First Sunday of Advent
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. During Advent, the Church invites us to prepare to celebrate both Jesus’ birth and his promise to return at the end of time.
All the readings this weekend focus on preparing for Christ. In the first reading of the prophet Jeremiah, we read how the prophet tells the people of Judah that a righteous shoot will sprout from the house of David. Judah will be made safe and Jerusalem will dwell secure in his presence. In the Second reading to the Thessalonians, Paul tells the community that they must progress in their lives by demonstrating their love for another. 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 vigilant- not because God intends to frighten or destroy us, but because God has great things in store for those whom God redeems.
What do we need to prepare for Christmas? Not just gifts, decorating or food preparation but preparing our heart and soul for Jesus, the newborn King of the Jews, the Prince of Peace. If we feel rushed to decorate for Christmas, write Christmas Cards, shop and wrap gifts, attend work and holiday parties, concerts and pageants, and other commitments, let us stop, look and listen to be alert for the Lord’s coming.
Advent Penance Service St. James Parish will conduct an Advent Penance Service this coming Tuesday, December 1 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. Other Penance Services will be conducted at 6:30pm at the following neighboring parishes:
Thursday, December 10 - St. Margaret Mary (Moon Twp.)
Thursday, December 17 - St. Joseph (Coraopolis)
On Wednesday December 9, 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 in Sewickley Please join us this coming Friday, December 4 for Light Up Night in Sewickley. We will be having our 1st Annual Light Up Night Spagheti Dinner from 4:00 to 7:00pm in the school Cafeteria. Join us for a delicious dinner then leave your car in our parking lot and walk around the Village and enjoy the festivities. All proceeds from the Spaghetti Dinner will benefit the Gathering Space Improvement Project which we will conduct next Spring.
Scrip Program With the Christmas Shopping season now in full swing, St. James Parish is here to help you. Support our 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.
Fair Trade Sale Please join us next Sunday, December 6, after all the morning Masses for our Annual Fair Trade Sale! There will be several vendors here with handmade goods from various countries. It will be a great chance to get some Christmas shopping done and also enjoy free donuts and coffee and juice. The Scrip gift card table will also be available in the Gathering Space to purchase gift cards!
Christmas Wafers Christmas wafers “Oplatki” are available in church near the candle stands for a donation of $5.00. Simply drop the money in the candle box holders. They will also be available at the Rectory during the week during normal business hours.
Wedding Bells Congratulations to Josephine Crapis and Richard Kantenwein who are celebrating their wedding this weekend and to Susan Crampton and William Monski who are validating their marriage this weekend!
Welcome Home A special welcome to Lee Domanski and Mary Kuga who recently registered at St. James Parish.
Something to Think About… Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains. - William Penn
With God, All Things Are Possible!
Our Lord Jesus Christ King Of The Universe
CHRIST THE KING!
Today is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time as we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. This feast was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925. Christ the King is not primarily a feast for celebrating the power of Christ, but calls us to imitate our king who came not to be served but to serve.
In today’s Gospel of John, we read from the trial scene where Jesus is being interrogated by Pilate who directly asks Jesus if he is the “King of the Jews?” Jesus very calmly never answers any of Pilate’s questions. He makes it clear that his kingship is not of this world. The mission of Jesus, the King of the Jews, is to testify to the truth. Jesus is a king who serves.
As we pause to give thanks this week for God’s blessings, let us “serve” those in need this holiday season.
CHRIST THE KING!
Blue & White Gala Special thanks to all who made last week’s Blue & White Gala for St. James School at the Montour Heights Country Club such a success. Over 150 people attended the delicious dinner and there were great live and silent auction items. Congratulations to Frank and Ann Cahouet for receiving the “Exceptional Hearts Award” and Dr. John Moraca for receiving the “Excellent Minds Award.” Frank, Ann and John have been great supporters of Catholic Education over the years. Thank you to the Gala committee for making this year’s Gala such a success!
Scrip Program With the Christmas shopping season now in full swing, St. James Parish is here to help you. 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.
