July 30,2017

East Regional Catholic Elementary Schools Process:

The first step in preparing for the regionalization of East Regional Catholic Elementary Schools is to create an advisory board that will study the schools in the East region and develop the steps forward for the regionalization process. Recently, the clergy of the region elected the priest

directors of the advisory board from among the pastors of the region. They are:

  • Reverend Robert J. Grecco, Sacred Heart, Shadyside
  • Reverend John B. Lendvai, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Natrona Heights and Saint Joseph, Natrona
  • Reverend Michael John Lynam, Word of God, Rankin/Swissvale and Madonna del Castello, Swissvale
  • Reverend Kenneth W. Marlovits, Saint Maurice, Forest Hills
  • Reverend Kevin G. Poecking, Saint John the Baptist, Plum Borough
  • Reverend Kris D. Stubna, Saint Paul Cathedral, Oakland

Next, all clergy of the region will be asked to nominate the five lay members of the advisory board. The lay members are to be individuals with expertise in one of the following areas: Education, Finance, Advancement or Marketing. Lay members, however, cannot be parish employees, parents of students currently in a Catholic Elementary School in the East region or parishioners of parishes from which the priest directors were elected. Once the nominations are received, the priest directors of the advisory board will elect the lay members. Updates will continue to be provided as the regionalization process moves forward.

East Catholic School, Inc. information:

To keep up to date on everything happening at East Catholic School be sure to follow the School News section of the bulletin. Great things are happening there and did happen over the summer, too. For example, Direct Technology Solutions worked hard this summer to provide updates to the school’s technology, which greatly improved the school’s ability to incorporate the latest technologies for the students. There was a dual layer reverse cross installation of wireless access points which provide the best coverage of educational space while maximizing availability to all nearby rooms. Installation of the access point in the cafeteria as well as the roaming access point on the new chromebook carts allows both system flexibility and mobility. The installation of SonicWall greatly reduces the risk of cyber-attacks and allows further site control over the access provided to students and to the guests given access to both the East Catholic School and Saint Maurice guest networks.

July 23, 2017

MASS INTENTIONS: What they are and our need for them for the rest of 2017

The object for which a priest offers the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the Mass intention. The Church considers the Mass as the greatest possible prayer of intercession insofar as it is the perfect offering of Christ to the Father by making present the paschal mystery of His death and resurrection. The publically acknowledged Mass intention is distinct from the effects of the Mass which benefit those who take part in the sacrifice and attend the Mass―these are called the special fruits of the Mass and extensively are without limit.

It is important to note that, the graces of the Mass being infinite, many intentions can be offered up at a single Mass. While a priest may accept an offering (or stipend) for only one intention at a single Mass, he may have many other intentions not attached to an offering. In addition, the faithful may (and hopefully do) bring their own intentions to the Mass, which they each carry privately and place upon the altar spiritually. This is a genuine exercise of the royal or common priesthood of the faithful.

The intention announced prior to the start of Mass and during the Prayers of the Faithful refer to the particular stipend for which that Mass is offered. Frequently, this is for some person(s) living or deceased. Mass intentions may be offered for the baptized or non-baptized, a special need, to honor God thanking Him for blessings received, or to celebrate a wedding anniversary of significant importance. The intention for Mass is determined either by the intention of the donor of a Mass stipend or it is determined by the law of the Church. Every parish pastor is required, by Canon Law, to offer at least one Mass on Sunday for the needs and intentions of his parishioners (Can. 534 §1).

Historically, the purpose of offering a Mass stipend for a particular Mass intention has been twofold. On the one hand, the money that a priest received for saying his daily Mass for a specific intention has been his source of income. At the same time, by giving a stipend, the person requesting that a Mass be celebrated makes a sacrificial offering of his/her own. This stipend also allows for the one who gives it to contribute to the good of the Church, for they share in the Church’s concern for the support of its ministers. However, to ensure that no priest abuses this source of income, and to prevent the appearance that Masses are being bought or sold, a priest is only allowed to receive one Mass stipend per day regardless of the number of Masses celebrated. In the Diocese of Pittsburgh any additional Mass stipend money is used to support Saint Paul Seminary.

We currently have many Masses for the remainder of the year that do not have a specific Mass intention. So, if you would like to offer a Mass for someone special, living or deceased, or for a special intention, either visit the Parish Center Office or mail your request. Telephone requests for Masses are not permitted. Mass stipends are $10. Remember, there is no greater prayer than that of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to have a Mass offered for your specific intention is a wonderful way to embrace the glory and power of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.

Information on Mass intentions (and to see resources I consulted for this article) visit: EWTN Zenit daily dispatch, stmaryoldtown.org, canonlawmadeeasy.com, and CatholicCulture.org.

July 16, 2017

Fake News/Gluten Hosts: This past week there were several news stories about the Vatican banning gluten free hosts for use at communion. The false news report indicated that the Vatican had banned those with celiac disease from receiving communion. I assure you, the Church hasn’t banned anyone from receiving communion due to dietary or health issues. The specifications that govern what constitutes legitimate matter for the hosts and wine are governed by the Church. Our parish is in compliance with these rules while also pastorally ministering to those in need of special  accommodations. Whereas, it is true, hosts with no gluten cannot be used for communion, it is important to remember that low-gluten hosts are
valid matter and are used at this parish for those in need. In fact, to accommodate those with special needs, we even have a special chalice for those who can only receive the precious blood—this chalice ensures there is no cross contamination of the Blood of Christ with gluten from the hosts. If you are currently not receiving communion due to a gluten issue or any other special dietary need, please see me.

