A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
A great many people in our community have already begun their celebration of the Christmas holiday with their gift shopping, Christmas programs on television, and Christmas music on the radio.
Yes, this is much too early to begin celebrating Christmas when we are only beginning the holy Season of Advent today. However, this is a very good time to cultivate this interest in Jesus and his birth. Most of the people preparing for or even celebrating Christmas early are familiar with the story of Jesus and his birth, and they love our December 25 celebration.
So, let’s invite others to deepen their knowledge of Jesus, his good news, and his life both during December as well as after December 25! Let’s invite all who are celebrating Christmas to join us in the fullness of our Catholic Christian faith and life!
In a society and a world which is turning away from the light of the Lord, may we turn to those around us and help open their eyes and their hearts to the promise of God’s love and the hope of eternal life which are at the heart of our faith.
Rather than simply joining in the bustle of December, let’s make the most of this Advent Season to prepare for the Christmas celebration of our faith and life. Let’s also use this month to lead our relatives and neighbors back to the source and the reason of our celebration—the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus the Christ. God bless!
—Father Jim Torquato
SANTA’S WORKSHOP NEXT WEEKEND!
Come and enjoy our annual Santa’s Workshop in the parish hall next weekend, December 6-7, after each of our Liturgies! There will be many items available (including handmade gifts) to help you with your Christmas gift giving.
OUR CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE PROJECT!
In keeping with our parish custom, all members and families of the parish have been invited to take one or more ornaments from this year’s Giving Trees in order to share our Christmas charity and goodness with others in need. Please return all gifts during the weekend of December 6-7. Thank you all very much for your generosity!
THE AQUINAS GUILD ‘CASH RAFFLE’
On December 2, our parish Aquinas Guild will once again hold its raffle for a prize of $1000! This raffle supports the charitable activities of the Aquinas Guild. All parish families are asked to sell or purchase the $5 raffle tickets sent to you. We hope to have your participation! The winning ticket will be drawn at the Guild’s ‘Advent by Candlelight’ on December 2. Thanks for your support!
Volunteers are needed at Saint Margaret Hospital to escort patients to physical therapy and then return them to their rooms—especially during afternoon hours. Volunteers usually assist 1-2 days per week. Parking and lunch are provided. Call Patty at 412-784-4081.
EVANGELIZATION IN OUR LOCAL CHURCH
In these months, our shepherd, Bishop David Zubik, is initiating a new program of Evangelization in every parish of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. This program has been inspired by Pope Francis’ call to each of us to be a friend of Jesus and to draw others to become friends of Jesus as well.
It’s an essential beginning that we become baptized members of the Lord’s community, but it’s also absolutely important that each of us becomes and remains a friend of Jesus. Without this personal and communal connection to the Lord, it’s all too easy for individual disciples to drift away from God’s People and become lost to us.
Our diocesan and parish effort will be to announce and share the Lord’s Gospel with our family, relatives, and neighbors. Our effort will also be to connect everyone to Jesus and to each other in a personal way in the months and years ahead!
NEW EVANGELIZATION TRAINING FOR SMALL GROUPS FACILITATORS
Important to the New Evangelization mentioned above is the creation of small faith sharing groups in each parish. Studies show that our faith becomes more real and more personal when we share it with fellow believers.
As such, our Diocese is beginning the process of creating small faith and prayer groups in each parish. The first step is to train facilitators who can guide these new small groups in coming together to discuss Bishop David Zubik’s 2014 Pastoral Letter “The Church Evangelizing.”
If you’d like to become a facilitator of a small faith and prayer group, please contact our office. A training session will be held on Tuesday evening, December 2 at Saint Paul Seminary, 2900 Noblestown Road, near Green Tree. Other sessions will also be scheduled. You can help create the future through the New Evangelization! Please join us!
POPE FRANCIS ASKS US TO CELEBRATE CONSECRATED LIFE IN THE NEW CHURCH YEAR
From the First Sunday of Advent, this November 30, until February 2, 2016, Pope Francis has asked all Catholic Christians to remember the importance of the service given God’s People by the millions of Church members who were called to and served in the Consecrated Life. Their singular devotion to the Lord and their dedication to our faith and the Church are remarkable. These Consecrated Religious women and men have brought our faith to countless disciples and have truly given life to the Kingdom of God. May we always appreciate and support Consecrated Life!
ALL WOMEN INVITED TO THE AQUINAS GUILD
Plans are now complete for this Tuesday’s Advent by Candlelight presented by our parish’s Aquinas Guild. Many thanks are extended to the Guild for this special program!
Additional spiritual, service, and inspirational programs will be scheduled in the coming year in order to bring together the women of our parish in faith and prayer and common activity. All the women of our parish are welcome to join in the Aquinas Guild membership and activities. Join them in deepening your faith and your own Christian discipleship together with them!
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS
The Youth Uke Group will meet again on December 2 at 4:30 pm. All middle school and high school students are welcome to participate. Instruments are available here.
On December 10, our Youth Ministry will travel to Family House in Oakland to prepare and serve a meal to the guests there awaiting medical treatment. Be at the Ministry Center at 4:15 pm. Please reply to Mrs. Dillon by December 5 if you’ll be coming.
An Advent Service Evening for Families (parents and K-5 students) will be held on December 12 at Harmar Village from 5:45 pm-8:45 pm. Parents can teach your children by your example in helping this organization with their annual Christmas Party. Contact Meredith Troyan here before December 5.
The Children’s Choir for the Christmas Eve 4:00 pm Liturgy is forming now! All students in grades
3-8 are welcome. A Rehearsal will be held on Saturday, December 13, 1 pm-3 pm in the parish hall. Also, children in grades K-2 are also welcome to be shepherds or angels for this Liturgy. Please send an email to Jamie Dillon here before December 10. Thank you!
On Friday, December 12, an Appalachia Trip ‘Babysitting Fundraiser’ will be held in the parish hall from 6 pm-9 pm. Our teens and adults will care for children ages 1 year and up. The donation is $10 per child per hour. Parents can then have time to prepare for the holidays. All proceeds will help to fund next year’s Mission Trip to Appalachia. Make your reservation before December 8 by sending a message to Jamie Dillon here OR Meredith Troyan here.
A Liturgy with our Youth Group will be on Saturday, December 13 at the 5:00 pm Mass. Music rehearsal at 3:30 pm. After this Mass, all HS and MS youth are invited to join in caroling at the Aspinwall V.A. Hospital. Drivers, chaperones, cookies, and milk also welcome.
All on December 14—Confirmation Mega Meeting, Home Study Check In, and Bible Study Intersection!
CHRISTMAS COOKIES NEEDED
Ladies, would you please plan now to bake extra Christmas cookies? Our Aquinas Guild Service Committee is conducting a December outreach by sharing their (and your) homemade cookies with Meals on Wheels, the Food Pantry in Sharpsburg, and other organizations! Your generosity will be greatly appreciated! Your homemade cookies may be brought to the parish hall of the Pastoral Center on Sunday, December 14 from 8am to 12 noon. Please use disposable containers. Thank you very much!
A LOCAL DECEMBER SESSION OF ‘PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN’
For new parish volunteers, our Catholic Diocese is offering “Protecting God’s Children” at Saint Ursula Parish, Duncan Avenue off Route 8, in Hampton, on Wednesday, December 3 at 6:30 pm in their cafeteria. To register, please contact Sister Janice Campbell, OSF (412-486-6700, ext. 7) as soon as possible. This seminar is required of all ministers and volunteers of our parish and all our volunteers at the Academy. Thanks for your service and cooperation in keeping our parish environment safe!
LIGHTING OUR ADVENT WREATH
Members and families of our parish who have signed up for the lighting of the Advent Wreath at our Sunday Liturgies are asked to remember the Liturgy that you’ve chosen. Please check with Father Torquato or Father Hogan before the Liturgy begins Thank you very much!
SUNDAY CHOIR MEMBERS NEEDED FOR ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS!
Our parish Music Director is making an Urgent Appeal for new choir members to join the 9:00 am and the 11:00 am Choirs for the Advent and Christmas Seasons! The 11:00 am Choir is especially looking for additional men. Please contact Sister Pat Baker today. Thank you!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BECOME A CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN?
Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic faith? Have you been attending our Sunday Liturgy with your spouse and want to look into taking the next step? The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is the process in which adults prayerfully reflect on your journey in order to discern if you’re called to live as a disciple of Jesus within the Catholic community. Perhaps the Lord is calling you to take this step now! It’s never too late to begin as this process is directed to individuals where you are at this time. If you’re interested in exploring this process, contact Andy Bechman at 412-781-0186, ext. 18 OR by email here.
PRIESTHOOD DISCERNMENT RETREAT
Young men in college as well as college graduates are welcome to a special December 19-21 weekend retreat with Bishop David Zubik and other Diocesan staff in order to discern a call to priestly service here in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. Please register now at www.pghpriest.com this week!
VICTIM’S DIOCESAN ASSISTANCE HOTLINE
Our Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh offers a toll-free hotline for anyone needing to report abuse. The Victim's Assistance Hotline is 1-888-808-1235.
