January 11, 2015

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
    Have you ever thought about your own Baptism?  Does it have meaning for you?  Have you ever thought about Jesus’ Baptism?   What do you think it meant to him? 
    We don’t often reflect on the event of our Baptism because almost all of us were infants at the time of our Baptism.  However, our parents brought us to the parish church for this First Sacrament of the Church because they wanted us to share in the divine life of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We were cleansed of our sins.  We were filled with divine grace for the first time.  We became members of God’s holy people in the Church—Catholic Christians for life.  Our Baptism was and is most important for us!
     At his Baptism, Jesus didn't need to be cleansed of any sins, and he was already the presence of divine life in himself.  Rather, Jesus’ Baptism showed his humanity and his true connection with the first People of God that is Israel.  The Lord’s Baptism also allowed him the opportunity to be proclaimed as the Messiah by John the Baptist.  In addition, Jesus’ Baptism served as the initiation of his public ministry to God’s people.  Finally, in his Baptism, Jesus was declared by a heavenly voice to be the Christ of God sent for the salvation of all people.
    There is so much goodness and importance in our own Baptism and in Jesus’ Baptism as well.  May we truly appreciate both of these events, and may we faithfully live the Christian life that is ours thanks to the Lord and to our Baptism into Jesus the Christ.  God bless!
                                                                —Father Jim Torquato

A Baptism Preparation Seminar for Parents  will be held on Monday, February 2, at 7:30 pm in the Ministry Center.  Please contact Andy Bechman (ext.18) this week.

MASS INTENTIONS FOR 2015
    A venerable Catholic tradition is the practice of offering a Mass Intention for deceased or living family members and loved ones.   With a Mass Intention, the priest offers his intention at the Liturgy for the person or persons named by the Intention donor.  These prayers benefit the spiritual journey of those for whom the priest prays. 
    Our calendar of Mass Intentions for 2015 still has a number of available dates and times.  If you’d like to remember your parents, grandparents, family or other loved ones in the Liturgy, please contact our parish office soon.

HELP FOR MARRIED COUPLES IN NEED OF HELP
    The international program called Retrouvaille (Rediscovery)  provides  retreat weekends and assistance to married couples.  Here in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, any couple is welcome to this transformative weekend.   The next weekend is January 16-18.   Please call 412-277-3434 for confidential information this week.
  
JANUARY 11 PANCAKE BREKFAST BY THE RESPECT LIFE COMMITTEE
    This Sunday morning, January 11, from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm, our parish Respect Life Committee will host their annual Pancake Breakfast in the school cafeteria.  This event supports the parish bus trip to the March for Life on January 22 in Washington, DC.  (See the next page for March for Life information.)  All are welcome to participate in both the Pancake Breakfast and the March for Life!
    The donation for breakfast is $5 for a regular breakfast and $4 for a smaller breakfast.  Please join us in the school cafeteria by entering through the Third Street entrance.  Your support and your donations to the Respect Life Committee’s efforts are greatly appreciated.  God bless!

OUR 2015 CELEBRATIONS OF FIRST COMMUNION AND CONFIRMATION
    Families with students in grades 2 and 8 are invited to mark your calendars now for our very important celebrations of the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. 
    For First Communion, in keeping with the practices required by the Catholic Diocese, we will have 6 First Communion Liturgies after Easter Sunday which is April 5.  In early February, families will be able to choose either the 5 pm Saturday, or 9 am, or 11 am Sunday Liturgies on the weekends of April 11-12 or April 18-19.  We will schedule 6 groups of ten students and families (according to the order of requests received).  Preparations will continue in the coming months.
    For Confirmation, Auxiliary Bishop William Waltersheid will join us on Sunday, April 19, at 1:00 pm for this special celebration with our Sacrament of Confirmation candidates.    Preparation will continue in the coming months as well.
    Please mark these special events on your family calendar, and best wishes to all our students and your parents and families as you prepare to receive these wonderful and divine gifts of God’s grace and life!

NEXT WEEKEND’S COLLECTION FOR OUR SPECIAL DIOCESAN SCHOOLS
    On January 17-18, all parishes will hold the special annual Collection to benefit the Saint Anthony School Programs and the DePaul School.  Both programs serve children with special needs.  Thanks for being generous!

