evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
August 2012
Volume IV  Number  8
diocese sign Welcome!
Welcome to the August edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.  Summer is quickly coming to an end, and soon school bells will be ringing throughout our Diocese. Meanwhile, Bishop Mark L. Bartchak is preparing to celebrate three Wedding Anniversary Liturgies honoring couples marking milestone anniversaries this year. Plans are also underway for the Catholic Life Conference. The Diocesan Marriage Building Initiative continues, and we look forward to observing the upcoming Year of Faith. May God bless you and your family and grant you a safe and enjoyable remainder of the summer.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the August 27, 2012, edition of The Catholic Register
  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli previews the upcoming Catholic Life Conference.
  • Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will celebrate a special Mass honoring the Knights of Columbus.
  • The latest on the conflict between U.S. Catholic Sisters and the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.




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

  • August 26 -- Melissa McMullen, new principal at Saint Rose of Lima School in Altoona; Justin Treon, a senior at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg; and Adeline Mishler, an eighth grade student at Our Mother of Sorrows School in Johnstown look ahead to the new school year. 
  • September 2 -- Two of the organizers of the upcoming Catholic Life Conference -- Sister Linda LaMagna, CCW, and Jeanne Thompson -- preview the event.
  • September 9  -- Our People from the Pew series spotlights Dorothy Oberneder, a member of Saint Mary Parish in Altoona and recipient of the 2012 Prince Gallitzin Cross Award.

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.

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.  

Back to School
It's that time of year. Students and teachers in our Diocesan elementary schools and independent Catholic high schools will begin a new school year in just a few days. Best wishes to students, parents, administrators, and faculty for a great 2012-2013 academic year!                                                                                                                                           
College Mass 2012College students are also arriving on campuses around the Diocese. In honor of students entering or returning to college, Bishop Mark L. Bartchak celebrated the second annual Mass for college students on August 5 at the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Loretto. The Liturgy was supposed to be celebrated outdoors at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Allegheniess, but rain forced the Mass indoors.

"Where you are headed is going to be a new phase in your life that is really awesome in so many ways," Bishop Mark said in his homily. "But in order to survive and to really thrive during your time in college, you can't just leave behind everything you have learned and received at home, at school, at Church. You can't forget about all the good stuff that has brought you to this time in life." The Bishop went on to offer important advice for all college

students including urging them to remember who they are, to take care of themselves physically, and to not abandon their Catholic faith. At the end of Mass, the Bishop offered a special blessing for the students and presented them with a small icon. To read the Bishop's entire homily and view a slideshow from the Mass, please go to the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.
[Photo: Bishop Mark greets Ben Unpingco, a member of Saint Patrick Parish in Newry. Ben is a 2012 graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School and will attend Duquesne University this fall.]

Outdoor Mass for Married CouplesMass for Married Couples

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak celebrated an outdoor Mass for Married Couples on July 29 at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Alleghenies in Loretto. More than 700 people attended the Liturgy on the beautiful summer evening. The Mass was part of the Diocese's nearly year-long Marriage Building Initiative, which offers support to married couples, engaged couples, divorced individuals, and widows and widowers. "This intimate partnership of life and love for husband and wife is to be made as a life-long commitment," said Bishop Mark in his homily. "Everyone knows that to make and to keep such a commitment is not always easy. There will be challenges and difficulties. At the same time we are reminded that God is with us and for us. God is present to married couples and God is willing to assist them. God does provide. But God shares the work of providing care and support to all of us who are his disciples." To read the Bishop's entire homily and view a slideshow from the Mass, please go to the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. The website also contains more information on the Marriage Building Initiative. [Photo: Standing next to a Marriage Building Initiative banner, Bishop Mark delivers his homily at the Outdoor Mass for Married Couples.]

Camp Z 2012Camp Zacchaeus

It was another successful season for Camp Zacchaeus, the Diocesan summer camp for students entering grades 4-9. Two sessions were held in late July and early August at Camp Sequanota in Somerset County. The camp includes daily Mass and group evangelization, as well as arts and crafts, fishing, swimming, and more. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak visited both sessions to celebrate Mass, have lunch with the campers, and hold question and answer sessions. Camp Z is sponsored by the Diocesan Youth Ministry Office, under the direction of Mrs. Francine Swope. For more information about Camp Z, contact Mrs. Swope at (814) 693-1401 or fswope@dioceseaj.org. To view a slideshow from Camp Z 2012, please go to the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. [Photo: Campers enjoy recreation time at Camp Z 2012.] 


crossCatholic Life Conference

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 celebrated by Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec, 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. For more information, please visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. Reporter Bruce Tomaselli will have a full preview of the conference in the August 27 edition of The Catholic Register.


blue and white mass 2010Blue and White Mass Scheduled

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will celebrate the Blue and White Mass on September 9, at 5:00 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The Blue and White Mass recognizes all medical and emergency services personnel and coincides with observances of the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, and elected officials will be among those attending the Mass. All are welcome. [Photo: A huge American flag hangs from an Altoona fire truck outside the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for the 2010 Blue and White Mass.]


cathedral of the blessed sacramentCathedral Tours

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona will conduct tours during the month of September -- the month in which the Cathedral was formally dedicated in 1931. Parishes and groups from throughout the Diocese are invited to come for a one-hour guided tour. Please call your parish office for further information.



Bartchak Coat of Arms Annual Catholic Appeal
Forty-four parishes have reached or exceeded their ACA goals.  The total anticipated refund amount stands at $333,784 and will continue to grow as more parishes surpass their goals and as parishioners at over-goal parishes make new gifts.  Your ACA gift helps your parish before it benefits 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!
Bishop Mark and StudentsSchool Choice
State lawmakers passed and Governor Tom Corbett signed the tax code bill that expands the existing Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, eliminates the delay for some companies that wish to contribute, and creates another category of tax-credit supported scholarships called EITC 2.0 targeted at students in neighborhoods with perpetually underperforming public schools. For the latest information from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, including important news for parents and business owners, click here.  [Photo: Bishop Mark poses with students from All Saints School in Cresson during a March, 2012 visit.]

Upcoming Events 

August 26; 2:00 p.m.
Wedding Anniversary Liturgy
Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Bellefonte


September 3
Labor Day
Diocesan Offices Closed 


September 9; 2:00 p.m.

Wedding Anniversary Liturgy
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona


September 9; 5:00 p.m.

Blue and White Mass

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona


September 16; 2:00 p.m.
Wedding Anniversary Liturgy

Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown


September 22

Catholic Life Conference
Mount Aloysius College, Cresson

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