November 24, 2013

      Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day this Thursday. This week will be one of the busiest for travel. Local news channels will broadcast stories about Thanksgiving meals and also about the poor who will be served by others. The president will pardon a turkey. Stores will gear up for Black Friday sales and a big shopping weekend. Financial markets in the United States will be closed down Thursday and have shortened hours on Friday. The collision of sentiments of gratitude and crass commercialism on a single weekend can make for a certain incongruence in one's experience of these few days.
      As we celebrate the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we are presented with a seemingly huge incongruity in the Gospel that is proclaimed this year. We celebrate a great King, and in our human experience when we hear of a king we think of fine robes, sumptuous feasts, grand castles, and scores of courtiers and servants. The Gospel today gives us a broken man, abandoned by his friends, condemned, reviled by a criminal, and hanging on a cross. This is the King we honor today.
      Thank God that we can live with a certain amount of dissonance in our lives. It is what allows us to hold in balance seemingly contradictory notions, like the fact that a crucified man is our Lord and King. One of the criminals crucified with Jesus asks that he be remembered when Jesus comes into his kingdom. That plea, uttered near the moment of his death, has become a prayer for Christians through the centuries, because we believe that the death of Jesus was not the end. We believe that his death was just the beginning, ushering in a new kingdom, and promising a new life that can be ours if we submit ourselves to the rule of this universal King. The promise Christ makes to the repentant thief is the promise he makes to us: we will be with him in paradise.
                                                        ©2013 Liturgical Publications Inc

      Bishop Zubik has requested that all the parishes of the diocese take up a collection for those devastated by the typhoon in the Philippines.  So, our second collection will be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services and the Bishops' Conference in the Philippines. 

      Last weekend we began our annual Christmas Sharing Tree project.  On the trees are two different colored envelopes: one set to support Haitian children's education, and the other set to support the education of Kenyan children.  In addition, there are tags representing children and adults from West Virginia for whom we will buy and wrap gifts.  We invite you to choose one of the envelopes or tags.  We ask that you return these envelopes or wrapped presents (with the tag on the outside) on the weekend of December 7 and 8.  Thank you for being God's kindly light in the dark and challenging world!

      Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy is having a book fair at the Barnes & Noble Waterworks store.  The fair is this Sunday, November 24 from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm.  Our students will be performing at 1:00 pm and a story time for younger children will begin at 1:45 pm.  Come have a coffee, sandwich or treat.  Enjoy the performance and start on your Christmas shopping!

      There are no copies of the Pittsburgh Catholic in church today because they were mailed to all our homes.  If you did not receive a Pittsburgh Catholic, please contact the Parish Office so we can put you on the list for the next mailing in Lent.

      This Sunday we welcome Fr. Phil Farrell as the presider at the 9:00 am and 11:00 am Masses.  Fr. Phil is the Episcopal Vicar for our area - Region Four.  His primary responsibility is to be Bishop Zubik's representative to the parishes in Region Four.  Last month he made a pastoral visit to meet with me, the professional staff, the Pastoral Council, the Financial Council and to check the Sacramental Registers.  I invited him to officiate at our Sunday Masses so he could have a better "feel" for our parish community and also give you a chance to get to know him.

      Women of the Parish, please plan to bake extra Christmas cookies!  As part of our December outreach we will be collecting homemade cookies in the Pastoral Center on December 15 between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm. 
      The cookies will be supplied to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Sharpsburg.  We're serving over 130 families so please be generous.  Please use disposable containers.  Thank you very much!

There are many people in need in today's world.  Am I self-absorbed in my own concerns or am I aware of those who need help?                --Pope Francis 

Help Needed!
      Nancy Heil coordinates an extensive Christian service effort for people and families who are poor or homeless.  She requests donations of:
      · McDonald's gift cards;
      · Port Authority ConnectCards.  Please have only $2.50 of value loaded onto each card. The cards are available at Giant Eagle.
Nancy notes that these items are especially important as the weather turns colder.
      Food items that are needed include:
      · macaroni and cheese;
      · hamburger helper and similar prepared meals;
      · packaged foods such as tuna and chicken that do not require refrigeration.
These groceries go to poor families and to people living in shelters.
      Thank you for your generosity!

Good News!
      Nancy Heil writes:
      Our plea for outerwear for the children of John Morrow School in the North Side of Pittsburgh resulted in a collection of 87 children's coats and all the hats, gloves, and scarves that they needed.
      The principal, in amazement at what was achieved in two weeks, asked, "How in God's name were you able to do this?"  Our reply was, "You just answered your own question.  In God's name it was done."
      Everyone involved called it nothing short of a miracle.  Thank you, Fr. Ken, Sr. Dorothy, and Andy Bechman for supporting us in our emergency plea . . . and we thank each and every one of you who donated these beautiful coats, gloves, and scarves.  This is the "Church Alive" in action!
                                                                   Yours in Christ,

      This Sunday, November 24, 8:00 am - 1:00 pm is our Blood Drive in the Pastoral Center.  Everyday is a challenge to see enough blood donors to meet local needs.  If you think, "other people are giving enough blood" you are wrong.  Although over 50% of the population is eligible to give blood, only about 5% actually do.  New donors are needed every day in order to maintain regional blood supplies.  Please give blood this weekend.

