September 29, 2019

Saint Scholastica Parish of the Lower Allegheny Valley Catholic Parishes

Editor's Note: The following printed message was recently spoken by Fr. Dale DeNinno at all the Masses in Saint Scholastica Church.

Dear Parishioners,
     My father and mother were both born during the 1920's. My father grew up in East Liberty and my mother in Garfield. Their earliest years were impacted by the Great Depression and World War II that followed. As our nation faced a shattered economy and the devastation of war, the reality of unemployment, rationing of resources, and never enough money to pay the bills, were felt by the people of our country during the 1930's and 40's.
     But the citizens of the United States, throughout the years, have shown an amazing and resilient spirit. Faced with economic challenges and moral crises, we have always responded appropriately with a renewed determination to build again that which has been broken.
     And so in every generation we must admit to the brokenness that prevents us from being strong and whole. How else can we go forward? In our nation and in our Church as well. The Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic Church in the United States, the local Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and in each of the churches in the Lower Allegheny Valley grouping of parishes.
     This past year has been a harrowing time for all of us. The people who sit in the pews and the priests who stand at the altar. Our brokenness has been on full display for all to see and has impacted everyone, with the result that each of us has experienced strong feelings and given expression to even stronger opinions.
     In voicing what we think and feel, individuals, couples and entire families have looked for ways to respond so that they may be heard. Some have made a silent exit from attendance at Mass and their message is heard loud and clear; others have chosen to write letters of discontent or have joined support groups to raise a collective voice; and still others have decided to eliminate or cut back dramatically on their financial support of the local parish community.
     As a pastor, my first responsibility is for the welfare of souls. As a shepherd I am to be a guide in helping others to find their way to God and a place in the kingdom of heaven. It is an awesome task, but it is not the only thing that occupies my time. I am also an administrator who oversees the workings of a parish community that includes personnel, buildings, programs and finances.
     In my recent meetings with the members of the Saint Scholastica Parish Finance Council, they urged me to be open, honest and transparent in communicating a financial report. The insert that appeared in the bulletin gave specific numbers and indicated that there is money in savings. While that is certainly good news, the more serious concern is that the weekly collections have dropped dramatically. Again, that surely reflects a lower Mass attendance or parishioners putting a smaller donation into the collection basket.
     One misconception that has been brought to my attention is the mistaken notion that all money collected in our church from the regular Mass offering goes directly to the diocese. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that all money collected each week is deposited into the Saint Scholastica Parish account at the S & T Bank on Freeport Road near the Waterworks. That money, in turn, is used to pay our regular bills: salaries for priests and staff, health insurance and benefits for employees; the utilities of gas, water and electric; regular office expenses, and the ongoing maintenance of our buildings and property. It is all a very costly undertaking.
     With the continued loss of weekly revenue we must resort to taking money out of savings in order to pay the bills. That hurts us in the long run. We cannot allow that to happen, especially when we need the money in savings for those "rainy day" emergencies when a roof is leaking or major repairs are needed on a furnace or air-conditioning unit. You all know and understand the demands and expense of maintaining a household.
     Moving forward, we have to acknowledge that the priests and people in the Diocese of Pittsburgh are hurting, trust has been severely damaged, and uncertainty about the future is real. But like any community who has suffered trauma and tragedy, we must be prepared and willing to do the hard work of making better that which is showing glaring weakness. We cannot heal unless we enter into a respectful dialogue; we cannot heal unless we are willing to forgive; we cannot heal unless we profess and live what we believe.
     Allow me to end this message with words from Saint Paul in his second letter to the church community in Corinth. He writes: "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."
     Perhaps the most important words we need to hear is that "God is able to make every grace abundant for you .... " In the midst of everything we are feeling and experiencing, it must be our trust in the power of God that will bring healing and abundance into the parish grouping of the Lower Allegheny Valley.
     May the Lord bless you.
                                                                                      Father Dale DeNinno

Did You Know . . . ?
. . . Missionary Cooperative Plan: Father Clement Kanu and Father Nduka Uzor, members of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul, will visit the parishes of the Lower Allegheny Valley and speak at all the Masses this weekend. A second collection will be taken in order to help support their congregation which was founded in 1977 in Nigeria. Their mission effort is to help over 360 orphans in Malawi who lost their parents due to AIDS. Find out more about them at: (+). The generosity of your support will be greatly appreciated.      

The Blessing of Animals is traditionally held close to the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi on October 4. This year's blessing will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 6, in the front entrances of Saint Joseph Church and Saint Scholastica Churches. Bring your pet who gives such joy to your life for a special blessing from God.
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saturday, September 28
   5:00pm  † Gebhard Kleiner, birthday (Renee Arturo Kleiner)

Sunday, September 29
   9:30am  † Natalie Certo (Tish Marsico)
   12:00noon  † Anna Marie Geffel (The Scanlon Family)

Monday, September 30—Saint Jerome
    10:00am  The people of Saint Scholastica Parish

Tuesday, October 1—Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
   10:00am  Fr. Mike Decewicz, 41st anniversary of ordination (Kathleen McAndrews)

Wednesday, October 2—The Holy Guardian Angels
   10:00am  † Mary Ellen Bergeron (Family of Kathy Burke)

Thursday, October 3—Weekday in Ordinary Time
    10:00am  † Louise DeRenzo (Helen Capone)

Friday, October 4—Saint Francis of Assisi
   10:00am  † Natalie Certo (Ted & Ann Philips)

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saturday,  October 5
   5:00pm  † Sal & Pat Certo (The Gonzalez Family)

Sunday, October 6
   9:30am  † Natalie Certo (Tish Marsico)
   12:00noon  † Michael Hegedus (Jer & Carole Werries & Family)

LAVCP Presider Schedules
Daily Mass: Week of September 30
  8:00 am             Fr. Bill Siple                        Saint Joseph
  9:00 am             Fr. Mike Decewicz
                                Mon, Tues, Wed             Madonna
                                Thurs, Fri, Sat                  Saint Edward
10:00 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno              Saint Scholastica

Weekend Mass Schedule: October 5 & 6
Saturday Vigil
  4:00 pm             Fr. Mike Decewicz            Saint Joseph
  4:30 pm             Fr. Dale DeNinno              Madonna
  5:00 pm             Fr. Bill Siple                        Saint Scholastica
  8:00 am             Fr. Bill Siple                        Saint Francis
  9:00 am             Fr. Mike Decewicz            Saint Joseph
  9:30 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno              Saint Scholastica
10:00 am             Fr. Bill Siple                        Saint Edward
11:00 am             Fr. Mike Decewicz            Saint Joseph
11:30 am             Fr. Dale DeNinno              Saint Mary
12:00 noon         Fr. Bill Siple                        Saint Scholastica

Offertory Collection
Weekend of September 21 & 22: $7,300
      When you pray in another area church, your envelope or check will be sent here to support Saint Scholastica. 

Save the Date! On Sunday, October 20, at 2:00 pm in Saint Joseph Church, Jeanne Colter, Catholic singer, pianist and composer will visit the Lower Allegheny Valley group of parishes for an afternoon of music, reflection and storytelling. This is an afternoon not to be missed! The concert is free and open to the public.

Growing in the Spirit is a group of adults who meet monthly to support each other and share practices and resources for spiritual growth. Our next session is Tuesday, October 8, from 7:30 to 9:00pm in the St. Edward rectory (450 Walnut St., Blawnox). Our topic is: "BYOS—Bring your own saint!" Come with your favorite saint's story, a quotation, picture, or anything else you would like to share. If you do not have a favorite saint, please come anyway—you may leave with one! There is no need to register for this group—just join us!

Respect Life Events: Our local Life Chain will be on Sunday, October 6, from 2-3pm in Etna on Butler St. at Grant St. The LAV Forty Days for Life prayer vigil will be October 10 from 7-9am and 3-5pm at 933 Liberty Ave. All are welcome join us as we pray for babies whose lives are in danger. For more information, call 412-781-6550.

Youth Ministry Kick off: Join us on October 6 for our Lifeteen youth ministry kick off event from 6-8pm at Saint Joseph field. Bring a snack to share while we play a rousing game of kickball and other outdoor activities before the weather gets cold. 6th-12th grade welcome.

National Catholic Youth Conference: Every other year 35,000 teens from around the United States gather in Indianapolis to praise God and worship together as community. Dancing, singing, and the Holy Spirit make for a wonderful week. Building community with those from our grouping, our diocese, and region makes our faith real. Join me and others from our grouping on an amazing journey in our faith. Scholarships available. 3 spots left. 9th-12th grade welcome. Email Meredith Troyan here if interested.
Bingo is back at CDTCA! Please join us for a fun night on Friday, October 25, to benefit our Academy. Doors open at 5:30 and Bingo begins in the school gym at 7:00. We will also be having food trucks from BRGR and Oakmont Barbeque from 5:30–7:30. The cost for Bingo is $30 with cash prizes from $50 - $150 and a $300 Jackpot. The event is BYOB and for 21 and older ONLY. Please contact the school office to purchase your ticket in advance. Tickets will also be available at the door. We hope to see you there!

Golden Wedding Anniversary: On November 17 the Diocese of Pittsburgh will recognize the crowning achievement of those couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in the current year with a Mass presided by Bishop Zubik at St. Paul's Cathedral at 2:30pm, followed by a light reception. If you and your spouse would like to participate, please RSVP by contacting our parish office.

A Six Week Fall Video Series will be held at Saint Joseph Parish on Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:00, beginning on October 3 and on Wednesday mornings at Saint Scholastica Parish, beginning on October 9 from 10:30 am-12:00 Noon. The series is entitled Catholicism: Journey Around the World and Deep into the Faith. The series was filmed in more than 50 locations in 15 countries and presents the foundations of the Catholic faith in a visually arresting style. Contact Andy Bechman here for details.

Tabernacle Vigil Candle: As a way of remembering beloved family members or friends, living or deceased, you may request that the Tabernacle Vigil Candle in the churches of Saint Joseph, Madonna of Jerusalem, Saint Mary, Saint Scholastica, Saint Edward and Saint Francis of Assisi burn in memory of your loved ones whose name(s) will be printed in the bulletin. A $20 stipend is requested for each week that the candle burns. If interested, please call the parish office of the church where you wish the candle to be lit.

Our local homeless ministry appreciates your help! There is a particular need for canned soup, and these items as well: macaroni and cheese, canned vegetables, Hamburger Helper-type prepared meal mixes, and powdered or shelf-stable milk. 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 Third Street, Aspinwall, from 10am-12noon on Mondays and Fridays. Please do NOT leave any donations outside 316 or 318 Third Street. Thank you!

The Donation bin for the Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, run by Saint Juan Diego Parish in Sharpsburg, is sponsored by our Aquinas Guild. Your donations of peanut butter, jelly, and crackers — and any non-perishable items — are most welcome. Please put donations in the red bin in the church's main entrance.

Remember in your prayers all those who have died, especially Victor Albright, Jr. and Jeffrey Marmarella who were buried from Saint Scholastica this week.

Women's Bible Study:  Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 1:00pm in the Parish Hall.
Saint Vincent de Paul Society meeting: Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 6:30pm in the Parish Hall.
Hope for Haiti Committee meeting: Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30pm. Email for location.
Saint Monica Society Meeting: Saturday, Oct. 5, at 10:00am in the Parish Hall.
Pet Blessing: Sunday, Oct. 6, at 2:00pm in front of St. Scholastica Church.
LifeTeen Kickoff: Sunday, Oct. 6, from 6:00-8:00pm at St. Joseph field.

Sunday—September 29
Amos 6:1a, 4-7    1 Timothy 6:11-16     Luke 16:19-31
Monday—September 30
Zechariah 8:1-8   Luke 9: 46-50
Tuesday—October 1
Zechariah 8:20-23   Luke 9:51-56
Wednesday—October 2
Nehemiah 2:1-8    Matthew 18:1-5, 10
Thursday—October 3
Nehemiah 8:1-12    Luke 10:1-12
Friday—October 4
Baruch 1:15-22   Luke 10:13-16
Saturday—October 5
Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29   Luke 10:17-24
Sunday—September 29
Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4    2 Tim 1:6-8, 13-14   Luke 17:5-10

     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.-2:00 p.m.

Clergy of the Lower Allegheny Valley Catholic Parishes
Reverend Dale DeNinno, Pastor/Administrator, 412-963-8885    
Reverend Michael Decewicz, Senior Parochial Vicar, 412-784-4700   
Reverend Bill Siple, Senior Parochial Vicar, 412-781-0186   

Fr. Hyeong Cheol Lee, Chaplain for the Korean Community
Fr. John Mark Ogu, Student, 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

Amy Condosta     Ext. 11

Director of Music/ Bereavement Coordinator
Sister Patricia Baker, CDP     Ext. 17

Youth Ministry Director
Meredith Troyan     Ext. 20 

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 

Facilities Staff
Bruce Hassing

205 Brilliant Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15215

Mr. Mark N. Grgurich, MSEd    

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