April 5, 2019

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton has joined more than 140 religious individuals calling on U.S. leaders to uphold the principles of religious freedom.

The group of varying backgrounds has sent a letter to President Donald Trump, Vice President Pence, and congressional leadership from both political parties, outlining eight principles.

In the coming days, the letter asks the recipients to recognize that “individuals of all faiths and none have equal dignity, worth and rights to religious freedom.”

Following the March 15 attack on two mosques in New Zealand that killed fifty Muslims, another principle outlined in the letter emphasizes that “an attack on one religion should be treated as an attack on every faith.”

Bishop Bambera is currently the chairman of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Two other committee chairmen, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, also signed the letter. They respectively chair the committees for Religious Liberty and International Justice and Peace.

The letter ends by asking recipients to devote specific remarks to the principles of religious liberty in the days ahead, saying “we vow to work with you to ensure that individuals and communities are able to practice their faith without fear.”

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Note: The full letter with all of signatories can be found at: https://www.dioceseofscranton.org/news/religious-liberty-letter-april-4-2019/

March 25, 2019

SCRANTON, PA – As parishioners spend time in prayer for the season of Lent, the Diocese of Scranton announces today that it will host the incorrupt heart of Saint Jean Vianney at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton in April.

The major relic of Saint Jean Vianney’s incorrupt heart is currently in the midst of a nationwide tour, visiting cathedrals, churches and chapels throughout the United States through June 2019.

The Diocese of Scranton will host the relic on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The Shrine of Ars, France, made the relic available for its national tour.

The relic will be welcomed to the Cathedral of Saint Peter with the celebration of Morning Prayer at 8:30 a.m. It will remain on display for private prayer and veneration through 3:00 p.m. The Daily Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 p.m. and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will also be offered from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera will be the principal celebrant of the 12:10 p.m. Mass and Msgr. David Bohr will deliver the homily.

The Knights of Columbus is hosting the nationwide tour. Before stopping in Scranton, the relic will have already visited Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

Born in France in 1786, Jean Vianney suffered through the dark years of the French Revolution. He undertook a life of penance and prayer to draw people away from sin and closer to God. Known for his wise spiritual counsels, Father Vianney would hear confessions for up to eighteen hours a day. Jean Vianney died on August 4, 1859. Saint Jean Vianney was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925.

As the patron of parish priests, the faithful are asked to pray for their most heartfelt needs and intentions, as well as for healing within the heart of the Church.

For more information about St. Jean Vianney and the relic tour, visit www.dioceseofscranton.org.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Eric Deabill
Secretary for Communications
Diocese of Scranton
(570) 591-5001
Cell: (570) 237-6508
EDeabill@dioceseofscranton.org

March 15, 2019

The horrific and senseless acts of violence in yet more places of worship, this time two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, remind us all of the need for prayer, acts of solidarity as members of one human family and education to overcome fear, prejudice and ignorance.

All people are created in the image and likeness of God. The rich variety and diversity of people is a gift to humanity. We must strive to learn more about different cultures, languages and religions. We must become good neighbors and overcome the fear of those who are different from us.

Today, the 11 counties of northeastern and north-central Pennsylvania are being enriched with new neighbors of other faiths: Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and others. People of good will need to learn from each other and become friends as well. There is never an excuse for ignorance, violence or hatred.

We extend our love and support to the Muslim community in New Zealand, and here at home, for the evil they have experienced. United in solidarity, we can and we must put aside any differences we have and stand together as one.

Jim Bebla (on left), Diocesan Secretary for Development accepts a check from Joseph Tomko, Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager at Fidelity Bank.

 

MARCH 13, 2019

Fidelity Bank recently made a gift of $120,000 to the Diocese of Scranton Scholarship Foundation for tuition assistance for Catholic School families in the Diocese. This donation is part of the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program.

Fidelity Bank has supported the Diocesan Catholic Schools need-based tuition assistance program through the State’s tax credit program since 2002.

“The Diocese is very grateful to Fidelity Bank for their continued generous support. This commitment makes a difference in the lives of so many families who choose to send their children to one of our Catholic schools,” said Jim Bebla, Diocesan Secretary for Development.

With branch offices located throughout Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, Fidelity Bank offers full service Trust & Investment Departments, a mortgage center and an array of personal and business banking products and services.

 

March 8, 2019

The Diocese of Scranton Announces Letter of Intent with Allied Services for
Sale of Little Flower Manor Campus and St. Luke’s Villa Campus

 

SCRANTON, PA – The Diocese of Scranton announced today that it has received a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) for the sale of its long-term healthcare facilities in the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The Diocese has entered into a due diligence agreement with Allied Services Integrated Health System, a locally-based, regional not-for-profit health system with a 60-year tradition of providing quality health care and human services with compassion and empathy.

