Bishop of Scranton to Give Principal Address at 2014 Undergraduate Commencement


The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, has an established record of service and leadership within the church and across our region. Bishop Bambera will serve as the principal speaker at The University of Scranton’s undergraduate commencement on Sunday, June 1. He will also receive an honorary degree from the University at the ceremony.

 “As Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton and as a former Trustee of the University, Bishop Bambera has demonstrated his support of the important transformational role a Scranton education plays in the lives of students and its impact through them in making the world more just,” said University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J. “He shares the vision of the first Bishop of Scranton, who established our university in Scranton 125 years ago.”

Bishop Bambera was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the tenth Bishop of Scranton in 2010. In a 2011 pastoral letter, “Wounded and Loved, Regathering the Scattered,” he reflected on his vision for the Diocese and called his congregation to “be servant leaders who build community through hospitality, respect, inclusion and holiness.”

Prior to his appointment as Bishop, he served the Diocese of Scranton as delegate of Cardinal Justin Rigali (2009), canonical consultant for pastoral planning (2007), Episcopal vicar for the Central Region (2005), moderator of The Diocesan Annual Appeal (2001-2003), vicar for priests (1995), director of continuing education for priests (1995), and director of ecumenism and interfaith affairs (1993). He was made a Prelate of Honor by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1997.

Bishop Bambera is a past member of the Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission, the Diocesan Seminary Admissions Committee, the Diaconate Advisory Board, the Office of Continuing Education for Priests Advisory Board, the Diocesan Independent Review Board, the Priests’ Retirement Board, the Vocations Advisory Board, and the Diocesan Liturgical Commission. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for The University of Scranton from 2003 to 2009.

In 1983, Bishop Bambera was ordained to the diaconate by the Most Reverend J. Carroll McCormick and to the priesthood by the Most Reverend John J. O’Connor. His first priestly assignment was as assistant pastor of the Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption in Scranton. He served in this position until 1987, when he was appointed assistant pastor of the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton and concurrently served as an auditor in the Tribunal of the Diocese of Scranton, diocesan spiritual director of the Legion of Mary, campus minister at Lackawanna Junior College and diocesan director of pilgrimages.

Bishop Bambera earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978, when he was accepted for studies for the priesthood for the Diocese of Scranton and entered Saint Pius X Seminary in Dalton. During that time, he attended The University of Scranton, pursuing courses in theology and philosophy. He was awarded a Master of Divinity degree by the Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton in 1982.

In 1991, Bishop Bambera was awarded a Licentiate in Canon Law from Saint Paul’s University in Ottawa, Canada, and a master’s degree in Canon Law from the University of Ottawa, Canada. Following the completion of his graduate studies, Bishop Bambera was appointed as a judge in the Tribunal of the Diocese of Scranton, a position he continues to hold.

The University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre, on Sunday, June 1, at noon.

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