The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has put out a proposed regulation that would require employers to accommodate employees who choose to get abortions, such as by giving them leave to obtain one. The proposal misinterprets the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which is a new law meant to help working mothers keep their job, if they wish, while protecting their health and that of their preborn children. The EEOC is now twisting that law to promote abortion instead, the exact opposite of pregnancy. But there is nothing fair about ending an innocent baby’s life, or about forcing employers to go along with it.

Join USCCB in telling the EEOC to leave abortion out of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act!

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August 29, 2023

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

Reverend Andrew Amankwaa, from Parochial Vicar, Most Holy Trinity Parish, Susquehanna and Saint Brigid Parish, Friendsville, to Administrator Pro Tem, Most Holy Trinity Parish, Susquehanna and Saint Brigid Parish, Friendsville, effective August 29, 2023.

Reverend Stephen Brenyah, from ministry in the Diocese of Sunyani, Ghana, to Parochial Vicar, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and Saint Anthony and Saint Rocco Parish, Dunmore, effective September 7, 2023.

Reverend Mark J. DeCelles, from Parochial Vicar, Saint Therese Parish, Shavertown, and Saint Frances X. Cabrini Parish, Carverton, to Parochial Vicar, Saint John Neumann Parish and Saint Paul of the Cross Parish, Scranton, effective September 7, 2023.  Father will continue to serve as Associate Director of the Permanent Diaconate.

Reverend Shawn M. Simchock, from Parochial Vicar, Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish, Kingston, and Holy Family Parish, Luzerne, to Administrator Pro Tem, Saint Ann Parish, Williamsport, effective September 7, 2023.

Reverend Paul Yeboah, from ministry in the Diocese of Sunyani, Ghana, to Parochial Vicar, Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish, Kingston, and Holy Family Parish, Luzerne, effective September 7, 2023.


Deacon Paul Jennings, to Diaconal Ministry, Saint Lucy Parish, Scranton, effective September 6, 2023.  Deacon Jennings will continue to serve in Diaconal Ministry at Saint Patrick Parish, Scranton.

18 August 2023
Mass of Christian Burial
Ellen Harding Casey
Cathedral of St. Peter
Funeral Homily of Msgr. Joseph G. Quinn

            The closing words of the Gospel you just heard proclaimed are indeed a succinct statement of the lifetime philosophy of the ever amazing and truly remarkable Ellen Harding Casey.

            First spoken by Jesus to His original disciples some two thousand years ago …. and to us, His current day disciples… listen to those words again as we all reflect upon the life of the good woman whose extraordinary ways bring us all together this day: “Rejoice And Be Glad, For Your Reward In Heaven Will Be Great.”

            Ellen Casey knew the truth of those divine words … and she lived them out each and every day of her life over the course of her ninety-one year journey homeward.

            And because she did that …. and did it so graciously, kindly and compassionately, we come together this day to mourn her death, pray for her eternal peace and perhaps most importantly, reflect upon the wisdom of her heart and the countless lessons to be learned from her blessed and graced life.

            Before we proceed and do that, however, I just wanted to let you know that our dear shepherd, Bishop Bambera, deeply regrets not being able to be present for today’s funeral Mass. He is recovering from a medical procedure and asked that I share these, his words, with you:

To Mrs. Casey’s beloved children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren … as well as her relatives and friends… please know of my sympathy and prayers. You lost the heart of your family and we lost a devoted public servant, a gracious presence in our community, a defender of human life and a woman of deep faith. May God give her rest and may you, her dear family, know God’s peace.” 

            And then there are the words of the President of the United States…. Scranton-native Joseph Biden … who so kindly made his way to this very Cathedral yesterday to express his heartfelt sympathy.  In his own words, he noted:

            “I’ve often said that everything important I learned in life I learned in Scranton and you don’t have to look any further than Ellen Casey to know why. To spend just a few minutes with Ellen was to get a lifetime’s education in Scranton values: Honesty. Decency. Integrity. Character.  They were non-negotiable. It was who she was.

            Kindness was not a sign of weakness. It was a sign of strength. And no one was more kind (… than Ellen.)  …  Family always came first. But life was about serving others. …  She and Bob raised their eight children with these values passing along a (spirit of) devotion to family and (of always) serving others.” 

