Saturday, February 23, 2013

Teaching Mass - 18 March 2013

Have you ever been afraid to ask a question that might seem too simple?
Why do they hold that book in the air? 
Why do the priest and the deacon kiss the altar?

Why do they move those candles around? 
Why do we kneel, sit and stand at different times?
Everyone has at least one question about the mass!
Do you go week after week, but still feel like you still really don't "get it”?

Do you ever “tune out” or feel bored at mass?
Learning about the ritual of the mass will help make it
more meaningful and engaging!
Would you like to have a deeper understanding of your faith?
Lent is here!  This is the Year of Faith!  Don’t be afraid to go deep!
Please join us for a
Monday, March 18th, 2013
at 6:45 p.m.
St. Benedict Church
3980 Main Street
Eggertsville, New York 14226
Everything from what the priest wears and does,
to the words he and the deacon say
and the postures we assume will be explored on this special evening 
as Fr. Mock and Deacon Bill share wisdom and
insights about this ancient form of worship which is so central to our faith. 
Be sure to invite non-practicing Catholics
as well as non-Catholic friends and relatives.
All are welcome!
For more information, contact Matt Smith at
or call the St. Benedict Office of Life Long Faith Formation at (716) 836-6444.

New Bible Study - all welcome!

Why read the Bible?

We should read and study the Bible because it is God's Word to us. In this busy world of ours, how can we expect to hear God speak to us? The Bible can inspire us, can support us in times of trials. It is the Bible that reveals God to us. Just as we talk about our family members, Jesus talks to us about His heavenly Father in the Bible.

Bible reading is meant to deepen our personal relationship with Christ. We become closer to each other by spending time with each other. One hour a week (Mass time) is not enough to develop a close relationship with God and His Son.

So beginning Monday Feb 25, there will be a Bible Class during Lent. We will be meeting in the Tobin Room, 6:45pm - 8pm. Note to parents of Monday night Religious Education students - this is the time you drop your students off so you can stop in and join us!  We will be discussing Jesus' Passion and Resurrection. All are welcome!

The following is an outline of the class and you are welcome to attend any night.

February 25 - Brief introduction to the New Testament - Jesus' predictions of his passion

March 4 - Jesus' entry into Jerusalem Last Supper

March 11 - Trial of Jesus and His death

March 18 - The Resurrection

Friday, February 22, 2013

Prayer for the Church awaiting a new pope


Most Reverend Richard J. Malone,
Bishop of Buffalo, NY
Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Portland, ME.

Prayer for the Church

(courtesy of the Knights of Columbus -

O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of Your Church,
we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI
and the selfless care with which he has led us
as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth.

Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church
on the rock of Peter’s faith
and have never left Your flock untended,
look with love upon us now,
and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity.

Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us,
a new Pope for Your Church
who will please You by his holiness
and lead us faithfully to You,
who are the same yesterday, today, and forever.


Religious Freedom CALL TO ACTION

Call Congress to Protect Religious Freedom!
Take Action!
Ask for conscience protection in must-pass legislation
Dear Friend of Religious Liberty:

As you know, there are major threats looming against people and groups that are opposed in conscience to providing insurance coverage for sterilizations, contraception, or abortifacient drugs, or to participating in or facilitating an abortion.

Now is the time to act! Congress will soon be considering a "must-pass" bill that will fund the federal government. Congress can include conscience protection as part of that bill and solve this problem now.

