HARRISBURG – March for Life, partnered with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, will host the first ever official Pennsylvania March for Life on Monday, September 27, 2021, in Harrisburg, PA. The event will take place on the Pennsylvania House of Representative’s first day back in session when marchers will rally at the front steps of the state capitol to call on legislators to protect unborn children. It will feature a compelling lineup of renown national and local pro-life leaders.

“We are proud to host this first-ever Pennsylvania March for Life and to be joined by so many remarkable pro-life leaders who in their own ways work daily to build a culture of life. We hope this event will energize the people of Pennsylvania to help shape local policies that respect the rights of the unborn,”  said Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life Defense and Education Fund.

“Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision, well over two million unborn babies have lost their lives to abortion in Pennsylvania alone,” said Michael Geer, president of Pennsylvania Family Institute. “Every day in our commonwealth, the lives of over 80 unborn babies are taken through abortion. And that’s why we march. It’s time for this to end.”

WHO:

Speakers and participants in the rally will include:

PA House Rep. Kathy Rapp, 65th District

Speaker of the House. Rep. Bryan Cutler, District 100

Majority Leader, Senator Leader Kim Ward, District 39

Ryan Bomberger, president of the Radiance Foundation

Abby Johnson, And Then There Were None, Pro Love Ministries

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life

Toni McFadden, Founder of Relationship’s Matter

Michael Geer, president of Pennsylvania Family Institute

Elena Liguori – U. of Pittsburgh Alumni 2020, Current Masters of Science in Bioengineering/Medical Product Engineering at U. of Pittsburgh, December 2021

Bishop Gainer, Diocese of Harrisburg

Covenant Christian Academy Choir

Herb Lusk III, Greater Exodus Baptist Church

WHEN:

11:00 AM – Rally w/ speakers (listed above)

12:00 PM – March around PA State Capitol Building

WHERE:

The Rally will take place on the front steps of the State Capitol Building at 501 N 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120. (corner of 3rd Street and State Street)

 

SCRANTON – It took 923 days in all – but the Saint Patrick’s Parade Day Mass finally returned to the Cathedral of Saint Peter on Sept. 18, 2021.

“We give thanks for the great blessing of faith that has sustained us since we last gathered,” the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, said in welcoming the crowd to the special 10 a.m. Mass which preceded the 59th annual Saint Patrick’s Parade in Scranton.

The Electric City’s last Saint Patrick’s Parade was held on March 9, 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the parade in March 2020 and led to it being pushed back six months this year.

“In so many respects, the message of the saint whom we honor today couldn’t be more timely and meaningful to our lives,” Bishop Bambera noted. “We’ve faced uncertainty and fear, loneliness and pain, and for some of us sickness and the grief that comes from loss, all because of a once-in-a-century pandemic.”

The bishop continued, “I’d suggest that we’ve also come to understand something that Saint Patrick learned centuries ago when he walked the green hills and valleys of Ireland. For all that we are capable of controlling and determining through our expertise, our ingenuity and our determination, none of us can ultimately control life and death. That is left to a power bigger than ourselves – a power we know as God.”

Members of the Saint Patrick’s Parade Association of Lackawanna County, Society of Irish Women, Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Irish American Men’s Association, Irish Cultural Society and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians all attended the Mass and listened to the bishop’s message which emphasized the faith that is celebrated.

“For all of the challenges of life and the struggles that we face in our families, neighborhoods, our Church and our world – especially in the midst of a global health crisis – this day taps the roots of faith that were planted in the hearts of the people of Ireland. It celebrates our shared belief that God is with us, carrying us through life – not a life free from pain nor a life unfamiliar with storms and upheaval – but a life that ultimately brings us to peace,” Bishop Bambera said.

The bishop encouraged those gathered to look at one of the stained glass windows on the side of the Cathedral of Saint Peter that features an image of Saint Patrick teaching the people of Ireland.

“He wasn’t telling them that if you prayed, you’d never have a cross to carry or a burden to bear. He wasn’t telling them that if you have faith, you’ll get everything you ask for and more,” Bishop Bambera explained. “He was telling them that if you have faith, you will be able to weather every storm that comes your way with a sense of peace, knowing that God walks with you.”

As his homily concluded, the bishop reminded those in attendance that God’s love sustains us during challenges times and reminds us that we have a responsibility to care for one another.

“May the great Saint Patrick guard you wherever you go, guide you in whatever you do, and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always,” the bishop ended with.

 

People have their Green Pass, signifying vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test taken within 48 hours, checked before entering the Vatican Museums at the Vatican in this Aug. 6, 2021, file photo. Beginning Oct. 1 the Vatican will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from most people wanting to enter Vatican territory or offices. People attending Vatican liturgies are exempt from the requirements. (CNS photo/Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Visitors, tourists and employees who want to enter Vatican territory will be required beginning Oct. 1 to show proof of vaccination, recovery from the coronavirus or a negative COVID-19 test.