Mission Week Recap from those who went:
Mission week was a really great experience for me. My group helped stain and paint this woman’s porches, and her thanks at the end made it all worth it. It was amazing meeting so many new people and the whole experience really helped me grow in my faith. — Claire Biertempfel


The entire group.

Aaron, wearing the green shirt, pictured while in action.

Our group meeting for Parish Time: when we reviewed the day and discussed how we encountered our Lord.

Mission Week is an INCREDIBLE experience that helps develop and strengthen your relationship with God. You get a chance to meet people from all over the Diocese, and not only help folks in needy communities, but interact with those that struggle daily with misfortune and suffering, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. I helped chip and paint a white stucco house with blue trim all week. I want to thank the parishioners who made donations towards the trip or prayed for its success. Because of you, my brother and I could attend a truly inspiring, spectacular, and memorable retreat. I highly recommend everyone to go on a trip like this at least once. You won’t regret it. – Aaron Markiewicz

BABY GIRL KLEMENCIC: Congratulations to staff member Jo Ann McLaughlin-Klemencic and her husband Jake on the birth of their daughter born on July 10. No name available at bulletin publication time!!

July 9, 1017

The Our Father: A few days ago I came across a reflection on the Lord’s Prayer by
St. Cyprian which really touched me. It started off with these words: “Above all, he who preaches peace and unity (Jesus) did not want us to pray by ourselves alone. We do not say “My Father, who art in heaven,” nor “Give me this day my daily bread.” The Lord’s Prayer is both prayer and lesson. As we pray it we deepen our understanding of the faith—that is the two-fold beauty of the rote prayers of the Church. St. Cyprian reminds us of the importance to pray publicly with and for each other. The Our Father teaches us this lesson and accomplished the task for praying for others; however, the greatest prayer we have to accomplish this is the Mass! May we all learn to experience the Mass with full, active and vibrant participation (and may we all share that joy with others).

Mission Week Recap from those who went:
This year’s mission week in Beaver County was a memorable experience that I will never forget. I was assigned to help build a ramp for an elderly lady’s house, because she used a wheelchair. Every day she would come out to see our progress in building this ramp, but on the last day she was so delighted and thankful that she cried. Seeing her reaction made me realize that we shouldn’t take the small things for granted. — Christian Markiewicz



Christian in action loading up the truck at Lowes and helping to dig the post holes. Plus the finished project. This work team did an incredible job!



One of the places Maggie worked was at a home fixing a garden and replacing the fence around it. This garden is the lone refuge for a man who can no longer leave his property due to health conditions; and when his wife shared the story with us, she was moved to tears knowing that we were helping her husband gain a feeling of control in his life which his illness has stolen from him.

Maggie’s group asked me to bless the garden, which I did (in the picture above I’m blessing a cup of water to sprinkle on the garden and Maggie is joining the homeowners and me in prayer).

Mission week was a very humbling experience. I helped a lot of people in varying conditions this past week and in each and every one of them I saw the joy that God gives us. They were all so happy for our help, which gave me a sense of accomplishment and made this week very memorable for me. — Maggie Scifo

July 2, 2017

July 3rd is a special Day: Do you remember July 3, 1949? Were you at the Memory Lane Roller Rink that Sunday? If you were, you might not have been skating. That was the first Mass celebrated by Saint Maurice Parish. This week make sure you enjoy all the festivities that go with the 4th of July, but also take time to be thankful for the wonderful history of our parish,  a history that continues to bring the Gospel message to the world as we continue to Awaken our Spirit.

Mission Week Recap from those who went:

It is truly hard to explain one amazing, satisfying week in a few sentences. The week has had one of the greatest effects on me, one that I will never be able to forget. From seeing/helping people in need, to adoration, my heart was FILLED with God’s grace. Even during “down time” I felt as if God was telling me that I was doing the right thing by being on Mission Week. The experiences that everyone had with God and His grace were truly astounding. I want to thank everyone who made it possible for us to go on this trip. It was absolutely an amazing experience and I am looking forward to next year. God Bless — Julianna Kustra

Julianna working on a flower bed. She picked the flowers to plant and suggested adding this special touch to the project after the other work was completed early. The homeowner loved it!

A view of the candlelight procession ending our Eucharistic Adoration.

Matthew not only worked with kids at the summer lunch program but also helped to paint this house (the work crew is on a lunch break in this photo having just been delivered freshly made pepperoni rolls).

After entering Mission Week 2017 with low expectations, I am proud to say that it was nothing but a positive experience for me! My worksite, which was a summer lunch program for kids, allowed me to see God on a day-to-day basis through the joy of the children. I would highly recommend Mission Week to teenagers looking to have fun, make friends, and most importantly, strengthen their faith. — Matthew Kostandinu

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