December 3, 2017

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
     Our celebration of the Christmas Season ONLY begins on the evening of December 24 and then continues until January 14—the Baptism of the Lord. 
     We do well to observe the Season of Advent as  24 days to prepare for the return of the Lord Jesus.  We do well to make this a prayerful time and to deepen our life in God. 
    There are various ways to make the Season of Advent more prayerful and spiritual rather than filled with frantic activity!  Primarily,  try to get your Christmas preparations finished this week.  Decorate and bake NOW.  Then, acquire gifts and send cards.  Get it all done now so that from December 10-December 24, you can spend time in prayer with Jesus and meditation on the mystery of his Incarnation as the Son of God entering into human existence.
    Try to get everything done now or soon.  Then make the most of Advent with silence rather than noise or hyperactivity.   By spending time with Jesus in prayer, Christmas and your spiritual life will be even better and even more faith filled!  God bless!
                                                                — Father Jim Torquato

OUR NEW CALENDARS FOR 2018
    Once again this year, our new Catholic parish calendars for 2018 have been provided for our community by Mr. Paul Ajak of the Weddell-Ajak Funeral Home, Center Avenue in Aspinwall.   For many generations, Catholic home calendars have been an important way for all Catholic parish members and families to know the celebrations and schedule of the Catholic Year.  Get yours today!

COMING TO THE SEASON OF ADVENT
    This weekend, December 2-3, we come to the Season of Advent, the beginning of the new Church Year 2018, and the start of our annual year long celebration of the life of Jesus and of the Catholic Christian faith.  In this new year, we will use the Gospel according to Mark, the oldest and first of the four New Testament Gospels.  Come, Lord Jesus!

DECEMBER 13 EVENING OF RECONCILIATION
     On Wednesday, December 13,  from 6:00pm—9:00pm, all churches of our Diocese will again have three hours of the Sacrament of Reconciliation available to all Catholics— especially those who’ve been away for years.  Join us on Dec. 13!   Be reconciled!

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION HOLY DAY  THIS  FRIDAY
    Once again this Friday, December 8, we come to our National Holy Day — the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
    This is a truly special Holy Day for all American Catholics and for all Catholics throughout the world.  Mary as the Immaculate Conception is the Patronal Saint of the entire Church in the United States—and also the Patronal Saint of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. Mary’s immaculate conception without sin also teaches us of the grace and power of God.
    We will celebrate the Liturgy at 8:30am (with our CDTCA school community), at 12 noon, and at 7:00pm.  All Catholic Christians are obligated/ required to participate in our worship on December 8.  Please mark your calendar now, and plan to join us this coming Friday!
 
OUR ADVENT & CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE
    We’ve begun our annual Advent & Christmas Giving Tree project to provide gifts for children and infants whose families are in need.  You can donate gifts of clothing and toys for local children.   You can also make a monetary donation for our parish efforts in Haiti, or a donation for the Diocesan Maternity Hospital in Chimbote, Peru, or a donation for the parish social service efforts, or a donation for the work of the local Saint Vincent dePaul Society.
    For many years, our parish members and families have been so very generous to those in need at Christmas.  Thank you in advance for your generosity once again in the year’s Christmas Giving Tree project.  Please return your donations to the church during December 9-10 so that we can share your gifts with others.  Thank you all very much!
 
OUR NEW PARISH IN 2022
    Saint Scholastica Parish, Saint Joseph Parish, Saint Juan Diego Parish, and Saint Pio Parish will be merged by 2022.    
    In March 2018,  priests will be assigned to begin in October 2018.   In October 2018, the Liturgy Schedule of each church will be changed to 1-2 Liturgies per church.  Each parish grouping will have 6-7 Liturgies in total.   
    The final consolidation is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.   Our Diocese is doing our best given our decline in population, participation, donations, and clergy.  Thanks for your support of  On Mission for the Church Alive!

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS

ADVENT SALE OF CROSSES AND CRUCIFIXES
    Our Appalachian Mission Team will be offering hand carved Holy Land crosses and crucifixes this week as a fundraiser for their June 2018 Mission Trip.  There are various styles and sizes.   Please visit the website  www.totallycatholicfundraising.com/Products/Crucifixes  for complete information and an order form.   Use parish code 5546 at checkout, and a portion of your purchase will be sent to our Appalachia Mission Team.  Thanks for your support!

Eighth Grade Confirmation Class Mega Meeting on Sunday, December 10, from 12 noon-1:15pm, parish hall.

All high school students are invited to our Taco Tuesday Bible Study and meditation sessions each Tuesday evening,  8:00pm—9:15pm,  in the Ministry Center Youth Basement.  Be sure to join us!

Meal preparation at Family House in Oakland will be next Wednesday evening, December 13.  Contact Mrs. Jamie Dillon by this Friday to reserve your place!

SPECIAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FAMILY EVENT ON DECEMBER 17,  9:00AM
    On Sunday, December 17, at the 9:00am Liturgy, our parish will host a Family Ministry Event for the families and children of our four local merging parishes. 
    Initiated by our Religious Education staff, these monthly events are being held as a way to introduce families of our four parish communities to one another as we prepare to become members of one unified parish community in the coming years!
    We will begin with a Liturgy for families and children at 9:00am and then continue with a catechetical event in the parish hall for families.
    Please mark your calendar for December 17 and the 9:00am Liturgy,  and join us for our local Family Ministry Event in Advent!
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THANKS FOR YOUR HELP AND GENEROSITY
   Many thanks to all our parish members and families who helped with the local Thanksgiving in the Streets program as well as the Million Meals effort at the David Lawrence Convention Center this past Friday. 
     May you know the goodness and gratitude of the Lord, and may you also know that gratitude of all those whom you’ve helped by your generosity!

Thank you for helping us to clean up our church before and after each weekend Liturgy.  We’re very grateful that you care for your church property!

CURIOUS ABOUT CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY?
    If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Catholic Christian, then you (or they) are invited to come and explore your questions and your interest.  Please call or email Mr. Andy Bechman here to begin your inquiry.

DONATING COOKIES AND BAKED GOODS TO SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL IN DECEMBER
    All our parish bakers are welcome to contribute homemade cookies and baked goods to the Aquinas Guild cookie collection in December!  Plan now to increase the amount of your baking in December, and all your extra items will be welcome here at the parish hall on December 9-10 so they can be delivered to families assisted at Christmas by our local St. Vincent de Paul Society.  Thank you all very much!

HELPING OUR LOCAL SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
    The Aquinas Guild appreciates your donations to the local St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.  Your donations of canned soups, stews, and sloppy joe mix are most welcome  along with any non-perishable items.  Please put donations in the red bin in our church’s main entrance.  

CHRISTMAS DISCERNMENT RETREAT
    Young men considering a vocation to the ordained priesthood are welcome to a December 15-17 Christmas Discernment Retreat sponsored by the Diocesan Vocations Office at the Saint Paul of the Cross Retreat Center on the South Side.  Participants must be 18 years or older.  College students and college graduates are encouraged to attend.  There is NO cost for this retreat weekend.  Please visit www.PGHPriest.com to register by December 8.

VICTIM’S  DIOCESAN  ASSISTANCE  HOTLINE
    Our Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh offers a toll-free hotline for anyone needing to report abuse.  The Confidential Abuse Hotline is 1-888-808-1235.

