December 16, 2018

Daily Mass: Week of December 17
  8:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Joseph
  9:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz, Madonna/St. Edward
10:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Scholastica

Weekend Mass Schedule:  December 22 & 23
Saturday Vigil
  4:00 pm             Fr. Philip Farrell, Saint Joseph
  4:30 pm             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Madonna
  5:00 pm             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Scholastica
  8:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Francis
  9:00 am             Fr. Philip Farrell, Saint Joseph
  9:30 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Scholastica
10:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Edward
11:00 am             Fr. Philip Farrell, Saint Joseph
11:30 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Mary
12:00 noon         Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Scholastica

Dear Parishioners,
     This bulletin article is the third of a three-parter. It's a reflection on the three varieties of ways in which people may focus in their celebration of Christmas:"The Secular Option," "The Christmas of Faithand Family," and what may be called "The Christmas of Mary and Messiah." Read further to be inspired and challenged. . . 

     In contrast to the warm feelings evoked by the Christmas of Faith and Family, the third option of the Christmas of Mary and Messiah is not all sweetness and light. It confronts us with the awesome meaning of the Holy One's advent into the world. This is the Christmas that provoked King Herod to slaughter male infants in the Bethlehem region so that they could not someday rise against him. We can only imagine the grief of those Judean mothers . . . those Rachels weeping for their children, refusing to be consoled.
     Such hateful acts of inhumanity remind us that it is not only the Herods and Hitlers who despise heaven come down, not just history's despots who prefer a God who doesn't meddle in human affairs. We all have reasons enough to be unnerved by thoughts of standing in the presence of this deity. Why? Because heaven intends to establish justice, truth and love in our world, and we frequently find ourselves standing in the way.
     Mary's song stirs fear in the hearts of the spiritually proud by turning some commonly accepted assumptions inside out. Rather than showing deference to the religiously arrogant, the Messiah "scatters the proud in the imagination of their hearts."
     This is the Christmas that also reverses commonly accepted economic and social assumptions. He "fills the hungry with good things and the rich he sends empty away. " The One who comes is the enemy of those who have wealth and hoard it, those who have abundance and will not share it, those who have economic and political power and will not use it for the welfare of all.
     To celebrate this Christmas is to commit ourselves to the ancient prophet's vision: to break the bonds of injustice, to free the oppressed, to share our bread with the hungry, to protect those who are mistreated, to insure that every person, born and unborn, is wanted, welcomed and accorded respect. This vision is a gift intended not just for Christians, but for all - for black, brown, red and white; for rich and poor - and in all places - north, east, south and west. When finally it is fulfilled, the Earth will be filled with the goodness of God as the waters cover the sea.
     This is reason for hope, even in a world like ours.

     Sisters and brothers, think carefully about the manner in which you will celebrate Christmas . . . how you will live Christ's presence in the world.
                                                                                Father Dale DeNinno


     There will be MEGA meeting for all 8th grade confirmation candidates and a parent or sponsor this Sunday, Dec. 16, after the 9:30am liturgy.

     Youth Ministry Pet Therapy will take place at the VA hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 4pm.  RSVP to Meredith Troyan.

     Middle and high school students are invited to help cook and serve dinner for the patients and their families staying at Family House on December 19.  RSVP to Meredith Troyan.

     Join us for the Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 9:30am Liturgy.  Children ages 4-10 and their parents are welcome.  You’ll be directed to the parish hall after the Opening Prayer of the Mass.

Lower Allegheny Valley Christmas Mass Schedule
Monday, December 24
   4:00 pm              St. Joseph               Fr. Michael Decewicz
   4:00 pm              St. Mary                  Fr. Dale DeNinno
   4:00 pm              St. Scholastica        Fr. Paul Merkovsky
   7:00 pm              St. Joseph               Fr. Michael Decewicz
   7:00 pm              St. Edward              Fr. Dale DeNinno
  10:00 pm             St. Scholastica       Fr. Paul Merkovsky
  12:00 midnight   St. Mary                 Fr. Dale DeNinno

Tuesday, December 25
   8:00 am            St. Francis               Fr. Dale DeNinno
   9:30 am            St. Scholastica        Fr. Bob Duch
  10:00 am           St. Joseph               Fr. Dale DeNinno
  10:00 am           St. Edward              Fr. Paul Merkovsky
  10:30 am           Madonna                Fr. Michael Decewicz
  12:00 noon       St. Francis               Fr. Bob Duch

     Please note there will be no regularly scheduled daily  morning Mass at any of the churches in our grouping on Monday, December 24.

     As part of your Christmas preparation you are encouraged to confess your sins before our merciful God.  Please see the front of the bulletin for Confession times in our grouping.

Regular Offertory Collection
Weekend of December 8-9: $5,732

You are always 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. 

