June 24, 2019

His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, announces the following appointments, effective as indicated:

Most Reverend John M. Dougherty, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Scranton, to Administrator, Pro Tem, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish, Jermyn, effective June 21, 2019.

Reverend Stephen A. Krawontka, from Senior Priest, Saint Jude Parish, Mountain Top, and Our Lady, Help of Christians Parish,  Dorrance, to Pastor,  Ascension Parish, Forest City, and Saint Katharine Drexel Parish, Pleasant Mount, effective July15, 2019.

Reverend Francis Landry, C.P. from Pastor, Saint Ann Basilica Parish, Scranton, to Leave of Absence for personal reasons, effective June 17, 2019.

Reverend Sibi Padinjaredath, C.P., from Assistant Pastor, Saint Ann Basilica Parish, Scranton, to Administrator, Pro Tem, Saint Ann Basilica Parish, Scranton, effective June 17, 2019.

Reverend Philbert Takyi-Nketiah, from Diocese of Sunyani, Ghana, West Africa, to Assistant Pastor, Saint Jude Parish, Mountain Top, effective July 15, 2019.

Reverend James T. Tracy, from Administrator, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish, Jermyn, to retirement, effective June 21, 2019.



Bishops gathered for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops General Meeting in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

The Diocese of Scranton is committed to protecting its young people and ensuring that the local Church of Scranton continues to address issues of child sexual abuse with vigilance and fidelity.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera attended the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops General Meeting in Baltimore from June 11-13, 2019 and voted in favor of the four new policies/procedures that were proposed during the meeting.

During that meeting, the USCCB overwhelming voted to approve proposals to hold bishops accountable for instances of sexual abuse of children or vulnerable persons, sexual misconduct, or the intentional mishandling of such cases. The bishops also re-committed themselves to involving and utilizing lay professional experts, which is already the practice of the Diocese of Scranton.

The bishops approved four important measures during their assembly. They include:

  • Voting to implement the document “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (“You are the light of the world”) which was issued by Pope Francis in May to help the Catholic Church safeguard its members from abuse and hold its leaders accountable.
  • Approving the document “Acknowledging Our Episcopal Commitments,” in which bishops affirmed the commitments they made at ordination, including the commitment to respond directly and appropriately to cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable persons.
  • Voting for a protocol regarding non-penal restrictions on bishops which outlines what canonical options are available to bishops when a retired bishop resigns or is removed “due to sexual misconduct with adults or grave negligence of office, or where subsequent to his resignation he was found to have so acted or failed to act.”
  • Establishing an independent third-party reporting system to accept abuse allegations confidentially, by phone or online. A more detailed proposal for the third-party reporting system, including financial and structural elements, is in the planning process. The reporting system would begin no later than May 31, 2020 but bishops are hoping it can be available sooner. It’s important to note that anyone who has suffered sexual abuse should not wait for the national reporting system to be in place. Survivors can contact local civil authorities to file a report as soon as possible and may also report to Church authorities by existing means, including contacting Victim Asisstance Coordinator, Mary Beth Pacuska at (570) 862-7551 or Vicar General Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney at (570) 207-2269.

These efforts are the latest in a series of steps the Diocese of Scranton and the Church has taken to respond to the sin of sexual abuse.



The facility, which is operated by Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton, serves an average of 300 meals per day.

Special to The Catholic Light

WILKES-BARRE — Every day, 365 days per year, the Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen provides hot meals to those in need. Guests are offered an assortment of quality meals ranging from baked chicken to meatloaf and pasta. The menu changes daily. The facility is not, as some call it, a “soup kitchen.” Yes, soup might be served as a compliment to the day’s meal, but clients at Saint Vincent de Paul are always offered much more, including fruits, salads, milk and desserts.

Mike Cianciotta, director at Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen, says the facility – which is operated by Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton – provides a basic human necessity to those that it serves.

“Basically, it’s about taking care of the essential need of people – food,” says Cianciotta, adding that, by saving people on the cost of food, they can better pay their other bills. “Especially for the elderly, if they’re on a set budget or pension,” he says. “Also, by coming here, they can get out of the house and have a bit more of a social life. We see how much they enjoy dining together.”

