For the past year, we have been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Scranton. And make no mistake, it is something well worth celebrating.
For 150 years faith-filled people throughout our Diocese have built churches and grown the Catholic faith as they passed on their commitment to the next generation.
As we look back over those 150 years, we can see great acts of faithfulness and wonderful accomplishments. And, as we all know, unfortunately, we can see other actions and moments of unfaithfulness.
Now the torch has been passed to us. We need to look forward to the next 150 years. That is why the Diocese is concluding its celebration with the #LeaveaMark 18 Mass on November 4, 2018.
Pope Francis told the young people at World Youth Day this past summer that they did not come into the world to vegetate or take it easy. They come to “leave a mark – it is very sad to pass through this world without leaving a mark.”
Leaveamark is a liturgy that unites the young people of the Diocese with Bishop Bambera and with the many people who minister throughout the Diocese.
The Pope’s words are prophetic and very fitting for our celebration. For 150 years faithfilled people have left a mark here in the Diocese of Scranton.
All that you need to do is to look at your church or your community. Perhaps your ancestors helped to build your church. Or perhaps one of your relatives began an important ministry in your parish or in your part of the Diocese. The point is that they left a mark of their discipleship that inspired others to live their faith.
Now it is our turn and more importantly the turn of the younger generation to leave a mark of their faith – to help build the Kingdom of God in this part of the world, the Diocese of Scranton.
What better way to celebrate the past than to look to the future and to call people to a sense of responsibility for the future?
This Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, November 4, 2018 at St Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton. Everyone is invited to attend as we celebrate what has been and look forward to what will be.
November 4 also marks the beginning of the week of prayer for vocations, so it is another appropriate way to celebrate what has gone before. Many priests and sister and brothers have done tremendous work as they sought to help people live their discipleship. We are still and always will be in need of committed men and women in the church who will give their lives as priests and religious men and women.
We are blessed to have young men currently studying for the priesthood, more committed than ever to make the Church what God intendeds it to be. And if you read last week’s Sunday paper, you could not miss on the front page the story of Sister Liz, a successful young person who is committing her life to the IHM sisters. Congratulations!
So let us all strive to leave a mark in the church. As disciples of Christ, we are called to leave a mark on the world – to change how the world thinks and acts. This is possible if we ourselves are committed to leaving a mark of discipleship! Let us all pray for the next generation of Catholics as the next 150 years begins. Let us pray that their mark will help our Diocese become more and more a witness to the world of God’s love. And let us all do what we can to be the best disciples that we can be.
And please feel free to attend the Leaveamark Mass on November 4!
–Father David P. Cappelloni, V.F.
Pastor, Saints Anthony and Rocco Parish, Dunmore