Welcome to the new Liturgical year (cycle B) and also the beginning of the Advent season! The season of Advent is a four week period of preparation and hopeful anticipation for the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas day. The Church urges us to take the beginning of the liturgical year as seriously as we take the new calendar year. Just as we do for the calendar year, we are encouraged to consider making new year resolutions at the beginning of Advent that help us stay awake to the coming of Christ. As a St. Benedict Catholic community, we are doing something new throughout the entire liturgical year by offering an additional day for Confessions every Friday between 5:00-6:00 pm. This is in addition to our usual Confessions between 3:30-4:30 pm on Saturdays.
A new liturgical year is the beginning of a new step on our spiritual journey and an invitation to grow closer to Christ. What better way to renew our hearts during this season of Advent than to go to Confession to purify ourselves and receive God’s grace. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this additional Confession time.
I wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving and God’s blessings. I know how hard it is for us to face the reality of celebrating a low-key Thanksgiving this year as a result of the increased rate of the Coronavirus. In spite of the challenges, we still have reasons to thank God for the many blessings in our lives. We will hold our Thanksgiving Mass at 9:00am; however, we will not have our traditional sharing of loaves of bread this year. The Mass will be live-streamed on our parish YouTube channel.
I remind everyone to resist the temptation to organize or attend big gatherings during Thanksgiving. Let us pay special attention to the announcement by Governor Ducey and the Guidelines for Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving celebration by the Arizona Department of Health Services. In our St. Benedict community, we will continue with our strict observance of safety measures, especially by ensuring that everyone wears face masks, uses hand sanitizer, keeps physical distancing and limits the singing and length of Mass to minimize potential exposure.
I thank the members of our Chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for their outreach and support to families in need through their annual Thanksgiving Meal event. I thank everyone who donated food bags this year to help our SVdP serve those in need. As of this afternoon, we served over 117 people with meal bags and gift cards. May God continue to bless you all for your generous support to those in need.
Have a wonderful weekend and Remain Blessed.
Fr. James Aboyi, VC