SCRANTON – The Cathedral of Saint Peter will be the setting on Saturday, June 24, 2023, as Reverend Mr. Michael J. Boris is ordained to the Order of the Priesthood for service in the Diocese of Scranton.
The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will serve as ordaining prelate for the Mass that will be celebrated at 10 a.m.
The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the Ordination Mass.
CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton will broadcast the Mass live and provide livestreaming on the Diocese of Scranton’s website, YouTube channel and social media platforms.
Boris, a native of Dallas, was ordained a transitional deacon in 2022 and is now ready to take his final steps toward priestly ordination.
“I’m very excited, a little nervous, of course, but that is natural,” Boris said. “I feel a lot of peace about my discernment and all of the great work that the Diocese has done for me.”
Boris, 27, is the son of Joseph and Susan Boris. He is a graduate of Holy Redeemer High School and King’s College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Philosophy. Boris entered Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in the fall of 2018 and completed his studies this May.
“Saint Mary’s is a wonderful place. They helped me to pray and discern what God is calling me to do,” Boris explained.
During his priestly formation, Boris served a summer assignment in 2019 in the parish communities of Holy Cross Parish, Olyphant, and Blessed Sacrament Parish, Throop. He also served a pastoral year (2020-2021) in the parish communities of Saint Rose of Lima Parish and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, both in Carbondale.
Boris said he never seriously considered the priesthood until he was a senior in high school and Father Don Williams, Vocations Director for the Diocese of Scranton at the time, met with potential candidates recommended by teachers. Following that conversation, Boris began attending more discernment events, followed by a retreat and he ultimately made the decision to enter seminary.
As he prepares for this next step in his Christian journey, Boris has been thinking back to what one of his seminary professors said shortly before the end of classes.
“He said a lot of things are going to happen in the next few weeks and months, you’ll be ordained and it will be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle,” Boris said. “But he said don’t forget the amazing gift and power of the priesthood and that you’re being ordained to serve Christ and His Church.”
Boris adds he is thankful to all those who have supported him on this journey.
“Thank you for your prayers and support over the years,” he explained.
SCRANTON – Less than one year after making a pastoral visit to the Diocese of Sunyani in Ghana, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, is planning to return to the African nation.
This time, the trip came about simply by coincidence.
“It was not my expectation that I would be traveling back to Ghana in 12 months from my original trip there last August,” Bishop Bambera said. “As providence would have it, the Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue, which I’m very fortunate to co-chair, is being hosted this year by the Pentecostals. This year, the Pentecostals are inviting us to Accra, the capital of Ghana.”
The primary goal of the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue is to foster mutual respect and understanding between the Catholic Church and Classical Pentecostal leaders and churches in light of the prayer of Jesus that all may be one (Jn 17:21). Last year, the Dialogue, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary, was hosted by the Catholics in Rome.
Because Bishop Bambera will already be in Ghana to participate in the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue from July 13-19, 2023, the Bishop of the Diocese of Sunyani has invited him to return to their diocese one week earlier (July 5-12) for a very special reason.
“When it was made known to the priests of the Diocese of Sunyani that the Dialogue would take place in Ghana, their bishop, Bishop Matthew, asked me if I would honor them by celebrating the Ordination Rite for 14 men who are being ordained to the priesthood for their 50th anniversary year as a diocese,” Bishop Bambera explained.
Bishop Bambera said it was an honor to be asked to celebrate the Ordination Mass. “I’m happily returning to Ghana both for ecumenical work and also to once again connect with the Diocese of Sunyani that has been so generous in providing for the needs of our people here in the United States,” Bishop Bambera said.
When Bishop Bambera last visited Ghana, Aug. 10-19, 2022, he celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with more than 15,000 people, while also visiting a seminary, schools, parishes and health care facilities.
On that trip, Father Gerald Shantillo and Father Brian J.T. Clarke joined him, but this time, two seminarians from the Diocese of Scranton will accompany Bishop Bambera.
“On many occasions, the Bishop of Sunyani, Bishop Matthew, invited me to send seminarians over just to experience their country and the background from which many of the priests who are serving in our land come from,” he said. “I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to invite our seminarians.”
Thomas Dzwonczyk and Andrew McCarroll have agreed to accompany the Bishop to Ghana.
“I’m really thrilled to be able to have them, not only to travel with, but more importantly to experience the Diocese of Sunyani and the African people,” Bishop Bambera noted. “I will be with them half the time. I will leave Sunyani after about a week and then travel to Accra for the Dialogue and while I’m in Accra, the seminarians will be hosted by the priests of Sunyani and the Bishop as well.”
SCRANTON – A sold-out, energized crowd of 400 women filled Nazareth Hall on the campus of Marywood University June 10 for the 2023 “Refresh Your Faith” Catholic Women’s Conference.
Gathering under the theme of “With the Holy Spirit,” attendees participated in Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary meditations and more.
“It is wonderful to be in the presence of so many women who have such great faith. It encourages me to grow,” Lois Rinaldi of Archbald, a parishioner of Queen of Angels Parish in Jessup, said.
Evie Rafalko McNulty of Scranton, a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Parish, first attended the Catholic Women’s Conference last year, and had been looking forward to returning this year.
“I need to be reinvigorated and just reminded about how much I depend on my faith to get me through the difficult times and the struggles of daily life,” Rafalko McNulty explained.
Johnnette Benkovic Williams, founder and president of Women of Grace, a Catholic apostolate for women, and founder and president of Living His Life Abundantly International, Inc., served as the main conference speaker. Due to illness, the keynote speaker, Kathleen McCarthy, was unable to attend.
Gladly accepting conference organizers invitation to speak for extra time, Williams told the conference attendees that each one of them is essential to God’s plan.
“I want you to know how important you are to God’s plan. There is nothing that God will not take and use for the good when we surrender it and give it to Him,” she said.
As she ended the daylong conference, Williams had just as much energy and excitement as when the day began, raising her voice in praise to God, calling each woman to mission. The crowd responded by standing in boisterous applause.
“You have such a marvelous future as the daughters of the Most High God. He is calling us into this great and glorious mission. He is suiting us up with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and setting us on fire, sending us into the highways and byways of life to bring the word of God to everybody,” Williams said to constant applause.
“Johnnette is an energizing speaker. I don’t know if I’ve seen such a dynamic speaker before and it’s been incredible to sit here and listen to her. I don’t think I’ve ever been so engaged listening to a speaker before,” Maura Kettel, a parishioner of Saint Gregory Parish in Clarks Green, said.
The conference began with the celebration of Mass with the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, who focused on the theme of “With the Holy Spirit” during his homily.
“The real miracle of the Spirit’s presence within our Church is that in spite of the brokenness of its members, the Church has always been blessed by the presence of God within it – not because we are righteous and have earned that presence – but because God is rich in mercy and faithful to His covenant,” Bishop Bambera said.
Dara Dirhan, a native of Luzerne County who now lives in the West Chester area, returned home for the conference so that she could be filled by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
“This is a testimony to women of great faith. We need to support one another as women and uplift one another in our faith,” Dirhan said. “We are all walking different journeys at this point in our lives and it is so valuable to share with one another our stories of faith and continue together on this faith-filled journey.”
As the day concluded, women were encouraged to save the date for next year’s Catholic Women’s Conference, which will be June 8, 2024, when the theme will center on the ongoing Eucharistic Revival and the Real Presence of Jesus.
SCRANTON – When Cindy Korus looked into her husband John’s eyes while renewing her wedding vows, tears of joy started to form after being together 50 years.
“I had tears in my eyes, saying what the wife is supposed to say, that ‘I take you, John, to be my husband,’ because it has been a long time,” the Larksville woman explained. “You think 50 years is never going to come but it doesn’t take long to get here.”
John and Cindy Korus, parishioners of All Saints Parish in Plymouth, were one of 148 couples that participated in the Diocese of Scranton’s annual Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Peter on June 4, 2023.
The Mass recognizes married couples who are celebrating their 25th and 50th anniversaries this year. In all, the couples participating in the Mass have been married a total of 6,528 years combine.
