Community invited to Catholic Youth Center Thursday evening for #NEPAGives Rally
24-hour Swim Endurance Challenge to raise money for CYC Aquatics Center 

WILKES-BARRE – As the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center celebrates 75 years of steadfast service to children and young people, the community is being invited to support its mission and innovative programming.

“The Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center means so much to the youth of our community. We offer many different programs from our daycare program to our basketball and swim programs and even our drop-in program for young people who are involved in the mental health system. This is a home away from home for those children,” Mark Soprano, Executive Director of the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center, said. “We are the largest daycare provider in Luzerne County. We offer 24-hour daycare for children of working families.”

In conjunction with #NEPAGives Day 2023, the CYC will open its doors to the community from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, 2023, for free food, drinks and fun. Father Jim Paisley, pastor of St. Therese Parish and St. Frances Cabrini Parish, will perform several songs and entertain those in attendance. No reservations are needed. Anyone is welcome to attend to learn more about the CYC or its programs or hear about the 27 other Diocesan causes that are part of #NEPAGives Day 2023, including our Catholic schools and service programs.

“We are about to embark on a new project to develop an infant and toddler outdoor play area. We have a courtyard on the side of our current building. We want to remove some large trees and put in new sidewalks and play equipment for the little ones to crawl and play around outside,” Soprano added.

Also, in celebration of #NEPAGives Day 2023, a group of 13 open-water marathon swimmers will be in the CYC pool as part of a 24-hour Swim Endurance Challenge. The swimmers plan to swim one mile, every hour on the hour, for 24 hours, to raise money for the CYC Aquatics Center.

“I’ve been a life-long resident and I’ve done all my training at the CYC pool to swim triathlons to open marathon swims,” organizer Mary Stella explained. “There are a lot of people that use this pool from children learning to swim to adults that are maintaining their fitness. It’s a great facility for the whole community and we need to keep it maintained.”

One mile is 1,760 yards but a swimmer mile is 1,650 yards – which is roughly 66 lengths of the pool.

“It is a real endurance test,” swimmer Stephen Rouch of Kingston, added. “I’m worried about missing my sleep but for others it is going to be having tired arms. Either way, it’ll be fun no matter what!”


On Sunday, May 14, 2023, the Saints Francis & Clare Progressive Catholic Community reopened the former Saint Mary of Czestochowa Church building in Moosic for worship. The Diocese of Scranton sold the church property in September 2014 during a previous parish consolidation process.

In response to questions that have been received, we wish to remind the faithful that the Progressive Catholic Church is neither affiliated with the Diocese of Scranton nor in communion with the universal Catholic Church.

The faithful of the Diocese of Scranton should not attend Masses nor receive the sacraments provided by the Progressive Catholic Church community. Particularly regarding the sacraments of Confession and Marriage, these celebrations would not only be illicit, but also invalid.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

†Joseph C. Bambera
Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Scranton


Mr. James Thomas Tracy, formerly an incardinated priest of the Diocese of Scranton, has been removed from the clerical state effective April 5, 2023.

Mr. Tracy’s involuntary dismissal from the clerical state was a disciplinary response resulting from a canonical process executed in the Diocese of Scranton. Authorized and reviewed by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy, the dismissal was personally decided and executed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Because Mr. Tracy has been removed from the clerical state, he is forbidden to function as a priest in the Catholic Church and should no longer present himself as a priest. Catholics should not, under any circumstance, approach Mr. Tracy for the celebration of any sacrament or for any priestly ministry.

Mr. Tracy lives privately and is no longer affiliated with the Diocese of Scranton in any official capacity.


A relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis — author of the Eucharistic Miracle website as well as the first millennial to be beatified — will be available for veneration at several locations in the Diocese of Erie beginning May 23.

In addition, a relic of St. Manuel González García, known as the Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle, will be included in this event offered as part of the national Eucharistic Revival.

All are invited to take advantage of this inspirational opportunity before the relics leave the United States to continue their global tour in the coming weeks. Find dates, locations and times for public veneration at

For information on group visits, please contact



Shown are Men’s Conference Committee members: Left to Right, 1st row: John Witkosky, Raphael Micca, Dr. Chris Carr, Dr. Lou Guarnieri, Tony DePaola, Bill Leandri, Kevin Burleigh, Rev. Brian Van Fossen Chaplain for the Men’s Conference, 2nd row: Dennis Shovlin, Mike Kilmer Chairman for the Men’s Conference, Henry Pospieszalski, Jim Gerichten, Ralph Marino, Joe Adcroft, Joe Alinosky, and Gerard Schmidt. Also present were Chris Calore and Ed Niewinski.

The Eighth Annual Be A Man Catholic Men’s Conference Will Be Held Saturday, October 7th, 2023, at Holy Redeemer High School, 159 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 18701. This Year’s Theme Is “Stand Fast In The Faith.” Registration begins at 7:00 am (coffee available). A 7:15 am Rosary will be prayed. The Conference will be between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm. Three outstanding Catholic Speakers have been scheduled. There will be Eucharistic Adoration, Confessions, and Mass Offered by Bishop Joseph Bambera.

The fee is $40 (Early Bird $30), Students $15, Priest/Deacons FREE.

Register on line at Or mail your check (payable to “Be a Catholic Man”) to: Be a Catholic Man c/o William Leandri, Treasurer 239 Hayfield Rd. Shavertown, PA 18708 Attn: Men’s Conference, Also put Men’s Conference on the memo line of the check.

For further information contact Mike Kilmer 570-746-0100 or


Bishop Timothy C. Senior

SCRANTON (April 25, 2023) – The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, released the following statement on the announcement of the Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior being named Twelfth Bishop of Harrisburg on Tuesday, April 25, 2023:

“As Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, I am delighted to extend congratulations, best wishes and prayers to Bishop-designate Timothy C. Senior, who has been appointed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to become the twelfth Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg.

“Bishop-designate Senior brings wide ranging pastoral and administrative experience to his new position, which will undoubtedly help him to shepherd the faithful of the 15-counties that make up the Harrisburg Diocese. Having known Bishop Senior well and having worked with him on issues facing the Church here in Pennsylvania for many years, I have no doubt that he will dedicate himself
tirelessly to promoting the Gospel message and the mission of Jesus Christ.

“I ask the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton to join me in praying for Bishop-designate Senior as he prepares to accept this new assignment.

“On behalf of the priests, deacons, religious, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, I also extend heartfelt congratulations to Bishop Ronald W. Gainer who has led the Diocese of Harrisburg since 2014 and now will become Bishop Emeritus.”

April 20, 2023

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted 51 to 48 to reject a Congressional Review Act resolution that would overturn an interim final rule from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which added abortion to veterans’ and dependents’ health benefits packages. In response, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the USCCB’s Commttee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following joint statement:

“It is a gross failure that the Senate did not pass this lifesaving resolution. Our heroes and their dependents deserve quality health care services, instead of policies to end the lives of their own children. Many veterans face tremendous life challenges, especially as the active duty experience too often involves significant mental health traumas and can be followed by a difficult readjustment to civilian life. It is inhumane to provide fully taxpayer-funded abortion (which itself can increase mental health risks) as a so-called solution to pregnancy, instead of resources needed to welcome a child and flourish as a family. We continue to urge Congress to prevent implementation of this harmful policy, and to provide instead real support for our military veterans and their loved ones.”

The USCCB, together with the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, submitted a joint regulatory comment letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs when the rule was announced in September, which can be read here.

A joint letter to Congress from Archbishop Broglio and Bishop Burbidge on the Department of Defense’s and the VA’s abortion policies can be read here.

Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider a bill that would protect women and girls’ opportunities in sports by requiring federally-funded female sports programs to be reserved for biological females.

Consistent with the Church’s clear teaching on the equality of men and women and the truth that we are created male and female, this bill would promote fairness and safety for women and girls by ensuring female athletes can compete on a safe and level playing field with other females.

Youth who experience gender identity discordance should be able to participate in sports, and any harassment against these young people is unequivocally wrong. By passing the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, Congress would not deny such youth the ability to play sports, but would simply be protecting women and girls and preserving their hard-won opportunities.

Join USCCB in asking your member of Congress to protect women and girls in sports today!