            And when one does truly live one’s life in that spirit  – as both Ellen and her beloved Spike always did – one can indeed “Rejoice And Be Glad”….Confident That “Your Reward In Heaven Will Be Great.”

            Some five centuries before Christ would walk the face of the earth, a young writer now simply known as “David” gave us the Old Testament “Book of Psalms” with its 150 psalms or prayers  reflecting upon many of the same issues that all of humanity has always struggled with in the course of our journey of life. Wrestling with issues re the ultimate meaning of life. Pondering how it is we are to deal with each other. Prayers that focus on the issues and concerns we all have in one way or another in our often restless search for the inner calm we all need… that which is called “God’s Peace.”

            Perhaps the 90th Psalm sums it up best of all when these words were written down: “Lord… maybe you give us 70 years. 80 if we are strong. And many of these are filled with emptiness and pain. So, Lord, teach us the shortness of our days that we might live them with wisdom of heart.”

            And isn’t that what we all find ourselves pondering this morning as we reflect upon the life of this ever kind and modest, gracious ad elegant, pleasant and selfless woman of God?  Isn’t our time together this morning intended by God for all of us to pause and remember how she made it through all the many chapters and challenges of her life’s journey?  Shouldn’t we all be thinking right now about the genuine “Wisdom of Heart” that was seen consistently in the life and love that marked her long earthly pilgrimage homeward?

            And if we did indeed do that, I think that with God’s graces at work in our lives, we would readily conclude that for Ellen Harding Casey:

  • Coming to know God and learning to live one’s FAITH really does matter;
  • Discerning one’s true purpose in life and committing oneself to intentionally fulfilling it does make a real difference;
  • Remaining genuinely HOPEFUL in what one believes to be God’s purpose for your life DOES aid one in finding the inner calm and joy we all need to move forward one day at a time:
  • And, finally, selflessly sharing one’s LOVE with and for others….. does help to rise to new life and truly understand the “shortness of our days” so as to live them humbly and honestly as did our beloved Ellen Casey.

            Perhaps the great St. Augustine said it best of all when some 1,700 years ago when he noted that “Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in you.”

            Said even more succinctly by Ellen’s famous husband, the original Robert P. Casey, in his noteworthy autobiography appropriately entitled “Fighting for Life” when speaking about his remarkable wife and the extraordinary mother of their eight children:

            “It’s amazing to think back on our life and recall how little real planning went into it. (Ellen and I)  never set out with any grand plans for the future. … After the birth of our first child we didn’t say, “Okay, seven more to go.”…  From the start, the only real plan Ellen and followed was that whatever came our way – whatever joys and whatever troubles – we would live them together…”

            And they did. Accepting the many twists and turns of life. Changing what they could and learning to live with the rest.  Always remaining upbeat and hopeful…. Regardless of what happened along the way. Bearing the many crosses in their own lives… but never really complaining. Doing their best to treat everyone equally. They were blessed with good instincts… common sense and genuine humility.  With God’s plentiful graces at work in their lives, they never lost hope nor did they ever allow their great smiles to fade.

            Saint Paul could well have been speaking of Ellen Casey when he said: “Your kindness should be known by all….. Have no anxiety at all. But in everything, by prayer and petition, with a grateful heart, make your requests known to God… and then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

            Bravely, courageously and amazingly they both faced overwhelming health challenges in the course of their lives, but never gave up without extraordinary efforts. They loved life and both did all they could to respect it, protect it and help others persevere. And with their unshakable faith, neither of them ever feared death. Throughout it all, they did indeed “rejoice” and did remain both “grateful and glad” ….. which will always happen when, as they both did, one realizes that we are not here for ourselves…. but here to live our lives in generous fashion “with and for others.”

            On that note, allow me to close with the inspired and challenging words of St. Ignatius of Loyola…. the founder the of the Society of Jesus…. better known as “The Jesuits” who once wrote:

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not count the cost,
to fight and not heed the wounds.
to toil and not seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for any reward,
except that of knowing that I do Your will. 

