December 23, 2018

 Daily Mass: Week of December 24
  8:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky          Saint Joseph
  9:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno
                                Mon, Tues, Wed            Madonna
                                Thurs, Fri, Sat                 Saint Edward
10:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno              Saint Scholastica

Weekend Mass Schedule:  December 29 & 30
Saturday Vigil
  4:00 pm             Fr. Paul Merkovsky          Saint Joseph
  4:30 pm             Fr. Dale DeNinno             Madonna
  5:00 pm             Visiting priest                   Saint Scholastica
  8:00 am             Visiting priest                   Saint Francis
  9:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky          Saint Joseph
  9:30 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno             Saint Scholastica
10:00 am             Visiting priest                   Saint Edward
11:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky          Saint Joseph
11:30 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno             Saint Mary
12:00 noon         Visiting priest                   Saint Scholastica

My dear parishioners,
     We know the familiar melody . . . the words are in our memory—"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." Four weeks of Advent: preparing, longing, anticipating, hoping—all pointing to the Incarnation. The Son of God takes on flesh and is born into the human condition. Two thousand years since and more. And in that event, everything changed. Nothing has ever been the same. Jesus came and turned the world on its head. And we've been reckoning with the truth of that reality ever since.
     The truth of a God who loves us. The truth of a God who walks with us. The truth of a God who feeds us, heals us, forgives us, and teaches us how to live.
     For many the truth has been too much. People have scorned the message of Christ; ridiculed His way of life; criticized His manner of teaching. To which Jesus responds with patient waiting, gentle forgiveness, and love beyond measure.
     For the first three weeks of Advent an article appeared in this space highlighting the options that people may be drawn to in their celebration of Christmas: "The Secular Option," "The Christmas of Faith and Family," and "The Christmas of Mary and Messiah." Perhaps there is something of all three wrapped up together that gives expression to how we mark the birth of Christ into the world.
     In a bulletin message from a Baptist Church in Syracuse, New York, these words were written: "There was a gift for each of us left under the tree of life 2,000 years ago by Him whose birth we celebrate today. The gift was withheld from no one. Some have left the package unclaimed. Some have accepted the gift and carry it around, but have failed to remove the wrapping and look inside to discover the hidden splendor. The packages are all alike: in each is a scroll on which is written, 'All that the Father has is yours. Take and live! '"
     Dear sisters and brothers, I pray that the GIFT given will be received with hearts open to Emmanuel — God is with us.
                                                                                          Father Dale DeNinno

"The universal joy of Christmas is certainly wonderful. We ring the bells when princes are born, or toll a mournful dirge when great men pass away. Nations have their red-letter days, their carnivals and festivals, but once in the year and only once, the whole world stands still to celebrate the advent of a life. Only Jesus of Nazareth claims this world-wide, undying remembrance. You cannot cut Christmas out of the calendar, nor out of the heart of the world."

The Annual Children and Youth Programs collection will be taken at all of the Christmas Masses in all of the churches throughout the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  Your generosity in this second collection helps support the many opportunities available to our young people to help them grow in their Catholic faith.  The proceeds of this collection also count toward the 2018 Parish Share goal for St. Scholastica Parish.


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.

Our annual Appalachia Mission trip, which takes place in June, is seeking adult volunteers.  Please contact Meredith Troyan for more information.

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Mass Schedule
Monday, December 24
   4:00 pm               St. Joseph               Visiting priest
   4:00 pm               St. Mary                  Fr. Dale DeNinno
   4:00 pm               St. Scholastica        Fr. Paul Merkovsky
   7:00 pm               St. Joseph               Visiting priest
   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                Visiting priest
  12:00 noon       St. Francis               Fr. Bob Duch

Holy Day Masses for the Feast of Mary, Mother of God
Monday, December 31
   4:00 pm             St. Joseph Church
   4:30 pm             Madonna of Jerusalem Church
Tuesday, January 1
  9:00 am              St. Edward Church
10:00 am              St. Scholastica Church

Please note there will be NO regularly scheduled daily  morning Masses at any of the churches in our grouping on Monday, December 24.  There WILL be daily morning Masses on Monday December 31.
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:  Micah 5:1-4a / Hebrews 10:5-10 / Luke 1:39-45
Monday:  2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 / Luke 1:67-79
Christmas Eve:  Isaiah 9:1-6 / Titus 2:11-14 / Luke 2:1-14
Christmas Day:  Isaiah 62:11-12 / Titus 3:4-7 / Luke 2:15-20
Wednesday:  Acts 6:8-10, 7:54-59 / Matthew 10:17-22
Thursday:  1 John 1:1-4 / John 20:1a, 2-8
Friday:  1 John 1:5—2:2 / Matthew 2:13-18
Saturday:  1 John 2:3-11 / Luke 2:22-35
Next Sunday:  1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28 / 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24 / Luke 2:41-52

     St. Joseph Parish CCD students will be presenting "Feast of the Holy Family: a Children’s Nativity Play" at St. Joseph Church on Saturday, Dec. 29, before the 4:00pm Mass and Sunday, Dec. 30, before the 11:00am Mass.  All are welcome!

     St. Joseph Parish will feature a train and village display on weekends until January 6 from Noon to 4:00pm in the St. Joseph Church cafeteria.  Join them for cookies, hot chocolate, and some holiday cheer.

     The flowers decorating our church this Christmas season were generously sponsored by parishioners in memory of their loved ones.  Please see the memorial lists at the church entrances.

God of all creation,
We praise you for this tree which brings beauty and memories and the promise of life to our home. 
May your blessing be upon all who gather around this tree, all who keep the Christmas festival by its lights.
We wait for the coming of the Christ, the days of everlasting justice and of peace. 
You are our God, living and reigning, for ever and ever.
R. Amen.
                                                 —from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers

     Join us for the annual March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 18.  The bus will load at St. Scholastica around 12:30am on Friday and we expect to return to Aspinwall around 11pm that evening.  The cost is $25 for adults and students are free.  For reservations or more information please call Mary Catherine Scanlon at 412-781-6550.

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

Monday, December 24—Christmas Eve
   4:00pm   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members
  10:00pm   Sophie & Frank Skowron   (Children & Grandchildren)

Tuesday, December 25—Nativity of the Lord
   9:30am   Frederick Greif  (Wife)

Wednesday, December 26—Saint Stephen
   10:00am   Yvonne B. Maher  (Thomas D. Maher, Jr.)

Thursday, December 27—Saint John the Apostle
   10:00am   Dianne Powell  (Mr. & Mrs. David Dice)

Friday, December 28—The Holy Innocents
   10:00am  Anthony Fiorentino (Sisters)

Feast of the Holy Family
Saturday, December 29
   5:00pm   Rita Daily  (The Daily Family)
Sunday December 30
   9:30am   All Saint Scholastica Parish Members 
  12:00noon   William Sanchez  (Antoinette Kwiatkowski)

Holiday Office Hours:  The parish office will be closed December 24-26 and December 31-January 1. 
Christian Meditation: Wednesday, Jan. 2, following the 10:00am liturgy in the church.
Hope for Haiti Committee meeting:  Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 7:30pm in the parish hall.
St. Monica Society: Saturday, Jan. 5, 10:00am in the parish hall.

     Our Wednesday Christian meditation group will not meet on December 26.  We will resume in the new year on Wednesday, January 2, in the church after the 10:00am liturgy.

     The priests of our parish grouping are available to hear Confessions every Saturday from 9:30-10:15am  in St. Edward Church, 11:30am-Noon in St. Joseph Church, and 3:30-4:00pm in Madonna of Jerusalem Church; every Tuesday from 6:30-7:15pm in St. Scholastica Church.


     The students, faculty and staff of Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy wish you a Merry Christmas!  Thank you for supporting our school.

     Thanks for your help!  These items are needed now:  powdered milk, dried fruit, and hot chocolate mix.  [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. Thank you!

     Our Aquinas Guild appreciates your donations to the local Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.  Your donations of  powdered milk, dried fruit and hot chocolate mix — 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 Boxes in the church vestibule.  Checks should be made out to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  Also, please contact the parish 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