A Message from Father Bob
December 09, 2018
ADVENT CONFESSIONS: This week, Tuesday, December 11, is the Bishop’s “The Light Is On For You”, from 6-9:00 p.m. A priest will be available in each of our 4 churches. In addition to the regular schedule, here are other opportunities: Saturdays, December 15 and 22: Noon to 1:00 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul, Holy Family and St. Cecilia. Thursday, December 20, 4:00-5:00 p.m. at St. Felix.
The Christmas Mass schedule is as it was last year. We’ll have BIG crowds and you folks are dealing with enough change already. Look in future bulletins for information.
I’m very impressed with all the charitable outreaches I’m seeing in the parishes. Each has their own customs, but all of them are good. We do show our love for Christ by the charity we give to others.
Soon, you will be hearing more about the mission of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Founded in 1833 by Frederick Ozanam, this is a spiritual organization of Catholic laymen and women who have a dual purpose: 1) their own spiritual growth and 2) helping friends in need. Not every parish has had a St. Vincent de Paul Conference, but all the local parishes have been served, none the less. Because of our cluster, the Saints Peter and Paul Conference will have responsibility for our 4 parish communities. More information is coming, but you’ll be amazed at the work they do.
In these busy days of Advent, do try to find quiet moments to spend with our Lord in prayer. Think of it as “spiritual vitamins” to keep up your strength.
December 02, 2018
ADVENT, the Liturgical Season that begins today, is one of the clear indications that the Church is so different from the world in which we live. We begin this season of spiritual preparation for the celebration of our Savior’s birth and then we celebrate His birth for about two weeks. The world celebrates now and then stops as soon as December 25 is finished. Yes, there is much to do to prepare for Christmas but the most important preparation takes place in our hearts.
Please mark your calendar for December 11, Confessions from 6:00-9:00 p.m. in all four of our churches.
Other opportunities for the sacrament will be available in addition to the three regularly scheduled.
Saturday, December 8, is Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It remains a Holy Day of Obligation because in her title of the Immaculate Conception, Mary is patroness of our nation.
Vigil Masses on Friday,
Holy Family – 4:00 p.m.
St. Cecilia – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 8:
St. Felix – 8:30 a.m.
Saints Peter and Paul – 9:00 a.m.
Everything seems to be going well. Thank you for your support and patience.
November 25, 2018
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Today, November 25, is the Feast of Christ the King. More than just the end of our Liturgical season, it is a summary statement of our belief. Everything that we have experienced, believed and celebrated since the 1st Sunday of Advent, 2017, leads us to this statement – Jesus is King! He is the beginning, middle and end of everything we do. May each of us discover the joy and freedom that His Kingship brings in our life.
In honor of this feast, there are celebrations of Eucharistic Adoration at Holy Family, 10:00 a.m. till noon with benediction; Sts. Peter and Paul, 1:00-4:00 p.m. with Benediction; St. Cecilia and St. Felix do a procession and Benediction following Mass.
This coming Saturday, December 1st, is the Confirmation Retreat for our 8th graders. St. Cecilia is the site this year. Please pray for the candidates that their faith will grow strong as they prepare themselves for this final Sacrament of Initiation.
Saints Peter and Paul School Annual Candle Light House Tour is next Sunday, December 2nd from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Call the school for more information: 724-774-4450.
One of the immediate issues our grouping needs to face is coordinated maintenance of our buildings. The priests cannot oversee this work. So, we are beginning a search for a Facilities Manager to oversee, plan and coordinate all maintenance and janitorial efforts. Please send resumes to Fr. Bob at any of the four parishes.
November 18, 2018
The national holiday of Thanksgiving is this week. It falls on November 22, which is usually the feast day of St. Cecilia. So, happy feast day to all the Cecilians!! Each Parish has a Mass that morning:
Sts. Peter and Paul 7:30 a.m.;
Holy Family 8:30 a.m.;
St. Felix 9:00 a.m.;
St. Cecilia 9:00 a.m.
All the Parishes offices will be closed both Thursday and Friday.
