December 11, 2016

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO  
    Every Third Sunday of Advent, we light the rose colored candle, and we hear the call to “Rejoice!”  This is the Sunday and the week to remember that JOY is at the center of our faith!   We’re NOT gloomy people.  We’re joyful people who rejoice that our Messiah, our Savior has come to us and that salvation is now at  hand for us.
    Have you ever considered what would make you rejoice?  What will make you joyful? 
    Does your life make you joyful?  Does your family make you joyful?  Does our faith and the promise of eternal salvation fill you with joy?
    Or would you need to win the lottery jackpot in order to rejoice?  Would you need something extraordinary to make you joyful? 
    In truth, for most of us, life will always be ordinary each and every day, but that’s good.  Life itself is a true blessing from the Lord.  We have many reasons to rejoice every day.  We have many reasons to be joyful every day.
    May the Lord fill your Advent and your days with true joy in your life, in our faith, and in the promise of salvation.  God bless!
                                                                                        —Father Jim Torquato

BRINGING SAINT TERESA OF CALCUTTA TO OUR PARISH ON DECEMBER 12
    This 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! 

THE LIGHT IS STILL ON FOR YOU!
    Bishop David Zubik invites everyone to our  "The Light Is on for You!"  evening this coming Wednesday, December 14 from 6:00—9:00pm in every parish.  We’ll offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation  at other times during the Advent Season.  Please see the bulletin insert for complete information.

Rejoice for the Lord is near!

ADVENT GIVING TREE THANKS
     This weekend, we gratefully accept all of the Advent Giving Tree gifts and donations being returned for the benefit of children and families in need of (and grateful for) your charity and 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.  Your generosity will be appreciated once again this year at Christmas!
    Please return all gifts and donations before 1:00pm this December 11.   Thank you very much!

OUR LADY OF THE AMERICAS
   This Monday, December 12, the Church in Central, South, and North America will celebrate the Feast Day of our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of all the Americas. 
     The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Juan Diego near Mexico City during the days of December 9-12, 1531.  It was Mary’s appearance then and the message that spread through the land which helped the natives of Mexico to accept Jesus and the Gospel and Christianity.
    Our Lady of Guadalupe fostered the tremendous growth of God’s People in the Americas throughout the past five centuries.  We can and should be grateful to Mary for this tremendous event, and we should all celebrate Mary’s role in bringing her Son Jesus and the Church into the New World!

OUR 2017 DATE FOR THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
   Our parish was notified recently of the date set by the Diocese for our 2017 celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation.  On Sunday, May 21, 2017, at 1:00pm, our Retired Auxiliary Bishop William J. Winter, DD, will come to Saint Scholastica Parish for this important sacramental celebration.  We will celebrate this event with nearly 50 eighth grade confirmation candidates and their sponsors and families.
    If any adults of our parish who have NOT yet received the Sacrament of Confirmation would like to be prepared for and receive this Sacrament as well, please contact our parish office before February 1.  We’ll have several preparation sessions so that you may be part of the Confirmation celebration as well!

MANY THANKS TO THE WEDDELL-AJAK FUNERAL HOME FOR OUR 2017 PARISH CALENDARS
    Many thanks go to our local funeral director, Mr. Paul Ajak, of the Weddell-Ajak Funeral Home, Center Avenue, Aspinwall, for providing our parish calendars for 2017!  We’re very grateful to Paul and his family for their goodness to our parish! 
    These calendars are very important and most helpful for personal and family use, and they also keep each of us informed as to the special seasons and days of the Church Year.   Please be sure to pick up your FREE  2017 Catholic parish calendar provided at the church entrances by the Weddell-Ajak Funeral Home of Aspinwall this weekend!

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS

BRING YOUR PARENTS TO MASS NEXT SUNDAY
   Next Sunday, December 18, all our students and parents and families are welcome to the 9:00 am Liturgy as part of our annual Take Your Parents to Mass Day.  A light, pot luck brunch will follow in the cafeteria at 10:00am.  Please plan to join us!

CHRISTMAS EVE CHILDREN’S LITURGY
    In two weeks, we’ll arrive at Christmas Eve on Saturday, December 24.  The 4:00pm Christmas Eve Mass always welcomes the children of our parish to participate.  The Children’s Choir for Christmas Eve (grades 3-8) will practice NEXT Sunday, December 18, at 11:30am in the school cafeteria! 
    All parents of youngsters wishing to take part in the children’s choir or to come in a costume as an angel or shepherd are asked to contact Mrs. Jamie Dillon here or Miss Meredith Troyan here this week to register!

Our Religious Education / CCD classes will enjoy a Christmas holiday break beginning Tuesday, December 20 until classes resume on Tuesday, January 3rd. Enjoy the Christmas holiday and season!

An Appalachia Trip meeting for those interested in taking part in June 2017 will be held this Tuesday, December 13, at 7:00pm in the parish hall.

