St. Mary’s Parish of the Polish National Catholic Church has been in existence for 117 years. It is our hope and prayer to grow in service to God and community.
This commitment manifests itself in regular devotional and prayer life and a greater participation in both ecumenical and community activities.
At St. Mary’s Parish, our primary emphasis is on the Parish Family.
All who belong sense this family spirit – expressed in a real love and concern for one another. Our pastor makes a point to know each family on a one-to-one basis with visits to family homes and to the hospitalized. Thus the spiritual health and vitality of all parishioners and all our friends is supported by both pastor and laity. WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN OUR PARISH FAMILY! If you are looking for a parish and are considering St. Mary’s Parish, feel free to talk with any parishioner about it. We will introduce you to our family in all its wonderful aspects- a family whose real strength lies in our personal and real relationship to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We express this faith in our Church through our liturgy which is Catholic and traditional, shared between priest and laity. We demonstrate this faith in the prayerful material and emotional support we give one another. We share this faith in a Church rooted in democratic principles and a church constitution giving laity full rights due process in matters financial, administrative and material. WHAT WE MEAN BY “EVERYBODY WELCOME” Single, twice-divorced, under 30, filthy rich, poor as dirt, can’t sing, married with pets, older than God, more catholic than St. Peter, workaholic, bad speller, screaming babies, three-times divorced, passive-aggressive, obsessive compulsive, tourists, seekers, doubters, bleeding hearts, oh, and YOU.
2021 – Happy New Year
This past year has been one filled with marvelous happenings, important events, and the joy of living and worshiping in a parish community that is vibrant and on fire with the love of Christ. This love has been expressed in both big and small ways. It is the hand of friendship extended to parishioners and neighbors, food and warmth provided to those in need, and the invitation and welcome offered to all in search of Christ.
On January 6th we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany commemorating the visit of the wise men. They came to Jesus bringing their gifts – a free offering of not just gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but of themselves and all they represented. They represented the nations and peoples of the world, the first Gentiles to meet Jesus who came to redeem the whole world. As we enter the New Year, we are faced with the same choices we always face. How will respond to Jesus’ coming, His act of redemption, and His offer to us – to enter into relationship with Him in a community of faith? Once made, how will we live out our decision? What gifts will we offer before Him?
Our small church, on a small street, offers us the opportunity to put our decision into action by opening our hearts to Jesus and each other. This starts in our weekly worship together; how important it is to be there to receive God’s many graces. From there we take the love we have received and extended it throughout our lives, to family, friends, co-workers, and those we don’t know (yet!).
Welcome 2021! Let us continue to open ourselves and our gifts to God and to each other. 2021 will be a blessed year for one very special reason – because of you and your decision.
HOLY FAMILY, January 3, 2021 10:00AM – CANCELLED
BAPTISM OF THE LORD, January 10, 2021 10:00AM – CANCELLED
II SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, January 17, 2021 10:00AM – CANCELLED
III SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, January 24, 2021 10:00AM – CANCELLED
IV SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, January 31, 2021 10:00AM – CANCELLED
My Dear Parishioners.
Happy New Year to you! It is hard to believe that it is 2021 already!
No doubt, 2020 has been a challenging year for me and for many of you, but in everything our faith tells us that we must always give thanks and praise to God. I am thankful to Him for His many blessings upon us as a parish family. As I commemorate my tenth year as your pastor, I thank God for the wisdom and strength He has endowed upon me in my effort to serve you selflessly and devotedly. I must confess that your love and support has been immense, thus, each and every moment, I never fail to marvel at what a wonderful family we have here at St. Mary’s, and what a wonderful people you are. I am very proud to have been your pastor.
These past years would not have been successful if not for your commitment and sacrifices. I reserve my thanks and appreciation to you all. My special thanks go to those men and women who have sacrificed their time, talent and treasure to make sure that our parishioners are adequately served. In addition, my sincere appreciation goes to all our volunteers. I pray God to bless and reward you for your dedication and devotion to our beloved parish.
I also thank and appreciate the work of all those who are serving the parish in variety of ministries: Parish Committee, Rev. Bob Kay, Lectors, Altar Boys and Girls, Usher, Choir, Women’s Society. I am proud to have the privilege of working with all of you. I sincerely thank you for your sacrifices and commitment to our parish. Thank you also to our music director Ted Maciurzynski. Thank you to Robert Szkolnicki for recording the Masses at a time when the church was closed due to the coronavirus epidemic. I am grateful for this loyalty, sacrifices and selfless commitment to our music ministry.
