December 7, 2014


A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
   In the ancient Catholic churches of Europe, there is usually a depiction of Saint John the Baptist somewhere in the sanctuary above the altar. He is usually depicted as pointing to Jesus so that those taking part in the Liturgy will keep their eyes focused on the Lord.
   While Saint John the Baptist is generally forgotten or overlooked by most Catholics today, he has an important place in our faith and in our history! It was Saint John the Baptist who first directed the people of Israel toward Jesus when he began his public ministry. It was John the Baptist who proclaimed Jesus to be the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. It was John who gave his life as a martyr in witness to Jesus as the Son of the Most High God!
   May we always be grateful for the witness and the testimony that John the Baptist gave to Jesus, and may we place our faith in Jesus of Nazareth as did the great prophet John.  God bless!                                             —Father Jim Torquato

SANTA’S WORKSHOP THIS WEEKEND!
   Come and enjoy our annual Santa’s Workshop in the parish hall this 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 this weekend, December 6-7. Thank you all very much for your generosity!

ALL WOMEN INVITED TO THE AQUINAS GUILD
   Following the very successful and memorable Advent by Candlelight program, additional spiritual, service, and social 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!

CELEBRATING CONSECRATED LIFE
   From this Advent until February 2, 2016, Pope Francis has asked all Catholic Christians to remember the service given God’s People by the millions of Church members who were called to and served in the Consecrated Life. 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!

OUR HOLY DAY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
   This Monday, December 8, is our celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and our belief that Mary was conceived without any sin in the womb of her mother Ann. The Church proclaims that Mary was preserved from sin because our Father wished to provide the holiest and most grace filled mother for his divine Son, Jesus.
   This is an annual Day of Obligation to worship for all Catholic Christians. It is also the patronal Feast Day for the entire Church in the United States.
   Our scheduled Liturgies will be at: 8:30 am, 12 noon, and 7:00 pm this coming Monday! See you here in Church for our annual celebration of Mary’s Immaculate Conception!

THE LIGHT IS STILL ON FOR YOU!
   This coming Wednesday, December 10, Bishop David Zubik has asked all parishes to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation available from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm in the parish church. You’ll find an examination of conscience in today’s bulletin. Come celebrate the sacrament of Confession, and prepare for Christmas with healing for your soul and your life! See you here!

MANY THANKS FOR OUR 2015 CALENDARS!
   Many thanks are extended to Mr. Paul Ajak and the Ajak Family of the Weddell-Ajak Funeral Home in Aspinwall for their generous gift once again of 2015 Catholic parish calendars! We’re very grateful to Paul and his family for their continued generosity to our parish community. Be sure to pick up one or several calendars at the church entrances while the supply lasts! Thanks again!

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. With a strong personal and communal connection to the Lord, we will remain close to Jesus.
   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 the months and years ahead!

NEW EVANGELIZATION TRAINING FOR SMALL GROUPS FACILITATORS  
   Important to the New Evangelization mentioned above are 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. If you’d like to become a facilitator of a small faith and prayer group, please contact our office. Training sessions will be held in various locations in early 2015.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS
Looking for a very good Christmas gift for your student or teenager?    Our Religious Education and Youth Ministry staff are making available Bibles that are a great gift for High School and Middle School students. Contact Mrs. Dillon or Meredith Troyan this week!

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 Sunday, December 14, 2 pm-4 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 to Mrs. 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 Mrs. 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 are also most welcome.

A Confirmation Mega Meeting (12 noon), our Home Study check in (8-9am), and an Intersection Bible Study (10am) will all be held next Sunday, December 14, here at the parish! Please mark your calendars!
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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 8 am to 12 noon. Please use disposable containers. Thank you very much!

BIBLE READINGS FOR THIS WEEK
This Sunday: Isaiah 40:1-11 / 2 Peter 3:8-14 / and Mark 1:1-8
Monday—Saturday: Isaiah 40-41 / Matthew 11,17, & 18
Next Sunday: Isaiah 61:1-11 / I Thessalonians 5:16-24 / and John 1:6-28

HAITI COMMITTEE MEETING
The next meeting of our parish Haiti Committee (which supports a number of school students in Haiti) will be held this Tuesday, December 9, at 7:30 pm in the parish hall of the Pastoral Center. All are most welcome to attend!

