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.”