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An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
September 2015
Volume VII Number 9
diocese sign Welcome!
Welcome to the September edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The big week is almost here. After months of planning, the World Meeting of Families is about to begin. A group of pilgrims from Altoona-Johnstown will travel to Philadelphia for the conclusion of the gathering, which includes Pope Francis' much-anticipated visit. This is a time of great excitement for our pilgrims as they prepare for this historic opportunity. As Bishop Mark pointed out, the pilgrimage is not a vacation, rather a chance for a personal encounter with Jesus, in the form of Pope Francis, who is the Vicar of Christ. May the Pope's visit to America be a time of renewal of faith and family for us all, and may God bless our pilgrims on their journey. 


Ministry Quicklinks


the catholic register
Coming up in the
September 21, 2015, edition of The Catholic Register:

  •  Bruce Tomaselli reports on a new program from the Diocesan Family Life Office that puts the "grand" in grandparents.






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



September 20  -- Newly-appointed Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Bellwood and Vicar General of the Diocese, the Very Rev. Alan Thomas joins the Bishop to discuss his new position.


September 27 -- Father Malachi Van Tassell, TOR, President of Saint Francis University in Loretto, talks about a partnership that led to a unique park in the community. 

October 4  -- Louise Zankey and her son, Johnny Zankey, members of Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Windber, share their experiences with the group, "Faith and Light," which offers support to individuals with special needs and their families.




Proclaim! airs every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on WATM ABC 23 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 WATM and is rebroadcast at 9:00 p.m. on Atlantic Broadband Channel 9 in the Altoona area.  



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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 Pilgrims Prepare for Philadelphia 
Close to 200 people from various local parishes and colleges are preparing for a Diocesan pilgrimage to Philadelphia in a few days. The pilgrimage is in honor of Pope Francis' visit to the city for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families. 

An adult group will depart by bus on September 25. The pilgrims will stay at a hotel in Exton, just outside of Philadelphia. A welcome dinner will be held that night in Exton, and the pilgrims will travel by bus into the city the following two days. The group will return to the Diocese on Monday, September 28.

A group of young adults, including students from Saint Francis University in Loretto and Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, will also be traveling as part of the Diocesan pilgrimage. They, too, will depart of Friday, and they will have weekend accommodations at a fitness center in downtown Philadelphia, not far from all of the Papal festivities.

On Wednesday, September 2, adult and young adult pilgrims were invited to Mass celebrated by Bishop Mark L. Bartchak at Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona. Following Mass, the Diocese sponsored an orientation session for the pilgrims, at which they learned more details about their upcoming journey. 

Read more about the pilgrimage, and Bishop Mark's schedule for the week in the September 21, 2015, edition of The Catholic Register. [Photo: Bishop Mark holds a flag with the words "Welcome Pope Francis" that will be given to Diocesan pilgrims during their trip to Philadelphia.] 
Bartchak Coat of Arms Bishop Issues Statement
Bishop Mark issued a statement in response to Pope Francis' announcement that all priests will have the authority to grant absolution for the sin of abortion. "By authorizing all priests throughout the world, Pope Francis is reminding everyone of the grave nature of the sin of abortion, while underscoring the importance of the sacrament of Reconciliation through which a person with a contrite and repentant heart may encounter the rich mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ," the Bishop said. Click here to read Bishop Mark's complete statement.
Wedding Anniversary Liturgies
Couples from around the Diocese are participating in the annual Wedding Anniversary Liturgies. Sponsored by the Diocesan Family Life Office, the Masses honor married couples marking milestone wedding anniversaries this year. Bishop Mark celebrated the first Liturgy on September 13 at Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown. The second Mass is scheduled for September 20 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. [Photo: Bishop Mark greets Mark and Margaret Blaisdell of Saint Bartholomew Parish in Wilmore at the September 13 Mass. The Blaisdells are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.] 
Teachers Honored
The Diocesan Education Office sponsored an in-service for all teachers and principals from Catholic schools in Altoona-Johnstown on September 18. Bishop Mark celebrated Mass and recognized educators marking milestone employment anniversaries. [Photo (left to right): Sister Donna Marie Leiden, SC, Director of Education; Deborah Hite, a 40-year honoree from Saint Andrew School in Johnstown; Bishop Mark; Grace Guaetta, a 40-year honoree from Saint Andrew School; Jo-Ann Semko, Assistant Director of Education. Absent from the photo is Kenneth Rosko, a 40-year honoree from Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown.]
New Deacon Candidates
Bishop Mark accepted two men as candidates for the Permanent Diaconate during a Mass on September 5 at Saint Bernard Parish in Hastings. Christopher Conner (left), is a member of Saint Bernard Parish and John Roth (right) is a member of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Huntingdon. Conner and Roth will continue their formation over the next three years.
Diocesan Coat of Arms Catholic Life Conference
Reservations are being accepted for the upcoming Catholic Life Conference, sponsored by the Diocesan Parish Life Office. The day-long gathering will be held on October 17 at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson. The theme is "Make a Joyful Noise Unto Lord! Celebrate the Joy of the Gospel." A free concert will be held on the eve of the conference. Click here for more information on both, including a registration form for the conference.
Mary Marian Celebration
In honor of the Blessed Mother, the annual Marian Celebration will be held on October 4 at 3:00 p.m. at Saint Benedict Parish in Johnstown. Bishop Mark will preside. The celebration includes Mass and the recitation of the Rosary. All are welcome. 
Plans are underway for one of the biggest youth events in the Diocese. The annual Senior High Youth Conferece -- or SHYCON -- will be held on October 25 at Saint Francis University in Loretto. Open to students in grades 9-12, the day will feature nationally known singer, songwriter, and storyteller Jesse Manibusan. Students can register through their parish or call the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry. Click here for 2015-2016 youth ministry programs.
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.
New Channel for Proclaim! and Live Mass
Due to network obligations on WWCP TV FOX 8, Proclaim! and the live Mass have moved to WATM ABC 23. Proclaim! still airs Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m., and the Mass still airs at 11:00 a.m. Typically, WATM is found on channels 12 and 712 on Atlantic Broadband and channels 23 and 805 on Comcast. Check your local TV listings.
Prayer for the World Meeting of Families

God and Father of us all, in Jesus, your Son and our Savior, you have made us your sons and daughters in the family of the Church. May your grace and love help our families in every part of the world be united to one another in fidelity to the Gospel. May the example of the Holy Family, with the aid of your Holy Spirit, guide all families, especially those most troubled, to be homes of communion and prayer and to always seek your truth and live in your love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Pray for us!

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