DIAKONIA 

Volume VI Number 1                        back                                          January 2020   
UPCOMING EVENTS  

Day of Recollection
Directed by Nina Marie Corona
Saturday, March 28, 2020
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
St. Bartholomew, Wilmore
All Deacons, Candidates and Wives 
are invited to attend.

St. Benedict Parish Mission
Guest Speaker - Nina Marie Corona
March 29, 30, & 31, 2020
7:00-8:30 PM Nightly
St. Benedict Church, Johnstown 

Chrism Mass
Monday, April 6, 2020
11:00 AM 
Arrival time is 10:00 AM
Cathedral, Altoona

Annual Diaconate Retreat
Deacon William Ditewig, Ph.D. , Retreat Master 
June 14-18, 2020
Antiochian Village, Bolivar
Retreat begins Sunday with registration at 
3:30 PM and concludes Thursday following the 10:00 AM closing Mass

 

BIRTHDAYS

 

JANUARY

01       Deacon Tom Papinchak

05       Lisa Roth

08       Dee Schuette

12       Linda Rys

16      Janis Komula

29      Deacon Michael Russo

31      Beth O'Dowd

 

FEBRUARY

01       Joanna Duman

05       Deacon Joe Dalla Valle

07       Dee Zernick

08       Deacon Dave Lapinski

09       Karen Underhill

25       Shirley Boldin

26       Deacon Mike Ondik

 

MARCH

04       Deacon Phil Gibson

08       Andrea Beavers

09       Colette Orlandi

15       Susan Cronin

18       Deacon Laszlo Ivantis

20       Janine Anna

25       Diane Lapinski

 

ANNIVERSARIES

 

Deacon Frank & Dee Schutte

1/7/1960

 

Deacon Jack & Colette Orlandi

2/8/1997

 

Deacon Jerry & Lori Nevling

2/14/2009

 

Deacon Chip & Connie Young

2/15/1969

 

Deacon Tony & Lisa Wagner

3/8/1986

DAY OF RECOLLECTION
Saturday, March 28, 2020
All Deacons, Candidates, and Wives are invited 
St. Bartholomew Parish, Wilmore
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM 

SOWERS OF HOPE
Directed by Nina  Marie Corona

Society (including our Ch urch) is inundated with overwhelming messages and experiences of suffering, tragedy, crime, scandals, natural and man-made disas ters of all kinds.  These messages instill and reinforce fear, despair, and hopelessness in so many people.

One of the great challenges and responsibilities of ministry is to be Sowers of Hope for other, especially when those we minister to are facing or have experienced horrific tragedies.  During this Day of Recollection we will reflect on the many blessings and the real challenges of being 
Sowers of Hope.
Nina Marie Corona is a Doctor of Ministry candidate at Fordham University.  She possesses a Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality from Loyola University, Chicago.  Nina is the founder of two ministries that she designed to educate and inspire faith, hope, love and a Christian response to the nation's addiction epidemic:
We Thirst (Christian Reflections on Addiction) and
AFIRE (Active Faith Implementing Relief in the Epidemic).  She has also taught theology and spirituality as an adjunct instructor at Villanova University.

Nina is an approved speaker for the Catholic Speakers Organization.  Nina has been married for over thirty-six years to her husband Mark, who recently retired to help Nina with her ministries.  Together they have two adult daughters and one grandson.

To learn more about Nina go to:
The Book Shelf


5 Reasons to Jump-Start Your Spiritual Reading in 2020

Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP | Jan 16, 2020

Carving out time for print books will change the kind of year you have.

Last year, Forbes magazine reported, "The average adult consumes five times more information every day than their counterpart 50 years ago." It went on to suggest that Americans can spend 12 hours a day looking at screens! 

This is no diatribe against technology - after all, these thoughts were penned for a Catholic website. But there is something to be said for books. Reading a print book is contemplative, restful, and inspiring in ways that watching television or scrolling social media are not. So why not start 2020 with a new commitment to spiritual reading? Here are five reasons to consider it:

Prayer is always a grace.
Jesus himself invites us to know and love him through the intimate conversation we call prayer. Nevertheless, in a certain respect, prayer is an input output game. What goes in, comes out. Spiritual reading helps train our minds to think of higher things and allows us to enter more easily into conversation with God. When we engage in reading about the life of Jesus or the mysteries of our faith, it becomes easier to mull them over with God in prayer.

To evangelize, we have to have things to say.
How can I tell someone about my love for Christ without words? Spiritual reading helps shape and color our own experiences of the Lord. By giving words to the faith or considering the experiences of the saints, sharing our own love for the faith will come more readily, with a more natural feel.

We are surrounded by media.
Every website, news channel or radio station has a set of guiding principles that inform the stories they present and the way those stories are shared. Only the Gospel is free from ideology. Only spiritual reading, the Scriptures and the lives of holy Christian men and women, can refresh us and lift us out of the mire which so often drags us down.

God speaks to us in the Scriptures.
We hear excerpts from the Bible each Sunday in Mass. However, deciding to regularly read the Scriptures allows a Christian to hear God speaking directly to one's own heart in a particularly intimate way. The Gospels and the Letters of the New Testament hold pride of place as they offer the heights of the story of our salvation and present in simple terms stories of consolation and joy.

Faith must be real.
We may be tempted to pick up a biography or treatise and force ourselves to enjoy it. "Such and such a saint" is incredible, we've heard. But we may very well not like every work we come across; Reading a breadth of spiritual works allows us to become more fully ourselves. We must not be afraid to soften the edges of our vices or expand the horizon of our own views. In so doing our faith will become more completely our own.

Looking for some suggestions? Check out this list from Aleteia. Take an hour and peruse the shelves of a local Catholic bookshop. Order a few things online or pick up a couple of books from your local library. You won't regret it!

Taken from Aletei
This past weekend at the 10:00 Mass, I accidentally spilled some of The Precious Blood of Jesus on the carpet during Communion. I immediately placed a cloth purificator over the spill so that no one would step on the area until I could clean up the spill after Mass. After Mass ended, I went to the sacristy to get some water and additional cloth purificators to clean up The Precious Blood. When ... I came out into the main part of the Church, there were 3 nuns from The Children of Mary who had attended 10:00 Mass kneeling around the spilled Precious Blood with their faces down in adoration awaiting me to return. I, along with others, were quite moved by the sisters' witness of the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. One parishioner was so moved that she snapped a picture and shared it with me. 

I thought later...How many of us would think to go kneel like that in adoration until The Precious Blood was cleaned up? Certainly something to reflect upon.

Peace to all. ...Deacon Dad

Taken from Catholics Online Blog
November 20, 2019
Lenten Parish Mission
St. Benedict Parish
2310 Bedford Street, Johnstown
Featuring Speaker Nina Marie Corona
March 29, 30, & 31, 2020
7:00-8:30 PM Nightly
Tickers not required.  A love offering will be taken.
Open to all in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese

The decisions that Jesus made at pivotal moments in His life on earth reveal much about who He is and who we are called to be as His followers. Join us on this Lenten spiritual journey as we walk closely alongside the man - Jesus of Nazareth. We will reflect on Jesus' radical choices, consider why He made them, and we will learn from Him how to discern which paths to choose on our personal journeys towards authentic discipleship. Each evening will include powerful talks, images, videos, and music for reflection. Practical tools will be offered to help us to choose "what better leads to a deepening of God's life in us."

EVENING ONE: JESUS' BAPTISM
Have we considered the implications of Jesus' decision to be baptized by John the Baptist and what it means for us as baptized Christians? This evening we will reflect on the voice of John the Baptist calling for repentance, and Jesus' decision to respond to that call.
 
EVENING TWO: JESUS' COMPASSION
Jesus chose to identify with the poor, the oppressed, and the outcast, and the Gospels reveal the reason why He did this. This evening we will reflect on what moved Jesus in so many of the Gospel stories. We will consider how we can be moved to more closely imitate Him in our lives.
 
