Volume IIl Number 3                         back                                                              July 2017
Upcoming Events

Rite of Candidacy
Saturday, September 16, 2017
4:00 PM
Saints Peter and Paul, Philipsburg

Annual Dinner with Bishop Mark
for Deacons and their Wives
Monday, September 18, 2017
5:30 PM - Evening Prayer
6:00 PM - Dinner
Our Lady of the Alleghenies, Lilly

Rite of Lector and Acolyte
Saturday, October 21, 2017
4:00 PM
St. Mary, Hollidaysburg

July Birthdays

11       Carol Albarano

17       Chuck Ahearn

18       Steve Luke

18       Fred Weaver

25       Dave Hornick

25       Lisa Wagner

26       Bob Killoren

26       Chip Young

28       Grace Lux


August Birthday

01       Stacey Valerio

01       Jerry Nevling

05       Anthony Wagner

09       Joe Visinsky

21       Helen Luke

22       Patti Gill

25       Ron Kolonich

28       Frank Schuette


September Birthdays

05       Rick Golden

12       Joan Cammarata

12       Jim Janosik

14       Anna Tiernan

18       Bruce Becker

23       Scott Little

26       Vickie Conner

29       Jane Golden

30       Lori Nevling

Bruce & Sarah Becker
Joe & Bernadette Visinsky
Tom & Carol Papinchak
Dan & Beth O'Dowd
Bob & Pat Killoren
Tom & Helen Buige
Gary & Patti Gill
 Steve &Helen Luke
Dave & Diane Lapinski
Laszlo & Linda Ivanits
Sam & Carol Albarano

Allan & Joanna Duman
Mike & Barb Condor
John & Lisa Roth
Mike & Nancy Russo
Mike & Janine Anna
Rick & Jane Golden
Ron & Jill Kolonich
"We must restore
hope to the young people,
help the old, be open to
the future, spread love.
Be poor among the poor.
W e need to include the excluded
and preach peace."
                                      -Pope Francis
by St. Catherine of Siena

Region III Diaconate Directors Meeting
April 26, 2017
NADD Annual Conference
Columbus, Ohio
Deacon Michael Pascarella - Philadelphia
Deacon Andrew Saunders - Newark
Ms. Kim Mailley - Newark
Deacon Michael Russo - Altoona-Johnstown
Deacon Leo McBlain - Camden
This regional meeting was held in conjunction with the annual conference of the National Association of Diaconate Directors whose theme was
"Bridging Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations".   There were 94 deacons and 26 wives attending. The agenda consisted of liturgies, plenary presentations, workshops and business meetings. The gathering opened on Wednesday, April  2 6 and closed with a Mass and dinner at Pontifical College  Josephinum  on Friday evening, April 2 8 . Reports from the business meetings will be available on the NADD Website -   www.nadd.org
The main focus of NADD now shifts to the marketing of the 2018 National Diaconate Congress which will be held in New Orleans, LA on July 22 - 26, 2018. The theme of this meeting is
"Christ the Servant: Yesterday, Today and Forever". All deacons and wives in the United States are invited to attend.
Information for the event can be found by visiting  www.Deacon2018.org .   This site contains links to register for the conference and make hotel reservations. Deacons and wives are being encouraged to register early so that conference planning can proceed. 
In anticipation of the 2018 Congress, a comprehensive study is being made of the permanent diaconate in the United States. This study will be done in conjunction with C.A.R.A. at Georgetown University who have conducted studies in prior years.
The Region III Bi-Annual Assembly was held as part of the convocation one November 5, 1916 at Seton Hall University. This was a successful meeting with prominent speakers and a separate track for wives. The next assembly would normally be held in 2018.  In order to avoid competition with the 2018 Congress in New Orleans, the Region  III  Assembly will be postponed to 2019. 
Fo r the last few years, Region III diaconate directors have met in July. However, it was recommended that it might be better to have our next meeting in September, 2017. 
It is expected that preliminary results for the diaconate study will be available in August 2017. By postponing our meeting, we will be able to review the early findings of the study.
Deacon Mike  Pascarella  shared the fact that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, in addition to celebrating the 50 th  anniv ersary of the permanent diaconate in the United States, will celebrate the anniversary of the founding in the archdiocese on October 15.   Their plans include meeting open to the public that will explain the permanent diaconate. Other dioceses might consider similar programs  focusing on their own history.
S everal of the wives of our Diaconate Community enjoyed a recent get-together at Marzoni's Resturant in Duncansville

