Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton celebrated Mass and helped dedicate the new Monsignor F. Allan Conlan Religious Education Center at Saint Eulalia Parish on Sunday, May 5, 2019.

After years of planning and a full year of construction and renovation, the new facility is already being used to help educate the next generation of children in the Catholic faith.

The new religious education center has nine new classrooms in addition to remodeling eight existing classrooms. It also features new gathering spaces for youth groups, music ministers, meetings and other celebrations. As part of the roughly $2 million renovation project, the Parish Center was also remodeled and its kitchen updated. The Choir Loft inside the Church was also expanded to provide music ministers comfortable space to lead liturgical celebrations.

“These resources will be a vibrant center for parish activities, a place where community and church come together, a place where people get to know one another and give witness to faith in Christ, and our children learn the teachings of our faith,” Monsignor John W. Jordan, Pastor, Saint Eulalia Parish said.

Described by Parish members as the “Third Cornerstone Project,” planning for the new religious education center began in 2014 when it became apparent more space was needed. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in 2017.

Saint Eulalia Parish currently has more than 1,100 families with more than 350 children enrolled in its youth programs. When the Church on Blue Shutters Road was first dedicated in 1984, the Parish consisted of 300 families with 75 kids in youth programs.

“This is a wonderful day for the people of the North Pocono region! This new religious education center is a tremendous sign of growth in the Church and I am so thankful to those who invested their time and talent to make it a reality,” Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said.

The new religious education center is named in honor of Monsignor F. Allan Conlan, pastor emeritus of Saint Eulalia Parish who died in 2012.

“He loved the children. There wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for the children. He was a teacher. He came and he made it comfortable,” Elizabeth Strasburger, Director of Religious Education said. “If he were here today he would be very, very proud. He would be humbled to think anything was named after him.”


SCRANTON, PA (MAY 6, 2019) – Bishop Joseph C. Bambera will present the Bishop’s Youth Awards to 774 eighth-and-twelfth grade students representing parishes and Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Scranton during Masses at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton on Tuesday, May 7, and Thursday, May 9.

Awards will be given out during Masses that begin at 7:00 p.m. on both Tuesday and Thursday.

Since 1996, the Bishop’s Youth Award has recognized young people of the Diocese of Scranton for their commitment to faith and service in their parishes and schools.

Nominated by their pastors, parish life coordinators, principals, directors of religious education and/or youth ministers, these young people have been described as devoted to the parish, natural servant-leaders and excellent examples to their peers and others.

The Bishop’s Youth Award recipients are young people who serve their parishes and schools as altar servers, lectors, music ministers and cantors. Many are actively involved in parish youth groups. They are integral to the life of the parish, volunteering for missionary service, guiding younger students who are preparing for Confirmation, and assisting in such activities as Vacation Bible School and summer picnics. They serve the poor in many ways and touch the lives of those around them.

The Bishop’s Youth Award was developed by the Office for Parish Life and the Office for Catholic Schools. This award is the highest recognition offered to Catholic youth of the Diocese of Scranton.


For more information contact:
Eric M. Deabill
Secretary for Communications
Diocese of Scranton
Cell: (570) 237-6508
Office: (570) 591-5001


PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Cathy Fitzpatrick, Grants and Scholarship Manager, Scranton Area Community Foundation; Mary Theresa Malandro, Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Human Services; Sandra Snyder, Diocesan grant writer; and Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO, Scranton Area Community Foundation, administrator of Robert H. Spitz Foundation.

April 30, 2019 

The Robert H. Spitz Foundation, administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, supported Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton with a $7,500 grant to assist with case-management expenses in the battle against local poverty.

The grant helped Catholic Social Services increase its ability to offer one-on-one counseling services to Scranton clients who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness or eviction.

“Effective case-management services that aim to move clients toward permanent shelter and self-sufficiency as soon as possible help us make the greatest impact on those facing homelessness,” said Mary Theresa Malandro, Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Human Services. “Our case managers are educated, highly trained and certified but often see their lives as a calling, and the services they provide for our most vulnerable neighbors are invaluable.”

Case management is among Catholic Social Services’ highest priorities, especially as the problem of hidden homelessness grows in Scranton.

Hidden homelessness, as opposed to visible homelessness, manifests itself off the streets and

finds people in hardship staying on friends’ couches, hopping from residence to residence, sleeping in vehicles or using other temporary accommodations. With proper case management, those experiencing hidden homelessness have the possibility to become high-functioning and self-sustaining.

CSS case managers help clients create and stick to workable household budgets, open and manage bank accounts, manage rent or mortgage payments and determine the affordability of housing in relation to other expenses, identify and eliminate unnecessary expenses and make proper use of surpluses by using savings accounts.

