Ss. Cyril & Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church
Rev. John Seniw, Pastor
706 N. Warren Street
Berwick, PA 18603

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 - 7th Sunday after Pentecost

READINGS:    Epistle - Romans 15:1-7   *   Gospel - Matthew 927-35

CONFESSIONS:   Saturday 5:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.   *   Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.

Saturday, July 22nd,  2017 -  7th Sunday after Pentecost -  5:30 pm - God's Blessings on all Parishioners

Sunday, July 23rd,  2017 - 7th Sunday after Pentecost - 10:30 am - +Raymond Starr, Jr. - Ray and Alice Starr

Monday, July 24th, 2017  - 8:00 am - +Frank Lehnowsky - Mary Ann and Joseph Kovalewski

Tuesday, July 25th,  2017  - 8:00 am - +Helen Scholtis - Barb Dalberto

Friday, July 28th,  2017  - 8:00 am - +Gloria Musser - Mike, Michael, Mike & Karen

Saturday, July 29th,  2017 -  8th Sunday after Pentecost -  5:30 pm - Herbert & Suzanne Tetens - Susan Slivka

Sunday, July 30th,  2017 - 8th Sunday after Pentecost - 10:30 am - God's Blessings on all Parishioners

Pastor's Welcome

Come into this Church.
Bring all you are, no need to check your failures at the door.
There are no perfect people here.
You are invited: come.
Come in seeking; come in wondering; come in hurting.
Come into this house of worship, companionship, and compassion.
Come in. You are welcome here.
Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church opens its door to you
and in the name of Christ, our Lord, bids you welcome.

Vibrant Parish Prayer

    O Lord Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd, as you once gathered lost sheep that they might hear Your voice and be your flock, so also today graciously look down from heaven upon our parish community, and send down on it your Holy Spirit, that it might be a place to receive the joy of Your Good News. Strengthen us with your presence, and always gather us together in prayer. Grant us the spirit of serving others, so that in our parish all might encounter You, the merciful God. Bless our spiritual leaders with Your wisdom, and inspire us to generously give of our time, talents and treasure for the building up of Your Kingdom. Unite us in peace and harmony, as befits Your community of love. Instill in us a missionary spirit, and let our parish community shine with the light of the Gospel, with prayer and good works, inviting all to share in the divine life, so that Your Name, O Savior, may be praised, together with Your eternal Father, and your most-holy, good and life-giving Spirit. Amen.

A Prayerful Atmosphere

    There are people who come to church early to pray and meditate before the Divine Services begin. There are also those who choose to stay afterwards to do the same. Please refrain from unnecessary talking, both before and after the Divine Services, so that an appropriate atmosphere of prayer in God's Holy House may be maintained.

Contributions for the Week of Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Sunday/Holy Days: $1,456.00
Candles: $56.0
Cemetery: $145.00
Fuel: $37.00
Raffle Prize Donation: $865.00
Cemetery Lots: $4,125.00


Altar flowers for the week of July 23rd were donated for a special intention of the Szpynda Family.

Our Parish Family Thank You to Fr. John

Please join us on Sunday, July 23rd after 10:30 am Divine Liturgy to say thank you for all the years and to wish Father John good luck with his new assignment.  Informal lunch buffet will be served.  If you have any questions, please call Marjorie at 570-752-4885.

Public Square Rosary Crusade

Please join the Public Square Rosary Crusade.  As we all know, the United States is in great need of public prayer, repentance, and conversion.  Please join us in praying for our nation on Saturday, August 19th, 2017 at 12 noon.  This will take place in the Church yard before the statue of the Sacred Heart at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church.  Please contact Irena at 570-764-4142 for more information.  Please remember to bring your own lawn chairs.  In the event of rain we will be inside.

Welcome Fr. Roman Petryshak

A very warm welcome is extended to Fr. Roman Petryshak, his wife Natalia, and their son Damian. Fr. Roman will become the pastor of Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church in Berwick and St. Nicholas in Glen Lyon as of August 1, 2017.  All of us wish Fr. Roman and his family much success and God's richest blessings in their new ministry.  Mnohaya I Blahaya Lita!.

Annual Ukrainian Seminary Day

The 83rd Annual Ukrainian Seminary Day will take place on Sunday, July 30th, 2017 from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm at St. Nicholas Picnic Grove, Primrose, PA.  Festivities will include the Kazka Ukrainian Folk Ensemble 1:00-3:00 pm, John Steven's Doubleshot Polka Band 4:00-8:00 pm.  Food and fun for everyone.

