Lent Begins Wednesday!

The penitential season of Lent begins this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021 and lasts until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 1, 2021.

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.

We will pray the Stations of the Cross at St. Joseph Church on Sundays at 9:15am and Fridays at 10:30am.  

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!

Miraculous Medal Shrine “Prayer in Motion”

Funeral Notice: Terry McDonnell

Terry McDonnellPlease pray for the soul of Terry McDonnell, an active member of our music ministries and a graduate of St. Joseph School, Class of 1970.  Terry died on December 20, 2020.  A celebration of Terry’s life will be held in the spring.  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, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Funeral Notice: Alberto Duque

Alberto DuquePlease pray for the soul of Alberto Duque, husband of Rosemary and father of Alan (St. Joseph School, Class of 1986) and Randy (St. Joseph School, Class of 1989).  Alberto died on December 21, 2020. A visitation will take place at Saint Joseph Church on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 9am followed by the Funeral Mass at 10am . 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, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

2020 Christmas Celebration Schedule

December 24 – 5pm (Carols begin at 4:30pm) (Mass will also be livestreamed on our website and Facebook page)
December 25 – 10am (Mass will also be livestreamed on our website and Facebook page)

December 24 – 7:30pm (Carols begin at 7pm)
December 24 – 9:30pm (Low Mass)
December 25 – 8:30am and 11:30am

Please note that the schedule for Sunday Masses on the weekends of December 26/27 and January 2/3 will be the regular schedule in both parishes.

December 31 – 5pm Mass at Saint Joseph Church (Mass will also be livestreamed on our website and Facebook page)
January 1 – 10am Mass at Presentation B.V.M. Church (No 6:30am Mass)

Immaculate Conception Mass Schedule for 2020

Blessed Mother Altar

This Tuesday, December 8, 2020 is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation.

The Mass schedule at Saint Joseph Church will be as follows:
Monday (Vigil) – 7:30pm (also livestreamed)
Tuesday – 10am (also livestreamed)

The Mass schedule at our twinned parish, Presentation BVM Church, will be as follows:
Tuesday – 6:30am and 7:30pm

“The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854)

2020 St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Appeal

The 2020-2021 St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Appeal has now begun. A donation to the Appeal supports our seminarians, candidates for the Permanent Diaconate and lay church leaders in their formation. Most importantly, your gift provides for the future of our faith. Please prayerfully consider a gift to the Appeal to provide for the future generations of the Church.

For more information or to donate, click here.

2020 Voter’s Guide

On November 3, general elections will take place with various local, state and federal offices on the ballot. Certainly, there is an increased focus on faithful citizenship given that this year features a presidential election. 

In order to assist Catholics as they prepare to vote with formed consciences, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has produced a Presidential Candidate Comparison document and a State Legislative Voters Guide. These documents seek to educate the faithful about candidates and their positions on issues of importance to Catholic voters. The documents are posted at catholicphilly.com, the official digital news agency of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In addition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is once again offering to the Catholic faithful Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. This teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics is available in English and Spanish

You may wish to visit https://www.usccb.org/offices/justice-peace-human-development/forming-consciences-faithful-citizenship for an array of voter information resources. The material is designed to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. 

Funeral Notice: Joseph P. Mesure

Please pray for the soul of Joseph P. Mesure, St. Joseph School Class of 1965, husband of Maryann (McMackin), also St. Joseph School Class of 1965. Joe’s funeral will be private. 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, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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!.