November 27, 2016

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO        
    Welcome to the new Church Year that begins today with the First Sunday of Advent!  Even as we cope with the darkness of these wintry days, it’s a time to celebrate newness and light in our lives. 
    The new Church Year begins our annual 365 day celebration of the message and events of our Catholic Christian faith.  We begin a new cycle of celebrating God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We celebrate all that Jesus means to us, we celebrate the Gospel of the Lord, and we celebrate the Christian faith and life that will lead us to eternal salvation in God’s Kingdom.
    In a similar way, we will soon begin celebrating the new light of the winter solstice and the new light that Jesus brought into our world.  No other religion offers us the light and the faith that Catholic Christianity offers us.  No other way of life offers us the eternal salvation that Jesus offers us.  May we live in the light, the Gospel, and the way of the Lord always until the day we are led home to the eternity of God.  God bless!     
                                                                                 —Father Jim Torquato

PLEASE SIGN UP NOW TO LIGHT OUR ADVENT WREATH CANDLES
    All members and families of our parish are invited to sign up to light the Advent Wreath candles at one of our Advent Sunday Liturgies.  Please sign up now in the main church entrance.  You’ll be directed by the parish staff and by Father Torquato at the Liturgy. 
 
WHAT’S BEING PROPOSED FOR OUR PARISH AND OUR LOCAL AREA BEGINNING IN 2018
    After much prayer and consultation, our diocesan staff has presented to us several models for the future of the Church in our local area. 
    As you know, our current cluster is comprised of Saint Scholastica Parish, Saint Juan Diego Parish, Saint Joseph Parish, and All Saints Parish.  The plan is, in general, to combine these four parishes into ONE large territorial parish using two church sites.
    There will be a good deal of discussion next year about this plan.   We’ll have more to share in the months ahead.  May the Lord bless us all with faith, confidence, kindness, and cooperation!

THIS YEAR’S ADVENT GIVING TREE
    During this weekend,  November 26-27, we’ll once again initiate our Advent Giving Tree in the church for the benefit of local children and families in need of (and grateful for) your kind generosity this Christmas. 
    For more than 35 years, members and families of our parish community have shared your Christmas joy with countless children and families in our local area.  Your generosity will be appreciated once again this year at Christmas!
    Please take an ornament OR a donation envelope (or several of each),  and then return your gift or donation during the weekend of December 10-11.   Thank you very much once again!
 
ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT ON DECEMBER 1
    An Advent by Candlelight evening of music and reflections will be hosted for all women by our Aquinas Guild this Thursday, December 1 at 7:00pm in the Parish Hall.  Soprano Alianna Whiteaker and Handbell soloist Sue Garton will be featured, with a dessert reception to follow.  Reservations are recommended   Call Karyn Lynch (412-963-9699).  Plan to join us!

THANKS FOR YOUR THANKSGIVING DONATIONS
    Once again, Thanksgiving meals were provided to many in need in our local area.   Thanks so very much to all our parish members and families who gave donations in recent weeks to both the local effort to feed the poor AND to our local Saint Vincent de Paul Society.  Many families and individuals were helped and are very grateful to you for your goodness! Thanks!
   
REPORT FROM THE FAIR TRADE FAIR
    Following the October Fair Trade Fair, our Hope for Haiti Committee sent this report to our parish community:  sales at the Fair amounted to $3,354 with $2,457 going to the Fair item producers, and $897 will go to the schools and students supported by our Haiti Committee and our parish community. 
    Those who produced the items sold will receive this support to help them live with dignity, adequate wages, safe working conditions, and environmental sustainability. 
    If you’d like to learn even more about the Fair Trade Fair or to purchase additional items, visit www.crsfairtrade.org.   To learn more about our efforts in Haiti, join the Hope for Haiti Committee this month by contacting our parish office!

BRINGING SAINT TERESA OF CALCUTTA TO OUR PARISH ON DECEMBER 12
    On Monday evening, December 12, at 7:00pm, our Adult Education program will be showing the new  biographical movie about Saint Teresa of Calcutta in the parish hall.  This excellent movie is simply entitled "The Letters."   It is two hours in length.  Light refreshments will be provided.  Come and learn more about the life of this remarkable Religious woman of the Catholic Church and this holy Saint of God! 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS

HELPING THE PITTSBURGH FOOD BANK ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28
    All high school/middle school students are welcome to come help the Food Bank at a Food Drive in Market Square on Monday, November 28.  Meet at the parish by 10:30am, and return at 3:00pm.  Sign up with Mrs. Dillon here right away if you’d like to help the Food Bank!

A Youth Liturgy will be celebrated once again on Saturday, December 3 at 5:00pm.  Students interested in participating should contact Mrs. Dillon here before December 1.

An Eighth Grade Mega-meeting will be held on Sunday, December 4 at Noon in the Parish Hall.
                                     _____________________________________
 
A FREE ADVENT ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
    You can receive a FREE daily email every day of Advent to help guide you through the season.  As in recent years, Matthew Kelly is offering everyone his FREE Best Advent Ever program.  Sign up at dynamiccatholic.com/best-advent-ever.  It’ll help you to have your best Advent yet!  Take a look!

Once again, our parish is offering free Advent Booklets to members of our parish.  These booklets have been available since last weekend, and we hope that you’ll read them every day of Advent and be blessed by the reflections contained within them!

We’ll offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation often during the Advent Season.   Also, Bishop Zubik invites everyone to our "The Light Is On for You!" evening on Wednesday, December 14 from 6:00—9:00pm.

PLANNING YOUR FINAL RESTING PLACE
    The Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh would like to assist you in making your cemetery and burial arrangements.  It’s good to plan now.  Call our office, and we’ll send your name to the CCA.  They’ll be in contact with you and give you a free information portfolio for your use.

LET US PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER
    Our Aquinas Guild has established a Ministry of Prayer.  If you’d like prayers offered,  OR  if you’d like to pray for others, please sign up in the church entrance.  Contact the coordinators at prayerlist@saintscholastica.com.  Thank you.  God bless!

A Discernment Weekend will be held at the Gilmary Retreat Center December 16-18 for young men (18+ years) considering a call to serve as a Diocesan priest.  There is NO cost.  Visit www.pghpriest.com.

LECTORS AND ALTAR SERVERS NEEDED
    Adults are invited to become Sunday lectors for our Liturgies.  Also, students in grades 4-11 are welcome to become new altar servers.  Your help will be greatly appreciated.  Please contact our parish office soon!

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY MEETING TUESDAYS
    Women of our community are gathering in the Saint Scholastica Parish Hall to study the Gospel according to Luke for 18 sessions.  This will be a seminar with video presentations from St. Benedict Press.  The course donation is $40 for materials.  Please call Mrs. Mary Ellen Maher (412-767-5863)  now to register!

High School students are welcome to plan now to attend the March for Life on January 27, 2017.  Call Mrs. Mary Catherine Scanlon for information (412-781-6550).  Chaperones will be provided.

Once again, thank you for helping to clean up our church before and after each weekend Liturgy.  We’re very grateful that you care for your church!

Saint Juan Diego Parish in Sharpsburg is hosting a Monday, November 28 Bingo at 1:00pm in their Pope John Paul I parish hall.  Admission is $12.  Call 412-781-9368 for information and tickets.  Take your friends along with you!

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 28
   8:30 am   Nick Powers  (The Hribal Family)

Tuesday, November 29 
   8:30 am   John Kozusko (The Newell Family)

Wednesday, November 30
   8:30 am   J. Daniel Grobe   (Ann Marie & Bill Kiszka)

Thursday, December 1
   8:30 am   Alfreda Kopec   (Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Bonessa)

Friday, December 2
   8:30 am   Martha F. Flynn   (Dan & Eileen Gallagher)

Saturday, December 3
   9:00am   Bobby Fay Jr.   (Carole & Manny Gonzalez)

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

Sunday, December 4— Second Sunday of Advent
   7:30 am   Veronica Hanchulak   (Barbara & Louis Costanzo & Helen McWilliams)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   9:00 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp

   11:00 am   James P. & Marie Louise Murray (Kathy Murray)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Readings for the Week of November 27, 2016
Sunday: Isaiah 2:1-5/Psalm 122:1-9/ Romans 13:11-14
Monday: Isaiah 4:2-6/Psalm 122:1-9/Matthew 8:5-11
Tuesday: Isaiah 11:1-10/Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17/Luke 10:21-24
Wednesday: Romans 10:9-18/Psalm 19:8-11/Matthew 4:18-22
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 9:35b-10:1, 5a, 6-8
Next Sunday: Isaiah 11:1-10/Psalm 72/Romans 15:4-9/Mt 3:1-12

 
HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR
    These items are needed now:  canned red or black beans, non-condensed soups with pull-tab lids, macaroni and cheese, small bottles of cooking oil, and boxes of plain crackers Kindly leave your donations in plastic bags for easy transport.  Gray bins are in the church entrance. 
    Larger donations in bags (NOT boxes) and ALL clothing 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!

BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
    Our thanks go to Renaissance Paint and Flooring for being a bulletin sponsor.  Please see their ad for details and for contact information.

CHRIST THE DIVINE TEACHER CATHOLIC ACADEMY IS A SCHOOL THAT’S WORTH YOUR INVESTMENT!
    Unlike past generations when parishes fully funded the cost of operating parish schools and Religious women and men staffed all our schools, every Catholic school today requires a real investment on the part of parents, grandparents, and families along with our parish communities which still fund a significant part of each school’s annual budget.  However, we consider the investment to be entirely worthwhile!
    In our CDTCA regional school, our students learn our Catholic faith and life each day along with all of the important academic studies and sports and activities that are part of our academy life all year long.  Our school community provides guidance and formation and care every day.  Our learning environment is safe and supportive.  CDTCA is truly worth the investment.  Look into CDTCA for 2017!
 
DONATING TO THE HUNGRY AND NEEDY THROUGH OUR LOCAL SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
    Thanks for helping our Aquinas Guild collect items for the area Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.  Please bring canned vegetables, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, gravy, and any non-perishable items used for holiday dinners  to the red bin in the church entrance.  Thank you!

SHARING BAKED GOODS WITH THE NEEDY AND POOR IN DECEMBER
    Our Aquinas Women’s Guild is also inviting all bakers of the parish to make some extra goodies in December so they can be shared with families helped by our local St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry! Thanks!

Jesus will come again!
Most people see the Advent Season as a time to celebrate the first coming of Jesus in the Son of God’s Incarnation as a human person. We will celebrate that event on Christmas Day. In reality, Advent is meant to now prepare us for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus in glory. May we prepared for his return!
     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
Bruce Hassing

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

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