Salt and Light
Masses  -  Weekdays 7:00, 8:15 a.m.   Saturday 5:00 p.m.   Sunday 8:00, 10:00, 11:30 a.m.
1317 Eggert at Main, Amherst,NY 716 - 834 - 1041
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Saint Benedict – Salt and Light Committee





Recently, many "big idea" things have taken place at the parish: 

  • Reaching Out 2 Africa weekend,
  • JustFAITH classes held here recently;
  • Youth Group's party at Vive La Casa;
  • National Immigration Week;
  • my recent awareness of unemployment issues in the parish;
  • and the work of one of our parishioners on the Diocesan Social Justice Commission.

Not to mention the phenomenal outreach work of our St. Vincent De Paul Society, the Ladies of Charity, and so many other individual acts of charity and justice from parishioners.


I am hoping that our new group will keep social justice issues "on the front burner." I envision it working on a few projects per year as well. I think we would only need to meet occasionally; once we agree on our projects, we could work in committees via email for the most part.


But perhaps you have other ideas and directions? Please come to the meeting on 28 February. You are the experts in this area, so please share your ideas with us!

For some people, Catholic Social Teaching is a new discovery. Yet our Catholic Faith is so profound in this area! I hope that our new group will help make the teachings of the Church more widely known and incorporate them into the very fabric of parish life from now on.


There is so much I could share on this topic, but perhaps a look at the Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching is a good place to begin. If you have time, please take a look at this link from the United States' Catholic Bishops – click here


Pax Christi,

Deacon Bill+

Saint Benedict – Salt and Light Committee


Salt & Light Meeting Minutes                                                                                                 

November 29, 2011

Present: Mark, Mickey, Mary, Deacon Bill, Dick, Matt

Here are some of the things we talked about during the November 2011 meeting. Please feel free to add if I missed something.

 Meeting began with a prayer by Deacon Bill

 We reviewed on going projects:

  • Mark talked about Debbie’s research into the parish nurse program. The next meeting is in January and the training is in July. Mary is also interested. There was some discussion about whether Dolores Byron had been part of the program. We will continue to investigate the program.
  • Mickey talked about the program with her son.
  • Mark brought some research about social justice. There is a website with quotes on many different issues. Mark printed it out. It was decided that we focus on a different issue each month. We would use the quotes and other resources for articles in the bulletin and on the website. January is Immigration Month so we are going to start there.

The second part of the meeting focused on using the internet and website to promote social justice.

 First, we brainstormed what we might do:

  1. 1.Have a place where people can volunteer to help.
  2. 2.Have a place where people can ask for help for example Giving tree
  3. 3.Education
  4. 4.Place to post minutes of the meeting so people are aware of what we are doing
  5. 5.Reading lists
  6. 6.Links to other websites
  7. 7.Sending messages to parishioners asking for help or prayers

Next we went to the computers and looked at our new website which is going “live” very soon. The address for the test site is Please look at it if you would like to provide more feedback. After trying the site for 15 minutes, we shared comments:

  • The new site is a huge improvement over the original site.
  • Increase font size
  • Have it fit on the screen
  • More pictures or graphics
  • Change top to include full name of church, address, phone email etc. Remove Advent wreath
  • Connection to school
  • More white space
  • Change color – green too dark
  • Pictures of the parish and parishioners scrolling
  • Website needs to reflect who we are as parish.
  • List of organizations is too long.
  • Like the news list.
  • Like the blog list at the bottom of the page.

Additional feedback can be sent to Dick atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The meetings are going to be on the fourth Tuesday of the month. We are going to skip December.

The next meeting with be on January 24th at 7:00 in the Tobin Room

Saint Benedict – Salt and Light Committee


USCCB Pastoral Letter on Racism, 1979…


Mindful of its duty to be the advocate for who hunger and thirst for justice's sake, the Church cannot remain silent about the racial injustices in society and its own structures. Our concern over racism follows, as well, from our strong commitment to evangelization. Pope John Paul II has defined evangelization as bringing consciences, both individual and social, into conformity with the Gospel.(3) We would betray our commitment to evangelize ourselves and our society were we not to strongly voice our condemnation of attitudes and practices so contrary to the Gospel. Therefore, as the bishops of the United States, we once again address our pastoral reflections on racism to our brothers and sisters of all races.


We do this, conscious of the fact that racism is only one form of discrimination that infects our society. Such discrimination belies both our civil and religious traditions. The United States of America rests on a constitutional heritage that recognizes the equality, dignity, and inalienable rights of all its citizens. Further, we are heirs of a religious teaching which proclaims that all men and women, as children of God, are brothers and sisters. Every form of discrimination against individuals and groups--whether because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, economic status, or national or cultural origin--is a serious injustice which has severely weakened our social fabric and deprived our country of the unique contributions of many of our citizens. While cognizant of these broader concerns, we wish to draw attention here to the particular form of discrimination that is based on race.


The Sin of Racism


Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father. Racism is the sin that says some human beings are inherently superior and others essentially inferior because of races. It is the sin that makes racial characteristics the determining factor for the exercise of human rights. It mocks the words of Jesus: "Treat others the way you would have them treat you." (4) Indeed, racism is more than a disregard for the words of Jesus; it is a denial of the truth of the dignity of each human being revealed by the mystery of the Incarnation.


In order to find the strength to overcome the evil of racism, we must look to Christ. In Christ Jesus "there does not exist among you Jew or Greek, slave or freedom, male or female. All are one in Christ Jesus." (5) As Pope John Paul II has said so clearly, "Our spirit is set in one direction, the only direction for our intellect, will and heart is -- toward Christ our Redeemer, toward Christ the Redeemer of [humanity.]"(6) It is in Christ, then, that the Church finds the central cause for its commitment to justice, and to the struggle for the human rights and dignity of all persons.


Saint Benedict – Salt and Light Committee

Salt & Light Agenda

24 January 2012        (St. Francis de Sales, Bishop & Doctor of the Church)


  1. Gospel proclamation – Mark 1:21-28 time for silent/spoken reflections
  1. Update on current projects/ideas:
    1. Parish nurse project
    2. Social Justice bulletin/website catechesis
    3. Microloans or Oxfam option
    4. RO2A - any more action for this planned?
    5. Review Salt & Light ideas for Website from last meeting:
  1. i.Have a place where people can volunteer to help.
  2. ii.Have a place where people can ask for help for example Giving tree
  3. iii.Education/Catechesis
  4. iv.Place to post minutes of the meeting so people are aware of what we are doing
  5. v.Reading lists
  6. vi.Links to other websites
  7. vii.Sending messages to parishioners asking for help or prayers


  1. Study/discussion – excerpt from Brothers and Sisters to Us. USCCB Pastoral Letter on Racism, 1979.
  1. New Projects
    1. Welcome to Ms. Kathy Sieracki – (LCUSA Board of Directors) request for involvement
    2. Deacon Bill – Eucharist without Borders: God’s Welcoming Table and Comprehensive Immigration Reform -conference in Tucson, AZ 11-13 April.
    3. Year of Faith Pope Benedict
  1. 1."With the Apostolic Letter of 11 October 2011, 'Porta fidei', Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith. This Year will begin on 11 October 2012, and will conclude on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King".
  2. 2."The beginning of the Year of Faith coincides with the anniversaries of two great events which have marked the life of the Church in our days: the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and the twentieth of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church".
  3. d.The YoF accent is clearly on catechesis. Would someone be willing to sketch out a Salt & Light plan (what to do and when to do it?) for our part in a parish-wide observance of the Year of Faith?
    1. New ideas?
  1. Final prayer


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