Sacred Heart Church

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 20, 2019


Jesus heals the ten lepers "Render a just decision for me against my adversary." Today's Gospel features a persistent widow who ekes out justice from a notoriously cold-hearted judge. Why does she win the day? "Because the widow keeps bothering me." Jesus' recommendation to the disciples is to be persistent in prayer, because surely God the Father is far more attuned to their needs than this judge. If only it were that easy, right? We've all experienced the unanswered prayer, the silence after our cries. When this continues, sometimes it can be difficult to have faith in God or believe He answers prayers. It can be easy to lapse into a sense of His distance. We want Him to do something fair, which in our limited view-typically means that something works out in our favor. There are, of course, many legitimate cries for justice. We live in a fallen world filled with flawed human beings. We hurt each other, sometimes grievously, and our efforts to remake the world in our image can result in unjust, inhumane systems. Faced with the problem of evil, we may wonder how God will secure the rights of his chosen ones. Sometimes, He may well seem slow to answer them. In the face of these very real questions, it's important to recall the words of the prophet Isaiah, that God's thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. God respects the freedom He has given us. When we see what free will has wrought, perhaps we question God's better judgment! Yet somehow, we hear that He mysteriously works all things for our good. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we are always free to love. We are invited to be persistent in our prayer, to continue bringing our concerns before God in trusting surrender. We are invited to love well in the circumstances we find ourselves in, to be a light in the darkness. No matter when, or if, our prayers are answered the way we would like, we are nonetheless invited to witness to "Faith on earth."
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"As believers, how can we fail to see that abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are a terrible rejection of God's gift of life and love?"
- Saint John Paul II


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. Ubaptized 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).

Ministry Training

Have you or a family member ever considered becoming an Altar Server, Reader, or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion? If you or someone you know is in good standing with the Catholic Church and would like to be trained in any ministry, please call Mike Kelleher (814-934-4076) to set up a brief training session.


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.

Stewardship Reflections

God does not answer our prayers merely because we continuously ask and plead for solutions to our earthly needs. Often our asking is answered by a call from God instead. Jesus calls us as disciples, to a new way of life of which stewardship is a part. Jesus does not call us as nameless people in a faceless crowd. He calls us individually by name. Each one of us, clergy, religious, lay person; married, single; adult, child, has a personal vocation.

The challenge then, is to understand our role, our vocation, and respond generously to this call from God. God intends each one of us to play a unique role in carrying out the divine plan. "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for the least brothers of mine, you did for me".


Thank you to Virginia Ferramini for her donation to Sacred Heart Endowment Fund in memory of her sister, Josephine Stein.

In Your Prayers

Please remember in your prayers the health intention of Allan Bauer, Mark Blackie, Rod Baronner, Jack Chilcote, Brandon Conaway, Shirley Conlon, Denise Conrad, James Conrad, Kathy Corl, Betty Dalansky, Joan Donnelly, Matt Dorman, Amelia Doughurty, Lois Duncan, Sarah Gil, Mary Hartsock, Phyllis Hartman, Emily Hasan and unborn baby, Phyllis Hauser, Cindy Lytle, Charles McGrain, Maureen O’Rorke, Christopher Ruffing, Robert Ruffing, Tina Ruffing, Susan Sakerak, Brian Sherbine and Peggy Stauffer and Kevin Zolna.

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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