The anti-COVID ordinance, which was approved by Pope Francis and signed by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission in charge of Vatican City State, was released by the Vatican press office Sept. 20.

The only exemption in the order is for people entering Vatican territory for the sole purpose of attending a liturgical celebration; in that case, they will have access only “for the time strictly necessary” for the liturgy and if they follow the health measures already in force: mandatory masking, temperature checks and social distancing.

The ordinance did not specify whether the pope’s weekly general audiences on Wednesdays or his midday recitation of the Angelus on Sundays would be treated like a liturgy or like entrance to the Vatican Museums, which has been requiring proof of vaccination for admittance since early August. Even with the vaccination proof, visitors undergo a temperature check before admittance and are required to keep a mask over their nose and mouth throughout the visit.

The Vatican police, known as the gendarme, will be charged with checking the documentation.

The ordinance specified that it applies to all Vatican “citizens, residents of the state, personnel in service at any level in the governorate of Vatican City State and in the various organisms of the Roman Curia and the institutions tied to it, to all visitors and beneficiaries of services.”

Italy requires foreign visitors to have vaccination proof and a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country. The vaccination pass or a negative test are required to enter restaurants, museums, gyms, indoor pools, cinemas, theaters and to visit patients in a hospital or nursing home. Beginning Oct. 15, Italy also will require the pass to fly or take long-distance trains or buses and to enter workplaces.

 

Migrants take shelter along the Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, Sept. 19, 2021, as they await to be processed after crossing the Rio Grande. (CNS photo/Adrees Latif, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (CNS) – The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee and the head of Catholic Charities USA issued a joint statement Sept. 22 urging humane treatment of Haitians and other migrants as their numbers grow in southern Texas at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Thousands of Haitians have made their way across the Rio Grande from Mexico and illegally entered the United States at the Del Rio Sector of the border, roughly 145 miles west of San Antonio.

The Haitians and other migrants have been living under the Del Rio International Bridge awaiting processing, while coping with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees and limited access to food, water and shelter.

“We call on the U.S. government to reassess its treatment of migrants in Del Rio and elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially Haitians, who face life-threatening conditions if returned to Haiti and possible discrimination if expelled to third countries,” said Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington and Dominican Sister Donna Markham.

The bishop is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration and Sister Markham is president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA.

“As a church at the service of all God’s people, we embrace Christ’s call to welcome the newcomer and accompany them wherever they may be,” they said.

During this National Migration Week, observed Sept. 20-26, “we are especially mindful of that obligation and saddened to see such a disregard for human dignity,” the two Catholic leaders said. “It is in the face of each migrant that we see the face of Christ.”

The Biden administration announced Sept. 18 it would quickly begin deporting the Haitians back to Haiti, even though a majority of them did not arrive at the border recently from their homeland. News reports said many have been living in or traveling through Latin America for varying periods of time after fleeing widespread violence, political turmoil, natural disasters and economic stagnation in Haiti.

The Biden administration has been deporting asylum-seekers using Title 42, despite criticism for doing so from advocates for migrants and a court battle over it.

Title 42 is a provision of U.S. public health law that was activated by the Trump administration to expel migrants at the border, with the exception of minors, over COVID-19 concerns.

Bishop Dorsonville and Sister Markham criticized policies such as Title 42 and expedited removal because “all too often” they “deny the reality of forced migration, disregard the responsibilities enshrined in domestic and international law, and undermine the vulnerability of those against whom they are applied.”

“These are not hallmarks of a ‘fair, orderly and humane’ immigration system,” they said.

Other groups calling for humane treatment of Haitians and other migrants by the Biden administration include the Sisters of Mercy and Network, a Catholic social justice lobby.

“The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas join with people worldwide in expressing outrage over the shocking treatment of Haitian asylum-seekers trying to enter the United States in Del Rio, Texas,” the religious order said in a Sept. 22 statement. “Haitian women, children and men are among our most vulnerable sisters and brothers.”

“We call on the Biden administration to immediately end deportation flights to Haiti and to undertake measures to assure that all Haitian asylum-seekers have the right to make their case. This right is guaranteed under both domestic and international law,” it said.

The Sisters of Mercy noted Haiti in recent months “has experienced a political assassination, a massive earthquake and a fierce hurricane.”

“These catastrophic events further burden a nation with a long history of political upheaval and widespread, grinding poverty, conditions often exacerbated by U.S. policy over the years,” the statement said.

The executive director of Network, Mary J. Novak, accused the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and the Biden administration of abusing Haitian asylum-seekers, calling it “unacceptable.”

Novak didn’t describe the abuse, but news reports claimed Border Patrol officers on horseback were whipping some of the Haitians as they tried to control the crowd. CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility was investigating the incident, but agents said they were using long reins to control their horses as they tried to control the crowd.

She also criticized “the continued misuse of Title 42,” saying it “relies on the false idea that we have to choose between welcoming people fleeing violence and protecting communities from the pandemic. We can do both.”

“The Biden administration must end Title 42 immediately and welcome immigrants and asylum-seekers with dignity,” she said.

