evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
December 2013
Volume V  Number  12
Merry Christmas! 
Welcome to the December edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Our Advent journey is almost complete. Hopefully it has been a time to truly "make straight the path" as we prepare to welcome Jesus, our Emmanuel, at Christmas. On behalf of Bishop Mark L. Bartchak and the staff of the Diocesan Administration Center, please accept our wishes for a very blessed Christmas. May the joy of the celebration of Christ's birth be with you throughout every day of 2014. [Photo: The Creche at Saint Mary (Immaculate Conception) Parish in Altoona last Christmas.]


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the December 30, 2013, edition of The Catholic Register
  • As 2013 comes to a close, a look back at a momentous year at the Vatican.



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

  • December 22  -- Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School students Ashton Truby and Will Guzic discuss how students reached out to others this Christmas season. 
  • December 29 -- On this Holy Family Sunday, Bishop Mark interviews the Ebersole Family of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Altoona.
  • January 5 -- Diocesan Seminarian Peter Crowe gives an update on his Priestly formation at Saint Vincent Seminary.

Proclaim! airs every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on WWCP TV FOX 8 and is rebroadcast on the Altoona Public Access Channel (Channel 14 on Atlantic Broadband) at 9:30 p.m. 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.

Bishop's Christmas Message


Bishop Mark L. Bartchak delivered his annual Christmas message to the media at his residence in Hollidaysburg on December 17. In his remarks, the Bishop referred to an article he read by spiritual writer and speaker Marilyn Ehle in which she asks the question "Where is your Bethlehem?," meaning "Where is Jesus Christ born into your life?" Here is an excerpt of Bishop Mark's 2013 Christmas message.


 So where is your Bethlehem as we celebrate Christmas this year? The Gospel of Jesus Christ, his sacraments, and his Church remain the components of the most enduring and reliable GPS that anyone could imagine.


We are all on a JOURNEY of faith. We are all invited by the Lord Jesus Christ to BUILD his Kingdom on earth with living stones. Those living stones come in all ages, sizes, and shapes. We are to PROFESS the faith we have in Christ by sharing with others that he is the way, the truth, and the life.


If you seem to be more on the side of the road and in need of directions for Bethlehem, remember that nearly nine months before their arrival in Bethlehem, Mary spoke life-changing words to God, words that were to comfort her in the many uncertain years ahead: "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said."


With those simple words of faith, Mary could endure the long journey on the back of a donkey, the crude stable with its straw-lined manger in Bethlehem, and even the anguish of the suffering and death of her son Jesus on the Cross, not to mention the joy that came from his birth and his glorious resurrection!


Where is your Bethlehem? Has the path been long or the circumstances burdensome? Shepherds and three Wise men are part of the story of Bethlehem, and they needed directions to find the city of David and birthplace of Jesus. It changed their lives.  May Christmas this year and all the Bethlehems of your life bring you the same joy, the same hope, and the same reliable direction.


You can read Bishop Mark's entire Christmas 2013 message on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. [Photo: Bishop Mark talks with Father Boniface Hicks, OSB, of We Are One Body Radio before delivering his annual Christmas message to the media.]



Bartchak Coat of ArmsPontifical Schedule - Christmas 2013
Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will celebrate Christmas Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. He will also celebrate Christmas Day Mass at 11:00 a.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. The Christmas Day Mass will be broadcast live on WWCP TV FOX 8 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Demetrius GallitzinRoman Phase of Gallitzin Cause to Begin 

The Roman phase of the Cause for Canonization of the Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin is expected to begin in late January. The boxes of documents sent to Rome at the conclusion of the Diocesan phase of the Cause have arrived at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak celebrated a Mass to mark the conclusion of the Diocesan phase on October 30. The Cause began 16 years ago, and could take years or even decades in Rome. 

Eucharistic Adoration for Teens 
More than 90 high school students attended an Advent Praise and Worship Eucharistic Adoration gathering for teens. Sponsored by the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, it was held on December 7 at Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Cresson. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak presided. The gathering included praise and worship music, Eucharistic Adoration, and the opportunity for Reconciliation. Afterwards, the students had the chance to socialize with the Bishop. Two other Praise and Worship Eucharistic Adoration gatherings for teens are planned for March.  [Photo: Bishop Mark raises the Monstrance during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as Very Rev. John D. Byrnes, Pastor of Saint Aloysius Parish in Cresson and Judicial Vicar, insenses the Holy Eucharist.]
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.

Our Lady of Lourdes Christmas Glory to God in the Highest
"For today in the city of David a Savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."   
Luke 2:11-14 
[Photo: Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Altoona decorated at Christmas.] 


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