Home » Announcements » Weekend Update December 16/17

Mass Schedule

St. Polycarp, Smyrna DE
(302) 653-8279
Saturday – 4:00 pm
Sunday – 10:30 am
Weekday Mass – 8:30 am, Tuesday & Wednesday
Confessions – Saturdays, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

St. Dennis, Galena MD
(410) 648-5145
Sunday – 8:00 am
Sunday – 11:00 am (Spanish)
Weekday Mass – 8:30 am, Thursday & Friday
Confessions – Sundays, 7:00-7:30 am


DE Home for the Chronically Ill (DHCI):
Communion Service – 3rd Tuesday at 10:30 am
Communion Service – 1st Wednesday at 1:15 pm

Parish Contact

55 Ransom Lane,
Smyrna, Delaware 19977

Parish Office : (302) 653-8279
Email: office@saintpolycarp.org

Religious Education: (302)653-4101
Email: dre@saintpolycarp.org

Weekend Update December 16/17

Gaudete Sunday – Rejoice!

December 16/17


~ How can you cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving, no matter the circumstance?
~ Who needs you to bring them glad tidings?
~ As Christmas beckons, consider how you can join your heart to Mary’s and make the Magnificat part of your daily prayer.

 READINGS FOR THE WEEKEND:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121723.cfm

LIVE-STREAMING: Visit https://www.youtube.com/c/StPolycarpSmyrnaDE for live stream at 8:30 am, Tuesdays & Wednesdays and 4 pm on Saturdays

PARISH WEBSITE: Visit: www.saintpolycarp.org/.

WEEKLY PARISH BULLETIN: CLICK HERE  (New Bulletins are posted on Fridays.) 

BULLETIN OVERFLOW: There’s always information that doesn’t fit in our Bulletin Bulletin Overflow – CLICK HERE

Masses for Christmas:
Sunday, December 24th at 4 pm and 9 pm
Monday, December 25th at 10 am.


You are cordially invited to join us for the 4pm Christmas Eve Mass and to watch our PSR 1st graders bring to life our Nativity Pageant. The reenactment of the First  Christmas will take place  immediately following the Mass. This performance will surely put you into the Christmas Spirit. 




St. Polycarp Church:
Saturdays from 2:30 – 3:30 pm & Following the 10:30 am Mass on Sundays during Advent –  17th, and 24th.

St. Dennis Church, Galena MD:
Sundays 7 – 7:30 am & 5:30 pm – 6 pm Thursday, December 21st.

Reconciliation Monday,  at St. Polycarp Church* & at St. Dennis Church:
Monday, December 18th, from 3 pm – 5 pm and 6 pm – 8 pm, *two priests will be present during each session.


THIS WEEKEND, DECEMBER 16/17  (and Monday, December 18th – Friday, December 22nd) 

CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD: Children’s Liturgy of the Word will take place this Sunday, December 17th, during the 10:30 am Mass. This is a wonderful opportunity for children in PreK-4th grade. Children will be called forward before the First Reading and will return to you after the General Intercessions.


BREAKFAST WITH JESUS:   Come join us, after Mass, this Sunday, December 17th, for BREAKFAST WITH JESUS. Brother Vincent Knights of Columbus will be serving a delicious breakfast to all. Let us celebrate the upcoming birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Breakfast is free, donations will be accepted. St. Nicholas (Santa) may be attending!



COLUMBIETTES COOKIE WALK  2023 will take place this weekend December 16th and 17th after the 4pm Mass on Saturday and after the 10:30 am Mass on Sunday. You will be able to purchase delicious cookies lovingly baked by our Columbiettes!  Only $1 per bag!



NATIVITY CRÈCHES FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES OF DELAWARE AND MARYLAND’S EASTERN SHORE: Last Christmas, the diocese invited each of its 56 parishes and 18 mission churches to submit a photograph of their crèche to be included in the video that celebrates the 800th anniversary of the very first Nativity scene. In 1223, wanting to emphasize the humble circumstances of Jesus’s birth and to inspire the local people to more deeply appreciate the Christmas story. St. Francis of Assisi set up a live Nativity scene in a cave in the quaint Italian village of Greccio.

