Diocese of Scranton Announces Gradual Reopening of Parishes Amid Crisis

web1_TheDioceseofScranton-logo-1-In a video message to parishioners, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera announced details regarding the gradual reopening of additional parishes in the Diocese of Scranton.

Starting on Monday, June 1,  parishes in Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties resumed in-person Masses.

On Monday, June 8, parishes in Lackawanna County will also be able to resume in-person Masses. The exact timetable for an individual parish to reopen will be the decision of its pastor with regard to preparedness, especially in regards to maintaining proper social distancing and sanitizing.

Mass attendance at all parishes will be limited to no more than 25-percent of a church’s seating capacity. Parishioners will be required to wear face masks and remain a proper social distance of at least six feet away from other individuals/families.

“For the last 10 weeks, I know many of our faithful parishioners have been longing to return to church, participate in Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist,” Bishop Bambera said. “The Diocese has been working hard to resume in-person worship in a safe, comfortable and reverent manner.”

Masses in four counties, Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties, resumed on Monday, May 18. While initially limited to a capacity of 25 people, parishes in those four counties can now also increase their Mass capacity to no more than 25-percent of total church occupancy. 

Additional guidance for all parishes includes:

  • Those who feel vulnerable because of their age or underlying medical conditions will be encouraged to stay home. •People who are feeling ill will be directed not to attend public Masses.
  • The Sunday Mass obligation remains suspended at this time.
  • Parishes are encouraged to continue live streaming Masses and a daily Mass will continue to be broadcast on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton.
  • Pews will be marked off or designated in order to maintain proper social distancing guidelines.
  • Holy Communion will be distributed at the end of Mass. Parishioners are strongly advised to receive the Body of Christ in the hand. Distribution of the Precious Blood remains suspended at this time.

“As the doors of our parishes reopen, everyone has an important role to play. The safety of our faithful people, our clergy and our community is the most important factor guiding any decisions that are made,” Bishop Bambera added. 

Bishop Bambera encourages the faithful to visit the Diocese of Scranton’s website for the latest news and information regarding the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Diocese of Scranton to Host Annual Vocations Golf Classic

Golf-Ball-on-TeeThe Diocese of Scranton will host the eighth annual Vocations Golf Classic will be held Monday, July 10, at Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club, Mountain Top, to support the St. John Vianney Endowment, which helps foster vocations to the Diocesan priesthood and support seminarians in formation. St. John Vianney is the patron of parish priests.

The captain and crew tournament begins with lunch at 11 a.m. and shotgun start at noon. A reception and awards dinner follows play. To donate or register online, visit www.DioceseofScranton.org and click the “Giving” tab – Vocations Golf; or call the Diocesan Development Office at 570-207-2250.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera is honorary chair and will be golfing in the captain and crew tournament on the 27-hole course. The day begins with lunch at 11 a.m., shotgun start at noon and reception and awards dinner immediately following play. Rev. Donald J. Williams, diocesan director of vocations and director of seminarians, is event chair.

“I am grateful for the faithful parishioners and friends throughout the 11 counties of the Diocese of Scranton who continue to attend and support this annual event which raises needed funds to foster vocations and assist future priests on their journey to serve our local Church,” said Bishop Bambera.

“As a Diocese, we are blessed with good men in seminarian formation today,” said Rev. Williams. “With the support of our priests, religious and parishioners, we’re identifying a significant number of potential candidates who may one day be of service to the Diocese.”

“I join with our Bishop and the golf committee in urging everyone to consider making a donation honoring a friend or loved one,” the vocations director added. “All gifts in support of our seminarians are appreciated. The tournament provides an opportunity for golfers, sponsors and seminarians to meet informally and enjoy a relaxing day outdoors.”

Donations of any amount are welcome. Hole sponsorships are $100. Golfer packages are $250 and include cart and green fees, lunch, dinner and reception. Donations may be made by texting 51-555 and typing Priest. Information is available by calling the Diocesan development office at 570-207-2250 or on-line at DioceseofScranton.org (Giving tab).

Diocesan Golf Committee 2017

Committee members planning the event in conjunction with the Diocesan Office of Development are, seated from left: Marilouise Agnone Ruane, Director of Stewardship, co-chair; Msgr. Donald McAndrews; Rev. Donald Williams, Director of Vocations and Seminarians, chair; and Msgr. David Bohr, Secretary for Clergy Formation. Standing: Christopher DiMattio, Tom Considine, Dominic Rinaldi, Rev. Jeffrey Walsh, Rev.d David Cappelloni, Michael P. Brown and Jim Bebla, Secretary for Development.

The committee also includes: John Callahan, Karen Clifford, Reverend Joseph Evanko, Deacon Frank Hine, Michele Long, Scott Lynett, Thomas Medico, Attorney Joseph O’Brien, Kathy Oven, Frank Orlando, and Mark Soprano.

Area Priests Celebrate Ordination Anniversaries

Priest Jubilarians pic

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera was principal celebrant of a Mass in the Catehdral of St. Peter to honor priests of the Diocese of Scranton who are celebrating milestone ordination anniversaries this year.

Pictured after the mass are, front row from left: Reverend Patrick L. Albert, 25 years; Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John M. Dougherty, 60 years; Bishop Bambera; Reverend Joseph A. Kearney, 50 years, and Reverend Joseph O. Weber, 60 years.

Back row: Reverend Jeffrey J. Walsh, V.E., Episcopal Vicar for Clergy; Reverend E. Francis Kelly, 50 years; Reverend Michael J. Rafferty, 60 years; Reverend Edward P. Lyman, 50 years; Monsignor John J. Bendik, 50 years; Monsignor Joseph G. Rauscher, 50 years; Reverend Richard E. Fox, 25 years; and Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, V.G., Vicar General of the Diocese.

Priests celebrating jubilees who were not able to attend the Mass are Reverend Alex J. Hazzouri, 60 years; Monsignor William P. Ward, 60 years; and Reverend Richard A. Zavacki, 60 years.