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PLEASE PRAY FOR:  Ford Bartle, Evelyn Tew, Nadine Vellente, Liam Rueberger, Peggy Heldorfer, Monica Wiesen, Anna Guster, Gene Pacsi, William Haroldson, Helen Donnelly, Msgr. Andrew Karg, Bill Brooks, Betty Jones, Gail Madasz, Lois Trimble, Adele Ontko, Beth Bottenfield, Alex Schroth, Ed Doughty, Jean Hetrick, Christopher McCrea, Rose Marie Haines, Arthur Voisey, Melanie Giordano, Gerry Jones and Cathy Dorfi.
   





Fr. Tom Whitman,
St. Joseph Pastor







 From the Pastor's Desk
1st Sunday of Advent  

ILLNESS AND COVID
One of the best practices from the height of COVID was that if you were not feeling well, or if you had COVID, we asked that you not come to Mass and infect others, but that you stay home and take care of yourself. As we begin to experience colder weather and the cold and flu seasons intermingle with COVID, we might be reminded of the need to follow that advice in the times when we are not feeling well or if we have tested positive for COVID.

PARISH INVOLVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
We are always looking for people to help with a variety of things here at the parish. Presently, we are looking for people to help us expand our social media presence and our welcoming/telephone committee. In terms of social media, we are looking for people of a variety of ages to help set up and/or manage the Facebook and Instagram portion of social media. The Welcoming/ Telephone committee would contact new parishioners and welcome them to the parish by phone and/or meeting with them in person. We would have a flyer available outlining the various parish ministries they might become involved in. If you are interested in helping with any of these committees, please contact Fr. Tom or the parish office.

COMEDY NIGHT
Mark your calendars for Friday, January 20, 2023! Our Clean Comedy Night will be back at St. Joseph. We will have a headline comedian and one or two other comedians to get the laughter rolling.

ST. ROSE AND ST. MARY CEMETERIES
We are all facing the struggles of rising prices as well as shipping delays. We are experiencing the effects of those price increases at our cemeteries as well. Beginning January 1, 2023, there will be increases to the cost of a grave, opening and closing costs, and the price of niches. We are making you aware of these increases now, so that you may purchase those items at the current costs for the next several months. In order to make those purchases, please call the cemetery at 724-346- 3711.

REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
Today we begin the season of Advent. This season is often neglected or misunderstood due to the focus on Christmas and the secular understanding of Christmas. Advent has four weeks of preparing for the coming of Christ at Christmas. There are then three weeks in which we celebrate Christmas (Holy Family, Epiphany, and the Baptism of Jesus). Too often Advent is skipped over, and we rush to Christmas, and Christmas is over on Christmas day. The church invites us to celebrate each season in its own time.

Advent reminds us that we are waiting for the coming of Christ. There is a dual sense of this coming of Christ. We remember the first coming of Christ at his birth in Bethlehem, but more importantly, we are waiting for the coming of Christ at the end of time. We are waiting for Christ the light of the world to fulfill our hope and longing for God in our lives. Jesus Christ is God’s risen one, the perfect light that shatters the darkness of sin and alienation. What we wait for, what we long for, in this season of Advent is the coming of God that truly shatters the darkness of sin and alienation we experience in our lives. Our deepest longing is for true peace and harmony in our lives and our world. Advent invites us to not just wait for that to come magically to us, but for us to work to bring about the peace and justice that we all so deeply long for in our lives and our world.

The Advent wreath originated in Northern European countries where this time of year was mark by more darkness than light each day. They formed wreaths with candles to provide light to their homes in these dark days of winter. The Advent wreath becomes a way for us to remember the darkness of our lives and our world caused by sin and division and find ways to be the light of peace and harmony to scatter the darkness. The four weeks of Advent and the four candles we light, remind us of our need to keep bringing the light of Christ to the darkness of our world by our actions of peace and justice. When all four candles are lit on the last Sunday of Advent there should also be a corresponding bright light of hope in our world because of the work we have done during Advent.

The first reading today from the prophet Isaiah sets the tone for this season. Isaiah reminds us that there is something unique about our God, something that draws people in. This uniqueness of God is found not in the violence of our world but in the peace that God desires and brings to us. Isaiah invites us to be a part of that transformation of violence to peace in his famous words: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” May our efforts in this Advent season to walk in the light of the Lord, truly transform the violence of our day into the peace we so deeply long for.



   

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. Class is required for first time parents. Please call the church office to schedule your class. 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.

Prayer Line: For intentions, please call 724-981-3232.

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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