This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.
News and Information
Priestly Ordination Scheduled
Bishop Mark will ordain Deacon Peter Crowe (right) and Deacon Jonathan Dickson to the Diocesan Priesthood on May 27 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. This will be the first ordination to the Diocesan Priesthood since 2011. Deacon Crowe is a member of Our Lady of Victory Parish in State College; Deacon Dickson belongs to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Altoona.
World Day of Prayer for Vocations
The 54th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be on May 7. The theme, as declared by Pope Francis, is "Led by the Spirit for Mission." All are encouraged to pray for an increase in vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life, and the Permanent Diaconate. [Photo: seven of the eight Diocesan seminarians at the 2017 Chrism Mass with Bishop Mark and Vocations Director Father Matthew Reese.]
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, from May to October 1917. The message of Fatima includes a call to conversion of heart, repentance of sin, prayer (especially the Rosary), and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Pope Francis has encouraged the faithful to take advantage of the spiritual benefits at Marian celebrations during this centennial observance. In the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Bishop Bartchak will lead celebrations including a Rosary and Mass on May 13 at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Altoona.
Please visit the DIOCESAN WEBSITE for information about a plenary indulgence and a list of other Diocesan celebrations.
The Diocese has announced the 2017 Catholic Ministries Drive. The CMD stems from a series of listening sessions during which pastors, parish pastoral councils, and parish finance councils offered input. It was determined that vital ministries would be divided into three categories: Caring for the Poor/Strengthening Families; Nurturing Youth; and Forming Clergy and Laity. The 2017 CMD will provide 100% funding for various ministries in those categories.
Each parish will be asked to reach a target amount. Parishes that do not reach their goal will not be penalized. Parishes that exceed their goal will be able to utilize the extra money raised for parish projects.
Commitment Weekend for the 2017 Catholic Ministries Drive is May 6 and 7. Please visit the DIOCESAN WEBSITE for more information, and please click on the video button below to hear Bishop Mark's comments about the 2017 Catholic Ministries Drive.