Choose Joy this Advent!

Choose Joy this Advent!

The quality of music at Mass can have a profound impact on our experience. Mediocre music can leave us feeling uninspired, or worse, disconnect us from our experience. Good music can lift us up, connecting us to something greater than ourselves. My vision for St. Ben’s has always been that we should be a home for good music, inspiring music, transcendent music…

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Christifidelis Laici (Part 3)

Christifidelis Laici (Part 3)

Over the last couple of weeks I have been commenting on the exhortation by Pope Saint John Paul II “Christifidelis Laici”. I chose to do this in October because the synod of bishops from which the exhortation came, occurred in 1987 through the whole month of October. And this past Monday we celebrated the feast of Saint John Paul II…

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Christifideles Awarded to Kathy Minneci

Christifideles Awarded to Kathy Minneci

The Archdiocese of Chicago developed an award that is given each year for one lay member of each parish in the Archdiocese who lives a life focused on building up the Kingdom and serving people in the world who are in need. It is very difficult to choose only one person each year to receive this award and we spend a long time in discussion. This year our award winner was Kathleen Minneci…

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Stumbling Blocks

Stumbling Blocks

This week’s Gospel begins with the disciples complaining, as they sometimes did, about someone outside their group performing works in Christ’s name. And, as is often the case, Christ immediately begins to correct them. “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us, is for us.” The disciples are engaging in a finger pointing exercise that back fires on them immediately…

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Sixty Nine Year's of Receiving God's Blessing

Sixty Nine Year's of Receiving God's Blessing

This school year we will be graduating our 65th and final senior class. We are not going to phase out the high school quietly and sweep it under a rug. Rather, we have planned a year-long celebration of the gift of our parish high school. For 69 years, the high school has been bringing teenage children to know God’s love for them. Our parish has been serving these young people for almost 7 decades, and that is something for which to be proud. From Father Fasnacht, the founder of the high school, to the School Sisters of St. Francis who dedicated their lives to teaching young people to the current faculty and staff today, we celebrate all those who dedicated themselves to the educational and faith formation of our parish and neighborhood teens...

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Listen with the Ears of Your Heart

Listen with the Ears of Your Heart

Nine years ago, Brian Sieve, a new theology teacher at St. Benedict Prep, thought to revamp how we began our prayer each day in the Secondary School. He added an introductory line before the sign of the cross coming from the opening page of the Rule of St. Benedict: "Listen with the ears of your heart." This short phrase describes the disposition that we need to be in before coming to God in prayer. It is this characteristic of Benedictine spirituality that being receptive or open is emphasized before the mention of being active. For St. Benedict each of us is essentially a "hearer of the Word." Listening, as St. Benedict would later elaborate in his Rule, is the fundamental attitude from which all other attitudes flow...

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Back to School!

Back to School!

As we look at ways to implement our new mission, some of our current spaces in the school got a face lift this summer; we also created a new space in the building.  What previously served as our school’s computer lab and library got a major overhaul this summer to create our STEM lab.  The room, which just two years ago functioned as two different spaces, today form one innovative space for learning…

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Family Mass Reboot  

Family Mass Reboot  

Since my dad was up front playing music, my mom was left to keep us kids in line. At this point, all she had to worry about from us teenagers was the odd sarcastic remark, so her focus was almost entirely on keeping my little sister out of trouble. From what I remember, she was actually pretty well behaved, and aside from the odd sprint up and down the aisle, or a loud question about what was going on, she did pretty well. Still, all it took was one little noise or burst of energy for one lady to turn around..

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The Words of Eternal Life

The Words of Eternal Life

Even when the disciples who rejected Jesus left Him, he still issued a challenge by asking those who remained if they also wanted to leave. They were given an opportunity to reaffirm their faith in Him and did. We are all capable of seeing God and rejecting Him. Judas even rejected Christ by betraying Him. Faith can often be a struggle, but we have to remember that Christ has already chosen us, all we have to do is accept him…

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How can you help the Communion you receive today come alive this week?

How can you help the Communion you receive today come alive this week?

In today’s Gospel, John the Evangelist is instructing us about the value of the Eucharist. This discourse of Jesus takes places during the Passover, after the multiplication of the five loaves. Jesus invites us to contemplate what it means to receive Communion. The practice of receiving Communion can become second nature and we can take this essential element of our faith life for granted. What does it mean to help the Communion we receive become alive as we go out into the world?

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