evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
July 2012
Volume IV  Number  7
Welcome to the July edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Summer activities are in full swing in the Diocese. Faith Day was a wonderful gathering earlier this month, and the Youth Ministry office is gearing up for the two annual sessions of Camp Zacchaeus. Plans are underway for outdoor Masses honoring married couples and college students. Classes and conferences are also being planned for fall. You can read more about all of these items in this edition of E-vangelist. May God continue to bless you with a safe and happy summer.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the July 30, 2012, edition of The Catholic Register
  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli interviews Peter and Mary Burkett,  Natural Family Planning class instructors. 
  • Monsignor Tim Stein comments on issues of the day in his column, "Another Perspective."




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

  • July 22 -- Deacon Tom Boldin of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Bellefonte and Tony DeGol, Secretary for Communications, preview the upcoming outdoor Mass for married couples.
  • July 29 -- Monsignor Michael Becker, Coordinator of Campus Ministry, previews the upcoming outdoor Mass for college students. 
  • August 5  -- Ben Unpingco, a 2012 Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School graduate, joins the Bishop to discuss a recent theatre award he received.  

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.


microwave dish 
Watch "Answering the Call" every Sunday at 7:00 a.m. on WWCP TV FOX 8 and 9:00 p.m. on the Altoona Public Access Channel 14 in the Central Blair County area.
Watch "Faith Alive: The Teen Perspective" every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on WWCP TV FOX 8 and 9:30 p.m on the Altoona Public Access Channel 14 in the Central Blair County 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.  


Bartchak Coat of Arms 


Annual Catholic Appeal


Thanks to parishioners who continue to make gifts to the Annual Catholic Appeal, five more parishes have surpassed their goals since last month: Basilica of St. Michael in Loretto, St. Thomas More in Roaring Spring, Ss. Peter & Paul in Philipsburg, Immaculate Conception in New Germany and All Saints in Boswell.  Your ACA gift benefits your parish before it is distributed among a few dozen diocesan ministries.  New gifts may be made through the parish office or through our secure online donation page via the diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. Thank you for your continued generosity!
Faith Day 2012Faith Day 2012
Faith Day was held on July 8 at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak celebrated Mass on the Field. Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec and priests of the Diocese concelebrated. About 500 people attended the Mass.
Individuals from faith communities participated in the Parade of Parishes; Bishop Mark threw out the ceremonial first pitch; Father Brian Saylor, Pastor of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona, sang the National Anthem; Father Alan Thomas; Pastor of Resurrection Parish in Johnstown, sang "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch; and priests and seminarians offered messages of welcome on the big screen throughout the game between the Altoona Curve and the Binghamton Mets. 
Children enjoyed games sponsored by the Diocese; members of various parishes participated in the between-innings contests; and the crowd of 5,000+ enjoyed a fireworks show after the game.
For slideshows of Faith Day 2012, please visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.

Holy Hour for Religious Freedom 6-24-12Fortnight for Freedom 

Thank you to the those who prayed for religious freedom during the Fortnight for Freedom June 21-July 4. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak presided and preached at a Holy Hour for Religious Freedom on four separate occasions during the Fortnight. Hundreds turned out at each Holy Hour to pray for our freedom, our country, and its leaders. In his homily at each Holy Hour, Bishop Mark told the story of Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, who suffered religious persecution in Vietnam. The Bishop said Cardinal Thuan, who is a personal inspiration to him, is a role model to all of us in the fight for religious freedom. You can read the Bishop's entire homily on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. The faithful are encouraged to continue prayers for religious freedom. One prayer recited at each Holy Hour and in many parishes throughout the Fortnight is posted at the bottom of this E-Newsletter. [Photo: Bishop Mark presides at the Holy Hour for Religious Freedom at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona on June 24.]

School Choice VictorySchool Choice Success
State lawmakers passed legislation that expands the existing Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. The legislation creates another category of tax-credit supported scholarships called EITC 2.0. Governor Tom Corbett signed the measure into law. Both EITC 1.0 and EITC 2.0 programs are funded by companies that contribute to scholarship organizations in exchange for a tax credit. The existing EITC 1.0 program has helped countless students attend the school of their choice around Pennsylvania and here in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The EITC 2.0 program will help thousands more by creating special scholarships -- particularly for income eligible students in the lowest performing 15% of public schools. For more information, or to send a thank you message to your lawmakers, please visit the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference website at www.pacatholic.org.

