From Fr. Andrew -
This Sunday Fr. Bogdan will be with us to lead us in worship and celebrate Holy Mass at 11:30 AM. We are grateful to both Fr. Bogdan and Fr. Andrew for servicing us in the dedicated manner that they do.
On Saturday the picnic grounds were readied for our Annual outdoor Holy Mass and picnic. Thanks you to all who helped on this beautiful day. Thanks to all for spending time together in the celebration of the Holy Mass and picnic as well as for your donations and work.
Mr. Anthony Trzaska along with his cousin Antoinette Chwastyk Wills have been planning a large 3 day family reunion for over a year. The reunion will take place from June 14th through 16th. This reunion involves the Szczepanski, Sawicz, Chwastyk, and Trzaska families, all of which are interconnected and whose roots are in St. Valentine’s Polish National Catholic Church since it was founded in 1912.
During the afternoon of Saturday, June 15th the families will gather to visit the graves of family members interred in St. Valentine’s cemetery. Mr. Trzaska notes, “Many family are traveling great distances for this reunion and have never had an opportunity to visit these graves.”
Mr. Trzaska will be stationed at the cemetery for several hours to help guide people. He will have marked the graves with a single balloon for ease of locating family members’ resting places.
We invite all family members to visit the Church as well for Holy Mass on Sunday at 11:30am. May God bless your family gathering and protect you in your travels.
Dear Parishoners and Friends,
May Jesus Christ Be Praised…both now and forever!
Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus….na wieki wieków…Amen.
This message comes to you after a very successful Harvest Festival Celebration (Dożynki), which was held Sunday, September 30th at our parish’s Pulaski Park which is found directly adjacent to our parish cemetery grounds. The park and cemetery as well has been brought back into excellent condition thanks to the efforts of the men of the parish. About 65 people attended the event which drew people from as far away as Washington D.C. Holy Mass at the cemetery altar preceded a Polish dinner. A procession with symbolic harvest produce then took place to the picnic area thus officially opening the dinner. A wonderful time was had by all and we look forward to next year’s celebration.
As the days of October pass and the days grow shorter and the colors of autumn take hold, our thoughts turn to the Commemoration of All Souls and to those who have preceded us in holy death. It is these souls whose memory we wish to remember during the month of November according to age old Catholic custom…a custom known as “wypominki.”
If you would like the souls of loved ones to be remembered during the Commemoration of All Souls and for the entire month of November, please send the names of these loved ones along with your offering to the parish. Aside from remembrance at the Holy Masses of November, these special intentions will be remembered at the annual procession and blessing of the cemetery to be held on November 11th at 2 P.M.
Of course the most precious gift to our faith community is you and your attendance at Holy Mass and planned events. But in the event you are unable to attend the Masses and events mentioned above, we ask that you remember the parish in your prayers and also with the financial support in the form of dues and contributions which are so necessary for the maintenance of our parish life.
God’s richest blessings on you all! Bóg zapłać!
Sincerely yours in Chirst,
Fr. Gregory Mikula
Fr. Andrew Bilinski
St. Valentine’s P.N.C.C. Parish Committee
On the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist, our Holy Church entered into a new reality. The Very Rev. Paul Sobiechowski was consecrated to the office of bishop in the Holy Polish National Catholic Church. Bishop elect Paul chose Rev. Stanley Bilinski and Rev. Raymond Drada as his chaplains. The principal consecrator was the Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Mikovsky, Prime Bishop of the PNCC. All bishops of the PNCC, active and retired were co-consecrators. Prime Bishop Mikovsky celebrated the Holy Mass assisted by Rev. Bruce Sleczkowski as deacon and Rev. Gregory Młudzik as subdeacon of the Mass. The readings and Holy Gospel were proclaimed in English, Polish, and Spanish. As part of the consecration rite, bishop-elect Paul chose to sign the Declaration of Scranton, which was first signed by our organizer, Bishop Francis Hodur, and signed by every bishop candidate ever since. Over 400 faithful participated in the Holy Mass.
Significant not only in its ritual and celebration, the Holy Rite was witnessed by ecumenical clergy from various jurisdictions from around the globe: Bishop TIKHON of the Orthodox Church in America; Most Rev. James C. Timlin, retired bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Scranton diocese; Rt. Rev. Richard W. Lipka, from the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), with whom we have recently sought dialogue; and Abbot-elect Luis A. Gonzalez, OSB, also of ACNA, whom Bishop Paul will witness his installation at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Bartonville, Illinois. These present were significant in showing the viability the PNCC has within the ecumenical world, as well as its place in the community of Christian Churches.