Francisco and Jacinta's House 1:30
Francisco and Jacinta's House 1:30



Lucia's House 1:35
Lucia's House 1:35

1st Apparition of Our Lady 2:35
1st Apparition of Our Lady 2:35

Celebrating 100 Years of Fatima
Visit ETWN for more videos
Deacons Have Been Serving the Faithful for 32 years
TheOffice of the Permanent Diaconate was established in the diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in 1981, making it 36 years old this year .
The first class of deacons began in 1982 and the candidates were ordained in 1985. Deacons have been serving  in the diocese for 32 years. 
Word to Meditate On
God brought the creation to completion in six days and on the seventh, the sabbath, he did not do anything, but rested: a day of freedom for all, a day of communion with God. Thus, with this image the Book of Genesis tells us that God's first thought was to find a love that would correspond to his love. With the solemn presentation of the divine work of creation that unfolded over seven days, the first
Falling flowers

Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 6 February
Focus on the Moment and Trust in God's Love
Deacon Gene Neral has announced the launch of the newly, redesigned version of his website, "Life in Focus".
The inspiration for the revision of the website, which has been online since 2004, came to Deacon Gene during prayer. It is his hope that by updating the website it will become more accessible to people.

The site includes links to various prayers, reflections and offers a prayer petition.  

Click on www.lifeinfocus.net. to visit the website.
Cardinal Farrell: Let's talk about the beauty of the family
By Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency
Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell
Prefect of Laity, Family and Life

Rome, Italy, May 6, 2017 -  The Vatican's point-man on family and life issues says rather than just complaining about problems we see in society, we need to focus on the Church's rich, beautiful take on marriage and the family.

"We criticize the times we live in, we criticize governments about laws...this is an opportunity to do something positive for the family, not just to sit back and say 'they're all wrong,'" Cardinal Kevin Farrell told CNA May 3.

"This is a moment for us to convey our message, what we believe about the family and what we believe about human love and what we believe about human life," he said. "Let's not just always focus on the negative, and focus on what's wrong...let's do something to educate."

Prefect of the Vatican's new mega-dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Farrell was one of three Americans to get a red hat from Pope Francis during his Nov. 19 consistory. He was previously the bishop of Dallas before being tapped by Francis to lead the new department.

The cardinal is in charge of preparing for three major events that will take place in 2018 and 2019: the World Meeting of Families, which will take place Aug. 22-26, 2018, in Dublin, Ireland; the Synod on youth in October 2018 and the Jan. 22-27, 2019, international World Youth Day encounter in Panama.

Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia will form the basis for the catechesis sessions during the World Meeting of Families, "but we will accentuate the positive," he said.

Controversy has surrounded footnote 351 of Chapter 8 of Amoris - which addresses the reception of the sacraments for divorced and remarried couples - and Farrell said that people within the Church can and should discuss it.

"We criticize, we object - which we rightfully should - I don't say we shouldn't do that, but I do say that we need to do a little more," he said. "We need to not just criticize, but we need to say what our teaching is, and that's not a yes and no answer."

For him, Amoris Laetitia is about the beauty of marriage and family life - it's also "Chapters 2,3,4,5..."

"So that's what I hope and that's what I hope we would do, not just on the question of marriage, but ... the question of human life, many questions today," he said.

