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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Chris Pass, Kay DeBonis, Darlene Lenhart, Tony Perry and Carla Machi.

Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor

  From the Pastor's Desk
1st Sunday of Lent 


This weekend is commitment Sunday for our Catholic Services Appeal. Our assessment goal for the diocese is $73,000. Last year we exceeded our goal thanks to the 270 generous families and individuals who made a pledge or a one-time contribution to this appeal. That was an increase of 60 more families or individuals who participated in the appeal. We will be using the money we collect over our goal this year to again seal the parking lot, update some computer hardware in the parish office, and address some issues with lighting in the church.

I also want to stress some of the ways the Catholic Services Appeal supports us locally: Just some of the ways from the last year - $20,000 grant was given to Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools from the Catholic Foundation, ongoing support of the great work being done at the Prince of Peace Center, and the diocese was able to fund the MyParishApp program that enables us to access information and communicate parish wide through our cell phones. And those are just some of the services that are provided to our parish or our community on a daily basis.

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.

A special thanks to Joe McLaughlin for showing the video at all three Masses last weekend!

At our Mardi Gras dinner on Monday we awarded the Liturgy Committee the St. Joseph Award for outstanding service to our parish. Every time we change seasons in our liturgical year this committee takes down the previous decorations and comes up with something to focus our attention on the liturgical season we are celebrating. The planning, discussion, preparation, and execution of that plan take weeks and months of planning and hours and hours of time to put into place. They also help to plan the liturgies for each season of the year. All of this helps us to remember that the Eucharist is the very heart of who we are and what we do here. We are blessed to have such talented and dedicated people who give of their time, talent, and treasure to make our church environment beautiful and our liturgies prayerful.

The members of the Committee are: Sandy Swogger, Joe McLaughlin, Fran Giroski, Joe and Ruth Vukovich, Nancy Rehner, Mary Beth Jones, Judy Mausser, Sue Cleary, Charles McKnight, Stephen Pass, Adriann and Dale Perry. Take a moment to thank them for their service when you see them.

With all the concerns about colds and flu going around, people might want to reconsider shaking hands at the sign of peace. You might just wave or share the peace sign, rather than shaking hands.

We had a car window smashed on a Wednesday night in the parking lot and things stolen from the vehicle. It is always a good idea to hide any valuables in your trunk or take them with you. Be safe..

The parish office will no longer be open on Saturdays.

1. St. Rose and St. Mary Cemeteries are looking to hire a part time maintenance person. For a job description and more information, contact Fr. Tom Whitman at St. Joseph Church 724-981-3232.

2. St. Joseph Parish is looking for a person to coordinate the music ministry for the parish. Nancy Rehner, our current coordinator, is looking to retire in the near future and we are looking for someone to replace her. Interested persons should contact Fr. Whitman and submit a resume.

With the help of the diocese of Erie all parishes in the diocese will now have their own parish App that can be downloaded to your phone. All you need to do is text APP to the phone number 88202. Then follow the instructions for St. Joseph Parish, Sharon, PA.

Our readings for Lent, even the daily readings, are rich in the imagery they give to us. This year our first readings will focus on the covenant God makes with the people, and how God will keep his part of the covenant but we do not always keep ours. The second readings will focus on the paschal mystery (a term we will hear throughout the Lent and Easter Season meaning the death and resurrection of Jesus). These readings will remind us of our Baptism into this mystery of death and resurrection, and remind us of those adults preparing to be incorporated into this mystery at the Easter Vigil.

This week the first reading is about Noah and the flood. Notice that the story never mentions the cause of the flood but how God is working to repair the damage that has been done. God is seeking to restore the covenant he originally made with Adam and Eve, and all people, based on our original goodness. People have strayed from this goodness but God is not giving up on his people. God is renewing the covenant to draw them deeper into relationship with him.

The second reading speaks about how Jesus, the righteous one, suffered for the unrighteous. Jesus was the innocent one who suffered for sinners. The connection we are invited to make here is that if we are suffering for those who are sinners, then we should feel a bond or connection with Jesus.

The gospel on the first Sunday of Lent is always the story of the temptation of Jesus in the desert. This year we hear the shortest version of the story from Mark’s gospel. We don’t hear about the individual temptations, but we do hear that this event occurs after Jesus’ baptism and we hear the “Spirit drove Jesus into the desert.” We often hear about people being driven by ambition or desperation, but here it speaks about Jesus being led into the desert by the Spirit of God. Jesus will find his whole life being led by this Spirit and struggling to remain faithful to the path set out for him. It might be an interesting reflection for us to think about what it is that drives us, what motivates us to do what we do each day? And is that “spirit” that is driving us God’s Spirit?


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


Baptism: Baptisms are scheduled by appointment. Pre-Baptism class is required. 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.


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA): Please call the rectory office.

Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help: Every Wednesday after the 12:10 pm Mass in the Mother's Chapel.

Prayer Line: For intentions, please call 724-962-5996.

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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