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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Ford Bartle, Evelyn Tew, Nadine Vellente, Liam Rueberger, John Kutchenriter, Peggy Heldorfer, Joe and Mary Ann Biro, Jeff George, Avaya Brockman, Monica Wiesen, William Haroldson, Vince Caswell, Helen Donnelly and Gene Pacsi.
   





Fr. Tom Whitman,
St. Joseph Pastor







 From the Pastor's Desk
2nd Sunday of Advent  

CONFIRMATION RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CALENDAR FOR 11 GRADERS
To see the full calendar for Religious Education for those seeking Confirmation (11 Graders) please Click Here

LITURGICAL CHANGE
in accord with paragraph 42 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Bishop Persico directs that the faithful in the Diocese of Erie shall kneel at Mass following the conclusion of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). Those who receive Holy Communion may, upon returning to their place, either kneel or sit according to their choice until the beginning of the prayer after Communion, at which time all stand.

Please note: if you are unable to kneel after the Lamb of God, as I know some are, please feel free to be seated.

FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY
Wednesday is a Holy Day and Masses are at 12:10pm and 7:00pm.

THANK YOU
to our liturgy committee for continuing to decorate our church for Advent, Christ the King, and All Souls. We owe this group a huge thank you for all the time and energy that goes into making our church looking so beautiful for everything we celebrate.

BREAKING BREAD BOOKS
The Diocese has given us permission to put hymnals in the pews. As we begin the season of Advent, we will have the Breaking Bread books in the pews with the readings and the songs for each week.

PLEASE ... AND THANK YOU
Thank You to everyone for not leaving bulletins and other papers in the pews. We are still wiping down pews between Masses and this helps greatly. To those who have not been following this, please use the trash cans at each exit for anything you wish to discard.

PENANCE SERVICES FOR ADVENT
The point of Penance Services is to allow people an opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in a communal setting and quickly (no long lines or hours of waiting). That means that the service before the individual celebration of the sacrament is part of the sacrament – we do an examination of conscience and an act of contrition together, so that the sacrament can be celebrated quickly to offer more people the opportunity to celebrate the sacrament.

Penance Services will be Sunday, December 5, at St. Michael in Greenville at 1:00pm, Sunday, December 12 at Beloved Disciple in Grove City at 2:00pm, Wednesday, December 15 at Good Shepherd in West Middlesex at 7:00pm, Thursday, December 16 at St. Joseph in Sharon at 7:00pm, and Sunday, December 19 at Notre Dame in Hermitage at 2:00pm.

USHERS
We are also able to have ushers take up the collection using the long-handled baskets. We will leave the baskets up front for several weeks. We could use some help as the number of ushers is quite small. If you can volunteer to help the ushers would appreciate it.

CHRISTMAS MASSES
will be Christmas Eve at 4:30pm and 9:00pm and Christmas Day at 9:30am. MASKS ARE REQUIRED. Please note: Since Christmas is on a Saturday, there will not be a 5:15 Mass on Saturday evening in anticipation of Sunday. Masses on Sunday, December 26 will be at 8:30am and 11:00am.

CALENDARS
The 2022 Church Calendars are available at all the exits. A tremendous note of thanks goes to the McGonigle Funeral Home for sponsoring these calendars every year. We are truly grateful for their generosity to our parish.

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.

POPE FRANCIS AND THE SYNOD
As you may be aware, Pope Francis has asked every diocese in the world to participate in preparations for the upcoming world Synod of Bishops to be held in Rome in 2023. The theme of that synod will be For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.

More information can be found on the Synod and the process at www.eriercd.org/news/Newsreleases. html. More information on the Synod and the opportunities for your input will be released soon.

It is important to note that this period of listening will be focused. In its instructions for the diocesan preparatory phase, the Holy See has given us the central question we will be asking during these listening sessions: A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.” How is this “journeying together” happening today in our diocese? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”? We will be asking people to recall their experiences of faith; to identify the joys, difficulties, obstacles, wounds, or insights those experiences reveal; and to indicate what they think the Holy Spirit is asking of us all in light of those experiences.

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.


REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
I am providing a lengthy reflection in the insert each week, so these reflections are shorter. Baruch gives us an image of a straight level path where mountains are made lower, and valleys are filled in. What are the peaks and valleys you are going through that need to be leveled out to bring peace to your life right now? Paul speaks to the Philippians about how God has begun the good work in them and will continue to work until it reaches completion. What is the good work God has begun in you? What do you need help with in order to bring it to completion? John the Baptist always appears on the second and third Sunday of Advent. Today he proclaims a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John invites us to see this arrival of Jesus as the beginning of healing and forgiveness that everyone is invited to experience. Where do I need to be healed and forgiven at this moment?



   

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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