Rev. John Seniw, Pastor
706 N. Warren Street
Berwick, PA 18603
|Saturday, March 25th, 2017 - 4th Sunday of The Great Fast - 5:30 pm - Health and Blessings for Marjorie Matash - Bill and Barbara Nagy
Sunday, March 26th 2017 - 4th Sunday of the Great Fast - 10:30 am - God's Blessings on all Parishioners
Monday, March 27th - Thursday, March 30th, 2017 - No Liturgy
Friday, March 31st, 2017 - 6:30 pm - Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts
Saturday, April 1st, 2017 - 5th Sunday of The Great Fast - 9:00 am - Akathist to the Mother of God; 5:30 pm - +Frank Lehnowsky - Susan Macuski and Marion Oglesby
Sunday, April 2nd 2017 - 5th Sunday of the Great Fast - 10:30 am - God's Blessings on all Parishioners
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.
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.
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.
Sunday/Holy Days: $964.00
Humanitarian Aid: $10.00
Home Missions: $15.00
Religious Education classes for our children will not be held March 20th & 27th. The next class will be held April 3rd.
North Anthracite Council - League of Ukrainian Catholics will meet on Tuesday, March 28th 2017 at 5:00 pm at Grotto Pizza, 36 Gateway Shopping Center, Edwardsville. Discussion will focus on hosting Convention 2017 which will be held the weekend of October 6, 7, & 8 in Wilkes-Barre. For additional information contact Dorothy Jamula, President at 570-822-5354 or any LUC member of the Parish.
Great Canon of St. Andrew
The North Anthracite Deanery will serve the traditional Lenten Service for the 5th Thursday of Lent called "the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete" at 10:00 am at Ss. Peter and Paul Church, 20 Nottingham Street, Plymouth, PA. All parishes of the Deanery are invited to attend this beautiful, penitential service which is very appropriate for the Great Fast..
All Souls Saturdays
The reamining All Souls Saturday for 2017 is June 3rd. Please use your envelopes for the deceased marked "Sorokousty" to have your loved ones included this year, adding any new names since last year.
2017 Stations of the Cross
April 2nd - St. Vladimir, Edwardsville
Confessions are heard starting at 3:30 pm, Rosary at 3:45 pm, and Stations at 4:00 pm.
Monday, February 27th is the first day of Great Lent. Although, our church has traditionally prescribed abstinence from meat and dairy products for the entire duration of the Great Fast, the following are the very minimal Lenten regulations of the Ukrainian Catholic Church today. Abstinence from meat and dairy products on the First Day of the Great Fast and on Good Friday, and abstinence from meat only on Holy Saturday. You are reminded that abstinence from meat is prescribed for all Fridays of the year for members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Since these regulations are a bare minimum, abstinence from meat is also recommended for Wednesdays during Lent.
Reception of the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist are also prescribed during the period from the beginning of Great Fast to Ascension Thursday.
All the faithful are urged to attend the Lenten services such as the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy and the Commemoration of the Deceased (Sorokousty).
Such good deeds as almsgiving, visitation of the sick, Bible reading, praying for vocations and praying for peace in Ukraine are most earnestly recommended to all the Faithful.
Humanitarian Aid Collection
During this year's Great Fast our parish will contribute to the Humanitarian Aid Fund for Ukraine. The on-going war in Eastern Ukraine has created a refugee crisis with many people left without homes, food, water, etc. and the Ukrainian Catholic Church is assisting in aiding these refugees in various ways. The fund is administered by the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine. Your support and contributions would be a significant way to practice almsgiving during the Great Fast. A box will be placed in the vestibule of the church marked "Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine".
Annual Lenten Retreat
The annual LUC Lenten Retreat will take place on March 31st, April 1st & 2nd, 2017 at St. Mary's Villa, Sloatsburg, NY. Retreat cost is $175.00 and regristration deadline is March 17th. Contact Yanka Everett at 570-759-2824 for further information or to register.
Change of Email Address
Please make note that as of August 18th our church email will change. The new address will be firstname.lastname@example.org. The old address may be used for any correspondence until then.
Altar Server Schedule
Sunday, March 26th - Jackson Matash and Ben Tapsak
Sunday, April 2nd - Steven Tapsak and Alex Tapasak
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 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:
risu.org.ua - Religious information service of Ukaine in English and Ukrainian
news.ugcc.ua - Official website of the UGCC in both English and Ukrainian
zhyve.tv - Great information but only in Ukrainian
ukrarcheparchy.us - Our own Archeparchial website in English
Altar Flower Sign-Up Sheet
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Metropolitan-Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians
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.
Did you know that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has a central website produced in Ukraine and available in English? The website is www.ugcc.org.ua 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.
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: email@example.com. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
"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.
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."
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.
Please remember in your prayers those who are sick or infirm in our parish: John Kukorlo, Ceola Coleman, Helen Mackes, Helen Bobersky, Petro Panczyszyn, Mary Rutskie, Mae Sylvia, and George Skomsky.