Can you spare 5 minutes to contact your Members of Congress and ask them to support conscience protection for EVERYONE? Call or click here to email your two Senators and Representative.
Please join with us in calling on Congress to protect the right of all people and groups to participate in life-affirming health care -- without violating their consciences!
Not sure what to say? Here are some suggestions:
  • The administration has issued a mandate requiring virtually all insurance plans to include sterilization and contraception, even including the morning-after and week-after pills. People who run secular charities, or religious or secular businesses, are being forced to buy insurance coverage for "services" to which they have a deeply held moral or religious objection -- with no exceptions. I oppose forcing people to participate in, fund, or provide things they believe are wrong or immoral.
  • Though churches themselves are exempted from the mandate, religious ministries of service -- such as charities, schools, and hospitals -- are given second-class status under the law, in the form of a still-murky "accommodation." But these ministries are integral to our religious community and deserve the same exemption as our houses of worship. I oppose government action that defines our religious community narrowly and inaccurately, reducing freedom of religion to freedom of worship only.
  • Freedom of religion is a bedrock principle on which our nation was founded. It is referred to as our "First Freedom" -- first on the list in the Bill of Rights, and first in priority among human freedoms. I support religious freedom as a fundamental human right of every person.
  • A distinct blessing of being an American is that we are free to choose our faith, and live by the dictates of that faith throughout our lives -- at home, at church, and in the public square. Other countries may force faith underground, but in America we can follow our conscience while also participating fully in society. I support policies that allow Americans to live their faith in their jobs and in their everyday life.
  • In the words of Cardinal Dolan, "In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath. We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences." I support the right of all men and women who work in health care -- whether providing services or providing insurance -- to live and work in harmony with their faith and convictions.
Please call your Congressional representatives today and urge them to take whatever action is necessary to protect religious freedom and the moral convictions of all!

For more information or to join the postcard campaign, go to NCHLA's action alert. A special note: Members of Congress will be in their home states and districts for the remainder of this week. This represents an excellent opportunity for you to talk with Members directly on the urgent need for conscience protection legislation.

Thank you for all that you do in support of life and liberty!

-Your Religious Freedom and Conscience Protection Team
P.S. Please forward this to friends and family who share your concern to protect the rights of all to participate in health care!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mini-Retreat Feb. 23 - 9am to noon

Lenten Mini-Retreat

Need to go a little deeper this Lent? 
Join us for a short retreat at St. Benedict's.
All are welcome.

Saturday 23 February 2013

We will begin with 9am Mass together in Church, followed by a light breakfast, then prayer and study.

Please feel free to invite others too!  All are welcome.

Let the Holy Spirit work in you! 

Spend this short period of prayer exploring the interconnectivity of the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bishop Malone's Statement on Pope's resignation

Bishop Malone’s statement on resignation of Pope Benedict XVI: [CLICK HERE FOR POPE BENEDICT'S DECLARATION - FULL TEXT.]

This morning’s announcement from the Holy Father that he would be resigning at the end of the month certainly came as a surprise.When I met with the pope in November 2011 at the Vatican, he did seem rather frail.  I wish to express my gratitude for his faithful ministry as Successor of St. Peter, his life of scholarship and his faithful leadership of the Catholic Church. 

One hallmarks of Pope Benedict XVI is his humility and pastoral concern in putting the good of the Church first in his discernment.  I cherish the pectoral cross he gave to me and other bishops who met with him during our Ad Limina visit.  During his nearly eight year papacy, we have been witness to his keen intellect through his marvelous encyclicals:  God is Love, In Hope We Are Saved and Charity in Truth.  His Jesus of Nazareth book series is inspirational.

With the pending resignation of Pope Benedict, the same process by which he was elected in 2005 will be followed as soon as he steps down, with a conclave of the College of Cardinals, guided by Holy Spirit, electing the next pope.

I ask all Catholics in the Diocese of Buffalo to join me in prayer for Pope Benedict XVI, giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for the pope’s lifetime of dedicated, selfless service to the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI to resign - full text

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th. Below please find his announcement.

Full text of Pope's declaration

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ash Wednesday 2013

close up of our main crucifix
St. Benedict's

Return to the Lord!

Please join us at any time from 6:00 am right through 9:00 pm on Ash Wednesday, February 13th.

We have masses at 7 am, 8:15 am and 7pm. There is a prayer service at 12 noon. We highly encourage your participation in our liturgies or prayer service. Ashes will be distributed during Mass and at the prayer service.

Additionally, between 6am and 9pm, we will also be distributing ashes to those who wish to turn back to the Lord. Whether you have been away for one day, one year, or haven't set foot in a Catholic Church in decades, you are welcome to receive ashes as a sign of repentance and continual conversion.

