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Great News!

Archbishop Pérez has announced that parishes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be able to resume public Masses this weekend,  June 6 and 7, 2020.  We look forward to welcoming you back!  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as we make our way back to the in person celebration of the Mass.

While our county remains in the Yellow Phase of statewide reopening, all of us need to do our part to make sure that our return to Mass is a peaceful and safe experience for all.  Please take the time to read the instructions below.  We ask everyone to follow these guidelines when attending Mass during this period.  We know that there is a lot listed here, but please read carefully.

  • The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation continues to be lifted during the Yellow Phase.  You are not required to attend Mass at this time.
  • Please stay home if you are sick.
  • Please stay home if you are at higher risk of severe illness with COVID19.  If you are uncertain about your risk status, please consult your doctor and also the CDC Guidelines at this link.
  • Mass will continue to be available via live-stream.
  • Before coming to Church, please wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • Before entering the Church, please put on a face mask or cloth covering.  Exceptions to this are “children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, and anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance” (CDC Guidelines).
  • You are welcome to bring your own missal/readings with you – even electronic versions.  Please do not leave any items in the pews after Mass..
  • When taking your seat, please honor all posted signs about where you may sit. We have every other pew blocked off in order to promote social distancing.
  • Members of the same household may sit together as normal.  Please place 6 feet between your household and members of a different household.
  • For the time being, we will not have the public recitation of devotions prior to Mass.  You are encouraged to pray privately prior to Mass.
  • There will be limited singing during Mass during the Yellow Phase.  Hymnals should not be used.
  • There will be no Sign of Peace during Mass during the Yellow Phase.
  • The Precious Blood will not be distributed during Mass during the Yellow Phase.
  • There should be no holding of hands during the Our Father.
  • Please maintain social distancing in the Communion line.  Please keep several pews between yourself and the person in front of you while in line and when returning to your pew.
  • Please remove your mask before receiving Holy Communion.
  • At the conclusion of Mass, please exit the Church and proceed directly to your car. Please do not congregate for any reason.
  • Please take a parish bulletin home with you. They will be available on tables as you exit the building. They will not be distributed by ushers and they should not be brought into the Church.
  • Please leave your mask on until you exit the Church.

The Archdiocese, working with Ascension Press, has produced a video for the faithful to give an overview of the guidelines for returning to the in person celebration of the Mass. Please share this video as widely as possible so that everyone knows what to do when returning to Holy Mass. The video is available in:

Funeral Notice: James J. Noone

Please pray for the soul of  James F. Noone, Saint Joseph School Class of 1961, who died on May 29, 2020.  Click here for the obituary.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, thro
ugh the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Father Harrison’s Message for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
(Psalm 27 – Psalm for the Seventh Sunday of Easter)

During this bleak time of the pandemic these words may seem hollow.  Where can we actually see the good things of the Lord?  When will we be able to do everything just as we had done in the very recent past?  How will we be able to live as before?  We are continually confronted by the problems created by one of God’s smallest creature – a virus.  And we, the best of all creatures, are confounded by the workings of this minute organism.  Where are those good things?  Are they just the promise of heaven, whenever we may arrive there?  Do we have to “tough it out” here in order to receive the reward hereafter?

When Philip asked Jesus to let the apostles see the Father, He questioned Philip, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and still you do not understand?  If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”  Have we been with Jesus all this time (the whole of our lives for most of us) and still we cannot see the good things of the Lord?  They are all there, in that same living person, Jesus.

Jesus is everything to us, quite literally.  In Him do we find the image of God, the love, mercy and understanding of God, not as coming from a philosopher or an academic paper, but from God, Himself!  He has described the kind of world that He wants for us, not merely as a possibility but as a project to be completed – by us!  Look beyond the evils of the day and ask what is needed here or there.  You will find that the answer lies in the descriptive words of Jesus – love your neighbor as yourself.  The answer to our present problems is not simply in a vaccine for the virus – as significant as that may be – but rather in the strong, vibrant faith of the individual follower of Jesus – us.  We carry around in our hearts the answer to the problems of mankind.  When the virus has diminished, there will still be hunger, hatred, prejudice, inequality, etc.

Do we really want the good things of the Lord – here, on earth?  Then we must open our eyes and recognize the answer before us: we must be peace in the midst of war; we must be love in the face of violence; we must be hope in the face of despair; we must be self-sacrifice for the oppressed; we must be home for the homeless!

To do this we must not be distracted. We must stay focused on Jesus!.

Happy Mother’s Day

We wish all the Mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers and Spiritual Mothers in our
St. Joseph Parish family a very happy Mother’s Day!

“Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over Your Church.  Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers.  Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.  Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.”

-Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989

 

 

Update as of May 8, 2020

A new edition of the St. Joe’s e-Bulletin was published today.  You can access the e-Bulletin here.  To receive these e-Bulletins directly in your in-box, you can sign-up at this link.

Thanks to our faithful parish bulletin publisher, John Patrick Publishing Company, we are still publishing a weekly online version of our printed parish bulletin. Looks just like the paper copy that you know and love!  You can access it hereAnd, be sure to read the back page and support our loyal advertisers that make our weekly printed bulletin possible – they need our support now more than ever.

Update as of May 1, 2020

A new edition of the St. Joe’s e-Bulletin was published yesterday.  You can access the e-Bulletin here.  To receive these e-Bulletins directly in your in-box, you can sign-up at this link.

Thanks to our faithful parish bulletin publisher, John Patrick Publishing Company, we are still publishing a weekly online version of our printed parish bulletin. Looks just like the paper copy that you know and love!  You can access it hereAnd, be sure to read the back page and support our loyal advertisers that make our weekly printed bulletin possible – they need our support now more than ever.

