The First Sunday of Advent – December 1, 2019

Families and the Gospel                                                       Matthew 24:37-44 In today’s gospel Jesus advises: “Stay awake, watch out, and pray for the strength to hold your ground” when “fearful and bewildering signs” appear threatening your family. Resist being “fearful;” fear cripples! Instead “pray for the strength” to be courageous.

Pastor:  Reverend Jozef  Kovacik

Phone: (814) 684-1480 (Parish Office & Rectory)
Fax: (814) 684-7969


Weekend Mass Schedule: Saturday at 5:30 PM and Sunday at 10:30 AM 

Weekday Mass Schedule:
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 8:00 AM
Holy Day of Obligation Mass Schedule: 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM

Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated on Saturday at 6:30 PM or anytime upon request.

Please remember if these times do not allow you to attend mass you can do so at Saint Joseph Church in Bellwood either on Saturday at 4:00 PM or Sunday at 8:00 AM and also on Monday at 8:00 AM & Tuesday at 6:00 PM and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated on Saturday at 3:30 PM.


  •  Second Collection this weekend is for the Retirement Fund for Religious. Many senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests served for little or no pay. Today, religious communities often do not have enough savings to meet retirement needs. Your gift helps provide medications, nursing care, and more for tens of thousands of elderly religious. It also helps ensure younger members san continue the good works of their elders. Please be generous. 
  • Communal Penance Services – During the season of Advent, Catholics are encouraged to seek God’s healing and forgiveness through the Sacrament of reconciliation. The following is a schedule of Communal Penance Services at various parishes throughout the Diocese.

    December 1 @ 4 pm Saint John the Evangelist, Altoona
    @ 5:30 pm Holy Rosary, Altoona
    December 8 @ 5 pm Saint Joseph, Bellwood
    December 9 @ 7 pm Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Altoona
    December 12 @ 5:30 pm Our Lady of Lourdes, Altoona
    @ 7 pm Most Holy Trinity, Huntingdon
    December 14 @ 10 am Saint Therese of the Child Jesus,
    December 15 @ 2 pm Our Lady of Victory, State College
    @ 4 pm Saint Mary Hollidaysburg
    December 16 @ 7 pm Saint Matthew, Tyrone

  • ADVENT – The parish office has several advent wreaths and candles for the upcoming Advent Season. Cost of a set of candles is $3.00, advent wreath is $7.00. Please inquire in the parish office regarding these items.
  • Spiritual Life Committee News
    Please provide the names and addresses of parishioners or family members in active duty so we can send Christmas Cards to them. Names can be dropped off in the parish office or can be sent to the parish email:

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Mass Schedule & Intentions:

If you would like to have a MASS celebrated for the deceased members of your family, or friends, or for special intentions, please stop by or call the parish office.

Mass Schedule & Intentions:     

Sat.      5:30 PM      Nicholas Zane – Cindy & Jack

Sun.   10:30 AM     Jerry Cornelius – Wife & son

                              Tony Castagnola – Family                   

Wed.   9:00 AM      Rose & Ludwig Schaffelhuber – Rose and Bill

                              Chris Gurekovich – JR & Susie

Thur.  8:00 AM      Michael Tree Family – Estate

                              Mr & Mrs John Yenter – Estate

 Fri.    8:00 AM       Nicholas Zane – Cindy & Jack            

Sat.     5:30 PM       Ralph & Emma Hagg – Martha Hagg

                              Norma & Cody Belin – Family

Sun.   10:30AM      For the People of the Parish – Pastor                                   


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Office Staff & Ministries Contact Information

Parish Office Staff:  

Financial  Assistant: Debbie Zakrzwski

Administrative  Assistant: Sue Ronan   

email: Office Hours: Monday 8:30 AM to 11:00 am & Wednesday and Friday 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Pastoral Ministry:
Sister Karen Duddy, C.C.W.
Cell: (814) 935-2934 E-mail:
Sister Jane Miller, C.C.W.
Cell: (814) 931-1120 E-mail:


Director of Religious Education: Gia Patton
Call (814) 682-9108 or email

Elementary Classes: (Grades K-6): Sunday mornings 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM (weekly during the school year)

Middle/High School: (Gr. 7-11): Sunday: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (twice a month during the school year)


RCIA: Susan Burkholder (814) 684-0352

Director of Music: Eva George (615) 496-9864

Ministry to the Homebound: Paula Lambert (814) 932-0651

Pastoral Council – Sarah McNelis (814) 684-5598
Finance Council – Dennis Rozick (814) 684-5511
School Council – Paul Fleissner (724) 630-1538
Cemetery Committee – Michael Feller (814) 932-1788

