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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Dorothy Ogg, Ford Bartle, Evelyn Tew, Fr. Manning, Joe & John Mochanski, Don & Rose Becker, Lorrain Schuller, Diane Young, Joseph Byers, Jackie Hoffman, Nadine Vellente, Alice Fill, Liam Rueberger, John Kutchenriter, Bev Chalupka, Peggy Heldorfer, William Clarke, Tess McCallen, Renee Bost, Mary Ann Biro, Sheila Ann Biro-Lobota and Cecelia Alter.
   





Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor







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

WINDOWS AND CANOPY
This New Year is off and running in the Church. The new canopy was installed this week – the old one was destroyed by a hit and run driver. The rest of the stained-glass windows were installed this week and that project is completed as well. The bidding process for the air conditioning will start this week. We are hoping for an April start and a June finish for this project.


OLD PALMS
We were unable to give out palms last year because of the pandemic, so you may not have old palms. If you have old palms, please
DO NOT BRING THEM TO CHURCH
. You will need to dispose of them yourself. This can be done by either burying them in the ground or by burning them. We ask you not to bring the old palms to church because of the pandemic.


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.

6. RECEIVING COMMUNION: I have said this from the pulpit and written it in the bulletin and even said it to people as they come up to communion: PLEASE KEEP YOUR HAND FLAT TO RECEIVE COMMUNION (This includes your thumb!). Your other hand should be UNDERNEATH YOUR FLAT HAND. If you are right-handed, your left hand should be on top and FLAT and you right hand should be UNDERNEATH your left hand. Some people are doing this correctly, but some people are still not keeping their hand flat and are reaching for the host before I can pull my hand away and thus touching me. You should not be reaching for the host until you have stepped to the side and are ready to consume the host. Please be attentive to this.

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.

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.

GENERAL RULES FOR MASS: Masks are to be worn by everyone. Social distancing – six feet apart – must always be maintained – 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. Please avoid contact with surfaces. Doors and pews will be sanitized after each mass.

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 the 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
We return to what we call “Ordinary Time” in the Church at least for a few more weeks, as Lent begins on February 17 with Ash Wednesday.

The focus of the readings this week is on God’s call to us, our hearing that call, and then our response to that call.

The first reading describes a young Samuel who is unfamiliar with God’s call and he needs the help of Eli the priest to recognize what God’s call sounds like and how to respond to it. There are thousands of voices in our world calling for our attention. We do at times need the help of wise men and women to help us discern which voices to listen to. At times, those who proclaim to speak the teachings of the Church do not really know the teachings of the Church. Much has changed and developed in Church teaching since we learned it in grade school. The key to hearing God’s call is to listen carefully and discerning which voices are speaking the truth in its fullness.

The second reading is Paul addressing a problem in the community at Corinth. Some people mistakenly believe that they can separate body and soul. It would be like us thinking that we can go to church on Sunday and say our prayers and be all holy in Church, but when we leave then we can be mean and nasty to other people because we are no longer in Church. Paul says we need to connect our spiritual lives and our actions. They should flow from the same source of God’s goodness and reflect that goodness. Our prayer and our actions should be connected to one another.

In the Gospel, John the Baptist points his disciples to Jesus as the “Lamb of God.” These disciples of John, now become disciples of Jesus. John has completed his call to point others to the person of Jesus and not to himself.



   

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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