Parish Life and Events

Lenten Prayer Plan

As we prepare for Great Lent, it is important to think about more than just food. Fasting is an important part of our life as Orthodox Christians, but the other two pillars of Prayer and Almsgiving must not be neglected. To help with the latter, our brothers in the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese have assembled a schedule for reading the entirety of the Psalter throughout Great Lent. The Psalms have been an important part of the Church since the very beginning and constitute much of the Divine Services and the Liturgy. This is a great opportunity to grow better acquainted with the Psalms and to start your own tradition of regularly reading the Scriptures.

Craft Fair Raffle Baskets

In addition to donating their time and money to make some delicious homemade food for the Craft and Hobby Fair, the wonderful parishioners of St. Mary’s have assembled an assortment of raffle baskets for you. We will have:

  • Lottery Ticket Basket: A variety of scratch-off tickets from the PA Lottery, maybe even a big winner for you!
  • Skook Basket: A taste of Schuylkill County favorites, including Miller’s Hot Bolognas, Yuengling items, and more!
  • Valentine’s Basket: Sweet gifts for your sweet!
    And my personal favorite…
  • Wargaming and Role Playing Game Basket: Two new tabletop wargame books, Stargrave and Gaslands, the Basic Fantasy RPG rulebook and its monster manual, a nice set of dice, a 10-man squad of Mk IV Space Marines, three multipose Lizardmen, five multipose Halflings (all in 28mm scale), a wooden ‘dungeon’ wall box to display them, plus Gaslands templates, and some 3D printed terrain for both games.
Tabletop role playing and wargames gift basket

On top of that, we will have seven local vendors selling everything from jewelry and clothing to woodcraft, books, and games. Plus the aforementioned homemade halushki, barbecue, hot dogs, and baked goods! There is something for everybody here, so bring the whole family!

And don’t forget to ask for a tour of our beautiful church, including our icons and restored iconostasis, and to learn more about Orthodox Christianity. When the craft fair is over, join us in praising and giving thanksgiving to God at evening Vespers, starting at 4PM.

Iconostasis Restoration

Our church beautification efforts have been featured on WFMZ TV news.

Here are some up close pictures of Mr. Jobrey’s work restoring the iconostasis.

The parishioners have made great efforts beautifying St. Mary’s over the last several years and are continuing to do so. Next up are a new set of icons for the back wall. Why not visit us for Vespers or Divine Liturgy and see for yourself how, more than 120 years later, our parish is still steadfast in its mission to give glory to God for all things! Our parish is growing and we would love for you to join us.

If you would like to help fund further beautification and our missionary efforts, please visit our Craft and Hobby Fair on February 4th! We will have homemade food, merchandise from great local vendors, and prize baskets.

Food for the Craft and Hobby Fair

We are pleased to announce a menu of homemade food available at our Craft and Hobby Fair on Saturday, February 4th.

  • Halushki
  • Barbecue sandwiches
  • Hot dogs
  • Baked goods
  • Coffee, Water, and other Beverages
  • Homemade Pierogies (frozen)

We will also be raffling off several themed gift baskets, with more info to be provided presently.

Prices are TBA. All food and gift basket proceeds will benefit St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.

Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord

The faithful families of Saint Mary’s enjoyed the beautiful singing of the Typika service in the absence of having a Priest or Deacon. Many exciting projects in the upcoming year are planned as the church continues to thrive and grow in faith and numbers.

Christ Is Born!

Glorify Him!

February Craft and Hobby Fair

St. Mary’s Orthodox Church will be hosting a Craft and Hobby Fair on Saturday, February 4, just in time to buy a one-of-a-kind or handmade gift for your Valentine’s sweetheart. (Sure, the Orthodox calendar commemorates St. Valentine in July, but what are you gonna do?)

The fair runs from 10 AM to 4PM, followed immediately by Vespers (evening service – all are encouraged to attend and give right worship to God).

Admission is free to the general public. Vendors, please see below. Food and drinks will also be available, with proceeds to benefit St. Mary’s.

Church and Icon Tours

Throughout the day, we will also be giving tours of our church, with special emphasis on the holy craftmanship of our icons. Learn about how icons are made, why they look the way they do, why we venerate them and the holy persons they represent, and their history back to the earliest days of Christianity.


We are looking for artists, creators, and craftsmen of all types to vend at the fair. Paintings, sculptures, woodwork, ceramics, metalwork, decor, and clothing are just a few examples. Remember that this is also a hobby fair, so games, toys, trains, models, and the like would also be welcome. Please, no merchandise that would cause scandal or insult to the Church.

Tables are six feet long and may be purchased for $40 each. The church hall will be open from 8AM for setup. Please contact us by email or call Mike at (570) 417 5097 to inquire.

Preparing for the Nativity of Our Lord

View of St. Mary's Orthodox Church from the choir loft displaying the Christmas vestments, candles, icons, and decorations.

As you prepare for Christmas, St. Mary’s is also getting ready for this joyous celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whether or not you’ve ever been here before, each of you are invited to join us as we worship and sing praises to our good God who loves mankind.

Our celebrations begin on Wednesday, December 21 at 6 PM when we hold our Akathist to the Theotokos. An akathist is a fancy Greek term meaning “unseated (i.e. standing) hymn” and Theotokos means “Mother of God,” our patroness, St. Mary. This beautiful veneration of the Virgin Mother is an excellent way to prepare for Christmas as it centers our thoughts on the truly important meaning of the holiday, the miraculous incarnation of God in the flesh. This is a short service and is also a good introduction to Orthodox prayer.

Christmas Eve, Saturday December 24 at 4PM is our vespers service. Vespers is an solemn evening service in preparation for the Lord’s Day. Begin your holy evening in our parish as we pray, hymn, and give thanks to God for the birth of His Son.

On Christmas, Sunday December 25 at 9:30 AM, we will celebrate with our Typika service. Typika is a variation of our usual Divine Liturgy served without a priest (St. Mary’s is a small parish and we share priests with other local parishes, so we don’t always have one on hand, but that doesn’t keep us from worship!). Afterwards, join us for fellowship and coffee before you head home to exchange presents.

If you are looking for a place to celebrate Christmas — even if you haven’t been to church in a long time, or have never been there before — God and our parish family would love to welcome you this special time of year and for every day afterward!