SCRANTON – Thirty-five women and men religious who are celebrating milestone ordination anniversaries in 2022 were honored this month at a special Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Peter.
The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, served as principal celebrant and homilist for a Jubilee Mass for Women and Men Religious on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022.
“We celebrate your lives and we give thanks this day for your unique and singular contribution to the Church,” Bishop Bambera said during his homily.
“More than you likely realize or appreciate, you continually challenge us to trust in the mercy, love and forgiveness of God. That is something that many of us in this Church forget, all too often.”
The theme of trust played heavily into the bishop’s homily as he reflected on the Gospel for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Gospel involved the Sadducees questioning Jesus about eternal life and the resurrection.
The bishop helped explain Jesus’ answer saying that Heaven is “beyond time and experience” and only faith counts and remains.
“It really does come down to this: believe deeply that Jesus loves you with a love that endures through time and eternity. That alone should be enough for us,” Bishop Bambera stated.
As he brought the attention back to those in consecrated life being recognized at the Mass, Bishop Bambera said it is clear each jubilarian understands that message.
“We give thanks for those women and men who have understood the heart of today’s Gospel and have embraced the Lord’s call to holiness and mission because they have come to believe in the enduring love of God,” he said.
Those celebrating at the Mass are celebrating ordination anniversaries of 25, 50, 60, 70, 75 and 80 years. In all, 2,125 years of service were recognized.
“As I look at all of you who gather today in our Cathedral, many of whom I’ve known for years, I can only conclude that most of you entered religious life when you were five. You are amazing!” Bishop Bambera said with a smile.
As he wrapped up his homily, the bishop thanked all those in religious life who feed, heal, teach, pray for and build up the Kingdom of God – so often in quiet and simple ways.
“Thank you for challenging us to put our trust in the God who has filled your lives with hope. Thank you for inviting us to lift our eyes beyond the finite realities of life that so often overwhelm us,” the bishop said. “And thank you for reminding us of the treasure that is ours when we live not so much for ourselves, but for Christ, in service of our sisters and brothers.”