PNCC Frequently Asked Questions
Q – Do you have to be Polish to join the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC)?
A – Do you have to be Roman to join the Roman Catholic Church (RCC)? Of course not. The PNCC was organized by Polish immigrants in 1897, but has diversified in the same manner as the rest of America.
Q – What is the difference between the Polish National Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church?
A – The answer is manifold. For the long answer, please look at the Polish National Catholicism pamphlet located in the ABOUT US section of this website. The main differences are the fact that the PNCC is nonpapal, meaning that the Church is not under the Pope. Another is that the Constitution of the Church is set up democratically, meaning that the laypeople/parishioners have the power in the Church.
Q – How old is the PNCC?
A – The PNCC was organized in March of 1897, making it today 118 years old.
Q – What kind of religious services does the PNCC have?
A – The focal point of the PNCC’s religious worship is the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. Contained in the PNCC Pew book are three (3) different Rites of the Holy Mass. These are Traditional, Contemporary, and Traditional Mass compiled by Prime Bishop Francis Hodur. Also, various prayer services, litanies, Penance services, and other paraliturgical services are celebrated throughout the year.
Q – And what language are they celebrated in?
A – The language of the people, which in the case of St. Stanislaus is English. The PNCC was a pioneer in this regard, celebrating Holy Mass in the vernacular over 100 years ago. The language of the people may be English, Spanish, Polish, Lithuanian, Slovak, or whatever; the point is that the needs are met.
Q – What is the significance of being the first parish of the PNCC, as the website advertises?
A – It is something for the Parish to be proud of. When a group of poor, mostly coal-mining immigrants sought to find an alternative to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the South Side of Scranton, they broke away and started their own parish, which has blossomed into an entire denomination as it is today.
Q – Where can I find more information about the PNCC?
Q – Why should I become a member of St. Stanislaus Cathedral? Can’t I just show up every week?
A – You could simply show up every week and not be a member, but membership is what makes our Church strong. You wouldn’t have a vote at the semiannual parish meetings unless you were a paid member, nor would you be allowed to be in any parish organizations, such as the Parish Committee or Cathedral Chorale. And your participation is what makes a church a Church, and your vote is what makes the church your Church.
Q – I would love to join, but what can my child do once I become a member?
A – St. Stanislaus offers a variety of things to do to keep a child busy. The Cathedral Chorale or Altar Server Guild might be an option, as well as the School of Christian Living (Sunday School), United Youth Association, Basketball league, Bell Choir, or Catechetical Instruction for all after-Mass activities.
Q – How can I participate in Sunday worship?
A – All are asked to participate by receiving our Lord’s Sacred Body and Precious Blood in the form of Holy Communion. Also, the Lector Ministry, Adult Bell Choir, Usher, Greeter, or Cathedral Chorale may be options for those interested in expanding their participation.
Q – How do I go about getting my child Baptized/1st Holy Communion/Confirmed?
A – This is done by contacting the Rectory at 570 343 6017 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. Generally, Baptisms are done by appointment, 1st Holy Communion classes begin every September, and Confirmation Classes, a 2 year study, begin every other September.
Q – Does your Parish have an Elementary School?
A – Yes! St. Stanislaus Elementary School has been around almost as long as the church. Grades range from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. For information regarding our school, please visit their website at http://ststanislauselementaryschool.org/, email the Principal LuAnn Kaszuba atLAKASZ@aol.com, or call the school at (570) 342-2224.
Q – Do I have to be a member of St. Stanislaus Cathedral to attend its Elementary School?
A – No, you don’t have to be a member, but it certainly does not hurt. Members of St. Stanislaus Cathedral receive a significant discount on tuition, as do all members of PNCC Parishes.
Q – I have been hearing quite a bit lately about closing churches and schools. Does this happen in the PNCC?
A – Yes, this does happen, but only if the individual parish wants it to happen. Although the Diocesan Bishop has the power to close a parish, it must be done with the approval of the parish body. Again, democracy at work.
Q – Who is in charge of the religious aspect of St. Stanislaus Cathedral?
A – The Pastor is in charge. Our pastor is the Rt. Rev. Bernard Nowicki, Bishop of the Central Diocese of the PNCC. His assistant is Rev. Janusz Lucarz. Our Pastor, Bishop Nowicki has final say on all religious aspects and worship at St. Stanislaus Cathedral.
Q – Where does the Pastor and Assistant live? Just in case they are needed?
A – The rectory next door to the church is the residence to Bishop Bernard Nowicki lives with his wife, Barbara, and Father Janusz. If there are any religious emergencies, please call the rectory at 343-6017.
Q – Wait, if you are a priest in the PNCC, how can you have a wife?
A – The PNCC passed a resolution in its General Synod that made Celibacy optional in the priesthood, meaning that bishops and priests can be married and potentially better equipped to handle issues involving family life.
Q – What do you offer in terms of lay participation at St. Stanislaus?
A – There are numerous committees and organizations to join, as highlighted by our “Organizations” section.
Q – What about participation in Mass?
A – There are a few options. Children can become an altar server or a choir or bell choir member. Adults and teenagers can become lectors, proclaiming the Word of God to the people. Also, if you are a male and feel the call to vocations, you can apply to study to become a permanent deacon or you can apply to Savonarola Theological Seminary to become a priest.