More information below this photo gallery
If you love scouting flea markets, but not the extra travel driving from place to place, St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston should be on your agenda.
Father Gary and the parishioners of St. Michael’s invite you to visit.
This year, as always, you will find an abundant amount of items. A special “treasure” might be waiting for you!
The Flea Market is in the lower level of the church. Entrance by stairway is on Main Street next to the side parking lot. The line forms early Saturday morning outside the church. Arrive early if you must, or any time either day. There will be plenty to explore yet if you visit on Sunday. It’s exciting to be part of the fun! Doors open at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Take a break from hunting for treasure and visit the food bar.
Select something as eat in or take out. St. Michael’s is known for outstanding homemade ethnic food: “Piggies” (stuffed cabbage), pierogis, and halushki (cabbage and noodles). Or try a sampler with a little bit of each! Fast food items such as hot dogs, whimpies, and more.
A ziti dinner with fresh homemade sauce and meatballs, salad and bread will be a featured item.
With all these delicious selections there is no need to cook at all.
Don’t forget to pick up something sweet at the Bake Sale: Saturday, August 3rd only.
You are sure to find something temptingly delicious! Items sell fast. Be sure to stop by early for the best selection.
Bishop Kurt R. Burnette, D.D., of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersery will once again preside at this year’s Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, July 23rd. Present with the Bishop will be area priests, deacons, altar servers and regional choir members. Not only is this a gathering of Byzantine Catholic faithful, but an opportunity for everyone to experience the expression of the Eastern traditions of the Catholic church.
The Liturgy will be in the air conditioned upper main church. The traditional blessing with a relic of St. Ann follows.
The annual nine-day solemn novena to St. Ann at the National Shrine of the Basilica of St. Ann, Scranton begins on Wednesday, July 17 and culminates on Friday, July 26, the feast day of St. Ann.
For information about the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic visit : eparchyofpassaic.com
In Addition to Photos (top of this page): Photo Gallery Byzantine Liturgy at St. Ann Basilica
Novena week is the largest gathering of Catholic faithful coming from points near and far, focused in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Several thousand people attend daily Masses and the novena. It is a beautiful tradition and pilgrimage for all faithful.
A key anticipated feature is the daily preached message. This year’s Passionist preachers are Fr. Jack Conley, C.P., and Fr. Rick Frechette, C.P., D.O.. Fr. Rick is known for his work as medical physician with the poor and marginalized in Haiti. We look forward to being guided spiritually by both preachers in our challenge to be people of light and faith in a world of darkness and trials.
If you plan to attend the Divine Liturgy on July 23rd, it is recommended to arrive very early if you wish to avoid traffic. You will want to have time for a visit around the Shrine; visit the gift shop, light a candle, and have prayer time in the lower church in front of the icon of St. Ann and the Holy Theotokos.
We are ever grateful to the Passionist community, staff, and St. Ann parish family at the Monastery who are always our gracious hosts and friends. It is a gift and blessing to be united as Catholics in worship to God and with reverence to St. Ann.
For those who like to make it a day event, a food stand with a large menu of homemade items with a daily feature and dining tent is located at the lower end of the grounds courtesy of St. Ann’s parish volunteers. Relaxing with other pilgrims is a great way to make new friends and share reflections.
Hope to see everyone in Scranton for novena week!
Let us pray for great weather to the benefit of all.
Additional information will be on St. Ann Scranton Novena Facebook page and more features at stannsnovena.com.
Summary of Novena Week :
If you cannot attend you can listen on
JMJ Catholic Radio 98.9 FM
12 noon (Mass) 12:30 pm (Novena)
7:00 pm (Mass) 7:30 pm (Novena)
DAILY Novena Devotions after each DAILY Mass :
8:00 & 11:45 am 5:30 & 7:30 pm
Novena Service only 3:30 pm daily in the Basilica
Solemn Adoration with the Blessed Sacrament 12:30 to 3:15 P.M. Daily – Lower Basilica
Confessions Before all Masses & after all Services
FRIDAY JULY 19
1:30 pm Mass of the Anointing of the Sick Thursday – Main Basilica
SATURDAY JULY 20
10 am Children’s Mass & Novena & Blessing for Families and Grandparents
SUNDAY JULY 21
Masses at 8:00, 9:30 & 11:45 A.M. 5:30 & 7:30 P.M.
