An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
October 2009 
Volume I  Number  2
francine swopeWelcome!
Welcome to this second edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. A special welcome to those of you who are new to the subscriber list. We appreciate the great feedback we are receiving on this new venture and hope you continue to enjoy the E-Newsletter. Please spread the word and encourage your family, friends and fellow parishioners to subscribe if they have not yet done so. They can register on the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org. Click on the Join E-Mail List.
In This Issue
Holy Communion Directives
Seminarian Ordained Deacon
Institution of Acolytes
Marian Celebration
Diocesan Pilgrimage
New Rector
Scholarship Milestone
News and Notes
Ministry Quicklinks
Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
Pennsylvania Catholic Conference
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
November guests on Bishop Joseph's Can We Talk? segment on Proclaim!:
November 1 -- Carl Schultz of Catholic Charities discusses how the agency can help individuals and families with heating costs this winter.
November 8 -- Very Rev. James F. Crookston, new Rector of Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, joins Bishop Joseph.
November 15 -- Teen Talk co-hosts Samantha Slezak and Adam Wood ask Bishop Joseph how young people can help others through community service.
November 22 -- Mike and Karen Sparacino of Saint Mary (Immaculate Conception) Parish in Altoona talk about the health obstacles their infant daughter is overcoming and why the family is especially grateful this Thanksgiving.
November 29 -- Msgr. Robert C. Mazur, Director of Liturgy, discusses the new Roman Missal and how the Diocese will prepare the Faithful for the upcoming changes. 
Proclaim! airs every Sunday at 5:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on WWCP TV FOX 8. The live Mass from Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown airs at 11:00 a.m. on WWCP and is rebroadcast at 9:00 p.m. on Atlantic Broadband Channel 9 in the Altoona area.
Coming up in the October 26th edition of The Catholic Register:

the catholic register
  • The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference comments on the end of the State budget impasse
  • As Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day approaches, Bishop Joseph talks about "Friendly Ghosts" in his For the Good of the Household column

  • Msgr. Tim Stein talks about why we shouldn't turn our back on messiness in his Another Perspective column




 francine swope

Radio Maria
[WHHN 88.1 FM] broadcasts a live Mass from a different parish in the Diocese on the second Sunday morning of each month. The next broadcast will be from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Altoona on November 8 at 9:30 a.m. If you cannot tune Radio Maria on your radio dial, go to our Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org and click the Radio Maria button on the right.
WFBG AM 1290
broadcasts the 10:00 a.m. Mass every Sunday from the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. 
Eucharist Holy Communion Directives
The Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania recently agreed to establish directives for Holy Communion during the flu season. The directives are particular to each Diocesan Church. Bishop Joseph issued the following temporary directives for Holy Communion in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, effective October 17-18:
  • The Precious Blood will not be distributed under any form.
  • Any sign of peace is to be without bodily contact. Therefore, hand shaking and kissing as signs of peace are to be suspended. Nodding is suggested.
  • The most sanitary way of receiving Holy Communion is in the hand. However, reception on the tongue may not be denied.

Furthermore, Pastors and Administrators are to see to the following:

  •  All ministers assisting with the distribution of Holy Communion are to wash or sanitize their hands just prior to doing so.
  • The water in the holy water fonts is to be changed on a regular basis.
  • The Faithful should be encouraged to wash their hands before coming to church and be assured that they are excused from the obligation when staying home due to the flu.

"While the H1N1 Flu (commonly known as the Swine Flu) is not, at this time, an epidemic in the Commonwealth, the Bishops felt a responsibility to take whatever steps they can that might help prevent such an epidemic," Bishop Joseph said. "Personally, I do not believe that anyone would acquire a fatal illness from the Precious Blood, if the vessels were wiped properly. Nevertheless, it is better to err on the side of precaution."

