My Dear Parishioners,
Thank you to all you parishioners who continue to support St. Joseph Parish, especially as we go thru all the changes and effects of a pandemic. One of the changes that you may notice if you are joining us for Mass in person is that you do not hear the clicking of the handheld counting devices from the ushers as usual during the month of October. Typically, this month is when we take our “October Count” which is then passed on to the Archdiocese, and then passed on to Rome. This year there will be no reporting of our numbers across the globe, as the obligation to attend Mass is still lifted. By the way, as I stated in a previous column, even though the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday is lifted, the Commandment to “Keep Holy the Sabbath” remains in place and can never be lifted. This means that the faithful are required to do something by which they worship God, and make Sunday separate from other days of the week. For some this means, joining us for Mass in person, for others this means joining us virtually, thru the internet. And for some, it means making some time sacred for prayer and study. Lifting the obligation to attend Mass should not be interpreted to mean that the church is suggesting that you do nothing.
Another change that we have implemented at St. Joseph is our new Mass schedule. The new times for Mass and confessions are posted in this bulletin, on signs around the church, on the large outdoor sign close to the intersection of County Line and Easton Road (by the way, a new sign has been ordered), on our website, and on the various automated phone messages. We are also making changes to our Holy Day schedule as well. When the Holy Day is to be celebrated as a Holy Day of Obligation during the week, our schedule will be: 5:30 p.m. vigil – on the night before the Holy Day, and then at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. as well as 7:00 p.m. on the actual Holy Day itself. Please note that this year, Nov. 1, 2020 falls on a Sunday, so we will celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints Day as a regular Sunday Mass with our new Sunday Mass schedule. All Souls Day, November 2, 2020, falls on Monday this year and while it is not a Holy Day of obligation, is the traditional day to pray for the deceased who are in purgatory, waiting to join God in heaven. Please take the opportunity now to think about and write the names of your deceased loved ones you want remembered on your All Souls envelopes. Those envelopes will remain on the reredos (next to the tabernacle) through the month of November.
Today is World Mission Sunday, a day to reflect on the Lord’s call to go out to all the nations and tell the good news. Here is part of a reflection provided by the Propagation of the Faith:
On this World Mission Sunday, we join with brothers and sisters around the globe in celebrating the Church’s responsibility of sharing Christ’s message of redemption and eternal life. Since Jesus sent His Apostles and other disciples out to preach His word, every generation has generously answered this holy call.
Today, priests, consecrated women and men, and lay people continue to reach out to those who do not know or believe in Jesus our Savior. For those of us who remain at home, we can contribute to our Father’s plan through prayer and the example we offer in our own community.
Our relationship with God must be the most important part of our lives – it must actually define our way of thinking, speaking and behaving. And if the sacrifice of God’s Son means everything to our souls, our whole being, then others need to have the opportunity to understand and accept His mercy as well.
These past months dealing with a pandemic have been long and difficult for great numbers of people. Family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and we ourselves have suffered physically, mentally and spiritually. We have seen the problems of those around us and heard horrific news about others in many lands. We can ease the burdens of others through prayer and personal sacrifice. We can make a real difference to the welfare of the bodies and souls of those helped by the Church’s Missions.
God Bless you,