Seeking an Answer to a Prayer

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SCRANTON -- Thousands will visit Scranton this week to worship, meet with friends, or honor tradition at the Solemn Novena to St. Ann.

Some Roman Catholics visit the novena for a specific reason -- they are looking for a prayer to be answered.

The faithful say, during novena week, they find an oasis in West Scranton.

Jack O'Malley of Scranton took a break to do some reading at St. Ann's Basilica and found some inspiration.

"One of the key passages reads: 'Faith transforms the earth into paradise.'"

O'Malley was reading Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean Pierre de Caussade.

By that logic, paradise is here along St. Ann Street in mid-July when thousands of Catholics visit the basilica to honor St. Ann, the grandmother of Jesus.

"This is heaven. Just look at the beauty of it. Just look at the flowers," O'Malley said. "I watch people go by and they pause and look, and you could look over at the east mountain, and it's that place on the hill, that holy place on the hill. How close to heaven can you be?"

Some people hope the power of this place can answer prayers.

Kim Bird brought her niece McKenzie Walsh to fulfill a long-time family tradition.

"She's praying for Nana to feel better," said Bird. "Mom had some health issues. My mom has never missed a novena in 76 years, so we're praying for her health, and anyone else, and all the intentions of everyone who comes here every year."

Joseph and Janet Romano also came with someone specific in mind. They say praying to St. Ann has worked before.

"It's just satisfying coming here and praying for people who need prayers that you can offer them. And particularly, I have some friends who have had cancer. And one got cured, and one is still in the stage and hopefully, she will get cured, too," said Joseph Romano.

The Solemn Novena to St. Ann continues through July 26 with at least four services each day.


  • David Edwards

    catholic fail God direction , #1,. call no man father except the one in Heaven..Every preach is Father even a man named pope is called Father, They pray through Mary to God bible says pray through Jesus he will pass prayers tom His Fatyher

    • Close, but so far

      Right you are, David. I have a few Catholic friends that I’ve questioned about their practices and rituals. None could link a lot of their actions back to the Bible. They are wonderful, faithful, God fearing people, but are so caught up in their pomp and circumstance they completely miss the mark. Praying to a Saint? Jesus is the only answer.

  • Dr. Noegawd

    Prayers do nothing. Go does not exist. Your wasting your time. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. You material returns to the cycle.

    • Dr. Know god

      You may not believe in God, but he believes in you. True, once you’re dead – you’re dead – no chance to make a conscious decision about your own eternity. Your soul / spirit lives on – it’s your choice now (not after you are dead) which path you take. Choose wisely, for you have been told.

  • Marvin

    Catholicism is somewhat like a cult and its leaders are wealthy from the pockets of the people. Much like the whole Joel Osteen thing. Praying to Jesus grandmother will get you nothing. We can pray straight to God if we know Jesus as Savior. No need to pray to mortal humans. They are dead. Jesus and God are alive and well.

    • Do you want to take that chance?

      Well, one thing is for certain – you (and all of us) will cease to exist some day, and you’ll get your proof if God exists or not. Trouble is once you’re dead, it’s too late. My good person, God seeks a personal relationship with you through his Son Jesus. Rebuke that offer, He will rebuke you on your judgement day. It’s not about praying to some statue or sending your money to some mega-church TV con-vangelist. Keep your heart open, hopefully some day it will all make sense to you.

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