|During his inaugural homily beginning his ministry as Bishop of Rome, our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, challenged us to “Serve with Love.” In offering these three simple words, Pope Francis set forth his vision for the Church and for each of us as followers of Jesus, calling us “to protect God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important.” With the same spirit of hope and with much gratitude for your support, we launch the 2013 Diocesan Annual Appeal.
These powerful words of Pope Francis are a fitting reflection of the vital programs and ministries funded through the Diocesan Appeal which flow from our own calling in the Diocese of Scranton to be servant leaders who lovingly and generously respond to the needs of God’s people. Each day, your support of the Appeal allows us “to serve” by enhancing the programs offered in each of our 120 parishes; by educating our most precious resources: the approximately 6,000 students in our 20 Diocesan schools; by responding to the poorest, the weakest and those most in need through the good works of Catholic Social Services; and by supporting our retired and aging priests as well as the 12 men currently studying for the priesthood.
At this time in our history, we continue to be faced with a difficult and demanding economy. Yet, it is in such challenging times that we are called to be attentive to God, to be open to the signs of His presence and to be receptive to His plan. Such moments provide us with the opportunity to respond to the Holy Father’s call “to be protectors of one another” by serving with love. Your generosity to the Appeal will be a bold, compassionate assertion of your own desire to face the needs of so many, to protect and improve the lives of our sisters and brothers, and to “Serve with Love.”
As you reflect on the many gifts God has bestowed upon you, it is my deepest hope that you will support the 2013 Diocesan Annual Appeal. With your generous help, we will fulfill the vision of Pope Francis, and “Serve with Love.”May God continue to bless you and the Diocese of Scranton.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. Bishop of Scranton