Monthly Newsletter
DECEMBER 2017
 

St. Mary’s Parish
Polish National Catholic Church
365 Burrows Ave. Winnipeg, MB R2W 1Z9
Tel. (204) 586-3825

 Website: www.stmarypncc.ca

Rev. Tadeusz Czelen – Pastor
rev.czelen@stmarypncc.ca

welcome1


St. Mary’s Parish of the Polish National Catholic Church has been in existence for 113 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.

mass intentions2

I SUNDAY OF ADVENT,  December 3, 2017
10:00AM – † Józef, Julia

II SUNDAY OF ADVENT, December 10, 2017
10:00AM – † Zofia, Wojciech
After Mass Christmas Party for children

III SUNDAY OF ADVENT, December 17, 2017
10:00AM – † Władysław, Józef, Julia

IV SUNDAY OF ADVENT, December 24, 2017
10:00AM – † Marianna, Stanisław

VIGIL OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD, December 24 , 2017
10:00PM – Pasterka, Christmas Eve Mass

NATIVITY OF OUR LORD, December 25, 2017
10:00AM – † Józef, Julia

HUMBLE SHEPHERDS, December 31, 2017
10:00AM – † Wojciech,Władysław, Bronisława, Bolesława 

info4

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.

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Advent is the season that begins the liturgical year.  It consists of four Sundays starting with the Sunday closest to November 30th.  The word advent is derived from the Latin adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.  For Christians, Advent is the time when the church patiently prepares for the coming of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. Advent is the first part of a larger liturgical season that includes Christmas and Epiphany and continues until the beginning of Lent.  Even though Advent occurs in the month of December and is usually considered to be a prelude to Christmas, it is not simply about waiting for the birth of Christ.  Advent is as much about preparing for Christ’s return on Judgment Day. Indeed, the Advent season focuses on Christ’s  threefold coming – past, present, and future.  First, we remember the Lord’s humble first coming in Bethlehem two thousand years ago.  Second, we give thanks for His present and continual coming to us through Word and Sacrament. Finally, we look forward with hope and longing to His second coming in glory to judge the living and the dead on the Last Day.

christmas1

The historic record of the birth of Christ can be found in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20Unlike any other baby, the one born that night in Bethlehem was unique in all of history. He was not created by a human father and mother. He had a heavenly pre-existence (John 1:1-314). He is God, the Son-Creator of the universe (Philippians 2:5-11). This is why Christmas is called the incarnation, a word which means “in the flesh.” In the birth of Jesus, the eternal, all-powerful and all-knowing Creator came to earth in the flesh.
Why would God do such a thing? Why would he come as a baby, instead of appearing in power and majesty? Why make himself a true man and live among us, when he knew full well how terribly he would be treated?
It was LOVE! It was necessary, if you are to be saved!
The true meaning of Christmas is love. John 3:16-17 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this incredible act of love.
The real Christmas story is the story of God’s becoming a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ. Why did God do such a thing? Because He loves us! Why was Christmas necessary? Because we needed a Savior! Why does God love us so much? Because He is love itself (1 John 4:8). Why do we celebrate Christmas each year? Out of gratitude for what God did for us, we remember His birth by giving each other gifts, worshipping Him, and being especially conscious of the poor and less fortunate.

Polish Christmas Tradition – Christmas Wafer (Opłatek)

oplatek2One of the most beautiful and most revered Polish customs is the “breaking of the opłatek.” The use of the Christmas wafer (opłatek) is practiced not only by native Poles in Poland, but by people all over the world whose ancestors came from Poland. The “opłatek” is a thin wafer, made of flour and water. For table use, it is white. On Christmas eve, the whole family gathers and waits impatiently for the appearance of the first star. With its first gleam, they all approach a table covered with hay and a snow-white table cloth. A vacant chair and a place setting is reserved for the unexpected guest, always provided for in hospitable homes. The wafer-sharing ritual is accompanied by mutual wishes of health and prosperity in the coming year. At Christmas time, it is now also sent to absent members of the family and close fiends in foreign lands, oplatek3who, in their loneliness, partake of it and so, are in communion with their loved ones. They dream that they are seated with their family at the Wigilia table, enjoying blessings, forgiveness and warmth of those under the parental roof.
The “opłatek” is the treasure link that brings warm memories of Poland to us all, settled in different parts of the world. Christmas Eve is the culminating point in preparation for Christmas in a Polish way. Come to a Polish home and you will be warmly enfolded by the wings of faith expressed in Poles’ tender love for the Christ-Child.

CHRISTMAS EVE SUPPER – POLISH WIGILIA
wigilia-1
Our traditional Christmas Eve Supper calls for a menu which does not contain meat products. The menu usually includes: oplatek – Christmas wafer, kutia, creamed mushrooms, pickled herring in sour cream, red beet soup, dumplings, baked fish, buckwheat groats, cabbage with peas, fruit compote, homemade bread, nut and poppy seed rolls.
Twelve foods are to be served symbolizing twelve apostles. Various regions of the Slavic countries have different customs. The tradition of our ancestors calls for, the blessed OPLATEK be at the center of the table and each member of the family is to break off a piece before the group prayer and the meal. A white candle is always placed next to OPLATEK reminding us of “Christ as the light of the world.” Hay is spread under the table cloth symbolizing the stable in which the Christ child was born.wigilia-3
These are all beautiful customs connected with the preparation of the annual Christmas Eve Supper. Although they are the most meaningful traditions of our ancestors, they should not be interpreted as the Polish National Catholic faith, but as rich customs carried on from generation to generation. In this changing society of ours, many young families or those of mixed religious and/or ethnic backgrounds no longer follow the custom of this special Holy Supper on Christmas Eve unless invited by parents or grandparents.
Some claim they don’t like the menu and since the menu is merely a custom, it can be changed as long as it observes the fasting from meat and sometimes even dairy wigilia-2products. Ironically enough, those in our communities of faith who are the least Polish cherish the most our religious and ethnic backgrounds. All Polish National Catholics are encouraged to uphold our precious customs and traditions. In diversity lies our strength and our spiritual uniqueness is further enhanced as well.
Let us all try to make each person of Our Lord’s Nativity truly blessed, meaningful and special by adhering to and even learning more about the precious gift of faith and cultural heritage which God Himself bestowed upon us.

church calendarDECEMBER  2017

December 08 – Conception of the BVM
Conception of BVM1The Immaculate Conception is the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother without any stain of sin. Church believes that, from the first moment of her existence, Mary was preserved by God from the Original Sin and filled with sanctifying grace that would normally come with baptism after birth. Catholics believe Mary was free from any personal or hereditary sin.

The teaching on the Immaculate Conception points to the grace of God which preserved Mary from sin at her conception in order that she will bear the divine Son of God in her at the Annunciation.Conception of BVM2
Although God removed sin from Mary at her conception, He did not remove her free will and her freedom of choice. At the Annunciation, Mary made her choice for God’s plan to be fulfilled in her.
We have been cleansed of sin at our baptism. It is for us now to remain in God’s grace by choosing to do God’s will always, just as Mary chose to do God’s will. On this feast of the Immaculate Conception, let us also ask for Mary’s intercession for the grace to do God’s will always.
Let us pray: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.

December 21 – St. Thomas, Apostle
st. Thomas1St. Thomas was a Jew, called to be one of the twelve Apostles. He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately exhorted the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities. At the Last Supper, when Christ told His Apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they also might come because they knew both the place and the way, Thomas pleaded that they did not understand and received the beautiful assurance that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But St. Thomas is best known for his role in verifying the Resurrection of his Master. Thomas’ unwillingness to believe that the other Apostles had seen their risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday merited for him the title of “doubting Thomas.” Eight days later, on Christ’s second apparition, Thomas was gently rebuked for his scepticism and furnished with the evidence he had demanded – seeing in Christ’s hands the point of the nails and putting his fingers in the place of the nails and his st. Thomas4hand into His side. At this, St. Thomas became convinced of the truth of the Resurrection and exclaimed: “My Lord and My God,” thus making a public Profession of Faith in the Divinity of Jesus. St. Thomas is also mentioned as being present at another Resurrection appearance of Jesus – at Lake Tiberias when a miraculous catch of fish occurred. This is all that we know about St. Thomas from the New Testament. Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost this saint was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians; he ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves “Christians of St. Thomas.” He capped his left by shedding his blood for his Master, speared to death at a place called Calamine. His feast day is July 3rd and he is the patron of architects. 

December 24 – Vigil of the Nativity of our Lord
Christmas Eve3The entire liturgy of Christmas Eve is consecrated to the anticipation of the certain and sure arrival of the Savior. Throughout Advent we have seen how the preparation for Jesus’ coming became more and more precise. Isaiah, John the Baptist and the Virgin Mother appeared throughout the season announcing and foretelling the coming of the King. We learn today that Christ according to His human nature is born at Bethlehem of the House of David of the Virgin Mary, and that according to His divine nature He is conceived of the Spirit of holiness, the Son of God and the Second Person of the Trinity.
Christmas Eve is a mystery, marvel and magic about that most wondrous night. The first Christmas Eve was a night of meetings – a momentous meeting of two worlds. On that night a meeting of heaven and earth, between God and humanity, took place such as never before or since.Christmas Eve2
The first Christmas Eve was a night of meetings, when the vastness of heaven met the confined fields of earth, when the richness of heaven invaded the poverty of cave and manger, when the dazzling choirs of heaven filled the silence of night. It was the night that ushered in the day of glorifying and praising God – and each Christmas we have been glorifying and praising God ever since.
Christmas Eve1Christmas is a time of meeting – the meeting of family and friends, for instance, the meeting of child and adult, the meeting of friend and stranger, even the meeting of enemies. I hope and pray that, this Christmas, there will take place in our lives a momentous meeting of two worlds. May we, like the shepherds, find the scrubby little field of our lives invaded by the vastness of heaven. May it be for us, as it was for the shepherds, a life-transforming experience – an experience that propels us along the little road to Bethlehem, there to worship and adore at the manger-throne.

December 25 – Nativity of our Lord 

Nativity5

‘Glory to God in the highest
And on earth peace good will toward men’

Born unto a virgin was God’s only begotten Son
Emmanuel (God with us) is the title of The One
Mary’s father was of Judah, the linage of a king
Mary’s mother was a Levite, from Aaron’s priestly string
The world beheld a brilliant star a shining in the east
The sign of Christ, The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and High Priest

Nativity2
‘Glory to God in the highest
And on earth peace good will toward men’

Shepherds in the field keeping watch over their flock at night
The angel of the Lord appeared and gave them such a fright
‘Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy’
For unto you is born this day, a Saviour, Christ the Roi
The Babe is wrapped in swaddling clothes, a lying in the hay
Heavenly host gave praise to God on the greatest birthday

Nativity1

‘Glory to God in the highest
And on earth peace good will toward men’

 

