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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
15th 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 - 15th 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.

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.

SCAM, SCAM, SCAM
Another email scam is affecting churches. The bottom line is these scams want you to buy gift cards and send them the authorization codes on the back so they can cash them in. If you are contacted by someone to do this, please call the office or Fr. Tom to verify if it is real or a scam before you purchase anything.

COLLEGE STUDENTS AND CAMPUS MINISTRY
If you are going off to college and want to connect with the Campus Ministry on your campus about where and when mass is and other resources, the Newman Connection can facilitate that. You can sign up on this site: http://signup.newmanconnection.com

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.


MASKS, MASKS, MASKS
Anyone entering the Church, or the office needs to be wearing a mask. This is for the protection of the those visiting and those who are working here. Everyone needs to follow this rule when entering the Church or the Parish Office. Remember that the kind of masks we are wearing don’t protect us but protect others. Wearing your mask is a kindness you extend to other people to protect them.

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 remind us of the connectedness of God to our lives. Often today people see their everyday lives and their faith lives as disconnected. That what we do in church and what we do everyday in our homes and jobs are separate from each other. Jesus invites us today to reconnect our lives of faith with our everyday lives.

In the first reading Isaiah uses the image of the seasons of the year and the harvest to show how God’s Word is present and active in our world. Just as each season has its own kind of weather, so also does God’s Word find a way into each season of our lives. We often don’t recognize how God is working in our lives but God is constantly working to nurture us, strengthen us, renew us, form us, through his presence in our lives and through the events and people that come into our lives. We often do not take time to reflect on the things that happen to us each day and the people we encounter each day, and how they are bringing God’s presence and grace to us.
Paul reminds us in the second reading that there is a plan to creation and our lives. This plan is ultimately connected to God’s desire for us to move beyond the things of this world to the incredible life that is in store for us in the next world. We are invited to work in our homes and at our places of employment to make the world a better place. These efforts connect us to the work of God and the joy of God’s kingdom even in the present. Raising our children, providing for our families, using our gifts and talents in our careers and jobs, are all ways that we participate in God’s plan.

In the Gospel Jesus tells a parable about a sower and the seed he sows. This parable is one more way that Jesus uses an image from real life to speak about how God is present and active in our world. These parables can often be interpreted on many levels. On just the surface level we might see this as a parable about how a farmer grows crops to feed his family and his community. This might speak to us about the gift that farmers are to us in all they do to put food on our tables every day. They are a powerful example of how God is working to provide for us each day, not just with food but with so much more. The parable is also about how we need to tend and nurture the Word of God or our faith, just as the farmer nurtures the seed. It is not something magical, but something that takes planning, hard word, and diligence on our part.

The Scripture readings today invite us to see that our lives are a participation in the working of God each and every day. Often times, we do not see that connection or realize that connection. God is present in every aspect of our lives. May we take a few moments to pause each day to recognize where God is working in our lives and be thankful for that faithful and comforting presence in our lives. Some people do an examination of conscience at the end of each day to look at where they have sinned. Some people do what is called a Daily Examen – reviewing the events and people of our day and how we have experienced God in these events and people. One examination looks at our sin and the other looks at how God is present and active in our lives. The Daily Examen leads us to be grateful for those people and events that God sends our way. It fosters a spirit of gratitude in our lives. (For more on the Daily Examen visit: https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/ )



   

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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