evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
September 2011
Volume III  Number  9
Welcome to the September edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.  As we usher in the beautiful fall season in Central Pennsylvania, Bishop Mark has just returned from an amazing two weeks in Rome. As you will read in this issue, the highlight of his trip was his first-ever audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The Bishop described his brief time with the Holy Father as an "awesome experience." Bishop Mark returns to a very busy schedule, as he continues his visits to the various Faith Communities of the Diocese. He is truly grateful for the prayerful welcome the Faithful of Altoona-Johnstown continue to give him. May God bless our Diocesan Church during this busy and glorious autumn season in the Allegheny Mountains.  
In This Issue
Bishop Mark Meets the Pope
Wedding Anniversary Masses
Bishop Begins School Visits
Faith Center Cornerstone Blessing
Roman Missal Workshops
Theology on Tap
School Choice Update
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


the catholic register
Coming up in the September 26 edition of The Catholic Register:
  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli was in Shanksville on September 10 and 11 for the observances of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Mr. Tomaselli has extensive coverage of the events in Somerset County.
  • In his "Another Perspective" column, Monsignor Tim Stein offers his thoughts on love and marriage.




Bishop Mark Bartchak's upcoming Guests on Keeping the Faith, a weekly segment on Proclaim!: 



  • September 25 -- Teen Talk co-hosts Samantha Slezak and Adam Wood interview Bishop Mark about the Bishop's recent interactions with the youth of the Diocese.
  • October 2  -- Carmelite Community of the Word Sisters Linda LaMagna and Celeste Ciesielka join the Bishop to mark the 40th anniversary of the foundation of their order and the order's tenth anniversary as a Religious Institute of Diocesan Right. 
  • October 9 --  Part 1 of a series preparing for the newly-translated Roman Missal. Diocesan Liturgy Committee Chair George Pisula and member Cecilia Neiderer discuss the history of the Missal and why a new translation was necessary.
  • October 16  -- Part 2 of a series preparing for the newly-translated Roman Missal. Diocesan Liturgy Committee members Patricia Gildea and Mary Gebhardt outline specific parts of the Mass that are changing. 


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.




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.


WFBG logo

Listen to the live Mass every Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. from the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona on WFBG 1290 AM.  



ACA 2011 logo    


Annual Catholic Appeal Update



ACA gifts allow the Family Life Office to sponsor the annual Wedding Anniversary Masses, give Catholic students hope through Campus Ministry outreach at state university and private college campuses, and they even cover Bishop Mark's travel expenses so he can meet with school students, parishioners and the Holy Father.  $259,591 has already been refunded to 36 parishes that have exceeded their goals. To join fellow Catholics in helping the Church spreading the Good News, make your charitable gift through our secure giving page by clicking the "Donate" button at www.ajdiocese.org. Thank you!     

Bishop Mark and Pope BenedictBishop Has First Audience with Pope Benedict XVI 
Bishop Mark L. Bartchak recently returned from a visit to Rome, where he attended a two-week gathering for newly-ordained bishops from around the world. Near the end of the trip, he and the other bishops heard a message from Pope Benedict XVI and had a chance to personally meet the Holy Father. Although Bishop Mark had audiences with Pope John Paul II, this was his first audience with Pope Benedict. 


"We each came forward after his address and had the opportunity to tell our name, the name of our diocese, and where it is located," Bishop Mark said. "He thanked me for answering Godīs call to be a bishop, and I thanked him for all that he does for the Church. I finished by telling him that I look forward to seeing him in early December when the bishops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey come to Rome for the ad limina visit." 


Bishop Mark also had the opportunity to concelebrate Mass at Saint Peter Basilica and visit the tomb of Saint Peter.  You can read more about Bishop Mark's trip to Rome in the September 26 edition of The Catholic Register.


Wedding Anniv Mass Sept 18, 2011Wedding Anniversary Masses

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak celebrated the first of two annual Wedding Anniversary Liturgies on September 18 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. Sponsored by the Diocesan Family Life Office, the Masses honor couples celebrating their first, 25th, 40th, 50th, 55th or 60th+ wedding anniversary this year. The Bishop greets each couple and presents them with a certificate. The second Wedding Anniversary Liturgy will be held on September 25 at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. [Photo: Bishop Mark greets Eugene and Viola Bettwy of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona at the Wedding Anniversary Liturgy on September 18. Mr. and Mrs. Bettwy are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.] 


Bishop Bartchak CassockBishop Bartchak Begins Visits to Schools
Bishop Mark L. Bartchak kicks off his visits to all 20 Diocesan elementary schools and the four independent Catholic high schools this week. The Bishop is scheduled to visit all of the schools between now and the remainder of the school year. During his visits, Bishop Mark will celebrate Mass for the students and will greet them in their classrooms or have lunch with them. The Bishop is also in the midst of visiting parishes throughout the Diocese. It is his goal to visit as many Faith Communities as possible in this first year of his Episcopacy.


