June 30, 2019

Saint Scholastica Parish of the Lower Allegheny Valley Catholic Community

Mass on Independence Day, Thursday—July 4th
 . . . will be offered at 10:00am in Madonna of Jerusalem Church in Sharpsburg. It will be the only Mass offered that day in the churches of our Lower Allegheny Valley grouping of parishes.  All parishioners are encouraged to join us as our nation celebrates its great gift of freedom.

The Peter’s Pence second collection will be taken up again this weekend for those who were not able to contribute last weekend. This collection enables the Holy Father to respond with emergency financial assistance to those throughout the world that suffer from war, oppression, disease, and natural disasters.  

Homiletic Thoughts . . .
     Multiple people in today's scripture readings are faced with a choice—do they want to follow God's will in a more radical way, turning away from old attachments and possessions, or do they want to serve "the flesh" (Galatians 5: 13), remaining stuck in their past lives?
     No one pretends this choice doesn't have serious consequences, but the readings make it clear that it is offered as a true choice. Elijah throws his cloak over Elisha in an apparent response to God's command that he select Elisha as a prophet to succeed him. But he reacts almost defensively when Elisha expresses his willingness to accept that call if only he be allowed to say farewell to his parents first. Elijah's brusque reply make it clear that Elisha is free to do what he wants - he is inviting him, not commanding him, to take over the often dangerous mission of serving as God's prophet.
     In the Gospel reading from Luke, a village of Samaritans who disputed Jerusalem's status as the center of worship, refuse to welcome Jesus on his journey to that city. Jesus accepts that choice, rebuking his disciples for offering to call down fire from heaven in retribution. He isn't interested in forcing the Samaritans or anyone to receive him, and he even warns a would-be follower about the difficulties that joining his unsettled life will entail.
     Paul states the case most directly in the second reading to the Galatians. Christ calls us to freedom, a freedom that we should refuse to relinquish but that also requires us to make important decisions about how to use it. Choosing to Iive by the spirit, Paul explains, means loving and serving one another, while living by what he calls "the flesh" means the oppositeconsuming one another in an effort to gratify selfish desires.
     Yet living by the spirit can require intense sacrifices. In choosing to follow God, people in today's readings give up property, stability and even family ties. In the reading from Kings, Elisha sacrifices 12 yoke of oxen and bids farewell to his parents. Paul tells the Galatians that choosing to pursue the desires of the spirit excludes the possibility of fulfilling the desires of the flesh at the same time. Proclaiming the kingdom of God—and being fit to be a part of it—might require a sudden and total abandonment of family commitments as we hear in Luke's Gospel. The life of a prophet or follower of Jesus can be dangerous and unsettled.
     Today's readings remind us that we are never yoked to a specific pathway—we always have the freedom to follow God's will. We can make the decision to promote the kingdom of God even when it entails a dramatic departure from our past lives.
     The choice isn't easy, and not even God can make it for us. But remembering, as Psalm 16 proclaims, that God is "the path to life," offering "fullness to joys," can help us to choose wisely.

Editor's Note: This reflection was written by Maria Benevento for the liturgical magazine CELEBRATION.

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saturday, June 29
   5:00pm  In Thanksgiving to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Kathleen McAndrews)

Sunday, June 30
   9:30am  The people of Saint Scholastica Parish
   12:00noon  Frederick Greif, birthday  (Marjorie Greif)

Monday, July 1—Saint Junipero Serra
   10:00am  Ralph Heil (Kathy Murray)

Tuesday, July 2—Weekday in Ordinary Time
   10:00am  Rosemary Boley, birthday (Children)

Wednesday, July 3—Saint Thomas
   10:00am  Allen Griffith (Maureen Griffith)

Thursday, July 4—Independence Day
   No Mass at St. Scholastica

Friday, July 5—Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
   10:00am  Frank Skowron (Children & Grandchildren)

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saturday, July 6
   5:00pm  Deceased Members of the Vey Family (Dr. E. Kenneth Vey)

Sunday, July 7
   9:30am  The people of Saint Scholastica Parish 
   12:00noon  William Sanchez (Family)

LAVCC Presider Schedule
Daily Mass: Week of July 1
  8:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz       Saint Joseph
  9:00 am             Fr. Fr. John Mark Ogu
                                Mon, Tues, Wed             Madonna
                                Thurs, Fri, Sat                  Saint Edward
10:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno               Saint Scholastica

Weekend Masses: July 6 & 7
Saturday Vigil
  4:00 pm             Fr. Michael Decewicz       Saint Joseph
  4:30 pm             Visiting Priest                    Madonna
  5:00 pm             Fr. Dale DeNinno              Saint Scholastica
  8:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno              Saint Francis
  9:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz       Saint Joseph
  9:30 am             Visiting Priest                    Saint Scholastica
10:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno              Saint Edward
11:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz       Saint Joseph
11:30 am             Visiting Priest                    Saint Mary
12:00 noon         Fr. Dale DeNinno              Saint Scholastica

Offertory Collection
Weekend of June 22 & 23: $5,028
     When you pray in another area church, your envelope or check will be sent here to support St. Scholastica. 

LAV Staffing Changes
     Father Paul Merkovsky has been transferred from the Lower Allegheny Valley grouping of parishes. Effective July 1, he has been assigned to serve as the Chaplain to the religious congregation of the Sisters of Mercy at their Motherhouse, located in Oakland on the campus of Carlow University. We extend our gratitude for his priestly service to the parishes of Saint Joseph, Saint Juan Diego, Saint Padre Pio and Saint Scholastica during the past 8 1/2 months. May the Lord bless his new ministry to the Sisters of Mercy.
     Father Bill Siple will become our new Parochial Vicar, effective July 15. For the past 7 years he has served the grouping of parishes in New Castle. Ordained in 1992, Father Bill received his education for the priesthood at the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. One of his previous assignments was to the parishes of Immaculate Conception and Saint Joseph in Bloomfield where he lived and worked with Father Dale DeNinno from July of 1996 to January of 2000. We welcome him to his new assignment. His residence will be the rectory of Saint Scholastica Parish.
     David Volcheck has been hired to serve as Music Minister for Saint Padre Pio Parish where he will be responsible for leading the congregation in music and song for the Sunday morning Mass in Saint Francis of Assisi Church and Saint Edward Church. He will also be responsible for providing music for funeral and wedding liturgies. David previously served as Music Minister at Incarnation of the Lord Parish on the North Side and was briefly part of the grouping of parishes of Saint Sebastian, Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Athanasius.
     Marilyn Welsh, who currently serves Saint Padre Pio Parish as the Administrative Secretary, will take on additional responsibilities as the Office Assistant in the Faith Formation Program for our grouping of parishes. Marilyn's full-time staff employment of 40 hours per week will be evenly split. She will give 20 hours per week to the administrative duties of Saint Padre Pio Parish and 20 hours per week in the Faith Formation Office, working closely with Delia Barr, the Director of Faith Formation for the parishes of the Lower Allegheny Valley.  
This Sunday:  1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21 / Galatians 5:1, 13-18 / Luke 9:51-62
Monday:  Genesis 18:16-33 / Matthew 8:18-22
Tuesday:  Genesis 19:15-29 / Matthew 8:23-27
Wednesday:  Ephesians 2:19-22 / John 20:24-29
Thursday:  Genesis 22:1b-19 / Matthew 9:1-8
Friday:  Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67 / Matthew 9:9-13
Saturday:  Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29 / Matthew 9:14-17
Next Sunday:  Isaiah 66:10-14c / Galatians 6:14-18 /     Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

Youth Ministry seeks CORE team members: Do you feel the Lord’s call to serve in Youth Ministry? We are looking for 5 to 8 adults to help with Youth Ministry on a weekly basis. Time commitment would be 2 hours weekly to help with the lesson and activity for the night. Training will be required and offered. A one year term is requested (January 1-December 31).

Calling all Middle School Students! Camp Helping Hand is an opportunity to benefit your community through service. Join the LAV Youth Ministry on July 16-18 from 9:00am-2:00pm. Contact Meredith Troyan to register.

