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!

Archbishop Perez’s Easter Message

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez released video pastoral messages in English and Spanish on the occasion of Easter 2020.

To view the video is English, please click below.

Pastoral Message to the Faithful from Archbishop Pérez on the Occasion of Easter 2020 from Kearns Media Consulting LLC on Vimeo.

To view the video is Spanish, please click below.

Mensaje del arzobispo Nelson J. Pérez a los fieles con motivo del Domingo de Pascua from Kearns Media Consulting LLC on Vimeo.

Easter Sunday at St. Joseph

On Easter Sunday, St. Joseph Church will be open from 9am until noon.  In the sanctuary of the Church, you will be able to obtain Holy Water that Father Harrison will have blessed the previous evening at the private Easter Vigil service.  (Please bring your own bottle in which to take home the Holy Water.)

The Easter/Pentecost reflection booklets will be available in the gym.

If you bring your offering envelope, please drop it in the mailslot of the Parish Center entrance along Waters Rd.  Thank you!

Update as of April 3, 2020

Blessed palm will be available at St. Joseph Church this Sunday, Palm Sunday, April 5 from 10am until noon in the gym.

Thanks to our faithful parish bulletin publisher, John Patrick Publishing Company, we are still publishing a weekly online version of our parish bulletin.  Looks just like the paper copy that you know and love!  You can access it here or by clicking the Bulletin+ logo on the right hand side of this webpage.

A message from Father Harrison:
“Needless to say, the parish will be facing financial setbacks in the days ahead.  Your weekly contributions are essential for the good of the parish.  Your sacrificial giving is of great importance with meeting the costs of many parish programs, employee salaries and benefits, utilities, etc.

“I ask your help in this difficult time to mail in or drop off your weekly offering envelope at the parish office.  You may use online banking as an option too.  Please prayerfully consider increasing your offering as it may take some time to recoup when the crisis is over.

“From my heart, thank you for everything you do for us at St. Joseph Parish.  May Mary, our Lady of Good Health, watch over you and your loved ones.”

The Archbishop’s Virtual Lenten Retreat continues until Palm Sunday.  The 15-minute videos are released daily at 7pm here.  You can also view recordings of the videos from the previous days.

The Archdiocese has cancelled all public Holy Week and Easter services throughout the parishes.  The Archdiocese will have all the private services from the Cathedral live-streamed for all the faithful to participate online at archphila.org.  Archbishop Perez will be the celebrant of each service.  Click here for the schedule.

The live-streamed campaign will continue nightly at 8pm until we don’t need to pray it anymore!  Details for joining the Campaign online or by phone can be found here.

By this Novena, I will grant every possible grace to souls.” ~Jesus to St. Faustina
Join the priests and seminarians of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary online, by phone or in spirit for one of the most powerful novenas in the Church, the Divine Mercy Novena.  Along with the specific intentions of each day, we will also ask for the grace of an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schedule: Good Friday, April 10 at 2pm;
Holy Saturday, April 11 through Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19 at 3:30pm.
For log-in information, the prayers of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the promises attached to it, click here.

The Vincentians at the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Germantown continue to offer the Miraculous Medal Novena online each Monday at 9am at their website and Facebook page.

In this time of calamity, the Marian Fathers invite you to participate in a simple but incredibly powerful act of faith.  To protect you and your family, we urge you to post an Image of Divine Mercy on your front doors.  To learn more about this movement, click here.  To download and print an Image of Divine Mercy for your door, click here.

The Catholic Call to Prayer was started a few years ago by several parishes in the Archdiocese.  It continues to be a great resource to allow you to make a phone call and be guided in prayer.  In addition to the 6:30am call Monday to Friday, they will be hosting a Call at Noon EVERY day of the week!  The calls are 5 to 7 minutes long but assist you in opening up to the grace of God.  They pray the Angelus, Psalm 91 and then Intercessory Prayer.  Please call TOLL FREE 1 (877) 309-2073 and use Access Code 319-414-445#.  Please share this number widely as the Daily Call can be a tremendous vehicle of grace for many people, including those unable to attend Mass at this time.

NOURISH FOR CAREGIVERS “HOUSE CALLS” – offered daily at 11am
During these uncertain times, Nourish For Caregivers will continue to foster community for caregivers in the privacy and safety of your own home through Nourish “House Calls”.  Our mission is to bring hope and encouragement to those who feel hopeless and helpless in the face of this viral epidemic.  Caregivers may participate via landline, cell phone, or through the use of a computer/tablet device.  We hope you will join us as well as share this information with other caregivers who may benefit from these shared experiences.  Each call will last approximately one hour depending upon the  number of participants.  Landline/Cell Phone (not toll free): (312) 626 6799 and enter Meeting ID: 940 374 7100 or Computer/Tablet one touch link: Click here to join by video.

