December 18, 2016

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO    
    Best wishes to you, your family, and everyone for a blessed conclusion to this Advent Season as well as for a joyful Christmas celebration!
    I know this week will be busy with your holiday preparations — whether you’re celebrating at home, or are away visiting family, or are maybe even  on a Caribbean beach or visiting Europe or at a ski  resort. 
    Even with all that fills these final days of Advent, I pray that each of us will spend some time with the Lord in prayer.  I hope that we’ll remember that first Christmas morning and the young mother and father welcoming their newborn child into this world.  It was a most humble event that has changed the world and all of human history!
    In the spirit of the Lord’s birth, may we sincerely give thanks to God!  May we make this an even more spiritual commemoration this year.  May we determine to support young mothers and fathers, and may we also be caring toward those who are away from home, those who are migrants, and those who are displaced by their circumstances.  God bless us one and all!            
                                                                                                  —Father Jim Torquato

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!   

2017 WILL MOVE US CLOSER TO OUR NEW FUTURE
    We’re now closer to the reorganization of all parishes here in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.  For all of us, this project will be a challenge.  It will require a good deal of work and patience and understanding. 
    However, to keep the Church alive and present here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, it is a project that’s absolutely necessary given the real decline of our region and population and participation of our membership.  May the Lord be with us in this work!

ADVENT GIVING TREE THANKS
     We’re very grateful for all your gifts and donations given as part of our Advent Giving Tree Program to  benefit of children and families in need of (and grateful for) your charity and generosity this Christmas. 
     For 35 years now, our parish community has shared Christmas joy with numerous children and families.  Your generosity will be appreciated by many once again this week and also at Christmas!
     Any final donations for the children of Haiti, for families in Chimbote, Peru, or for the needy here can be brought to the office this week.  Thank you!

BEST WISHES FOR A BLESSED CHRISTMAS!
    As we arrive at Christmas Eve and Christmas Day next weekend, we extend best wishes to our parish members and families and friends and neighbors for a very joyful Christmas celebration this year! 
    For most Catholic Christians, this is the most special time of the year!   May you enjoy being with your family and children and grandchildren and friends and neighbors.  May these special days and every day of the coming Christmas be filled with celebration and goodness and joy as we remember the birth of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, and as we look forward to his Second Coming in majesty and power and glory!  God bless, and Merry Christmas!
 
PLEASE JOIN US FOR CAROL SINGING FOR 30 MINUTES BEFORE EACH CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRSITMAS DAY LITURGY!
    This coming Saturday and Sunday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Sister Pat Baker and our cantors and choirs will be leading the singing of Christmas Carols in the church for a half hour before the beginning of each Holy Day Liturgy!
    You’re all invited to arrive 30 minutes early before each Christmas Mass and to join us in singing our favorites songs for Christmas.  It’s sure to bless you and to fill you with Christmas spirit and joy!

THANK YOU FOR A VERY FINE YEAR!
    These 12 months have passed by so very quickly, but thankfully and hopefully this year has been filled with God’s blessings and grace for you and your family!
    For our parish community, 2016 has been another very fine year of faith and prayer and community and service!  To everyone who’s participated in and supported our parish this year, thank you very much.  May the  Lord bless you throughout the coming Christmas Season and throughout 2017!
 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS


BRING YOUR PARENTS TO MASS THIS SUNDAY
   This 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 join us!

CHRISTMAS EVE CHILDREN’S LITURGY
    In one week, 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 THIS 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 before December 21 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!

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 to Mrs. Dillon here before December 27.

OUR 2017 DATE FOR THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
   The date for our 2017 celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation will be Sunday, May 21, 2017, at 1:00pm.  Our Retired Auxiliary Bishop William J. Winter, DD, will come to Saint Scholastica Parish for this celebration.  We have nearly 50 eighth grade confirmation candidates and their families.
    If any adults have NOT yet received the Sacrament of Confirmation and would like to be prepared for this Sacrament, please contact our parish office here before February 1.  
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THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION IS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
    We’ll offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation here in the church reconciliation room at numerous times during this Fourth Week of Advent.  Please see the bulletin insert for complete information.

Our Children’s Liturgy of the Word will NOT be held Christmas morning at the 9:00am Liturgy.
 
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 in January.   Do yourselves and your family a huge favor.  Call 412-277-3434, attend a weekend, and retrieve a better life.

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.

Looking for some Catholic Christmas gifts?   Try searching on the internet, or go to www.CatholicGiftsAndMore.com.  There are still many good Catholic gifts to be found for this Christmas!   Best wishes!

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 19
   8:30 am   Louis Kopec   (Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Bonessa)

Tuesday, December 20
   8:30 am   John Stafford  (Judy Stafford & Family)

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

Thursday, December 22
   8:30 am   Katherine & Frank Perri   (Bob & Gloria Rosati)

Friday, December 23
   8:30 am   Nicholas Powers  (Tish Marsico)

Saturday, December 24 — Christmas Eve
   9:00am   Joseph Costa & Rosalia Costa-Clarke  (Antonietta Costa & Family)

   4:00 pm   Sarah Kristin Owen   (The Owen Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   7:00 pm   Stanley, Theresa & Jonathan Marsico  (Tish Marsico)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   10:00 pm   Kathleen Welsh  (Kathleen McAndrews)
      Presider: Father James Torquato
 
Sunday, December 25 — The Birth of the Lord Jesus
   7:30 am   Dr. & Mrs. William H. Labriola   (The Labriola Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   9:00 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members 
      Presider: Father James Torquato

   11:00 am   Celia Mancini  (The Mancini Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Readings for the Week of December 18, 2016

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

Monday: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a/Psalm 71/Luke 1:5-25

Tuesday: Isaiah 7:10-14/Psalm 24/Luke 1:26-38

Wednesday: Song of Songs 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-18a/Psalm 33/Luke 1:39-45

Thursday: 1 Samuel 1:24-28/1 Samuel 2/Luke 1:46-56

Friday: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24/Psalm 25/Luke 1:57-66

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

Next Sunday (Christmas): Vigil: Isaiah 62:1-5/Psalm 89/Acts of the Apostles 13:16-17, 22-25/Matthew 1:1-25 or 1:18-25

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

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

Day: Isaiah 52:7-10/Psalm 98/Heb 1:1-6/John 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14
 
HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR
    These items are needed now:  soups with beans or meat (in pull tab cans);  canned red or black beans;  macaroni and cheese;  small bottles of cooking oil; or cereal.   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!

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

BEST WISHES FOR A BLESSED CHRISTMAS!
    To all of our students, teachers, staff, parents, and families, best wishes for a joyful and happy Christmas and Christmas Season and New Year of 2017!
    Thank you for a very fine first semester this year.  Have a good break from classes!  Enjoy the company of your family and friends.  Have fun during these holidays.  May the Lord bless you all in these holy weeks!

SCHOOL CHRISTMAS BREAK
    Classes at CDTCA will conclude at the end of Wednesday, December 21 for the Christmas holiday.  Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.  Enjoy the Christmas recess and all the holidays!

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

2017 LOTTERY CALENDARS AVAILABLE TO BENEFIT OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOL, CDTCA
   Our Catholic Academy is 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 through the school office this week OR in early January  (412-781-7927).  Thank you for your support and generosity!
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BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
    Our thanks go to  Attorney Paul J. Giuffre  for being a bulletin sponsor.  Please see his bulletin advertisement for contact information.
 
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!

Jesus comes in glory!
     We celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus with great joy and festivity! This is one of our most glorious events
of each year and of all human history — the coming of our Savior and God! The next glorious event to which we look forward will be the Second Coming of the Lord in divine and eternal glory. 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
Bruce Hassing

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

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