December 17, 2017

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO
    What brings you joy?   Anyone?   Anything?
    Our lives are so full of work and responsibilities and distractions and details and commitments.   How many of us ever take the time to experience joy in our hearts, our souls, our lives, and our families?  I hope that you do, but I think it’s rare in our society.
    This Sunday reminds us that joy should be a regular experience in our lives.  The people of Israel rejoiced when they were assured that a Messiah, a Savior would be sent to them.  Saint John the Baptist and his followers and his audience rejoiced when John knew that the Lamb of God was drawing near to them and would soon arrive.
    May this Advent Season also fill us with joy as we renew our faith that the Lord Jesus will return in glory and complete the Kingdom of God for his faithful people!  It’s a hope that we don’t often consider or remember in our meditation, but it is still an amazing promise and our most important hope.  May Jesus himself and all that he has given you and all that he promises us bring you a true sense of joy and gladness and gratitude now and always.  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!

A GENTLE REMINDER FOR OUR COMMUNITY
    Faithfulness to the Lord Jesus and a healthy spiritual life aren’t nearly as common as they were in past generations.  Yet, both are still very important to our daily living and for our hope of sharing in the eternal Kingdom that Jesus promises his faithful and holy and loving people!  
    The most important way that we strengthen our faithfulness and our spiritual lives is through our participation in the Sunday Eucharist!   All Catholic Christians are invited and obligated to join in the Sunday Liturgy to keep holy the Lord’s Day, to give thanks to God, to share in the Lord’s Supper, and to replenish our spiritual life and the divine grace within our souls.   Be sure to make our Sunday Liturgy your highest personal and family priority each and every week.  Thank you very much.  God bless!

OUR CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY SCHEDULE
     Be sure to celebrate the holidays and the Holy Days with us next Sunday, December 24 and next Monday, December 25 as we come to the celebration of the Lord’s birth and the Lord’s second coming during the Christmas Season!
     Next weekend, we’ll celebrate the customary Sunday schedule at 5:00pm Saturday, and 7:30am, 9:00am, and 11:00am Sunday. 
     Then, we’ll have our usual Christmas schedule with Liturgies at 4:00pm, 7:00pm, and 10:00pm Christmas Eve, December 24, followed by a 10:00am Liturgy on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25.
    Be sure to mark your calendar and join us on these very Holy Days next weekend as we again celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Messiah and Lord.
 
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE GRATITUDE AND THANKS!
    Thank you so very much for your generosity in our annual Advent & Christmas Giving Tree project that provides gifts for children and infants whose families are in need.  Your donations of clothing and toys for local children are much appreciated.   Your charitable monetary donations are also greatly appreciated as they’ve been directed toward our parish efforts in Haiti, to the Diocesan Maternity Hospital in Chimbote, Peru, to our parish social service efforts, and to 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 once again for your generosity in this year’s Christmas Giving Tree project.  

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 NEW

SPECIAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FAMILY EVENT ON DECEMBER 17,  9:00AM
    This 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. 
    We’ll begin with a Liturgy for families and children at 9:00am and then continue with a catechetical event in the parish hall for families.

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!

UPCOMING YOUTH MINISTRY EVENTS
    All students in high school and middle school are welcome to participate in a snow tubing session at the Seven Springs Resort on Friday, December 29, from 11:00am-1:00pm.  Contact Meredith Troyan here before December 22 to reserve your place in this event.  The donation for each person is $31.
    On Tuesday, January 2 at 12 noon, our Youth Ministry will hold an Alumni Luncheon in the Ministry Center.  High school graduates who’ve been a part of Youth Ministry in past years are welcome to attend and to reconnect with one another.  Please contact Meredith Troyan here before December 28 if you’ll be participating!
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A GENTLE REMINDER, TOO, FOR ALL OUR LITURGICAL MINISTERS AND SERVERS
    Our parish is very grateful for the ministry that you provide for our parish community at the Sunday Liturgy and during the week throughout the whole year. 
    Please remember to join us for the Sunday Liturgy both when you’re scheduled for your ministry or serving and when you’re not scheduled as well.  For some reason, it’s becoming common in many parishes to think that it’s only necessary to participate in the Sunday Mass when you’re on the schedule,  but in fact, the Lord asks us to join with him and with our parish community every Sunday for the Liturgy.   Be sure to join us each week as we give thanks to the Lord in the gathering of his people!

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 Mr. Andy Bechman at our parish office or email him here to begin your inquiry.
 
GRATEFUL FOR YOUR DONATIONS
    The Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Sharpsburg and our parish Aquinas Guild are most grateful to all who contributed hundreds of dozens of cookies for this year’s cookie sharing.  Each of the 115 families served by the Pantry received cookies for Christmas!   Thank you for your generosity!

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 Adults/ $4 Children.  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!

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.  

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 18
   8:30 am   Anthony Fiorentino  (Sisters)

Tuesday, December 19
   8:30 am   Thomas D. Maher  (The Maher Family)

Wednesday, December 20
   8:30 am   John Stafford  (Judy Stafford)

Thursday, December 21 — Saint Peter Canisius, priest
   8:30 am   Linda (Simpson) Sacha  (Kathy Murray)

Friday, December 22
   8:30 am   Living & Deceased Members of the Hoolahan Family  (Marjorie Greif)

Saturday, December 23 — Saint John of Kanty, priest
   9:00 am   Dr. Margaret Ann Klasa  (Art Hussey)

   5:00pm   Mary Dee Maloney  (Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Sunday, December 24 — Fourth Sunday of Advent
   7:30 am   Rita Daily  (The Daily Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato
   9:00 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father Michael Ackerman
   11:00 am   Matt Hussey, living  (Dad, Art Hussey)
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp

Sunday, December 24 — Christmas Eve 
   4:00 pm   Sarah Kristin Owen  (The Owen Family)
      Presider: Father James Torquato
   7:00 pm   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father Michael Ackerman
   10:00 pm   Georgene Veltri  (Kathleen McAndrews)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Readings for the Week of December 17, 2017 and Christmas

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

Monday: Jeremiah 23:5-8/Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19/Matthew 1:18-25

Tuesday: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a/Psalm 71:3-4a, 5-6ab, 16-17 /Luke 1:5-25

Wednesday: Isaiah 7:10-14/Psalm 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 /Luke 1:26-38

Thursday: Song of Songs 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-18a/Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21 /Luke 1:39-45

Friday: 1 Samuel 1:24-28/1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd /Luke 1:46-56

Saturday: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24/Psalm 25:4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14 /Luke 1:57-66

Next Sunday: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29 /Romans 16:25-27/Luke 1:26-38

Next Monday (The Nativity of the Lord): 
     Vigil: Isaiah 62:1-5/Psalm 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29 /Acts of the Apostles 13:16-17, 22-25/Matthew 1:1-25 or 1:18-25

     Midnight: Isaiah 9:1-6/Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13/Titus 2:11-14/Luke 2:1-14

     Dawn: Isaiah 62:11-12/Psalm 97:1, 6, 11-12/Titus 3:4-7/Luke 2:15-20
     
Day: Isaiah 52:7-10/Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6 /Hebrews 1:1-6/John 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14

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 soups; and macaroni & cheese.   Please leave your donations in plastic bags for easy handling. Gray bins are in the 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 Jocelyn Bosick of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services for being a bulletin sponsor.   Please see her bulletin advertisement for information about her realty services.

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

BEST WISHES TO ALL FOR A JOYFUL CHRISTMAS  AND BLESSED HOLIDAYS
     As we approach the coming Christmas Break for Christ the Divine Teacher Academy, best wishes to all our students and parents and families, as well as our teachers, aides, helpers, and administration for a joyful and blessed celebration of Christmas and the beginning of the New Year of 2018!
     This first semester has been excellent, and we hope that everyone will enjoy these holidays and get plenty of rest during this winter recess!
     May the Lord Jesus bless our CDTCA community and the four parish communities which generously support our school as well as all the parish communities whose students receive their Catholic education here at CDTCA!   Merry Christmas to all!

OUR CDTCA JANUARY 27, 2018 OPEN HOUSE
    It’s time to enroll for the 2018-2019 school year here at CDTCA!   For all interested parents and young students, we’ll hold our annual January Open House on Saturday, January 27, 2018  from 2:00pm--4:00pm.    
    Come and tour the school buildings and classrooms and gymnasium, meet our teachers and students, learn about our academics, technology, activities, and sports, and receive information about Financial Aid.  You’ll love what you find here at CDTCA!   All students entering Pre-School and Kindergarten as well as students transferring into Grades 1-8 are all most welcome!   Call our office (412-781-7927) now to register for the Open House! 

GIVING BACK TO OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY
    This month, CDTCA students and families enjoyed giving back to our local community for the holiday season.  Students raised more than $800 for the Fox Chapel Backpacks for Hunger Program.  Student Council members shopped to fill the backpacks for those in need.
    Also, CDTCA held an Advent Evening of Reflection for families throughout our school community and our local parishes during which families made “no sew” fleece blankets for the local homeless ministry.  CDTCA is celebrating this Christmas by helping many in need! 
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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!

We rejoice at Jesus’ coming again!
   In past generations and past centuries, many people were fearful of the Lord’s return in glory. They saw such an event as catastrophic for themselves and for the world. However, in reality, we should welcome the Lord Jesus’ return with great joy! His return will be all that we have hoped for during the past 20 centuries.
 
     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