from the pastor…Fr. McHugh

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Theme: The Coming of the Bridegroom

The Gospel of Matthew offers us another parable of preparedness – that of the Ten Virgins or Bridesmaids as it is sometimes called. This parable is unique to Matthew’s Gospel. In biblical times, bridesmaids served both a ceremonial and a practical role. They added beauty and pageantry to the wedding and also served the practical purpose of leading the bridegroom from the city gates to the home of the bride. Roads were not paved and streets were not marked. The torches of the bridesmaids were important for the wedding party coming to the home of the bride. Failure to have torches ready created a serious problem. The groom had a right to be annoyed with the unprepared bridesmaids. Jesus likely told this story to teach people to be prepared for His Second Coming. The barring of the doors on the unprepared bridesmaids illustrates that God expects us to put His Word into action. The parable reflects judgment. Oil and light were often presented in Scripture as representing good works. Perhaps the bridesmaids not sharing oil might mean that the good deeds of others cannot be attributed to us. We must perform our own good deeds. This Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids is in keeping with Matthew’s contention that crying out, “Lord, Lord” is not sufficient. We must perform good deeds.

Parish Breakfast

Thanks to all who set up, prepared, cooked, and served the breakfast, and of course, to all who attended. Our attendance was 298 – 269 adults and 29 children. This was our best attendance in some time.

All Souls Day Mass

The music ministry presented a nice program for the All Souls Day Mass in honor of those buried in Calvary Cemetery. About 40 attended. My feeling is that the Diocese should advertise and promote it if they wish to continue it. I put the Mass in the bulletin for several weeks and also in Hometown Happenings.

All Saints Day Masses

We had attendances of 154 at the Vigil Mass, 106 at the Noon Mass, and 84 at the 5:00 PM Mass. This was a moderate increase over the last holy day, the Assumption. I will keep the same schedule for the December 8th Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

Parish Council Meeting

Parish Council will meet on Wednesday, November 15, at 6:30 PM in the St. Joseph Room. There will not be a council meeting in December.

Change of Banks

Good Shepherd will be changing banks. First National is closing on November 10th, and we are in the process of transferring our accounts to BB&T. We ask that if you receive any checks from Good Shepherd’s First National accounts to please cash them as soon as possible.

Reminder

Those who plan to be confirmed in 2019 must attend our 7th grade sessions this year. We will not allow Confirmation candidates to skip grade 7 and jump into the Confirmation class.

Praying With Scripture

  1. Think of people who put light into your life.
  2. Do you search for wisdom in your life? Where are people and places you might find it?
  3. Do you feel the Parable of the Bridesmaids expresses well the theme of preparedness?

October Mass Attendance

We had a fair overall attendance at the October weekend liturgies. The attendances on October 8 and 15 were good; the 22nd was poor, and the 29th fair. The diocese, unfortunately, did not want the attendance of September 30th and October 1st to be included in the report of October Masses. We did have a good attendance that weekend as luck would have it.

Areas That the Diocese Scrutinizes With the Ever-Dwindling Number of Priests

  1. Is the parish solvent?
  2. The number of parishioners
  3. Does the parish support the Diocesan Appeal?
  4. Parish activities and outreach ministries
  5. The baptismal rate in comparison to the death rate
  6. Mass attendance – some dioceses have a policy that weekend Masses should not be offered if they do not average 200 or more people

What You Can Do to Help Prevent the Reduction of Services

  1. Attend Mass regularly and financially support your parish
  2. Register as a parishioner if you have not already done so
  3. Volunteer for some ministry or be active in parish projects
  4. Support the Diocesan Appeal
  5. Participate in outreach projects

If you do these things, you are casting a vote for not having services reduced. If you don’t do the above, you are voting for a reduction in parish services. It’s your choice!

Volunteer and Staff Christmas Party

This will be held on Wednesday, December 6, at The Pines in Hazleton, located on the corner of Broad and Wyoming Streets. There will be a cash bar from 5:00 to 6:00 PM and dinner at 6:00 PM. The entertainment will be by the Scranton duo “The Frost,” who will perform music from the ’60s, ’70s, etc. They especially have a nice selection of Fleetwood Mac songs and also will have Christmas songs. “The Frost” duo consists of Christian Gratz and Leah Beth Evans. Volunteers and staff are free. The cost for non-volunteers and guests is $25 per person. Please turn in the coupon by Tuesday, November 28, if you plan to attend. Specify volunteer, non-volunteer, or guest.

CHRISTMAS PARTY

Name ______________________________________

Phone Number _______________________________

Volunteer ____________________________________

Non-Volunteer or Guest ________________________

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

Communion Ministers and RCIA Team Members Needed

One of our prime needs currently is that of communion ministers. Several ministers want at least a temporary break and a couple can no longer be ones or have decided not to be a communion minister any longer. Call the office or mention it to me if you wish to be a communion minister. One has to be a good practicing Catholic. If anyone is divorced and remarried, an annulment should have been attained and the marriage blessed (convalidated in church). Although we do not have any RCIA candidates at this time, we are in need of an RCIA coordinator and RCIA team members.

Sponsor Requests

Recently, we had several requests for sponsors from people who have no affiliation with the parish. Please do not request a sponsor letter if you do not belong to Good Shepherd.

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.

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.

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.

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. Baseball fans identify Shane Victorino as the “Flying Hawaiian.” The original “Flying Hawaiian” was All-American football player Herman Wedemeyer. From 1972-80, what character did Wedemeyer play in the original Hawaii Five-O?
  2. What all-star football defensive end portrayed “Hunter” on the very successful show of the same name? The show also featured Stefanie Kramer.

Last Week’s Answers:

  1. False. Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl, but he only won with the Rams. (Question: True or False: Kurt Warner is the only quarterback to have won Super Bowls with 2 different teams.)
  2. John Riggins was the first NFL player to rush for 20 touchdowns. He had 24 at the age of 34. He did this for the Washington Redskins in 1983. (Question:Which running back was the first NFL player to have 20 rushing touchdowns – Tony Dorsett, Emmitt Smith, John Riggins, or Jimmy Brown?)

The Son of Fire

The Son of Fire will arise
Speaking the word of God
His words will be as honey
Striking, startling, unlike those of men.
The Son of Fire will be a chosen one
Yet he will suffer, become confused
His lips, for a time, will fall silent
The burden of earth, the misery of being human
Will temporarily overcome him.
The Son of Fire will wonder
If he really is the Son of Satan
He will experience the desert of loneliness
He will dream of retreating to mediocrity
He will think of devoting
His life to debauchery.
From the dust the Lord will restore him
His blindness will disappear
He will resume his ministry
Speaking with an eloquence of the heart
Rather than with the erudition of intelligence.
From his nothingness the Son of Fire
Will become a leader.
In word and deed
He will lead his charges
Forth from the forest of darkness
His own vision recreated
He will be a sentinel for the multitude
From the abyss of constant temptation
He will have grown strong and unflinching
No longer will he be afraid to speak
A new Jeremiah, a fiery Elijah
He will condemn the unjust
Imparting consolation to the oppressed
From his failures and discontentment
He will have grown bold
Creating the universe
In word and deed
A solitary apostle
Seeing beyond the mundane
He will become our guide
For sensing the heavenly in the earthly
Though he will grow old
His vision will never die
He will be remembered
As a prophet, a leader
A Moses and Isaiah.

~ 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.

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.

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.