Last month, my family and I marked the 20th anniversary of my father’s passing with a Mass at Queen of the Apostles Parish. We’ve had a Mass for him each year since he left us, but this year reaching such a sad 20-year milestone made the reminder of such a significant loss cut deeper into our hearts than it has every other year. As I reflected on his passing, many of the same emotions I experienced at that time found a place again in the forefront of my mind. The loss felt very new and raw again. The sadness was strong. It made me feel very vulnerable again, but I processed my emotions. I let the tears flow. Although painful, it’s healthy to let yourself feel your emotions because good memories rise out of them. On that 20th anniversary, I remembered so many great things about my dad and all of the good he brought into the world. It made me proud to be his daughter.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on our nation, we also will relive the emotions we felt that day. We were filled with fear, anger, uncertainty, sadness, confusion and many other complexities of the human condition. Those emotions will find their place in our minds and hearts again next weekend, and we will shed tears. We’ll remember the nearly 3,000 souls who perished that day. We’ll think of their families. We’ll wonder how they’ve coped the past 20 years. But, as we process these thoughts, we will remember the goodness that gleamed through the pain. We’ll remember the heroes. We’ll remember the great humanity we showed to one another. We’ll remember the bond we shared as a nation — the pride we felt to be Americans.

To commemorate this anniversary, there are two special events taking place in town. The first will occur when the Honoring the Fallen National Monument travels through Avoca on Thursday, Sept. 9, en route to McDade Park, Scranton. It will pass through town north on Main Street turning left onto McAlpine Street at approximately 4:15 to 4:30 p.m. The community is encouraged to pay their respects to our fallen heroes as the monument travels through town.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, Avoca Fire Department will host its annual 9/11 Mass at 4 p.m. at Queen of the Apostles Parish, 715 Hawthorne St. The members of the department will lead a procession from the fire department, 740 Main St., to the church. Anyone who wants to participate in the procession should be at the department by 3:30 p.m.

Book bag blessing at Langcliffe

Langcliffe Presbyterian Church will host a book bag blessing at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, at the church, 1001 Main St. It will be a short children’s oriented service of prayer and blessing as children return to school. The church is observing social distancing and sanitizing protocols with masks optional.

Sesquicentennial events this weekendAvoca Borough’s 150th Anniversary Celebration Committee will host a parade beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, followed by a community social from 2 to 6 p.m. on the grounds of Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St. The social will feature raffle baskets, Taco Bout Us NEPA and The WinneBagel food trucks, beverages from Susquehanna Brewing Company, frozen treats from the Silly Willy ice cream truck and live entertainment from Eddie Appnel and Friends and The Tom Petty Appreciation Band with Mark Kiesinger.

There also will be fun for the kids with balloon twisting from JustinCredible Parties, face painting masterpieces by Phantastic Face Paints by Amy and fan-favorite caricature drawings from Kiddie Kartunes Caricatures for All Occasions.

Also, Saturday, Sept. 4, residents are encouraged to support Avoca businesses, bars and restaurants and enjoy Avoca’s small-town atmosphere for Avoca’s Small Business Saturday. Some businesses will offer specials as part of the sesquicentennial celebration.

VFW Auxiliary meeting

Avoca Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 Auxiliary will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, at the post home, 915 Main St.

President June Fitzgerald will preside and Sandy Rosser and Paula Regan will host.

Members may pay their dues at this meeting.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at Bethel United Methodist Church, 532 Main St. The food, provided by the CEO Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank, can be picked up in the rear entry of the building.

If you can volunteer to unload and distribute food, please arrive at the church at 1:30 p.m.

For information, please call Jim at 570-921-9899.

Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus Cardinal John J. O’Connor Council 12967, Avoca, will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, in the parish hall, 742 Spring St. The meeting will begin by praying the rosary.

Any Catholic man, 18 or older, is welcome to join the Knights. Meetings take place at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month, in Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St. The council’s goal is to be an asset to the pastor, parish and community by lending assistance wherever needed. Contact Grand Knight Bob Ryzner at 570-885-2096 for information.

The council is hosting a calendar fundraiser throughout October. There will be an assortment of prizes to win each day in October such as gift cards, cash and more.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased from any member or by calling the parish office at 570-457-3412 by Saturday, Sept. 25.

All proceeds will benefit the knights’ work within the community.

A Coats for Kids drive also is underway. New and gently worn children’s coats can be dropped off in the donation boxes located in the church vestibule. Monetary gifts also are welcome.

Knights of Columbus will host the annual rosary rally at noon Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Healey Memorial Playground, 398 Foote Ave., Duryea.

Queen of the Apostles

The social concerns/respect life ministry at Queen of the Apostles will host its annual craft show and soup and more sale Saturday, Oct. 16, in the parish hall, 742 Spring St. Please contact Jane Maxwell at 570-335-8678 to participate as a crafter.

Queen of the Apostles Parish’s women’s guild and pastoral council will sponsor the parish’s harvest tea at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21, in the parish hall, 742 Spring St. Hostesses are needed to sponsor each table, which includes selecting a theme for the table and providing food and refreshments that support the theme. Coffee and tea will be provided. Admission is $10 per person. All proceeds will benefit the Marian Award, which provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors from the parish who are continuing their education. To host a table or attend the event, please contact Jane Maxwell at 570-335-8678, Chrissy Wastradowski at 570-466-3676 or the parish office at 570-457-3412.

Farmers market

Avoca Farmers Market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays in the parking lot of Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St.

For information, check out the Avoca Farmers Market Facebook page.

Tax payments

Tax Collector Therese Wrubel announced the Pittston Area School District taxes have been mailed. Bills can be paid during Wrubel’s office hours, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St.

Bills also can be paid via mail by sending the complete bill and payment to Wrubel at 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you need a receipt.

Anyone who did not receive a bill or who needs assistance should call 570-457-4891.

Trash stickers

Each Avoca household may only place three bags of garbage curbside for Monday pickup. Extra bags must have a refuse sticker on them issued by the borough. Stickers are $3 and can be purchased during Therese Wrubel’s office hours 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.

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to Lori Appnel Boggetti, who will celebrate her special day Monday, Sept. 6.

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

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