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR CONTRIBUTORS!
    We’re very, very grateful to all of our parish contributors for your generosity and your support of our parish operations!   It’s your financial support and your active participation and service which continue to keep Saint Scholastica Parish vital and strong.  Please know the gratitude of Father Torquato and of all our staff and our members for your goodness and generosity to our parish!

2014 CONTRIBUTION STATEMENTS
    In January, we will begin compiling contribution statements for 2014 and will be sending them to all the households in our parish,  This practice allows you to verify the amount we have recorded for you.  It also allows you to use your statement for tax deduction purposes.  Thank you!

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS

CHASTITY CONFERENCE FOR OUR TEENS
    On Friday, January 16, our Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Youth Ministry Office will once again host the Silver Ring Thing program at Saints Simon and Jude Parish on Greentree Road in the South Hills.  This is a very smart and tech savvy approach to chastity for students in grades 8-12.  The donation is $6 per person.  Please register with Mrs. Dillon before January 14.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION HOLIDAY
    In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr, holiday next Monday, our Religious Education classes will NOT be held nest week on either January 18 and January 20.

Pet Therapy at the VA Hospital will continue on Tuesday, January 13, from 4:00-5:00 pm.  Register this week with Mrs. Dillon here.

Take your parents to Mass on Sunday, January 25, at 9:00 am—All CCD students and families are asked to participate in the 9:00 am Liturgy on January 25!   This special annual event will be followed by a pot luck breakfast in the parish hall.  Please join us and bring  a dish!

Meal Preparation and serving at Family House will be held on Wednesday, January 21, from 4:15 pm—7:00 pm.  Come and help our Youth Ministry serve dinner to a number of families staying in Pittsburgh during the current medical treatment being received by one of their family members.

The Youth Ministry will participate in a Habitat for Humanity Saturday — on January 31 from 8:45 am—1:30 pm.  Students in grades 6-12 and your parents are welcome to participate.  Reply to Mrs. Dillon here before January 27!  Thanks for serving those in need!
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CELEBRATING THE SUCCESS OF THE DIOCESAN CAMPAIGN FOR THE CHURCH ALIVE!
    As the fundraising effort of our Diocesan Campaign for the Church Alive comes to its conclusion this month, Bishop David Zubik would like to thank all of our parishes and our campaign contributors for the overwhelming response to this unprecedented request for financial support!   Important  programs of the Diocese and all of our 200 parishes have received many generous pledges from our members and families. 
    As your contributions continue to be received during the next four years, our projects will continue to move forward here and across the diocese.  Detailed information will be shared with all of us in the coming weeks.   Here at Saint Scholastica Parish,  our Campaign projects include replacing the school windows, supporting Youth Ministry and Family Ministry, and undertaking significant work on the parish Ministry Center.  Thanks for continuing to fulfill your pledges and contributions in the coming months and years!

JANUARY 22 MARCH FOR LIFE IN WASHINGTON, DC
    Adults, young adults, parents, and students are most welcome to join in this year’s National March for Life in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 22.   The departure will be at 1:00 am here at the church.  There will be a stop for breakfast, a special Catholic Liturgy at the Verizon Center in Washington, then the March for Life at noon, visits to our legislators, and finally departure at 4:30pm.   Please contact Mrs. Mary Catherine Scanlon  (412-781-6550)  for information and registration.  The donation is only $25 per person.  You can help save many lives by your witness for human life and your participation in this national event!

Thank you for your help  in keeping our church seating area clean for those coming to the next Liturgy.  Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated by everyone!

A PRAYER RESOURCE FOR ALL FAMILIES
    Parents, you can receive a free weekly PDF email of family prayers and faith activities.  Contact Andy Bechman here this week

EVANGELIZATION IN OUR LOCAL CHURCH
    Bishop David Zubik is now initiating  a new program of Evangelization in every parish of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.  Inspired by Pope Francis, we are called to be a friend of Jesus and to draw others to become friends of Jesus as well.  We’re called to a strong personal and communal connection to the Lord. 
    Our effort will be to share the Lord’s Gospel with our neighbors.  Our effort will also be to connect everyone to Jesus and to each other in the months and years ahead!

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.  

