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Featuring articles from this week's Bulletin, including Parish, Diocesan, and Community news.

Why Does the Priest Do That?

Why does the priest add a drop of water to the wine when preparing the gifts during the liturgy of the Eucharist?

That is a question with a multifaceted answer. From the historical perspective in the time of Christ it was because wine was stored in a concentrated form so at their meals they would dilute it with water. But after that changed the church kept the tradition because of the historical significance and symbolism that it was the divinity and humanity of Christ. Decades later they thought it was a symbol of the communion of Christ with the church. Centuries later they thought it was a symbol of blood and water that poured from Jesus side on the cross.

The meaning has changed as time has progressed just as the Mass has changed but all of them are correct. The idea of the symbol itself will never change.

Join Bishop Malesic at the Catholic-Lutheran Joint Commemoration of the Reformation March 14

You are invited to join Bishop Edward C. Malesic and three other bishops from southwestern Pennsylvania at 'An Evening of Repentance' Tuesday, March 14, at 7 pm at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cathedral in Munhall. A Lenten meager meal and fellowship will follow the service.

This event is part of 'From Conflict to Communion: Together in Hope,' the theme of the regional observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Bus transportation will be available from Greensburg.

A single ticket is $25, two tickets are $45. For details, call 724-837-0901, ext. 1249.

Reducing Substance Use Seminar - For the Faith-Based Community

The Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force will host 'Reducing Substance Use Seminar - for the Faith-based Community' March 8 from 9 am to 12-noon at the Bishop Connare Center. Diocesan participants include Dr. Paul Niemiec, director of counseling for Catholic Charities, and Msgr. Roger A. Statnick, pastor of St. Sebastian Parish, Belle Vernon.

The event is free, but seating is limited and registration is required. Call 724-830-3111 or register at http://svy.mk/2kJDwme by March 5.

School News

Wouldn't a FREE 6 day/ 5 night Disney Resort stay feel good right now? You can win it, park hopper passes, a dining plan, $1500, and help the School!

Purchase a Disney ticket in the church foyer after Mass next week. Each $10 ticket gives you a chance to hit the 3-digit, 7:00 p.m. drawing on March 17.

Belle Vernon Rotary Annual Pancake Festival

The Belle Vernon Area Rotary will sponsor their annual Sausage and All -You-Can-Eat-Pancake Festival on Shrove Tuesday, February 28, from 11:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. in our Parish Hall.

Tickets may be purchased from any Rotarian or at the door.

Helping Hands

The St. Vincent de Paul Society has a long history of helping people. For 170 years the Society has been the hands behind helping others. Consider volunteering a few hours a week to the Mon Valley St. Vincent de Paul store on Grand Blvd., Monessen.

For an understanding of how St. Vincent de Paul U.S.A. works, consider watching the video on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/195329687. To volunteer at the Mon Valley St. Vincent de Paul store, contact: Kathy (at the store) at 724-684-5147.

Sisters of Charity Fundraiser for March 2017

The Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill will sponsor two Lucky March Cash Raffle tickets in the month of March - one ticket based on the 1:00 p.m. Pennsylvania 3-digit lottery and another on the 7:00 p.m. 3-digit lottery. One thousand tickets are available for each time at $10 per ticket. No prizes are awarded on Sundays.

Call Sister of Charity Agnes Steedle at 724-836-0406, ext. 6646, to order tickets and payment information.

Celebration of Catholic Schools Breakfast to be Held March 9th

The Office of Catholic Schools and The Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Greensburg are hosting a Celebration of Catholic Schools Breakfast March 9 at 8 a.m. at the Greensburg Country Club. The breakfast will feature the awarding of Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Awards as well as Innovation Grants to accelerate and advance learning in the classroom. The deadline for sponsorships is Feb. 22, and the deadline for ticket reservations ($25 each) is March 2.

For information and tickets, contact Mallory Reese at 724-552-2593 or mreese@dioceseofgreensburg.org.

Retrouvaille... A Lifeline for Troubled Marriages

The word Retrouvaille (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) is a French word meaning rediscovery. The program offers the tools needed to rediscover a loving marriage relationship.

