Sunday, September 22, 2013

"America" interview with Pope Francis-Bishop Malone remarks

Bishop Richard J. Malone
Diocese of Buffalo, NY
Bishop Richard J. Malone talked to reporters on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, at Holy Cross Church in Buffalo, about the interview with Pope Francis published this week by "America" magazine ( The bishop was at the parish to celebrate Mass for Hispanic Heritage month.
You can listen to the bishop’s full remarks through this link:
The bishop would also like you to be aware of this Catholic News Service story which was published on Sept. 21, 2013:
Pope condemns abortion as product of 'throwaway culture'
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In his strongest public words to date on the subject of abortion, Pope Francis affirmed the sacredness of unborn human life and linked its defense to the pursuit of social justice.
"In all its phases and at every age, human life is always sacred and always of quality. And not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science!" the pope said Sept. 20 to a gathering of Catholic gynecologists.
Pope Francis characterized abortion as a product of a "widespread mentality of profit, the 'throwaway culture,' which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many."
That mentality, he said, "calls for the elimination of human beings, above all if they are physically or socially weaker. Our response to that mentality is a decisive and unhesitating 'yes' to life."
The pope grouped together unborn children, the aged and the poor as among the most vulnerable people whom Christians are called especially to love.
"In the fragile human being each one of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced the indifference and solitude to which we often condemn the poorest, whether in developing countries or in wealthy societies," he said.
"Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world," he said. "And every old person, even if infirm and at the end of his days, carries with him the face of Christ. They must not be thrown away!"
Quoting "Caritas in Veritate" the social encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis connected the protection of unborn life with the promotion of social justice.
"Openness to life is at the center of true development," he said. "If personal and social sensitivity in welcoming a new life is lost, other forms of welcome useful to social life will dry up. Welcoming life tempers moral energies and makes people capable of helping each other."
Pope Francis told the physicians that they faced a "paradoxical situation" in their professional lives, because even as medical science discovers new cures for disease, the "health care professions are sometimes induced not to respect life itself."
The pope characterized this paradox as part of a more widespread "cultural disorientation" in which rising individualism parallels a growing disrespect for life.
"Even as persons are accorded new rights, at times only presumed rights, life as the primary value and primordial right of every man is not always protected," he said.
The pope told the gynecologists that they had a responsibility to make known the "transcendent dimension, the imprint of God's creative work, in human life from the first instant of conception. And this is a commitment of new evangelization that often requires going against the tide, paying a personal price. The Lord counts on you, too, to spread the Gospel of life."
Pope Francis' remarks came one day after the publication of an interview in which he warned that focusing on certain moral teachings, including abortion, could undermine the church's efforts to preach the Gospel.
"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," the pope said in the interview, noting that he had been "reprimanded" for failing to speak often about those topics. "It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.
"The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent," the pope added. "The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.
"Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things," he said. "We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life Chain 2013 - October 6 from 2 to 3pm

Life Chain

Once again,  the Respect Life Ministry are asking the people of St. Benedict's Church to give up one hour of their time on Sunday, October 6th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. to hold signs that state "Abortion Kills Children" along Niagara Falls Boulevard near Robinson Road in front of Tops Market. 

This is to remind people driving by what is transpiring in our society and hoping that they also will take action to stop this terrible holocaust.

We will meeting in the Westfield parking lot at 1 p.m. to get the signs and drive to Tops.

Stand up for human life!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Parish Planning Session RESULTS ARE IN!

I am very happy to share with you are the results from the Parish Planning session that was held on April 21. The Pastoral Council has spent considerable time and effort reviewing all of the comments and have sorted them into the following priorities.

In the near future the Pastoral Council and I will let you know about a follow up meeting for the entire parish to review these together and discuss how we may implement what you have identified as important for Saint Benedict Parish to consider.

Priorities from Planning Sessions Parish Life:

Communicate to parishioners the ministries that are available at St. Benedicts Church. Include information about each ministry.

The Parish and the school need to be more welcoming to each other. We should pray and work together more closely. We need one another.

We need to find a way to increase participation at Mass and in Church activities.

We need to make more Catholic educational opportunities available to all parishioners.