Update as of April 23, 2020

A new edition of the St. Joe’s e-Bulletin was published earlier today.  You can access the e-Bulletin here.  To receive these e-Bulletins directly in your in-box, you can sign-up at this link.

Thanks to our faithful parish bulletin publisher, John Patrick Publishing Company, we are still publishing a weekly online version of our printed parish bulletin. Looks just like the paper copy that you know and love!  You can access it hereAnd, be sure to read the back page and support our loyal advertisers that make our weekly printed bulletin possible – they need our support now more than ever.

A Message from Father Harrison

Alleluia!   Alleluia!   Alleluia!

Happy Easter to everyone!  Now each of us must ask ourselves the question – “Has Easter changed us this year?  How has it changed us?  Or did it just slip by?”

Easter tells that world that we are part of a new life, a new life style, with new goals and strengths and vision.  It does not just speak of a day in the past when this Jesus rose from the dead, as though that were all that is involved in the celebration.  If that were the case, would there really be any reason for us to be excited about one man riding from the dead?  None!  We say that we are also part of His new Life – that we are united to Him, personally, not simply institutionally – that as St. Paul tells us that we already one with Him in glory.

How will we live that glory; how will we explain what that glory is; how will anyone else come to understand our new situation, our new life style – except that we act differently from what we were before Easter.  That is how we, human beings, communicate the most important thing about ourselves – by acting them out.  Our lives become the most basic and dynamic tools for telling someone else about what is happening in our hearts – not just a philosophy about life, but what is really occurring in the inmost recesses of our characters, what has begun to burn away the callous characterizations of others that have allowed us to ignore their needs or their human dignity, or that have caused us to consider our good more important than the good of others (…love your neighbor as yourself…).

All should see that we are changed and that the model of that alteration in Jesus, Himself.  Nothing short of that!  That is what Easter is all about.  If He were dead and gone, we could not be like Him.  But He is not dead!  He is alive!  Therefore, we can be united with Him in this life, and be like Him, and love like Him, and hold the needy in our arms like Him, and address the pain of others like Him, and embrace the rejected of the world like Him, and give hope to those cast to the periphery of life like Him.  We can do all things like Him because we live in Him!

That is Easter!  But is it happening in us?  During the corona virus troubles, we see the human condition as vulnerable – because of the sickness; but also powerful – in its ability to sacrifice for others.  Now, if we consciously keep Easter vibrant and active in our hearts and allow that life to grow throughout the course of our future, we will begin to see the real power of our Easter celebration – what the whole world can be like with Jesus!

Update as of April 16, 2020

A new edition of the St. Joe’s e-Bulletin was published earlier today.  You can access the e-Bulletin here.  To receive these e-Bulletins directly in your in-box, you can sign-up at this link.

Thanks to our faithful parish bulletin publisher, John Patrick Publishing Company, we are still publishing a weekly online version of our printed parish bulletin. Looks just like the paper copy that you know and love!  You can access it here.  And, be sure to read the back page and support our loyal advertisers that make our weekly printed bulletin possible – they need our support now more than ever.

Funeral Notice: Icyline Morris

Norman and Icyline Morris

Please pray for the soul of Icyline Morris, wife of Norman, who passed away last week.

There will be a visitation on Friday, April 17, 2020 at 9am at Saint Joseph Church, followed by the funeral Mass at 10am.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, thro
ugh the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Funeral Notice: James J. Malloy

Please pray for the soul of  James J. Malloy, Saint Joseph School Class of 1968, who passed away on February 11, 2020.  Click here for the obituary.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, thro
ugh the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Funeral Notice: Lorraine Gable Finelli

Please pray for the soul of Lorraine Gable Finelli, Saint Joseph School Class of 1970, who passed away on April 6, 2020.

Click here for the obituary.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, thro
ugh the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Happy Easter!

We wish our St. Joseph family, both near and far, a blessed Easter.  For those who couldn’t make it to St. Joe’s today, we are bringing St. Joe’s to you!  Here are some pictures that we took today.

Father Harrison’s Easter 2020 Message

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Happy Easter to everyone!  Yes, it is still Easter, despite the peculiar situation in we all are living right now.  It is still our Easter celebration – Jesus has risen from the dead.  He who took the sins of humanity on His own shoulder brought them to the grave and has risen free of them.  And now, thanks to God’s gracious mercy, we share that very same life through the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist.

This last Lent was “different”.  Usually, we engage that season with prayer and penance and properly dispose ourselves for a fitting celebration of Easter.  But now that, in a sense, we were deprived of that usual Lenten routine, are we as ready to celebrate the new life of Easter?  Are we prepared to get past the discomfort of not having all the ordinary Lenten activities and, then, fully engage the mysticism of our union with the Risen Christ?  Will the world be able to see in us a clear description of this new life with all its virtue and joy and undefeated hope?

Yes, we may not presently have the “usual” Easter items around us.  But, then, isn’t Easter more than that: the chocolate eggs and bunnies, fading lilies; new clothes and Easter baskets?  Easter is so much more than these passing things.  True, we are used to them and they do make us feel good (perhaps a little too nostalgic about our own childhood Easters).  But, does our faith and the strength surrounding Easter depend on such thing?  No, of course not!

Then, let us engage the world around us with the considerable experience of knowing Jesus crucified and risen.  Let us approach each aspect of life, both happy and unhappy, with the joy on realizing that: His resurrection is the promise of our own – today; that His strength is ours – today; that His wisdom brings hope to all – today; that His mercy is life-giving – today; that His presence is for all – today – through our hearts, united in Him!  Especially now, under these viral circumstances, there are people who really do need to experience the risen Christ.  Do not be afraid to bring Him to them!