Welcome to the Polish National Catholic Church!
Call Us: (570) 346-9131

Lookin’ Forward to the Summertime

All of a sudden, in the city of Scranton, PA, summertime is here.  Today as I sit and write this article it’s over 90 degrees outside and quite humid, certainly summer is upon us.  Each and every year a number of things happen when summertime rolls around.  During this time of year, after school is over for the young and things begin to wind down for all of us, we think about taking a bit of time off, of going away on vacation, going to visit family and friends or going out to some destination where we can recharge and relax.

While I certainly also enjoy a bit of time away, as a priest within the catholic tradition, it is often disappointing that it also seems that many of our faithful decide to take a vacation from worship during the summer months as well.  In the springtime our parishes often celebrate First Holy Communion and Confirmation and right afterwards it seems that the attendance falls off for Sunday worship.  Our parishes have fewer events, such as dinners or meetings during this time, and somehow this translates into less and less worshippers in Church.

When speaking to various people about this aspect of our faith, I oftentimes remind others that our connection to the Almighty God, Who loves us completely, is fostered by a constant commitment and a part of this is regular worship.  I refer them to the section of the P.N.C.C. Prayerbook which gives the Holy Days of Obligation.  On page 32 of the new prayerbook it states under the heading “Holy Days of Obligation,” as the first item, that we must attend Church on: “Sundays throughout the year – Each Sunday is the Lord’s Day, a recognition of His Resurrection.”  The Church gives us this obligation, not in an offhand way, but rather following the example of the ancient worship of God that gathered once a week and also that of our Risen Lord Who gathered with His disciples on the evening of the resurrection and then the following week.  The Church also knows that as humans we need routine within our lives in order to bring our lives into new ways of thinking and growing.  If we desire to conform our lives to the ways of Jesus Christ, then we must make it a regular and routine part of what we do.  Now I would hope that as Catholic Christians who have committed themselves to following the ways of our Lord as professed within the Church, we would desire to follow what the Church does and teaches.   So we can see from these few items that as Catholic Christians, who have been baptized into the Church and follow the ways of worship as handed down to us within the Church, we should certainly be an active part of the worshiping community each week as we gather for Holy Mass.

Now I must admit that the following of rules, although an important aspect of our communal life as Christians, is not the strongest motivation for any action.  Rather if we see an action as important to our life and vital to our well-being then certainly we will incorporate it into our daily and weekly life.  When we begin to see our participation within the celebration of Holy Mass as a vital part of our relationship to God, as a wonderful opportunity to commune with the God Who loves us, as a chance to gather together with God’s people, we then will desire to be there, not because of any rule, but rather because of the joy that is ours when we are with God and His people.

This also brings forward another aspect of the Sunday worship, especially as this year we are celebrating the Year of the Family.  We also must consider that in our gathering together to worship God and joining together with His people, we are giving an example to those around us, especially our children and our families.  I think that this is especially true when a family might be traveling or spending some time away on vacation.  We need to make sure that we still make time to pray together and attend Holy Mass on Sunday.  What a strong example it will be to our families if we can take a few moments in the morning and at the end of the day to spend a bit of time in prayer, to thank God for the blessings of the day and seek His continued blessings in all of the wonderful things that will happen during this time away.

Likewise when we attend Church on Sunday, hopefully within a P.N.C.C. congregation, but wherever we might be traveling, we also show others, and especially our families, that we are a family that is dedicated to Almighty God no matter what.  We know that at every moment, when we are home and when we are traveling, God is still with us and granting His blessings and grace.  Likewise we must still worship Him and also bring His presence into our lives in Holy Communion.

My brothers and sisters, it is certainly my hope that during the summer months we each can have a bit of time away to refresh and recharge.  These times are especially wonderful when we can do them together as a family.  But also let’s remember that God still goes with us and our moments of prayer and our attendance at Holy Mass must still remain a part of our spiritual and daily life.  God does not take a vacation from us, so let’s not take a vacation from Him.

Kurs and Convo

Another aspect that I hope many of our P.N.C.C. families will consider during these summer months are the wonderful opportunities that the Church gives to us, and especially our youth, in the programs of the Kurs Encampment and Convo 2018.

The Kurs Encampment is held each year at Spójnia Farm in Waymart, PA during the week of the Fourth of July, this year from Saturday, June 30 to Saturday, July 7.  During this week the young members spend time in swimming and other outdoor activities and also hear lectures from our clergy and various other members of the Church.  There is also worship each and every day as prayer and the celebration of Holy Mass is an important part of their week.

Even for those who do not attend the week of camp, there is a special Holy Mass and picnic to celebrate the nation’s independence.  This year the Mass will be held on Saturday, June 30 at 12:00 noon in the Bishop Hodur Retreat and Recreation Center.  This Mass will be followed by a picnic lunch which helps to raise funds so that the United Y.M.S. of R. can continue to host this encampment for the youth.

This year also we are looking forward to Convo 2018 which will be held within the Central Diocese at the University of Scranton from Monday, July 23 to Friday, July 27.  This event is held every other year in a location which rotates around the Church.   Convo allows young members of the Church from various parishes to spend time together learning about the Church, but also spending some wonderful time together sharing experiences and building relationships as a Church Family.  I must also admit that this week of Convo is one of the highlights of my year as well.  It is truly a joy to spend this time together with the young members of the Polish National Catholic Church learning, praying and having a wonderful time.  This year the Convo is planning a trip to St. Stanislaus Cathedral for a morning Mass and short lesson on the Cathedral followed by lunch and a trip to Kalahari Water Park.

If you are even giving Convo a bit of thought, I encourage you to come and join us.  Information can be found on the website www.convo2018.org.  Please take a look and know that not only your young members will be uplifted, but all will be as I am each time Convo rolls around.

So my brothers and sisters, yes, summer is upon us.  As you take a bit of time away, don’t let it be time away from God or away from the Church.  Rather allow the summer to be a time of recharging and relaxing within the presence of Almighty God and within the fellowship of His people.  That joy not only refreshes the body, but it also enlivens the soul.

See you at Convo 2018.

 

Our Address

1006 Pittston Avenue, Scranton, PA 18505
Phone: (570) 346-9131
Website: http://www.pncc.org
Email: info@pncc.org