On Sunday, December 17, 2023, a new video will debut on the Diocese of Wilmington’s YouTube channel. This video, produced by the Diocese of Wilmington, presents a montage of photographs of Nativity crèches from the Catholic churches of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The video includes beautiful instrumental Christmas hymns as a background. Families are invited to watch the 12 ½ minute video together, discuss which scene they like best and why, maybe try to be the first to identify the scene from our parish. Visit www.YouTube.com/DioceseofWilm to view the video. (Pick-up a copy of this weekend’s Dialog as you leave Mass and check out the center page!)

RECONCILIATION MONDAY: Monday, December 18th,
from 3 pm – 5 pm and 6 pm – 8 pm, two priests will be present during each session.


BE BRAVE, ANSWER THE CALL: Are you a Catholic living in harmony with the teachings of the Church? Are you at least 18 years old? Have you received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist & Confirmation? Are you sufficiently mature to perform the duties of Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at Mass or to the sick and homebound? These are the qualifications needed to be considered for Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. If this is a ministry you feel God calling you to, please contact Cindy Kennedy at Kennedy-078@msn.com. Formation and training will begin early January.


NOTICE ANYTHING DIFFERENT? We hope that you have noticed the new candle stands in the back of the Church. They are electric candles, which are safer and do not create soot.   The $3 aqua votive candles are now available to be lit for your intentions.  After you put your money in the slot, you just need to press the button in front of that candle.   You must press and hold the button until it lights.

The white candles are memorial candles. These candles are available to be lit in memory of someone. The introductory fee of $120 includes the candle being lit for a full year with a memorial name plate placed in front of that candle with the person’s name on it. This introductory fee is good until Ash Wednesday when the fee will be $150.  If you are interested in having one of these candles lit, please contact Kathy at the office. (302) 653-8279 or office@saintpolycarp.org  We hope you enjoy them.


CHRISTMAS NOVENA: Christmas is a time to reflect on the blessings of family and shared togetherness. We exchange gifts as an act of love and appreciation, but there is no greater gift we can give than the gift of the Holy Mass.  Although a loved one may no longer be present to share this time with us, let us remember that, now more than ever, they rely upon us for their spiritual well-being.   Take a moment to show your affection by praying on their behalf.   Living or deceased, the best gift you can give is the gift of the Mass.  Please use the Christmas Novena envelope to show your loved ones they have not been forgotten.

CHRISTMAS FLOWERS: Advent is a time of preparation.  Just like parents in every time and every location prepare for the birth of their child, Mary and Joseph did their best to welcome the Holy Child in the humble surroundings where our Lord entered the world.   Wouldn’t this be the ideal time to proclaim the birth of our Savior by decorating our Church with all the splendor befitting the birth of the King of Kings?  During this Advent season, please consider using the Christmas flower envelope to help us proclaim our joy as we rejoice in the birth of our Lord.


EARLY DEADLINES FOR DECEMBER & JANUARY BULLETINS: During the busy holiday season, the bulletin is due earlier to the publisher.  All submissions that you would like to appear in the bulletin, need to be submitted earlier than usual. Plan ahead!  If you plan on having an insert, please contact Judy immediately. Insert deadlines are sooner than the deadlines listed below!  ALL Submissions (including inserts or questions about inserts) should be emailed to submission@saintpolycarp.org. Judy can also be reached at the parish office (302) 653-8279. Bulletin Date December 31st – Submissions due by December 19th end of day; Bulletin January 7th Submissions due by December 26th end of day.


CONGRATULATIONS! 2023 FAITH AND CHARITY CATHOLIC APPEAL:  Thank you to all those parishioners who contributed to the 2023 Faith and Charity Catholic Appeal. Our parish has achieved our goal in pledges and money collected for the appeal! Your generosity in supporting this year’s appeal once again demonstrates that you understand the mission of our Church.  Now that we have reached our goal in money collected, we will receive back half of the money collected above the goal for projects around our campus. We invite those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to give to the Appeal to join us in spreading the spirit of gratitude. Envelopes can be found at the doors of the Church You can also support the appeal online at www.cdow.org click “Giving” then “Faith and Charity Catholic Appeal,” or simply scan this QR code with your cellphone.


NEXT WEEKEND, December 23/24,

December 24th is both the 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve.
Masses for the 4th Sunday in Advent:
Saturday, December 23rd at 4 pm
Sunday, December 24th at 10:30 am. (This Mass is for the 4th Sunday of Advent. It is not a Christmas Eve Vigil Mass. No one Mass fulfills the Sunday obligation and the Christmas obligation.)

