evangelist header 2011
An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
August 2015
Volume VII Number 8
diocese sign Welcome!
Welcome to the August edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. It is back to school time for students, parents, faculty, and administrators. As we begin the 2015-2016 academic year, the Diocese is also looking ahead to the 2016-2017 year. At that time, a new regional school will open in the Altoona Quadrant with exciting curriculum enhancements. We look forward to working with parents and others as we build a stronger future for Catholic education, and we remind everyone that one thing will never change about our schools: Jesus Christ is, and always will be, at the center of everything. You can read more about the regional school plan in this edition of E-vangelist. May God bless all of our students as they return to the classroom, and may God bless us all in these remaining days of summer.


Ministry Quicklinks


the catholic register
Coming up in the
September 7, 2015, edition of The Catholic Register:

  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli talks with the Director of Religious Education at Saint Thomas More Parish in Roaring Spring about a special community outreach project.






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



August 30  -- Newly-ordained Deacon Kevin Nester discusses his first few months of ministry at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Huntingdon.


September 6 -- On this Labor Day weekend, siblings Donna Spanik and Diane Moyer talk about how they labor for their beloved parish of Saint Joan of Arc in Frugality.

August 13  -- In honor of the Year of Consecrated Life, Sister Donna Marie Leiden, SC, shares her community's unique history in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.




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.
Diocese Announces Altoona School Regionalization  
Bishop Mark has approved a plan for one regional school with three campuses in the Altoona Quadrant. The Interim Board of the quadrant made the recommendation to the Bishop after a series of listening sessions with parents, teachers, and others throughout the summer.
At the conclusion of the 2015-2016 academic year, Altoona Central Catholic School, Hollidaysburg Catholic School, Saint John the Evangelist School in Altoona, Saint Patrick School in Newry, and Saint Rose of Lima School in Altoona will close as parish schools. Effective in the 2016-2017 academic year, one regional school will open with two campuses for students in pre-kindergarten through grade five. One campus will be at the current site of Altoona Central Catholic School and the other will be at the current site of Hollidaysburg Catholic School. Both locations will offer the same curriculum. A third campus - the current site of Saint Rose of Lima School - will house a middle school for students in grades six, seven, and eight. The curriculum will be based on the STREAM model (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Math) and will include numerous partnerships with local universities and businesses. Through those collaborations, students will engage in hands-on educational opportunities designed to create a more seamless transition into high school.

The Interim Board selected the three campus sites based on the capacity and potential of each facility, as well as the geographic locations related to our student populations. A committee made up of parents, teachers, and administrators will have the opportunity to name the new regional school and campuses.
Besides the opportunity to enhance the curriculum, enrollment is another factor driving the regionalization of the schools. Since 2000, the number of students registered at Altoona Central Catholic School, Hollidaysburg Catholic School, Saint John the Evangelist School, Saint Patrick School, and Saint Rose of Lima School has declined by 54 percent. Enrollment at the five schools is projected to fall again by at least 50 students this coming academic year. A regional school with three campuses will maximize efficiency and continue the tradition of small class sizes while providing room to grow.
The Diocesan Education Office and the Interim Board will oversee the transition to the regional school throughout the 2015-2016 academic year.
Bartchak Coat of Arms Bishop's Appointments & Announcements
Bishop Mark has made a series of appointments and announcements involving some of our clergy and parishes. The announcements include the retirement of three priests. The Bishop has also appointed a new Vicar General for the Diocese. For a complete list of the appointments and announcements, please visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseaj.org.  
Proclaim! and Live Mass to Change Channels
Beginning on September 13, Proclaim! and the live Mass will permanently move from WWCP TV FOX 8 to WATM ABC 23 due to network obligations on FOX. Proclaim! will still air at 10:30 a.m. and the Mass will still air at 11:00 a.m., but both will be on WATM ABC 23 beginning on September 13.
Retreat Opportunity
Father Richard Tomkosky, Pastor of Saint John the Baptist Parish and Retreat Center, will conduct an overnight weekend retreat at the retreat center from Friday evening September 11 until Sunday afternoon September 13.  The topic will be "The Steps to Growing in Holiness in the Catholic Spiritual Life." Meals and lodging are included. Reservations are required by September 4. Please call (814) 733-2210 for cost and more information.
Mary Birth of Mary Celebration
The annual Birth of Mary Celebration will be held on September 8 at Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Duncansville. Masses will be celebrated by the Pastor at 7:45 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. A continuous Rosary will be prayed throughout the day. Bishop Mark will celebrate Mass at 6:00 p.m. All are welcome.
Blue and White Mass
Bishop Mark will celebrate the annual Blue and White Mass on September 12 at 5:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The Liturgy pays tribute to emergency responders such as police officers, firefighters, and medical professionals. The Mass is celebrated every year on or around the observance of the September 11, 2001, attacks on our country. All are welcome. God Bless America!
Diocesan Coat of Arms Annual Catholic Appeal
The 2015 campaign passed the half-way point with a slight increase in contributors representing 36 percent of registered families. Forty-three parishes - five more than last summer - are experiencing the joy of exceeding their goals.  Thirty-two parishes have received their share of the $242,228 amount refunded to date, while another eleven will begin receiving refunds in the near future.  Not to be lost in the numbers are the countless people who turn to more than 22 ministries for spiritual nourishment or material assistance. These brothers and sisters among us are the beneficiaries of our collective generosity!  Contributions to the Annual Catholic Appeal can be credited to your parish either by placing your gift in the offertory basket or donating online at www.dioceseaj.org. Thank you! 
Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine Outdoor Masses
Outdoor Masses continue to be celebrated every Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at the Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine in Loretto. The final Liturgy of the season will be on September 6. Bring a lawn chair, and if it rains, Mass will be celebrated inside the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel.
Prayers for Vocations
All are invited to pray for vocations every Thursday evening at the Prince Gallitzin Chapel House, 357 St. Mary's Street, Loretto. Father Matthew Reese, Vocations Director, celebrates Mass at 6:00 p.m. followed by an hour of Adoration and a vocations Rosary. Benediction is at 7:30 p.m.
Prayer for Vocations

Lord Jesus, I know that you love me and that you call me to follow you. Help me to listen to your call in all the ways you speak to me: through prayer and the Scriptures; through the Church; through the people who know me and love me; through the circumstances of my life; through my own hopes and desires. Guide me to search openly and carefully and to learn about life's choices, so that I may respond generously to your call and to know and embrace the vocation that will enable me to love wholeheartedly, and serve others with the gifts you have given to me. Help me to know and do your will. Thank you for your love for me and for all that the future holds for me. Lord Jesus, I put my trust in you. 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