from the pastor…Fr. McHugh

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Theme: Even the Holy Experience Anxiety

The prophet Elijah, in the first reading from the 1st Book of Kings; the apostle Paul, in the second reading from Romans; and the disciples, in the Gospel from Matthew, all experience anguish. After defeating the 850 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, Elijah becomes a fugitive in the wilderness. Paul is the greatest missionary of the Church, yet he, too, experienced a good deal of opposition. Both Elijah and Paul must have, at times, wondered if their work was in vain. Even though the apostles spent a good deal of time with Jesus, they did not fully grasp His message and were afraid of the storm despite Jesus’ presence among them. Two of Matthew’s favorite phrases are present in his Gospel. Jesus calls His apostles “men of little faith” and those in the boat do Jesus “homage” (one of Matthew’s favorite words) and confess that Jesus is the Son of God. Peter is more prominent in Matthew’s Gospel than any other. Today’s Gospel is one of sea rescue. In the Old Testament, God controlled the sea. Peter is a model for all of Jesus’ followers. He, too, suffers from doubt and uncertainty and, at times, is a man of “little faith.” Today’s Gospel is intended to reveal to the apostles that Jesus is God. From the incident, the Church began to see itself as the bark of Peter on a turbulent sea. The Church is challenged to believe that God is always with us in difficult times.

The History of the Assumption

In its early observances, the Assumption had various names, such as the Feast of the Dormition in the East. Another name was the Pausatio. In the 8th century, the feast was called the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The faithful, for many centuries, believed that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven after her death. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII promulgated the dogma of the Assumption after polling Catholic bishops throughout the world. There are three themes in the Mass: first, that Mary really died and there is a reference to Mary’s Immaculate Conception and her divine maternity. Secondly, there is the theme that Mary’s body did not decay. The third theme is the link between Mary and the Church.

Baptismal Sunday

Sunday, August 20, will be Baptism Sunday. Baptisms will take place after the 10:00 AM Mass.

Breakfast

Thanks to all who prepared, served, and attended the breakfast last Sunday. I thought it was especially good. We had 223 people attend.

We Welcome

We welcome Lisa and Kevin Dindoffer and family and Stephen Brindamour as our newest members of Good Shepherd Parish.

Parish Life Coordinator (PLC)

Unlike deacons, Parish Life Coordinators are usually assigned to parishes other than their own. Becoming a Parish Life Coordinator does involve considerable work. People with a strong background in ministries make the best candidates, such as parish Directors of Education, liturgy planners, RCIA personnel, parish finance administrators, etc. People who have a strong theological background also have an advantage.

Diocese of Scranton Certificate in Lay Ministry

I have applications for this. The Diocese is offering, through the Parish Life Office, in conjunction with Dayton University Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation, certificates to persons serving as DRE, RCIA personnel, Directors of Music Ministry, Parish Council members, catechists, outreach ministers, and Finance Council members opportunities to obtain these certificates.

Cameras Being Installed

This past week, work began on the installation of 16 cameras around the whole church. In it are valuable items, including chalices, ciboria and vestments, along with important equipment. The cameras will monitor the entire church, entrances and exits, and the surrounding areas. We thank those who have contributed to the project which should be completed by the third week of August.

Sunday Meetings and Activities

Please try to avoid Sunday meetings and activities if you wish me to attend. If one is to consistently offer all the weekend Masses, hear Confessions, conduct baptismal classes, perform baptisms, etc., other activities are just a bit too much. In addition, during the past year, I was involved in teaching Confirmation students.

Confirmation Pictures and Stoles

Please pick up these ASAP. The items are in the St. Joseph Room. The large number of Confirmation items still in the St. Joseph Room unfortunately indicates that many students and their families are taking a vacation from Mass. For many students, Confirmation is the last contact with the Church until marriage or some traumatic event takes place. This is certainly not a problem unique to Good Shepherd, but it indeed is a sad and frustrating situation.

Holy Day Attendance

This has been poor the last few years. I will make one more adjustment for the upcoming holy day, the Assumption, on August 15th. I will keep the 5:30 PM Vigil Mass and the 12:00 Noon Mass on the day itself. I will drop the 8:00 AM Mass which has been the weakest and add 5:00 PM on the day itself. If attendance continues to be poor, I will consider reducing the holy day schedule to two Masses, which many parishes have already done.

Biblical Presentations

Several of Fr. McHugh’s biblical presentations are available on YouTube. Simply type in “Fr. McHugh Biblical Narratives” to listen in. Sometimes, the presentations are ones presented here at Good Shepherd; at other times, the presentations are ones not presented here which may or may not be presented in the future.

Scripture Postponed

Because of multiple doctor appointments and extra Masses, I will not be able to make a Scripture presentation on Fr. Ray Brown until further notice. I definitely will hold Fall Scripture sessions and may still make one in August.

Cry Room Usage

This is just a reminder that the Holy Family Room (Cry Room) is to be used only by people with babies or small children at the Saturday 4:00 PM and the Sunday 10:00 AM Masses.

Help Wanted

Good Shepherd Parish is looking for lectors, Eucharistic ministers, greeters, and also people to join our Building and Grounds Committee. You may contact the parish office if you are interested or complete the coupon and drop it in the collection basket.

VOLUNTEER RESPONSE FORM

Name ______________________________________

Phone Number _______________________________

Area(s) of Interest _____________________________

____________________________________________

~ For a printer-friendly version (PDF) go to the “Downloads” page of our website.

Call for Altar Servers

Any boy or girl who has received Holy Communion and wishes to become an altar server is asked to fill out the coupon below. We will run the appeal for servers throughout July and hopefully begin practicing in August if there is a response.

ALTAR SERVER REGISTRATION

Name ______________________________________

Phone Number _______________________________

Grade ______________________________________

~ For a printer-friendly version (PDF) go to the “Downloads” page of our website.

Praying With Scripture

  1. Think of how, at times, you are a “person of little faith.” Ask for the grace to trust in God.
  2. Ask for the grace to be open to the surprises God gives you in your life.
  3. Think of the sacrifices you are challenged to make in your life.

Do You Want to Know More about the Annulment Process?

In the Diocese of Scranton, the annulment process is now more “user friendly” than you might expect, and there is no longer a processing fee. Please contact your pastor or the Diocesan Tribunal Office (570-207-2246) to begin a conversation. It is possible to get clear answers to these questions and to renew your connection with the Church.

Presentation of the Gifts

If the Mass is for your intention, you are more than welcome to take up the gifts. For weekday Masses, simply go to the table in the back after the Intercessory Prayer of the Faithful. For weekend Masses, just tell Joe Yamulla that you will bring up the gifts.

Regarding Bulletin Inserts

I ask all parish organizations and individuals to try to use the bulletin rather than an insert for most programs and events we have. Things like the calendar, the financial reports, and the festival are necessary. Other things could just be placed in the regular bulletin which is three pages most times, in relatively small type. I help those who stuff the bulletin almost every week and last week, we had four inserts in addition to the third page of the bulletin. Fortunately, we had 10 people, myself included, who worked on this tedious project, and we finished within a half hour. Sometimes, however, there are only 4 or 5 people and on occasion, 2 or 3. We have to economize in this area. Positively, I do not want more than 2 inserts in any one bulletin, and hopefully, only one. This will be on a first-come, first-served basis. We have driven up our bills for paper to a high degree. Certainly, I am grateful for all the projects initiated by parishioners, but not for the countless inserts which most people do not use.

Bulletin Articles

Please submit all bulletin articles to the parish office by 9:00 AM on Tuesday mornings. Articles submitted after the deadline will be published in the next week’s bulletin.

Fr. Connell's Trivia

  1. In what year did Topps introduce cards of teams into both baseball and football? The answer is the same since baseball and football team cards appeared in the same year.
  2. What Major League team first employed batting helmets?

Last Week’s Answers:

  1. Eddie Mathews, in 1953, set the road record for the time with 30 homers. (Question: In 1953, this young player set the record at that time for most road homeruns with 30. Can you name him? Hint – he went on to a Hall of Fame career.)
  2. Herb Score set the rookie record for the time for strikeouts in 1955, but was never the same after being struck in the eye by Gil McDougald’s line drive. (Question: In 1955, this pitcher set the record for strikeouts for a rookie pitcher. Can you name him?)

To Be Touched, To Be Called

To be touched, to be called
To be really wanted
To sense that one really belongs
Feelings which make life a heaven.

To be ignored, to never be chosen
To be unwanted
To perceive endless alienation
Feelings which make life a hell.

To be touched, to be called
To feel the finger of God, to hear His voice
To be part of His creation, His community
Sensations beyond measurement.

~ Rev. Connell A. McHugh

Bulletin Sponsors

We thank recent bulletin sponsors Bonomo’s Carpet and Flooring, JMJ Catholic Radio, Dr. David Portonova, Providence Place, The Knee Center, Tunnessen Radiator Inc., Tunnessen Supply, and long-standing sponsors All Care Home Care, Catholic Match, Patricia Spivak CPA, Sugarloaf Child Care and Valley Pharmacy. The sponsorships do pay for the bulletin covers from Bon Venture which I feel are well done. More sponsors would be needed if Good Shepherd were to receive periodic rebate checks. Again, we thank sponsors new and old.

The Building or Purchase of a Rectory

The building of a rectory on the parish grounds or the purchase of a home will not guarantee a pastor for Good Shepherd and#8211; an increase of vocations will. Some parishioners seem to feel that once we have a pastor’s residence, this will assure us of having a pastor. Certainly, we should continue to collect money for building on site or purchasing a home. We also have to take into account maintaining the residence, which at the current level of collection average, would not be easy. The facts that we only had four seniors participate in the Graduation Mass and no one responding, as of this writing, to the call for altar servers does nothing to foster optimism in the area of vocations.

Remaining to Mass Completion

Please make it a point to stay for the entire Mass unless you have an emergency. Mass is almost always 50 minutes to an hour. Certainly, we can afford to give this time to God.

New Parishioner Coupon

We need people who attend Good Shepherd and are registered in another parish to join ours. Please consider joining Good Shepherd if you are not attached to another parish. Fill out the coupon and you will be contacted. You may also come to the office on weekday mornings to register.

New Parishioner Registration Request

Name _______________________________________

Address _____________________________________

____________________________________________

Telephone ___________________________________

*For a printer-friendly (PDF)version, go to the “Downloads” page of our website.

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

If you or anyone you know wishes to join the Catholic Church, please call the parish office and leave your name and phone number. Adults who have been baptized or not baptized are welcome. We will start the RCIA program any time we have candidates. The program meets every other Wednesday night for one to two hours and at Mass every weekend for a discussion of the readings for that Sunday. We also welcome anyone who wishes to join as a catechist and help with our program which culminates at the Easter Vigil with the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. You need only be a practicing Catholic in good standing to help.

What is a Parish Life Coordinator? Read This and be Informed

What is a Parish Life Coordinator? In recent months, we have heard a great deal about Parish Life Coordinators and the shortage of priests. At a meeting of the deanery with Bishop Bambera at St. John Bosco on June 29th (2015), the bishop explained the role of a Parish Coordinator. Basically, a PLC is in charge of running a parish in the absence of a pastor. The bishop stated that a PLC should have a college degree and be a generally well-educated person. A short period would be necessary for learning the role, probably several months. PLCs would, at this time, basically be appointed to city or suburban parishes that are not at a distance from other ones. A priest would be assigned as a Sacramental Minister to the parish, providing full weekend services and confessions. Another priest would serve as a Moderator helping the PLC. The sacramental priest would likely be one who currently is a chaplain, one involved in school work or a retired priest in reasonable health. The priest may or may not live close to the parish of which he is the Sacramental Minister. This is why, at present, the bishop would not appoint a sacramental priest to a parish that is at a distance from others. A PLC, at present, would not be assigned to a parish a good distance from others since a priest would not be available for emergencies. A PLC would be appointed to parishes that are in reasonable distance of other ones. Priests from other parishes could handle emergencies. This would include anointings and perhaps funerals and interments. The cost of a PLC would not exceed the cost of a pastor, and a PLC would be appointed by the bishop just as pastors are. The bishop stressed that he would not be in favor of a PLC remaining indefinitely at a parish. A parish that had a PLC for a time would ideally go back to having a regular pastor. A parish is not a “PLC parish” for life. Those accepted into the PLC program would not necessarily serve in their own parish. The PLC is not something that should alarm any of us. It is common in dioceses throughout the country. Priests will not become “circuit riders” offering Masses in multiple parishes in Bishop Bambera’s plan.

Cry Room

Please use the cry room if you have babies or small children who cry out during the Mass. Screaming out is distracting to cantors, choir, lectors and the homilist. We do have plenty of space in our cry room.

Baptism Preparation

Parents are required to attend the Baptism preparation class for their first child or if it has been three years since the birth of their last child. If you see that your child will be born shortly after a scheduled class, you may attend during your pregnancy.

Meetings

I would appreciate it if some meetings could be held in the morning since I am at the point now where I just can’t keep running back and forth so frequently to Good Shepherd. I know some meetings do have to be held at night, but not all.

Tables and Chairs

These will no longer be available for parishioners and non-parishioners alike for family reunions, graduations, etc. Over the past summer, people who have borrowed them have returned them in a lesser condition than when they were taken out. Some of the tables were even left out in the rain. While we don’t give out our better tables and chairs, we still use the ones we have given out for larger gatherings. We are sorry, but due to the lack of care for our tables and chairs by a few, they no longer will be given out. I looked at the way our equipment was returned at the request of the janitorial staff and Buildings and Grounds personnel and could clearly see how the tables, especially, suffered considerable damage.

Bulletin Sponsors

We thank those who currently are sponsoring our parish bulletin: All Care Home Care, Booty’s Place, CatholicMatch.com, Patricia Spivak CPA, Sugarloaf Child Care, The Knee Center, and Valley Pharmacy. Currently, sponsorships pay for the bulletin covers. If we had a greater number of sponsors, the parish would receive rebate checks as well. If you are interested in advertising in our bulletin, please call Karen Owens at 1-800-364-0684, extension 92. The number of bulletin advertisers is low considering our parish membership.

Eulogies at Funerals

Since we have had involvement in 20 or more funerals to date, counting interments, and have had eulogies at approximately 40 to 50 percent of the Masses, now is a good time to comment on eulogies. The Church, in the past, has had a long-standing prohibition of giving eulogies at funerals. The Order of Christian Funerals states, “A brief homily based on the readings should always be given at the funeral liturgy, but never any kind of eulogy.” The homilist is to keep in mind the identity of the deceased, the circumstances of death and the grief of the family. The homilist is to preach on the saving mystery of Christ’s death. Today, the Church allows a family member or friend to speak on behalf of the deceased before the final commendation begins. The words are to be brief, highlighting an aspect of the deceased’s life of faith. If there is a desire for a lengthy eulogy or sharing of memories, this should take place at the funeral vigil and not in church. Priests have the right to read ahead of time the text and outline of any eulogy and make changes in length and content when necessary.

To Advertise in Good Shepherd Bulletin

Please call (800) 364-0684, extension 92. We are grateful for those who are already advertising.

Funeral and Wedding Costs

We will follow the Diocesan recommended fee of $300 for both funerals and weddings. Baptisms remain a free-will offering of your choice.

Lehigh Valley Hospital – Hazleton

If you are a member of Good Shepherd Parish and are hospitalized at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Hazleton, please list your parish as Good Shepherd. Quite a few of Good Shepherd parishioners claim as their parish one that has been closed. Some people from Good Shepherd and other parishes are not visited because their parish priests, myself included, do not think to look under closed parishes for their own parishioners, and understandably so. A way to assure that you will be visited, if you so desire, is to notify the parish office.