“It reminds you of the first day we got married,” John Korus said, describing the emotions he felt during the renewal commitment ceremony.
The couple married at Saint Stephen of Hungary Church in Plymouth in 1973, shortly after the Agnes flood one year earlier. The impact of the devastation was still very clear and evident as Msgr. Vincent Grimalia celebrated their wedding Mass.
“Saint Stephen’s was our church. They were still renovating after the flood. There were no pews. It was all folding chairs. There was no carpet back in yet. Everything was simply ‘cleaned up’ and that was it,” Cindy explained.
As the couple reflected on their life together, they say faith has played a central role.
“We have two beautiful children and three beautiful grandchildren. We are very thankful. The Lord has been very, very good to us,” Cindy said.
The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, served as principal celebrant and homilist for the Wedding Anniversary Mass. During his homily, the bishop reflected on how every marriage is filled with moments of joy, struggle, challenge and disappointment.
“Your marriage has endured because you have come to see it as part of something much bigger than yourselves. You have come to see your marriage as something of a mystery, the mystery of God’s love woven into creation, embraced in your lives, and lived through God’s grace, in your relationship with each other,” Bishop Bambera said.
“The bishop’s homily was beautiful,” Paula Matthews of Swoyersville said.
Paula and her husband, Frank, who are parishioners of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
“God has always been an important part of our lives,” Frank added.
When asked what the secret is for a long and happy marriage, many of the couples participating in the Wedding Anniversary Mass had similar answers.
“I think communication is key. You just have to talk things out; you have to talk things over. We raised four children. It wasn’t always easy but it was always joyful,” Jean Pilch said.
Jean and her husband, Lou, who live in Moosic and are parishioners of Divine Mercy Parish, emphasized working together as a team.
“Don’t give up. You have to fight and persevere. Just because something goes wrong, you can’t just throw it away. Our children sometimes wonder how we lasted this long. You just have to keep persevering,” Lou added.
Donald and Janice Fedorchak of Carbondale, who are parishioners of Saint Rose of Lima Parish, shared those same sentiments.
‘Don’t go to bed angry at one another. Always make up before you go to bed and stay in love with one another,” Janice said.
“Give and take,” Donald added, when talking about the secret of their success. “Sometimes you’ve got to give and sometimes you take!”
SCRANTON – Fourteen priests who are celebrating milestone anniversaries of their ordination year will be recognized during the 2023 Mass for Priest Jubilarians at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton.
The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will serve as principal celebrant and homilist. During the Mass, the bishop will recognize a total of 665 years of service to the priesthood.
Monsignor John A. Esseff, M.S., D.Min., will be recognized for 70 years of priestly service. Monsignor Esseff was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey and has served as a retreat director and confessor to Saint Mother Teresa. In addition to Msgr. Esseff, priests who are celebrating 65, 60, 50 and 25 ordination year anniversaries will be honored.
Here is the full list of Jubilarians:
70 Years – 1953
Monsignor John A. Esseff, M.S., D.Min.
65 Years – 1958
Reverend William D. Campbell, S.T.D.
60 Years – 1963
Reverend John P. Ryan
Reverend Eugene R. Carr
Monsignor Thomas V. Banick
50 Years – 1973
Reverend William M. Petruska, Capt., CHC, USN
Reverend Anthony M. Urban, M.S., M.A.
Reverend Thomas R. Hudak, M.Div.
Reverend Paul M. Mullen, M.A.
Reverend James J. Walsh, J.C.L.
25 Years – 1998
Reverend Philip S. Rayappan
Reverend Jackson Pinhero, O.S.J.
Reverend Mariusz Beczek, O.S.J.
Reverend Andrew Mensah Amankwaa
The 2023 Mass for Priest Jubilarians will be broadcast live by CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton and will be available for viewing on the Diocese of Scranton website, YouTube channel, and social media platforms.
SCRANTON – Nearly 150 couples who are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2023 will be recognized at the Cathedral of Saint Peter on Sunday, June 4, 2023.
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera will serve as principal celebrant and homilist for the Diocese of Scranton’s annual Wedding Anniversary Mass that recognizes married couples who are celebrating their 25th and 50th anniversaries this year. The Mass will begin at 2:30 p.m.
In addition to married couples celebrating their Silver and Golden anniversaries, there are expected to be one couple in attendance celebrating 66 years of marriage and two couples in attendance celebrating 60 years of marriage.
In all, a total of 6,528 years of marriage will be celebrated between the 148 couples who have pre-registered to attend the Mass.
CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton will broadcast the Mass live and provide a livestream on the Diocese of Scranton website and all Diocesan social media platforms.
The broadcast and livestream opportunities are a valuable opportunity for all married couples (no matter how many years they have been married) to pause and reflect upon the beauty of the vocation of marriage in our lives and in the life of our church.
SCRANTON – Just minutes before his Ordination Mass, William A. Asinari was so overwhelmed with gratitude he started to cry.
“It’s inexplicable. I was sitting up in the chapel and I was just in tears thanking God for the blessing of service,” Deacon Asinari said.
Less than an hour later, the 24 year old became a transitional deacon through the Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate, which includes the presentation of the candidate, election by the bishop, promise of the elect, litany of supplication and laying on of hands.
“I think one of the most beautiful moments was just hearing from the Church, we have found this man to be worthy,” Deacon Asinari explained. “I think every seminarian, to some degree, goes through the struggle that God is giving me this gift and I don’t deserve this. It is immensely beautiful and it’s beyond what I could ever deserve. You fight that feeling of unworthiness and when you finally get there in that moment and hear it, it hits home!”
Asinari, a native of Honesdale, is the son of Robert and Cathleen Asinari and is a parishioner of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Honesdale. Several friends and fellow parishioners from Wayne County made the trip to the Cathedral for the Ordination Mass.
“These are the people that have seen me since I was one or two (years old). I remember them saying, ‘Have you thought about the priesthood’ or ‘You look like you’d make a good priest,’” Deacon Asinari added. “To have them sitting there as I’m ordained a deacon was beautiful.”
The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, served as ordaining prelate and principal celebrant for the Ordination Mass.
“What a blessing this day is for Bill and for his family, our Diocese and particularly for all those who have helped him to arrive at this faith-filled moment,” Bishop Bambera said during his homily.
Bishop Bambera reminded Asinari that service to the People of God must lie at the heart of his vocation.
“For as meaningful and significant as this moment may be for you personally, the ministry that you will embrace is not yours alone,” Bishop Bambera continued. “It comes from – and is rooted in the life of the Lord Jesus – who came to save us from sin and the brokenness of our world.”
Deacon Asinari will serve for the next year as a transitional deacon, the ordination serving as the last major step before ordination to the priesthood, which typically occurs a year later after additional pastoral, liturgical and educational preparation.
As a deacon, he will assist the bishop and his priests in ministries of the Word, Liturgy and Charity. This includes proclaiming the Gospel, leading intercessions, preaching, preparing the altar, celebrating baptisms, leading the faithful in prayer, distributing holy communion, witnessing marriages and conducting wake and funeral services. Deacons also identify the needs of poor and underserved, and shepherd the Church’s resources to meet those needs.
“I think I’m most looking forward to baptisms,” Deacon Asinari said. “I know over my summer assignment there are a couple scheduled. There is just something so beautiful about getting a family together and by my hands, blessing the water and baptizing a child. It is overwhelming.”
This summer, Asinari will be serving the Saint Rose of Lima and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parishes in the city of Carbondale.
“While you have been given tremendous gifts and talents, we pray that you will always rely upon the grace of God to fill up whatever may be lacking in you to carry out fully the ministry entrusted to you this day,” Bishop Bambera stated as he finished his homily.
SCRANTON – Just two days after the funeral Mass of Bishop Emeritus James C. Timlin, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, confronted the pain and grief felt by many survivors of child sexual abuse.
Bishop Bambera presided at an April 20 Mass for survivors of abuse suffered at the hands of Church officials, and he again apologized for the pain they and their family members have suffered.
