A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
The account of the Three Kings’ visit to the infant Jesus has always been a very popular part of the Gospel story of the Lord Jesus’ birth. For many centuries, the story of the three visitors has inspired many images in art as well as the imaginations and writings of many believers. Even the U.S. Postal Service chose the silhouette image of the Three Magi for one of this year’s newest Christmas postage stamps!
As we all know, however, the account of the Three Wise Men isn’t simply a touching story. The Gospel record of the “Epiphany” is all about Jesus’ manifestation to those outside of Israel indicating that he has been sent by God the Father to all peoples as well as the Jewish people.
The Epiphany (or Manifestation) also acknowledges Jesus as the Light sent into the world. He is the Divine Light who reveals to us who God is, as well as who we are as God’s chosen people, and finally how we are to live as people of the Light and of the Lord.
As we continue to celebrate the Christmas Season, may all of us cherish the events of Jesus’ birth. May we be grateful that Jesus has come to redeem and save all humanity. May we also be grateful that Jesus’ Light guides us through this world to the heavenly Kingdom that he offers all of us who are his disciples. God bless!
—Father Jim Torquato
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 this week or in the weeks ahead.
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!
The annual Collection for the Saint Anthony School Programs and the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech will be held January 17-18!
MANY HOLIDAY THANKS!
Among the many activities of these holy days, one of the most important is our giving thanks for all the blessings and kindness that are shared with us! We give thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit numerous times and especially in this Christmas Season!
As a parish community, we also give thanks to all of our parish members and friends who’ve helped to make this year’s celebration of Advent and Christmas very good and very memorable. Our thanks go to: all our members and families and guests who participate in our Liturgies and prayer; all our choir members, youth ministry members, cantors, musicians, and music director for helping us all to worship the Lord; our Lectors, Communion Ministers, servers, and ushers who assisted with the Liturgy in church; our money counters who provide a valuable service; those who minister to the children of our parish; those who provided for the decoration of the church; those who conducted and who contributed to the Giving Tree program; the Aquinas Guild for their programs; our Religious Education and Youth Ministry staff for your events; our Catholic Academy community for all your celebrations; and all our helpers and volunteers who’ve contributed to these special celebrations and seasons!
May all of you and all of our Saint Scholastica Parish community continue to be blessed for your goodness and generosity, and may we all continue to celebrate and share our Catholic Christian faith in the Lord now and throughout the new year ahead! Thank you! May God bless you all!
THANKS FOR OUR CHRISTMAS SEASON DECORATION OF THE CHURCH!
For many years and once again this year, the Christmas decoration of the church has been provided by Mrs. Patricia Welsh Ford. We’re truly grateful to her for this generous and beautiful gift to the parish for the Christmas Season! This contribution and all contributions to Saint Scholastica Parish and our Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy are all greatly appreciated! Thank you!
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR CONTRIBUTORS!
In addition to being blessed with God’s grace and goodness, 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!
HELP FOR MARRIED COUPLES IN NEED OF HELP
For many years, the international program called Retrouvaille (Rediscovery) has been providing retreat weekends and assistance to married couples. This program is also available here in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, and any struggling couple is welcome to participate in this transformative weekend. The next weekend is January 16-18. Please call 412-277-3434 for confidential information this week.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES RESUME THIS SUNDAY
All of our CCD/ Religious Education classes will resume this week beginning this Sunday morning. We welcome all students and catechists as you return from the Christmas holiday break. May 2015 be a very good year for our students and your families as you and all of us grow in our Catholic Christian faith this year and every year!
JANUARY 4 INTERSECTION BIBLE STUDY
This Sunday, January 4, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, a Bible Study session for students in grades 8-12 will be held in the Ministry Center. All students in grades 8-12 are invited and welcome. A light breakfast will be provided.
The Ukulele Group will meet in the Ministry Center this Tuesday, January 6 at 4:30 pm in the Ministry Center. The Ukes will be provided. New members from the 6th-12th grade are welcome!
Pet Therapy at the VA Hospital will continue on Tuesday, January 13 from 4:00-5:00 pm. Register this week with Mrs. Dillon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
REBUILDING OUR PARISH COMMUNITIES!
It’s very good to have so many members and families and friends of our parish community come together for our Liturgies on Christmas Eve and Day. Every year, we have a full church!
