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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Dorothy Ogg, Ford Bartle, Kim Anglin, Lydia Ghirardi, Evelyn Tew, Fr. Manning, Selena Urey, Lorraine Schuller, Joe & John Mochanski, Don & Rose Becker, Joseph Byers, Jackie Hoffman, Linda Yuhasz, Nadine Vellente, Liam Rueberger, Anna Rueberger and AJ Voisey.
   





Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor







 From the Pastor's Desk
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Bishop's Decree for Resuming Mass in the Erie Diocese
Click Here for the Official Statement and More Info
Masses will begin June 1

WATCH MASS AT ST. JOSEPH PARISH
Click Here to watch Father Tom officiate Mass for this Sunday - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

FALL RAFFLE
We will again be holding our Fall Raffle. The Raffle will be held October 3, 2020. Tickets are $100 each and will be available beginning in July. Prizes are $10,000, $2,000, and $1,000. Thanks to all those who have supported this Raffle in the past and best of luck in this year’s Raffle.

PUBLIC MASSES TO BEGIN JUNE 1
Bishop Persico has given us permission to begin public Masses beginning Monday, June 1, as long as people follow the protocols that have been put in place. Those protocols can be viewed on thelink above. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holyday Mass is still in effect. Those who are ill or who are at risk should remain at home and continue to use the television or internet Masses that continue to be made available.

Daily Mass will be in the Main Church. Masks are to be worn by everyone. Social distancing – six feet apart – must be maintained at all times – even when in line for communion and when entering and leaving the church. Families in the same household may sit together. Pews will be taped off to indicate where you can and cannot sit. Hand sanitizer is available at each entrance and you are encouraged to bring your own in preparation for communion. We are only permitted to use 1/3 of the church capacity. There will be no collection basket passed, but there will be baskets at the front of church to put your envelopes in either before or after mass. Communion is strongly encouraged to be received in the hand. People should come to Church and find a place to sit and not gather to talk. After Mass people should leave in an orderly fashion keeping the appropriate distance from each other. People should go immediately to their cars and leave and not gather in groups that will block exits and cause people to come into close contact. Doors will be propped open, so people won’t need to touch them. Please avoid contact with surfaces. Doors and pews will be sanitized after each mass.

I know these seem rather strict and impersonal. But we need to remain vigilant in our precautions in order to prevent additional cases of the virus. This will mean that we will be shut down again. I know you want to talk to each other and build relationships like you always do – that is what makes you such a welcoming community. But for now, we all have to be careful.

Sunday Mass will be at the regular times on Saturday and Sunday. The same rules as above apply. Again, everyone needs to read and follow the protocols.

AIR CONDITIONING
As I announced at Masses last weekend the Air Conditioning system for the Church died. It will be some time before this is remedied. You might want to dress accordingly, based on how hot it is outside. Good thing Masses are shorter.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are still in need of people to help with the cleaning and sanitizing after each Mass. If you would like to help, please contact Fr. Tom. Thanks to those who have been doing this each week. There are some things you can do to help even if you are not able to help with cleaning and sanitizing:

Bulletins – when you are finished with your bulletin either take it home or throw it away. There are waste cans at each exit. Please do not leave them in the pew. That means more work for those who are cleaning and sanitizing.
Candy Wrappers – please put them in the garbage can, not in the plastic or wooden holders in the pews.
Flat Hands (and thumbs) – please take care to have your hand (and thumbs) flat so that the host can be placed in your hand without making physical contact.

NOT A RETURN TO NORMAL
We have been open for a few weeks for daily and weekend Masses, but this is not a return to normal.

Confessions are being heard on Saturday from 4:00 to 4:30. Because of the restrictions of COVID 19 we are not able to use the confessionals. Confessions are in the main body of the church in front of the confessional, masks are required, and six feet of distance needs to be maintained between the priest and the person confessing. People are asked to sit in the section near the organ to wait for confession. Because of this the church is not available for others to come and pray at this time in order to give privacy to those wishing to go to confession.

