Join us for our Parish Bingo Raffle and Bake Sale!

07-27-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I invite you to come join us at our first In-Person Bingo Raffle and Bake Sale this Friday, July 30th from 5-7pm. This event is sponsored by the St. Benedict Events Committee and will be held at the St. John Bosco Multipurpose Room. The raffle tickets (bingo cards) will be 3 for $10, or $5 each and we will use Smartie candies as the bingo markers. Pizza and bake sale items (individually wrapped) will be available for purchase. Please mark your calendar to come to this fun event where you can win prizes playing Bingo with your friends! RSVP Today to hold your spot for this super fun event!  (RSVP HERE)

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No Offering is Too Small

07-24-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

The stories in our First Reading and the Gospel today are very similar: The people were very far away from their town and hungry. One person had a loaf of bread but there were too many people to feed. Then Jesus blessed the loaves and multiplied them for everybody to eat. These Scripture readings invite us to pay attention and do something about, the reality that many people, particularly children, are malnourished or die of hunger globally. In a world where we produce enough food to feed everyone, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over 811 million people (10% of global population) were undernourished in 2020. This is an alarming increase of world hunger from previous years, much of it related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Welcome to Clare Gisla!

07-19-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I welcome Clare Gisla to our St. Benedict staff and community as the new Youth Ministry Coordinator. Along with her deep commitment to sharing the Catholic faith with others, Clare brings a wealth of experience in youth ministry, teaching and music. Her first day at work will be Monday, July 19. I assure Clare of my prayers and support in her new role and also ask for your prayers and support for her. Let us show her our St. Benedict welcoming spirit as she joins our community next week.

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Taking After the Good Shepherd

07-17-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

The theme of Liturgy over the past three weeks has been centered on different types of leadership and responsibilities in the Church. Two weekends ago, we reflected on the roles of prophets; last weekend we reflected on the roles of missionaries; and this weekend the theme of the Liturgy is centered on the roles of shepherd and religious leaders. It is not a coincidence that God chose most of the great leaders, the patriarchs in the Old Testament such as Abraham, Moses and David, from among the shepherds. In the New Testament, Jesus identifies himself as the Good Shepherd, “who is willing to lay down His life for His Sheep” (John 10:11). This explains why a priest in charge of a parish today is called Pastor, a Latin word for shepherd. Religious leaders as shepherds are called to model their lives after that of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd.

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Happy Feast Day!

07-12-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I wish you all a Happy Feast Day as we celebrate the feast of our patron saint, Benedict, on Sunday, July 11. We are blessed to have our parish named after St. Benedict, one of the greatest saints in the history of the Church. The personal life, holiness and vision of St. Benedict has had a great impact on the world order as it is today. His Monastic Rule became the norm for monastic living throughout Europe and a guide for the evangelization and civilization of many European countries in the Middle Ages.

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The Roles of Lay Missionaries

07-10-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

In our first reading today, Amos told Amaziah that he is not a prophet but an ordinary man sent by God to preach the truth to the people. In other words, he considered himself as a lay person sent to preach the word of God. We often think of missionaries as priests and religious sisters who are sent to faraway countries. In a way, that is true. However, the 2nd Vatican Council document on the Missionary Life of the Church (Ad Gentes) states that “the Church is missionary by nature.” This means that we are all missionaries by virtue of our Baptism.

In our first reading today, Amos told Amaziah that he is not a prophet but an ordinary man sent by God to preach the truth to the people. In other words, he considered himself as a lay person sent to preach the word of God. We often think of missionaries as priests and religious sisters who are sent to faraway countries. In a way, that is true. However, the 2nd Vatican Council document on the Missionary Life of the Church (Ad Gentes) states that “the Church is missionary by nature.” This means that we are all missionaries by virtue of our Baptism.

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Congratulations to Nikki Garza

07-06-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Congratulations to Nikki Garza for being hired as our new Liturgy Coordinator. Nikki is well-known to everyone in our parish as the “Lady with the Golden Voice” in our choir. Her first day at work is July 6th. Nikki will be responsible for planning our Liturgical services and coordinating the Sacristans, Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, Lectors, Art and Environment Ministers, Hospitality Ministers and all ministries and individuals involved in Liturgy. I assure Nikki of my prayers and support in her new responsibility, and I ask for your prayers and support for her too.

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Speaking Truth Without Fear

07-04-2021Spiritual ReflectionsFr. James Aboyi, V.C.
>“Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you. But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! And whether they heed or resist, for they are a rebellious house, they shall know that a prophet has been among them” (Ez 2:4-5). This closing statement in the First Reading today captures the central message that runs through our Scriptures readings today: the challenges of our roles as prophets belonging to a prophetic Church.

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Farewell to Sister Colleen

06-28-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

This weekend, our St. Benedict community will say a fond farewell to Sr. Colleen as she begins her well-deserved retirement on July 1st. In addition to this being the beginning of Sr. Colleen’s retirement, this year also marks her special Jubilee Year - her 50th anniversary since making her First Profession with the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes in 1971. For the past fifty years, Sister has faithfully served as an elementary school teacher, college campus minister and faith formation director in her home state of Wisconsin, as well as New York, Indiana and here in Arizona.