Camp Timothy 2012Camp Timothy

The Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry once again sponsored Camp Timothy for students entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school. Held at Camp Sequanota in Somerset County June 24-28, the camp featured a mix of faith and adventure. Among the highlights were daily Mass, group evangelization, fishing, hiking, and whitewater rafting. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak visited the camp on June 27, celebrated Mass, ate lunch, and held two question-and-answer sessions with the campers. [Photo: Campers, counselors, and staff gather during Bishop Mark's visit to Camp Timothy.]

marriageOutdoor Mass for Married Couples

As part of the nearly year-long Marriage Building Initiative, Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will celebrate an outdoor Mass for married couples. All are invited to pray with and for those living the Sacrament of Marriage on Sunday evening, July 29, at 7:00 p.m., at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Alleghenies in Loretto. This is a wonderful way to encourage and support the married couples in your family! Bring a lawn chair. In the event of rain, the Mass will be celebrated inside the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel. Cookies and punch following Mass compliments of Worldwide Marriage Encounter. Come early and picnic together or tour the historic Prince Gallitzin Chapel House (open 1:00 - 6:00 pm). Singers needed for the choir. One rehearsal at 5:30 p.m. before the Mass. Contact Kevin Luke by July 22 at (814) 944-6031 or sfxmusicdirector@gmail.com.


As part of the Marriage Building Initiative, The Catholic Register and Proclaim! TV will have special features in the coming months. There is also a special section on the Diocesan website, www.dioceseaj.org, where you can watch a video that includes a special message from Bishop Mark.

College Mass 2011Bishop to Celebrate Mass for College Students
Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will celebrate a Mass for students entering or returning to college on August 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Alleghenies in Loretto. The Bishop will also offer a special blessing to the students. In the event of rain, the Mass will be celebrated inside the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel. Parents and relatives of the students are invited. [Bishop Mark blesses college students at last year's Mass.]

Wedding Anniv Mass Sept 18, 2011Wedding Anniversary Liturgies

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will celebrate the annual Wedding Anniversary Liturgies, honoring couples who are marking their first, 25th, 40th, 50th, 55th, and 60th+ anniversaries, again this year.  There will be three separate Masses:

  • August 26; 2:00 p.m. - Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Bellefonte
  • September 9; 2:00 p.m.  - Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona
  • September 16; 2:00 p.m.  - Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown

All couples must register through their parish. The registration deadline for the Bellefonte Mass is August 6; The registration deadline for the Altoona and Johnstown Masses is August 20. [Photo: Bishop Mark congratulates Eugene and Viola Bettwy of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona at last year's Wedding Anniversary Liturgy in Altoona.]



News and Notes


The 2012 Catholic Life Conference will be held on September 22 at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson. The theme is "Discipleship: Faith in Action -- A Call to a Deepened Faith." The day will include Mass, two major addresses, workshop sessions, exhiblits and lunch. The keynote speaker will be Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan, a popular writer and lecturer. The Registration deadline is September 7. Click here for more.



Christian Initiation course schedules and registration forms for the 2012-2013 year are now posted in the Diocesan website. Click here for more.



Lay Ecclesial LogoThe Office of Adult Enrichment and Lay Ecclesial Ministry has announced the schedule of classes for the 2012-2013 academic year. Information is posted on the Diocesan website. Click here for more.


Diaconate LogoThe Office of the Diaconate has announced the schedule of ongoing formation classes for deacons. Information is posted on the Diocesan website. Click here for more.


Upcoming Events 

July 22-27
Camp Zacchaeus - Week 1 

July 29-August 3
Camp Zacchaeus - Week 2


July 29; 7:00 p.m.
Outdoor Mass for Married Couples
Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine, Loretto


August 5; 7:00 p.m.
Outdoor Mass for College Students
Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine, Loretto


August 15
Diocesan Offices Closed 


U.S. Flag Prayer for Religious Liberty

O God, our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ. Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society. We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith. Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome - for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us - this great land will always be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

                                                                                                                 -- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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