Welcome to Saints Peter and Paul Parish!


8:00 AM
10:00 AM

Saturday Vigil:
4:00 PM
8:00 AM Monday, Tuesday, Friday

6:00 PM Thursday

8:00 AM Wednesday - Communion Service

Holy Days:
As scheduled

Thursdays at 5:00 PM
Saturdays at 3:00PM

400 South 4th Street
Philipsburg, PA 16866
(814) 342-1700

Fr. John Gibbons Administrator
Deacon Jerry Nevling
Jerry CravenDirector of Religious Education
Mary TocimakAssistant Director of Religious Education
Laurie WasilkoOffice Manager
George Wasilko, Director of Maintenance

Message from Fr. John regarding the Weekend of March 28-29, 2020


Most of us are creatures of habit.  I see this first hand when I see where you sit in the pews each week!!  Well, we need to continue to be in the habit of coming to church each weekend and to experience mass. To help in this, I will be recording a mass and posting it to our website, sspeterandpaul.us. It should be available for viewing by 4PM on Saturday.  I also encourage you to come to the church during your normal mass times to pray, donate to the 40 cans in Lent campaign, put something in the gratuity basket, pick up a bulletin, and leave your offertory gift in the basket.  The parish still needs to pay its bills and are counting on your continued financial support.  I will be in the back of the church from 4-4:45 on Saturday, 8-8:45 and 10-10:45 on Sunday to give those that come to church a special Eucharistic Blessing.  If you do not feel comfortable coming into the church, please stay in your car, honk your horn, and I will come out to give you the blessing in your car.  Next weekend, we will have blessed palms for you to pick up in the church. In the meantime, please know that all of you are in my prayers daily.


Sincerely in Christ,


Fr. John


TO: All Clergy

FROM: (Very Rev.) Alan E. Thomas, VG

RE: COVID-19 Restrictions

DATE: March 17, 2020


    In light of the COVID-19 epidemic, Bishop Mark requires that priests and deacons of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese observe the following directives, effective immediately.

Suspension of Public Masses
    Churches and other public places of worship in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese are to remain open for private prayer. However, effective immediately, there will be no public liturgies of any sort. That is, there will be no public daily Masses or weekend Masses, no public novenas, communal stations of the cross, ecumenical services, or other public worship until the current COVID-19 crisis has passed. The purpose of this is to retard the spread of the coronavirus. The Bishop will be reviewing the situation daily and will alert priests and deacons immediately when Masses and other public worship can be resumed.

    The Bishop authorizes and expects priests to celebrate a private Mass each day during this crisis. This should be done in the rectory or at a private chapel. Priests should celebrate a single Mass in place of Saturday evening and Sunday Masses. The Bishop directs that, in light of the unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves, multiple Mass intentions should be coalesced in the one Sunday Mass. Provisions regarding the accounting of Mass stipends continue to pertain. That is, priests may keep the stipend of one Mass intention per day. All other stipends from additional intentions should be forwarded to the Diocese in keeping with canon law and diocesan policy. Coalescing Mass intentions into a single Sunday Mass includes the pastor’s pro populo obligation. The Mass will continue to be broadcast at 11:00am on Sundays. The Bishop will be the presider at this liturgy and these broadcasts will be available on the Diocesan website and social media.

Christian Initiation of Adults
    Because this crisis is coming at the very time when the Christian Initiation of Adults would reach its apex, the rites regarding the reception of adults into the Church will be suspended until after the crisis has passed. These rites may then be celebrated at parish weekend liturgies once weekend Masses have been restored.

Easter Triduum
    Because it seems unlikely that public Masses will be permitted until after Easter, priestsshould begin making arrangements for the private celebration of the liturgies associated with the Easter Triduum. It would be advisable for materials to be placed near the entrances of churches so that the faithful can take these home and participate in some way in these important liturgies.

    Priests should retain and make use of the existing paschal candle as well as the oils blessed last year. The Bishop will authorize new Paschal candles to be blessed and holy oils to be distributed once restrictions have been lifted.

    Baptisms of children and adults may be held during the restricted period, but they should be limited to members of the immediate family only.

