Volume III Number 3                                                                 
October 2017
Upcoming Events

Annual Marion Celebration
Sunday, October 1, 2017
3:00 PM
St. Benedict Parish, Johnstown

Lay Ecclesial Ministry Certification
Thursday, October 12, 2017
7:00 PM
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona

Fall Clergy Gathering
October 16-18, 2017
Seven Springs Resort, Champion, PA

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

Shroud of Turin Talk
October 29, 2017
3:00 PM
St. Benedict Parish, Johnstown
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available following the presentation. 

- 2018-

Lenten Day of Recollection
Saturday, February 17, 2018
St. Bartholomew, Wilmore
9:30 AM

Chrism Mass
Monday, March 26, 2018
11:00 AM (arrival time is 10:00 AM)
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

Annual Diaconate Retreat
Fr. Bernard Ezaki,  Retreat Master
June 3 - 7, 2018
Antiochian Village, Bolivar, PA
Begins Sunday with Registration at 
3:30 PM and ends Thursday after the 10:00 AM Closing Mass
Man Hand writing Save the Date with black marker on visual screen.  Business, technology, internet concept.
Saturday, February 17, 2018
9:30 AM
St. Bartholomew, Wilmore

Ministry Grounded 
and Focused on Christ

Our Lenten Day of Recollection will focus on putting things in the right order to have a relationship with Jesus so our identity as a servant is properly grounded and defined for us in our diaconal ministry.  The Very Reverend Joseph Mele, V.E., Ph.D., Episocal Vicar for Leadership, Development, and Evangelization for the Diocese of Pittsburgh  and Dr. Michael Therrien, Director of Evangelization; President of the Institute for Pastoral Leadership, Diocese of Pittsburgh, will discuss the dangers of ministry that is consumed by mission and then forgets all about Jesus.

They will also discuss the importance of balance and humility in ministry.  Often those in ministry get very busy with the doing of things for the parish.  It can sometimes happen that people derive a sense of their own value and identity from what they accomplish.  These can evolve into control issues and power struggles.  Over time, we burn out because we do not spend sufficient time in prayer and we gradually forget the main thing, which is the relationship with Christ.  Our mission can grind us down and we can become resentful and jaded.

The goal of the Day of Recollection is to help us reverse that order by putting the relationship to Christ first and deriving a sense of identity from that.  It is from our relationship with Christ that we can discern our mission and stay grounded in prayer while we accomplish the work of God.

The Day of Recollection will conclude with the celebration of Mass.


06     Anne Gibson

10     Tom Beavers

14     Michael Anna

14     Tom McFee

15     Ted Janisko

16     Kevin Nester

18     Linda Ivanits

19     Bill Underhill

28     Patricia Hornick



06     John Concannon

07     Allan Duman

09     Dan O'Dowd

11     Anne Dalla Valle

16     Cindy Gibboney

16     Patricia Killoren



01     Sherry Ahearn

05     Tom Boldin

12     Connie Young

13     Nancy Pyle

22     Sally Sroka

23     Gary Gill

23     Penny Nester

27     John Szwarc

29     Carol Papinchak

Jim & Karen Janosik
Jay & Nancy Pyle
Don & Cindy Giboney
Fred & Kathleen Weaver
Tom & Shirley Boldin
Kevin & Penny Nester
Gene & Barbara Neral
Scott & Diane Little
Tom & Andrea Beavers
Chris & Vickie Conner
stack of books on a table in the library
How Not to Preach
                                        By John J. Conley
The Vatican has recently become a fount of advice on how to preach.   "The Joy of the Gospel" gives tips on the Sunday sermon, and the Congregation for Divine Worship's new Directory on Preaching analyzes the nature of the liturgical homily. 

As a veteran of 60 years in the pews and 30 years in the pulpit, I would like to offer my own advice on how not to 

1.   It's all about you . Keep the sermon strictly autobiographical. Your congregation is dying to know all about your last vacation. There's no need to discuss that pesky reading about Abraham and Isaac and the knife.

I recently heard a sermon about a priest's socks. Father explained how difficult it is to keep pairs of socks together.   Read more ...

Article used with permission from  America Magazine; www.americamagazine.org
Summer Gathering
The Diaconate Community held a picnic on Sunday, August 27th at the St. Michael Church Pavilion in St. Michael.  A warm thank you to Fr. Brian Warchola and his hospitality.  An afternoon of fellowship, good food and fun was shared by all.

Three Rules for Preaching Like
Pope Francis
                                          By Mary Ann Walsh
Looking over Pope Francis' pontificate so far, I think his greatest contribution may be his telling us how to spread the Gospel.  

