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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:01:28 11:34:13

Queen of the Apostles Parish, Avoca, celebrated the start of Catholic Schools Week with a Mass on Sunday, Jan. 28. Parishioners who are students at Catholic schools throughout the Scranton Diocese participated in the Mass. First row, from left, are Abigail Miller and Mia Ferranti, Holy Rosary School, Duryea; Jacob Kowalski and Carter Kowalski, Our Lady of Peace, Clarks Summit; Christian Santos and Mattea Santos, Good Shepherd Academy, Kingston; Allie Becker, Holy Rosary School; Shawn Lepore, Wyoming Area Catholic School, Exeter; Avery Becker and Molly Houston, Holy Rosary School, Duryea. Second row: Rosalie Bennie and Matthew Dowdell, Holy Cross High School, Dunmore; Maddie Miller, Aubrey Perks and David Perks, Holy Rosary School; Emily Miller, Holy Redeemer High School, Wilkes-Barre; Grace Kowalski, Our Lady of Peace, and Debbie Brady, teacher, Holy Rosary School. Third row, Mary Ann Bennie, teacher’s aide, Holy Rosary School; Jim Rose, teacher, Holy Rosary School; Patrick Bennie, Holy Cross High School; the. Rev. Phillip Sladicka, pastor, Queen of the Apostles Parish; Deacon James Rose, Queen of the Apostles Parish, and Karen Miller, teacher’s aide, Holy Rosary School.

This week is certainly going to be busy at Queen of the Apostles Parish. Lent begins Feb. 14 when the parish will have several special services for Ash Wednesday, along with a tuna hoagie and vegetarian soup sale to assist individuals abstaining from meat that day. Following those services, the parish will host Stations of the Cross on Friday, and its annual Night at the Races on Saturday. Read on for all of the details.

Queen of the Apostles Parish’s women’s guild is holding an Ash Wednesday tuna hoagie and vegetarian soup sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 14 in the parish hall, 742 Spring St.

The hoagies, which are $5 each, are available with or without onions, lettuce and tomato. The soup is $5 per quart.

To place an order, call Peg Callahan at 570-457-8887 or Mary Janet Gilroy at 570-457-3759.

On that same day, the parish will also have services for Ash Wednesday at the church, 715 Hawthorne St. The service times are 8 a.m., noon and 7 p.m., Mass with distribution of ashes and 5 p.m. liturgy of the word with distribution of ashes.

The parish will pray the Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m. Fridays during Lent in the church. Prior to the Stations, the Our Lady of Sorrows prayer group will recite the Our Lady of Sorrows rosary at 6:30 p.m.

As part of the Diocese of Scranton’s “The Light is on for You” Lenten reconciliation program, the parish will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays during Lent. The sacrament will still be available from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. on Saturdays.

In other parish news, the parish will host a Night at the Races on Saturday, Feb. 17, in the parish hall. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the races begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and includes food and beverages. Horse sponsorships are $10 each. The sponsor of the winning horse wins $50. Sponsorship registration forms are available in the church vestibule or the parish office. They can be returned the night of the event. Also, food and baked goods donations are welcome. For information, contact the parish office at 570-457-3412 or

The parish announces the following meetings: pastoral council, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, rectory; word committee, 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, rectory, and worship committee, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, rectory.

It was so nice to see so many students from various Catholic schools in the Diocese of Scranton participate in the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Jan. 28 at Queen of the Apostles Parish. It’s not easy in today’s economy to enroll your child in Catholic school, but if a family can, I have heard nothing but positive reviews about the experience for children. Thanks so much to the students for participating in the Mass and doing such a great job!


Little League news

Avoca/Dupont Little League will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St.

The agenda includes planning for the spring season as well as regular league business. All coaches are asked to attend. Anyone interested in volunteering or who has a general interest in the league is welcome to attend.

