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Oblates plans

Lenten devotions

St. Joseph’s Oblates Chapel will offer Lenten devotions at 6 p.m. Mondays during Lent, concluding Monday of Holy Week on March 26. The evenings will include the Rosary with newly composed scriptural Sorrowful Mysteries by Ernie Pappa, Fatima prayers, the Litany of the Most Precious Blood and Lenten songs. Participants will assist in leading the prayers and decades of the rosary. The public is invited.

St. Joseph Marello

plans penny auction

St. Joseph Marello Parish, 237 William St., Pittston, will hold a penny auction Sunday, March 11. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the auction begins at 2 p.m. Donation is $1. Refreshments will be served.

Lenten vespers set at

Byzantine churches

The Byzantine Catholic Churches of Wyoming Valley and Lackawanna Valley are hosting interparish vesper services during Lent. The services are held at 3 p.m. every Sunday afternoon beginning Feb. 18. In the Greater Pittston Area, the first service will be at St. Michael the Archangel Church, 205 N. Main St., Pittston.

The public is invited to the service, which is recognized for traditional Byzantine style chanting and litanies. This is an opportunity for anyone who would like to witness and experience the Eastern rite of the Catholic Church to join visitors from different area parishes. 

Vespers are a prayer service with origins in the early church. There are verses from Psalms that are chanted and other varied hymns, readings and prayers based on scripture. One of the prayers is written by St. Ephrem the Syrian, a monastic known for hymns, prayers,and homilies. The service closes with a short, but solemn Lenten hymn sung alternately in English and Church Slavonic (a liturgical language parallel to Latin in the Roman Rite).

Common in the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church, and observable in the vespers service, is the use of many symbolic elements, including the use of bells, incense, iconography and postures such as bowing and frequent making the sign of the cross.

For those who wish, private confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation) will be available after each service. A free fellowship social offering light food and beverages will follow at each location.

Feb. 18: St. Michael, 205 N. Main Street, Pittston, and St. Mary, 310 Mifflin Ave, Scranton.

Feb. 25: St. John, 526 Church St., Wilkes-Barre Twp. and St. Nicholas, 140 Church St., Old Forge

March 4: St. Mary, 695 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre and St. Michael, 511 Drinker St., Dunmore.

March 11: St. Nicholas, 271 Tripp St., Swoyersville and St. Mary, 700 Oak St., Taylor.

March 18: St. Mary, 321 Chestnut Ave., Kingston and Holy Ghost, 313 First Ave., Jessup.

The Very Rev. Gary Mensinger serves as the Syncellus for the Susquehanna Valley Syncellate for the Byzantine Ruthenian Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersey and is pastor at St. Michael the Archangel Church, Pittston and St. Nicholas of Myra Church, Swoyersville.

Catholic Choral Society plans Lenten concerts

The Catholic Choral Society will present its annual Lenten concerts for the 69th year.

The first concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 11, will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 116 Hughes St., Swoyerville. Pastor is Rev. Joseph J. Pisaneschi and the deacon is John B. Ziegler.

The second concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18, at the Forest City Historical Museum. John Kameen is the president of the Forest City Historical Society.

Concerts are open to the public free of charge. There will be a good will offering.

Dr. Thomas Rittenhouse and Brenda Grunza are co-presidents of the Catholic Choral Society. Ann Manganiello, of Exeter, is music director of this group while Jean Shields is accompanist. The group is composed of 60 members from Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wayne, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties. For information, call 570-575-1040 and also at

St. John Lutheran

lists activities

St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod, 7 Wood St. Pittston, announced the following activities:

Planning meets after service Sunday, Feb. 18.

Family Game Night is Friday, Feb. 23.

Council meets after services Sunday, March 11.

Palm Sunday Breakfast is March 25 after service, followed by the family Easter party from 3 to 5 p.m.

Maundy Thursday will be observed at 7 p.m. March 29 at Immanuel.

Good Friday Tenebrae is March 30 with a service at 7 p.m. at the church.

St. Michael’s plans pirohi sale

St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church, Winter and Church streets, Old Forge, will schedule a pirohi sale from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the church hall. Deadline for orders is Feb. 22 and can be placed with Sandra at 570-457-9280 or the church hall at 570-457-2875 and leave message. Price is 6.50 per dozen

St. Nicholas plans ham bingo

The parishioners of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church are sponsoring their annual ham bingo at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 18, in the church hall, 320 Vine St., Old Forge.

Theme baskets, door prizes and various bingo specials will be available throughout the afternoon.

The kitchen opens at 11 a.m. A variety of food items and refreshments will be available. The church will also sponsor a bake sale during the bingo.

Admission is $3.