from the pastor…Fr. McHugh

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Theme: Jesus Resists Entrapment

The Pharisees, who despised Roman occupation and taxation, joined forces with the Herodians, who were loyal to Rome and supported their tax system, to entrap Jesus. These two groups, who were archenemies, became unusual allies to trip Jesus up. The Pharisees wanted to overthrow Rome while the Herodians desired to promote Rome. The fact that those two groups worked together indicates how strongly those groups hated Jesus. Tax collectors, who bid for contracts to collect taxes for Rome, were despised because, for the most part, they were unmerciful and unscrupulous. The Herodians, who supported Herod, profited from their Roman connections. The Pharisees and Herodians tried to put Jesus in a bind by asking Him whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. If Jesus answered yes, the Pharisees would report to the people that he was breaking the Mosaic Law. If Jesus answered, “Don’t pay the tax,” the Herodians would report that Jesus was stirring up trouble. Jesus shows His ingenuity by asking for a Roman coin that He himself did not carry. When his opponents pulled out such a coin, they were affirming that they were participating in the Roman system. By saying, “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s,” He skillfully dodges the trap question and avoids being perceived as a collaborator or an insurrectionist.

Diocesan Annual Appeal

The Diocesan Annual Appeal got off to a good start on both the diocesan and parish levels. On the diocesan level, $1,809,408 was received from 8,352 donors for 36% of the goal. On the parish level, $8,083 was given outright and an additional $2,510 pledged for a total of $10,593, which is 40.7% of our goal. 66 of 616 mailed pledge cards were returned with donations as of October 12th. Pledge Sunday results were not included.

Children’s Mass

The 6th grade is participating in the 10:00 AM Mass this weekend.

Parish Council Meeting

This is scheduled for Wednesday, October 25, at 6:30 PM in the St. Joseph Room.

October Attendance

The diocese has requested that we submit our attendance for each weekend of October. After two good weeks of attendance, we had a paltry 549 for the weekend of October 15th. Such as figure does nothing for helping Good Shepherd remain an independent parish. We need a weekly attendance of 650 to 700. We also need the financial support of more people than those currently contributing.

November Breakfast

November 5th is Breakfast Sunday. Last month, 243 attended. Let’s top that amount. Breakfast is served from 8:00 AM until 12 Noon. The Men of Malvern will attend the Mass and our breakfast as well. An early estimate is 30.

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.


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.

Fr. McHugh’s Scripture Presentations on YouTube

Two new scriptural presentations of Fr. McHugh are on YouTube: “Advances in Biblical Interpretation, Including a Look at the Pontifical Biblical Commission’s Document on the Historicity of the Gospels and Fr. Robert Barone’s Summation of the Growth of Biblical Interpretation in the 1970s and ’80s,” and another on “Early Church Officers in Scripture.” Simply type in “Father Connell McHugh Biblical Narratives” on your computer to listen in.

Scripture Sessions

We will hold our next Scripture session on October 26th at 9:00 AM. I will examine the different viewpoints on Purgatory; those of Catholics and other denominations, some of whom reject Purgatory. Catholics are required to believe in Purgatory, but we have a choice of accepting Purgatory as a place or process. I also will treat when belief in Purgatory began and what are the reasons for such a belief. For those who cannot attend our Scripture sessions, at least one or two of my Scripture presentations are always on YouTube. Just type in “Father Connell McHugh Biblical Narratives” on your computer to reach the site. Biblical presentations are divided into half-hour segments even though my sessions are each one hour long. On a particular topic, they are labeled Parts I and II.


Name ______________________________________

Phone Number _______________________________

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

Praying With Scripture

  1. Pray for world leaders that they might render to God what is God’s.
  2. Try to bring an outsider into your circle of concern.
  3. Do you give yourself any opportunities to learn about your faith?

The Christmas Party for Volunteers

This will be held on December 6th at The Pines. Parish volunteers are free. Non-volunteers and guests are $25. There will be a cash bar at 5:00 PM until 6:00 PM, with dinner starting at 6:00 PM. The entertainment will be by a very fine duo, “The Frost,” from Scranton. Reservations will be taken in November when coupons will appear in the bulletin. Wait until then to make reservations.

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.


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. Gus Suhr, for many years, held the record for most consecutive games played in the National League. In the 1950s, one of the all-time greats broke his record. Can you name that player who had a long, illustrious career?
  2. This pitcher from Northeastern Pennsylvania holds the record for innings pitched from the 20th century onward, and he also holds the Major League record for lowest ERA of hurlers who pitched 1,000 or more innings. Can you name him?

Last Week’s Answers:

  1. Joe “Bells” Cologne was a star for the Berwick Carbuilders and the Sunbury Mercuries of the Eastern Professional Basketball League and also spent time with the Knicks. (Question: This Berwick High School top basketball player was a star in the Eastern Professional Basketball League for many years with the Berwick Carbuilders and the Sunbury Mercuries and also played a season for the New York Knicks. Can you name him? Hint – he had a colorful nickname.)
  2. John Chaney, who played mainly for Sunbury but also for Hazleton in a fine Eastern Professional Basketball League, later became a volatile but successful coach for Cheyney State and Temple. (Question: This small and slight player was a star in the Eastern Professional Basketball League in the mid-’50s and early ’60s and was later a very successful coach with Cheyney State and Temple. Can you name him?)

Follow the Fire

Follow the fire
The great light,
The hazy blaze
Till all are ashes.

Follow the fire
The swift, ascending flames
Till the sparks are gone
Till the fire is out.

Follow the fire
Your only sun
Till it shines no more
Till only smoke remains.

Follow the fire
The new star
Till all have died
Till dust has returned.

Follow the fire
Let it guide you
Till the fire dies
Till the light returns.

~ 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.


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,, 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.