved one
who has drifted away from Thee and from the Catholic Faith.
Grant (here mention his or her name)
the Grace to see the error of his / her ways
and to return to the fold in Thy care.

Teach me to stay close to (here mention his or her name)
during this trying time
and to strive to convert him / her
by action and prayers
more than by words that may antagonize.

Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I trust Thee
to do everything to bring my loved one back to Thee.

stjos/stvdp: 08.17.2014 - 08


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