Diocese to move administrative offices

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is getting a new home for its administration and it is partly due to the sexual abuse scandal enveloping the area.

In a release Thursday, the diocese announced the plans to relocate from offices in Hollidaysburg to the school building of the Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Altoona.

The diocese would lease the school building, which is now being used by the Lily Pond Child Development Center. That lease expires in October.

According to the diocese, both this move and the sale of the bishop’s residence in 2014 were “appropriate given the current financial circumstances of the diocese as it responds to past cases of sexual abuse of minors.”

“In addition to being good stewards of available resources, the proposed sale will also help the diocese to refocus its mission to parishes and parishioners,” the release said.

Those administrative offices on Logan Boulevard include Bishop Mark Bartchak’s office, as well as departments such as liturgy, evangelization, education and Propagation of the Faith.

Propagation of the Faith was the office where Father Robert Kelly was moved for a time. Kelly was a former priest at Our Lady of Victory in State College. He was removed from his position at Philipsburg’s Sts. Peter and Paul parish in 2015 by Bartchak.

In March, Kelly was one of the priests noted in Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s massive investigation of sexual abuse in the diocese. Kelly also spent time attached to Our Lady of Lourdes.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce