December 10, 2017

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
    In so many churches of Europe, especially those built many centuries ago, there is always an image of Saint John the Baptist among the images in the sanctuary above the altar.  Along with beautiful images of Jesus and the God the Father and the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother Mary, there is usually a smaller image of Saint John the Baptist pointing toward Jesus as he continues to direct the attention of all Christians toward Jesus as our Messiah and Redeemer and Savior.
    We hear the testimony of Saint John during these Advent Sundays so that we too might be guided to Jesus as the promised Holy One of Almighty God!   Even though many have forgotten about Jesus and all that he means to us and to the Church and to the whole world, it is both good and important that we always direct our faith and our attention toward the Lord Jesus who is most important for our lives and for happiness.
    May we be attentive to the testimony of Saint John the Baptist, and like John, may we place our faith in Jesus and dedicate our lives to him every day as the source and the promise of our eternal salvation.  God bless!                
                                                                                  — Father Jim Torquato
     
DECEMBER 13   EVENING OF RECONCILIATION
   This Wednesday, December 13, from 6:00pm—9:00pm, all parishes of our Diocese will again have three hours for the Sacrament of Reconciliation available to all Catholic Christians—especially those who’ve been away from the life of the Church for years or even for decades.  Join us on December 13.   Be reconciled to the Lord Jesus!

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!

FLOWER DONATION THANKS
    Many thanks to Mrs. Mary Jo  Romano for the donation of a floral arrangement for the December 8 Immaculate Conception Holy Day!   We’re grateful!

CELEBRATING OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
    Each year, on December 12, all Catholic Christians in the Western hemisphere are invited to celebrate our Blessed Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas!  
    In 1531 AD, from December 9-12, at Guadalupe near Mexico City, Mary appeared to Saint Juan Diego, a humble peasant, to encourage faith in her son, Jesus.  A magnificent image of her was left on Juan Diego’s cloak.  The image shows Mary blocking out the image of the old sun god as she invited the people of Mexico and of the New World to become disciples of her Son.
     While this holy day is special to all Mexican and Latino Catholics, it is also a special celebration for all Catholics in the Americas because this 1531 event brought Jesus more into the New World of the Americas thanks to the message of Mary, the Lord’s Mother.  Everyone is welcome to join Bishop David Zubik at Saint Paul Cathedral this Tuesday, December 12 at 7:00pm for a Liturgy to celebrate this special and holy day!
  
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 de Paul 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 this weekend of 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 is offering hand carved Holy Land crosses and crucifixes 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!

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

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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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!

RESPECT LIFE PANCAKE BREAKFAST
    Come support our Respect Life Committee and their work at the annual January 7 Pancake Breakfast, 8:00am—12:45pm in the school cafeteria.  The donation is $5 Adult/ $4 Child.  All are welcome!

Join our parish members attending the 2018 National  March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 19!   The bus will leave Pittsburgh at midnight and return late Friday night.  Students can participate for free.  Adults $30 donation.  Please call Mrs. Mary  Catherine Scanlon (412-781-6550) this week to reserve your seat.  The bus is quickly being filled already.  Thank you for your witness!

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 contact Mr. Andy Bechman at our parish office 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!  If you’ve increased the amount of your baking in December, any 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 11 — Pope Saint Damasus I
   8:30 am   Susan Tamburo, anniversary  (Evelyn Conflenti)

Tuesday, December 12 — Our Lady of Guadalupe
   8:30 am   Anita LiVolsi  (Ray & Ruth Ann Weible)

Wednesday, December 13 —Saint Lucy, martyr
   8:30 am   Dianne Powell   (Mr. & Mrs. David & Mary Ann Dice)

Thursday, December 14 — Saint John of the Cross
   8:30 am   Dr. William P. Garvey  (Kathy Murray)

Friday, December 15
   8:30 am   Julia Lazar  (daughter, Sherry Schaffer)

Saturday, December 16
   9:00 am   Georgene Veltri  (The Scanlon Family)

   5:00pm   Jean Canel Eckert  (Bill & Pat Schmitt)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Sunday, December 17 — Third Sunday of Advent
   7:30 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father James Torquato
   9:00 am   John F. Donahue  (Bill & Joanne Fallon)
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp
   11:00 am   John T. Gabos  (Paul & Molly Gabos)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Readings for the Week of December 10, 2017

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

Monday: Isaiah 35:1-10/Psalm 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14/Luke 5:17-26

Tuesday: Zechariah 2:14-17 or Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/Judith 13:18bcde, 19/Luke 1:26-38 or Luke 1:39-47

Wednesday: Isaiah 40:25-31/Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10/Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday: Isaiah 41:13-20/Psalm 145:1 and 9, 10-11, 12-13ab/Matthew 11:11-15

Friday: Isaiah 48:17-19/Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6/Matthew 11:16-19

Saturday: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11/Psalm 80:2ac and 3b, 15-16, 18-19/Matthew 17:9a, 10-13

Next Sunday: Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11/Luke 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54/1 Thessalonians 5:16-24/John 1:6-8, 19-28

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;  and macaroni & cheese.   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 Walnut Grill in the Waterworks Shopping Center for being a bulletin sponsor.   Please see their bulletin advertisement for information as well as their Sunday brunch coupon.

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

OUR CDTCA TEACHER OF THE  MONTH—MISS SARAH LAMB
    Now in her fifth year of teaching the Third Grade at CDTCA, Miss Sarah Lamb received both her bachelor and master’s degrees in Education from Boston College.  She is a graduate of Oakland Catholic High School and Saint Bernard School in Mount Lebanon where she has been a lifelong member.
   In addition to teaching Third Grade, Miss Lamb also works with the CDTCA Student Council, school service projects, and all school activities.  Miss Lamb also coaches basketball at Oakland Catholic High School.  At CDTCA, she enjoys that close knit community and the school spirit, and she very much enjoys this year and looks forward to many more years at CDTCA! 

MANY THANKS TO THIS WEEK’S GUEST SPEAKERS
    On Monday, December 4, the students of our regional Catholic school were honored to welcome and hear from several celebrity guest speakers.  We’re most grateful to Aspinwall Fire Chief Gene Marsico, Aspinwall Police Officer David Nemec, as well as KDKA TV newswoman Susan Koeppen for their presentations. 
    It was an enjoyable and educational day learning about these careers and what it takes to succeed in life!  Thanks again to all our guest speakers!

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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To receive the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper at home OR a copy of the Sunday bulletin for the homebound, please contact our parish office now!

 Jesus is the Promised Messiah!
   Thanks to the preaching of Saint John, the people of Jesus’ day were made aware that Jesus is the Messiah promised to the people of Israel. As such, Saint John also tells us with full assurance that Jesus is also the Messiah promised to all of us and to the whole world. May we be grateful that God sent his own Son to us all!

     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