November 22, 2015

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
    We have family, and we have friends.  We have neighbors, and we have fellow believers.  We may also have heroes and celebrities whom we admire.  Yet it is God who is most important in our lives!
    It is God who created the universe and all life.  It is God who sustains all human persons and all created life.  It is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who is most important to everything that we are and all that we will be in the future.
    This belief is the reason why we honor Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, and proclaim him to be the Lord of all humanity, of all history, and of the entire universe!  Jesus is our Lord and Savior and King!  May we give fitting honor to Jesus today and every day.  God bless!                
                                                                                         —Father Jim Torquato

THANKSGIVING IN THE STREETS
    Donations are being accepted at church to share Thanksgiving with the needy.  Please donate large, sturdy, recyclable aluminum roasting pans, boxed stuffing, canned jellied cranberry sauce, boxed instant mashed potatoes, cans of turkey or chicken broth, and canned vegetables to the church bins. 
    Frozen Turkeys may be brought on Monday, Nov. 23 ONLY to the porch of 318 Third Street.  Please do NOT leave any turkeys at the church.  Last year, needy families received over 2,000 pounds of turkey thanks to your generosity!

ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT THIS SUNDAY
    Our parish Aquinas Guild will host their service of prayer, music, and food this Sunday, November 22,  4pm—6pm in the parish hall!  All women are invited and welcome.  Contact Joanne today by email here  OR  at 412-963-8319.   Plan now to join in this special event, and be certain to let us know soon that you’ll be coming to this special evening event this Sunday!

WHERE WE ARE THIS YEAR AS A PARISH
    Each October, Bishop Zubik asks us to report the size of our parish community and the number of participants in our weekend Liturgies.  Thanks to the efforts of our parish staff, we finally have an accurate parish census that indicates we have 1216 families in Saint Scholastica Parish with a total membership of 2835 individuals.  As for Sunday participation, this October, we had an average of 770 adults and children participating in our four weekend Liturgies.  This means that, on average,  27% of our parish members participated in our Sunday worship.  Hopefully, we’ll grow in the coming years!
 
CELEBRATING THANKSGIVING DAY!
    Best wishes to all of our parish members and families for a very good and happy Thanksgiving Day!   As we celebrate this special American holiday, may you continue to be blessed by the Lord.  May all of us remember to give thanks to God in prayer this Thanksgiving Day and every Sunday and every day!   Everyone is invited and welcome to join us at 9:00am for our annual Thanksgiving Day liturgy!   God bless!

COLLECTION FOR OUR RETIRED RELIGIOUS
    This weekend, the entire Church in the U.S. is again conducting our effort to support Retired Religious Sisters and Religious Brothers in their later years.  These dedicated women and men gave their lives in our schools, hospitals, and parishes for little or no compensation in service to the Lord and the Church.  Thank you for your generosity in this Sunday’s Collection as we together care for all our Retired Religious in the Church of the United States!

PREPARING FOR OUR ADVENT GIVING TREE
    Next weekend, November 28-29, we’ll begin our annual Advent Giving Tree Program to share Christmas kindness with those who are needy in our community—especially with many children!   Your participation and generosity are greatly appreciated as we share the blessings of our Christmas celebration with many others.  Please plan to return all donations during the weekend of December 12-13  so that they can be distributed to all gift recipients during the week of December 13.  Thank you very, very much for your Christmas generosity!

LIGHTING THE  ADVENT WREATH IN CHURCH
    Each year, we invite parish members and families to step forward at our weekend Advent Liturgies and light the candles of the Advent Wreath! 
    If you and/ or your family would like to participate in the Advent ritual, please sign up in the main entrance of the church.  The sign up forms are on the November Remembrance Table in the main entrance.  The First Sunday of Advent is coming on November 28/29.  Please volunteer and register now!

BEST ADVENT EVER!
    Deepen your experience of Advent and Christmas this year!  Catholic author and speaker Matthew Kelly is offering daily inspirational emails with short videos, encouragement, and coaching at the Dynamic Catholic website.  The program is called “Best Advent Ever—Rediscover Mercy.”   Register for the Year of Mercy at the Dynamic Catholic website here.