Welcome Steve Clemente to Finance Council It is gives me great pleasure to welcome Steve Clemente to the Parish Finance Council. Steve is currently serving as a Director on the board of Nebraska Book Holdings Inc. He has 20 years of executive experience in retail, finance, real-estate, marketing, merchandising and eCommerce having served as President of Field & Stream for Dick’s Sporting Goods, CEO for Neebo, Inc and Group Vice President for Target Stores. In Steve’s previous parish in Lincoln, NE he was an Acolyte, a member of the Knights of Columbus, co-chair of the Fall Festival and a member of the capital campaign. He has spent the majority of his time giving back time/talent/treasure focusing on organizations that directly impact kids, volunteering for Make a Wish, Junior Achievement, Denver Public Library board member and the Children's Museum. Steve lives in Sewickley Heights with his wife Lisa and their two daughters who attend St. James Catholic School, Ashley in 8th grade and Anna in 6th grade.
Advent Penance Service St. James Parish will conduct an Advent Penance Service on Tuesday, December 1 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.
Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving Day Mass will be held Thursday, November 26 at 9am. Please note that there will no 6:45am Mass on Friday, November 27. The Rectory Offices will be closing at Noon on Wednesday, November 25 and will not reopen until Monday, November 30 in observance of the holiday.
Welcome Home A special welcome to Jeanne Boyle, James Luttig, Brian, Isabel, and Simon Iwanonkin who recently registered at St. James Parish.
Congratulations Congratulations to Orion Thomas Baverso, Franco Julian Pascuzzi, and Tyler James Rivetti who are being Baptized this weekend.
Birthday Reflection As I prepare to celebrate my 45th birthday this Tuesday, 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. I have learned a great deal over the years. Faith, family and friendships are true treasures in life. I am honored to be your Pastor here at St. James.
Something to Think About… Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. - Native American Proverb
With God, All Things Are Possible!
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
THE END IS NEAR!
Today we celebrate the Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. We are coming into the final few weeks of the Liturgical Season. The readings this weekend focus on the “end of time” and being prepared. In the first reading of the prophet Daniel, we read a vision of the prophet about the end of time. God protects a faithful people; they will rise from the dead. God’s faithful ones will awake from the dust of the earth and shine like brilliant stars forever. In the Second Reading from Hebrews, Jesus offers the perfect sacrifice to take away sin and is the high priest. Now Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. In the Gospel of Mark, we read what scripture scholars call “Mark’s Apocalypse” the second coming of Christ.
Mark is encouraging the early Christians to hold fast to their faith, for in the end it brings them a share in the heavenly and eternal kingdom. Those who trust in the final coming must always stay awake, be watchful and listen to the word. The coming of Christ is a time of joy, not fear, for those who believe.
As we draw towards the end of the Liturgical year, let us reflect on our own mortality. Let us pray for God’s mercy and love at the end of our own lives and at the end of all time.
THE END IS NEAR!
Parish Improvements Ron Parisi Contracting of Ambridge has completed renovations on the confessionals in the back of the church with new lighting and sound proof walls. The back confessionals on each side have been turned into storage.
Bishak Electrical Services, LLC of Sewickley recently installed new LED lighting to the candle areas on both sides of the confessional areas.
Mark Quinn Painting of Sewickley recently painted the insides of the confessional and storage areas and put a fresh coat of paint in the candle areas.
Tudi Mechanical Systems of McKees Rocks recently upgraded plumbing fixtures in the preschool restroom and opened up several clogged drains near the church building. Triangle Roofing of Ohio Township is in the final days of repairing the flat roofs on the church, Gathering Space, school, and gym. New gutters and down spouts have been installed to help with the flow of water off the roof.
Rite of Welcoming This weekend we welcome our R.C.I.A. Candidates to the 9:30 am Mass as we officially introduce them to the parish as they continue learning more about the Catholic Faith. This week we welcome the Class of 2015: David M Doubt; Jack A Kincaid; David P. Koba; Sandra Michelle Maher; Gina Marie Mertens; Jerome Schillaci; Michael Edward Scimio; Elisabeth Smith; Joel William Swanson; and Alexis Wukich. Let us continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
Blue and White Gala This weekend we hold our annual Blue and White Gala at the Montour Heights Country Club. This year we are honoring Frank and Ann Cahouet with the Exceptional Minds Award and Dr. John Moraca with the Exceptional Heart award. They all have been and continue to be supportive of St. James Catholic School.
