evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
March 2013
Volume V  Number  3
Habemus Papam!
Welcome to the March edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. What an exciting time for the Catholic Church! The election of Pope Francis has excited Catholics around the world and right here in our Diocese. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak is calling on the failthful of Altoona-Johnstown to pray for our new Holy Father, and he is inviting everyone to join him as he celebrates a special Mass in honor of Pope Francis. You can read more in this edition of E-vangelist. All of this comes as we prepare to observe the most solemn week on the Church's calendar -- Holy Week. May God bless us as we get ready to walk with Jesus on the road to His crucifixion, and as we look forward to celebrating His triumph over death on Easter.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the March 25, 2013, edition of The Catholic Register
  • Extensive coverage and analysis of the election of Pope Francis
  • Bishop Mark offers his Easter message to the faithful



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

  • March 24  -- Monsignor Robert Mazur, Diocesan Director of Liturgy, previews the Masses of Holy Week, Triduum, and Easter.
  • March 31 -- On this Easter Sunday, children from Resurrection Parish in Johnstown join Bishop Mark to discuss Christ's victory over death.  
  • April 7 -- On this Divine Mercy Sunday, Father Leo Arnone, Pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Cresson, talks about the history and significance of the Divine Mercy devotion.
  • April 14 -- Confirmation candidates Ryan King and Emily Burgo share their antiicipation for receiving the Holy Spirit this Confirmation season. 

  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.
Pope FrancisThe Election of Pope Francis 
Bishop Mark L. Bartchak, along with the clergy, religious, and faithful of the Diocese, are celebrating the election of Pope Francis. Bishop Mark held a news conference just hours after the new Holy Father was announced. The Bishop applauded the choice and offered prayers for the successor to Peter. The Bishop offered the following statement to the media:

"I join with all of the people of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and Catholics throughout the world in rejoicing at the news of the election of Pope Francis I. In the short time since I have heard the news, I was fortunate to hear a comment on television from a priest friend in Rome who knows the new Holy Father. My friend, Monsignor Figuerido, spoke with great joy about the humility and charity of our new Pope. I am confident that Monsignor Figuerido's familiarity with the new Holy Father is a good sign for all of us for a joyful and humble ministry that will lead us forward in the Church."


Bishop Mark will celebrate a Mass in honor of the election of Pope Francis on March 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Loretto. All are invited.
Bartchak Coat of ArmsBishop's Holy Week Schedule 
The following is Bishop Mark L. Bartchak's schedule for Holy Week 2013:
  • Palm Sunday -- Mass at 11:00 a.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown (televised live on WWCP TV FOX 8)
  • Monday March 25 -- Chrism Mass at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona
  • Holy Thursday -- Mass of the Lord's Supper at 6:00 p.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral
  • Good Friday -- Morning Prayer at 9:00 a.m.; Celebration of the Lord's Passion at Noon; and Tenebrae at 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Holy Saturday -- Office of Readings at 9:00 a.m.; and Easter Vigil at 8:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Easter Sunday -- Mass of the Lord's Resurrection at 11:00 a.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral (televised live on WWCP TV FOX 8)
EucharistFlu Season Guidelines to End
Temporary guidelines involving Holy Communion and the sign of peace will be lifted at all parishes throughout the Diocese beginning with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening. Since January, the Precious Blood has not been distributed under any form in the Diocese, and handshakes during the sign of peace have been discouraged. Bishop Mark L. Barchak issued the guidelines in response to the flu epidemic in Pennsylvania this past winter.
JHYD 2013Junior High Youth Day
The annual Junior High Youth Day was held on March 17 at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg. Sponsored by the Office of Youth Ministry, the day-long gathering is open to students in grades six, seven, and eight. This year's theme was "Strong in Faith." Highlights included keynote speeches from Will Smith, a Pastoral Minister and Director of Music and Liturgy at Mother of Sorrows Parish in the Diocese of Greensburg; Reconciliation; and Mass with Bishop Mark L. Bartchak. More than 300 students participated. Click here for more, including a slideshow of the event. [Photo: Bishop Mark poses with students at Junior High Youth Day.]  

Prince Gallitzin CrossGallitzin Cross Nominations Sought 

Nominations are being accepted for the 2013 Prince Gallitzin Cross Award. The crosses are given annually to those in our Diocese who display the "evangelizing spirit" of the Prince-Priest Demetrius Gallitzin. The awards will be presented at a banquet on June 1 at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson. Click here for award criteria and a nomination form. 

Catholic Charities LogoCatholic Charities Seeks Honoree Nominations 
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is accepting nominations for its two signature awards. The Monsignor William M. Griffin Award recognizes those who have demonstrated a significant, long-term commitment (professional or volunteer) to serving the poor, marginalized and most vulnerable within our Diocese. The Matthew 25 Youth Humanitarian Award honors elementary and secondary students for their contributions in the community. The awards will be presented at Catholic Charities' annual recognition dinner on June 6 at the Calvin House in Duncansville. Click here for award criteria and nomination forms.  

Reservation Deadline Nears 

The deadline to register for the upcoming Diocesan pilgrimage to Rome is March 31.  In celebration of the Year of Faith, Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will lead the excursion 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 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. Perspective pilgrims can visit the Diocesan website www.dioceseaj.org more information and to register. Questions about the pilgrimage can be e-mailed to Rome2013@dioceseaj.org.

Year of FaithYear of Faith Notes 


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.  


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.  


Prayer for Pope Francis


O God, shepherd and ruler of all the faithful, look favorably on your servant Francis, whom you have set at the head of your Church as her shepherd; Grant, we pray, that by word and example he may be of service to those over whom he presides so that, together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may come to everlasting life.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 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