As we enter into another year, my heart reaches out to children who have had to suffer the pain of separation due to the divorce or separation of their parents. I pray for those parents that God’s love will continue to spur them to unity for the well being of their children. I think of those families who have to go without some basic necessities of life simply because the breadwinner has lost his / her job. I pray for those members of our parish family who have been sick and I bring them to the Lord’s Table during the Sacrifices of the Mass. My heart goes out to those who have lost their loved ones through death. I pray for consolation and fortitude as they struggle with their loss. I want you all to never forget that our God is a God of love and mercy.
Generally speaking, whenever I think of how difficult life has been for some of you in these tough economic times, and how resilient you continue to be in the midst of all this, I cannot help, but thank God for your faith and love for your beloved parish of St. Mary’s. I truly admire you, and I am very proud of you as individuals and as a group. I thank you for the trust you place in me. Thank you also for your tolerance, patience, understanding, goodwill and prayers. This continues to be a great source of strength and support for me. Thank you for your benevolence and cooperation, your words of comfort and compliments, your constructive criticisms and useful advices. Your strong faith, your smiles and laughter have always lifted my spirit when I am down. Your support and cooperation have always been a source of strength to help build our parish into a family of love and unity.
On behalf of my family and myself, I heartily wish you and your family a blessed, happy, peaceful and healthy New Year in 2021. God bless you and your loved ones!
Sincerely Yours in Christ
Rev. Tadeusz Czelen
Sunday Masses as announced. Examples of the Mass intention are: for the Sick, in remembrance of the faithful departed (especially parents, grandparents, relatives…), to ask God’s Grace, Birthdays and Anniversaries (…) To make arrangements, please contact Father Czelen. Sacrament of Baptism – Arrangements should be made at least two weeks prior the ceremony. Only practicing Christians should be chosen as godparents. Sacrament of Matrimony – Arrangements should be made at least six months in advance. Emergencies, Sickness and deaths – please contact to the rectory immediately.
Receiving the Holy Eucharist – those who believe in the true presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist are invited to partake of this Holy Sacrament. It is the practice of the PNCC to distribute the Holy Eucharist through the method of intinction. The Body and Blood of Christ are placed on the tongue, not in the hand. Sacrament of the sick – If there is anyone at home who cannot get to Mass and the Sacraments because of illness or age, please call the parish office at anytime to request the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
January 01 – Circumcisions of our Lord Today we celebrate the great feast of the Circumcision of Christ and also the New Year.
The feast of the Circumcision is connected with an absolutely concrete event. According to the Old Testament law on the eight day after the birth of a male infant there had to be performed the circumcision of the foreskin – in commemoration of the testament between God and Abraham. Of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnated Son of God, didn’t need circumcision. His mission of saving humanity exceeded all that Abraham and all righteous men who had lived before Him and who had lived, lived and would live after the Nativity of Christ, had done. No circumcision could increase or decrease the importance of this mission or influence the cause being performed by the Lord.
Nevertheless, Jesus Christ took circumcision. And this circumstance makes us think over the importance of the rite and religious custom. The Circumcision was a rite according to which a man who took it, as if confirmed his connection with the Testament between God and Abraham. It was a visible sign to it. But didn’t all people who had been circumcised remain true to the commandment which God had given Abraham? Of course, not. And the sermon of the Saviour Himself testifies to it with all its power. The Saviour exposes the Scribes, the Pharisees and Hypocrites who carefully fulfilled all customs but in their hearts moved away from God and practically violated the Testament of God with Abraham. Thus, the Circumcision didn’t prevent a man from performing both bad deeds and even formal fulfilling the Old Testament law.
January 02 – Holy Name of Jesus Today the Church celebrates the optional memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
The Church reveals to us the wonders of the Incarnate Word by singing the glories of His name. The name of Jesus means Savior; it had been shown in a dream to Joseph together with its meaning and to Our Lady at the annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel.
Devotion to the Holy Name is deeply rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, especially in the Acts of the Apostles.
The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. “In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth and under the earth” (Phil 2:10). Christ’s name is chosen in heaven, and the Angel Gabriel announces it when he informs the Blessed Virgin of the incarnation: “Behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus”. It is a name that has marvelous implications, for it means “savior.” The very name bespeaks the magnitude of His mission, His infinite love, a love that will cause Him to offer Himself up for us.
