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There are so many ways to prepare for Easter next weekend, and Queen of the Apostles Parish is hosting several services and events this week to put your heart into the spirit of the season.

The Rev. Philip Sladicka, Deacon Jim Rose and the parishioners of Queen of the Apostles Parish will have Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday services at the church, 715 Hawthorne St.: Palm Sunday, March 25, 8 and 10:30 a.m. Masses. The 10:30 a.m. service will include a procession with palms; Holy Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m., Mass of the Lord’s Supper with procession to the repository. The Lady of Sorrows Rosary Group will recite the rosary at 9:30 p.m. The church will remain open until 10 p.m. for private prayer; Good Friday, March 30, 1:30 p.m., Liturgy of the Passion and Death of the Lord; 8 p.m., Living Stations of the Cross; Holy Saturday, March 31, noon and 4 p.m., blessing of baskets, and 8 p.m., Easter Vigil Mass, and Easter Sunday, April 1, 8 and 10:30 a.m. Masses with a resurrection service at 10:15 a.m.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at 7 p.m. Monday, March 26, at the Pittston Deanery’s Penance Service at St. John the Evangelist Parish, 35 William St., Pittston.

In other parish news, Queen of the Apostles Parish will have its annual Easter egg hunt at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 31, on the grounds of Kiesinger Funeral Home, 225 McAlpine St., Duryea. Participants are asked to bring a basket or bag the morning of the hunt.

To register for this event, call Erin at 570-654-2429 and leave the name(s) of the child(ren) attending. Indicate if the child has a peanut allergy. A return call is not necessary.

Anyone who would like to donate plastic eggs and candy for the hunt may place them in the Easter box in the vestibule of the church. Please be sure that the candy will fit inside of a plastic egg.

Anyone who would like to help fill the eggs is welcome to join in the fun from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the parish hall. All ages are welcome and service hours will be given.

The parish will have Bible study from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursdays, April 5 and 19, and May 3, 17 and 31. All are welcome.

The parish announced the following meetings: building and grounds committee, 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 26, rectory, and finance council, 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, rectory.

Queen of the Apostles Parish will have its 11th annual golf tournament at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 6, at Pine Hills Country Club, Taylor. This year’s tournament will be played in memory of Thomas Quinnan.

The cost is $85 per player, which includes golf and dinner. The dinner will be held in the parish hall, 742 Spring St., immediately following the tournament. Hole sponsors are available.

For information, contact Jim McMahon at or John Soy at

Smoke detectors available

Avoca Fire Department is participating in WNEP-TV 16’s Operation Save A Life program. Any Avoca resident in need of a smoke detector may obtain one by calling 570-457-2894 or sending a message to the department via its Facebook page.

Smoke detectors are available on a first come, first served basis. Supplies are limited.

West Side Club egg hunt

West Side Social Club will hold its annual children’s Easter egg hunt at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the club, 711 McAlpine St. The hunt is open to children 12 and younger. The Easter Bunny will welcome all of the children and be available for photographs.

Little League news

Avoca/Dupont Little League will have a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, at the Avoca/Dupont Little League field, 700 Mill St. Opening day plans will be finalized at this time. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The league will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 8, at the Avoca Borough Municipal Building, 950 Main St. The agenda includes planning for the spring season and regular league business. All coaches are asked to attend. Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities or league business is welcome to attend.

The league will have its opening day at noon Saturday, April 14, at the Avoca/Dupont Little League field. All players and coaches should arrive by 11:30 a.m. The league will hold its hit-a-thon fundraiser during the event. The public is encouraged to attend and support the players.

The league will have its third annual cash bingo fundraiser Sunday, April 29, at the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St. 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. Please note, limited tickets remain available.

Langcliffe puzzle

and game nights

Langcliffe Presbyterian Church will host Puzzles for the Young at Heart, a puzzle night for adults, at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, at the church, 1001 Main St. Join in the fun and enjoy snacks and conversation while putting a puzzle together.

The church will host its monthly game night at 5 p.m. Friday, April 13, at the church. They will have an assortment of fun games to play. Stop by to learn a new game or play an old favorite. All ages are welcome.

Shotwell benefit

There will be a pasta dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St., Avoca, to benefit Avoca resident and Duryea business owner Patrick Shotwell Sr., who is fighting stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer.

The menu includes pasta with meatballs, salad, roll, dessert, beer (for patrons 21 and older) and other beverages. There will be entertainment by the Luongo Brothers — famed members of The Poets. There will also be a basket raffle and 50/50 drawings.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 5-18. Children under 5 years old will be admitted free. Takeouts for children and adults are $10. They do not include beverages.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from Pat Shotwell’s Auto Repair, 860 Main St., Duryea; Queen of the Apostles Parish office, 715 Hawthorne St., Avoca, or from a Shotwell family member.

Tickets also can be purchased online via the Pasta Dinner Benefit for Patrick Shotwell Sr. Facebook event page.

Monetary or raffle donations can be made by calling Ryanne Ziobro at 570-237-6123.

Tax, trash bill reminder

Avoca Tax Collector Therese Wrubel announced the Luzerne County and Avoca Borough taxes have been distributed, and the 2018 garbage fee bill for homeowners and rental property owners can still be paid.

Residents can pay both bills from 5 to 6 p.m. Mondays and 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St., during the tax rebate period. Residents can also pay the bills via mail by sending their payments to Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641.

If a receipt is needed for the tax bill, send both copies of the bill with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The fee to have up to three bags of garbage collected weekly has not increased this year. It is as follows: $175 if purchased by 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.

Anyone who did not receive a bill should call Wrubel at 570-457-4891.

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.

That’s about it for this week, my friends. If you would like to send a birthday, anniversary or get well wish or have your organization’s upcoming meetings, events or fundraisers listed in next week’s edition of the Avoca community news, please contact me.

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.