evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
February 2013
Volume V  Number  2
Lenten CrossesLenten Journey
Welcome to the February edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Our Lenten journey continues in our Church and in our personal lives. It is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. For a guide to Lenten resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, please visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.  This is also a period to repent.  Besides various Reconciliation opportunities on the parish level, there will be three Diocesan Penance services with Bishop Mark L. Bartchak presiding. They will be held on March 12 at 7:00 p.m., at Good Shepherd Parish in State College; March 13 at 6:30 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona; and March 14 at 6:30 p.m., at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. All are encouraged to take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Lenten season. May our journey over these 40 days lead us to the glory of Christ's resurrection at Easter.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the February 25, 2013, edition of The Catholic Register
  • Bishop Mark L. Bartchak and Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec reflect on the decision of Pope Benedict to resign at the end of the month and what it means for the Church.
  • After four decades, a local parish secretary decides to retire. Well, almost.



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

  • February 24  -- Monsignor Robert Mazur, Diocesan Director of Liturgy, and Sister Linda LaMagna, CCW, Ministerial Coordinator for the Office of Evangeliation, discuss plans by the Diocesan Liturgy Committee to sponsor a Day of Reflection at any parish throughout the Year of Faith.     
  • March 3 -- Newly-ordained Bishop Gregory of Nyssa of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese joins Bishop Mark to discuss the relationship between his Diocese and the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.  
  • March 10 -- "Teen Talk" co-hosts Abbi Slezak and Nick Spinelli interview Bishop Mark about Canon Law.  
  • March 17 -- On this Saint Patrick's Day, Monsignor Anthony Little, Pastor of Saint Patrick Parish in Newry, and Father Matthew Reese, Pastor of Saint Patrick Parish in Johnstown, discuss how their parishes will observe this day and share insight about Saint Patrick.

  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.
Bishop Mark and Pope BenedictMass in Honor of Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world on February 11 when he announced that he would resign effective February 28. In response, Bishop Mark L. Bartchak released the following statement:  "Pope Benedict served the Church well be providing continuity in the tradition of the Catholic faith in its entirety. He is a person of deep spirituality calling people into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. He is also a person of great intellect and an excellent teacher. I would not be surprised if he will continue to reflect on and write about topics that are important to him even after he retires. I am certainly grateful for his leadership in our Church, and we continue to keep him in our prayers."
In that spirit, Bishop Mark announced that he will celebrate a Mass in honor of the Holy Father on February 28 -- the day the Pope's resignation takes effect. The Mass will be at Noon at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. All are invited. This Bishop is asking the failthful to join him in praying for the Holy Father and the College of Cardinals, which will elect the new Pope. Various groups in the Diocese will be represented at the Mass including clergy and religious, the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Daughters, Catholic school students, and Religious Education students. [Photo: Bishop Mark greets Pope Benedict during a visit to Rome in September 2011.]
Rite of Election 2013Rite of Election
The Rite of Election of Catechumens and Call to Continuing Conversion of Candidates was held on February 17 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona and Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. A catechumen, someone who is seeking baptism, celebrates God's call to live a life as a Christian. His or her presence at the Rite of Election is a public recognition of his or her "yes" to living a new life in God within the Roman Catholic Church. A catechmen signs his or her name in the Book of the Elect and is now enrolled as a member in the Order of Catechumens. A candidate, someone who is already baptized and seeking full communion in the Catholic Church, celebrates the Rite of the Call to Continuing  Conversion. Candidates, by virtue of their baptism, already have their names written in the "Book of Heaven." We celebrate the anticipation of becoming one at the Eucharistic Table.  [Photo: Catechumen Kristi Winter of Sacred Heart Parish in Altoona signs the Book of the Elect, while her sponsor, Deb Muccitelli and Deacon John Rys look on.]

Ecumenical Service 2013Ecumenical Service

The second of two ecumenical services this year was held on February 10 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.  Every year, the Diocese partners with the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese and the Allegheny Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to sponsor two services celebrating our Christian unity. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak hosted the February 10 gathering, and Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, the newly-ordained Bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, gave the homily. [Photo: Participants at the ecumenical service included (from the back) Bishop Mark; Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec; Bishop Gregory of Nyssa; Bishop Gregory Pile of the Lutheran tradition; and Rev. K. Joy Kaufmann of the Presbyterian Church (USA).] 