Christmastime Bus Trip to New York City

Scranton's St. Vladimir Parish is sponsoring a bus trip to New York City on Saturday, December 9th, 2017.  If there is a sufficient number of people from Luzerne and Columbia Counties interested in the trip, a pick-up in Edwardsville will be arranged.  There will be three stops in Manhattan: the Ukrainian Village on the Lower East Side, Bryant Park's Ourdoor Christmas Shoppes, and the Fifth Avenue/Rockefeller Center area.  Cost is $42.00 per person.  Participants are also free to do their own thing for all or part of the day.  If interested, please inform Paul Ewasko at 570-560-2275 by August 15th.

Evening Prayer Service

St. Vladimir Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 70 Zerby Avenue, Edwardsville extends a warm invitation to an Evening Prayer Service on Thursday, July 27th at 5:00 pm to be followed by a church sponsored meeting of our North Anthracite Council of the League of Ukrainian Catholics (LUC).  This is a public event at St. Vladimir parish to which all parishioners and friends are welcome.


Congratulations are extended to our parishioner, Alexandria Helbing for being selected as a state-level winner of the AMVETS Americanism and AADAA essay writing and artwork contest.  Alexandria is in the 5th grade at Holy Family School, Berwick.

Change of Email Address

Please make note that as of August 18th our church email will change.  The new address will be  The old address may be used for any correspondence until then.

Altar Server Schedule
Sunday, July 23rd - Steven Tapsak and Alex Tapsak
Sunday, July 30th - Jackson Matash and Ben Tapsak

Box Tops for Education for Holy Family

   Please help Holy Family by clipping box tops for Education from a variety of commonly used household products.  Please place box tops in the envelope on the bulletin board in the back of the Church.

The Proper Reception of Holy Communion

   The proper way to receive Holy Communion in a Ukrainian Catholic Church is as follows: approach the priest closely so that he does not have to reach too far, tilt your head back slightly, open your mouth wide (just like at the dentist) and do not extend your tongue. The priest should be able to drop the precious Body and Blood into your mouth from a golden spoon without touching any part of your mouth.  Hands are recommended to be crossed over your breast and a sign of the cross should be made immediately before the reception of Holy Communion.
Websites of Interest

Websites of interest for members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church:  - Religious information service of Ukaine in English and Ukrainian  - Official website of the UGCC in both English and Ukrainian  - Great information but only in Ukrainian  - Our own Archeparchial website in English

Altar Flower Sign-Up Sheet

    Altar FlowersAlAlAlt

Parishioners are reminded of the sign-up sheet for weekly altar flowers on the bulletin board in the vesibule. Our Parish has the custom of remembering deceased loved ones, anniversaries, etc. by sponsoring flowers to decorate our church. If you desire a particular week, please sign your name and dedication as soon as possible before it is taken.

Thanksgiving Prayer

    Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks.
    Thank You for all the graces and blessing You have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: our faith and religious heritage. Our food and shelter, our health, the love we have for one another, our family and friends.
    Lord, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessings throughout the coming year. We ask this in the name of Your Only Begotten Son and your All Holy, Life Giving Spirit to whom belong all glory now and forever and ever. Amen.

Questions your Protestant Friends may ask - "Why do You Confess Your Sins to a Priest?

    Jesus Christ gave His apostles - and by extension, priests - the power not only to "loose" sins (that is call the Holy Spirit to forgive - for only God can forgive sins), but also to "bind" (that is impose penances): Confession to a priest is Scriptural and is part of the ancient Tradition of the Church. "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Mt 18:18 - see also Mt 16:19). "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (John 20:23). The priest serves as the representative of God and of His mercy. Confession gives new courage, confidence, and a fresh start. One learns humility by this necessary practice, receives additional grace in order to avoid sin, and attains a certainty of forgiveness that is superior to mere feelings. Confession is also indicated in Matthew 3:5-6, Acts (19:18) an 1 John (1:9). For the Christian, confession of sins to the appointed representative of Christ is not an option. Jesus Himself demands it.

When Ill or Hospitalized

    Parishioners are reminded of their responsibility to notify the Pastor in the event that a family member or friend is ill or in the hospital so that arrangements can be made for visitation. As a general rule, hospitals no longer inform pastors when parishioners are admitted to the hospital. If possible, the reception of the sacrament of Holy Annointing should be done in a timely way and while a person is conscious and aware of what they are doing. This is very much preferable to waiting until the last minute when a person is unconscious or when a priest cannot be readily found.

