November 29, 2015

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
    This Sunday is a very special day as we begin a new Church Year!  While many people are interested in holiday plans and shopping, we see this Sunday as the beginning of our annual commemoration of the Lord Jesus.  Today, we begin again the year long celebration of our Christian faith and the events and good news of Jesus’ life and ministry!
    As we recall the life and message of the Lord and the heritage of Catholic Christianity throughout this entire year, we do so in anticipation of the Jesus’ return into the world at the end of history!  This is why we pray “Come, Lord Jesus!” during Advent and throughout the Church Year. 
    May we always appreciate our faith in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  May we keep in mind what wonderful gifts the Gospel and the Church are.  Also, may we acknowledge all the goodness and blessings that Christianity has brought to humanity and to our world.  At the same time, may we renew our hope in the Lord Jesus and his promise to return one day to complete God’s Kingdom and bring salvation to his faithful people!  Have a good new Church Year.  God bless!     
                                                                                  — Father Jim Torquato

OUR NEW HOLY YEAR OF MERCY
    On Tuesday, December 8, Pope Francis will officially inaugurate the Holy Year of Mercy during which all Catholic Christians are invited to celebrate the mercy and forgiveness of God that is at the heart of Jesus’ Gospel. 
    Please see the insert in last weekend’s Pittsburgh Catholic for excellent information about the Holy Year.  News about our diocesan and parish events for the Holy Year of Mercy will be shared in the bulletin during the weeks and months ahead.  May we all rejoice in the Lord’s Divine Mercy.  God bless!

OPENING THE CATHEDRAL HOLY DOOR FOR THE YEAR OF MERCY
    For nine centuries, Popes have called for a Holy Year as a sacred jubilee of our Catholic faith and life.   Now they are usually scheduled every 25 years, but a Pope can hold a Holy Year when he thinks it’s fitting.
    The Holy Doors for the Holy Year (usually set at the Basilicas of Rome) are destinations for Catholic pilgrims as they travel more deeply into the divine life of God.  Pope Francis has asked every bishop to have a local Holy Door at their own cathedral.  Bishop David Zubik will open our Holy Door on Sunday, December 13 at 2:30pm.  All are most welcome!

 BEGINNING OUR ADVENT GIVING TREE
    This weekend, November 28-29, we’re beginning our annual Advent Giving Tree Program to share Christmas kindness with the needy in our community—and especially with many children!   Your participation and generosity are greatly appreciated as we share the blessings of our Christmas celebration with 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 this 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.  Please volunteer and sign up 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

COMMITTEE MEMBERS VISITING HAITI NOW
    During this week, both Dr. Maureen O’Brien, PhD, and Mr. John Cravotta of our parish’s Hope for Haiti Committee will travel to Haiti with members of the Mortel Family Charitable Foundation to visit the students and families helped by you, by our parish committee, and by the Mortel Foundation. 
    They would appreciate your prayers this week during  their mission trip as they visit the schools where Saint Scholastica Parish is currently sponsoring students.  These students study at the Good Samaritans Elementary School and the James Stine Middle and High School.
    Our parish members will return with photos and impressions of life in Haiti and all that’s being done to give hope and help to the people there in true need!

Lottery Calendars for 2016  will be sold by CDTCA students here at church next weekend.  The donation is $25.  Daily prizes are $25-$275.  Calendars also make great Christmas gifts!  For questions, contact Lori by email here or call 412-580-2982.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS

DECEMBER 5 YOUTH MINISTRY HELP AT CATHOLIC CHARITIES
    On Saturday, December 5, the Youth Ministry will assist our Diocesan Catholic Charities with a Christmas Project at their downtown offices from 9:30am--4:15pm.  All high school and middle school students are welcome to participate.  Please reply to the Youth Ministry office this week.  Chaperones are also needed.

YOUTH LITURGY AND CAROLING
    On Saturday, December 12, all of our youth are invited to participate in the monthly Youth Mass at 5:00pm.  Then they will head to the V.A. Hospital for caroling!  Wear your favorite holiday sweater.  Donations of cookies and milk are also welcome!
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CHRISTMAS CARDS ARE AVAILABLE NOW FROM OUR RESPECT LIFE COMMITTEE
    Once again this year, beautiful and inspiring Christmas cards are available from members of our Respect Life Committee.  The cards are $6 for a packet of ten cards.  Your donation will help Respect Life efforts!  Call Mrs. Mary Catherine Scanlon (412-781-6550) this week!
    Also, thanks to our parish members, $906 was donated recently to Birthright and those they serve!

