Your tax dollars could pay for abortions for veterans!

The U.S. Senate will be voting soon on whether to overturn a recent Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) rule that provides taxpayer funded abortions on-demand for veterans, and their spouses and kids. For decades, the law has stopped the VA from providing abortions in its health care benefits packages. Last September, the VA violated this law, as well as long-standing practices preventing taxpayer funding for elective abortion, and issued a regulation to provide such abortions – even in States where they’re now illegal. Further, the rule does not protect the conscience rights of workers who could be forced to participate in abortions. The U.S. Senate will vote soon to overturn the VA’s rule, and your senators need to hear from you. Please tell them to not turn VA hospitals into illegal abortion clinics. Women — especially our heroes in need of care — and their children deserve better.

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To learn more about how the VA rule has these effects and the USCCB’s response, you may view our original regulatory comment letter to the VA here.

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Students, staff and families from St. Clare/St. Paul School in Scranton gathered Friday morning, March 17, 2023, for a pep rally to send off their boys basketball team to represent the Diocese of Scranton in the state CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) Tournament in Philadelphia.

The Crusaders will play their first game this evening at 7:45 p.m. against Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at Holy Family University in Philadelphia.

Best of luck to the Crusaders!!

March 15, 2023

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

Reverend Siby John Padinjaredath, C.P., from Parochial Vicar, St. Ann Basilica Parish, Scranton to Ministry with the Passionist Congregation, effective March 3, 2023.

Reverend Brian J.T. Clarke, from Pastor, Christ the King Parish, Archbald to leave of absence due to reasons of health, effective March 14, 2023.

Reverend Seth D. Wasnock, to Administrator pro tem, Christ the King Parish, Archbald.  He will remain Pastor, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Carbondale and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Carbondale,  effective March 14, 2023.


Members of Knights of Lithuania Council 143, Pittston, celebrated the feast of St. Casimir with a Mass held on Sunday, March 5 at St. John the Evangelist Church.

A luncheon and Amber District meeting in the Monsignor Bendik Center followed the service.

Pictured are Council 143 members, Amber District officers and clergy, front row, from left to right, Tom Wierbowski, Judy Stodolny, Mary Claire Voveris, Marilyn Fitzgerald, Dennis Palladino, Janet Palladino, Eileen Kelly, Jean Mihalick, Barbara Miller. Second row, from left to right, John Kovaleski, Irene Kovaleski, Mike Loncoski, Cathy Talarico, Rob Kiska, Mary Portelli, June Supey, Sylvia Waxmonsky, Don Waxmonsky, Reverend Joseph Elston, Deacon David Marx, Tom Miller. Third row, from left to right, Greg Wolovich, Jr., Bill Sodnik, Joe Francik. Absent from photo was Camille Stanis.

SCRANTON – Over the course of the next two weeks, nearly 600 young adults from parishes and schools across the Diocese of Scranton are being recognized with the 2023 Bishop’s Youth Award.

Nominated by their pastors, parish life coordinators, youth ministers, directors of religious education or school principals, the award honors those students in 8th and 12th grade who show exemplary practice of faith and/or commitment to service.

“These young people have been of service to their parish and school communities in a multitude of ways and are worthy of this recognition,” Marianne Guarnieri, Director of Discipleship in the Diocesan Office for Parish Life, said.

The Bishop’s Youth Awards have been handed out annually since 1996.

“It makes me feel good. It’s an accomplishment for the stuff I do in my parish. It feels good,” Conor Buckley, a high school senior and parishioner of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Dorrance, said. “I volunteer at the bazaar a lot, help out anyway I can with the dinners and things like that.”

The first Bishop’s Youth Awards Mass was held on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, honoring students in the Southern and Western Pastoral Regions of the Diocese of Scranton. A second Bishop Youth Awards Mass will be held on Wednesday, March 15, honoring students in the Northern and Eastern Regions.

“I’m really excited. My entire life I have been a part of my parish and it’s been a big part of me, so being able to get this award means a lot to me,” Sofia Marica, an eighth grade student from Epiphany Parish in Sayre, explained.

There will be additional coverage of the Bishop’s Youth Award Masses in the March 16 edition of The Catholic Light.


The annual Saint Patrick’s Parade Day Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton. All are welcome to attend.

