My Dear Parishioners,
You may have noticed that the statue of St. Joseph outside the rectory is missing its head. I believe that many years outside in various weather conditions have taken their toll. I do not believe that it is the result of vandalism. Some parishioners have asked if we are going to get it fixed or replaced. I do have someone who can fix it but the cost will be around $800. To replace it would cost over $2,000. A parishioner has offered to contribute towards fixing it. If anyone else is interested, please contact the rectory or send a check in an envelope marked, St. Joseph Statue.
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday, or sometimes called Passion Sunday. We mark the triumphal entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ into the Holy city of Jerusalem remembering that He was greeted with shouts of joy and adulation and the waving of palm branches as people of that day greeted royalty. The name Passion Sunday refers to the reading of the extended Gospel of the Passion. It is the first time that those coming into our Church hear that Gospel proclaimed at a Mass. It is also the beginning of the most sacred time of our Liturgical year, Holy Week. I invite all of you to make an extra effort to be present to Our Lord at this sacred time.
As Lent is drawing to a close, please take the opportunity to bring in your Rice Bowls. Operation Rice Bowl is a great way to help those in need and to make a small sacrifice at the same time. All donations received are given to the Catholic Relief Services to be used to help feed the hungry. You may leave your rice bowls in the bins at the church exits. If you wish to leave a check in your rice bowl, please make it out to St. Joseph Church.
This Holy Week you are invited to join us in a number of ways. There will be Morning Prayer on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Thursday evening we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper where we especially give thanks for two sacraments – the Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders. The Mass ends with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament and reservation in a side Tabernacle. Keeping Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in a side tabernacle represents the time Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion. Many people still keep the tradition of visiting three churches this evening as most of them have an extended period of adoration into the evening. On Good Friday afternoon we will celebrate the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion with a special service at 3:00 p.m. These prayers are designed to recall the Gospel story of the Lord’s crucifixion, also to honor or venerate the wood of the cross as the altar on which Jesus offered His Supreme Sacrifice, and finally it provides the opportunity to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. This is not a Mass. As a matter of fact, Good Friday is the only day of the year on which Mass is forbidden. Finally the Easter Vigil is the ultimate celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. It marks the end of the waiting for the new dawn to come. Fire is blessed and the new light of Christ is symbolically brought into the Church. New Christians are baptized or received into the Church and our story that is the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is retold and we are renewed.
Please help spread the Good News of Easter by welcoming those who may be visitors to our church. We want them to feel like they belong and are accepted. Also please be mindful of the parking lots. I know you get tired of the reminders, but efficient parking is really necessary to allow the most number of people the chance to park. The Valley Road lot is for single space parking. The lot closest to the church is for head in or “bumper to bumper” parking. Please do not leave open spaces because that effectively boxes out others from entering. Thank you for your assistance.
The collection on Good Friday is designated for those in the Holy Land. Archbishop Pérez has asked that the following letter be published this week.
God Bless You, Fr. Bordonaro
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Good Friday, April 7, 2023, we celebrate the mystery of the Lord’s Passion, contemplating the sacrifice by which Jesus redeemed the human race from sin and death. It also has been our longstanding tradition as Catholics to offer alms in support of the Catholic Community in the Holy Land.
As directed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, funds generated by Good Friday collections support programs and services in the Holy Land. Support is needed to maintain the sacred places, to provide educational and pastoral programs as well as outreach programs for the poor through established charitable institutions.
On behalf of those Christians and others in so much need, I seek your most generous and sacrificial support of the Good Friday Collection for the Holy Land on April 7, 2023. I know that God our Father will reward your generosity beyond all measure.
Gratefully and with best wishes in Jesus Christ,
+Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia