It was a year ago that I was in the hospital for the first time in my life. The minor surgery meant that I had to stay overnight. When it came time for the dressing change the next day, I thought that I was going to die from the intense pain. Of course my brief experience of pain was nothing compared to the chronic conditions or acute illnesses that so many people suffer each and every day. When you think of all the people in hospitals or nursing homes, and the countless others around the world who endure without any medical care, the enormity of suffering seems overwhelming.
It is no wonder then that in Jesus' time once the crowds had heard that he cured Simon's mother-in-law, they raced to bring to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. If someone could alleviate the pain, cure the sick, and cast out demons this was definitely an opportunity of which to take advantage.
While modern medicine may help us with our physical illness and psychological pain, there is still a spiritual dimension to sickness that we should not ignore. Sickness separates us. It makes us question our faith. Illness strikes at our heart as well as our body. That is why the church offers the sacrament of the anointing of the sick for any who are ill. When we are sick, we are also alone. We need the support of the community of faith. And we need their prayers.
When a loved one is ill-or if you are sick yourself-don't hesitate to request the sacrament of anointing. If your illness confines you for a longer time, ask to receive Communion regularly to nurture you spiritually even as you seek to be strengthened physically. People sought out Jesus in this weekend's Gospel. When we or a loved one is ill, we can seek him out today.
©2011 Liturgical Publications Inc
AQUINAS GUILD MEETING
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 12th to make a reservation 412-767-5863 or email@example.com
WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE
World Day for Consecrated Life was celebrated in the Catholic Church on February 2, but is observed this Sunday in parishes. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the consecrated life in this way (#915, 916):
"Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God."
"The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a 'more intimate' consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ's faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come."
Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and be sure to thank them on their special day. May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God's gift of their vocation.
MARCH FOR LIFE
Midnight, January 22, the St. Scholastica bus with 39 people (16 adults and 23 young people) headed to the MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington, D.C. We had a breakfast stop at St. Mark Parish in Vienna, VA and then headed to the Youth Rally and Mass where we saw Cardinal Wuerl, Bishop Zubik, Bishop Waltersheid, and several Pittsburgh priests. After Mass we attended the Rally on the Mall and then joined 500,000 pro life people in a march to the Supreme Court. Our day ended with an hour meeting with Senator Casey and a short time browsing over pro-life literature at the March headquarters hotel.
A drizzly rainy day did not dampen our spirits or lessen our zeal to march in memorial for the 54 million babies who have died in the U.S. through legal abortion. The Respect Life Committee would like to thank all those who made the trip possible with their participation in the Pancake Breakfast and/or direct support for our bus expenses.
PS: Gerry Werries was the winner of the Pancake Breakfast 50/50 raffle.
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.
· We are looking for a group or family to sponsor our April Coffee House. We hope to hold the gathering on a Sunday in April after the 9:00 or 11:00 Mass; the particular date is negotiable. We estimate a time commitment of an hour in advance to organize or purchase paper products, doughnuts, etc., and one and a half hours on the day of the Coffee House to set up and clean up. A list of instructions will be provided. This is a wonderful opportunity for a family, parish group, or religious education small group to contribute to a spirit of togetherness in our parish community! To sign up or get more information, please contact Boo Benckart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· 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 and 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 email@example.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 asks for our prayers for homeless persons and for needy families.
· We will also continue to accept donationsof 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 . . . The Aquinas Guild
The Aquinas Guild, the woman's organization of the parish, has been a vital part of St. Scholastica's for more than 70 years. Members come together to hear interesting speakers, to participate in group activities and local events, to make new friends, and to enrich their spiritual lives. The Guild holds an annual benefit luncheon, The Autumn Song, to help fund parish and community programs and activities. It also sponsors a Lenten Day of Reflection that is open to both men and woman of the parish. Monthly meetings are held between September and May, generally on the third Wednesday of the month. To learn more or join, contact Mary Ann Labriola at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
· Making Moral Choices
Difficult political decisions require the exercise of a well-formed conscience aided by prudence. This exercise of conscience begins with always opposing policies that violate human life or weaken its protection. "Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good" (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB], Catholics in Political Life).
When morally flawed laws already exist, prudential judgment is needed to determine how to do what is possible to restore justice—even if partially or gradually—without ever abandoning a moral commitment to full protection for all human life from conception to natural death (see Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, no. 73).
