In the midst of the Great Recession many construction plans were abandoned. Back in February, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis released a report analyzing the effect of the restrained construction environment on the economy. From a peak of 400,000 housing starts per quarter to just over 100,000 in the final quarter of 2012, the total industry (construction and real estate), which once accounted for ten million jobs, lost 2.5 million of its workers over five years. Data used by the Fed showed that employment was on a growth trend if you excluded the construction industry. Add that industry into the picture, and employment in the past few years continues its downward march. The report also points to the fact that construction has a large indirect effect on the economy as well, since more building increases demand for things like furniture and banking and legal services.
In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus uses the example of calculating the cost to build a tower as a way of inviting those who heard him to consider what it means to become one of his followers. The life of the Gospel is more than just a quick acceptance of Jesus into one's life. There are costs associated with becoming a disciple. Jesus puts it rather bluntly at the end of this week's text when he states, "Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."
The Great Recession certainly saw many people losing all of their possessions. Jobs were lost, retirement savings were used up, homes were foreclosed, and plans for college were abandoned. But this kind of imposed loss is not what Jesus is speaking of. He is inviting those who have--and there are still many of us that fall into that category--to not become overly attached to all of our possessions. Love of material things can keep us from seeing Christ, most especially from seeing Christ in our brothers and sisters in need.
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BISHOP'S EDUCATION FUND
This Sunday there will be a second collection for the Bishop's Education Fund. This fund issues grants to financially needy families who otherwise could not send their children to Catholic schools. These grants and other sources of aid assure that our schools are not outside the reach of the middle class or families experiencing the distress of unemployment, divorce or sickness. Many of the students in our own school receive grants from the Bishop's Education Fund. Thank you for your generosity!!
The Aquinas Guild, which was organized by the women of St. Scholastica's Parish in 1939 to foster an awareness of the needs of the parish and community and to encourage friendship and social contact among the members, is in the process of re-inventing itself. We want to stay a vital, contributing body of the parish while meeting the changing needs of today's women of faith. Pope Francis has professed that women are a vital part of the Catholic Church and encourages their involvement in parish life.
We are inviting ALL WOMEN of our parish and surrounding parishes to attend an "Idea Gathering" social on September 19th at 6 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Field Club. The Aquinas Guild is the only women's organization of our parish and our hope is to determine our future direction in order to more actively serve the needs of the parish and the members. Please bring a friend or neighbor and join us for an information gathering evening of camaraderie on September 19th.
RSVP to Mary Ellen at 412-767-5863 or Maryemaher@msn.com
LABOR DAY STATEMENT
Each year, the bishops of the United States issue a Labor Day statement. This year's message, written by Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, is particularly pertinent. Bishop Blaire begins with the basics: "Every human being enjoys a basic right to be respected, not because of any title, position, prestige, or accomplishment but first of all because we are created in the image and likeness of God." As Pope Francis has noted, "Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. . . . It gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one's family, to contribute to the growth of one's own nation."
Unfortunately, Bishop Blaire continues, in the U.S. "the economy still has not improved the standard of living for many people, especially for the poor and the working poor, many of whom are unemployed or underemployed. . . . Half of the jobs in this country pay less than $27,000 per year. More than 46 million people live in poverty, including 16 million children. The economy is not creating an adequate number of jobs that allow workers to provide for themselves and their families."
However, the "current imbalances are not inevitable, but demand boldness in promoting a just economy that reduces inequality by creating jobs that pay a living wage and share with workers some profits of the company. It also requires ensuring a strong safety net for jobless workers and their families and those who are incapable of work." Unions are part of the solution: "Catholic teaching has consistently affirmed the right of workers to choose to form a union. The rise in income inequality has mirrored a decline in union membership." Responsible businesses are as well: "Whenever possible we should support businesses and enterprises that protect human life and dignity, pay just wages, and protect workers' rights."
For the rest of Bishop Blaire's message, see the USCCB website: usccb.org.
Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she bears witness to God's love. Be missionaries of God's tenderness!
Nancy Heil coordinates an extensive Christian service effort for people and families who are poor or homeless. Her coworkers come from all over the region. One young man named Eric joined other members of his family in the effort. The work he did and an essay he wrote about it helped win him a college scholarship. Here are excerpts from what he wrote about his experience.
Working with the homeless in downtown Pittsburgh has been my most rewarding community service experience. It brings me joy as I take nothing for granted anymore, and it also creates more stable living conditions for less fortunate people in our community.
Every Monday night a group of volunteers, led by Mrs. Nancy Heil, meet on the Boulevard of the Allies to distribute blankets, food, clothing, and other basic necessities to the homeless. As they operate under no official organization, their supplies come from churches and the goodness of people's hearts. . . . When I am performing this community service, there is honestly no place I would rather be. The joy in the faces of the people I am helping is truly heart-warming. . . .
The people we help are extremely gracious and told us how much they benefited from our works. I have never met a group of more thankful and faithful people in my life than the homeless and volunteers I have met on Monday nights downtown.
The Parish Picnic is coming on September 22 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Squaw Valley Park. Let's all do our part to make this a great celebration of our parish community!
Sign-up sheets for different tasks on the day of the picnic are in the vestibule of church. In the meantime, we have three special requests.
- We need trucks that can carry 8-foot long rectangular tables from St. Scholastica to the park at 1:00 p.m. and/or from the park back to the parish at 7:00 p.m. Volunteers will load the tables onto your truck.
- We need three E-Z Up-type canopies to shelter the food tables from 1:30 p.m. at Squaw Valley Park.
- If you have a cooler you can lend, please bring it to the park as close to 1:30 as you can.
Please help us pack food for Nancy Heil's Homeless Ministry on Sunday mornings in the CDTCA cafeteria between the 7:30 am and 9 am Masses. Questions, please call Mary Ellen at 412-767-5863.
Nancy Heil requests donations of McDonald's gift certificates and Port Authority ConnectCards. Please have only $2.50 of value loaded onto each card. The cards are available at Giant Eagle.
For other needed items, see the online version of Stewardship Corner at our parish website. Look for "Stewardship Corner" in the Quick Links. Please remember to leave donations in the bins in the back of church. Please do not make any bags too heavy to carry easily. Thank you!
Catechetical Sunday is Sunday, September 15! Classes for grades K-5 will begin on the 15th or Tuesday the 17th. Small group selections for grades 6-8 will be on Sunday, September 22 after the Masses.
CALLING ALL BOYS IN 4TH-8TH GRADES
Interested in sharpening your basketball skills? Join us for the 2013 CDTCA Basketball Basics with D.P. Harris, St. Vincent College Head Coach, along with members of the Bearcats. Saturday, September 14th and 21st from 9 am-12 pm. $30 a session. Space is limited to 25 boys a session. First come first serve! Contact Phil McGivney at firstname.lastname@example.org to hold your place!
HOPE FOR HAITI COMMITTEE MEETING
The Haiti Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 11, at 7:30 pm in the Pastoral Center, rather than our usual first Wednesday meeting. New members are always welcome! If you'd like to learn more about the committee's work, see our information on the parish website at http://www.saintscholastica.com/ministries/haiti/index.php, or contact Maureen O'Brien at email@example.com.
CAMCI: ADVANCING THE USE OF COMPUTERIZED SCREENING IN HEALTHCARE
We are looking for reasonably healthy people aged 60 and older to be subjects in a research study. Participants will help us to develop a test of memory and thinking abilities (CAMCI) that could be administered easily on a computer in a doctor's office. You do not need to have computer experience to help. The results of this study may help identify early signs of memory problems in older individuals, or other uses for computerized screening tools.
Study 1.The test involves two sessions. Session 1 will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and Session 2 will take about 30 minutes to complete. Both can be taken at the offices of Psychology Software Tools, by appointment. Participants are compensated $50 for completion of both sessions.
Study 2. The session will take approximately 105 minutes to complete. It can be taken at your center, or at the offices of Psychology Software Tools, by appointment. Participants are compensated $90 for completion of the session.
If you are interested in participating or have questions, you may speak with a representative by calling: Psychology Software Tools 412-449-0078 ext. 1513.
PARISH OFFICE NEWS
The Parish Office is now open Monday thru Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Our first Youth Mass of the catechetical year is Saturday, September 14 at 5 pm. We especially invite all of our home study families. After Mass we will have a potluck picnic as well as having the homeschool material available.
Any youth in grades 5-12 who are interested in singing or playing an instrument should contact Jamie Dillon. Rehearsal will be Wednesday, September 11 at 4:30 pm.
