January 29, 2012

   Athletes put hours into practice. It is not enough just to play the game. In practice a person learns the moves, discovers how muscles respond, trains all aspects of his or her body, and over time becomes so proficient at the selected sport that she or he can intuitively react during play. Practice in sports helps the athlete develop self-confidence. The same holds true for the musician, the salesperson, the new teacher. When an individual takes up something new he or she may initially be a bit shaky at it. Over time, we develop the skills so that something becomes second nature.
   In today's Gospel, Jesus is the confident, self-assured teacher. Yes, he works a miracle. But before we get caught up in that, we should look at how Mark portrays him. Right at the beginning of the Gospel, Jesus enters the synagogue in Capernaum and starts to teach. Unlike the scribes who would appeal to the words of Jewish teachers to support their teaching, Jesus comes across as confident in his own authority. He has no need to reference what others have handed on. Instead, his teaching commands respect because he shows its truth through his deeds.
   Like the athlete who is confident in his game, we can become confident in our faith by practicing it. As we see in the Gospel from the very first chapter of Mark, Jesus was confident in both word and deed. We can do the same. By reading the Scriptures regularly we become attuned to Christ's teaching. We absorb the knowledge, just as any good athlete memorizes all the plays. And by acting on Christ's teaching through our worship of God and love of neighbor we are performing the deeds of faith. The skills become second nature as we put into practice what we have been taught by Christ.
©2011 Liturgical Publications Inc

The Aquinas Guild will have Cheryl Bagley, Nutritional Therapist and Healing Foods Specialist speak at the February 15th meeting. Cheryl will take the mystery out of making homemade chicken stock. She will also share her expertise on nutrition and offer food advice when grocery shopping. A light lunch will follow the meeting. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in the Pastoral Center. There is no charge for the lunch, but a reservation is necessary.  Contact Mary Ellen Maher by Monday, February 12 to make a reservation at 412-767-5863 or maryemaher@msn.com

    What's your favorite part of the Christmas story? The Annunciation? The proclamation of the angels to the shepherds? The baby Jesus in the manger? The coming of the Three Kings?  In the introductory week of our Bible study,"The Birth of Christ," we took a look at the beginning of each Gospel.
   Did you know that Mark's Gospel starts with John the Baptist's preaching, with no stories at all about the birth of Jesus? Or that the Gospel according to John, after its famous Prologue ("In the beginning was the Word . . . and the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us . . .") jumps right to the story of the adult John the Baptist and Jesus as well? Only in Matthew and Luke do we find stories about the birth or childhood of Jesus.
   We may also be surprised to see that our idea of "the Christmas story" is a blending of the accounts in these Gospels. We may be used to imagining the star shining above the stable as the shepherds visit, but no such scene exists in the Gospels themselves.
   The Gospel according to Matthew begins with a list of the ancestors of Jesus back to Abraham, and then relates stories of how Joseph came to name and accept Jesus as his legal son, how the magi appeared in Jerusalem, how Joseph fled from King Herod to Egypt and eventually settled his family in Nazareth.
   Luke's longer account includes stories about the birth of John the Baptist, Gabriel's annunciation to Mary, Mary's visit to Elizabeth, Jesus born and laid in a manger, angels appearing to the shepherds, and stories involving visits to the Temple when Jesus was a baby and later as a child. 
   Part of what we do in this Bible study will be to look at each of these accounts separately to see the inspired message that they bring us. Watch the bulletin or "Adult Faith Formation" page on our website for more dispatches from the study.

   Our call to stewardship includes all of the ways in which we receive God's gifts with gratitude, cultivate them, and share them with others. Find more news in the online version of Stewardship Corner at our parish website: http://www.saintscholastica.com. Look for "Stewardship Corner" in the Quick Links.

Good News!
On the weekend of January 14-15, we collected over 30 boxes of Rice-a-Roni for the food pantry At East End Cooperative Ministry in East Liberty. Thank you for your generosity!