9:30 am in TAMIL language in Lower Basilica
TUESDAY JULY 23
Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy
Eastern Rite of Catholic Church
Bishop Kurt Burnette, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, NJ
This Liturgy is in place of the 5:30 pm Mass/novena
(Click on blue text above for History)
All Night Adoration (Eve of the Feast)
9:00 pm until first Mass at 4:30 am
FRIDAY JULY 26 St. Ann’s Feast Day
Masses: 4:30, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, & 11:45 A.M.
1:15 pm – Polish (Upper Basilica)
3:30 (Novena only)
Mass: 5:30 pm
7:30 pm ** Pontifical Closing
with Bishop Joseph Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.
Note: This post was published on August 20, 2018.
Our recognition and applause goes to a very special couple who appropriately have a “note” worthy reason to celebrate: We congratulate the cantor of our two Byzantine Catholic churches, Mr. Paul Dzurisin and his wife Dorothy on the occasion of their 60th Wedding Anniversary.
Paul is cantor at both of our parishes: St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston and St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, Swoyersville, Pennsylvania. And this is no easy task because it requires more than a little stamina for just about any person attempting this, to cover two parishes several miles apart on a busy schedule. His ability to accomplish this is impressive, as much as his dedication, talent, and knowledge are valued by everyone.
Of course, he would be quick to point out this is only possible through the support and assistance of his wife Dorothy who has been by his side through the years, patiently understanding how she is as much a part of the ministry in the shared sacrifices of time it requires.
It is a testament to Paul and Dorothy’s love of God expressed in the holy vocation of marriage that each has lived this Sacrament, that of family and home as domestic church. But in their case, there are no boundaries with any of the churches they are a part of ! It is obvious that Paul loves what he does and Dorothy the same. You can catch Paul with an ever-ready smile and a wave to parishioners after liturgies, and Dorothy is hardly a stranger to sharing a wonderful laugh and joyful greeting too! We wish them and their families the very best in all the ways they bring joy to others.
Congratulations to Paul and Dorothy, to their children, grandchildren, and yes, great-grandchildren in recognition of steadfast faith, honor in marriage, and service to the Glory of our Lord.
God Grant Them Many Years!
God Grant Them Many Blessed, Healthy, and Happy Years!
What is the role of the Cantor in a Byzantine Catholic Church?
CLICK HERE for the answer on this same website
Our 2018 annual
St. Michael Flea Market Weekend
came to a close Sunday, August 5.
We at St. Michael’s thank all who visited or volunteered.
And we sincerely mean that!
Who are the people who made a difference?
Everyone who participated made a difference!
You can believe is it our community of friends, neighbors, patrons, fellow “believers”, parishioners and volunteers
— extending far beyond 205 North Main Street, Pittston.
This year was no exception ! Everyone is a part of the success ….. it is the combined effort, the sum total of all the parts that makes a difference. ( Does that sound a bit like what St. Paul mentions in 1 Corininthians 12 ? )
Everyone brings a little part of themselves to the mix, doing what they can in their own unique and gifted way to make it all happen.
The difference we make is our gift back to God in thanksgiving for many good things He blesses upon us.
And since our united effort (whether in prayer or activities) is what makes us church, what makes us the Body of Christ — a community of believers — in the chance that you may have missed the opportunity this year to “be on board”, we welcome you to join us next time. Each person is the key to guaranteeing the future of what we value.
The ways people make a difference . . . .
Our partial list :
♥ The patrons who return year after year. Our good neighbors and faithful friends come for the food (the definition of delicious) and to shop. Thank you for your support. What is more remarkable to us are the places people came from, places that were quite far in fact, and also friends from several local churches. All we can say is “Wow!” We are humbled.
