Ora et Labora: A Parish and School Initiative
Monday, September 13, 2021

"Two saints, St. Benedict and St. Henry,

unlikely crossed paths and it was nothing short of a miracle!"

~Rev. Gregory J. Bach


September 13, 2021

This past weekend, St. Henry Catholic Church and School unveiled our plan to come together to revitalize the parish and school community in an environment of prayer and work.

St. Benedict was a sixth century a monk who founded the Order of Saint Benedict. The order is better known today as the Benedictines. Benedict pulled together people from all walks of life to dedicate themselves to prayer and work. The Rule of Saint Benedict was written by Benedict to establish the community and to provide a rule for the members to live by. The spirit of the Benedictine Rule can be summed up as Ora et Labora, which means “pray and work.” Ora et Labora is the way in which the Benedictines live their lives, even today, fifteen centuries later. Benedict knew that in order to bring harmony to one’s life, prayer and work should be intertwined. The Benedictine Rule has been used by many religious brothers and sisters, as well as lay people, to focus their lives on the importance of prayer and service in their lives. St. Benedict died in the year 547.

The good and holy St. Henry served as the Duke of Bavaria and as the Holy Roman Emperor, crowned in 1014 by Pope Benedict VIII. As emperor, Henry, who had considered the priesthood, was devoutly religious. He shared his faith by rebuilding the many churches that had been destroyed by war, building monasteries, and supporting them with both money and land. St. Henry was more celebrated for his holiness and generosity than for his military and political career. St. Henry died in 1024.


Although St. Benedict and St. Henry died nearly 500 years apart, these two holy men crossed paths. Tradition holds that Henry wanted to be a Benedictine and he lived as an Oblate. Once, when he was suffering from a severe illness in the monastery of Monte Cassino, he asked for the intercession of St. Benedict and a miracle cure was received. These two men came together in faith one day for that miracle to occur, even though their earthly lives were separated by a half millennium. 


Over next three weekends, we are asking St. Henry and St. Benedict to come together once more to revitalize our parish. St. Henry, in his great generosity and holiness, and St. Benedict, a model of prayer, are placed before us this day to be examples of living lives of prayer and work. 


In our parish, we have good and holy souls who are examples of how wonderful a strong prayer life can be for us all. We have many good and holy souls who volunteer their time and talents in service to our parish.  We have many good and holy souls who know that bringing prayer and work together can accomplish so much good for our parish.


Above, you will find the good works of St. Henry Parish. Every opportunity you see in the chart is an opportunity for grace. Every opportunity is a call from God. Every opportunity is a way to lend a helping hand to the many ministries that St. Henry Parish offers. You can also access the chart here.


Ora et Labora, pray and work. The prayer that we offer at Mass, the prayer that we offer in our daily lives, the prayer that we raise this very day to God can lead us to live out our baptismal calling to be part of a community that works together to build the kingdom of heaven here in our small, wonderful parish: a parish of good and holy souls, that pray and work together.


We pray for St. Henry and St. Benedict to come together once again to instill in our parish and in our hearts a desire to know God, to love God, and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in heaven.

Ora et Labora t-shirts are available for a donation; please be sure to pick one up!

Rev. Gregory J. Bach, Pastor


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