The Ministry Fair weekend is here at last! We have all been working so hard, planning and preparing for this weekend through the year. I am so excited and looking forward to the fun after all the Masses this weekend. The overall goal of the Ministry Fair is not to just showcase our ministries, but to provide opportunities for everyone to get involved in the different ministries they feel called to join. Every Catholic is called to participate in building God’s Church through our services in different ministries. Everyone has different talents and something to contribute to the growth of the parish community. The Ministry Fair gives us the opportunity to know what ministries we have available and what each ministry does.READ MORE
This week we welcome the beautiful month of October. October is quite unique for several reasons. Significant within the first week, on October 4, is the memorial of St. Francis of Assisi when many people have their pets blessed. The blessing of pets on the feast day of St. Francis is not an official practice of the Church, but more of a private devotion. It originated from the biography of St. Francis, which shows that he loved animals so much that he called them brothers and sisters. There are so many stories about St. Francis’ friendship with animals. One of the most famous stories about him holds that he tamed a wolf, that used to terrorize the people of Gubbio village, by just asking it to be friendly with the people.
This year, our St. John Bosco community will observe their symbolic blessing of pets on Friday, October 4, right after the morning Mass. We will have the general blessing of pets on Saturday, October 5, at 10 am in the north parking lot. Please hold and stay with your pets. Remember to bring the cats and dogs (in particular) on a leash or be ready to separate fights.READ MORE
The Scripture Readings today invite us to reflect on our roles as Stewards of the Lord and His Church. Many priests feel very uncomfortable preaching or talking about stewardship in the Church, mostly because it is often associated with soliciting for money. However, the Church’s teaching on stewardship means more than that. A steward is someone who is entrusted with the responsibility of managing something on behalf of the owner. Our Christian understanding of stewardship takes its root from God’s command to Adam and Eve when he said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth” (Gen 1:28).READ MORE
This weekend, the Church celebrates Catechetical Sunday when all those who serve in Religious Education and Formation Programs are blessed and commissioned for their ministry. The theme for Catechetical Sunday this year is “Stay with Us.” We are blessed with 56 volunteer Catechists in our parish. Last week, I was so excited to see our children and Catechists when I visited the classes to welcome them back to the 2019/20 RE program. I thank all of our Catechists for responding to God’s call to serve our parish community through their ministry. Let us give them our support as they help our children and teens grow in their faith. The following Q & A from the US Bishops Conference website might help to clarify some of the questions you might have concerning Catechetical Sunday.READ MORE
Welcome Back to the Religious Education Programs
I welcome our children, parents and Catechists back from summer break to the 2019/20 Religious Education Programs. Special welcome to the new families who are joining our RE programs this year. Classes will start for all grades this week. I thank our Faith Formation staff and volunteer leaders for their commitment to help our children grow in the faith. This year, we are blessed with twelve new volunteers, for a total of 56 Catechists and Core Leaders!
Happy Grandparents’ Day
I wish all grandparents in our community a Happy Grandparents’ Day and God’s blessings as we celebrate the Grandparents’ Day this weekend. One of the most exciting blessings in life is to live to see one’s grand- and great-grandchildren. The roles of grandparents are becoming increasingly crucial in our time than ever before. This is mostly because grandparents bring stability to families, especially as parents are often increasingly busy with dual career demands, education, long-hours jobs, out of town commitments, etc. Naturally, grandparents have a kind of unique connection with their grandchildren that strengthens the family bond in a special way.READ MORE
New Liturgy Coordinator
I am pleased to announce that the parish has hired a new Liturgy Coordinator, Mr. Luis Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez comes with five years of experience in liturgy and music from Holy Spirit Parish in Tempe. He has also studied extensively in music and business administration, and can speak several languages. Please join me in welcoming Luis Rodriguez to our parish community!READ MORE
This past week, a number of you have asked me to clarify why I commissioned the Campaign Cabinet members during the 9am Mass last weekend, and what the difference was between our St. Benedict “Living Our Faith, Building Our Home” Campaign and the Diocesan “Together Let us Go Forth” (Juntos Sigamos Adelante) Campaign. I am sure we all know what the “Living Our Faith, Building Our Home” Campaign is all about. As for the Diocesan Campaign, I cannot say much about it at this time because we are currently within the fi rst phase of the Campaign, called the Silent Phase. I will give you more information about it when we move to the next stage of the Campaign in September-October. The goal of the commissioning ceremony last weekend was to give a special blessing to the selected Campaign Cabinet members who will be helping to coordinate this first phase of the Diocesan Campaign.READ MORE
It’s hard to believe that one year has passed since Fr. Bob left us. We thank God for his healing work in us through this year of grief. I also thank everyone for your continued prayers and support to one another, and especially to the Binta family. As we continue to pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Bob, we also pray that God will continue to bless us with peace, love and unity as we strive to actualize Fr. Bob’s dream of building our new church. I invite everyone to join us at our First Year Remembrance Mass for Fr. Bob on Tuesday, August 20, of this week. We will begin with a Rosary led by the Knights of Columbus at 6pm, and Mass will follow at 7pm.READ MORE
On behalf of the Parish community, I would like to congratulate and thank Lisa Low, Jay Iole and Alex VanVianen for their willingness to serve in new roles in the Parish Pastoral Council beginning this week. Lisa will serve as the President of the Council, Jay will serve as the Vice President, and Alex is joining the Council as a new member. We look forward to their leadership and service to our parish community through the Council.
