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St Christopher Statistical Data
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St. Christopher statistical dataFr. Matthew Tosello 1/30/20091.52 MBDownload
Butler statistical dataFr. Matthew Tosello 1/30/20091.25 MBDownload
Pope Benedict XVI United States Visit April 2008
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His speechesRhonda Santoro 5/1/2008547.88 KBDownload
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Pittsburgh VicariateFr. Matthew Tosello 1/30/200964.19 KBDownload
Resources for Merging parishesFr. Matthew Tosello 1/30/200943.99 KBDownload
Top 10 MegaTrends in U.S. Catholic ChurchFr. Matthew Tosello 1/30/200984.20 KBDownload
Further Key Trends in US Catholic ChurchFr. Matthew Tosello 1/30/200980.52 KBDownload
Catholic Secular InstitutesFr. Matthew Tosello 1/30/2009293.60 KBDownload
CyberchurchFr. Matthew Tosello 1/30/200918.75 KBDownload
ForgivenessRhonda Santoro 1/30/2009153.65 KBDownload
From Father Matthew...
Forgiveness is the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. Forgiveness may be considered in terms of the person who forgives, of the person forgiven and/or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven. It may be granted without any expectation of compensation, and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is dead). Most world religions include teachings on forgiveness, and for many varying practices of forgiveness. The Prodigal Son is a well known instance of such practice of forgiveness.
The Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian Churches teach that God's forgiveness is received through personal repentance in conjunction with the ministry of the Church. In these churches, penitents make formal confession of sins individually to a priest to obtain absolution as a formal expression of God's forgiveness. Catholics and Orthodox Christians cite Jesus conferring upon the apostles: "whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." The substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus via the crucifixion is the vehicle through which God forgives us sins. Forgiveness, is not only a spiritual duty, but as a form by which the people of God implement their mission to live as a people who are reconciled to God. Both forgiveness and repentance focus on the satisfaction of justice. When God through the Apostle Paul said “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13). “Forgive as God forgave you, using the same means and power that God used to forgive you. God forgave you by accepting the blood of Jesus death at the hands of the executioner as the substitutionary satisfaction of His justice. To forgive those who have caused us harm, have injured us, caused us loss, is to accept Jesus’ death as the Satisfaction of Justice!” Biblical texts on the subject of forgiveness. The Lord's Prayer - "Forgive us our [debts], as we forgive our debtors" "Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.'" (Mt 18:21-22) The parable of the Unmerciful Servant, concludes: "In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." (Mt 18:34-35) "When you pray, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." (Mk 11:25). The exercise of forgiveness is part of that repentance through which the believer has access to the forgiveness of God. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Eph 4:32)
In Hinduism.Performing atonement from one's wrongdoing and asking for forgiveness is very much a part of the practice of Hinduism. Karma is a sum of all that an individual has done, is currently doing and will do. The effects of those deeds and these deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain in others. Forgiveness is a great power: For Hinduism, forgiveness is a virtue of the weak, and an ornament of the strong. Forgiveness subdues all in this world; What can a wicked person do unto him who carries forgiveness in his hand? Unforgiving individual defiles himself with many enormities. Forgiveness is supreme peace; supreme contentment; and one sole happiness." Forgiveness is one of the characteristics of one born for a divine state.
Islam teaches that Allah is 'the most forgiving', and is the original source of all forgiveness. Forgiveness often requires the repentance by those being forgiven. Depending on the type of wrong committed, forgiveness can come either directly from God, or from one's fellow man who received the wrong. In the case of divine forgiveness, the asking for divine forgiveness via repentance is important. In the case of human forgiveness, it is important to both forgive, and to be forgiven. The Qur'an, teaches that there is only one error that God cannot forgive, the error of assigning equals to God. For Islam this error is a denial of monotheism, and therefore of the supreme nature of God himself. God does not forgive idol worship if maintained until death, (Qur'an 4:116) But if man returns to God and pleads sincerely for forgiveness and abandons worshiping other than the one and only God, He will be forgiven. The Qu'ran makes no allowances for violent behavior. It is better to forgive another than to attack another. To receive forgiveness from God there are three requirements: Recognizing the offense itself before God. Making a commitment not to repeat that offense. Ask forgiveness from God. If the offense was committed against another human being, or against society, a fourth condition is added: Recognizing the offense before both those against whom offense was committed and before God and committing oneself not to repeat that offense, doing whatever needs to be done to rectify the offense (within reason) and asking pardon of the offended party, finally, asking God for forgiveness. Muslims are taught many phrases to keep repeating daily asking God's forgiveness. For example: "I ask forgiveness from Allah" "Glory be to You, Allah, and with You Praise (thanks), I ask Your forgiveness and I return to You in obedience". Islamic teaching presents the prophet Muhammad as an example of someone who would forgive others for their ignorance, even those who might have once considered themselves to be his enemies: Islam believe that the Prophet was the most forgiving person. He was ever ready to forgive his enemies. When he went to preach the message of God, its people mistreated him, abused him and hit him with stones. He left the city humiliated and wounded. When he took shelter under a tree, the angel of God visited him and told him that God had sent him to destroy the people because of their sin of maltreating their Prophet. Muhammad prayed to God to save the people, because what they did was out of their ignorance. "Keep to forgiveness, and enjoin kindness." Qur'an 7:199-200 "If you endure patiently and do not punish, it is better for the patient." Qur'an 16:126-127. "If one is patient in adversity and forgives — this is indeed something to set one's heart upon." Qur'an 42:43 "Let the worthy forgive and show indulgence. God is forgiving, Merciful." Qur'an 24:22
In Judaism, if a person harms someone, but then sincerely and honestly apologizes to the wronged individual and tries to rectify the wrong, the wronged individual is required to grant forgiveness: "It is forbidden to be obdurate and not allow yourself to be appeased. On the contrary, one should be easily pacified and find it difficult to become angry. When asked by an offender for forgiveness, one should forgive with a sincere mind and a willing spirit." But if the wrongdoer does not apologize, there is no religious obligation to grant forgiveness. This is because Judaism is focused on the personal responsibility of the wrongdoer. It is the wrongdoer's responsibility to recognize the wrongdoing and to seek forgiveness from those who have been harmed. In Judaism, one must go to those he has harmed in order to be entitled to forgiveness. This means that, unlike in Christianity, in Judaism a person cannot obtain forgiveness from God for wrongs the person has done to other people. A person can only obtain forgiveness from God for wrongs done to God. For instance, should person A assault person B, person A would have to obtain forgiveness from both person B (for the assault) and God (for breaking God's law against assault). Just as only God can forgive sins against God, so only human beings can forgive sins against human beings." Jews may, however, forgive if they choose even if the offender has not apologized. If one who has been wronged by another does not wish to rebuke or speak to the offender — because the offender is retarded or confused — then if he sincerely forgives him, neither bearing him ill-will nor administering a reprimand, he acts according to the standard of the pious. (Deot 6:9). Jews observe a Day of Atonement. Just prior to Yom Kippur, Jews will ask forgiveness of those they have wronged during the prior year (if they have not already done so). During Yom Kippur, Jews fast and pray for God's forgiveness for the transgressions they have made against God in the prior year. Sincere repentance is required, and once again, God can only forgive one for the sins one has committed against God; this is why it is necessary for Jews also to seek the forgiveness of those people whom they have wronged.
In Buddhism forgiveness is urged as a practice to prevent harmful thoughts from causing havoc on one’s mental well-being. Buddhism recognizes that feelings of hatred and ill-will leave a lasting effect on our mind. Buddhism encourages the cultivation of thoughts that leave a wholesome effect. For Buddhism it is not a matter of seeking revenge but of practicing forgiveness, for the victimizer is, truly, the most unfortunate of all. When resentments have already arisen, calmly proceed by going back to their roots. "If we haven’t forgiven, we keep creating an identity around our pain, and that is what is reborn. That is what suffers." Buddhism puts emphasis on loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity, as a means to avoiding resentments. In response to 9/11, a Buddhist monk, reminded his students, "When we give serious consideration to our companionship in birth, old age, sickness, and death with all other beings in the world, it gives us a fresh perspective..." ‘He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me’ Those who harbor revenge, thoughts of hatred never ceases.
Psychological theories about forgiveness have developed in recent decades. They formulated a number of models describing the process of forgiveness. They developed a 20-Step Process Model of Forgiveness. It involves: recalling the hurt; empathize; think of altruistic gift of forgiveness; commit to forgive; hold onto forgiveness. Studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold on resentments.