In addition to Amoris Laetitia and the need to showcase the beauty of the Church's teaching on marriage and family, Cardinal Farrell also spoke about the ongoing restructuring of his dicastery, which merged several other departments together, and preparations for World Youth Day, the Synod and the World Meeting of Families.

Please "Click Here" to read excerpts of CNA's interview with Cardinal Farrell.

Reprinted by permission of Catholic News Agency, www.catholicnewsagency.com
Finding Mercy at the Table
All of us receive rest in Christ
By Paul Philibert, OP
Some time ago, I took a guided tour of a megachurch in Louisville, Ky., that welcomes approximately 20,000 people every weekend at
its three huge worship services. The elderly gentleman who was my tour guide was full of admiration
for this community, its preaching and its spiritual guidance. Responding to someone in my group, he explained that he was a former Catholic whose life in the Roman Catholic Church ended after his divorce. Among all the other changes that divorce brought into his life, he said, "This made me a nobody in my Catholic parish - a failure, a bad guy, a loser." In his new church home, however, he appears to be a winner - happy and eager to help, committed and feeling close to Christ. His is only one story, but one that symbolically represents hundreds of thousands of Catholics for whom divorce has made them feel like misfits in their church community.

In his new Christian community, Holy Communion is not celebrated weekly but only occasionally. However, powerful preaching, weekly Bible study and weekly community service are essential parts of belonging to his congregation. This is a very different world from your average Catholic parish, and one to which more and more Catholics find themselves attracted. Former Catholics make up the largest demographic of the growing number of evangelical churches in the United States and a large segment of the new megachurches. What have they discovered that Catholics have yet to learn? Is it that church is about life and not only about rituals? Is it the respect these churches give to study, faith sharing, community building and service? And why have so many Catholic refugees - the divorced and the disenchanted - found their way to these communities? A good deal of research has been done on exactly these questions, and the overall answer, put very simply, is that they are longing for worship and community that touch their hearts.

What is living liturgy?
Liturgy and ritual are not the same thing. The rite of the Mass begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. But liturgy turns the whole of life into prayer.  Click Here to continue reading the rest of the article.

Article taken from Celebrations Publications
Fatima at 100: Story of Apparitions Continues to Attract Attention
By Junno Arocho Esteves (Catholic News Service)
While conversion and prayer are at the heart of Mary's messages at Fatima, Portugal, the miracles and unexplained phenomenon that accompanied the events 100 years ago continue to intrigue believers and nonbelievers alike.

The apparitions of Mary at Fatima in 1917 were not the first supernatural events reported there.

Two years before Mary appeared to the three shepherd children - Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto - they saw a strange sight while praying the rosary in the field, according to the memoirs of Sister Lucia, who had become a Carmelite nun.

"We had hardly begun when, there before our eyes, we saw a figure poised in the air above the trees; it looked like a statue made of snow, rendered almost transparent by the rays of the sun," she wrote, describing what they saw in 1915.

The next year, Francisco and Jacinta received permission to tend their family's flocks and Lucia decided to join her cousins in a field owned by their families.  It was 1916 when the mysterious figure appeared again, this time approaching close enough "to distinguish its features."

"Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me," Sister Lucia recalled the angel saying.

The three told no one about the angel's visit and received no more heavenly visits until May 13, 1917. While the children tended their sheep and played, they were startled by two flashes of lightning.

As they made their way down a slope, the children saw a "lady all dressed in white" standing on a small tree. It was the first of six apparitions of Mary, who gave a particular message or revelation each time:

- May 13, 1917. When asked by the children who she was and where she came from, the lady said she was "from heaven" and that she would reveal her identity later. She asked the children to come back to the Cova da Iria on the 13th day of the month for the next six months, and she asked them to pray the rosary every day "in order to obtain peace for the world" and the end of World War I.

- June 13, 1917. The lady said she would take Francisco and Jacinta to heaven soon while Lucia would remain on earth for "some time longer" to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart.