Next Sunday, November 25, is the Feast of Christ the King. The last Sunday in the Liturgical year, there will be Eucharistic Adoration from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Holy Family; 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul. St. Cecilia and St. Felix do a procession and Benediction following Mass.
Next weekend, November 24-25, the Voice of Justice organization of St. Cecilia is sponsoring a Fair Trade Fair. Fair Trade Fairs are a movement to directly sell goods from African and Central and South American Artisans, without a middle man. These products provide stable living wages for those who would otherwise go without. Items include: coffee, tea, chocolate, nuts, scarves, jewelry, handmade crosses, linens, etc. Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted.
Thanks to everyone who supported the Roast Beef Dinner at St. Felix last Thursday. Thanks, as well, to all the workers. It was very delicious!! It’s important that we all support each other’s fundraisers. Remember please, that no matter which church you attend, the envelopes go back to the right office.
Thanks so much for your generosity to all the recent special collections. Such generosity means a great deal.
November 11, 2018
This Sunday, November 11, is Veterans Day, but the celebration takes place on Monday. I salute our veterans and ask for God’s blessings upon them and their families, especially those who are wounded.
Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Masses on Thanksgiving morning are:
7:30 a.m. – Sts. Peter and Paul 8:30 a.m. – Holy Family 9:00 a.m. – St. Cecilia
9:00 a.m. – St. Felix
Many of you might not know that each year St. Cecilia hosts a community-wide Thanksgiving Day Dinner from 12 noon to 3:00 p.m. If you want to make any donations, please call St. Cecilia at 724-775-0801.
I witnessed two great spiritual moments last weekend that I would like to share: First was a combined youth group event Saturday into Sunday called the “30 Hour Famine”. This was an amazing experience for teens to begin to see the all too real problems of hunger around them (often invisible) and also to develop deeper gratefulness for their own blessings. Lots of activities, including goat yoga (yes, live goats), made it both a fun and beneficial event. I just wish more teens would come. Second was 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Felix. I’m surprised it hadn’t happened sooner, but I messed up the schedule on Sunday and was 20 minutes late for Mass. To my surprise, the church was still full. Although they might have had every right to leave angry, the Mass was important enough to wait. That strengthened my faith in light of our Church’s ongoing struggles. Really, everyone has been patient, understanding and so good about it all. The Friars and I are very grateful. We pray for you daily.
November 04, 2018
Please remember that Tuesday, November 6, is Election Day. Let’s not forget that our civic duty to vote is also a spiritual duty.
The synagogue massacre on October 27 is something we should never forget. We need to pray for those who were killed, injured, their families and everyone affected by this horrible violence. God bless them all.
Please support the Fall Festival at St. Felix on Thursday, November 8, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
There will be lots of good fun and good food for all!
Please, everyone, pray for each other and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit upon us.
October 28, 2018
Well, week one didn’t seem to have too many complications so, first of all, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you (one for each parish)! The priests really appreciate the welcome we received from everyone. Of course, there are kinks to work out but with your patience, all will be well.
This week things get a little more hectic with a Holy Day of Obligation. November 1, is the Feast of All Saints. The Mass schedule is different:
Vigil Mass, Wednesday, October 31 –
Saints Peter and Paul 4:00 p.m.
St. Cecilia 7:00 p.m.
All Saints Day, Thursday, November 1 –
St. Felix 8:30 a.m.
Saints Peter and Paul 9:00 a.m.
St. Cecilia 12:00 p.m.
Holy Family 7:00 p.m.
Saints Peter and Paul 7:00 p.m.
The next day, November 2, is the Feast of All Souls, our memorial day in the Church, when we pray for all the faithful departed. We do that every day, of course, but All Souls Day is a special dedication. At both St. Cecilia and Saints Peter and Paul at 7:00 p.m. that evening there is a Mass for all who have been buried this past year since November 2, 2017. The folks from Holy Family and St. Felix are welcome at either Mass. Please call the office at either Parish so the names of your loved ones can be included in the prayers and in print. As soon as possible, please.
