The Good News: February 2024

The Basilica of St. John the Baptist Parish in Canton celebrated its 200th Anniversary with a Mass and reception at Brookside Country Club on Nobember 5, 2023. Father David Misbrener was also installed as pastor at the Mass. To read more about the anniversary and the history of the parish, read the story published in the September 2023 issue. Photo by Ed Hall, Jr.


World Day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated in the Church on Friday, February 2, and in parishes over the weekend of February 3 and 4. Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and be sure to thank them on their special day. May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God’s gift of their vocation.

Bishop Bonnar will celebrate the annual World Day for Consecrated Life Mass at St. Columba Cathedral at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 4. All religious who were previously or are currently living or working the diocese are encouraged to attend. The Youngstown Vocations Support Society will provide a social following the liturgy. Visit for more information.


The Catholic Echo podcast, which launched in November, is available on all major podcasting platforms and on this website, as well as on Youngstown radio stations WHOT-FM 101, WYFM-FM 102.9 and WQXK-FM 105.1 on Sundays at 6:30 a.m. (with Wineskins airing beforehand at 6 a.m.) Airing weekly, each episode of The Catholic Echo Podcast features a specific topic relevant to the Church today, and Bishop David Bonnar and guests explore the topic of the week with host Father Jim Korda. 

Topics for February include: February 4—Consecrated Life (featuring Sister Mary McCormick); February 11—Annual Diocesan Appeal (featuring Father John-Michael Lavelle); February 18—The Season of Lent (featuring Father Michael Balash and Father John-Michael Lavelle); February 25—Reconfiguration (featuring Monsignor John Zuraw).

For Their Service…

The diocese would like to thank recent retirees, Deacon Michael Kocjancic and Carol Palermo. “Deacon Mike” served the diocese for many years as the director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate and retired from that position on December 1, 2023. However, he will continue his diaconal responsibilities at St. Charles Borromeo Parish and St. Luke Parishes in Boardman. Palermo also retired in December 2023 after serving for more than 40 years in various parishes around the diocese—most recently, St. Columba Cathedral. 

The diocese would also like to thank Sister Joyce Candidi,  of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, D.Min., for serving the diocese for more than 20 years in several capacities—most recently as the director for the Office of Vowed Religious. Though she is not retiring, she is leaving her diocesan job to work as a general counselor of female religious in Rome for her order. The assignment lasts six years. Read more about it in a story by Nancilynn Gatta. Congratulations, Sister Joyce!


During Lent, Catholics will have an opportunity to reflect on their spiritual life using a survey called the Disciple Maker Index (DMI). The survey provides data for pastors, parish councils and lay ecclesial ministers to help parishioners grow in their faith. The Catholic Leadership Institute will provide survey results during the Easter season, followed by training for parish leaders. The Diocese of Youngstown is one of only 15 dioceses across the country chosen to participate in this multi-year process of reflection and growth. Look for details from your local parish.


The diocese and the national television network CatholicTV are pleased to announce an expanded programming partnership, allowing the diocese’s cable television ministry, which dates back to the early 1980s, to again reach all areas of the six-county diocese. CatholicTV has long been a contributor to the diocese’s Ecumenical Television Channel (ETC). In agreement with both Armstrong Cable and Charter/Spectrum providers, the diocese now warmly welcomes CatholicTV onto Spectrum (Channel 380), Armstrong (Channel 45) and Massillon Cable (Channel 117) in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Trumbull counties. As part of this renewed partnership, the diocese will also contribute to CatholicTV’s national programming. For more information, view the press release.


In November 2023, the Diocese of Youngstown received a letter of confirmation from StoneBridge Business Partners that the diocese has been found in full compliance with safe environment policies established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for the audit period of July 1, 2020, through September 30, 2023. StoneBridge Business Partners is an independent auditing company contracted by the USCCB to work with dioceses in the United States and evaluate their compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, established by the USCCB in June 2002. For more information, view the press release.

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Catholic Echo Staff

Catholic Echo Staff

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