- July 13, 1917. The lady said she would reveal her identity in October and "perform a miracle for all to see and believe." After telling the children to make sacrifices for sinners, she revealed three secrets; two of the secrets were not shared publicly until 1941 and the third secret, written down by Sister Lucia and sent to the Vatican, was not released until 2000.

The first secret involved a vision of hell in which the children saw "a sea of fire" with demons and human souls shrieking "in pain and despair." In her memoir, Sister Lucia said people nearby, who had begun gathering around the children on the 13th of the month, heard her "cry out" during the frightening revelation.

The second secret was that while World War I would come to end, a "worse one will break out" if people continued offending God.

The children were told that calamity would be prevented if Russia was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart. Although Sister Lucia confirmed that the consecration was done properly by Pope Pius XII in 1942 and by St. John Paul II in 1984, some Fatima devotees continue to argue that it was not.

The third and final secret, published 83 years after the Fatima apparitions, was a vision of a "bishop dressed in white" shot down amid the rubble of a ruined city. The official Vatican interpretation, discussed with Sister Lucia before its publication, was that it referred to the persecution of Christians in the 20th century and, specifically, to the 1981 assassination attempt on the life of St. John Paul II.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith at the time of the third secret's publication in 2000. Presenting the secret and the interpretation to the press, he said the vision's purpose was not to show an "irrevocably fixed future" but to "mobilize the forces of change in the right direction."

- Aug. 19, 1917. The lady again said she would perform a miracle in October and asked that the money given by pilgrims be used to build a chapel on the site of the apparitions.

- Sept. 13, 1917. The lady asked them to continue to pray the rosary "to obtain the end of the war," and she said that Jesus, St. Joseph, Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Carmel would appear during the miracle in October.

- Oct. 13, 1917. Despite the pouring rain, tens of thousands of people went to the Cova da Iria to witness the long-awaited miracle.

The lady identified herself as "Our Lady of the Rosary" and said the war would end and the soldiers would return home. After asking that people cease to offend God, she opened her hands, which reflected a light toward the sun.

Sister Lucia recalled crying out, "Look at the sun!" As the crowds looked on, the sun appeared to "dance," spinning and changing colors. The children also saw the promised figures of Jesus, St. Joseph and Mary.

Amazement at the "dancing sun" turned to panic when the sun seemed to hurl toward earth. Fearing the end of the world, some people screamed and ran, some tried to hide and others remained on their knees, praying for mercy. Then the sun returned to its place.

Thirteen years after Mary's final apparition at Fatima, the bishop of Leiria declared the visions of the three shepherd children "worthy of belief" and allowed the veneration of Our Lady of Fatima. However, the bishop did not recognize the "dancing sun" as miraculous. 

Reprinted with permission from Catholic News Service, www.catholicnews.com

Greeting of His Holiness Pope Francis
Vigil at the Chapel of the Apparitions
May 12, 2017
Dear Pilgrims to Mary and with Mary!

Thank you for your welcome and for joining me on this pilgrimage of hope and peace. Even now, I want to assure all of you who are united with me, here or elsewhere, that you have a special place in my heart.

I feel that Jesus has entrusted you to me (cf. Jn 21:15-17), and I embrace all of you and commend you to Jesus, "especially those most in need" - as Our Lady taught us to pray (Apparition of July, 1917). May she, the loving and solicitous Mother of the needy, obtain for them the Lord's blessing!

On each of the destitute and outcast robbed of the present, on each of the excluded and abandoned denied a future, on each of the orphans and victims of injustice refused a past, may there descend the blessing of God, incarnate in Jesus Christ. "The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace" (Num 6:24-26).

This blessing was fulfilled in the Virgin Mary. No other creature ever basked in the light of God's face as did Mary; she in turn gave a human face to the Son of the eternal Father.

Now we can contemplate her in the succession of joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious moments of her life, which we revisit in our recitation of the rosary. With Christ and Mary, we abide in God. Indeed, "if we want to be Christian, we must be Marian; in a word, we have to acknowledge the essential, vital and providential relationship uniting Our Lady to Jesus, a relationship that opens before us the way leading to him" (PAUL VI, Address at the Shine of Our Lady of Bonaria, Cagliari, 24 April 1970). Each time we recite the rosary, in this holy place or anywhere else, the Gospel enters anew into the life of individuals, families, peoples and the entire world.

Pilgrims with Mary... But which Mary? A teacher of the spiritual life, the first to follow Jesus on the "narrow way" of the cross by giving us an example, or a Lady "unapproachable" and impossible to imitate? A woman "blessed because she believed" always and everywhere in God's words (cf. Lk 1:42.45), or a "plaster statue" from whom we beg favors at little cost? The Virgin Mary of the Gospel, venerated by the Church at prayer, or a Mary of our own making: one who restrains the arm of a vengeful God; one sweeter than Jesus the ruthless judge; one more merciful than the Lamb slain for us?

Great injustice is done to God's grace whenever we say that sins are punished by his judgment, without first saying - as the Gospel clearly does - that they are forgiven by his mercy! Mercy has to be put before judgment and, in any case, God's judgment will always be rendered in the light of his mercy. Obviously, God's mercy does not deny justice, for Jesus took upon himself the consequences of our sin, together with its due punishment. He did not deny sin, but redeemed it on the cross. Hence, in the faith that unites us to the cross of Christ, we are freed of our sins; we put aside all fear and dread, as unbefitting those who are loved (cf. 1 Jn 4:18). "Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In her, we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong, who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves... This interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization" (Ap. Exhort.  Evangelii Gaudium, 288). With Mary, may each of us become a sign and sacrament of the mercy of God, who pardons always and pardons everything.

Hand in hand with the Virgin Mother, and under her watchful gaze, may we come to sing with joy the mercies of the Lord, and cry out: "My soul sings to you, Lord!" The mercy you have shown to all your saints and all your faithful people, you have also shown to me. Out of the pride of my heart, I went astray, following my own ambitions and interests, without gaining any crown of glory! My one hope of glory, Lord, is this: that your Mother will take me in her arms, shelter me beneath her mantle, and set me close to your heart. Amen.
 The USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations has charged NADD with organizing a National Congress of Deacons in 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the renewal of the diaconate in the US.
The Congress will be held in New Orleans at the invitation of Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans, from Sunday afternoon, July 22, 2018 through Thursday noon, July 26, 2018.

From zero permanent deacons in 1968, the permanent diaconate has flourished as a vocation as part of the spiritual renewal desired by the Second Vatican Council. Today there are over 18,000 deacons in the United States who are ordained in service to the Word, Charity and Liturgy on behalf of their local ordinaries. Deacons foster spiritual renewal among their families, in their workplaces and in their parish communities.

Come join us in New Orleans for 5 days in July 2018 to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event that will recognize, celebrate and promote awareness of diaconate ministry and the contributions of deacons in the Catholic Church following the model of "Christ the Servant: Yesterday, Today, and Forever."
For more information on this event please visit www.deacon2018.org
Pastoral visit of the Holy Father Francis to the Archdiocese of Milan: 
Encounter with priests and consecrated persons in the Duomo
March 25, 2017

The Holy Father's Answer to Questions

Question 2 
Roberto Crespi  (permanent deacon): 

Your Holiness, good morning. I am Roberto, a permanent deacon. The diaconate entered into our clergy 1990, and of whom there are now 143 of us; it is not a large number but it is a significant number. We are men who live their vocation fully; either in marriage or celibacy, but we also live fully in the world of work and of the professions, and therefore bring the clergy into the world of families and the world of work, we bring all those dimensions of beauty and experience but also hardship and at times suffering. So, we ask you: as permanent deacons, what is our role in giving form to the face that Church that is humble, that is selfless, that is blessed, that we feel she is in her heart, and of which often you speak to us? Thank you for your attention, and I assure you of our prayer, and that of our wives and families.

Pope Francis:

Thank you. You deacons have much to give, much to give. I think of the value of discernment. Within the presbytery, you can be an authoritative voice to show the tension there is between duty and will, the tensions that one lives in family life - you have a mother in law, for example! And also the blessings one lives within family life.

But we must be careful not to see deacons as half priests, half laypeople. This is a danger. At the end they will end up neither one nor the other. No, we must not do this, it is a danger. Looking at them in this way harms us and harms them. This way of considering them takes strength from the charism proper to the diaconate. I want to return to this: the charism proper to the diaconate. And this charism is in the life of the Church. Likewise the image of the deacon as a sort of intermediary between the faithful and pastors is inappropriate. Neither halfway between priests and laypeople, nor halfway between pastors and faithful. There is the danger of clericalism: the deacon who is too clerical. No, no, this is not good. At times I see someone who assists at the liturgy: it almost seems as if he wants to take the place of the priest. Clericalism, beware of clericalism. And another temptation is functionalism: it is a help that the priest has for this or that; a boy to carry out certain tasks and not for other things. No. You have a clear charism in the Church and you must build it.

The diaconate is a specific vocation, a family vocation that requires service. I like it very much when [in the Acts of the Apostles] the first Hellenistic Christians went to the apostles to complain because their widows and orphans were not well cared for, and they had a meeting, that "synod" between apostles and disciples, and they "invented" the deacons to serve. And this is very interesting for us bishops too, because they were all bishops, those who "made" the deacons. And what does this tell us? That deacons were servants. Then they understood that, in that case, it was to assist widows and orphans: but to serve. And to us as bishops: prayer and the proclamation of the Word; and this shows us what the most important charism of a bishop is: to pray. What is the task of a bishop, the first task? Prayer. Second task: proclaiming the Word. But you can see the difference clearly. And for you [deacons]: service. This word is the key to understanding your charism. Service as one of the characteristic gifts of the people of God. The deacon is, so to say, the custodian of service in the Church. Every word must be carefully measured. You are the guardians of service in the Church: service to the Word, service to the Altar, service to the poor. And your mission, the mission of the deacon, and your contribution consist in this: in reminding us all that faith, in its various expressions - community liturgy, personal prayer, the various forms of charity - and in its various states of life - lay, clerical, family - possesses an essential dimension of service. Service to God and to brothers. And how far we have to go in this sense! You are the guardians of service in the Church.

Therein lies the value of the charisms in the Church, which are a memory and a gift for helping all the people of God not to lose the perspective and wealth of God's action. You are not half priests, half laypeople - this would be to "functionalize" the diaconate - you are the sacrament of service to God and to others. And from this word "service" there derives all the development of your work, of your vocation, of your being within the Church. A vocation that, like all vocations is not only individual, but lived within the family and with the family; within the People of God and with the People of God.

In summary:
- there is no altar service, there is no liturgy that is not open to the poor, and there no service to the poor that does not lead to the liturgy;

- there is no ecclesial vocation that is not of the family.

This helps us to re-evaluate the deaconate as an ecclesial vocation.

Finally, today it seems that everything must be useful to us, as if everything were targeted at the individual: prayer is useful to me, the community is useful to me, charity is useful to me. This is a feature of our culture. You are the gift that the Spirit gives us to show that the right path goes in the opposite direction: in prayer I serve, in the community I serve, with solidarity I serve God and my neighbour. And may God give you the grace to grow in this charism of safeguarding service in the Church. Thank you for what you do.
Office of the Permanent Diaconate
925 S. Logan Blvd.
Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
(814) 693-9870
Deacon Michael L. Russo                                                                                                                                       
Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate                                                                       

Joan M. Noonan
Office of the Diaconate