July 16, 2023

In Ghana this morning, seminarians Andrew McCarroll and Tom Dzwonczyk attended Mass at Saint Paul’s Parish just outside the city of Sunyani, where Fr. Raphael Amoako is pastor.

July 16, 2023

Seminarians Tom Dzwonczyk and Andrew McCarroll attended a wedding liturgy with Bishop Matthew today in the Diocese of Sunyani.
The wedding took place at Holy Spirit Parish in Nkwaabeng, which is where Fr. Clement is currently pastor.
The couple who was married today was Yaw Ansu and Catherine Goode.
As the photos show, Tom and Andrew got to spend some time with the young children who attended the Mass.
We wish God’s blessing on Yaw and Catherine!

July 13, 2023

On Thursday, seminarians Andrew McCarroll and Tom Dzwonczyk visited the novitiate for the Sisters of the Incarnate Word in the Diocese of Sunyani.

They celebrated the Eucharist with Bishop Matthew and members of the community. One of their members, Sister Christine, is currently here in the United States studying at The University of Scranton and living at the Cathedral convent.

July 13, 2023


Our seminarians, Andrew McCarroll and Tom Dzwonczyk, visited Saint Mary’s School today in the Diocese of Sunyani in Ghana. They loved the opportunity to meet and interact with so many children filled with Christ’s love.

Yes, as the photos show, the kids didn’t want either seminarian to leave them, crowding around their car to say goodbye!!




July 11, 2023
In Ghana, Bishop Bambera and seminarians Andrew McCarroll and Tom Dzwonczyk were in areas Monday and today where it has been hard to get communications back.
The trio visited Mole National Park in the northern region of Ghana and got a chance to see some of the wildlife in the country’s first, largest and most prestigious protected area.
On their trip back, they experienced a tire problem which was actually a blessing in disguise! Because they were sidelined for about an hour, they were afforded the great opportunity and blessing to meet with many children and families who came out of their homes to greet them!

July 10, 2023
Fr. Clement, Fr. Stephen and Fr. Dominic say hello to everyone from Ghana!

July 9, 2023
Today, Seminarians Andrew McCarroll and Tom Dzwonczyk attended the first Mass of Fr. Eric Agyei Febiri, who was one of 14 men ordained to the priesthood Saturday by Bishop Bambera in the Diocese of Sunyani.
The liturgy took place at his home parish of St. Teresa of Avila in Berekum, Ghana.

July 9, 2023
It has been a busy Sunday for Bishop Bambera in Ghana. This morning, he visited Fr. Clement Amankwah Yeboah’s parish, Holy Spirit Parish, located at Nkwabeng in Sunyani, to confirm 37 people.
You will recognize Fr. Dominic Sabi in some of the photos…he previously served as Assistant Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Honesdale.
Fr. Clement also previously served the Diocese of Scranton and the community of Christ the King Pa in Archbald!


July 9, 2023

Seminarian Tom Dzwonczyk was thrilled to meet the mother and brother of Father Philbert Takyi-Nketiah yesterday in Ghana.
Fr. Philbert, who serves as Assistant Pastor of St. Jude Parish, Mountain Top, has been working closely with Tom for the last several months in Mountain Top!
July 8, 2023
Bishop Bambera, Bishop Matthew from the Diocese of Sunyani and our two seminarians, pose for photos following the 4 and a-half hour Ordination Mass for 14 men to the priesthood.
The grand celebration was held on the lawn of Christ the King Cathedral in Sunyani and was attended by several thousand faithful!








July 8, 2023

Seminarians Andrew McCarroll and Tom Dzwonczyk captured a number of photos from today’s Ordination Mass for 14 new priests in the Diocese of Sunyani, which was presided over by Bishop Bambera.
They have several other videos and photos (featuring some familiar priests who are beloved by parishioners) so we will post those separately a little later!







