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While I certainly do enjoy the festive feeling this time of year and all of the enjoyable events that come along with it, I also look forward to the celebrating the true reason for the season with my family at church. It’s a special time to unite and experience the pure love of this season.

If this is something you’re searching for, please take a look at the services taking place at various churches in Avoca this week.

The Rev. Philip Sladicka, Deacon Jim Rose and the parishioners of Queen of the Apostles Parish will have Christmas Masses at the church, 715 Hawthorne St.: 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, children’s liturgy; midnight and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. Midnight Mass will be preceded by the singing of traditional Christmas hymns beginning at 11:15 p.m. Mass for the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the church. The vigil Mass will be celebrated at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31. Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at extra times at the church during Advent: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23.

The Rev. Dale Pepper and the congregation of St. John’s Primitive Methodist Church will have its Christmas Eve service of readings, candles and carols at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, at the church, 314 Main St.

On behalf of my family and me, I wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and happy and healthy new year!

Queen of the Apostles news

Still looking for a last minute Christmas present? Tickets are still available for the Queen of the Apostles Parish Pot of Gold Stocking Stuffer raffle. Tickets, are $10 and offer a chance to win $75 daily and $100 Fridays throughout January, as well as $250 on Jan. 15 and $500 on Jan. 1 and 31. For information or to purchase a ticket, contact the parish office at 570-457-3412. The daily winning number must match the state lottery’s evening Pick 3 number.

The parish announces the following meetings in the rectory: women’s guild, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8; word committee, 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 14; pastoral council, 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 14; worship committee, 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21; buildings and grounds committee, 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 28 and finance council, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Tax reminder

Tax Collector Therese Wrubel states the tax office will be closed Dec. 25. Wrubel will have office hours from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27.

Garbage bills

The 2019 garbage bills will be mailed soon. Anyone who does not receive one by Thursday, Jan. 10, should call Wrubel at 570-457-4891. Also, anyone who built a new home in the borough in 2018 can be added to the garbage mailing list by calling Wrubel or the Avoca Borough Municipal Building.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 3 and 17, at Bethel United Methodist Church, 532 Main St. Food can be picked up in the rear entry of the building. Volunteers are needed to unload and distribute food at 1:30 p.m.

Little League registration, Night at the Races

Online registration for The Greater Pittston Area Little League, which includes the Avoca, Dupont, Duryea and Pittston City Little Leagues, is open. Cost for each division is: tee-ball, $25; coach pitch, $35; minors, $75, and majors, $75. The maximum family fee is $110. For information and to register visit www.gplittleleague.com.

Greater Pittston Area Little League will have a Night at the Races Saturday, Jan. 26, at the former Seton Catholic High School, 37 William St., Pittston. Doors open at 6 p.m. and races begin at 7. Admission is $5 at the door and includes food, soda and water. This is a BYOB event. Must be 21 or older to attend.

VFW Auxiliary news

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 Auxiliary will not meet in January. The next meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at the post home, 915 Main St. President June Fitzgerald will preside.

Alcoholics Anonymous

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

Birthday wishes

Happy birthday to Maria Houston Burns, who will celebrate Sunday, Dec. 30, and to Paul Boone who will celebrate Monday, Dec. 31.

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 jborthwickgalvin@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.