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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, Viola Bowers, Marie Young, Avaya Brockman, Irene Chaussard, Monica Wiesen, Peggy Dach and Jon Pass.

Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor

 From the Pastor's Desk
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Click Here to watch Father Tom officiate Mass for this Sunday - 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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.

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.

So far in our Catholic Services appeal we have 228 pledges for $95,410. 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.

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.
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.

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.


We return for one week to Ordinary Time in the Church. Next week we celebrate St. Joseph in the year dedicated to Joseph by Pope Francis.

The first reading is an Old Testament prophesy from the book of Ezekiel about how God will take a branch from a tree and plant it in Israel. It is a prophecy about how God is creating something new in Israel and yet how it has connections to the past. Jesus will be the one who brings this prophecy to fulfillment. It will be consistent with what we hear from the prophets, from Mary, and from Jesus. It proclaims a reversal of the way things are. The people have been poor and oppressed for a long time and now will come a time of reversal. The poor will become prosperous, and the rich will become less so. The lowly will be lifted up and the exalted will be humbled. It is a message of hope for the people of something yet to come, that is better than where they are now.

In the second reading Paul speaks about being at home with the Lord and being away from the Lord in the body. Paul speaks about our need to have faith and trust in God while we are here on earth, away from the Lord, and how we will eventually come to be at home with God in eternal life. This sometimes creates a sense that God is not with us now and we will only be truly with God in the life to come. Paul’s real hope here is that we will keep our eyes fixed on the life to come and our total union with God, but that we need to also be rooted in this life, in the body, with faith and trust that God is with us now as well. God is moving us from life in this world to life in the next world.

In the Gospel, Jesus speaks about the kingdom of God in parables. Like any good teacher Jesus is giving them examples of things they are familiar with and moving them to an understanding of something they are not familiar with, the kingdom of God. There is much debate about what this “kingdom of God” is. At times, Jesus speaks about the kingdom being here and now, already among us. At other times, Jesus speaks about the kingdom being something that is yet to come. Just as the seed and the final grain of wheat are two different things, they are intimately connected. There is a process involved of moving from one to the other, that we do not always fully understand. The kingdom of God is active among us now and leading us to the fullness of that kingdom in a time yet to come.


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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