DECEMBER 9 EVENING FOR CONFESSIONS
    You’re cordially invited by Bishop David Zubik to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the evening of Wednesday, December 9, from 6:00pm—9:00pm in our parish church. 
    As we begin the Holy Year of Mercy on December 8, this evening of mercy and forgiveness will be a true blessing for our parish and for all members who participate in this sacrament given us by the Lord Jesus.  No matter how long it’s been since you’ve celebrated this sacrament, be sure to come on December 9 and be renewed in grace and holiness by Jesus and the Holy Spirit!  You’ll rejoice that you did!

WHERE WE ARE THIS YEAR AS A PARISH
    We have 1216 families in Saint Scholastica Parish and a total membership of 2835 individuals.  Each Sunday, we have an average of 770 adults and children participating in our Liturgies.  On average,  27% of our parish members participate in our Sunday worship.  Hopefully, we’ll grow in the coming years.  Please invite others to join us each weekend!

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 during third Thursdays 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!
  
BUILDING THE CHURCH ALIVE!
    We build many good and important things!  Our most important work is building the Kingdom of God.  This is what “On Mission” is all about!  To learn how we can accomplish this goal, visit www.OnMission ChurchAlive.org  OR  see the page 5  of the Pittsburgh Catholic  for more information.

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, November 30 — Saint Andrew, apostle
   8:30 am   Harry & Geneva, anniversary (Lorraine Clifford)

Tuesday, December 1
   8:30 am   Alfreda Kopec   (The Bonessa Family)

Wednesday, December 2
   8:30 am   Martha F. Flynn   (The Gallagher Family)

Thursday, December 3 — Saint Francis Xavier, priest
   9:00 am   Dr. Robert C. Block (Tish Marsico)

Friday, December 4 — Saint John Damascene
   8:30 am   The Noe Family   (Patricia Noe Kennedy)

Saturday, December 5
   9:00 am   Hope Parente   (The VanDemark Family)

   5:00 pm   Edward P. Williams   (Mary Ellen & Jack Maher)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Sunday, December 6 — Second Sunday of Advent
   7:30 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   9:00 am   Gloria Greco  (Dennis & Bernie Bonessa)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   11:00 am   Dominic Bucci (Geri Chichilla)
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp

Readings for the Week of November 29, 2015

Sunday: Jeremiah 33:14-16/Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14/1 Thessallonians 3:12--4:2/Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Monday: Romans 10:9-18/Psalm 19:8-11/Matthew 4:18-22

Tuesday: Isaiah 11:1-10/Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17/Luke 10:21-24

Wednesday: Isaiah 25:6-10a/Psalm 23:1-6/Matthew 15:29-37

Thursday: Isaiah 26:1-6/Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27/Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Friday: Isaiah 29:17-24/Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14/Matthew 9:27-31

Saturday: Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26/Psalm 147:1-6/Matthew 9:35--10:1, 5a, 6-8

Next Sunday: Baruch 5:1-9/Psalm 126:1-6/Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11/Luke 3:1-6

MANY THANKS TO OUR FOOD CONTRIBUTORS
   All those who received turkeys and food for Thanksgiving are most grateful to our parish donors!  They’re truly thankful for your kindness and generosity!

HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR
    The local group which serves our neighbors now needs these items:  canned chicken, fruit,  or beans;   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!

EXCITING EVENTS AT OUR ACADEMY
    Our students at CDTCA have been busy this month preparing for Advent and Christmas! 
    Our Second Grade students performed Christmas carols at the Aspinwall Light Up Night last weekend. 
    Students in Grades 3 and 4 made decorations for the UPMC Saint  Margaret Hospital Christmas Tree, they took part in lighting the tree, and they sang for patients at the hospital.  Many thanks to Mary Lee Gannon and the Saint Margaret Foundation for their invitation and their hospitality. 
    Also, our CDTCA elves have been busy preparing this year’s Santa’s Workshop!  Students will start their Christmas shopping this December 3-4.  The workshop will be open to parish members December 5-6 after each Liturgy.  Come and take a look this week!

SANTA’S WORKSHOP IS COMING!
    As noted above, this December 5-6,  Santa’s Workshop will be held in our Parish Hall.  This sale of handmade crafts and inexpensive items will be open for all parish members after next weekend’s Liturgies to help you start your Christmas shopping!  Come find  items for your family and all on your Christmas gift list!
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COOKIE BAKING FOR THE 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
    This December 18-20,  all men 18+ years of age are welcome to a retreat to discern a possible call to ordained priesthood.  Vocation Director Father Joseph Freedy and diocesan staff will conduct this retreat.  Find information this week at www.pghpriest.com.

BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
    Our thanks go to  Chad Gregorini and State Farm Insurance, Aspinwall  for being a bulletin sponsor.  Please see his bulletin advertisement.  
 

 Jesus will return one day!
     Yes, Jesus will return! This belief and hope is at the heart of our Catholic Christian faith. It is the event that will conclude the building of God’s Kingdom and bring eternal salvation to the Lord’s people. This is also the reason why we all say “Come, Lord Jesus!”    

     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