Deacon Michael’s Corner

Bible Study Update

The St. Benedict Bible Study continues on Saturday, December 5 from 9:30am11:30am. via the Zoom program which is easy to use. If you wish to join the study, please contact Deacon Michael Russo at 288-3036 or

The topic will be “The Catholic Mass in the Bible.” Are Catholic Christians “Bible Christians?” The resounding answer is “Absolutely YES!” As Catholics we believe that the BIble is the inspired word of God written in the words of man. Catholics are indeed Bible Christians and perhaps there is no other aspect of our faith that exemplifies this than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The structure of the Mass, its words and gestures, and even its built-in theology are embedded in the pages Sacred Scripture.

The handout for the class can be found here.

Read what class members are saying about the class here.

If you are unable to join us on Saturday mornings the Bible Study will be recorded and offered on YouTube not only in our diocese but to anyone who would like to hear the study, including our Christian brothers and sisters in other countries.

Session 1, Part 1

Session 1, Part 2

Session 2, Part 1

Session 2, Part 2

Session 3, Part 1

Session 3, Part 2

Session 4, Part 1

Session 4, Part 2

Session 5, Part 1

Session 5, Part 2

Oblates of St. Benedict

Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian men and women who choose to associate themselves with a religious community of Benedictine Monks in order to strengthen their baptismal commitment and enrich their Christian way of life.

The Johnstown Deanery of the Oblates of St. Benedict meet each month at St. Benedict Church in Johnstown. To learn more about the Oblates of St. Benedict, click here.

Oblates are going ZOOM until further notice

With the covid-19 numbers going up, we will continue to meet ONLINE via the ZOOM program.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m. It is a great way to connect with other Oblates as we journey together. 

At this December meeting we will discuss the book, Mary for Today by Hans Urs Von Balthasar.

If you would like to attend, send an email to Deacon Michael at  Deacon needs to know who is attending the meeting so he can contact you with a link for ZOOM.

ZOOM works on smart phones, iPads and other tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. It is very easy to use. Come and join us!

The Linus Mission

Some of my brother Deacons and our wives have befriended Linus, a spiritual young man in Africa who is responding to God’s call to the priesthood, and we assist him financially as we can in his humanitarian mission work.  After four years of study, he just received his Batchelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and will now enter the novitiate for the Jesolites (The Missionaries of Jesus the Savior) and continue with his theological studies on the path to receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders. Many of our parishioners and other people from around the country have participated in this missionary effort. To read more about this remarkable young man, and his mission click here.

St. Benedict Mission Effort
Expands to Other Parts of the World

As the pandemic forced churches to close and all prayer and spirituality meetings to cease gathering, St. Benedict Church took assertive action and redesigned our website to include Mass, special devotions such as the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross and many other links to enable the faithful to strengthen their prayer life and draw themselves closer to Christ during this difficult time.

The success of our website opened our spiritual programs to the world. We have been contacted by Christians in Africa, Pakistan, Uganda, Malawi, India, and many other parts of the world. Among the requests we receive are requests for rosaries, Bibles, and other prayer aids as well as financial support for children’s clothing, school supplies, and food.

If you would like to participate with a donation for this mission, please contact Deacon Michael at 814-288-3036 or

Pilgrimage Updates


Educational Opportunities Tours is following the progress of COVID 19 preparedness across the world. Our Holy Land Pilgrimage for 2021 is on schedule. They have provided us with the following update:

Thank you for choosing to travel with us and keeping your accounts active as we navigate the new travel protocols in 2020. There has been progress on many fronts. In an ever-changing travel environment, one constant is our concern for our travelers’ safety. With borders, hotels, and sites slowly opening in Europe and the Middle East, we have been formulating detailed plans to resume operations. Beyond logistics, our goal is that each of our guests will safely enjoy his/her travel experience.

Our Health protocols are being finalized for resumption of service. Based on the progress in Israel and the West Bank, EO is preparing to operate tours in the Holy Land by late October, 2020.

If you have been thinking about joining us on this pilgrimage the time to act is now. we only have 14 places open for the pilgrimage. Rest assured that our safety will always be paramount. For more information please contact deacon Michael at 288-3036 or 


Since 1634, the most famous Passion Play in the World has been presented every 10 years in Oberammergau, Germany. The worldwide virus pandemic of 2020 forced the Play organizers to move the production to 2022 – only the 4th time in almost 400 years that the Play has been canceled or postponed. 

EO invites you to join us in the small village of Oberammergau for this special Play season. You will experience the world’s largest dramatic and musical Passion Play in the beautiful Bavaria and Tyrol regions of Germany and Austria. 

If you thought you missed the Passion Play in 2020, this is a rare second chance to see the event of a lifetime. Many EO travelers are moving their 2020 plans to 2022, but EO has secured tickets and hotel space for additional travelers to join us in 2022.

This pilgrimage sold out prior to the pandemic and it is expected to sell out again. We only have 16 spaces available. For more information please contact deacon Michael at 288-3036 or 

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