Bishop Bambera baptizes Nicholas Medina-Almanzar during the Easter Vigil Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Peter on March 30.

The more than 170 faith-filled prospective members of parishes throughout the Diocese of Scranton rose to full communion in the Catholic Church when they received their sacraments of initiation during Easter Vigil ceremonies March 30.

In so doing, they joined their fellow Catholics in consummate celebration of the Day of the Lord’s Resurrection, described by the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, in his Easter homily as what “defines who we are as Christians.”

McKenzie Torres receives the Sacrament of Confirmation from Father Michael Quinnan during Easter Vigil ceremonies at Saint Luke Church in Stroudsburg.

“With the entire Church of Scranton, we give thanks today for 177 catechumens and candidates who listened to the voice of the risen Lord speaking to their hearts and said ‘yes’ to God’s invitation to be baptized and received into full communion in the Catholic Church,” Bishop Bambera further expressed.

At Saint Luke Parish in Stroudsburg, McKenzie Torres was among four future parishioners who received sacraments of initiation during the Easter Vigil liturgy.

Father Michael Quinnan, Pastor of Saint Luke Parish, Stroudsburg, gives Vincent Andrews his First Eucharist at the Easter Vigil Mass on March 30.

“Receiving my sacraments at the Easter Vigil was a feeling and experience I never could have imagined,” Torres shared after being confirmed and receiving her First Eucharist from Saint Luke pastor Father Michael Quinnan. “I felt the Holy Spirit so strongly that night and it was incredibly special to have my friends, family and parish members there to witness it.”

Now a fully initiated member of the Church, Torres added, “I have such an immense gratitude for this experience and cannot wait to continue learning and growing in my relationship with God. There is nothing quite like it, and I encourage everyone to do the same if they are considering it!”

Father Arbogaste Satoun presided over the conferring of sacraments bestowed on one catechumen and one candidate during the Easter Vigil Mass for the parishes of Our Lady of the Abingtons, Dalton; Saint Mary of the Lake, Lake Winola; and Saint Patrick, Nicholson.

Georgene DePrimo and Ashley Monetta receive their First Communion as they are welcomed into their parishes of Saint Mary of the Lake, Lake Winola, and Saint Patrick, Nicholson, respectively.

Georgene DePrimo now enjoys full membership as a parishioner of Saint Mary of the Lake Church, after receiving her Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion.

“RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) has taught me so much about the Catholic faith,” she said, fully aware there is much more to learn as she continues to explore her new-found faith.

“After my induction into the Church, I was exhilarated and hopeful. It was such a happy experience,” DePrimo expressed.

Also extolling the merits of the RCIA process was the newest member of Saint Patrick Parish, Ashley Monetta, who, after receiving Confirmation and First Eucharist, remarked that the initiation experience was extremely helpful in understanding more fully what it means to be a Catholic.

“It was a wonderful feeling to finally, officially become a member (of the Church), and although I know there is still a lot to learn, I feel very solid and comfortable in my faith and where I am at this point in my journey,” she said.


Father Jose Kuriappilly, Pastor of Saints Peter & Paul Parish in Towanda, presides over the Sacrament of Baptism conferred upon David Landry (center) and Nicholas Odegard, accompanied by their Godparents, Jude Rabago and Angela Flynn. As catechumens, the two men received their sacraments of initiation — Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion — to come into full communion in the Catholic Church during the parish’s Easter Vigil liturgy.

At Saints Peter & Paul Parish in Towanda, Wendy Singer’s journey to full communion in the Church — marked by both doubt and grace — culminated with her reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation at the hands of her new pastor, Father Jose Kuriappilly.

“At a time when I was struggling with my own Christianity, I started taking care of a woman and her husband (who) were devout Catholics,” Singer began, stating the wife, Virginia, “was so graceful in teaching more about the Catholic faith, and actually taught me the ‘Hail Mary’ three weeks before her passing.”

During the same time, Singer’s son Christopher informed her he felt a strong calling to begin studies for the priesthood. “I gained enough knowledge through Christopher that I yearned for more,” she said.

Singer credits her sponsor, Jude, in sealing the decision to complete her conversion as he “brought me home to Saints Peter and Paul in Towanda.”

“Since (my) Confirmation, as I face my own every day struggles, I have the faith to work through them,” she remarked. “I lift them up to the Lord every day and I am blessed to see things more clearly.”

Jenna Roberts joined Singer in receiving Confirmation during the Easter Vigil rites at Saints Peter & Paul’s.

“For a while I felt like something in my life was missing. I thought about getting back into church but…I couldn’t make the move,” Roberts shared, adding there was a sense of unworthiness when she occasionally attended Mass.

“It wasn’t until I (talked to) Father Jose at a Saint Agnes School function, where he told me that he felt that God told him to come talk to me. That is when he told me about the class and how I was able to be confirmed,” she said.