Help Needed!
· The Ministry of Praise is looking for someone to team with the newsletter editor to help with maintaining the mailing list, printing labels, purchasing envelopes & stamps as needed, and emailing the newsletter to members who wish to receive it electronically. Time commitment is not large -- probably about an hour or so per mailing. Contact Mary Catherine Scanlon at prayerlist@saintscholastica.com for details.
· We continue to collect men's heavy winter jackets, size L or larger, packages of toilet paper, blankets, and sleeping bags (zero degree rated ones are best), to be distributed by Nancy Heil and her associates to people who need them in Pittsburgh. Please leave donations in the large non-food items container in the vestibule of the church. Nancy also requests our prayers for homeless persons and needy families.
· We will also continue to accept donations of canned tuna, canned chicken (not soups) or canned fruit in the food-items container, along with cans of regular Pepsi and prepared food mixes (such as macaroni and cheese and hamburger helper). Thank you!

Focus On . . . Music Ministry
Music Ministers are adults and teens who enhance the quality of prayer and worship at our liturgies by leading the assembly in song and by encouraging full participation. Opportunities include: cantor, the 9 a.m. Contemporary Choir, the 11 a.m. SATB Choir, and instrumentalists. If you are interested in music ministry, please contact Sr. Pat Baker at 412-781-0186, ext. 17 or by e-mail: music@saintscholastica.com.

The Hope for Haiti Committee will meet on Wednesday, February 1st at 7:30 p.m. in the Pastoral Center. All are welcome!

   The following text continues a summary of the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, prepared by the United States bishops in 2007, and reissued by them in 2011. We hope that this summary of official Catholic teaching on political participation will help all of us to root our views in our faith and to form our consciences as we approach our political decisions.

How Does the Church Help Catholics to Address Political and Social Questions?
· A Well-Formed Conscience
The Church equips its members to address political questions by helping them develop well-formed consciences. "Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act. . . . [Every person] is obliged to follow faithfully what he [or she] knows to be just and right" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1778). We Catholics have a lifelong obligation to form our consciences in accord with human reason, enlightened by the teaching of Christ as it comes to us through the Church.
· The Virtue of Prudence
The Church also encourages Catholics to develop the virtue of prudence, which enables us "to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1806). Prudence shapes and informs our ability to deliberate over available alternatives, to determine what is most fitting to a specific context, and to act. Prudence must be accompanied by courage which calls us to act. As Catholics seek to advance the common good, we must carefully discern which public policies are morally sound. A good end does not justify an immoral means. At times Catholics may choose different ways to respond to social problems, but we cannot differ on our obligation to protect human life and dignity and help build through moral means a more just and peaceful world.

There will be a meeting for anyone interested in participating in this year's mission trip to Appalachia on Tuesday, February 7th from 7:30pm - 8:30 p.m. in the Pastoral Center.  The deadline for registering for this trip is March 3rd.  Contact Jamie Dillon with any questions.

We will host a Catholic Vision of Love meeting for all parents of 6th graders.  Our meeting will feature the dynamic speaker Holly Joy Penzenstadler.  It will be February 7th from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Pastoral Center. No Rsvp needed, contact Jamie Dillon with questions.

Come and hear a presentation on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" by Mrs. Helene Paharik, director of the Diocese of Pittsburgh's Department for Human Dignity. The presentation will be held on Monday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the Pastoral Center. It is intended for Catholics who wish to exercise their rights and duties as participants in our democracy:
· to help them form their consciences, in order to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; 
· to shape their choices in the coming election in the light of Catholic teaching;
· to develop unity in the Church ALIVE by fostering our Catholic identity.
Please Rsvp to the diocesan Secretariat for Evangelization and Social Concerns at 412-456-3156 by January 30 so we can prepare sufficient seating and materials. A $5 donation per person would be appreciated to help defray the cost of materials. This donation will be collected at the event. Continuing Education credits are available.

