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Religious relics will be shown

at St. Joseph Marello Parish

St. Joseph Marello Parish, 237 William St., Pittston, will present a teaching program and exposition of sacred relics at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in the church. The Rev. Carlos Martins, of the Companions of the Cross, will teach about these holy objects. He will bring with him more than 150 relics, some as old as 2,000 years, including relics of St. Maria Goretti, St. Therese of LIsieux (the “Little Flower”) St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Faustina Kowalska. There also will be a portion of the veil of Our Lady as well as one of the largest remaining pieces of the True Cross in the world.

Those in attendance will be able to examine and venerate each relic. In the church’s history, many miracles and healings have been worked in the presence of relics, and many have been healed through this ministry. The public is encouraged to bring articles of devotion (such as rosaries, holy cards, etc.) and pictures of ill friends and family members which they will be able to touch to the relics as a means of intercession.

There is no charge for the program but donations will be accepted. For information, call Frank Sciabacucchi at 570-954-0092 or St. Joseph Marello Parish at 570-654-6902.

Oblates will host 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.

Wyoming U.M. Church plans

ham and cabbage dinner

Wyoming United Methodist Church, 376 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, will hold a ham and cabbage dinner from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10. Takeouts will be available. Tickets for adults are $10; $6 for children 5 to 12. Call 570-693-2821 for information.

Pittston U.M. Church sponsoring theater trip

United Methodist Church of Pittston is sponsoring a bus trip to see “Songs of the Silver Screen” at the American Music Theater in Lancaster on Saturday, May 19. Movie buffs of all ages will delight in the new, original production that pays tribute to the biggest hits from movies past and present. Following the show, dinner is at Shady Maple Smorgasbord with time to visit the gift shop.

Cost of the trip is $100 per person and includes show, dinner, bus seat, taxes and tips. Bus leaves from the Pittston Plaza at 11 a.m. For information or to reserve a seat, call Cathy at 570-603-1915.

Novena to St. Joseph set at Oblates

The annual solemn Novena to St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church, will begin Saturday, March 10, at the Oblates of St. Joseph Chapel, Route 315, Laflin. Masses are celebrated daily at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., followed by novena prayers and individual blessing with the first-class relic of St. Joseph Marello, founder of the St. Joseph Oblates Congregation. Each novena Mass is preceded by an opportunity for confessions and recitation of the rosary.

The Feast of St. Joseph will be celebrated Monday, March 19, with a solemn Mass at 11 a.m. with His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, as principal celebrant and homilist. Oblate priests and diocesan clergy will concelebrate. At the conclusion of the Holy Mass, St. Joseph’s bookmarks will be blessed and distributed. There also will be a Holy Mass at 7 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to participate and offer prayers to St. Joseph. For information, contact the OSJ seminary office at 570-654-7542.

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.

St. Michael’s offers Friday takeout

St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, 205 N. Main St. Pittston, will have a takeout only Lenten food sale from 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays March 9-23. The menu includes pizza, fish sandwich with coleslaw and homemade soup. To place an order, call 570-905-7387.

St. John Lutheran lists activities

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

Planning will meet after service Sunday, March 4.

Council will meet after service 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.

Outside of council meetings, all events are open to the public.

St. John’s Lutheran Evangelical Church has gift cards available for a variety of locations and in a variety of denominations. See Mary Ann Denman or Alan Drummond after the service.

The church has a surplus of sanctuary candles available for $4 each. Contact the church and leave a message if interested in purchasing them.

For information about any of the events, visit Facebook, call 570-655-2505 or email

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. 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.

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. The program began with vesper services at St. Michael the Archangel Church, 205 N. Main St., Pittston, on Feb. 18.

The public is invited to the services, 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.

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.