Good Shepherd Sunday

Greetings;

This Fourth Sunday of Easter is also called a Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel Reading declares Christ as the “Good Shepherd.” Jesus is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us. We have much to be thankful for, in serving such a wonderful God.

Please consider joining the choir. The music ministry sings throughout the year at every 10am Mass. Please speak with Margaret Sweeney after Mass or e-mail her at: stjlincolnmusicministry@gmail.com, to let her know you are interested. No previous experience required.

The parish Capital Campaign is going well. Please remember to fill out a pledge card if you haven’t done so, the cards can be found in the pews. Please place your pledge cards in any basket or stop by the office. Also, if you passed in a pledge card and opted for electronic billing, please sign up on the parish website at: www.stjosephlincoln.org under “Giving,”Electronic giving”. In addition, while there, perhaps you would like to give the “text-to-give” program a try. This allows you to make your weekly donation electronically (funds taken from bank or credit card securely) instead of using the envelope system or giving cash in the basket. Please reference the “text-to-give” cards located in the pews for directions and details or see me.

The Parish Pastoral Council, at its last meeting, recommended that we practice the proper norms for bringing Communion to the sick and homebound in the parish. The proper way for an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (E.M.) to distribute The Holy Eucharist (outside of Mass) is to have the E.M. stand before the Altar prior to the closing prayer at Mass, and receive the Eucharist to be taken along with a blessing; thus, sending them forth from the Community at the Mass to the homebound and sick. This would change the practice of E.M.’s coming to the tabernacle at their own discretion and distributing the Holy Eucharist at any time. This is a big shift in the practice of the Homebound E.M.’s ministry. However, it will sure up liturgical practices and bring a fuller meaning of the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament coming from the community of believers sharing with those receiving at home. So, the Holy Eucharist will only be distributed after Mass (either weekend or weekday). If you are an Eucharistic Minister and you do visit the homebound, please call Nancy Sweeney at 603-745-5611 or Millie Berry to let them know, so we can update our list.These changes will be made soon, so please be aware and stay tuned.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

May God continue to bless our Parish Community.
Fr. Kneeland

Parish Council Projects

Greetings:

My mother died 5 years ago on the 15th of this month. Time certainly flies by. It is always difficult when a loved one dies. It’s never a matter of how do you get over your grief, but, how do you cope with this new reality of living without them, day to day. The Parish Council is in the works of beginning a ‘bereavement’ group in conjunction with Catholic Charities here in the parish. In the not so distant future, Catholic Charities counsellors will help train knowledgeable volunteer leaders in the parish to run this new program. Ms. Millie Berry will head up this endeavor. Please pray for its success; there is such a need in our community.

The Parish Council under the leadership of Ms. Paula King is busy steering the parish into the bright future. There is a lot of items on the agenda that are discussed and executed. For instance, the protocol for those seeking to marry in the parish is written down for ease of use. This document was diligently put together by Ms. Margaret Sweeney and others to make Weddings here more organized and smoother for the couples to understand the Church’s and Parish’s procedures. It can be found on the parish website. Ms. Delia Sullivan has volunteered to be the Parish Wedding Coordinator, overseeing all weddings that will take place in our parish. Her duties include: communicating with each couple throughout the process, making sure the couple’s paperwork is in order and assisting with the rehearsal and ceremony. This is such important work for both the parish and the engaged couples. Please keep Ms. Delia Sullivan in your prayers as she begins her new role as the Wedding Coordinator.

We are all parts of one body. May God bless you and our Church here in the White Mountains.

Fr. Kneeland

Happy Easter Season

Happy Easter Season!

It is a glorious time of the year, when we celebrate the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ and all that His Resurrection means for us.

This past Holy week was both moving, spiritual and exhausting….all at the same time! Haha! It was terrific to see so many people attend services here throughout the Triduum and Easter. The 10:00am Mass was full to capacity and then some!

At the Saturday Easter Vigil, we welcomed Mr. Nicholas Fair into the Church. He became a Christian through Baptism and the Sacraments of Initiation. Please pray for him and his family as he continues his new journey in Christ.
Many people helped make each celebration special, from decorating, singing, serving, clean-up. Thank You.

The Altar flowers that decorate the Altar look lovely, thanks to all who donated toward them. I’m sure the Lord and all of Heaven is pleased at our display of affection.

He is Risen Alleluia!

Please welcome Maria Schirduan, our new Parish Office Manager. You may know Maria from attending Mass, or through her extensive volunteering activities in the parish. She is a member of the Parish Council, she ran a Comfort Care Program in the parish, she served on various event committees…to name a few. Her new role as an Office Manager will include greeting people at the door of the office, Mass cards, bookkeeping, bulletin, managing office employees & vendors, Capital Campaign, envelopes, parish registry, Diocese liaison, to name a few. Phew….it’s a lot! Please keep Maria in your prayers as she assumes this big responsibility to serve you and the parish.

