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
  • LCB Wine1a Does state know when to say when?

    Booze sales on Sunday have proven so popular the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is breaking a state law limiting how many stores the system can operate on the first day of the week.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • mccord Gubernatorial hopeful wins mayor’s support

    Gubernatorial candidate Rob McCord has received an endorsement from Johnstown’s highest-ranking elected official.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • reading night ‘Story Laboratory’ stirs kids’ interest in reading, science

    Mad scientists and Dr. Seuss characters were the stars Thursday as Conemaugh Township Area children helped concoct mysterious potions that bend the laws of physics and learned how french fries can drive you to work.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Republicans tout ‘right’ credentials

    All three Republican Party candidates in Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District race attempted to distinguish themselves as the person conservative enough to represent the state’s most conservative district in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • elder abuse 1 Calling attention to elder abuse

    As far as states with the oldest populations go, Pennsylvania hovers near the top, depending on which statistical report you read. Along with an ever-growing elderly demographic comes more instances of seniors being abused or cheated out of money.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cambria adds security to thwart copper thefts

    Would-be copper thieves, be warned: Anyone trying to steal copper wiring from any of the 17 towers that make up Cambria County’s 911 communications system will be caught on camera.

    April 24, 2014

  • Commissioners praise response to bomb threat

    Two days after a bomb threat closed the Cambria County Courthouse for half a day, officials handed out accolades to those who pulled off an efficient search and quick apprehension of the alleged perpetrator.

    April 24, 2014

  • Black fly program to target river corridor

    The Cambria County commissioners Thursday entered into an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that opens the door for the state to provide black fly suppression spraying.

    April 24, 2014

  • Inmate faces sex charges

    An Altoona man was charged with rape after authorities accused him of sexually assaulting another man while both were inmates at the Cambria County Prison.

    April 24, 2014

  • Garage collapses hours after vehicle rammed structure

    No one was hurt when a garage collapsed Thursday afternoon in the Oakland section of Stonycreek Township, Cambria County.

    April 24, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads