Welcome to Saints Peter and Paul Parish!


MASS SCHEDULE

Sunday:
8:00 AM
10:00 AM

Saturday Vigil:
4:00 PM
Weekdays:
8:00 AM Monday, Tuesday, Friday

6:00 PM Thursday

8:00 AM Wednesday - Communion Service

Holy Days:
As scheduled

Confessions:
Thursdays at 5:00 PM
Saturdays at 3:00PM

400 South 4th Street
Philipsburg, PA 16866
(814) 342-1700

Fr. John Gibbons Administrator
Deacon Jerry Nevling
Jerry Craven, Director of High School Religious Education
Kristen Carter, Director of Elementary Religious Education
Laurie WasilkoOffice Manager
George Wasilko, Director of Maintenance





Fr. John’s Christmas Message

It is Better to Receive Than to Give?


What did you just say??  It is better to receive than to give? Doesn’t that contradict what you preach about so often? About helping others and putting the needs of others ahead of our own?  Have you gone crazy or is this the result of everything going on in 2020? Have you become delusional?

            That might be your reaction when I tell you that it is better to receive than to give.  Please give me a few minutes to explain why.  Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  As a way of celebrating His birthday, we decorate the house, send out Christmas cards, buy Christmas presents, throw parties, and have lavish meals with our family and friends, all in celebration of the birth of Jesus.  It is also a wonderful time to help those in need by donating food, clothing and presents.  All of these activities are to show our love and appreciation for so many people in our lives.

            However, how well do you receive presents given to you, especially if it is totally unexpected?  If you are like me, you get caught off guard and feel a little embarrassed, especially if the gift is expensive or valuable.  We don’t know what to say and may stammer out a sheepish thank you, you shouldn’t have done that. So if it is hard for us to accept a special present, how willingly are we to accept the greatest gift ever given to us, God’s son, Jesus Christ?  In order for us to truly give to others, we must receive into our hearts, the love that God gives to us: we have to receive it in our hearts before we can give it away.  If we don’t accept God’s love completely and thoroughly, then all the other things we do at Christmas, the cards, the decorating, the presents, etc, will not have their full meaning or impact.  They won’t be shared with the same love that God’s shares with us. 

            Advent is time for us to make room for Christ in our hearts.  Our theme this year is humility.  By being more humble, we push pride, the root of all sin, from our hearts so that we can receive Christ into the place vacated by pride.  However, we must take the time and willingly let Christ take up residence in our hearts and not just pay a short visit.  How can we do this? By giving that same love away to others.  First, we must give thanks and praise to God for such a great gift.  Second, we can now express our love for our family and friends and those in need, rather than going through the motions or feeling like it is “work” to prepare for Christmas.  If Christ is dwelling in our hearts it is not really work but a labor of love. 

This is why I say it is better to receive than to give.  We have to receive the baby Jesus into our hearts, the greatest gift we will ever receive, before we can give to others.

May this Christmas be a time when you fully receive Christ into your hearts so that the love He sends to you permeates your whole being so that you can give it away to others on this Christmas of 2020, a time when it is needed by so many others.  

On behalf of the parish family here at Ss. Peter and Paul, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year to all of you. 

Fr. John

 



ONGOING MEASURES TO ENSURE YOUR SAFETY
WHEN OUR CHURCH OPENS ON JUNE 13

 
As we prepare for the opening of our church for masses starting Saturday, June 13 at 4PM. I want to ensure you that the parish staff and I have taken many steps to ensure your health and safety.  Here are the steps we have taken: 

1.     No obligation to attend mass on Sundays is still in effect.
2.     Holy water removed from all the fonts in the church.
3.     There will not be a collection taken during mass.  Offertory baskets are placed in the front and back of Church for you to place your offering.  Again, I truly appreciate all the support you have provided to our parish during his most difficult time.
4.     There will not be the presentation of the gifts.
5.     Alternate pews are roped off for social distancing.  Related persons residing in the same house may be seated together without physical distancing.  Please do not remove or alter the roped off pews. If your normal pew is roped off, you will get a different view of the mass!!
6.     No sign of peace.  We will say some prayers in lieu of the sign of peace.  These prayers will be said for the end of this virus.
7.     All persons entering the church must wear a mask. Fr. will wear a mask during the distribution of communion.
8.     Please receive Holy Communion in the hand.
9.     Missalettes have been removed and a handout for the Order of Worship will be available when you enter the Church.  It will also be the weekly bulletin. Please take these with you when you leave the Church or place them in the trash baskets at the end of mass.
10.  Hand sanitizers have been placed at the entrances to the Church for all to use when entering and leaving the Church.  Fr. will use hand sanitizer throughout the mass, especially before the distribution of communion.
11.  Pews and door bars are sanitized as often as possible.
12.  Only one family per mass permitted to use the Cry Room.
13.  Fr. John and Deacon Jerry will have their temperature taken on a regular basis to ensure they are healthy before conducting mass or communion services.
 
I know these are difficult times for all of us and that these changes are for your safety.  If there is anything else you feel should be done in addition to these, please email me your suggestions. I also realize that regardless of the steps we have taken, some of you will still be uncomfortable coming to mass.  I understand and respect your decision. Please continue to watch mass at home
and when you do feel comfortable, we look forward to seeing you.

Fr. John