December 26 – St. Stephen, Proto-Martyr
stephen1Apostle Stephen the Proto-martyr was an early Christian convert from among the Hellenistic Jews, one of the original seven deacons ordained by the Apostles, and the first martyr of the Orthodox Church. The Church remembers the martyrdom of St. Stephen on December 27, and the translations of his relics on August 2.
St. Stephen was a Jew living in the Hellenic provinces, related to the Apostle Paul and one of the first seven deacons ordained by the Apostles to serve the Church in Jerusalem (thus making him an archdeacon). The Holy Spirit worked powerfully through his faith, enabling him to perform many miracles and always defeat the Jews who would dispute with him. The Jews in their hatred of St. Stephen lied about him to the people. But St. Stephen with his face illumined reminded the people of the miracles God had worked through him and even rebuked the Jews for killing the innocent Christ.
The people were enraged by what they thought was blasphemy and ‘gnashed their stephen2teeth’ at Stephen. It was then that he saw his Christ in the heavens and declared it so. Hearing this, the Jews took him outside the city and stoned him to death, with his kinsman Saul (later St. Paul) holding their coats while they did it. Afar off on a hill was the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian who witnessed this first martyrdom for the Son of God and prayed for him while he was being stoned. This occurred about a year after the first Pentecost.
When the Jews stoned St. Stephen, they left his body at the foothill of the city for two days to be eaten by dogs. But on the second night, Gamaliel—teacher of the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Barnabas—came and moved the body to his own land in Capharganda. Nicodemus, who died while weeping at this grave, was also buried there along with Gamaliel’s godson Abibus and Gamaliel himself upon his repose.
stephen3After many years the memory of St. Stephen’s burial place had left the minds of men, until 415 when Gamaliel appeared three times to Father Lucian, priest at Capharganda. He revealed to Fr. Lucian the place of his burial and everything about it. Fr. Lucian received the blessing of the Patriarch to exhume the saints from their grave where a strong, sweet fragrance filled the cave.
St. Stephen’s relics were tranlated to Zion and honorably buried, and many of the sick were healed by his relics. The other three relics were placed inside a church atop the cave on a hill. Eventually, his relics were translated to Constantinople.

December 27 – St. John, Apostle  &  Evangelist
St. John2St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His public ministry. He became the “beloved disciple” and the only one of the Twelve who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion. He stood faithfully at the cross when the Savior made him the guardian of His Mother. His later life was passed chiefly in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. He founded many churches in Asia Minor. He wrote the fourth Gospel, and three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation is also attributed to him. Brought to Rome, tradition relates that he was by order of Emperor Dometian cast into a cauldron of boiling oil but came forth unhurt and was banished to the island of St. John1Pathmos for a year. He lived to an extreme old age, surviving all his fellow apostles, and died at Ephesus about the year 100.
St. John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he had learned from his Divine Master, and which he constantly inculcated by word and example. The “beloved disciple” died at Ephesus, where a stately church was erected over his tomb. It was afterwards converted into a Mohammedan mosque.
John is credited with the authorship of three epistles and one Gospel, although many scholars believe that the final editing of the Gospel was done by others shortly after his death. He is also supposed by many to be the author of the book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse, although this identification is less certain.

pastor's letter5

December has come and with all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?
For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.
Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.
Why did He come? Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.
Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.
We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. We then become sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day.
Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a “Merry Christmas.” The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs to be met.
Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!
Can God change your life?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you at Church!

COMMEMORATING THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED IN THE ST. MARY`S CEMETERY (PERPETUAL CARE)
candleanimatedavatarWe have been asked to keep the following people in our prayers: Michael Prach, Helena & Mikołaj Benczarski, Christina Walton, Helen Chmielowiec, Joseph Macer, Stanislawa & Jan Maciurzynski, Walter & Stella Maciurzynski, Konstanty Jackiewicz, Very Rev. Waclaw Cwieka, Christine Maciurzynski, Marianna Janiszewska, Anne Tylipski.

BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES:
December Birthdays: Dzwonek Janina /01/, Jackiewicz Josie /04/, Owsianyk Brenda /09/, Nykoluk Ghyslaine /15/, Jacinto Liezel /17/.
December Wedding Anniversaries: Germinario-Solic Slavko & Maria /27/, Maciurzynski Ted & Esther  /29/.

