evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
February 2015
Volume VII Number 2
We Adore You, O Christ, and We Praise You 
Welcome to the February edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The Catholic Church is observing the season of Lent -- a 40-day period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Bishop Mark highlighted those themes in his homily when he celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The Bishop distributed ashes to the faithful during the Mass (photo left). Please visit the Diocesan website for a section containing various Lenten resources including video reflections about the spiritual significance of Lent. The section also features Stations of the Cross times at various parishes and a schedule of Reconciliation opportunities. Blessed Lent.


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the
February 23 , 2015, edition of The Catholic Register:

In honor of the Year of Consecrated Life, Monsignor Tim Stein profiles the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Loretto.

Reporter Bruce Tomaselli previews upcoming events from the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, Religious Education, and Sacramental Preparation.




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


  • February 22 -- On this day of the Rite of Election rituals at both Diocesan Cathedrals, two candidates for initiation join the Bishop to share their thoughts as they prepare for full communion with the Catholic Church.
  • March 1 -- Deacon Michael Russo, newly-appointed Director of the Permanent Diaconate, talks about his new position and his vision for the future.
  • March 8 -- Three Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School students discuss the school's new on-line newspaper and test out their interviewing skills on Bishop Mark.


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.
  Pilgrimage to Philadelphia  

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is offering special opportunities for the faithful to travel to Philadelphia when Pope Francis visits the city for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families in September.


The World Meeting of Families will be held September 22-27, 2015. Pope Francis has announced that he will travel to Philadelphia for the final days of the meeting September 25-27.  Detailed plans for the Holy Father's visit are not yet finalized, but he is expected to participate in events including the Festival of Families on September 26. A Papal Mass is scheduled for September 27. Both the Mass and the Festival of Families will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and will be open to the public.


The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is offering two travel options for individuals and families who want to be in Philadelphia during the Holy Father's visit. The first package is open to adults and families and includes round-trip bus transportation, a three-night hotel stay, some meals, and Mass with Bishop Mark Bartchak. Pilgrims will depart from Altoona-Johnstown on September 25 and return on September 28.


The second package is open to young adults ages 18-25 (no children and youth) and includes round-trip bus transportation, lodging, some meals, and Mass with Bishop Bartchak. The young adults will depart from Altoona-Johnstown on September 25 and begin their journey home late September 27 or early September 28.


Full details and registration forms for both packages are available on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org. Registration and an initial non-refundable deposit for the adult/family package are due immediately. The deadline for the young adult package is March 20.  Reservations for both packages are limited and on a first come, first serve basis.

Prince Gallitzin Cross Prince Gallitzin Cross

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is accepting nominations for the 2015 Prince Gallitzin Cross Award. The award recognizes priests, religious, and laity who exhibit the "evangelizing spirit" of the Prince-Priest and Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin. The deadline for nominations is April 10, 2015. For award criteria and a nomination form, please go to the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown website at www.dioceseaj.org. Bishop Mark will present the Gallitzin Cross to the recipients during a dinner and reception on May 16 at the Calvin House in Duncansville. 

Mass of Gratitude
Bishop Mark will celebrate a Mass of Gratitude in honor of the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School 2014 state football championship on February 21 at 4:00 p.m. at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School, 2400 Pleasant Valley Boulevard, Altoona. A video tribute and special presentation to the team will follow the Liturgy. All are welcome. [Photo: Four members of the BGCHS football team (left to right: Brandon Chadbourn, Andrew Berger, Sam McCloskey, and Owen Wolf) present Bishop Mark with a T-shirt commemorating the team's state championship during a recent taping for the Bishop's "Keeping the Faith" segment on Proclaim! TV.]
Bartchak Coat of Arms Holy Hour  
Bishop Mark will preside at a Holy Hour on February 26 at 6:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Parish, 511 20th Street, Altoona. All are invited to join the Bishop and the faithful in praying for Catholic family members and friends who are away from the Church. This is the first in a series of such Holy Hours scheduled around the Diocese this year.
JHYD 2013 Junior High Youth Day  

It is time to register for one of the best Diocesan youth events of the year. The annual Junior High Youth Day will be held on March 15 at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg. Open to students in grades six, seven, and eight, the day will include keynote addresses by nationally-recognized speaker Will Smith, music, humor, faith sharing opportunities, and Mass with Bishop Mark. To register for Junior High Youth Day, contact your parish or Catholic elementary school principal. The deadline in March 6. [Photo: Bishop Mark poses with students at a past Junior High Youth Day.]

Annual Catholic Appeal   Diocesan Coat of Arms

The theme for the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal, "Discovering and Rediscovering what is Good, Beautiful and True with Christ and His Church," takes inspiration from Pope Francis' The Joy of the Gospel. Although the ACA will not officially begin until March 1, the Second Sunday of Lent, donors have already pledged $98,000 to support their parishes since January. If you would like to start your pledge early, please click on the "Donate/Register" icon at the top of any webpage at www.dioceseaj.org.  Thank you!

New Novel to Benefit Catholic Charities

Are you looking for a good book for these winter days? 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 295-page book 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.

News and Notes

RWANDAN SURVIVOR TO SPEAK -- Immacculee Ilibagiza, a world-renowned Catholic author and speaker on faith, hope, and forgiveness, will tell her tale of struggle and survival during the 1994 Rwandan civil war on March 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the JFK Auditorium on the campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto. Tickets are available through the Family Life Office, 5379 Portage Street, Lilly. Adult tickets are $10; student tickets are $5.  Seating is limited and reservations are required.

MASS FOR VOCATIONS -- Father Matthew Reese, Vocations Director, celebrates a Mass for Vocations every Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. at the Prince Gallitzin Chapel House, 357 St. Mary Street, Loretto. Eucharistic Adoration follows the Mass until 7:00 p.m. All are invited.

CHAPEL HOUSE TOURS -- Tours of the Prince Gallitzin Chapel House in Loretto are invited. The tours are by appointment only. Please call (814) 472-6279 to set up an appointment for a tour.

SAVE THE DATE! -- The annual Diocesan Faith Day will be held on June 28, 2015, at DelGrosso's Amusement Park in Tipton. More information to come.

Prayer for Lent  Lenten Crosses

O God, bless us during this season of spiritual renewal. Fill our minds and hearts with love, that we may be a sign of Jesus to all those living in our midst. 

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