Volume IV Number 3                         back                                                              July 2018
Upcoming Events

Celebration Mass and Dinner with Bishop Mark for the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Permanent Diaconate 
Monday, September 17, 2018
Bishop Mark will celebrate 
Mass at 5:30 PM 
Dinner will be held following Mass
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona

Rite of Candidacy
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Mass - 4:00 PM
Saint Peter Catholic Church, Somerset

Rite of Lector and Acolyte
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Mass - 4:00 PM
Saint  Mary Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg

Fall Clergy Gathering
October 15-17, 2018
Seven Springs Resoret

2019 Annual Diaconate Retreat
June 16 - 20, 2019
Retreat Director - Mr. Thomas Smith
Retreat begins Sunday, June 16 with Registration at 3:30 PM and will end Thursday, June 20 with the conclusion of the 10:00 AM Closing Mass
Antiochain Village, Bolivar
Rows of colorful cup cakes decorated with birthday candles and sprinkles.

July 11                Carol Albarano

July 17                Deacon Chuck Ahearn

July 18                Deacon Fred Weaver

July 25                Deacon Dave Hornick

July 25                Lisa Wagner

July 26                Deacon Chip Young

July 28                Grace Lux


August 1             Jerry Nevling

August 1             Stacey Valerio

August 5             Deacon Tony Wager

August 9             Deacon Joe Visinsky

August 17           Derek Lang

August 21           Helen Luke

August 22           Patti Gill

August 22           Casey Lang

August 25           Deacon Ron Kolonich

August 28           Deacon Frank Schuette


September 5       Deacon Rick Golden

September 12     Joan Cammarata

September 12     Deacon Jim Janosik

September 14     Anna Tiernan

September 18     Deacon Bruce Becker

September 23     Deacon Scott Little

September 26     Vickie Conner

September 29     Jane Golden

September 30     Lori Nevling

Wedding Anniversaries 

Bruce & Sarah Becker

Joe & Bernadette Visinsky

Tom & Carol Papinchak
Dan & Beth O'Dowd

Tom & Helen Buidge

Gary & Patti Gill
Dave & Diane Lapinski

Laszlo & Linda Ivanits

Sam & Carol Albarano

Allan & Joanna Duman

Mike & Barb Condor

Mark & Janis Komula

John & Lisa Roth

Mike & Nancy Russo

Mike & Janine Anna

Rick & Jane Golden

Ron & Jill Kolonich
Serving with Joy:
Lessons from Pope Francis
for Catholic Deacons Today
Written by  Silas S Henderson
Available at Amazon "Click Here"
"The thing I remember best  about successful people  I've met all through the years  is their obvious delight in what  they're doing and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they're doing, and they love it in front of others."         
Open book on wooden table outdoors on natural spring or summertime background. Return to spring or summer time. Invitation to study literatures close up
The Sign of the Cross is Our Badge,  Pope Francis says
By Hannah Brochaus
Pope Francis prays at the end of the General Audience March 14,2018. 
Credit:Daniel Ibanez/ CNA
On Wednesday Pope Francis said that to make the sign of the cross is to mark ourselves as Christians, and that it is something we should do often to remind ourselves that we belong to God.

"The cross is the badge that shows who we are: our speaking, thinking, looking, working [are] under the sign of the cross, that is, the love of Jesus, to the end," the pope said April 18.

"Making the sign of the cross when we wake up, before meals, before a danger, to defend against evil, [at] night before sleep means to tell ourselves and others who we belong to, who we want to be."

Reflecting on the sacrament of Baptism, he offered the suggestion of keeping a small dish of holy water at home, so that, "every time we come back or go out, making the sign of the cross with that water, we remember that we are baptized."

"In fact, what happens in the celebration of Baptism arouses a spiritual dynamic that passes through the whole life of the baptized; it is the beginning of a process that allows one to live united to Christ in the Church," Francis stated.

He explained that it is good for us to increase our understanding of the gift we received on the day of our Baptism, in order "to renew the commitment to respond to it in the condition in which we find ourselves today."

For this reason, the pope explained the process of the Baptismal Rite, which he said begins with the welcoming rite, when the priest or other celebrant asks what name is of the person to be baptized.