The name of Jesus is the sweetest of all names, and He who bears it is most worthy of all love. He who calls Jesus his friend can be assured that this friend is the most devoted and unselfish of all friends.
Jesus is our all. In His name we may pray to the Father with assurance of being heard. In His name the Church administers all her sacraments. In His name she offers all her prayers and blesses homes, the fields, and the sick. In the name of Jesus she casts out evil spirits, and at the hour of our death bids us, “Go forth, Christian soul.” She assures us that whoever shall call upon this name will be saved. When our soul has departed this life to seek its eternal home, the Church asks in the name of Jesus, “Eternal rest give unto him, O Lord.”
January 06 – Epiphany of our Lord Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany. Epiphany means manifestation. What the Church celebrates today is the manifestation of our Lord to the whole world; after being made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem He is revealed to the Magi who have come from the East to adore Him. All Christian tradition has ever seen in the Magi the first fruits of the Gentiles; they lead in their wake all the peoples of the earth, and thus the Epiphany is an affirmation of universal salvation.
St. Leo brings out this point admirably in a sermon, read at Matins, in which he shows in the adoration of the Magi the beginnings of Christian faith, the time when the great mass of the heathen sets off to follow the star which summons it to seek its Saviour.
Many traditions and genuine manifestations of popular piety have been developed in relation to the Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany. Among such forms of popular piety, mention may be made of the blessing of homes, on whose lintels are inscribed the Cross of salvation, together with the indication of the year and the initials of the three wise men (C+M+B), which can also be interpreted to mean Christus Mansionem Benedicat, written in blessed chalk; this custom, often accompanied by processions of children accompanied by their parents, expresses the blessing of Christ through the intercession of the three wise men and is an occasion for gathering offerings for charitable and missionary purposes.
January 10 – Baptism of our Lord Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord’s second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.
In the Eastern Church this feast is called Theophany because at the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan God appeared in three persons. The baptism of John was a sort of sacramental preparatory for the Baptism of Christ. It moved men to sentiments of repentance and induced them to confess their sins. Christ did not need the baptism of John. Although He appeared in the “substance of our flesh” and was recognized “outwardly like unto ourselves”, He was absolutely sinless and impeccable. He conferred upon the water the power of the true Baptism which would remove all the sins of the world: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world”.
Many of the incidents which accompanied Christ’s baptism are symbolical of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ’s baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His baptism Christ was proclaimed the “Beloved Son” of the Father; at our Baptism we become the adopted sons of God. At Christ’s baptism the heavens were opened; at our Baptism heaven was opened to us. At His baptism Jesus prayed; after our Baptism we must pray to avoid actual sin.
January 18 – Peter’s Chair at Antioch The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome, Italy has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. This is a very ancient tradition, proven to have existed in Rome since the fourth century. On it we give thanks to God for the mission he entrusted to the Apostle Peter and his Successors.
“Cathedra” literally means the established seat of the Bishop, placed in the mother church of a diocese which for this reason is known as a “cathedral”; it is the symbol of the Bishop’s authority and in particular, of his “magisterium”, that is, the evangelical teaching which, as a successor of the Apostles, he is called to safeguard and to transmit to the Christian Community.
When a Bishop takes possession of the particular Church that has been entrusted to him, wearing his mitre and holding the pastoral staff, he sits on the cathedra. From this seat, as teacher and pastor, he will guide the journey of the faithful in faith, hope and charity.
January 25 – Conversion of Paul, Apostle Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee in Jerusalem after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, swore to wipe out the new Christian church. He got letters from the high priest, authorizing him to arrest any followers of Jesus in the city of Damascus.
On the Damascus Road, Saul and his companions were struck down by a blinding light, brighter than the noonday sun. Saul heard a voice say to him: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4)
When Saul asked who was speaking to him, the voice replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:5-6)
The men with Saul heard the sound but did not see the vision of the risen Christ that Saul did. Saul was blinded. They led him by the hand into Damascus to a man named Judas, on Straight Street. For three days Saul was blind and did not eat or drink anything.
Meanwhile, Jesus appeared in a vision to a disciple in Damascus named Ananias and told him to go to Saul. Ananias was afraid because he knew Saul’s reputation as a merciless persecutor of the church.
