Dear Parishioners and friends of Saint Benedict Parish,
The scriptures tell us on the day of the Resurrection of Jesus: “(The women) went to the tomb…and found the stone rolled away…and they did not find the body of Jesus. They saw two men in dazzling clothes and the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus is not here – He is risen!’” (Luke 24). Our faith tells us that Jesus is alive and well in our world. We have to have the ability to recognize Jesus when he comes into our lives day by day. God the Father blesses us with the gift of Jesus His Son in our lives – He is a gift we can never take for granted. This is a truly wonderful day to ponder on the blessings we have received. The gifts of our families and those who love us. The gifts of our health and laughter. The gifts of our faith and traditions. These are all things that we often take for granted and today is a day to thank Jesus for the gift of life itself.
The current health situation we find ourselves in, is a vivid reminder of our need to stay healthy and follow the directives of our government leaders, health-care professionals and spiritual leaders. Easter should be a time when we gather together in our churches to celebrate the core belief of our faith – Jesus risen from the dead. However we are unable to do so this year. This may prompt sadness and emptiness with regards to our celebrations but we can celebrate our faith in our homes. Watch the Mass online – there are many options available – even our Bishop, Douglas Crosby OMI, celebrates the Mass on Sundays at 1:00 pm on CHCH-TV from the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King in Hamilton. This absence from our parish community will only give us a greater appreciation for the Eucharist and our parish family. I share this sadness with you.
This pandemic also makes us aware of the real heroes among us. The doctors, nurses, medical technologists, paramedics, personal support workers, grocery store employees, truck drivers and many, many others who give of themselves so that we can be healthy and provided for in our homes. We all should be making concerted efforts to isolate and not endanger the lives of these individuals and any vulnerable person. I also want to thank the administrators, teachers, educational assistants, support staff and all employees of our parish schools. They are still working hard to ensure your children receive quality education during these challenging times.
As a pastor, I am humbled and extremely proud of our parish. You are a friendly, caring and Christ-centred community that I am very privileged to be associated with. The fine work that you do as a parish community through the efforts of the Catholic Women’s League, Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary, Saint Vincent de Paul Society and the many other groups of our parish, fully exemplifies the call of Jesus to “go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News.” (Mark 16:15). I pray that Saint Benedict Parish continues to make its mark in the Town of Milton.
I also want to thank the building committee of Saint Benedict Parish. These men and women have given a great deal of their time and efforts to ensure that our new church is one that will give honour to God in our community. Due to the current health situation, construction has paused but much is still being done behind the scenes. The hard work of the construction crew of Melloul-Blamey and the architects of Larkin Architect Limited, is clearly evident in the new church building which is nearing completion. Our hope was to have been in the new church by summer but it may be delayed until at least the fall, depending on how long this pandemic situation remains. Will keep you updated!
Finally, it is my wish that the blessings of the risen Lord be with you and your families on this special day! May God Bless You and Happy Easter everyone!
Father Jim Petrie (Pastor)