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. 

Dunmorean Ordained as Deacon in Diocese of Scranton

Andrew A. Fazio Sr., a resident of Dunmore, was among 11 permanent deacons ordained by Bishop Joseph C. Bambera on Saturday, Nov. 25, in the Diocese of Scranton. The newly ordained deacons will join the ranks of clergy who minister to the faithful in parishes and other settings throughout the Diocese.

During the Mass of Ordination in the Cathedral of St. Peter, Bishop Bambera ordained the following men to serve permanently in the Order of Deacon:

Carl S. Albright, Pleasant Mount; Paul J. Cooper, White Mills; Herbert W. Cruikshank, Mountain Top; Andrew A. Fazio Sr., Dunmore; Maxime E. Francois, Bushkill; Michael M. Golubiewski, Nanticoke; Leonard Jinselli Jr., East Stroudsburg; Ronald D. Maida, Hallstead; John P. Musyt, Olyphant; James M. Rebarchick, Hazleton; and Robert J. Warnock, Honesdale.

These men have completed a five-year formation program and will become members of the threefold ordained ministry that consists of bishops, priests and deacons.

The deacon’s service has three aspects: word, worship and charity. He can perform certain ministerial functions such as administering baptism; serving as the deacon at the Mass, including proclaiming the Gospel, preaching the homily and distributing Holy Communion; bringing viaticum to the sick; presiding at wake services, funeral liturgies and burial rites; and with permission by the pastor, may celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony.

He ministers to the needs of families, single parents, students, the aged and infirmed, the imprisoned, and those who suffer from poverty or addictions.

Fazio, 63, is a resident of Dunmore and a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in the borough.

A 1972 graduate of Dunmore High School, Mr. Fazio has received extensive training in automobile mechanics, completing courses at the Lackawanna County Vocational Technical School, Johnson School of Technology and the Chrysler/Dodge Motor Company.

Since 1977, the deacon-candidate has served as a state-certified inspection mechanic for light/medium and heavy-duty vehicles and licensed/certified small-engine mechanic.

Self-employed for 38 years as owner of Andy’s Service Center, Towing and Power Equipment in Dunmore, Fazio and his wife Ann Marie are married for 40 years and have four children.

 

Little Sisters Mark Feast Day of Foundress

Bishop and LSP jubilee pic

The Little Sisters of the Poor and residents of Holy Family Residence celebrated the feast day of St. Jeanne Jugan, the mother foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, with a host of activities on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

The day began at 10:30 a.m. with a Mass celebrated by the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, along with several other diocesan priests, in the chapel at Holy Family Residence, 2500 Adams Ave., Scranton. Following the Mass, the Bishop, residents, and friends enjoyed a home cooked luncheon.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, who have been serving the elderly of Northeastern Pennsylvania since 1908, work closely with staff, volunteers, and benefactors to create a family spirit for the residents who make their home with them. They welcome the elderly who have limited funds and provide for their needs so they can thrive in an atmosphere of respect, dignity, and love.

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Shown celebrating LSP St. Jeanne Jugan Feast Day recently were, first row, from left: Sister Therese Michel, l.s.p. and Sister Kathleen, l.s.p. Second row, same order: Sister Alice, l.s.p.; Sister Laurelliya, l.s.p.; Rev. E. Francis Kelly, chaplain; Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton; Sister Theresa Louisa, l.s.p., superior of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s Scranton community; Sister Mary Augustine, l.s.p., and Sister Marie Therese, l.s.p.