Bishop’s absence prompts changes in confirmation

Citizen Times

June 24, 2019

By Frank Wilkes lesnefsky

In the span of a day, more than 1,200 children throughout the Diocese of Scranton became fully-initiated Catholics after the bishop called on pastors in every parish to administer confirmations.

For the first time, the Very Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, allowed pastors and sacramental ministers to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation on June 9, Pentecost, to youths throughout the diocese’s 118 parishes in order to acclimate congregations to having their pastors administer the ceremony. So far, 64 parishes reported their confirmations to the diocese, totaling 1,196 children, according to diocese spokesman Eric Deabill. That number is expected to grow as more parishes report their numbers.

“This Pentecost, we allowed all of our pastors to have that opportunity and to familiarize their parish with it, and then come next year, I will do the lion’s share of confirmations and be assisted by the pastors in those places where I can’t be,” Bambera said. “We have to ask ourselves, how can we make this a great opportunity for our kids and also something that I can manage to accomplish?”

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