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The Advent season is upon us, and Queen of the Apostles Parish is welcoming it in a very special way.

The parish will have a Polish Advent Mass at noon Monday, Dec. 3, at the church, 715 Hawthorne St. The Rev. Stephen Krawontka will celebrate the Mass in Polish. Following the Mass, a light luncheon of chicken soup, bread and butter, dessert and beverages will be served in the parish hall, 742 Spring St.

In other parish news, the women’s guild will have a Christmas party at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at Lucca Restaurant and Catering, Taylor. Tickets are $25. To make a reservation, please call Priscilla at 570-351-7283, Mary Ann at 570-212-1365 or Marie at 570-299-9356 by Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The parish is striving to make Christmas a little merrier for members of our community. Under the direction of the Social Concerns/Respect Life Ministry, the Christmas Giving Tree will be displayed in the church vestibule. The tree will be trimmed with tags listing gifts for children in need. Gifts must be returned by the weekend of Dec. 1 to be distributed Monday, Dec. 10. The parish also will display its Christmas rocking chair with tags containing suggested health and beauty aids and other small items for residents of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s Holy Family Residence, Scranton. Items should be returned by Sunday, Dec. 16.

Tickets are available for the parish’s Pot of Gold Stocking Stuffer raffle. Tickets, which are $10 each, offer a chance to win $75 daily and $100 on 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.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 6 and 20, 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 meeting

Avoca-Dupont Little League will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Avoca Borough Municipal Building, 950 Main St. The meeting agenda includes the recent decision to combine players with the Pittston City and Duryea leagues for the upcoming season, along with regular league business. Everyone is welcome to attend.

PA, Class of 1967, parties

Pittston Area, Class of 1967, will have a Christmas party at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4909, 401 Main St., Dupont. For information, please call Karen Hadley Sobeski at 570-457-3247.

Also, the class is planning a 70th birthday party for members of the class. The party will tentatively take place sometime in September 2019. More information will be available in the future.

Polar Express Santa Parade

It looks like train transportation is returning to Avoca for one day this month for an exceptional event. Be sure to get on board and catch the Christmas spirit on the Avoca Polar Express! Avoca Borough will host its inaugural Christmas celebration featuring the Avoca Polar Express Santa Parade and children’s Christmas party Saturday, Dec. 15. The procession will depart at 1 p.m. from the grounds of 822-824 McAlpine St. From McAlpine, the parade will proceed onto Main Street and turn left onto Hawthorne Street, ending at the party site, Queen of Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St.

Along with Avoca officials, organizations and businesses, any child living in Avoca or the surrounding communities can join in the parade. Children ages 5-11 are invited to ride in the parade on the Avoca Polar Express and meet their parents at the parish hall for the party. Children outside of this age range are welcome to walk with their parents in the parade.

The Christmas party will feature a visit with Santa, a milk and cookie bar, a hot chocolate station, music, basket raffles and more.

Any child participating in either portion of the event must pre-register by calling or texting 570-499-7013 or 570-237-7190 by Saturday, Dec. 8. In your message, please include your name and phone number along with the names and ages of children participating in the parade, if they will be aboard the Avoca Polar Express and if they will attend the party. Anyone participating in the parade should assemble at the beginning of the parade route no later than 12:30 p.m. Register as soon as possible as space on the Avoca Polar Express and in the parish hall is limited.

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 Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah to everyone of the Jewish faith celebrating these eight special days which begin at sundown Sunday, Dec. 2.

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.