Diocese of Scranton News and Events

Summer Bazaars, Festivals & Picnics 2023

Bishop Bambera Invites Parishes To Hold Special Collection For Maui

SCRANTON – As the Hawaii island of Maui begins to recover from the devastation caused by the deadliest wildfire in the United States in more than a century, Bishop Bambera has invited parishes in the Diocese of Scranton to take up an emergency special collection to address the immediate needs of the affected communities while also planning for long-term recovery efforts. 

The bishop is allowing each pastor to choose an upcoming weekend that works best for parishioners, but has suggested either the weekend of Sept. 2/3 (Labor Day weekend) or Sept. 9/10.

Funds from the emergency collection will be transmitted to the USCCB’s Emergency Disaster Fund and will go directly to help the people of Maui rebuild.

Bishop Bambera shared the words of Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva, who recently said to the Catholic faithful in Hawaii and beyond, “As a community of faith, we are called to come together and provide unwavering support to those who are suffering. It is in times like these that our collective love, faith, and compassion can make a tremendous difference.” read more...

Awaken The ‘Weary’ Church By Becoming ‘Restless,’ Pope Says In Portugal

LISBON, Portugal (CNS) – A Catholic Church that has grown weary in countries shaken by the clerical sexual abuse crisis and cultural trends toward secularism must look anew to Jesus to revive their “restless” enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel, Pope Francis said.

“Now is the God-given time of grace to sail boldly into the sea of evangelization and of mission,” the pope told Portuguese bishops, priests, religious and pastoral workers after praying vespers at the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon Aug. 2, the first day of his trip to Portugal.

Pope Francis gives his blessing at the end of vespers with Portuguese bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and pastoral workers in the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal, Aug. 2, 2023. (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)

Using a wheelchair, the pope entered the 16th-century monastery to great applause, and the cheers that erupted when he stood to greet those present resembled those echoing from the pop concert taking place across the street for World Youth Day.

Pope Francis was greeted by Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho of Leiria-Fátima, president of the country’s bishops’ conference, before leading the prayer. In his homily, the pope reflected on the passage from St. Luke’s Gospel in which Jesus gets into the disciples’ fishing boat and invites them to let their nets down in deep water for a catch.

Just as those fishermen didn’t catch anything before Jesus’ arrival, “there are moments in our ecclesial journey when we can feel a similar weariness — weariness — when we seem to be holding only empty nets,” he said, noting how such a situation is common in countries with a long-standing Christian tradition but are now experiencing a “growing detachment from the practice of the faith.”

Often, he added, the reality of waning church participation in those countries is accentuated by the disappointment and anger people feel toward the church due to “our poor witness and the scandals that have marred her face and call us to a humble and ongoing purification, starting with the anguished cry of the victims, who must always be accepted and listened to.”

The Vatican announced later that after vespers Pope Francis met at the nunciature with 13 victims of “abuse by members of the clergy, accompanied by some representatives of Portuguese church institutions in charge of the protection of minors. The meeting took place in an atmosphere of intense listening and lasted more than an hour, concluding shortly after 8:15 p.m.”

In February, an independent report commissioned by the Portuguese bishops’ conference found that at least 4,815 minors were abused by members of the church in Portugal between 1960-2022, sparking harsh criticism against the church within the country.

Brother Antão Caunan, a Hospitaller of St. John of God who attended the vespers, told Catholic News Service he was “very joyful” about Pope Francis’ visit to Portugal, but hoped the pope would talk about the abuse crisis in his homily. Brother Caunan is from Timor-Leste and for five years has been serving his religious community in Portugal, where, he said, the abuse revelations have “changed the perception of ordinary people toward the church” and eroded their trust in the institution.

The pope in his homily urged Portugal’s Catholic community to “bring those struggles and tears to the Lord, in order then to respond to pastoral and spiritual needs, together, with open hearts.”

Pope Francis said the first step is to develop a strong faith — and that cannot be done by reciting certain words, “blah, blah, blah,” or taking a nap in the sacristy, he said jokingly. He recommended partaking in silent adoration to “truly rediscover our taste and passion for evangelization” that is “without ideologies or forms of worldliness.”

