The Supreme Court is seen in Washington June 15, 2022. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

SCRANTON – It was a win for the ages…and the “pre-ages.”

Pro-life perseverance and patience paid off on June 24, 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that virtually erased and rendered mute the Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand in America.

Catholics throughout the Diocese of Scranton were quick to note the high court’s reversal on the abortion issue was the answer to a half-century of prayers, coming— “God-incidentally” — on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the birth date of the late Nellie Gray, foundress of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., and the first to coin the term “pro-life.”

Maryann Lawhon, president of the Hazleton Area Chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life (PHL), witnessed firsthand the horrors of legalized abortion in 1977, when as a young nurse working in the obstetrics unit of a West Virginia hospital she stumbled upon an abandoned newborn — completely unaware the Supreme Court’s Roe decision made the atrocity lawful.

After being reprimanded for bringing the revelation to the staff’s attention, and against instruction to “do nothing,” she held the infant, baptized him and declared, “I name you John. I will tell the world what I saw here today. I will be your voice.”

“Promise kept,” Lawhon proudly noted, referring to her “Voice of John” respect life educational apostolate based in Hazleton. “My immediate reaction was of absolute joy, a victory for the child in the womb!”

Lawhon said she shed “tears of joy” during the “surreal moment,” recalling decades of pro-life marches, peaceful protests outside of abortion clinics, prayer chains and carnation sales in defense of the right to life.

“Justice for the 63 million children who have died,” she continued. “A victory for humanity!”

So, mission accomplished?

“No,” Lawhon explained. “God has a plan, so this is a time to listen to the fears and address the concerns of a society which has known a world where abortion has been both justified and normalized.”

Maria Lutz Barna chimed in, “My mother, Mary Farley Pane and Loretta McNellis are dancing in heaven,” referring to Katherine Lutz and the two original founders of the Grassroots Hazleton Chapter.

“Today, the ‘voice of John’ has been heard,” Sugarloaf resident Caroline Cummins said in reaction to the monumental Supreme Court decision.

“No more Roe. God’s will was done on June 24, 2022. Praise the Sacred Heart of Jesus!” Jean Klingerman of Drums exclaimed.

The Eucharist rests on a paten at the altar in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington, Del., May 27, 2021. The “sense of mystery” and awe Catholics should experience at Mass is prompted by an awareness of sacrifice of Christ and his real presence in the Eucharist, Pope Francis said in a document released June 29, 2022. (CNS photo/Chaz Muth)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The “sense of mystery” and awe Catholics should experience at Mass is not one prompted by Latin or by “creative” elements added to the celebration, but by an awareness of sacrifice of Christ and his real presence in the Eucharist, Pope Francis said.

“Beauty, just like truth, always engenders wonder, and when these are referred to the mystery of God, they lead to adoration,” he wrote in an apostolic letter “on the liturgical formation of the people of God.”

Titled “Desiderio Desideravi” (“I have earnestly desired”), the letter was released June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. The title comes from Luke 22:15 when, before the Last Supper, Jesus tells his disciples, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”

In the letter, Pope Francis insisted that Catholics need to better understand the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council and its goal of promoting the “full, conscious, active and fruitful celebration” of the Mass.

“With this letter I simply want to invite the whole church to rediscover, to safeguard and to live the truth and power of the Christian celebration,” the pope wrote. “I want the beauty of the Christian celebration and its necessary consequences for the life of the church not to be spoiled by a superficial and foreshortened understanding of its value or, worse yet, by its being exploited in service of some ideological vision, no matter what the hue.”

“The priestly prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper that all may be one judges every one of our divisions around the bread broken, around the sacrament of mercy, the sign of unity, the bond of charity,” he said.

While his letter offered what he called a “meditation” on the power and beauty of the Mass, Pope Francis also reiterated his conviction of the need to limit celebrations of the liturgy according to the rite in use before the Second Vatican Council.

“We cannot go back to that ritual form which the council fathers, ‘cum Petro et sub Petro,’ (with and under Peter) felt the need to reform, approving, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and following their conscience as pastors, the principles from which was born the reform.”

