Sacred Heart Church

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fourth Sunday of Advent Hello, I'm Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, and this is the Sunday Soundbite for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

You are in on the greatest secret of all time! A mystery hidden for many ages! What is this secret, this mystery? According to St. Paul, writing to the Romans in today’s second reading, it’s the gospel Paul preaches, the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Romans, along with Paul’s Jewish kinfolk and the rest of the world, are now in on this revelation—as we are today. Our other two readings, spanning the Old and New Testaments, give us that revelation, as God first makes a promise, then fulfills it.

From the Hebrew Scriptures we hear the promise made by God to King David. With one of the Bible’s great puns, God takes David’s offer to build an earthly “house,” a temple for God to live in, and turns it around. God instead will build a “house” for David, a family dynasty which will last forever.

The promise comes true in the Gospel story of the Annunciation. The child who will be born of Mary of Nazareth will be the heir of David. In Jesus Christ, the “house” of David continues and God will dwell forever with the human family. We twenty-first century Christians are so often caught up in our contemporary reality, and the very real and often-troubling history unfolding around us, that we can forget that God has intervened in that history. Let’s allow that staggering revelation to catch us up and give us hope.
- An Site from the Franciscans and Franciscan Media Copyright 1996 - 2014


We should know by now, 3800 babies die each day from surgical abortion. But tens of thousands of babies die each day due to chemical abortions, the majority of which are caused by the so-called “pill” which is an abortifacient. Many women on the pill have an abortion early on in their pregnancy and are not even aware of this tragic event.
- Fr. Stephen Imbarrato

Advent Communal Service of Reconciliation

Our Advent Penance Service will be held on Thursday, December 18 at 5:30 p.m. In addition to Fr. L’ubomir, there will be five other priests available to help celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you are unable to attend our Penance Service there are several other opportunities at local churches- Sunday, December 14 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Mary Church, Hollidaysburg; Monday, December 15, at 7:00 p.m., St. Rose of Lima Church, Monday, December 15, at 6:30 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church in Lakemont and Wednesday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

Sacred Heart Food Pantry

Our sincere thanks to everyone for the abundance of food items and monetary donations of $1,157 collected on Thanksgiving. This year we have assisted over 1,600 people. Your generosity, financial support, and prayers throughout the year make this ministry possible. Our gratitude is also extended to our volunteers, Fr. Lubo, and the parish staff for their continued dedication. Thank you for putting into action our parish motto, “Let the Christ in me reach out to the Christ in others”.

Our Food Pantry will be closed on December 24 and December 31. We will reopen on January 7.

Church Decorating

If you are able to help, we will be decorating our church on Sunday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m., after Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Christmas flowers will also be delivered at that time.

Christmas Oplatek/Wafer

It is a custom among Slovaks, Czechs, Lithuanians and families decades removed from their Eastern European roots, and some other countries, to begin the Christmas meal by sharing a host-like wafer. It has continued down through the generations because it is such a beautiful tradition. The wafer is broken and shared during the Christmas meal while those gathered extend Christmas wishes and blessings to each other. Some people also dip the bread in honey as a symbol of God’s goodness. There are packages of Oplatek at the entrances to the church this weekend.

Pro-Life Christmas Cards Available!

Citizens Concerned for Human Life, Blair County Chapter, will have Christmas cards available for purchase after weekend Masses, November 15-16 and November 22-23. Three beautiful designs are being offered, one of the Madonna and Child, one of the Infant Jesus and the third of the Three Kings. The cost is $7 for a package of 11 cards. A flier with order details will remain in the vestibule through the upcoming Christmas Season. Your purchase will help support the pro-life work of CCHL in Blair County. For more information, call Dorothy, 505-2886.

Angel Fund

We thank Virginia Ferramini for her donation to the Angel Fund in memory of her parents, Carino and Frances Ferramni and her sister and brother-in-law, Josephine and Charles Stein.

Altar Flowers

The flowers this weekend have been provided by the Kuhns family. We thank them for their generosity.

