Proclaim! TV to Present One Hour Christmas Special


The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is once again celebrating the beauty and tradition of Christmas in the local Catholic Church with a one-hour Proclaim! TV special, Joy to the World – Christmas in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

The show, airing on Saturday, December 23 at 6:00 p.m. on WWCP FOX 8, will include the return of the Proclaim! priests choir. Six priests – the Very Reverend Alan Thomas, VG, Pastor of Saint Mary and Saint Michael Parishes in Hollidaysburg; the Very Reverend John Byrnes, JCL, JV, Rector of the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Loretto; the Very Reverend Tom Stabile, TOR, VF, Pastor of Holy Family Parish in Portage; the Very Reverend Matthew Baum, Rector of Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown and Pastor of Saint Patrick Parish in Johnstown; Father Al Ledoux, Pastor of Saint Demetrius Parish in Gallitzin; and Father Timothy Harris, TOR, Pastor of Saint John Vianney Parish in Mundys Corner – will sing beloved Christmas favorites. The priests choir is under the direction of Nancy Way, director of the Mount Aloysius College choral group Vox Nova. Jonathan Nagy, music director at the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel, will accompany the choir on organ.

Other parish choirs and musicians, including classically trained soprano Brandis Ajay of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona and Claude Fabinyi, music director and organist at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Altoona, will also provide beautiful Christmas music for the show.

Other features include Father Michael Pleva, Administrator of Saint Matthew Parish in Tyrone and Saint Joseph Parish in Bellwood, teaming up with Santa Claus to teach children the true meaning of Christmas.

Three “wise men,” also known as Father Byrnes; Father Rich Tomkosky, Pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bedford and Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Beans Cove, and Father Brian Norris, Administrator of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Altoona, will share their wisdom for a more spiritually enriching Christmas.

Father Brian Saylor, Pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Bellefonte and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Spring Mills, will visit the Proclaim! Kitchen to make an Italian treat and discuss the glory of Christmas in his parish faith communities.

“There’s no time like Christmas in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, and this show will certainly highlight all of the solemnity, joy, and merriment this season has to offer in our parishes and Catholic schools,” said Tony DeGol, host and producer of the program. “I’m so grateful to our priests who shared their time and talent, and I think the segments with our young Catholic school students will add even more warmth to this special season.”