Hold a youth themed Mass on Sunday evenings Maybe 7pm, Possibly monthly, followed by Youth Group meeting/ event, Possibly weekly, if attendance warrant and would consistently bring in high school, middle school and college youth. Establish Youth Group, Meet monthly – possibly after youth themed Mass on Sunday evening. Possibly subgroups (MS, HS, College) for all or part of meetings (i.e. visit nursing home; assist parish senior citizens with raking, shoveling). Youth to Youth mentoring (HS to MS College to HS). Budget for Youth. For Youth Group. For youth attendance at various diocesan, regional etc. conferences.

Parish Finance:
Have a finance development/marketing committee to promote the parish and insure continuity of income. These can be subsets of the Finance Committee.

Focus on the children both in the school and Religious Ed. Do what we must do insure that they are solid Catholics in the future and are our parishioners of tomorrow.

Our money must be invested in them.

Have a physical place for social gatherings easily accessible from the Church. The cafeteria is too difficult for seniors and often too small.

Parish School
Combine Parish/School picnic in Fall – “promote oneness” and better publicize school and parish specific functions between one another (monthly newsletter/email).

More student involvement, for both Saint Benedict School students and public school students, in parish liturgy.

Better promotion of Saint Benedict School through Parish media/weekly Mass (talk about how great school is).

Better mobility and accessibility into school space so parishioners can more easily see and use school buildings for parish functions (non school time parish community center)

Communication/education, - use homilies as communication mechanisms and also place spiritual readings in a more historical context to give greater meaning and relevance to facilitate spiritual growth.

Music – a hot topic in the parish – debate between old time music and newer unfamiliar songs.

Lack of participation in singing might be attributed to frequent use of songs unknown to the majority of parishioners.

Minimize introduction of new songs. Increase songs that are singable and vibrant; support for old time traditional music;

use ONE book.

Mass times: if changed enlist feedback from parishioners; coordinate with other parish schedules; consider liturgy committee.

Involve laity more fully in life of St. Benedicts.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Preparing for the future! The Pastoral Administrator

The Pastoral Administrator:
A development in parish ministry
7/1/2013     9:15 AM  

In recent decades, there has been a renewed emphasis grounding Church ministry, both ordained and lay, in the sacrament of baptism. The Church teaches that there is an essential difference between the priesthood of the faithful and the ordained priesthood, and yet, there is a special way in which ordained and laity, including lay ecclesial (Church) ministers, share in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ.

As envisioned by the Second Vatican Council, we trust that the Holy Spirit is leading our diocese toward the more collaborative form of ministry witnessed in the Church’s foundational missionary days. As St. Paul reminds us, “There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord … You, then, are the body of Christ.God has set up in the Church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, healers, assistants, administrators.” (1 Cor. 12: 4-5; 27-28).

As noted in the Journey in Faith and Grace, our diocese has experienced, and is projected to continue to experience, a significant decline in the number of priests available to serve as pastors in the parishes of our diocese. In the next five years, according to current policy, 78 priests will be eligible for retirement.

To replace these priests would require 15 or more ordinations per year. In light of this challenge, promotion of priestly vocations remains a priority for this diocese. I am fully committed to that goal. We are also looking to invite more priests from overseas to serve in Western New York.

In light of these considerations, and after consultation with the vicars forane, the Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Chancery staff and others, I have decided to formally introduce into our diocese the ministry of the pastoral administrator. In doing so, I appointed a task force to assist in the full implementation of this ministry in some parishes of our diocese.

The role of the pastoral administrator, whether a permanent deacon, religious, or lay person, ensures that the ministries of Word, worship and service are functioning well.

The pastoral administrator is in charge of a parish and is accountable to the diocesan bishop through the priest moderator, and works collaboratively with the priest moderator, the sacramental minister, and parish staff.

As we look to alternative types of staffing for pastoral leadership in our parishes throughout the eight counties of Western New York, may the ministry of the pastoral administrator in our diocese, in close collaboration with our clergy, assure that our parishes can and will continue to be vital communities of faith, ministry and evangelization.

The pastoral administrator is a professional minister, appointed by the diocesan bishop and installed by a vicar forane, to lead and officially administer a parish community without a resident pastor. The primary relationships of the pastoral administrator are to the diocesan bishop through the priest moderator, sacramental minister, staff, pastoral and finance councils and parish community.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Windows of St. Ben's Dec. 2

Monday, December 2nd at 7pm our own Deacon Bill will give a one hour presentation on the windows of our beautiful church.