Thousands of couples headed for cold, unloving relationships or divorce have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program. The next Pittsburgh Weekend is March 31.

For more information or to register call 412-277-3434 or visit: retrouvailleofpittsburghinc.org.

Travel Group to See 'Jonah'

Our Saint Sebastian Travel Group will visit the Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster, PA to see 'Jonah'. For those who have made the initial deposit, the balance of $255 is due by March 1st.

For more information, call Sandy Wawro at 724-938-0865.

Youth Retreat 'Fulfilled'

All youth of the Diocese in grades 9 -12 are invited to join us for the Diocesan High School Winter Retreat, Fulfilled, sponsored by the Diocese of Greensburg Office for Evangelization and Faith Formation. Come pray, share, learn, and take time to be Fulfilled.

Join us February 24 - February 26, 2017 at Laurelville Retreat Center in Mt. Pleasant.

For more information visit www.dioceseofgreensburg.org.

First Holy Communion Workshop

The first workshop for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist will be held on Saturday, February 25, at 9:00 a.m., in our Parish Hall.

All students who will receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist and their parents are to attend this workshop.

Summer Program for Catholic Youth at St. Vincent College

Saint Vincent College will host the seventh annual Faith and Reason summer program from Sunday, June 11, to Friday, June 16. Students age 15 and older are invited to apply for admission to the program which introduces young minds to the rich intellectual tradition of the Roman Catholic faith and is designed to prepare students for college-level education.

Housing in a college residence hall and three daily meals in the college dining hall are included in the cost ($495). Limited scholarship funding is available.

Further information, contact Dr. Michael Krom at 724-805-2844 or michael.krom@stvincent.edu. Students may register online at www.stvincent.edu/faithandreason.

Women's Wall

In last Sunday's gospel Jesus asks us to step out of our comfort zone. He wanted us to go a step further than what is required of us. The same as Esther was asked to do in order to save her people. And stepping out of our comfort zone is very hard. It makes us feel very vulnerable and not in control.

That SEEMS very scary, but really, when we are not in control we can realize God is, and anything we do when He is in control is easy. The key is to use our hearts, not our minds, and the strength to do that comes from each other. So lets join together to strengthen each other for the journey, for as we well know, there is strength in numbers.

There will be an Esther Society Meeting in the Parish Center on Saturday, March 3 at 9:00 a.m.

Reality Tour About Drugs

Reality Tour (RT) is a national parent and child drug education and prevention program open to all Mon Valley residents, targeting children ages 10 - 17. In this program, held at the Belle Vernon High School, they learn the life and death consequences of a teen on drugs.

The program is held on the second Monday of the month. The next presentation is March 6th. Preregistration is required. Please preregister at least one week prior to the program date.

For more information, or to register, go to realitytour.org or call 724-797-0955.

Seeking nominations for teaching excellence awards; Celebration of Catholic Schools Breakfast

The Office of Catholic Schools and The Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Greensburg are seeking nominations for Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Teachers and principals from diocesan Catholic schools are eligible. The awards will be presented to three people at a Celebration of Catholic Schools Breakfast March 9, 2017, at 8 a.m. at the Greensburg Country Club. The honorees will receive a $5,000 cash award. Innovation Grants will also be awarded to accelerate and advance learning in the classroom.

The nominations for the Golden Apple Awards are due by Jan. 20, 2017.

For nomination materials and additional information, including sponsorship opportunities, go to www.dioceseofgreensburg.org/celebration or contact Mallory Reese at 724-552-2593 or mreese@dioceseofgreensburg.org.

Volunteer Clearance Sites

PA Criminal History Record Check

Child Abuse History Clearance

FBI Fingerprint Clearance

Volunteer clearances and training can be obtained by visiting the Diocesan web site:

Attention Volunteers Needed to be Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion!

Our parish community is in need of home-bound ministers! This ministry is to those members of our parish family who are unable to attend Mass due to illness or advanced age. Ministers are asked to take Communion to these members on a weekly basis, or as requested by the home bound person. As with all our ministers of the Eucharist, you must have a deep faith and believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. You must be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the church. You must be willing to go out to the people, so transportation is necessary. Finally, you must be committed to ministering when you are scheduled. If you feel called to this ministry, please call Christy at 724-929-9300 or email her at ccabaniss@dioceseofgreensburg.org.