The liturgical books approved by “the holy pontiffs St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II,” he said, “have guaranteed the fidelity of the reform of the council.”

Although the post-Vatican II Mass is celebrated in Latin and dozens of vernacular languages, he said, it is “one and the same prayer capable of expressing her (the church’s) unity.”

“As I have already written, I intend that this unity be reestablished in the whole church of the Roman rite,” he said, which is why in 2021 he promulgated “Traditionis Custodes” (Guardians of the Tradition), limiting celebrations of the Mass according to the rite used before the Second Vatican Council.

The bulk of the pope’s new letter focused on helping Catholics learn to recognize and be astounded by the great gift of the Mass and the Eucharist and how it is not simply a weekly “staging” or “representation” of the Last Supper but truly allows people of all times and all places to encounter the crucified and risen Lord and to eat his body and drink his blood.

And, the pope wrote, it is essential to recognize that the Mass does not belong to the priest or to any individual worshipper, but to Christ and his church.

“The liturgy does not say ‘I’ but ‘we,’ and any limitation on the breadth of this ‘we’ is always demonic,” he said. “The liturgy does not leave us alone to search out an individual supposed knowledge of the mystery of God. Rather, it takes us by the hand, together, as an assembly, to lead us deep within the mystery that the word and the sacramental signs reveal to us.”

“Consistent with all action of God,” he said, the liturgy leads people into the mystery using symbolic actions and signs.

Pope Francis acknowledged that some people claim that in reforming the liturgy and allowing celebrations of the Mass in the language of the local congregation it has somehow lost what is “meant by the vague expression ‘sense of mystery.'”

But the mystery celebrated and communicated, he said, is not about “a mysterious rite. It is, on the contrary, marveling at the fact that the salvific plan of God has been revealed in the paschal deed of Jesus.”

The liturgy is uses “things that are the exact opposite of spiritual abstractions: bread, wine, oil, water, fragrances, fire, ashes, rock, fabrics, colors, body, words, sounds, silences, gestures, space, movement, action, order, time, light,” he said. Those concrete things proclaim that “the whole of creation is a manifestation of the love of God, and from when that same love was manifested in its fullness in the cross of Jesus, all of creation was drawn toward it.”

However, Pope Francis wrote, the words and gestures and symbols to be used are only those approved by the church.

“Let us be clear here: every aspect of the celebration must be carefully tended to — space, time, gestures, words, objects, vestments, song, music — and every rubric must be observed,” he wrote. Otherwise, the celebrant or ministers risk “robbing from the assembly what is owed to it; namely, the paschal mystery celebrated according to the ritual that the church sets down.”

Pope Francis said “the non-acceptance of the liturgical reform” of Vatican II, as well as “a superficial understanding of it, distracts us from the obligation of finding responses to the question that I come back to repeating: How can we grow in our capacity to live in full the liturgical action? How do we continue to let ourselves be amazed at what happens in the celebration under our very eyes?”

“We are in need of a serious and dynamic liturgical formation,” he said.


The Feast of Corpus Christ  Members of the Polish Community celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ) on June 19th at St Luke’s Parish in Stroudsburg.  After the celebration of the Mass in Polish, the community honored the Blessed Sacrament with a procession and prayers of thanksgiving.

In other countries like Poland, Austria, and Germany, this feast is celebrated on June 16th but in the United States, the date has been changed to the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. The people of the Polish community remembered their Catholic heritage in Poland and processed around the Church building stopping at altar shrines to pray.

Before Mass, members of the congregation made four altars each honoring the Body of Christ. Each of these altars were beautifully decorated with many flowers, banners, and pictures meant to honor Jesus Christ in this sacrament of the Eucharist. Many ethnic groups from Poland came to the celebration with their respected attire from each region as Polish Highlanders or Cracovian.

