Diocese of Scranton News and Events

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Weekly E-Newsletter May 6, 2021

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“Today, jurors in a Minnesota courtroom rendered a verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. This evening, I offer prayers to the Floyd family and for all who have suffered because of the sin of racism and oppression.

“This moment reminds us that the scourge of racism must continue to be addressed. The Catholic Church boldly proclaims that all human life is sacred and every human person is created in God’s image and likeness. In order to confront racism in our land and change hearts and minds, each one of us must take a deep look at ourselves. Racism comes in many forms. Sometimes it is deliberate – often it is subconscious – and at times it occurs when one fails to act when injustices occur.

“The words of Pope Francis from June 2020 challenge us to reflect upon core values of our Catholic faith, “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”


The Fraternit√© Notre Dame Community, since its acquisition of the former Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish complex in South Scranton, Pennsylvania in 2020, has generously provided support to the poor, particularly during the course of the current health crisis. The Community, however, describes itself as a Traditional Catholic Religious Order that is not in union with the Pope. As such, it is not a legitimate religious order of the Catholic Church. 

The faithful of the Diocese of Scranton should not attend Masses nor receive the sacraments provided by the Fraternit√© Notre Dame Community when Masses are available in nearby Churches of the Diocese. Particularly regarding the sacraments of Confirmation and Marriage, these celebrations would not only be illicit, but also invalid.

 †Joseph C. Bambera Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. Bishop of Scranton

SCRANTON – The month of April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

It is a time to recognize the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child mistreatment.
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera will celebrate a Healing Mass for Survivors of Abuse at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton.
The Mass is open to the public following COVID-19 safety protocols. No reservations are required.
The Mass will also be broadcast live on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton and livestream on the Diocese of Scranton website, YouTube channel and social media platforms.

Wedding Anniversary Mass June 6, 2021

This year’s celebration will allow for limited attendance at an in-person Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton.  (Due to ongoing pandemic concerns, there will be no reception afterward.) The Mass will begin at 2:30, and attendance will require advance reservation.

If your 25th or 50th Wedding Anniversary has occurred or will occur in 2021, please register for the celebration here.  The registration deadline is Sunday, May 16, 2021.

The registration process includes an option whereby you can include one or two photos, as well as a short reflection on wisdom you have gained through your married life together.

(Please register for this celebration and recognition, even if you would prefer to not attend an in-person Mass.  The form will allow you to note that preference.)

For questions or concerns, or if there are issues registering online, please reach out to Jen Housel, Director for Community and Family Development, at, 570-207-2213 x 1104.

The Mass will air live on CTV and the Diocesan social media platforms. Family members and those anniversary couples not attending in-person are invited to participate in the Mass from home.

Considering the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a valuable opportunity for all married couples to pause and reflect upon the beauty of the vocation of marriage in our lives and in the life of our church.

Refresh Your Faith, Catholic Women's Conference 

Catholic Women's Conference Saturday, June  19, 2021 TICKETS:$40 Live- Outdoor tent seating or $20  Virtual-Live streaming 

Under the tent at Marywood University 2300 Adams Avenue Scranton, PA 18509  (570) 348-6211


Bishop Joseph C. Bambera issues statement on COVID-19 vaccines

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous grief and fear in our country and world over the last year, leaving more than 500,000 dead in the United States alone.

“I want to be clear and concise in my pastoral guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Given the grave danger this virus poses, it is morally acceptable to receive any of the current COVID-19 vaccines that have been determined to be clinically safe and effective. This position is supported by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“People should not delay getting a vaccine. Receiving a vaccine not only protects an individual’s health but also serves the common good by protecting the community – including the weak and vulnerable.

“While fully recognizing the complex moral and ethical issues involved in vaccine development, at this time, most people are not being given a true choice of which vaccine they receive, and likely won’t be able to make such a choice without a lengthy delay.

“Given that risk to public health, the faithful can in good conscience receive any of the current vaccines.”

To view the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s December 2020 Note on the Morality of Using some anti-COVID vaccines, please click here.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

†Joseph C. Bambera
Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Scranton

To be vaccinated or not: Answering common questions for Catholics


Dr. Levine first issued a masking order on April 15. The order signed today strengthens this initial order with these inclusions:

Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.

When outdoors, a mask must be worn if you are not able to remain physically distant (at least 6 feet away) from someone not in your household the entire time you are outdoors.

When indoors, masks will now be required even if you are physically distant from members not in your household. This means that even if you are able to be 6 feet apart, you will need to wear a mask while inside if with people other than members of your household. 

This order applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors’ offices, public transportation, and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.