“It is not insignificant that our prayer today takes place at the conclusion of a week that in so many respects opened up a wound that has burdened so many of our brothers and sisters,” Bishop Bambera said. “Two days ago, we buried Bishop Timlin, the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton … While Bishop Timlin never abused a child, it must be acknowledged that the consequences of imperfect judgments and decision on his part led to the suffering of some of the most vulnerable among us.”
Bishop Bambera was the principal celebrant of the Mass – sponsored by the Diocese of Scranton’s Office of Child Protection & Safe Environment – that was offered at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Healing Mass for Survivors of Abuse has now been celebrated for six years.
“The painful recollection of such realities for survivors of sexual abuse – even five years out from the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report investigating child sexual abuse by members of the clergy in the Catholic Church and its cover-up by some Church leaders – is a stark reminder to us all of the grief and suffering that so many innocents have endured,” Bishop Bambera added.
Bishop Bambera acknowledged he has learned many things from courageous survivors who have spoken with him over the years – the most important of which is that we “must never forget or allow time to numb us to the pain that was so willfully inflicted on innocent lives.”
“An authentic recognition of the pain of that cross is the only thing that can truly prompt us to change and to create a Church deserving of people’s trust,” Bishop Bambera noted.
Erin McGrady, LPC, who serves as Safe Environment Coordinator for the Diocese of Scranton, said the Healing Mass for Survivors of Abuse is an important moment of prayer for many people.
“We remember the history of the Church and remember each and every survivor so we can pray and support them however we can on their journey to healing and recovery,” McGrady said. “It also reminds us how important it is to continue doing the things we have in place to protect all those in our diocese and promote the safest environments possible to allow for everyone to grow in their faith.”
McGrady said the Diocese of Scranton has a zero tolerance policy for anyone who abuses a child.
“Five years post Grand Jury Report being released and it is still so important to highlight the work that our Safe Environment Office does daily to make sure this issue is in the front of everyone’s minds,” McGrady added. “As Safe Environment Coordinator, I assist and oversee Local Safe Environment Administrators at every location to ensure that compliance on USCCB guidelines and Pennsylvania state laws are met. We provide Safe Environment training for children and adults throughout the diocese, require that background checks are completed and renewed on time for clergy, employees and volunteers and provide support and assistance to any questions, concerns or situations that arise.”
SCRANTON – Hundreds of people gathered to mourn the death of the Most Reverend James C. Timlin, eighth Bishop of Scranton, at a Mass of Christian Burial, which was held on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton.
The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, tenth Bishop of Scranton, served as the principal celebrant. In addition to priests from the Diocese of Scranton and resident religious priests, three other bishops concelebrated the Mass.
During his introductory remarks at the beginning of the 2 p.m. liturgy, Bishop Bambera acknowledged the sensitive nature of planning the funeral Mass.
“Many of us grieve the loss of a kind and compassionate leader who worked tirelessly for others well into his nineties and some grieve the consequences of imperfect judgments and decisions that led to the suffering of some who were most vulnerable,” Bishop Bambera said. “But one thing is absolutely clear from what we do this day, at this Mass of Christian Burial, the reality that we are all desperately in need of a Savior. Saint John Paul II put it best a few years before he passed, ‘Apart from the mercy of God, there is no hope for mankind.’”
In releasing the Report of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury in August 2018, then- Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro publicly criticized Bishop Timlin for his handling of sexual abuse cases involving priests of the Diocese of Scranton. That same month, Bishop Timlin was barred from representing the Diocese in the wake of the Grand Jury Report’s release.
During the Universal Prayer at the funeral Mass, mourners prayed intentionally for victims of sexual abuse.
“Many people live with the painful memories of sexual abuse by clergy,” Deacon Peter G. Smith said. “Give them healing for their pain, freedom from their fear, and hope for their future, and may all members of the Church commit themselves to protect children and the most vulnerable in our society.”
Bishop Timlin died on Easter Sunday morning, April 9, 2023, at the age of 95.
REMEMBERING A MENTOR AND FRIEND
“We come together in this great Cathedral of ours to reflect upon his life, to remember the fullness of Bishop Timlin’s remarkable 95 year pilgrimage homeward, and lastly, we’re here this day to pray for his eternal peace,” Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, V.F., pastor, Our Lady of the Snows Parish, Clarks Summit, said at the beginning of his homily.
For more than 40 years, Msgr. Quinn said that Bishop Timlin had “been a faithful mentor, friend and inspiration in my own life.”
Msgr. Quinn extended his sympathies to the extended family of Bishop Timlin, saying the late prelate had a special ability to remember every detail of his loved one’s lives.
“I think we have all marveled at his consistent thoughtfulness throughout his life, his ever humble and kind ways. To the very end, he was always handwriting notes, always notes of thanks, most of them forever expressing his gratitude for the thoughtfulness and kindness of others,” Msgr. Quinn said. “You might have received a note simply because you remembered his birthday, an anniversary or a special event along the way but it was amazing how many notes he sent out in any day.”
Msgr. Quinn explained how he was privileged to witness Bishop Timlin’s great depth of faith and his hope to share and live the peace and joy of the Risen Christ.
“He understood well the truthfulness of the words of Scripture today as in the First Reading where it was said, God’s dwelling is with the human race and God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There shall be no more weeping or pain for the old order has passed away,” Msgr. Quinn said.
In his 72 years as a priest, Msgr. Quinn said Bishop Timlin “joyfully counted each day” but did not do everything perfectly.
“With his genuine sense of humility he would be the first to tell you that he was far from perfect,” Msgr. Quinn explained. “He was always reminding all of us that we’re not called to be perfect, we’re called to be holy, so that we might be humble enough, human enough, and happy enough to live merciful lives rooted in Christ.”
As he concluded his homily, Msgr. Quinn said Bishop Timlin never lost sight of his primary role as a parish priest – “helping people come to know, love and serve God” – by always being available to console the grieving, visit the sick or care for the suffering.
“As we gather today to mourn Bishop Timlin’s death, to truly remember the fullness of his life and to pray for his eternal peace, let us remember all that he did throughout his 95 year journey homeward,” Msgr. Quinn stated. “All he did to come and know and live out God’s will in his life in humble and selfless fashion and let us pray for the same merciful graces we need to do the same in our own.”
PARISHIONERS MOURN LOSS
In the five hours leading up to the funeral Mass, the public was invited to pay their respects to the late Bishop Emeritus of Scranton.
“He was a good man,” former Scranton mayor Jimmy Connors said as he entered the Cathedral shortly after the public visitation began at 9 a.m. Connors worked with Bishop Timlin during his entire tenure as mayor which lasted from 1990 to 2002.
“He was very kind to me before I was mayor, while I was mayor and after I was mayor,” Connors explained. “He had a good heart, totally dedicated to God and the people. He loved every neighborhood here.”
William Nolan, who has been a member of the Cathedral parish since 1974, remembered the day Timlin was ordained a Bishop and thousands filled the streets.
“I thought the world of him,” Nolan said. “He was a very, very holy man. He loved people.”
Patrick Williams, President of Pennsylvanians for Human Life in Scranton, remembered Bishop Timlin as being unapologetically pro-life.
“We would always go to Bishop Timlin or Bishop Dougherty when we had issues that needed attention. Both of them were fantastic,” Williams explained. While he didn’t know Bishop Timlin personally, Mike Stevens of Dallas, said it was clear that Bishop Timlin was humble.
“He cared deeply about the Church and deeply about the parishioners and I think that example of humility is terrific especially in this crazy world that we live in,” Stevens said.
OUR NEED FOR MERCY
With the funeral services taking place shortly after the Second Sunday of Easter, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday, the theme of “mercy” played a significant role in the reflection of Monsignor Vincent Grimalia, who offered reflections during a private Vespers service on Monday, April 17, 2023, at Villa Saint Joseph in Dunmore.
At Bishop Timlin’s request, a private viewing for family members was held the day before his burial Mass.
