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
Our stain glass artists have been working hard, along with our interior design architect, to develop the stained glass windows for our new church home.
As you enter the new worship space, looking forward, you will see above the altar a stained glass crown. It will feature liturgical colors as the reflections of a beveled jewel. On the wall behind the altar will be St. Benedict. As you turn left, facing south, the design of the large window will be based on the Sacrament of Baptism and our becoming a part of the Good Shepherd’s sheepfold. Looking around the main worship area you will see twenty upper windows presenting the Mysteries of the Rosary - four sets of five. This will weave in many lessons of our faith by telling the story of Christ’s life.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
Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, which marks the end of his physical presence with his disciples. It is never easy to say “goodbye” to loved ones. However, the Good News with the Ascension of our Lord is that Jesus actually prepared his disciples very well for this moment. In the past week during the daily Masses, we read about how he prepared his disciples by instructing them to stay united in love. He also told them that he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them. Jesus’ ascension into heaven was both a sad and a joyful moment for his disciples. While they were sad that Jesus was leaving them, they also looked forward to the coming of the Holy Spirit who would lead, guide and strengthen them to bear witness to him to the ends of the earth. Jesus also assured them that he would be with them, always, to the end of time (Matthew 28:20).READ MORE