REST IN PEACE
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Blakely Patrick ("Pat") Landell, uncle of Austin Henry.
READINGS FOR THE WEEK: SEPTEMBER 8TH
Sunday: Wis 9:13-18b/Phlm 9-10, 12-17/Lk 14:25-33
Monday: Col 1:24--2:3/Lk 6:6-11
Tuesday: Col 2:6-15/Lk 6:12-19
Wednesday: Col 3:1-11/Lk 6:20-26
Thursday: Col 3:12-17/Lk 6:27-38
Friday: 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14/Lk 6:39-42
Saturday: Nm 21:4b-9/Phil 2:6-11/Jn 3:13-17
Next Sunday: Ex 32:7-11, 13-14/1 Tm 1:12-17/Lk 15:1-32 or 15:1-10
The St. Scholastica Parish Connection is a simple social networking site linked to our parish website. It includes an online parish directory, discussion board, and places for documents, pictures and videos.
On September 17, we will import contact information for our parishioners to the online directory. If you are registered in the parish and we have your email address, you will receive an email message with login information so that you can check your profile. You can add information and a photo, and update your information whenever something changes.
Participating in the Parish Connection allows you to update your own information, and it makes those updates immediately available to any parish group you belong to. You will have access to the online directory, easy access to important documents, and you can see photos and videos that are posted on the site. You will have access to a parish discussion board that you can use to connect with other parishioners. And you will be able to sign up easily for online giving so that you no longer have to write checks for the collection basket.
The parish benefits because we will have a more up-to-date database of parishioner information without having to use much support staff time to maintain it. We hope that increased communication among parishioners will contribute to our growth as a community.
If you do not wish to have your contact information (name, main telephone number, mailing address and email address) included in the import to the online directory, please notify the parish office before September 17. The online directory will only be available to registered users, and you will be able to control how much of the information in your profile is made available even to other parishioners.
SAVE THE DATE
Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy presents, "How Sweet It Is!". Please mark you calendars for Friday, October 25, 2013 and be a part of this annual Fall Fling benefit. To be held at the Pittsburgh Field Club. Invitations to follow. Any questions? Contact Dani Folino at firstname.lastname@example.org or Luci Massaro at email@example.com.
There will be a meeting for all confirmation candidates and their parents on Sunday, September 22 after the 11am Mass in the Pastoral Center.
Saturday, Vigil of the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 7
5:00 pm Parishioners of St. Scholastica
Presider: Fr. Sean Hogan
Sunday, Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 8
7:30 am Jim & Mary McCaffrey (Dr. & Mrs. Michael Shaughnessy)
Presider: Fr. Robert Duch
9:00 am Birthday, Jonathan Marsico (Tish Marsico)
Presider: Fr. Kenneth White
11:00 am Anniv., Anthony Michael Farina (Anthony & Jean Marie Farina)
Presider: Fr. Kenneth White
Monday, St. Peter Claver, September 9
8:30 am Richard B. & Margaret B. Cullinan (Maureen Cullinan & Bill Pelham)
Tuesday, weekday, September 10
8:30 am Nancy & Holly McSorley (Arthur McSorley)
Wednesday, weekday, September 11
8:30 am John Stafford (Scanlon Family)
Thursday, Most Holy Name of Mary, September 12
8:30 am NO MASS
Friday, St. John Chrysostom, September 13
8:30 am John Stafford (Students CDTCA)
Saturday, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14
9:00 am Deceased Members of the Certo Family
Saturday, Vigil of the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 14
5:00 pm Louise Sindrich (Farrell Family)
Presider: Fr. Kenneth White
Sunday, Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 15
7:30 am Parishioners of St. Scholastica
Presider: Fr. Kenneth White
9:00 am Rose Bunecke (Nedrow Family)
Presider: Fr. Sean Hogan
11:00 am Thomas Amodeo (Shirley & Samuel Amodeo)
Presider: Fr. Kenneth White
SAINT SCHOLASTICA PARISH
309 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Church Office 412-781-0186; Fax 412-781-4316
World Wide Web: http://www.saintscholastica.com/
Parish Office: Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
ST. SCHOLASTICA PROFESSIONAL STAFF
Rev. Kenneth White, 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