A Change in the Parish Office Hours

Previously the Parish Office was closed for lunch from Noon until 12:30 p.m. Now, this lunch period will occur from 12:30 p.m. until 1:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday.

Memorial Pavers

Memorial Pavers are still available for the Saint Joseph Memorial Shrine. Our aim is to sell 150 pavers. The price for each paver is $200. Reservation sheets are in the church vestibule and the parish office. For more information, contact the parish office.

"Catholic Accent" Our Diocesan Newspaper

Please note that The Catholic Accent is now available as a full color digital edition on the diocesan website and is viewable on both desktop and mobile devices. Each edition coincides with the printed issue and includes news and feature stories, stand-alone photos, advertising, and the Calendar of Events. The digital edition can be accessed through www.dioceseofgreensburg.org.

Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

There is a need for Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to help during the Liturgy. Ministers of Holy Communion are those members of the parish who distribute the consecrated host or chalice of consecrated wine to the assembly during the Communion ritual of the Mass. An extra ordinary minister of Holy Communion must be at least 16 years of age, have been Confirmed, and be in good standing in the Catholic Church. Ministers are also needed to help by taking the Eucharist to those in the hospital or to those who are homebound. Ministers will need the appropriate diocesan clearances and information completed.

Labels for Education and Box Tops Collection

Please help St. Sebastian Regional School earn points that can be redeemed to purchase supplies and equipment for the school by donating your Labels for Education and Box Tops. Labels for Education can be found on products including the following brands: Bic, Campbell's, Dannon, Pace, Pepperidge Farm, Prego and V8. Box Tops can be found on products including the following brands: Betty Crocker, General Mills, Ziploc, Pillsbury, Hanes, Green Giant, Kleenex, Yoplait, Land O' lakes and Hefty. A collection box will be located at the main church entrance. Contact Regina Kudla, mother of two children that attend St. Sebastian Regional School, at 724-243-3046 with questions. Thank you

Electronic Donation

If you wish to make your Sunday offerings electronically, you may sign up to do so. For your convenience there are forms in the church pamphlet racks to sign-up for this simple, cost-effective service. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Business Manager, Daniel Lisovich, at the Parish Office 724-929-9300.

Food Bank

Non-perishable food items and paper products are always needed for the community Food Bank. If you would like to donate items, you may place them in the Collection Bin located in the church vestibule.

Attention Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion!

Our parish community is in need of home-bound ministers! This ministry is to those members of our parish family who are unable to attend Mass due to illness or advanced age. Ministers are asked to take Communion to these members on a weekly basis, or as requested by the home-bound person. As with all our ministers of the Eucharist, you must have a deep faith and believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. You must be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the church. You must be willing to go out to the people, so transportation is necessary. Finally, you must be committed to ministering when you are scheduled. If you feel called to this ministry, please call Christy in the parish office for more information.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matt. 25:40).

Hearing Assistance

Our parish has special hearing assistance technology. Please see Msgr. Statnick, in the sacristy, at least 15 minutes before Mass.

Catholic School Enrollment Open

St. Sebastian Regional School is dedicated to serving our widely diversified group of students and their families. Our curriculum is centered on our Catholic faith and focused on achieving academic excellence. We continually examine and modify our curriculum in order to prepare students to adapt to the academic and moral challenges of our ever-changing world and become lifelong learners. St. Sebastian Regional School is now enrolling students for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Eight. Financial aid is available, including the Bishop's Tuition Transfer Grant for incoming students in grades 1-8 (up to a $1,500 value). Call 724-929-5143 for more information today!

A Prayer for Peace in Iraq

Pope Francis has appealed to the Church throughout the world to join in prayerful solidarity for the Holy Spirit to send the gift of peace to Iraq. As you are aware, the Iraqi people have been subject to horrific violence in recent months and Christians in Iraq have been mercilessly persecuted.

