The Source & Summit

The Colors of Faith in 2020

A few weeks before the Longest Night Prayer Service held on Monday, December 21, 2020, an idea came out of the most recent Parish Council Meeting. Council members discussed the emotions and feelings everyone in our parish had experienced this past year due to the Covid19 Pandemic.  It was decided to ask the Prayer Shawl Ministry if they could perhaps create a blanket that would represent what we have experienced as the SJPV Family, and it would then be used to swaddle the Baby Jesus in the creche for Christmas.

The talented and faithful women of the Prayer Shawl Ministry responded with a beautiful blanket created with love as each member of the ministry crocheted one color and then passed it along to the next member.  What resulted was a blanket capturing the ups and downs and the myriad of, often dizzying, emotions we have all experienced together this year.

Father Hoffa explained how the blanket came about at the prayer service and what each color represented, finally directing our attention to the white border, representing our help in all things – our faith in God. Reminding us of the faith we can firmly hold on to, lean in to, and the constant light that remains in us and for us despite everything.  Despite anything.  The light of our souls placed in us by God can never be extinguished, no matter how much darkness may try to consume us.

We are blessed here at St. Joe’s to have such a talented and dedicated Prayer Shawl Ministry.  Let us keep them in their prayers as we begin the new year filled with faith.

The Colors of 2020

Black – Fear, Death, Grief
Gray – Indecisiveness
Silver – Emotions
Magenta – Faith
Purple – Frustration
Indigo – Sad Feelings
Blue – Trust in God and our Health Professionals
Turquoise – Health of Self and Spirit
Green – Feeling Trapped
Gold – Value of Self and Family
Yellow – Optimistic
Orange – Joy of Family
Brown – Courage
Dark Red – Anger
Red – Determination
Pink – Unconditional Love of Family and Friends
White – Light and Goodness
White Border – Faith in God to help us through all of our feelings

For more information about the Prayer Shawl Ministry of St. Joseph’s Parish of the Panther Valley, please click here.


SJPV an Inspiration for other Parishes during Pandemic

Recently, Our Sunday Visitor, featured the St. Joseph’s Parish of the Panther Valley Summer Drive-In in their “Transform Your Parish” Newsletter!  The mission of Our Sunday Visitor is to “help Catholics fulfill their calling to discipleship, strengthen their relationship with Christ, deepen their commitment to the Church, and contribute to its growth and vitality in the world.”  OSV Parish Coach, Katie Herzing, heard about the Drive-In and featured it in her latest edition!

“This week I’m featuring three pretty incredible stories about how parishes are being creative. The Basilica of Ste. Anne celebrated the diversity of the Archdiocese of Detroit by featuring different cultures during their annual novena. St. Damien of Molokai didn’t let Covid-19 get in the way of their new Welcome Ministry. St. Joseph converted their annual festival to a drive-thru to keep social distancing practices in order.”

Check out Ms. Herzing’s article here:

Congratulations to our Parish Family for continuing to thrive and inspiring others!

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Summer Drive-In a Super Success!

Wow! We’ve all heard it a thousand times; this is our “new normal.” But none of what we’ve all experienced in the last months feels normal at all.  It feels strange, different, and scary. We’re worried about what’s next.  Will our loved ones, and we stay healthy?

When the time came to begin planning for the 86th SJPV Summer Festival, we wondered will it happen, what will we do, how can we do anything? What can we do to bring some joy to current circumstances?

As Father Hoffa said in his interview with PA Home Page, “Just because you can’t do something the way you used to, doesn’t mean that you can’t do something different.” Our St. Joseph of the Panther Valley family rose to the occasion to create a “new” summer festival this year – the Summer Drive-In.  And what is the highlight of the annual summer festival?  The food, of course!

With that fact in mind, planning began, and the Summer Drive-In came to fruition on July 17th and 19th, and wow, it was amazing!  We even found a way to add something new to the “new normal” summer festival.  In addition to our regular drawings – we added MEGA BASKETS – each basket was valued at $700 or more!

Thank you to everyone who donated, supported, and worked at our Summer Drive-In.  What a tremendous outpouring of support we received from parishioners, friends, and local communities.  Thank you!

Congratulations to all of the lucky winners listed below!

Cash Drawing
$500—Marie Valentini, Lansford
$250—Cailin McCullion, Nesquehoning
$100—Robin Blasko, Summit Hill

2 Ton of Coal & $200 in Gas Cards – Carolyn Shemanski, Hazleton

Patio Set & Gas Firepit – Ann Ziajka, Mary D

Gas Grill – David & Jessica Aungst, Nesquehoning

Mega Basket Winners

Gaggle of Gift Cards  – Joann Ruzicka, Lansford

Lottery Tree – Mary Herman, Jim Thorpe

Boyer’s Gift Card – Kathleen Polak, Summit Hill

TP Tower – Bernie Childs

Cornhole Boards & Summer Night Supplies – Sandy Schlemmer, Summit Hill

School Supplies with Ipad – A McFadden, Summit Hill

Basket of Cash – Maryellen Ogozalek, Lansford

Basket of Cheer – Kristina Hayslette, Whitehall

Wine Wheelbarrow – Lisa Hiles, Summit Hill

Chest Freezer with Meats – Heather Suzadail, Summit Hill

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What a Beautiful Day in May!