The ritual was performed with the utmost dignity and jubilation.
Following his consecration, Bishop Paul becomes the Diocesan Ordinary of the Eastern Diocese. He plans to be in residence sometime prior to the Christmas holiday.
Please continue to pray for him, his family, and his ministry.
- A Holy Mass of Thanksgiving will be offered on Sunday, November 20th at 9:30 a.m.
- Remember, Advent begins on Sunday, November 27th
- There will be an Advent candle light service & a celebration of the Sacrament of Penance on Sunday, December 18th at 4 p.m. followed by a Wigilia (Vigil) Dinner & a vista from Santa for the children.
Why do Catholic Christians commemorate the dead during the month of November? The feast of All Souls and the month of November is a source of consolation for each of us. If our hearts are broken and suffering about the loss of loved ones, or if we are dealing with unresolved issues about good-byes that were not said, peace that was not made, gratitude that was not expressed, let us ask the faithful departed to intercede for us and for our own peace. The consoling doctrine of the Communion of Saints allows us to feel ever close to those who have died and gives us much hope in moments of despair and sadness. I share with you two texts that have remained with me throughout my priestly life. In his little book Enounters with Silence, the great Jesuit theologian Fr. Karl Rahner, wrote about those who have died:
That’s why our heart is with them now, our loved ones who have taken leave of us. There is no substitute for them; there are no others who can fill the vacancy when one of those whom we really love suddenly and unexpectedly departs and is with us no longer. In true love no one can replace another, for true love loves the other person in that depth where he is uniquely and irreplaceably himself. And thus, as death has trodden roughly through our lives, every one of the departed has taken a piece of our hearts with them– and often enough– our whole heart. Many people have asked me to tell them about heaven and the afterlife. I sometimes smile at the request because I do not know any more than they do. Yet, when one young man asked if I looked forward to being united with God and all those who have gone before me, I made a connection to something I said earlier in this book.
In his book “The gift of peace: personal reflections,” Joseph Bernardin wrote about those who have died:
The first time I traveled with my mother and sister to my parents’ homeland of Tonadico di Primiero, in northern Italy, I felt as if I had been there before. After years of looking through my mother’s photo albums, I knew the mountains, the land, the houses, the people. As soon as we entered the valley, I said, “My God, I know this place. I am home.” Somehow I think crossing from this life into eternal life will be similar. I will be home.
May I suggest that each of you do the following during these days of November:
Spend some time reflecting on those who have been close to you, who have died, and are now with the Lord. Slowly read this scripture passage — Wisdom 3:1-3: “But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace.” Remember one person close to you who has died. Bring this person’s image into your mind’s eye. As you remember his or her life, imagine the Lord Jesus escorting the person into heaven at the time of death. Finally, imagine this loved one waiting for you. Know that when your time of passing comes, the Lord and your loved ones who have gone before you will escort you into the kingdom of heaven. End your short remembering with this prayer: Lord, you are the resurrection and the life. You promised that whoever believes in you will never die. Lord, through the power of your rising, help me believe in my own resurrection. Amen.
May we spend our earthly pilgrimage filling our minds with the thoughts of heaven, so that when we finally cross over into eternal life, the images we see may not be foreign or strange. Let us pray that we, too, may be able to say: “My God, I know this place. I am home.”
Anyone wishing to submit the names of departed family or friends “WYPOMINKI” to be read and prayed for at our All Saints and All Souls Day Services are asked to return the envelope with the names which has been sent to your homes or give a list of those you would like remembered in prayer to Father Krzysztof.
Schedule for the Holy Days:
Sunday – October 30, 2011
8:00 a.m. – Polish language Holy Mass/Msza Święta & prayers for our deceased, “Wypominki”
9:30 a.m. – High Holy Mass & prayers for our deceased, “Wypominki”
2:00 p.m. – Prayers for our dearly deceased will be held at Parish Cemetery in Andalusia, PA.
Rev. and Mrs. Krzystof Mendelewski request the honour of your presence at the uniting of their daughter Ewelina to Mr. Maxim Filyushchenko in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony on Saturday, the tenth of September two thousand eleven at five o’clock in the afternoon. Reception to follow.
St. Valentine’s Polish National Catholic Church
2330 Margaret Street
We will celebrate St. Valentine’s Day on Sunday, February 13th with a Solemn High Mass at 9:30 a.m. followed by a St. Valentine’s Brunch and St. Valentine’s Beneficial Society Meeting. Everyone is welcome! Happy Valentine’s Day!