Sacred Heart Church

Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 22, 2020

Altoona-Johnstown Dioceses suspend all public Masses

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak today announced the suspension of the celebration of all public Masses and all other liturgical celebrations in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown effective immediately and continuing until further notice. Throughout this time, the dispensed obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses, granted by the Bishop on March 12, remains in effect.

During this period, churches will continue to be open for private prayer, and the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will continue to broadcast the Sunday Mass on television. A Liturgy will air every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. on WATM ABC 23. The Mass will also be posted on the diocesan website and Facebook and Twitter social media platforms.


John 4:5-42 "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" Jesus wants to motivate each one of us to see the truth. After developing a relationship with Jesus, the blind man sees as someone very special. The Pharisees, due to the blindness caused by their ignorance, prejudice, and need for self-preservation, still remain blind. Presuppositions, prejudices, assumptions, and our needs can easily blind us to truth. We see what we want or need to see and not what is really there. In addi-tion, our stubbornness continues to convince us that we are right and that our vision is perfect. Only God can complete the picture.

Look around at our world. So much of what is happening today is due to the reluctance of folks to allow themselves to be stretched and brought to see what is really there. Many react to what life presents to them more with the lenses of ignorance than lenses of clarity. The Gospel carries great transformative value. With it, God corrects our vision and replaces our limited sight with the fullness of his sight. God opens our eyes so that we can see that it is not about pre-serving what we have created but of living in the immensity and wonder of God's kingdom.

Through a simple, loving relationship with God, we can break through the tethers of prejudice, eradicate fear, dispel the darkness of hatred and sin, discover freedom, live in peace, work for justice, be effective stewards of creation, assist the migrant and the immigrant, and safeguard our economic systems and policies so that they truly serve all of God's children. What we see is often an artificial lie. Our truth is much bigger than what our limited sight believes it to be. Allow God to work in and through you. Do not be afraid. Be open and be humble enough to know that you need help. Many human beings are living with severe cataracts that produce sight that is at best blurred. Are you one of them?
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Assisted suicide means administering lethal overdoses or otherwise causing to die those whose lives are judged useless or lacking in quality. Life must be valued from conception to natural death.


There will be no Religious Education Classes (CCD) as long as school districts have cancelled classes.


Stations of the Cross will be held every Friday (including Good Friday) at Sacred Heart at 5:30 p.m. Saint Mary's will have Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m. followed by evening Mass. (There will be no evening Mass on March 27 due to Sacred Heart Novena).


Sacred Heart Church will celebrate the Annual Novena in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus from March 23 to March 31 with additional confessions before each 11:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. weekday Masses. Confessions will be 30 minutes prior to the Mass time. The Celebrant and Homilist for the opening night will be Rev. Msgr. Stanley Carson.


O Lord, Jesus Christ, to Your Most Sacred Heart I confide this intention (PAUSE here to mention your re-quest in silence). Only look upon me, then do what Your Heart inspires. Let Your Sacred Heart decide. I count on You. I trust in You. I throw myself on your mercy.

Lord Jesus! You will not fail me. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Your love for me. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your kingdom come.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I have asked for many favors, but I earnestly implore this one. Take it; place it in Your Sacred Heart. When the Eternal Father sees it covered with Your Precious Blood, He will not refuse it. It will no longer be my will, but Yours, O Jesus. O Sa-cred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you. Let me never be confused. AMEN!


The RCIA Process and Your Journey of Faith. Are you curious about what the Catholic Church teaches? Or, perhaps you have already decided to become Catholic and need to know what is involved. Whichever your situation or circumstance may be, we welcome you and would like to journey with you! Where do I begin? Becoming Catholic is a joyous and communal experience. A person is brought into Full Communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian Initiation-Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist but this process by which one becomes a Catholic can be different for each individual depending on your circumstances and where you are in your faith journey.

Before a person is ready to be received into the Church, whether by baptism or by profession of faith, preparation is necessary. The amount and type of preparation depends on the individual's circumstance. The preparation process is different between those who are unbaptized and those who have already become Christian through baptism in another church.

Those who have been baptized in a different Christian denomination become Catholics by taking instruction in the faith, making a profession of the Catholic faith, and being formally received into the Church. This is followed by Confirmation and the Eucharist. Unbaptized adults enter the Church by the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and receive the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. If you are ready to start your journey, we would be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have. For more information, please contact Mike Kelleher at 934-4076 (Sacred Heart) or Jim Mock at 650-7250 (Saint Mary).


We are always happy to welcome new parishioners to Sacred Heart Parish and Saint Mary Parish. Please introduce yourself to a member of the parish staff and register at the rectory. Registration, the practice of stewardship, and regular participation in the Eucharist indicate that a person is an active member of the parish and is eligible to act as a godparent or sponsor. As a Church community seeking to be faith-filled disciples and good stewards, the sacrifice of our time, talent and treasure is essential for the common good.


It is time for Nomination of new candidates for membership on Sacred Heart Parish Pastoral Council. Please take your time to pray and to consider your personal nomination of your relative or friend, who can be a great asset for our parish serving in that capacity. The nominated lay person has to be Fully Initiated (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) member of our parish in good standing.

Stewardship Reflections

Jacob's well is a very important part of the Old Testament and New Testament belief in God's providence. It has provided water for people of the Holy Land since the time of Abraham. The conversion of the Samaritan woman after her personal encounter with Jesus Christ is an example of God's unifying love.

More than 844 million people do not have access to safe water even in the year 2020. This continues to cause dehydration, disease from lack of sanitation, and political turmoil. As good stewards and caretakers of the earth, you and your entire family can take time to become more aware of the amount of water that you use daily and take action to eliminate wasteful habits. Every small act can contribute to big steps of change.

In Your Prayers

Please remember the health intention of Allan Bauer, Mark Blackie, Rod Baronner, Jack Chilcote, Brandon Conaway, Shirley Conlon, Denise Conrad, James Conrad, Kathy Corl, Joan Donnelly, Matt Dorman, Amelia Doughurty, Lois Duncan, Taylor Etters, Mary Hartsock, Phyllis Hartman, Elizabeth Hasan, Phyllis Hauser, Cindy Lytle, Edmund McConnell, Elizabeth McConnell, Charles McGrain, Lori Moschat, Cierria Naglowsky, Maureen O'Rorke, Christopher Ruffing, Robert Ruffing, Susan Sakerak, Brian Sherbine and Peggy Stauffer.

If you would like to add a sick or hospitalized person to our prayer list or re-add a person, please call the rectory office, at 943-8553. Parishioners of Saint Mary are encouraged and welcome to participate. Remember, you must have permission of the ill person/family to publish their name.



Sacred Heart Parish | 511 20th Street | Altoona, PA 16602 | (814) 943-8553
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