For more information about the program, contact Steve Nocilla, Diocesan Director of Housing and Residential Programs, at 579-209-9200, ext. 2103, or

Photo: A makeshift memorial forms on April 27 near the shooting scene at the Congregation Chabad Synagogue in Poway, California. (CNS Photo/John Gastaldo, Reuters)


“Unfortunately, once again, I stand in shock, sorrow and sadness because of another hate-fueled attack at a house of worship. Exactly six months after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, this time it was at Chabad of Poway Synagogue in California on the last day of Passover.

Synagogues, mosques, and all churches should be places of hope and healing. Anti-Semitism and hatred have no place in our society.

With every senseless act of violence – we ask the question – when will it end?

It must.

Each and every one of us must use our voices to speak out loudly and decry this madness while committing ourselves to work for peace.

Please pray for the victims of this shooting. We stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters here at home, as well as around the world.”


HAZLETON, PA (APRIL 25, 2019) – Bishop Joseph C. Bambera held a blessing ceremony today at the Catholic Social Services complex, 214 West Walnut Street, Hazleton, to celebrate the opening of the permanent Divine Providence Homeless Shelter and the new Bridge to Independence Program. Both are programs of Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton.

Joined by the Governing Board of Catholic Social Services and other local dignitaries, Bishop Bambera acknowledged how this important project will directly impact the lives of people in southern Luzerne County.

“The Catholic Social Services complex in Hazleton serves a vital role in providing much-needed stability to individuals needing housing assistance,” Bishop Bambera said. “One of the core missions of the Diocese of Scranton and of Catholic Social Services is to serve people in poverty and hardship, as called by Christ, and respond compassionately to their needs.”

The new, permanent Divine Providence Homeless Shelter can host up to 20 clients each night. The shelter opens at 7 p.m. and is available to both men and women. The homeless shelter program in Hazleton first started in February 2016, initially rotating its home, from week to week, among area churches. Since its inception three years ago, the shelter has already helped more than 500 people.

The Bridge to Independence Program is a young adult residential program which serves people from ages 18 to 26. The new facility includes eight private bedrooms, a community room, as well as a common kitchen, dining room, laundry facility and office with computers. The goal of the Bridge to Independence Program, as its name implies, is to help develop and enhance life skills that will enable program participants to live independently and attain self-sufficiency.

“When I assumed responsibility for Catholic Social Services in January 2016, I quickly developed a healthy respect for the culture of Hazleton. The individuals living in this town truly understand the meaning of ‘taking care of each other.’ As a result, I wanted to find a way to infuse resources which would allow Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton to expand its ability to serve those in need,” said Mary Theresa Malandro, Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Human Services and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Social Services. “With the support of Bishop Bambera, Monsignor Thomas Muldowney, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services, and several other community contributors, my vision has come to fruition!”

Catholic Social Services partnered with Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services to create the Bridge to Independence Program. Funding, which totaled $1 million, helped renovate the former CSS building and annual support is being provided toward the operation of the program.

A grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, in the amount of $525,000, helped fund renovations to the part of the building that includes the Divine Providence Shelter and to the adjacent Family Center which houses Saint Joseph’s Food Pantry. The entire renovation project also received financial support from several other charitable foundations and community organizations.

In addition to renovations at the West Walnut Street facility, which was the original home of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and rectory, the complex also houses the Catholic Social Services Family Center in the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. The Catholic Social Services offices are also now located directly across the street in the original convent. Thus, the entire original Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish grounds now serve as a complete centralized campus for Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton, serving the Greater Hazleton Area.

“The support of the community at large to make this become a reality has been both humbling and inspiring,” said Neil Oberto, program manager of Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton’s Counseling Services, serving the Greater Hazleton Area. “It is especially exciting to know that the buildings which served as Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish – and the church itself since 1907 – are now refurbished to continue service. There is no doubt ‘divine providence’ has been guiding this whole process.”

Shown, from left are Bob Miller, Diocesan Secretary for Financial Services and Chief Finance Officer; Barbara Maculloch, PA President of Community Bank N.A. and Jim Bebla, Diocesan Secretary for Development.

Community Bank N.A. recently made a contribution to the Diocese of Scranton Scholarship Foundation in support of need-based tuition assistance for students attending a Diocesan Catholic school. This donation is part of the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program operated by the State’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

Community Bank presented the Diocesan Scholarship Foundation with a $55,000 gift through the EITC program and a $15,000 gift through the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program.  Since the tax credit program began, Community Bank (the former First Liberty Bank & Trust) has donated more than $1 million to Catholic education in the Diocese of Scranton.

“We appreciate the continued generous support of Community Bank. This commitment has a significant impact in the lives of our Catholic school families,” said Jim Bebla, Diocesan Secretary for Development.