    All currently scheduled confirmation Masses have been postponed. The Bishop plans to reschedule confirmations after the crisis has passed. These confirmations will most likely occur in a specific location in each of the five deaneries. In order to accommodate the greatest number of people, multiple confirmation liturgies in some deaneries may need to be scheduled.

First Holy Communion
    First communion liturgies should be postponed until after the crisis has ended.

The Sacrament of Penance
    In terms of the celebration of penance, the Bishop requires that all penance services be canceled until after current restrictions on crowd size have been lifted. He encourages priests to offer specific times when the faithful can come for individual confessions. Priests should make use of the confessional barrier between themselves and the penitents, and provide ways for surfaces in the confessional to be disinfected after each penitent, if possible. Should the crisis escalate to the point where there is a grave danger of death for many, the bishop will authorize the use of general absolution. Priests will be made aware of this if the necessity arises. In the meantime, the ordinary form of the sacrament of penance should be observed.

    Priests and deacons are encouraged to contact couples who are planning weddings in the next several months to determine if these plans have been altered. It is possible, and even likely, that venue changes and cancelations may already have affected couples with scheduled weddings. Because most weddings are not scheduled earlier than mid-April, it should be possible to give more accurate guidance in the next couple of weeks.

    Funerals may continue to be celebrated but only for immediate family members. The time of the Mass should not be published. It is acceptable for families who wish to avoid coming to a parish church to have a funeral liturgy outside of Mass celebrated at the funeral home. Vigils should be conducted at the discretion of the families and funeral directors in keeping with the requirements of public safety.

Pastoral Care of the Sick
    The Bishop directs that priests and deacons follow these protocols with regard to the visitation and pastoral care of the sick. Those who are hospitalized should continue to receive visitation and sacraments as permitted by hospital policy. Thus priests and deacons who serve as hospital chaplains and in emergent coverage should continue these functions. Priests and deacons should visit parishioners in nursing facilities and rehab units only in danger of death. Similarly, priests and deacons should visit parishioners in their private homes only in danger of death.

Pastoral Care in General
    Priests and deacons should continue to meet on a one-to-one basis with parishioners for appointments and pastoral counseling.

    The Diocesan Pastoral Center will be closed for two weeks or until the current situation abates. Email and phone calls will be answered remotely. Similarly, Catholic Charities will be closed but it is possible to leave messages for Catholic Charities staff.

    Until the Diocesan Education Office receives instruction from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, all graduations are temporarily postponed.

    By direct order of the Bishop, all social gatherings are prohibited until further notice. This includes parish gatherings, meetings of parish groups, fish fries, and other fundraisers. These measures are required in order to avoid person-to-person contact and the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, because it is impossible to observe the necessary sterile procedures and because of the possibility of gatherings of people in excess of what is required for public safety, all takeout meals for fundraising must also be suspended immediately.

Financial Considerations and Payroll
    All priests and deacons are encouraged, with the assistance of their finance council members, to consider what are the most essential tasks required in their parishes at present and which employees are necessary for these tasks. In order to deal with the projected shortfall in income which will be occurring in many parishes, it may be necessary to make use of temporary layoffs as a way of dealing with financial obligations. In the case of such layoffs, these employees are eligible to apply for unemployment compensation. Telecommuting (working from home over computer or phone) is recommended as a way to continue to have employees work for the parish. With Matt Stever’s assistance, the Bishop hopes to publish directives about ways in which financially-strained parishes should go about meeting their current financial obligations.

    It is recognized that certain employees are essential to parish functioning at this time and should continue working, if possible. Consult with Lynette McEvoy with any questions about whether an employee should report for work.

    The Catholic Ministries Drive will continue.

    For those parishes which have already established online giving, priests and deacons should encourage parishioners to continue their giving in this way. Effective March 18, 2019, it will be possible for parishes without online giving to receive offertory online through a new Diocesan portal at www.dioceseaj.org/giving. Priests and deacons should inform their parishioners about this way of giving. For parishioners who are not computer-savvy, priests and deacons may want to encourage the use of US Mail as a way of continuing to support their parish.