The Lord is Risen and it gives great Joy to our hearts that He Lives and Reigns!

May He continue to bless and strengthen our parish community here in the White Mountains!

Fr. Kneeland

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

What a joyous time!

Congratulations and Welcome to Nick Fair who entered the Church this Easter Vigil through Baptism.
Thank you to all who attended the Sacred Triduum or part of it. There is so much to be thankful for in the parish.
To the hundreds of volunteers, who work tirelessly to make the parish run efficiently and well, I “thank you”.
1. There are those who greet people before each Mass, welcoming those who enter church, with a smile and a bulletin.
2. Those who count the money from the collection bags each week. They painstakingly unfold all the bills that come in folded up a zillion times and they add up all the coins into rolls. Big job!
3. Those who pray during Adoration every Wednesday for an hour. I know, they pray for themselves, but, by them being present, it allows the Eucharistic Lord to shed His Graces upon us all.
4. Those who serve on Parish Council, Finance Council, Event Dinner Committees and the like, each doing the job of planning, steering, budgeting, directing, you name it!
5. The Liturgical helpers: the E.M.’s, the Altar Servers, the Lectors, the Sacristans, all making sure the Liturgy here is tops.
6. The Choir members who share their talented voices for others to give God praise twice!
7. Those who joined the new parish Knights of Columbus Council. Their many projects allowed them to give very generous support and money to the Disabled Sports at Loon, The Haven Pregnancy Center, host the Red Cross here every month and a half, offer fellowship and coffee & doughnuts after every 10am Mass.
8. Those who help decorate the church, those who carry candle boxes up the stairs when the truck delivers them, those individuals who are always willing to lend a hand where work is needed to be done around the parish.
9.Those who stepped up and helped with the parish Capital Campaign on various committees.
10.Those who look after the parish grounds beautifying the parking lot with flowers during the warm weather.
11.Those who made a pledge of support to the parish in the Capital Campaign, making sure we are financially sound for future generations.
12.Those who teach others in the Faith Formation here in the parish. Educating and helping the young come to know Jesus through their dedicated service.
13.Those who have done their volunteering years ago and now enjoy letting others “step-up”, thank you for your past service!
14.And to all the others who I am sure I have forgotten to mention and will kick myself later when I do remember…
To all of you… Thank You for making St. Joseph’s Parish here in the White Mountains a community of believers who share the Love of God with neighbor and visitor alike; centered in the living presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

On behalf of the staff and myself, we wish you and your family a Blessed and Happy Easter!
He Is Risen! Rejoice! Alleluia!
Fr. Kneeland

Holy Week

Greetings:

Happy Holy Week!

Be aware of changes in Mass times this week and upcoming weekend. I encourage you to attend the Blessed Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil). Invite a friend to join you in experiencing the Holiest week of the year!

I wish to comment about a news story I saw on TV. The reporter said a priest told police on a man who confessed murder! It sparked my interest, because, if so, the priest would be excommunicated from the Church according to Cannon Law. However, as I watched the rest of the story, it happened that, it was not a confession within the Sacrament of Confession, which made it okay for the priest to divulge the murder and give up the murderer to authorities. Let me explain further. The seal of Confession (a priest can never repeat, report, reveal, notify authorities about anything ever said within the Sacrament of Confession. Period.
In this case, however, the man who murdered his wife, came to the Rectory and sat down to talk with the Priest in a confidential forum. A priest and person may have a confidential chat, much like a therapist and patient or Lawyer and client may have. The clergy, along with other professionals are mandatory reporters of adult and child abuse in the state of NH.

However, in the context of a Sacramental Confession, beginning when the penitent blesses oneself and says: “Bless me Father for I have sinned…” and the Priest blesses the penitent; the Seal of Confession is in place. “What is said in Confession, stays in Confession.” As of now, American civil law recognizes the right of the clergy to maintain this secrecy privilege, but regardless, it is the Church law. Time in Confession, shouldn’t be used as a social time, to chat, but to confess sins. Many times, a penitent may tell me inform me of things happening in their life outside that don’t pertain to Confession, such as, “I got a new job” or “please pray for my sick aunt.” This is fine, however, I can never ask how your new job is going in the future. Of course I will privately pray for your sick aunt, but I cannot ever ask how your aunt is doing outside the Confessional, nor add her name to the prayer line. So, those conversations are best to be kept outside of the Seal of Confession.

With this said, please take advantage of the extended times available for Confession. Throughout the state, every parish will have Confessions held on this Monday for Holy Week. Remember, there is nothing you can confess that could ever shock the priest…priests have heard it all before! So come free yourself from all that is weighing you down, and live in the life of the Holy Spirit!

May God continue to bless our Church here in the White Mountains!
Fr. Kneeland

Sacrament of Confession

Greetings:

The parish St. Patrick celebration was fantastic! “Thank you” to everyone who attended, bought a ticket, sold tickets, helped plan, decorate the hall, cook, wash pots & pans, supply items, secure vender prizes for the raffle, worked tables, cleaned the hall, and all those who helped in any way! St. Patrick would be proud! An Irish kitchen prayer: May the Lord bless us with good food, the gift of gab, and hearty laughter. May the love and joy we share, be with us ever after. Amen.

With that said, please sign-up on the sheet located in the church, to attend the parish dinner celebration in honor of Saint Joseph, our parish and Diocesan patron Saint. We will begin with the holy sacrifice of the Mass at 5:30PM followed by a delicious roast beef dinner in the hall. This will take place on Monday, March 19th. The reason you need to sign up is so that we know how many plates and seats we will need to prepare.

If you registered with the parish within the last year or two, please come to this event. During the St. Joseph Dinner, we will “welcome” you to the parish and present you with a “welcome gift bag.” Please let the office know you will be attending.

The Bishop again this year, has asked that all parishes offer the Sacrament of Confession during the Monday of Holy Week. Each parish in the Diocese will make times available for confession on Monday, March 26th. Our parish Confession times will be: 11:00 to 1:00 and 4:00 to 6:00. If you plan to attend another Catholic Church for Confession on this day, please check with that parish for its times.

May God continue to bless our parish family here in the White Mountains!

Fr. Kneeland

St Joseph Feast Day

Greetings:

We sold all 120 seats to our annual parish St. Patrick’s Dinner this Saturday evening March 10th. Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and to the fabulous committee members who put the event together, led by Margaret Sweeney. St. Patrick’s Feast Day is of course next weekend, on March 17th, but we will celebrate it a week early! “Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!” Gaelic, meaning: Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!

Stations this Friday will be replaced with the Faith Formation kids performing “The Living Stations of the Cross.” Join us in prayer here in the church at 6:00 pm for this spectacular presentation of Jesus’ Passion. Thank you to Ms. Paula King and all who will help the kids achieve this moving presentation. Please join us!

A generous parishioner, who has a tremendous love for Saint Joseph, is providing the parish with a catered Roast Beef dinner, in honor of St. Joseph’s Feast Day, Monday, March 19th. We will celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass followed by the dinner in the church hall. All are invited to attend, but please sign up on one of the sheets in the church after Mass, so that we have a proper number of seats. At his request, there will be a free-will basket for donations for the poor and needy.

At this dinner, we will welcome any new parishioners who registered with the parish within the last two years. Please, let the office know if you are a “new parishioner” and will be attending so that we can properly welcome you, and present you with a welcome gift bag.

We will pray a Novena in honor of St. Joseph beginning this Sunday after Mass continued for the nine days until the 19th. Please pray the Novena; you may even pray it at home.

May God continue to bless our little Catholic Parish Family here in the White Mountains!

Fr. Kneeland

St Patrick’s Day Dinner

Greetings;

Hope your Lenten Season is going well and you are growing closer to the Lord Jesus through practicing the Disciplines of Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. I encourage you to keep going!

After learning that Chef Drew could not provide delicious soup for our meal after we pray the Stations of the Cross here every Friday during Lent at 5:30 pm, David and Patty Paradise stepped up and provided delicious fish (Haddock) “chowdah!” Pauline and Charlie Harrington brought fantastic homemade bread too! Please join us!

Our Knights council has responded to the call from our local food pantry that the shelves are empty. So to help, the Knights are doing a program called: “40 Cans for Lent” a can/food drive to supply the local food pantry. Supreme Knight Council will match all donations of nonperishable food items donated. So if you bring a can in, it would be like you donated 2 cans! Please place food items in the boxes located at the bottom of the staircase at the side entrance of the church. Please donate, and thank you!

The annual St. Patrick’s Dinner/Dance celebration here on March 10th is being planned out and it’s coming along nicely. Thanks to all on the committee members and especially to Eddie and Denise Rush and Maria Schirduan who secured many prizes from venders throughout the area, who donated gift cards or items toward our event. So that means we will have a huge, fantastic, raffle! Also, the Firehouse D.J. will supply the lighting, glo-lighting, sound and music. Anita and Logan Ross will play instruments during the meal. The menu is local Irish Soda bread, Corned Beef (cooked at Woodstock Station) and Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie, Mac’n cheese, dessert, coffee, B.Y.O.B.. This will most likely sell out, as in previous years, so please purchase your tickets after Mass this weekend or next. We will not oversell like we did last year. Get your ticket for a $12 dollar donation and kids are $5 dollars.

Thank you to everyone who made a pledge or contribution toward our parish Capital Campaign. We are having a good response with pledge cards and contributions. If you would like to be a part of the Capital Campaign, and support the parish for future generations, please fill out a pledge card located in the pews and place it in any collection basket at Mass. It will get to the proper place. Checks can be made out to “St. Joseph Church – Capital Campaign” or “St. Joseph Church” and in the memo space: “Capital Campaign”. If you have any questions/concerns, please feel free to contact me or the office. Again, “thank you.”

May God continue to bless our little parish community here in the White Mountains.
Fr. David

Holy Season of Lent

Happy President’s Day weekend!

We have begun the holy season of Lent. It’s time to slow down and take these 40 days to pray, fast and give. Some suggestions to practice a holy Lent may include, setting aside 10 minutes a day for silent prayer or meditation. It will revitalize your body and your spirit! Try to be extra kind to others. Clean out the cupboards, or have your children shop for can goods to bring to the local food bank, which by the way, the Lincoln Food Bank is in desperate need for items to restock shelves! Pray together as a family or find a friend to join you in prayer. Have the kids light a candle in church for people throughout the world who are sick or hungry. Let each family member mention one person or problem that they would like to pray for in a special way at dinnertime. I’m sure there are countless ideas and opportunities you can come up with to help you experience a holy Lent.

Pope Francis has accepted our Auxiliary Bishop’s retirement papers. At age 75, all Bishops must submit retirement forms to the Vatican. Well, our Auxiliary Bishop, Frank Christian, is officially retired. He will however, remain as Pastor of The Resurrection Parish in Nashua, as well as, assist our Ordinary Bishop, Peter Libasci with Confirmation liturgies throughout the Diocese (entire state of NH). You may notice I will not mention “Bishop Frank’s” name during the Mass at the time when we pray for the Pope and the Bishop(s).

Please buy your tickets after Mass for the annual Parish St. Patrick’s Dinner celebration. Limited number of seats, so please don’t wait to purchase your tickets. We may not sell tickets at the door either. The food is so good, that the event’s reputation usually sells out completely. The food will be served buffet style. The menu will feature: Irish soda bread, Corned Beef Cabbage dinner, Shepherd’s Pie, Mac’n Cheese, dessert, and coffee. $12 Adult, $5 kids. Music, fun and entertainment included.

If you have your Capital Campaign pledge card, please fill them out and deposit them in any collection basket during Mass or drop them off at the office. Thank you. If you have any concerns/questions please feel free to see me!

May God continue to bless our Parish here in the White Mountains!

Fr.Kneeland

Sacramental Program Changes

Greetings:

Please help us take down the Christmas decorations in the church after the 10:00 am Mass this Sunday. Any help will be much appreciated. Thankfully our parish Knights of Columbus Council will supply coffee and doughnuts for us in the church hall after Mass.

In the following, I will borrow, with permission, Fr. Mark Dollard’s letter he wrote in the bulletin to his parishioners at St. Rose in Littleton, concerning the new Diocesan plan to move Confirmation to the 3rd Grade. “Bishop Peter Libasci has announced that he has made the decision to restore the original order of receiving the Sacraments of Initiation. This is a courageous decision that only a few bishops in the United States have chosen to do. I applaud him for his decision! This decision will allow religious education to be a life-long experience.

Currently, our celebration of Confirmation has turned into a “graduation” and that is simply not how it is to be understood. Confirmation is to be seen as a “Gift”, a gift to be used.

So, what does this mean? It means that the Sacraments of Initiation will be received in the following order: first Baptism, then Confirmation, then First Communion. Beginning in the Fall of 2018, First Reconciliation will be received at the end of the 2nd Grade of Rel. Ed. Confirmation and First Communion will be received on the same day at the end of the 3rd Grade of Rel. Ed. Yes, First Communion is being moved from the 2nd to the 3rd Grade.

It will take approximately three years to fully implement this change. In the Spring of 2019, our 3rd, 7th, 8th, and 10th grade students will be confirmed. In the Spring of 2020, all students in grades 3 and above who have not yet been confirmed by that time, will be confirmed.

These changes will allow us to create a high school youth ministry without having the obligation of Confirmation connected to it. I’m aware that we may lose a few people once a child is confirmed, however, our neighboring Diocese of Portland, Maine has been celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation at the end of the 2nd grade for over a decade now, and the results have been favorable for life-long involvement.”

As stated earlier, this will take about three years to fully implement. I will keep you informed and work with Ms. Paula King, our Coordinator of Religious Education here in the parish, as more information becomes available.

For more information on the Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation, you can visit the RESTORE, RENEW, PROCLAIM page on the Diocesan website at www.catholicnh.org/lifelong.

May God continue to bless our little parish community here in the mountains of NH!

Fr. Kneeland