April 29, 2019

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


Reverend Donald J. Williams to Administrator, Christ the King Parish, Archbald, effective April 26, 2019.  Father Williams will continue to serve as Diocesan Director of Seminarians and Vocations.

Leave of Absence

Reverend Paul C. Fontanella, from Pastor, Christ the King Parish, Archbald, to Leave of Absence, for personal reasons, effective April 26, 2019.



Dear friends,

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to represent the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at the National Workshop for Christian Unity.  For all of the many encouraging messages that were shared during the meeting, for me, its most memorable moments came during prayer times, which were led by members of the Taize community in France.

These words, written by Brother Roger of Taize, speak profoundly of the miracle of Easter that we celebrate during these sacred days.  “Ever since he rose from the dead, Christ’s presence has been made tangible through a communion of love which is the Church.  …  Credibility can be reborn when that communion which is the Church becomes transparent by striving with its whole soul to love and to forgive, when, even with a minimum of resources, it becomes welcoming, close to human suffering.  Never distant, never on the defensive, freed from all forms of severity, it can let the humble trusting of faith shine right into our human hearts.”

For many of us, this moment in the life of the Church has proven to be one of the most challenging in its history and has indeed tested its credibility in the eyes of many.  Despite the powerful words of faith that we read in the scriptures and proclaim whenever we gather for the celebration of the Eucharist, at times our experience of the life of the Church can consume us with disappointments and grief, fear, pain and even anger.  Indeed, sometimes we can become so overwhelmed by the brokenness of our world and even the members of our Church that we underestimate God’s power to transform our lives.

Yet in such moments, from the earliest days of the Christian community to the present, the sublime gift of God’s love, manifested in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, turns the logic of our world upside down.  And the Church, the body of believers in and through which the risen Christ is present in our world through the power of the resurrection, continues to be our greatest hope – not because of our righteousness but because of the richness of God’s mercy.

“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?  He is not here, but he has been raised.”  These words from Saint Luke’s gospel were proclaimed during this year’s great Vigil of Easter.  They are the first words that invite the confused and grieving followers of Jesus to confront the reality of Jesus’ resurrection and the miracle of Easter.  They are also words that have endured for two millennia and that have provided hope and consolation to all who have turned to the Church – the blessed People of God – to encounter God’s mercy and to find a way forward in the midst of a broken, suffering world.

One of the greatest signs of the Church’s credibility is the presence of those who have responded to the Lord’s call and opened their hearts to the life giving waters of Baptism and a renewed sense of determination to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.   On Holy Saturday night, 178 catechumens and candidates from throughout the Diocese of Scranton were baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and presented themselves for full communion in the Catholic Church.  These catechumens and candidates – our relatives, neighbors and friends – joined with tens of thousands of catechumens and candidates from around the world to publically profess their faith in Jesus Christ and to assume their place in his body, the Church.  Their very presence in our midst affirms the reality of the living God continually working in and through his daughters and sons, who proclaim his word, experience his life in the sacraments and live his gospel in humble service.

Sisters and brothers, we are blessed beyond measure by the merciful presence of God that abounds in our world.  Thank you for your dedicated service to the Gospel and for all that you do to build up the local Church of Scranton and to serve one another in the spirit of the Risen Christ.  Your faithful and selfless ways, your prayers of support for the innocent who have suffered, and your service of one another are visible signs to our world that Christ’s presence has indeed been made tangible through the communion of love, which is our Church.

This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad!

Faithfully yours in the Risen Christ,
Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Scranton

Queridos amigos,

Hace unas semanas tuve la oportunidad de representar a la Conferencia de obispos católicos de Estados Unidos en el taller nacional de Unidad Cristiana. Para todos los muchos mensajes alentadores que se compartieron durante la reunión, para mí, los momentos más memorables vinieron durante tiempos del rezo, que fueron conducidas por miembros de la comunidad de Taizé en Francia.

Estas palabras, escritas por el hermano Roger de Taizé, hablan profundamente del milagro de la Pascua que celebramos en estos días sagrados. “Desde que se levantó de entre los muertos, la presencia de Cristo se ha hecho tangible a través de una comunión de amor que es la iglesia. … Credibilidad puede renacer cuando esa comunión que es la iglesia se convierte en transparente esforzándose con toda su alma para amar y para perdonar, cuando, incluso con un mínimo de recursos, llega a ser acogedor, cercano al sufrimiento humano. Nunca lejano, nunca a la defensiva, liberado de todas las formas de gravedad, puede dejar la humilde confianza de fe brille en nuestros corazones humanos. ”

Para muchos de nosotros, este momento en la vida de la iglesia ha demostrado para ser uno de los más difíciles de su historia y de hecho ha probado su credibilidad ante los ojos de muchos. A pesar de las poderosas palabras de fe que leemos en las escrituras y anunciar cada vez que nos reunimos para la celebración de la Eucaristía, a veces nuestra experiencia de la vida de la iglesia puede consumirnos con decepciones y dolor, miedo, dolor e incluso ira. De hecho, a veces nos podemos ser tan abrumados por el quebrantamiento de nuestro mundo e incluso los miembros de nuestra iglesia que subestimamos el poder de Dios para transformar nuestras vidas.