That the week of January 28th - February 3rd is Catholic Schools Week?  The Theme this year is Faith, Academics and Service. Students from CDTCA will take part in many activities including a service visit to the Sisters of  St. Francis and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

         Sunday:     Dt 18:15-20/1 Cor 7:32-35/Mk 1:21-28
        Monday:     2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13/Mk 5:1-20
        Tuesday:     2 Sm 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30--19:3/Mk 5:21-43
   Wednesday:     2 Sm 24:2, 9-17/Mk 6:1-6
       Thursday:    Mal 3:1-4/Heb 2:14-18/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32
            Friday:    Sir 47:2-11/Mk 6:14-29
        Saturday:    1 Kgs 3:4-13/Mk 6:30-34
  Next Sunday:    Jb 7:1-4, 6-7/1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23/Mk 1:29-39

Youth Ministry Appalachia Mission Trip 2012 Hoagie Sale!  Please return by January 30 to mtroyan102@aol.com or the Religious Education mailbox in the Pastoral Center.  Hoagies are $8.00 each.  They will be available for pick after all masses the weekend of February 4 & 5 in the pastoral center.  Checks should be made payable to St. Scholastica Parish.

email ___________________________________________
Phone __________________________________________
       # ________ Turkey  # _________ Italian

Saturday, Vigil of the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 28
   5:00 pm  Barbara Zuccaro (Regis Legath) 
       Presider: Fr. Sean Hogan

Sunday, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time,  January 29
   7:30 am  Parishioners of St. Scholastica
       Presider: Fr.  Sean Hogan
   9:00 am  Delfina Marsico (Clara Anzelmo & Family)
       Presider: Fr. Sean Hogan
   11:00 am  Frank Donnelly (Patricia Snyder)
       Presider: Fr. Thomas Manion

Monday, weekday, January 30
    8:30 am  NO MASS

Tuesday, St. John Bosco, priest, January 31
    8:30 am  NO MASS

Wednesday, weekday, February 1
    8:30 am  NO MASS

Thursday, The Presentation of the Lord, February 2
    8:30 am  NO MASS

Friday, weekday, February 3
    8:30 am  Patrick Flemming (Flemming Family)

Saturday, weekday, February 4
    9:00 am  Andrea Certo (Family)

Saturday, Vigil of the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 4
   5:00 pm  George R. Paulick (Paulick Family) 
       Presider: Fr. Kenneth White

Sunday, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time,  February 5
   7:30 am  Parishioners of St. Scholastica
       Presider: Fr.  Sean Hogan
   9:00 am  Celia Mancini (Children)
       Presider: Fr. Kenneth White
   11:00 am  William H. Stewart  (Jeanne & Kathy Murray)
       Presider: Fr. Kenneth White

Weekday Mass Schedule for Neighboring Parishes
St. Edward, Blawnox: M, W, F, Sat 9:00 a.m.; Th 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis, Harmar: T, Th 8:00 a.m.; W 6:30 p.m.
St. Joseph, O’Hara: M,T, Th, F 9:00 a.m.; W 7:00 p.m.
Madonna of Jerusalem, Sharpsburg: M-F, 7:30 a.m.

St. Scholastica Parish
309 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15215

Church Office 412-781-0186; Fax 412-781-4316
World Wide Web: www.saintscholastica.com
Parish Office:  Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  

Rev. Kenneth White, Pastor, M.Th.M.Ed………..…Ext. 14

Director of Music/Bereavement
Sr. Patricia Baker, C.D.P……………………….…...Ext. 17

Director of Adult Religious Education & R.C.I.A.
Andrew Bechman, M.Ed……………………….…....Ext. 18

Director of Religious Education & Youth Ministry
Jamie Dillon, M.S., M.A., R.R.T…………………....Ext. 20

Program Director for Religious Education
Gina Musser……………………………………...….Ext. 21

Organist/Wedding Contact
Thom Bercik……………………………...….412-390-3748

Coordinator of the Protection of Children
Mrs. Mary Swindal…………………………...……..Ext. 10
Toll-free Victim's Assistance Hotline 1-888-808-1235

Church Secretary
Pat Wolfson…………………………………...…….Ext. 10

Office Manager/Parish Accountant
Chrissy Morton ……………………………………..Ext. 24

Facilities Manager
Tom Galda

Bulletin Editor
Amy Condosta
Submissions for bulletin items are due by Noon on Mondays

Sr. Dorothy Dolak S.C.N……………………(412)781-7927