evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
December 2014
Volume VI  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. As we mark the final days of Advent, it is our wish that you truly have made straight the path to welcome Jesus in your heart. May the celebration of the Lord's birth fill your lives with joy that lasts not only on Christmas, but every day of the coming year. On behalf of Bishop Mark, Bishop Joseph, and the staff of the Diocesan Administration Center, a very blessed Christmas to you and yours!  [Photo: Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Altoona decorated for Christmas 2013.]


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the
December 29, 2014, edition of The Catholic Register:

Bruce Tomaselli talks with the state champion Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School football team




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


  • December 21 --  The principal and students from Saint Benedict School in Carrolltown talk about a special program of kids helping kids at Christmas.
  • December 28 -- On this Holy Family Sunday, Bishop Mark talks with the Shearer family of Our Lady of Victory Parish in State College about the importance of family.   
  • January 4 -- Sister Giuseppe DaBella, RSM, discusses her many contributions to education as the Church celebrates a Year of Consecrated Life.


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 2014 Message 

Speaking about the gift of peace in our lives and in our world, Bishop Mark delivered his Christmas message to the media on December 15 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. In his message, the Bishop referred to the familiar song "Let There Be Peace on Earth" by Jill Jackson. The following is an excerpt of the Bishop's message:


"In the Gospel of Luke (Chap. 2, verses 8-20), we hear about shepherds who under normal circumstances lived their life on the edge; "living in the fields and keeping night watch over their flocks." These shepherds knew something about danger, and darkness, and the instability of their existence. It would be enough to make anyone uneasy and even afraid. Yet, they were the first to hear the Good News of the birth of the Messiah. The extraordinary announcement by an angel was terrifying at first. As the angel explained why they should not be afraid, the shepherds were suddenly surrounded by a multitude of angels who were praising God and singing! They were singing about peace on earth and they were singing about those on whom God's favor rests. The angels were singing about the same truth that Jill Jackson discovered; that God really does love us; that God really wishes us to have peace in our hearts and in our world."


The Bishop's entire Christmas message is posted on the Diocesan website, www.dioceseaj.org. [Photo: Bishop Mark delivers his message to the media on December 15.]

Bartchak Coat of Arms

Bishop's Christmas Schedule
Bishop Mark will be the celebrant and homilist at Christmas Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. He will also be the celebrant and homilist at the Christmas Day Mass at 11:00 a.m. at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. That Mass will be broadcast live from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on WWCP TV FOX 8.

Saint Andrew school visit 12-15-11 School Quadrant Committees Issue Reports
The quadrant committees studying Catholic education in the Diocese have issued recommendations to Bishop Mark. While each region has its own unique circumstances, all quadrant committees are suggesting the following: 
  • Coordinated curriculum among the elementary schools with a seamless transition into the Catholic high schools
  • Standardized accounting and tuition in each quadrant
  • Governing boards to oversee each quadrant
Reports from each quadrant -- Altoona, Johnstown, Prince Gallitzin, and Northern -- are posted on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. [Photo: Bishop Mark poses with students at Saint Andrew School in Johnstown during one of the Bishop's school visits.]

Seminarian Milestone  
Diocesan Seminarian Peter Crowe was installed into the Ministry of Acolyte on November 24 at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe by the Most Rev. Ronald Gainer, Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg. Mr. Crowe is a member of Our Lady of Victory Parish in State College and a seminarian at Saint Vincent Seminary. As an Acolyte, Mr. Crowe is appointed to aid the deacon and minister to the priest. It is his duty to attend to the service of the Altar and to assist the deacon and the priest in Liturgical celebrations, especially the celebration of the Mass. [Photo: (left to right) Bishop Gainer; Mr. Crowe; Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, OSB; and Very Rev. Timothy Whalen, Rector of Saint Vincent Seminary.]
New Vocations Website  

The Diocese has launched a new website dedicated to priestly vocations. The site includes information for potential seminarians and their parents, a message from Bishop Mark, profiles of the current Diocesan seminarians, and videos of priests and seminarians sharing their vocation journey. You can access the site at www.myvocation.dioceseaj.org or through the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.

New Novel to Benefit Catholic Charities

Here's a way to pick up last-minute Christmas gifts and help Catholic Charities at the same time. Bishop-Emeritus Joseph Adamec has written another mystery novel, and, once again, he is donating all of the money from the sale of the book to Catholic Charities. Heir Non-Apparent is the second mystery novel written by the Bishop-Emeritus. Like his first book, this new novel is based on one of the nine dinner mysteries written and produced by him. The book has 295 pages with a hard cover and is suitable reading for all ages. The plot revolves around the question: Who is to inherit Maple View Manor? Miss Sarah Grey disappeared several years ago, and her estate is about to be settled. More than one person hopes to be the beneficiary. Plots and schemes abound until young Joe Cervik discovers the solution to the dilemma. More information and an order form are available on our Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. You can also stop by the Altoona office of Catholic Charities or call the office at (814) 944-9388.

Diocesan Coat of Arms

A Message from the Office of Development 

The Development Office staff wishes to extend greetings of Advent joy to all who have remembered their parishes and Diocesan ministries with a gift to the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal. We have reached 92% of the Diocesan goal.  Fifty-three parishes have already received their share of the $487,057 refunded to date.  In addition to supporting your parish, an ACA gift also gives hope to our seminarians, engaged couples, youth, college students, widows and widowers, the imprisoned and many more.  If you are considering a special year-end charitable gift, please consider the Annual Catholic Appeal. You may place your gift in the Sunday basket or make your gift online at www.dioceseaj.org.  Thank you!



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: The Creche at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown]

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