            Throughout all of her life, Ellen Harding Casey did precisely that. She lived her life with an endlessly generous heart.

            May she now be reunited with her beloved husband and her ancestors and friends as together they all celebrate the eternal peace and joy of heaven.

Rejoice And Be Glad, Ellen, For Your Reward in Heaven Will Be Great.



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

Effective August 14, 2023: 

Reverend Brian J.T. Clarke, to Chaplain, Notre Dame High School, East Stroudsburg.  Father will remain Senior Priest, St. Matthew’s Parish, East Stroudsburg. 

Effective September 1, 2023: 

Reverend John J. Chmil, from Pastor, St. Ann’s Parish, Williamsport, to Pastor, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Swoyersville. 

Reverend Duane J. Gavitt, from Pastor, St. Elizabeth’s Parish, Bear Creek, and St. Rita’s Parish, Gouldsboro, to Pastor, Holy Rosary Parish, Hazleton and Holy Name Parish, West Hazleton.

Reverend Binesh Joseph Kanjirakattu, from Administrator, Holy Rosary Parish, Hazleton and Holy Name Parish, West Hazleton, to Parochial Vicar, Good Shepherd Parish, Drums, and Immaculate Conception Parish, Freeland.

Reverend Michael J. Kloton, to Administrator, St. Patrick’s Parish, White Haven.  Father will remain Pastor, Good Shepherd Parish, Drums and Immaculate Conception Parish, Freeland.

Reverend Rawel Toppo, from Administrator, St. Patrick’s Parish, White Haven and Parochial Vicar, Good Shepherd Parish, Drums, and Immaculate Conception Parish, Freeland, to Administrator, St. Elizabeth’s Parish, Bear Creek, and St. Rita’s Parish, Gouldsboro.

Effective September 6, 2023: 

Reverend Richard E. Fox, to Pastor, St. Lucy’s Parish, Scranton.  Father will remain Pastor, St. Patrick’s Parish, Scranton.


Deacon John M. Hanley, from diaconal ministry, Archdiocese of New York, to diaconal ministry, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Milford, effective August 14, 2023.

Deacon Carmine Mendicino, from diaconal ministry, St. Lucy’s Parish and SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Scranton, to retirement, effective September 6, 2023. 



A pregnant woman is seen outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in this 2016 file photo. On Aug. 8, 2023, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, objected to a proposed interpretation of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to include accommodations for obtaining an abortion. (OSV News photo/Tyler Orsburn, CNS)

WASHINGTON – On Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released proposed regulations implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, responded with the following statement:

“We supported the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act because it enhanced the protection of pregnant mothers and their preborn children, which is something that we have encouraged Congress to prioritize. The Act is pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-life. It is a total distortion to use this law as a means for advancing abortion, and the complete opposite of needed assistance for pregnant mothers.

“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s proposed interpretation of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to include accommodations for obtaining an abortion is wrong and contrary to the text, legislative history, and purpose of the Act, which is to help make it possible for working mothers to remain gainfully employed, if desired, while protecting their health and that of their preborn children. We are hopeful that the EEOC will be forced to abandon its untenable position when public comments submitted on this regulation demonstrate that its interpretation would be struck down in court.”

Editor Note: There is currently a 60-day period where the public can submit their public comments on this regulation. You can submit a comment at the following site:




August 4, 2023 

A solemn memorial service will be held at the Cathedral Cemetery, 1708 Oram Street, Scranton, as part of the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. Special Guests include Geri Featherby and musician/artist Michael Corsini. There will be a special time of prayer and worship.

Memorial services will also be held at hundreds of other locations across the nation. A full listing is available here:

For more information and to register, call 570-343-5099, or email

Pennsylvanians for Human Life is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization formed to protect and defend all human life from conception to natural death. For more information, go to the website: or Facebook page:


August 7, 2023

WASHINGTON – In 2022, an estimated 258 million people in 58 countries experienced crisis-level acute hunger, according to the World Food Programme (WFP), the global humanitarian organization addressing food security. Russia’s recent decision no longer to allow Ukraine to export tons of grain means more people are likely to go hungry. In response to the rising concern, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, calls on global leaders to do more to ensure food security for all. Bishop Malloy’s full statement follows:

“Globally, food insecurity has risen in the last few years due to the impacts of the pandemic, natural disasters, economic downturns, but especially due to conflict. Ukraine, prior to the Russian invasion, was considered ‘Europe’s breadbasket,’ shipping significant amounts of wheat, corn and barley, and almost half of the world’s sunflower oil through ports on the Black Sea. When Russia invaded Ukraine, those ports were blocked.