The Mass ended with all congregants walking in procession to each of the altars, ringing bells and throwing flower petals as they solemnly moved along.  Father Sylwester Pierzak, a Polish priest from the Diocese of Paterson, NJ, presided at Mass and led the procession while carrying the Monstrance which enshrined the Blessed Sacrament.  He is one of a small team of Polish priests who come to serve the growing Polish population in the Poconos.

We are happy to have our parish home in St. Luke’s Church.  The doors of the church are open to us by our pastor, Father Michael Quinnan, Deacon Phil Zimich and entire pastoral  staff.







Marcin Bienias Student of Jan Paul II  Polish School, Stroudsburg, PA

Pope Francis waves as he leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 29, 2022. Pope Francis once again called for an end to the “senseless war” in Ukraine and condemned the “barbaric” Russian attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis again pleaded for an end to hostilities in Ukraine after missiles struck a shopping center filled with people.

“I carry in my heart every day the dear and tormented Ukraine, which continues to be scourged by barbaric attacks, like the one that struck the Kremenchuk shopping center,” the pope said June 29 after praying the Angelus prayer with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

According to the Ukrainian government, an estimated 1,000 people were inside the mall June 27 when two missiles struck it, killing at least 20 people.

In a message posted to the messaging app Telegram, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, blamed the “insidious missile strike” on Russian forces.

“More than 20 are already known to have been killed and 59 wounded,” Tymoshenko said, according to news reports. “There are also more than 40 statements from relatives about missing people who may have been in the mall during the shelling.”

The attack also drew condemnation from G-7 leaders who were meeting in Germany at the time of the attack.

Russia, however, denied striking the shopping center. In a statement published the day after the attack, Russia’s defense ministry said its forces “struck a weapons depot storing arms received from the United States and Europe with high-precision air-based weapons.”

“The detonation of stored ammunition for Western weapons caused a fire in a non-functioning shopping center located next to the depot,” the statement said, according to the Reuters news agency.

Pope Francis renewed his call for peace and called on Christians to “not neglect to come to the aid of the Ukrainian people, who are suffering so much.”

“I pray that this senseless war may soon come to an end, and I renew the invitation to persevere, tirelessly, in prayer for peace: May the Lord open those paths of dialogue that men are unwilling or unable to find!”

Law enforcement officers in San Antonio work at the scene June 28, 2022, where dozens of people were found dead inside a trailer truck. (CNS photo/Go Nakamura, Reuters)

SAN ANTONIO (CNS) – The archbishop of San Antonio offered prayers for dozens of people found dead as well as more than a dozen survivors discovered June 27 in sweltering conditions in a semitruck.

Authorities said June 28 the death toll had risen to 51. Originally, first responders pulled 16 people alive from the rig, including 12 adults and four teenagers.

“We pray for the souls of the … people who died in such a cruel, inhuman manner this evening,” Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller said in a statement soon after first responders made the gruesome discovery about 6 p.m. local time.

Authorities said the victims were migrants. They said the truck, found on a remote back road in San Antonio, appeared to be part of a smuggling operation.

Rubén Minutti, Mexico consul general in San Antonio, said 27 of the people who died are believed to be of Mexican origin based on documents they were carrying, the Associated Press reported.

Roberto Velasco Álvarez, head of the Mexican government’s North American mission, said on Twitter June 28 that in addition to the Mexican nationals, seven victims were originally from Guatemala and two were Honduran.

Officials believe the tragedy is the deadliest smuggling incident of its kind in U.S. history.

Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington, chairman of the U.S. bishop’s Committee on Migration, joined Archbishop García-Siller in mourning the death toll.

“This is a tragic loss of life and a harrowing depiction of the extreme risks assumed by migrants out of sheer desperation,” the bishop said. “With deep sadness, I join Archbishop García-Siller in praying for strength, mercy and understanding during this difficult time, especially for the survivors of this horrific incident.

“I also unite with Pope Francis in asking the Lord to ‘open our hearts so these misfortunes never happen again.'”

“Unfortunately, this disregard for the sanctity of human life is all too common in the context of migration,” Bishop Dorsonville continued. “As a church called to build a culture of life, we cannot tolerate this injustice. Instead, we must recognize that we are brothers and sisters, each imbued with God-given dignity.”