He uses simple words and vibrant images.  He stands as an example of how priests should give homilies and how all of us can evangelize, that is, spread the Gospel.
1.  Keep it short. We know the mind can absorb only what the seat can endure.   Read more
A rticle used with permission from American Magazine; www.americanmagazine.org
"Do you have in your heart the wind of joy?"
Catechesis on Memory, Hope and Vocation 
Pope Francis, General Audience 8/30/2017
Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Hope during his Wednesday General Audience, August 30, 2017 in St. Peter's Square. Challenging especially the young, he said all must answer the question: "Do I have in me, in my heart, the wind of joy?"

He used the example of Jesus' call to the first disciples and how that call to vocation involved hope and memory. He noted that one disciple, John, recalled the exact time, even in his old age, "a clear memory of youth, which remained intact in his memory as an elderly man."

The Pope echoed the questions Jesus asked the first disciples: "You, who are young, what do you seek? In your heart, what do you seek?" He said that young people who seek nothing "are not young people; they are retired, they have grown old before the time."

There are many ways to discover a vocation, according to the Pope. But he said that "every vocation begins with an encounter with Jesus who gives us a new joy and hope." This applies to marriage, consecrated life, and the priesthood, and leads us, also through trials and difficulties, to an "ever fuller encounter, that encounter grows greater; the encounter with Him and to the fullness of joy. "

Here is ZENIT's full translation of Pope Francis' Italian catechesis
What Are Deacons and What Separates Them from Priests?
                                         By Philip Kosloski
Even though they may look alike and share many responsibilities, deacons are not priests.

Sometimes going to Mass can be confusing for a Catholic unfamiliar with deacons. Both clergy members wear vestments at Mass and in some dioceses, both even wear Roman collars. To make it even more confusing, sometimes priests and deacons wear the same gray-colored clerical shirts with those Roman collars.

However, while deacons and priests may sometimes appear to be the same, their roles in the Church are very different.

The USCCB  provides a succinct definition of a deacon and his particular role in the Church.

"A deacon is an ordained minister of the Catholic Church. There are three groups, or 'orders,' of ordained ministers in the Church: bishops, presbyters and deacons. Deacons are ordained as a sacramental sign to the Church and to the world of Christ, who came 'to serve and not to be served.' The entire Church is called by Christ to serve, and the deacon, in virtue of his sacramental ordination and through his various ministries, is to be a servant in a servant-Church."

Deacons have been around the Church since the very beginning, frequently being referenced in the New Testament. To clarify this history Pope Francis created a commission to investigate the role of deacons in the early Church, looking especially at the role of women deacons.

The most well-known reference to deacons in the New Testament is from the Acts of the Apostles. It reads, "And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, 'It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty'" (Acts 6:2-3).

From the very beginning deacons were known to serve and assist the priests and bishops in their sacramental ministry.

Practically speaking deacons can do many activities that priests participate in. Deacons can baptize, preach during Mass, officiate at a Catholic wedding, and even run a parish (with the permission of the local bishop). Deacons can also lead communion services that often look and feel like a Catholic Mass.

Deacons, however, can not consecrate the Eucharist or hear confessions. They can not administer the sacraments of Confirmation or Anointing of the Sick.

Simply put, deacons are meant to be servants, assisting the pastor (and Church) in whatever way he can.

All priests and bishops are also deacons, because the diaconate is the first of the three stages of Holy Orders. Deacons who go on to be ordained priests are known as transitional deacons. They are vowed to celibacy. Men who serve in the permanent diaconate - meaning they will not, as a rule, proceed to priestly ordination - may be married at the time of their ordination, but may not remarry if their spouse passes away.

The permanent diaconate is a specific vocation in the Church, one that depends on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God is the one who calls deacons to service in the Church through the sacrament of Holy Orders. It is important to remember that it is not something that is gained by going through the ranks of the Church, but something that is given (and received) through the grace of God.

Used with permission from Aleteia Newsletter, 2017.
  For more information please visit:
Rite of Candidacy
Bishop Mark accepted Derek Lang (pictured with his wife Casey) as a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate on Saturday September 14, 2017.  Mass was celebrated at Saints Peter & Paul Parish in Philipsburg where the Langs are members.
"The Rosary is Hard!"  
5 Keys to Get Started
                                                    by Edward Sri
Many great popes, saints, and Christian leaders have exhorted us to pray the rosary. It's a powerful prayer, they say, one that can change your life, strengthen the family, bring peace to the world, convert entire nations, and win the salvation of souls.

But does the average person experience the rosary this way?

Many Catholics, unfortunately, have the impression that the rosary is not relevant for them. It might be a sacred prayer for very religious people-priests, religious sisters, and exceptional Catholics - but not for "an ordinary lay person like me." Even some devout Catholics admit that they are a bit intimidated by this prayer. They have tremendous respect for the rosary, know it's important, but feel bad that they don't love it more. Many view it as the marathon of Catholic devotions. "I know it's an important prayer, but it takes fifteen to twenty minutes. I'm too busy. I don't have time for that." "It's too hard to stay focused for that much time. I prefer shorter prayers."

