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PLEASE PRAY FOR: Chris Pass, Kathy M., Kay DeBonis, Tony Perry and Jean Hauger.
   



Fr. Tom Whitman
St. Joseph Pastor






  From the Pastor's Desk
2nd Sunday of Advent 

CLICK ON THE LINK AT RIGHT TO PRINT CENSUS DOCUMENTS: Head of Household | Children

ADVENT PENANCE SERVICES
Sunday, December 10 at 12:30PM at St. Michael, Greenville, and (also) at 4:00pm at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mercer; Thursday, December 14 at 6:30pm at Notre Dame, Hermitage; Sunday, December 17 at 2:00pm at Beloved Disciple, Grove City; Monday, December 18 at 6:30pm at Good Shepherd, West Middlesex; Tuesday, December 19 at 7:00pm at St. Joseph, Sharon.

CHRISTMAS MASSES
Christmas Eve – 4:30pm and 7:00pm, Christmas Day – Midnight and 9:30am

PARISH APP
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.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Last year we hosted a comedy night which included dinner and three different comedians. It was truly a night of clean humor and good fun. This year we will hold the event on Friday, January 19, with dinner at 6:00pm and the show beginning at 7:30pm. Tickets will be on sale soon.

DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS
Christmas falls on a Monday this year and creates a number of unique situations particularly in regard to decorating. We will be decorating the church on Sunday, December 17, beginning at 12:15pm. All are welcome to help in stringing lights on the trees, hanging wreaths, setting up nativity scenes. Things will be a little different this year including the nativity scene from Sacred Heart Parish in the main body of the church.

CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Please keep in mind that we will continue this year to tithe (10%) of our Christmas collection to the Prince of Peace Center. Please use your Christmas envelope for this collection. Your generosity to this collection has been a real blessing to those in need in our community over the years. A Christmas tradition that truly brings peace and good will to those in need.

REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
The next two weeks our gospel readings will focus on the person of John the Baptist. There are some things we need to remember about John. He was the son of Zechariah (the priest) and Elizabeth. John does not preach in the Temple but in the desert near the Jordan River. His preaching is highly effective as people are coming to him to be baptized. King Herod is so afraid of the power and popularity of John that he has him arrested and eventually beheaded. Herod’s attempt to drown out the message of John has failed – two thousand years later we are still listening to John, particularly in the season of Advent. And yet John never preached about himself but rather preached about the one who would come after him who would be even greater, Jesus.

The first reading from the prophet Isaiah describes the people going back home after their exile and the great joy that must have accompanied them on that journey. The road they are making straight is the highway for God to accompany them on that journey home.

In the gospel today Mark perceives John the Baptist as a prophetic figure like Isaiah who is also proclaiming a way back home, a way back home to God. John invites the people, and us, to repentance, to a change of heart, in order that we might find our way home to God. In the midst of all the “noise” of our world, we need to find a way to quiet ourselves in order to hear the comforting words of God guiding us back home and accompanying us on the way.

The second letter of Peter deals with the coming of the day of the Lord, when Jesus will return. Peter reminds us not to take the time of this return so literally and to focus on the transformation of our hearts and lives so we are ready for God’s return at any moment and every moment.

John the Baptist urges us to turn our minds to God, to remember our own baptism into Christ and the responsibility that comes with it. Also calling to mind the responsibility we took on in having our children baptized and turning their minds to God. In the midst of the hectic nature of this season let us turn off all the things that distract us and spend a few moments reconnecting with the God who welcomes us home, again.



   

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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