The doors for Masses on the weekend are propped open so you do not have to touch the doors. The doors are opened one half hour before Masses. We have mice, squirrels, skunks, birds, and a host of other creatures that lurk around the church and thus cannot leave the doors open 24/7. We have not returned to normal.

Please plan to arrive in that half hour before Mass starts. Please refrain from touching things in the church. Again, we have not returned to normal. When you come to church go to the pew, be seated, and prepare for Mass.

Please refrain from gathering to talk or socializing in the church. Please refrain from moving from pew to pew.

People have been particularly good about leaving after Mass is over so we can clean and sanitize the church. If you would like to volunteer to help with the cleaning and sanitizing after Mass, please let Fr. Tom know.

I realize these are an inconvenience to everyone, but we need to be very diligent about protecting others. Think of others first.

LATEST INFORMATION
The best place to find the latest information is our parish APP or the parish website. PARISH APP AND WEBSITE: We find ourselves in uncharted waters with the Coronavirus pandemic. One of the ways to stay connected to what is happening here at Church is with our parish App. You can connect this App to your phone by texting APP to 88202. This App is FREE. This was something the diocese paid to let all parishes and parishioners stay connected about two years ago.

Our parish website will also be a place for the parish bulletin and other information.


PARISH OFFICE
To do business with that parish office, please call the office between 8:30am and 4:30pm. The office is not open for walk-in business.


REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
Our readings today are filled with images of food and drink for those who are hungry and thirsty.

Isaiah speaks to the people at a time when they are in exile from their homeland. He speaks about how God wants to renew his covenant with his people and as part of that covenant God would provide life giving water and food. God was giving the people another chance. That is the story of the Old Testament over and over again – God forgives the people and gives them another chance to be in relationship with him. God never stops trying to reach us and draw us closer to himself.

Paul reminds us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. These are consoling and empowering words we need to hear repeatedly. Paul calls to mind all the terrible things in life that can happen to us and how these terrible things cannot separate us from the love of God. As difficult as Paul can be to understand at times, this message is loud and clear. Listen to it several times and let it sink into your mind and heart.

Jesus has just heard of the death of John the Baptist and goes off by himself to grieve and pray, but the people keep coming to him bringing their sick for healing. Jesus could have been angry or annoyed, but he musters up all the compassion he can find and begins to heal the sick. And if that is not enough, now the day is almost over and this crowd is hungry. Jesus invites his disciples to feed the crowd, but they object that they have nothing to offer such a large group. In what is one of the great miracles of Jesus, he not only feeds this crowd but has leftovers that exceed what they started with! I wonder if this miracle isn’t also about how we might think we don’t have enough to do what God is asking of us and yet God finds a way to nurture and strengthen us in order that we can not only do what God asks but we can do so much more because God multiplies our gifts in such a way that we too can feed people and still have more than enough left over.

Today might be a day to simply marvel at what God has given us and what God has been able to accomplish through us.



   

Mass Schedule

Weekday and Holy Day schedules can be found in the bulletin.

Saturday: 5:15 pm (Vigil)

Sunday: 8:30 am and 11:00 am

Sacraments

Baptism: Baptisms are scheduled by appointment. Class is required for first time parents. Please call the church office to schedule your class. No baptisms during Lent and Advent.

Reconciliation: Saturday afternoons, 4:00-4:30 pm. Confessions at other times by appointment.

Matrimony: By appointment six months in advance.

Sacrament of Holy Orders: Some men fulfill God's call to holiness by serving as priests or permanent deacons. Men, high school age or older, who feel God may be calling them to pursue the Sacrament of Holy Orders should contact our parish priest.

Programs

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA): Please call the rectory office.

Prayer Line: For intentions, please call 724-981-3232.

Religious Education Program: CCD Grades K-11, at Case Avenue Elementary, Sundays 9:30 am -10:45 am (during the school year).

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