A prayer for peace, written by Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, is included below. On August 7, Patriarch Sako said that the Christians of Iraq are facing "a human catastrophe and risk a real genocide." The full text of Patriarch Sako's prayer for peace follows:

Lord, the plight of our country is deep and the suffering of Christians is severe and frightening. Therefore, we ask you Lord to spare our lives, and to grant us patience, and courage to continue our witness of Christian values with trust and hope. Lord, peace is the foundation of life; Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us to live with each other without fear and anxiety, and with dignity and joy. Glory be to you forever.

In the coming days, please join with Catholics throughout the world in prayer for peace, and efforts to support diplomatic efforts aimed at dialogue and reconciliation. Together, may we help open our world to God's gift of peace.

Catholic Accent App

Local Catholic news from the Diocese of Greensburg can now be accessed from your smartphone or tablet thanks to The Catholic Accent mobile application which launched July 17. This free mobile application is the second of its kind for the diocese this year. The Faith Finder App launched in January. The Catholic Accent app allows users to scroll through the latest articles, browse story categories based on preference, or obtain contact information for the publication. The app also provides the text in a plain, easy-to-read format for a quick view of stories from anywhere. A link to the Diocese of Greensburg's website is also available with each article, which provides easy access to online articles with a photo if applicable. The Catholic Accent app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. To download the free application, users can search "The Catholic Accent."

Are You Seeking God?

Do you know someone who wants to know more about our Catholic faith? Are you a baptized Catholic who hasn't celebrated Confirmation or First Eucharist? Maybe it's time for Inquiry!

 If you would like to learn more, call Christy Cabaniss, 724-929-9300.

Divine Mercy Chaplet

The Church of St. Anne in Rostraver prays the Divine Mercy Chaplet on Thursday's at 3:00 p.m. in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. All are welcome to come and pray.  For more information, call their office at 724-872-3555.


Your Parish Bills don't!! Remember your Sunday Envelope.

Did you know that you can choose to keep your tax dollars local?

Business owners can redirect their tax dollars to Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School. Through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC), a business can use their tax liability to make a contribution to Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School to be used for tuition assistance. For more information contact Meghan Kerr at 724-552-2593.


Please do not park in the turn-around area next to the parish office. This space is for turning around only. If someone is parked in the turn around, it makes it difficult for those in the handicapped spaces to pull out of the lot. This applies to weekdays as well as Sundays.

Homebound? Sick or Hospitalized?

Many times sickness can strike suddenly and without warning - and if this is the case, calling the parish priest can sometimes be overlooked. But please - as we tend to our physical medical needs, let us not forget about the spiritual and sacramental needs. The hospitals and nursing homes are no longer permitted to notify the priest unless specified by the patient. Have a family member call the Parish Office as soon as possible. Part of a priest's responsibility is to visit the sick whether homebound or in the hospital. So, if he is not in the office when you call, please leave a message and he will get to you as soon as possible.

PLEASE NOTE - If you or a family member are admitted to the hospital please inform the admission office that you are not only Catholic but also a member of Saint Sebastian Parish in Belle Vernon. This will assure Monsignor of just where in the hospital you are located.

For the Convenience of Parishioners and Guests

If you are new to our Parish you may not know the following:

  1. During Mass if you are unable to walk up for Holy Communion, an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion will circumvent the church with the Holy Eucharist. Please sit at the end of the pew along a side aisle. When the Minister approaches, please stand or raise your hand and the Minister will stop to give you Holy Communion.
  2. The last pew on the Mary Shrine side of the church is reserved for the handicapped. The kneeler has been removed to make it easier for people to move in and out of the pew.
  3. There are two restrooms in the back of the church. One is located in the main vestibule and the other is near the back exit on the Mary Shrine side of the church.


From the kindness of your heart, please remember Saint Sebastian Parish in your will.