This, Francis pointed out, is like when we meet someone for the first time and we immediately introduce ourselves in order to remove "anonymity."
"God calls each one by name, loving us individually, in the concreteness of our history," he said, explaining that in a Baptism we use the person's individual name because God's call is "personal" and not a "copy and paste" situation.  Read more

Article taken from CNA/Catholic News Agency/online at www.catholicnewsagency.com
The Silent Monks
The Silent Monks
Top Five Takeaways from
"Gaudete et Exsultate"
by James Martin, S.J. ( America Magazine)
Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating Mass marking the feast of Divine Mercy in St. Peters Square at the Vatican April 8. 
CNS photo Paul Haring
"Rejoice and be glad!" is what Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount. It's also the title of Pope Francis' new apostolic exhortation on holiness in everyday life. Why should we "rejoice and be glad"? Because God, as Francis reminds us, calls us all to be saints. But how can we respond to that call?

Well, here are five takeaways from Francis' new and very practical exhortation.

1. Holiness means being yourself

Pope Francis offers us many examples of holy lives throughout this document: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the French Carmelite who found holiness in doing small tasks; St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuit founder who sought to find God in all things; St. Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratorians who was renowned for his sense of humor.

The saints pray for us and give us examples of how to live, but we are not meant to be cookie-cutter versions of them. We are meant to be ourselves, and each believer is meant to "discern his or her our own path" and "bring out the very best of themselves." As Thomas Merton said, "For me to be a saint means to be myself."

2. Everyday life can lead to holiness

You do not need to be a bishop, a priest or a member of a religious order to be holy. Everyone is called to be a saint, as the Second Vatican Council reminded us- a mother or a father, a student or an attorney, a teacher or a janitor. "Saints next door," Francis calls them. All we need to do is to "live our lives in love" and "bear witness" to God in all we do.

That also doesn't have to mean big, dramatic actions. Francis offers examples of everyday sanctity, like a loving parent raising a child; as well as "small gestures" and sacrifices that one can make, like deciding not to pass on gossip. If you can see your own life as a "mission," then you soon realize that you can simply be loving and kind to move towards holiness.

You also do not have to be "swooning in mystic rapture" to be a saint or walking around with "lowered eyes." Nor do you have to withdraw from other people. On the other hand, you do not want to be caught up in the "rat race" of rushing from one thing to another. A balance between action and contemplation is essential.  Read more

Article taken from America Magazine
925 S. Logan Boulevard
Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
(814) - 693-9870

Deacon Michael Russo
Director of the Office the Permanent Diaconate

Joan  Noonan
Office of the Diaconate

Practicing the presence of God means to live each day as if God is there with us, because this is reality.

Join Deacon Michael & Father Dave Peles
St. Benedict Church of Johnstown, PA
Alpine Wonders 2020
9 Day Eur opean Adventure to see the
Oberammergau Passion Play
August 3-11, 2020
Since 1634, the most famous Passion Play in the world has taken place in Oberammergau.  The tradition, maintained and experienced almost without interruption for over 380 years, of putting on the play about the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ every ten years, will be continued for the 42nd time in 2020.  It is regarded as the most important Passion Play in the world.  

The village at the edge of the Bavarian Alps expects approximately 500,000 visitors for the passion play, over half of which will be international guests.  A special law is in effect to insure that all actors of the world's largest amateur dramatic performance come from the village.   All participants, from actors playing the big speaking parts such as Jesus, Mary or Judas, through members of the choir, orchestra members, firemen and ushers must have been born in Oberammergau or lived there for at least 20 years.  Over 2,000 Oberammergau villagers will participate in the 2020 Passion Play.

Other points of interest on this 9 day European Adventure include, Innsbruck, the beautiful Abbey of Ettal and the magnificent  Castle of Linderhof.  A full day musical adventure in Salzburg as you explore the city of Mozart's birth and many other chances to experience the wonders of the Alpine.
For the Alpine Wonders 2020 Brochure
Click Here
For more information please contact Deacon Michael at 
(814) 288-3036 or email michael.russo@atlanticbb.net.  Space will be limited. 
[Photo (left to right): Father Mark Reid, Administrator of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Huntingdon; Deacon Roth; Bishop Mark; Deacon Conner; Father Thaddeus Rettger, OSB, Pastor of Saint Bernard Parish in Hastings; and Deacon Michael Russo, Director of the Permanent Diaconate.]

Bishop Mark ordained Christopher Conner and John Roth to the Permanent Diaconate on May 26 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.

Deacon Christopher is a member of Saint Bernard Parish in Hastings and Deacon John is a member of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Huntingdon.  The Bishop has appointed both men to Diaconal Service at their respective parishes.

Bishop Mark in his homily noted that The Order of Deacon is inseparably oriented toward the ministry of the word and the ministry of service.

"The kind of preacher you will be depends on the way you follow the example of the Lord Jesus who came not to be served, but to serve; to lay down his life so that others may have God's life in them.  That is what is at stake when you hear the words of the ordination ceremony, 'Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach'."

