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

Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor

 From the Pastor's Desk
2nd Sunday of Easter

Click Here to watch Father Tom officiate Mass for this Sunday - 2nd Sunday of Easter

Lent, Holy Week, and Easter are the busiest times of the year in our church. As I look back on this year, I could not be happier with how things went. As someone said, even COVID could not keep us from achieving our goals in this holy season.

I want to express my personal thanks to those who were Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and Altar Servers, during these events. Your diligent preparation and generous service guided us through these days focusing us on prayer and community.

I also want to thank all those who have been staying after Mass to clean and sanitize the Church. I did not even have to ask people, you just volunteered and have been faithful and diligent in performing a thankless task, but in these times, an essential task.

I also want to thank all of you who have been so cooperative with wearing masks, keeping distant, and leaving right after Mass. I know we all cannot wait for things to return to normal, so thanks for being patient and respectful of one another. Thank you for being here.

I also want to thank Lori and Rocky Vasconi for taping and editing our weekly online Mass. It has been a whole year since we started this. It has been a great service to so many who worship with us each week from the safety of their homes.

I really must give a tremendous note of thanks to our liturgy committee, our parish staff, and our music ministers, Mary and Jeff. Together, they have worked extremely hard to find ways to keep us worshipping in creative and yet safe ways. I could not be prouder of what you accomplished this year. As difficult as this year has been, I think this Holy Week was one of our best ever!

So far in our Catholic Services appeal we have 202 pledges for $87,412. I am so grateful to everyone who has pledged or donated so far. You still have several weeks to make your gift or pledge.

You should have received a letter outlining the CSA and our parish projects. A pledge envelope was enclosed, and more are available at each exit. You can make your pledge anytime over the next several weeks. This year our assessment to the Diocese is $68,000. Anything we collect over that goal will go toward our two major projects: The restoration of the stained-glass windows, which was recently completed, and the new air conditioning system that will begin work in April and be completed in June.

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 estimates for the air conditioning system are between $160,000 and 200,000. 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.

In two weeks, we will have our annual Good Shepherd Collection in our parish to assist with the needs of caring for our retired diocesan priests. There is a special need to assist them with the escalating health care costs and long-term care expenses. As more priests become eligible to retire from active ministry in the next few years, our Priest Retirement Plan must be adequately funded to cover their future needs.

Please consider a generous gift to the annual Diocesan Good Shepherd Collection on the weekend of April 24 & 25. Use the special envelope provided or any envelope and mark on it– “Good Shepherd Collection.”

The 2022 Mass Intention Book will open, beginning Monday, April 19. Mass Intentions are done on a first-come first-served basis and it is customary for a $10 stipend to accompany a Mass intention. As the parish office remains closed, please call the church office at 724-981-3232 during our regular office hours, 8:30-12:30/1:30 -4:30, M-F to schedule a Mass Intention. To review the Mass Intention Guidelines, please see the Mass Intention Guidelines posted on the bulletin board at each entrance.

If you are planning to have your child baptized, a baptism class is required for the parents. To register, please call the church office at 724-981-3232.

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.

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.


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.

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.

To do business with the parish office, please call or email the office at Office@StJosephs- the office between 8:30am and 4:30pm. The office is not open for walk-in business.

Our celebration of Easter continues for several weeks with the first readings from the Acts of the Apostles (rather than the Old Testament readings), the letters of John, and Gospel stories of resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples.

The first reading today presents us with how the early church started and worked together to support one another. The Greek word “koinonia” describes this early church and means “the bond of responsibility believers in the Gospel share toward one another.” Some people just simply write this off as an ideal we cannot achieve and yet religious communities, parishes, and families commit to this ideal and depend on it to form the real communion that we celebrate in the Eucharist and to guide us to the ideal that God has placed before us for the kingdom of God here on earth.

We realize that none of us are perfect, and none of these groups are perfect, but this ideal of koinonia keeps us focused in the right direction.

The second readings during this Easter season will come from the letter of John. John battled with some early heresies that sometimes can be confusing. One of those heresies was the misconception that Jesus was not the Messiah or the Son of God, just a prophet. The other heresy was that Jesus was surely God, but not one of us, not human.

John calls three witness, water, blood, and spirit – Baptism, Eucharist, and the Holy Spirit. The water of Jesus’ Baptism called forth the voice of God: this is my beloved Son – a witness to his divinity. The blood poured out on the cross was human blood, as painful and costly as the blood shed by any one of us. And the Spirit at work in our community assures us that the life of Jesus, human and divine, remains with us and lives with us until the end of time in the community we form after the model of the first reading.

The Gospel for this Sunday is always the story of Thomas, whom we call, “doubting Thomas.” Thomas’ doubt comes from not having yet understood the mystery of resurrection. He understood the ministry of Jesus and experienced his death, and Thomas was crushed by this, as were the others. They had given up everything to follow Jesus and now it seems that it was for nothing, they had been duped. Thomas needs this experience of the risen Jesus, that the others already had to strengthen his faith. Thomas becomes a model for all of us who need some experience of the risen Jesus to bring our faith to its fullness. We need to share our experiences of the risen Jesus with each other to strengthen each other’s faith.


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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