The Diocese of Scranton this week is launching a completely redesigned website in an effort to streamline existing information and better promote its mission.
The new website, located at www.dioceseofscranton.org, is mobile-friendly and allows visitors to learn more about the 118 parishes, 20 schools and other services offered throughout the 11-county Diocese.
The new website represents all facets of the Diocese and provides easy navigation and search capabilities. The previous website for the Diocese had not been re-designed in approximately ten years.
“Our website is an important tool for not only representing the Diocese and its mission but more importantly it helps people live our faith fully and share it freely with others,” Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said. “The new site provides dynamic, specialized and relevant information to visitors.”
Besides captivating images of the Diocese and its faithful on the homepage, the new website easily allows visitors to find a parish, mass, school or clergy member in their community.
One of the top reasons people visit the Diocesan website is to find a mass or a parish. The parish search option allows Catholics to find a Mass based on zip code up to a 50-mile radius.
“Certainly our goal is to facilitate the most effective and timely communication with the members and leaders of each of our parishes,” Catherine Butel, Diocesan Secretary for Parish Life said. “This dynamic new website will be such a valuable tool in making these connections.”
The new website will also replace the former Catholic Social Services site (www.cssdioceseofscranton.org) providing people an easy and convenient way to access any of the 110 programs offered throughout the Diocese of Scranton.
“The mission of Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton is to serve individuals and families in poverty and hardship and respond compassionately to their needs. As a Catholic agency, we advocate for individual dignity and self-sufficiency and actively give of ourselves to replace despair with hope. The
new website allows us to share information regarding the work that we do, with the hope that we continue to have the privilege to serve those in need,” Mary Theresa Malandro, Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Human Services and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Social Services said.
By launching its new website, the Diocese of Scranton is also looking to engage visitors, whether through email, phone calls or participation in events. The goal is to encourage interaction among the people and parishes throughout the Diocese.
A unique feature of the new website also allows visitors to change the language and interact with the entire site in Spanish.
STATEMENT OF BISHOP JOSEPH C BAMBERA ON ABORTION EXPANSION
“The legislation that was signed into law in New York State is abhorrent. Similar legislation that was proposed in Virginia comes frighteningly close to infanticide.
While some lawmakers dispute that fact, what abortion advocates have said in the past would be “safe, legal and rare” now comes close to allowing abortion up to the point of birth.
We can’t let this moment pass in silence.
These bills should be a wake-up call to the faithful and call to action.
Our very existence is in jeopardy when injustices like this are allowed.
In addition to our prayers, advocacy efforts and the ability that we are given to express our values through the right to vote, Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton pledges the resources of our charitable agencies to any woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, to support her in bearing her infant. There are life-affirming choices available.
All of life is precious and disrespect for any human life, especially the most vulnerable, is intolerable.”
Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D.., J.C.L.
Bishop of Scranton
Originally posted on 8-18-2018
The Grand Jury today released findings following its investigation into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. As the community copes with the findings in this report, Bishop Bambera offers his deepest apologies to the victims who have suffered because of past actions and decisions made by trusted clergymen, to victims’ families, to the faithful of the Church, and to the community at large. No one deserves to be confronted with the behaviors described in the report. Although painful to acknowledge, it is necessary to address such abuse in order to foster a time when no child is abused and no abuser is protected.
The Diocese of Scranton cooperated fully with the Grand Jury because of its firm belief that child sexual abuse cannot be tolerated and must be eradicated from the Church. Now that the report has been made public, Bishop Bambera has released today the list of all of the accused clergy, staff and volunteers within the Diocese of Scranton. The Diocese shared the list of abusers with all 11 district attorneys within the Diocese in 2016 before it knew of the investigation, and then with the Grand Jury as part of the investigation. This is the complete list of names supplied to the Attorney General. It is posted on the Diocese of Scranton website: www.www.dioceseofscranton.org (Child Protection/Safe Environment Page).
For well over a decade, ongoing improvements have been made to the manner in which abuse allegations are addressed. The Diocese of Scranton adheres to a strict zero tolerance policy, immediately informing law enforcement and removing the accused from the community when allegations are brought forth. And while properly handling allegations is critical, the ultimate goal of such efforts is to stop abuse altogether. While the past cannot be changed, the Diocese of Scranton remains dedicated to keeping our children safe from abuse moving forward.
In response to the report, Bishop Bambera recorded a video message that has been provided to all parishes to be shown at all Masses in the Diocese this weekend. The video can also be viewed on the Diocesan website, and it has been posted to Bishop Bambera’s Twitter page and the Diocesan Facebook and Twitter pages.
His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, announces the following appointments, effective as indicated:
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Reverend Michael S. Drevitch, from Assistant Pastor, Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Honesdale, to Leave of Absence, effective January 2, 2019.
Deacon Stephen B. Frye, from Leave of Absence to Diaconal Ministry, Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, Williamsport, effective January 2, 2019.
February 10 – Mass – Jewish Home, Scranton, 2:00 p.m.
February 11 – World Day of Prayer for the Sick Mass, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton, 12:10 p.m.
February 24 – Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Mass, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton, 10:00 a.m.
Diocese of Scranton
Superintendent of Schools
The Diocese of Scranton encompasses the 11 counties of Northeastern and North Central PA and serves approximately 350,000 in 118 parishes. Since 2010, the Diocese has been led by Bishop Joseph C. Bambera.
In 2008, the Catholic schools in the Diocese were restructured and separately incorporated as a unique school system with 4 geographic regions. There are 20 schools (16 elementary and 4 high schools) serving approximately 4,500 students. In addition, we have an Individualized Instruction Program serving students with exceptionalities. Based on total student population, the Diocese of Scranton School System is the 8th largest within the 11 counties of Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania.
At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, Bishop Bambera implemented a new, innovative model for Catholic Education to better position the schools for the future in what has become an increasingly demanding educational environment. The position of Secretary of Education/Chief Operating Officer was created to oversee Catholic Education, and a new vision for Catholic education is unfolding. The Superintendent of Catholic Schools will report directly to the Secretary of Education/COO.
This is an exciting opportunity for an innovative educator to transform the educational landscape for Catholic schools across the diocese. The diocese is seeking a dynamic Catholic leader with the experience and entrepreneurial spirit to partner with the Secretary of Education/COO in reimagining excellence in our schools. The Superintendent will manage expectations and be accountable for the overall academic quality of the system.
Focus areas for the Superintendent will be:
Serve as the academic leader for the Catholic schools;
Establish short and long term educational objectives;
Track and assess student academic performance;
Strengthen the commitment to the shared mission of being Catholic schools as part of our value proposition;
Inspire others, particularly principals, to define their vision and achieve the highest performance level in their schools;
Work collaboratively to develop and implement consistent policies for the school system;
Supervise the educational delivery team, including assistant superintendents and principals;
Help set expectations for staff performance in collaboration with the Secretary of Catholic Education/COO and Secretary of Human Resources;
Provide oversight for professional development of both administrators and faculty;
Assist the Secretary of Catholic Education/COO in establishing goals and benchmarks.
A Master’s degree in educational administration/school leadership/curriculum and instruction; a doctorate in education or related field preferred;
Minimum of 10 year of successful school leadership;
Contemporary knowledge of academics, including curriculum development, professional development and technology;
A commitment to academic excellence across all aspects of curriculum;
Track record of leading and effecting organizational change;
Data-driven including the ability to establish success metrics;
Relationship oriented leadership style with demonstrated ability to work with a variety of constituencies (principals, boards, priests, parents, etc.);
Demonstrated experience in developing strategic partnerships with universities, educational reform groups, educational organizations, etc;
Ability to multi-task and meet deadlines;
Superintendent Letter of Eligibility or equivalent preferred;
A practicing Catholic with a commitment to Catholic identity in schools;
Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with all constituencies.
Compensation and Benefits:
A highly competitive salary will be offered to the successful candidate. A full benefit package including health, dental and vision insurance; a 403(b) retirement plan; vacation time, etc.
Applications should consist of a narrative letter of interest, a current curriculum vitae with required clearances and salary history. All materials will remain confidential until finalists are identified. Finalists will be required to provide at least 3 professional references. Submissions are due by no later than March 4, 2019 and should be sent to:
SCRANTON, PA (January 22, 2019) – The Diocese of Scranton today launched its Independent Survivors Compensation Program, an independent program designed to compensate survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Participation in the Program by survivors is entirely voluntary and the Program is run completely independent of the Diocese.
“Our first priorities are to provide support for survivors of child sexual abuse and to take every step necessary to eradicate abuse from the Church altogether,” said the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton. “This Program helps. While no financial compensation can change the past, it is my hope that this Program will help survivors in their healing and recovery process.”
The Diocese’s program includes all victims, whether the abuser was a priest from the Diocese of Scranton, from a religious order, or was a lay employee of the Diocese. The Diocese announced on November 8, 2018 that the Program would be administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, two leading experts in mediation and alternative dispute resolution who have overseen similar programs started by five Catholic Dioceses in New York. Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros will have absolute autonomy in determining compensation for survivors, and the Diocese of Scranton has agreed to abide by all of their decisions.
“Ken and I know how important it is to assist victims who have endured a personal tragedy,” said Biros. “We have worked with survivors of sexual abuse and other tragedies and we have developed a system that operates with one person in mind – the victim. Often, survivors are most concerned with having their abuse acknowledged by the Church so they can begin to heal, and this compensation program will help them do just that.”