Online registration for the 2018 spring Avoca/Dupont Little League season is currently available on the league website, The final online registration date is Sunday, Feb. 28. Any player from last year can register for the upcoming season online. New players to the league must register in person. Current players can, too. New players must supply three forms of residency and a copy of their birth certificate. In-person registration will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays in February at the clubhouse, 700 Mill St.

The cost to register is $65 for one player and $80 for two or more players from the same family. Payment for online registration can be completed using a credit card or via cash or check in person.

In other news, the league’s third annual cash bingo fundraiser will take place Sunday, April 29, at the Queen of the Apostles Parish hall, 742 Spring St. The doors open at noon and games begin at 1 p.m.

There will be 15 regular games worth $100 each, three special games worth $150 each and a coverall game worth $250. Also, there will be a basket raffle and food available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. To purchase tickets, call Gary at 570-540-0649, Lori at 570-877-4361 or Denise at 570-589-1426. Tickets are also available at all league events.


VFW Auxiliary meeting

Avoca Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 Auxiliary will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at the post home, 915 Main St. President June Fitzgerald will preside. Refreshments will be served.


Crime Watch meeting

Avoca Neighborhood Crime Watch will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. District Magistrate Alexandra Kokura Kravitz will be the guest speaker and present an overview of the type of criminal activity in and around our area.

Residents are encouraged to attend this meeting and learn more about what is occurring in the area each day.

For information, call Jim at 570-457-8446, Ned at 570-457-6109 or Gene at 570-313-3079.


Ministerium Lenten service

The Four-Boro Ministerium of Avoca, Duryea, Moosic and Old Forge will have its weekly ecumenical Lenten service at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Bethel United Methodist Church, 532 Main St. The Rev. Phillip Sladicka, pastor of Queen of the Apostles Parish, Avoca, will be the guest preacher.


Trash fee

Avoca Borough has sent 2018 garbage fee bills to homeowners and rental property owners. Rental owners are responsible for telling their tenants they must pay this fee, too.

The fee schedule to have up to three bags collected weekly has not increased this year. It is as follows: $160 if purchased by Feb. 20; $165 if purchased between Feb. 21 and March 20; $175 if purchased between March 21 and April 20; $185 if purchased between April 21 and May 20, and $195 if purchased between May 21 and June 21. After June 21, all unpaid bills will be turned over to the magistrate.

Residents can pay their bill 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. Residents can also pay the fee via mail by sending a check made payable to Avoca Borough, c/o Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641. You do not need to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Window stickers are not necessary and will not be issued.

Residents can get a 2018 recycling calendar at the municipal garage or the municipal building.


Softball registration

Softball registration for the spring Little League season is available at All girls ages 7-14 within the boundaries of the Pittston Area School District are eligible to play. The divisions are minors, majors and juniors. A senior division for girls ages 14-16 is tentative. The number of teams depends on the number of players registered.

The cost is $100 per child with a $150 maximum per family. This fee also includes one ticket per family to a future Pittston Twp. purse bingo fundraiser.

The registration deadline is Thursday, March 1. For information, call 570-212-2347.


West Side Social Club St. Patrick’s Day party

The West Side Social Club will hold its inaugural St. Patrick’s Day celebration Saturday, March 17, at the club, 711 McAlpine St.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. with a blessing at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Cemetery Street, Avoca, followed by a procession from the cemetery to the West Side Social Club. There will be a ham and cabbage dinner along with live entertainment from 2 to 6 p.m. A $20 donation per person is requested and can be made at the door.

During the celebration, lifelong Avoca resident and retired businessman Mike George will receive the Man of the Year award.


Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the basement of the Queen of the Apostles Parish rectory, 715 Hawthorne St. Please use the sunroom entrance.


Happy birthday

Happy birthday to Avoca emergency medical technician Joe Chiumento who will celebrate his special day Friday, Feb. 16. Thanks for taking care of us, Joe!


That’s about it for this week, my friends. Thanks for reading and have a great week!


Jackie Borthwick-Galvin writes about Avoca every week. To list a news item, email her at or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.