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During the COVID-19 pandemic, your parish needs your support more than ever. Your parish gift provides a lifeline of support to our church family in this time of crisis.
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Phase One of “Rising with Christ”, the Diocese of Phoenix’s plan to restore parish life. Beginning this week, Bishop Thomas Olmsted has given permission for parishes to welcome parishioners back to daily and weekend Masses on a limited basis. Although the state and diocesan guidelines permit pastors to admit up to 25% of the seating capacity of each church, we have decided to remain cautious for now and limit our Mass attendance to 20% (approximately 100 people per Mass). Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Once this capacity is met for each Mass, no others will be permitted to enter the church. We appreciate your cooperation with this as we work together to keep our community safe.
Our regular morning Mass will resume on Monday, May 18th at 8:15am (Mon-Fri). We will continue to live-stream these Masses on our parish YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNxWJ4wvmIMJlu9kN3A9l-g/featured?sub_confirmation=1. Holy Communion will also be distributed after each daily Mass for 30 minutes from 8:45am-9:15am. The Communion station is at the main entrance to the church. Be assured that we have implemented some precautionary measures to ensure your safety during Mass.
Weekend Mass Attendance
I am excited to announce that this weekend, May 16 and 17, will be our “Homecoming Weekend” as we resume public Masses on a limited basis. Two Masses will be celebrated this weekend: The first on Saturday, May 16 at 5pm, and the second on Sunday, May 17 at 9am. Both will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNxWJ4wvmIMJlu9kN3A9l-g/featured?sub_confirmation=1.
Those who participate in Mass via the live-streams are invited to receive Communion for one hour following each Mass. The Communion station will be at the main entrance of the church. Please park your vehicle anywhere in the parking lot and use the north or south walkways for the Communion line. We ask that you observe social distancing while waiting in line and then return quietly to your vehicle for private prayers after receiving Communion. Please be reminded that the Bishop’s dispensation for weekly Mass attendance is still in effect.
To help ensure everyone’s health and safety, some precautionary measures have been put into place. If you are sick or taking care of a sick person, you are dispensed from your obligation to attend Mass. Here are few things to expect when you come for Mass:
- There will be no Holy Water font by the church door.
- There will be no greeting or shaking of hands at any time during the Mass, including the Sign of Peace.
- Per Bishop Olmsted’s request, the length of weekend Masses will be limited to 30-40 minutes to limit public exposure time.
- We will limit the number of chairs inside the church to only 100 seats and spread them out six feet apart to maintain a safe social distance. We ask that you do not move chairs around, except for family members who may sit together.
- There will be hand sanitizer by the door. We ask that you use it as you enter and leave the church and after using the restrooms.
- All our ministers have been instructed to maintain the highest level of hygiene by washing their hands properly and use hand sanitizers before they serve or touch any vessels. Eucharistic Ministers will be wearing facemasks while distributing Holy Communion.
- Holy Communion will be distributed under the species of bread alone. We receive the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Christ in its totality under the species of bread alone. Receiving both species is a fuller “sign” not a fuller reality.
- I encourage everyone to receive the host on the hand. Reception of Communion on the tongue could inadvertently contaminate the hands of those distributing Communion. However, this is a personal decision everyone has to make.
The Priests and Deacon will greet you at the end of Mass as usual, but please remember, there will be no shaking of hands.
Confession will take place in the church on Saturdays from 3:30pm-4:30pm. The Confessional stand will be located near the Mary statue on the West side of the church. We ask those waiting in the Confession line to please sit around the North side of the church and maintain social distance.
Thank you all for your faithfulness and prayers during this time of uncertainty. I am so glad we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now. I look forward, with so much joy and excitement, to seeing you back to our normal parish life soon.
Rising with Christ: The Plan for Restoring Parish Life
Parishioner Guidelines for Preparing to return to public Masses
St. Benedict, Where All are Welcome
The Parish of St. Benedict is a welcoming and vibrant family of believers located in the Phoenix community of Ahwatukee in Arizona. We are a Catholic faith community that recognizes the face of Christ in all and we respond with our lives. Our growing community is made up of members from all walks of life and we value our diversity. Our motto, “Where All Are Welcome,” stems from the belief that every person is a treasured child of God. Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or searching for a new place of worship, we hope you’ll find a home in St. Benedict Parish.
From the Pastor
Welcome Back05-23-2020Fr. James Aboyi
I was so delighted to see many of you during Masses last weekend. I am grateful for everyone who was able to participate online or in-person. I thank you all for your patience and understanding during the whole period of this crisis. My special thanks to the parish staff and volunteers who helped with the liturgical planning and services.
This past weekend, as I stood on the Altar during Mass, the image that came to my mind from the Bible was the experience of the Israelites returning back from exile (Nehemiah 8:1-9). On returning back from exile, the priest, Ezra, gathered the people and read the Scriptures to them from morning until evening. All the people stood, raised their hands and praised God, then they knelt down and wept upon hearing the Scriptures for the first time after so many years in exile. In a similar way, I saw how most of us were moved to tears of joy during the Mass for now being able to participate fully in the Eucharistic celebration as a community after nearly two months. What a memorable Homecoming for all of us!READ MORE
Do you feel called to work with children or teens? Are you interested in making a difference in a child’s faith life?
The temperatures have been creeping up, so we have started collecting 12-16 oz. bottles of water for the homeless and less fortunate at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room in Mesa.
Please bring your much appreciated donations of water to the parish lobby between 9:00am and 3:00pm, Monday through Friday.
St. Benedict Parish & Corpus Christi Church present Vacation Bible School 2020 - CANCELLED
After careful consideration regarding the safety of the children amid this Covid-19 pandemic, Corpus Christi and St. Benedict have cancelled VBS for this year.
Notification and refunds will be made to those who had already registered.
Instead of food this week, we welcome any new or gently-worn athletic shoes and men’s jeans.
Please place your donation in the wooden SVdP bin located outside of the entrance to the church and thank you for your help!
May 31, 2020
Wear RED for Pentecost!