Diocesan Evangelization Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, You have commanded us to make disciples of all nations. Therefore, we ask you to send your Holy Spirit, to make us your instruments in this divine work. Enlighten us by your Word, and strengthen us by your Sacraments so our minds and our hearts may be transformed. May the manner in which we live our lives announce the love and mercy you extend to all people. Permit the Spirit to cause a holy zeal to rise up in us for the work of evangelization to which you call us. Set our hearts on fire to bring others to you and to the Church which you founded out of love for all. Deepen our knowledge and understanding of the teachings of your Church, and guide us with your wisdom in passing on the faith. Allow the gift of right judgment to show us when to listen and when to speak your Word. Give us the courage to proclaim the Gospel even when faced with adversity. May we help others to live life to the full through you and to experience the glory of your kingdom. We entrust our evangelization efforts to the protection of our diocesan patroness, Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption, as we make this prayer to you, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Diocesan Prayer for Religious Vocations

Heavenly Father, your loving providence accompanies us on our life's journey. Thank you for the many gifts you have given us. We ask that you continue to call sons and daughters from our families and parishes to serve as priests, deacons and consecrated men and women in the Diocese of Greensburg. Send your Spirit upon us so that many will respond with great love to your call to service and leadership in your Church. Give to those you have chosen the faith of the apostle, the vision of the prophet, and the courage of the martyr. Through the intercession of our Diocesan patroness, Our Lady of the Assumption, help us to be faithful disciples of your Son by following the example of Mary. Make us generous in sharing ourselves and our talents for the sake of your Kingdom on earth. We ask this through Christ the Risen Lord.

Imprimatur The Most Reverend Lawrence E. Brandt, JCD, PhD
Bishop of Greensburg August 15, 2004.

Volunteers Needed

The St Vincent DePaul Store in Monessen is in need of volunteers for furniture pick-ups. This would involve going with the driver in the store truck and getting furniture donations. If you are able and willing to help for a few hours one day a week, please contact Armand DeRose at 724-684-7560 for details. Also, volunteers in other capacities at the store are always welcome.

In Need of Counseling?

Please call 1-866-409-6455 or www.ccharitiesgreensburg.org.

Marriage Preparation

Is offered at Saint Sebastian Parish quarterly. For more information, call the Faith Formation Office at 724-929-9300.

Collection Bin for Food Bank

Please Note: There is a collection bin for nonperishable food items in our church vestibule. These items are retrieved monthly for the support of our local Food Bank. Also, for your convenience, a secure drop-box is located outside the Parish Office (in the breezeway between the Church and Parish Center). Please use the box if you need to leave anything for the staff when the office is closed.

Medical Emergencies

We have had a few medical emergencies occur during Mass in the last few weeks. To address these situations in a way that will offer the best assistance we can at the time, we are asking any medical personnel in the congregation, trained in emergency response, to identify themselves and their location in the church to the ushers before Mass begins. In the case of an emergency, an usher will then approach them and take them to the patient for their assistance. We have had and are planning future training in the use of the AED and CPR for parish staff and ushers, but those experienced and professionally trained in such techniques would be the best responders in the situation, if they are available. Please consider offering your skills for this purpose by signing a sheet in the vestibule before taking your seat.

Lost & Found Items

Articles left behind in the church are placed in the Usher's Closet. Please check with an usher to see if your lost item has been found.

Secure Mailbox

A secure mailbox is located outside the Parish Office in the breezeway between the church and the Parish Office. If you have any correspondence, church envelopes, etc. you may place them in the secure mailbox if the office is closed. This mail slot for your convenience offers security for items left for the office.

Sexual Misconduct

If you have a concern about sexual abuse of a child or young person by anyone in a parish or diocesan position - clergy, volunteer or paid staff - please contact Bishop Brandt's delegate for matters of sexual misconduct. He may be reached at 724-837-0901, Ext. 221.

Saint Sebastian Military Prayer List

Please pray for our parishioners, family members, and friends in the military service.

LTC Brian Bender, CPT Tom Kapolka, SGT Stephen T. Kautz, LCDR Clark P. Necciai, Sr., LCPL Clark P. Necciai, Jr, SGT Michael J. Pallo, QM Matthew Pozza, LCDR Brian Scaramucci, CPT Rebecca Stottlemyer Bergstedt, and LCPL Michael Zueger.


Copyright � 2013 Saint Sebastian Catholic Church - A Pennsylvania Charitable Trust - 801 Broad Avenue - Belle Vernon, PA 15012 - 724.929.9300 - 724.930.7611 (Fax) - E-Mail Us!

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