The Most Reverend Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, has been elected to the Board of Regents. He was ordained and installed as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown on April 19, 2011. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Erie on May 15, 1981, by the late Bishop Michael J. Murphy at St. Peter Cathedral, Erie. In 2000 he received papal honors from Pope John Paul II with the title of Chaplain to His Holiness.
Immediately after ordination to the priesthood, Bishop Bartchak was assigned as temporary parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Warren, Pennsylvania. In August 1981, he was assigned as parochial vicar at Saint Francis Parish, Clearfield, Pennsylvania. He was also assistant principal and theology teacher at Saint Francis High School and part-time chaplain at the Clearfield Hospital. He was transferred to Saint Leo Magnus Parish, Ridgway, Pennsylvania, to serve as administrator of the parish for several months, and was then appointed parochial vicar at that parish. His duties included pastoral care at the Elk County General Hospital and the Elk County Prison. In 1982 he was appointed part-time Defender of the Bond, and in 1986 he was assigned full-time to the Tribunal of the Diocese of Erie. During his time in Washington, Bishop Bartchak assisted as a confessor at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. In 1992 then-Reverend Bartchak was appointed by Bishop Donald W. Trautman as Judicial Vicar and Director of the Office of Conciliation and Arbitration of the Diocese of Erie. In addition to these duties, he was named Vicar for Canonical Affairs of the Diocese of Erie in 2004.
In the Diocese of Erie, Bishop Bartchak was an ex-officio member of the presbyteral council, the administrative cabinet and various diocesan committees. He served on the planning committee for the establishment of the permanent diaconate formation program of the Diocese of Erie. He was a confessor and spiritual director for Project Rachel at Catholic Charities Counseling Services of the Diocese of Erie, and chaplain to the Saint Thomas More Society in Erie. He was also a spiritual director at Saint Mark Seminary, Erie since 1991. For the past several years he has celebrated Mass each month for the men in the Erie County Prison. He was a member of the Board of Corporators of Saint Vincent Health System in Erie.
In addition to his duties in the Diocese of Erie, Bishop Bartchak has been involved in various roles in the Church on the state, national and international levels. In 2004, he was appointed to the Administrative Board and the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. In 2007 he was appointed as a consultant for the USCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance. Bishop Bartchak has served as canonical consultant for a number of bishops, dioceses, seminaries, and religious institutes. He has served as a judge for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and as a visiting judge in various diocesan tribunals.