“After celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday yesterday, during these 50 days of Easter, we have a context for our gathering, that reminds us of the loving mercy of God, that challenges each of us to live a life of mercy,” Monsignor Grimalia said.
Msgr. Grimalia said Bishop Timlin lived a “spirituality of mercy.”
“I think one of his favorite parables was the parable of the Good Samaritan,” Msgr. Grimalia related. “He regularly visited local hospitals and hospice units when able. He also would read the obituary column and visit funeral homes, to pray for the deceased and console their family and friends.”
During the private Vespers service, Msgr. Grimalia asked the crowd of roughly 50 to pray for Bishop Timlin and the good that he did.
“Let us also pray for all who touched his life and all the lives he touched,” Msgr. Grimalia ended.
Before being taken to his final resting place at Cathedral cemetery, Bishop Bambera echoed those same sentiments.
Bishop Bambera also reflected on a conversation he had with the late Bishop Emeritus of Scranton just hours before his passing.
“On Holy Saturday afternoon about 2 p.m., I visited with Bishop Timlin to wish him a Happy Easter. Although I have visited him regularly during his stay at Marywood Heights, I found him during this particular visit to be far more buoyant than he had been for quite some time. He told me that he had a plan to return toward his residence,” Bishop Bambera said. “He said, ‘I’m feeling pretty good right now, I think I can live to be 100,’ and he said, ‘But whatever God wants is what I’ll do.” A few hours later, in the early morning hours of Easter, God wanted him home so we give thanks for Bishop Timlin. We give thanks for the good that he did. We give thanks for the lives that touched him and the lives that he was able to touch and we pray that God’s mercy envelop him now and give him peace.”
SCRANTON – Ruiwen Su, a senior at Marywood University, has a lot to celebrate this Easter Season.
At the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday, April 8, 2023, the 25 year old officially became a member of the Catholic Church, receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation at the Cathedral of Saint Peter.
The native of Beijing, China, did it with his new fiancé by his side as his sponsor after becoming engaged on the Monday of Holy Week.
“I’m excited and nervous,” Su said about the road ahead.
While studying at Marywood, Su got involved with the music ministry program and began feeling a deeper spiritual calling. He is one of 162 people received into full communion with the Catholic Church at Easter in parishes throughout the Diocese of Scranton.
“I was born and raised in an atheist country but I still always felt like there was something higher,” Su explained. “I keep looking for the truth and try to dig into the knowledge.”
While Su’s fiancé, Naomi Doyle, grew up in a Catholic family, participating in the RCIA classes helped her grow deeper in her relationship with Jesus as well.
“I feel like God really gave me what I needed to help lead him through,” Doyle said. “Through this entire process, I’ve learned a lot about my faith and have re-affirmed what I believe.”
During his Easter homily, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, stressed Easter is a time to rejoice and be glad.
“The Risen Jesus is present, here and now! Receive the life and hope that He promises,” the Bishop told the crowd at Easter Sunday Mass. “Like the women who first encountered the empty tomb on the day of resurrection, we are not to linger in this sacred space, reluctant to confront the suffering of our world. Our mission is to go forth boldly from this Cathedral with hope, to both encounter and proclaim the Risen Lord, in our families and neighborhoods!”
Bishop Bambera admitted that amid devastating earthquakes, school shootings and the War in Ukraine, some people might question exactly where the risen Jesus is to be found.
“The road to the resurrection always makes its way through the Cross,” Bishop Bambera noted. “Where do we look to find the risen Jesus? We look to those who suffer, to see the risen Christ and to make His presence known.”
To illustrate his point, the bishop focused on a television news report he had recently seen from the devastation left behind in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, after tornadoes virtually wiped the little town off the map just days before. He quoted one of the survivors, a woman named Melinda, during his homily.
“She had been buried for hours under the debris from her home that was destroyed,” the bishop stated, adding the woman so faithfully stated, “‘We have nothing left, no water, no car, no electricity, no house, no nothing. But by God’s grace and mercy, I was pulled out of a tomb. He saved me for a reason so I’ll trust in Him.’”