An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
December 2009 
Volume I  Number  4
nativity2Merry Christmas!
Welcome to the December edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Our Advent preparation is almost complete, and soon we will again welcome the most precious gift into our hearts and homes -- the Son of God. On behalf of the staff of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, may the joy and peace of Jesus' birth be with you on Christmas and throughout each day of 2010.
In This Issue
Bishop's Christmas Message
Bishop's Mass Schedule
Toy Drive
Bishop Tiedemann Visit
Dr. Bunson Visit
Season of Hope
McCort Celebrates Season
Bishop Visits High Schools
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
January guests on Bishop Joseph's Can We Talk? segment on Proclaim!:
January  3  -- Two members of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Johnstown talk about their parish's new effort to make Catholic education more affordable for families. 
January 10 -- Two officials from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference join Bishop Joseph to discuss the PCC as it marks 50 years. 
January 17 -- Teen Talk co-hosts Samantha Slezak and Adam Wood interview Bishop Joseph about resolutions and Church priorities for the New Year.
January 24 -- Our Year for Priests series continues with the spotlight on a senior priest in the Diocese -- Msgr. Bernard Przybocki.
January 31 -- Msgr. Michael Becker, Pastor of Saint Michael Parish in St. Michael and Diocesan Director of Campus Ministry, talks about the Theology on Tap program for young adults.
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 December 21st edition of The Catholic Register:

the catholic register

  • The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is undergoing renovations in time for Christmas.
  • Bishop Joseph talks about the spirit of Saint Nicholas in his For the Good of the Household column.

  • Msgr. Tim Stein talks about his devotion to the Infant Jesus in his Another Perspective column.


Bishop's Random Comments
francine swope 
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

francine swope
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.
Bishop Joseph's Christmas Message 
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Household of God,
Bishop Joseph            The Christmas Season, unlike any other, gives me a good feeling, - one of security and peace, - a sense that everything will be all right. I do not think that I am alone in this, nor was it absent with the shepherds or the Magi. After all, the long-expected One had finally arrived!
            Soon after the birth of Jesus, however, when He was presented in the temple, Mary and Joseph heard Simon prophesize, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted ...." This was followed by the Holy Family having to flee to Egypt and the massacre of a multitude of boys, in an effort to kill Jesus.
            The Apostles had a difficult time understanding this totality of the Lord's mission. They wanted to accept his teachings, but found them difficult because they did not understand that it involved entering into the very life of Christ. That life included acceptance of unpleasant situations, the way of the cross. May we be different and, perhaps, more like Simon and the Magi, or even the Holy Family in the stable.
            I pray that our observance of the birth of the Savior be an observance not only of Jesus' birth into the history of humankind but a birth into our own personal lives, as well as into our life as members of this Diocesan Church of Altoona-Johnstown. In all of life's situations (be they pleasant or difficult), may we find peace and joy knowing that the Christ was born to free us from the prisons of this world.
            That is my wish for you, - so that you will truly have a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year of 2010!
                                                                                       Sincerely yours in the Lord,
                                                                                                     Bishop signature
                                                                                       (Most Rev.) Joseph V. Adamec
                                                                                       Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown

treeBishop to Celebrate Christmas Masses
Bishop Joseph will celebrate Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The choir will begin singing carols at 11:30 p.m.
Bishop Joseph will also celebrate the 11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Mass at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. The Mass will be broadcast live on WWCP TV FOX 8.
Toy DriveToy Drive
Students from local Catholic elementary schools donated hundreds of toys to benefit children through the Fulton County Mission of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Sister Mark Plescher, CSA, Assistant Director of Education for the Diocese, led the effort. This is the second year for the toy drive. Sisters Margie Monahan, CCW, and Martha Burbulla, CCW, of the Fulton County Mission, will distribute the items the week of Christmas. Students were asked to purchase the toy with their own money, rather than ask their parents to buy the item. [Photo: Sister Mark poses with some of the toys collected.]
Bishops Tiedemann and JosephMandeville Bishop Visits Diocese
The Most Rev. Neil Tiedemann, Bishop of the Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica, visited the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown earlier this month to discuss the partnership between the two Dioceses. Among other things, Bishop Tiedemann met with priests whose parishes are twinned with Mandeville. To learn more about the partnership and how you can help, please visit the Missions section of the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org.  [Photo: Bishop Tiedemann and Bishop Joseph at the Chancery in Hollidaysburg.] 
Matthew BunsonAuthor Receives Update on Gallitzin Cause
Dr. Matthew Bunson, co-author of the book Apostle of the Alleghenies -- Reverend Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin and an advisor to the Cause for Canonization for Father Gallitzin, visited the Diocese in late November. Father Gallitzin gave up his life as a Russian prince to spread Catholicism here in the Allegheny Mountains. During his visit, Dr. Bunson met with Frank and Betty Seymour, postulators of the Cause, and other Cause officials. He said progress is being made, but he said  there is still a long way to go in the process. Dr. Bunson also spoke to Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School students during his visit.
season of hopeAACC Hosts Season of Hope
The Altoona Area Christian Coalition hosted its annual Season of Hope Advent ecumenical service on December 6 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The service featured lessons and carols that highlighted the hope of the season and hope for the city of Altoona. Bishop Joseph presided over the service, and leaders from the business, education, health care, legal and political communities participated. To learn more about the Altoona Area Christian Coalition, please go to the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org. [Photo: Rev. Alan McLarty, United Church of Christ, and Rev. K. Joy Kaufmann, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), participate in the Season of Hope service.]
Bishop McCort logoCongratulations, McCort Catholic!
After an amazing season, the Bishop McCort Crushers fell short in the PIAA Class A championship game in Hershey on December 18. McCort lost to Clairton 15-3. The Crushers finished the season 14-1. Fans welcomed the team back to Johnstown after the Hershey game and celebrated the great season. Congratulations to the coaches and players for an outstanding year. 
Bishop Joseph Visits High Schools

BG commissioningBishop Joseph celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass on November 25 at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School. During the Liturgy, Bishop Joseph commissioned 25 students as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and the Mission Club presented the Bishop with a check for a charity of his choice. Bishop Joseph announced he will give the money to Catholic Charities. [Photo: Bishop Joseph poses with the 25 newly-commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.]
BC check presentationOn December 21, Bishop Joseph celebrated an Advent Mass at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg. During the Mass, the Student Activities Council presented Bishop Joseph with a check for the charity of his choice. Bishop Joseph will donate the money to Catholic Charities. The students also received a Christmas ornament with the name of a classmate. Each student is to pray for that person during the Christmas season. [Photo: Annie Takacs, a Senior and Vice President of the Student Activities Council, presents Bishop Joseph with a check.]
News & Notes from Around the Household of God
francine swopeThe Blair County Department of Emergency Services has notified the Diocese that the addresses for the Diocesan Administration Center in Hollidaysburg will change effective January 4, 2010. The following are the new addresses
  • Bishop' Office, Vicar General, Chancellor and Finance
             927 S. Logan Boulevard
             Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
  • Education, Tribunal, Missions, Youth Ministry, Religious Education, Sacramental Preparation and Protecting God's Children
             933 S. Logan Boulevard
             Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
  • Liturgy, Permanent Diaconate, Adult Enrichment, Lay Ecclesial Ministry, Christian Initiation, Communications, The Catholic Register, Stewardship and Development   
             925 S. Logan Boulevard 
             Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
Theology on TapThe Office of Campus Ministry will once again sponor Theology on Tap -- a program designed to enhance the spiritual growth of young adults (ages 18-39; married or single). The sessions are usually held in restaurants or taverns and include speakers, discussion, food and fun. Theology on Tap sessions will be held the first four Mondays in March, at 7:00 p.m., at P.J.'s Tavern in Cresson. Young adults are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions. More details to come.
Johnstown MagazineThe newest parish of the Diocese is in the spotlight this month. Resurrection Parish in the Cambria City section of Johnstown is featured in the December issue of Johnstown Magazine. The article looks at how the parish is doing since its creation this past summer. Resurrection Parish was the result of the merger of the five parishes in Cambria City. The article also looks at how the parish will celebrate its first Christmas as a Faith Community.
Upcoming Events
December 23-25, 2009
Christmas Holiday
Chancery Closed
December 27, 2009; 3:00 p.m.
"Come Let us Adore Him" -- Concert by the Igou Family String Ensemble
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona 
December 31, 2009 - January 1, 2010
New Years Holiday
Chancery Closed

January 17, 2010; 2:00 p.m.
Signs of Justice (AACC Event)
Altoona Area Junior High School

January 18, 2010
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
Chancery Closed

January 31, 2010; 3:00 p.m.
Ecumenical Prayer Service
Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Johnstown
nativityThe Birth of Jesus [Luke 2: 8-14]
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
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