You Are Made New Ministry is now offering a daily Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm along with a weekly women’s support group and a discussion group for men and women.  View the schedule and log-in information here.

Join Fr. Matt Guckin from St. Francis de Sales parish in West Philadelphia for live-streamed Morning Prayer each morning at 7am. Two ways to join in: via their parish website or via Facebook Live.

Content is available in English and Spanish for adults and children.  Access FORMED for free. If you do not already have a FREE account, here is how to get one:
1. Visit https://formed.org/signup
2. Type “Presentation Blessed Virgin Mary” in the search box and click on the listing that has “100 Old Soldiers Rd, Cheltenham PA”
3. Enter your info and click SignUp
4. Enjoy!

Many more resources can be found on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Spiritual Resource webpage.

Visit the Archdiocese’s Covid-19 webpage for a variety of resources.


  • As a result of COVID-19, Catholic Social Services food pantries are experiencing a shortage of food and personal items due to their increase in client volume, with some pantries seeing a 100% increase.  It’s become nearly impossible for them to accommodate each individual and family that visits them.  Please consider a donation to the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia’s Emergency Relief Fund to purchases supplies for the Catholic Social Services food pantries that are trying to feed those impacted by COVID-19.  100% of the Emergency Relief Fund’s proceeds will go directly to the food pantries.  Click here to donate.
  • The largest food pantry in Montgomery County, Martha’s Choice (run by Catholic Social Services) has seen a 100% increase in client volume.  They are in need of strong, healthy volunteers (under age 60) to help those in need during this time.  Martha’s Choice has been able to serve people from the parking lot, maintain social distancing/stringent sanitizing and limit the number of people present by adjusting service protocols for the safety of all involved.
    Volunteer shifts: Tuesday, 9:30am-1pm; Wednesday, 9am-2pm and 2pm-7pm; Thursday, 9:30-1pm; Friday 9am-2pm.
    Job needs: willingness to commit to a weekly shift or more for the next month or so; dedication to maintaining six feet physical distance; flexibility to changing priorities as deliveries arrive and food requests occur; and heavy lifting.
    If you are able to help with this, please contact Patrick Walsh at CSS Martha’s Choice Marketplace at pwalsh@chs-adphila.org
  • Saint John Hospice is a Catholic Social Services shelter for men located in Center City Philadelphia.  During the COVID-19 crisis, the volume of those seeking meals and other life-sustaining essentials has doubled and tripled.  Your donation will help keep them going in this time.  Learn more and donate here.
  • Mercy Hospice, also run by Catholic Social Services, is a community grounded in faith and service where single women and mothers with children experiencing homelessness and in recovery can find opportunities for new beginnings.  Learn more and donate here.

Our Lady, Help of the Sick, pray for us!
St. Joseph, Protector of the Holy Family, pray for us!

Funeral Notice: Art Pabustan

Please pray for the soul of  Art Pabustan, husband of Marcy, who passed away on March 30, 2020.

There will be a viewing on Friday, April 3, 2020  from 6pm to 8pm at Geitner-Givnish, 6230 N. 5th St., Philadelphia, and on Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 9am to 11am at Our Lady of Hope Church, Philadelphia, followed by the funeral Mass at Our Lady of Hope Church at 11am.  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.

Update as of March 18, 2020

Archbishop Perez has issued a statement that suspends public Masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia until further notice.

Sunday remains the Lord’s Day and you are encouraged to:

You are encouraged to visit this website and our Facebook page on a regular basis for further updates.

Our Lady, Help of the Sick, pray for us!

Funeral Notice: Vera Halper

Please pray for the soul of Vera Halper, who passed away on March 10, 2020.  Vera was our parish secretary for almost three decades; she retired in June 2016.

There will be a visitation on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 9:30am at Our Lady of Consolation Church, in the Tacony section of Philadelphia, followed by the funeral Mass at 10:30am.   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.

Lent Begins Wednesday!

The penitential season of Lent begins this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020 and lasts until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 9, 2020.

The bishops of the United States prescribe, as minimal obligation, that all persons over 14 years of age are gravely obliged to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent.  All persons over 18 years of age and up to the beginning of their 60th year are gravely obliged to fast by limiting themselves to a single full meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, while the other two meals are to be light.

All the faithful are encouraged at attend Mass and to receive the Most Holy Eucharist daily, to use frequently the Sacrament of Penance, to undertake spiritual reading, especially the study of the Sacred Scriptures, and to attend parish Lenten devotions and Lenten educational programs.

Ashes will be distributed on Ash Wednesday at the 10am Mass at St. Joseph Church and at the 6:30am and 7:30pm Mass and 1:30pm Scripture Service at Presentation BVM Church.

