December 22, 2013

      I heard a long time ago a priest describing Jesus as "God with skin on"!!  This was such a powerful description of the meaning of Christmas.  In fancy "theological speak" we name Christmas: the Feast of the Incarnation meaning "Jesus in the flesh"!!  Our God is no longer "above and beyond" or "distant and untouchable", but in Christ Jesus he is our brother and savior.  After the Resurrection of Jesus the disciples witnessed that they TOUCHED him, SAW him, and ATE with him.  In our own time we experience the Lord Jesus especially in the Sacraments of the Church: earthly elements containing the divine.  This is particularly so in the Sacrament of the Eucharist in which we share in the Sacred Meal of the Mass and are in communion with the Lord Jesus.  I encourage all of us to draw closer to Mass in this coming year that we may be encouraged and strengthened by the presence of Christ in Holy Communion.
       My thanks to you, our parishioners, who have been the bedrock of our parish community.  We welcome all "newcomers" and all who are "seekers," we pray that you find a home with us.  My thanks this Christmas also goes to the hundreds of you who are involved in the many ministries of our parish--you are the motor of our community.  Finally, I am so grateful to the Professional Staff and the Administrative Staff who are so committed and loyal.  Thank you all!!   Fr. Ken

      Please come early to our Christmas Masses . . . our St. Scholastica's Music Ministers have prepared 30 minutes of Prelude Music for each Mass! Prelude Music for Christmas Eve  begins at:
3:30 p.m.   Children's Christmas Choir
6:30 p.m.   Contemporary Choir
9:30 p.m.   SATB Choir
Prelude Music on Christmas Day begins at:
9:30 a.m.   Cantor Ronald Jalbert

    The 4 stages of marriage are: (1) Romance, (2) Disillusionment, (3) Misery, and (4) Awakening. Many marriages experience the first 3 Stages. Marriages that end in divorce never make it to the 4th Stage of Awakening. Don't give up without learning about the 4th Stage of Awakening. If your marriage suffers from Disillusionment or Misery please contact Retrouvaille (pronounced retro-vi with a long i).  For confidential information about or to register for the program beginning with a weekend on January 17-19, 2014, please contact Retrouvaille at 412-277-3434 or  More information is available at

      Snow tubing December 30!  If any middle or high school student and their family would like to attend, please contact Jamie Dillon by December 22.  We will tube from 11:00 am-1:00 pm at Seven Springs.

Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.                                         --Pope Francis

Help Needed!
      Nancy Heil coordinates an extensive Christian service effort for people and families who are poor or homeless.  Because of limitations in volunteer staffing over the holidays, Nancy asks that you leave no material donations of food, clothing or similar items until further notice after the holidays.
      Until further notice, Nancy is able to accept only the following items:
      · McDonalds gift cards;
      · Port Authority ConnectCards.  Please have only $2.50 of value loaded onto each card.  The cards are available at Giant Eagle.
These cards may be left in the small blue gift bag in the vestibule of the church.  Thank you for your generosity!

Focus On . . . the Children's Liturgy of the Word
      Leaders of the Children's Liturgy of the Word proclaim the Scriptures and explore them with our children in a separate space during the Sunday 9 a.m. Mass from September to June. The goal is not so much to explain the Scriptures to the children as to listen with them for the good news that God is sharing with all of us. It is a great opportunity for creative adults and teens who are comfortable with children and who want to see the Scriptures through new eyes! For more information, please contact Natalie Gillespie at

      Thank you to the Women of the Parish and the Aquinas Guild!  We collected over 80 dozen homemade cookies for the individuals and families supported by the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Sharpsburg.  The variety was wonderful-- from traditional favorites to fancy confections.  Your generosity is much appreciated.

      The Parish Office will be closed 2 weeks beginning December 23, 2013.  We will reopen on January 6, 2014.

      Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy/St. Scholastica, is searching for all alumni of the school!  If you, or someone you know, attended our school, we want to keep in touch!  The introduction of our school's new website has made  collecting data much easier. 
      Please either fill out the contact info under the Alumni tab on our website,, or contact Traci Giuffre at the school, 412-781-7927.

      Rachel's Vineyard, a weekend retreat designed to heal the emotional and spiritual wounds of abortion, will be held January 24-26, 2014 at the Spiritan Center in Bethel Park. In a confidential and supportive atmosphere, Rachel's Vineyard demonstrates God's love, forgiveness, and compassion to women and men struggling with abortion's aftermath. Catholic Charities and the Diocese of Pittsburgh co-sponsor this retreat. To register or for more information, call Toni Jester at 412-352-5348. Registration information is also available at

      Hi, my name is Alison Arnone and I recently attended the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis, IN.  The experience was incredible. I met High School students who are Catholic from places like Hawaii and Alaska but also met some from Pittsburgh!  The conference included a convention center event with music, games and food, and then a Mass at Lucas Oil Stadium with 24,000 other Catholic youth. It was amazing and I am so grateful to Jamie Dillon for making it happen.  The next NCYC is in 2015 and I highly encourage youth in our parish to go.  Thank you.