Jesus repeated his command, explaining that Saul was his chosen instrument to deliver the gospel to the Gentiles, their kings, and the people of Israel. So Ananias found Saul at Judas’ house, praying for help. Ananias laid his hands on Saul, telling him Jesus had sent him to restore his sight and that Saul might be filled with the Holy Spirit. Something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. He arose and was baptized into the Christian faith. Saul ate, regained his strength, and stayed with the Damascus disciples three days. After his conversion, Saul changed his name to Paul.
The conversion of Paul shows that Jesus himself wanted the gospel to go to the Gentiles and that it was no human being’s idea. Paul’s life-changing experience on the Damascus Road led to his baptism and instruction in the Christian faith. He became the most determined of the apostles, suffering brutal physical pain, persecution, and finally martyrdom. He revealed his secret of enduring a lifetime of hardship for the gospel: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
COMMEMORATING THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED IN THE ST. MARY`S CEMETERY (PERPETUAL CARE) We have been asked to keep the following people in our prayers: Michael Prach, Helena & Mikołaj Benczarski, Christina Walton, Helen Chmielowiec, Walter & Stella Maciurzynski, Konstanty Jackiewicz, Very Rev. Waclaw Cwieka, Christine Maciurzynski, Marianna Janiszewska, Anne & Marion Tylipski, Jessie Chorniuk, Walter Fedon, Frank Payonk, Veronika Sosnowski.
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES January Birthdays: Bugarin Celine /01/, Gatiwan Daisy /01/, Kukula Teresa /02/, Mikolajczyk Christine /02/, Cabanlong Kate /09/, Truong Toby /09/, Grywinski Gail /10/, Czelen Vicky /11/, Maciurzynski Ted /23/, January Wedding Anniversaries: Gatiwan Efren & Daisy /18/, Piotr & Zofia Janecki /22/, Dzwonek Janina & Zygmunt /26/
DAILY INTERCESSION FOR OUR SICK AND HOMEBOUND The following are our brothers and sisters of St. Mary`s who are currently homebound, suffering from chronic illness, in recovery or in need of special prayers. Especially: Sofia Wolejszo, Chantalle Witon, Helena Wolejszo, Lloyd Mazur, Myron Mischuk, Bernice Payonk, Rose Budzinski, Halina and Edward Mandat, Janina Dzwonek, Mary Skrypetz, Patricia and Claude Caya, Lorraine Fedon, Helen Krokosh, Josie Jackiewicz, Larry Golembioski, Mary Golembioski, Donna Fedon, Rev. Tadeusz Czelen, Jennifer Bathan, Gail Grywinski, Frank Favoni, Lena Skrzenta.
PRAYER FOR THE SICK
Dear God. Hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in special need at this time. Amid mental and physical suffering, may they find consolation in Your healing presence. Show Your mercy as You close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits. May these special people find lasting health and deliverance, and with them, may we thank You for all Your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed. Amen.
THE SACRAMENT OF ANOINTING OF THE SICK There has been, historically, some misunderstandings put forth regarding the Sacrament of Anointing, sometimes referred to as Extreme Unction or Last Rights. In fact, the ‘Last Rights’ while involving the Sacrament of Anointing, is not the same thing. It is a sacramental procedure immediately preceding impending death, and is reserved for that purpose.
The Sacrament of Anointing is to help us heal. St. James, in his letter, wrote that the sick should come to the priest of the church and have hands laid on them and be anointed with oil.
This is for any type of malady that we might have. While it can include something as mundane as the common cold (and I would not refuse the Sacrament to anyone who asked for it), usually, we would approach for the Sacrament if it was something more unusual or persistent. The list is endless, but it includes any physical or mental problems that we might have.
Do not be afraid of asking the Priest to anoint you if you are not feeling well, and do not be offended if a priest finds out you are ill and asks if you want to be anointed. It does not mean that he thinks you’re dying, but that he wants to bring in Jesus, the Divine Physician, to make a house call on you and help you to be on the mend.
HOSPITAL VISIT If you, or a member of your family, are hospitalized or enter a long-term nursing facility, please personally or through a closest family member contact Fr. Czelen. I will visit a sick member upon his or his family notification.
2021 SPECIAL MASS INTENTION REQUESTS As we begin the New Year, if you would like to reserve a date in the church calendar Ordo, for any anniversaries, requiem intentions, or a special occasion, please contact Father Czelen at your earliest convenience.
ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER CHANGES To keep the parish files and mailing addresses up to date, if you have moved or acquired a new telephone number, please contact the parish office. Thank You. E-mail addresses are also requested.
ATTENTION PARISHIONERS – in case of your inability to come to church on any particular Sunday, please mail or submit your Sunday offerings and donations to our parish. Your church needs your financial support in order to pay utilities and expenses.
CEMETERY Thank you to all the parishioners and friends who have helped us to maintaining our Parish Cemetery in 2020. None of it would have been possible without your practical and financial support. Each donation, no matter how large or small, makes a difference. One of the nicest things you can do to honor those buried in the cemetery is to make a donation to St. Mary’s Cemetery for the maintenance and upkeep of their final resting place. Thank you also for donations placed in Sunday envelopes. Your gifts are very important to the operation of the cemetery. Thank you for your concern and support.
THANK YOU, MARAMING SALAMAT,
To all those who have worked so tirelessly over the past year: our Parish Committee, members of the Ladies Society, Fr. Bob Kay, Ted Maciurzynski for his service as our organist and music director, Robert Szkolnicki for recording Masses when the church is closed to the public due to coronavirus disease, our altar servers, choir, lectors, those who cared for the maintenance and upkeep of the parish facilities, our event planners and volunteers at our dinners, breakfasts, and other special fundraisers, and to all those who gave of their time and treasure to build up the ministry and community of our parish and the wider Church. To all who continue to pray, sacrifice, and serve in Christian love and charity on behalf of our parish. To every parishioner, visitor, and member – you are a blessing and a treasure. May god bless and reward you for all you have done!
KOLĘDA – THE BLESSING OF THE HOMES
What is Kolęda? It is the catholic tradition of pastoral visits to the houses of parishioners, taking place after Christmas. During such a visit a priest usually talks to the family members and prayers are said together by the priest and the family.
We like to continue the tradition of blessing homes during the period between Christmas and the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2nd which is the Polish feast day Matki Boskiej Gromnicznej.
The visit by the priest to bless the home of the faithful is known as Kolęda. This word is derived from a similar Polish word which refers to Christmas carols and hymns. In Poland, carolers would stroll through the towns and villages, singing the beautiful hymns to share the message of peace, love and salvation that was brought to the world by the birth of the Christ child in Bethlehem.
The blessing of the home is also a popular Epiphany custom. Using specially blessed chalk many households mark their entrance door with the year and with the inscription CMB, the initial Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the names of the three wise man. The inscription also stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means “Christ, bless this home.” The popular form the inscription takes is C+M+B+2021. It remains above the doorway until Pentecost. Everyone is invited to contact Fr. Czelen at 204-586-3825 to schedule a Kolęda visit and blessing of their home.
New Year Resolutions
Attending Mass regularly and prayerfully
Becoming involved in some groups of the Parish
Sharing talents, job skills or knowledge
Participating in the financial support of the Parish
Joining in with the Parish’s efforts to care for the poor
Attending the various educational opportunities offered
Receiving the Sacraments regularly
Helping in the liturgical celebration: Choir, Lector, Altar Server
…Though even thinking on the subject of time may prove discomforting, it is not a bad idea—especially at the beginning of a new year.
As we look into 2021 we look at a block of time. We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. And all is a gift from God. We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life.
The gift of time is not ours alone. It is given equally to each person. Rich and poor, educated and ignorant, strong and weak—every man, woman and child has the same twenty-four hours every day.
Another important thing about time is that you cannot stop it. There is no way to slow it down, turn it off, or adjust it. Time marches on. And you cannot bring back time. Once it is gone, it is gone. Yesterday is lost forever. If yesterday is lost, tomorrow is uncertain. We may look ahead at a full year’s block of time, but we really have no guarantee that we will experience any of it.
Obviously, time is one of our most precious possessions. We can waste it. We can worry over it. We can spend it on ourselves. Or, as good stewards, we can invest it in the kingdom of God.
The New Year is full of time. As the seconds tick away, will you be tossing time out the window, or will you make every minute count?
May God make your year a happy one! Not by shielding you from all sorrow and pain, But by strengthening you to bear it as it comes; Not by making your path easy, But by making you sturdy to travel any path; Not by taking hardships from you, But by taking fear from your heart; Not by granting you unbroken sunshine, But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows; Not by making your life always pleasant, But by showing you when people and their causes need you most, and by making you anxious to be there to help. God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.