St. Benedict: his life, Phoenix presence

Items, handcrafted by the Benedictine community, are available can by purchased from the Sisters of St. Benedict. They run Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in west Phoenix. (image from monastery website)

How much do you know about St. Benedict, whose feast day is today? The Ahwatukee parish named in his honor? The west Phoenix sisters who follow his Rule?

PARISH FACTS:

  • Established Oct. 29, 1985 in Chandler, but to better serve projected growth, moved to mile to present location (48th St/Chandler Blvd.)
  • Attendance went from 79 families then to 1,200 today
  • Is partnering this month for the first time with Family Promise of Greater Phoenix. The organization works with area churches to provide overnight shelter for homeless families. During the day, parents focus on life skills to start them on the path to self-sufficency.
  • First Mass in multi-purpose church building held Christmas Eve 2004
  • Sits next to parish school and preschool (named St. John Bosco)

BENEDICTINE SISTERS:

  • Run Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery (near 83rd Ave./Thomas Rd.) which serves as a retreat center for individuals and groups
  • Welcome the community to browse its thrift shop and attend its weekly Sunday liturgy. Event calendar.
  • Offer spiritual direction, directed retreats and a third order oblate program
  • Tends an organic garden with produce and flowers available to the public as they’re ready. Volunteer gardeners welcome.

SAINT FACTS:

  • From a noble, Roman family. More background.
  • Canonized in 1220. Name means “blessed”
  • Twin sister: St. Scholastica
  • Began living in remote spots before age 20
  • Ultimately established 12 monasteries committed to the rule: “pray and work”
  • Patronage includes against poison, farmworkers, schoolchildren and more