We will celebrate the feast of our patron saint, Benedict, tomorrow, Saturday, July 11th. It is a blessing to be identified with one of the greatest saints in the history of the Catholic Church. The impact of the life of St Benedict on the Church and the world through many centuries is a clear example of Jesus’ parable in the Gospel this Sunday about how someone’s life can be like a rich soil that nourishes seeds into fruitfulness. His Monastic Rule became the norm for monastic living throughout Europe and a guide for evangelization and civilization of many European countries in the Middle Ages.
It is believed that the Divine Office we pray today, and much of the western education system we have today, emerged from the Benedictine Monastery. In 1964, Pope Paul VI proclaimed him as the patron saint of all Europe. St Benedict is also commonly referred to as the “Founder of Western Civilization.” There has been increasing call from many people in recent times for the Church to consider adopting the "Benedict Option" as a way to navigate through this challenging time with increasing influence of secularism on the Church. Check Bishop Barron's reflection on the Benedict Option here.
St Benedict is known as the patron saint for prayers against evil spirits. Many miracles have been attributed to his intercession by those who wear the St Benedict medal. St Benedict is often depicted in pictures with a bell, a broken tray, a raven, or a crosier.
We would like to observe the feast of St Benedict this year as a Parish Day of Prayer. We will begin the day tomorrow with Mass at 9 am, followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and ending with Benediction at 12 noon. The Mass and Benediction will be live-streamed on our parish YouTube channel. I encourage those who are not able to attend the event in person to join us online and also to recite a Rosary or offer other prayers. In addition to your personal prayer intentions, we ask everyone to include the following as our community intentions:
If you are praying the Rosary, consider using each of the intentions for each decade of the Rosary.
I thank the families that have participated in the ongoing offertory matching opportunity in our parish community. Over 50 of our parish families have participated in the matching opportunity as of this week. As a reminder and for those who are hearing about this for the first time. I am glad to inform you that The generous donor has offered to match any new recurring online giving through Faith Direct or any increase in recurring online giving, dollar for dollar up to $29,700.
I have received several feedback and questions about the Matching Gift donation opportunity and wanted to clarify a few things:
First, time is of the essence to capitalize on this opportunity. We have less than 50 days before the offer expires. If you are thinking about participating in this opportunity, we encourage you to act NOW. Please click on this link to participate: membership.faithdirect.net/AZ582.
If you currently give through Faith Direct, the donor will match any new reoccurring increase amount plus your existing monthly donation up to August 31,2020.
The matching program applies only to weekly or monthly recurring donations toward offertory. It does not apply to other recurring donations such as for building fund.
As you know, everyone has been affected by the pandemic and the fact that our weekend services have been limited has severely impacted our weekly offerings. I pray that you will consider signing up online with Faith Direct or making a new recurring donation now before this opportunity expires.
May God bless you abundantly for your sacrifice.
Lastly, click here for a brief reflection by Bishop Barron on the Life of St Benedict. Its only 5:10 minutes long. I hope you find it helpful.
Fr. James Aboyi, VC