October 2015
Diocesan Coat of Arms
Roman Catholic Diocese 
of Altoona-Johnstown 
Priestly Vocations E-Newsletter
Volume I, No. 1
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Prayer for Vocations

God, we pray for more men to courageously answer the call to serve you in our Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown as a priest. We ask that you bless our seminarians. May they persevere and serve in the Diocese as good and faithful priests, but may they do so in accord with your holy will, Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


Saint John Vianney,
Patron of all Priests,
Pray for us.

Gallitzin Photo
Servant of God, 
Demetrius Gallitzin,
Pray for us.

Diocesan Office of Vocations

Father Matthew Reese
357 St. Mary Street
P.O. Box 99
Loretto, PA  15940
(814) 472-5441
vocations@dioceseaj.org





Prayers for Vocations

Every Thursday
at the  
Prince Gallitzin
Chapel House,
Loretto


 6:00 p.m.
Diocesan Mass
for Vocations
 
6:30 p.m.
Adoration and
Vocations Rosary
 
7:30 p.m.
Benediction


A Message from
Father Matthew Reese


Welcome to our second edition of the vocations e-newsletter. It is my hope that this e-newsletter will help spread awareness of the need for supporting and praying for our seminarians and those discerning a possible vocation to the Priesthood. We all know the need to pray for more priests to serve in our Diocese.  The most important thing we can do is pray for more priests!  COME AND JOIN IN OUR WEEKLY DIOCESAN MASS FOR PRIESTHOOD VOCATIONS HELD AT THE PRINCE GALLITZIN CHAPEL HOUSE IN LORETTO ON THURSDAYS BEGINNING AT 6:00PM AND CONCLUDING WITH ROSARY AND BENEDICTION AT 7:30PM.  {Not held on Holydays of Obligation}  For nearly 20 years this Diocesan Mass has been offered in the former Rectory of St. Michael Basilica (final home to Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin).  It is a sacrifice to come on a cold dark wintry night, but we make sacrifices for the things that really matter most in life.  By making this small sacrifice we are telling God that we truly desire to have more young men step forward and serve as a priest in our Diocese and that we will support them with our prayers!
National Vocations Awareness Week
November 1-7, 2015

National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.  NVAW began in 1976 when the U. S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year for NVAW.  In 1997, this celebration was moved to coincide with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on January 13 in 2013.  Beginning in 2014, NVAW was moved to the first full week of November. Please ask Our Lord for more dedicated, holy priests, deacons and consecrated men and women.  May they be inspired by Jesus Christ, supported by our faith community, and respond generously to God's gift of a vocation."   -- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
2015-2016 Diocesan Seminarians

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown welcomes six seminarians this 2015-2016 academic year. 

Peter Crowe 
Date of Birth: June 13, 1986
Parish: Our Lady of Victory, State College
Seminary: Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe
Year of Study: 3rd Theology
Projected Year of Ordination: 2017


Jonathan Dickson
Date of Birth: October 30, 1979
Parish: Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Altoona
Seminary: Saint Mary Seminary, Baltimore
Year of Study: 3rd Theology
Projected Year of Ordination: 2017

Austin Keith
Date of Birth: July 3, 1993
Parish: Saint Benedict, Johnstown
Seminary: Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe
Year of Study: 2nd Pre-Theology
Projected Year of Ordination: 2020


Mark Groeger
Date of Birth: May 17, 1958
Parish: Saint Leo Mangus, Ridgway
Seminary: Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe
Year of Study: 1st Pre-Theology
Projected Year of Ordination: 2021


Michael Pleva
Date of Birth: December 2, 1994
Parish: Holy Rosary, Altoona
Seminary: Saint Mark Seminary College, Erie
Year of Study: 3rd College
Projected Year of Ordination: 2021


Devin Crouse
Date of Birth: March 1, 1997
Parish: Saint Catherine of Siena, Mount Union
Seminary: Saint Mark Seminary College, Erie
Year of Study: 1st College
Projected Year of Ordination: 2023 
 
Seminary Discernment Weekend in Erie
Saint Mark's College Seminary in Erie is offering a discernment weekend open to young men 18 or older seriously considering entering the seminary and studying for the Priesthood. The weekend begins at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2015, and concludes around 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 1, 2015. If you are interested, of if you know someone who is, please contact the Diocesan Vocations Office at (814) 472-5441.  

Vocations Tabloid

The October 19 edition of The Catholic Register included a special four page Vocations Tabloid. The publication featured a cover story highlighting our current vocations picture and efforts to promote priestly vocations in Altoona-Johnstown. It also included a message from Bishop Mark and a profile of Father Brian Warchola, the Diocese's most recently ordained priest.  The Vocations Office plans to use the tabloid as a promotional item at schools and parishes in the coming months. 

 

Bishop Mark Christmas 2012
Bishop's Christmas Gathering 
Bishop Mark will host his annual Christmas gathering for seminarians and prospective seminarians on Monday, December 21, 2015. The event begins with Evening Prayer in the Chapel at Garvey Manor Nursing Home in Hollidaysburg and continues with a social and dinner at Carmel Hall, also at Garvey Manor. Guests are invited by the Vocations Office on behalf of Bishop Mark. Please pray for all those attending and considering a vocation to the Priesthood.
 
I wish you continued blessings during this autumn season, and I hope you will continue to join me in praying for an increase in Priestly vocations here in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
 
Sincerely,
Father Matthew Reese
Diocesan Director of Vocations
A Message to Ponder:

"A call is always from the Lord. He knows all the world's roads and the needs of all engaged upon them. He continues to work redemption by calling persons to help him in this task. That faith should help, however, is not  what first becomes apparent from the call. 

There are many who hear God's call over and over again without taking it seriously. They have an exact idea of what God does in order to find workers for his vineyard. They can develop theories about the answers of those called and they know precisely what the minimum is that a person can offer God. They also know the maximum. But in all this they close their hearts, as if none of it concerned them personally, as if their role were only to be observers, or at best, witnesses.  They amuse themselves speculating who could be meant, or how this or that one ought to have answered. They would even like to give their dear God advice as to how to make his call even more emphatic and enticing, how to make his language more understandable. Only they themselves do not hear. 

God calls and man has only to listen. The ear which God the Father has given man is capable of receiving the call that goes out from God. But it seems that it is always a long road from the ear to the will and to love. 

God calls in scripture, God calls in sermons, God also calls in every prayer. There is no truly prayed prayer in which his call does not resound. Whether it is the Our Father or the Hail Mary or prayer that one composes: God's voice is always in the background. 

No prayer can be uttered without man's realizing that, in it, God is calling."
                                                                                                 
                                                                                                    --Adrienne von Speyr
                                                                                                    They Followed His Call, 13-14