Saint Matthew Catholic School   “Serving our community since 1869”
Principal: Mrs. Debbie St. Pierre
Principal’s email:
School Phone: (814) 684-3510
School web-site:

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Liturgical Ministries and Other Parish Ministries –Weekly Schedules

Lectors              Weekdays   8:00 AM  V Frantz

December  7-8

Sat.-  5:30 PM    L Morrison, D Cunningham, S Friday

Sun. 10:30 AM    K Bauer, D Parker, MJ Gunter


 Altar Servers    December 7-8

Sat.   5:30 PM    B Zeigler, C Zeigler

Sun.10:30 AM    M Bauer, S Hoover


Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

Weekdays 8:00 AM –  R Long

December 7-8

Sat.    5:30 PM     J Zeigler+, P Davis, D Zakrzwski

Sun. 10:30 AM     Sr. J Miller+, R Garbinsky, S Hoover


Music Ministers – December 7-8

Sat.    5:30 PM        Richard/Lori

Sun.  10:30 AM         Glory & Praise


December $ Counters-  B Long, C Golden, S. Hall (Please come at 9 AM)    ——————————————————————————————

Church Cleaners – December 1- 14, 2019

P Ray, MJ Shank, Wm & P Lambert, R & L Bunch

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Stewardship Reflection December 1, 2019 – First Sunday of Advent

Stay awake for opportunities to share your time, talent and treasure!  Good stewards know they are accountable and use their gifts to do God’s will.  Safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly are answers to the question, “What identifies a steward?’ But so is generous giving of time, talent and treasure.

     As Christian stewards we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with an increase to the Lord.

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“They shall beat their swords into plowshares … they shall not train for war again.” Isaiah 2:4

“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”                                    Matthew 24:42

People who have had health issues or near-death experiences generally have a greater appreciation for each day being a gift from God. The rest of us usually take for granted that we will be around tomorrow. But when you start to look at each day as a gift, you realize all the little miracles that happen daily and grow in gratitude for all that we have been given. You begin to see God’s active presence in your life.

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Activities for the Week of December 1, 2019

Sunday     No Religious Ed

Monday     No School

                    7:30 PM    Knights (H)

Tuesday    Church Meals

                    7:00 PM   Cub Scouts (H)

Wed.          9:00 AM   SMS Mass

                    6:00 PM   CDA Christmas Party (Bull Pen)

                    6:30 PM   RCIA (GS)

                    6:30 PM   Choir Rehearsal

Thursday   8:00AM   Mass

                    6:30PM    Bingo

                    7:00 PM   Boy Scouts (Basement)

Friday       Church Meals

                    8:00 AM   Mass

                    6:00 PM – Decorate for CDA Family Christmas Party(H)

Saturday 12:00PM  CDA Family Christmas Party (H)

                    5:30PM    RE Wreath/ Flower Sale (GS)

Sunday     9:00AM    RE K-5 (Sch)

10:30AM  G&P Choir

  RE Wreath/Flower Sale (GS)

                    11:30 AM  Santa Visit (GS)

                    6-8PM       RE Gr 6-11 (All)

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  • To enhance your spiritual growth throughout Advent and in preparation for the Christmas Season reflection booklet entitled, “Let The Heavens Be Glad” – in the words of Henri Nouwen are available in the Gathering Space.   Also, 2020 Calendars are available.  
  • Catholic Charities Angel Tree – Thank you for choosing an “angel” from our tree to benefit this project sponsored by Catholic Charities. The DEADLINE for placing your gift under the tree in the Gathering Space is Monday, December 16th. The gifts will be transported, only once, to Catholic Charities on Tuesday, December 17th @ 9 AM. Thank you again, for giving others a chance to celebrate. Please follow these guidelines:
    a. “Gift Receipt” is to be placed inside gift for clothing.
    b. “Angel” represents the FAMILY CODE and must be placed on the outside of the package
    c. Packages should be wrapped or bagged.
    d. Gift Cards with the Family Code must be placed in an envelope with Code or Angel adhered and left in the parish office.
    e. Gift Cards for children may be prepared as above or placed in some type of packaging with Angel attached.
  • Christmas Month Challenge – Are you up for the challenge of faith-in-action? A Reverse Advent Calendar Project to benefit the Tyrone Area Food Bank is the challenge. Will you join ARISE participants in bringing your box of items listed on the bulletin insert to the Gathering Space on December 28 & 29? Please refer to the bulletin insert for the items to be donated for the Reverse Advent Calendar.
  • CMD Update: We have met out 2019 goal for the Catholic Ministries Drive. Any monies donated from now until the end of the year, will be returned to our parish to be used for the continued maintenance of the church roof. Thank you for your generosity.
  • The Celebration Choir invites YOU to come and sing for our Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. Please join us! Rehearsals are Wednesdays 12/4 and 12/18 at 6:30 pm, and Sunday 12/15 following the 10:30 Mass, with lunch provided. We will rehearse and perform in the front area of the church. Questions? Contact Eva at 614-496-9864.
  • Saint Matthew Parish is looking for a pianist starting in the coming year. Please contact Eva George at 615-495-9864 and learn more about this opportunity to serve the community in song.
  • CEMETERY UPDATE As we are approaching the end of the year we remember and pray for our deceased relatives and friends we are also reminded of the fact that one day we will need a burial spot where our earthly remains will be laid to rest. We are blessed with two cemeteries where we can be buried: Saint Luke in Sinking Valley and Oak Grove in Tyrone. I would like to let you know that the price for the privilege of burial (including perpetual care) in a plot of ground (or what has been referred to as buying a cemetery plot) in either of these cemeteries will increase from $350 to $400 starting January 1, 2020. If interested, please stop at the church office and make arrangements. Father Jozef
  • Knights of Columbus – If you are between the ages of 18-88+ and are a Catholic gentlemen in communion with the Holy See, you are eligible to become a Knight of Columbus! Why should you join the K of C? If you would like to be more actively involved in your church and community, support projects for those in need, and become involved in a program you are greatly committed to, then you need us! Because we need you! We need men who are willing to share their special talents and abilities with others.  What a great way of thanking Jesus for your many blessings! Contact Rich NcNelis 814-321-4013, Membership Director, St. Gregory Council 1218
  • The Allegheny Choral will present “We Need a Little Christmas” on Tuesday, December 10th at 7 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Tyrone featuring Benjamin Cossitor, Oboist. Several members of our parish participate in the Choral. The presentation is free and open to the public.
  • FAMILIES NEEDED FOR ADVENT WREATH- CANDLE LIGHTING! In three weeks we begin the new church year and our four-week period of preparation for the joyous celebration of Christmas. As we have done in the past, once again we will need our parish families to participate in the Advent Wreath Candle-Lighting at the start of each of our weekend Masses. A sign-up list for this can be found in the vestibule. Please sign up today!
  • ADVENT – The parish office has several advent wreaths and candles for the upcoming Advent Season. Cost of a set of candles is $3.00, advent wreath is $7.00. Please inquire in the parish office regarding these items.
  • The Family Activities Committee of Catholic Daughters of Americas is planning a Christmas Party. The party will be held at Harkin’s hall on Saturday, December 7th from noon until 2 pm. There will be cookies and hot chocolate. We will be making Christmas ornaments. Santa will be visiting, too! There must be a least one parent attending. Sign up in the gathering space or call or text Danielle Gibbons (814-330-4190) or Amy Brisbin (814-931-4702).

  • LOTTERY CALENDAR Our sister parish of Saint Joseph in Bellwood is inviting us to participate in their major fundraiser; Lottery Calendar based on the PA Lottery Daily number. The cost of the calendar, which is for the entire year of 2020, is just $25! If your number hits on just one day in the year, your prize will be at least $25. These calendars will make great gifts and we invite you to participate. For more info, call Linda Elvey at 931-3280, or email her at

  • Please note that if you have not received your bi-monthly contribution envelopes or have changes in address, you need to contact the parish office. Changes in name and address usually take at least an envelope cycle (2-3 months) to change due to company turnaround. Thank you for your cooperation and patience.

  • All occasion cards are available in the gathering space. Please feel free to take any cards you want. Also, if you have cards you would like to donate for someone else to use please, leave them by the box.

