Sunday, August 4, 2019

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 4, 2019


Consultation & Consolidation
I’ve just completed a round of consultation with the advisory councils at RocKenRo.  (The council membership is elaborated below.) We’ve been discussing the kind of data we need in order to make informed decisions about the potential for a consolidation of our parishes to contribute to our mission—that is, whether consolidation will advance our ability to administer the sacraments, care for souls, and be responsible stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.
Council
Holy Trinity
St. John of God
St. Malachy
Pastoral
Andrew Carr
Linda Gomulka
Joe Maggi
Rich Murray
Bonnie Pendergast
Ken Zern
Tom Adams
Ron Amity
Victoria Diehl
Sandy Horgan
Alice Kilonsky
Joanne Lorenz
Jennifer Meyer
Patty Beasock
Sharon Cercone
Pat Daly
Zach Hayes
Amy Maxin
Don Murphy
Lisa Worms
Finance
Tom Garbin
David Hess
Greg Leininger
Dennis Minzer
Brian Peluso
Claudia Van
Joe Horgan
Doug Nolfi
Steve Sibenik
Bill Stropkaj
Dan Angell
Joyce Chezosky
Joe Colucci
Lisa Polar
Mike Slattery
Executive
Tom Adams, Rosemary Corsetti, Tim Davis, Linda Gomulka, David Hess, Joe Maggi, Dr. Bill Stropkaj
Clergy
Fr. Alan Morris, Fr. Bob Zajdel, Dcn. Tim Killmeyer
Staff
Ex officio participation by Bonnie Amendola, Lisa Davis, Jacob Gruber, MaryAnn Jones, and Jacob Williamson
Over the coming month, I’m going to go through a second round of consultations with each council, again discussing the data, but this time with an emphasis how we can most clearly and faithfully present the data to you at a series of parish assemblies in September:
St. Malachy: September 14 at 5:15 p.m. or September 15 at 12:15 p.m.
St. John of God: September 21 at 5:45 p.m. or September 22 at 11:00 a.m.
Holy Trinity: September 28 at 6:15 p.m. or September 29 at 1:15 p.m.
You will have the opportunity to ask questions and to submit written feedback.  If it is not convenient for you to attend an assembly in your own parish, please know that you may attend any of the others and your feedback will be accepted from any assembly, even if not in your home parish. Meanwhile, please pray that each of us remain open to the will of our Lord and the movement of his Holy Spirit.                                                                                                       Fr. Dave


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time -

Competition vs. Family
As RocKenRo On Mission for The Church Alive!, we prepare for a day of fewer people, priests, resources, and Masses. The expectation of scarcity tempts us to competition and mutual sabotage, as we imagine grabbing more for ourselves and leaving others with less. Already you can hear a few Catholics around Pittsburgh hoping for the failure of their neighbors so they can scavenge what remains.
We can acknowledge the worldly reality without imitating it. Our personal convenience and the appearance of worldly success do not last. In faith, we know that what lasts forever is wholehearted participation in the love of Christ. And that love is also the only enduring foundation for building up the Church, which is our mission. So in this era of scarcity, let us instead love more magnanimously. In Acts 2, St. Luke describes the study, fellowship, worship, prayer, wonders, shared possessions, gladness and generosity of the Church after Pentecost:
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Please see your brothers and sisters in Christ not as competitors, but as opportunities for you to be a faithful member of the family the Lord Jesus is adopting for himself.
Anita Bridge served Holy Trinity Parish as director of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. In that capacity she shepherded many people into the Catholic Church and taught others to help with that process. She concludes her service this summer and we owe her our appreciation. Please note her announcement in this bulletin.
We’ll explore the possibility of parish consolidation at a series of assemblies:
St. Malachy: September 14 at 5:15 p.m. or September 15 at 12:15 p.m.
St. John of God: September 21 at 5:45 p.m. or September 22 at 11:00 a.m.
Holy Trinity: September 28 at 6:15 p.m. or September 29 at 1:15 p.m.
Your feedback will be accepted at any assembly, even if not in your home parish. Meanwhile, please pray that each of us remain open to the will of our Lord and the movement of his Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                                                  —Fr. Dave