Prudential judgment is also needed to determine the best way to promote the common good in areas such as housing, health care, and immigration. When Church leaders make judgments about how to apply Catholic teaching to specific policies, this may not carry the same binding authority as universal moral principles but cannot be dismissed as one political opinion among others. These moral applications should inform the consciences and guide the actions of Catholics.
LENTEN BIBLE STUDY
There are no Scripture texts closer to the heart of our faith than those that recount the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord. In this seven-week study, beginning in Lent and extending into the Easter season, we will look at these stories in each of the four Gospels. Through them, we hope to gain insights into how the pain of the cross and the joy and hope of the Resurrection are present in our daily living.
The study is offered on Wednesday evenings at 7:30, beginning on February 29, and on Thursday mornings at 10:00, beginning on March 1. There is a materials fee of $20. For more information or to register, see the flyers at the church entrances, consult the Adult Faith Formation page on our website, or contact Andy Bechman. Please respond by February 20 in order to receive your materials at the first meeting.
Saturday, February 11th is our Confirmation Retreat from 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Please keep all of our candidates in your prayers.
February 12th is the Love Walk for the poor. It begins with 2:00 p.m. Mass at Sacred Heart. Interested students should contact the youth ministry office.
ARE YOU A FAITHFUL CITIZEN?
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 this 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 as soon as possible 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.
DID YOU KNOW…
Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy is now accepting registrations for the 2012-2013 school year. Openings are available for most grades, pre-k through 8. Please contact the school for a tour 412.781.7927. Financial aid is available.
READINGS FOR THE WEEK: FEBRUARY 5TH
Sunday: Jb 7:1-4, 6-7/1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23/Mk 1:29-39
Monday: 1 Kgs 8:1-7, 9-13/Mk 6:53-56
Tuesday: 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30/Mk 7:1-13
Wednesday: 1 Kgs 10:1-10/Mk 7:14-23
Thursday: 1 Kgs 11:4-13/Mk 7:24-30
Friday: 1 Kgs 11:29-32; 12:19/Mk 7:31-37
Saturday: 1 Kgs 12:26-32; 13:33-34/Mk 8:1-10
Next Sunday: Lv 13:1-2, 44-46/1 Cor 10:31--11:1/Mk 1:40-45
There will be a meeting for anyone interested in participating in this year's mission trip to Appalachia on Tuesday, February 7th, from 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in the Pastoral Center. The deadline for registering for this trip is March 3rd. Contact Jamie Dillon with any questions.
CATHOLIC VISION OF LOVE
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.
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
Monday, St. Paul Miki & Companions, February 6
8:30 am Vincent & Amelia Kopec (Bonessa Family)
Tuesday, weekday, February 7
8:30 am Mary Catherine Cavanaugh (James & Vicki Cavanaugh)
Wednesday, weekday, February 8
8:30 am John A. Marmarella (Lillian & Children)
Thursday, weekday, Febuary 9
8:30 am NO MASS
Friday, St. Scholastica, virgin, February 10
8:30 am Leslie Carlson (Styslinger Family)
Saturday, weekday, February 11
9:00 am Vincent & Dorothy Taravella (Evelyn Conflenti)
Saturday, Vigil of the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 11
5:00 pm Regis Obringer (St. Monica Society)
Sunday, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 12
7:30 am Parishioners of St. Scholastica
9:00 am Patricia Washensky (Sharon Doherty)
11:00 am Birthday, Raimund G. Rueger (Family)
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.
ST. SCHOLASTICA PROFESSIONAL STAFF
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
Thom Bercik……………………………...………....Ext. 22
Coordinator of the Protection of Children
Mrs. Mary Swindal…………………………...……..Ext. 10
Toll-free Victim's Assistance Hotline 1-888-808-1235
ST. SCHOLASTICA SUPPORT STAFF
Pat Wolfson…………………………………...…….Ext. 10
Office Manager/Parish Accountant
Chrissy Morton ……………………………………..Ext. 24
Submissions for bulletin items are due by Noon on Mondays
CHRIST THE DIVINE TEACHER CATHOLIC ACADEMY
Sr. Dorothy Dolak S.C.N……………………(412)781-7927