Ashes are a biblical sign of penance. Here are some Biblical verses mentioning ashes - Jeremiah 6:26, Isaiah 58:5, Daniel 9:3, Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13.

Ashes in the Catholic Church are the burnt remains of last year's palms used on Palm Sunday. Ashes are placed on your forehead as a sign to others of your change of heart. You may hear either of these prayers as the minister puts ashes on your forehead: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return," OR "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."

Perhaps the most amazing result of keeping St. Benedict's Church open all day is seeing the hundreds of people, from all walks of life, truly striving to reform their lives.  Our priests are kept busy all day hearing confessions of people who want a fresh spiritual start. It is important not to let ashes become a hollow sign; we need to repent and confess our sins.  That is the first step to changing our lives to become more like Christ.

Will you repent with us this year? Don't worry if you forgot how to go to confession; we have information about the sacrament ready for you.   Click here for helpful reminders about this amazing sacrament, including a brief explanation of why we go to confession and instructions on how to go to confession.

Please invite your friends and family members to join us Ash Wednesday. Click here for directions.
We are here to be the welcoming hands of Christ.  Please join us.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

5 Techie Lenten ideas

Lent is the Church's yearly penitential "training camp."  We go back to the basic Christian practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving (acts of charity) to refresh our relationship with God and our fellow human beings who were made in God's image and likeness. Take a look at Matthew chapter 6 often this Lent.
Here are five Lenten ideas for "techie" Catholics:

1) GO COLD TURKEY - disconnect for 40 days.  No Tweets, no FB posts, no LinkedIn updates, no email, no texts...nada!  Spend the time you would have spent on technology in prayer.  This is for the strong willed though; be warned - it isn't easy! 

2) PRAISED BE JESUS CHRIST! - change your PC, iPad and Smartphone "backgrounds" to an icon of Jesus for Lent and Holy Week.  Say "Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!" every time you see Him.  Then offer a prayer for His special ones - the poor, the homeless, the persecuted, aborted children, victims of war, the forgotten elderly, etc.

3) TWEET AND FACEBOOK JESUS - make it a point to tweet or post to FB something about Jesus and your faith everyday during Lent. This is a good time to examine your "techie" conscience too...are you using technology to proclaim the Gospel or simply for personal gain?

4) PHOTO PRAYER - randomly go through your digital pics and say a prayer for everyone you see. Does someone in your photo album need a call from you?  a note?   an email?   a visit?    forgiveness?

5) A DOLLAR FOR THE POOR - every time you post a photo of yourself, or your cute kitty, or your amazing dog, give a dollar to Catholic Charities or Catholic Relief Services. 

Happy Lent!
from your friends at St. Benedict's Parish, Amherst NY.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Cuomo Abortion Expansion Bill

Stop the Cuomo Abortion Expansion Bill

Take action against an anti-life bill with far-reaching implications

In his State of the State Message, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared his intention to push an extreme abortion expansion plan.  Let the Governor and your state lawmakers know that no matter how it is packaged, you oppose more abortions in New York, the abortion capital of the nation.

You can contact the Governor and members of the Senate and Assembly through the New York State Catholic Conference website:


you can send the letter below to the Governor and your Senator and Assembly member.

Send a message to them now!

For your convenience, cut on the dotted line below, sign, and mail to Governor Cuomo

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Re: Stop the Cuomo Abortion Expansion Bill

Dear Governor Cuomo:

I am strongly opposed to the abortion expansion bill. Whether it is a stand-alone bill (like S.438, Stewart-Cousins), or re-packaged in a so-called women's rights agenda, it is a bill to increase and expand abortion in a state that currently leads the nation in abortions. The proposal is no simple update to New York's abortion laws, as proponents claim. It is a radical bill that would allow nonphysicians to perform abortions, permit more late-term abortions, and could be used to compel all medical facilities, including religious hospitals, to allow abortions.

This proposal is unnecessary and dangerous. Women will not reach new heights of equality through more abortion. Abortion is already widely available in New York. We need to work together to reduce abortion, not expand it. I strongly urge you to oppose any expansion of abortion in New York State.