SCRANTON – Parishioners in the Diocese of Scranton are invited to participate in a Pontifical Mass in celebration of World Mission Sunday on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Peter.

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will be the principal celebrant. Father Brian J.T. Clarke, Diocesan Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, will concelebrate. The homilist will be Father Stephen A. Asomah, Parochial Vicar, Our Lady of the Snows Parish, Clarks Summit.

Father Stephen A. Asomah was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. Desiring to be a priest, he attended St. James Seminary High School and continued his seminary formation in St. Paul’s Major Seminary, Sowotuom, Accra, for spirituality and philosophy and St. Peter’s Regional Seminary, Pedu, Cape Coast, for theological studies. He was ordained on July 12, 2008. Prior to moving to the Diocese of Scranton in 2020, Father Stephen served in the Archdiocese of New York as a missionary from 2012-2019.

For those unable to attend the Mass in-person, CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton will broadcast the Mass and provide livestreaming through the Diocese of Scranton website and social media platforms.

The Pontifical Mass will follow a special collection for World Mission Sunday that is taken up annually in parishes across the Diocese of Scranton on Oct. 23 & 24. The World Mission Sunday collection supports the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, which supports the work and witness of the Mission Church, as it provides for priests, religious and lay leaders who offer the Lord’s mercy and concrete help to the most vulnerable communities.

In his message for World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis said compassion and a constant effort to reach out to others are essential elements of being “missionary disciples,” even in the midst of a pandemic.

“In these days of pandemic, when there is a temptation to disguise and justify indifference and apathy in the name of healthy social distancing, there is urgent need for the mission of compassion, which can make that necessary distancing an opportunity for encounter, care and promotion,” Pope Francis wrote.

The theme chosen for the 2021 celebration is taken from the Acts of the Apostles: “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard.

To read Bishop Bambera’s Letter for World Mission Sunday, please click here.