EVENING THREE: JESUS' HUMILITY
Jesus chose to come, not as the expected powerful Messiah, but as a humble servant who ultimately suffered and died. These radical decisions form the foundations of our faith and are the hinges to salvation. This evening we will deeply consider the implications of Jesus' decisions to remain lowly, to suffer, and ultimately to die.
Spiritual Life 
63.     Deacons are obligated to give priority to the spiritual life and to live their diakonia with generosity. They should integrate their family obligations, professional life, and ministerial responsibilities so as to grow in their commitment to the person and mission of Christ, the Servant. Clerics have a special obligation to seek holiness in their lives "because they are consecrated to God by a new title in the reception of orders as dispensers of God's mysteries in the service of His people."
- National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent     Deacons
"What Will the Church Look Like in 2000"
 
Over half a century ago, the  world was going through a time of turbulence and unrest. The Cold War had fully taken root among the world's geopolitical powers, men were landing on the moon, and students were protesting all across the world.

In Rome, there were disputes over the second Vatican Council which had only recently come to a close. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, then Father Joseph Ratzinger, was a leading figure in the second Vatican Council. Feeling isolated as a theologian from others such as Küng, Schillebeeckx and Rahner over their interpretations of the council, he left the University of Tübingen and found calm in the city of Regensburg.

In Regensburg, he cemented new relationships with famous theologians Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac. With their help, he founded the Catholic journal of theology, Communio. He was also appointed a professor of theology at the University of Regensburg. In 1969, Ratzinger gave a series of five sermons over the radio. On Christmas Day over "Hessian Rundfunk" radio, he gave out his final preaching that carried with it a distinct prophetic tone.

In his broadcast, Ratzinger likened the Church to going through an era similar to that of the Enlightenment or French Revolution. As if the Church was fighting a force whose only goal was to defeat it. Although the Church has a great deal of suffering to go through, he says we must all look and cast our gaze upon the world of absolute solitude and poverty we inhabit. Then, and only then, will we be able to see "that small flock of faithful as something completely new: they will see it as a source of hope for themselves, the answer they had always secretly been searching for."

In 2009, Ignatius Press released Father Ratzinger's speech "What Will the Church Look Like in 2000" in full, in a book titled Faith and the Future along with a collection of his other teachings from the time.
The transcription the 1969 radio broadcast in full is below:

"The future of the Church can and will issue from those whose roots are deep and who live from the pure fullness of their faith. It will not issue from those who accommodate themselves merely to the passing moment or from those who merely criticize others and assume that they themselves are infallible measuring rods; nor will it issue from those who take the easier road, who sidestep the passion of faith, declaring false and obsolete, tyrannous and legalistic, all that makes demands upon men, that hurts them and compels them to sacrifice themselves.

To put this more positively: The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a wider reality. Unselfishness, which makes men free, is attained only through the patience of small daily acts of self-denial. By this daily passion, which alone reveals to a man in how many ways he is enslaved by his own ego, by this daily passion and by it alone, a man's eyes are slowly opened. He sees only to the extent that he has lived and suffered.

If today we are scarcely able any longer to become aware of God, that is because we find it so easy to evade ourselves, to flee from the depths of our being by means of the narcotic of some pleasure or other. Thus our own interior depths remain closed to us. If it is true that a man can see only with his heart, then how blind we are!

How does all this affect the problem we are examining? It means that the big talk of those who prophesy a Church without God and without faith is all empty chatter. We have no need of a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is utterly superfluous. Therefore, it will destroy itself. What will remain is the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church that believes in the God who has become man and promises us life beyond death. The kind of priest who is no more than a social worker can be replaced by the psychotherapist and other specialists; but the priest who is no specialist, who does not stand on the [sidelines], watching the game, giving official advice, but in the name of God places himself at the disposal of man, who is beside them in their sorrows, in their joys, in their hope and in their fear, such a priest will certainly be needed in the future.

Let us go a step farther. From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge - a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, it will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society, it will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly it will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Along-side this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly. But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship.

The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution - when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain - to the renewal of the nineteenth century.

But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. It may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but it will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man's home, where he will find life and hope beyond death."

Office of the Permanent Diaconate
625 Park Avenue
Johnstown, PA  15902
(814) 361-2000
 Deacon Michael L. Russo                                                                                                               Mrs. Marybeth Heinze             
 Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate                                                               Admnistrative Assistant
  michael.russo@atlanticbb.net                                                                                      mheinze@dioceseaj.org