December 24, 2017

A NOTE FROM FATHER TORQUATO 

Best wishes to all our parish members, families, and visitors for a joyful and blessed celebration of Christmas and the Christmas Season!  May the Lord Jesus bless all of you with goodness, faith, love, and an enduring hope and trust in God!

    The Lord Jesus is born.  May we believe in him as our Messiah and Savior, and may we honor and worship and revere him all the days and years of our lives!
    I’m sure we’re all aware that Jesus’ holy name Is often spoken by many people in our society today, yet NOT in a respectful and grateful way.  For some reason, even while countless people are celebrating Jesus today and his importance to us and to the world, so many fail to give Jesus the adoration and glory that are rightfully his as the Son of God.
    May we honor and celebrate Jesus and his birth in these days, and then may we extend our love and gratitude and devotion to Jesus throughout the entire year by speaking his name with respect and honor.  May we remind our families and all others that Jesus is the Divine Lord whom we should worship and thank every day of the year.   Merry Christmas! 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
     Thank you for celebrating these holidays and Holy Days with us this Sunday, December 24 and on  Monday, December 25 as we come to the celebration of the Lord’s birth and the Lord’s second coming during this Christmas Season!
     This weekend, we’re celebrating 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.
    Thanks for joining us on these very Holy Days as we again celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Messiah and Lord.

MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO’VE MADE  CHRISTMAS SO MEMORABLE THIS YEAR!
    Thanks very much to all our parish members and staff who’ve helped to make this Christmas a joyful and prayerful and memorable celebration!  Thanks to those who’ve decorated the church, all those providing our beautiful Christmas music, all our liturgical ministers, our ushers and collection counters,  and our dedicated staff members.  May the Lord bless you and all of our parish in this holy and joyful Christmas season!

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

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 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 before December 28 if you’ll be participating!
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A THREE WEEK BIBLE STUDY IN JANUARY
    Are you looking for hope this winter?  Please join us for a three part Bible study on "Hope: An Anchor in Today’s World."  
    This program will be held Wednesday evenings, on January 17, 24, and 31 from 7:30pm—9:00pm in the parish hall.  We will use a booklet from the Little Rock Scripture Study, and the donation for materials is $15 payable at the first session. 
    Before January 8, please contact Andy Bechman at 412-781-0186, ext. 18, or email him here.   We hope you can join us for this special Bible Study in January!

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 or Mr. Andy Bechman at our parish office at 412-781-0186, X-18 to begin your inquiry, or email him here.

GRATEFUL FOR YOUR DONATIONS
    The Saint Vincent DePaul 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 for Adults/ $4 for 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 25 — The Nativity of the Lord
   10:00 am   Sophie Skowron  (The Skowron Family)

Tuesday, December 26 — Saint Stephen, first martyr
   8:30 am   Frank Skowron  (The Skowron Family)

Wednesday, December 27 — Saint John, evangelist
   8:30 am   Dianne Powell  (Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Weaver, Dr. & Mrs. Jeremy Dincher)

Thursday, December 28 — The Holy Innocents, martyrs
   8:30 am   Helen & George McKay  (Family)

Friday, December 29 — St. Thomas Becket, bishop
   8:30 am   Edwin Fairley, birthday   (daughter, Kathleen)

Saturday, December 30
   9:00 am   Dr. Norbert O. Gannon  (Kathy Murray)

   5:00pm   John Towle  (Kathleen McAndrews)
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Sunday, December 31 — The Holy Family of Jesus,  Mary and Joseph    
   7:30 am   Dr. & Mrs. W.H. Labriola  (The Labriola Family)
      Presider: Father Sean Hogan, CSSp
   9:00 am  John F. Donahue  (Rosemary & Mark Studer)
      Presider: Father James Torquato
   11:00 am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
      Presider: Father James Torquato

Readings for the Week of December 24, 2017

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

Monday: 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

Tuesday: Acts of the Apostles 6:8-10; 7:54-59/Psalm 31:3cd-4, 6 and 8ab, 16bc and 17 /Matthew 10:17-22

Wednesday: 1 John 1:1-4/Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12 /John 20:1a, 2-8

Thursday: 1 John 1:5--2:2/Psalm 124:2-3, 4-5, 7b-8 /Matthew 2:13-18

Friday: 1 John 2:3-11/Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6 /Luke 2:22-35

Saturday: 1 John 2:12-17/Psalm 96:7-8a, 8b-9, 10 /Luke 2:36-40

Next Sunday: Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3 or Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14/Psalm 105:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9, or Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 /Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19 or Colossians 3:12-21 or 3:12-17/Luke 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40

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: canned red or black beans, 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 www.parishstore.com for being a bulletin sponsor.   Many Catholic gifts are available.  Please see their bulletin advertisement for information.

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

BEST WISHES TO ALL FOR A JOYFUL CHRISTMAS AND BLESSED HOLIDAYS
     As we enjoy the 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 successful, 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! 
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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!

Give praise to our Jesus, our Messiah and our Savior!

 Best wishes for a Merry Christmas as we celebrate Jesus’ coming to us!  
     This Fourth Sunday of Advent and Monday’s celebration of Christmas are joyful and holy days as we remember Jesus’ birth as the promised Messiah 2017 years ago and as we look forward to Jesus’ return in glory to bring about the completion of God’s Kingdom. Alleluia!  
 
     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