“To prevent further loss of life,” he said, “we urge governments and civil society to promote access to protection, including asylum, develop new pathways for those compelled to migrate and combat human trafficking in all its forms.”

Archbishop García-Siller also asked for prayers for the survivors who were hospitalized, their families and “the first responders who assisted and saved lives and must now carry with them the memories of this scene of carnage.”

In addition, he called on people of the archdiocese “to unite in solidarity, as these brothers and sisters are members of our family.”

News of the deaths reached Pope Francis, who tweeted June 28 that he was offering prayers for those who died in Texas as well as at least 23 sub-Saharan migrants who died June 24 while attempting to flee Morocco by scaling a border fence to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla in north Africa on the Mediterranean coast.

“Let us #PrayTogether for these brothers and sisters who died following their hope of a better life; and for ourselves, may the Lord might open our hearts so these misfortunes never happen again,” the pope’s tweet said.

San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus told reporters hours after the discovery that three people were in police custody, although their connection to the situation was unclear.

The first call about the truck came from a worker in the area who had heard a cry for help and went to investigate, McManus said.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said those found alive were conscious, “hot to the touch,” and suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion.

“There were no signs of water in the vehicle, and no visible working AC unit on that rig,” he said.

Temperatures in the San Antonio area ranged from the high 90s to low 100s, according to the National Weather Service. With a few days left in the month, meteorologists said this June was already the warmest June on record in San Antonio.

Smuggling operations working within the United States have been known to pack migrants into trucks or cargo trailers after they have already crossed the border in an attempt to sneak them past U.S. Border Patrol highway checkpoints.

In Morocco, officials said that five people died during what they described as a “stampede” June 24. Moroccan state TV updated the death toll to 23 late June 25.

However, nongovernment organizations on the ground said the number of deaths could be higher. The Guardian reported that an official with Walking Borders, an agency working with Africans seeking to cross into Spain from Morocco, said 37 deaths had been confirmed.

Melilla is one of two autonomous cities of Spain located in north Africa.


June 29, 2022

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

Monsignor Dale R. Rupert, from Pastor, Cathedral of St. Peter, Scranton, to Senior Priest and Pastor Emeritus, Cathedral of St. Peter, Scranton, and Diocesan Master of Ceremonies, effective July 26, 2022.

Reverend Jeffrey D. Tudgay, J.C.L., from Pastor, St. Eulalia Parish, Elmhurst, to Pastor, Cathedral of St. Peter, Scranton, effective July 26, 2022.  He will continue to serve as Judicial Vicar and Vicar for Canonical Affairs.

Reverend Shawn M. Simchock, to Parochial Vicar, Holy Family Parish, Luzerne, effective July 1, 2022.  Father will continue to serve as Parochial Vicar, Saint Ignatius Loyola Parish, Kingston.

Reverend Sudhir Toppo, from Heralds of the Good News Mother Theresa Province, India, to Parochial Vicar, Saint John Bosco Parish, Conyngham, effective June 28, 2022.

Reverend Binesh Joseph Kanjirakattu, from Heralds of the Good News Mother Theresa Province, India, to Parochial Vicar, St. Boniface Parish, Williamsport and St. Lawrence Parish, South Williamsport, effective June 28, 2022.

Permanent Deacons:

Deacon Walter G. Janoski, to diaconal ministry, Corpus Christi Parish, West Pittston, effective immediately.  He will continue in diaconal ministry, St. Barbara Parish, Exeter.

Deacon James R. Meizanis, to diaconal ministry, St. Barbara Parish, Exeter, effective immediately.  He will continue in diaconal ministry, Corpus Christi Parish, West Pittston.

Deacon Frank H. Hine, to diaconal ministry, All Saints Parish, Plymouth, effective July 26, 2022.  He will continue in diaconal ministry, St. John the Baptist Parish, Larksville.