♥ The drop-in shoppers/visitors enter our doors for the first time and are pleasantly surprised. Cannot miss the line up outside on day one! We hope we served your needs well and returned the value of your time with us. Thank you for dropping in out of curiosity!
♥ Our Day One bargain hunters – the scouters of “great stuff” who patiently waited in that long line for the doors to open on Saturday. We hope you found the surprise treasure that made your day!
♥ And every volunteer who helped. Whether your help was visible or behind the scenes, big or small, no matter how much time or what role was played. May you find some rest in the weeks ahead, knowing you served God and your church, and did so out of love for both.
♥ Our food team volunteers who worked for hours in prep and cooking. And our bakers ! It takes planning, time and labor to achieve what you do. Where would we be without your skills? You are our success makers! We vote you best ethnic food in the area, too!
♥ And our “senior” volunteers (that may be the majority) who unfailingly help each year; you grasp the needs that exist and respond in kind. Our prayers are with you. We pray also that our young people will find in you the model to follow as they sort out discovering their path. We do hope that path includes being a part of St. Michael’s now and in their future.
♥ The people who don’t belong to our parish, who volunteer for their friends! You get a heartfelt hug and prayers of gratitude. You are the best of the best!
♥ Every other role played by volunteers: the bakers, flea market “pricers”, organizers, errand runners, setup helpers, donors of supplies, and on and on.
We thank everyone.
May God bless you in the role you served.
Because in the end, it’s all about serving God in serving others and ensuring the future of our church in our community.
The annual novena to St. Ann draws thousands of faithful pilgrims from July 17 through July 26, the feast day of St. Ann on the Latin calendar (July 25 : Dormition of St. Ann on Eastern rite Calendar). Novena week is observed with multiple daily Roman Catholic Masses and daily novena prayer services with inspirational preaching. Each year for four decades, a Byzantine Catholic Liturgy has also been featured.
The Bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersery presides at the Divine Liturgy with area priests and deacons as concelebrants, and altar servers and choir members assisting. The photos seen below are a sample of the annual event, taken at the 2018 Liturgy with Bishop Kurt Burnett as the main celebrant. The Passionist preachers for the 2018 novena were Rev. Don Ware, C.P. and Rev. Michael Rowe, C.P.. The Rev. Don Ware, C.P. is pictured below with Bishop Kurt.
Photos appear in sequential order including: the great incensing of the church and faithful, chanting of litanies, the Epistle and Gospel readings, homily, singing of the Nicene Creed, the Anaphora (Eucharistic prayers) and Epiclesis (consecration of the Holy Eucharist), and following the Liturgy were the closing with novena prayers and blessing with relic of St. Ann.
† For a description of the history of the Divine Liturgy during St. Ann novena week: click here.
† Click on any photo to open to Slide Photo View
Father Gary and the parishioners of St. Michael’s invite you to visit our 22nd Annual Flea Market on Saturday and Sunday. A special “treasure” might be waiting just for you!
FLEA MARKET TIME:
Saturday August 4 9 am to 4 pm
Sunday August 5 9 am to 3 pm
The Flea Market is in the lower level church hall.
Use left side entrance from Main Street next to parking lot. The line forms early Saturday morning in front of the church. Saturday start time is the busiest. There is always plenty to explore and plenty of food both days. It’s exciting to be part of the fun! Doors open at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Take a break after hunting for bargains and interesting “stuff” and visit the food bar for ethnic food.
Or purchase a Ziti and meatball dinner ticket to eat in or take out.
ZITI DINNER & TAKEOUTS:
A ziti dinner with fresh homemade sauce and meatballs, salad and bread will be a featured item.
Saturday 12 pm to 3 pm
Sunday 10 am to 3 pm
Cost: $10 Adults; $6 Children under 12
Tickets sold at the door; orders are taken in the seating area.
