Holiday Schedule: Please download for complete Schedule!
Today we begin a new season, a new calendar year in the Church as we begin Advent. The word Advent means a “coming” or “arrival.” It presents an opportunity of preparation and calls our attention to recall the birth of Jesus and also to anticipate his second coming. Advent makes us think of the theme of waiting. During Advent, the Church invites us to prepare to celebrate both Jesus’ birth and his promise to return at the end of time.
The readings this weekend focus on people engaging on a journey and be alert. In the first reading of the prophet Isaiah, we read how the prophet has a vision of King David’s city. It will become a place where people learn the ways of the Lord. In the Second reading to the Romans, Paul urges the people of faith to prepare for the day of the Lord, to awake from sleep. In the Gospel of Luke, we are reminded that the Son of Man is coming. The disciples are urged to await the Lord’s coming with confidence, vigilance and prayer. Jesus tells us to be vigilantnot because God intends to frighten or destroy us, but because God has great things in store for those whom God redeems. To watch means to be awake and to be alert.
As we light the first candle in our Advent wreath this week, let be alert, awake and watchful!
Gather Hymnals This weekend we will begin using our new 2016 Gathering hymnals which contain updated readings and music. Thank you to all who made a donation to make this project possible.
Scrip Program With the Christmas Shopping season now in full swing, please support your parish by buying gift cards from our Scrip program. Stop by our Scrip table in the vestibule and stock up on the gift cards that you normally purchase at the store. Gift cards are available before and after Mass and also during the week at the rectory office.
Fair Trade Sale Please join us next Sunday, December 6, after all the Sunday morning Masses for our annual Fair Trade Sale! There will be several vendors here with handmade goods from various countries.
Advent Penance Service St. James Parish will conduct an Advent Penance Service this coming Monday, November 28 at 6:30pm. There will be several priests on hand for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Advent is a wonderful time to get refreshed and renewed. On Wednesday December 14, from 6:00 to 9:00pm all parishes will be open for the “Light is Still on For You.” The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available in all parishes throughout the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Light Up Night Pasta Feast We will be having our 2nd annual Light Up Night Pasta Feast from 4:00 to 7:00pm in the St. James School Cafeteria. Join us for a delicious dinner then leave your car in our parking lot and walk around Sewickley and enjoy the festivities. All proceeds from the Spaghetti Dinner will benefit the Knights of Columbus and Women’s Guild.
From 5:30-6:00pm, be sure to be at the main stage to listen to our St. James School students sing Christmas carols.
Christmas Wafers Christmas Wafers or “Oplatki” are available in church or at the rectory offices. Each package contains four blessed wafers for you to use during your Christmas dinner. The wafers are located near the candles in the main vestibule. The suggested donation is $5.00 which can be placed in the money boxes near the candle stands.
Happy Birthday A very special happy 100th birthday to Austin McGrath who celebrated his very special day this past Monday, November 21.
Welcome Home A special welcome to Domenic, Gina, Domenico, and Mario DiTano, Christopher, Asten, Jackson, and Greyson Pacellio who recently registered at St. James Parish.
Next Saturday, December 3 at the 5:00pm Mass, we will have a “Welcome Home” Mass. Please bring a family member, friend or co-worker who has been away from the church for a while. Bring them to welcome them back home to the Catholic Church!
Something to Think About… Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented, and happy attitudes, and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful. - Norman Vincent Peale
With God, All Things Are Possible!
CHRIST THE KING!
As we prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday this coming week, we are coming to the end of the liturgical calendar, and the end of the Year of Mercy. A new cycle of readings begins next Sunday, November 27, the first week of Advent. This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. This solemnity was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925, an observance celebrating an aspect of Jesus’ identity rather than of his life. The readings this weekend focus on a different type of kingship that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. Instead of an earthly throne, his cross was his throne. Instead of wearing an earthly crown of gold and jewels, his was a crown of thorns.
In our first reading from the Book of Samuel, we read how all the tribes of Israel invite David to be their King. In the Gospel of Luke, we read the same Passion Narrative that we read this past Palm Sunday. The Crucifixion focuses on Christ being taunted by the soldiers yelling at him that he is “King of the Jews.” Two thieves are crucified next to Jesus. One thief, Dismiss, also known as the good thief, is aware that they have condemned an innocent man. His faith motivates his dying wish: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” On Calvary, a convicted sinner professed his faith!
As we come to the end of this Liturgical year, let us pray in the darkest moments of our life, that we will trust the Lord who is our friend, and our king. He will set us free and remind us that we one day will be with him in paradise.
CHRIST THE KING!
On Mission For the Church Alive… Thank you to all who participated in the two consultation sessions back on October 24 and 25 for the upcoming On Mission For the Church Alive process which is a major restructuring project for the entire diocese. The two possible models that were presented: POSSIBLE Model 1 is to merge with St. Mary in Aleppo Township, Sacred Heart in Emsworth and Assumption in Bellevue, and POSSIBLE Model 2 is to merge with Good Samaritan in Ambridge, St. John the Baptist in Baden and Sts. John and Paul in Wexford. Please note that NO decisions have been made and your feedback is important during this process. Feedback forms are on the Information Tables in church.
