evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
April 2012
Volume IV  Number  4
LilyChrist is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Welcome to the April edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. In this glorious Easter season, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His presence among us. This is, indeed, a time of life in our Diocesan Church. We welcome our newly-initiated brothers and sisters who are now in full communion with the Church. We celebrate with the hundreds of young people who are receiving the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Confirmation. At the same time, we also prepare to launch a special Diocesan-wide initiative spotlighting the Sacrament of Marriage. You can read more about the effort in this E-Newsletter. May the Risen Christ bless all that we do throughout these Easter days, and may our lives glorify the Lord now and always.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the April 23, 2012, edition of The Catholic Register:
As the Diocese launches its nearly year-long Marriage Building Initiative, the majority of the issue will be devoted to stories and columns focusing on marriage. Among the features:
  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli talks with two couples about the sanctity of marriage. 
  • Deacon David Hornick examines the threats to marriage in society.
  • Mr. Tomaselli spotlights one parish's special program for widows and widowers.
  •  In his column, "Another Perspective," Monsignor Tim Stein offers his take on the significance of marriage and why the Diocesan initiative is important.



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

  • April 22 --Our "People from the Pew" series spotlights twin brothers Andrew and Phillip Glover, members of Saint Patrick Parish in Johnstown and seniors at Bishop McCort Catholic High School.
  • April 29 -- Monsignor Robert Mazur, Diocesan Director of Liturgy, and Susan Stith, Director of the Diocesan Family Life Office, join Bishop Mark to kick-off the Diocesan Marriage Building Initiative. 
  • May 6 -- Carrie Nickerson discusses efforts to establish a local L'Arche House, which serves the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

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, www.dioceseaj.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.  

Bishop Bartchak CassockBishop Bartchak Marks First Anniversary
Bishop Mark L. Bartchak is celebrating the first anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination and Installation as Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown. He was ordained and installed on April 19, 2011, at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.
Among the highlights of his first year as Diocesan Bishop: the Bishop visited all 24 Catholic schools in the Diocese and is in the process of visiting all of the parishes in the Diocese. Bishop Mark confirmed about 1,100 students last year, and is in the process of confirming about the same number of young people this year. He also celebrated numerous Masses for teens and young adults, including the inaugural Mass for students entering or returning to college and the Masses at SHYCON, Junior High Youth Day, Camp Timothy and Camp Zacchaeus. He also celebrated the Faith Day Mass on the field at the former Blair County Ballpark (now PNG Field).
Bishop Mark's travels took him to Rome twice, once for a gathering of newly-ordained Bishops from around the world, and once for the ad limina visit. During both trips, Bishop Mark met with Pope Benedict, XVI. The Bishop also traveled to Seattle and Baltimore for meetings of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; to Indianapolis with youth from the Diocese attending the National Catholic Youth Conference; and the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
The Bishop also hosted gatherings for Diocesan priests, religious, and deacons; ordained one priest and one deacon; and routinely meets with potential seminarians.

Bartchak Coat of ArmsBishop's Easter Message 

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak celebrated the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona and Easter Sunday Mass at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. In his Easter message, published in The Catholic Register, the Bishop said the story of the Resurrection is his favorite Bible story, and called it an action story we need to keep telling. The following is an excerpt:


"Once we allow the saving action of Jesus Christ to enter into our lives, things are different. We are able to live in view of Christ's promise that one day we will rise from the dead and that we will have eternal life. We believe and recognize that the continued action of the Risen Christ brings us a new energy, a new excitement, a new desire for what is good, and holy, and right, and just into the present moment of our lives, even when we continue to experience difficulties or disappointments. As a result of the action of the Risen Christ in our hearts, our lives are no longer dull, or ordinary, or even worse. Through faith in the saving power of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection, our lives are filled with joy, and courage, and real hope. We realize that we are not alone in what we need to do everyday."


The Bishop's entire Easter message is also available on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.


marriageDiocese to Launch Marriage Building Initiative

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is launching a nearly year-long Marriage Building Initiative beginning on April 29. Various activities will be held on both the Diocesan and parish levels. The initiative will not only focus on promoting and strengthening marriage, but will offer support to couples who are hurting and individuals who are divorced or widowed. "We are all aware that there are many forces within our culture that work against the fundamental goodness of marriage," said Bishop Mark L. Bartchak in his letter to the Faithful announcing the initiative. "One of the negatives for a number of people is that marriage involves sacrifice and they are not ready, willing, or able to make the sacrifices that can sustain a marriage. It is fundamental to our Catholic faith that sacrifice is redemptive and life-giving. We are able to connect with the redemptive grace of Christ's sacrifice through the sacraments, including marriage." The majority of the April 23 edition of The Catholic Register is devoted to the Marriage Building Initiative. The newspaper and the Proclaim! TV ministry will have special features related to the Marriage Building Initiative in the coming months. There is also a special section on the Diocesan website, www.dioceseaj.org, which includes a full list of the activities planned and a special video message from Bishop Mark.

Chances for Charity logoCatholic Charities Holds Fundraiser
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is sponsoring the region-wide fundraiser "Chances for Charity." The agency is selling raffle tickets at $50 each. Participants will be eligible to win nine cash prizes - including the grand prize of $5,000 - and 41 other prices valued at $50 or more. Organizers say the effort will raise $40,000 for Catholic Charities, with every dollar going toward the agency's emergency financial assistance fund. "Chances for Charity is a great opportunity to win a nice amount of cash or a terrific prize," said C. David Kimmel, chair of the Catholic Charities board. "But more importantly, it's a good way to help Catholic Charities at a time when demand for its emergency services is huge. This is a win-win for everyone." Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket can contact any parish in the Diocese or call the Altoona office of Catholic Charities at (814) 944-9388. The drawing will be held at the Catholic Charities annual recognition dinner on June 7 at the Calvin House in Duncansville. Winners do not need to be present at the dinner. For a complete list of the non-cash prizes, please go to the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.
Catholic Charities LogoCatholic Charities Seeks Griffin Award Nominees
Catholic Charities is seeking nominees for the Monsignor William M. Griffin Humanitarian Award to be presented at the agency's annual recognition dinner on June 7 at the Calvin House in Duncansville. The award is given to persons demonstrating a significant, long-term commitment (professional or volunteer) to serving the poor, marginalized and most vulnerable within our Diocesan community (Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clinton, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset counties). Award criteria and a nomination form are available on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. The deadline is May 4.

Holy SpiritConfirmation Season

Confirmation season in the Diocese is in full swing. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will confirm nearly 1,100 students in the coming weeks. The first Confirmation Mass of the year was held on April 11 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The last Confirmation Mass will be held on Pentecost Sunday at Saint Benedict Parish in Johnstown. For a complete schedule of the Confirmation Masses, please go to the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.  

Theology on TapTheology On Tap
Another Theology on Tap session will be held on May 14, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. at Joe's Bar, adjacent to Zach's Sports & Spirits in Altoona. Monsignor Robert Mazur, Rector of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona and Diocesan Director of Liturgy, will present "The Mass: Why We Do What We Do." Theology on Tap is a casual speaker/discussion series for young adults ages 18-39. Complimentary appetizers will be served.

VotingVoter Guides

The Pennsylvania Primary is on April 24. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the public affairs arm of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, interviewed candidates for various offices on matters important to Catholic voters. To view voter guides for the Primary, please go to the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.  

US CapitolReligious Liberty
The Faithful of the Diocese are reminded to continue to speak out for religious liberty, which is threatened by a federal mandate that virtually all employers provide health insurance that includes abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization. To send a message to Congress in support of religious liberty, go to www.pacatholic.org.
Bartchak Coat of Arms Annual Catholic Appeal 
The Annual Catholic Appeal is off to another strong start with $1.4 million pledged or contributed since early Lent.  ACA gifts support Diocesan seminarians, Catholic Charities counseling, youth ministry, ongoing clergy formation and many other ministries.  Please help your parish reach its goal before Pentecost in late May.  All 'over goal' contributions are returned to the parishes for local priorities.  Checks can be made payable to Annual Catholic Appeal, PO Box 409, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648, or make an online gift on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.  Click on "Donate Today." 

Upcoming Events 

April 25; 5:30 p.m.

Bishop's Night for Vocations
Our Lady of Loretto Community Hall, Loretto


April 28; 5:00 p.m.

Neophyte Mass
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament 


May 13

Mother's Day


May 17
Ascension Thursday
Diocesan Offices Closed



cross of lilly and thornsRegina Coeli
O Queen of Heaven, rejoice! Alleluia.
For He whom you did merit to bear, Alleluia.
Has risen as He said, Alleluia.

Pray for us to God, Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
For the Lord has risen indeed. Alleluia

O God, Who by the resurrection of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, has given joy to the whole world, grant, we beseech You, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the same joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ Our Lord. 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