This week on Thursday, August 15, the Catholic Church all over the world will celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Assumption is one of the mysteries that is difficult for some people to believe. This is mostly because, unlike the account of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that is recorded in the Bible, the Assumption is not recorded directly in the Bible. However, the Book of Revelation (12) speaks of a woman who is caught up in the battle between good and evil and was taken up by God. We believe this passage refers to the Blessed Mother.READ MORE
I send a warm welcome to the students, Staff and the St. John Bosco school community returning for the 2019/2020 academic school year. I especially welcome the new students and their families to our community. The kick-off for the academic year began with a Day of Prayer and an In-House Retreat for the faculty on Friday, August 2. The students return to school on Wednesday, August 7. We missed the children during the summer break and are looking forward to having them back! I am particularly looking forward to visiting with them to hear stories of their summer break, and what the new students think of our SJB Community. Above all, I look forward to celebrating the Liturgy together.READ MORE
I would like to inform you of the resignation of Mr Bob Prezkop as our Parish Pastoral Council President and Coordinator of the Church Building Committee. The reason for his resignation is private. Bob has served our parish community tirelessly with dedication and great leadership over the past several years. On behalf of the parish community, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Bob for his commitment and personal sacrifices to our parish community. I know the likely question most of us may ask at this point may be “How will this impact the plans for our new Church building?” I do not in anyway want to minimize the impact of Bob’s resignation on our strategic plans for our new Church building, however I assure you that everything will be okay with the plans. Going forward, we are in the process of reconstituting the building committee to continue from where we are.READ MORE
I would like to thank everyone for participating at the Feast Day celebration of our Patron Saint, Benedict on Thursday of last week. Special thanks to the Liturgy Committee and our Seminarian, Connor Companik, for coordinating the Liturgy. Also, thanks to the Knights of Columbus and the Helping Hands Ministry for sponsoring the reception.
Reflection on the Scripture Reading
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most popular passages in the whole Bible. The United States, and many countries in the world, have some form of law called “The Good Samaritan Law” which stipulates the obligation to help someone in need with the protection of the helper from recourse. The question asked of Jesus by the scholar of the law is, “Who is my neighbor?” Many other questions can be built on this, such as What does the Samaritan stand to gain by helping this victim? What is really new about helping someone in an emergency? or What about people who avoid helping others for all kinds of reasons, even in an emergency? and Why is this passage so popular?READ MORE
Wishing you all a very Happy 4th of July on Thursday of this week! As we celebrate the 242 years of independence, we thank God and ask for more blessings and protection for our country. Let us also remember the heroes who gave their lives to give us the freedom and prosperity that we enjoy today. On a personal note, this week has been a special week to me for several reasons. I can’t believe that one year has already gone by since I came to St. Benedict Parish. I will be one year old in this parish on July 1st this week. Coincidentally, I will also be 15 years old as a priest on Wednesday, July 3rd. I thank God who, in His wonderful way, has led me thousands of miles from Africa to live with you here in this parish community. I also thank you for accepting me and making me feel welcome and at home.READ MORE
Finally, beginning this weekend, the summer is officially here upon us! Having lived here in Arizona for several years now, it is obvious to me that summer is the most challenging time for churches as we deal with empty pews and increasing bills. Recently, out of curiosity, I decided to read some articles to find out about the impact of summer on people’s mood, attitudes and general behaviors, especially here in Arizona. The findings were very interesting. Most studies showed a high correlation between summer and a rise in anger, rage and violence. It is good to be conscious of these facts and pay attention to our mood during the summer time. However, interestingly, I found a few studies that indicated that many people actually look forward to summer for several reasons such as shopping, pool parties, beautiful monsoon storms, less traffic and cheap hotels. I often tell people not to dread coming to Mass during the summer because, by the grace of God through the generosity of our parishioners, we will continue to cool the church and make it comfortable for everyone. We thank God we live at a time when we all have air-conditioning units in our houses, vehicles and churches.READ MORE
I wish all fathers in our parish community a Happy Fathers' Day! It is hard to talk about fathers and their roles in the family these days without sounding old-fashioned. However, on this Father's Day, it is good to remind ourselves that, in spite of all the changes in our society, the father always remains a very essential figure in the ideal Christian family. Studies have shown that the crisis of faith among many people today is mostly related to their early life experiences in which a good relationship with a loving father figure was missing. This is essentially because the relationship we have with our earthly fathers often mirrors our relationship with our Heavenly Father, God. Let us pray for all fathers today that they remain faithful to their vocation as fathers and be good role models for their children and society.READ MORE
The Solemnity of Pentecost that we celebrate today is often referred to as the "Birthday of the Catholic Church." This is because the Church actually started on this day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and gave them the power and courage to go out and preach the Good News to everyone. As we heard in our First Reading today, when the Holy Spirit came and rested on the Apostles, they were all so overwhelmed with the power of the Holy Spirit that they boldly went out of the temple and began to preach in the streets without fear of anyone. From then on, the Apostles and anyone who believed in Jesus were never again allowed to worship in the Jewish temple on the Sabbath day. Therefore, the Apostles gathered together to celebrate the Eucharist on the first day of every week (Sunday) with St. Peter as the first leader of the group (Mt 16:18).READ MORE