Dunmore Native Ordained to Order of the Priesthood

The Cathedral of Saint Peter was the setting on Saturday, June 26, 2021, as Reverend Mark Joshua DeCelles, 39, of Dunmore was ordained to the Order of the Priesthood for service in the Diocese of Scranton on Saturday, June 26, at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton. The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, served as ordaining prelate for the Mass which was open to the public.

CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton broadcast the Mass live and provided livestreaming on the Diocese of Scranton’s website and social media platforms.

DeCelles, a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Parish in Scranton, was ordained a transitional deacon in 2020 and is now ready to take his final steps toward priestly ordination.

“I’m very excited,” the Dunmore native said. “I didn’t picture myself here and now it is happening and it’s thrilling what God is doing in my life and what God is doing in the life of the Church at this moment.”

DeCelles completed his preparatory studies for the priesthood at Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Md.

Describing himself as an “incurable academic,” DeCelles said he experienced several powerful moments during his seminary experience, including taking part in hospital ministry.

“The joy was really what caught me, the joy in being with people, just being present, not only with people who were suffering a lot and to be a comforting presence there but also with people who inexplicably were filled with the joy of the Lord,” DeCelles explained.

DeCelles said he is thankful to all those who have prayed for him and supported him on this journey.

“To the people who have welcomed me into their lives over the course of my formation in the parishes, certainly Immaculate Conception Parish, my home parish in Scranton where I received the faith, but also Blessed Sacrament Parish and Holy Cross Parish in Throop and Olyphant and Saint Matthew Parish in East Stroudsburg, you have no idea how much it meant to be welcomed into those communities in the way that I was and to be welcomed into people’s lives,” he said. “That is an incredible privilege, to have the opportunity to be a minister, to learn to minister alongside you.”

Relic Tour to Make a Stop at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton

web1_St.JeanVianneyRelicPhoto-640x381As parishioners spend time in prayer for the season of Lent, the Diocese of Scranton has announced that it will host the incorrupt heart of Saint Jean Vianney at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton in April.

The major relic is currently in the midst of a nationwide tour, visiting cathedrals, churches and chapels throughout the United States through June 2019.

The relic will be welcomed to the Cathedral of Saint Peter on Saturday, April 13, with the celebration of Morning Prayer at 8:30 a.m. It will remain on display for private prayer and veneration through 3 p.m. The Daily Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 p.m. and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will also be offered from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

The Shrine of Ars, France, made the relic available for its national tour, which is being hosted nationalwide by The Knights of Columbus. Before stopping in Scranton, the relic will have already visited Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

Born in France in 1786, Jean Vianney suffered through the dark years of the French Revolution. He undertook a life of penance and prayer to draw people away from sin and closer to God. Known for his wise spiritual counsels, Father Vianney would hear confessions for up to 18 hours a day. Jean Vianney died on August 4, 1859, and was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925.

As the patron of parish priests, the faithful are asked to pray for their most heartfelt needs and intentions, as well as for healing within the heart of the Church.

For more information about St. Jean Vianney and the relic tour, visit http://www.dioceseofscranton.org.

Ash Wednesday Begins Season of Lent

ashToday, Ash Wednesday, March 1, will mark the start of the solemn 40-day season of Lent. Parishes throughout the 11-county Diocese of Scranton will distribute ashes as a sign of penance and to remind individuals of Lent’s call to a more complete gospel lifestyle.

At the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton, ashes will be distributed during the 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Masses. The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, will be the principal celebrant of the 12:10 p.m. Pontifical Mass. CTV: Catholic Television will broadcast the Mass.

Ash Wednesday commemorates the ancient rite of placing the sign of the cross on the forehead with the reminder “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Lent’s invitation to repentance and conversion may also be found in the optional words of this rite: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” These ashes are gathered from the burned branches of palm carried the previous year in the Palm Sunday procession.

The Office for Parish Life is conducting an Ash Wednesday Retreat from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 330 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton. All are welcome. To register, call the Office at 570-207-2213.

Since, the Church encourages us to make confession a regular part of our spiritual life, especially during the holy season of Lent, parishes are participating in a Lenten initiative called The Light Is On for You, which means that every Monday evening during the Lenten season, beginning on the first Monday of Lent, March 6, and continuing through Monday of the last full week of Lent, April 3, confessions will be heard in every parish from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Diocesan website contains a variety of resources to help parishes extend the invitation to The Light Is On for You, and to help penitents prepare for and participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. See www.dioceseofscranton.org (Parish Life Office menu tab, then The Light Is On for You). The site also includes a Parish Directory listing parishes by location. Note: In parishes with multiple worship sites, call the parish office to confirm the site where the Monday evening confessions will be heard. Also check the specific parish bulletins or websites for details.

During Lent the Cathedral of Saint Peter will offer several ways in which the faithful can deepen their relationship with Jesus and come to know him in a more intimate way.

On Fridays the Stations of the Cross will be prayed following the 12:10 p.m. Mass and Novena to St. John Neumann. The Stations will air on CTV live on March 3 after the 12:10 p.m. Mass on that day and then on succeeding Fridays at 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

On Sundays, March 5, 12, 19 and 26; April 2 and 9, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will begin at the conclusion of the 5 p.m. Sunday Mass. Evening Prayer and Benediction begin at 6:30 p.m.