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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Dorothy Ogg, Ford Bartle, Evelyn Tew, Joseph Byers, Jackie Hoffman, Nadine Vellente, Liam Rueberger, John Kutchenriter, Peggy Heldorfer, Renee Bost, Bev Chalupka, Mary Ann Biro, Cecelia Alter, Bernice Cieciera, Katie Iacino, Jeff George, David U’Halie, Viola Bowers, Marie Young and Avaya Brockman.
   





Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor







 From the Pastor's Desk
6th Sunday of Easter


WATCH MASS AT ST. JOSEPH PARISH
Click Here to watch Father Tom officiate Mass for this Sunday - 6th Sunday of Easter


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
All the Masses this weekend are offered for our Mothers, living and deceased. We pray in thanksgiving for the gift that our Mothers have been to us and the life they have given us and con-tinue to nurture within us.



CATHOLIC SERVICES APPEAL
So far in our Catholic Services appeal we have 217 pledges for $92,116. 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.

This past 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 esti-mates 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 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.

REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
The readings today speak about the love that God has for us. A love that shows no partiality, that loves us before we do anything to earn that love, and a willingness to lay down one’s life for another person.

The first reading involves Peter reaching out to Gentiles who wanted to learn more about Jesus. He eventually realizes that God does not just invite Jewish people into his kingdom, but all people are invited. This begins a great awakening and growth in the early church. We might think about those people we consider a part of the “us” group and those we consider a part of the “them” group. Then read this reading again thinking about how God is reaching out to both of those groups of people. How then will we respond to that?

The second reading reminds us that God’s love is not something we earn, but something we have from the very first moment of our life. God marvels at the gift we are and loves us into being. God never stops loving us. Are there people we know who do not believe this? Do I believe this about myself? What can we do to support and encourage those who think poorly of themselves?

The Gospel is Jesus reminding his disciples at the Last Supper of the most important commandment to love one another as God loves us. This commandment is about to be illustrated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is the one who will lay down his life for us. Jesus invites us to find joy in this life, and that joy will come in the sacrifices we are willing to make for others. On this Mother’s Day, we might think of the sacrifices our mothers have made for us, time and time again.



   

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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