Monday, November 21, 2016

#leaveamark16: A Memorable Event

Hundreds gathered in the Cathedral of Saint Peter on November 6th to join Bishop Bambera for a special gathering of the ‘young church’ to kick off National Vocation Awareness Week in the Diocese of Scranton. #leaveamark16, the title of the event, brought together high school juniors and seniors, college students, and working young adults from the eleven counties of the Diocese.

The title of the event came from Pope Francis’ address at the Prayer Vigil in Krakow, Poland this summer at World Youth Day: “Dear young people, we didn’t come into this world to ‘vegetate’, to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: to leave a mark. It is very sad to pass through life without leaving a mark. Jesus is inviting you, calling you, to leave your mark on life, to leave a mark on history, your own and that of many others as well.”

Bishop Bambera echoed the same message to all those who attended in his homily. “The starting point is simple. It’s something we’ve all been given: baptism. Pope Francis, in reflecting upon the sacrament, urges us not to forget both the gift and the responsibility that is ours through its reception."

After the Celebration of the Eucharist, a reception was held in the Diocesan Pastoral Center. Those who attended had the opportunity to meet others from across the Diocese of Scranton, have a bite to eat, and even get their picture taken in a photo frame. 

Here is what some who attended had to say:
“The #leaveamark16 event was a great congregation of the young church of our Diocese. I was very encouraged to see a church packed with young people who had the fire of the Holy Spirit alive within them. This event was a great manifestation of the message Pope Francis wanted to instill on young Catholics, namely to go out and leave a mark in our communities. The world is a better place when people go out into their communities and live out the Gospel message through serving others. Even if we feel that what we do is on a small scale and insignificant, in each person we help we are in turn serving Jesus as he is a live in everyone we meet.”

          -Thomas Shaffern, University of Scranton
“I enjoyed the sense of community and solidarity the #leaveamark16 mass and reception created by bringing together young adults from all over the Diocese. God has definitely left a mark on our generation. Now it’s our turn to join Him in leaving a mark of our own.”

          -Bridget Barnic, Marywood University
“The Mass was a sign for me that although religion seems irrelevant to today’s youth, there are still people my age who are looking for the same thing, God and His meaning. I felt His presence and it was amazing.”

          -Brian Noble, Luzerne County Community College

The Vocation Office hopes to make this an annual event. For more information about upcoming events, please call 570-207-1452.