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, January 12
    8:30 am  Theresa Fischerkeller (Georgine Veltri Family)
 
Tuesday, January 13—Saint Hilary
    8:30 am  Mary Legath (Elaine & Tom McKenna)
          
Wednesday, January 14
    8:30 am  Loretta Klein (Georgine Veltri)

Thursday, January 15
    8:30 am  John P. Roughen (Helen Langhoff)
               
Friday, January 16
   8:30 am  Marcy Galda (Mr. & Mrs. Gerard E. Werries)

Saturday, January 17—Saint Anthony, abbot
   9:00 am  Craig Shendeck, birthday (Family)

   5:00 pm  Edward J. Echnat (The DeMartino Family)                                                  
      Presider:  Father James Torquato
   
Sunday, January 18—Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
   7:30 am  All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father  Sean Hogan, CSSp
                 
   9:00 am  James A. Cush, Jr. (Dan Cush)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

    11:00 am  Deceased Members of Bozik Family (The Miketic Family) 
      Presider: Father James Torquato

A POST-ABORTION HEALING WEEKEND
    During the weekend  of January 23-25, our Diocese of Pittsburgh and our local Catholic Charities will host a retreat for women and men who need healing after the trauma of an abortion.  The weekend will be held at the Spiritan Center in Bethel Park.  For confidential information, call Toni at 412-352-5348  OR  visit www.ccpgh.org.  

DONATIONS FOR THE HOMELESS AND POOR
    Please remember the needs of the poor in our area during these cold winter months.  The local ministry to the homeless and poor is requesting these items in these weeks:  pudding and jello cups, fruit cups, breakfast bars, packets of crackers, and soups with protein in large 18+ ounce pull tab cans (but NOT condensed soups, please). 
    You are also welcome to donate $5  McDonald’s gift cards, PAT Zone 1 bus tickets, and $2.50 Connect Cards and leave them in the small gift bag in the church entrance.  Please continue to check the parish website Stewardship page here for information.  Thanks very much!

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

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 in addition to school visits during the months ahead.  Please join us, and share news of this event with your friends and neighbors! 
    Come and see the value and benefits of a Catholic education at our Catholic Academy.  For additional information, please call Mrs. Traci Giuffre at CDTCA this week (412-781-7927).

SCHOOL ALUMNI  (21+ YEARS OF AGE) WELCOME TO CDTCA BASKETBALL GAME
DURING CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK
    Once again this year, alumni of Saint Scholastica School and CDTCA (21+ years of age) are welcome to a special Alumni Night Basketball Game and Reception on Thursday, January 29, in the gymnasium and parish hall.  Come watch our Boys Varsity Team play in “throwback” St. Scholastica Scorpion jerseys!  An adult reception will follow in the parish hall with wine, beer, and light snacks.  Come and reminisce with your former classmates and teammates!  Reply to Mrs. Traci Giuffre (412-781-7927) at the academy this week!
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DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGES BEING OFFERED FOR THE VISIT OF POPE FRANCIS IN SEPTEMBER
    If you’re interested in participating in the September 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia (which Pope Francis is planning to attend), our Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has arranged a variety of pilgrimage packages.  You’ll find information in the main church entrance this weekend and reservation forms in the parish office!   It’ll be an historic event that will truly be worth attending!

RENEWING OUR RESURRECTION CHOIR
    Your participation is needed!  Our Resurrection Funeral Choir is a group of parish members who know the importance of a Funeral Liturgy.  Our Resurrection Choir members also know the importance of the compassion and support that they offer. There are now five members or less who come to any funeral.  We need the help and participation of more parish members who can commit to
singing with this choir at about 20 funerals each year. 
     If interested, practice is 30 minutes prior to the funeral.  All singing is in unison and is led by a cantor.  We’d like to have 10-15 members at every funeral.  If you’re available, contact Sister Patricia Baker, CDP at the parish office.

BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
    Many thanks to Doctor Robert L. DeFazio, DMD  for being a Sunday Bulletin sponsor.  Contact his office for your personal and family dental needs!

      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.

The Baptism of the Lord Jesus
As Catholic Christians, we celebrate Jesus’ Baptism as the beginning of his public ministry as well as the event in which both God the Father and Saint John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus to be the Christ and the Messiah. What a glorious event!

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 Office Staff
Debbie VanDemark, 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 

Bookkeeper/ Safe Environment Coordinator
Amy Condosta………………………………………………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