February 2, 2014

      "The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him." Simeon surprised Mary and Joseph with his declaration that their baby was the long-awaited Messiah. They of course knew the truth about their son's identity and mission. But to hear someone else announce it was the amazing part. The Gospel tells us that the Holy Spirit was upon Simeon; thus he had a kind of divine revelation about the baby Jesus. God spoke through him to confirm the holy secret that Mary and Joseph already kept in their hearts. Anna too spoke about the child as "the redemption of Jerusalem," thus adding another mystical assurance that Jesus was in fact the Savior.
      These events that took place during the Presentation in the Temple can remind us about the important role of the members of the believing community. Like Simeon and Anna, we are meant to encourage one another, and to announce the Gospel to others with courage and conviction. When we are rooted in prayer, and attuned to the Holy Spirit, we too can be effective instruments of God's power. Then, amazing things can happen! We become the channels through which God's truth is proclaimed, and through which his love and healing, comfort and compassion, are given to other people.
      Indeed, when we are "righteous and devout" like Simeon, and dedicated to prayer like Anna, we prepare ourselves to become Christ's coworkers in the world.
                                                                ©2013 Liturgical Publications Inc 

      A working session including a light dinner, will be hosted by The Aquinas Guild on Thursday, February 20th, in the Pastoral Center at 6:00 pm to continue the planning of spiritual, social and service related activities for the women of our parish.  Please come with researched ideas to present to the group.  We will plan the calendar for Spring and Fall.  RSVP by Monday, February 17th, to Mary Ellen Maher:  412-721-1160 or maryemaher@msn.com.   If you have an idea you would like to present, please let Mary Ellen know to place it on the agenda.  There is no charge for the dinner.

      On February 2, forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord.  Echoing the Christmas festival, the feast celebrates light in darkness, especially in the prayer of Simeon, who calls the baby Jesus a "light to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel."  For centuries, Christians have blessed candles on this day which is, as a result, also called Candlemas.
      On Candlemas, gather with your household around one or more lit candles, with other unlit candles nearby.  You may use the following prayer to bless them (adapted, as is this text, from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, by the U.S. Catholic Bishops):

God of night and day,
by the light of the sun, moon, and stars
we mark our days and seasons,
by the fires of the earth we brighten the night
and bring warmth to our winter. 
In all these lights we see light: Jesus,
whose light we receive in baptism,
whose light we carry by day and by night. 
Bless these candles,
that they may remind us of the light of Christ. 
In their beauty, keep us quiet and in peace,
keep us safe and turn our hearts to you
that we may ourselves be light for our world. 

· What do I like the most about you?
· What is it that most separates us?
· What most unites us?
· I specifically need your help in . . .
· I think I should help you specifically by . . .
      If these questions intrigue you, check out the Marriage Mansion Program, an online version of Marriage Encounter.
      Valentine Day Bonus: Why not dig out the readings you used at your wedding.  In a quiet moment read them to each other again and ponder what they mean to you now. If you can't find them try 1 Corinthians 13: 4-13.
                                                                    © 2014 Susan Vogt

      Sunday, February 9, is Take Your Parent to Mass Day!  We invite all of our Religious Education students to attend the 9:00 am Mass with their families.  After Mass we will have a potluck brunch in the Pastoral Center.  Students must check in with their catechist for credit.

True charity requires courage: let us overcome the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need.                                     --Pope Francis

A Note from Nancy
          Nancy Heil coordinates an extensive Christian service effort for people and families who are poor or homeless.  She writes:
      The challenge of decision-making in these record-breaking cold weather nights can be monumental unless one quickly learns to, "Let go and let God!"
      I've had a very sweet little seven-year-old girl and her mother in my line.  Having recently moved here from Beaver County where they were living in a homeless shelter, the mother had just learned about our ministry.  Monday afternoon the mother went to Oakland to doctors who needed to pump steroids into her child who suffers from extreme asthma.  They came directly downtown to our line where they would wait for help from us and not return home until well after midnight.
      They live on the East Hills side of Wilkinsburg and must take a PAT bus to the furthest side of Wilkinsburg (then walk six more blocks) to reach the little girl's school.
      New to the area, they have contacted CYS who has agreed to issue them a bus pass starting Feb. 2.  The problem was the mother needed bus passes for three days last week and four days this week (the school had the other days scheduled off).  A relative from out of state was sending her $10, but it wasn't going to arrive for a couple of days.
      Trying to decide if I should give her twelve bus passes for the first week and sixteen for the second week (the mother needed four a day to get her daughter back and forth to school) involved balancing it with the need to get homeless people to doctor's appointments, new jobs, or simply home from our line.  However, when I received an envelope with exactly twelve passes in it, I knew what God wanted, and as quickly as that happened, a volunteer gave me sixteen more passes she was willing to share.
      So to the anonymous parishioner who donated the twelve passes, Miracle (yes, that is this darling seven-year-old's real name), her mother and I say thank you.
                                                            Yours in Christ,

 Help Needed!
      Nancy requests the following items:
      •  Port Authority ConnectCards. Please have only $2.50 of value loaded onto each card. The cards are available at Giant Eagle. There is a special need for ConnectCards.
      ConnectCards may be left in the small blue gift bag near the collection bins in the vestibule of the church.
      Food items that are needed include:
      •  macaroni and cheese;
      •  canned vegetables;
      •  canned beef stew;
      •  canned fruit and fruit cups.
      These groceries go to poor families and to people living in shelters.
      Donated items may be left in the bins in the back of church. Please refrain from leaving any items on the porches of  316 and 318 Third St.
      Thank you for your generosity! 

      As part of the "Year of Welcoming" initiative announced by Father Ken several weeks ago, members of Pastoral Council have been greeting weekend Mass goers at the entrances to our church for the past two months.  Feedback regarding this program has been very positive and we are now ready to expand our membership.  If you are interested in learning more about our newest ministry, please complete the sign-up card in the pew and drop it in the offertory basket or at the Parish Office.  Sign-up sheets will also be available in the back of church after each Mass this weekend, or you can indicate your interest by emailing us at pastoralcouncil@saintscholastica.com.  Please let us know of your interest by Sunday, February 9.  We hope you will consider being part of the warm and personal face of our parish as we begin each liturgy. Thank you!    

        I am more than delighted to report to you the results of our recent Church Alive Financial Campaign.  Our target was $1,225,000 and our total of cash and pledges is $1,644,310!!!   What you have pledged to the diocese and parish is 134% of our target!!!   Recall that we will receive 40% of the $1,225,000, but will receive 60% of what is over that amount.  Thank you for your generosity and know that your donations will enhance the ministries of both the diocese and our parish so that we can truly be "Church Alive" for the future generations!"    Gratefully,   Fr. Ken

      With joy we announce that Mara Baginski is preparing to enter the Catholic Church through the RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) this year. Mara is a baptized Christian who has been attending mass at St. Scholastica with her husband Jason, a Catholic.  Mara has been a member of one of our choirs for more than a year and serves as a cantor as well. She has decided to become a candidate for the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. The parish will recognize her decision in a Rite of Welcoming the Candidate that will be held during the 11 a.m. Mass next Sunday, February 9. Please pray for Mara, her sponsor, Patti McCaffrey, and the RCIA Team.

      CDTCA is holding its Annual Valentine's Day Bake Sale after all masses February 8th and 9th.  Be sure to stop by for all of your Valentine's Day treats -- we have something for everyone!
In addition to the ever popular 6-inch cakes, we have homemade cookies, muffins and mini-coffee cakes, cake pops, chocolate-covered pretzels and chocolate drizzled popcorn. There are even treats for your favorite pup! All proceeds benefit your parish school, Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy.

      Spaghetti dinner Sunday, February 9 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm in the cafeteria.  $10 for all-you-can-eat, includes salad and dessert.  $30 for a family.  Wine will also be available for purchase for the adults.  Proceeds benefit the Appalachia mission trip.

      Saturday, February 8 is Youth Mass at 5:00 pm!

Sunday: Mal 3:1-4/Heb 2:14-18/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32     
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: 1 Kgs 2:1-4, 10-12/Mk 6:7-13
Friday: Sir 47:2-11/Mk 6:14-29
Saturday: 1 Kgs 3:4-13/Mk 6:30-34
Next Sunday: Is 58:7-10/1 Cor 2:1-5/Mt 5:13-16

      World Marriage Day is celebrated this year on the weekend of February 8-9, 2014. The annual Diocesan Celebration of World Marriage Day will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at St. Thomas More Parish, in South Hills. The event will begin with Mass at 5:00 pm with Bishop David A. Zubik as the Presider and homilist. Immediately following Mass there will be a reception in the St. Thomas More Family Life Center. A reflection by Beth and Michael Brucker, from St. Maurice Parish, will follow. All engaged and married couples are invited to attend. Donation is $10.00/couple. To register please call the Office for Faith Formation, 412-456-3160.

      The Hope for Haiti Committee will meet on Wednesday, February 5 at 7:30 pm in the Pastoral Center.  All are welcome!

      Join us Saturday, February 15 for Saint Luke Society Retreat from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm at Saint Paul Cathedral Basement/Social Hall, Oakland.  The topic for reflection is "The New Evangelization", RSVP requested but not required.  Contact info@cathmedpittsburgh.org.  Refreshments to be served.
      On Sunday February 16 at 12:00 pm join us for the Annual White Mass for healthcare workers, with Celebrant Most Rev. David A. Zubik, D.D. at Saint Paul Cathedral.  Reception with Light Refreshments to follow in Cathedral Social Hall/Basement.

      Natural Family Planning Course starts February 12 at 7:00 pm.  For details, call or email Laura Hall at 412– 229-8652 or 8halls@gmail.com.

      Saturday, February 8 is our Confirmation Retreat from 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm in the Pastoral Center.  Please keep our candidates in your prayers as they prepare for the reception of this sacrament. 

      This week's altar flowers are placed in memory of Stanley Marsico  +25th Anniversary by Tish Marsico.

Saturday, Vigil of the Presentation of the Lord, February 1
   5:00 pm  Antonia Vilvaldi Lopardo (Antonietta Costa & Family)
      Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

Sunday, Presentation of the Lord,  February 2
   7:30 am Carol Lou Wolcott (Mary Labriola)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   9:00 am  Frank Marsico (Tish Marsico)
       Presider:  Fr. Sean Hogan
   11:00 am  Parishioners of St. Scholastica
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

Monday, weekday, February 3
   8:30 am  Denise Donnelly (Family)

Tuesday, weekday, February 4
   8:30 am  Jeffrey Heryford (Dominic Stelitan)

Wednesday, St. Agatha, February 5
   8:30 am  Celia Mancini (Family)

Thursday, St. Paul Miki & Companions,  February 6

Friday, weekday, February 7
   8:30 am  James McCaffrey (Ernest & Diana Sirianni)

Saturday, weekday, February 8
   9:00 am  John Marous Jr. (Gunnell Family)

Saturday, Vigil of the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 8
   5:00 pm  Earl Simanek (Helen Simanek)
      Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White

Sunday, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time,  February 9
   7:30 am  Edward Williams (Mary Ellen & Jack Maher)
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   9:00 am  Parishioners of St. Scholastica
       Presider:  Fr. Kenneth White
   11:00 am  Dr. Raimund Rueger (Dolores K. Rueger & Family)
       Presider:  Fr. Sean Hogan

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, 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