Deacon Gerald P. Pernot, to diaconal ministry, Holy Family Parish, Luzerne, effective July 1, 2022.  He will continue in diaconal ministry, St. Ignatius Parish, Kingston.



June 24, 2022

WASHINGTON – In response to the Supreme Court of the United States issuing its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement:

“This is a historic day in the life of our country, one that stirs our thoughts, emotions and prayers. For nearly fifty years, America has enforced an unjust law that has permitted some to decide whether others can live or die; this policy has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of preborn children, generations that were denied the right to even be born.

“America was founded on the truth that all men and women are created equal, with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This truth was grievously denied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life. We thank God today that the Court has now overturned this decision. We pray that our elected officials will now enact laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us.

“Our first thoughts are with the little ones whose lives have been taken since 1973. We mourn their loss, and we entrust their souls to God, who loved them from before all ages and who will love them for all eternity. Our hearts are also with every woman and man who has suffered grievously from abortion; we pray for their healing, and we pledge our continued compassion and support. As a Church, we need to serve those who face difficult pregnancies and surround them with love.

“Today’s decision is also the fruit of the prayers, sacrifices, and advocacy of countless ordinary Americans from every walk of life. Over these long years, millions of our fellow citizens have worked together peacefully to educate and persuade their neighbors about the injustice of abortion, to offer care and counseling to women, and to work for alternatives to abortion, including adoption, foster care, and public policies that truly support families. We share their joy today and we are grateful to them. Their work for the cause of life reflects all that is good in our democracy, and the pro-life movement deserves to be numbered among the great movements for social change and civil rights in our nation’s history.

“Now is the time to begin the work of building a post-Roe America. It is a time for healing wounds and repairing social divisions; it is a time for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, and for coming together to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love.

“As religious leaders, we pledge ourselves to continue our service to God’s great plan of love for the human person, and to work with our fellow citizens to fulfill America’s promise to guarantee the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people.”


Pro-life demonstrators in Washington celebrate outside the Supreme Court June 24, 2022, as the court overruled the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision. (CNS photo/Evelyn Hockstein, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (CNS) – In a 5-4 decision June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its nearly 50-year-old decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in this country.

The court’s 213-page ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization was not totally unexpected due to the leak of an opinion draft a month earlier. The ruling emphasizes that there is no constitutional right to abortion in the United States.

The Dobbs case focused on an abortion clinic in Mississippi opposed to the state’s law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The court’s reversal of its long-standing abortion ruling brings abortion policy decisions to the state level. At least half of states plan to ban or restrict abortions with this decision in place.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court’s opinion. Casey v. Planned Parenthood is the 1992 decision that affirmed Roe.

Alito was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Chief Justice John Roberts, in a separate opinion, said he agreed with the majority that the Mississippi abortion restriction should be upheld, but he said the court should not have overturned its Roe decision.

Alito, writing for the majority, said: “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.”

U.S. Catholic bishops who have supported a reversal of Roe immediately reacted positively to the court’s decision that comes at the end of this year’s term.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the decision a “historic day in the life of our country, one that stirs our thoughts, emotions and prayers.”

“We pray that our elected officials will now enact laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us,” said the June 24 statement by Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, USCCB president, and Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

“We give thanks to God for today’s decision … This just decision will save countless innocent children simply waiting to be born,” said the New York Catholic bishops in a statement shortly after the court’s opinion was released.

Protesters were outside the court when the ruling came down, as they have been for days, anticipating it. Those on both sides of issue were also at the court when the document first leaked.

The Dobbs opinion is similar to the leaked draft that called Roe “egregiously wrong from the start.”

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan wrote a joint dissent that said: “Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens.”

They also noted that their dissent “with sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection.”

When the court announced last year that it would take this case, after considering it more than a dozen times since 2020, the justices said they would only review one of the three questions presented to them: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”

That point of viability — when a fetus is said to be able to survive on its own — was a key point in this case, because the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that states cannot restrict abortion before 24 weeks, or when a fetus could survive on its own.

