St. Masry Roman Catholic Church
  St. Mary Roman Catholic Church
           250 South 12th St.,  Reading, PA 19602


St. Masry Roman Catholic Church
Parish News February 23 - March 1, 2020
  St. Mary Roman Catholic Church
           250 South 12th St.,  Reading, PA 19602
Confession:  Saturday, February 29 at 2:45 - 3:15 PM.  Otherwise, by appointment only.
Ash Wednesday Mass at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, February  26.

Second Collection – Almsgiving: - During the Season of Lent, there will be a second collection each weekend for special needs: March 1st -  Black and Indian Mission; March 8th  - Claire of Assisi ; March 15th -  St. Francis Home; March 22nd -  Catholic Charities;   March 29th -  Mary’s Shelter; April 5th - Rice Bowl.   Please be generous during this season of almsgiving.

The Lenten Pierogi Society
will continue its labors each Monday and Tuesday, 9:00 AM - 2:00 Noon through Lent.  Pierogies will be made in the kitchen under St.  Mary's.  Please use the parking lot Chapel entrance.  New members are always welcome.. 

Commemorating St. Mary Parish: 
Sufficient interest has been shown in purchasing the book.  Carl Gethmann will begin writing it on February 10th.  Still looking for additional people who would be interested in  purchasing the book..  Carl estimates that it will take six months to complete the book.  Estimated selling price is still in the $10-$15 range. Carl is interested in any photos parishioners may have for inclusion in the section of the book pertaining to parish life. He  will have them scanned and returned to you.  If you mail them to Carl at 514 Heine Street, Reading, PA 19606-1811, make sure you include a return address.

Scholarships:  The Polish-American Board of Education of Berks County (PABEBC) will celebrate its75th Anniversary in 2020.  As of 2019, the organization has awarded 321 scholarships totaling almost $700,000.  A reunion of scholarship recipients is being planned in conjunction with the PABEBC annual scholarship awards dinner to be held at the Inn of Reading on Saturday, April 25, 2020.  If you were the recipient of a scholarship please mark your calendar and plan to attend.  If you know someone who was a recipient of a scholarship please share this information with him/her.  In addition, we would like to compile information about the activities of our scholarship recipients.  Scholarship recipients should visit our Facebook page at Polish American Board of Education Berks County or our website at

$26,000 in Scholarships:  On Saturday, April 25, the Polish-American Board of Education of Berks County (PABEBC) will award ten college scholarships totally $25,000 to Berks County high school seniors of Polish-American descent.  You can obtain applications and guidelines at the guidance counselor offices in all Berks County high schools.  They are also available at the Polish-American Cultural Center in GoogleWorkls Center for the Arts, 201 Washington St., Reading or you can download them from  Completed application forms are due no later than Saturday, March 28, 2020, to our Scholarship Secretary, Mr. Ronald Savitski, 159 Texter Mountain Road, Wernersville PA  19565-9442.  Questions may be directed to Mr. Savitski by phone at 610-693-9792, or email

Additionally, we are pleased to announce that the Polish-American Heritage Association of Berks County will partner with PABEBC and award a $1,000 scholarship to a Berks County high school senior of Polish-American descent. For this scholarship, students must submit a project on Polish history, culture, and/or traditions. Students are encouraged to explore their Polish heritage and “think outside the box.”   Deadline for submission is March 8.   For more information, go to
Our Lenten Obligation: Church law considers every Friday and the season of Lent as penitential days and times.  The practice of penance is part of our faith and Christian life.  When we do penance, we imitate Jesus, who himself recommended it as necessary to His Followers, and gave them the example of His prayer and fasting.

The Lenten Obligation, as determined for Catholics in the United States by our bishops, requires that fasting be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday  You must observe the law of abstinence on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent..

Who Must Fast?  All Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59.  The obligation ceases when you begins your 60th year on your 59th birthday.

Who Must Abstain?  All Catholics who are 14 or older.

What Does Fasting Mean?  You may take only one full meal on the fast day.  Two lighter meals, not equal to a full meal, may be eaten to maintain strength according to your needs.

What Does Abstinence Mean?  The law of abstinence forbids the eating of meat.  Voluntary abstinence refers to refraining from lawful pleasures in a spirit of penance.

Can You be Dispensed or Excused from Fast and/or Abstinence?   You can be dispensed for a just cause by your pastor or by priest with the faculty to do so.  In our Diocese, you may be dispensed by all priests who are committed to your pastoral care. If you are ill or have a similar serious reason, you are excused from fast and abstinence.  You should not lightly excuse yourself from these obligations.