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God of Life

06-27-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

“God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living.” This is the introductory sentence in our first reading today. What a powerful message. This clearly highlights the ongoing debate about Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice that has divided the country at different levels today. This is also timely as this issue dominated the discussion at the General Assembly of the U.S. Bishops Conference last week. The Church has consistently affirmed that we should always respect and protect every human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Our God is God of life, not death. He created us to be imperishable and gain eternal life with Him. When we choose God, we choose eternal life; but when people turn away from God, they turn towards death and eternal damnation.

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Happy Father's Day

06-21-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I wish all fathers and father-figures in our parish community a Happy Father's Day and God’s blessings! We are thankful for the sacrificial love our fathers share with us throughout our lives. On Father's Day, we honor and celebrate the indispensable role fathers play in our families and society. The joy of fatherhood is facing unprecedented challenges in our time. One can hardly talk about fathers these days without sounding “old fashioned” or offending someone. Someone once said that it is easier these days for fathers to have children than for children to have fathers. Studies have shown that the absence of fathers, or father-figures, in a family has a significant negative impact on the emotional, social, spiritual, and psychological development of many children leading to increasing stress, drug abuse, suicide ideation and crime among young people.

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Power Over the Storm

06-20-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

The Scripture readings this weekend emphasize the manifestation of God’s power over storms. If you are familiar with the book of Job, you will recall that, prior to the fi rst reading today from chapter 38, Job’s life of suff ering and pain caused him to question God; Job asked why he, an innocent and holy man, was experiencing so much misfortune and how he could find strength to keep trusting in God in the midst of so much loss and adversity. In the fi rst reading, we heard God respond to Job’s questions out of the storm. God asks Job a series of questions reminding him of the magnitude of His power over nature and all creatures and assures Job that He is in full control of the situation in his life. We find a similar situation in the Gospel when the Apostles cried out to Jesus in the midst of a storm and Jesus responded by calming both their fear and the storm. The Responsorial Psalm also describes the helplessness of people caught up in the midst of storms on the sea and how they were saved by calling upon the Lord.

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Update: Charity and Development Appeal

06-15-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Congratulations! I am so excited to inform you that we made our first goal (pledge amount) for the Charity and Development Appeal (CDA) this week. The recent update for our parish participation in the CDA shows that 233 families from our parish community have participated in the CDA so far with a total pledge of $85,339. This represents 103% of our total goal of $85,000. I am so glad we made our first goal for this year. We are getting very close to making our second goal, as well, which is to have up to 300 families from our parish participate in the CDA this year. I thank everyone who has participated so far. I encourage those who have not yet participated to consider sending their pledge or payment this week. Remember, no amount is too small or too large! Thank you so much.

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The Seed of Faith

06-12-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Scientists have identified seven basic characteristics of living things: movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition. Of the seven, the process of growth is uniquely different in that it takes place gradually and continuously throughout the life span of the organism. While growth can be observed and measured over time, the actual process of growth at the cellular level is not generally visible to the human eye. In the Gospel today, Jesus uses the parables of the mystery of growth to illustrate the nature of the Kingdom of God. Just as the farmer cannot understand or explain the process of growth that takes place between the time of sowing the seed and the time of harvesting, so also it is difficult for us to fully understand the nature of the Kingdom of God and how it grows throughout our lives and among us.

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Lifting of Dispensation & Daily Mass Changes

06-08-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Welcome to the last month of our fiscal year. The month of June is one of the busiest months for us in the parish office as we try to close the books, balance the budget, and plan for another fiscal year. This is also a time for exchange of “relay batons” in the parish councils.

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Corpus Christi

06-05-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi; a Latin term, meaning “Body of Christ.” This solemnity is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday to commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist. People often ask “Why do we need a special day for this celebration when every Mass is a celebration of the Eucharist?” A brief historical background may help clarify this. In the 13th century, St. Juliana of Liege in Belgium, an Augustinian nun, saw a vision in which she was instructed to tell the Church to institute a feast in honor of the Eucharist. She revealed the information to her bishop, Robert de Thorete, and later to Pope Urban IV. In 1246, the Pope called for a synod in which the feast was approved to be celebrated in the Latin Church as a solemnity. The great theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas, composed some Eucharistic adoration hymns for the celebration such as “Tantum Ergo,” “Pange Lingua,” and the “O Salutaris Hostia.” We still sing these Eucharistic hymns today during Benediction and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend

06-01-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I wish everyone a Happy Memorial weekend. As we observe the Memorial weekend, let us remember to pray for all those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty to protect us. Let us pray especially for the families of all our fallen heroes as we mourn with them the loss of their loved ones in the Armed Forces. We also pray for the safety and protection of  first responders and all those who are currently serving in the line of duty within and outside the country.

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