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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Lorraine Penhos, Tony Perry, Ford Bartle, Kim Anglin, John Long and Grover McKnight.

Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor

  From the Pastor's Desk
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

On December 17, 2019, Bishop Persico announced the opening of the case for the canonization of Dr. Gertrude Barber. The formal process to begin investigations concerning the possible canonization of the late Dr. Gertrude A. Barber as a saint in the Catholic Church is underway. Gertrude Barber, founder of the Barber National Institute, was a renowned Erie educator and woman of faith who dedicated her life to serving children and adults with intellectual disabilities/ autism and their families.

Dr. Barber left a legacy of deep compassion and groundbreaking advancements in educating and empowering those with intellectual disabilities in her nearly 70 years of service. With the opening of her cause, she becomes the first layperson on the list of other Pennsylvanians whose causes for canonization are currently underway.

More information about Dr. Barber’s life and the process of canonization, as well as video testimonies from persons who knew her, is available online at The website also includes ways to support the cause for canonization, including a prayer for the faithful, and an option to donate to support efforts to communicate about Dr. Barber’s life and work. The website also provides a pathway for anyone interested in providing testimony or sharing their experiences with Dr. Barber. Parties interested in providing testimony are encouraged to contact Msgr. Thomas McSweeney, postulator for the cause, at 814-878-5953.

The Diocese of Erie asked us to print this warning again as this scam continues to move from parish to parish. If you are ever in doubt about something that seems like a scam, please call the parish office or Fr. Tom at the parish phone number, 724-981-3232 and confirm with us what is taking place or not.

In this age when personal data can be misused by scam artists, please be aware that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, its clergy, and entities such as parishes and schools will never solicit your personal or business information by any method unless initiated by you. Should you receive an unsolicited request for such information – including a request for gift cards of any type – exercise extreme caution. Contact the person or entity by using official contact information only. Do not use contact information provided in the potential fraudulent request.

As we move back into Ordinary Time in the Church for a few weeks before Lent, the readings focus on our call from God.

The first reading is another one of the Servant Songs from the prophet Isaiah. There are four of these and they most often are applied to Jesus, but they may also have applied to Isaiah, or to the nation of Israel as a whole. Today’s Servant Song speaks about the call of God to this person or nation as one that will be to lead not just the Jewish people but to be a leader for all the nations. The message that will be proclaimed will be one that includes all people.

In the second reading Paul reminds us that our call connects us to Christ and by being connected to Christ our call is one that leads us to holiness. It is a challenging call, but one that God believes we are fully capable of, each in our own way.

The Gospel reading is odd in that it is taken from the Gospel of John and we are in the year when all the Gospels are from Matthew. John the Baptist points out Jesus as the one whom he has been preaching about. John has been called to prepare the way for Jesus and is now sending his disciples to follow this Jesus. John the Baptist calls him “the Lamb of God,” and the “Son of God.”

This image of the “Lamb of God” would have been very clear to John’s audience. This would have referred, first, to the Lamb of Passover. This Lamb was slaughtered and eaten on the night of Passover in Egypt, its blood would have been sprinkled on the doorposts, and the setting of the people free from their slavery in Egypt. It would have been connected to the Servant Song of Isaiah about the lamb led to slaughter. And it would have eventually been used in reference to Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.


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


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.


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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