To learn more, read the USCCB’s letter on H.R. 734, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023.

Messages in your own words can be more effective. Please consider customizing the message to Congress with your own story.

Take Action Now

Dear Friends,

“Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.”

These words from Saint Matthew’s gospel proclaimed during the great Vigil of Easter, confronted the first followers of Jesus on the day of His resurrection and boldly affirmed God’s promise to save his people.

Despite such powerful words of faith that we read in the scriptures and proclaim whenever we gather for the celebration of the Eucharist, the reality of life at times can consume us with grief, pain and fear. These days are no exception.

Mary Magdalene is depicted with the resurrected Christ in this icon at the Haifa Melkite Cathedral in Israel. Easter, the chief feast in the liturgical calendars of all Christian churches, commemorates Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Easter is celebrated April 9 this year. (OSV News artwork/Haifa Melkite Cathedral, Bridgeman Images)

From devastating earthquakes in Syria and Ecuador – to tornadoes that ravaged parts of Mississippi, Arkansas and far too many areas of our land – to once unimaginable school shootings that continue to shatter the security and peace that every child should enjoy – to a senseless war in Ukraine that has raged on for more than a year, leaving death, destruction and shattered dreams in its wake – to our own stories of loss – the scope of suffering and pain that has enveloped our world and our lives is difficult to comprehend.

And so as we have done countless times before in the face of such heartbreak, these sacred days of Holy Week and Easter beckon us to turn to the only place that enables our broken world and lives to find forgiveness, healing, hope and peace: the Paschal Mystery – the Easter miracle – the promise won for us through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus!

But how does a mystery fraught with suffering and death provide us with hope?

In his recently published work, Touch the Wounds, the Czech theologian and priest Tomas Halik writes, “there is no other path or other gate to God than that which is opened by a wounded hand and pierced heart.” The author goes on to reflect upon the depth of Jesus’ love that led him to suffer and to bear the ills of us all, even unto his death on the cross. “Such love represents a force, the only force that survives death itself and overturns its gates with pierced hands.” Halik concludes that in resurrecting the doubting apostle Thomas’ faith by letting him touch his wounds, Jesus was telling him – and us – that “it is where you touch human suffering, and maybe only there, that you will realize that I am alive, that ‘it’s me.’ You will meet me wherever people suffer. Do not shy away from me in any of those meetings. Do not be afraid. Do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Brothers and sisters, for all that we have experienced throughout the journey of our lives – in joy and gladness, and yes, even in suffering, death and in the many wounds that we have endured – the grace of God does not disappoint! Jesus is risen and lives among us, lifting us from the burdens of this world and carrying us to new life!

As bishop of this great local church of the Diocese of Scranton, I am profoundly touched by the example of your lives. In the midst of all that life unfolds, you continue to live your faith and fulfill the promises of your Baptism. You continue to serve your brothers and sisters. You continue to derive hope from a living relationship with the risen Jesus.

During this Holy Week, I pray that we will all come to appreciate more deeply than ever the fact that we are indeed blessed in more ways than we might believe or imagine. May we hold in our hearts the catechumens and candidates from throughout the Diocese of Scranton who will be baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and presented for full communion in the Catholic Church. May we trust in God’s promise to sustain us and dispel our deepest fears. Moreover, may we open our hearts to the risen Jesus and allow him to fill them with his love and peace.

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

March 31, 2023

His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, announces the following appointments.

Reverend Kenneth M. Seegar, from Pastor, Holy Rosary Parish, Hazleton, and Holy Name of Jesus Parish, West Hazleton, to Leave of Absence for reasons of health, effective March 30, 2023. 

Reverend Binesh Joseph Kanjirakattu, from Assistant Pastor, Holy Rosary Parish, Hazleton, and Holy Name of Jesus Parish, West Hazleton, to Administrator, Holy Rosary Parish, Hazleton, and Holy Name of Jesus Parish, West Hazleton, effective May 17, 2023.

Reverend Michael J. Piccola, from Administrator, Holy Rosary Parish, Hazleton, and Holy Name of Jesus Parish, West Hazleton.  Father will remain Pastor, Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish, Hazleton, effective May 17, 2023.