OUR ADVENT COLOR IN CHURCH
   During Advent, the color and environment in the church changes to violet or purple. This can be the same purple that is used during Lent, but many parishes choose to use the different and brighter color of violet. Purple gradually became the Advent color when church members considered Advent to be a time of penance in preparation for Christmas. In these years, the emphasis for Advent is that it’s a joyful time of expecting the Lord’s Return. This is still a time of preparation and for spiritually putting our hearts in order in a way that is different from the season of Lent. Best wishes for this season of Advent. May it truly be a time of joy and expectation!

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.

LITURGY SCHEDULE / PRIEST’S INTENTION
Monday, December 8 — Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
   8:30 am  Alfreda Kopec (Julie Bell)
   12:00 pm  All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
   7:00 pm  Louis and Alfreda Kopec (M/M Dennis Bonessa)

Tuesday, December 9—Saint Juan Diego
   8:30 am  For the spiritual and temporal benefit of Lynn Decker Vuocolo—Living (Kathy Murray)

Wednesday, December 10
   8:30 am  Anniv., Susan Tamburo (Evelyn Conflenti)

Thursday, December 11—Pope Saint Damasus I
   8:30 am  Thomas J. Maloney (Patty Maloney)

Friday, December 12—Our Lady of Guadalupe
   8:30 am  Mrs. Pauline Ragan (Ann Marie & Bill Kiszka)

Saturday, December 13—Saint Lucy, martyr
   9:00 am  Milton Brucker (Dr. & Mrs. Robert Wasson)
   5:00 pm  Arthur Bonessa (The Bonessa Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Sunday, December 14— Third Sunday of Advent
   7:30 am  All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father James Torquato
   9:00 am  Ellen Voyer (Tish Marsico)
      Presider: Father James Torquato
   11:00 am  Dominic Bucci (Geri Chichilla)
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp

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 (red, black, kidney, etc.) oatmeal and powdered milk.
   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!

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE LITURGY
   Everyone is most welcome to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe on Friday, December 12, at 7:00 pm in Saint Paul Cathedral. The Liturgy will be prayed in Spanish. A festive reception will follow in the cathedral social hall.

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!
CDTCA OPEN HOUSE — BRING YOUR FAMILY, NEIGHBORS, AND FRIENDS!
   On Saturday, January 24, from 1:00-4:00pm, 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!

THE RESULTS OF THE FALL FLING
   Thanks to the tremendous generosity of all who attended, our wonderful sponsors, and months of planning and work by our Fall Fling chairpersons and committee, our annual fundraiser to benefit Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy raised $31,000 this month! Thanks to all who contributed to our success!
   Your commitment shown in supporting CDTCA is truly appreciated by the students of our Academy who benefit from our Catholic education as well as by our entire school and parish communities. Thank you all very, very much!

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 of which we should be aware and which we should protect and take very seriously. We would like all of our students to learn this important lesson and keep it in mind always.
   Join our students at CDTCA—an excellent school where our Catholic faith and life are always most important in our education!
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BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
   Many thanks to Tudi Mechanical Systems for being a Sunday Bulletin sponsor. Contact them for your home and business heating, ventilation, and air conditioning needs now and throughout the new year!
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   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!

Advent 2014
   As Catholic Christians, we are now observing the holy season of Advent.  It is a time when we remember that the Lord Jesus is “coming toward” us. As we prepare to celebrate his birth, may we also look ahead to his final return!

SAINT SCHOLASTICA PARISH
309 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Telephone 412-781-0186, ext. 10           
Fax 412-781-4316
Internet site:  www.saintscholastica.com
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
Amy Condosta...............................................Ext.10

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

Facilities Staff
Thomas Galda, Matthew Ross, David Urso    

CHRIST THE DIVINE TEACHER CATHOLIC ACADEMY
205 Brilliant Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15215

Principal
Mr. Mark N. Grgurich, MSEd.................. (412)781-7927