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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Bill Lasche, Lillian Fabrey, Ed Benedict, Gerrie Derr, Lorraine Penhos, Joe Sinkuc, Renee Bost, Jim Kaibas and Adrianne Ward.
   







Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor






  From the Pastor's Desk
5th Sunday of Easter 

CATHOLIC SERVICES APPEAL
So far in our Catholic Services Appeal we have 237 pledges for $82,660. Our assessment goal for the diocese is $66,000. Last year we exceeded our goal thanks to the 278 generous families and individuals who made a pledge or a one-time contribution to this appeal. We will be using the money we collect over our goal this year to re-pad the kneelers in the church, fix the canopy at the Clepper entrance, and update some computer software in the parish office, which will make our parish goal to be $80,000.

We are inviting every parish family to make some gift or pledge to this campaign. We are grateful to those who continue to make the Catholic Services Appeal a priority because it is through your generous gifts that we are able to keep St. Joseph Parish moving forward. May God continue to reward you for your generosity and your thoughtfulness. Pledge envelopes will be in the pews for the next several weeks. Please make your checks out to St. Joseph Church.

REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
I continue my reflections on the second readings from the book of Revelation. John gives us a description of what heaven is like in this reading. This portion of the book of Revelation describes the heavenly Jerusalem, the Jerusalem that has now been transformed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is no longer an earthly city where wars, violence, hatred, sin, and evil are active and destructive, but a city where the saints, the holy ones, live. Maybe more importantly John describes how the holy ones are brought into full union with God. Somehow that divine image that we were created in comes to its ultimate fulfillment in our being made one with God. We go back to where we came from.

The book of Revelation is filled with images of dragons, beasts, and other frightening things, but they are now all conquered by the one called the Christ, the crucified and risen one. All those frightening images that speak of some kind of fantasy world or fictional movie are now transformed into a realistic hope that the people of God are being made one with God.

John says that this new Jerusalem comes “down” from heaven, from God. He compares it to a bride prepared for her husband. There is a mutual relationship between God and the people. God awaits our response to his love, just as people in love wait for one another’s response to their love. It is in this giving and receiving of love that we find our union with God, our relationship with God growing deeper each and every day.

And this union with God is not just a companionship or friendship, but it is an actual dwelling with God, a oneness with God. This is what Jesus prayed for at the last supper: “I pray…that they may all be one… that they also may be in us.” (John 17:20-21). This new Jerusalem will be the place where our ultimate union with God will take place. This will be the place where God’s plan comes to fulfillment and God is all in all. There is no more evil, only union with God.

As we come near the end of the Easter season this vision of the new Jerusalem and our union with God is something for us to ponder, to contemplate, to pray over. Knowing that this is what God has in store for us can open us to the grace to make it real in our own lives even now.



   

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 724-342-3456.

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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