A friend-of-the-court brief submitted by the USCCB stressed that abortion is not a right created by the Constitution and called it “inherently different from other types of personal decisions to which this court has accorded constitutional protection.”

Referring to the court’s major abortion decisions, the brief also warned that if the Supreme Court “continues to treat abortion as a constitutional issue,” it will face more questions in the future about “what sorts of abortion regulations are permissible.”


Statement of the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera,
Bishop of Scranton, on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

June 24, 2022

“One of the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church is that all human life is sacred – from the moment of conception until natural death – and it must be respected and protected. In its opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, issued on Friday, June 24, 2022, I am thankful that the majority of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have recognized and upheld the sanctity of human life.

“For Catholics, respecting life, especially the unborn, is intrinsic to our identity as people of faith. While political and ideological divisions often drive us apart, we must remember that the Sacred Scriptures call us to be one, reverencing every life that comes into our world. It is critical to note, however, that valuing human life is not simply confined to life in the womb. We must never dismiss or ignore our responsibility to care for, protect and defend our brothers and sisters from other serious threats to human life, including poverty, racism and oppression.

“While already the largest private provider of social services in the United States, the Catholic Church must redouble its efforts and always stand ready to assist young women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies. Everyone in our Diocese and parishes should be familiar with ways to help mothers in difficult circumstances. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently launched its “Walking with Moms in Need” initiative to continue building relationships with community resources and make sure people in all parish communities know where to refer a pregnant woman in need.

“Our diocese is blessed to have many parishes filled with faithful people who regularly donate diapers, clothing, money and other resources to help expectant mothers each year. On the diocesan level, Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton provides educational, emotional and material support to expectant parents and operates Shepherd’s Maternity House in East Stroudsburg which provides housing, care and assistance for pregnant women and their newborn babies. Along with so many other community agencies and programs, including, but not limited to, Saint Joseph’s Center, Rachel’s Vineyard and the Pennsylvanians for Human Life, any mother needing assistance can receive life-affirming support.

“As we strive to build a true culture of life in our nation, the Gospel of Matthew reminds us that our welcome into God’s eternity will be determined by our willingness to reverence, respect and serve the most vulnerable among us in whom Christ is present: ‘Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me’” (Matthew 18:5).


SCRANTON – Two seminarians in the Diocese of Scranton have each taken one-step closer to the sacred priesthood after receiving Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders from the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton.

The Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders for William A. Asinari and Andrew T. McCarroll took place at Marywood University on Monday, June 20, 2022, during the annual Quo Vadis Days summer camp.

“I’m overwhelmed in a really, really good way. I think God’s peace has flooded my heart,” Asinari said following Mass that included the Rite of Admission. “I’m just looking forward to seeing the beautiful growth to come out of this.”

Asinari and McCarroll entered formation together six years ago.

“It has been a six year journey together and to be able to stand next to each other and to say that the Church is serious about us being in formation and being priests for local service in the Church of Scranton and we’re serious about that commitment too. It really is a joyful moment and a moment of brotherhood for Bill and myself,” McCarroll added.

The Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders is celebrated when a man has reached a maturity of purpose in his formation and demonstrated the necessary qualifications for ordination to the diaconate. In the presence of the bishop, each man publicly expresses his intention to complete his preparation for Holy Orders and also his resolve to fully invest himself to that end, so as to best serve Jesus Christ and his Holy Church.

When asked what keeps him moving forward on his vocation journey to the priesthood, Asinari said the answer is easy.

“The grace of God, His Grace and His love and the way He has guided me to this point. I’ve always almost seen myself like a little child holding onto God’s hands and whenever it gets frightening or turbulent, just holding tighter and tighter and just following him. That is what gets you through it,” he explained.

This year, the Rite of Admission was held during the annual Quo Vadis Days, so dozens of high school students interested in learning more about their own vocations journey got to participate in the Mass.

“I think it was good to have young men here who are asking the same questions that we were asking six years ago and we’re continuing to ask – and just for them to see us step forward and say we’re serious about this,” McCarroll ended by saying.