With several Missionaries of Charity sitting in the front rows near the pope, he recalled how Mother Theresa always went to adoration even through her most difficult crises of faith.

The pope also urged people to “work together in offering pastoral care,” offering the synodal principles of “communion, mutual assistance and shared journey. That is the aim of the current synod.”

Looking at the crowd, he said the church must announce the Gospel to everyone — “everyone, everyone, everyone” — and insisted the church “should not be a customs office to select who passes and who doesn’t.”

Maritza Barros, a youth coordinator in Madeira, Portugal, told CNS that some of the 1,000 young people she brought to Lisbon for World Youth Day are thought to be judgmental by their non-Catholic friends for believing in God, and that they respond well to the pope’s invitation “to make their faith accessible to all.”

The pope’s visit to Portugal, coupled with World Youth Day, will “brush the dust off the pews” for young people in the church.

Pope Francis urged church workers in Portugal to continue lowering their nets and being a light in a world that has “lost a sense of enthusiasm, the courage to dream, the strength to confront challenges and to be confident about the future.”

To a roar of laughter, the pope ended his homily by entrusting the Portuguese Catholic community to Our Lady of Fátima and St. Anthony, who was born in Lisbon but “was stolen by those of Padua.”

National Eucharistic Revival

Initial resources for the Eucharistic Revival, including the document issued by the USCCB concerning the Revival,  The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church, can be found on the Eucharistic Revival website at this link.


Our world is hurting. We all need healing, yet many of us are separated from the very source of our strength. Jesus Christ invites us to return to the source and summit of our faith in the celebration of the Eucharist. The National Eucharistic Revival is a movement to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery here in the United States by helping us renew our worship of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

Watch the video to learn more about the exciting journey ahead and how you can be a part of it!

Statement of the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, on the Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

“On behalf of the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, I join people around the world in offering prayers and sympathy on the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

“Pope Emeritus Benedict will always be remembered as a great theologian-pope, not just because of the three encyclicals he wrote, but because of the intellectual precision he brought to all of his work, helping us to encounter God’s love and truth. For example, in Spe Salvi, (In hope we were saved), he beautifully stated that God is our foundation of hope, and it is his love alone that gives us the possibility of soberly persevering day by day.

“In addition to being a strong supporter of the Church in America, Benedict truly believed in fostering Christian unity as a fundamental priority of the worldwide Church. From dialoging with Lutherans to his work with Anglicans, he made many efforts to see Christians fully united.

“We give thanks to the Father for the great gift of Benedict as a priest, bishop, cardinal and Successor to Saint Peter. While much has been written about his historic renunciation, Benedict’s actions showed great humility, selflessness and courage as he determined he no longer had the physical strength for the demands of the papacy.

“On a personal level, I thank Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for the trust and confidence he had in me when appointing me the tenth bishop of the Diocese of Scranton in February 2010. I will always treasure the opportunity to witness his humanity and devotion to Christ the following year during my first ad limina visit to the Vatican.

“I ask the people of the Diocese of Scranton to offer prayers for the peaceful repose of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s soul. May God grant him the gift of eternal life and bring comfort to those who mourn his passing.”

Bishop Bambera to celebrate Diocesan Memorial Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Wednesday, Jan. 4

SCRANTON – The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will be the principal celebrant of a Mass for the intention of the happy repose of the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, the Mother Church of the Diocese of Scranton, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, at 12:10 p.m.

All people of goodwill are invited to participate in the Mass in person as our diocese mourns the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died in the morning Dec. 31 at his residence at the Vatican. He was 95.

The Diocesan Memorial Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict will be broadcast live on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton. A livestream will be also be provided on the Diocese of Scranton website, Diocese of Scranton YouTube channel and across all Diocesan social media platforms.

The Cathedral of Saint Peter is located at 315 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503.

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

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

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

Follow the Diocese of Scranton on Facebook: