An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
November 2009 
Volume I  Number  3
CrucifixHappy Thanksgiving and Blessed Advent!
Welcome to another edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. It is a special time of year. Thanksgiving is almost here, and Advent and the joyous Christmas season are around the corner. As you gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, may Christ and a spirit of profound gratitude be at the heart of your celebration. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, may this be the Advent when you truly "make straight the path." God's blessings to you and yours during this special time of year.
In This Issue
Year for Priests Events
Health Care Position
Group Participates in NCYC
Article Headline
Day of Reflection
New Rector
Faith Day 2010
News and Notes
Ministry Quicklinks
Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
Independent Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
Pennsylvania Catholic Conference
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
December guests on Bishop Joseph's Can We Talk? segment on Proclaim!:
December 6  -- Teen Talk co-hosts Samantha Slezak and Adam Wood interview Bishop Joseph about making the most of the upcoming Christmas season.
December 13 -- Bishop Joseph sits down with Bishop Neil Tiedemann of Mandeville, Jamaica, to discuss the partnership between the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the Diocese of Mandeville.
December 20 -- A "shepherd" who witnessed the Nativity shares the remarkable experience with Bishop Joseph.
December 27 -- In honor of the Feast of the Holy Family, the Ingold family of Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Cresson, talks about the importance of family and family traditions.
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 November 23rd edition of The Catholic Register:

the catholic register
  • A local Religious order is enjoying a special role in a national appeal.
  • Bishop Joseph shares some of the things for which he is grateful this Thanksgiving in his For the Good of the Household column.

  • Msgr. Tim Stein talks about one of his favorite things in his Another Perspective column.
Bishop's Random Comments
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Don't miss Bishop Joseph's blog Random Comments on the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org.
Bishop Joseph writes about a variety of issues and invites readers to e-mail him questions and comments.
Radio Maria

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Listen to Radio Maria on WHHN 88.1 FM or go to the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org and click on the Radio Maria button on the right.
Diocese Announces Year for Priests Events
francine swopeThe Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has announced plans to mark the Year of the Priest. Pope Benedict XVI declared June 19, 2009 - June 19, 2010, as a Year for Priests in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Saint John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests.
A Diocesan committee for the Year for Priests announced the following plans:
  • Each parish is invited to have Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration. Each parish will determine the date and time.
  • Bishop Joseph will gather with his priests for an evening of prayer and community at Saint John Vianney Parish in Mundy's Corner in February.
  • Msgr. Paul McPartlan will offer two lectures in Loretto during Lent. One lecture will be for priests, with the Faithful invited; the other lecture will be for the Faithful, with priests invited. Msgr. McPartlan is a professor at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. A date and other details will be announced closer to the time.
  • A Mass celebrating the Year of the Priest will be held on June 29, 2010 (Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul), at 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. All are welcome. The Mass will also mark the celebration of Bishop Joseph's upcoming 50th anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood and his 75th birthday.
  • Bishop Joseph and his priests will take a summer 2010 pilgrimage to the newly-restored chapel of Saint Mary's Seminary in Baltimore (the first seminary in the United States) and the newly-restored Basilica of the Assumption (the first Catholic Cathedral in the United States).

For more information on the Year for Priests, please vist the special section on the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org.