BAKE SALE: Saturday only
Under tent outside. You are sure to find something temptingly delicious! Items sell fast. Be sure to stop by early for the best selection.
TRADITIONAL & DELICIOUS – ETHNIC FOOD
St. Michael’s is known for outstanding homemade ethnic food:
Piggies (stuffed cabbage)
Or try a sampler with a little bit of each! Fast food items such as hot dogs, whimpies, and more. Eat in or Take out on all items. With all these delicious selections there is no need to cook at all.
CLICK ON ANY PHOTO below for larger images in slide show view
Everyone at St. Michael’s thanks all who visit or volunteer in supporting this event each year and look forward to seeing all of our returning and new friends alike. God bless each of you.
† For full description and additional photos: Click Here for Photos of Liturgy with Bishop Kurt Burnette
The annual novena to St. Ann draws thousands of faithful pilgrims from July 17 through July 26, the feast day of St. Ann on the Latin calendar.
Bishop Kurt Burnette of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersery will preside at this year’s Liturgy with area priests and deacons as concelebrants, and area altar servers and choir members assisting.
The Liturgy will be in the upper main church. All are invited to attend in witness to the beauty and expression of our Eastern rite traditions at this blessed and historic site. Everyone attending will receive the traditional blessing with a relic of St. Ann following the Liturgy.
Pope Saint John Paul II declared St. Ann Monastery and Church as a National Shrine to be a Minor Basilica on October 27, 1997. The novena has a long history dating back to the early 1900’s when the monastery was founded by the Passionist order and the Roman Catholic diocese of Scranton.
Novena week is observed with multiple daily Latin rite Masses and novena prayer services with inspirational preaching. This year’s Passionist preachers are Rev. Don Ware, C.P. and Rev. Michael Rowe, C.P.
Over four decades, every bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic since Bishop Michael J. Dudick, has visited the monastery and celebrated Liturgy at the Basilica. Through the vision of Bishop Dudick, the Byzantine Liturgy during novena week became an established tradition at the Shrine. The entire Passionist community, staff, and parish family at the Monastery have continued to be gracious hosts and friends. It is a gift and blessing to be united as Catholics in worship to God and with reverence to St. Ann.
Opportunities for Sacrament of Reconciliation are available before and after the regular daily novena services; it is recommended to arrive very early for parking, or to have time for a visit around the Shrine; or prayer time in the lower church before the icon of St. Ann and the Holy Theotokos, an icon presented from our Eparchy of Passaic. A food stand is located at the lower end of the grounds courtesy of St. Ann’s parish volunteers.
Hope to see everyone in Scranton for novena week!
Directions and additional information may be found online.
Novena Week Services include:
Novena Preachers : Fr. Michael Rowe, C.P. & Fr. Donald Ware, C.P.
Novena can be heard on local Catholic EWTN affiliate radio: JMJ 98.9 FM 12 noon and 8 to 9 pm daily
Novena Devotions after each Mass : 8:00 & 11:45 am 5:30 & 7:30 pm & Novena Service only 3:30 pm daily in the Basilica — Solemn Adoration Blessed Sacrament 12:30 to 3:15 P.M. Daily – Lower Basilica — Confessions Before all Masses & after all Services
SUNDAY JULY 22 —– Schedule: 8:00, 9:30 & 11:45 A.M. 5:30 & 7:30 P.M. ** 9:30 am in TAMIL Language in Lower Basilica
THURSDAY JULY 19 —– 1:30 pm Mass of the Anointing of the Sick Thursday – Basilica
SATURDAY JULY 21 —– 10 am Children’s Mass & Novena Special Blessing for Families and Grandparents
All Night Adoration (Eve of the Feast) 9:00 pm until first Mass at 4:30 am
THURSDAY JULY 26 St. Ann’s Feast Day ——– Mass Schedule: 4:30, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, & 11:45 A.M. 3:30 (Novena only) & 5:30 pm 7:30 pm ** Pontifical Closing with Bishop Joseph Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. ** Language Service – 1:15 pm – Polish (Upper Basilica) **
Visit St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston home page https://stmichaelsbyzantine.com for additional topics
CLICK HERE to see photos showing the severe ice jam on the river in Jan 2018
With the recent unpredictability of ice jams in the river, we were very
concerned about continuing with this event . Even as the ice jam threat has lessened at this time, it is far too dangerous to proceed. Our prayers were and continue to be for all those living along the river and in other potential flood zones. River flooding and threats of flooding are very stressful for everyone in our area, and our focus at this time is on prayer for all who are affected in any way, and for future protection of all.