Rules of Fasting and Abstinence

    Recently, several people have asked about the fasting and abstinence rules of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Each Sui Iures Church within the communion of the Universal Catholic Church is responsible to set it's own fasting and abstinence rules. Therefore, the rules of the Roman Catholic Church, for instance, will vary from the rules of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Briefly, for members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, all Fridays of the year are days of abstinence from meat except those Fridays called "Free Fridays" when abstinence is not prescribed. These usually follow major Holy Days such as Easter and Christmas and are recognized by the absence of a fish on our Parish calendars that we distribute each year. Other days of abstinence include Christmas Eve, the eve of Theophany, Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14th and Holy Saturday. Days of fast from meat and dairy products include the first day of Lent and Good Friday.

Boyers Caring and Sharing

    Please remember to continue to use your Caring and Sharing key chain card upon checkout whenever shopping at Boyers IGA. This program gives 1% of all purchases back to our church twice a year.

Collection for Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine

    We all share heartfelt concern for our brothers and sisters suffering the ravages of terrorist actions by insurgent separatist groups in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian citizens and members of the military have suffered significantly. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice in the loss of life or suffered injury. Many people are being forced to flee their homes. The coming months may be worse. The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia has created a Humanitarian Aid For Ukraine Fund to provide immediate help to victims of the terrorist actions in Ukraine. Funds collected will be distributed through charitable organizations and our bishops in eastern Ukraine to assist victims of the terrorist actions in Ukraine, including military personnel. The funds will be dedicated to assist in providing emergency shelters, food and water, and medical supplies.
    People of good will are asked to share generously in providing humanitarian aid so desperately needed. Contributions may be made through your parish or sent directly to the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, 827 N. Franklin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123. Tax receipts will be issued. It is expected that the crisis will worsen. The collection will continue to be taken as long as the need exists. Thank you for your anticipated understanding and generous support for those requiring our humanitarian concern and material help in this urgent time of crisis for our native Ukraine.

                            +Stefan Soroka
                            Metropolitan-Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians

Monthly Social Volunteers

    Volunteers are needed to help with monthly Sunday Socials beginning in January 2015. Normally, bread, cake, juice and milk are provided. If you need additional information contact Janina Everett at 570-759-2824 evenings.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Website

    Did you know that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has a central website produced in Ukraine and available in English? The website is and English may be accessed by clicking on the Ukrainian flag and then the British flag. News, statements, and videos are available on this site reflecting the explosive growth of the UGCC, especially in Ukraine.

The Way

    Did you knowThe Way, our archieparchial newspaper is available for FREE through the internet? Our newspaper is published twice a month in both an English language version and a Ukrainian language version. To receive this online newspaper, simply send your email address to: You may also share The Way with family and friends by sending their email addresses as well. All parishioners are encouraged to receive and read The Way, the Catholic newspaper of our Philadelphia Archeparchy.

Domestic Disaster Recovery Fund

    Recent disasters is various parts of the USA remind us all of the fragile nature of our livelihood. Many fellow Americans have suffered great losses as a result of devastating tornadoes, floods, fires and other environmental events. Metropolitan Stefan Soroka has established a Domestic Disaster Recover Fund, for the aid of victims recovering from such disasters in the USA.
    If you would like to make a donation for humanitarian needs of victims of disasters, please send your gift to the attention of this fund:

        Domestic Disaster Recovery Fund
        c/o Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia
        827 N. Franklin Street
        Philadelphia, Pa 19123

    Income tax receipts will be issued. You may choose to make such donations at any time following the learning of such tragic events in the USA.

Regular Visitations

    Regular visits to the shut-ins of the Parish are made by Fr. John for the purpose of receiving Holy Communion. Anyone who is not able to attend Divine Liturgies may request a home visit by calling the Parish rectory at 752-3172.

Where Does My Money Go?