In May, those Haitians who currently reside in the United States under Temporary Protected Status were told they could apply for an 18-month extension of that status so long as they meet eligibility requirements.

TPS grants a work permit and reprieve from deportation to certain people whose countries have experienced natural disasters, armed conflicts or exceptional situations so they can remain temporarily in the United States.

 

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will celebrate a Pontifical Mass in Spanish on Saturday, Sept. 25 in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Mass will begin at 6:30 p.m. and take place at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton. All are invited to attend.

The Mass will joyfully celebrate the cultural richness and special gifts that Hispanics bring to the life of the Church in the Diocese of Scranton.

Each year, the United States observes Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15. Hispanic
Heritage Month is a national celebration to honor the history, culture and influence of past generations who came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation of Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President
Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988.

 

Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Saturday, November 6​, 2021

  • Presentation by Father Chris Alar
  • Tour the grounds
  • Mass
  • Eucharistic Adoration
  • Fabulous gift shop

​Bus leaves Montage Mall Parking Lot (located near DSW store)  at 7:00am.

Returns at 7:00pm

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.

​$80 per person

REGISTER ONLINE NOW

 

September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON— National Migration Week 2021 starts today and will conclude on September 26 in solidarity with the Holy See’s observation of the World Day for Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) on September 26.

The theme for this year’s WDMR is “Towards an Ever Wider ‘We’,” which Pope Francis drew from his encyclical Fratelli tutti. He emphasized in his annual WDMR message that such a focus calls on us to ensure that “we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those,’ but only ‘us’” (Fratelli tutti, no. 35) and this universal “us” must become a reality first of all within the Church, which is called to cultivate communion in diversity. In general, National Migration Week is meant to emphasize the ways in which the migration question is important for the Catholic Church in the United States.

“The migration story is one of compassion, welcome, and unity,” said Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration. “It is about opening our hearts to others, and at this critical juncture, we do not have to look far to see its practical application or find those with a need to migrate. The Holy Father calls us to embrace and express the Church’s catholicity—her universality—‘according to the will and grace of the Lord who promised to be with us always, until the end of the age.’ Let us, the Catholics of the United States, join together to answer his call and be especially mindful of it during this upcoming week.”

In previous years, National Migration Week was observed in January, but it was changed recently by the USCCB to align with the Vatican’s observation of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Educational materials and other resources for National Migration Week are available for download on the Justice for Immigrants website.

 

“As we mark the twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, we remember and pray for all those who lost their lives, as well as their family and friends, and those individuals who continue to carry the physical and emotional burdens of that terrible day.

“Over the last two decades, the people of our great nation have shared so many feelings – ranging from anger and shock – to loss and pain – to a determination to never forget. On this somber anniversary, we must continue to honor the selflessness of our first responders – including our brave firefighters, police, emergency workers and port authority personnel — as well as the heroism of ordinary citizens who were willing to sacrifice their own lives for others.

“In the immediate aftermath of that terrible day, our faith lifted us up and sustained us. Our nation turned to God in prayer and in faith with a new intensity. Let us continue to turn to God as our source of strength, comfort and peace in challenging times.

“In the words that Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI both used while visiting Ground Zero,

‘O Lord, comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all.’”

 

SCRANTON – On Saturday, September 11, our nation and the world will mark the passage of two decades since the day that changed our lives forever. The Cathedral of Saint Peter will commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a memorial bell toll, commencing at 8:46 a.m., the time at which American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into 1 World Trade Center in New York City, NY. The toll will conclude at 10:03 a.m., the time at which Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA.

A portion of the bell toll will be available on the Cathedral’s Facebook page.

Monsignor Rupert, Pastor of the Cathedral Parish states, “As we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, it is a time for remembrance, renewal, and hope.

“We reverently recall those who were most directly affected by this tragedy—those who died, were injured, or lost loved ones. In a special way, we recall the selfless first responders—firefighters, police, chaplains, emergency workers, and other brave persons—who risked, and many times lost, their lives in their courageous and selfless efforts to save others.

“On this day most especially, let us reflect on God’s gracious gifts of love and mercy. Nurture hope, take time to understand and appreciate others, and focus on the positives of each person you encounter. Be a sign of hope for those around you. These small acts will help point our country and world on the course to a better day, much like the countless heroes who answered the call to serve neighbors and strangers on one of our nation’s worst days.

“May we always show true gratitude for those who lost their lives and remember them and their families in our prayers.”

Let us make our own the prayer of Pope Benedict XVI when he visited Ground Zero in New York in 2008, which was also used by Pope Francis during his visit to the Ground Zero Memorial in September 2015:

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
and religious traditions,
who gather today on this hallowed ground,
the scene of unspeakable violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here:
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers
and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11.

We ask you, in your compassion,
to bring healing to those who,
because of their presence here fourteen years ago,
continue to suffer from injuries and illness.

Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon
and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred,
and who justify killing in the name of religion.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.

Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.