I sincerely apologize to everyone for postponing our scheduled Parish Listening/Discussion Session last week. The meeting was intended to give me a chance to hear how we are doing as a community. However, we realized at the last minute that this was not the best me to hold the event. You may recall that we had two similar sessions recently; one in the Fall last year to discuss the scandals in the Church, and the other one in February of this year when we discussed our Parish Building Campaign. In the mean time, feel free to contact me personally with your questions and comments. We look forward to having the next session some time in the Fall.READ MORE
Dear Parishioners of St. Benedict,
As I near the end of my first year at St. John Vianney Seminary, I want to update you on how this semester has been, and the many blessings I've received during my time here. First of all, thank you for all the prayers you've offered for me—I've met many of you the few times I've been home throughout the year and I was overwhelmed at the number of people who not only recognized me, but told me they prayed for me every day. It means a lot and helps me to feel connected with the parish while I'm away, especially during this "Spirituality Year" when we have limited access to the internet, e-mail, and most forms of communication.READ MORE
In the Catholic tradition, this Fourth Sunday after Easter is dedicated as Good Shepherd Sunday and is kept as a Special Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and the Religious Life. The idea of shepherd and sheep may not make much sense to many people in the western culture and especially in this generation. However, we can see the equivalent of this in our relationship with our pets. We know that even the most impatient person learns how to be patient with pets because we know their limitations and understand how much they depend on us. Jesus chose the image of shepherd to teach us the nature of God's love for mankind. In the Jewish culture, sheepherding is more of a vocation rather than a job.READ MORE
Congratulations to all those who will celebrate their First Holy Communion and Confirmation this weekend. The children and teens have worked so hard throughout the year preparing for this great day. We rejoice with all of them for this big achievement and for this memorable day in their lives. I want to thank the teachers, parents and sponsors who supported them along their journey to these Sacraments. Also, many thanks to the Catechists, volunteers and the parents/guardians of these children for this wonderful year of faith and learning.
Just a quick clarification on two important Liturgical questions during the Easter Week.READ MORE
The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska. St. Faustina was an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God's mercy before she died in 1938. The central message of The Divine Mercy is that God loves us all, no matter how great our sins may be, and that He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins. Thus, we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Beginning on Good Friday and continuing for nine days, The Divine Mercy Chaplet and prayers are prayed at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the hour that Jesus died on the cross. The devotion was actively promoted by Pope John Paul II who, on April 30, 2000, canonized St. Faustina and officially designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. He was so devoted to The Divine Mercy that, I believe, it was not by coincidence that he died on the Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday on April 2, 2005.READ MORE
The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the hope of life after death and, above all, the knowledge that God has power over life and death. By His death and Resurrection, Jesus ushered in a new creation transforming all believers into that new creation (2 Cor 5:17). The first people to experience this transforming power of the Resurrection were His disciples. During the Passion of Jesus Christ, they were paralyzed with so much fear that they denied him and ran away into hiding. All this changed when they saw the Risen Christ! The stories about the lives of the Apostles after the death of Jesus, in the Acts of the Apostles, show that the power of the Resurrection overwhelmed and transformed them so much that they were no longer afraid of anything. It is this power of the Resurrection that we are celebrating today! Easter is so important to us that every daily Mass, throughout this week, will be celebrated as the Easter Sunday Mass, also known as the Octave of Easter.READ MORE
Congratulations to Mr. Nick Garza for being selected as our new Music Director. Nick comes with many years of experience in the music ministry and worship leadership. He is also the owner of Nick Garza Productions, specializing in Audio and Video Media Engineering. Nick's wife, Nikki is also a Church musician and worship leader. Nick, Nikki and their four children will be joining us at Mass this weekend. Please join me in welcoming Nick and his family to our parish community. I pray their ministry will bring many blessings to our parish community. I thank everyone for your prayers, patience and understanding during the past five weeks while we were searching for our new Music Director. My special thanks to the Choir members for the wonderful music, even in the absence of a Music Director.READ MORE
I would like to thank all those who participated in the Lenten Penance Service during the week. I really appreciate the good turn out and active participation during the service. Also, thanks to those who attended the St John Bosco Gala (A Night to Dream Big). Through your generous support to the school, we were able to raise over $50,000. This fund will go toward the purchase of books and educational materials needed in the Library and classrooms.READ MORE
Congratulations! We made our CDA goal last week! The recent report indicates that we have raised a total of $ 93,884 in pledges, representing 110% of our total goal of $85,000. This amount is coming from 16% of our parishioners. I thank all of you who have participated in this appeal for your generous support to the charity work of the Church. Similarly, I am glad we are currently on-target with our pledge payments for our Parish Building Campaign. Please check the bulletin for an update.READ MORE
How is your prayer life and the Lenten observances going by this Third Sunday of Lent? The Scripture Readings today focused mostly on prayer, especially the prayers of intercession. In the First Reading today, God called Moses to play the role of an intercessor, to stand on behalf of the Israelites and plead for their freedom from the Egyptians. Similarly, in the Gospel today, Jesus gave a parable of a gardener who pleaded for more time for a fig tree and offered to help nourish the tree to bear fruit. Like Moses and the gardener, part of our call during this Lenten season is, not only to pray and intercede for those who need our prayers, but also to reach out in almsgiving to those who need our help. No matter how successful we are in life, we must always keep it in mind that no one is truly self-reliant. We all need someone to stand for us, at one point in our lives or another, and we all depend on someone to move us from one stage to another. As St. Paul stated: "What do you have that you have not received?" (1 Cor 4:7).READ MORE
A very big thank you to everyone for a very successful Rummage Sale last weekend. Special thanks to all those who helped organize the event, those who donated items and those who participated at the sale. The turnout was very impressive this year! Although we are still in the process of tallying, I understand we made above $9,000 as of last weekend.
Thanks, also, to those who have participated in the Charity and Development Appeal (CDA) from our parish. The recent report we got this week indicated we have raised a total of $82,814 in pledges, representing 97% of our total goal of $85,000. This amount is coming from 12% of our parishioners. I encourage those who have not sent their donations to please remember to do so. The CDA envelopes are located at the entrances of the church.READ MORE
I would like to thank all those who participated in the Family Service event last weekend. Special thanks to the organizers and those who donated different items for the event. I was so happy to see how much we were able to reach out to hundreds of people who are in need around the state and beyond. What is special about the event is that the items were not just donated from our surplus, but they were hand-made by us, "fruits of our labor and work of our hands." Some significant items made and donated during the event include 2,550 sandwiches, 92 blankets, 85 art works, 300 laundry kits, approximately 100 pet toys and more.READ MORE
Congratulations and thanks to everyone for a very successful Parish Picnic (Backyard Bash) last weekend. We thank God that everything went well with the celebration and for the beautiful weather. Special thanks to all the coordinators, Lani Gore and the Parish Choir, the Staff, Knights of Columbus, Helping Hands and all those who worked so hard to make the picnic possible. The celebration of the picnic is our way of sharing our faith, love and God’s blessings with one another as a community. It was a wonderful and memorable time for all of us. It was nice to see everyone looking so happy, I love the laughter, the music, the games and all the fun. I am already looking forward to next year’s celebration with hope.READ MORE