Reflection on the Gospel

08-29-2020From the PastorFr. James Aboyi

Dear Friends,

In our Gospel reading today, Jesus invites us to reflect on how we handle the challenge of pain and suffering in our lives. We are told that when Jesus informed his disciples of his impending passion and death, they were worried and afraid. Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked him for looking forward to his passion. Peter was thinking in a worldly way when he saw suffering and crucifixion as something to be avoided at all costs.

Our Christian life is like two sides of a coin: the cross and the crown. Jesus reminds us today that we are not his true followers if we try to embrace only one side, the glorious side, and reject the other, the suffering side. “If any want to become my followers, he must deny himself, take up the cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

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Update on Parish and School Reopening

08-28-2020NewsFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

In the month of June, our Diocese introduced, “Rising with Christ,” which outlines phased guidelines for the full reopening of parish life and Catholic schools. The strategy was to reopen the parishes and schools in three phases. Phase One started in June when Mass attendance was permitted to increase to 25% sitting capacity of the Church along with other necessary precautionary measures. We are still within Phase One of the reopening strategy.

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Gospel Reading this Weekend: Identity

08-22-2020From the PastorFr. James Aboyi

Dear Friends,

The Gospel reading this weekend focuses on the theme of “identity.” In particular, the identity of Jesus and the identity of the Church. Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am, and who do you say that I am?” In applying this question to our lives, we need to ask ourselves, what have I learned from others about God, and what is my personal conviction about the identity of God and my relationship with him? This is very crucial because it is one thing to know about God, it is another thing to have a personal relationship with God. Every Christian is called to be an evangelist, to preach the Good News of the Gospel to others. The challenge is, we cannot preach effectively to others about God if we do not have a personal encounter with the Risen Lord. The disciples and early Christians did not have a complete Bible or organized theological doctrines like we do today. They evangelized by simply sharing stories of their personal experiences and encounters with Jesus Christ, and brought others closer to God by committing their whole life to him. This is what we are also invited to do today, to share with others our personal experiences and encounters with God.

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Thank You

08-21-2020NewsFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

I thank everyone who attended the Memorial Mass for Fr. Bob last night, both in person and virtually. My special thanks to the Liturgy Ministers and Staff for the Liturgy planning. Fr Bob’s family also asked me to extend their appreciation to you for the Mass and for your prayers. I am glad the family in Uganda was able to participate virtually at the Mass last night. After Mass, the attending parishioners were invited to live-stream greetings to Fr Bob’s family on camera. They were particularly happy that they were able to put a face to the names in the parish community.

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Scripture Readings

08-15-2020From the PastorFr. James Aboyi

Dear Friends,

Our scripture readings during the Liturgy this weekend are very timely. They all address inclusivity and exclusivity, and specifically the issue of discrimination against foreigners. The first reading from the prophet Isaiah talks about how foreigners who believe in God are to be received. The reading ends with this final message, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” In the second reading, St. Paul addresses the problem of the division between the Jews and Gentiles, and in the Gospel we hear how Jesus granted the prayers of a foreign woman who refused to give up in spite of rejection.

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Back to School

08-14-2020NewsFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

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.

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God is Always Present

08-08-2020From the PastorFr. James Aboyi

Dear Friends,

Several images are used in the first reading and Gospel today to describe how God can appear to people in need in unexpected ways under the least expected circumstances. God is always present, even in places we may not think to experience him. It takes faith and persistent prayers to discover his divine, hidden, presence. In our first reading, when God appeared to Prophet Elijah, he did not reveal himself out of thunder, lighting, fire or earthquake as expected. Rather, God appeared in a gentle breeze. Through all of the chaotic signs, Elijah remained patient and faithful, waiting for the Lord. His patience and persistent prayer pays off . After the fire, there was a tiny whispering sound and the Lord passed by.

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Updates From St John Bosco School Community

08-07-2020NewsFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Our school administration has been busy all summer preparing for the fast-approaching reopening of school. The teachers returned to campus earlier this week to make final preparations for their students and classrooms. They began celebrating Mass here at St. Benedict followed by a beautiful Staff Retreat and Reflection on campus, carefully following sanitary and social distancing guidelines, of course. They will continue their virtual classroom training next week, taking advantage of the initial IT system upgrades put in place over the summer. Our investment in technology is paying off handsomely.

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Religious Education Registration

08-03-2020NewsFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

This weekend registration opens online for all of our Religious Education programs, including Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Journey of Faith, JAM and EPIC. St. Benedict's has opportunities for all of your children and teens to strengthen their understanding of our Catholic faith and develop a closer relationship with God. When you give your children the gift of intentional faith formation, you are showing them the importance of living a faith-filled life and building a strong foundation based on God’s love. Due to the uncertain times with the pandemic, sessions will look different than they have in past years.

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Give Them Something to Eat

08-01-2020From the PastorFr. James Aboyi

The Gospel reading this weekend invites us to reflect on the reality of hunger in the world, especially with the current impact of the pandemic. Recent studies have shown that more than enough food is produced to feed the global population, yet more than 690 million people, that is one in nine, go to bed on an empty stomach every night, and an estimated 821.6 million people are considered undernourished or starving globally. WHO and UNICEF reported in 2019 that an estimated 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water and over half of the global population, or 4.2 billion people, lack safely managed sanitation services. Recent statistics indicate that after steadily declining for a decade, world hunger is on the rise globally. This is compounded even more by the current impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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