Gibbons OrdinationSeminarian Ordained Transitional Deacon
Bishop Joseph ordained Seminarian John Michael Gibbons to the Sacred Order of Deacon on October 10 at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. Deacon Gibbons attends Sacred Heart School of Theology in Wisconsin and has carried out assignments at Saint Andrew Parish in Johnstown and Our Lady of the Alleghenies Parish in Lilly (his home parish). To learn more about Deacon Gibbons and view a slideshow of photos from his Ordination Mass, please go to the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org. [Photo: (left to right) Rev. Brian R. Saylor, Diocesan Director of Vocations; Deacon John M. Gibbons; and Bishop Joseph.]
Institution of AcolytesInstitution of Acolytes
Bishop Joseph instituted five Permanent Diaconate candidates in the ministry of acolyte. The ceremony was held during Mass at Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Altoona on October 17. The Institution of Acolytes is the last formal step before the candidates' ordination next year. The acolytes will assist priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry. They are also ministers of Holy Communion at Mass and to the sick. [Photo: (Front row left to right) Deacon Gene P. Neral, Director of the Permanent Diaconate; Thomas J. McFee; Michael L. Russo; and Bishop Joseph. (Back row left to right) Charles R. Ahearn; James L. Woomer, Sr.; and David G. Hornick.]
marian celebrationMarian Celebration
The 42nd annual Marian Celebration was held on October 18 at Saint Benedict Parish in Johnstown. The event included the recitation of the Rosary and a Mass celebrated by Bishop Joseph. This year's theme was "Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles."  The Bishop reflected on Mary's support of the ministries of her Son and the Apostles. "She continues her connection with the Church today and with priests," Bishop Joseph said. Reporter Bruce Tomaselli has full coverage of the Marian Celebration in the October 26 edition of The Catholic Register.
pilgrimagefrancine swopeDiocesan Pilgrimage
More than 400 pilgrims from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown traveled to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on October 3. Bishop Joseph has led a semi-annual pilgrimage to the site several times during his 22 years as Bishop. This year's pilgrimage will likely be his last before his retirement. For more on the pilgrimage, go to www.ajdiocese.org. A report from Rev. Msgr. Timothy Stein, Editor of The Catholic Register,  is posted, along with a slideshow of Msgr. Stein's photos from the pilgrimage. [Photo: Bishop Joseph greets pilgrims from Portage as they arrive at the Basilica.]
Fr. CrookstonBishop Names New Rector of Saint John Gualbert Cathedral
Bishop Joseph recently announced several appointments, including a new Rector for Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. The Bishop named the Very Rev. James F. Crookston as Rector effective October 7. He succeeds the late Rev. Msgr. George B. Flinn who passed away in September. Father Crookston most recently served as Pastor of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona and Dean of the Altoona Deanery. Rev. Brian R. Saylor was named Pastor of Saint Rose and will continue as Diocesan Director of Vocations. He was the Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Coupon. Deacon Steve A. Luke will serve as Temporary Administrator of Saint Joseph. Rev. Mark S. Begly was named Dean of the Altoona Deanery and will continue as Pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Altoona. For a complete list of Bishop Joseph's appointments, please go to www.ajdiocese.org.
Second Century NewserScholarship Milestone
Bishop Joseph recently announced a milestone for the Second Century Scholarship Fund. At a news conference on September 30, the Bishop reported that the Diocese will distribute a record $1.2 million in scholarships to 800 students this school year. The Diocese reached this success thanks to the generosity of 83 businesses that contributed money to the fund during the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2009. "Together, we have made the goal of a value-based education a reality for students and families who otherwise would not have been able to afford one," Bishop Joseph said. "What a tremendous gift!" To learn more about the Second Century Scholarship Fund, and how businesses can contribute, contact Mr. Christopher Ringkamp, Diocesan Development Director, at (814) 695-5577 or ringkamp@dioceseaj.org. [Photo: Bishop Joseph is joined by Diocesan officials and Mrs. Barbara Kooman (second from right) of Kooman & Associates Financial Planning Services at the news conference. Kooman & Associates supports the Second Century Scholarship Fund.]
News & Notes from Around the Household of God
Nick WillThe Music Ministry at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona is sponsoring  a series of organ recitals celebrating the bicentennial year of the birth of composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. The first concert was held on October 18. Future concerts are scheduled for October 25, November 8 and November 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral. They are free and open to the public. [Photo: Cathedral Music Director Nicholas Will performs at the October 18 concert.]
francine swopeThe Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Loretto is hosting a Candlelight Saints Tour on the evenings of October 30-November 1. Cost is $7 per person to be paid at time of event. Guided by torch-light, participants will walk through wooded paths, graveyards, a minor Basilica, chapel and shrine as actors recount the lives of many saints and a historically accurate exorcism account. Tours will also incorporate the rich history of the Servant of God -- Prince Demetrius Gallitzin.
st roseSaint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona will host the Seasons of Renewal Retreat on November 1-4 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Father Stephen Vasek, OMI, and Sister Jean Fitzpatrick, SSC, will lead the retreat. Topics are: Believing God will provide (Sunday); Jesus calls us to be whole (Monday); Jesus calls us to be peacemaker (Tuesday); and Jesus calls us to be joyful disciples (Wednesday).
Catholic Charities LogoCatholic Charities is concerned about many problems facing families today. The Parent Assistance Student Support (PASS) program at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School in State College is designed to address at-risk behaviors before a problem arises. Our intervention may include parent consultation, teacher/staff support and/or student assistance. We can help with a wide range of social and emotional issues including peer pressure, grief, medical concerns of the student or family, separation/divorce, parenting problems and self-esteem/self-control.
Upcoming Events
Sunday October 25, 2009
11:30 a.m.; Saint Francis University, Loretto
Sunday November 1, 2009
All Saints Day
Monday November 2, 2009
All Souls Day
Wednesday November 11, 2009
Veterans' Day
Chancery Closed
Thursday November 26, 2009
Chancery Closed November 26 & 27
Sunday November 29, 2009
First Sunday of Advent
Prayer for Vocations
Lord of the harvest, your Word finds a home in our hearts, calls us into community and invites us to generous service of the human family. Bless with courage and spirit your priestly people, called to full participation in the one Body of Christ. May many choose to respond in public service to your call offered in Jesus' name. Amen.
                                                                                                                           Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (1928-1996)
Contact Information
E-vangelist is published by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Office of Communications
Mr. Tony DeGol
Secretary for Communications
126 Logan Boulevard
Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
(814) 695-5579