    Fr. John has noticed that sometimes people are not aware of exactly where their Church donations go and so here is a short explanation. Generally, our church envelopes explain clearly which donations stay in the Parish and which ones are sent out. Additionally, donations given in memory of someone (memorials) always go to the Parish or cemetery. Stipends for Divine Liturgies, Prayer intentions, Sorokousty donations, Myrovania donations and gifts given at the time of funerals, weddings, and baptisms normally go to the priest who does the service. There are no set fees for any of these services although in some cases there are "customary amounts" such as $10.00 for Divine Liturgies. Sometimes a funeral director may suggest a "customary amount" for a funeral, however, this is not a set fee and all local funeral directors have been so instructed. If someone is not able or simply does not want to give a "customary amount" there is no problem. Anyone who may have a question about this policy should contact Fr. John for clarification.

Posture in Church

    The traditional posture for prayer and worship in the Ukrainian Catholic Church has been to stand. In Ukraine and other "Old Countries," there are usually no pews in the churches. Chairs and benches on the side walls are usually for the elderly and infirm. In North America, we have tended to build our churches with pews; (under the influence of the marjority of Protestants) and since we have them, we need to figure out when we may sit and when we should stand.
    First of all, it is fully acceptable (even preferable) to stand for the entire service. If you prefer this, it would be better to find a place closer to the back or side of the church so as not to stand out or block someone's view. When should you definitely stand? Always during the Gospel reading, the Little and Great Entrances, the Anaphora, the distribution of Holy Communion, whenever the priest gives a blessing, (when the priest censes), and the Dismissal.
    In many parishes, the Divine Liturgy books in the pews have suggested times when sitting is acceptable. Follow these instructions. When in doubt, stand. It is never wrong to stand in church. Many parishes also follow the practice of kneeling on Sundays during certain portions of the Divine Liturgy. Strictly speaking, this is not correct, because every Sunday is a "little Pascha" in which the Resurrection is remembered, hence, no kneeling. The "kneeling prayers" and five weeks after Pascha are said after the Sunday Liturgy, "reinstating" kneeling for Vespers, Matins, and weekday Liturgies only. If the tradition of the parish you are visiting is to kneel, and everyone is kneeling, it is better to do so than to stick out like a sore thumb. If there is a mixture of standing and kneeling, then stand. Remember that Holy Canons, and the Tradition of the Church forbids kneeling at any time from Pascha to the Kneeling Prayers of Pentecost.

From the Fathers

    "IN ADDITION to the study and true knowledge of the Scriptures are needed a good life and pure soul and virtue in Christ, so that the mind journeying in this path, may be able to obtain and apprehend what it desires, in so far as human nature is able to learn about God the Word. For without a pure mind and a life modeled on the saints, no one can apprehend the word of the saints."

                 St. Athanasius the Great, +373 A.D.

    "THE FRIENDS of Christ love all truly, but are not themselves loved by all; the friends of the world neither love all nor are loved by all. The friends of Christ persevere in love to the end; the friends of the world persevere only until they fall out with each other over some wordly thing."

                St. Maximus the Confessor, 580-662 A.D.

Peace of Soul - St. Seraphim of Sarov

    We all strive to be peaceful in the sense of having peace in our soul. Those who have acquired peace of soul can be in constant motion or busyness or in pain, but their souls being united closely to God remain in unshakable peace. "We must endeavor by every means to keep peace of soul. Do not be troubled by the insults or slights of other people. It is necessary at all costs to restrain oneself from anger and by watchfulness over oneself to keep the mind and heart from vain movement. For the guarding of peace of our souls, it is also necessary to restrain ourselves and flee from judging others. By being non-judgmental and being silent, our peace of soul will be preserved. When a person attains this state of mind, he receives divine revelation. We must keep our hearts from vain thoughts and impressions (Proverbs 4:23). By constant watchfulness over the heart, a purity of heart is born in which God is seen, according to the words of eternal truth given in Matthew 5:8: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."

A Final Thought

    North America society in the early 21st century is rather casual in its approach to life. Don't allow this prevailing attitude to enter into your Eastern Christian piety. There are surely a lot of other areas that could be covered here. Much of church etiquette is based on common sense and showing respect for God and others. Always remember that you are in church to worship God, the Holy Trinity. The priest says, "Approach with fear of God and with faith." Let this be the way you approach all of worship. If you do, you will probably have good church etiquette.

Keep in Your Prayers

    Please remember in your prayers those who are sick or infirm in our parish: Ceola Coleman, Helen Mackes, Petro Panczyszyn, Mary Rutskie, Mae Sylvia, Joan Serafin, Sophie Maliesky, Jack Musser, Catherine Kalanick, Gloria Schechterly, and Ann Zinich.