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Welcome to Holy Week, my friends! There are numerous services taking place in town this week to mark this holiest time on the Christian calendar. I wish a very blessed conclusion to the Lenten season to those individuals and families observing these holy days. And, I would also like to extend a happy Passover greeting to anyone who will observe that holy season beginning at sundown Friday, March 30.

The Rev. Dr. Al Cremard and the congregation of Independent Bible Church will have Holy Week and Easter services at the church, 328 Main St.: Easter Choir Program, “I Saw the Lord,” Good Friday, March 30, 7 p.m., and Easter Sunday, April 1, 6 a.m. sunrise service, 9:15 a.m. Sunday School, 10:30 a.m. morning service and junior church and 6 p.m. evening service and Truth Trackers for children.

The Rev. John V. Polednak, V.E., Deacon André Kabacinski and the parishioners of Nativity of our Lord Parish, will have Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter services at the church, 127 Stephenson St.: Palm Sunday, March 25, 8 and 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Masses; Holy Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m., Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Church will remain open for adoration until 10 p.m. when night prayer begins; Good Friday, March 30, 2 p.m., commemoration of the Lord’s Passion, 7 p.m., Stations of the Cross; Holy Saturday, March 31, 2 and 4 p.m., blessing of Easter baskets at Holy Rosary School gym, 125 Stephenson St., 8 p.m., Easter Vigil Mass, and Easter Sunday, April 1, 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Masses. There will not be a 7 p.m. Mass on Easter.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, and from 10 to 11 a.m. on Good Friday.

The Rev. Carmen Bolock and the parishioners of St. Mary’s Polish National Catholic Church will have the following services for Holy Week and Easter at the church, 200 Stephenson St.: Palm Sunday, March 25, 9:30 a.m., solemn blessing and distribution of palms, procession outdoors (weather permitting) Holy Mass and the reading of the Passion; Wednesday, March 28, 8 a.m., Holy Mass; Holy Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m., Mass of the Lord’s Supper, procession to the repository, stripping of the altar. The church will remain open until 10:30 p.m. for private prayer; Good Friday, March 30, day of fast and abstinence, 3 p.m., church will open for private prayer; 7 p.m., Good Friday Service, reading of the Passion, Veneration of the Cross, Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified, Burial of the Lord, church will remain open until 10 p.m.; Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil, March 31, 10:30 a.m., blessing of fire, paschal candle, reading of the four lessons, blessing of water and blessing of Easter food; Easter Sunday, April 1, 9 a.m., solemn procession of Resurrection (outdoors, weather permitting), Mass of Resurrection and blessing of Easter food, and Dingus Day, Monday, April 2, 7 p.m., Holy Mass.

Holy Rosary news

Holy Rosary School students have been busy utilizing several creative outlets in their studies.

The fifth-grade class recently created board games which they incorporated into their social studies lessons. The students enjoyed playing games while learning.

Next, the children received “The Next Notre Dame Mascot,” a book written by local authors “The Four Pops:” Daniel O’Brien, Glenn Davis, Mark Smith and Tom Stapleton. During the presentation, Davis and Smith visited the students and spoke about their experiences while writing their latest book.

Also, the students recently prepared vegetable soup, homemade bread and desserts for the residents of Crossin Towers. The students’ families donated the ingredients to make the delicious meal while faculty and students worked together to prepare and deliver lunch to the community members.

And finally, the sixth-grade class celebrated Pi Day with various games and activities. Sporting their Pi Day T-shirts, designed by classmate Isabelle Granteed, the students enjoyed learning about circles and the irrational number 3.14.

Smoke detectors available

Excelsior Hose Company No. 2 and Germania Hose Company are participating in WNEP-TV 16’s Operation Save A Life program. Any Duryea resident in need of a smoke detector may obtain one at either fire department on Thursday evenings. Excelsior’s pickup time is 6 to 9 p.m., and Germania’s is at 7 p.m. Please bring proper identification to confirm your residency in Duryea. Detectors are available on a first come, first served basis. Supplies are limited.

Polish Falcons news

Polish Falcons Nest 128 is seeking bartenders for all shifts. Please see the bar manager at the post, 631 Main St., to fill out an application or call 570-457-5355.

Phoenix performance

Phoenix Performing Arts Center will present “Jekyll & Hyde” at the newly renovated theater, 409 Main St.

Show times are 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 25.

Tickets are $12. To purchase tickets, call 570-457-3589 or visit phoenixpac.vpweb.com. Handicap accessible seating is available.

SAL chicken bites sale

Duryea Sons of the American Legion Squadron 585 will have a boneless chicken bites sale from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at the Brennan Regan post home, 329 Main St.

The bites will be available in mild, hot, butter garlic, mild garlic, hot garlic or golden sauces.

The cost is $8 per order. Blue cheese and celery are included. Takeouts will be available, too.

Hometown Hero banners

Duryea Lions Club, in conjunction with the Duryea Betterment Committee, is sponsoring a second installment of the Hometown Hero banner program. The program is designed to honor the active duty military, retirees and veterans of Duryea who honorably served and continue to serve our country.

The banners, which are $225 each, traditionally include a photo of the service person or a graphic such as a medal, badge or logo from his or her service branch, along with his or her name and the donor’s name. Banners will be attached to utility poles in town.

If you are interested in honoring a Duryea Hometown Hero, contact Anissa Akulonis at 570-457-2606, Schmoopee9405@aol.com or send her a message on Facebook by Saturday, March 31. Banners will be displayed by Memorial Day.

Germania egg hunt

Germania Hose Company will sponsor a community Easter egg hunt Saturday, March 31, at the hose company, 430 Foote Ave. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with the hunt to follow at 11. Children ages 12 and younger are invited to attend.

For updates, visit “Germania Hose Company, Duryea, Pa” on Facebook.

Betterment meeting

Duryea Betterment Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, April 9, at the municipal building, 315 Main St. Please join the group and bring ideas for future projects.

Council meeting

Duryea Borough Council will meet Tuesday, April 10, at the municipal building, 315 Main St. The public work session is at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting is at 7.

Holiday schedule

Duryea Borough will be closed Friday, March 30, and Monday, April 2, in observance of the Easter holiday. Garbage will be picked up one day late and there will be no yard waste collection the week of April 2.

Crime watch meeting

Duryea Crime Watch will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at the municipal building, 315 Main St.

Tax reminder

Duryea Borough Tax Collector Martin Hanczyc announced the 2018 Luzerne County/Duryea Borough taxes have been sent out and are now due. The rebate ends Wednesday, April 11.

Taxes may be paid during the rebate period from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Duryea Municipal Building, 315 Main St.

If you are paying via mail and requesting a receipt, please send in your entire tax bill and a self- addressed, stamped envelope. Also, please include your phone number in case of any mistakes.

If you did not receive your bill, please call Hanczyc at 570-457-2482.

Anyone who is disabled and unable to mail or come to the municipal building to pay their taxes, may call Hanczyc to have their taxes picked up.

Shotwell fundraiser

There will be a pasta dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St., Avoca, to benefit Duryea business owner and Avoca resident Patrick Shotwell Sr., who is fighting stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer.

The menu includes pasta with meatballs, salad, roll, dessert, beer (for patrons 21 and older) and other beverages. There will be entertainment by the Luongo Brothers — famed members of The Poets. There also will be a basket raffle and 50/50 drawings.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 5 to 18. Children under 5 years old will be admitted free. Takeouts for children and adults are $10. Takeouts do not include beverages.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from Pat Shotwell’s Auto Repair, 860 Main St., Duryea; Queen of the Apostles Parish office, 715 Hawthorne St., Avoca, or from a Shotwell family member.

Tickets can also be purchased online via the “Pasta Dinner Benefit for Patrick Shotwell Sr.” Facebook event page.

Monetary or raffle donations can be made by calling Ryanne Ziobro at 570-237-6123.

Nativity book club

Nativity of Our Lord Parish’s book club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the rectory, 127 Stephenson St.

The book group will discuss “Glittering Vices” by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung.

VFW ’80s party

Duryea Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1227 are bringing back the ’80s! Join in the fun at an ’80s themed party from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the post home.

Tickets are $15 each and include a buffet and entertainment by a DJ playing all of your favorites from the decade ruled by big hair and heavy metal. There also will be a cash bar. Tickets can be purchased at the post home until Sunday, April 22.

Duryea at Dusk

Save the date! Duryea at Dusk will hold its second annual 5K run, 1-mile walk and family festival Saturday, June 2, at the Duryea Community Park, located behind the municipal building, 315 Main St. The festival begins at 5 p.m., followed by the race and walk at 7. For information, visit www.facebook.com/duryeaatdusk/.

Excelsior poker run

Save the date! Excelsior Hose Company No. 2 and the Duryea Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1227 will co-sponsor their annual chicken barbecue and motorcycle poker run Saturday, June 9. For additional information, visit www.facebook.com/226bbq/.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery’s Bi-Weekly Support Group meets 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. Duryea.

SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program helps people recover from all types of substance use disorders or any unwanted behaviors. These include alcohol/drugs, prescription drugs, nicotine, co-dependency, compulsive overeating or any behavior change.

For information, visit facebook.com/smartnepa or www.smartrecovery.org.

Al-Anon meeting

Al-Anon meets at 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Brick United Methodist Church, 935 Foote Ave. This is an anonymous 12-step program of recovery for families and friends of addicts and alcoholics. There are no dues or fees. Meetings last approximately one hour. The public is invited.

That’s about it for this week, my friends. If you would like to send a birthday, anniversary or get well wish or have your organization’s upcoming meetings, events or fundraisers listed in next week’s edition of the Duryea community news, please contact me by Monday at 5 p.m.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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