Everyone is welcome.  Please save the date and invite your family and friends.

This is a new presentation, so even those who have attended one in the past are encouraged to join us again for new details and new images from our church. 

It is a multi-media presentation.  No walking required this time.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

October - Respect Life Month 2013

My Dear Diocesan Family,

"Open your hearts to life" has been a favorite theme of Pope Francis and one that has particular urgency today. This year’s theme for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Respect Life Program fills us with encouragement and hope and calls us to love, defend and celebrate all human life. It calls us to joyfully follow the example of Christ, to love without limits, and further, to act on that sense of true Christian charity.

We know that we live in a world full of threats to the sanctity and dignity of human life. However we also know that through prayer, education, responsible citizenship and pastoral care of all human life, especially the most vulnerable and in need of our love, we transform our society into a culture of life; we know that all things are possible in Christ. We can protect the unborn, serve those faced with disabilities, care for the sick and dying, and stand against violence, and we can do so with compassion, charity and justice.

We celebrate October as Respect Life Month, but we are reminded all year round of the sacredness of life and the joy of love. Our Office of Pro-Life Activities and the St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center, along with our pastors and parish Respect Life Coordinators, stand ready to implement this program and partner with each of you in defending and celebrating human life. Together we commit ourselves to the sanctity and dignity of all human life.

Through prayer and through the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, we can know and love God better and open our hearts to all human life. In the Year of Faith, the focus on the New Evangelization is not only on learning doctrines; it is about learning to live our Christian life fully and bringing Christ’s love alive within us to all we meet.

I invite each of you to join me on Respect Life Sunday, October 6, 2013 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral as we celebrate the Eucharist at 10:30 a.m. It will be signed for the hearing impaired and I look forward to the opportunity to bless babies, expectant mothers and families immediately after Mass. This will be followed by a small socialwith light refreshments.

Be assured of my prayerful and grateful best wishes as together we work to promote all life through love.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Richard J. Malone

Bishop of Buffalo

Friday, September 6, 2013

Please join us! 22 Sep and 6 Oct

I have lots of news for Generations of Faith.

First and foremost — there are some significant aspects of Benedictine spirituality that we will be examining — among the hallmarks is hospitality. We invite all of you to accept the hospitality of Saint Benedict Parish and join us for breakfast and the learning session at 9:00 am on Sunday, September 22. There is no cost or fee — only a free-will offering to help us offset the cost of breakfast.
We have a number of wonderful learning experiences planned for September 22 — among them will be a “mock” television interview with Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica. (I don’t use the term “mock” interview lightly, you realize!)
Our celebration of the life and spirituality of Saint Benedict will be at the 10:00 am Mass on Sunday, October 6. I have invited Mr. Joseph Demerly, Managing Director of the Kavinoky Theatre to be with us for the celebration. Joe will be Saint Benedict that day — sharing a witness talk about how he experienced God’s presence in his life.

In addition to being Managing Director of the Kavinoky Theater, Joe is an accomplished actor —having appeared in many productions at the Kavinoky and elsewhere. Among his most memorable for me is the role of Pseudelos in Stephen Sondheims’"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Joe also wrote, directed, produced and acted in “It Was a Wonderful Life,” which had a three month run at the Chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The work depicts famous people who are buried in Forest Lawn. Please join us for September 22 and October 6 — you will learn a lot, and enjoy the process!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Religious Education - to PARENTS!

