Mother’s Day Adoption Mass Set for Sunday May 8th

The Diocese of Scranton will celebrate its annual Mother’s Day Adoption Mass on Sunday, May 8, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton. This liturgy prayerfully recognizes all mothers, with a special emphasis on adoptive and foster mothers. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera is expected to be the principal celebrant and homilist.

The Mother’s Day Adoption Mass is open to the public and all faithful are invited to attend.

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

Pope Francis has said that humanity is “built on mothers” and that their love is a cure for a world, which is so often divided and filled with bitterness. 

Bishop Bambera Issues Statement Regarding Invasion of Ukraine

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera

Like many of you, I am saddened and heartbroken by the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold in Ukraine. Our world should be long past the need for anyone to wake up at 5 a.m. to the sound of explosions, rocket attacks and air raid sirens.

I ask you to join me in praying for peace, an immediate end to the Russian invasion, and a respect for international law. I also ask you to join me in praying for the more than 40 million innocent women, men and children currently living in Ukraine, and most especially the victims of this conflict and their families.

On behalf of the clergy, deacons, consecrated religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, I express our firm solidarity with Ukrainian Catholics and Ukrainians here in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania and in Ukraine itself.

Now more than ever, our world is in need of healing and hope. I also urge everyone to participate in the call of Pope Francis to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace. As Our Holy Father has said, ‘May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.’

The following prayer is very dear to the Ukrainian people. I suggest that it be offered on their behalf.

We fly to Your patronage, O Virgin Mother of God.

Despise not our prayers in our needs,

but deliver us from all dangers, since you alone are pure and blessed. O most glorious ever-Virgin Mary,

the Mother of Christ our God, accept our prayers

and present them to Your Son and our God,

that for the sake of you, He enlighten and save our souls.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera
Diocese of Scranton

Editors Note: Various Catholic agencies, including the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and the international Caritas confederation, have already started to collect donations to aid with the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, as people flee to escape Russian bombing and shelling. For a list of agencies, please visit

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.”