Also, the schools office is continuing meetings with Pastors and Principals from the North Hills Area Catholic Schools for possible reorganization next year. Because of the location of St. James School, we do not have any other Catholic Elementary School nearby to merge but we would partner with the new North Hills Regional Schools for purchasing books and hiring staff and teachers. Again, no decisions have been at this time. We will keep you posted as the information is released on this new Regionalization model.
Welcome Home A special welcome to Joe, Kristie, Audrina, and Arianna DiRenzo, Robyn Remic, Mark, Annie, Makaylee, and Chase Rogers who recently registered at St. James Parish.
Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving day Mass will be held Thursday, November 24 at 9:00am. Safe travels to all who will be traveling!
Please note that there will no 6:45am Mass on Friday, November 25 and no 9:00am Mass, confessions or Adoration on Saturday, November 26. The Rectory Offices will be closing at Noon on Wednesday, November 23 and will reopen on Monday, November 28 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!
Pasta Feast! Please join us on Friday, December 2 from 4:00 to 7:00pm in the school cafeteria and/or the Gathering Space for a delicious spaghetti dinner, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and St. James Womens Guild.
A “Welcome Home Mass” for fallen away Catholics will be held on Saturday, December 3 at 5:00pm. Please invite a family member or friend to join us for Mass.
Wedding Bells Congratulations to Ashley Russo and Arran Harland who celebrated their wedding last weekend!
Birthday Reflection As I prepare to celebrate my 46th birthday this Thursday, November 24, I would like to pause and say thanks to my parents, Bill and Marge for the gift of life! I am grateful for the morals and values my parents have taught me. Faith, family and friendships are true treasures in life. I am honored to be your Pastor here at St. James.
Something to Think About… On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. - William Jennings Bryan
With God, All Things Are Possible!
KEEP THE FAITH!
Today we celebrate the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. As we approach the final weeks of the Liturgical Season, the readings this weekend focus on the end of time and keeping the faith. In the first reading of the prophet Malachi, we read how the prophet talks about a day of judgement. God will distinguish between the just and the unjust. In the Gospel of Luke, we read how Jesus teaches that the day is coming when the great temple of Jerusalem will be destroyed and Christians will be persecuted.
To be a Christian is to dare to be different. We need to be confident and faithful despite having to carrying heavy burdens. The difficulties of life, no matter what form they take, can be occasions for us to bear the witness to our faith in God and in Jesus. Our challenge today is to carry our own load and be ready to help others. Only God has a hand in the matters of life and death.
As we draw towards the end of the Liturgical year, let us reflect on our own challenges in life. Not have fear, but have faith!
KEEP THE FAITH!
Gathering Space Rental Now that our Gathering Space has been renovated we are opening up the space for rental. The Gathering Space is available for Baptisms, wedding rehearsals, birthday parties, or other small celebrations. For a nominal fee, the room can seat up to 100 people with full use of the mini kitchen and handicap accessible restrooms. Please contact our Office Manager, Karin Masterani at the Rectory Office to inquire about availability.
Pending availability, the Gathering Space is available for funeral luncheons at no charge for parishioners of St. James. Our Funeral Luncheon Committee is here to assist. Special thanks to Joan Straka who has headed the Funeral Luncheon Committee for the past four years and we welcome Linda Boord who will now chair this group.
On Mission for the Church Alive! Extra forms are available on the information tables in the church for the two possible models of the future restructuring of St. James Parish and our neighboring parishes. Please pick up a yellow information packet and complete the Feedback Form and return it to the On Mission box on the information table in the church vestibule or Gathering Space entrance by December 12. Your feedback is appreciated. Please join in talking to one of our On Mission Team Members after all the Masses next weekend in the Gathering Space to discuss your comments and suggestions about the process.
Parish Improvements Bishak Electrical Services, LLC of Sewickley recently installed new outdoor bollard lighting near the Gathering Space Entrance and Handicap parking area. **Special thanks to the Women’s Guild for their financial contribution towards the cost of this project. ** **
Please be patient as we are in the process of installing a new sound system in the church. Good Sounds of Hunker, PA is currently installing new wiring, and speakers. We thank you for your patience as we make this much improved transition.**
Jake Luffy Masonry of Pittsburgh recently cleaned and sealed the limestone fascia surrounding the flat roof area of the church. They also repointed and repaired the brick on the rectory garage and outdoor wall near the fish pond area.
Rite of Welcoming Last weekend at the 9:30am Mass, we welcomed our RCIA candidates as we officially introduced them to the parish as they continue learning more about the Catholic Faith. The Class of 2017includes: Jason Brewer, Jason Gasbarre, Walter Gleason, Jay Heurich, Paul Muders, Christopher Price, Rikkelle Showalter, and Dane Summerville.
Congratulations Congratulations to Arianna Antonia DiRenzo daughter of Giuseppe and and Kristina Policastro DiRenzo, and Stephen Joseph Young, son of Matthew and Julie Dickhans Young, who are being Baptized this weekend.
Welcome Home A special welcome to Joseph and Katherine Denn, Andrew, Diane, Archer, and Stella Dripps, who recently registered at St. James Parish.
Happy Birthday Happy Birthday to Karen Conroy our Director of Religious Education and Sister Christy Hill our School Principal!
Something to Think About… When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” - Erma Bombeck
With God, All Things Are Possible!