Are There Other Obligations Which We Should Fulfill?  You are obliged to fulfill your Easter Duty.  In the United States the period designated as the Easter Duty is from the First Sunday of Lent, March 1, to Trinity Sunday, June 7.  If you are in the state of mortal sin, you must confess during this period.  During Lent, you should pray intensely, practice almsgiving, and perform other works of charity.

Want to Volunteer to a Worthy Cause? 
Do you have teaching experience, a background in education, and are available in  the evening?  If so, the Mother Veronica Resource Center, 449 South 6th Street, Reading is looking for you.  They need English as a Second Language (ESL) evening class substitute instructors to fill in for pre-planned and emergency instructor absences.  If you are interested or know someone who might be interested, contact or have them contact Sister Cara Garofalo, OSF at 484-616-2138 or by email at for more information.

to Henry and Elaine Woudstra who recently celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  May God continue to bless them.

Tax Statements: 
If you want a copy of your contributions for tax purposes, fill out the form in the Sunday Bulletin and place it in the collection basket.  You can also email your request at  If you do not have a computer, we mail the statement to you.  Statements will be ready the week of January 23.

Sunday Missals
are available in the St. Catharine Parish Center and at the Church Store.  Extraordinary Ministers and Lectors can pick up their complimentary missals in the sacristy at the Church.

Homebound parishioners
who wish to receive Communion, please call the office at 610-779-4005.

Winter is Here: Senior parish members should not attempt to come to Mass on stormy, Icy, or bitter cold days.  One day of heroics could lead to many months in bed recuperating. 

If You or a Fellow Parishioner is hospitalized, please contact us at 610-779-4005.  To protect your privacy, HIPAA rules mean it is no longer a regular practice for healthcare facilities to notify your Church or priest that you are hospitalized unless directly instructed to do so by yourself or your family. 

To obtain spiritual and sacramental support during your hospital stay, you can:
a)  Have a family member or friend call us beforehand so that we will know when you will be hospitalized.
b) During the administration process, be sure to provide both your religion and the name of your Church.  If the hospital forgets to request this information, inform your nurse of your Church and religion.

If you are hospitalized, ask a member of your healthcare team to contact your clergy or ask to see the chaplain.  The hospital care team will contact us.

For Those Who are Grieving a support group meets two Mondays a month at St. Catharine's Church, Mt. Penn  19606 at 7:00 PM.  To register, call 610-370-1174.

Want to Join Our Parish?  Please contact the Priest after Mass to register in our parish.  Registration takes 10 - 15 minutes.

St. Mary's Necrology for February: 2/10 - Louis A. Stachowicz (1960);  2/15 - Henry J. Krzesinski (1970); 
2/20 - John S. Pytko (1948);  2/24 - John Z. Basinski (1984).  Remember in your prayers these good and faithful priests who served at St. Mary's.

Prayer Requests for Priests:
Sunday 2/23                       Rev.  John  Pendzi
Monday 2/24                      Rev. Dominic Thao Pham
Tuesday  2/25                    Rev. Quyet Pham
Wednesday 2/26                Rev. Alexander Pocetto, OSFS
Thursday 2/27                    Rev. Msgr. Stephen Radocha
Friday 2/28                         Rev. Msgr. James Reichert
Saturday 2/29                     Rev. Eugene Ritz
Sunday 3/1                         Rev. Philip Rodgers

Cold Weather Has Arrived:  Clean gently used or new children's hats, scarves, mittens, and boots are needed.  St. Vincent DePaul will distribute them to needy children in  Reading.      

Turning Taxes into Scholarships:  If you pay Pennsylvania income taxes, you can turn tax dollars into needs-based scholarships for schools.  Pennsylvania provides a 90% tax credit to individuals who donate funds for Catholic School Education.  For more information, inquire at your school or contact JohnFierro (diocese) 610-866-0581, ext. 2344.

St. Paul's R.C. Church will hold its Fourth Annual Gala on Sunday, February 23, at the Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road commemorating Gethsemane Cemetery's 125th Anniversary.  Featured speaker is the Very Rev. Thomas P. Bortz, Pastor, St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Reading.  Our One Family Award will be awarded to English, Vietnamese, and Spanish Pioneers of St. Paul's Church.  Ticket price is $50 each, available frp, St. Paul's Rectory 610-372-1531 or  Reservation deadline is Monday, February 10.  No tickets sold at the door.