Stewardship Reflections

“The Spirit of wisdom and courage helps people seek pardon and be mindful, in the face of all their forgetting, that the most important work of their lives is to be Jesus’ disciples”. As we prepare to celebrate God’s greatest gift to us in the birth of our Savior, have we reconciled our sins so as to continue along the path to Eternal Life!

Families and the Gospel

The gospel reports “there is one among you whom you do not recognize.” It is hard to believe Christ is present in a family with crazy schedules, suppers that start too late and end too early, cars that don’t start, misunderstandings, frustrations, piles of laundry, unmatched socks and stretched budgets. The list is endless. The words spoken at Mass, “The Lord is with you”, are not a hope, they are a fact.

Liturgical Reflection..........

It is by baptism that the Christian people have a right and duty to participate at Mass. When the Eucharist is arranged in such a way that the fruits of the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection are remembered, then the assembled believers are led to a conscious, active, and full participation in the sacred mysteries. This is a participation in body and in mind, a participation fervent with faith, hope, and charity that is required by the very nature of the Eucharist. Thus the ecclesial nature of the Mass is made manifest and the body of Christ becomes one in the celebration of the Eucharist.
- The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Number 18 2014, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Liturgy Office, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

125th Anniversary

On July 13th, 1890, Fr. Thomas P. Smith, the newly appointed pastor, celebrated the first Mass for the newly established Sacred Heart Parish in a building on the corner of 7th Avenue and 24th Street. In 2015, our Parish Family will celebrate 125 years of ministry. We will be celebrating this great milestone with several events and activities throughout 2015/16. The highlight of the year long celebration will be a Mass of Thanksgiving in Honor of the parish’s 125th anniversary, concelebrated by Bishop Mark at the 12:00 Noon Mass on Sunday, July 12th. A Dinner Celebration will follow at the Jaffa Shrine.

We would like to create a Christian theme slogan. We are asking all parishioners to take part in this by submitting your thoughts and writing a theme slogan for the event. The slogan should be limited to one sentence and no more than 15 words. If your slogan is chosen, you and your immediate family will be awarded tickets for the celebration dinner following the Mass on July 12th. The deadline to submit the theme slogan will be Sunday, November 30, 2014. Your entry can be dropped off at the rectory or placed in the collection basket in a sealed envelope and marked 125th Anniversary Theme. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jeff Arpino at 932-6452 or call the rectory at 943-8553.

In Your Prayers

Please remember in your prayers the health intention of Marcella Adams, Arlene Balestino, Suzanne Baranik- Bowser, Rosemary Barcaro, Barbara Barker, Rhoda Born, Elizabeth, Valerie Brumbaugh, Kierra Chirdon, Denise Conrad, Mary Costlow, Susie Dalansky, Bob Decker, Evan Decker, Dominick DeVecchis, Thomas Dobson, Marian Dodson, Joan Donnelly, Debra Dorazio, May Duey, Mike Dutchard, Jacob Eshlenan, Shirley Fanella, Gianna Feather, Kathleen Foster, Mary Frederick, Lucas Gonzalez, Anna Marie Gority, Helen Gummo, Elaine Hauser, Wilbur Henry, Janet Hilton, Michael Himes, Nancy James, Ken Keagy, Carol King, Larry Knott, Sr., Meredith Kuhns, Perry Lloyd, Larry Lytle, Patty Maria, Brigid McManaman, Debbie Murtagh, Cindy Oswald, Donny Ott and Sheila Ott, Joe Peroni, Braxton Pine, William Reimer, Rene Reynolds, Camden Rhodes, Joan Robison, Elia Rocci, Gavin Ross, Patty Ruffing, Arlene Schirf, Luke Schultz, Jacqueline Smith, Pete Szebin, Caitlin Thompson, Carole Treese, and Angie Yingling.

In the event our prayers have helped, you are asked to call the rectory to have your name removed from the list. You can always have it put back on if need be. Thank you.

To have a name added to the prayer list, please call the rectory office before noon on Monday to have the name placed in that weekend’s bulletin. You must have the person’s permission to print their name.



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