Cianciotta says the most common mistake that people make about the kitchen is the perception that most of its clients are homeless, which they are not. Some are retired and are on fixed incomes. Some may suffer from a mental or physical disability which prevents them from working. And many are actually the working poor.

“The idea that only homeless people need this place is a total misconception,” Cianciotta says. “There are people that can afford other things, such as their housing and heating, but they can’t afford food. This enables them not to have ‘luxuries,’ but a ‘necessity’ of life.

“We have families come in,” he adds. “When the children are off from school, it helps parents provide other things for their kids, because they can come here and eat.”

The Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen, which is located at 39 E. Jackson Street in Wilkes-Barre, marked its 35th anniversary last fall. It was founded in 1983 under the leadership of Monsignor Donald McAndrews, the former executive director of Catholic Social Services. It serves an average of 300 meals per day. Lunch is served seven days per week, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dinner is served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m.

“The mission of Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton is to serve individuals and families in poverty and hardship, as we are called by Christ to do, and to respond compassionately to their needs,” says Mary Theresa Malandro, Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Human Services and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Social Services. “As a Catholic agency, we advocate for individual dignity and self-sufficiency and actively give of ourselves to replace despair with hope. One of the locations we have the honor of serving those in need is at Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen.”

In addition to the kitchen, the Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11 p.m. and every Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. And the Saint Vincent de Paul Common Thread Clothing Store is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11 a.m. All items are free. There are six full-time staff members and, on average, 10-12 volunteers on site every day.

“We could not survive without them,” says Cianciotta of the volunteers. “By volunteering, it saves us the expense of having to pay employees, which we could never afford. If you think about it, we’re a catering hall that’s open 365 days a year, and we’re not charging anyone. That’s basically what we are. And so if we had to hire a line of servers, and people to help with food prep, and people to wash dishes, and people to work in the food pantry and clothing store, it would be an astronomical amount of money. The volunteers are a vital part of the operation.”

The cost to operate the Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen is $498,000 per year. It receives support, funding and grants from agencies such as the United Way of Wyoming Valley, the Commission on Economic Opportunity and the Weinberg Food Bank. Supermarkets such as Sam’s Club, Schiel’s, Walmart and Wegmans also donate food, which helps supplement the menu.

“We have utilities, we have employees, we have insurance, we have maintenance – that’s where the main expenses are,” says Cianciotta. “By not having to use funds on the things that the stores supplement, it enables us take care of this building and keep the place going.”

Still, Cianciotta says that most funding for the kitchen comes from corporate donations and private individual donations. And since most protein items on the kitchen’s menu need to be purchased, such donations are critical. For $125, any person, family or business can sponsor that day’s meals.

Cianciotta says that, after nearly nine years of managing the kitchen, he’s come to realize just how important it is to the community and to those that visit. Whether it’s a typical summer day, or Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day, he knows people are thankful and appreciative.

“You get to know them and you get to talk to them,” he says. “They’re very grateful for us being here.”

For information about donation needs, call (570) 829-7796, extension 301.


His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, announces the following appointments as Deans of the Diocese of Scranton, for a Three (3) year term, effective June 1, 2019:

 Northern Pastoral Region:

Monsignor Neil J. Van Loon, V.F.           –           Scranton Deanery

Reverend David P. Cappelloni, V.F.       –           Dunmore Deanery

Reverend John M. Lapera, V.F.                –           Clarks Summit Deanery

Reverend Gerard M. McGlone, V.F.       –           Carbondale Deanery


Southern Pastoral Region:

Reverend Phillip J. Sladicka, V.F.           –           Pittston Deanery

Reverend Joseph Evanko, V.F.                 –           Wilkes-Barre Deanery

Reverend Joseph J. Pisaneschi, V.F.        –           Kingston Deanery


Eastern Pastoral Region:

Reverend Michael J. Piccola, V.F.            –           Hazleton Deanery

Reverend Joseph J. Manarchuck, V.F.    –           Honesdale Deanery

Reverend Michael F. Quinnan, V.F.        –           Stroudsburg Deanery


Western Pastoral Region:

Reverend Andrew S. Hvozdovic, V.F.    –           Sayre Deanery

Reverend Bert S. Kozen, V.F.                    –         Williamsport Deanery