Sunday, January 23, 2011

St. Benedict School Open House

This Sunday
from 11 AM to 1 PM

Our School Children will be participating
in the 10 AM Mass

A Letter On The Influence of Catholic Schools which appeared in our bulletin this weekend

Catholic Schools Week
Sharing Our Family Story

Children love family stories. They will always remember the stories of their childhood - the good times shared with brothers and sisters… the funny stories from grandpa… the stories shared around a common table. Stories are how our kids remember us.

That’s why I love Catholic Schools. They are where we share our holy story with the next generation.

There is so much more to school than just learning “stuff.” Schools like St. Benedict’ give our children a broader, deeper, richer view of life. That’s because Catholic Schools focus on people. They foster an environment of caring and the common good. Every day, our Catholic Schools focus on the dignity of the human person because our schools focus on Christ.

I have many happy memories of my Catholic School days. I look back fondly on my time spent in the parish school I went to and at the Catholic High School I attended. My teachers – woman religious, priests and faithful lay persons – made a lasting impression on me. In fact, I met my wife in our Catholic elementary school! My vocation started in Catholic Schools, so did my love for learning. It is surely no accident that my career would lead me to become a Catholic School teacher. I am eternally grateful for my Catholic School experience.

Visit our school in person! Come and see how learning comes alive. You will experience the vitality that comes with a community that cares. Our academic performance is excellent, of course. We prepare our students well for the academic challenges of High School. Yet we do so much more. We form ladies and gentlemen. We give our students a Christian outlook on life. We teach them self-discipline, honor, respect and leadership. We nourish their budding spiritual sense and help them appreciate beauty, truth and goodness wherever they are found. We educate the whole person spiritually, academically, physically and socially. We hand on our Faith every day. We are a family of Faith here.

I encourage you to take another look at Catholic Education today. Tuition payment options are available because we recognize the sacrifice that parents make to send their sons and daughters to our school. Everyone is welcome at our school.

We want you to share our story too.

Pax Christi,
Deacon Bill+

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pray for the Unemployed

Prayer for those seeking work

O God who works wonders,
You created us in your image and likeness.
We imitate You by using our talents and strength.
Help us fill the world with Your beauty, truth and goodness.
Bless those seeking work.
Fill them with peace and security.
Do not let them grow weary as they strive to be like You,
     the God who works wonders.
Help us all work to make Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
We ask this through Christ Jesus our Lord.

It dawned on me today that we at St. Benedicts need to pray much more often and much more diligently for the unemployed and underemployed. After all, St. Benedict, our Patron Saint, summed up the lives of his monks quite simply - ora et labora - pray and work.

The Church has amassed a wealth of deep thinking on the inherent, God-given dignity of human work.  I am thinking of Pope John Paul the Great's "On Human Work" just to name one example. Click here to read it -  Our Catholic social teachings on the Common Good and the Dignity of the Human Person naturally lead Catholics to think deeply about work. 

Even here at St. Benedict's, a parish that has been blessed by God in so many ways, I know firsthand of the suffering many of our families go through due to unemployment or underemployment.  It is often emotionally, economically, and socially devasting.  I can remember the terror that gripped me when I was briefly between jobs at a point in my life.  I want the unemployed and underemployed to know how much we are with them in their time of suffering. You are not forgotten.

Looking ahead - perhaps this is the time to begin thinking of practical things our parish can do to honor workers and to support the unemployed.  It would be great if some of our wise lay people got together and developed a small scale program in this regard.  Lay people are truly the geniuses in this area.  St. Benedict's has so many businessmen and businesswomen, attorneys, bankers, and financial sector workers, maybe the time is ripe for us to develop a program to focus on the dignity of human work.  Let's at a minimum start thinking in that direction a bit.  We do so much on the charitable side, maybe we can begin thinking in terms of practical job-creation/training measures too.

Let me know your ideas.

St. Benedict, pray for us!

The following information was provided to me by Ms. Kathy Heffern from the Diocese of Buffalo.  It seems like a good first step for parishioners and others seeking work. Please contact them directly.

Contact: Katy Shafer, (716) 276-1117

Parachute Group Taps Talent of Former Members,
Area Professionals to Facilitate Job Search

For nearly four years the Parachute Group, a networking group for the un- or under-employed, has been conducting networking meetings at the Harlem Road Community Center at 4255 Harlem Road in Snyder, New York to help people in transition find an efficient path to area resources and, hopefully, to their next position.