THE VOCATION CHALICE MINISTRY: Please consider signing up to host the vocation chalice in your home for a week.  Families and individuals are encouraged to sign up! Text or call Alice Gaston at (302) 670 – 7924. For more information visit https://saintpolycarp.org/vocation-chalice/  Christmas Eve Vigil Mass, December 24th at 4 pm – Stephanie Roch



AGAPE: Come join us on Sunday, January 7th following the 10:30 Mass as we welcome in the New Year and celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord! Enjoy a delicious brunch, fellowship and fun! All are welcome.


ROCK AND ROLL TRIBUTE:  Come join us on in the parish hall on Saturday, January 13th, 2024 to ROCK in the New Year. Brother Vincent Knights of Columbus along with our Columbiettes are sponsoring a ROCK AND ROLL TRUBUTE with an evening of dinner, show and dancing featuring Mr. Charisma! Tickets are $45. Contact Anna Skinner at ANNA.SKINZ@gmail.com  or (302) 883-5647. Make checks payable to Knights of Columbus #7517, 55 ransom Lane, Smyrna, DE  19977.

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: WHY AND WHEN DO WE SIT, STAND AND KNEEL AT MASS? If you would like information on why we stand or sit or kneel during the Mass, please check out the following websites:

www.formed.org: Explaining the Faith with Fr. Chris Alar – Part 6: Teaching Mass (Part 1); and Teaching Mass (Part 2)

www.eucharisticrevival.org: go to Blog: Do This in Remembrance of Me: A Step by Step Walk Through the Mass by Fr. Luke Spannagel (there are 52 Parts).


FORMED: Thanks to a very generous and thoughtful parishioner, our FORMED Subscription has been RENEWED for another year!  Please SIGN UP NOW and begin enjoying the abundant amount of Catholic content that FORMED has to offer! You won’t be disappointed! To gain full access to FORMED; follow these simple steps:
~Go to: www.formed.org or scan QR Code
~Enter our parish’s zip code (19977)
~Click on St. Polycarp Church
~Enter your name and your email address


NEEDED – NEW MINISTRY SCHEDULER: We are currently looking for someone to take over the scheduling of our ministers for the Weekend Masses and Holy Days of Obligation. This person must have good PC organization and computer skills. If you think you might be interested in this position, please call Frank Patton at  (302) 508-5268.

SACRISTAN NEEDED: We are still in need of someone to step forward to serve as sacristan.  Sacristans have the duty to arrive early to the Church in order to unlock the doors and prepare the Church for Mass.  Becoming a sacristan would be a great way to learn more about our beautiful liturgy and become more involved in carrying it out.  No previous knowledge is required. If you are interested, please contact the head sacristan Adam Bauer at ajpd.bauer@gmail.com.

DIRECTORY COORDINATOR: The Pastoral Council is looking for a parishioner to coordinate the preparation for a new directory for Saint Polycarp. Our last directory was published in 2018 and we understand there may be an interest in producing a new directory.  Please contact Kathy Curlett at (302) 222 – 9326 if you are interested.


SATURDAY EUCHARISTIC ADORATION at St. Polycarp will take place monthly at the Vigil Mass for the Second Sunday of the month.  Eucharistic Adoration at St. Dennis Church (Galena MD) will take place on the Fourth Sunday of the month following the 8 am Sunday Mass.

TUESDAY EUCHARISTIC ADORATION: Tuesdays from 9am to 8pm in the Chapel. We are still in need of people to fill in the following openings 9:30 am, 10:00 am, 10:30 am; 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm and people to fill in when others are ill or cannot attend. Do you have one hour to spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Call Cheryl Thomas at (302) 363 – 0404 or email her at salcrest7@gmail.com. All are welcome to stop in and adore Jesus between 9 am and 8 pm in the Chapel on Tuesdays. Stay for 10 minutes, 1 hour…


THE VOCATION CHALICE MINISTRY: Please consider signing up to host the vocation chalice in your home for a week.  Families and individuals are encouraged to sign up! Text or call Alice Gaston at (302) 670 – 7924. For more information visit https://saintpolycarp.org/vocation-chalice/  December 24th, 4 pm Mass – S. Roch.

