Our Parish Ideals
There are several factors that play an important role in the life of a Catholic Parish (a Christian community that is a credible witness to Jesus Christ in our world).
A parish needs to exhibit health and vitality in four areas:
- Worship and the Sacraments
- Outreach or Human Concern
- Formation and Education
- Administration or Good Stewardship of resources
A parish must explicitly recognize that it is doing God’s work and not serving its own selfish purposes. It is God’s kingdom we are building, not our own. “Here we have no lasting city.”
A strong parish pulls together for the common good whenever it faces adversity, whether from within or from without.
Our Catholic identity is always rooted in the spiritual life of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. When Mass is no longer celebrated, the parish will literally starve to death.
We currently live in a political environment of “separation of church and state.” While we are not persecuted, we are constantly challenged to be credible witnesses of faith in a secular age. We have a long history and a rich theological tradition. We need to remember to show gratitude to our ancestors who have gone before us in the faith.
What we say and what we do must be grounded in the virtues of faith, hope and love. These are the basics – the “theological” virtues.
We examine our conscience in the light of the mysteries of Holy Week: Whom do we serve? Whom do we crucify? Whom do we set free?
A parish seems to grow today when it witnesses to a well-defined mission, has a prayerful and uplifting Sunday service, shows hospitality to all, and attempts to address the needs of a culturally and economically diverse population.
In everything and toward everyone, may our attitude be that of Christ’s.
Saint Benedict – July 11
Benedict was born in the year 480 in Rome. He went to a town called Subiaco, set on a mountain forty miles from Rome. There he lived in a cave in the side of a cliff for three years. Sometimes a raven brought him food.
People heard about this holy man. Soon more than one hundred and forty monks were living with him in a monastery at Subiaco. They were busy every day praying, clearing the land, planting crops, teaching school, feeding the poor. Benedict urged the monks to live a balanced life of prayer, work and recreation, and was guided by his desire to Cherish Christ Above All.
Eventually, Benedict and his monks built a large monastery in Monte Cassino in Italy on the top of a mountain. It became the home of thousands of monks. Later they went out to teach all through Europe. They were called Benedictines. Today they have monasteries all through the world.
Saint Scholastica – February 10
Twins often share the same interests and ideas with an equal intensity. Therefore, it is no surprise that Benedict’s twin sister, Scholastica, also established a religious community.
Born of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up and educated together until he left for Rome to continue his studies. Little more is known of Scholastica’s early life. Later, she founded a religious community for women at Plombariola, five miles from the monastery of Monte Cassino.
The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Scholastica was not permitted inside the monastery. They spent these times discussing spiritual matters. According to the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, the brother and sister spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. It was a day that Scholastica was very conscious that her death was close at hand.
Scholastica and Benedict gave themselves totally to God and gave top priority to deepening their friendship with God through prayer. They sacrificed some of the opportunities they would have had to get together as brother and sister to better fulfill their vocation to the religious life. In coming closer to Christ, however, they found they were also closer to each other. In joining a religious community, they did not forget or forsake their family but rather found more brothers and sisters.
St. Benedict Parish Prayer
Dear Father of us all,
In gratitude for your many gifts,
please enable us as members of
Saint Benedict Parish
to adhere to the teachings of Jesus,
To imitate the life example of Saint Benedict,
offering love and hospitality
to our total community
and toward all visitors to the Lakes area.
Help us to appreciate our environment
and the natural beauty you have created for us.
May we pray and work together as a family
to better celebrate and serve our community,
all God’s children
and you, our Almighty Father.
We dedicate ourselves
to being the compassionate, faithful,
and prayerful children
you have envisioned us to be.