We especially thank all workers in emergency management,
disaster relief and preparedness, law enforcement and all first responders, and public officials for the services provided during this time. We thank also those volunteers and workers who served in any other way, including our local media broadcasters for their role in communication.
God is with us! God is with us! Give ear, O you nations! Be humbled, for God is with us!”
God is with us! God is with us! The words of the hymn sung at the Great Compline, the evening prayer service introducing the Vigil of the Nativity (Christmas Eve) announce the joy which is Christmas: the coming of a Savior, the Messiah, for which all Christians gratefully rejoice. What a marvelous gift, a mystery and event of such magnitude that the entire history of the world is changed forever.
Pause for a moment and consider that. The history of the world transformed by the arrival of a tiny baby — a plan of God so amazing and actualized in such a way that transcends all human reasoning. In our limited vision we find ourselves at a loss to understand, and like our Blessed Mother Mary, we can only repeat, “How can this be?”
This is the timeless gift that God gives us in His mercy and desire to bring all to eternal life. This is the perfect gift that has no equal. No product or act of human creation can approach God’s gift to us, and we deceive ourselves if we believe otherwise. This is a gift freely given, but ours to receive, if we so choose to live in relationship with Christ Jesus.
In Christmas, hope becomes reality. God comes to us. God lives among us. Christmas is the fulfillment of all the prophecies of the Old Testament. The wait is over. God takes on humanity to save humanity.
The words chanted in the Liturgy on Christmas Day:
I see a strange and marvelous mystery, heaven is a cave; the cherubic throne, a Virgin; the manger has become the place in which Christ the incomprehensible God lies down. Let us praise him and extol Him.
We celebrate Christmas on December 25. Our Orthodox brothers and sisters also celebrate on January 7. Christmas does not end on those days. The world puts an end to Christmas on December 26th, but our celebration is different. Our celebration is more than all that Christmas has become.
When we continue to keep holy in our hearts and minds the revelation of our Lord in His Nativity in the days following Christmas, we are proclaiming that we are different. We do not follow what the world wants us to be. We are more. We are encouraged to be a visible sign to others of who and what we are, just as God came to us as a visible sign.
With the end of pre-Christmas distractions and Christmas Day, the post-festal period of Christmas begins. This post-festal time is from December 26 to December 31. We now have the time to spiritually reflect in the peacefulness found between Christmas and the Feast of Theophany. But if we are not careful, we might become sidetracked again in the post-holiday frenzy or the rush to hide it all away as no longer relevant, and in our haste to clean it all up and push it off, totally miss the special holiness of this time.
Our guide to growing in the virtue of perseverance is found in the familiar stories from the bible. The Wise Men were single focused and intent upon finding Baby Jesus, the real treasure. And they would not allow anything to lead them off course. Or to give up in the many months their travels must have taken.
We might consider ways to find the treasure of the Christ Child not just before and on Christmas, but in the post-festal days also. God comes to us when all is calm, all is bright. No one can do it for us, that is, to experience God. But we can make the time in sitting quietly for a few minutes, listening to beautiful music, talking to God in prayer, reading a spiritual book we had no time earlier, or just pausing in the middle of the day and being aware of God. And all that Jesus in the form of a little baby really wants from us is simple. Why do we find it so difficult? Jesus only asks us in to cradle him close to our hearts and offering our “self” as a gift in return.
Don’t celebrate everything else and miss the best gift of all.