Congratulations Congratulations to Sally Riordan who made her Profession of Faith last weekend. Sally is the daughter of Mike and Elizabeth Riordan and sister of Bobby. She will make her First Penance and First Holy Communion next Spring!
Welcome Home A special welcome to Jessica and Salvatore Holloway, and Matthew, Lori, and Landon Magnone 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… Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Instead, shake things up today! Live through today. Don’t just exist through it - Live through it! -Steve Maraboli
With God, All Things Are Possible!
Thirty-Second Sunday In Ordinary Time
LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT!
I have always been amazed how giving our parishioners are to those in need with so many outreach ministries here at St. James: St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, hospital and nursing home volunteers, the Center for Hope in Ambridge, Knights of Columbus Coat Drive, Thanksgiving Day Dinner, and the annual Christmas Giving Tree. Little random acts of kindness can add up to mean a lot in life.
Today we celebrate the Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings this weekend focus on giving from the heart and trusting in God. In the first reading of Kings we read how the prophet Elijah goes to Zarephath during a famine and encounters a poor widow who prepares food for him. By doing this kind deed, she and her son are able to eat for a year. In the Gospel of Mark, we read the parable of the poor widow. She gives all that she had for the love of the Lord. Jesus reminds us that we are to serve others with humble and contrite hearts. We all have gifts, talents, and treasures that we can give. As we prepare for Thanksgiving in the next few weeks, let us look at how we can “give back” to those around us.
LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT!
Welcome Dave Carter to Finance Council It gives me great pleasure to appoint David Carter to our Parish Finance Council. Dave is Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of Highmark Health. He has deep experience in health care having worked in senior positions at Aetna and Magellan Health. He worked in Washington, D.C. for 18 years, serving in a number of senior communications and public affairs roles and was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as Vice President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States in 1996. Dave has volunteered for the American School for the Deaf, served as the President of the School Board of St. Mary’s School in Simsbury, CT., and as an assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 175. Currently, he also serves on the Advisory Board of St. James School. Dave lives in Edgeworth with his wife Pam, and they have four children. His son Hayden, is a fifth grader at St. James School. Special thanks to Chuck Etta for all of his years serving on our Finance Council. Chuck has concluded his term on Finance Council.
Parish Improvements Ron Parisi Contracting of Ambridge continues renovations on the four confessionals in the back of the church. The back confessionals on each side will be turned into storage and my current confessional and the other front confessional will receive new lighting, sound proof walls, and the doors will be fixed. Also the candle areas will be improved with new lighting and ceiling repairs.
Tudi Mechanical Systems of McKees Rocks recently upgraded the fans in both restrooms near the usher’s room hallway. Please note that the two restrooms along with the Gathering Space restrooms are now equipped with Censor Lights which will automatically turn on and off. No need to touch any of the buttons when entering the restroom!
Triangle Roofing of Ohio Township has begun work to repair the flat roofs on the church, Gathering Space, school, and gym. Please be aware of construction vehicles, equipment and workers will be on our church property the next few weeks. Please use extra caution when walking or driving near the church and school.
Thank You from Fr. Sullivan I received a thank you note from Fr. Michael Sullivan from Villanova University who conducted our parish Autumn Retreat a few weeks ago. Fr. Sullivan enjoyed his visit and is greatful of the generous “love offering” parishioners gave him which amounted to $4,947.00.
Blue and White Gala Our annual Blue and White Gala will be held next Saturday, November 14th at the Montour Heights Country Club. This year we are honoring Frank and Ann Cahouet and Dr. John Moraca.
Welcome Home A special welcome to Karen Bononi, Jean-Pierre, Kimberly, Joseph, and Elijah Stephan who recently registered at St. James Parish.
Something to Think About… Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. -Scott Adams
With God, All Things Are Possible!