LITURGY SCHEDULE / PRIEST’S INTENTION
Monday, December 4—Saint John Damascene, priest
   8:30 am   Kevin Evans  (Ann Marie & Bill Kiszka)

Tuesday, December 5
   8:30 am   Tillie Marsico  (Sandy & Tony Ricchiuto)

Wednesday, December 6 — Saint Nicholas, bishop
   8:30 am   Tillie Marsico  (Mary Bucha)

Thursday, December 7 — Saint Ambrose, bishop
   8:30 am   Jean Eckert  (The Scanlon Family)

Friday, December 8 — The Immaculate Conception
   8:30 am   John & Angela Sadlo  (Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Bonessa)
   12:00 pm   Tillie Marsico  (The Scanlon Family)
   7:00 pm   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members

Saturday, December 9 — Saint Juan Diego
   9:00 am   Louis Certo  (The Certo Family)

   5:00pm   Jean Canel Eckert  (Bill & Pat Schmitt)

Sunday, December 10 — Second Sunday of Advent
   7:30 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp
   9:00 am   Thomas Maloney  (Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato
   11:00 am   Dominic Bucci  (Regis & Mary Lou Wessell)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Readings for the Week of December 3, 2017

Sunday: Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7/Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19/1 Corinthians 1:3-9/Mark 13:33-37

Monday: Isaiah 2:1-5/Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4b, 4cd-5, 6-7, 8-9/Matthew 8:5-11

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

Wednesday: Isaiah 25:6-10a/Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6/Matthew 15:29-37

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

Friday: Genesis 3:9-15, 20/Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4/Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12/Luke 1:26-38

Saturday: Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26/Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6/Matthew 9:35--10:1, 5a, 6-8

Next Sunday: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11/Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14/2 Peter 3:8-14/Mark 1:1-8

HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR
   Thank you for your help!  There’s still a need for clean comforters, blankets, bedspreads, and duffel bags.  Used items in good condition are most welcome.  Thanks!   
   These items are needed now: cereal;  canned red or black beans;  canned vegetables; macaroni & cheese; canned chicken; and instant potatoes.   Please leave your donations in plastic bags for easier 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!

BULLETIN SPONSOR OF THE WEEK
   Our thanks go to Paul J. Giuffre, Attorney at Law in Aspinwall for being a bulletin sponsor.   Please see his bulletin advertisement for contact information.

Come, Lord Jesus!   Do not delay!

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY

CDTCA FOOD COLLECTION FOR THE SHARPSBURG FOOD BANK
    Beginning this coming Monday, December 4, and continuing through December 15, our school community will be holding a non-perishable food collection to benefit the families and individuals assisted by the Sharpsburg Food Bank.  Please drop off all usable and non-perishable food donations to the school office in the coming ten days.  Thank you very much!

CDTCA PANTHER BASKETBALL BEGINS
    This weekend, our CDTCA Basketball Season will begin.  Our school has teams for grades 3-8. 
    Thanks to our many coaches for their dedicated training of all our student players, and thanks to all of our players for participating once again this year!!

TIME TO PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR’S  PRE-SCHOOL AND  K-8 ENROLLMENT  AT CDTCA!
    This school year is moving along quickly, and soon our regional Catholic school will begin accepting enrollments for the 2018-2019 academic year!  We’ll be accepting 3 and 4 year old students into our CDTCA pre-school, and we’ll also be accepting students into all grades from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade.  Call our school office (412-781-7927) for information and for a visit.  Also, please plan to join us for the annual Open House on Saturday, January 27,  2:00pm-4:00pm!
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All Young Adults are welcome to make the Pilgrimage of a lifetime!  Next May 26—June 9, 2018,  young Catholic adults in your 20’s and 30’s (and in good health)  are welcome to walk along the Camino de Santiago (Saint James’ Way) in northern Spain.  With just your boots and a backpack, you’ll walk with many pilgrims along the 200+ mile route to the Shrine of Santiago de Compostela.  Pilgrims have been making this amazing walk for many centuries.   Visit  www.creatio.org/causes/pittsburgh-camino  today!

Jesus reminds us to be watchful!
     This Season of Advent is first and foremost our time to prepare for the return of the Lord Jesus and the final fulfillment of the Kingdom of God! This isn't a time to celebrate Jesus’ birth but a time to watch and prepare for his return in glory. May we all have a blessed and prayerful Advent, and may we watch for Jesus’ 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