Pennsylvania Bishops Dedicate Dioceses to Protection of Blessed Mother


Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L, Bishop of Scranton.

On May 1, during their Provincial meeting, the Bishops of Pennsylvania affirmed their desire to dedicate each Catholic diocese and eparchy in the Commonwealth to the protection of the Blessed Mother.

The dedication coincides with the Church’s observance of the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s appearances to three young shepherd children near the town of Fatima, Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917.

“Our world today is just as much in need of healing and mercy as it was a century ago, and so we invoke the tender care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Lord and our Mother,” said the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton.

The Bishop then went on to quote Pope Francis, who will be visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on May 12 and 13, 2017: “Mary reminds us of the necessity of abandoning oneself to God, the source of love and mercy. … Let us entrust ourselves to Mary, Mother of hope, who invites us to turn our gaze towards salvation, towards a new world and a new humanity.”

The official dedication of the Commonwealth’s dioceses and eparchies to the protection of Mary will be marked with a special Mass to be celebrated by all the Bishops of Pennsylvania on Sept.r 27, 2017 at noon in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Harrisburg.

The second part of the dedication will be an observance in each diocese and eparchy on the weekend of Oct. 14-15.

In honor of the centennial of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearances, Bishop Bambera is also leading a special pilgrimage to Spain and Portugal Sept. 18-26, 2017.

Local pilgrims travel to celebrate”World Youth Day”

World Youth Day pic.jpg

Pilgrims from the Diocese of Scranton, led by Bishop Joseph C. Bambera,  gathered at the Diocesan Pastoral Center recently for their departure to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day 2016 with Pope Francis.

The pilgrimage has consisted of catechesis, evening cultural events, Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis, Eucharistic Adoration, speakers, confession, and a Closing Mass with Pope Francis. In addition, pilgrims experienced some of the most moving religious sites in the world, such as the origins of Saint Faustina, Saint John Paul II, and Saint Maximilian Kolbe in Niepokalanow.

Mass will be also be celebrated in Czestochowa in front of the Black Madonna icon. The Diocesan delegation will return Aug. 3.


Local Advent Services to be held

Three Roman Catholic parishes in Northeastern Pennsylvania are continuing an annual tradition of collaborating to present two special services during the upcoming Advent season.

Open Our Hearts, an Advent service of word and song, will be presented in locations in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties on the second and third Sundays of Advent, Dec. 6 and 13. Both services are free and open to the public.

The first will be held on Sunday, Dec. 6, at Holy Family Parish Church, 574 Bennett St., Luzerne, and the second is set for Sunday, Dec.13, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 208 Smith St., Dunmore. The services begin at 7 p.m. each evening and are open to the public at no charge.

This year marks the seventh year of this remarkable collaboration among three parishes in two counties. The music for the service features the combined choir of more  than 60 voices from Holy Family Parish, Luzerne (Rev. Joseph Pisaneschi, Administrator); SS. Anthony and Rocco Parish, Dunmore (Rev. David Cappelloni, Pastor); and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Dunmore (Rev. John Doris, Pastor), as well as several soloists and an instrumental ensemble.  Directors of Music at the parishes are, respectively, Linda Houck, Joseph Moffitt, and Geri Seitzinger.

Open Our Hearts offers those who participate an opportunity to embrace the season of Advent and its spirit of preparation for Christmas. Through Scripture readings and musical selections, the program will focus on how God’s people have opened their hearts to welcome Him throughout salvation history.

For more information about these events, please contact the parish office at Holy Family Parish, Luzerne (570-287-6600), Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Dunmore (570-346-7429), or Saints Anthony and Rocco Parish, Dunmore (570-344-1209).