A Free Ice Cream Social will be held at Saint Joseph Parish the weekend of July 6-7, following each of the Masses. Sponsored by the Saint Joseph Parish Women's Group, you can create your own sundae from a variety of ice cream flavors and toppings. The Parish Cookbook will also be available for sale.

Bottled Water Drive: Foxwall EMS is collecting 8-20oz bottles of water or Gatorade for responders and community members at large incidents. Please drop off at the Foxwall station at 145 Squaw Run Rd or the St. Scholastica parish office. Contact 412-963-6611 with questions.

Eucharistic Ministers: It is important to learn who is carrying the Holy Eucharist to the homebound in our parishes, to those in the hospital, or those who may be in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or under hospice care. We also want to compile a current list of those women and men who serve as a Eucharistic Minister during Mass in any of the six churches of our LAV grouping. Please contact Marilyn Welsh ASAP at 412-828-4066 or email her here.

Mass Intention Availability: Both Saint Joseph Church and Saint Scholastica Church have openings on their liturgical calendars to schedule Mass intentions.
     The practice of remembering those who have died as we celebrate the Mass is one of long-standing in our Catholic tradition. Like so many things, the tradition does not seem to have the same value as once it did. Therefore, you are reminded and encouraged to have a Mass offered for deceased loved ones and friends or for other special intentions. Please call the parish office at Saint Joseph Parish (412-963-8885) or Saint Scholastica Parish (412-781-0186).

Join us in welcoming into our faith community Stella Ann Jannetta who was baptized at St. Scholastica this past weekend.

The St. Juan Diego Conference of the St. Vincent DePaul Society extends their most sincere thanks to St. Scholastica's members for your support of the Sharpsburg Food Pantry throughout the year. Summer is here and the children are home, so they especially appreciate you thinking of the food pantry and the families they serve. Donation bins are located in the main church entrance.

Financial Reports and Parish Budgets
     The Fiscal Year for each of the parishes of the Lower Allegheny Valley begins on July 1, 2019 and concludes on June 30, 2020. The budgets for Saint Joseph Parish, Saint Juan Diego Parish, Saint Padre Pio Parish and Saint Scholastica Parish have been prepared, reviewed by the pastor and members of the Finance Councils, and submitted to the Diocese of Pittsburgh for their approval.
     In the preparation of the budgets, every effort has been made to lower expenses. However, many expenses are beyond our control, e.g., maintenance, utilities, insurance, health care benefits, etc.
It is also important to be aware of the fact that the revenue in each of our parishes has dropped dramatically. Weekly collections at the offertory during Mass are down. Reasons include: fewer Masses with the new schedule; residual anger with the Church as it relates to last summer's release of the PA Grand Jury Report; lingering disappointment with clergy transfers and assignments; parishioners who have simply stopped attending Mass, decreased their weekly offering, or haven't increased it in a long, long time. The result of these cumulative factors are budgets stretched to their limit and showing red. Black is the color we need to see!
     Over the course of three consecutive weekends in September, Father Dale DeNinno will speak at each of the 10 Masses in our parish grouping so as to communicate the budget reality of each parish. His message will be accompanied by a bulletin insert with all of the pertinent information.
     In the meantime, you are asked to prayerfulIy and carefully consider your weekly donation to your parish. In doing so you are also encouraged to ponder the message of Saint Paul in his letter to the Corinthian community: "Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things,
always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work" (2 Corinthians 9: 6-8).

Our local homeless ministry appreciates your help! These items are needed now: powdered milk, canned fruit, and Hamburger Helper-type prepared meal mixes. 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!

Donation bin for the local Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, sponsored by our Aquinas Guild: Your donations of macaroni and cheese, spaghetti sauce, and pasta — and any non-perishable items — are most welcome.  Please put donations in the red bin in the church’s main entrance.

     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.

Diocesan Victim Assistance Hotline: 1-888-808-1235
PA Child Line: 1-800-932-0313 

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

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
Diocesan Victim Assistance Hotline: 1-888-808-1235
PA Child Line: 1-800-932-0313