Dear Fellow Holy Trinity Parishioners,
For the past thirty years, Initiation Ministry has always been my first love.  So it is with much sadness, but not regret, that I tender my resignation as the RCIA Director here at Holy Trinity Parish.  This is also the time in my senior years that I would like to spend with my children and especially my grandchildren who are growing too quickly.
When I look back on my catechetical and liturgical ministry, RCIA has always been the most fulfilling and so it is with heavy heart that I do this even though I know this is the correct time in our parish.  I wish nothing but blessing on all those who have walked the conversion journey as parish sponsors over these years and gratitude to you, our parishioners, for your support and promise of prayers.  I thank you, dear parishioners, for entrusting me with the opportunity to walk with our inquirers as they seek to make Jesus and life in the Catholic Church integral to their lives.  Each year we all grew as we made this continued journey of conversion of life.
I promised parish leadership that I would be here to assist when necessary if a sub was needed. My gratitude for this opportunity that you have afforded me will never cease.  Thank you for your encouragement to answer the call Jesus extended to all of us: “Follow Me!” I will be forever indebted for your trust and most grateful for your prayers. With many blessings,    —Anita Bridge

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 21, 2019


On Mission! Together
When preparing for marriage, the bride and groom sometimes na├»vely expect that they “will collaborate perfectly, always talking through each decision with each other.” That’s a lovely but impossible goal. Once the first child comes along, for example, they’ll make decisions faster than they could possibly talk through them. When Junior is about to spill boiling water on himself, will Dad and Mom talk it through before intervening? No, Dad will do what he thinks fathers do, very likely what his own father did, and maybe swoop in gently to redirect Junior. Mom will do what she thinks mothers do, very likely what her own mother did, and maybe shout sternly to startle Junior into momentary paralysis. Which is right? Child psychologists disagree. Dad and Mom must learn to live with and appreciate each other, despite their conflicts of expectation and their inability to talk everything through.
Something similar must happen among RocKenRo’s three parishes. We have three different histories, patrimonies, habits, expectations, hopes, and fears. It’s too cheap for any one community to take pride in its own strengths and lament the weaknesses of the others. If we have any chance of sharing our mission and life in a healthy (“saving”) manner, we’ve got to do better: We’ve got to learn to appreciate each other even when our contributions are not necessarily identical, equal in value, comparable, or—here’s a hard part—even when we do not feel equally appreciated.
X St. Malachy Parish brings us the neighborly tradition of an annual picnic.  Please join your brothers and sisters at our first RocKenRo Picnic at Fairhaven Park this Sunday, July 21.  The St. Malachy folk group will play for an outdoor Mass at 1:00 and food will follow beginning at 2:00.
X RocKenRo hosts a workshop with the St. Gregory Institute, founded by Nicholas J. Will, professor of sacred music at Franciscan University Steubenville, and director of music at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.  Musicians from the region will learn chant, polyphony, and their place at Mass. Thus these special Masses with very fine music:
Monday, July 22, 6:30 p.m., at Holy Trinity, w/guest priest Fr. Nicholas Vaskov
Tuesday, July 23, 6:30 p.m., at Holy Trinity, English-Latin mix, Missa de Angelis)
Wednesday, July 24, 5:00 p.m., at St. Mary Help of Christians (St. John of God)
Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit in the Latin extraordinary form
Missa Secunda w/guest priest Fr. Aleksandr Schrenk
X We’ll explore the possibility of parish consolidation at a series of assemblies:
St. Malachy: September 14 at 5:15 p.m. or September 15 at 12:15 p.m.
St. John of God: September 21 at 5:45 p.m. or September 22 at 11:00 a.m.
Holy Trinity: September 28 at 6:15 p.m. or September 29 at 1:15 p.m.
Your feedback will be accepted at any assembly, even if not in your home parish. Meanwhile, please pray that each of us remain open to the will of our Lord and the movement of his Holy Spirit.
Fr. Dave


Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 14, 2019

Consolidation
Over past months, I’ve heard the advice of the pastoral and finance councils of each RocKenRo parish, other consultative bodies, the clergy team, and diocesan officers. It’s time for RocKenRo to consider formally whether consolidation of the three parishes will advance the mission of Christ and his Church in our neighborhoods. The criteria are whether consolidation advances our administration of the sacraments, our care of souls, and our responsible stewardship of time, talent, and treasure entrusted to us by God.

If the answer is affirmative, it would mean I ask Bishop Zubik to make our three parishes into one parish under a new name. The new parish would inherit everything from its predecessors: churches, rectories, school buildings, parking lots, equipment, supplies, bank accounts, debts, staff, ministries, future bequests, and past obligations.

Parish consolidation is not the same thing as church closing. All things being equal, a consolidated parish would continue to use the churches as the three do now. Parish consolidation, however, makes it easier to change our Sunday Mass schedule without negatively affecting the finances of any single parish. I’ve postponed our inevitable reduction in Sunday Masses, and it’s a reason to consolidate sooner rather than later.

Through July and August, the parish and finance councils will be meeting to outline and analyze the data.

We’ll then present it at a series of assemblies:
September 14 at 5:15 p.m. at St. Malachy
September 15 at 12:15 p.m. at St. Malachy
September 21 at 5:45 p.m. at St. John of God
September 22 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John of God
September 28 at 6:15 p.m. at Holy Trinity
September 29 at 1:15 p.m. at Holy Trinity

Your feedback will be accepted at any assembly, even if not in your home parish. Meanwhile, please pray that each of us remain open to the will of our Lord and the movement of his Holy Spirit.

 The diocesan website www.diopitt.org now features disclosures related to clergy sexual abuse: the
membership of the Diocesan Finance Council and funds spent on compensation, legal fees, and the
support of accused clergy. Please note that your gifts to parishes or to the Parish Share Program are not used for these purposes.

 Please join your brothers and sisters at our first RocKenRo Picnic at Fairhaven Park next Sunday, July 21.

The St. Malachy folk group will play for an outdoor Mass at 1:00 and food will follow beginning at 2:00 p.m.                   
                                                                                                                         —Fr. Dave

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 7, 2019

Archangel Gabriel
(the real one, not the school)

At my suggestion, Bishop Zubik named our newly consolidated school after the Archangel Gabriel. St. Gabriel enjoys a link to each of the patronal names of the RocKenRo churches:
Archangel Gabriel holds the same rank as the other named archangels of the Bible: Ss. Michael and Raphael.  In Tobit 12:15, Saint Raphael describes himself as “one of the seven holy angels who…enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One.” We may infer that St. Raphael therefore perpetually beholds the Holy Trinity, and St. Gabriel does likewise.
In the Bible (Daniel 8:16, 9:21; Luke 1:19), the Archangel Gabriel’s chief responsibility is to make known God’s plan for the salvation of his people. St. Malachy is most famous for his analogous gift of prophecy, though he was also an instrument of salvation in other sense—the restoration and revitalization of the Church in Ireland.
The Archangel Gabriel is best known for the Annunciation: The moment when he announces the conception of Jesus to the blessed virgin Mary. The principal church of St. John of God Parish is St. Mary, Help of Christians.

St. Gabriel is also the eponymous angel of a beloved prayer, “The Angelus,” weaving together several biblical tropes and traditionally said by Catholics at morning, noon, and evening.

V/. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R/. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
V/. Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
R/. Be it done unto me according to your Word.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
V/. And the Word was made flesh,
R/. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
V/. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
V/. Let us pray.
R/. Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts: that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Fr. Dave

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - June 30, 2019

Ordinary Time

The Easter Season concluded three weeks ago with the feast of Pentecost. Since then we celebrated our two credal feasts of Holy Trinity and Corpus Christ. This Sunday, we resume Sundays numbered according to the weeks of the liturgical year, so that today is the “13th Sunday of the year”: Ordinary time consists of the Sundays of the year counted independently of the four liturgical seasons (Advent & Christmas, Lent & Easter).