This Sunday:  Zephaniah 3:14-18a / Philippians 4:4-7 / Luke 3:10-18
Monday:  Genesis 49:2, 8-10 / Matthew 1:1-17
Tuesday:  Jeremiah 23:5-8 / Matthew 1:18-25
Wednesday:  Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a / Luke 1:5-25
Thursday:  Isaiah 7:10-14 / Luke 1:26-38
Friday:  Song of Songs 2:8-14 / Luke 1:39-45
Saturday:  1 Samuel 1:24-28 Luke 1:46-56
Next Sunday:  Micah 5:1-4a / Hebrews 10:5-10 / Luke 1:39-45
     The St. Scholastica Respect Life Committee is selling Christmas Cards to benefit People Concerned for the Unborn Child.  The cards depict Mary and Joseph gazing at the newborn baby Jesus.   A set of 10 cards costs $6.00.  To order please call 412-781-6550.

     Children in grades 3-8 are invited to join the St. Scholastica Youth Choir for the 4pm Christmas Eve Mass.  There will be rehearsal in church on Sat., Dec. 22, from 2:30-4pm and warm-up before the Christmas Eve Mass starting at 2:45pm.  Contact Sr. Pat or the parish office by Sunday, Dec. 16, to register.

     For new and expectant parents, we will hold a Baptism preparation session this Monday, December 17, at 7:30pm in the parish hall.  Come and learn about the sacrament and the ceremony. Contact our parish office to register.  Please begin to make arrangements for the baptism itself by contacting the parish office as soon as possible. The next Baptism preparation session will be held on January 14.

     Our Christian Meditation group meets on Wednesdays in the church after the 10:00am Liturgy.  All are welcome to stay for a time of quiet prayer!  We will not meet on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

     St. Joseph Parish will feature a train and village display on weekends until January 6 from Noon to 4pm in the St. Joseph Church cafeteria.  Join them for cookies, hot chocolate, and some holiday cheer.

     Thank you to everyone who generously supported our Advent Giving tree program this year.
Third Sunday of Advent
Saturday, December 15
   5:00pm   Sally & Thomas McNamara,  Anne & Gerry Sansosti  (Sandy & Jeffrey Witte)
Sunday, December 16
   9:30am   Christine Harman  (Connie Donnelly)
   12:00noon   Fred Siena  (Tish Marsico)

Monday, December 17—Advent Weekday
   10:00am   Mr. & Mrs. Walter & Katherine Davlin  (Lawrence & Martha John)

Tuesday, December 18—Advent Weekday
   10:00am   Richard B. Fisher  (Kathy Murray)

Wednesday, December 19—Advent Weekday
    10:00am   Yvonne B. Maher  (Thomas D. Maher, Jr.)

Thursday, December 20—Advent Weekday
   10:00am   Anthony “Tony” Parks  (Friend)

Friday, December 21—Saint Peter Canisius
   10:00am   Celia Clugston  (The Flaherty Family)

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Saturday, December 22
   5:00pm   Albert Urso  (Kathleen McAndrews)
Sunday, December 23
   9:30am   Mary Fuller  (The Giuffre Family)
   12:00noon   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members

The Addiction Recovery Ministry would like to share with you some ideas of how to stay clean and sober over the Christmas holidays.
1. Go to as many recovery meetings as possible.
2. Keep in close contact with your sponsor.
3. Be honest and aware of your triggers and avoid them.
4. Remember to avoid being hungry, lonely or tired
     · hungry for compassion and intimacy
     · lonely, being aware of a tendency to isolate
     · tired, the holidays can be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhausting
5. People and places – be aware of the people and places that could be a trigger and avoid them.
6. Read recovery literature.
7. Try to journal, sharing with God how you are honestly feeling; trusting in God’s love and presence.
8. Say the Serenity Prayer daily.

Easy does it
One day at a time


     CDTCA Lottery Calendars are now available for purchase.  We will have students selling calendars after Mass this weekend.  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!

     CDTCA will be selling gift certificates at the 9:30am and 12:00 noon Masses on Sunday, December 16.  Certificates are also available from the school office. Thank you for supporting our regional school!

     Thanks for your help!  These items are needed now:  canned chicken,  chili or stew; and macaroni and cheese.  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.

     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 the church’s main entrance. 
     A reminder to snowbirds before you head South:  please check your pantry and donate any items that expire during your winter absence.  
     Financial donations are always welcome.  Please deposit in the Poor Box in the church vestibule.  Checks should be made out to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.  Also, please contact our office if you or your neighbors ever need confidential help from our parish’s Saint Vincent de Paul Society.

Our annual parish calendar, donated by the Weddell-Ajak Funeral Home in Aspinwall, is available at all church entrances. Please feel free to take one home today.

     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.

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

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 

Amy Condosta     Ext. 11

Facilities Staff
Bruce Hassing

205 Brilliant Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15215

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