Blessings to the children for fun and safety at Halloween – which means “the Eve of the Hallowed”. November begins with the Saints reminding each of us of our own call to Holiness and the judgment that awaits us all. I hope you have a good week.
Another parish Mission Trip, under the guidance of Dr. Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, is being planned for this November. One of the stops on the mission trip will be to a leprosy hospital. Suzanne asked if I could lead the effort in collecting donations of small personal items that will be given to the patients (i.e. toothbrush/paste, socks, mirrors, razors, combs, brushes, etc.), and candies. The intention is to fill gallon-sized Ziploc bags for each patient, so any of the items should be of a size small enough to fit in those. Although leprosy is not the sentence of living death that it was in Jesus’ time, it is still a problem especially in third world countries with great poverty and poor sanitation. Anything you can do to help is great!!!
October 21, 2018
Congratulations to Fr. Bill Schwartz who, this weekend, is celebrating 50 years as a Priest. May God bless him and his ministry to the folks at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.
All Saints Day will be here shortly. The Mass schedule is different than it has been in the past.
Wednesday, October 31 –
Saints Peter and Paul 4:00 p.m.
St. Felix 7:00 p.m.
All Saints Day,
Thursday – November 1
St. Cecilia 8:30 a.m.
Saints Peter and Paul 9:00 a.m.
St. Cecilia 12:00 p.m.
Holy Family 7:00 p.m.
Saints Peter and Paul 7:00 p.m.
The next day, Friday, November 2, is All Souls Day, our Memorial Day in the church. There will be a special mass that evening at 7:00 p.m. for all who have been buried from this Parish since last November 2. If you have someone who has died in that period and would like them to be remembered in this Liturgy, please call Nora at the Parish Office.
October is the month of the Rosary. Please remember to pray for all the needs you see around you. There is a great deal of hardship and suffering in the world. As disciples of Jesus, we must try to imitate His love and compassion for the sick, the poor and the needy.
Speaking of which, thanks again to everyone who sponsored me in the St. Vincent de Paul Society Walk. I exceeded 13,000 steps in two efforts.
October 07, 2018
October 7, when it falls during the week, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is one of the reasons October is the month of the Rosary. The Rosary is a powerful and comforting tool for prayer. As you all well know, the church is in need of such prayer right now. So, I encourage you, please, to turn to the Rosary in prayer for all. There is another powerful prayer that is growing in focus currently. We pray it after morning masses. It’s the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. You might want to cut this out:
“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”
Thank you so much for your wonderful generosity to the Mission Appeal. Thus far, the total is $2,751.00. This parish is always very generous to the Missions. As Fr. Wilson said, the American Church is known throughout the world for its great generosity to fellow Catholics who are struggling. His story of how Christianity has been presented in parts of India is very compelling. Thanks for your generosity.
September 16, 2018,
Today is Catechetical Sunday, which marks the beginning of our Religious Education program for the year. Our school Religious Formation is already in gear. Our elementary and middle school Religious Education program will begin next weekend. RCIA begins next week and there will be other opportunities for Adult Religious Education throughout the year. Religious Formation never stops. There are always new things to learn and spiritual matters in which to grow. If nothing else, please read the Pittsburgh Catholic, my friends. There is always something helpful to be found there. My thanks to the dedicated Catechists and volunteers who are so committed to our Religious Education program.
I hope the idea of the new Mass schedule is settling in. Probably our biggest adjustment is the combination of 9:15 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Masses into the 10:00 a.m. Mass. It will be crowded to be sure but, if the specific time of 9:15 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. is imperative for you, those times are available, just at another church. The priests will be rotating among the four churches.
Please keep praying for all those the Church has hurt and all those who now are disillusioned.
R.C.I.A. begins next Sunday, September 23. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is for anyone who thinks they might like to be Catholic. It also works very well for someone who’s been away from the Church or someone who just wants to understand our beliefs more clearly. Call Nora Stay at the parish office at 724-775-4111.