A Baptism Preparation Seminar  will be held next Monday evening, November 30, at 7:30pm.  Please call our parish office (412-781-0186) to register. 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS

THANSKGIVING HOLIDAY THIS WEEK
    In observance of our Thanksgiving Day holiday, CCD classes will NOT be held the week of November 23-29.  Have a great holiday, and give thanks to God!

THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC YOUTH CONVENTION IS THIS WEEKEND IN INDIANAPOLIS
    This weekend, thousands of young Catholics and Youth Ministers are in Indianapolis for the NCYC Convention!  Our Diocese and parish will be well represented by Jamie and Scott Dillon, Meredith Troyan, Casey Dillon, Lindsay Arnone, and Alison Arnone.  Best wishes to them as they celebrate Youth Ministry with Catholic Christians from around the USA!

As our Catechetical Year moves right along,  all of our students are reminded to take part in our Religious Education programs and special events! 
    Please join us for CCD classes and YM sessions as well as:   Intersection Bible Study, Family House visits, Nov. 30 Christmas shopping for the needy, Habitat for Humanity projects, Pet Therapy at the VA Hospital, and our Appalachian Mission Trip.  All these programs are meant to deepen your life of faith and service.  Your efforts will also be a blessing to many in need!
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UNITED FOR THE CHURCH ALIVE!
    Many are the challenges that all Catholic Christians face today.  However, united in faith and on mission, we can face the challenges of these and future years.  May we always be on mission together!  To learn how we can accomplish this goal, visit the On Mission for the Church Alive! website here  OR  see the page 5 of the Pittsburgh Catholic  for more information.

THE PITTSBURGH CATHOLIC WAS DELIVERED TO ALL PARISH HOUSEHOLDS!
    This weekend, all registered households of our parish and every parish in the Diocese of Pittsburgh have received a copy of the Pittsburgh Catholic.   This is part of the  Diocese’s evangelization effort to share the Good News with all Catholic households and to invite all Catholic families to celebrate Advent and Christmas with us in our Liturgies and in all Catholic homes.  Please be sure to read the Catholic today! 

BIRTHRIGHT VOLUNTEER TRAINING SESSION
    This coming Saturday, November 28, 2-5pm, Birthright of Pittsburgh will hold a training session for new volunteers who’d like to help with their efforts to assist young moms and infants.  Call 412-621-1988 or visit www.birthrightpittsburgh.org and register now.

PROMOTING THE CALL TO SERVICE
    Living a lifetime of service in the Church is not as common and as popular today as it was in past generations.  Yet it’s still very important that we extend the invitation to young people and encourage generous men and women to respond to the Lord’s call.  May we make the effort every day!

Men still needed to help the needy — the Saint Vincent de Paul Society needs men to move supplies on the third Thursday of each month in their food bank in Sharpsburg.  If you can help during a three hour volunteer shift, please contact Boo Benckart by email here.  Thanks for serving like Jesus!

Again, thanks for helping to clean up our church after (and before)  each weekend Liturgy.  We’re all very grateful for your care and your help!

THINKING OF OUR PARISH’S FUTURE!
    Some members have generously included our parish in their wills.  Your inclusion of our parish in your final plans will be greatly appreciated!

SAINT VINCENT de PAUL SOCIETY STORE IN SHARPSBURG REQUESTING DONATIONS
    The Saint Vincent de Paul Store in Sharpsburg is looking for clean donations of used clothing and  home items.  Please take donations to the store during daily store hours.  Thank you very much!

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.

Give thanks to the Lord for all our blessings!