DAILY INTERCESSION FOR OUR SICK AND HOMEBOUND

prayers for sick3The 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: Jakub Kowal, Sofia Wolejszo, Solgein Meinhardt, Chantalle Witon, Helena Wolejszo, Lloyd Mazur, Myron Mischuk, Bernice and Frank Payonk, Rose Budzinski, Sofia Gryz, Halina Mandat, Janina Dzwonek, Mary Skrypetz, Patricia and Claude Caya, Haviland Craig, Lorraine and Walter Fedon, Helen Krokosh, Josie Jackiewicz, Mary Golembioski, Brenda Owsianyk, Marion Tylipski, Vicky Czelen, Emily Wasney.

 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.

Membership4
I have been receiving quite a few questions lately regarding the benefits of paid membership in the Polish National Catholic Church. According to the Constitution of the PNCC, there are 2 levels of membership: what is commonly referred to as Membership of the Baptized and Full Membership. Membership of the Baptized consists of attendance and support of the local PNCC parish. This includes participation in the Sacraments, activities and so forth. Full membership includes the paying of dues to the General Church and Diocese. With this comes the ability to participate fully in the life and governance of the Parish and General Church. One is allowed to vote at the Parish Annual meeting, run for Parish Committee, Diocesan and General Church offices and join fully in building the Polish National Catholic Church.
Membership5
Also, as a matter of justice, we who fully believe in the mission and existence of the PNCC have an obligation to support it at all levels. As a Democratic Church, all levels of the Church are supported solely by the members. Not only the bills of the parish, which should be taken care of by each family’s tithe each week, but the Diocese, who oversees the parishes of each region, and the General Church, need to be funded by the dues that are paid by the members of each parish. As a Democratic Church, we have both rights and obligations. The dues are an obligation that we have to insure our continued existence. If you have not yet done so, please see me for information on becoming a member.


Anointing of the sick1
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.
Anointing of the sick2
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.

CHRISTMAS FLOWERS

decorDuring month of December, members of Parish Committee will collect money for Christmas flowers. Donations are now being accepted to help with purchase of Poinsettias to beautify our Church for Christmas. Many parishes offers Memorial Offerings in the name of departed loved ones by buying Poinsettias or donate money for beautiful Christmas flowers. The names of those for whom the Poinsettia is given will be published in the bulletin. Place the names in an envelope, and place in the Sunday Offering basket. Please be generous with your gift.

OFFERING ENVELOPES
envelopes1
God bless you for your generosity and support of our parish in 2017. Because of you and your sacrifice we have been greatly blessed. Donation envelopes for 2018 are available in the back of the church. Each packet is marked with a family name. Please take your packet home and avail yourself of these envelopes in the coming year. Doing so allows the parish to provide you with a statement for accounting and income tax purposes. 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.

OPLATKI
In the vestibule-entrance of the church we provide Christmas wafers (Opłatki). Keep this special tradition alive in your homes this Christmas!

NEED RENTAL SPACE?
Family gathering, a party, meetings? Check out our Parish Hall. Discounted rental rates are available to parishioners.

HOSPITAL VISIT
Hospital visit2
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.

Address changes1
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.

Cemetery4
Thank you to all the parishioners and friends who have helped us to maintaining our Parish Cemetery in 2017. 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’s envelopes. Your gifts are very important to the operation of the cemetery. Thank you for your concern and support.

WITH THANKS
volunteer1
To all who continue to pray, sacrifice, and serve in Christian love and charity on behalf of our parish.  To the members of our Parish Committee for their hard work and sacrifice. To our wonderful lectors, altar servers, our organist and choir director Ted. To every parishioner, visitor, and member – you are a blessing and a treasure. God bless you and reward you! Bóg zapłać! Thank you!!!