July 7, 2023

Bishop Bambera and two of our Diocesan seminarians (Andrew McCarroll and Tom Dzwonczyk) safely arrived in Sunyani, Ghana, this morning after spending part of Thursday in Accra, the capital and largest city of Ghana.

Bishop Bambera has returned to Ghana because he is the Catholic co-chair of the international Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue. While he is in Ghana, he has also been asked to ordain 14 men to the priesthood from the Diocese of Sunyani. The Diocese of Scranton is currently blessed to have many wonderful priests from Sunyani serving in our parishes right now.

We hope to share more of our seminarians journey in Sunyani in the days ahead!




Bishop Bambera Returns to Ghana
June 29, 2023

Less than one year after making a pastoral visit to the Diocese of Sunyani in Ghana, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, has returned to the African nation.

This time, the trip came about simply by coincidence.

“It was not my expectation that I would be traveling back to Ghana in 12 months from my original trip there last August,” Bishop Bambera said. “As providence would have it, the Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue, which I’m very fortunate to co-chair, is being hosted this year by the Pentecostals. This year, the Pentecostals are inviting us to Accra, the capital of Ghana.”

The primary goal of the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue is to foster mutual respect and understanding between the Catholic Church and Classical Pentecostal leaders and churches in light of the prayer of Jesus that all may be one (Jn 17:21). Last year, the Dialogue, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary, was hosted by the Catholics in Rome.

Because Bishop Bambera is in Ghana to participate in the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue from July 13-19, 2023, the Bishop of the Diocese of Sunyani invited him to return to their diocese one week earlier (July 5-12) for a very special reason.

“When it was made known to the priests of the Diocese of Sunyani that the Dialogue would take place in Ghana, their bishop, Bishop Matthew, asked me if I would honor them by celebrating the Ordination Rite for 14 men who are being ordained to the priesthood for their 50th anniversary year as a diocese,” Bishop Bambera explained.

Bishop Bambera said it was an honor to be asked to celebrate the Ordination Mass.

“I’m happily returning to Ghana both for ecumenical work and also to once again connect with the Diocese of Sunyani that has been so generous in providing for the needs of our people here in the United States,” Bishop Bambera said.

When Bishop Bambera last visited Ghana, Aug. 10-19, 2022, he celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with more than 15,000 people, while also visiting a seminary, schools, parishes and health care facilities.

On that trip, Father Gerald Shantillo and Father Brian J.T. Clarke joined him, but this time, two seminarians from the Diocese of Scranton have accompanied Bishop Bambera.

“On many occasions, the Bishop of Sunyani, Bishop Matthew, invited me to send seminarians over just to experience their country and the background from which many of the priests who are serving in our land come from,” he said. “I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to invite our seminarians.”

Thomas Dzwonczyk and Andrew McCarroll agreed to accompany the Bishop to Ghana.

“I’m really thrilled to be able to have them, not only to travel with, but more importantly to experience the Diocese of Sunyani and the African people,” Bishop Bambera noted. “I will be with them half the time. I will leave Sunyani after about a week and then travel to Accra for the Dialogue and while I’m in Accra, the seminarians will be hosted by the priests of Sunyani and the Bishop as well.”

Bishop’s 2022 Pastoral Visit to Ghana Helps Connect Scranton and Sunyani
August 18, 2022

SUNYANI, GHANA – While more than 5,000 miles may separate the Dioceses of Scranton and Sunyani geographically, the two communities continue to grow closer in learning about one another and sharing their culture and faith.

The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, along with Father Gerald W. Shantillo, Vicar General, and Father Brian J.T. Clarke, Diocesan Director of Pontifical Mission Societies, just completed a week-long pastoral visit to Sunyani. The trio departed the United States on Aug. 10, 2022 and will be returning Friday, Aug. 19.

“It has been an incredible experience,” Bishop Bambera said in regards to the visit. “We were made to feel so welcome.”

