Holy Week

03-29-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Welcome to the Holy Week which began on Palm Sunday. We all missed the Holy Week last year as a result of the Pandemic. I know most of us are excited to hear that our Governor has relaxed a number of the COVID-19 restrictions. However, given the usual high number of Mass attendance at this time, I appeal for your patience and suggest we continue to wear facemasks and keep physical distance through the Holy Week until we determine how to implement the changes safely in our parish community. I am looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Mass soon.

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Holy Week

03-27-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Welcome to the Holy Week, which begins this weekend with the celebration of Palm Sunday. This week is the peak of the Churches’ Liturgical Calendar and the most important week for us Catholics. I am glad the Pandemic is declining consistently, making it possible for us to celebrate Holy Week and Easter this year. However, you will notice that there will be a few exceptions to the Easter Liturgies this year. First of all, I thank those who have already received their vaccines. We encourage everyone to observe our parish safety protocols during the Easter Liturgies this year, especially to wear a facemask, maintain physical distance and use hand sanitizers, even if you have already received your two shots of the vaccine.

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Church Building Campaign Update

03-22-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I thank everyone for your prayers, support and understanding during the announcement of our new Church building plan last weekend. Moving from the original building plan to the current one is a major decision born out of prayers, reflection and a careful evaluation of our current situation as a parish community. You noticed that I was not able to present the plan with enthusiasm because I know we all needed time to mourn the loss of the initial plan and to move in the new direction.

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Dying to Bear Fruit

03-20-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Today is the last weekend before Palm Sunday which begins Holy Week. Most of the Gospel readings during this time highlight the events that lead to the passion and death of Jesus on Good Friday. It is not obvious in the Gospel today to see the literal connection between why the Greek visitors in Jerusalem were seeking to meet with Jesus and why Jesus responded using the analogy of death and rising. Scripture scholars suggest that it appears a rumor was going around Jerusalem that Jesus would be arrested during the Passover week. This explains why the Greeks were seeking to alert Jesus and probably invite him to flee with them to their country for safety. The response that Jesus gives is a clue that their request has something to do with his impending death and thus his resolve to stay and face it. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.... And what should I say -- ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour” (John 12:23, 27).

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Church Building Update

03-15-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

As you might have noticed, we suspended giving updates and announcements regarding the progress of our "Living Our Faith, Building Our Home" Church Building Campaign for over a year as a result of the pandemic. This was to be sensitive to the plight of many of our parish families who were directly affected by the pandemic. Within this time period, we were continuing to evaluate the progress of the Campaign redemption, while the Building Committee kept working hard behind the scenes to monitor the rising cost of building materials.

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Let My Tongue be Silenced, if I Ever Forget You

03-13-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Today is Laetare Sunday. One question many people ask this weekend is, “Why are we rejoicing during the season of Lent?” We rejoice because we are now midway through our Lenten journey... At this point, we have been purified by our Lenten disciplines and we now look forward with hope to the joy of Easter.

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Distractions from Within

03-06-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

In today’s first reading, we hear that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments; then in the Gospel we hear how the people violated the Commandments causing Jesus to become angry and drive them out of the Temple area. So, which of the Commandments did the people violate? Jesus explained clearly that the summary of the Ten Commandment is “Love,” that is, love of God and love of neighbor (Matt 22:37-39). We know the first three Commandments are about our relationship with God (love of God) and the other seven are about love of neighbor. Obviously, the people selling and buying in the Temple area violated the first three Commandments.

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Parallel Mountains

02-27-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

On this Second Sunday of Lent, the Church invites us to reflect upon two beautiful events regarding top of the mountain experiences: The sacrifice by Abraham in the first reading, and the transfiguration of Jesus in the Gospel. Scripture scholars assert that the relationship between Abraham and Isaac foreshadows the relationship between God the Father and Jesus. Like Abraham, God was prepared to let go of what was most precious to him, his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. Similarly, scripture scholars tell us that there are some similarities between Isaac and Jesus Christ.

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CDA Weekly Update

02-26-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I thank everyone who has participated in the Charity and Development Appeal (CDA) this year. The latest weekly update as of Wednesday last week, February 24, shows that 88 families have participated from our parish community so far with a total pledge of $33,419. This represents 39% of our total goal of $85,000. Our overall goal, beyond the financial goal, is to have up to 300 families participating in the Appeal this year. I encourage those who have not participated yet to consider sending their pledge or payment this week.

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The 40 Days of Lent

02-20-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

The Gospel today tells us that Jesus went into the desert right after his baptism to fast and pray for 40 days and nights, and there he was tempted by the devil. What is the significance of Jesus spending 40 days and nights of prayer and fasting in the desert?

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CDA Update

02-19-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

During the week, I received an update for our parish participation in the Charity and Development Appeal (CDA). I was delighted to see that 73 families have already participated in the CDA from our parish community with a total pledge of $27,965. This represents 24% of our total goal of $85,000. I thank those who have already participated. I encourage those who have not participated yet to consider sending their pledge or payment this week.

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God Never Tires of Healing

02-13-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

“Go and show yourself to the priest.” We heard this twice in the Scripture readings today. This is a reminder about the critical role of priests in healing ministry.

The story in the first reading presents leprosy as both a physical and spiritual contagious illness. Thus, God commanded that only a priest can declare someone ill to be quarantined or well enough to reintegrate back into the community. While leprosy in itself does not render someone spiritually impure, it does make it impossible for a leper to participate in the Temple worship. For this reason, the priest’s duty to ensure the sanctity and safety of Temple worship thus extends to the whole community.

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Lenten Season

02-12-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Have you made plans for the Lenten season this year yet? Remember, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The most common way many people make plans for the season of Lent is by making Lenten promises. The tradition of making Lenten promises is a very good strategy that helps us to develop new ways to maintain personal disciplines and spiritual renewal. I encourage you to consider including the three pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving in your Lenten promises this year. When we include these three pillars of Lent in our Lenten promises, we will see that Lent will mean for us a period of “Giving up, taking up, and lifting up.” In fasting, we give up attachment to bodily needs like food and material things. By setting aside quality times for personal prayers, we take up new habits to strengthen our relationship with God. When we give alms, we are lifting up our brothers and sisters who are in need of our love, prayers and support. May God give us His grace and strengthen us to be able to carry out our Lenten promises faithfully to the end.

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Charity & Development Appeal

02-06-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

It is the time of year again when we are all called to participate in the annual Charity and Development Appeal (CDA). This weekend is designated as Announcement Weekend in all the parishes in our Diocese. I thank all of our parishioners who participated in the appeal last year. Despite the pandemic, we went beyond our goal of $85,000 by up to 117%. A total of 213 families in our parish participated in CDA last year with a total gift of $99,625. I also thank those who have already participated in the appeal this year. Our parish goal remains the same this year at $ 85,000.

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Lenten Bible Study

02-05-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021. A season of intense interior spiritual preparation for the solemn celebration of Easter (Suffering, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ). DO YOU EVER WISH YOU COULD “GET MORE” OUT OF MASS? Every liturgical action is by its very nature steeped in sacred Scripture….all that we do in Mass receives inspiration and substance from Scripture. We have organized a six-week bible study with the theme: A BIBLICAL WALK THROUGH THE MASS to avail all parishioners of St. Benedict the opportunity to reap fruits of the Holy Mass.

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