from the pastor…Fr. McHugh

6th Sunday of Easter

Theme: The Role of the Holy Spirit

The Gospels of Mark and Matthew pretty much come up empty in regard to the Holy Spirit. Our main knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s role comes from the Gospel of John and Luke’s Acts of the Apostles. Our first reading for today, as it is throughout the Easter season, is taken from the Acts of the Apostles. In our passage for today, we are told that the deacon, Philip, is actually proclaiming the Gospel in Samaria and working signs. Peter and John follow up the work of Philip. A very confusing line in the passage that does not make much sense to me is that the Samaritans had been baptized, yet did not receive the Holy Spirit. Acts tells us that the Samaritans do receive the Holy Spirit from the imposition of hands from Peter and John. The Acts of the Apostles and the Gospels of John are the only New Testament books that treat the Samaritan ministry, a ministry begun by non-apostles. In today’s Gospel from John, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, who is referred to as the Advocate. Older translations refer to the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete. Paraclete means “one called to help.” Paraclete can have multiple meanings: 1) advocate, which means “one called in to defend or speak up for another,” such as a defense attorney; 2) healer – one who provides needed medical attention; 3) helper – a person called to assist in time of need; 4) counselor – one who offers advice in time of need, especially regarding decisions to be made; and 5) comforter – one who offers words of consolation and wisdom to lift people’s spirits. The Holy Spirit is indeed a source of help in multiple areas.

The Ascension

Thursday, May 25, is the solemnity of the Ascension, a holy day of obligation. Unfortunately, the Ascension is, by far, the least-attended of the holy days. Try to make the effort to attend. The Vigil Mass will be offered at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, May 24, and at 8:00 AM and 12 Noon on the 25th.

Fr. McHugh’s May Outside the Parish Spiritual Programs

Fr. McHugh offered Mass at Providence Place on May 2nd and at Fritzingertown on May 18th. He also offered the pre-taped TV Mass shown on channel 13 for May 14th. Fr. McHugh presented “An Update on St. Paul” for Catholicfmradio.com which is currently available on YouTube. Just punch in “Father McHugh Scripture” to view the presentation which will be available for about a month on YouTube.

High School Graduation Mass

Seniors from Good Shepherd are invited to attend the 10:00 AM Mass on June 4th. Those attending will be guests of The Women of Good Shepherd at the breakfast following the 10:00 AM Mass. Invitations have been mailed to the graduating seniors. Call the office by May 30th if you wish to attend.

Mother’s Day Intention Envelopes

Intention envelopes for mothers are in your packet for a remembrance of mothers in a trilogy of Masses. Intention envelopes with cards for living mothers are available in the rear of the church. Small donations are sufficient for your intentions. Give the cards or send them to mothers and place the intention envelope in the collection basket. Envelopes with intentions will remain on the altar through May.

June Breakfast

The June breakfast will be held on Sunday, June 4, from 8:00 AM until Noon. We had a great attendance at the May breakfast and hopefully, we will have another strong attendance in June. Due to the parish festival, we will not have a July breakfast.

May Queen

Congratulations to Trinity Mangan, who crowned the statue of the Blessed Mother at the 10:00 AM Mass on May 14th.

Help Wanted

Good Shepherd Parish is looking for lectors and Eucharistic ministers, greeters, and also people to join our Building and Grounds Committee. In June, we’ll be calling for altar servers, so that is something for our young people to think about until then. Also, we will be looking for Faith Formation teachers beginning in the summer. 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.

Praying With Scripture

  1. During the season of Confirmations, pray for young people who have had the bishops impart the Holy Spirit to them.
  2. Are you convinced of Jesus’ continued presence in the world?
  3. Do you feel that the Holy Spirit is actively guiding your life?

First Holy Communion

We thank all who helped to make First Holy Communion an uplifting event: Coordinator Judy Whitaker who prepared the programs and certificates as well as assisting with practices; Ann Cameron, First Holy Communion teacher and Bonnie Hinton, her assistant; Youth Minister Katie Ventra; the music ministry and all others who helped set up for the event. We had an excellent attendance at the Mass.

Missionary Cooperation Plan

We welcome Fr. John Higgins who will make the annual appeal for the Missionary Cooperation Plan on behalf of the La Salette Congregation which is based in France and does missionary work in 27 countries. Fr. Higgins spent 21 years as a missionary in Argentina and over 11 years in Bolivia. He is a native of the Boston area (hopefully, not a Red Sox fan) who currently serves in the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows in Hartford, Connecticut, and gives mission appeals. Fr. Higgins will speak at all Masses this weekend.

An Interesting Read

Fr. Charles Cummings has written an interesting short paperback book of 68 pages entitled Love, Laughter and Living Saints: Childhood Memories and Parish Happenings. I was stationed with Fr. Cummings in my first fulltime assignment at St. Mary’s, Dunmore, and can recognize some of the people Fr. Cummings treats. The book is a series of short stories from his priesthood that I enjoyed reading. Fr. Cummings was a hospital chaplain for a good part of his priesthood, but also served as assistant pastor and pastor. Among his assignments was a short-term pastorate at St. John Bosco.

Quo Vadis Days

Quo Vadis Days for high school young men will take place on June 25 – 28 at Misericordia University in Dallas. The Quo Vadis Days bring together those who are serious about their faith. The cost is only $40. Online registration began on May 7th. Register at www.scrantonvocations.org. I would be happy to assist any high school boy who is interested.

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. Which L.A. Lakers star won 3 consecutive NBA finals consecutive MVP awards from 2000 to 2002?
  2. Other than Michael Jordan, who captured more than one NBA finals MVP awards in the 1990s?

Last Week’s Answers:

  1. The University of Michigan has won more football games than any other Division 1 team. (Question: Which Division 1 football team has won more games than any other Division 1 college team?)
  2. The University of Colorado has been running onto the football field behind a real buffalo since 1967. Colorado is nicknamed “The Buffalos.” (Question: Which Division 1 college football team runs onto the field behind a real buffalo since 1967?)

My Clean Seminary Room

Where is my clean seminary room
The room I seemed to occupy forever
The room of great dreams
The room of great wonderment
The room of great failure
The room of great success.

How many intellectual odysseys
I completed in that room
Traveling along the rich roads
Of literature, philosophy, theology,
Straining to know myself, my God, my fellow men
In endless hours of academic exercise.

Now I can no longer enter
The room that was my haven
I cannot be consoled by intellectual journey
I must see God in the streets
I have conquered the ideal
Now I must conquer the real.

~ 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 – 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.

Taking a Break from Projects

Our parish festival helped pay for the completion of the roof – $23,400, a new tractor – $4,700, a pump replacement – $1,800, and the carpet and railing in the front of the church which ran around $1,000. I do feel we should wait until next spring to get into new projects and build up our finances. Obviously, we will address any emergencies. I think it is now time to concentrate on religious education and spiritual activities.

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.