Volume IV Number 3                                                                            
October 2019
Upcoming Events

Rite of Lector
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 4:00 PM
St. Peter, Somerset

Fall Clergy Gathering
October 21-23, 2019
Antiochian Village, Boliver

Day of Recollection for Deacons
Featuring Nina Marie Corona
Satuday, March 28, 2020
St. Bartholomew Parish, Wilmore
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
All Deacons, Candidates, and their wives 
are invited to attend

St. Benedict Annual Parish Mission
Featuring 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, PA
Retreat begins Sunday with Registration at  3:30 PM and ends Thursday after the 
10:00 AM Closing Mass


06     Anne Gibson

10     Deacon Tom Beavers

14     Deacon Michael Anna

14     Deacon Tom McFee

15     Deacon Ted Janisko

16     Deacon Kevin Nester

18     Linda Ivanits

19     Deacon Bill Underhill

28     Patricia Hornick



06     Candidate Mark Komula

07     Deacon Allan Duman

09     Deacon Dan O'Dowd

11     Anne Dalla Valle

16     Cindy Gibboney

16     Patricia Killoren



01     Sherry Ahearn

05     Deacon Tom Boldin

12     Connie Young

13     Nancy Pyle

23     Deacon Gary Gill

23     Penny Nester

29     Carol Papinchak

Deacon Jim & Karen Janosik
Deacon Jay & Nancy Pyle
Deacon Don & Cindy Giboney
Deacon Fred & Kathleen Weaver
Deacon Tom & Shirley Boldin
Deacon Kevin & Penny Nester
Deacon Gene & Barbara Neral
Deacon Scott & Diane Little
Deacon Tom & Andrea Beavers
Deacon Chris & Vickie Conner

In this powerful book by the acclaimed spiritual leader and best-selling writer, one he calls his "most important", Cardinal Sarah analyzes the profound spiritual, moral and political crisis in the contemporary world.  Cardinal Sarah says that he "considers that the decadence of our time has all the faces of mortal peril." Read more

by Bishop Robert Barron

by Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

by Josef Pieper

by Erich Przywara, S.J.

by Andrea Zachman

by Tim Gray and Jeff Calvins

by Sonja Corbit
Pre Order Now!
"The Order of Baptism of Children"
This second edition of the order of baptism will guide your community's celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism for children and infants and is necessary for bishops, priests, and deacons who are the ordinary ministers of baptism.

This ritual for Baptism may be used as of February 2, 2020, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and must be used for all baptisms of children beginning on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020.

A Note of Thanks
"The St. Paul Center was blessed to participate in the  Retreat for Permanent Deacons held by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. 

We had the  opportunity to share in this important outreach by providing resources to fuel the diaconate ministries of word, liturgy, and charity. And we were especially excited by the retreat's focus on Scripture, of which Dr. Thomas Smith did an incredible job, because serving and supporting you in preaching the Bible from the heart of the Church is our passion. 

For Deacon Resources visit:     StPaulCenter.com/deacons .  
Email Chris Lannat at:
  Catholic News Service | Carol Glatz | September 30, 2019

To help the Church grow in love and faithful witness to God, Pope Francis has declared the third Sunday in
Ordinary Time to be dedicated to the word of God.

Salvation, faith, unity and mercy all d epend on knowing Christ and Sacred Scripture, Pope Francis said in a new document.

Devoting a special day "to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God" will help the Church "experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world," the pope said.

The declaration to have a "Sunday of the Word of God" was made in a new document, given "motu proprio," on the pope's own initiative. Its title, "Aperuit Illis," is based on a verse from the Gospel of St. Luke, "Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures."

"The relationship between the risen Lord, the community of believers and Sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians," the pope said in the apostolic letter, released by the Vatican Sept. 30, the feast of St. Jerome, patron saint of biblical scholars.

"The Bible cannot be just the heritage of some, much less a collection of books for the benefit of a privileged few. It belongs above all to those called to hear its message and to recognize themselves in its words," the pope wrote.

"The Bible is the book of the Lord's people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division toward unity" as well as come to understand God's love and become inspired to share it with others, he added.

Reprinted from The Catholic Spirit
T he U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved several action items at their Spring General Assembly which took  place in Baltimore, June 11-13, 2019.

The Bishops approved the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, 2nd edition, for use in the dioceses of the United States by a vote of 217 to 5 with 2 abstentions; and a new translation of the ritual book used for the Ordination of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons for use in the dioceses of the United States of America. The Latin Church members of USCCB voted by the necessary two-thirds majority to approve the text.

The National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, 2nd edition, fulfills the prescriptions of canon 236 of the Code of Canon Law and n.15 of the Ratio fundamentalis institutionis diaconorum permanentium to ensure unity, earnestness, and completeness in the formation, life, and ministry of permanent deacons in the United States. In September 2017, the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV) approved the National Directory, 2nd edition, and submitted it for review to the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance (CACG) and the Committee on Doctrine. In June 2018, after adopting the recommendations of the Doctrine and CACG Committees, the CCLV Committee approved the National Directory and recommended to present it to the body of bishops in the General Assembly session in November 2018, but the Administrative Committee decided to postpone the discussion and vote. This year 2019, the Administrative Committee approved the inclusion of the National Directory on the June 2019 General Assembly agenda for discussion and vote.

S acred ordination establishes a man i n a permanent relationship with the Church. "Deacons share in Christ's mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an im print ("character") which cannot be removed." ( The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1570).   Thus in one respect a deacon does not "retire" from the diaconate.
However, having reached years of a 
certain age (75) it is reasonable to free a deacon from the responsibilities attached to his office.  By retirement it is meant that a m an is no  longer expected to assume the burdens of ministry in the Church.   According to his physical health he continues to assist at the Liturgy in his proper role, proclaiming the Gospel, assisting during the celebration of the Eucharist and giving Holy Communion to the faithful.

After retirement a deacon may continue to exercise sacramental ministry, baptizing, officiating at marriages and burying the dead. However, once retired, he is no longer responsible for preaching regularly, nor is he expected to assume any liturgical or service responsibilities in the parish.
He is expected to attend the yearly retreat and is encouraged to participate in other functions of the Diaconate Community.
Since the request for senior deacon status or retirement is a major milestone in the life of the permanent deacon and his family, the following policy is hereby established for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
A. A deacon shall submit his request for retirement to the Director of the Permanent Diaconate at age seventy-five.
B. Requests for retirement shall be in writing to the Director of the Permanent Diaconate no less than six months prior to the anticipated date of retirement or anticipated beginning of senior deacon status.  After reviewing the request, the Director of the Permanent Diaconate will meet with the deacon and his wife.  Once the written request has been reviewed and the follow up meeting has taken place, the Director will make a recommendation to the Bishop for approval or denial of the request.
C. A deacon wishing to perform in any active or limited ministry beyond his day of retirement must submit a "Pastoral Agreement" outlining the deacon's responsibilities and his availability for ministry.  His spouse must approve his request by writing a letter of approval and sending it to the Director of the Permanent Diaconate. The Pastoral Agreement must be approved by the pastor, the deacon, and the Director of the Permanent Diaconate. The Director of the Permanent Diaconate will make a recommendation to the Bishop.  Once the Bishop has approved the Pastoral Agreement the deacon then functions according to the approved agreement that is in place.
Once approved by the Bishop the extension of ministry beyond the day of retirement shall be renewed annually on the anniversary date of the agreement.
Even in retirement, the deacon, as a cleric of the church, retains a special bond with the diocese and with his parish.  A retired deacon retains the faculties of the diocese and shall continue to be an active member of the permanent diaconate community.  He is encouraged to attend any or all the events of the parish and the diaconate community, as appropriate, and continue to receive spiritual direction.  In order that he may continue to participate in programs for spiritual and personal growth, the diocese, through the budget of the diaconate, will continue to assume assistance for continuing education activities and for an annual retreat.
Retirement from the ordinary obligations of active ministry does not relieve the deacon of his personal obligations as an ordained minister of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

In the event of a deacon's poor health or disability, or other significant changes in his life, the option for him to withdraw from his formal and assigned ministry always exists. The deacon, his family or the pastor may make this request by contacting the Director of Permanent Diaconate.  The Director of the Permanent Diaconate will be responsible for consulting with all the parties involved for the sake of the deacon and his ministry (including the Pastor, Bishop, etc.)
If the deacon has been granted a leave of absence because of health reasons, a physician's note will be required before the deacon can return to active ministry.
2020 Retreat Master Announced
Deacon William T. Ditewig, Ph.D. will be the Retreat Master for the 2020 Permanent Diaconate Retreat.  The retreat will be held
J une 14-18, 2020 at the Antiochian Village.

Born and raised, grounded and nurtured in a loving family in Peoria, Illinois, Deacon Bill's Navy career and ministerial life has taken his family all over the world.  He was ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of Washington, DC in 1990 while still on active duty, and his first three years as a deacon were spent serving the Air Force chapel community on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.   Read more

Visit Deacon Bill's blog page:
Rite of Candidacy
[Phote (left to right): Bishop Mark,
Daniel and Alison Heiser, Deacon Michael]

[Photo (left to right): Bishop Mark, 
Bonnie and Brian Yurky, Deacon Michael]

Bishop Mark Bartchak accepted Daniel Heiser and Brian Yurky as candidates for the Permanent Diaconate at a Mass celebrated at SS. Peter and Paul in Philipsburg on September 28, 2019.  Members of the Diaconate Community and their wives were in attendance.  Twenty deacons particapated in the liturgy.

Dan and Alison Heiser are members of St. Joseph Parish, Renovo.  Brian and Bonnie Yurky are members of SS. Peter & Paul, Philipsburg.  Continued blessings to the candidates, their wives, and their families.
Save the date note pinned on the bulletin board
Day of Recollection
Saturday, March 28, 2020
St. Bartholomew Parish, Wilmore
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
All Deacons, Candidates, and their wives are invited to attend

Directed by Nina Marie Corona

Society (including our Church) is inundated with overwhelming messages and experiences of suffering, tragedy, crime, scandals, and natural and manmade disasters 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 others, especially when those we minister to are facing (or have experienced) horrific tragedies. Throughout 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, and she is a lifetime member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Honor Society of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. In her spare time, Nina writes two reflection blogs which can be found on her website. She is also an artist trained in drawing, painting, and sculpting, and her artwork typically expresses her spiritual journey and is often shared during her talks. 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 
please visit her  website:    www.ninamariecorona.com
A Lenten Journey of
in the Footsteps of Christ

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
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."

Have we considered the implications of Je sus' 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.
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.
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.
Office of the Permanent Diaconate
625 Park Avenue
Johnstown, PA  15902
(814) 361-2000
Deacon Michael L. Russo                                                                                                                           
Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate                                                                       mrusso@dioceseaj.org  

 Mrs. Marybeth Heinze
Administrative Assistant