An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
February 2010
Volume II  Number  2
Cathedral SnowWelcome!
Welcome to the February edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. As we endure these harsh days of winter, it is important to remember that we cannot have spring without winter. As we begin the Lenten season, we must remember that we cannot have Easter without Lent. May your Lent be filled with a true examination of your relationship with Jesus and others and of the choices you make in your life. God bless you on your journey. [Photo: Snow blankets the front of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona on a cold February afternoon.]
In This Issue
Lenten Journey
Communion Directives
Lenten Day of Reflection
Penance Services
Ecumenical Service
Theology on Tap
Junior High Youth Day
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
March guests on Bishop Joseph's Can We Talk? segment on Proclaim!:
March 7  -- Our Year for Priests series continues with the spotlight on priests from religious orders. Very Rev. Anthony Francis Spilka, OFM Conv., Pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Johnstown and Diocesan Vicar for Religious, is the guest.
March 14 --  Chad King of Saint John Gualbert Cathedral Parish in Johnstown and Matt Rizzo of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Johnstown talk about their roles as youth members of their parish Pastoral Council.
March 21 -- Our People from the Pew series spotlights two parishioners from Saint Bernard Parish in Hastings. Kathy O'Rourke and Dorothy Anna discuss their involvement with a unique Stations of the Cross program at Saint Bernard.
March 28 -- On this Passion Sunday, Rev. Msgr. Robert C. Mazur, Rector of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona and Diocesan Director of Liturgy, discusses the significance of Holy Week.
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 March 1 edition of The Catholic Register:

the catholic register

  • Bruce
    Tomaselli reports on how our Diocese is contributing to relief efforts in Haiti.
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.
Ash Wednesday 2010Lenten Journey 
The season of Lent is underway. Our journey began on Ash Wednesday when the Faithful flocked to area churches to be marked with the sign of Ashes. Bishop Joseph celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. In his Homily, the Bishop encouraged worshippers to embrace Lent as a time for spiritual growth in preparation for a more joyful Easter. The season of Lent is a 40-day journey of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence. Fasting refers to only one full meal, with two small meals and no eating otherwise for the day. Abstinence refers to not eating meat. All those who have reached their 14th year are obliged to abstain. The Church directs the holy fast to all those in their 18th year until their 60th year. The Lenten journey leads to the sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil) and Easter Sunday when we celebrate Christ's Resurrection. For a complete guide to Lenten resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, please go to the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org. [Photo: Bishop Joseph places ashes on the forehead of a woman during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.]
Saint Therese of the Child JesusCommunion Directives
Bishop Joseph has announced that our Diocesan Church is preparing to restore the practice of offering the Chalice of the Precious Blood of the Lord to the Faithful at Mass beginning with the Easter Vigil (April 3) and Easter Sunday (April 4). "Doing so will allow those joining the Church (catechumens and candidates), along with all the recipients of the Easter Sacraments (especially First Communion and Confirmation) to have the opportunity of receiving both the Consecrated Bread and the Consecrated Wine at Liturgy," the Bishop said. The following are the restored norms for the Diocesan Church of Altoona-Johnstown, starting at the Easter Vigil:
  • Pastors and Administrators are to offer both the Consecrated Bread and the Consecrated Wine at Mass. This is the ancient practice of the Church and has been restored in our day, in fulfillment of the Lord's command to "take and  eat... take and drink."  While Holy Communion under both kinds has a fuller sign, any Catholic may receive Holy Communion under the species of bread alone.
  • The sign of peace is restored to a handshake as prescribed in the Roman Missal. Through our handclasp and the prayerful greeting of peace that accompanies it, we express that we are at peace with one another.
  • As always, anyone with a cold, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms should refrain from drinking from the Chalice of the Lord's Precious Blood.

"I am grateful to our Pastors and Administrators for their cooperation with my previous directives for the flu season," Bishop Joseph said. "May the broken Body and poured-out Blood of the crucified and risen Christ continue to strengthen and nourish us on our pilgrimage into the Lord's Kingdom."