Throughout the pastoral visit, Bishop Bambera has been documenting his experiences and sharing regular updates on the Diocese of Scranton’s social media platforms. An archive of photos and videos that the bishop has posted is also available on the Diocese of Scranton website.

“Pope Francis often says the church is most alive in Africa. That has been our experience and we in Scranton are so blessed to have experienced this and to have the good blessing of eight priests from the Diocese of Sunyani to serve in our parishes,” Bishop Bambera said during one of the videos he shared.


Bishop Bambera’s pastoral visit to Sunyani was planned to coincide with the Diocese of Sunyani’s annual four-day celebration of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The event brings roughly 15,000 people to Mary Queen of Peace Grotto each year.

Every parish in the Diocese of Sunyani sends parishioners to participate in the pilgrimage. The faithful participate in Morning Devotions, listen to testimonies and talks, celebrate Mass, recite the Rosary and enjoy each other’s company.

Bishop Bambera presided at the Closing Mass of the four-day celebration on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022.

“I was touched by the enthusiasm of the faithful, by their desire to express their faith, by the richness of their involvement in the liturgy and by their generous spirit and the beautiful procession of gifts when they brought food for the poor,” Bishop Bambera said.

The Diocese of Sunyani is home to more than 200,000 baptized Catholics. In 2023, the Diocese will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, who is currently serving as Bishop of Sunyani, is only the second bishop in the history of the Diocese. He was appointed bishop in 2003 after the death of Bishop James Kwadwo Owusu.

Bishop Matthew called the pastoral visit for Scranton’s delegation “extraordinary.”

“People are so excited to have them,” Bishop Matthew said. “We thank the people of the Diocese of Scranton for permitting the bishop to come and join us. We are extremely grateful!”


One of the many reasons why Bishop Bambera, Father Shantillo and Father Clarke wanted to travel to Sunyani is to express gratitude for the incredible generosity that Sunyani has provided Scranton in terms of its priestly resources.

Over the last four years, ten priests from the Diocese of Sunyani have travelled abroad to serve in the Diocese of Scranton. There are currently eight serving here right now.

“It really means a great deal for me, on behalf of the clergy and the faithful of our Diocese, to go the Diocese of Sunyani and share with their bishop and with all of their people, our deep gratitude for their presence here,” Bishop Bambera explained. “It is a sacrifice to travel halfway around the world and to live in a land that you don’t necessarily understand and know as well as you own home.”

While in Ghana, the Diocese of Scranton delegation was especially grateful to have dinner with the parents of the priests who are working the Diocese of Scranton.

Throughout the course of the week-long visit, Bishop Matthew highlighted to his own people the good work that the Pontifical Mission Societies do. In reality, Bishop Matthew helped showcase the fact that as the People of God we all serve one another.

“Our churches and our faith is much, much bigger than simply our corner of the world that we know as the Diocese of Scranton,” Bishop Bambera added. “We join with brothers and sisters around the world, hands across the Atlantic Ocean now, to the Diocese of Sunyani.”


The Diocese of Sunyani is roughly 7,500 square miles. By size, that means it is a little smaller than the size of Scranton, which is roughly 8,800 square miles.

Throughout their week overseas, Bishop Bambera, Father Shantillo and Father Clarke had the opportunity to tour schools, a seminary, clinics and other various institutions.

On Monday, Aug. 15, the trio celebrated Mass at Saint James Seminary, a high school seminary, which has 900 students. Roughly 200 of those students are in the seminary formation program.

“It was a great opportunity to listen to their incredible voices singing and praising God,” Bishop Bambera noted.

The group also toured a sewing factory that makes religious vestments and school uniforms that is sponsored by the Diocese of Sunyani.

“What is so amazing about that is it started with a donation of three industrial sewing machines that were given to one of the priests of Sunyani several years ago and it has grown into an incredible industry,” Bishop Bambera explained. “It trains women to learn the craft of sewing that enables them to find jobs in that factory and elsewhere to start their businesses.”