The liturgy is traditionally held in conjunction with the city of Scranton’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Following the Mass, the Saint Patrick’s Parade is expected to take to the streets of the Electric City beginning at 11:45 a.m.

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will serve as principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass. The Mass will be concelebrated by Rev. Jeffrey D. Tudgay, V.E., Episcopal Vicar for Canonical Affairs and Pastor of the Cathedral of Saint Peter; Rev. Daniel R. Sweeney, S.J.; and priests of the Diocese of Scranton.

The Mass will be broadcast live on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton and will be rebroadcast on Tuesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday, March 15, at 10:30 a.m. It will also be available for viewing on the Diocese of Scranton’s YouTube Channel.

This year marks the 61st Anniversary of the Saint Patrick’s Parade in Scranton.

Saturday’s Mass is being offered in memory of the Most Rev. John M. Dougherty, D.D., Patty Bianche, Michael (Mikey) Castaldi Sr., James Connor, Tom Conway, Bob Foley, Anthony F. (Botch) Hughes, Marty Judge Sr., James “Kuch” Kuchwara, James “Red” McAndrew, Fergal O’Brien, Kathleen Kelly O’Hara, Mary Louise Ruane, Tom Scanlan, Bobby Timlin and Tony Walsh.

Michael J. Cummings, President, Saint Patrick’s Parade Association of Lackawanna County, will serve as lector for the Mass and Gina Pascolini will serve as cantor.

The Offertory gifts will be presented by Dorothea Crowley, President, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians of Lackawanna County; Al O’Donnell, President, Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Lackawanna County; Conal McHugh, President, Ancient Order of Hibernians of Lackawanna County; Jack McIntyre, President, Irish Cultural Society; and Lori Wagner, President, Society of Irish Women.

March 8, 2023

His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, announces the following appointment:

Reverend Lee Havey, C.P., from Ministry with the Passionist Congregation, to Parochial Vicar, St. Ann Basilica Parish, Scranton, effective March 8, 2023.

March 6, 2023

His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, announces the following appointment:

Reverend Edison Gregorio Arreaga Arce, from Ministry with the Passionist Congregation, Ecuador, to Parochial Vicar, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Brodheadsville, effective March 6, 2023.


The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on a resolution that could impose abortion-on-demand nationwide without any limits, require taxpayer funding of abortion, put women’s opportunities and spaces at risk of being opened to men (such as in sports, locker rooms, prisons, and shelters), and undermine the religious freedom of people and organizations of faith to carry out their important missions – potentially even requiring Catholic hospitals and health workers to perform abortions and gender procedures on children. On top of these harms, the Senate’s process for this proposal – which attempts to declare that the misnamed “Equal Rights Amendment” (ERA) is a ratified part of the U.S. Constitution – is unconstitutional. Catholic teaching speaks very clearly and strongly about the equality of men and women, but the far-reaching consequences of the ERA would cause serious harm to women, preborn life, and the common good. 

Please contact your U.S. Senators now and tell them to oppose the resolution to unconstitutionally revive the misnamed “Equal Rights Amendment.” More information from the USCCB on the ERA can be found here.
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Stop the Senate from eliminating Pro-Life protections and harming women and religious freedom!


The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) has proposed new changes to regulations meant to protect conscience rights in health care. Let HHS know that conscience matters to you! 

Numerous federal laws protect the right of organizations and people working in health care to object, as a matter of conscience, to abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide, gender transition surgery, and other procedures. The enforcement of these laws is governed by HHS regulations, so it is very important for HHS to issue strong regulations and keep them that way. 

HHS has proposed revisions to these regulations, known as the “Conscience Rule,” which implements over a dozen conscience statutes. Under the Trump administration, HHS issued a strong version of the Conscience Rule, but courts struck it down, leaving in place the previous, extremely weak version from the Obama administration. On January 5, 2023, HHS proposed a new version.  
The USCCB supports this new proposed rule as an improvement over the current situation in which the 2019 Rule is not in place, but also urges HHS to strengthen the proposed rule.  Join the USCCB in encouraging HHS to strengthen the Conscience Rule. 

To learn more, read USCCB’s published comments on the rule, Cardinal Dolan’s December 30 statement, and visit the USCCB’s “Do No Harm” webpage on these regulations at the links below. 

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