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03-28-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

How did you cope with missing the Eucharistic Celebration during the weekend? The most common feedback I heard from some of our parishioners this week was that the current restriction from public parish Liturgies and events has awakened in them an appreciation and desire for the Eucharist, our parish community and a deeper relationship with God. The hunger for the Lord and longing for community celebration are feelings that can actually make us grow stronger in our faith. This is one way we can make sense of the current crisis when something good comes out of an apparent evil. To me, our faith at this time is like the parable of the mustard seed which a man took and planted in the soil. He sleeps and rises, nights and days pass and the seed grows but he knows not how (Mark 4:26-29).

Over the past week, I have sent out a number of messages to our parishioners through emails and text messages giving updates regarding the Coronavirus pandemic. I also suggested some resources for use to nourish our faith during this time. Please call the parish office at 480.961.1610 or email me (fraboyi@stbenedict.org) if you have not been receiving email announcements from me but would like to. Here in the parish office, we have modified our communication strategy so we are able to continue holding several key parish meetings through the Virtual Conference Call and webinar. Meetings scheduled for this week include those with Parish Staff, Ministry Leaders, Finance Council, SJB School Board and webinars with the Bishop and the Diocesan Pastoral Center. I thank our parish staff and ministry leaders for the wonderful job they have been doing, keeping the mission of the parish running behind the scenes.

In the area of Liturgy, we continue to offer daily and weekend private Masses. The Masses have been recorded for posting on our parish social media and website. I apologize that we have not been able to post some of the videos but the good news is that we started streaming our daily Mass last week. The videos for the Parish Mission with Fr. Serge have now been posted on our new parish YouTube Channel. Simply go to our website at stbenedict.org and click on the YouTube link at the bottom, left portion of the page. In addition to this, Deacon Ed, Fr. Wilfred and myself will be sending you some weekly reflections, as well.

As we carry our crosses and follow Jesus during this challenging time, let us be mindful of the poor, the homeless and those who need our help. If you, or someone you know, needs assistance (groceries, food or medication delivery, etc.) please give us a call in the Parish Office at 480.961.1610. We are blessed to have so many generous parishioners who are always willing to step up and help at any time. Similarly, if you are available to help others in any capacity, please give us a call and let us know. The St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVdP) is also seeking our continuous support with donations (food items and monetary) so they can continue to serve those in need. We are so blessed to have such amazingly generous parishioners who are always willing to step up and help at any time.

I thank everyone for your continuous financial support. A number of families mailed or brought in their offertory envelopes during the week. Thank you so much for remembering our parish at this very challenging time. My special thanks to those who continue to support us through Faith Direct electronic giving. As I stated earlier in the week, I feel somehow insensitive talking about money at this time, but again thank you for your understanding that our parish is highly affected financially by the crisis. If you have not signed up for electronic giving, I invite you to please consider doing so by visiting www.membership.faithdirect.net/AZ582 or mail-in an enrollment form available in the parish lobby. If you prefer, you may also mail your envelope to the church each week. We rely heavily on the weekly offertory, especially at this critical time when we have no public Mass. Please give us a call in the parish office (480.961.1610) or send us an email if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank You and Remain Blessed.

Fr. James Aboyi,
VC Pastor

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