Lenten CrossesLenten Day of Reflection
The Diocese will sponsor a Lenten Day of Reflection on February 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Saint Bernardine Monastery in Newry. Father Christopher Panagoplos, T.O.R., will be the facilitator. The cost is $10 per person. Contact Mrs. Francine Swope at (814) 693-1401 for more information or to register. The deadline to register is February 24.
Penance Services
Three Diocesan Communal Penance Services with Bishop Joseph are planned during this Lenten season:

  • March 22,  6:30 p.m. -- Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown
  • March 23,  7:00 p.m. -- Good Shepherd Church, State College
  • March 24, 6:30 p.m. -- Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona
Parishes will also host penance services and/or individual confessions leading up to Easter. Please check with your parish for the dates and times.
Ecumemical Service 2010Ecumenical Service
Bishop Joseph hosted an ecumenical service on February 14 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The Reverend Leo Walsh gave the exhortation for the service. Rev. Walsh is the Associate Director at the Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is the former Vicar General of the Diocese of Anchorage. Bishop Joseph, Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko of the Orthodox tradition and Bishop Gregory Pile of the Lutheran tradition sponsor two annual ecumenical services. Metropolitan Nicholas hosted the first service this year on January 31 at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown. [Photo: Jeanne Thompson (center) serves as an incense bearer during the ecumenical service.]
francine swopeTheology on Tap
The 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.  
The topics and speakers are as follows:
  • March 1 - "And Then There Was Light - A Young Person's Jouney" with Ian Murphy
  • March 8 - "Sex and the Soul - Exploring Life's Connections" with Bob and Marci Sutton
  • March 15 - "Paranormal and the Unexplained" with Father Bernard Tickerhoof
  • March 22 - "Stump the Priest" - Q&A with local clergy
Learn more about Theology on Tap in the March 1 edition of The Catholic Register. You can also go to the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org, and you can follow Theology on Tap on Facebook
Junior High Youth Day CrossJunior High Youth Day
The Office of Youth Ministry will sponsor Junior High Youth Day on March 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg. The theme for the day is "What have you done for HIM lately?"  The event, which is open to students in grades 6-8, will feature uplifting keynotes from APeX Ministries, challenging games and Mass with Bishop Joseph. The cost is $20, which includes lunch and a T-shirt. For more information or to register, contact your parish Director of Religious Education, Youth Minister or Catholic Elementary School Principal. The deadline to register is February 26.
News & Notes from Around the Household of God
Saint Therese of the Child JesusSaint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Altoona will host a Lenten Renewal Retreat led by Father Stephen Vasek, OMI, February 21-24 from 7:00-8:15 p.m. each night. The topics for the evenings are: God Really Loves Me (February 21); Is Life Worth Living? (February 22); A Story of Home-Coming (February 23); and An Awareness that Moves Us (February 24). Refreshments will be served after each service.
Catholic Charities will offer a six week education and support group on divorce and separation on Tuesdays from March 2 to April 6 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Family Life Office in Lilly. Advanced registration is required. The cost is $45, which includes the book Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends by Dr. Bruce Fisher, and all supporting materials. Scholarships are available. For more information or to register, call Ken Latterner, LSW, at Catholic Charities at (814) 944-9388. You may also call the Family Life Office at (814) 886-5551 to request a brochure or to register.
priesthoodA presentation on the priesthood, open to the Faithful and students of Saint Francis University, is scheduled for March 26, 2010, at 7:00 p.m., at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art on the Campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto. The presenter will be Msgr. Paul McPartlan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Westminister (UK) and a Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism at the Catholic University of America.
Upcoming Events
February 21
Rite of Election
2:00 p.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown; 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona
March 12; 11:45 a.m.
Tri-High Day Mass with Bishop Joseph
Bishop Carroll Catholic High School
March 14
Junior High Youth Day
Bishop Carroll Catholic High School
March 22; 6:30 p.m.
Diocesan Penance Service
Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown
March 23; 7:00 p.m.
Diocesan Penance Service
Good Shepherd Parish, State College
March 24; 6:30 p.m.
Diocesan Penance Service
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona
March 27; 11:00 a.m.
Christian Initiation Anointing
Our Lady of Victory Parish, State College
March 28
Passion Sunday
(Bishop Joseph celebrates Mass at 11:00 a.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown)
March 28
Christian Initiation Anointing
1:30 p.m at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown; 4:45 p.m. at Saint Catherine Parish, Duncansville
March 29; 11:00 a.m.
Chrism Mass
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona
Saint Therese of the Child JesusPrayer for Lent
O, God, bless us during this season of spiritual renewal. Fill our minds and hearts with love, that we may be a sign of Jesus to all those living in our midst.
Contact Information
E-vangelist is published by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Office of Communications
Mr. Tony DeGol
Secretary for Communications
925 S. Logan Boulevard
Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
(814) 695-5579