Yet we all know that the participation of most Catholic Christians continues to decline throughout our nation. We see very few children with their parents from Sunday to Sunday. Too many church members are disinterested in giving worship and thanks to God. Many members have lost their practice of faith and prayer. Also, many have become distracted by activities, electronic media, and entertainment as if they are more important than God.
Inspired by Father Michael White of Baltimore and his parish (presented in the book Rebuilt), many parishes— including ours — hope to create a program of rebuilding in this new year and in the years ahead. We will focus primarily on the Sunday Liturgy since it’s the time when most Catholics experience our parish. We will emphasize inviting and welcoming back our inactive members and families. We will encourage the head of each household to bring their family back to prayer. We will encourage active participation in the Liturgy. We will also promote small faith sharing groups in keeping with Bishop Zubik’s plan for the new evangelization in our Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Thanks in advance for your participation! Please look for ways in which you’ll be asked to join us in the rebuilding of our parish community. With the help of the Lord and the Holy Spirit, our future can and will be blessed and bright!
BIBLE READINGS FOR THIS WEEK
This Sunday: Isaiah 60:1-6 / Ephesians 3:2-6 / and Matthew 2:1-12
Monday—Saturday: 1 John 4-5 / Mark 6 / Luke 4-5
Next Sunday: Isaiah 55:1-11 / 1 John 5:1-9 / and Mark 1:7-11
A PRAYER RESOURCE FOR ALL FAMILIES
Parents, you can receive a free weekly PDF email of family prayers and faith activities. Contact Andy Bechman at email@example.com this week.
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.
MARCH FOR LIFE YOUTH RALLY
A national student event will be held this January 20-21 in conjunction with the Annual March for Life. Eighth grade students are invited to participate. Please contact Meredith Troyan before January 15 for information.
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 5— Saint John Neumann, bishop
8:30 am Jack Grogan (The Schultz Family)
Tuesday, January 6—Saint Andre Bessette
8:30 am Stanley Marsico, anniversary (Tish Marsico)
Wednesday, January 7—Saint Raymond of Penafort
8:30 am James A. Cush, Sr. (Dan Cush)
Thursday, January 8
8:30 am William Mischler (Maureen Griffith)
Friday, January 9
8:30 am Elaine Styslinger (Family)
Saturday, January 10
9:00 am Gabriel & Helen Veltri, birthday (Robert & Mary Lou Foster)
5:00 pm Paul A. Schultz (Family)
Presider: Father James Torquato
Sunday, January 11—The Baptism of the Lord Jesus
7:30 am William Labriola, birthday (The Labriola Family)
Presider: Father James Torquato
9:00 am All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp
11:00 am Loretta Kline (Bruce & Rebecca Bowman)
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 winter months. The local ministry to the homeless and poor is requesting these items to restock for the winter: canned stew, oatmeal in single serving packets, powdered milk, hot chocolate mix, canned beans, and macaroni and cheese.
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 at 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!
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).
DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGES BEING OFFERED FOR THE VISIT OF POPE FRANCIS IN SEPTEMBER
RENEWING OUR RESURRECTION FUNERAL CHOIR
Your participation is needed and requested! Formed in 1996, our Resurrection Funeral Choir is a group of committed parish members who know the value of sacred song at the significant event of a Funeral Liturgy. Our Resurrection Choir members also know the importance of the compassion and support that they offer to each family who brings their deceased loved one for their final Liturgy.
Once a very large choir, time has taken its toll, and there are now five members or less who come to any funeral. In order to maintain this special program, we very much need the help and participation of parish members who can commit to singing with this choir at about 20 funerals each year.
If you’re interested, practice is held about 30 minutes prior to the funeral. All singing is in unison and is led by a cantor and Sister Pat Baker. We’d like to again have 10-15 choir members at every funeral. If you’re available for two hours in the morning and wish to offer compassion during our funerals, please contact Sister Patricia Baker, CDP by calling the parish office this week!
BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
Many thanks to Gators Grille, Saxonburg Boulevard for being a Sunday Bulletin sponsor. Visit them for good meals and a good time! See their ad for a discount offer.
The New Year and Epiphany 2015
As Catholic Christians, our Christmas Season continues with our celebration of the Lord Jesus’ Epiphany (his manifestation) to Israel and to all nations and all peoples. Jesus came as a Divine Light for Israel and for all human persons!
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.
SAINT SCHOLASTICA PARISH
309 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Telephone 412-781-0186, ext. 10
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
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