Farewell to Deacon Jack

09-27-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

This past weekend we bid farewell to our beloved Deacon Jack Beware who is  leaving our parish community. We will miss Deacon Jack for his wonderful homilies, his presence at our daily Masses, his support to the parish staff and for all his commitment and support for our parish community. Deacon Jack will be moving from Arizona to be closer to his family in Chicago. Please join me in thanking Deacon Jack for his commitment, support, and personal sacrifices for our parish community. I pray that God will continue to bless him and his family with good health and protection.


"For Whoever is Not Against Us is For Us"

09-26-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Gospel today is full of mesianic teachings on sundry issues. We are informed at the beginning of the Gospel that John, Jesus’ most beloved disciple, came to Jesus to report that while carrying out their apostolic mandate, the apostles found someone driving out demons in Jesus’ name and they stopped him because he (the exorcist) was not one of the apostles. John might have expected to be applauded by Jesus for ensuring a purist integrity of the apostolic college, but Jesus asked him not to prevent the man. The jealousy and intolerance exhibited by the apostles mirrors the attitude of Joshua, son of Nun, the designated successor of Moses. Joshua asked Moses to prevent Eldad and Medad from prophesying in the camp after failing to show up at the tent where the Holy Spirit rested on the seventy elders when Moses met with them. Their names were on the list of appointed elders, but for whatever reason, they did not make it to the tent, yet received the Holy Spirit and so prophesied in the camp, an indication that they were also enabled by God. Moses responded by rebuking the jealousy in Joshua and by affirming the universality of God’s Holy Spirit. Jesus’ response to John was consistent with the views of Moses.


Welcome to the Supreme Knight of St. Peter Claver

09-20-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I welcomed the Most Worthy Supreme Knight, Sir James K. Ellis of the Knights of St. Peter Claver to our St. Benedict Parish Community over the weekend. He was  accompanied by the Western States District Deputy Br. Bruce D. Sampson, the Ladies Auxiliaries and some members of the Knights. They joined us at our Saturday Vigil Mass on September 18.


The First Shall be Last

09-19-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The apostles of Jesus were very interesting characters. They were from various backgrounds and had different occupations prior to their call to become part of Jesus’ inner circle. Some were fishermen, some tax collectors, some zealots and the like; none of them had a refined scholarly background. Jesus called and chose them to be His closest companions and collaborators. For about three years, they lived with Him and learned at His feet. Jesus had a style of teaching the people in parables, but He cultivated the habit of interpreting and explaining these parables and metaphors with His apostles. He would later discard parables and speak “plainly” to them after Peter’s confession. According to St. Mark, the first thing He revealed to them was the imminent events of His Passion, death and resurrection. The reaction of the apostles to this teaching was unfortunately selfish and disappointingly insensitive. Imagine their Lord talking about leaving them through scandalous death on the cross and all the apostles could think was to argue who among them was the greatest and most likely to replace Jesus. By doing this, the apostles proved to be no different from the “wicked” whom the first reading tells us planned evil against the “just one” for daring to reproach them on account of their transgressions. The “wicked” sinned through vicious connivance, the apostles erred by neglect and insensitivity. Although they had no physical or emotional help to off er the Divine Redeemer, they could have at least shared a sober silence to transmit a solemn understanding of the Lord’s mood at the very least.


Religious Education Programs Resume

09-13-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

We welcome back from the summer break the children and catechists into our Religious Education Program. Session begins this Sunday for the EPIC teens, and during the week for the elementary and middle school youth.  I thank our dedicated Catechists and Core Leaders who volunteer their time each week to serve our parish. I assure you of my prayers and support in your ministry.


Who do You Say that I Am?

09-12-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Towards the end of His mission on earth, Jesus saw the need to begin speaking “openly” or “plainly” to His disciples and no longer with the use of parables and metaphors. To be able to do this well, the Divine Redeemer decided to assess His apostle’s’ understanding of his person and mission. He asked them two questions. The first was: “Who do people say I am?” The apostles gave various answers. Some told Him that people thought He was John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets. Having gathered public opinion about Himself, Jesus asked the apostles, “But who do you say I am?” This time, only Simon Peter replied. Mark reports in today’s gospel that Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”


Welcome to Our New Parishioners

09-07-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

This past weekend, we held a special welcoming event to meet and greet our new parishioners, especially those who joined the parish during the pandemic when we suspended our monthly event. I welcome and thank our new parishioners for choosing to join our lovely St. Benedict parish community. I invited everyone to join us in welcoming our new friends after the 9am and 11 am Masses at the main entrance of the Church. I thank Eamonn and Karen Ahearne, the Pastoral Council, members of the Event Ministry and all those who helped to plan the event.


"Ephphata" (Be Opened!)

09-05-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah preaches a message of hope to a despairing Israel facing a period of national misfortune. Israel, in Isaiah’s time, was being tossed from Assyrian domination to Babylonian captivity and exile. There were also various physical limitations and gross lack that made life quite difficult. The temptation to give up was palpable. It was at this time that the prophet Isaiah preached the imminent arrival of God who would redeem, rehabilitate and restore Israel to her pre-exile enviable state. The despairing exiles are urged to be strong and to fear not, for God is here to open the eyes of the blind, open the ears of the deaf, vindicate and save Israel. This prophecy speaks to the present situation of many in our world. There are too many people suffering with physical and spiritual privations. Despair for such brethren can seem a veritable option, but God is not just on the way; He is here to save and restore us if we let Him.


Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

08-30-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

At St. Benedict the first Friday of every month is usually marked by a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I invite you to join us during our monthly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 9am to 7pm this Friday, September 3. We will hold our weekly Friday Confessions from 5pm-6pm and conclude Adoration with a Benediction at 7pm. In addition to your personal prayer intentions during the Adoration, I invite you to offer a special intention for the success of our Church building plan. The months of September and October are a very critical period in the planning process for the building as we anticipate some significant permissions from the City of Phoenix and the Diocese of Phoenix within this time frame to enable us to move closer to the construction stage. I also ask that you include in your prayers an intention for an end to the pandemic.


Be Doers of the Word and not Hearers Only

08-29-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

In today’s world, as was in ancient times, nations are said to be great if they have a powerful military, strong economy, achieve significant scientific and business feats, and possess international diplomatic integrity. Israel had left Egypt and, after forty years of desert wandering, was about to enter Canaan, the promised Land. Moses, their leader, wanted them to have a unique national identity and so he invented a new standard of measuring national greatness. According to him, Israel was to be a nation of God’s people and they would achieve that by observing God’s statutes. They would be acknowledged as great in wisdom and understanding, not because of their military might or economic strength, but because of their diligent observance of God’s just statutes.


Wills and Trust Seminar

08-23-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Are you one of those who have no Will or Trust, or have not updated your plan over several years? Or are you one of those who say to themselves, “Estate planning is not for me because I do not have enough to worry about it?” If so, I invite you to come and join us at the Wills and Trust Seminar to be held here in our St. Benedict Parish this week on Wednesday, August 25th at 6pm, and on Saturday, August 28th at 9am. The seminar will be sponsored by the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF).


As for Me and My House...

08-22-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Beloved people of God.

After the people of Israel possessed the promised land, Joshua, an old man approaching his earthly end, gathered Israel together for one final address. Part of this address is what we have as our first reading today. In it, Joshua reminds the nation about the good deeds of the Lord towards them, encouraging them to always remember. He concludes his emotional speech by placing before them two options: choose to serve Yahweh and live, or choose to be like the surrounding nations by worshiping their gods and face the consequences. To set an example, Joshua went ahead to make a choice for himself and his family. “.......as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24: 15). The people naturally followed their leader and chose to serve only God in gratitude for his benevolence towards them. Like Israel, we are presented with options and expected to make a choice: choose to love and serve God who has loved us first, or create and acknowledge any god we want living by the standard of the world and in slavery to the desires of the flesh. The options are clear, the choice is completely ours to make but whatever choice we make comes with great responsibility and consequence.


Back to School

08-16-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I was so glad to welcome back all of our St. John Bosco students and school community to campus Wednesday of last week. Watching the students arrive on the first day of school and walk on the Red Carpet through the main gate was very special. Later in the day, the entire school processed from the campus to the church with the Blessed Sacrament and celebrated the first Mass of the school year at St. Benedict. All of this was so beautiful to behold.


The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

08-15-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Brethren, Catholic doctrine has four Marian Dogmas namely: Theotokos (Mary, the Mother of God), the Immaculate Conception, the perpetual virginity of Mary, and the Assumption. Today we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. The doctrine was defined by Pope Pius XII in the year 1950 in his apostolic constitution munificentissimus Deus. The Pope proclaimed in this document that Mary, the Mother of God, after completing her earthly life was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven. Mary, the “New Eve,’’ lived her entire life for Christ and his Church and so attained the final bodily resurrection promised to all Christians through her assumption into heaven.


Thank you for Bingo Night

08-09-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

A very big Thank You to Lani Gore and members of the Event Committee for a very enjoyable and successful In-Person Bingo Raffle. My special thanks to the families that donated the gift items and everyone who participated in the event. Over 100 gift items were donated and we made $1,500 net from the event. The funds will be used to support our Gift Shop in the new Church. It was a very wonderful and memorable night and I look forward to the next Bingo Night which will be announced later on in the year.


The Bread of Life

08-08-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

We live in a society where many people crave longevity, but at the same time, are afraid of any sign of old age. We are bombarded each day with advertisements about how to lose weight and achieve the so-called ideal body shape; many people put so much eff ort into new forms of diet and exercise to stay healthy and strong, or spend large amounts of money on plastic surgery and anti-aging products in an attempt to remain looking youthful. Many scientists are embarking on advanced research to fi nd diet formulas and genetic modifications that will enable people to live up to 200 years or more. While all these may appear as vanity, they seem to me more like a demonstration of our inner longing as humans for eternal life. No matter the scientific advancement and human achievement, we cannot attain eternal life by human eff ort alone. Only God can give us eternal life.


Welcome to Jennifer Sentz

08-02-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Join me in welcoming Jennifer Sentz to our Parish Staff team as our Coordinator of Stewardship and Development. Her first day in the office was Tuesday last  week, July 27th. Jen comes with several years of experience in Donor Relations, Business and Office Management, Data Analysis and Campus Ministry among others. I assure Jen of my prayers and support in her new responsibility and ask for your prayers and support for her too.


The "Bread of Life"

08-01-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Beginning last Sunday through the last Sunday of this month, the Gospel is centered on the theme of “Bread of Life.” Last Sunday we heard Jesus feed 5,000 people from five loaves and two fish. This particular miracle drew special attention from the people more than all other miracles He performed throughout His ministry on earth. We are told that many people were looking for him and asking him to repeat the loaves and fishes miracle. The multiplication of loaves in the Gospel reminded the people about the event in today’s first Reading when God rained down bread/mana from the sky daily. The people saw Jesus as the new Moses so they wanted him to repeat the miracle daily for them like Moses. Jesus understood the deepest desires of the people even more than themselves. He told them He would give them the Bread of Life so those who eat it will never hunger again. This promise was fulfilled in the institution of the Eucharist.