“From July 2022, the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), the UN-brokered agreement between Russia and Ukraine, allowed Ukraine to export about 33 million tons of grain and other agricultural products. Russia’s decision to withdraw from the BSGI and its bombing of grain storage facilities in Ukraine will greatly impact the availability of food supplies at a time when more people are in dire need of food. With the number of forcibly displaced people at a record high, the World Food Programme estimates 345 million people will face acute hunger this year, with 129,000 potentially facing famine in places like Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and Myanmar.

“Recognizing this critical need, Pope Francis has said, ‘The blocking of grain exports from Ukraine, on which the lives of millions of people depend, especially in the poorest countries, is of great concern. I make a heartfelt appeal that every effort be made to resolve this issue and to guarantee the universal human right to food. Please do not use wheat, a staple food, as a weapon of war!’

“The food crisis is intertwined with persistence of conflicts. I join with our Holy Father in calling on global leaders to look beyond narrow national interests, focus on the common good, and join in ensuring that critical food supplies can flow to those most in need. The most vulnerable are crying in hunger. With the compassion of Christ, we need to heed their cries and help.”


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 “[W]e proclaim a vision for our society that upholds the truth that every human life is sacred and inviolable—a society in which the legal protection of human life is accompanied by profound care for mothers and their children.” – Standing with Moms in Need, Statement by bishop chairmen of the USCCB

Congress is home for the August recess. When they return to Washington, they will need to pass bills that implement the nation’s budget for the next year. Now is the time to remind them that our society can and must do more to protect and care for both women and their children. Providing adequate support for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will do just that by providing healthy food and nutrition support for vulnerable moms, infants, and young children.

This year, rising food costs and increased program participation make strong investments in WIC more important than ever. All families in need must have access to life-saving nutrition and health services. Tell Congress to continue its long history of bipartisan support for WIC by providing the program with adequate resources to serve all eligible participants with food that meets their nutrition needs, including the current benefit for fruits and vegetables. Supporting WIC is one way we can help build a society that welcomes new life and is oriented towards helping children and their parents, especially those who are most vulnerable.

We invite you to include your thoughts and personal experience. How has WIC helped you or your community?

You can learn more about the USCCB’s advocacy on WIC by reading USCCB letters to Congress on supporting families and ensuring adequate funding for vital nutrition programs.

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Nearly 40 years after Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen opened its doors in its current location, the facility recently underwent a “once in a generation renovation” to ensure its mission continues for decades to come.  After ten weeks of renovation, the kitchen officially reopened on Monday, July 31, 2023.

“This renovation will not only allow us to serve our brothers and sisters in need in a dignified way for another generation but will prepare us for future expansion,” Rob Williams, Executive Director of Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen, said. “This organization is primed and ready to serve God and His people in ways that we cannot yet imagine. We were founded by and through God’s inspiration and we will continue to serve Him and His beloved people in every way possible.”


The summer season was launched with inspiration and fun as area children attended a four day vacation bible camp at St. Patrick’s Hall in Milford, PA.

Directed by Laurie Barcia of Milford, VBC featured a wide variety of activities, including: frisbee, jumping rope and blowing bubbles, but also learning about the significance and value of the Rosary, acting out the Good Samaritan parable, arts and crafts, and biblical pictures drawn with chalk on the walkway. 

The children also learned about Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Therese of Lisieux (La Petite Fleur), and her call to “do small things  with love”. They were asked, on their return home, to consider how  they could put that motto in practice in their day-to-day lives.

Assisting Mrs. Barcia were: catechists Annette Petry and Diane Dennis, and also Connor Giblin, Angelica Barcia and Clare Barcia.

Because of the success of VBC this year, it will be expanded to five days in 2024.

Photos by Angelica Barcia and Laurie Barcia