December 20,2016

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO    
      Best wishes to you and your family and your relatives and friends for a joyful and blessed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and Christmas Season!   Our celebration of the Lord Jesus’ birth is all about God’s love and care for us as well as the message of God’s Love shared with the world during Jesus’ ministry in Israel twenty centuries ago. 
     I hope that all of you, our parish members and guests and friends, enjoy your gatherings and celebrations together!   I pray that you’ll be blessed in our Liturgies here in church and in your prayers at home.  Then when the holiday activities have concluded, I hope that you’ll reflect on the wonder of the Lord’s Incarnation and birth as well as the Good News that Jesus came to share with us!
    May you receive joy and goodness and blessings in this Christmas celebration, and may you be blessed by God throughout the Christmas Season and in the New Year.  God bless!           
                                                                                     —Father Jim Torquato
     
OUR NEW HOLY YEAR OF MERCY
    This month, Pope Francis  officially inaugurated 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 the November 20 edition of the Pittsburgh Catholic for 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!

OUR 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.  Here in Pittsburgh,  Bishop David Zubik has opened our Holy Door at Saint Paul Cathedral.  All our members and our families are most welcome to make this Diocesan Holy Door a pilgrimage destination during the next twelve months!   You’ll be grateful you did!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIVING TREE GENEROSITY AND GIFTS!
    Once again, thank you very much for all of your gifts and generosity in our annual Giving Tree effort!  Your charity and goodness have been of benefit to many children, young people, and families both here and in nations that need tremendous help from us.
    May you be assured that your donations are much appreciated and will be very beneficial to those who’ve received them.  Again, thank you very much, and may your Christmas be joyful with the same joy that you’ve given to many others this year!

THANKS TO ALL FOR MAKING THIS A JOYFUL CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION!
    Our celebrations of Christmas and the Christmas Season are very special events every year!  Thanks to the efforts of our parish members and families as well as our parish staff, our Christmas Liturgies are prayerful and memorable each year!
    Many thanks once again are extended to: our choir members and cantors and musicians, our music director, our lectors and Communion ministers, our servers and ushers, our collection crew and collection counters, our church decorators, our parish staff and our custodial staff, and all those who’ve been helpful this year!
    We hope that everyone has enjoyed a joyful and prayerful Christmas celebration here in our parish.  Best wishes for this holy season, and best wishes for a good and blessed New Year 2016!
  
PRAYING TOGETHER IN THE CHURCH ALIVE!
    Our personal and family prayer time is very important for each of our lives and for each of our families.  It is essential to our faith and our lives and our communion with the Lord that we take time for silent meditation and for prayerful conversation with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit daily!
    Also essential to our faith and our life is the prayer that we share together in church during the Liturgy!  It is in the Liturgy that we come together as the Lord’s Church, that we thank and praise God, and that we receive and deepen our faith in the Lord Jesus!
    May we always appreciate our faith and the Liturgy, and may we be grateful that these important treasures have been given to all of us and to all in the Church.
    To read more, visit www.OnMissionChurchAlive.org  OR  see page 5 of the Pittsburgh Catholic  for more information.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS
LOOKING AHEAD FOR RELIGIOUS ED / YM
    On Sunday, January 10, at 12 noon, all eighth grade students wishing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Spring must attend the next Mega Meeting with either a parent or your sponsor. 
    The next Youth Liturgy is scheduled for Saturday, January 2 at 5:00pm.  Please contact Mrs. Dillon to participate in the youth ensemble!

JOIN ONE OF OUR CHOIRS FOR THE WINTER!
    Music ministry is a wonderful way to share your time, talent, and faith with our parish community!  Now is the time to sign up and sing with either our 9:00 am Contemporary Ensemble  OR  our 11:00 am Saint Scholastica Schola this winter from January 12/13 to March 13.   Contact Sister Pat personally or sign up via our parish office before December 21.  Thanks!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECIEVE MONTHLY OR WEEKLY CONTRIBUTION ENVELOPES IN ORDER TO SUPPORT OUR PARISH COMMUNITY?
    From time to time, our parish staff receives a request for contribution envelopes from families who are currently registered.  For some reason, they disappeared from the list of parish families and members who receive either weekly or monthly contribution envelopes.
    If you are one of these families who (for some reason) don’t receive weekly or monthly contribution envelopes but would like to receive envelops, please contact our parish office this week or after Christmas to request contribution envelopes in 2016.
    The financial support of all our members and families is very important so that our parish community will continue to be vital and strong now and in the years ahead!  Thank you all very much!  God bless!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE THE PITTSBURGH CATHOLIC AT HOME?
    Our diocesan newspaper, the Pittsburgh Catholic, is delivered to many of our parish households each weekend.  It’s an excellent way to read the wider Catholic perspective that’s found throughout our Diocese  and throughout the world.  If you would like to be added to the list of weekly recipients, please contact our parish office this month.  You’ll be added to the mailing list in 2016!
  
APRIL REFLECTION DAY FOR ALL WOMEN
    All women of our parish and of the Diocese are welcome to the Saturday, April 16, Day of Reflection on God’s Mercy from 8:00am—3:00pm.  This Day of Reflection will be held at the new Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, and it will be sponsored by the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.  Registration will open on January 15.  More information may be found at www.womenalivepgh.org.  Additional information will also be shared through the bulletin in the coming months.  You’ll be glad that you took part in this special day!

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!
  
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!

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!

Men still needed to help the needy — the Saint Vincent dePaul Society needs men to move supplies during third Thursdays in their food bank in Sharpsburg.  To help, please contact Boo Benckart here.  Thanks for serving like Jesus!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas!

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 21
   8:30 am   Anthony Michael & Joan Grace Farina (Anthony & Jean Marie Farina)

Tuesday, December 22
   8:30 am   Frederick Greif (The Scanlon Family)

Wednesday, December 23
   8:30 am   Margaret & Paul Mercurio (Nancy White)

Thursday, December 24 — Christmas Eve
   8:30 am   Bernard Bechtel (The McGivney Family)

   4:00 pm   Joseph Costa & Rosalia Costa-Clarke (Antonietta Costa & Family)

   7:00 pm   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members

   10:00 pm   Deceased Members of the Kopec & Bonessa Families (Dennis & Bernadine Bonessa)

Friday, December 25 — Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus
   10:00 am   Dr. & Mrs. William H. Labriola (The Labriola Family)

Saturday, December 26 — Saint Stephen, first martyr
   9:00 am   Phillip Joyce (Family)

   5:00 pm   McCarthy Family (John & Denise McCarthy)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Sunday, December 27 — Holy Family Sunday
   7:30 am   Carol A. Strahler (The CDTCA Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   9:00 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp
 
   11:00 am   Helen McKay (Virginia & Jan Gursky)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

READINGS FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 20, 2015
Sunday: Micah 5:1-4a/Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19/Hebrews 10:5-10/Lk 1:39-45

Monday: Song of Songs 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-18a/Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21/Luke 1:39-45

Tuesday: 1 Samuel 1:24-28/1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8/Luke 1:46-56

Wednesday: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24/Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14/Luke 1:57-66

Thursday: Morning: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29/Luke 1:67-79

Friday: Vigil: Isaiah 62:1-5/Psalm 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29/Acts of the Apostles 13:16-17, 22-25/Matthew 1:1-25 or 1:18-25

            Night: Isaiah 9:1-6/Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13/Titus 2:11-14/Luke 2:1-14

            Dawn: Isaiah 62:11-12/Psalm 97:1, 6, 11-12/Titus 3:4-7/Luke 2:15-20

            Day: Isaiah 52:7-10/Psalm 98:1-6/Hebrews 1:1-6/John 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14

Saturday: Acts of the Apostles 6:8-10; 7:54-59/Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17/Matthew 10:17-22

Next Sunday: 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28 or Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14/Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10/1 John 3:1-2, 21-24 or Colossians 3:12-21 or 3:12-17/Luke 2:41-52

HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR
    The local group which serves our poor neighbors urgently needs lit, artificial Christmas trees of any size.  If you can donate such a tree, see our Stewardship page here
    The following food items are also needed:  canned fruit, canned red or black beans, tuna, and boxed macaroni and cheese. 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 316 or 318 Third Street.  Thank you very much!

Our Children’s Room is available for our Sunday Liturgies.  Please ascend the stairs near the sacristy entrance (by the organ).  There are seats for all as well as tables for the young ones.  There’s also a restroom and a diaper changing station.

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

ENJOY YOUR CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY!
    Best wishes to all our CDTCA families and students and faculty and staff for a Blessed Christmas and a very good holiday in the days ahead!  The holiday will begin on December 23, and classes will resume on January 4.  May Christ the Lord give you goodness, grace, joy, and many blessings as we celebrate his birthday!   Merry Christmas and best wishes for a very good New Year in 2016!  God bless!

SCHOOL ALUMNI EVENT COMING JANUARY 23
    CDTCA will be hosting our new annual Alumni Event on Saturday, January 23!  We’ll begin with the 5:00pm Liturgy in the church, and then the Varsity Girls will play Saint Bede School at 6:30pm, and the Varsity Boys will play Saint Bede School at 7:45pm. Following the games, there will be a reception for alumni.   Please save the date and invite your classmates to join us!  We look forward to our alumni evening together and to seeing all of you here! 
  
CDTCA LOTTERY CALENDARS STILL AVAILABLE
    Lottery Calendars for 2016 are still available in the school office or by contacting Mrs. Lori Russell by email here.  Each calendar is $25, and the daily prizes range from $25—$275.  Your participation in the Lottery Calendar will benefit CDTCA  in 2016!
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BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
    Our thanks go to  Holy Apostles Online Campus  for being a bulletin sponsor.  Please see their bulletin advertisement for contact information. 
    
Jesus brings us divine life and love!
Our celebration of Christmas is a wonderful remembrance of the birth of Jesus!  It is also the annual event that announces to the world once again that God who has created us and who sustains us is a God of life and love who shares these divine gifts with us each day!
 
     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