Faith Center Group Shot August 29, 2011Bishop Blesses Faith Center Cornerstone and Steeple Cross 

Construction is moving forward on the Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center in State College. The Center will serve the Penn State University Faith Community. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak  blessed the cornerstone and steeple cross during a ceremony on August 29 at the site.  Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec; Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe; and Mrs. Sue Paterno were among those on hand. The Center is named after Mrs. Paterno for her tireless efforts on behalf of the Penn State Catholic community. Catholic Campus Ministry at Penn State is a shared effort between the Diocese and the Benedictine Community of Saint Vincent Archabbey. [Photo: (left to right) Archabbot Nowicki; Bishop Joseph; Bishop Mark; Father Matthew Laffey, O.S.B, Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at Penn State; and Mrs. Paterno.]


Roman MissalRoman Missal Workshops

The Diocesan Office of Liturgy, along with the Diocesan Liturgy Committee, is in the midst of sponsoring five workshops on the implementation of the newly-translated Roman Missal. The workshops are open to all the Catholic Faithful, including those who were unable to attend in the spring. The first two workshops were held on September 10 and 17. The following are the dates, times and locations of the other workshops:

  • September 24 -- Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel, Loretto, School Hall
  • October 1 -- Our Lady of Victory, State Colege, Parish Activities Center
  • October 8 - Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona, Cathedral Hall.

The schedule for each workshop is as follows:


   9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. -- Registration

   9:30 a.m. - Noon -- Presentation (With Break)

   Noon - 12:30 p.m. -- Discussion (Questions and Answers)

   12:30 p.m. -- Lunch


The cost per participant is $15.00. Please register with your parish office. Registrations are due ten days before the workshop.

Theology on TapMonthly Theology on Tap Series Planned
A monthly Altoona-based Theology on Tap series will begin in October. Theology on Tap is a casual speaker/discussion series for young adults ages 18-39. The sessions are usually held at a restaurant or tavern as a way of reaching young adults at the places where they gather. The upcoming series will be held at Joe's Bar, adjacent to Zach's Sports and Spirits, 5820 Sixth Avenue, Altoona. Complimentary appetizers will be served. The following are upcoming topics and speakers:


  • October 10; 7:00 p.m. -- "The Desire to Come Home: Returning to the Catholic Church and Reclaiming Your Faith for Christ." Sister Linda LaMagna, CCW, Diocesan ministerial coordinator for Evangelization/Catholics Returning Home, will be the presenter.
  • November 14; 7:00 p.m. -- "Finding Your True Vocation." The presenter will be Father Allen Zeth, Diocesan Director of Vocations.
  • December 12; 7:00 p.m. -- "You Are Not Alone: Moving in the Holy Spirit." Mr. Tony Conrad, Director of Pastoral Care at Altoona Regional Health System, will be the speaker.

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will be the presenter at the January session. You can read more about the upcoming Theology on Tap series in the September 26 edition of The Catholic Register.

School Choice SignsSchool Choice Update

Legislators are back in Harrisburg after a summer recess. School Choice is expected to be a top priority in the Legislature this fall. Supporters of school choice are urged to contact their state senator and representative to voice their support for school choice that includes vouchers and increased funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC).   For more information, please go to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference website at www.pacatholic.org.  While on the site, supporters can join the PCC's ACE-PA Network (Advocates for Catholic Education in Pennsylvania). The network gives advocates the ability to instantly e-mail their state lawmakers.


News and Notes


Saint John Neumann

 A three-day mission honoring the 200th birthday of Saint John Neumann is underway is underway at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.


The Diocesan family is invited to participate. The presenter is Father Richard Boever, C.Ss.R., professed a Redemptorist in 1968 and ordained to the Priesthood in 1973. Father Boever is the author of "Saint John Neumann, His Life and Spirituality." The following is the schedule for the remainder of the mission. 
  • September 20; 7:00 p.m. -- Repentance (Sacrament of Reconciliation available)
  • September 21; 7:00 p.m. -- Called to Mission/Veneration of Relic of Saint John Neumann 

Saint John Neumann, a Redemptorist, was fourth Bishop of Philadelphia. As Bishop, this Saint baptized, confirmed and offered Mass in several parishes in the Diocese of Altoona- Johnstown.



The Diocesan offices of Adult Enrichment and Lay Ecclesial Ministy have moved from the Diocesan Administration Center in Hollidaysburg to Saint Patrick Parish in Johnstown. Deacon Michael Russo remains as Ministerial Coordinator of the offices. Mrs. Marybeth Heinze has joined the office as secretary. Contact information for the office is as follows: Phone: (814) 361-2000; E-mail: mheinze@dioceseaj.org.



carl schultzCongratulations to veteran Catholic Charities staff member Carl Schultz who received the Anthony Genovese Humanitarian Award from the Community Action Partnership in Cambria County earlier this month. The annual award recognizes outstanding service to the poor and marginalized in Cambria County. Bill McKinney, Executive Director of the Laurel Highlands United Way Agency, nominated Schultz for the award.  



Upcoming Events 

September 24
Catholic LIfe Conference Day of Reflection
Mount Aloysius College


September 25; 2:00 p.m.
Wedding Anniversary Liturgy
Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown


October 10
Columbus Day
Diocesan Offices Closed


October 23
Saint Francis University 


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 L. Bernardin (1928-1996)


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