December 9, 2018

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

Weekend Mass Schedule:  December 15-16
Saturday Vigil
  4:00 pm             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Joseph
  4:30 pm             Fr. Michael Decewicz, Madonna
  5:00 pm             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Scholastica
Sunday
  8:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Francis
  9:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Joseph
  9:30 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz, Saint Scholastica
10:00 am             Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Edward
11:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno, Saint Joseph
11:30 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz, Saint Mary
12:00 noon         Fr. Paul Merkovsky, Saint Scholastica

Dear parishioners,
     Did you read last week's bulletin letter? It offered the first of three ways in which we may focus our attention in celebrating Christmas. It was called "the secular option." The way of the world. The second focus is different.
     A second holiday option we can call "The Christmas of Faith and Family." This is the Christmas of candlelight, Silent Night and O Holy Night. It's the Christmas of caroling, cantatas and children's charming pageants where everything that can possibly go wrong usually does. It's the Christmas of family gatherings and traditions.
     This option is rooted in that story of stories, the one about the angel Gabriel visiting the young peasant girl. It's about Caesar's tax decree and a virgin great with child journeying with her fiance, Joseph, to Bethlehem. It's the story of a manger where Mary's child was born; about shepherds keeping watch over flocks by night; about a heavenly choir singing "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will to all"; about wise men from the East bringing their gifts. Its theme is love and its gift is hope.
     This is the Christmas that often means the most to us, the one we long for, that stirs sentimental memories from former times, and the one we want to pass on to our children. Yet, as good as it is, even it is incomplete unless it leads us to the still larger truth toward which it points.
     Next week's bulletin message will conclude this three part article. The third option: "The Christmas of Mary and Messiah."
     I hope that it will be a blessed week for everyone.
                                                                                              Father Dale DeNinno

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 10:00 am morning Mass at St. Scholastica on Monday, December 24.

FAITH FORMATION & YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS

WACKY WEDNESDAY
     Middle school students are invited to the Ministry Center on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 6:00-7:00pm for discussion and activities.  This month’s topic: Prayer and ways to pray.  RSVP to Meredith Troyan.

MISSION TRIP VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
     Our annual Appalachia Mission trip, which takes place in June, is seeking adult volunteers.  Please contact Meredith Troyan for more information.
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A MESSAGE FROM FR. MICHAEL
     I want to thank you all so much for all your prayers and kind thoughts during my recent bout with pneumonia and hospitalization.  Your kindness, support and prayers are deeply appreciated.  I also want to thank Father Dale for his support and understanding.  I am truly blessed to be a part of the family of Saint Joseph, Saint Scholastica, Saint Pio and Saint Juan Diego Parishes.

CHRISTMAS EVE YOUTH CHOIR
     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.

Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation: As part of our Christmas preparation we are encouraged to confess our sins before our merciful God. The priests of our parish grouping are available to hear
Confessions:
Every Saturday
9:30-10:15 am  Saint Edward Church
11 :30-Noon      Saint Joseph Church
3:30-4:00 pm    Madonna of Jerusalem Church
Every Tuesday
6:30-7:15 pm    Saint Scholastica Church

"The Light Is On for You"
     In addition to those regularly scheduled times, Confessions will also be heard on Tuesday, December 11, from 6:00-8:00pm in St. Joseph Church, Madonna of Jerusalem Church and St. Scholastica Church.

Regular Offertory Collection
Weekend of December 2-3:         $9,171

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. 

BIBLE READINGS FOR THIS WEEK
This Sunday:  Baruch 5:1-9 / Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11 / Luke 3:1-6
Monday:  Isaiah 35:1-10 / Luke 5:17-26
Tuesday:  Isaiah 40:1-11 / Matthew 18:12-14
Wednesday:  Zechariah 2:14-17 / Luke 1:39-47
Thursday:  Isaiah 41:13-20 / Matthew 11:11-15
Friday:  Isaiah 48:17-19 / Matthew 11:16-19
Saturday:  Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11 / Matthew 17:9a, 10-13
Next Sunday:  Zephaniah 3:14-18a / Philippians 4:4-7 / Luke 3:10-18

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!

A FESTIVE CHRISTMAS CONCERT
     All are invited to a free concert featuring the Pine Creek Community Band that will be held on Sunday, December 9, beginning at 2:00pm in St. Mary Church in Sharpsburg.

CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR A CAUSE
     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.

ADVENT RESOURCES ONLINE
     Here are a few resources available for deepening your spiritual life during Advent and Christmas:
          -Keeping the Season is a weekly handout that includes Scripture reflections for each day during Advent. To receive by email, contact Andy Bechman here.
          -Matthew Kelly at Dynamic Catholic is presenting Best Advent Ever.  To sign up for daily videos, go to https://dynamiccatholic.com/best-advent-ever (+).
          -Sacred Advent is a “daily email prayer break,” offered by Loyola Press at https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/advent/sacred-advent-retreat/ (+).
          -There are many reflections and prayers available on the Creighton University Online Ministries Praying Advent page at http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/.

GIVING TREE
     Please return your Giving Tree gifts and donations next weekend, December 15 & 16.   Thank you for your generosity.

MASS INTENTIONS
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   

Monday, December 10—Advent Weekday
    10:00am   Louis Certo  (Jo & Natalie)

Tuesday, December 11—Saint Damasus I
   10:00am   Margaret Benovitch  (The Flaherty Family)

Wednesday, December 12—Our Lady of Guadalupe
   10:00am   James Ranii  (The Ranii Family)

Thursday, December 13—Saint Lucy
   10:00am   David Capone  (Helen Capone)

Friday, December 14—Saint John of the Cross
   10:00am   Richard B. Fisher  (Kathy Murray)

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)

It is always good to remember and pray for our deceased loved ones.  We are currently scheduling Mass Intentions for 2019.  Please contact the parish office.

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.  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!

     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!

     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!
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HELPING THE HOMELESS AND THE POOR  
     Thanks for your help!  These items are needed now: canned chicken,  chili, or stew; and macaroni and cheese.  [Note: this list is more current than the one in 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 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.

CONSIDER ONLINE GIVING!
     It’s easy, safe, and convenient.  Go to saintscholastica.com and click on “Donate” to set up a one-time or recurring donation.
  
     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