The Church's Position on Health Care
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has received many inquiries about the Church's position on healthcare reform. Recently, the Bishops of Pennsylvania issued a statement on the matter. Their statement reads, in part:
"Our Catholic moral tradition teaches that every human being, from the moment of conception to natural death, has an innate dignity that entitles him or her to certain rights and protections. Included among these is the right to life and to have access to health care, which is essential to preserving human life and promoting human dignity. As the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania, we must frankly express our concerns that the health care reform proposals currently under review by the U.S. Congress do not yet guarantee these fundamental rights."
To read more of the Bishops' statement, please go to the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org and click on the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference button on the right. The Bishops also urge Catholics to contact their federal lawmakers about health care reform. You can find contact information for your lawmakers on the website. 
NCYCGroup Participates in NCYC
About two dozen young people from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, this month. The conference included daily Liturgy, Adoration, workshops, speakers, discernment sessions and entertainment. The Diocesan Youth Ministry Office coordinated the trip.
AACCAACC to Host Season of Hope
The Altoona Area Christian Coalition will host the annual Advent "Season of Hope" ecumenical service on Sunday December 6, 2009, at 3:00 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The service will feature lessons and carols that highlight the hope of the Advent season. The Altoona Area Christian Coalition is comprised of various religious denominations around the Altoona area, including the Roman Catholic Church. The group's goal is to create a welcoming and hospitable community and to advocate justice for all. The Coalition is planning two other community events in early 2010.  
francine swopeAdvent Day of Reflection
An Advent "Day of Reflection" will be held on Saturday December 12, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at San Damiano Hall at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Altoona. Rev. Christopher Panagoplos, TOR, will be the featured speaker. Take time from busy Christmas preparations for some spiritual enrichment.  The cost is $10 per person. Registration is due by December 4. Registration forms are available on the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org.
Bishop McCortBishop McCort Catholic Receives State Grant
Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown has been awarded a $211,480 grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The money will be used to replace windows and upgrade lighting systems. McCort Catholic will need to match up to $162,500 to complete the project. Principal Ken Salem says the upgrades could save the school about $40,000 a year in energy costs.
Altoona Curve logoFaith Day 2010
The Youth Ministry Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has announced the date of the second annual Faith Day at Blair County Ballpark. It will be held on Saturday June 26, 2010. Mass with Bishop Joseph will be held at 4:30 p.m. and will fulfill your Sunday obligation. The game starts at 7:00 p.m. More details to come. In the meantime, mark your calendar and plan on joining fellow Catholics from around the Diocese to celebrate your faith and enjoy an evening at the ballpark.
News & Notes from Around the Household of God
francine swopeThe Pro-Life Committee of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona will sponsor its annual collection of baby items in conjunction with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. All are invited to drop off new or gently-used items in the play pen in the foyer of Saint Rose between December 5-13, 2009. The Committee will donate all items to Birthright and Precious Life -- two organizations that provide alternatives to abortion and support young mothers. For a list of items needed, please click on the News and Events section of the Diocesan website.
St. John Gualbert CathedralAn Advent of Christmas Concert will be held on Saturday December 19, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. Under the direction of Cathedral Music Director Evonne Yanzetich-Homway, the concert will feature the Greater Johnstown Diocesan Festival Choir and Hilltop Brass.
svdpThe Saint Vincent de Paul Society is asking everyone to drop off food donations to Wolf Furniture locations in Altoona, Johnstown or State College between now and December 19th. Items collected in Altoona will go to the SVDP pantry at Assumption Chapel in Altoona; items collected in Johnstown will be distributed to the SVDP pantries in Cambria County; items collected in State College will go to the food bank in State College.
francine swopeThe Proclaim! TV Ministry's "The Sky's the Limit" satellite campaign has reached the half-way point of its $100,000 goal. The money raised will pay for the installation of a satellite system that will allow the weekly live Mass to be broadcast throughout North America. Anyone wishing to donate can go to the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org for more information. Thanks for your support and prayers.
Upcoming Events
November 26-27, 2009
Thanksgiving Holiday
Chancery Closed
Sunday November 29, 2009
First Sunday of Advent
Sunday December 6, 2009; 3:00 p.m.
AACC Season of Hope Ecumenical Service
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona
Tuesday December 8, 2009
Immaculate Conception -- Holy Day of Obligation
Chancery Closed
Saturday December 12, 2009; 8:30 a.m.
Advent Day of Reflection
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Altoona
Saturday December 19, 2009; 7:00 p.m.
Advent of Christmas Concert
Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown
December 23-25, 2009
Christmas Holiday
Chancery Closed
Advent wreathAdvent Prayer
Father, in the wilderness of the Jordan you sent a messenger to prepare people's hearts for the coming of your Son. Help me to hear his words and repent of my sins, so that I may clearly see the way to walk, the truth to speak, and the life to live for Him, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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