The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 20, 2013

Bishop’s ministry ends at chapel: Ailing Mascherino celebrates last service

SHANKSVILLE — Surrounded by family and friends, and against the backdrop of praise for Jesus Christ, Bishop Alphonse Mascherino celebrated his last service on Sunday.

Mascherino, 79, who suffers from a terminal form of cancer, gave his last service at the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel, which he founded near Shanksville in November 2001.

The chapel is located about three miles from the crash site.

It was an emotional farewell for the former Roman Catholic priest who turned an old seed warehouse into a nondenominational chapel. It is visited annually by thousands who pay homage to the victims of United Airlines Flight 93.

About 50 people attended the final service offered by a frail bishop. His presence alone was enough to comfort the faithful who joined in singing traditional hymns.

With a tracheal tube inserted to help him breathe, the bishop offered few words but many unspoken prayers.

Mascherino’s nephew, Matthew Hoopes, of Delaware, helped him through the service. Jim Morris, a chapel board member, read a statement from the bishop.  

“Today, I am resigning the office of bishop and am resigning from the Catholic Church of the East,” Morris read. “I have completed an agreement with Archbishop Ramzi Musallam, Catholic Church of the East, to transfer ownership of Flight 93 Memorial Chapel and properties,” Morris said.

Mascherino served as priest in the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese for 31 years.

Archbishop Musallam and the Catholic Church of the East will be sole owners of all properties, he said.

The archbishop, who was unable to attend the service, issued a statement, which Morris read.

“My avowed commitment is to continue the mission of the chapel,” the statement said. “To the honor and glory of God and to the memory of the 40 heroes of Flight 93 and all other innocents who perished Sept. 11, 2001.”

Mascherino will be missed.

“He has dedicated the last 11 years of his life to honoring the heroes of Flight 93,” said Morris’s wife, Pat, retired UAL flight attendant and member of the design team for the Flight 93 Crew Monument.

“He has been such an inspiration to all of us,” she said, her voice strained with emotion.

“I just can’t believe this is the last sermon,” she said. “I just pray his legacy will go on.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads