A total of 684 young adults from across the Diocese of Scranton are being honored this fall for their commitment to their faith and service to their parishes and schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Bishop’s Youth Awards are not being handed out in large regional Masses. Instead, the nominees are being recognized in their individual parishes and schools. The Bishop’s Youth Awards Masses began on Nov. 8 and are expected to continue through the rest of the month.

The awards recognize eighth grade and 12th grade students who have shown exceptional service and leadership skills.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera taped a video message to all of the students receiving the awards, thanking them for their commitment to service.

“I want to remind you that holiness is often found in the little things – not just the big things. More than you might realize, you are already making a difference in your parish and school communities,” the bishop said. “Whether you are serving at your parish Mass as a lector, altar server or cantor; taking part in youth ministry or religious education programs; being an example of faith to your peers, or helping with vacation bible schools – you are thinking of others more than yourselves.”

Bishop Bambera encouraged all students to continue sharing their gifts and talents wherever they may be.

“We are so proud of all of you for everything that you do and all that you are,” the bishop said in his message to honorees. “We need you now more than ever to be living saints, doing things both big and small for your community and our diocese.”