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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Ford Bartle, Evelyn Tew, Joseph Byers, Nadine Vellente, Liam Rueberger, John Kutchenriter, Peggy Heldorfer, Renee Bost, Mary Ann Biro, Jeff George, David U’Halie, Avaya Brockman, Irene Chaussard, Monica Wiesen, Peggy Dach and Josephine Burke.
   





Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor







 From the Pastor's Desk
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

BISHOP'S LETTER ON LIFTING COVID-19 DISPENSATION
Click Here to read the Bishop's letter on returning to Mass beginning Sunday, August 15th.


WATCH MASS AT ST. JOSEPH PARISH
Click Here to watch Father Tom officiate Mass for this Sunday - 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

ANOINTING OF THE SICK AFTER MASS
This weekend, July 24-25, we will celebrate a very brief anointing of the sick service after each Mass. We will ask people to leave immediately after Mass as you have been doing. Those who wish to be anointed will stay after and sit in the VERY FRONT PEWS (the ones that only have seats). You can remain seated, and I will pray the anointing prayers and anoint everyone. We will say a final prayer and then people can leave.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES GOING TO COLLEGE
Each year the Newman Ministry program connects high school graduates with the campus ministry office at the college they are planning to attend. Sign-up sheets are available in the Gathering Space or online at https://signupnc.newmanministry.com/. Students or Parents can fill in this information.

AIR CONDITIONING
The work on our air conditioning system is just beginning. I will try to keep you posted as to what is happening and when we anticipate it being completed. Until then you may want to dress appropriately when you come to church as there will be weeks where we will not even have outside air being circulated through the church as we have now. Thank you for your patience with this.

SUNDAY READINGS
Since we are still not able to have books in the pews, people have not been able to follow along with the readings. A suggestion was made that the readings are available on the Parish App. You could follow along with the readings using your phone and the Parish App. You can connect this App to your phone by texting APP to 88202. This App is FREE.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON TIME SCHEDULE
On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 we have confessions in the body of the church because we cannot use the confessionals as a result of COVID. Confessions last from 4:00 until 4:30pm. Because Confessions are in the main body of the church, no one else should be in the church at that time. As has been stated in the guidelines and rules for COVID, the church is not open for Mass until 4:45pm on Saturday. This has been in effect since we started confessions almost a year ago, and people are still not following it. Please be considerate of others.

CATHOLIC SERVICES APPEAL
So far in our Catholic Services appeal we have 235 pledges for $97,927. I am so grateful to everyone who has pledged or donated so far. You still have time to make a gift or pledge to this year’s appeal. We have already passed our assessment to the Diocese and now we are using the extra money to help with the cost of fixing the air conditioning in the church. This project has not yet started.

Last year we were able to collect $27,000 over our assessment to the Diocese and that $27,000 was put towards these two projects. The total cost of the windows restoration was $184,000, and the estimates for the air conditioning system are higher than that. As you can see these are expensive projects, but projects that cannot be put off. I am grateful for the support that you have given to our parish in these difficult times, and for your continued support of these major projects. I know you will be generous in this appeal to help our parish and those in need locally and throughout our Diocese.

COVID REMINDERS FOR THOSE COMING BACK TO CHURCH
Each week there are more and more people coming back to celebrate Mass with us. We are glad to have you back with us! Just some reminders that we have not returned to normal yet.

THOSE WHO ARE FULLY VACINATED: You do not have to wear masks in church. Although, you are still expected to maintain 6 feet of social distance between you and the next non-family member. You are welcome to continue wearing your mask if you do not yet feel comfortable.
THOSE WHO ARE NOT FULLY VACINATED MUST WEAR MASKS AT ALL TIMES IN THE CHURCH.
NUMBER OF PEWS: Each week we will open a few more pews but remember to keep 6 feet of social distance between you and non-family members. That means you do not want to sit right behind people in the pew in front of you.
PLEASE EXIT CHURCH IMMEDIATELY AFTER MASS: We still need to sanitize pews and doors immediately after Mass. You can be a big help in this process by leaving IMMEDIATELY after Mass.
BATHROOMS: the only bathrooms available are in the basement and can be accessed by the stairs or the elevator at the Case Avenue Entrance.
COLLECTION BASKETS: We still are not doing physical collections. There are two baskets at the base of the altar to put you envelops in before or after Mass.
HANDS FLAT: People are still not getting this. The image you might think of is that of a plate vs a cup. A plate is flat so you can place things on it without touching the plate. A cup is curved and much more difficult to place things in without touching the edges. This is also a way to protect one another and those who are distributing communion.


