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St. Valentine's PNC Church

127 King Street, Northampton, MA

Tel: (413)584-0133

The symbol of the Church briefly summarizes the substance of Christianity.

The Church strongly urges its faithful to incorporate these Christian principles into the daily routine of life by means of Truth, Work and Action.

The Book - represents the revealed Word of God.

The Sun - is the sign of religious freedom and fervor.

The Cross - is the mark of suffering and consecration for others.

The Palm - is the symbol of well earned peace.

We are a Catholic Church, and our beliefs are based on Holy Scripture,

Christian Tradition, and Church Ecumenical Synods.

GOD

God is one in three divine persons: the Father, who created it all; the Son, who died for our sins and rose from the dead; the Holy Spirit, who regenerates and sanctifies souls.

CHRIST

The Son of God, who became man and died on the cross for our salvation, is always with believers who try to live according to His teachings.

HOLY SPIRIT

The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity abides in the Church to teach, govern and sanctify its members.

 KINGDOM OF GOD

It is the duty of every Christian to help establish God’s Kingdom on earth through the grace and virtue of love, justice and dedication to the will of God.

THE SOUL

It is immortal and ultimately destined for eternal life with God.

SALVATION

Jesus Christ became man and died on the cross for our salvation.

THE CHURCH

The Church is made up of baptized Christians who worship together, partake of the sacraments, hear and follow the Word of God.

GOD AND NATIONS

God Wishes all nations to act together in brotherhood and justice.

PARISH-OWNED PROPERTY

Church property is owned by the people who purchase, build and maintain it.

Questions of Faith

Do you have to be Polish to join the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC)?

Just as you do not have to be Roman to join the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) you do not need to be Polish or of Polish ancestry to belong to the PNCC. The PNCC was organized by Polish immigrants in 1897, but has diversified in the same manner as the rest of America.

What is the form of worship in the PNCC?

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the central act of worship in all churches of the Catholic Community, including the Polish National Catholic Church. There are three (3) different Rites of the Holy Mass in our prayer book. These are Traditional, Contemporary, and the Traditional Mass compiled by Prime Bishop Francis Hodur. Also, various prayer services, litanies, Penitential services, and other paraliturgical services are celebrated throughout the year.

What language is the Mass celebrated in?

The language of the people, which in the case of St. Valentine’s is English. The PNCC was a pioneer in this regard, celebrating Holy Mass in the vernacular over 100 years ago. The language of the Mass may be English, Spanish, Polish, Lithuanian, Slovak, or whatever is necessary to meet the needs of people.

How is Holy Communion administered?

Holy Communion is given in two forms, Bread and Wine, which are the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The principal method used is Intinction, which simply means that the Sacred Host is dipped into the Consecrated Wine and administered to the faithful at the altar. Only Priests and Deacons administer the Eucharist and it is always placed on the tongue, not in the hand.

Does the PNCC recognize the sacraments?

The PNCC recognizes seven sacraments. The Sacraments are:

1. Baptism and Confirmation;

2. The Word of God: Heard and Preached

3. Penance;

4. Eucharist;

5. Holy Unction (Anointing of the Sick);

6. Holy Orders;

7. Matrimony.

Our Priests and the Sacraments they administer are recognized by the RCC as valid.

What does the church teach concerning confession?

A humble confession of our faults to Almighty God, followed by the assignment of penance and absolution given by the priest, is the way the congregation obtains forgiveness of its sins. The sacrament may be administered in one of two ways: public or private. Private confession is required for all members under the age of sixteen. Public confession is a part of every Mass. In this form, the faithful confess their sins directly and privately to God. The entire congregation then recites the Prayer of Confession together.

What is the teaching concerning birth control?

This is a matter of personal judgment for husband and wife. It is not the responsibility of the Church to tell its members how many children they should have. Marriage serves other major purposes besides the procreation.

Can a divorced person participate fully in parish life?

Yes. There are no discriminatory regulations against those who have suffered from a divorce; divorced people may participate in Mass and receive Holy Communion. The Church has an obligation to lend its support and ministry to those who have divorced, as it would to casualties of other social ills.

Can a divorced person re-marry?

Yes. Each Diocese has a Matrimonial Commission that studies each request for marriage by persons who have been divorced. This commission presents its finding to the Diocesan Bishop with its recommendation. The Bishop makes the final decision.

Why do we permit priests to marry?

Because it is the perfectly natural thing for a man to do. The church sees no moral reason in the world to forbid a man to receive the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony simply because he happens to be a priest. Tradition tells us that all but one of the twelve apostles were married. Popes, bishops and priests of the early church were all married men. Many believe that a married priest is more likely to understand the problems of marriage and child rearing because he has gone through them.

How is the National Catholic Church governed?

It is governed in accordance with its Constitution. In matters of faith, morals and discipline, bishops and priests possess the authority to explain and teach the doctrinal position of Christ's Church. The legislative authority of the Church is vested in the General Synod, the Special Synod, the Diocesan Synod and the Parish Meeting. In financial and administrative matters, the Parishioners possess administrative authority. Representatives elected at the Annual Parish Meeting, and confirmed by the Diocesan Bishop, exercise their constitutional authority in cooperation with the priest. This constitutional authority is at all administrative levels: parish, diocese and church-wide. Synods are required by the Constitution to be held every four years. Diocesan Synods are held between General Synods. 

Be closer to Jesus …

The public life of Jesus lasted approximately three years. During that time, He built the foundation of an organization to carry on His mission. He taught his Apostles by example, reminding them that He had chosen them, not the other way around. He expected them to get results, bringing others to the Kingdom. He promised that the Holy Spirit would come to guide them. Since Jesus promised to be in His Church until the end of time, the directives and promises He made to his Apostles passed on to their successors, the leaders of the catholic Church. Our Church is a part of that legacy, established by Jesus Christ Himself, and it …

…is a Catholic Church - based on Scripture and tradition, which forms a unique expression of our Christian faith.

…is an Apostolic Church - preserves Apostolic Succession, meaning our present day bishops and priests extend in an unbroken line from the Apostles of Jesus Christ.

…is a Teaching Church - holding classes in preparation for First Communion and Confirmation, the School of Christian Living for parish youth and adult bible study. We offer youth retreats, summer church camp, and annual national youth convocations.

…is a Democratic Church - Clergy and Parishioners interact responsibly in establishment of church policy and management at all levels - Parish, Seniorate, Diocese and Church-wide. Parish Committee members and delegates for Diocesan and General Synods are elected by the congregation. Parish Committee meetings are held monthly. Parish meetings are held annually. Diocesan and General Synods are held every four years. Candidates for Bishop are elected by clergy and Parishioner delegates at General Synods. The Church is governed by its Constitution. Every Parish is a separate corporation.

…is a Non-Papal Church - with a Prime Bishop elected by Church members and the clergy. Our Prime Bishop heads the church nationally while regional leadership is given by the diocesan bishops.

…is a Responsive Church - meeting our member’s religious needs through the celebration of Holy Mass, other religious services, and the administration of the sacraments. Many other church organizations meet social and fellowship needs.

…is an Ecumenical Church - cooperating with other churches and organizations to make our community a better place.

…is a Counseling Church - whose pastors are available to help people experiencing spiritual, family or personal problems. Parishioners also extend moral and spiritual support to each other.

…is a Worshiping Church - encouraging regular attendance at Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. Other religious services give members the opportunity to praise and honor God.

…is a Welcoming Church - whose doors are open to everyone. No one is denied the freedom to worship with us. Those who share our beliefs are welcome to take part in the sacraments.

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