1974’s Decree Canonically Establishing the District Parish of Saint Christopher,Prospect, Franklin Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania. Diocese of Pittsburgh; Office Of The Bishop. 111 Boulevard of Allies Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. “In order to provide more effectively for the welfare of souls, it has become necessary to establish a district parish for the faithful living in the district known as Prospect, Franklin Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania. Accordingly, with the counsel of the Diocesan Consultors and the Pastor of Saint Paul Parish, Butler, of which Saint Christopher Parish was formerly a Mission, we have established, effective November 15th, 1974, the new district parish of Saint Christopher as described below, and have perpetually separated it from the parishes surrounding it, according to norms of the Code of Canon Law. The voluntary offerings of the faithful and all other grants that have been made and will be made to Saint Christopher Parish constitute its revenue. The present pastor and all future pastors of Saint Christopher Parish are removable (C. 454, No. 3). The territory of this parish is coextensive with the civil boundaries of Franklin Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, as they exist on the date of the signing of this decree. + Vincent M. Leonard, Bishop of Pittsburgh; November 7th, 1974.”

Our Parish territory and membership. For approximately the first four centuries of the history of the Church, the bishop and his presbyters cared for the spiritual needs of the faithful within the parish-diocese. With the end of the persecutions and the increasing number of faithful, provision needed to be made for those in outlying areas and villages. At first some of the cathedral clergy were assigned to permanent outposts creating parishes within the diocese. The 1917 Canon law described the common understanding of "parish" through the centuries: a territorial section of the diocese, with a proper church building, to which a Catholic population was assigned, under the leadership of a proper pastor, who was responsible for the care of souls, (canon 216) By way of exception, personal parishes were possible based on language, nationality or rite; but the clear preference was the territorial parish. It was highly visible and practical as a basis for a faith community. The revised 1983 Canon Law stresses the parish as community above organization (canon 515) continuing to favor the territorial structure as a practical and necessary value (canon 518). The Pastor provides the sacramental and catechetical ministry to all the Christian faithful within his territory and collaborates in the building up of a Christian community. The faithful living within the parish territory have their own obligations to build up the kingdom of God by participation in worship and the life of the parish and to support its work. The parish church is present in the community as a sign and rallying point for the parish family. Baptisms and weddings take place there because they are not only personal family events but also celebrations of the parish family of faith. The more parishioners attend the weekly celebration of the Eucharist the more real this faith community becomes. Parishioners have a right and obligation to be present and worship at the altar of their parish church. They have a right to receive sacraments, education and pastoral care from their parish. They also have the obligation to give good example by being present at the liturgy, to make themselves known to their pastor, and to be supportive of their parish with their time, talent and treasure. In our mobile society people travel around to according to their tastes. The official church regulations regarding parish boundaries seem arcane today. A recent study by Georgetown University indicated that about a quarter of Catholics regularly attend parishes outside of their neighborhoods. While it is true that you may attend Mass wherever you may wish, it is not true that you can register as a member of a parish if you do not live there. Pastors cannot give permission for their parishioners to join another parish. Neither can the diocesan bishop grant such permission. The law of the church is not unlike civil law in determining membership in a given parish. While we might be free to make certain choices in our lives, some things are determined for us, and for good reason. Just as membership in a school district or township is governed by the territory in which one lives (one cannot freely choose to belong to some other township without moving), this same principle is applicable to membership in a parish. Pastors should be welcoming to all who come to worship at their church. They should, however, encourage people to be active members of the parishes where they live. For the good of the Church at large, pastors should suggest that people be registered in their home parish, be known to their proper pastors and supportive of their territorial parish even if they have good reasons to frequently worship elsewhere. It can be tempting and flattering to ignore the issue of territory in signing up new members. Yet, neighboring pastors working together in respecting parish boundaries can foster a greater spirit of Unity and Church. Robert Putnam's calls for the need for social networks in his book Bowling Alone. Catholics don't bowl alone. They at least can find a few familiar faces at the local alleys. "It's more than social, though. It's deeper. Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day were attracted to the Church through regular working people coming together in unity around the Eucharist in neighborhood churches. It is a central aspect of Catholic theology: 'For the churches of the reformation, salvation is essentially an individual activity. For Catholicism it has always been essentially a communal activity'.

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