Some have questions about the rosary: Does all this attention to Mary distract us from a relationship with God? Why do we repeat the same prayers over and over? Are we suppose  to concentrate on the prayers, the mysteries, or both? Still others think the rosary is just plain boring - a monotonous, dry, mechanical way of talking to God, not as personal and meaningful as other forms of prayer. "It's like taking the garbage out for your wife. You know you should do it, but date night is more exciting." "Sure, the rosary might be good for you - like flossing your teeth - but it's not as interesting and meaningful to me as spiritual reading or adoration."  

Getting Your Feet Wet 
If the rosary is not a part of your regular prayer life right now, it's easy to get your feet wet with this devotion.   Click Here  to read more....

This is an excerpt taking from, 
To learn more about Dr. Sri, visit
Princess Diana wasn't the first "Wonder Woman" to captivate the world.

This summer the recent film adaptation of 
Wonder Woman is set to be the  second highest grossing movie of the year and recently became the third biggest release of all time for  Warner Brothers Studio.

Thousands were enthralled with the "girl power" displayed on screen, but it was certainly not the first time the world witnessed the amazing strength of women.

Wonder Woman's power lies in her heart, not her fists.  
The Bible contains numerous stories of women who stood up for their beliefs and did God's will, despite the cultural limitations put on them at the time.

Here are three fantastic "Wonder Women" who  reveal the beauty and strength of women when all odds are stacked against them.   Read more...

Used with permission from Aleteia Newsletter, 2017  For more information please visit:
"Why Sacramentals Aren't Catholic Superstition, 
Unless You're Using  Them the Wrong Way"
From rosary beads t o scapulars, these holy tokens are set apart by the  Church for our  spiritual help.  

Holy water.  Brown Scapulars.  Saint Benedict medals.  Blessed salt.  Rosary beads.   Are these and all the rest just talismans of Catholic superstition, even if they do bear the pious-sounding name "sacramental"?

While the Church knows and teaches that sacramentals are anything but tools of superstition, the fact is that some Catholics do not use sacramentals properly and fall into seeing them as a type of good luck c harm.

How then is a Catholic to use these sacred items without falling prey to a superstitious mindset?

First of all, a brief primer on these religious items. Sacramentals are anything set apart or blessed by the Church for the purpose of sanctifying our lives and leading us to the sacraments. They are sacred signs and provide for us grace (spiritual help) through the intercession of the Church.

Another way to describe sacramentals is that they are extensions of the sacraments. They are not sacraments in themselves, but are related to the seven sacraments and flow fro m them, ultimately leading us back to them

Used with permission from Aleteia Newsletter, 2017  For more information please visit:
How to Build a Better Preacher
                                         By Sidney Callahan
Here is a book aimed at reviving Catholic preaching that hits its mark. 

Thomas J. Scirghi, S.J., an associate professor at Fordham University, is a renowned academic expert and a master of the art. His inspiring vision can be succinctly put: "Preaching is the act of talking to people about Jesus Christ." Christian preaching announces God's good news for us in Jesus. Our personal experiences of God's gracious help are recounted; the old story is told in a new way when the Scriptures are opened to us. Those hearers whose "hearts burn within them" are moved to action in their daily lives. The sermon becomes "portable."

S cirghi recognizes how much preparation good preaching requires. He offers wise and practical guidelines for how to proceed and how not to. Preaching differs from impersonal lecturing or theological commentary - even on church or community concerns. Preachers should never "leave Jesus in the  sacristy."  Nor are they called to be entertainers,   Read more...

Article Used with permission from 
America Magazine; www.americamagazine.org
Spirituality:  What Is A Parish?
                                                    By  Philip Kosloski
Michael Hunhardeaux
Countless Christians use the term, but what does it mean?

As Christianity was firmly established in various countries, there arose a need to organize the communities of Christians into a manageable system. This task first began in the 4th century and was refined over the years, culminating in the 16th century with the Council of Trent.

It was at Trent that bishops were instructed to clearly define parishes and the priests who would serve them. Specific boundaries were established so that the priest understood to whom he was ministering. This was a geographical boundary determined by the number of souls present in a specific region.

The parish priest (also known as the "pastor") had the care of all souls living within his boundaries. He was obliged to attend to their spiritual needs and provide the sacraments. As needs demanded, a pastor could be assisted by additional priests who would work under his instruction.   Read More...

Used with permission
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                                                                                 Office of the Diaconate

  Joan M. Noonan
Office Coordinator