Pope Francis’s Comment on Homosexuals

10-23-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

A number of our parishioners contacted me during the week seeking clarifications on Pope Francis’s comment regarding gay marriage. I guess most of us are aware of the news storm that came out on Wednesday, alleging that Pope Francis has endorsed the marriage. I was initially surprised like many others to hear such news suddenly. However, after reading the news and listening to explanations from different sources, I realized that it appeared his comment was not exactly as the news media portrayed it.


Rising with Christ

10-16-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I am glad to inform you that, after a careful evaluation of the downward trend in the spread of the Coronavirus in recent time, and following the requirements of the Arizona Health Department, Bishop Olmsted has now granted us permission to extend our Mass attendance from 25% to 35% sitting capacity of our Church. This will begin this weekend. This is a significant progress and one more step in the right direction as we gradually move toward the complete restoration of parish life.


Quick Update

10-09-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

It’s great to be back at the parish. For the past 12 days, I attended the International Catholic Stewardship Council Annual Conference (ICSC). I consider myself blessed to be selected by the Diocese to be among the few priests who were invited to attend the conference. The overall focus of the conference this year were the themes of Discipleship, Evangelization, Stewardship and Mission. The goal was for the participants to listen to different professionals and share resources available to develop new strategies to adapt and minister effectively in the current situation we find ourselves. It was good for me to hear from so many presenters from around the country, and to know that we, in our parish community, are not alone in dealing with the stress arising from the current political tension, economic stress and the Pandemic. Over the next few weeks I will be meeting with our parish staff and others to discuss some of the new ideas I have learned from the conference in order to discern the best pastoral strategies that will meet the needs of our parish.


October Devotion

10-02-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Welcome to the beautiful month of October. The month of October is quite unique for several reasons. Living here in Arizona, the month of October has become one of my most favorite months of the year, mostly because of the beautiful weather that is neither too hot or too cold. In the Catholic Church, the month of October is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Month of the Rosary, commonly known as “October Devotion.” The Church encourages every Catholic to make an effort to pray the Rosary every day throughout the month of October. There is a very rich history behind the October Devotion. This can be traced back to the origin of the Rosary in 1206. At that time, the Church was in crisis as the result of the influence of Albigensian heresy. It was then that the Blessed Mother introduced the Rosary to St. Dominic in a vision as a powerful weapon to defeat the heresy that plagued the Church.


Keeping Our Hopes High

09-25-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I can’t believe it is already three weeks now since we reopened our SJB school for in-person classes. We are still operating a hybrid model with over 90% of our students currently attending classes on campus. I thank God everyone is doing well, both in the school and here in the parish. We have observed an increase in Mass attendance here in the parish for the past few weeks. It is so wonderful to hear in the news about the consistent declining rate of COVID-19 cases. As we look forward to returning back to our normal life and routine, I encourage everyone to patiently continue to observe all the health and safety precautions. Let us resist the temptation of hastily abandoning the safety precautions so as to avoid a sudden spike in new cases.


Catechetical Sunday

09-18-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

This weekend we celebrate Catechetical Sunday, the day each year when all Catechists are commissioned and sent forth by our parish community to lead others closer to Christ. This year's theme, “I Received from the Lord what I also Handed on to You,” focuses on the important and beautiful work of those who help pass on the faith and are witnesses to the Gospel. The theme emphasizes that our faith is a lived faith, inspiring all to be witnesses of the true and living God. Since Catechists are often the instruments through which many come to encounter Christ, they have a unique role of keeping people connected to the life of the parish.



09-11-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Congratulations to Frank Polimene on his election as the Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council during our last council meeting. Frank is an active member of our parish and serves in different ministries. He joined the Council just over a year ago. Our Parish Council policy states that the Vice President automatically becomes the President the following year. Going by that, Frank will become the next president of the Council beginning July 2021.



09-04-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Congratulations to all of you on our performance in the Offertory Matching Opportunity! I am so excited to inform you that we exceeded our matching goal of $29,700 by 152%. The total new offertory increase donation is $45,231. This means that $29,700 of this amount will be matched, dollar for dollar, making a total of $74,700 increased donation to our parish within the months of July and August. The new increase in Offertory ($45,231) within July and August represents an average monthly increase of $23,000 in offertory and we expect this trend to continue. This is all from 172 of our parish families (84 new online givers and 88 increased givers) that participated in the matching appeal. The matching gift check from the donor will be mailed to us in the month of October. I understand that a few families participated right before the deadline on August 31st. I will give you more updates next week to include those new givings.


Update on Parish and School Reopening

08-28-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

In the month of June, our Diocese introduced, “Rising with Christ,” which outlines phased guidelines for the full reopening of parish life and Catholic schools. The strategy was to reopen the parishes and schools in three phases. Phase One started in June when Mass attendance was permitted to increase to 25% sitting capacity of the Church along with other necessary precautionary measures. We are still within Phase One of the reopening strategy.


Thank You

08-21-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I thank everyone who attended the Memorial Mass for Fr. Bob last night, both in person and virtually. My special thanks to the Liturgy Ministers and Staff for the Liturgy planning. Fr Bob’s family also asked me to extend their appreciation to you for the Mass and for your prayers. I am glad the family in Uganda was able to participate virtually at the Mass last night. After Mass, the attending parishioners were invited to live-stream greetings to Fr Bob’s family on camera. They were particularly happy that they were able to put a face to the names in the parish community.


Back to School

08-14-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

We welcome our St. John Bosco school community back from the summer break as we begin this academic year on Monday, August 17. In a special way, I welcome all our new SJB families. Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, we are beginning this this school year in an extraordinary way. In compliance with the Diocesan directives, the K-8th grade students will attend their classes virtually from home, while the preschoolers will attend on campus. We hope to have all be together on campus again on our target date of September 8. God willing, at that time, we will then offer a “hybrid” format with some students attending in person and others remaining virtually in real-time.


Updates From St John Bosco School Community

08-07-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Our school administration has been busy all summer preparing for the fast-approaching reopening of school. The teachers returned to campus earlier this week to make final preparations for their students and classrooms. They began celebrating Mass here at St. Benedict followed by a beautiful Staff Retreat and Reflection on campus, carefully following sanitary and social distancing guidelines, of course. They will continue their virtual classroom training next week, taking advantage of the initial IT system upgrades put in place over the summer. Our investment in technology is paying off handsomely.


Religious Education Registration

08-03-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

This weekend registration opens online for all of our Religious Education programs, including Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Journey of Faith, JAM and EPIC. St. Benedict's has opportunities for all of your children and teens to strengthen their understanding of our Catholic faith and develop a closer relationship with God. When you give your children the gift of intentional faith formation, you are showing them the importance of living a faith-filled life and building a strong foundation based on God’s love. Due to the uncertain times with the pandemic, sessions will look different than they have in past years.