Assets included in the sale are:

  • Little Flower Manor – a 133-bed skilled nursing facility with 71 private rooms
  • St. Therese Residence – 60 units with access to the finest personal care services and amenities, as well as 15 units for patients requiring specialized memory impairment services
  • St. Luke’s Villa – a 50-bed skilled nursing unit, a 48-unit personal care facility and 31 independent living apartments

Across the two campuses, services include 24-hour nursing care and rehabilitation for those recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, personal care assistance and independent living spaces. The Diocesan owned and operated facilities are non-profit, faith-based and mission-driven, and are the providers of choice in their service areas. Approximately 400 employees and volunteers care for the facilities’ 322 residents.

For several years, Diocesan leadership has been evaluating its long-term care facilities. Given continued shifts in the healthcare industry, the Diocese of Scranton faced a number of challenges including decreased reimbursement rates and heightened regulations.

“Healthcare – and long-term healthcare specifically – is increasingly becoming a sophisticated and complicated industry,” said the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton. “The Diocese of Scranton, like many other small, independent operators is not equipped to address evolving needs in this space. Our patients and residents deserve the highest quality of care, and the decision to sell these facilities was made with their best interests in mind.”

“This is a great day, for our community, for the Diocese of Scranton, for Allied Services Integrated Health System, and most importantly, for the patients and residents entrusted to us,” said William P. Conaboy, Esq., President & CEO of Allied Services Integrated Health System. “We are grateful for Bishop Bambera and to the Diocese leadership for choosing Allied Services to continue their mission. We stand ready to do what is best for our patients, residents and employees and to continue the work of the Diocese of Scranton in providing the very highest quality of care.”

The Diocese has been highly selective and considered a number of buyers. Allied Services has committed to utilizing its best efforts to retain current staff, whose dedication has helped maintain strong quality ratings and occupancy rates in recent years. Allied Services has also committed to preserving religious articles and artifacts.

The sale of these facilities will allow the Diocese of Scranton to continue its commitment to serving the people of this region through core services such as food pantries, community outreach and emergency shelter programs. While the Diocese originally chose to explore selling these two facilities because of the evolving healthcare landscape, it has determined that proceeds from this sale may assist with funding the recently announced Independent Survivors Compensation Program.

“Our goal is to find a buyer better equipped to address evolving needs in the healthcare space, so that we can provide financial compensation to survivors of child sexual abuse, and can continue to focus on serving the neediest in our midst through Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton and new and different ways of supporting our elderly population,” said Bishop Bambera.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank all of those who worked so diligently to make this happen, while welcoming the 400 employees and volunteers from the Diocese to Allied Services,” said Dr. Douglas M. Boyle, DBA, CPA, Board Chair, Allied Services Foundation. “I also wish to reaffirm our enthusiasm and continued commitment to providing the highest level of quality care to all of our patients and residences.”

The due diligence process requires 90 days during which Allied Services will review the assets from a financial, operational and compliance standpoint. If Allied Services chooses to move forward with the sale, both parties will enter into an approval process before the sale is final.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Eric Deabill James Brogna
Secretary for Communications Vice President, Corporate Advancement & Communications
Diocese of Scranton Allied Services Integrated Health System
EDeabill@dioceseofscranton.org JBrogn@allied-services.org
(570) 207-2229 (570) 348-1347
Cell: (570) 237-6508 Cell: (570) 351-8763

 

DIOCESE OF SCRANTON

Founded in 1868, the Diocese of Scranton serves an 11-county region including Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming counties. The Catholic community of the Diocese of Scranton is called through Baptism to imitate the servant leadership of Jesus Christ. In union with our Holy Father, the Pope, we proclaim the Gospel faithfully, celebrate the sacraments joyfully, and boldly promote life, justice and peace in northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera serves as the tenth Bishop of Scranton, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, ordained and installed as bishop in 2010. The 118 parishes of the Diocese enjoy the membership of nearly 250,000 parishioners and more than 14,500 children from pre-school through high school attend our 20 schools.

ALLIED SERVICES INTEGRATED HEALTH SYSTEM

Allied Services Integrated Health System is the leading provider of health care and human services for people with disabilities, life-changing injuries and chronic illness in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. The organization was founded in 1958 in response to a community need for vocational services that honored the abilities and aspirations of individuals with disabilities. Today, Allied Services is a provider of diverse services that improve the quality of life for thousands of people. The not-for-profit organization touches the lives of 5,000 people every day. The continuum of care offered by Allied Services includes physical rehabilitation; skilled nursing; hospice and palliative care; home care; personal care; mental health services; vocational and developmental services; specialist education and pediatric services. Allied Services 3,500-plus employees and volunteers deliver care across a 23-county area, united by a common commitment to providing care with compassion and empathy that supports individuals in reaching their highest level of independence, potential and quality of life.

