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The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Altoona, PA is a welcoming and compassionate community of believers striving to grow as God’s people.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we offer lifelong faith formation for children, youth, and adults; and we live out Christ’s invitation to serve our sisters and brothers.

We gather to worship in prayer and song and invite all to joyfully participate in word and sacrament, especially the Eucharist.




Wednesday to Saturday-Noon


Vigil, Saturday at 5:00 P.M.

Sunday Masses at 8:00 A.M., 10:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M.

Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church at 11:30 A.M.


Wednesday at 7:00 P.M. 

Saturday at 12:30 P.M.

By appointment by calling or texting 814-937-8240


JULY 14, 2024


Jesus sending his disciples two by two

Once I asked a fallen-away Catholic friend of mine what he remembered about the parish priest from his youth. He said, “He was a gentle, nice guy. Kind of vanilla. Kept to himself.” It struck me that he, perhaps like many, per-ceive Catholic priests as the following: lonely, harmless, and self-sufficient. As a challenge both to this perception (accurate or not) and to us priests who perhaps feel a pull in that uninspiring direction, stands the mighty image of what we see in the Gospel this Sunday.

Jesus sent out his apostles, “two-by-two, with power over demons, and without money belts.” Two-by-two: they enjoyed deep fellowship and brotherhood. Power over demons: they were anything but harmless. These men wielded enormous power against evil. Without money belts: they were not self-sufficient. They needed others to help them. Not lonely, but in community. Not harmless but armed with massive spiritual energy. Not self-sufficient, but poor and in need of help.

This is a challenge to me, and perhaps to all of us, living in a rich, secularized, and individualized culture. Do I embrace my priestly ministry in deep fellowship with other priests? Do I speak and act boldly to drive out evil where it is found? Do I live poorly and simply, trusting in the help of those around me even for basic needs? The fruitfulness of priestly ministry largely depends on these three traits. Let’s pray for all priests — and, by extension, all of us Christians — to live more like Jesus’ communal, poor, and powerful apostles.

Father John Muir


Jesus sent out His apostles without a lot of “things” because THINGS distract. We collect, argue about and protect our “things.” Garage sales only transfer “things. “We even ignore each other because we have “things” to do. What “things” are separating you from your family?

Bud Ozar


Our readings today provide examples of people who trusted in the Lord. It is a reminder for us to live our day-to-day lives in total surrender to His care.

When we live our lives doing the will of God, there will be days that are hard. Just because we are doing what the Lord is asking of us, doesn’t mean every day will be perfect. As a matter of fact, we might be led to rejection or suffering because of what we believe. The moment we are faced with that conflict, we are called to respond as Amos did – not by turning our back on God, but rather, remaining faithful to Him. God has a plan, even in the darkest moments. We are called to trust in his ways.

2024 Catholic Stewardship Consultants


Our kitchen floor is at least 35 years old, and it’s the ugliest color to come out of the ‘80s. But it’s a good, durable floor, and my husband, bless his heart, guards it like it was a finely finished hardwood imported from Brazil.

Every time the kids track mud and sand across its vinyl surface, he immediately gets down on his hands and knees and lovingly wipes the mess away. I’m too impatient to do this myself — we have kids, so we’re going to have a dirty floor, is my attitude. But this is the hill upon which my husband dies. On hands and knees, scraping dirt off an almost 40-year-old floor, he is the silent, long-suffering sentry, and if it kills him, he will keep these floors pristine. He is Gandalf, and the dirt is the Balrog. You shall not pass.

“Shake the dust off your feet.” This is what Christ tells his disciples to do when they — and his word — are rejected. Shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them. Why does he say that? It’s not an act of dismissal. It’s not a thumbed nose or a stuck-out tongue. No, it’s an act of caution: Don’t bring it with you. Leave it there.

When we walk through the world, we pick up a lot of dirt. Misguided notions, disordered priorities, habits, and desires that we never noticed until we realized they left a trail. We come into a situation intending to do what is right, but somehow it all goes sideways, and we walk away from it with detritus clinging to us in places we don’t notice. They wouldn’t listen. They’ll see, we think. Oh, they’ll see. They’ll see how right I was. Pride and vengeance hitch a ride on the soles of our feet, and we track them all through the world.

What to do about this? You can be like me with my ugly old floor. You can shrug your shoulders and say, “It happens, I guess. I’m only human. I meant well.”

But here’s what would be better: be like my husband. Get down on your knees and get rid of the dirt. Stop the trail in its tracks.

“So they went off and preached repentance.” — Mark 6:12


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