Though many hear “ordinary” as “nothing special,” it can also mean “counted,” in the sense of “ordinal.” The counting marks progress: With the coming of Sunday one more week has been consecrated to Christ. We bring our joys and hopes, griefs and fears from the past week with us into Sunday Mass and reckon them as shared with Christ in his death and resurrection. The coming of Sunday means we increased our communion with Christ by one more week.

The counting of the Sundays also reminds that we, too, are works in progress. We do not live like the angels all in one moment, but over the course of a lifetime. God shapes us over time. Life is a journey and requires of us a certain degree of patience and endurance.

Finally, the counting of Sundays is also a kind of conquest. Our Lord sent his apostles on a mission to make disciples of all nations. That mission extends in space, biblically moving from God’s city of Jerusalem to the capital of the world, Rome. But the mission also moves in time from Pentecost to Judgment Day. One more Sunday is one more week of conquest, proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ through every moment entrusted to us.

- Farewell, Fr. Michael Ruffalo! I’ll miss your eloquence and humor, among your other virtues.

- Welcome, seminarian Jacob Gruber! As you and the Church discern your calling to the priesthood, I pray that the year we share with you may inspire all of us to answer our Lord’s call ever more perfectly.
                                                                                                       —Fr. Dave

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ - June 23, 2019


A Leadership Update from Archangel Gabriel School President Dr. Christine Assetta
Regarding Nominations for School Advisory Council

Archangel Gabriel School Principal Mrs. Militzer and I are appreciative of the warm welcome we are receiving from the Archangel Gabriel School community as well as the parishioners from Rockenro Catholic grouping of Holy Trinity, St. John of God, and St. Malachy. As an instructional leadership team, we feel blessed to work together to achieve a common goal. We are both committed to establishing AGS as an educational institution that focuses on Catholic values and academic excellence. Through our efforts and the direct involvement of our AGS and Rockenro community, we strive to create an exemplary model of a Pre-K-8 Catholic School in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

As we move forward in establishing Archangel Gabriel School, it has been a high priority for us to promote parental involvement in identifying and achieving goals for success. We also invite our Rockenro parishioners to consider becoming involved in the planning process through participation in the School Advisory Council.

The School Advisory Council, which meets at least six times throughout the year, provides assistance to the Archangel Gabriel President, Principal, and Pastor for the good of the community.  Membership on the local/regional Catholic School Advisory Council gives one the opportunity to participate significantly in an important aspect of the Church's ministry. The Council is established by the Pastor(s), with the assistance of the President and the Principal. The Councils, as governed by their bylaws, are consultative and in those areas defined in the diocesan policy.  In view of the many demands on the Catholic school President and Principal, assistance from a group of people who are committed to the Catholic school and are willing to work for the good of the school and parish is paramount.

Ex-officio members of the Advisory Council shall be the Pastor(s), President, and Principal. In order to better understand the role of the Advisory Council, please review the vision and mission statement listed below.

Vision:
The Archangel Catholic School Advisory Board will guide and advise the Pastor, President, and Principal in all aspects of school life to promote an exceptional and unique Catholic School experience for all students.

Mission:
The School Advisory Board will advise the Pastor, President, and Principal in ways that foster and continue Catholic values and spiritual growth for the students, faculty, and staff, further improve the school’s fiscal health, and continue to provide a truly exceptional academic experience for all students.
If you are interested in being considered to participate on School Advisory Council, you may nominate yourself or another person who would be an asset to the council. Please email me with the nomination and include your/the nominated individual’s name/email/phone number by Monday, July 1. Also include a brief explanation (several sentences) explaining why you or the individual that you nominated would add value to the Advisory Council. The pastoral and AGS leadership team will review the nominations and select approximately 20 people to participate.

May God Bless Us,                                                  
Christine Assetta, Ed.D.
Archangel Gabriel School President
724-350-7139