Saint John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, East Bertsch Street, Lansford, will host an open house from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25. Father Vasyl Chepelskyy and the parishioners extend a warm welcome to all who are interested in attending. The open house will showcase the Byzantine Baroque style church, which the parishioners have called their spiritual home since 1911. The church edifice will be open to the public and tours will be available.
At 3 p.m., a Moleben (prayer service) to Saint Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of the Byzantine Catholic Church in America, will be celebrated by Fr. Vasyl. This brief service will provide an introduction to the liturgical life and spirituality of the Byzantine Catholic Church. Food and refreshments will be served in the church hall from 1-3 p.m. and again from 3:30-5 p.m.
*Saint John's will host a Youth "Meet and Greet" from 4-6 p.m. Sunday Dec. 2. Area young people are invited to see the church, meet other young people, ask questions, and just to spend time in a friendly atmosphere. Food and refreshments will be served during this time of fellowship. Beginning January 2013 monthly youth meetings will be held at both parishes.
*The annual St. Nicholas Festival will be held Saturday, Dec. 8 at St. Mary's Church in Nesquehoning.
*The parishioners of Saint John's will have their annual parish Christmas dinner at the Viennese Villa in Coaldale on Sunday December 9. This dinner will be followed by a visit from St. Nicholas, who will present gifts to all children present.
*Both the Lansford and Nesquehoning parishes are looking for volunteers to help with kitchen projects in the future. No cooking skills necessary. If interested please call the parish office at (570) 645 2640.
Saint John the Baptist Church was founded in 1892 by Slavic immigrants who emigrated from the Carpathian Mountain region of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire before the outbreak of WWI. They arrived in the Panther Valley area to labor in the mines and other industries. Later in 1910, Saint Mary Church was formed as a mission of Saint John's in Lansford. The people founded these churches to preserve their unique spiritual, liturgical, and cultural heritage. Today, Saint John's and Saint Mary's are parishes of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy (Diocese) of Passaic, New Jersey. The Byzantine Catholic Church in America is a sui juris (self-governing) Eastern Catholic Church in Communion with the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of twenty-two self-governing churches that comprise the Catholic Church throughout the world in union with Pope Benedict XVI. Sunday Divine Liturgies are scheduled as follows: Saturday at 4 p.m. (Vigil for Sunday) at Saint John's, Sunday 8:30 a.m. at Saint John's, and Sunday 10:30 a.m. at Saint Mary's.
The parishioners of Saint John's and Saint Mary's are always welcoming new members. If interested in joining either parish, prospective members should contact Fr. Vasyl by calling Saint John's Parish Office at (570) 645-2640 or after each of the weekend Divine Liturgies. The parishioners also cordially invite former members for either just a visit or to return permanently to worship once again in the church of their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.