We welcome our St. John Bosco school community back from the summer break as we begin this academic year on Monday, August 17. In a special way, I welcome all our new SJB families. Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, we are beginning this this school year in an extraordinary way. In compliance with the Diocesan directives, the K-8th grade students will attend their classes virtually from home, while the preschoolers will attend on campus. We hope to have all be together on campus again on our target date of September 8. God willing, at that time, we will then offer a “hybrid” format with some students attending in person and others remaining virtually in real-time.
I thank the SJB administration and faculty for their incredible teamwork and effort. They have put in place comprehensive precautionary measures to ensure the safety and protection of everyone on campus. I am glad our school has such an innovative IT program among all private and public schools in the State of Arizona. Our state-of-the-art Media Room gives us an added advantage over many other schools especially at this critical time when the use of modern technology is most needed.
I would also like to thank the parents and members of the School Board for their commitment and support of the school community during this challenging time. As you might have heard in the news, the impact of this pandemic has been particularly devastating to the Catholic schools across the country. It is heartbreaking to hear about the number of Catholic schools that are closing as a result of the pandemic. We rely on the grace of God, and the prayers and support of our parish and school community, to get through this very challenging time.
Congratulations to Deacon Jack Benware on his new assignment to St. Benedict parish. I received a letter from the Bishop during the week appointing Deacon Jack to serve as Retired Senior Deacon, effective August 16th. Although Deacon Jack had been serving the St. Stephen Parish at Sun Lakes for several years, he has remained a longtime friend of our parish community over the years. We welcome Deacon Jack to our parish and I look forward to serving with him.
I thank all those who have participated in the ongoing Offertory Matching Appeal. Our records show that 160 families have participated in the Appeal so far as of 12:00pm today. The good news is that it is not too late to participate. I have confirmed that any recurring online donation we receive up to August 31 will still be matched, dollar for dollar, even though Faith Direct will credit us by September 4. I will give you a complete report by August 31st.
It is hard to believe that it has already been two years since Fr. Bob went home to be with the Lord. His Memorial Mass will be held on Thursday, August 20 at 7:00pm. The Mass will be livestreamed on the parish YouTube channel for those who would like to join us online. Seating will remain limited.
Just a quick reminder that the Mass for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated tomorrow, Saturday at 9am. The Mass will be livestreamed on our parish YouTube channel. Please take a moment and watch the video reflection below (8:49 min) by Scott Hahn, explaining the meaning of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I hope you find it helpful.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Fr James Aboy, VC