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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Chris Pass, Kay DeBonis, Darlene Lenhart, Carla Machi, Wes McKinney, Larry Ferro, Tony Perry and Pat & Ed Lasche.
   









Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor






  From the Pastor's Desk
The Nativity of St. John the Baptist 

MISSIONARY APPEAL THIS WEEKEND
At all the Masses this weekend Debbie Northern will be speaking on behalf of the Maryknoll Lay Missionaries. You have probably heard of the Maryknoll priests and religious who serve as missionaries, but there are also lay men and women who serve as missionaries under the Maryknoll name. These lay missionaries work in six different countries in ministries of Healthcare, Education, Sustainable Development, Justice and Peace, and Faith Formation. Your support of these ministries is greatly appreciated. Please be sure to make your check out to St. Joseph Church.

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS
We are very grateful for the help of trained Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist in carrying our Lord to those who are sick and homebound. This service finds its origins in the very beginning of the Church. Extraordinary Ministers who take the Eucharist directly from Mass to the sick and homebound can pick up their pyx and the hosts needed AFTER Mass from the Tabernacle. It is NOT permitted for those distributing the Eucharist to place the consecrated host in a pyx brought forward by people in the Communion line at Mass and then return to their seats.

It is also not permitted to give the host to someone who is not a Eucharistic Minister to take to someone who is sick, or someone who is sitting in the back of church. If you need Communion brought to someone at Mass, please ask the priest or the Eucharistic Minister to bring Communion to them. It is also helpful if people who are unable to come to Communion in the Communion line sit in the front row so the Eucharistic Ministers can distribute Communion to them.

CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS OF AMERICA
Congratulations to the following students who received awards in the Catholic Daughters of America Sharon Court #507 Education Contest: Alexander Kavanagh (2nd place), Andrew Hegwood (1st place), Julian Hudson (2nd place), Kendall Patterson (2nd place). Andrew Hegwood also finished third in the State Competition.

WATER IN THE BACK OF CHURCH
For several years there has been a water cooler in the Bride’s Room (room on the right as you enter from State St.). For several years this has been an issue in terms of wasted cups, wasted water, the room being trashed from week to week, and cleaning up the mess. This past weekend the garbage can was half full of water from people throwing cups full of water into the garbage. The water cooler has been removed from the room indefinitely.

SAVE THE DATE
On Sunday, August 5, 2018, our traditional parish picnic will take on a new look and a new name – “St. Joe’s Summer Fest.” We will be holding this event downstairs in the Guild Hall immediately after the 11:00 Mass. There will be something for everyone – food, drink, games, fun, prizes, fellowship, and a few surprises! So save the date – August 5, 2018 St. Joe’s Summer Fest in the Guild Hall, noon to 2:30pm. If you would like to donate a gift basket or a gift card for this event, you are more than welcome to do so. Please drop your gifts off at the parish office or give them to Fr. Tom.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
COMPUTER TECH SUPPORT: We are looking for someone to help our current tech support person in caring for our parish computer system and the West Hill Ministry system. If you have the talent and the time, we have an opportunity for you. Please contact Fr. Whitman.

MONEY COUNTERS: We are in need of few volunteers to help with counting the Sunday collections. Please contact Fr. Whitman.

JOB OPENINGS
St. Rose and St. Mary Cemeteries are looking to hire a part time maintenance/office person. For a job description and more information contact Fr. Tom Whitman at St. Joseph Church 724-981-3232 or office@stjosephs-sharon.org.

REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
The first reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah describes the call of the prophet, any prophet, and also the call of every baptized Christian – to speak God’s word to people in order to bring them back to God.

The second reading was Paul trying to show how Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s plan and the role that John the Baptist played in that plan. John was a “man after God’s own heart,” who would carry out his every wish. John would proclaim Jesus with such power that people thought John was the Messiah. But John very humbly and very clearly states, “I am not he.”

The gospel story of the birth of John the Baptist skips over the whole drama about Zechariah and Elizabeth being too old to conceive a child and how the angel appears to Zechariah and promises him a son. Also how Zechariah seems to question this and is made speechless until the child is named. We might miss the fact that this pregnancy must have been difficult for Elizabeth and the risk it involved at her age. We might also miss the fact that we never hear from Zechariah and Elizabeth again and the impact that may have had on John’s upbringing and life in the desert. Why did John not continue in the family vocation as a priest? Was he sent off to the Essenes in the desert to be raised after his parents died? We may never know the answer to those questions, but they are worth pondering in order to understand who John was.

It is interesting that John and Jesus are born at the winter and summer solstices. They were truly two individuals who were beginning something new, as the solstice does. It is interesting that John being born at the summer solstice is the mark of the day getting shorter and Jesus being born at the winter solstice when the days begin to get longer and there is increasingly more daylight. How appropriate that John would say, “I must decrease and he must increase.” John the Baptist knew he was the story teller and not the story.

Maybe the challenge for us today is to recognize how humble and dedicated John was to his role as prophet or story teller in order that the real and true story might be told. We also need to recognize our baptismal call to be like John the Baptist in being story tellers by the actions of our own lives. May the integrity with which John lived his life be the prophetic voice our own lives speak in our day.



   

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

Sacraments

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.

Programs

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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