July 7, 2019

Saint Scholastica Parish of the Lower Allegheny Valley Catholic Community

Traveling the Road Together . . .
     The international fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous began in 1935 when two men, Bill W. and Dr. Bob S., met in the home of a mutual friend in Akron, Ohio.  Medical professionals, friends, family members, clergy and the men’s spouses all described Bill and Dr. Bob as “hopeless cases,” likely to die from alcoholism, a disease of the body, mind and spirit.  The key for Dr. Bob was that he found in Bill, and many other alcoholics he would encounter during the rest of his days, a fellow   traveler, someone who truly understood what it—alcoholism—was like.  And Bill found in Dr. Bob, and countless alcoholics he would meet over the remainder of his life, someone whom he could help simply by sharing his own experiences, strength and hope.
     The program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the many 12-step fellowships that have been created over the years, are based on the principle that alcoholics and addicts stay clean and sober by reaching out to others and giving away what they have been given.  It was through attraction, and not promotion, that the fellowship grew from two idealistic drunks into an organization with a presence in more than 180 countries around the globe.
      In today’s Gospel text, Jesus sends 72 disciples out into the world.  It is, indeed, an unusually specific numeric reference.  But, perhaps more important than the number 72, is the number two.  The disciples were sent out to minister in pairs.
     This is good news for sure.  After all, it wasn’t going to be an easy life.  Lambs among wolves . . . no money bag, no sandals or sack to carry anything of value with you.  All that the disciples had was themselves, their faith in Jesus, and their ministry partner.
     In the life of discipleship, the question is not what you need but who.  We don’t walk this journey alone.  We need each other—for support, encouragement, a listening ear; perhaps even advice at times.  We learn from the experience of others who have walked before us, and we share our own experience with those who walk with us.
     In our current context, the harvest that is in need of reaping is the tremendous pain that so many carry around each day.  Our opportunity, as followers of Jesus, is to go out into the world (from the comfort of our pews and homes) and bring with us open hearts, listening ears and a prayerful presence.  With that presence, with those ears and with our hearts, we can harvest that much that burdens our neighbors.
     However, we will only be able to really help those who are hurting if we are authentic about the pain we carry ourselves.  In sharing our own experiences of grief, mental illness, economic insecurity, addiction, strains on our families, and other challenges that cause us hurt, others can relate.  And in relating, they are not only meeting us, but meeting Jesus, who has sent us out ahead of him.
     People who are hurting—all of us—need to know that the kingdom of God is at hand.  That should not    instill further fear and shame, but hope.  For the kingdom of our God brings love, liberation, reconciliation and resurrection.  Too often, and for too long, we have failed to share such a hope-filled message.  And now, more than ever, we need to get it right.
     And in so doing, by going out into the world two-by-two, we can bring hope to that hurting, bruised and broken world.  Along the way, we, too, will be helped, for just as one alcoholic helping another alcoholic keeps both sober, one hurting child of God helping another will keep both in the loving arms of their Creator.  The laborers will grow, not through promotion but through attraction, to the liberating, life-giving movement of discipleship that we call the Church.

Editor’s Note: This reflection was written for CELEBRATION magazine by Eric S. Fought.
This Sunday:  Isaiah 66:10-14c / Galatians 6:14-18 / Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Monday:  Genesis 28:10-22a / Matthew 9:18-26
Tuesday:  Genesis 32:23-33 / Matthew 9:32-38
Wednesday:  Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a / Matthew 10:1-7
Thursday:  Genesis 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5 / Matthew 10:7-15
Friday:  Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30 / Matthew 10:16-23
Saturday:  Genesis 49:29-32; 50:15-26a / Matthew 10:24-33
Next Sunday:  Deuteronomy 30:10-14 / Colossians 1:15-20 / Luke 10:25-37

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)

Monday, July 8—Weekday in Ordinary Time
   10:00am  David Capone (Helen Capone)

Tuesday, July 9—Saint Augustine Zhao Rong & Companions
   10:00am  James G. Lanahan (Kathy Murray)

Wednesday, July 10—Weekday in Ordinary Time
   10:00am  Sophie Skowron (Children & Grandchildren)

Thursday,  July 11—Saint Benedict
   10:00am  Lynn Thornton (Maureen Griffith)

Friday, July 12—Weekday in Ordinary Time
   10:00am  Patricia Kelley (Family of Chip & Kathy Burke)

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saturday, July 13
   5:00pm  Kathleen Fleming (The Scanlon Family)

Sunday, July 14
   9:30am  The people of Saint Scholastica Parish
   12:00noon  Ricky Acevedo (Lourdes & Alana)

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

Weekend Mass Schedule: July 13 & 14
Saturday Vigil
  4:00 pm             Fr. Dale DeNinno               Saint Joseph
  4:30 pm             Visiting Priest                     Madonna
  5:00 pm             Fr. Michael Decewicz        Saint Scholastica
  8:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz        Saint Francis
  9:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno               Saint Joseph
  9:30 am             Visiting Priest                     Saint Scholastica
10:00 am             Fr. Michael Decewicz        Saint Edward
11:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno               Saint Joseph
11:30 am             Visiting Priest                     Saint Mary
12:00 noon         Fr. Michael Decewicz        Saint 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.

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.

Registration for Lower Allegheny Valley fall Faith Formation classes has begun! To register, open the online registration form here. Contact Delia Barr by email  here or at 412-963-8885 ext. 301 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).

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.

Catholic Kennywood Day: Join area Catholics for fun and faith on July 30. Tickets are $25.  Go to pghpriest.com (+) for details on this and other upcoming events.

ARM Presentation: On Monday, July 8, at 7:00pm in Clairvaux Hall at Saint Bernard’s Church, Mount Lebanon, Dr. Janet Astle of the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy will give a presentation on addiction and recovery.  All are welcome to attend this free event.

Join us in welcoming into our faith community Toni Diane Calandra who was baptized at St. Scholastica this past weekend.

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, canned vegetables, and canned soup. 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