Weekly E-Newsletter

February 24, 2022
"Let us not grow tired of doing good"
Read Bishop Bambera's 2022 Lenten Message
Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, has released his 2022 Lenten message to the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton.

In his message, Bishop Bambera encourages all people to deepen their faith and to do good on behalf of our brothers and sisters, which is needed today more than ever.

The bishop also reflects on Pope Francis' Lenten plea regarding the urgency of using the time that God has given to us in a productive manner by sowing goodness in our world.
Sign up for free daily reflections from the Office for Parish Life during Lent
You are invited to join us this Lent for a series of daily reflections delivered right to your email inbox!

Each day of the week will provide inspiration and ideas to make this a Lenten season that calls you into a deeper relationship with Christ. You’ll hear from a variety of people who are missionary disciples, with gifts to share so that Christ is more known and loved.

Wherever you are in your faith journey, these Lenten daily reflections will fill your spirit.

Each day will have a particular focus:
o Mercy Monday
o Teaching Tuesday
o Witness Wednesday
o Thirsting Thursday
o Forgiving Friday
o Stick with It Saturday
o Sacred Sunday
Faithful invited to receive ashes at parishes across the Diocese on March 2
The Diocese of Scranton and all of its parishes invite the faithful to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

The reception of ashes is not mandatory nor required. The faithful should know it is their own internal disposition and intention to repent and start over that is the best fruit of Ash Wednesday and the ashes are an external sign of that internal reality.

Individuals may enter into Lent with a repentant heart even if they decide that receiving ashes is not the right thing for them this year because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to continued concerns over health and safety, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera has directed that parishes do not impose ashes by thumb for the second year in a row. Ashes can still be distributed to the faithful through two options. All parishes have been given the ability to choose which method works best.
Do good unto others, ditch digital addictions for Lent, pope says
Christians must persevere in generously doing good in the world, bolstered by prayer and by fighting evil in their own lives, including an addiction to digital media, Pope Francis said.

“Lent is a propitious time to resist these temptations and to cultivate instead a more integral form of human communication made up of ‘authentic encounters’ – face-to-face and in person,” the pope said in his message for Lent, which begins March 2 for Latin-rite Catholics.

“Let us ask God to give us the patient perseverance of the farmer and to persevere in doing good, one step at a time,” and to know that “the soil is prepared by fasting, watered by prayer and enriched by charity,” the pope wrote.
Pope calls for day of prayer, fasting for peace in Ukraine
As the threat of war loomed over the world, Pope Francis called on people to pray and fast for peace in Ukraine on Ash Wednesday.

Before concluding his general audience Feb. 23, the pope called on believers and nonbelievers to combat the “diabolical insistence, the diabolical senselessness of violence” with prayer and fasting.

“I invite everyone to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace,” he said. “I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace protect the world from the folly of war.”

In his appeal, the pope said he, like many around the world, felt “anguish and concern” after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Ukraine is being 'crucified in the eyes of the world,' says Archbishop
Ukraine is “being crucified before the eyes of the world,” said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

Speaking by telephone from Paris to CatholicPhilly.com Feb. 24 – the day Russian armed forces invaded Ukraine – Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak said the invasion is designed to “destroy Ukrainian statehood and install an authoritarian system in a country of 44 million people.”

After months of amassing up to 190,000 troops at the Ukrainian borders with Russia and Belarus, the invasion from the east, north and south began what Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak called “a full-scale war in Europe.”

Airstrikes and explosions near several major cities in Ukraine, including its capital, Kyiv, have caused civilians to flee in panic. The Ukrainian military reports losing at least 40 members so far, with an unspecified number of civilian casualties.
Take Action: Senate to take vote Monday to advance so-called "Women's Health Protection Act," most extreme pro-abortion bill ever to be considered in Congress
On Monday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 pm, the U.S. Senate will vote on a motion to begin debate on H.R. 3755, the so-called Women's Health Protection Act of 2021. This is the most extreme pro-abortion bill we have seen. 

The legislation would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute and would eliminate pro-life laws at every level of government - including parental notification for minor girls, informed consent, and health or safety protections specific to abortion facilities.

H.R. 3755 also would compel all Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars and would also likely force health care providers and professionals to perform, assist in, and/or refer for abortions against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as force employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortions.

We have received word that Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) may vote to allow the debate to begin on H.R. 3755. Please contact Senator Casey today and ask him to vote AGAINST beginning debate on this horrendous pro-choice bill. 
Polish icon coming to the Poconos
The replica icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa will be brought to the Catholic Church of St. Luke in Stroudsburg and venerated at all the parish’s liturgies on Saturday and Sunday, February 26th and 27th.

The original icon has a legendary past that led in the 14th century to its housing at the Jasna Góra monastery near the town of Czestochowa. Under this title, the Blessed Mother has been considered the protector of Poland through centuries of invasions and wars.

Devotion to the Madonna has flourished among Polish-American Catholics and efforts to build a shrine in her honor began in the 1950s. Finally, in 1966, a new and spacious church was erected in Doylestown, Pennsylvania to service the growing numbers of pilgrims.

The replica icon will be brought to the Poconos from that Doylestown National Shrine at the request of the Catholics who celebrate Sunday Mass in the Polish language at St. Luke’s.
Diocese of Scranton
300 Wyoming Avenue,
Scranton, PA 18503-1279
(570) 207-2238