  •  Home Nursing Agency is seeking volunteers for their program, Healing Patch (to aid children who have lost a parent or sibling). New volunteers receive comprehensive training and have assistance in obtaining necessary clearances. For more information, contact Melody Ray at (814) 947-7200 or                            
  • CANCER AFFECTS EVERYONE – Our Community holds “Blair Relay for Life” each June at Mansion park for a 24 hour period to support all current or past CANCER FIGHERS/SURVICORS. Our Lady of Lourdes Church is attempting to change the one Catholic parish team into an Altoona Deanery team with as many parishes being represented as possible.  We will be holding three meetings (August, January, May) in the basement of Our Lady of Lourdes to discuss the details of the Relay. The meetings will be no longer than one hour in length.
    This is a great opportunity for different parishes to come together, especially our youth/young adults. Relay for Life is a wonderful time for fellowship with parishioners of all ages, especially cancer survivors. Activities are planned throughout the entire 24 hour period for teams to get involved and have fun.
    We are eagerly awaiting your response to be a participant to our new team. Please reach out to Allison Gressler at or 814-327-2580 or Kayley Burke at 814-502-5545 with any questions on Relay. 
  • Saint Francis University’s Adult Degree & Continuing Studies program caters to adult learners.  Our programs are accredited and fully online.  We offer affordable tuition.  Check out our programs in Business, Early Childhood Education, Behavioral Science, Health Studies, and more!  If you’re interested in learning more you can call us at 814-472-3012, email, or at www.francis/edu/adcs.  Become that Someone today!
  • CATHOLIC REGISTER:  In the Gathering Space are copies of the Catholic Register.  The Register will no longer be mailed to individual parishioners but copies will be sent to each parish for distribution monthly. 

       The Diocese has also launched an online newspaper –PROCLAIM!: The Good News of Altoona-Johnstown featuring diocesan news, information, and commentary – including happenings at parishes and schools.  Visit the site at and sign up for regular e-mail updates delivered to your inbox. 

  • Families United for Change  We are a group of Family Members affected by Addiction starting a grass roots effort to bring about change in recovery.  Meetings are every second Tuesday of the Month  at 7 pm.   Location is Hope Community Church, 1520 11th Street, Lower Level, Altoona PA   For questions please call 814-934-8067

  • Try Catholic Radio – WJVM 90.3 FM the Voice of Divine Mercy
  • PROJECT RACHEL:  Would you like to find peace in your heart with your aborted child, with God, with the Church?  Don’t be afraid, the door is open.  For women, men, anyone wounded by abortion.  Contact Project Rachel 814-884-8000.  All calls are confidential.
  • AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of eligible purchase to our parish.   Please go to the following link: and you can start helping our church in this very easy way.
  • Please remember our local Tyrone Food Bank during these long winter months.  Canned soups, peanut butter, cereal, jelly, and personal care items are always needed.  The Food Bank requests that dates on all donations be current.  Expired items cannot be accepted.

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Update regarding Sister Karen


As we begin this month of Thanksgiving, we want to thank Fr.  Jozef and the many St. Matthew parishioners—and we mean MANY!—who have supported us in so many generous and self-sacrificing ways through the recent months of Sr. Karen’s surgery and its aftermath.  The numerous prayers and greeting cards, the amazing variety of delicious meals, the cleaning of convent windows and curtains, the laborious movement of our washer and dryer to the first floor. ALL THIS HAS MEANT SO MUCH ANS WE ARE GRATEFUL BEYOND WORDS FOR EACH AND EVERY ACT OF KINDNESS!!! 

To the above we add the parishioners who have stepped forward to compete the Parish Directory, assure the occurrence of Spiritual Life events, coordinate/participate in Session 3 of ARISE, direct the Glory and Praise Choir, organize liturgical ministry schedules, ETC!  EVERYDAY SAINTHOOD IS ALIVE AND WELL IN TYRONE!!! 

UPDATE ON SR. KAREN’s HEALTH Though Sr. Karen had her aortic valve replacement surgery in mid-August and returned home from Altoona Hospital and Encompass Health in mid-September, there have been numerous unexpected complications along the way.  At this point she is taking her recovery day by day and feels the prayers of parishioners and friends. 

Prayer for Vocations: God our Father, You made each of us to use our gifts in the Body of Christ.We ask that You inspire young people whom You call to the priesthood and consecrated life to courageously follow Your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest so that the Gospel is preached, the poor are served with love, the suffering are comforted, and Your people are strengthened by the sacraments. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen

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Saint Matthew School News!

Celebrating 150 Years! 

Saint Matthew School Scrip Purchases – For everyday purchases and the upcoming Christmas Season, remember to use SCRIP!  Orders can be placed online at (Enrollment code:  AFCFB8DC972) or  contact Alison Narehood by phone 684-4121 “oremail  stmatthewschoolscrip@gmail.comor” purchase after any of  the weekend mass. 

Our Saint Matthew School is currently looking to update our records of school alumni. If you would like to be included, please provide your name, contact information and the year you graduated Saint Matthew School. Your info may be placed in the collection basket in an envelope marked Saint Matthew School or delivered to the church or school office.

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