Program administrators will reach out directly to those who have previously reported a claim of abuse to the Diocese of Scranton. Survivors who have not yet reported past abuse are also eligible to participate and can request a claim form online after reporting the abuse in writing to the District Attorney’s Office. New claims must be registered with the Program by July 22, 2019, while existing claims can be submitted until September 30, 2019. Administrators will process claims in the order in which they are received, and payments will be made on a rolling basis as claims are processed.
An Independent Oversight Committee comprised of three individuals with relevant experience across healthcare, law enforcement and social work will supervise the Program. The Committee members are:
Robert Gillespie, Jr., the former District Attorney for Luzerne County
Ralph H. Meyer, President and Chief Executive Officer Emeritus with Guthrie Healthcare System, who has spent his entire career in healthcare administration
Robin Engels, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker in private practice who provides counseling and therapy for individuals and families, regarding issues of anxiety, depression, care-giving, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. She recently retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Middletown Vet Center where her work focused on the treatment of Veterans who served in combat zones and their families.
The Oversight Committee will oversee and periodically review the implementation and administration of the Program. The Committee will also report to the Diocese as to the implementation and administration of the Program.
Parish and school assets, as well as contributions and bequests from parishioners and donations to the Diocesan Annual Appeal will not be used to fund the program. Rather, the Program will be funded by existing Diocesan assets and available reserves. If necessary, the Diocese will sell assets and borrow money.
This Program is one of the many steps the Diocese has taken to assist survivors of abuse. Survivors can continue to receive assistance from the Diocese including counseling or spiritual direction and referrals to support groups. The Diocese strictly adheres to a zero tolerance policy and immediately notifies law enforcement, the District Attorney and child protective services when abuse is reported. When the allegation appears credible, the Diocese removes the priest from ministry pending an investigation. The Diocese fully cooperates with law enforcement for any necessary investigation.
For more information about the Diocese of Scranton’s Independent Survivors Compensation Program, please visit www.ScrantonDioceseISCP.com.
Pilgrims from the Diocese of Scranton are attending World Youth Day 2019 in Panama. Please keep them in your prayers as they join a million other young Catholics from around the world for this pilgrimage.
Youth at Mass for Life thanked for offering sign of hope for the future By Mark Zimmermann Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — They came from near and far, and even from Down Under, united in prayer and in standing together for life at the Archdiocese of Washington’s annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life, held Jan. 18 at the Capital One Arena in Washington.
The estimated crowd of 18,000 came from the Washington area and from across the country and were joined by young adults from Sydney on their way to World Youth Day in Panama.
The main celebrant at the Mass, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, entered and left the arena smiling and waving a blessing to the spirited crowd of teens and young adults, many of whom wore colorful, matching hats or sweatshirts along with their school uniforms.
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They had come, the archbishop said, for a day of prayer for the legal protection of unborn children and to stand up and speak out for all those who are vulnerable in society, and also “to give thanks to God for the gift of life.”
“Dear young people, thank you for the witness of your Catholic faith, both now in holy Mass, on the streets of Washington, and more importantly, when you return home to your families and neighborhoods,” he said.
Archbishop Pierre read a message from Pope Francis, who said he was united in prayer with the thousands of young people who had come to Washington to join the March for Life. The pontiff in his message said the challenging task for each generation is “to uphold the inviolable dignity of human life.” The pope’s message said respect for the sacredness of every life is essential in building a just society, where every child, and every person, is welcomed as a brother and sister.
Fifteen other bishops concelebrated the Mass including the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher who was accompanying the Australian pilgrims. About 175 priests also concelebrated the Mass, assisted by about 30 permanent deacons.
The arena crowd also included an estimated 500 seminarians and 100 women religious.
Opening his homily at the Mass, Father Robert Boxie III, the parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Largo, Maryland, said, “To see this arena filled with the Body of Christ, I’m looking out and seeing hope for the future of our church, and hope for the future of our country. It’s an awesome and beautiful sight!”
Noting that the first reading at the Mass included the passage from Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,” the priest added, “The womb is the first place God encounters us. God encounters us in the womb and seeks to encounter us in each moment of our lives.”
He said abortion is a symptom of a sickness in society and it shows “our failure to encounter one another and see the image of God and the face of Jesus Christ in our brothers and sisters. Simply put, it’s our failure to love.”
Echoing concerns raised by Pope Francis, the priest called on young people to counteract society’s culture of indifference with a culture of encounter.
“Truly building a culture of life depends on how we encounter each other,” he said, encouraging people not only to march for life, but to “stand up for every human life inside and outside the womb,” including people in all stages of life, and also the poor, the neglected, immigrants and refugees. “All of these lives,” he added, “are sacred and precious in the eyes of God.”
