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


St. Masry Roman Catholic Church
Parish News March 22 - 29, 2020
  St. Mary Roman Catholic Church
           250 South 12th St.,  Reading, PA 19602
Confession:  No confessions.

Mass: All public Masses are cancelled as per directive from the Diocese of Allentown.  St. Catharine priests will
celebrate private Masses for the announced Masses.

St. Catharine Chapel on Perkiomen Avenue is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM for private reflection.

Pierogies:  Pierogies are still on sale on Fridays at St. Mary's.  Enter at the side entrance off the parking lot. .

Commemorating St. Mary Parish: 
Carl has finished Part I - The History of St. Mary's Parish.    He is starting Part II - Parish Life.  This part will be a photo essay covering the life of parishioners and the various groups in the parish.  I'm  interested in any photos parishioners may have for inclusion in this section of the book.  I will have them scanned and returned to you.  If you mail them to Carl Gethmann at 514 Heine Street, Reading, PA 19606-1811, make sure you include a return address.   You can also email me photos at  This is probably the best alternative because I do not have to scan the photo and I can use my graphics software to increase the sharpness of the photo to meet print standards.  Estimated selling price for the book is $15; there will be sales tax so the total price will be $15.90.  Currently, I am planning to use the book rate for shipping books.  It's a little slow in delivery from the Post Office but at that rate I am planning to offer free shipping.  If you want your copy faster, you will have to pay for shipping.  As the current time, with the photo shop I am using to do the scans being closed, there are a number of photos that I cannot get scanned and there are a number of photos in the photo shop that are waiting to be scanned.
Obviously, if the ban on non-essential businesses go on past the point where I finish the book, I won't be able to get it printed.  

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

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.

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.

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.

Berks County CYO Officer Openings:  There are openings for Vice President, Treasurer, and Cultural Activities Director.  For more information, contact Rich Vukmanovich, 1-224-532-6704.

St. Mary's Necrology for March: 3/3 - Michael S. Pachucki (1934); 3/4 - Mark Januszkiewicz (1924); 3/6 - Stephen S. Krystyniak (1973);  3/7 - Joseph C. Tylka (1960);  3/10 - John J. Judycki (1971); 3/19 - Ladislaus J. Sarama (1966).  Remember in your prayers these good and faithful priests who served at St. Mary's.

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.

I am assuming that the following meetings will not occur.  However, I'm leaving them up in case, which is not likely, that the governor does not extend the current closure of non-essential businesses on March 30.

St. Benedict Prime Timers, Mohnton
invite you and your friends to join them on May 18-20 for a trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York. Cost is $430/person, double occupancy.  Deadline for reservations is April 1.   For more information, call Marie Blimline at 484-332-3241 or Jeanie Hauch at 610-856-7575.

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

Berks Catholic High School
Annual Grandparents Day. Saint grandparents are invited to celebrate Holy Mass with their grandchildren on April 22, at 8:30 AM in the Franco Post Auditorium followed by light refreshments.  RSVP required.  RSVP Form can be found  For more information, contact Betsy Woytovich at 610-374-8361 ext. 231 or

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   

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.