And the weather!  Blue skies and sunshine! It was a perfect day for the St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley’s May Procession.

As with everything these days, creativity was key in bringing Mary and Jesus to all of the SJPV family.  Father Hoffa and Deacon Joe had the best seats in the house on a beautifully decorated “float” along with our Eucharistic Lord and our Blessed Mother, Mary.  Adorned with roses, lattice, and flowers, the procession visited the four towns that comprise St. Joe’s: Summit Hill, Lansford, Coaldale, and Nesquehoning.

Starting in White Bear at noon, the procession lasted until almost 5:00.  There were also two very special stops along the way at St. Luke’s Miners Hospital and Maple Shade Nursing Home so Father could offer a special blessing for all the healthcare and other front-line workers and the patients entrusted to their care.

Along the route, there were many sightings of Mary statues in windows and on porches and the ringing of the bells as the procession passed by added even more to the beauty of the day. Thank you to everyone who followed along on social media and patiently waited along the route to see Mary and her Son.  Father and Deacon Joe led the rosary multiple times and Marian hymns were played over the speakers.

A special blessing for all those at Maple Shade Nursing Home.

Posted by St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley on Sunday, May 3, 2020


We are extremely grateful for the multiple police and fire departments for escorting the procession the entire day.  And we can’t forget to thank Rich, who was driving the truck!

Thank you also to those who shared pictures and videos on Facebook and email, they were awesome to see.  We pray that the blessings of the May Procession stay with you and your loved ones for many days to come.

Have you ordered your Mother’s Day flowers yet?  The deadline for orders is Thursday, May 7th at 11:30 am.  Click here for more information.  Thank you to all of you who have already placed orders!  Thank you for your ongoing support!

Holy Hour On Demand

In case you missed it, the live-streamed holy hours from this week were enhanced, featuring a different prayer or devotion. The videos of these holy hours are below for you to view and pray with at any time.

In this time, when many feel isolated and alone or may not be able to visit our church when it is open, these virtual holy hours before the Blessed Sacrament help to fill that longing for Jesus so keenly felt by all of us. Being able to pray along with our Pastor, Father Hoffa, allows each of us to feel and to know for sure, though separated by six feet or more, and our faces behind masks, that we remain a family who prays together.

Monday’s holy hour included the Rosary. Tuesday’s added the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Litany of Humility was prayed Wednesday. Friday, Father Hoffa prayed a Scriptural Rosary. A Scriptural Rosary includes scripture verses or passages which help you to focus on each Mystery of the Rosary more deeply. Thursday’s Holy Hour included Musical Worship. Unfortunately, due to copyright rules when using music online, the video from Thursday’s Holy Hour was not able to be published. However, below you will find a link to free Spotify playlist with all of the songs used.

Please enjoy these videos and let us pray for one another and the whole world.

Holy Hour with Rosary

Monday Morning Holy Hour with Rosary

Posted by St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley on Monday, April 20, 2020

Holy Hour with the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Tuesday Morning Holy Hour with Divine Mercy Chaplet

Posted by St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Holy Hour with the Litany of Humility

Wednesday Holy Hour with Litany of Humility

Posted by St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Holy Hour with Scriptural Rosary

Friday morning Holy Hour with Scriptural Rosary

Posted by St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley on Friday, April 24, 2020

Worship Music for Holy Hour

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He’s Got Your Back


A short time ago, Father Hoffa had a large Crucifix installed on the back wall of the choir loft. The other night my mind was racing with thoughts of the coronavirus. I put on the television to take my mind off it. I came across a movie I have seen before. The movie was, “The Blind Side.” The film tells the story of Michael Oher and the Tuohy family. Michael was a homeless African American teenager who the Tuohy’s took into their family.

There is a part in that movie when Leigh Anne Tuohy is feeling scared when she and Michael are walking in a part of the city that she was not used to. She asked Michael if he would protect her. Michael’s response gave her comfort. “I got your back.” At that moment, my mind thought of the Crucifix in the back of our church and a symbolism that had escaped me until that moment.

For most people, they may see that Crucifix when they come in or out of our church for Mass. For the most part, that Crucifix is at their backs. A Crucifix is a reminder that Jesus loves all of us. He loves us so much that he came into the world and took human form, knowing He would die on a Cross for us.

I do not know what the future holds for any of us. What I do know is that just as Michael had Leigh Anne’s back, Jesus has ours. With the love of Jesus behind us, we can face what lies in front of us.

Click here to view the Holy Week schedule.


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