Archbishop Fisher then greeted the young people at the arena with a friendly, “G’day!” and jokingly added that is the Australian way of saying, “The Lord be with you.”
He said it was a great joy for him to accompany the young Aussies on the March for Life.
The Australian prelate said he hoped some of the young people in the arena would become priests or women religious or become “spouses and parents of the next generation of Christians… Whatever God’s plan for you, know you are precious in his eyes,” from the moment of conception until death, he said.
Sister Maria Juan, a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, served as a master of ceremony for the youth rally, and at the end of Mass, she noted the bishops and the large numbers of priests, women religious and seminarians there, and the crowd gave them sustained applause. Some of the young people stood to indicate that they were discerning a vocation, and they too were applauded.
The sister noted that “in the church today, we are experiencing a lot of trials,” but she added through the 2,000-year history of the church, “at those exact moments, God also raises up great saints to be light in the darkness.”
She added, “Always remember it is Jesus Christ calling you to this, the church loves you and the world needs you.”
The Mass’s program encouraged young people to continue their advocacy for life after the march, by doing things like volunteering at a pregnancy center, starting or joining a pro-life club, educating peers on chastity and the church’s teaching on life, being open and loving to teens in crisis, and praying for mothers, fathers and unborn children.
The Mass ended on a joyful note, as the congregation sang the song, “Your Grace is Enough,” and some of the bishops and priests as they processed out, waved to young people in the different sections of the arena.
‘Deception’ guided court cases that legalized abortion, archbishop says
By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The two Supreme Court cases that legalized abortion virtually on demand in the United States were based on “deception,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas.
“The late Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, lied about being gang-raped,” said Archbishop Naumann, new chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “After her pro-life conversion, Norma acknowledged that she was deceived by her attorneys about the reality of abortion. For the last 20 years of her life, Norma McCorvey labored tirelessly to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
In his homily at the Jan. 17 March for Life vigil Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Archbishop Naumann said, “The late Sandra Cano, the Jane Doe of the Doe v. Bolton decision, never wanted an abortion.”
He added, “Her lawyers, whom she had engaged to assist with regaining the custody of her children, used her difficult circumstances to advance their own ideological goal to legalize abortion. She actually fled the state of Georgia, when she feared that her lawyers and family members intended to pressure her to actually have an abortion.”
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Archbishop Naumann also touted another early figure in the abortion debate, Dr. Bernard Nathanson.
“Nathanson, one of the founders of NARAL and himself an abortionist, became pro-life not because of theology or any religious sentiment, but from his own study of the scientific advancements in embryology and fetology,” he said. “While it is true that Dr. Nathanson eventually became Catholic, it was long after he had become a pro-life advocate because of science.”
Archbishop Naumann criticized one of the consequences of legal abortion.
“Protecting the life of the unborn children is the pre-eminent human rights issue of our time, not only because of the sheer magnitude of the numbers, but because abortion attacks the sanctuary of life, the family. Abortion advocates pit the welfare of the mother against the life of her child,” he said.
“Every abortion not only destroys the life of an innocent child, but it wounds and scars mothers and fathers who must live with the harsh reality that they hired someone to destroy their daughter or son. In reality, the welfare of parents and their child are always intimately linked.”
Archbishop Naumann also took note of the legal and political landscape surrounding abortion.
“We assemble in 2019 with some new hope that the recent changes in the membership of the Supreme Court may result in a re-examination and an admission by the court of its tragic error 46 years ago,” he said, referring to the addition of Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. “We pray that state legislatures and the people of this country will again have the ability to protect the lives of unborn children.”
He added, “At the same time, we are sobered by the ferocity and the extremism of the proponents of legalized abortion as evidenced in the recent confirmation process to fill a vacancy on the U. S. Supreme Court. Recently, two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned the suitability of a judicial nominee because of his membership in an extremist organization” — and here he paused to make a face, as if he couldn’t believe what he was about to say next — “the Knights of Columbus.”
The Mass, which brought an estimated 10,000 people into the basilica’s Great Upper Church, was not as filled with pomp and grandeur. The entrance procession, for instance, lasted 17 minutes — less than half the 35 minutes recorded in some past years.
Also, after the prayers the faithful, all at Mass read aloud a “Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse,” which read in part, “Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body mind, and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them. Hear our cries as we agonize over the harm done to our brothers and sisters.”
Archbishop Naumann also mentioned the abuse crisis in his homily.
“For all Catholics, the last several months have been profoundly difficult. We’ve been devastated by the scandal of sexual misconduct by clergy and of past instances of the failure of bishops to respond with compassion to victims of abuse and to protect adequately the members of their flock,” he said.
“The abuse of children or minors upends the pro-life ethic because it is a grave injustice and an egregious offense against the dignity of the human person,” he said. “Moreover, the failure to respond effectively to the abuse crisis undermines every other ministry in the church.”