A Trip to Family House to prepare a meal for the residents will take place this Wednesday, December 14 with departure at 4:15pm and return at 6:45pm.  High school and middle school students and parents are welcome to participate.  Contact Mrs. Jamie Dillon here today to register.

Youth Laser Tag will be played on Thursday, December 29, at 12 noon at Zone 28  in Harmar Township.  All students in grades 8-12 are welcome.  Please reply here before December 27.
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Respect Life Christmas Cards are available from our Respect Life Committee this month.  Ten cards for $6.  Contact Mary Catherine Scanlon (412-781-6550).

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!

This is the day of salvation!

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!
 
HELP FOR STRUGGLING MARRIED COUPLES
    Throughout the year, help for struggling married couples is offered by our Diocese through the Retrouvaille (Rediscovery) Weekend  Program.  Do yourselves and your family a huge favor.  Call 412-277-3434, attend a weekend, and retrieve a better life.

A Discernment Weekend will be 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!

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.

A silent retreat for young men in high school  will be lead by Father Mike Ackerman and the Vocations Office at The Ark and the Dove Retreat Center, Babcock Boulevard, January 14-15.  Come and let the Lord speak to your heart!  Visit www.pghpriest.com.

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!

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 12 — Our Lady of Guadalupe
   8:30 am   Susan Tamburo  (Evelyn Conflenti)

Tuesday, December 13 — Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr
   8:30 am   Jeff Karel—Living  (Marie Savko)

Wednesday, December 14 — Saint John of the Cross
   8:30 am   Sr. Genevieve Brandstetter, CDP  (Carole & Manny Gonzalez)

Thursday, December 15
   8:30 am   Nick Powers (The Kowalski Family)

Friday, December 16
   8:30 am   Timothy Sinagra  (The Newell Family)

Saturday, December 17
   9:00am   Dr. Yvonne Maher  (The Donnelly Family)

   5:00 pm   Thomas D. Maher  (Mary Ellen & Jack Maher)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Sunday, December 18— Fourth Sunday of Advent
   7:30 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members 
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   9:00 am   Lucille Domzal  (Dave & Jan Domzal)
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp

   11:00 am   Leonard Costantini  (Leonard J. Marsico)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Readings for the Week of December 11, 2016

Sunday: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10/Psalm 146/James 5:7-10/Matthew 11:2-11

Monday: Zechariah 2:14-17 or Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/Judith 13/Luke 1:26-38 or Luke 1:39-47

Tuesday: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13/Psalm 34/Matthew 21:28-32

Wednesday: Isaiah 45:6b-8, 18, 21b-25/Psalm 85/Luke 7:18b-23

Thursday: Isaiah 54:1-10/Psalm 30/Luke 7:24-30

Friday: Isaiah 56:1-3a, 6-8/Psalm 67/Jn 5:33-36

Saturday: Genesis 49:2, 8-10/Psalm 72/Matthew 1:1-17

Next Sunday: Isaiah 7:10-14/Psalm 24/Romans 1:1-7/Matthew 1:18-24

HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR
    These items are needed now:  non-condensed soups with beans or meat (in pull tab cans),  canned red or black beans, small bottles of cooking oil,  macaroni and cheese, and cereal.   Kindly leave your donations in plastic bags for easy transport.  Gray bins are in the church entrance.  [N.B.  This list is more current than the print bulletin.]
    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 Pampered Patient Home Care Services for being a bulletin sponsor.  Please see their bulletin ad for contact information.

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

2017 LOTTERY CALENDARS AVAILABLE THIS WEEKEND IN CHURCH FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOL, CDTCA
   This weekend in the church entrance, our Catholic Academy parents will be offering 2017 Lottery Calendars for the coming year.  Daily and special prizes are awarded based on the daily Lottery drawing!  You can be a winner many times, and at the same time, you will support CDTCA and all of our students and families who are still dedicated to Catholic education for our young students.  Be sure to get your 2017 Lottery Calendar/s this weekend.  Thank you for your support and generosity!

Retail gift certificates will be sold  in the church entrance next Sunday morning, December 18, after each Mass to support our school.  Thank you very much for your support!

MANY ACTIVITIES DURING THESE WEEKS
    In addition to all of the learning and school day activities and sports taking place here at CDTCA,  our students have also been involved in numerous events and activities in the community!
    This Thursday, December 15, at 7:00pm in the parish Pastoral Center, our Student Band will present musical selections in celebration of Christmas.  All are welcome!
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BAKED GOODS SHARING WITH THOSE IN NEED THIS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11
    Our Aquinas Women’s Guild is inviting all bakers of the parish to donate goodies today to be shared with those helped by the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry! 
    Please bring all baked good donations to the parish hall THIS Sunday from 8:00am until 12 noon.  Thanks for your generosity and goodness!

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!

     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