evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
September 2012
Volume IV  Number  9
diocese signWelcome!
Welcome to the September edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.  Fall is off to a very busy start in our Diocese. Several special Liturgies have occurred in the past couple of weeks, including a Mass to bless and dedicate the Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center. What an amazing facility, and what a gift to the Penn State Catholic community. You can read about that Liturgy and more in this edition of E-vangelist. Our Diocese, along with the universal Church, also prepares to mark a Year of Faith, as proclaimed by the Holy Father. It is a time for Catholics to renew their relationship with Christ. As we enter this sacred period, we ask for the Lord's blessing on our Diocese.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the September 24, 2012, edition of The Catholic Register
  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli takes a closer look at the blessing of the new Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center, including reaction from the students who will benefit from the facility. 
  • After just returning from a special pilgrimage, Monsiginor Tim Stein recalls his experience in Lourdes in his column, "Another Perspective."




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

  • September 23 -- As part of the Diocesan Marriage Building Initiative, the Very Rev. Anthony Francis Spilka, OFM Conv., Pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Michael Parishes in Johnstown, discusses the Sacramental status of divorced individuals.
  • September 30 -- Amy Hill, Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, discusses "Faithful Citizenship" during this election season and previews the PCC 2012 voter guides.
  • October 7  -- "Teen Talk co-hosts Abbi Slezak and Nick Spinelli interview Bishop Mark about the upcoming Year of Faith.

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.  

Paterno Faith Center BlessingFaith Center Blessing 
After more than a decade of planning and two years of construction, the Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center in State College is open to the Catholic community at Penn State University. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak blessed the Chapel -- named Holy Family Chapel -- and items inside the Chapel during a Mass on September 8. Bishop Mark was joined by Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec and Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe. Penn State Catholic Campus Ministry is a shared ministry between the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the Benedictine Community of Saint Vincent Archabbey.


"This magnificent place was conceived as a place where the Catholic faith of Catholic students who are members of the Penn State family will be awakened, nurtured, and deepened," said Bishop Mark in his homily.  "As they grow in the knowledge gained in the classroom; here they can also continue to grow in the knowledge of the love of God that is perfectly expressed in the person of Jesus Christ, the central member of the Holy Family."


Located at 117 East Park Avenue, the Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center also houses a Reconciliation room; gathering, meeting, and recreation areas; and a library. Also included is a residence space for the Benedictine priests who staff Catholic Campus Ministry at Penn State for the Diocese. The opening of the Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center comes after a successful $6.5 million dollar capital campaign. The Diocese continues to raise money toward that campaign to cover operating costs of the new facility and to support student ministries. [Photo: Surrounded by her family, Sue Paterno (front left) attends the blessing of the new Faith Center named in her honor.]

Wedding Anniversary Masses 2012Wedding Anniversary Liturgies

More than 200 married couples took part in three Wedding Anniversary Liturgies sponsored by the Diocesan Family Life Office over the past month. Masses were held on August 26 at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Bellefonte, September 9 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona, and on September 16 at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak was the celebrant and homilist at all three Liturgies. As always, the celebrations were open to couples marking their first, 25th, 40th, 50th, 55th, and 60th+ anniversaries this year. The Bishop greeted each couple and presented them with a signed certificate. "I want to thank you for being messengers," the Bishop said to the couples. "I want to thank you for being part of the message of Christ and for your part in sharing his message about the beauty and goodness of marriage. It's one of the most important messages for our world and our culture to hear at this time. Thank you for doing your part so that others don't ever say, I never got that message." [Photo: Merlin and Clarabelle Bock, members of Saints Peter & Paul Parish in Philipsburg, pose with Bishop Mark at the Wedding Anniversary Mass at Saint John the Evangelist Parish on August 26. The Bocks are celebrating their 63rd anniversary.]

Blue and White Mass 2012Blue and White Mass 

The faithful saluted public safety workers including police officers, firefighters, doctors, and nurses during the annual Blue and White Mass on September 9 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak was the celebrant and homilist. Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec and priests of Cathedral parish concelebrated. Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the Liturgy coincided with the national observance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. "I invite all of you here today to pray for these men and women not only today, but pray for them often," Bishop Mark said.  He invited all public safety workers present in the Cathedral to stand and be applauded.  [Photo: Bagpipers Duane Mohney (left) and Donald McConahy play "Amazing Grace" during the Blue and White Mass.]

Deacons Rite of Candidacy 2012Rite of Candidacy

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak accepted three men for Rite of Admission to Candidacy during a Mass at Queen of Peace Parish in Patton on September 8. Kevin Nester, Thomas Price, and Lawrence Servinsky publicly expressed their intention to be ordained a deacon after they complete the formation process over the next few years. The men will now formally continue the formation process of attending classes on theology, canon law, and ministry to the Church. At the end of the first year of candidacy, the candidate petitions the Bishop for and, if selected, receives the Ministry of Lector. At the end of the second year, the candidate petitions the Bishop for and, if selected, receives the Ministry of Acolyte. "Kevin, Tom, and Larry, during this Mass and in the months ahead, we pray with you and for you that the Lord will open not only your ears and mouths, but that He will open your minds and hearts so that you may be confident in what you are doing today and in the future," the Bishop said in his homily. [Photo: Bishop Mark stands with candidates (left to right) Thomas Price, Kevin Nester, and Lawrence Servinsky and Deacon Michael Russo (right), Associate Director for Diaconal Formation.]

Campus Minister Commissioning 2012Campus Minister Commissioning

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak commissioned campus ministers from throughout the Diocese during a Mass on September 12 at Saint Francis University in Loretto. The Diocese sponsors campus ministry programs at Saint Francis University, Mount Aloysius College, the University Park and Altoona campuses of Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Juniata College, and Lock Haven University. To learn more about Catholic Campus Ministry, visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.


Plans are underway for the annual Senior High Youth Conference -- or SHYCON. The event will be held on October 28 at Saint Francis University in Loretto. It is open to all students in grades 9-12. Featuring nationally-known speaker and musician Steve Angrisano, the day will consist of keynotes, a gym of inflatables, games/activities, and Liturgy with Bishop Mark L. Bartchak.  For more information or to register, contact your Director of Religious Education, Youth Minister, or Catholic High School Principal. The deadline to register is October 17.  [Photo: Bishop Mark celebrates Mass for hundreds of students at SHYCON 2011.]

Year of FaithYear of Faith
The universal Church will celebrate a Year of Faith beginning on October 11, 2012, and continuing through November 24, 2013, as proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI. According to the Holy Father, the upcoming Year of Faith is a "summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world" (Porta Fidei 6). The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will announce various events and activities to mark the Year of Faith -- including a special opening gathering -- in the coming weeks. To learn more about the observance, visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will discuss the Year of Faith when "Teen Talk" co-hosts Abbi Slezak and Nick Spinelli interview him on the October 7 edition of "Keeping the Faith," which airs on Proclaim! at 5:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on WWCP TV FOX 8.
Bartchak Coat of ArmsAnnual Catholic Appeal
Fifty of our 88 parishes have reached their 2012 ACA goals. We anticipate refunding more than $380,000 in over-goal contributions to those parishes by the end of the year. A current ACA Parish Progress report is posted at the bottom of the "Diocesan Mailing" web page on our website. 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 thoughtfulness!

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