      The Respect Life Committee members are selling Christmas Cards.  The sale benefits People Concerned for the Unborn Child.  The cards have a Nativity Scene on the cover and a message inside.  A packet of ten cards costs $6.00.  Contact any member or call 412-781-6550.  Your purchase will help the pro-life movement. God bless you.

      Seven men from St. Scholastica participated in a retreat last weekend at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center on the South Side slopes.  One of the retreatants, Jerry Werries, reports: "I was skeptical about going on the retreat when first asked by a fellow parishioner because of many retreats that I was expected to make in high school while discerning my vocation.  But after a few hours at the retreat center, I realized what I missed over the past 50 years.  I was in a spiritual vacuum, just treading water and not advancing in my spiritual life.  The weekend caused movement for which I am very grateful."
      Thanks to Jim Fanning and Bob Auray for promoting the retreat at our parish.  We are looking to make this an annual event.  Last year, Jim and Bob attended; this year, we had seven; next year, we hope that an even larger group of men will take advantage of this opportunity to take a break from our busy lives and, in the words of one of the retreat leaders, "let our souls catch up to our bodies".

      A preparation session for the parents of children who are scheduled to be baptized in the parish will be held on Monday evening, December 2, at 7:30 in the church.  Please use the entrance nearest the grotto on the Fourth St. side of the Pastoral Center. The session will provide parents an opportunity to reflect upon the meaning of the sacrament and to walk through the ceremony itself.  It is especially intended for parents who are baptizing their first child, although parents who have had previous children baptized are also welcome.
      If you plan to attend the session and have not already been in communication with Andy Bechman, please contact him at Please make arrangements for the baptism itself with Fr. Ken at least six weeks before your desired date.  The next baptismal preparation session will be held on January 27.

      The American Legion Post 77 is sponsoring Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 7, from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm at the American Legion Post 77 Social Hall.  Children ages 2 to 12 are $6.00, Adults $10.00.  Call 412-772-1626 for reservations.

      The Parish Office will have shortened office hours on November 26.  The office will be open from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm.  The Parish Office will be closed November 28 and 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sunday: 2 Sm 5:1-3/Col 1:12-20/Lk 23:35-43
Monday: Dn 1:1-6, 8-20/Lk 21:1-4
Tuesday:  Dn 2:31-45/Lk 21:5-11
Wednesday: Dn 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28/Lk 21:12-19
Thursday: Dn 6:12-28/Lk 21:20-28
Friday: Dn 7:2-14/Lk 21:29-33
Saturday: Rom 10:9-18/Mt 4:18-22
Next Sunday: Is 2:1-5/Rom 13:11-14/Mt 24:37-44

      Please join us for Thanksgiving Mass at 9:00 am.

      Please remember to pick up your Thanksgiving pies on November 23 and 24 after all masses.

      Youth Ministry will be meeting on Monday, December 2, in the Pastoral Center from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm to view and discuss "The Case for Christ".

What are the key first steps to enter into Advent?
      We can all slow down. We can all breathe more deeply. We can all begin to trust that this will be a blessed time. Then, when we let ourselves be who we are, and hear the Scriptures, we can begin to quietly pray, "Come, Lord, Jesus." We might expand that prayer, in quiet moments of our days ahead, "Come into my life. I trust you don't mind if it is still messy. I believe you love me, because I need your love. I don't fear you can't find the way to my heart. Come and fill me with peace and the love only you can give." Some of us will want to open our hands on our laps or hold up our arms in the privacy of our rooms and say out loud, "Come, Lord, Jesus, come into this house, into my family, into our struggles. Come and heal us, and give us joy again. Come and unite us and let us experience, each in our own way, a bit of the joy you are offering me now." And, before a single decoration goes up, we have prepared for Christmas's message with the foundation of faith, with the mystery of Advent's gift. God wants to be with us. Advent is letting God's will be done in our hearts and in our everyday lives.
      Taken from Praying Advent, on Creighton University's Online Ministries web site:  Used with permission.

      There will be no Religious Education classes on November 27 and December 1 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, Vigil of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 23
   5:00 pm  Parishioners of St. Scholastica
      Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

Sunday, Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 24
   7:30 am  Dr. & Mrs. William Labriola (Labriola Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Robert Duch
   9:00 am  Margaret Mercurio (Mercurio Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Philip Farrell
   11:00 am  Anniv., Sarah Kristin Owen (Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Philip Farrell

Monday, weekday, November 25
   8:30 am  Catherine R. Mahardy (Mark & Catherine Bellinger)

Tuesday, weekday, November 26
   8:30 am  James J. Garvey (Patricia Snyder)

Wednesday, weekday, November 27
   8:30 am  Holly & Nancy McSorley (Arthur McSorley)

Thursday, weekday Thanksgiving, November 28
   9:00 am  Michael Fadool (John Staley)

Friday, weekday, November 29
   8:30 am  NO MASS

Saturday, St. Andrew, apostle, November 30
   9:00 am  NO MASS

Saturday, Vigil of the First Sunday of Advent, November 30
   5:00 pm  Parishioners of St. Scholastica
      Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

Sunday, First Sunday of Advent, December 1
   7:30 am  Barbara Zuccaro (Joe & Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   9:00 am  Alfreda Kopec (Bonessa Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   11:00 am Elizabeth Garonzi (Grandmother of Angela Kamin & Marie Pace)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

309 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Church Office 412-781-0186; Fax 412-781-4316
World Wide Web:
Parish Office:  Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  

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

Organist/Wedding Contact
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

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