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An E-Newsletter from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
February 2016
Volume VIII Number 2
Blessed Lent 
Welcome to the February edition of E-vangelist, a monthly E-Newsletter from the Communications Office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The season of Lent is underway -- a 40 day period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. As we observe Lent here in Altoona-Johnstown during this Year of Mercy, we focus on the Corporal Works of Mercy and putting them into practice during these 40 days. In the words of one Diocesan priest during an Ash Wednesday homily several years ago, "The worst thing we can do is reach the end of the Lenten season and realize we've done nothing." May you have a Lent filled with spiritual renewal. [Photo: Bishop Mark places ashes on the forehead of a man at Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.] 


Ministry Quicklinks

the catholic register
Coming up in the
January 22, 2016, edition of The Catholic Register:
  • Reporter Bruce Tomaselli spotlights individuals who are putting the Corporal Work of Mercy "Visiting the Imprisoned" into action. 



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


February 21 -- Tracey Ingold and Coleen Prostejovsky, members of Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Cresson, discuss the parish ministry, the Martha and Mary Circle. 

February 28 -- Jeremy Woodhead, Director of the Martha and Mary House in Johnstown, operated by Catholic Charities, looks back at the shelter's first year. 

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.  



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.
Rite of Election
The Rite of Election was held on February 14 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona and Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown with Bishop Mark presiding. The Bishop formally welcomed those who are preparing for full initiation in the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. "I am honored and proud and glad to be part of this journey with you," Bishop Mark told the candidates and catechumens. Referencing the letters they sent to him, the Bishop noted that reading them strengthened his faith "because your stories are already stories of a realization of your sharing in God's life and love and mercy and how much you desire for that to be the core of your lives after you are formally received into the Church at Easter." Complete coverage of the Rite of Election can be found in the February 22 edition of The Catholic Register. [Photo: A group from Sacred Heart Parish in Altoona joins the procession at the Rite of Election.]
Lent in the Year of Mercy
This Lenten season comes as the Catholic Church celebrates a Year of Mercy. As part of our Diocesan observance, we are placing special emphasis on the Corporal Works of Mercy throughout Lent. During the first full week of Lent, the focus was on feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty. This week, we highlight sheltering the homeless and welcoming the stranger. Clothing the naked is the focus of week three, and caring for the sick will be highlighted in week four. On the fifth week - visiting the imprisoned. And during the sixth week - Holy Week - the emphasis will be on burying the dead. The faithful are encouraged to put the Corporal Works of Mercy into practice during this holy season. Click here for USCCB resources for Lent in the Year of Mercy. Click here for a Diocesan schedule of Year of Mercy observances.
The Light is On For You Reconciliation Opportunities 
The season of Lent is a time for Catholics to seek God's healing and forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Three Diocesan Communal Penance Services with Bishop Mark presiding are scheduled. They are as follows:
  • March 14, 7:00 p.m. - Good Shepherd Parish, State College
  • March 16, 6:30 p.m. - Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona
  • March 17, 6:30 p.m. - Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown
Please consult individual parishes for Reconciliation opportunities during Lent. Click here for a schedule of Communal Penance Services at various parishes.
JHYD 2013 Junior High Youth Day 2016
The Diocese is getting ready for one of its annual youth events. Junior High Youth Day will be held on March 13 at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg. Sponsored by our Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, it is open to students in grades six, seven, and eight. The day will include uplifting keynote addresses by Will Smith, challenging games, and Mass with Bishop Mark. To register, contact your Catholic school principal, parish, or Director of Religious Education. The deadline is March 1.
Ecumenical Service 
All are invited to a celebration of Christian unity. Each year, the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown partners with our brothers and sisters in the Lutheran and Orthodox faith traditions to sponsor two ecumenical services. The first one was held on January 31 in State College. The second one is scheduled for February 28 at 2:00 p.m. at Christ the Savior Orthodox Cathedral in Johnstown. Bishop Mark will be in attendance, along with local leaders of other Christian faith traditions. All are welcome. [Photo: Pictured (left to right) at the January 31 ecumenical service are: Bishop Mark; Bishop-Emeritus Gregory Pile of the Lutheran tradition; Rev. Joy Kaufmann of the Presbyterian tradition; Lutheran Bishop Michael Rhyne; and Orthodox Bishop Gregory Tatsis.]
Lenten Crosses Prayer for Lent
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. 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