Keep Christ and Christmas in your heart and soul – alive and renewed!
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Christmas Carol: Angels From Heaven
Angels from heaven came to you shepherds; Have no fear! Have no fear! Hasten to honor Him, born near in Bethlehem; Offer gifts, though poor and small.
There in a manger, you will behold Him, Son of God, Son of God. Child whose humility, veils his Divinity, our true Savior, Christ the Lord.
One of the lesser known fasting cycles in Eastern churches begins on November 15 and ends on December 24, Christmas Eve.
Many people readily identify Advent with the approach of Christmas. So it may be new to learn of another fasting period called Phillip’s Fast. It is also called the Nativity Fast, and like Advent, is a period of time focusing on spiritual preparation for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Phillip’s fast overlaps with Advent – the four weeks prior to Christmas traditional in the Roman Rite. The Eastern tradition starts earlier on the liturgical calendar – the day after the feast of St. Phillip (which is the source of its name but only that in common). Phillip’s Fast is a full 40 day period in which abstinence and penance are recommended disciplines. Unlike the Great Fast of Lent, this pre-Nativity fast is voluntary.
Voluntary fasting allows the faithful the option to abstain or not abstain from certain foods on days aside from what is normally required on Fridays. One of those options is to abstain from meat on Mondays and Wednesdays in addition to Fridays. As with any fasting cycle, spiritual value is seen in formative practices such as acts of charity or service, and reserving time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The intention of Phillip’s Fast is to contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the significance to our redemption and salvation. All throughout the Old Testament prophecies, the hopes and promises of a Messiah are foretold with long awaited anticipation, the span of which can only be realized in looking back in time. In the New Testament, we see again, many examples of waiting and hopeful expectation, of disciplined patience expressed by Jesus himself, even exasperation over human misunderstanding of his message to others. Jesus emphatically reminds his own apostles and disciples of the importance of prayer and fasting in affecting change, whether in self or others.
Hopeful expectation requires slowing down and patient acceptance of the wait. The goal of the Phillip’s or Nativity Fast period is to move deeper in personal interior preparation at a time when everything is moving faster. This involves using our time and resources in ways different than what others want us to believe is important. Jesus came in complete humility and in doing so modeled to his followers the Way to eternal life. The challenge during Phillip’s fast is to enjoy the anticipation during this season (as there is much joy in it) while retaining what makes this waiting time distinctly Christian. It’s also a reminder that the church recognizes this time before Christ’s birth as a penetenial period, with the true celebration of Christmas reserved for Christmas and the time following.
An even greater challenge is keeping and making time amid the busyness of shopping, decorating, and gathering with others, to reflect on what God wants, and less on what we want that is apart from God. Doing so is to grow in Christ and the means to do this is through prayer, reading Scripture, participating in the Sacraments including Confession, making sacrifices, and sharing with others (almsgiving). But hardest of all, is finding distraction free quiet. Noise and distractions pull us in other directions, and these are the background static we habitually lean upon to avoid what we fear, and that is realizing the personal relationship God wants with each of us. What God desires is very different than the temptations that are more prevalent at this time of year.
♥ It is necessary to make a conscious choice to see past what the world identifies as Christmas and instead see with spiritual eyes.
One of the benefits of a fasting period before Christmas is it helps us form this deliberate awareness. With renewed awareness, and without contradiction in enjoying this time of year, is found the ability to maintain a clear focus. The world may glorify a manufactured joy, but we as Christians can celebrate the Glory of Our Lord in the time appropriate for celebration. Our joy then becomes the “joy of the Gospel” — the kind expressed by the early disciples of Christ — a joy that is continued in our present age, in our discipleship as Christians now. In doing so, we affirmatively acknowledge that Christ’s birth celebrated on Christmas Day is just the beginning. The Nativity of Jesus Christ is not merely a one day event, but a revelation leading to the greatest gift of all.
♥ Let us prepare our hearts to welcome Jesus, the true Light of the World.