Continued Bishop Mark:  "John and Chris, thank you for taking the risk to trust in the Holy Spirit, to listen to the Church, and to respond to the people who ask 'What kind of preacher are you today and the rest of your life?"

Deacon Chris and   Dea con  John:  Congratulations on your ordination.  We pray that God will bless you as you beg
in your ministry as a deacon.  May the Holy Spirit shine on you as you  serve the community of God's people.
Antiochian Village
A Deacon's Retreat Reflection
By Deacon John Roth
Burnt, spent
Weary from our days
We retreated
Much like Christ did
Long ago
To the Laurel mountains
We gathered together
One by one
Both husbands and wives
To a tiny village
To listen
As Father Ezaki
A blind priest 
Shared,  words of wisdom
To be enlightened
By Christ's Words
Nourished by His
Body and Blood
To sit silently
In Adoration
As His
Healing touch
Restored us whole
Recharged, refreshed, renewed
We returned
One by one
From whence we came
Called back to serve
Standing tall
Light of foot
Hearts, aglow
By the rekindling
Of the flame contained
Deep within our soul
To share
The love
We had been given
The hope, provided
The strength, restored
To give of ourselves
As He had given to us
Go as the servants of God
We had been ordained to be
Life in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
By Matt Malone, S. J. (America Magazine)

I am writing this column on the 50th anniversary-to the day-of the U.S. debut of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," the PBS program hosted by the cardigan-clad godfather of children's television after whom the program is named. The late Fred Rogers is currently enjoying something of a post-mortal renaissance: More than a decade after his death, his program continues to air in reruns on PBS stations across the country; the U.S. Postal Service has issued a stamp with his picture on it; one of his famous sweaters now hangs in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History; and there's even an upcoming, big studio biopic starring everybody's favorite good guy, Tom Hanks. I didn't know Fred Rogers, but I suspect he'd be embarrassed by all this attention.

Actually, it is not quite true that I didn't know Fred Rogers. I spent every afternoon with him when I was a boy, racing home from the school bus, bolting through the door and diving onto the couch just in time to catch the start of his show. Like millions of others, then, I can say that I did know him. For as his wife of more than 40 years once said, "the Fred you see on T.V. is who Fred is. He's not playing a character. He's himself." If there was a single theme that ran through every one of the 1,000 episodes of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," it was that: Be yourself. If you think that's just saccharine pablum, think again. "When I say it's you I like," he told an interviewer, "I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive: Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed."

"More than a decade after his death, his program 
continues to air in reruns on PBS stations 
across the country."

Off-camera, Mister Rogers used a different word for all that: faith. A deeply devout Christian and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, Fred Rogers decided early on that his ministry would be with children and that his pulpit would be your television set. "I just thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could use this marvelous gift called television to broadcast grace to the entire world?" At a time when most children's programs were selling toys and other products under the guise of escapist cartoon fantasy, Mister Rogers was talking to us about death and divorce, what to do with our anger, what to do when we wronged someone, how to navigate our deepest fears, even how to face the day after 9/11. His few critics say that his program produced a generation of narcissistic and entitled kids. That's just bosh. Love, he liked to say, is a hard, active noun, more like 'struggle' than 'affection.'

Fred Rogers was a new evangelist before the phrase was invented. He pioneered a way to use modern technology to convey the basic values of Christian living in a language accessible to everyone. By language, I don't mean mere words. The words he spoke were true, of course, but they touched us in a lasting way only because they reflected the truth of who he was. In 1971, just as Mister Rogers was gaining his audience with this new kind of television, the Vatican released "Communio et Progressio," a pastoral instruction on the means of social communications. "Communication is more than the expression of ideas and the indication of emotion," it read. "At its most profound level, it is the giving of the self in love." As Christians, we believe that God, who is love, has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, who is both the means and the message of that revelation. If that is true, then nothing a Christian says, however factually accurate, can ultimately be called truthful if it is not spoken in charity. Without love, the living love that must move the hearts of all disciples, then our words are "noisy gongs or clanging cymbals." Fred Rogers knew that. He lived it.

Among the tributes today on social media was one tweet from a fan, a video clip of Mister Rogers accepting an Emmy award in 1997. In response to this short video, more than 1,000 people posted comments on Twitter about him. As far as I could tell (I read hundreds of them), not a single comment was toxic or cynical. (In case you're wondering, that never happens on Twitter). It is a welcome sign that there is still room in the world for human decency. "You need three things to be successful in life in the only way that truly counts," Mister Rogers said. "The first is kindness. The second is kindness. And the third is kindness." That may sound naïve, but it is just the opposite. It is our only realistic hope if we want not merely to inhabit the world but live in it as God intended, as neighbors of one and all.

Article taken from America/The Jesuit Review:February 2018 Edition
Visit online at:  www.americamagazine.org
offered through
Life Long Learning in the Faith 
Through Distance Education

Diaconal formation in Catholic Healthcare Ethics is a four-week, 16 hour continuing formation credit, on line course.  Each week there are readings, videos, questions for discussion with other deacons and written assignments that give the deacons opportunities to apply what they have learned in to real life pastoral care situations.  Deacons could log into the course at any time during the week to participate in it.

The cost for this certification is $750.  There is a $250 discount per person if 5 people apply for this course.  Diaconal Formation in Catholic Healthcare Ethics is an excellent way to provide Continuing Education and Formation credit to deacons.

To learn more about this opportunity please click here!
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Pope Francis celebrates Mass during his pastoral visit to Molfetta April 20,2018. Credit/Daniel Ibez/C NA
Pope: Without the Eucharist, everything the Church does is vain
by Elise Harris

During a brief day-trip to two small Italian cities, Pope Francis stressed the centrality of the Eucharist to the life and actions of the Church, saying without Christ's love and self-sacrifice, everything would be done in vanity, since everything Jesus did was for others.

"The Eucharist is not a beautiful rite, but it is the most intimate, the most concrete, the most surprising communion that one can imagine with God: a communion of love so real that it takes on the form of eating," the pope said April 20.

The Christian life begins again at each Mass, "where God satiates us with love. Without him, the bread of life, every effort of the Church is vain," he said, and, quoting deceased local Bishop Antonio Bello, said "works of charity are not enough, unless those works are done with charity."

"If love is lacking in those who do the works, if the source is lacking, if the point of departure is lacking, which is the Eucharist, then every pastoral commitment is merely a whirlwind of things," rather than an act of service.

Pope Francis spoke during Mass in the Italian town of Molfetta. He traveled to the city after making a brief visit to Alessano as part of a half-day trip to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Antonio Bello, known as "Don Tonino," an Italian bishop whose cause for beatification opened in 2007.

In his homily, Francis said whoever receives the Eucharist takes on the face and mentality of the Lord, who is the bread that was broken for us. And this bread, he said, does not "rise with pride," but is given to others.

The person who receives the Eucharist, he said, "ceases to live for themselves, for their own success, to have something or to become someone, but they live for Jesus, as Jesus, which is for others."

Quoting Bishop Bello, Francis said the Eucharist "does not support a sedentary life," and that without rising from the table, one remains an "unfulfilled sacrament." He asked those present to question themselves as to how they leave every Mass, and whether or not they go out as "people of communion."

He then emphasized the importance of the Word, which he said is a second element that can be taken from the day's Gospel reading from John, in which the disciples asked themselves "how can this man give us his flesh to eat?" after Jesus spoke about the need to eat his flesh in order to obtain salvation.

"Many of our words are similar to this," the pope said, noting that some people might ask: "how can the Gospel solve the problems of the world? What use is it to do good in the midst of so much evil?"
By doing this, "we fall into the error of that people, who were paralyzed by discussion about the words of Jesus, rather than ready to welcome the change of life asked by him," Francis said, adding that these people did not understand that the words of Jesus were the path to life.

Jesus, he said, "does not respond according to our calculations and the conveniences of the moment, but with the 'yes' of his whole life. He does not look for our reflections, but our conversion."

Pointing to the conversion of Saul, who later became St. Paul, Pope Francis noted how when Saul was thrown from his horse he was told to rise, go into the city and do what he would be asked.
"The first thing to avoid is staying on the ground" or staying "gripped by fear," he said, stressing that a true apostle of Jesus "cannot simply get along on small satisfactions," but must always get up and look forward.

And, just as Saul was told to go into the city, each Christian is also told to go, rather than staying "closed in your reassured spaces. Risk!" he said.

Christian life "must be invested in Jesus and spent for others," he said, adding that an apostle cannot remain stationary after the resurrection, but must "go out, regardless of the problems and uncertainties."

"We are all called, in whatever situation we find ourselves, to be bearers of paschal hope" and to be "servants of the world, but resurrected, not employed. Without ever complaining, without ever resigning ourselves."

"It's beautiful to be couriers of hope, simple and joyful distributors of the Easter alleluia," Francis said, and closed his homily praying that the Word of God would free Christians and help them to rise and go forward with courage and humility.

Article taken from CNA/Catholic News Agency