Rediscover the Love in Your Marriage: 
Retrouvaille of Delaware Valley offers hope for married couples experiencing loneliness, boredom, misery, or frustration in their marriage.  Our next program begins February 22-23 at the Family Life Center.  For more information, call 1-215-766-3944 or 1-800-470-2230.  Couples learn valuable communication skills and rediscover intimacy.  All inquiries are kept strictly confidential.

L | E | A | D: The Four Marks of Fatherly Greatness - This one-day retreat inspires men to embrace God's purpose and plan their life.  Explore the spirituality of Saint Joseph with presenter Rob Longo at St. Mary, Kutztown on Saturday, February 29, 2020.  Bishop Schlert will offer Mass during the retreat.and Confession will be available.  The retreat is sponsored by the Diocesan Commission for Men,  For more information or to register, go to

The Women's Club of Exeter Township
presents Spring Into Fashion, Sunday, March 15, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 701 Penn Street, Reading.  Doors open at 12L00 Noon with lunch at 1:00 PM.  Fashion Show at 2:00 PM. 
For more information, call Maria at 610-582-4632.  Deadline for tickets: Sunday, March 1.

Rachel's Vineyard Retreat
for healing from abortion on March 6-8. In a safe,supportive, non-judgmental environment. Through scriptue readings, guided meditations, and activities flowing from the meditations, you can experience God's compassion and forgiveness.  For information of registration, contact Sister Meg Cole at 1-866-3RACHEL (toll free), 610-332-0442, ext. 2019 or  Deadline for reservations is March 1.  For information about the retreat experience, visit the national website at

Berks Catholic High School
presents Godspell on Friday, March 6, at 7:00 PM and on Saturday, March 7, at 7:00 PM.  Tickets available at  Reserved seats: $15/adult; $13/seniors; $9/students.  General admission: $11/adults; $9/seniors; $5/students.;

Mass Supporting Those Suffering from Addiction: 
All are invited.  Held  St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 1640 Schuylkill Road, Route 724, Spring City, Saturday, March 7, 11:00 AM.  Celebrated by Rev. Charles R. O'Hara, Pastor.  All are invited.

Berks Catholic Youth Football and Cheerleading: 
Registration is now open.  You can register online by going to  If you wish to register omline, you can register in person at the Berks Catholic High School Cafeteria  on Wednesday, March 11, 6:00 - 8:00 PM.  Enter through the John R. Post Entrance.  The program is open to boys and girls from Berks Couinty schools.  Some age and grade restrictions apply.  For information on cost and eligibility, go to  For any other questions, contact Danielle Fowler at 610-374-1695 or email

Nuns at Noon
, Thursday, March 12, at Sacred Heart Villa, 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM.  The MSC sisters invite you to share lunch with them to celebrate National Catholic Sisters Week 2020.  Cold lunch is $10/person at the door.  RSVP by March 9 to or call 610-929-2802.

Exeter Township School District
invites all senior citizens to a dress rehearsal of the Senior High All-School Musical Mamma Mia! on Thursday, March 12, 9:00 AM, at the Exeter Township Senior High School  auditorium, 201 East 37th Street.  Exeter Township School District senior citizens are invited to breakfast prior tothe show in school's cafeteria at 8:15 AM..  To attend the breakfast, Exeter Township and St. Lawrence Borough residents must have a district issued Senior Citizen Pass.  To reserve a seat for the breakfast and/orobtaina Senior Citizen Pass, call 610-779-0700, ext. 1001, no later than March 5th.  Reservations are only needed for the breakfast.  No reservations are needed for the performance.

Holy Guardian Angels Parish
is sponsoring an Adult Chili Cook-off on Sundaya, March 25, at 2:00 PM.  For more information, go to or call 610-921-2729

St. Catharine Annual Health Fair
on Sunday, May 3, from 8:00 AM - 12:00 Noon.  Do you have health information you would like to share?  Contact Shirley Dominick at  No products may be sold.

St. Joseph Center for Special Learning
in Pottsville is hosting it's 29th Annual Golf Classic tournament on May 15 at the Mountain Valley Golf Course.  Sponsor and/or join us for an adventurous day of food, fellowship, and golf.  For more information, visit   

Attention All Boy Scouts: 
The Allentown Diocese  Catholic Committee on Scouting will have it's annual Scout Activity Weekend on April 17 - 19, 2020 at Camp Trexler.  All Catholic Scouts are welcome.  For more information and registration, go to

The Passion Play at Oberammergau, Germany
is given every ten years.  Les White has put together a 14-day trip to Germany, Austria,  Switzerland, and a bit of France from July 3-16, 2020.  For details and a complete itinerary contact Les at 610-929-1833 or  Don't delay - trip is limited to 30 passengers.