On Sundays, we will pray the Stations of the Cross at 9:30am at St. Joseph Church.  A video will be shown in the Parish Community Room following the 10am Mass each Sunday.

All are encouraged to participate in the annual CRS Rice Bowl, which has aided countless hungry persons here in our Archdiocese and throughout the world.

You can sign up for daily Lenten reflections at the following sites:

FORMED Daily Lenten Reflections

Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever!

Vincentians/Miraculous Medal Shrine “Amazing Grace this Lent”

Funeral Notice: Jean Lembach

Jean LembachPlease pray for the soul of  Jean Lembach, who passed away on February 10, 2020.

There will be a visitation on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 9am at Saint Joseph Church, followed by the funeral Mass at 10am.   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.

Catholic Schools Week 2020

This week is Catholic Schools Week which is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States.  We thank God for the many people who dedicate their lives in service to our Catholic Schools and for the parents and benefactors who have given support and witness to the importance of Catholic education.  We pray that God will continue to bless their efforts and that our Catholic Schools students will continue to grow in faith, knowledge and service of others.

Although our own parish school, Saint Joseph School, closed in 2004, we are blessed that a number of our parish children attend our twinned parish’s school, Presentation BVM School. Registrations for the 2019-2020 academic year for grades K through 8, as well as the full day Preschool 3 and Pre-Kindergarten 4 programs, are now being accepted. Call the school at (215) 379-3798 to reserve a time to visit and tour the school. They look forward to meeting you and sharing their Pres Pride!

Come Out and Support Your Local First Responders

The 100% Volunteer Cheltenham Fire Company is excited to announce that it is teaming with NBC10 for a screening of a new episode of the hit series: CHICAGO FIRE.  The event will be held at Presentation BVM Church Hall,100 Old Soldiers Rd., Cheltenham from 6pm to 8pm on January 22, 2020.

This will be a very exciting evening! NBC10 will be on-site with Harry Hairston to emcee the event. There will be NBC10 give-aways and light refreshments. The Cheltenham Fire Company will be featured on Philly Live as well as on additional segments of the news, and the StormRanger10 Mobile Weather Vehicle may be parked at the event with potential live coverage (weather dependent).

Enjoy snacks, fun and surprises while learning how to help your local fire house!

The Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany Home Blessing is an ancient blessing in the Catholic tradition that transcends cultures and continents.  Legend holds that the letters correspond to the initials for the names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  More importantly, these letters abbreviate the Latin phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat” – “May Christ bless this house”.

The year “2020” is divided by this phrase as a reminder to keep Jesus at the center of our lives and our relationships, wherever we go.  The four crosses signify the four corners of the world to which we the Baptized are commissioned to proclaim the Gospel.  The crosses also remind us that in the Year of Faith that we are called to:

  • grow in faith
  • witness to our faith
  • share our faith
  • be transformed in faith

Traditionally this blessing is done on Epiphany but it can be done at any time. The chalking ritual below is as a way to encourage every household of faith to begin the New Year in faith.  This is a simple and versatile way to include family members of varied Christian denominations.  The short prayer that follows can be shared at the main entrance of the home.

Chalking Entranceway Prayer

Begin by singing a refrain of familiar a Christmas song (e.g. “What Child is This?”)

Leader:  The Lord be with you;
ALL:  And with your spirit.

Leader: May Christ dwell in this house and bestow peace to all its inhabitants!
ALL: And all who enter it!

Leader: Let us pray.  O God, you once used a star to lead wise ones and all people of good will to your Son.  May the light of Christ guide us to recognize him in the epiphanies of our lives, each and every day.  As we cross this threshold each day for work, study or play remind us of our true purpose – to love your people, do your will and lead others to you just as did the wise men of old.  May all who enter here find your gracious hospitality in our company and may all who dwell here seek you in the face of every guest.
ALL:  Christ bless this house.

Invite each person present to chalk the door way with the phrase: 20  + C + M + B +  20.  Provide a step ladder and assistance so that younger family members can participate.  If possible, conclude by singing another song (“O Come All Ye Faithful” or “We Three Kings”)

Leader:  May Christ dwell with us, keep us from harm and make us one in mind and heart, now and forever We pray for this and all good things in the name of your son, Jesus Christ.
ALL:  Come, Lord Jesus, into our homes and our hearts and remain with us now and always.

Funeral Notice: Sr. Margaret Gavaghan, SSJ

Sr Margaret GavaghanPlease pray for the soul of Sr. Margaret Gavaghan, SSJ, who passed away on December 24, 2019.  Sister Margaret lived at our convent for the past 15 years.

There will be a visitation on Monday, December 30, 2019 at 1pm at Saint Joseph Villa, 110 W. Wissahickon Ave., Flourtown, followed by the funeral Mass at 3pm.   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.