March 4, 2019

Diocese Enters Season of Lent on Ash Wednesday

 

SCRANTON — Ash Wednesday, March 6, will mark the start of the solemn 40-day season of Lent. Parishes throughout the 11-county Diocese of Scranton will distribute ashes to remind individuals of their mortality.

At St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, the Mother Church of the Diocese, ashes will be distributed during the 6:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Masses. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera will be the principal celebrant of the 12:10 p.m. Pontifical Mass.

“Ash Wednesday and Lent, by their very nature, carry with them opportunities like no other time within the Church year. With a focus upon conversion, forgiveness and the new life that we are given through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, our participation in the journey of Lent – from Ash Wednesday to Easter – has the power to renew our spirits and strengthen our hope,” Bishop Bambera said. “This unique journey provides us with a framework within which all of us can affirm that that while heartbroken because of the reality of sin within our midst and in our lives, this is still our Church. And this Church – this community of saints and sinners – is still the visible body in and through which Christ is present and at work among us.”

During Lent, the Cathedral of Saint Peter will offer several ways in which the faithful can deepen their relationship with Jesus and come to know him in a more intimate way.

On Fridays, the Stations of the Cross will be prayed following the 12:10 p.m. Mass and Novena to Saint John Neumann. The Stations will air on CTV: Catholic Television live on March 8 after the 12:10 p.m. Mass on that day and then on succeeding Fridays at 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Ash Wednesday Retreat 

The Office for Parish Life will offer a retreat on Ash Wednesday at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 330 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton. The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. All faithful of the Diocese are welcome.

Father Joseph F. Sica, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton for more than 36 years who currently serves as senior priest at Immaculate Conception Parish in Scranton, will lead the retreat with the theme “Unhappy with Life? Change It!” He will offer the retreat in three parts with time for reflection and personal prayer.

The fee for the day is $30, which includes lunch. To register, call Mary Anne Malone at the Office for Parish Life, 570-207-2213 or e-mail Mary-Anne-Malone@dioceseofscranton.org.

Parishes Extend Opportunities for Sacrament of Reconciliation 

The Church encourages us to make confession a regular part of our spiritual life, especially during the holy season of Lent, as we reflect on our baptism and repentance. Again this year, parishes are participating in a Lenten initiative called The Light is ON for You. Every Monday evening during the Lenten season, beginning on the first Monday of Lent, March 11, and continuing through Monday of the last full week of Lent, April 8, confessions will be heard in every parish from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. so that Catholics can come to or return to this incredible source of God’s grace, mercy and healing.

Lenten Resources for Ongoing Atonement and Healing in the Church 

Each parish in the Diocese of Scranton has been encouraged to pray continuously for atonement and healing for victims of sexual abuse, especially during the Lenten season and during the month of April which is “National Child Abuse Prevention Month.” The diocesan website has several resources for both parishioners and parishes to offer prayers for victims of sexual abuse that include:

  • Stations of the Cross Booklet for Atonement and Healing
  • Pieta Prayer Card (in English and Spanish)
  • A Rosary for Atonement and Healing using the Sorrowful Mysteries
  • Prayer Booklet for Atonement and Healing – for individuals or small groups

Lent is a time of prayer, penance and sacrifice leading to the most sacred time of the Church year, Holy Week, when the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are commemorated. The solemn observance culminates in the greatest celebration of the Church, Easter Sunday, which will be observed on April 21.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of universal fast and abstinence in the Church. Catholics between 18 years old and the beginning of their 60th year must fast by consuming only one full meal and two partial meals on those sacred days. Catholics who have completed their 14th year must also abstain from eating any meat or meat products on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent.

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For more information on programs or services, contact:

Eric Deabill
Secretary for Communications
Diocese of Scranton
(570) 207-2229
Cell: (570) 237-6508
EDeabill@dioceseofscranton.org

 

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

Administrator

Reverend James T. Tracy, from Assistant Pastor, St. Boniface, Williamsport, and St. Lawrence, South Williamsport, and Sacramental support at St. Thomas Parish, Elkland, and St. Peter Parish, Wellsboro, to Administrator, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish, Jermyn, effective March 1, 2019.

Senior Priest

Reverend Christopher S. Sahd, from Leave of Absence, to Senior Priest, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Honesdale, effective February 25, 2019.

Assistant Pastor

Reverend Wilfredo Milan Mamani Cusicanqui, from Diocese of Corocora, Bolivia, to Assistant Pastor, Holy Name of Jesus Parish, West Hazleton, effective February 15, 2019.