The Closing Mass

11-01-2021Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

It is hard to believe that we have come to the last weekend before we move out of the existing building to the St. John Bosco Multipurpose Room (MPR) for our weekend Masses. This is a bittersweet historical moment for us. While we are excited about beginning our building project, we also face the challenge of missing the comfort and memory of the existing building.

The closing Mass in the current building will be the Mass of Remembrance at 7pm on November 2nd. Right after the Mass, we will transfer the Blessed Sacrament in a procession to the St. John Bosco Chapel. I invite everyone to come and join us at the Mass and the procession as we pray for the repose of the souls of our loved ones and also to journey with our Lord as He leads us on a great journey out of our current worship space to our SJB school community.

This is an unprecedented transition period in our parish community. In addition to the new temporary Mass location, we are also making some other significant changes that will enable us to carry out our normal operations and ministries during the construction period. Here are some of those changes to expect beginning November 6th:

  • All weekend Masses will be held in the SJB Multipurpose Room.
  • A new Mass time has been created at 7am every Sunday. All other current weekend Mass times will remain the same. Please use any available parking space around the current building and the SJB north parking when you come for Mass. Please note! Our last weekend Mass in the current building is this weekend. Our first weekend Mass in the SJB MPR is the weekend of November 6th & 7th.  
  • Daily Masses will be held in Annex 2 at the usual time, 8:15am.
  • Beginning on November 6th, Saturday Confession time will be changed from 3:30pm to 8:30am and held in Annex 1. The reason for this change is to enable us to hold all Confessions in Annex 1 building. Friday Confessions will remain at 5pm, in Annex 1. The Confession line will be inside the new temporary Chapel in Annex 2.  
  • Beginning on November 7th, only the 9am Mass will be live-streamed.
  • The restrooms on the first-grade block (Building D) across from the MPR entrance will be the only restrooms available for use while Mass is being celebrated in the MPR. The restrooms in the MPR will not be accessible during Mass.
  • The St. Vincent de Paul Pantry is now located in Annex 4.
  • There will be two votive candle stands for those who wish to offer prayers: one in Annex 2 for the daily Mass attendees, and the other in the SJB Chapel for weekend Mass attendees.
  • The First Friday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will be held in Annex 2. ---  The Annex 2 door will remain unlocked during office hours for personal visits to the Blessed Sacrament.
  • The Parish Office will remain in the same place during construction. There will be some selected weeks when staff will work remotely. We will let you know in advance when we come to that.

I thank the members of the Building and Funding Committees, parish staff, ministry leaders, Knights of Columbus and everyone involved in the Strategic Plan for the building and the transition process. I honestly don’t know how to thank you enough for the incredible teamwork and for your personal sacrifices. I appeal to everyone to please be patient with us as we navigate through this transition period. We anticipate a smooth transition but we also anticipate some lapses here and there, especially in the next few weeks.

Annual Finance and Pastoral Reports

I will be presenting the Parish Annual Finance and Pastoral Reports for the 2020-21 Fiscal Year this weekend. This will include reports on finance, pastoral ministries, sacraments, parish charitable outreach and St. John Bosco School. Please note! Our fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The Annual Report will be presented at the end of all the Masses by the Presidents of the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils, Frank Polimene and Debbie Smith. A digital copy of the report will be posted on the parish website. A few copies will be printed and available at the Church vestibule for those who prefer hard copies.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

I invite you and your family and friends to come and witness the Groundbreaking Ceremony that will be led by Bishop Thomas Olmsted on Saturday, November 6th at 10am on the church grounds. This will be an outdoor event if it doesn’t rain. We will provide chairs but please feel free to bring your own camp chairs. The use of drones for pictures and videos will be allowed but please be aware that Horizon and SJB schools are NO FLY ZONE areas.

Praying for the Dead

Welcome to the month of November, come Monday. In the Church tradition, the month of November is a period dedicated to prayers for the dead. On All Saints Day, November 1st, we honor our holy heroes in the faith, saints and martyrs, who have successfully made it to heaven by living a life devoted to God. Masses are at 9am, Noon and 6pm. On November 2nd, we celebrate the Memorial of All Souls when we pray for all the dead who are undergoing the period of purification in purgatory before being admitted into heaven. Masses will be at 8:15am and the Mass of Remembrance at 7pm.

In the Catholic faith, we hold that our ultimate achievement in life is to become Saints at the end of our lives. We often hear how people fight over leadership positions in the Church. Sometimes we even see the abuse of power in the Church. As far as the Church is concerned, the most important position to hold in the Church is to be a Saint. Holiness is not reserved for only priests, bishops, or religious leaders. Every Catholic has an opportunity to become a Saint. This is why the Church has canonized children as young as 9-years-old, wives, husbands and people in a variety of lay professions.

Often, people presume that their loved ones, who have passed, are already in heaven while in reality they have no evidence to prove it. It is believed that the majority of those who have died will need to undergo a period of purification known as Purgatory before they can be admitted into heaven. Although we know that the souls in Purgatory will eventually enter into Heaven, we are still bound by charity to try to lessen their suffering through our prayers and good deeds. While our first responsibility is to those people we know, it is also important to remember in our prayers those souls who have no one to pray for them.

Synod on Synodality

What is the Synod on Synodality? In May 2021, Pope Francis invited the global Catholic Church to gather and reflect on communion, participation, and mission within the Church. The two-year process of listening and dialogue is themed, "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, & Mission" being referred to as the “Synod on Synodality,” which the Holy Father officially opened with Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica on October 10.

The dioceses throughout the world have began the next phase of the synod which includes consultation and dialogue at the diocesan level. Parishes throughout the world are expected to participate in the synod. Our Bishop, Thomas Olmsted, invites our parish and all parishioners to participate in the synod. Find attached the message from the Bishop: (Link:  https://dphx.org/synod/  )

Here at St. Benedict parish, I will be meeting with our Parish Pastoral Council, the staff and ministry leaders to determine how to introduce the synod in our parish community. All our parishioners and everyone in our SJB school community will be invited to participate in the synod. We will be using the preparatory document and questionnaire from the Holy See’s synod office to guide the discussion. The following diocesan timeline has been established in accordance with the recommendations of the USCCB:

  • Pastors are invited to prepare their parishes for consultations during the rest of October and the month of November.
  • Pastors are invited to begin their parish consultations during Advent.
  • Pastors are required to submit their synthesis reports to the Diocese by March 1st.
  • Diocesan report will be sent to the USCCB by April 1st.

This phase runs through April 2022. The Synod is a two-year process, concluding in 2023.  

Have a wonderful weekend and Remain Blessed!

Fr James Aboyi,
VC Pastor

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