While there was so much joy and inspiration on the pastoral visit, the Diocesan delegation also took time to mark a dark period in the history of Ghana.

On the second day of their visit, as they were traveling from Ghana’s capital city of Accra to Sunyani, the group stopped at Cape Coast Castle. The castle is one of dozens of “slave castles” built on the Gold Coast of Africa by European traders. Originally established for the gold/mineral trade, they eventually because used to hold slaves before they were put on ships and sold in the Americas.

“It was a reminder to us of the need for us to work against injustice in any way that we can, to bring an end, finally once and for all, to racism and discrimination,” Bishop Bambera said following his visit.

The final Mass that Bishop Bambera celebrated in Ghana was with young people of Sunyani on Wednesday, Aug. 17. He encouraged the young people to continue bringing Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness to the world in which they live.

“Stand up against intolerance and hatred, show the world by your example that we are all brothers and sisters,” he said. “Break down barriers of selfishness, protect this wonderful creation that we’ve been given, respect it, treasure it, and serve the poorest in our midst!”

Thursday, August 18, 2022

As they begin their journey back to the Diocese of Scranton today, Bishop Bambera, Fr. Shatillo and Fr. Clarke wanted to say thank you to all the people they met while on their pastoral visit in the Diocese of Sunyani.

They say each person welcomed them warmly  and provided so much assistance, making their trip life-giving and soul-striring.

They look forward to sharing more of the blessings they have received once they return home.

The group would especially like to thank the Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, Bishop Sunyani, for his invitation, welcome and dedication to making sure they were able to see so many sites during their week-long visit.



Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Bishop Bambera, Father Shantillo and Father Clarke  began the morning by visiting Kwasi Bourkrom, the hometown of the late Bishop James Kwadwo Owusu, who served at the first bishop of the Diocese of Sunyani.  The Diocese itself will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023

The delegation  also visited a local hospital.  Photos of the visit are included below.  There is even a picture of the waiting area for families of patients.

Later in the morning, Bishop Bambera also visited the first church in the Diocese of Sunyani which has now been turned into a technical school for the Diocese.

The group, escorted by the current Bishop of Sunyani, also visited a girls high school which educates 1,300 students.  They also visited a nursing school which was started by the Diocese.

In the afternoon, they visited an outdoor marketplace in Sunyani.

In the evening, Bishop Bambera celebrated Mass with youth from the Diocese of Sunyani at Christ the King Cathedral.  It was the last major Eucharistic celebration he offered in Ghana .

During his homily, he told the young adults they are the “now of God,” the Church alive today and our worlds greatest hope.




Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Bishop Bambera’s Video for Tuesday

As Bishop Bambera, Father Shantillo and Father Clarke continued their pastoral visit to Ghana, they went outside the city of Sunyani.

They visited Saint Anthony’s Health Centre in Badu, which is in the midst of a very sparsely populated area outside of Sunyani.

The delegation also stopped at a mission church along the way and saw what houses in the rural area of the region look like.  People in these communities still get their water from a well in their village.

The Bishop shared a photo of the roads that are used to get into villages.  He says the photo “appears” to be smooth, but the trip is bumpy.

The diocesan delegation also got to tour a Church in a larger village that is currently under construction (and has been for years) but still provides a worship space every Sunday.

The Bishop also got to visit with dozens of students who attend Saint Stephen Preparatory School.


Monday, August 15, 2022

Bishop Bambera’s Videos for Monday

Visit to Saint James High School Seminary
Aug. 15, 2022

Monday morning began with a 6:30 a.m. Mass at Saint James High School Seminary.  The Mass was go joyfilled and uplifting and lasted for more than four hours.  The high school seminary has more than 900 students, about 200 of whom are in the very first stage of seminary formation.  In their conversations with the Bishop, many said they are intent upon continuing in formation for the priesthood.