Beatified Teen Showed That Heaven Is ‘Attainable Goal,’ Cardinal Says

ASSISI, Italy (CNS) — Thousands sang and applauded as Italian teen Carlo Acutis was beatified in a town dear to him and to many Christians around the world: Assisi. During the Oct. 10 beatification Mass, Italian Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the papal legate for the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Mary of the Angels … Continue reading "Beatified teen showed that heaven is ‘attainable goal,’ cardinal says"


Coronavirus Update - July 16, 2020

On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced new mitigation efforts for COVID-19.

The order includes a limitation of no more than 25 people at indoor events and no more than 250 people at outdoor gatherings. Please keep these numbers in mind for any parish-based events you may be planning.

In terms of indoor Mass capacity, Governor Wolf indicated that these limitations do not apply to religious institutions. As a result, there will be NO CHANGE to the current liturgical directives in the Diocese of Scranton.

The governor noted his changes are prompted by an unsettling climb in new coronavirus cases nationwide and concerns about a potential new surge in Pennsylvania cases.

I cannot stress strongly enough the need for every parish to follow all safety protocols that have been put in place for the protection of our parishioners, clergy and community. Put simply, none of us can take these procedures for granted because this situation can change very quickly.

While all liturgical directives can be found on the Diocese of Scranton’s website at, the most important liturgical directives include:

·         Everyone attending Mass is required to wear a mask except during Holy Communion

·         Pews are to be marked for social distancing and parishioners need to maintain six foot social distancing at all times while inside or outside a church

·         Properly sanitizing pews and other high-touch surfaces after each Mass

·         Encouraging anyone who is ill to stay home

I emphasize this continued vigilance so that we hopefully will not have to suspend public Masses once again. As you may be aware, some parishes in California and Arizona are closing again due to spikes in COVID-19 infections. Additionally, several states that border Pennsylvania, including Ohio and West Virginia are experiencing spikes in the number of cases being reported. I also hope that prudence now will allow our Catholic Schools to safely resume in-person learning next month.

At the same time, you may want to encourage parishioners to follow the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s recommendation to self-quarantine (and therefore not immediately attend Mass) if they travel to any states that are seeing a significant increase in cases.

I recognize these are challenging and frustrating times. Thank you for all that you are doing to keep the faithful of our parishes safe. As we have during the past four months, may we tap the blessings of our faith to sustain us in the days ahead.

Please stay safe and well.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

†Joseph C. Bambera

Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.

Bishop of Scranton

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera’s Reflection on George Floyd’s Death June 5, 2020

Guidelines for Safely Returning to Mass

Planning for the Future: What to Expect When Public Masses Resume

“As time unfolds, people coming back into normal activities is probably going to happen a little more slowly than some might expect. We will do all that we can to facilitate our return to Mass, but ultimately must provide for the safety of the people God has given to our care.” 
—Bishop Joseph C. Bambera—

Daily Masses From The Cathedral Of St. Peter

Private Masses will be celebrated daily in the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton, and made available on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton.

On weekdays, the Mass will be broadcast at 12:10 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

On weekends, the Saturday Vigil Mass will be broadcast at 4:00 p.m. and rebroadcast on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.

The Masses will also be streamed on the Diocese of Scranton’s website, made available on the Diocese of Scranton’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and will be accessible on the Diocese of Scranton’s YouTube channel.

COVID-19 Resources

Center for Disease Control

Pennsylvania Department of Health - Coronavirus

Catholic Response to Outbreak of Coronavirus

World Health Organization

DO THE FIVE Help stop coronavirus

1 HANDS Wash them often

2 ELBOW Cough into it

3 FACE Wear A Mask in Public

4 SPACE Keep safe distance Practice Social Distancing

5 HOME Stay if you can

Stress in your marriage?

Do you feel alone?  Are you bored, disillusioned, frustrated or angry in your relationship? Do you experience coldness or conflict in your relationship? Retrouvaille is a program that helps couples through difficult times in their marriages.  This program has helped thousands of couples experiencing difficulties in their marriages.  If you are thinking about, or already are, separated or divorced, there could still be hope for you. For confidential information about, or to register for the program on May 29 – 31, please call 631-338-5413 or 570-207-2213, or visit the website at

Do You Want to Know More About the Annulment Process?

In the Diocese of Scranton, the annulment process is now more “user friendly” than you might expect, and there is no longer a processing fee.  

Please contact your pastor or the Diocesan Tribunal Office (570-207-2246) to begin a conversation.  It is possible to get clear answers to these questions and to renew your connection with the Church.

For a listing of all Diocesan and parish events, visit: Calendar 

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