A new bishop for Scranton
As a Scrantonian by birth, I was pleased to hear that the seat vacated by Bishop Joseph Martino in August (an event we discussed here and here) has been filled. And I’m doubly pleased to hear that the new bishop will be Msgr. Joseph Bambera, a native of the diocese. I don’t know Msgr. Bambera, but I know he is highly thought of and well-liked, and it’s my sense that a bishop who knows the territory well is just what Scranton needs. In place of the usual “I look forward to getting to know you” message, Bambera’s official statement reflected his familiarity with the area and its challenges:
The people of this Diocese are our greatest blessing and I have been so privileged to walk the journey of faith with many of you. I’ve been blessed to share in your joys and hopes. And I am also keenly aware of the struggles that we have faced together. In addition to the personal losses and setbacks that touch everyone’s lives, as a diocese, we’ve struggled with change, parish restructuring and church and school closures. We continue to do so. But notice that through all of these challenges, despite the pain that so often comes from loss, life goes on.
Lately there has been talk of low morale in Scranton, among priests especially, and a bishop who can make reference to “my brother priests with whom I’ve served for twenty-six years” is bound to be an asset in that department. Bambera’s many years’ experience as a pastor should also be a boon for Scranton. He’s got a tough job ahead of him, and he’s got my prayers.
Update: if you’ve come via Whispers, welcome. Please note that despite Palmo’s attribution to “no less than Commonweal,” it is I, an individual, that is pleased with this news, and I am in fact “less than” Commonweal. The magazine hasn’t stated its opinion.