CONNECTED IN CHRIST (ADULT FAITH FORMATION) meets every Tuesday at 9:00 am in the Parish Library – ALL are welcome. Please join us. If you have any questions, please call Cookie Ruane at (302) 540 – 6429.

FAITH WITH FRIENDS (ADULT FAITH FORMATION) meets the first Thursday of every month at 6 pm in Room 7. Everyone is invited. Questions?  Contact Ashley Wilson at (302) 535-4118.

CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD: Children’s Liturgy of the Word is offered every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month during the 10:30am Mass. (This month – November 5th and 19th).This is a wonderful opportunity for children in PreK-4th grade. It mirrors the worship experience of the larger community in an engaging and interactive style. They will listen to Scripture and engage in discussions about what they have heard at their age level. Children will be called forward before the First Reading and will return to you after the General Intercessions. Our lead catechist is Anna Skinner. She, along with her assistants, have cleared background checks.

GLUTEN FREE? Do you have an intolerance to gluten? If so, our parish offers gluten-free wafers to be consecrated for you. Please see our Sacristan 10 – 15 minutes before Mass and let them know that you need a gluten-free wafer put in the pyx. At Communion, please proceed down the aisle to the priest who will have the pyx in his hand and let him know you need a gluten-free host.

IS THAT YOU, FR. JIM? If you receive emails or texts from Fr. Jim asking for favors, gift cards or gifts or stating something similar to “I am currently busy in a meeting now, no calls so just reply to my email.”, please ignore and delete. If an email looks suspicious and you’re not sure, give the office a call.

SMYRNA-CLAYTON FOOD PANTRY: Due to increased need in the community, the Pantry is in great need of cereal, juice boxes or pouches, peanut butter & jelly, hamburger helper, tuna helper, canned tuna, sloppy joe sauce (Manwich), boxed spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, vegetable beef and chicken noodle soups, macaroni & cheese, and Chef Boy Ardee canned pastas. Please, NO CANNED vegetables or beans are currently needed.  Bins for your donations are located under the coat rack near the hall.

REDNER’S MARKETS 1% SAVE-A-TAPE FUNDRAISER: Turn your food shopping into cash for our parish. Simply be sure to obtain and scan your Redner’s Rewards Card each time you shop. Save your whole receipt. Bring your receipts to the Parish Office or put them into the collection basket. There is no expiration date – you can turn in receipts months old!

THE SMYRNA/CLAYTON MINISTERIUM FOOD PANTRY is located downstairs at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 22 N. Union St., Smyrna. The pantry is open from 9:30 am to 10:30 am, Monday thru Friday. Here at St. Polycarp we have bins under the coat rack in the hallway near the bathrooms to accept your donations.  Please, no expired items.

BULLETIN SPONSORS: Thank you to all of our weekly bulletin sponsors for your support during the year! Your support has not gone unnoticed by our parish community and is so appreciated!



WEBSITE: www.saintpolycarp.org.
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SaintPolycarpCatholicChurch/
ONLINE GIVING: Please consider becoming an e-giver. It is easy to make your weekly or one time contributions in support of the Parish.  For more information and to sign up for online giving, visit  faith.direct/DE831
ST DENNIS: http://www.stdennischurch.org
DIOCESE OF WILMINGTON – LIVE STREAMING https://www.youtube.com/user/DioceseofWilm
FOR THE SAKE OF GOD’S CHILDREN: https://www.cdow.org/giving/fsgc/
THE DIALOG: http://thedialog.org/  Newspaper of the Diocese, copies available as you leave Church or online
EWTN: ewtn.com


CATHOLIC FORUM/RELEVANT RADIOSaturdays at 1:30 pm on Relevant Radio 640AM.  Author, Fr. Dwight Longenecker discusses “The Secret of the Bethlehem Shepherds” on the December 16th Catholic Forum podcast.  CLICK HERE     You can listen online at cdow.org/CatholicForum, or by searching “Catholic Forum” on Apple, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or Amazon Music podcasts.   “Like” Catholic Forum on Facebook at facebook.com/CatholicForum @CatholicForum.


Blessing of a Crèche

God of every nation and people,
From the very beginning of creation
You have made manifest your love:

When our need for a Savior was great
You sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.
To our lives he brings joy and peace,
Justice, mercy and love.

Bless all who look upon this manger;
May it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus,
And raise up our thoughts to him,
Who is God-with-us and Savior of all,
And who lives and reigns for ever and ever.