MASS ATTENDANCE
Just a gentle reminder that God would like to see His children in His house of worship on every Sunday of the year.  God, knowing everything, knows that many families are busy on Sunday mornings doing things of great importance to them.  God gave us free will, so, therefore, God does not force us to do anything.  When we are troubled and turn to God for help or guidance Our Maker always makes time for us, yet so often we can’t seem to take an hour out of our Sunday morning schedules to give thanks to Him who always makes time for us.

kitchen fund
Your parish committee has suspended the Significance campaign this year, as the decision to focus on a specific significant project deserved special consideration.  The kitchen renovation –  long overdue – is complete the construction portion of the work.  Not only does it looks fantastic – the new kitchen has been put through its paces and has performed admirably.  This would not have been possible without your generosity.  For those of you who have made your donation, thank you very much.
While donations have been going extremely well – already, approximately 77% of the target has been achieved – but we do still have some way to go.  And while the construction and major appliances have been installed, there are other purchases related to the kitchen – storage shelving, new pots and pans, cutlery – all required to make our kitchen operating safely and efficiently.
Remember, your donations will have dramatically assisted your fellow parishioners who work preparing, serving and cleaning up following the meal, in this vastly improved kitchen.
Again, if your donation has been made, thank you for your consideration.  If you have yet to make your pledge, please remember to be generous.
Sincerest regards,
Ted Maciurzynski, Parish Committee Chairman                                                                        St Mary’s Parish Polish National Catholic Church

MASS INTENTIONS
An individual may ask a priest to offer a Mass for several reasons: for example, in thanksgiving, for the intentions of another person (such as on a birthday), or, as is most common, for the repose of the soul of someone who has died. Requesting a Mass is a special way of remembering a loved one, celebrating an anniversary, making an act of thanksgiving, offering your prayer intentions before God or simply sharing in the feasts and seasons of the Church year. If you would like to have a Mass celebrated for a special request, on behalf of a family member, a friend, or a deceased loved one, you are encouraged to contact Fr. Czelen for scheduling the Mass.

 advent prayer1

Advent Prayer

Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of Your Father and ours. Receive my prayer as part of my service of the Lord who enlists me in God’s own work for justice.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world, peace in my home, peace in myself.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a joy responsive to the Father’s joy. I seek His will so I can serve with gladness, singing and love.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me the joy and love and peace it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord. Raise in me, too, sober reverence for the God who acted there, hearty gratitude for the life begun there, and spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son.
I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whose advent I hail. Amen.

This
Christmas
end a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten
friend. Dismiss suspicion,
and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter. Share some
treasure. Give a soft answer. Keep
a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you
were wrong. Try to understand. Examine your
demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be
kind and be gentle. Appreciate. Laugh a little. Laugh a
little more. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a
child. Welcome a stranger. Take pleasure in the beauty and the
wonder of Earth.
Speak your love.
Speak it again.
Speak it yet
Once again.

 

Why Jesus is Better than Santa Claus

jesus-santa2Santa lives at the North Pole… JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh… JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year… JESUS is an ever-present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies… JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited… JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.
You have to wait in line to see Santa… JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap… JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl, what’s your name?”… JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly… JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is “HO HO HO…” JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says “You’d better not cry”… JESUS says, “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”jesus-santa3
Santa’s little helpers make toys… JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but… JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree… JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.
It’s obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season. Yes, JESUS is better, He is even better than Santa Claus. Merry CHRISTmas!

 

Mary's Dream1

Mary's Dream2I had a dream, Joseph.
I don’t understand it, but I think it was about a birthday celebration for our son.
The people in my dream had been preparing for about six weeks.
They had decorated the house and bought new clothes.
They’d gone shopping many times and bought many elaborate gifts.
It was peculiar, though, because the presents weren’t for our son.
They wrapped them in beautiful paper and stacked them under a tree.
Yes, a tree, Joseph, right inside their homes! They’d decorated the tree with sparkling ornaments.
There was a figure like an angel on the top of the tree.
Everyone was laughing and happy.
They gave the gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our son.
I don’t think they even knew him.
They never mentioned his name.
I had the strangest feeling that, if our Jesus had gone to this celebration he would have been intruding.
How sad for someone not to be wanted at his own birthday party!
I’m glad it was only a dream. How terrible Joseph, if it had been real!
jesus-reason2

 

 

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