Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
John Stofanak on the accordion is one of four musicians in the Changing Times band that played during the Polka Mass. John Stofanak on the accordion is one of four musicians in the Changing Times band that played during the Polka Mass.
Founded in 1871, the Holy Ghost Church was built in South Bethlehem in 1888 to serve a growing number of German immigrants, many of whom worked at the Bethlehem Steel plant. Founded in 1871, the Holy Ghost Church was built in South Bethlehem in 1888 to serve a growing number of German immigrants, many of whom worked at the Bethlehem Steel plant.
The Holy Ghost congregation now includes worshipers from Slovak, Hungarian Windish, Polish and Italian parishes that were merged by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown in 2008. The Holy Ghost congregation now includes worshipers from Slovak, Hungarian Windish, Polish and Italian parishes that were merged by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown in 2008.
press photos by carole gorneySingers from the Tatra Slovak Folk Group serve as choir during the Polka Mass, and sang songs with roots in Croatian folk music. press photos by carole gorneySingers from the Tatra Slovak Folk Group serve as choir during the Polka Mass, and sang songs with roots in Croatian folk music.
Drummer Ron Herczeg plays with the Changing Times band, which plays at Musikfest on the last night of the festival under the polka tent. Drummer Ron Herczeg plays with the Changing Times band, which plays at Musikfest on the last night of the festival under the polka tent.
Deacon Steve Gorbos and the Rev. David Kozak officiate at the second annual polka Mass. Father Kozak is the administrator for the combined Holy Ghost and Incarnation of Our Lord parishes. Deacon Steve Gorbos and the Rev. David Kozak officiate at the second annual polka Mass. Father Kozak is the administrator for the combined Holy Ghost and Incarnation of Our Lord parishes.
Volunteer Steph Turek takes nearly 200 halupkies out of their cookers in preparation for the parish dinner. Holy Ghost has 20 volunteer committees, including the social committee that sponsored the fundraiser. Photo coverage continues on page A2. Volunteer Steph Turek takes nearly 200 halupkies out of their cookers in preparation for the parish dinner. Holy Ghost has 20 volunteer committees, including the social committee that sponsored the fundraiser. Photo coverage continues on page A2.
Halupkies, or stuffed cabbage, are of Polish origin. They are made from boiled cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling of minced pork or beef, chopped onions, and rice or barley. They are served in a tomato sauce flavored with spices. YUM!! Halupkies, or stuffed cabbage, are of Polish origin. They are made from boiled cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling of minced pork or beef, chopped onions, and rice or barley. They are served in a tomato sauce flavored with spices. YUM!!
PRESS PHOTOS BY CAROLE GORNEYThe basement fellowship hall at Holy Ghost Church is filled with satisfied diners during the halupki dinner. A total of 184 tickets were purchased for the event. PRESS PHOTOS BY CAROLE GORNEYThe basement fellowship hall at Holy Ghost Church is filled with satisfied diners during the halupki dinner. A total of 184 tickets were purchased for the event.

Ministering to the soul and body

Monday, November 19, 2018 by Carole Gorney Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Polka Mass and halupkies

The Holy Ghost Church in South Bethlehem has a heritage of ministering to both the spiritual and the physical needs of its parishioners. So the second annual polka Mass and halupki (stuffed cabbage) dinner this fall provided a perfect example of the blending of those two ministries.

The Mass and dinner also reflected the cultural mix of the local Roman Catholic church, which was founded in 1871 as a German-ethnic parish. In 1888, due to increased membership, a new church was built at its present location on Carlton Avenue.

Today, Holy Ghost is a sister parish with Incarnation of Our Lord, which was founded in 2008 by the Allentown Diocese as a merger of former Slovak, Hungarian, Windish, Polish and Italian parishes. Both parishes share the same administrator, liturgical schedule, common prayer, and a mission to serve South Bethlehem.

That’s where the cultural mix, polkas and halupkies come in. The polka Mass was a joyous occasion that featured music by Changing Times, a quartet of musicians playing accordion, drums, saxophone and guitar. This band plays the last night at Musikfest under the polka tent each year.

The colorfully costumed Tatra Slovak Group served as choir, singing not only parts of the Mass, but also additional songs.

At the sign of peace, they sang:

“So let the sun shine in,

Shake hands with your neighbor,

And happiness will never leave your heart.

The halupki dinner after Mass was a fundraising hit, with 184 tickets sold at $10 each, but long-time volunteer Pat Krycia said the dinner was about more than raising money.

“It was about community,” she said.

Holy Ghost Church abounds with community, with 20 volunteer committees ranging from liturgy to outreach to social. In its mission to provide for physical needs, Holy Ghost holds regular food pantries to distribute staple items to those in need.

Social committees make noodles twice a month, and pierogies several times a year.

Anyone can join in and learn how to make both.