December 2, 2018

Daily Mass: Week of December 3
  8:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz, Saint Joseph
  9:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Madonna/St. Edward
10:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Scholastica

Weekend Mass Schedule:  December 8 & 9
Saturday Vigil
  4:00 pm             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Joseph
  4:30 pm             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Madonna
  5:00 pm             Fr. Michael Decewicz, Saint Scholastica
Sunday
  8:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz, Saint Francis
  9:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Joseph
  9:30 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Scholastica
10:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz, Saint Edward
11:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Joseph
11:30 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Mary
12:00 noon         Fr. Michael Decewicz, Saint Scholastica

Dear Parishioners,
     Someone recently sent me a wonderful article about three different ways to celebrate Christmas.  As we begin the liturgical season of Advent and measure with burning candles the four weeks leading to the celebration of the Lord’s Incarnation, I want to share with you over the next three weeks the contents of the article entitled “Three Christmases.”  The first two are easy; the third is a fearsome challenge to us all.  The article is great food for thought.
     American Christians have three holiday celebration options.  The most obvious is the secular option: the Christmas of Santa and Society.   There’s no escaping it unless you become a hermit or hide your head in the ground.  Like fish in the water we are immersed in its delightful sights, sounds and fragrant scents emanating from evergreen and kitchen.
     This is the Christmas of mistletoe and holly, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and stockings hung by the chimney with care.  It’s the season for eggnog and fruitcakes, office parties and feasting.  It’s Deck the Halls and dreaming of a White Christmas.  It’s the time for jingle bells and Silver Bells, for jolly old St. Nick and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
     Its bottom line is measured mostly by commercial sales and profits.  Join the shopping frenzy and you can understand why it sometimes leads to physical and emotional exhaustion.  Its upside is that it can be so much fun, especially for little children.  Its downside is that it can distract us from something far better.  Like a narcotic, it can numb us to our deeper needs and blind us to the season’s larger meaning.  Sadly, it is the only Christmas some people ever know.
Next Week: The Christmas of Faith and Family
                                                                                                  Father Dale DeNinno
 
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
     The Catholic faithful honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in her Immaculate Conception.  This feast of the Church in on December 8th and it is a holy day of obligation.  All Catholics are to be in attendance at Mass on that day. 

Lower Allegheny Valley Mass Schedule
Friday, December 7, Vigil Masses
  4:30 pm             Madonna of Jerusalem Church
  7:00 pm             Saint Joseph Church

Saturday, December 8, morning Masses
  9:00 am             Saint Edward Church
10:00 am             Saint Scholastica Church

FAITH FORMATION & YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS

WACKY WEDNESDAY
     Middle schoolers are invited to the Ministry Center on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 6:00-7:00pm for a fun and engaging chance to tackle some of the difficult topics facing young teens today.

FAMILY MINISTRY
      All Kindergarten through 5th grade Religious Education students are invited to celebrate Advent at St. Joseph Parish in the John Paul II hall on Dec. 9 from 9:15-10:45am followed by Mass at 11am.
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WHAT IS A.R.M.?
     A.R.M. stands for Addiction Recovery Ministry! This is a ministry for those suffering with substance addiction, those in recovery, and their loved ones. After months of hard work, we have received Diocesan permission to implement this ministry and have received grant money from “The Church Alive Campaign”. The ministry will consist of AA, NA, ALANON and NARANON meetings, monthly opportunities for education and spiritual enrichment, and one-on-one ministry for the addicted and the alcoholic. A.R.M. will publicly begin with an Anointing Mass celebrated by Bishop Zubik especially for those in recovery on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2:30pm in St. Paul Cathedral.
     As we begin to implement this ministry, we will need to purchase some technical equipment at an estimated cost of $2,000. We would appreciate any donations to allow us to acquire these items so that the existing grant money can be used for the ministry. Feel free to come to my presentation about this ministry on Sunday, Dec 16, at 2:00pm in the John Paul I Center in Sharpsburg or contact me by email here. Thank you all for your prayers and support.
                                                                Father Michael and the A.R.M. Team

DIOCESAN LISTENING SESSIONS
     Bishop David Zubik will host listening sessions to allow parishioners and others to express their thoughts and suggestions following the release of the Grand Jury Report.  The sessions will be held at 7pm on Monday, Dec. 3, at St. Thomas a Becket Church in Jefferson Hills; Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Hopewell Twp; and Thursday, Dec. 6, at St. Ferdinand Church in Cranberry Twp.

Regular Offertory Collection
Weekend of November 24-25:  $6,442.00
     Please know that you’re welcome at every Liturgy in our parish grouping.   If you use a St. Scholastica envelope when you pray in another area church, your donation will be sent here to support this parish. 

BIBLE READINGS FOR THIS WEEK
This Sunday:  Jeremiah 33:14-16 / 1 Thessalonians 3:12—4:2 / Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Monday:  Isaiah 2:1-5 / Matthew 8:5-11
Tuesday:  Isaiah 11:1-10 / Luke 10:21-24
Wednesday:  Isaiah 25:6-10a / Matthew 15:29-37
Thursday:  Isaiah 26:1-6 / Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Friday:  Isaiah 29:17-24 / Matthew 9:27-31
Saturday:  Genesis 3:9-15, 20 / Ephesians 1:3-6 / Luke 1:26-38
Next Sunday:  Baruch 5:1-9 / Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11 / Luke 3:1-6

SUCCESSFUL CRAFTS FAIR
     The recent Fair Trade Fair at St. Joseph Church was a big success! Over $6000 was raised to support craftspeople in developing countries and educate Haitian children in Catholic schools. Raffle winners: Stacey Nicholas, Abby Terrick and Deacon Bob Wertz. Thanks to all who patronized and assisted at the fair. You can purchase fair trade items online at ethicaltrade.crs.org (+), or donate to support the Haiti ministry at highhopesforhaiti.org (+).

ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT
     All women of our parish are invited to join us Monday, Dec. 3, at St. Scholastica Church beginning at 7:00 pm. Hosted this year in collaboration with St. Joseph Parish, the evening for women only provides an opportunity for fellowship through prayer, reflections and music. A dessert reception will follow the program. Contact Joanne Saunders at 412-963-8319 or by email here.

ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS SPIRITUALITY
     "Living in the Spirit" is a group of adults meeting monthly to support each other in spiritual growth. Our next session is Thursday, December 13—St. Lucy’s Day—at 7:30pm in the Ministry Center Library. Come share your most helpful spiritual practices related to  Advent and Christmas. There is no need to register for this group--just join us!

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA
     The Aspinwall Volunteer Fire Department is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 9 from 8:30am –12noon at the Aspinwall American Legion, 233 Commercial Ave.  Adults $6, Children 5-10 $4, under 5 eat free.

GIVING TREE
     Our annual Advent Giving Tree supports local families as well as St. Scholastica ministries.  Parishioners can select their tags from the tree this weekend and gifts should be returned the weekend of Dec. 15 & 16.   Thank you for your Christmas generosity.

MASS INTENTIONS
First Sunday of Advent
Saturday, December 1
   5:00pm   Joan Hilton  (Tish Marsico)
Sunday, December 2
   9:30am   Martha F. Flynn  (Dan & Eileen Gallagher)
   12:00noon   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members   

Monday, December 3—Saint Francis Xavier
   10:00am   Dr. Salvatore Certo  (Tish Marsico)

Tuesday, December 4—Saint John Damascene
   10:00am   Peggy Dunn  (Pat & Frank Burchill)

Wednesday, December 5—Advent Weekday
   10:00am   Roy Wyss  (Friend, Connie Mellett)

Thursday, December 6—Saint Nicholas
   10:00am   Christopher Marion  (Marie Savko & Brandon)

Friday, December 7—Saint Ambrose 
   10:00am   Diane Powell  (Mr. & Mrs. David Dice)

Saturday, December 8—Immaculate Conception
   10:00am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members   

Second Sunday of Advent
Saturday, December 8
   5:00pm   Alfreda Kopec  (The Bonessa Family)
Sunday December 9
   9:30am   Brian Walsh  (The Giuffre Family)
   12:00noon   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members   

MARCH FOR LIFE 2019
     1,000,000 of God's precious babies died in abortion facilities this year.  On Friday, January 18, 2019 we will join the March for Life in Washington to protest this holocaust.  Our bus will load at St. Scholastica around 12:30am on Friday morning.  There will be a stop for breakfast, then we will arrive in DC around 7am to attend the Washington Diocesan Youth Rally and Mass.  After the Youth Rally, we will attend the March for Life Rally and march up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court.  The day will end with a visit with our U.S. Representative.  Our bus will make a dinner stop on the way home and we expect to return to Aspinwall around 11pm.  The cost is $25 for adults and students are free.  For reservations or more information please call Mary Catherine Scanlon at 412-781-6550.

CHRISTMAS COOKIE DONATIONS
     Homemade cookies will be collected on Sunday, December 16, between 9am and noon in the Pastoral Center kitchen.  Please bring your cookies in disposable containers and the Aquinas Guild will arrange a nice assortment for the families served by the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Sharpsburg.  We appreciate your generosity!  

GOOD NEWS FROM OUR ACADEMY!

     Thank you to all parishioners who attended our Gingerbread event yesterday, December 1.  We hope that it got you in the holiday spirit!

     CDTCA Lottery Calendars are now available.  We will have students selling calendars after Mass on the weekend of December 15 & 16.  They will also be available for purchase in the school office.  Calendars are $25 each and pay out daily with the lottery numbers.  These make a great gift!

     The CDTCA Scholastic Book Fair is set up in the Pastoral Center.  Please come to browse and purchase some books for your family or for gifts!   We will be open after all Masses this weekend.
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HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR
     Thanks for your help!  These items are needed now:  powdered milk,  canned red or black beans, macaroni and cheese, and canned chicken.  [Note: this list is more current than the print bulletin.]  Please leave donations in plastic bags. Gray bins are in the church entrance. 
      Larger donations in bags (NOT boxes) and ALL clothing may be brought to the SIDE DOOR of 316 3rd Street, Aspinwall, from 10am-12noon on Mondays and Fridays. Please do NOT leave any donations outside 316 or 318 Third Street.

HELPING OUR LOCAL SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
     Our Aquinas Guild appreciates your donations to the local Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.  Your December donations of  canned soups, stews, chili and rice — and any non-perishable items — are most welcome.  Please put donations in the red bin in our church’s main entrance. 
     Financial donations are always welcome.  Please deposit in the Poor Box in the church vestibule.   Also, please contact our office if you or your neighbors ever need confidential help from our parish’s Saint Vincent de Paul Society!
     The St. Juan Diego Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society extends a most sincere “Thank You” to St. Scholastica's members for your support of our Sharpsburg Food Pantry throughout 2018. We truly appreciate your monetary and food donations. We are blessed to have faithful benefactors such as you; thank you for your charitable spirit!
  
     Our Saint Scholastica Parish Mission is to continue the work of Christ together as a faith community, through the celebration of the Sacraments, living spiritually in the world, and working to be caring members of the community.  As committed Catholics, we are sent to bear the Light of Christ to transform the world by our devotion, service and witness.

SAINT SCHOLASTICA PARISH
309 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Telephone 412-781-0186, ext. 10           
Fax 412-781-4316
Parish Office hours: Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Clergy of the Lower Allegheny Valley Parish Grouping
Reverend Dale DeNinno, Pastor/Administrator    
Reverend Michael Decewicz, Senior Parochial Vicar    
Reverend Paul Merkovsky, Senior Parochial Vicar    
Ext. 10

Fr. Hyeong Cheol Lee,
    Chaplain for the Korean Community
Fr. John Mark Ogu
    Student, Duquesne Univ., In Residence/St. Juan Diego Parish
Fr. Dozie Egbe
    Chaplain, UPMC Presbyterian, In Residence/St. Padre Pio Parish

Staff
Receptionist/Safe Environment Coordinator    
Debbie VanDemark    Ext.10

Director of Music/ Bereavement Coordinator
Sister Patricia Baker, CDP     Ext. 17

Director of Faith Formation
Delia Barr
412-963-8885  x.301

Faith Formation Staff Member
Gina Musser     Ext. 21

Director of Adult Faith Formation and R.C.I.A.
Andrew Bechman, MEd     Ext. 18 

Youth Ministry Director
Meredith Troyan     Ext. 20 

Bookkeeper
Amy Condosta     Ext. 11

Facilities Staff
Bruce Hassing

CHRIST THE DIVINE TEACHER CATHOLIC ACADEMY
205 Brilliant Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15215

Principal
Mr. Mark N. Grgurich, MSEd     (412)781-7927