Come, Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READINGS FOR THIS WEEK
This Sunday: Isaiah 63:16—64:7 / I Corinthians 1:3-9 / Mark 13:33-37
Monday—Saturday: Isaiah 2, 11, 25—30 / Matthew 7-9
Next Sunday: Isaiah 40:1-11 / 2 Peter 3:8-14 / Mark 1:1-8
LITURGY SCHEDULE / PRIEST’S INTENTION
Monday, December 1
8:30 am Barbara Zuccaro (Joe and Children)
Tuesday, December 2
8:30 am Alfreda Kopec (Father, David Kozak)
Wednesday, December 3—Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
8:30 am Mrs. Paula O’Keeffe (Mr. and Mrs. Dean Kartsonas)
Thursday, December 4—Saint John Damascene, Priest
9:00 am Monsignor Hayes (Parish members)
Friday, December 5
8:30 am Denise and Frank Donnelly (Family)
Saturday, December 6—Saint Nicholas, Bishop
9:00 am Louis Certo (The Certo Family)
5:00 pm Nellie Rendulic (Barbara Sterrenburg)
Presider: Father James Torquato
Sunday, December 7— Second Sunday of Advent
7:30 am All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
Presider: Father James Torquato
9:00 am Arlene Enriquez (Family)
Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp
11:00 am Deceased Members of the Donnelly and Shanahan Families (Constance Donnelly)
Presider: Father James Torquato
DONATIONS FOR THE HOMELESS AND POOR
Please remember the needs of the poor in our area. The local ministry to the homeless and poor needs: canned beans, macaroni and cheese, and rice.
ALSO, the time is approaching for ‘Christmas in the streets” for poor families in the area. There is a particular need for toy trucks.
Please also check the parish website Stewardship page here for information. Donation bins are located in the church entrance. Thank you very much!
CATHOLIC RESOURCES FOR OUR ADULTS
There are many essential and excellent resources that all Catholic adults can use to study and deepen your faith in God and in the Lord Jesus! Contact Father Torquato or Andy Bechman if you’d like help in locating any of these valuable faith and catechetical resources!
When looking for a copy of the Bible, ask for the New American Bible which is the official Catholic translation for the United States. Also recommended is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is the official catechism of the whole Church. There are also catechisms such as the
U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults as well as the Life in Christ catechism. You can also find excellent audio programs at www.NowYouKnowMedia.com.
Read God’s Word each day! Study our faith each day. Explain and share our faith often as well!
MANY THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY!
Our CDTCA school community would like to thank all who donated generously to the Thanksgiving Food Drive this month! Your charitable donations have been of benefit to many families in need. Thank you very much!
BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
Many thanks to The Thomas M. Smith Funeral Home and Crematory, Blawnox for being a Sunday Bulletin sponsor. Contact them for your family needs!
GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!
OUR CATHOLIC FOCUS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
Focused on sharing our Catholic Christian faith with the 150+ students and the families of our Catholic Academy, our Catholic focus for December is: Learning about our Rights and Responsibilities! As Catholic Christians, we believe that each of us has personal rights and
responsibilities. We each have the fundamental right to life, and each of us has responsibility to and for one another.
Join our students at CDTCA—an excellent school where our Catholic faith and life are always most important!
CDTCA OPEN HOUSE — BRING YOUR FAMILY, NEIGHBORS, AND FRIENDS!
On Saturday, January 24, from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm, our parish’s regional elementary school, Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy, will hold its annual Open House for new and transfer students and your families. Parents and students are welcome to come and visit our excellent Academy on that day as well as during visits to the school during the months ahead. Please mark your calendars now. Also, please share word of this event with your family and friends and neighbors as well.
Our Saint Scholastica Parish Mission is to continue the work of Christ together as a faith community, through the celebration of the Sacraments, living spiritually in the world, and working to be caring members of the community.
As committed Catholics, we are sent to bear the Light of Christ to transform the world by our devotion, service and witness.
Inviting and Welcoming
Now and in the years ahead, we will focus on inviting new members and families to join us as well as welcoming our current members to participate in our Liturgy and parish life! Let’s all invite God’s people to join us and welcome them too!
SAINT SCHOLASTICA PARISH
309 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Telephone 412-781-0186, ext. 10
Parish Office hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Most Reverend David A. Zubik, DD
The Episcopal Vicar for Diocesan Region Four
Very Reverend Philip N. Farrell, VE
Pastor of the Parish
Reverend James R. Torquato............................Ext. 10
Parish Secretary—Safe Environment Program—Bulletin
Director of Music/ Bereavement Coordinator
Sister Patricia Baker, CDP................................Ext. 17
Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry
Jamie Dillon, MS, MA, RRT...............................Ext. 20
Assistants for the Religious Education Program
Meredith Troyan, Gina Musser..........................Ext. 21
Director of Adult Religious Education and R.C.I.A.
Andrew Bechman, MEd....................................Ext. 18
Parish and School Accountant
Christine Morton ...........................................Ext. 11
Thomas Galda, Matthew Ross, David Urso
CHRIST THE DIVINE TEACHER CATHOLIC ACADEMY
205 Brilliant Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Mr. Mark N. Grgurich, MSEd.................. (412)781-7927