The group was formed as a resource to address the needs of both downsized individuals and those seeking a career change. Says co-founder, Katy Shafer,“We started this group as a resource for people in transition. The message everywhere was ‘You have to network to find a job,’ but someone looking for work doesn’t always know where – or how -- to begin. The group was started as a volunteerism effort to provide a crucial networking forum and is also an opportunity to share ideas, contacts and resources. For almost four years, our group has provided a forum for hundreds of people.

“When people come to a Parachute Group meeting, they are free to take what they need from the group, so we find almost always they are willing to come back after they have found a position and talk to the group about their personal job-hunting experience. It’s can be very uplifting and helpful for those who are looking for a new position to hear the positive messages of those who have ‘landed.’”
The group provides participants with information on a variety of topics, including area programs designed to help find a job, information on subsidized health insurance and many other topics intended to help with the job search or ease the transition. Guest presenters are from the talented pool of professionals throughout the greater Buffalo area.

The Parachute Group is independent of any corporation, non-profit organization, governmental program or other affiliation. The group’s purpose is to provide a forum for networking, information and discussion. Anyone in transition is invited to participate. It is free and open to the public.

Meetings are held every Wednesday from 10:00-11:30 a.m. in the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road (Community Room #1), Amherst, New York. Contact (716) 276-1117 for more information.


Out of work job seeker? Are you or is someone you know an out of work job seeker? Facing the challenge of being unemployed and working through this tough economy is tough enough. You don’t have to go it alone. Contact your Office of Family Life Ministries for your FREE packet containing practical resources, prayers, scripture support and programs designed to support you on your journey. Call 716-847-2210 or email
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Monday, January 17, 2011

HELP! - Reaching Out 2 Africa

Can you help with our Southern Sudan Project?

We heard Fr. Ron Sajdak speak about the Clinic that is almost finished in Southern Sudan. It will be named for our former pastor, Fr. Gary Bagley and for Sr. Karen Klimczak. The final stages of building have begun and soon staffing and purchasing equipment will begin.

Your help is needed to complete this project.  Please do what you can.

I especially ask our readers from across the globe to help us if they can.  We have many readers throughout the world and this would be a great way for us to work together.

Please visit for details.

Send us an email too, at if you made a donation because of this blog article.

May God bless you abundantly for your generosity!

[ADDITION - 6 February 2011 - $6, 502.00 was raised in our collection.]
[ADDITION - 12 March 2011 - $9,028.30 has been raised to date.]

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Deacons needed!

Are you called to be a Deacon?
Advent 2010, courtesy of Fr. Paul Sabo
Deacons are servants.

While they are primarily "seen" in their liturgical ministry, deacons have other ministries too. Some work in soup kitchens, prisons, hospitals, etc.  I teach religion to 11th graders during the day and work at the parish in the evenings and on weekends. I coordinate RCIA, Pre-Cana, Evangelization and other ministries at St. Ben's.  It has been a rewarding ministry.  I highly recommend it!

When we are ordained, deacons receive the Gospel book.  The Bishop says:
Receive the Gospel of Christ,
whose herald you now are.
Believe what you read,
teach what you believe,
and practice what you teach.

That is our diaconal calling. I encourage others to try it too.

Think deeply and pray about it. The Lord may be calling you to serve too; don't ignore His call!

The Diocese of Buffalo is currently holding information sessions for men interested in this vocation.  In addition to attending one of the sessions below, please feel free to contact me anytime. Here is the official Diocesan announcement:

INQUIRY CLASS FOR PERMANENT DEACONS TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER 2011. Did you know that there are 124 men serving as permanent deacons in the Diocese of Buffalo? Every one of these men felt the desire to serve the Church in ways beyond their current service. Are you a man between 30 and 55 with this same prompting? God may be calling you to find out more about the Permanent Diaconate! Information Sessions are as follows:

BUFFALO -- St. Joseph-University, 3269 Main St. on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7:00pm in the Community Room.

NORTH TONAWANDA -- St. Jude the Apostle, 800 Niagara Falls Blvd. on Sunday March 20, 2011 at 7:00pm in Msgr. Kreuzer Hall.

FREDONIA -- St. Joseph's, 145 East Main St. on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 7:00pm in the Gathering Room.

EAST AURORA -- Christ the King Seminary, 711 Knox Rd. on Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 9:00am in St. John Hall Conference Room.

BATAVIA -- Resurrection Parish [St. Mary's site], 18 Ellicott St. on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 9:00am in the Church Hall.

Attendance at one session is required for consideration for the inquiry class being formed to begin in the Fall of 2011. Call the diaconate office at 716-652-4308 to register and/or for further information. Wives of interested men are most welcome and encouraged to attend!