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It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just days away. As we wrap our presents and place the finishing touches on our preparations, let’s not forget to prepare our minds and our hearts for the true reason for the season – Jesus!

If you’re searching for a place to celebrate Christmas, look no further than the schedule listed below. There are numerous Christmas Eve and Day services taking place in town this week.

The Rev. Dr. Al Cremard and the congregation of Independent Bible Church will have a Christmas Eve service at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, at the church, 328 Main St.

The Rev. John V. Polednak, V.E., Deacon André Kabacinski and the parishioners of Nativity of our Lord Parish will have Christmas Masses at the church, 127 Stephenson St.: 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24; midnight, 9 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. Midnight Mass will be preceded by the singing of carols at 11:30 p.m. including Polish, Lithuanian, German, and Slovak songs. 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. Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31.

The Rev. Carmen Bolock and parishioners of St. Mary’s Polish National Catholic Church will have Christmas Masses at the church, 200 Stephenson St.: Christmas Eve Wigilia, special music at 10:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, followed by the Pasterka Shepherd’s Mass at 10:30 p.m., including a procession to the manger and blessing of the crib, Christmas trees and candle followed by a gathering in the rectory; Christmas Day Bozego Narodzenia, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25, Mass of Christmas Day and Benediction followed by a Christmas breakfast at the rectory; St. Stephen Deacon and First Martyr, Holy Mass and symbolic stoning of Stephen with throwing of walnuts at the priest, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26; Feast of St. John the Apostle, Holy Mass, 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27; Feast of the Holy Innocents, Holy Mass, 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 28; Solemnity of the Holy Family, Holy Mass, 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29; Solemnity of Humble Shepherds, Distribution of wine from St. John’s Day, Holy Mass, 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 30; St. Sylvester Bishop, Holy Mass, 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 31, and Circumcision of Our Lord, Holy Mass, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1. Everyone is welcome to a social in the rectory after Mass.

On behalf of my family and me, I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and happy and healthy New Year!

SAL beer raffle winners

Congratulations to the winners of Sons of the American Legion Squadron 585’s annual great beer raffle: Jim Serino, first prize, $500 Laflin Beverage gift card; Kathy Coyle, second prize, $200 Wine & Spirits Shop gift card; Christian Hustolsky, third prize, $50 Komensky’s Market gift card; Komensky’s, fourth prize, $50 Town Tavern gift card, and Joyce Shields, fifth prize, $50 Family Prescription Counter. Sons of the American Legion thank everyone who purchased tickets.

Holy Rosary news

Holy Rosary School recently welcomed the Christmas season with its annual Christmas concert. Students sang a variety of carols including Polish hymns, and the eighth grade class performed a nativity play. Jackson Fiore, music teacher, directed and accompanied the students.

In other news, Dino DiMauro scored his 500th career point as a member of the Holy Rosary Royals basketball team.

Greater Pittston Little League registration,

Night at the Races

Online registration for Greater Pittston Area Little League, which includes Avoca, Dupont, Duryea and Pittston City Little Leagues, is open. The cost for each division is as follows: 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.

Garbage stickers

Residents can purchase 2019 garbage stickers at the Duryea Municipal Building, 315 Main St., from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Residents also can receive their garbage sticker by mail by sending the payment and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the municipal building.

One bag per week is $100; two bags per week, $155; three bags per week, $195; and four bags per week, $235.

New stickers must be purchased by Jan. 31.

Residents 65 and older have the option to pay 50-percent of the fee no later than Jan. 31, and the remaining 50-percent no later than July 31. Proof of age is required.

Residents must have the 2019 sticker displayed in their window to have their garbage collected.

VFW membership

Duryea Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1227 has social membership applications available for 2019. For information, stop by the post home, 492 Stephenson St.

Police tip line

Duryea Police Department has established a tip line where people can provide information about a crime, criminal activity, drug activity or information related to open investigations anonymously.

Callers are asked to leave as much detailed information as possible such as locations, dates, descriptions of person or vehicle and type of activity you are reporting.

To make a report, call 1-833-373-8477 or 1-833-DPD-TIPS.

Tax reminder

Duryea Borough Tax Collector Martin Hanczyc states taxes county and school taxes are now at penalty value. All taxes must be paid individually as borough/county taxes.

Please send in the entire tax bill, payment and a self- addressed stamped envelope to 79 Main St., Duryea, PA 18642. For information call Hanczyc at 570-457-2482.

New food bank location

Duryea Food Bank has moved to the Nativity of Our Lord Parish Hall, 527 Stephenson St. For more information, please call Lois Hanczyc at 570-457-2482.

Recovery meetings

SMART Recovery will meet from 5:45 to 7 p.m. the first and third Monday of the month at Nativity of Our Lord Parish Hall, (formerly Sacred Heart Hall), 529 Stephenson St. SMART Recovery’s 4-point Program, based on CBT, supports anyone seeking change.

Al-Anon meets at 7 p.m. Thursdays at Brick United Methodist Church, 935 Foote Ave. This is an anonymous 12-step program of recovery for families and friends of addicts and alcoholics.

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

Jackie Borthwick-Galvin writes about Duryea. To list a news item in her column, email her at jborthwickgalvin@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.