Pastor’s Desk Advent 2019


But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-12)

This quote is an appropriate reflection as we celebrate this great feast of the Birthday of Our Lord – Christmas. During this holiday season, we remember that the Lord Jesus entered this world as a small child – a baby. He became a vulnerable person to begin his mission on earth. Jesus came to bring peace to the earth and to create a new society of love. When we look on our earth, we see that the presence of Jesus still needs to be brought to many people. We pray for peace on earth. We especially pray for those areas experiencing war and violence at this time. We pray for peaceful solutions in the Middle East, the birthplace of Jesus and Mary. We pray for the people of Venezuela, Chile, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. We ask that Jesus; the Prince of Peace bless these areas. We also pray for the vulnerable of our society – the poor and the marginalized. We pray for the elderly and unborn. We pray for those who struggle to provide for their families while living in poverty. We pray for those who lives are scarred by abuse and violence, especially women and children. We pray for those who suffer physically and mentally. We pray for those individuals who are rejected by family and society.

Jesus’ birthday is a reminder that we have much to do in God’s Kingdom here on earth. This season is also about reflecting on the blessings we have received. As pastor of Saint Benedict Parish, I too, have many people that I am thankful for. I wish to publicly thank my staff: Deacon Leonard and wife Lorraine and Deacon Joe and wife Cathy, Janis Asdrubolini and Alma Paje who work in the parish office/rectory. All of these individuals give much more than is expected of them. I thank them for their hard work in our parish community. I want to thank the liturgical ministers: our lectors, Eucharistic ministers and altar servers. Their commitment to the parish is deeply appreciated. I want to thank the Children’s Liturgy Leaders who strive to instill a sense of faith in our young people. I want to thank the musicians of our parish. I also thank the ushers (ministers of hospitality). They have made our liturgies more special by their talents. I want to thank our parish setup crew who setup the chairs and transform the gym as our “church” every weekend of the year, to ensure that our spiritual home is a place of beauty and reverence for God. I want to thank the service organizations of our parish: The Legion of Mary for the wonderful outreach they provide to ensure that the sick and elderly are part of our parish community. I want to thank the Knights of Columbus for all they do for our parish. I want to thank the Catholic Women’s League for their social and financial support of our parish. Finally, I want to thank the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of our parish, who all year round provide assistance and compassion to individuals and families in our community. To anyone I may have forgotten, I apologize and I am truly grateful to EVERYONE who gives of their time, talent and treasure to our parish. We truly are the Body of Christ in our community.

Personally, I would like to thank all of you for the cards and gifts that you have given me over Christmas. I am
overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity. It is my prayer that all of you and yours have a truly blessed Christmas and may the prayers of our Mother Mary, and the graces of the Christ-child come upon all of you.

Merry Christmas!
Father Jim Petrie