evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
October 2012
Volume IV  Number  10
Welcome to the October edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.  Our celebration of the Year of Faith is underway. Here in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, we opened the observance with Evening Prayer and highlighted the cornerstones of our Catholic faith: the Word and the Eucharist. You can read more about the special gathering in this edition, as well as the other observances planned for the Year of Faith. In his apostolic letter Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI called the Year of Faith "a summons to authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world." May we all embrace this journey over the coming months and may it lead us to a deeper and richer relationship with the Lord.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the October 22, 2012, edition of The Catholic Register
  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli  looks at how a local parish is preparing for the canonization of its patron. 
  • In his column "Another Perspective," Monsignor Tim Stein remembers the late Sister Mary Frances.




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

  • October 21 -- Susan Stith, Director of the Family Life Office, updates the status of the Diocesan Marriage Building Initiative.
  • October 28 --  Our People from the Pew series spotlights Jason and Theresa Morse of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Altoona. 

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.  

Y of F Evening Prayer 10-16-12Year of Faith
The faithful of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown officially opened the Year of Faith with a solemn celebration. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak presided at Evening Prayer within Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction on October 16 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The theme was "Our Faith is Grounded in Word and Sacrament." Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec was in attendance, along with priests of the Diocese. 


"It's not enough for us to stand with our brothers and sisters and say the words, "I believe in one God...," said Bishop Mark in his homily. "What we know about our faith, what we say about our faith, what we celebrate about our faith, and what we pray about our faith must become our personal conviction. But that conviction is not simply made alone, each one of us makes it in communion with the whole Church."


The Year of Faith, as proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, officially began on October 11 and will continue through November 24, 2013. "We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope," said the Holy Father in announcing the Year of Faith. "It will be a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially the Eucharist."


Numerous observances are planned in the Diocese for the Year of Faith. Bishop Mark has directed Rev. John J. Slovikovski, Ph.D., a Diocesan priest in residence at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, to author 60 reflections -- one for each week of the Year of Faith plus the Nativity of the Lord. The material will be published in parish bulletins and in The Catholic Register. Father Slovikovski will also author additional reflections to be published in a special Year of Faith section on the Diocesan website, www.dioceseaj.org. In honor of the Year of Faith, a Diocesan pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., will be held on September 14, 2013. The Bishop is encouraging representation from all parishes in the Diocese. More information will be announced in the coming months [Photo: Bishop Mark presides at Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction during Evening Prayer on October 16.]



Deacons Ministry of Lector 10-6-12Diaconate Candidates Elevated to Next Step

Two candidates for the Permanent Diaconate -- Michael Anna and Jeffrey Wright -- were instituted into the Ministry of Lector, and two candidates -- Samuel Albarano and Gary Gill -- were instituted into the Ministry of Acolyte during a Mass on October 6 at Saint Bernard Parish in Hastings. Mr. Anna and Mr. Wright are second-year candidates in the program; Mr. Albarano and Mr. Gill are third year candidates. As instituted lectors, the candidates are called to be servants of the Living Word. As Ministry of Acolyte 10-6-12  acolytes, the candidates are appointed to aid the deacon and minister to the priest. The four men are among seven candidates currently in the formation process for the Sacred Order of Deacon. There are currently 37 ordained deacons in the Diocese serving in a variety of parish and/or Diocesan ministries. [Top Photo: (left to right) Deacon Gene Neral, Director of the Permanent Diaconate; Jeffrey Wright; Bishop Mark L. Bartchak; Michael Anna; and Deacon Michael Russo, Associate Director of Formation. Bottom Photo: Samuel Albarano; Bishop Mark; Gary Gill and Deacon Russo.]

Theology on Tap

A special Year of Faith series of Theology on Tap will be held in Altoona on the four Mondays in November. Theology on Tap is a casual speaker/discussion series for young adults ages 18-39. The sessions will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Joe's Bar, adjacent to Zach's Sports & Spirits, 5820 Sixth Avenue. Complimentary appetizers are provided. The following are the topics and speakers:


  • November 5 - "Justice for All"
    Bishop Mark L. Bartchak talks about Catholic social teaching and the guiding principles of our faith.
  • November 12 - "Caution...Grace at Work"
    Father Brian Saylor, Pastor of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona, discusses the impact of the Sacraments in your life.
  • November 19 - "Two to Tango"
    Vince and Johanna Vena, a couple from Resurrection Parish in Johnstown, discuss how they tackle the ups and downs of married life and offer advice for couples and singles.
  • November 26 - "Stump the Priest"
    A panel of priests will field questions from the crowd.
6-6-Pack Discussions Logo Pack Discussions

Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is sponsoring a series of 6-Pack Discussions for youth and young adults ages 16+.  In honor of the Year of Faith, the series will focus on the Sacraments. The following is a schedule of upcoming talks:


  • October 25, 2012 - 7:00 p.m. - The Bistro (203 Nees Avenue, Johnstown)
    Baptism and Confirmation: Chrism Smells So Good
    Speaker: Father David Rizzo, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Altoona
  • November 29, 2012 - 7:00 p.m. - The Bistro (203 Nees Avenue, Johnstown)Marriage: If You Like Her, Put a Ring On It
    Speaker: Monsignor Michael Servinsky, Vicar General of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and Pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Altoona


Voting PCC Voter Guides

Election Day is November 6. To help you make informed choices at the polls, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has published voter guides highlighting where the candidates stand on issues that are important to Catholic voters. Guides for the Presidential Race; the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Race; U.S. Congressional Races; State Attorney General, Auditor General, and Treasurer Races; as well as Pennsylvania General Assembly Races will be published in the October 22 edition of The Catholic Register and are available on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.


Bartchak Coat of ArmsAnnual Catholic Appeal
The Diocese anticipates refunding a total of $400,000 to the 52 parishes that have already reached their 2012 ACA goals. Thirty six other parishes continue to narrow the gap toward their respective goals.  You'll find a current report of all parishes at the bottom of the "Diocesan Mailing" web page on our website.  New gifts may be made at any time through the parish office, via mail to ACA, PO Box 409, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648, or through our secure "Donate" button on our homepage at www.dioceseaj.org. Thank you for supporting your parish and Diocesan ministries through the Annual Catholic Appeal.

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