The Good News: March 2024

Religious sisters from various orders stand at the Mass for Consecrated Life in 2023. Photo by Jimmy Joe Savage
Photo by Jimmy Joe Savage

Bishop Bonnar celebrated Mass on February 4, World Day for Consecrated Life, at St. Columba Cathedral. Religious from all over the diocese were in attendance and were invited to a reception afterward, sponsored by the Youngstown Vocation Support Society.


The diocese has compiled a “March of the Eucharist” Adoration schedule for Lent, to assist the faithful in hearing God’s voice throughout the season. The schedule involves parishes in all six counties of the diocese and can be found at or at Please note that many additional parishes are having Adoration, and many of the parishes on the official schedule are offering additional dates and times, beyond what is listed in the “March of the Eucharist” calendar.


The diocese is asking parishioners to participate in the Disciple Maker Index (DMI) survey, which prompts you to reflect on your spiritual life. The survey provides data for pastors, parish councils and lay ecclesial ministers to help parishioners grow in their faith. 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, sponsored by The Catholic Leadership Institute. Look for details on how to take the survey from your parish. For more information on the program, see Bishop Bonnar’s column.


The Catholic Echo Podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms and online, 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 March include: March 3—Cathedral Renovation (featuring Monsignor Robert Siffrin and Monsignor David Rhodes); March 10—Walsh University (featuring Dr. Joe Torma and Dominican Father Al Trudel); March 17—Saint Patrick (featuring Father John Keehner and Joan Lawson); March 24—Holy Week (featuring Father Michael Balash and Father David Misbrener); March 31—The Easter Season (featuring Father John Sheridan and Katie Wagner).

Official Publicity Photo

St. Columba Cathedral will welcome acclaimed Irish tenor Emmet Cahill, from PBS’ “Celtic Thunder,” for a concert on Thursday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. There will be a meet-and-greet beforehand at 6 p.m. General admission for the concert is $35, and it is $60 for the concert and meet-and-greet. Proceeds from the concert will benefit St. Columba Cathedral. Get tickets at


Catholic Charities’ annual Voice of Hope fundraising dinner will be held on Thursday, May 2, at the Eastwood Event Center in Niles. Humility of Mary Sister Mildred Ely will be honored at the dinner for her work in healthcare, and William “Bill” Barber will also accept a Voice of Hope Award on behalf of the diocese’s prison ministry volunteers. This event usually sells out, but tickets are available online now.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to contribute, consider donating to Catholic Charities at, or you can volunteer your baking skills to help the organizers with the Voice of Hope Dinner’s first Youngstown Cookie Table.

If you enjoy baking and want to contribute to this delicious tradition (for a good cause), simply scan the QR code on this page or email to register to be a volunteer baker by March 25. 

The per-recipe minimum is six dozen. Cookies can be baked ahead of time and frozen, and they should be dropped off from April 26 to 29 in a disposable container (it will not be returned to you). Catholic Charities will also provide an “ID an Allergen card,” which must be filled out and dropped off with each batch of cookies. Bakers will be recognized on Catholic Charities’ social media channels and in the event program booklet. 


Cristina Hernandez (diocesan Hispanic ministry coordinator), Maria Isabel Leon Onate, Ana Bertha Hernandez Duran and Sylvia Gould have recently returned from the Pastoral Institute’s Mujer Valiente (“Valiant Woman”) Conference for Latina Catholic leaders, which was held February 22 to 25 in Miami, Florida. They were chosen to represent the Diocese of Youngstown for their love of the Catholic faith, their desire to deepen it and their commitment to sharing it with others—each participant representing a community that has a Spanish Mass.


Dennis Biviano, the diocese’s new public relations and media specialist, brings 20 years of TV news reporting experience to the communications department. He is a graduate of John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Warren and Kent State University, with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism. He has worked as a multimedia journalist in the Mahoning Valley for WKBN and WYTV, as well as Charter Communications (Spectrum News 1) for seven years. He will serve as the diocese’s chief point of contact with journalists. Biviano lives with his wife, Jessica, and son in Niles, where they are active parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.


Diocesan Hispanic Ministry will host two major events this month. First, the second annual Hispanic Summit will be held on Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Michael Parish in Canfield. The summit includes Mass in Spanish and a conversation with Bishop Bonnar about the needs of the Hispanic community across the diocese. Click here to read about last year’s event.

The second event, which was still in the early planning stages at the time of publication, is a Hispanic retreat, to be presented in partnership with Our Lady of Peace Parish, on Saturday, March 23, in Ashtabula. Visit to find more specific information as it becomes available.

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