A Simple Miracle
By Deacon John Roth
It was probably 2 am, and I had just returned from running in the cold winter, as I often do on the diaconate weekends. Yet, unlike the other weekends, since an Orthodox youth group was using the chapel, an ordinary meeting room became our makeshift “chapel” with everything set up much the same as it always is, on any given diaconate weekend.

Roughly five hours earlier, we had gathered for Adoration and now I entered to have some alone time with my heavenly Father. Read more

Lenten Day of Recollection
"Sowers of Hope"
Directed by Nina Marie Corona
Saturday, March 26, 2022
St. Bartholomew Parish, Wilmore
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
All Deacons, Candidates and Wives are Invited

Parish Mission
"A Lenten Journey of Discernment"
Nina Marie Corona, Presenter
March 27, 28, and 29, 2022
7:00 - 8:30 PM
St. Benedict Parish, Johnstown

Ordination to the Order of Deacon
Daniel Heiser and Brian Yurky
Saturday, June 4, 2022
10:00 AM
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

Annual Diaconate Retreat
"Praying the Psalms"
Thomas Smith, Retreat Director
June 12-16, 2022
Antiochian Village Retreat Center

Rite of Acolyte
Saturday, September 17, 2022
5:00 PM
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

Annual Marian Celebration
Sunday, October 2, 2022
3:00 PM
St. Benedict Parish, Johnstown
Christian Human hands open palm up worship hope. Eucharist Therapy Bless God Helping Repent Catholic Easter Lent Mind Pray. Christian concept background. fighting and victory for god.
Virtual Holy Week Retreat
Deepen your Holy Week experience by attending a virtual Holy Week Retreat. Discover themes, rituals and practices of Holy Week. No registration or fee is required. To learn more about the Holy Week Retreat Click here

Annual Diaconate Retreat
June 12-16, 2022
Directed by Thomas Smith

In this clergy retreat, we explore the foundations for joyfully and confidently preaching on the Psalms and bringing them more fully into our personal prayer, in addition to praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  The Psalter isn’t a junk drawer of scattered sheet music, but rather a sophisticated structure of prayers with a thematic trajectory, intentional structure, and most importantly, and least known, a powerful narrative that unfolds over hundreds of years from early King David all the way to the Return from Exile.  Knowing this structure and the narrative behind particular Psalms can transform how we preach them and help our parishioners better appreciate their message.  We will also explore five lenses for viewing the Psalms, their predictive connection to Christ, their pride of place in our Church’s history, and their supernatural link to Jesus’s prayer to his Father that we are privileged to extend through time.
Pope Francis' Reaction to Conflict Is a Lesson For Us All
Let’s face it: We live in an era of unbridled conflict.

It’s everywhere. You can’t escape it. You see it in Washington, on cable news shows, on social media, even at Disney World — where every day, it seems, there is news of another fight between parents waiting in line. (It may be a small world, people, but there’s plenty of room for everyone!)

Every other person you meet seems to be walking through life with a clenched fist. So what happened last week at the Vatican made a lot of people sit up and take notice — or should have. Read more

A look at the newest Doctor of the Church: St. Irenaeus
On Jan. 21, Pope Francis issued a decree declaring
St. Irenaeus as a Doctor of the Church, having accepted a
related proposal of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He is the first Doctor of the Church believed to have been a martyr, and, having died around 202, he holds the distinction of being the most ancient of the Church’s now-37 Doctors of the Church. St. Irenaeus is most remembered as the earliest systematic theologian for his authentic teaching of the Church’s faith and defense of it in the face of emerging errors. Given his articulation of Gnostic heresies, still prevalent in various forms, St. Irenaeus remains a relevant model for bishops, apologists, catechists and theologians.

Early life
Biographical information for St. Irenaeus is rather limited. In fact, few primary sources on him remain at all — for instance, the only complete texts of his writings exist today by way of later translations.

Irenaeus was born around 130 in the Greek-speaking East. It is most likely that Irenaeus came from Smyrna, on the western edge of what is now Turkey, which was the city of St. Polycarp, a mentor with whom Irenaeus had been associated from a young age. It was through the martyr Polycarp — himself revered and respected as a figure of authority in the early Church — that Irenaeus was acquainted directly with the apostolic age, particularly through his mentor’s connection to St. John the Apostle. Irenaeus was born at a time of growing conversion throughout the Roman Empire, although he was himself born into a Christian family. He spent time studying in Rome, most likely a student of St. Justin Martyr. Read more

Article taken from Our Sunday Visitor
Pile of books and spring flowers of a lilac and apricot in a basket on a wooden surface. Vintage still life.
The Lent Book Shelf
The recent “State of Theology” survey alarmingly demonstrates that US Catholics are far from uniform in believing in the divinity of Christ. In fact, many tend not to believe in his divinity. When confronting the statement “Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God,” a shocking 30% of Catholics “agree,” 27% “somewhat agree,” 9% are “not sure,” 12% “somewhat disagree,” and 22% “disagree.” 

When a majority of Catholics in the United States agree or somewhat agree that Jesus of Nazareth was just a great teacher but not God, we have a crisis on our hands. Continue reading...
Why Jesus Died for Our Sins Instead of
Just Saying, “You’re Forgiven”
Satisfaction theory: Christ’s death on the cross is not a punishment as if he were a bad person, but it is a sacrifice and a reflection of him as a good person. Jesus did not HAVE to be crucified. Instead, Christ wanted to offer himself to the Father as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice of love to demonstrate his love for humanity and desire for the sins of humanity to be forgiven.

What we would say, then, is that rather than Jesus being punished with all of our sins and that’s why our sins go away, rather we would say that Jesus’s death on the cross is so good, it’s so meritorious, it’s of infinite value, because Jesus is God and man—He’s divine, so what he offers the Father in that act is of infinite value, because He’s divine—that it outweighs the harm caused by our sins. It outweighs the damage, the punishment due. Imagine balancing the scales of justice, that when you have our sins put the scales one way, Christ’s sacrifice punches the scales infinitely in the other direction.

And he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only
but also for the sins of the whole world.
(1 John 2:2)

Office of the Permanent Diaconate
625 Park Avenue
Johnstown, PA 15902
(814) 361-2000
Deacon Michael L. Russo, Director