An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
December 2010
Volume II  Number  12
nativity2Christmas Greetings
Welcome to the December edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.  As the season of Advent draws to a close, we prepare to welcome the Savior of the world.
"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 to you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddendly there was a multitude of the heavenly  hosts with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2: 10-14)

May your Christmas be filled with peace, joy and love, and may those feelings carrying over to each and every day of the new year!

In This Issue
Bishop's Christmas Message
Bishop's Christmas Masses
Carroll Catholic Celebration
High School Masses
Mass for Unborn Life
Toy Drive
Season of Hope
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 2  --  Sean McAleer, Education Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, discusses the status of School Choice Legislation in Pennsylvania. 
  • January 9 --  Our People from the Pew series spotlights Jim and Kris Kulik of Saint Mark Parish in Altoona.
  • January 16  --  Chet Kowalski of Holy Rosary Parish in Altoona and John Brown of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona preview the upcoming March for Life in Washington, D.C.  
  • January 23 --  Teen Talk co-hosts Samantha Slezak and  Adam Wood interview Bishop Joseph about the Sacraments.
  • January 30 -- In celebration of Catholic Schools Week, two students will join Bishop Joseph to discuss the benefits of Catholic education.  
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  
20 edition of The Catholic Register:

the catholic register
  • An inside look at Christmas at the Vatican.   
  • In his column, For the Good of the Household, Bishop Joseph  reflects on the divine birth of Christ.
  • In his Another Perspective column, Monsignor Tim Stein reminds us about the unchanging reality of Christmas. 
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

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.

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Bishop JosephBishop Joseph's Christmas Message

"He (Joseph) went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant and, while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger - there was no room for them to stay in the inn."
                                            (Luke 2:5-7)


     The actual scene at the original manger was not nearly as nice as the ones that we see at Christmas time today. However, I have to believe that the people who witnessed the one in Bethlehem were much more at peace and experienced much more joy than do we. As we marvel at the incarnation of our God into our world, we need to realize that Jesus came to us, - and not just to the shepherds and the Magi.

     No one made room for the Christ Child at the time of his birth, simply because they did not recognize him. Certainly, if they had, it seems to me that someone would have made room for him at the inn.

     Our observance of the birth of the Savior is an observance of Jesus' birth into the history of all humankind. We recognize him as our God coming to be with his people in the midst of their everyday lives. Saint Francis of Assisi began the tradition of manger scenes. To this day, Italian manger scenes incorporate life in villages and their surroundings.

     As the new year of grace begins and continues, may we make room and welcome Jesus into our lives. In that way, the manger scene will become a reflection of our own openness to the Lord's loving presence.

     That is my wish for you, - so that each one of us will truly have a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year of 2011!


                                                   Sincerely yours in the Lord,
 + Joseph              
(Most Rev.) Joseph V. Adamec
Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown

nativityBishop's Christmas Mass Schedule
Bishop Joseph will celebrate Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona, and he will celebrate the 11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Mass at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown.

The 11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Mass at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral will once again be broadcast live on WWCP TV FOX 8. Thank you to our sponsor, the Askew-Houser Funeral Home, and to WWCP TV for its support of our Proclaim! TV Ministry.

Carroll Gym RededicationCarroll Catholic Celebrates Milestones
Bishop Carroll Catholic HIgh School in Ebensburg hosted a Gymnasium re-dedication ceremony and Top 50 Celebration on November 30. Bishop Joseph blessed the newly-spruced up gym, which now features improved lighting, bleachers and banners. The Bishop and others also celebrated Carroll Catholic's recent ranking as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the country by the National Catholic High School Honor Roll. The Honor Roll is an independent project of the Acton Institute, an international research and educational organization, which ranks Catholic schools based on academic excellence, Catholic identity and civic education. Six alumni spoke at the event, recalling the important foundation the school gave them. School officials also announced the creation of the Father James Conrad Scholarship. Father Conrad was a former teacher, assistant principal and coach at Bishop Carroll. He died in October. Father Conrad's brother, Hugh, presented a $1,000 check to go toward the scholarship. [Photo: Bishop Joseph blesses the newly-renovated gymnasium at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School. Assisting the Bishop are Danny Trexler (center), a Carroll Catholic student, and Deacon Robert Bailey, Episcopal Master of Ceremonies.] 
BG Mass 11/24/10Bishop Celebrates Masses at High Schools
Bishop Joseph celebrated his annual Masses at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School in Altoona on November 24 -- the day before Thanksgiving -- and at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown on December 8 -- the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During the Masses, the Bishop commissioned 21 BG seniors and 13 McCort Catholic seniors as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Guilfoyle Catholic students presented the Bishop a $1,000 check for a charity of his choice. Bishop Joseph said he would donate the money to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. After the Masses at both schools, the Bishop had brunch with the newly-commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.  The teens had the opportunity to ask him questions at the gatherings.  [Photo: Bishop Joseph talks with Guilfoyle Catholic students at brunch after Mass.]

coat of armsBishop Celebrates Mass for Unborn Human Life

Bishop Joseph celebrated a Vigil Mass for All Unborn Human Life on November 27 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.  Pope Benedict XVI requested that all Diocesan Bishops preside in such a celebration. "Certainly, we can pray for a change in our civil laws," the Bishop said in his homily. "We ought to pray for those whose lives are terminated not long after they barely begin. We should pray for those affected by the taking of a child's life, - including the mothers who feel that doing so is the right choice. All this, the Holy Father asks us to do this evening. However and above all, we need to pray that hearts will be changed." To read the Bishop's entire homily, please visit the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org. Click "Bishop Joseph" and "Homilies."

Toy Drive 2010Toy Drive
The Diocesan Education Office once again sponsored another successful Christmas toy drive to benefit the Fulton County Mission. Students from Catholic elementary schools around the Diocese donated three truck-loads of toys, cash and other items to help make Christmas brighter for children in need in Fulton County. The gifts will be wrapped and distributed this week.  This is the third year the Education Office sponored the toy drive. [Photo: Sister Martha Burbulla, CCW, of the Fulton County Mission picks up the toys donated by students at the Diocesan Education Office in Hollidaysburg.]
Season of Hope 2010Season of Hope
The Altoona Area Christian Coalition sponsored its annual Season of Hope Advent Ecumenical Service on December 5 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. Bishop Joseph presided; clergy from various faith traditions participated. The service is a series of Lessons and Carols highlighting hope for the city of Altoona in the name of Jesus Christ. Elected officials and community leaders read the lessons. A choir composed of singers from various Altoona area congregations led the music. This was the third year the AACC sponsored the event. The Coalition is an ecumenical group dedicated to a community that is welcoming and hospitable, kind and compassionate, while being advocates for justice and mercy for everyone. The next AACC event will be the the annual Signs of Justice celebration on January 16, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., at the Altoona Area Junior High School. [Photo: Maryann Joyce Bistline (left) and Anna Bistline place candles in the Advent wreath during the Season of Hope service.]

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's ACE-PA network (Advocates for Catholic Education) is growing. ACE-PA members will be updated on important news about Catholic education and will be invited to contact their state legislators about a number of education issues (such as school choice legislation and increasing funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit). To learn more about the ACE-PA network or to join, please go to the Diocesan website at www.ajdiocese.org. Click on the ACE-PA icon on the right column.
News & Notes from Around the Household of God


ACA logoThe 2010 Annual Catholic Appeal wraps up on December 31. One gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal supports more than two dozen Diocesan ministries including priests' vocations, youth ministry, Christian Initiation and Catholic Charities.  If you would like to make a year-end charitable gift, please visit the ACA page of the Diocesan website where you can learn more about what your gift supports and print a contribution form.  Gifts received on or before December 31 will be credited toward your parish's goal.  Thank you for sharing a portion of your God-given resources with our Diocesan ministries!


Ecumemical Service 2010Each year, Bishop Joseph, Bishop Gregory Pile of the Allegheny Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Altoona, and Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, Johnstown, sponsor two Ecumenical Services. The public is invited to all Ecumenical Services. The services for 2011 are as follows:



  • Sunday, January 30, at 3:00 p.m., at Saint Luke's Lutheran Church, 301 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Centre Hall (hosted by Bishop PIle)
  • Sunday, February 13, at 3:00 p.m., at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, 117 Clinton Street, Johnstown (hosted by Bishop Joseph)

[Photo: Jeanne Thompson (center) carries incense at the last Ecumenical Service on February 14, 2010, at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.]



Faith Day 2010The third annual "Faith Day" will be held at Blair County Ballpark on Sunday, July 10, 2011. Mass will be held on the field at 3:00 p.m.; the game will begin at 6:00 p.m. Faith Day is a fun, faith-filled day at the ballpark and a great opportunity for a parish outing. More details to come, but, in the meantime, mark your calendar! [Photo: Bishop Joseph offering a blessing at the 2010 Faith Day Mass at Blair County Ballpark.






Upcoming Events 


December 22; 7:00 p.m.
Mass celebrating Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin's 240th Birthday
Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel, Loretto

December 24-27
Christmas Holiday
Diocesan Offices Closed

December 31
New Year's Holiday

Diocesan Offices Closed


January 16; 2:00 p.m.
AACC Signs of Justice Celebration
Altoona Area Junior High School


January 17
Martin Luther King Holiday

Diocesan Offices Closed


January 24
March for Life
Washington, D.C.

January 30; 3:00 p.m.

Ecumenical Service

Saint Luke's Lutheran Church, Centre Hall


January 30-February 5

Catholic Schools Week

Praying HandsDay of Prayer for World Justice and Peace
January 1, 2011, is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Although it is not a holy day of obliigation this year, you are urged to attend Mass. January 1 is also a Day of Prayer for World Justice and Peace. Please pray the following on New Year's Day.

God of power, all your people have been given one common origin. Bring us together peacefully into one family. And keep us united in your love. This new year, help us to work without ceasing for that justice which brings true and lasting peace. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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