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Parish Daily Update 5/19/20

Dear St. Joseph Family,

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth.”          (Ps 138:1)

Ok friends, we finally got directives from the bishop’s office today – all 7 pages of them!  I’m going to share some highlights today, and as Father Kevin and I put together a plan for our parish, I will share additional details in the days to come.

            ~First, and most important, we will begin gathering for public Masses again on the Feast of Pentecost, May 31.  The faithful continue to be dispensed from Sunday Obligation until further notice, so if you cannot or prefer not to attend Mass, it is ok.

~Our Mass schedule will be changing, and as soon as we determine how many people we can allow into the building at a time, with our social distancing requirements, we will set that schedule and share it with you.

            ~We will put into place a “sign up” process, whereby you will call in and let us know which Mass you would like to attend and how many family members will be with you.  Again, with our limited seating capacity, we will all have to be flexible.  Also, masks are REQUIRED to be worn by anyone over the age of 2 years.

            ~The Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion are allowed to be celebrated beginning August 1.  Patti Greene, our Youth Minister, and Karen Worrell, our Coordinator of Religious Education, will be communicating with the families as we get those scheduled.  Due to social distancing, it will be necessary to have multiple ceremonies for each of those sacraments, and only immediate family and Confirmation Sponsors will be allowed to attend.

In addition, the following restrictions remain in place:

            ~The Sacrament of Reconciliation continues to be offered, with masks and social distancing requirements.

            ~Baptisms must be outside of Mass with 10 or less people present.

            ~Marriages must be outside of Mass with 10 or less people present.

            ~Funerals are celebrated at graveside with 10 or less people present.

I will post a link to the Bishop’s letter tomorrow.  In the meantime, as I said above, as we make specific plans for St. Joseph Parish, I will keep you informed and up-to-date.  There are a LOT of details to consider!  Also, I would ask you all to please talk to fellow parishioners, ask them if they are receiving these emails and if not, please share with them.  Also, let me know so we can add them to the list.  I want to make sure everyone is kept informed.

The Mass readings, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.

I am looking forward to seeing you all again!  Please pray for each other as we come together once again in the celebration of our beloved Eucharist.  It WILL be different than we are used to, but we will still be celebrating at the Table of Our Lord!

The Peace of Christ be with you all!


Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
May 20, 2020

First Reading:  Acts 17:15, 22-18:1

After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens, they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
“You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything. He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’ as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination. God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world with justice’ through a man he has appointed, and he has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead.” When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to scoff, but others said, “We should like to hear you on this some other time.”  And so Paul left them. But some did join him, and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Court of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Gospel: Jn 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”


“… when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.”  John 16:12-15

Taxiing the down the tarmac, the jetliner abruptly stopped and returned to the gate. After waiting for more than an hour, the plane finally took off. A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant what had happened.

“The pilot was concerned about a noise he heard in the engine,” she calmly explained. “It took us almost an hour to find another pilot.”

The truth can be terrifying, sobering and, if nothing else, inconvenient. Facing the truth often demands change on our part: a change of perspective, attitude, lifestyle, approach. To be a person of authentic faith means to face and seek out the truth regardless of the consequences, regardless of the cost to our egos or wallets, regardless of our doubts and cynicism and fear. To live our faith means to live the truth about love and justice and forgiveness with integrity and conviction, regardless of the cost.  We certainly have been living this the past several months as we have been distancing and many other new practices to ‘flatten the curve.’  And why are we doing this?  For the good of our family and neighbors.  In an effort to prevent the virus from spreading and worse from taking the lives of family and neighbors.  It has had a significant cost. Seeking and following the truth similarly comes with a price, it begins with embracing the Spirit of truth: the wisdom, the wholeness, the love of God, who is the first and last and constant reality. The Spirit invites us, impels us, to seek the life and love of God, as revealed and taught by the Jesus of the Gospels.

Faith is the ability to hear those “funny noises” coming from our vehicles and the grace to actually stop and fix the engine.  As we continue, we need to ask God how to build his Kingdom and not be too quick to say we need to build our own.

Come down, O Spirit of God, and illuminate our hearts and minds to reveal the “truth” of your loving presence in every home and heart. Let your wisdom enable us to re-create our lives with humility and integrity in order to live the truth of your compassion and justice.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You, trusting that you are already there and I unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.


St. Bernadine of Siena Priest

Bernardino (Little Bernard) was born in Tuscany, his parents died when he was a child.  He was a student at the University of Siena and took charge of the hospital there when an epidemic killed most of the staff.  Later he attended to a bedridden aunt until her death and then at the age of 22 became a Franciscan.

He was known for his preaching, and traveled across Italy, calming strife-torn cities, attacking the paganism he found rampant.

Compared with Saint Paul by the pope, Bernardine had a keen intuition of the needs of the time, along with solid holiness and boundless energy and joy.

Especially known for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, Bernardine devised a symbol—IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek—in Gothic letters on a blazing sun. This was to displace the superstitious symbols of the day. The devotion spread, and the symbol began to appear in churches, homes and public buildings.  It is still seen widely in various church embroidery.

He worked hard for the reform and discipline of the Franciscan order and for church unity.