Sin embargo en esos momentos, desde los primeros tiempos de la comunidad cristiana hasta el presente, el don sublime del amor de Dios, que se manifiesta en el sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección de Jesús, vira la lógica de nuestro mundo al revés. Y la Iglesia, el cuerpo de creyentes en y a través de que Cristo resucitado está presente en nuestro mundo a través del poder de la resurrección, sigue siendo nuestra mayor esperanza, no por nuestra virtud de justicia, sino por la riqueza de la misericordia de Dios.

“¿Por qué buscáis al que vive entre los muertos? Él no está aquí, ha sido levantado”. Estas palabras del Evangelio de San Lucas se han proclamado durante la gran vigilia de la Pascua de este año. Son las primeras palabras que invitan a los seguidores confusos y doliente de Jesús para hacer frente a la realidad de la resurrección de Jesús y el milagro de la Pascua. También son palabras que han perdurado durante dos milenios y que han aportado esperanza y consuelo a todos los que han mirado a la Iglesia el pueblo bendito de Dios para encontrar la misericordia de Dios y encontrar una manera de avanzar en medio de una, mundo de sufrimiento.

Uno de los mayores signos de credibilidad de la iglesia es la presencia de aquellos que han respondido a la llamada del Señor y abrieron sus corazones a la vida las aguas del bautismo y un renovado sentido de determinación de caminar tras las huellas de Jesús. El sábado Santo por la noche, 178 catecúmenos y los candidatos a lo largo de la diócesis de Scranton fueron bautizados en la vida, muerte y resurrección de Jesús y se presentaron para la plena comunión en la Católica Iglesia. Estos catecúmenos y candidatos nuestros familiares, vecinos y amigos se unieron a decenas de miles de los catecúmenos y candidatos de todo el mundo a profesar públicamente su fe en Cristo Jesús y asumir su lugar en su cuerpo, la iglesia. Su presencia entre nosotros afirma la realidad de la vida continuamente trabajando en y a través de sus hijas e hijos, que proclaman la palabra de Dios, experimentar su vida en los sacramentos y vivir su evangelio en el servicio humilde.

Hermanos y hermanas, somos bendecidos sin medida por la presencia misericordiosa de Dios que abunda en nuestro mundo. Gracias por sus servicio al Evangelio y por todo lo que hacen para edificar la Iglesia local de Scranton y servir unos a otros en el espíritu de Cristo resucitado. Sus maneras fieles y desinteresados, sus oraciones de apoyo a los inocentes que han sufrido y su servicio de uno a otro son visibles a nuestro mundo que la presencia de Cristo ha sido hecha tangible a través de la comunión de amor, que es nuestra iglesia.

Este es el día que el Señor ha hecho, sea nuestra alegría y nuestro gozo!

Fielmente suyo en Cristo resucitado,
S.E.R. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.
Obispo de Scranton



Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton is welcoming Churches around the 11-county Diocese to ring their bells today to show solidarity with the people of France.

People across the country watched the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday with shock and sadness and Bishop Bambera believes the ringing of the bells will be a tribute of faith and a sign of hope.

The Bishop is encouraging Churches to ring their bells at 12:50 p.m. this afternoon, the same (local) time as the fire started on Monday evening.

The Cathedral of Saint Peter in downtown Scranton, the Mother Church of the Diocese of Scranton, will be just one of the places participating by ringing its bells for a period of five minutes.


Flames and smoke billow from the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out in Paris April 15, 2019. Officials said the cause was not clear, but that the fire could be linked to renovation work. (CNS photo/Benoit Tessier, Reuters)

“The tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral strikes the hearts of not only the worldwide Catholic community, but of all people of faith and good will, as this treasured house of worship that has seemed so timeless in its enduring presence is changed forever.

I was privileged to visit Notre Dame Cathedral with my mother and father in 1993 and again with several priests of the Diocese of Scranton in 1997.  The loss of this grand and noble sacred place in so many respects is a reminder of just how important our own parish churches are to us as we journey through life.

For as devastating as this loss may appear to be, as Christians we profess that there is always hope through our faith in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection – the same faith that gave the great Notre Dame Cathedral its soul and life!

Please join me in praying for the protection of the firefighters and first responders in Paris who are working to battle the fire. Our prayers also go out to the Church and our brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Paris.”

Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.