COVID 19 GUIDELINES
Please do not become lax with the guidelines for being in church during this pandemic. We are all tired of doing things differently and being inconvenienced but we need to be vigilant to protect one another, particularly those who are most vulnerable. And that includes most of us, and even me, your priest.

All the guidelines are listed below but here a few that have been neglected lately:

1. MASKS/FACE COVERINGS: Masks must be worn at all times when you are in the Church and should cover both your mouth and your nose. Please keep your mask on when coming to communion. Once you have received the host in your hand, then you can pull the mask down momentarily to receive communion. The mask should then cover your mouth and nose again.

2. FRONT ROWS:
If you have difficult walking please sit in the front rows where you can be seated during the whole Mass and I will bring you communion right at your place.

3. COMMUNION STATIONS: No matter which section you sit in, you must follow the directions for receiving communion. If you go in the wrong direction, you put other people at risk.

4. NO OBLIGATION: remember the obligation to attend Mass has been removed during the pandemic. If you have difficulty attending Mass or are not feeling well, please stay home and watch Mass on TV or on the internet.

5. LEAVE WHEN MASS IS OVER: Please leave the church immediately after Mass. People should not be staying in church to light candles or to talk to other people – this puts people at risk. You can talk outside if you wish. We need this time after Mass to clean and sanitize the church.

IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TO MASS IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS, YOU NEED TO READ THROUGH THESE GUIDELINES AND FOLLOW THEM CAREFULLY TO PROTECT OTHER PEOPLE.

REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
Throughout this year we have been listening to Mark’s Gospel. For the next four week we will be listening to a series of readings from John’s Gospel called the “Bread of Life” series. This is the only miracle story that is told in all four Gospels. What happened that day was obviously very significant for the four Gospel writers. In John’s Gospel there is no story of Jesus instituting the Eucharist at the Last Supper. Instead, we hear about Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. This “Bread of Life series is thought to be John’s story of Jesus instituting the Eucharist and the washing of the disciples’ feet is thought to be how the Eucharist should move us from praise and thanksgiving to God for all that we have been given to service of our brothers and sisters even to the point of sacrificing our lives for others, just as Jesus did.

I have been reflecting for the last four weeks on some principles for an adult spirituality. There are still four more principles to reflect on. I chose to do this series knowing that the last four weeks of my homily series would coincide with the four stories of the “Bread of Life.” Our celebration of the Eucharist each week should be leading us to a deeper relationship with God, to a more adult spirituality. As we listen to these readings, and this series of homilies, may we reflect on where we need to grow in our spiritual lives and in our understanding of the Eucharist.

Both the first reading and the Gospel today speak about the multiplication of loaves of bread. In the first reading Elisha tells his servant to take the twenty loaves of bread and feed them to the people. The servant objects that this is not enough to feed them all. Elisha says there will be enough, and some left over. In the Gospel Jesus wants to feed five thousand people and all his disciples can come up with is five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus makes it enough to feed the five thousand and still have twelve baskets of leftovers. The readings remind us that God continues to provide for us in the Eucharist and in our lives with more than we need. We need to be grateful for what God continues to provide for us and to share some of our good fortune with those who are in need around us. Our celebration of the Eucharist is a time for us to be grateful to God, to offer our thanksgiving and praise to God, for all we have been given each week. Our response to having received such blessings is to be of service to those who are in need.



   

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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