Dear Parents,
Some still call it CCD, some call it Religious Education, these days we call it lifelong “Faith Formation” but what ever you call it, if your child attends public school from pre-K to eleventh grade, we invite them, we invite the whole family, to learn, practice and grow deeper in their faith.
If you have not done so already, please take a moment to register for the 2013-2014 academic year. 
We offer two styles of faith formation on two different days; our Sunday program centers on the family and church, and our Monday program offers traditional in classroom instruction.
I have some exciting new developments to report since I last wrote to you!  We are now offering the Generations of Faith program FREE OF CHARGE!  And we have not raised the tuition of our Monday program in two years.  Enclosed, please find materials that you need to register your child, or children. 
SUNDAY CLASSES – Generations of Faith -  All people of all grades and ages are welcome to join
our intergenerational faith sharing program.  Parents are the first and often the most influential teachers of the faith   Generations of Faith is a wonderful program to strengthen faith in your home, as well as within our larger family of faith, the church!  Children, parents and adults in the parish gather on key Sundays throughout the year (see schedule below).    Each learning session or "preparation" is two hours and twenty minutes long, from 9:00 AM – 11:20 AM, which includes: a delicious breakfast, prayer, lively discussion and engaging presentations.  Each preparation helps us appreciate a eucharistic celebration in the Liturgical year.
2013 – 2014 Liturgical Year
Theme: Two Inspirational Saints: St. Benedict & St. Scholastica
Preparation: September 22, 9:00-11:20 a.m. in Cafeteria
Celebration: October 6, at 10:00 a.m. mass
Theme: We are all called to be saints!
Preparation: October 20, 9:00-11:20 a.m. in Cafeteria
Celebration: All Saints Day, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. mass.
Theme: Advent Season: Preparing The Way
Preparation: November 17, 9:00-11:20 a.m. in Cafeteria
Celebration:  December 1, 10:00 a.m. mass.
Theme: Christmas Season: Incarnation
Preparation: December 15, 9:00-11:20 a.m. in Cafeteria
Celebration:  December 24, 4:00 p.m. mass
Theme: Call to Mission: Ordinary Time
Preparation: January 12, 9:00-11:20 a.m. in Cafeteria
Celebration: January 19th, 10:00 a.m. mass.
Theme: Lent: Three Practices – Praying, Fasting, Almsgiving
Preparation: February 9, 9:00-11:20 a.m. in Cafeteria
Celebration: Ash Wednesday, March 5th, 7:00 p.m. mass.
Theme: Holy Thursday – table fellowship, sacrifice & service
Preparation: March 16, 9:00-11:20 a.m. in Cafeteria
Celebration: Holy Thursday, April 17, 7:00 p.m. mass.
Theme: Easter Season: New Life
Preparation: April 6, 9:00-11:20 a.m. in Cafeteria
Celebration: Easter Vigil, Saturday April 19, 8:00 p.m. mass.
Theme: Feast of Pentecost: Holy Spirit
Preparation: May 18, 9:00-11:20 a.m.
Celebration: Sunday, June 8th, 10:00 a.m. mass.
MONDAY CLASSES - Traditional Classroom Instruction
            Grades 1-5 meet from 4:00 - 5:15 PM
            Grades 6, 7, 8 & 11 meet from 6:45-8:00 PM
            (Note: Grades 9 & 10 now meet at St. Leo’s for Confirmation preparation, see
 We will meet: September: 23, 30  October: 7, 21, 28  November: 4, 25  December 2, 9, 16  January: 6, 13, 27  February: 3, 10, 24  March: 3, 10, 17, 31  April: 7, 28  May: 5, 12 
In summary, one engages the whole family in sharing our faith and meets on Sundays, the other program is traditional classroom instruction and meets on Mondays.  Sunday gatherings are longer (and include more homework) but only meet once a month.  Monday classes are shorter and meet most every Monday during the school year.  Families are invited to choose which program they like best. 
Transportation:  Please note parents will need to arrange for their child's transportation both to and from all classes.  To ensure student safety, we request that parents walk their children into the school building and come into the building to pick their children up, especially of students in grades K-5.
Tuition:  For St. Benedict’s Parishioners, the tuition for one child is $60, two children $100, three or more is $140.  For non-parishioners, the tuition for one child is $80, two children is $140, three or more is $190.
No one will be turned away from the program if they can’t afford the tuition.  Tuition is waived for the children of teachers in our program.
Snow:  If the Public School is closed due to snow or bad weather, we automatically do not have class.
Sacraments: Information about the Sacramental Programs will go out in another mailing, but for now please note that First Confession for children in 2nd Grade will be held in early March, and First Communion for children in 3rd Grade in early May, and Confirmation in the 10th& 11th Grade will be held sometime in early May).
Office Hours: Please feel free to stop by the Office of Faith Formation before or after all masses on the weekend, or set up a meeting any other day by appointment.  The Office is located on the ground floor of the School near the front door, as indicated at the top of this letter, or you may email Matt Smith, the Director of the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation, at and/or call 836-6444.