EucharistFlu Season Guidelines
Temporary guidelines involving Holy Communion and the sign of peace remain in effect at all parishes in the Diocese. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak has directed that the Precious Blood not be distributed under any form in the Diocese. It is the belief of the Catholic Church that the whole Body of Christ is present under either form of consecrated bread or wine. Reception of Holy Communion on the hand is encouraged, but reception on the tongue may not be denied. Additionally, the Bishop has instructed that handshakes during the sign of peace not be exchanged. Instead, a genuine nod of the head with eye contact to others is encouraged.  The new guidelines will be followed throughout the winter months or until the flu season ends.

Pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. 

In celebration of the Year of Faith, Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will lead a Diocesan pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on September 14, 2013. Bishop Mark would like to see representation from every parish in the Diocese on the trip. Pilgrims will arrive at the Shrine at about 11:00 a.m. The Bishop will welcome everyone and lead a mid-day prayer. Lunch and tours of the Shrine will follow. There will also be an opportunity for Reconciliation. Mass celebrated by the Bishop will be at 3:00 p.m. Pilgrims are expected to depart the Shrine at about 4:30 p.m. Registration will be on the parish level. Contact your parish for more information. 

RomePilgrimage to Rome

There is still time to register for the upcoming Diocesan pilgrimage to Rome. In celebration of the Year of Faith, the pilgramage will be held July 8-16, 2013. Pilgrims will visit the four Major Basilicas of Rome - Saint Peter, Saint John Lateran, Saint Mary Major, and Saint Paul Outside the Walls - as well as the Basilicas of Francis and Clare of Assisi. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will celebrate Mass at all of the Basilicas, and tours of the historic structures will be offered. Other stops will include Vatican City, the Vatican Museums, the Catacombs, the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum, and the Trevi Fountain. The cost of the pilgrimage is $3,499 per person and includes air transportation and busing from the Diocese to the airport in Newark; accommodations at a four-star hotel; breakfasts and all dinners; and admission to all included excursions. The price is based on double occupancy. Reservations are limited and will be on a first come-first serve basis. The New York company "206 Tours" is assisting the Diocesan planning committee in making arrangements. Perspective pilgrims can visit the Diocesan website www.dioceseaj.org more information and to register. The deadline to register is March  31.Questions about the pilgrimage can be e-mailed to Rome2013@dioceseaj.org.


Diocesan Coat of ArmsYouth News
A Praise and Worship Eucharistic Adoration for students in grades 9-12 will be held on March 2 at Immaculate Conception Chapel at Saint Francis University. Click here for more information.
The annual Junior High Youth Day will be held on March 17 at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg.  Sponsored by the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, the event is open to students in grades 6-8. Click here for more information.

Year of FaithYear of Faith Notes 


DAY OF REFLECTION -- The Diocesan Liturgy Commission will present a Day of Reflection focusing on the Eucharist at the invitation of any parish in the Diocese throughout the Year of Faith. Click here for more information.


VATICAN II: WHY, WHAT, WHO CARES? -- A special program on April 27, 2013, at Saint Francis University, featuring Father John Durbin as presenter. Click here for more information.  


microwave dishLive Television Mass Alert
The live televsion Mass from Saint John Gualbert Cathedral will be seen at 7:00 a.m. -- instead of the usual 11:00 a.m. -- on WWCP TV FOX 8 on Sunday, February 24 only. The change is due to mandatory FOX programming at 11:00 a.m. 

Prayer for the Church


The following prayer was composed by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus. The Knights are asking all the faithful to pray for Pope Benedict during these final days of his papacy, and to ask that God sustain His Church in these days of transition.


O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of Your Church, we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI and the selfless care with which he has led us as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth. Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church on the rock of Peter's faith and have never left Your flock untended, look with love upon us now, and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity. Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us, a new Pope for Your Church who will please You by his holiness and lead us faithfully to You, who are the same yesterday, today, and forever. 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