LITURGY SCHEDULE / PRIEST’S INTENTION
Monday, November 23 — Pope Saint Clement I, martyr
   8:30 am   Graemer Hilton (Dr. & Mrs. John McCarthy)

Tuesday, November 24— The Vietnamese Martyrs
   8:30 am   Sarah Kristen Owen, anniversary (Family)

Wednesday, November 25—Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin
   8:30 am   Catherine R. Mahardy (Mark & Cathy Bellinger)

Thursday, November 26—Thanksgiving Day
   9:00 am   John Reynolds (Mark & Cathy Bellinger)

Friday, November 27
   8:30 am   Dr. Robert Block (Kathleen Piper)
 
Saturday, November 28
   9:00 am   Dr. Macario Co (Gail Wood)

   5:00 pm   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members   
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Sunday, November 29 — First Sunday of Advent
   7:30 am   Carol A. Strahler   (The CDTCA Family)
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp

   9:00 am   Mary Auray (Marion & Bob Auray)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   11:00 am   Elizabeth Garonzi   (The Pace/ Kamin Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Readings for the Week of November 22, 2015

Sunday: Dn 7:13-14/Rv 1:5-8/Jn 18:33b-37

Monday: Dn 1:1-6, 8-20/Lk 21:1-4

Tuesday: Dn 2:31-45/Lk 21:5-11

Wednesday: Dn 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28/Lk 21:12-19

Thursday: Dn 6:12-28/Lk 21:20-28

Friday: Dn 7:2-14/Lk 21:29-33

Saturday: Dn 7:15-27/Lk 21:34-36

Next Sunday: Jer 33:14-16/Ps 25:4-5, 8-10, 14/1 Thes 3:12--4:2/Lk 21:25-28, 34-36


HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR
    The local group which serves our homeless and poor neighbors now needs these food items:  canned vegetables, canned beans,  spaghetti sauce, canned chicken, rice, canned chili, peanut butter and cereal. Donation bins are inside our church. 
     Larger donations in bags (NOT boxes) and ALL clothing donations may be brought to the SIDE DOOR of 316 3rd Street, Aspinwall, from 10am-12pm on Mondays and Fridays.  Please do NOT leave any donations outside either 316 or 318 Third Street.  Thank you very much!

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

CDTCA THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
    Following this Wednesday’s annual Turkey Bowl, our Catholic Academy students and faculty will begin the Thanksgiving holiday, November 26 — November 30.  Classes will resume on Tuesday, December 1.  Enjoy this special five day holiday!  God bless!

SANTA’S WORKSHOP IS COMING!
    This December 3-4, Santa’s Workshop will be held in the Saint Scholastica Parish Hall.  This sale of handmade crafts and inexpensive items will be held for CDTCA students and families as well as all parish members to help everyone start your Christmas holiday shopping!  Come find special items for your family and all those on your Christmas gift list!

Retail gift cards will be on sale this Sunday morning, November 22,  after our Liturgies in the church entrance.  Your purchases will benefit our Catholic Academy!   Thank you very much!
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OUR ANNUAL COOKIE BAKING FOR THE SHARPSBURG FOOD PANTRY
    All women of our parish are invited to bake a batch of Christmas cookies to be shared with the many families served by the Sharpsburg Food Pantry.  Please bring all homemade donations to the school cafeteria on Sunday, December 13, 8am—12 noon!

A DECEMBER WEEKEND RETREAT FOR MEN CONSIDERING A CALL TO THE PRIESTHOOD
    During the weekend of December 18-20,  all men 18+ years of age are welcome to a weekend retreat to discern a possible call to ordained priesthood.  Vocation Director Father Joseph Freedy and our diocesan staff will conduct this special weekend.  Find information and register this week at www.pghpriest.com.

A PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORJE
    A Pittsburgh area trip to Medjugorje will be held April 26—May 5, 2016.  Call Cathy (412-278-4673).

BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
    Our thanks go to Splurge, Freeport Road  for being a bulletin sponsor.  Please see their advertisement. 
    
Jesus Christ is King!
Jesus Christ stands above all our human leaders and heroes and celebrities!  Jesus alone is the divine Son of God and the Savior who will bring us eternal life.  As such, we acclaim Jesus as our King and our Lord.  May we give all praise and honor to him alone!

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           
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, Joshua Condosta

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

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