Sacred Heart Church

First Sunday of Lent

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Mark 1:12-15 Why do we always go to the desert? We see this example in Scripture time and time again. The Israelites wandered in the desert. King David and prophets were driven into the wilderness. And now Jesus is in the same place. Lent after Lent, we too are invited into a barren, desolate place. Why do we always go to the desert? Throughout Scripture, the desert is a place of testing. It’s also a place of hiding and withdrawal. In the Old Testament, David fled into the wilderness to hide from Saul, Elijah from Jezebel, and Jonah from God! In other words the desert is a place of “retreat”. In Christian circles, we use the word to describe a spiritual weekend away. But its meaning comes from warfare, as we well know. To retreat means to draw back, to separate oneself from the fighting. Of course, a military retreat brings its own kind of “battle”-the internal assessment of why the fighting went so poorly. As we enter into this Lenten season, we are invited to retreat into the desert with Jesus. Attending a day or weekend of reflection is a wonderful spiritual practice. This “desert spirituality”, however, can fill all forty days. We can fulfill our Lenten resolutions with a purpose-writing daily notes to family and friends can inspire new gratitude, every time we pass up that specific food item can be cause for intercession for deeper sufferings and privations of others.

The Gospel tells us that “the Spirit drove him out into the desert.” In other words, God want us to be here. What feels uncomfortable is actually part of our spiritual journey. To be stretched, to be challenged, to confront our own areas of weakness-these things are essential in our walk with God. This Lent, will you go to the desert?
Liturgical Publications, Inc


Oh God, look down upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build together with all people of good will, a civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God.
- Right to Life

9th Grade Confirmation Session

There will be a 9th Grade Confirmation Session next Sunday, February 25, from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Formation Center. This includes Catholic school students.

Stations of the Cross

During Lent we will have Stations of the Cross on Fri-days at 5:30 p.m. followed by Mass.

Youth Music Practice

Music practice for students in grades Prek/kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th will continue on February 25th and March 4, from 11:00 to 11:10 a.m. They will participate in the 10:00 a.m. Mass on March 11. This includes stu-dents from Catholic school.

Families and the Gospel

Jesus went into the desert to put his life in perspective. This Lent, take a fresh look at a difficult relationship in your life. Concentrate on the positive things that a person does, not just the negatives. Try to understand why their behaviors ‘bug’ you. Can you honestly share your feelings with them without attacking them? Make Lent a time to MEND and FORGIVE.

Liturgical Reflection...

Lent has us reflect on our sinfulness and invites us to call upon God’s mercy. We cannot be forgiven with-out the mercy of our God. Upon death, Catholics have a Funeral Mass for the deceased believer. At this Mass we call upon God’s mercy for the dearly departed. We place our dead in the merciful hands of God. Are the faithful departed in heaven, hell or purgatory? Only God knows; the Lord is judge. We gather to call upon the loving mercy of our Redeemer that our dead be at peace in the love and forgiveness of God.
- Order of Christian Funerals, 1998-1989, number 129


Donation statements will automatically be mailed to those parishioners who have requested them in prior years. If you are new to the parish or have never requested a statement in the past, please call the rectory at 943-8553 and yours will be mailed to you. The parish cannot track cash contributions that are not in an envelope with your name. If you do not presently receive collection envelopes and you would like to, please call the rectory. Catholic Ministry Drive donations are recorded at the diocesan offices and they will provide you with a receipt.

In Your Prayers

Please remember in your prayers the health intention of Roberta Alderisio, Arlene Balestino, Ann Bauer, Barbara Barker, Norma Belin, Donald Belsey, Paxton Burr, Denise Conrad, Mary Costlow, Betty Dalansky, Evan Decker, Dominick DeVecchis, Thomas Dobson, Joan Donnelly, Matt Dorman, May Duey, Mike Dutchard, Jacob Eshlenan, Shirley Fanella, Gianna Feather, Kathleen Foster, George Frederick, Theresa Gates, Anna Marie Gority, Paul Griffin, Helen Gummo, Jean Hagan, Elaine Hauser, Janet Hilton, Michael Himes, Lucy Horton, Nancy James, Larry Knott, Sr., Meredith Kuhns, Ri-ley Marie Lansberry, Brody Lidwell, Perry Lloyd, Larry Lytle, Patty Maria, Tom McGinnis, Brigid McManaman, Pat Koehle McTavish, Vicki Medeiros, Debbie Murtagh, Kevin O’Rorke, Donny Ott, Randy Parson, Rene Reynolds, Camden Rhodes, Joan Robison, Gavin Ross, Christopher and Tina Ruffing, Patty Ruffing, Maureen Sherbine, Jacqueline Smith, Richard Soller, Clara Tomlinson, John Templon, Pete Szebin, Caitlin Thomp-son, Mary Wombacher, and Daniel O’Brien’s safe deployment.

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
Questions or Comments? Contact Webmaster
Home | News | Mass Information | Weekly Schedule | Mass Intentions | Liturgical Ministers | Contact Us
Courtesy Open Web Design

Sacred Heart Links