      You may have received a card as you entered church this weekend announcing the Year of Welcoming at St. Scholastica Parish.  The Pastoral Council has dedicated the parish to spend the year looking at how we can become an even more welcoming community, as befits disciples of Jesus.        
      What better time to practice virtues of welcoming and hospitality than Christmas!  Everyone knows that people come to join us in worship at Christmas who may not be here at other times.  What is crucial is the attitude of those of us who consider ourselves "regulars."  Will we welcome unfamiliar faces with true Christmas joy?
      There are many ways we can do this, of course.  Smiling at people near us and greeting them.  Making room in the pew cheerfully.  Perhaps even parking a little further away if we arrive early so there are more spaces in the street close to church for others.  Let's make sure that everyone who looks for Christ among us this Christmas finds his smile of welcome on our faces!

      Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mary F. Lanzino, mother of Mary Lou Kozlowski.

Sunday: Is 7:10-14/Rom 1:1-7/Mt 1:18-24
Monday: Mal 3:1-4, 23-24/Lk 1:57-66
Tuesday: Morning: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Lk 1:67-79
Wednesday: Vigil: Is 62:1-5/Acts 13:16-17, 22-25/Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25
             Midnight: Is 9:1-6/Ti 2:11-14/Lk 2:1-14
             Dawn: Is 62:11-12/Ti 3:4-7/Lk 2:15-20
             Day: Is 52:7-10/Heb 1:1-6/Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14
Thursday: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59/Mt 10:17-22
Friday: 1 Jn 1:1-4/Jn 20:1a and 2-8
Saturday: 1 Jn 1:5--2:2/Mt 2:13-18
Next Sunday: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14/Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17/Mt 2:13-15, 19-23

      The Divorced and Separated support group jointly sponsored by Sts. John & Paul, St. Richard and St. John Neumann Parishes will begin its next 13 week cycle of meetings on Monday, January 6, 2014.  This group provides caring support to anyone who is experiencing the pain of separation or divorce.
      Meetings are on Monday evenings from 7:00 pm-8:45 pm and will be held at St. John Neumann Church in Room A of the Religious Education Hall.  Anyone who has questions or would like more information should contact Ralph Joy (412-741-5456 or  St. John Neumann Church is located at 2334 Rochester Rd. in Franklin Park. For directions please contact Ralph Joy or visit the St. John Neumann website

      Our Wednesday Christian meditation group will not meet on Christmas Day or New Year's Day.  We will resume in the new year on Wednesday, January 8, at 7:00 am in Marsico Library in the Ministry Center.

God of every nation and people,
from the very beginning of creation
you have made manifest your love:
when our need for a Savior was great
you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.
To our lives he brings joy and peace,
justice, mercy, and love.
bless all who look upon this manger;
may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus,
and raise our thoughts to him,
who is God-with-us and Savior of all,
and who lives and reigns forever and ever.
R. Amen.
—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers

Saturday, Vigil of the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 21
   5:00 pm  Parishioners of St. Scholastica
      Presider:  Fr. Sean Hogan

Sunday, Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 22
   7:30 am  Marietta Wolenter (Charles Wolenter)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   9:00 am  John Stafford (Luci & David Massaro & Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   11:00 am  Deceased Members of the Donnelly & Shanahan Families
       Presider:  Fr. Robert Duch

Monday, Advent Weekday, December 23
   8:30 am  Joseph Maffeo (Carol Freedline)

Tuesday, Vigil of Christmas, December 24
   4:00 pm  Sarah Kristen Own (Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   7:00 pm  Joseph Costa & Rosalia Costa-Clarke (Antonietta Costa)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   10:00 pm Parishioners of St. Scholastica
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

Wednesday, Christmas, December 25
   10:00 am  Celia Mancini (Mancini Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

Thursday, St. Stephen,  December 26
    8:30 am  Bruce Morrison (Family)

Friday, St. John, December 27
   8:30 am  Robert Caswell (Eve Ferraro)

Saturday, The Holy Innocents, December 28
   9:00 am  McKay Family (Family)

Saturday, Vigil of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph, December 28
   5:00 pm  Robert Caswell (Eve Ferraro)
      Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

Sunday, The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph, December 29
    7:30 am  Rita Daily (Daily Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Sean Hogan
    9:00 am  Edwin Fairley (daughter, Kathleen Piper)
       Presider:  Fr. Robert Duch
    11:00 am  Anna Mae Anania (McGhee Family)
       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

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