Later in the day, the Scranton delegation visited other parishes and institutions in the Sunyani Diocese including a sewing factory that makes vestments and school uniforms.  The amazing thing is it all started with a donation of  three industrial-sized sewing machines to a diocesan priest and the facility now teaches women an important skill and empowers them to open their own businesses.

We hope you also enjoy the touching photo of Fr. Clarke outside of the factory who quickly made friends with many of the children.

Our diocesan delegation also got to meet with Sisters of the Incarnate Word, one of whom just moved into the Cathedral Convent in Scranton and will be studying at the University of Scranton.  They also got to visit the Catholic University of Ghana that just established. 20 years ago.

During their travels, the group also got to see some more modern housing in the Diocese, compared to what was shared on Sunday.  They also wanted to share a photo of a termite mound which are all over the region and can sometimes reach six feet tall.

In the evening, Bishop Bambera was pleased to meet the parents/families of all eight priests from Sunyani who are currently assigned to Scranton.  It was a tremendous blessing to share food and fellowship and the Bishop personally thanked all of them for so generously sharing their sons with our community in Northeastern Pennsylvania.


Sunday, August 14, 2022

Today was the final day of the five-day celebration for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary which has brought thousands of people to Mary Queen of Peace Grotto.

Bishop Bambera was honored to serve as the principal celebrant for the closing Mass. He brought greetings and sentiments of great esteem and gratitude from all people in the Diocese of Scranton.

During his homily, Bishop Bambera reminded the 15,0000 people who attended the Mass that Mary is faithfulness rewarded…she is now where we hope to be at the end of our journey of life and faith.

In addition to the celebration of Mass, the Bishop got to tour some of the areas that are most in need of help and support. While there are many modest homes, there are also so many places that can continue to use our support as brothers and sister in Christ.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Bishop Bambera, Fr. Shantillo and Fr. Clarke began the day by getting to tour the Sunyani Cathedral.  The Cathedral was dedicated to the glory of God on November 25, 1990, the Feast of Christ the King.

They then travel to Queen of Peace. Grotto for the celebration of Mass for the third day of the Sunyani Diocese’s Assumption celebration.  The homilist for the Mass was Fr. Clement Amankwah Yeboah, who recently returned to Sunyani after serving in the Diocese of Scranton.  Fr. Clement is now serving as Diocesan Chancellor in Sunyani.

The Mass attended by thousands of people who celebrate their faith outdoors.  Representatives from every parish attend the celebration.

Bishop Bambera remarked that the sprinkling rite at each Mass is incredible with people literally asking to be soaked with water as sign of blessing.

At 6:30 p.m., a Marian procession and devotion also took place.  The candlelight procession was extremely moving and faith -filled.


Friday, August 12, 2022

On their first full day in Ghana, Bishop Bambera, Fr. Shantillo and Fr. Clarke began the hour journey from Ghana’s capital city of Accra to Sunyani.

They visited a local outdoor market where yams, cassava, veggies and fish are available for sale.  Along the way, they found many roads are under construction.  Sometimes, cattle crossing close the roads as well?

Their travels also took them to the fishing industry of Cape Coast.  Bishop Bambera also made an intentional stop at Cape Coast Castle.  That castle is one of dozens of “slave castles” built on the Gold Coast of Africa by European traders.  They were used to hold slaves before they were put on ships and sold in the Americas.

Two of the photos below show what is call the “Door of No Return” because it was the last experience many men and women had in their homeland before their final departure and for those who didn’t make it to the new world, the castle was the last place thy saw on land..

Please offer a prayer today for the millions of people who languished at the hands of slavers.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Bishop Bambera’s Video for Thursday




After flying out of an airport in New York City late Wednesday night, Bishop Bambera, Fr. Shantillo and Fr. Clarke arrived in Accra on August 11, 2022.  That is where they spent the first night before they travelled to Sunyani on Friday.

They were give a very warm welcome by their hostess Pat and got a chance to see a few sites before beginning the main part of their journey on Friday.