August 26, 2018
I know many of you are suffering because Monsignor Schultz’s name appears on the list. Some are experiencing angry responses. On Bishop Zubik’s list, his name appears under the
The next Baptism Class will be Monday, August 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the church. Please call me to register.
I am frequently receiving thank you letters to the parish for your generosity. Just recently: 1) The Women’s Shelter sent a letter of thanks for the new bed linens and toys received. 2) Carly Koza sent a note to thank everyone for the support of her recital and fundraising for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Also, I want to report that your generosity to the fundraising efforts of Josh and Ben Kruczek’s Eagle Scout Projects had an unexpected blessing. The projects: Josh re-landscaped the walkway alongside the playground and Ben took on the building of a gazebo on the school lawn. Well, the projects are finished under budget, so the excess is going to St. Vincent de Paul Society to help with utility bills. The Vincentians are getting many requests as the utility companies are far more serious in summer than in winter about shut-off notices. So, your generosity has had a double-effect blessing. Thank you!
July 15, 2018
I need to make a plea again for our parishioners to support Eucharistic Adoration. We are not getting the attendance we should. It is Fridays from Noon to 5:00 p.m. except during Lent and an a few occasions when I needed to stop it earlier because of weddings. It is a very special time to come before the Lord at the altar. There is also Eucharistic Adoration on Sunday afternoon from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Again, I encourage folks to make sure you know where the other three churches are and where to park when the tentative schedule begins in October. It may be more convenient for you to attend Mass at another church. You may also notice some of those parishioners coming here. I cannot announce it yet, but we have tried (the other priests and I) to arrange the schedule in such a way that each parish will keep some current Mass times. Everyone, however, will experience change.
Vacation Bible School is coming up July 23-26. So much support is happening already. Thanks so very much!
On Sunday, June 24, I made a joke about it being 6 months until Christmas. Thinking about Christmas, I’m wondering if there is a person or parish organization that wanted to organize and manage the Christmas Tree Sale. After several years, Frank Bovalino is giving it up. (Not easy work, to be honest). If this tradition is to continue, someone needs to come forward. Trees will need to be ordered by the end of the summer. Please join me in thanking Frank for all his hard work and all who have helped.
I had another birthday last week and am now the proud holder of a Medicare Card!! Thanks for many kind wishes.
I’ll be away part of this week. The Parish staff and Joe will be able to re-direct any emergencies in my absence.
A PRAYER FOR FAMILIES BY POPE FRANCIS
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendor of true love, to you we turn with trust. Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families, too, may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel, and small domestic Churches. Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection, and division: may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.
In a world which daily discards tons of food and medicine, there are children, hungry and suffering from easily curable diseases, who cry out in vain. In an age which insists on the protection of minors, there is a flourishing trade in weapons which end up in the hands of child soldiers; there is a ready market for goods produced by the slave labor of small children. Their cry is stifled: the cry of these children is stifled! They must fight, they must work, they cannot cry! But their mothers cry for them, as modern-day Rachel’s: they weep for their children, and they refuse to be consoled (cf. Mt 2:18).
WHY HAVE A WILL?
Every adult has the right to decide how his or her assets should be distributed at death. Regardless of how much you might own, it is your right and responsibility to determine how your remaining assets should be distributed.
Without a will, the intestacy statutes of the state of your residence at the time of your death will determine how your assets are distributed.
A will is a legal document that instructs:
How your assets should be distributed among your spouse and other loved ones at your death;
Who will care for your minor children in your absence;
Who will safeguard your property and oversee the distribution of your assets;
Distribution of charitable gifts to Saints Peter and Paul Parish, providing a witness to your loved ones about the importance of your faith and the church in your life.
A will should always be prepared by an attorney licensed in the state of your residence. Your attorney will need to be familiar with your financial circumstances, family situation and your wishes. Your attorney may wish to work closely with your financial advisor or tax preparer. Advice from an attorney and other professional advisors should be sought when considering any form of charitable giving so as to maximize the value of the gift and minimize tax consequences to your estate.
Stephanie Thomas Kramer