evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
November 2013
Volume V  Number  11
Cornucopia Welcome!
Welcome to the November edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The Thanksgiving holiday is just days away. It is a wonderful opportunity to count our many gifts and offer praise and thanks to God. Blessings to you and yours during this special season. In just a few days, we conclude what was a wonderful Year of Faith in our Diocesan Church with a special Mass. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak has also made significant announcements recently that will greatly impact our local Church and the Church universal. You can read more in this edition of E-vangelist.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the December 2, 2013, edition of The Catholic Register
  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli has coverage from the annual Marian Celebration held on November 17 at Saint Benedict Parish in Johnstown. 



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

  • November 24  -- Amy Hill, Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, discusses advocacy among Pennsylvania Catholics.
  • December 1 -- Three educators from Catholic schools in the Diocese explain how a new app is serving students and parents.


Proclaim! airs every Sunday at 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 9:00 p.m. on the Altoona Public Access Channel 14 in the Central Blair County area.

Diocesan Coat of Arms Diocese to Participate in Survey on Marriage/Family Life


Bishop Mark L. Bartchak has announced that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will participate in a world-wide assessment of marriage and family life. Pope Francis will host a Synod of Bishops on the family in October of next year. The theme will be "Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization."  A Synod of Bishops is an advisory body to the Holy Father.


In preparation for the gathering, a document has been circulated to dioceses around the globe. It begins with background information and ends with 39 questions on nine topics including family, marriage, divorce, contraception, and same-sex unions. The questions are intended to gauge the effectiveness of Church teaching in regard to those topics. Among other things, the survey asks for an estimated percentage of divorced and remarried couples and seeks the questions they might pose to the Church regarding the Sacraments.
Other questions focus on couples living together outside of marriage and the "pastoral attention" given to those who are in a same-sex union.  

In a November 15 letter to the clergy of the Diocese, Bishop Mark invited all priests and deacons to respond to the questionnaire. Additionally, the Bishop requested that all pastors work with their pastoral council or a focus group of parishioners in answering the survey. 
Bishop Mark is also reaching out to various other groups in the Diocese to participate, especially those with special connections to marriage and the family. The deadline for all responses to be submitted to the Bishop's Office is December 13. Information from Altoona-Johnstown and all other participating U.S. dioceses must be submitted to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by December 31.


Bartchak Coat of ArmsJourney, Build, Profess: A Year of Pastoral Planning 

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak has announced that the Diocese will begin a pastoral planning process in January 2014. It will be concluded by January 2015. The theme will be "Journey, Build, Profess." As soon as January, a steering committee will be formed that will assist in keeping the process on track. The Bishop also intends to establish a Diocesan Pastoral Council so that the faith and ideas -- especially of laypersons -- can be regularly sought. This will be a permanent consultative body that will continue beyond the planning process. Plans are also underway to provide for leadership training for members of the clergy, and an assessment of the mission and ministry of the administrative offices of our Diocese is underway. To read Bishop Mark's entire message announcing the pastoral planning, please visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.

Year of Faith Year of Faith Closing Mass
Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will celebrate a Mass to close the Year of Faith on November 24 at 5:00 p.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. All are invited. The year of Faith began on October 11, 2012, and will conclude on November 24.

Diocesan Coat of Arms Special Collection to Assist Victims of Typhoon

The  Diocese will have a collection on the weekend of November 30-December 1 to aid the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  The funds will be used to support the efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services to address the immediate emergency needs for water, food, shelter, and medical care, and to assist in the long term recovery from the disaster.  Catholic Relief Services is responding immediately with aid to the region.  Let us pray for the victims and give generously to our brothers and sisters in need.   You may also send donations to the Diocesan Mission Office at 933 S. Logan Boulevard, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648.

EucharistEucharistic Adoration for Teens 
The Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry will sponsor Praise and Worship Eucharistic Adoration for students in grades 9-12 on December 7 at 1:00 p.m. at Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Cresson. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will preside. The gathering will include praise and worship music, Eucharistic Adoration, and the opportunity for Reconciliation. Registration is required. Please go to the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org for more information and a registration form.
Diocese to Host Speaker/Author Matthew Kelly
Internationally-acclaimed speaker and author Matthew Kelly is coming to the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown on September 27, 2014. Sponsored by the Parish Life Office of the Diocese, the event will be held at Saint Francis University in Loretto. The theme for the one-day retreat will be "Living your Catholic Faith Every Day with Purpose and Passion." For more information, please visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.
Flight of the BeetleMystery Novel to Benefit Catholic Charities
Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec has authored a mystery novel titled "Flight of the Beetle." It is based on one of the nine dinner mysteries he wrote and produced over the years. The book has 295 pages with a hard cover and is suitable reading for all ages. The plot revolves around a missing brooch, an heirloom of the Tahftnut family. Suspicions and accusations abound, until young Joey Cervik solves the mystery with a surprise ending. The Bishop is generously donating all proceeds from the sale of the books to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Each book is $24.75 plus $3.00 for postage. To order a copy, please contact the Altoona office of Catholic Charities at (814) 944-9388.

Advent wreathO Come, O Come, Emmanuel
The season of Advent begins on December 1. It is a time of prayer and preparation for the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at Christmas. The first Sunday of Advent also marks the beginning of a new Liturgical year.


Advent Prayer

Father, in the wilderness of the Jordan, you sent a messenger to prepare people's hearts for the coming of your Son. Help me to hear His words and repent of my sins so that I may clearly see the way to walk, the truth to speak, and the life to live for Him, our Lord Jesus Christ. 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