St Joseph's Church

Lincoln, New Hampshire

A Letter from David Paradis

Beloved Saint Joseph Parishioners and Visiting Parishioners,

Some of you may feel lost without our Shepard “Father David”, some of you are wandering around like lost sheep from their flock. Wondering what will happen, the unknown of what is to come. Remember, we are not alone. God is in your heart, in all our hearts. Father David’s love is embedded into our hearts as well and with that we will get through this Journey. Those we love never leave us, they guide us from their teachings. Granting us peace and comfort from what we have learned from their spirit in Christ. We must go forward one step at a time and respect one another. We should strive to do our best, what’s right. Just as God wants us to. We are all Brothers and Sisters in God. Our Worldly bodies are not perfect. To judge is not for us, but is probably one of the hardest things for us human beings not to do. We all will one day be judged by our Maker no matter who we are or what our worth is. Tempus fugit, Memento Mori.

Father David is like a Teddy Bear to most who knew him. He had Big arms that wrap around everyone, no matter who walked through the doors at Saint Joseph and how many. His arms somehow managed to get around everybody. He held us together with his true loving heart and his big laugh. He will never be forgotten. Some of us will wander away for a while or may not return, and that’s ok.  One thing we will all have is Father David’s love within us, wherever we may be. We will have his great Catholic teachings of Jesus Christ and remember what he taught us.

Saint Joseph has stood the test of time, has been through many trials and tribulations. I believe though it was never led by such a loving Priest full of Life, unconditional Love and the Holy Spirit as Father David.  That my friends is what will make this Saint Joseph Church grow, go forward and stay united in Christ’s faith. Stay strong, trust in God’s Holy Spirit more than your Feelings. This will throw the Devil spirts off of you, because Goodness outweighs evil every day of the week.

A Letter from Paula King

Hello,

As of this weekend, our beloved Father Dave has moved on to St. Lawrence Parish in Goffstown, NH. We wish him all the best in his new assignment and know that his new flock will come to love him as much as we do. There were tears and laughter during the reception we had for him last week, and he certainly knows our prayers will follow him wherever he goes.

Thank you to Bishop Libasci for being here this weekend. Our Parish eagerly awaits news about our next pastor, and we look forward to welcoming him to “Our Church away from Home” as Father Dave so lovingly called our little parish in the mountains.

Looking ahead, we must remember we are a community of believers, and we owe it to Father Dave to keep his joy and love of Christ in our hearts. He set us on a trajectory of love for community and for the members of our Parish…it’s up to us to keep the momentum going. We’ll need each other as we move forward to support the wonderful events he loved and the spirit of community he fostered in us.

Paula King
Director of Religious Education
Chairperson of Parish Pastoral Council

Meet the Flock: Buz Benza

Today’s math assignment: Solve the equation:  If  (X) + (Y) = (Z) such that  (X) = Buzz Lightyear (the Toy Story movie’s astronaut), and (Y) = Buzz Aldrin (the real life Apollo 11 astronaut who walked on the moon’s surface this very month in 1969, 50 years ago), then how many subsets of shared common denominators between the lives of  (X) + (Y) can you find to equal the man who spells his name with only one (Z), and who ‘buzzes around our orbit’ here at St. Joseph Church—Buz Benza?

It’s a trick question, as our Buz, (A): is obviously not an astronaut, but a calm, gentleman-like career banker and family man with a keen intellect and mathematical mind, and, (B): no amount of people named Buzz (spelled with either one Z or two Zs) can ever add up to the one in our midst. Buz Benza, you see, is unique. He maintains and refreshes himself in both body and spirit by remaining physically active and spiritually alive. He has the reserved, business-like personality of a professional banker, yet is the antithesis of a ‘heartless-by-the-numbers’ kind of guy. That stereotype is so ‘out- of-this-world’ foreign to Buz, as he always remains grounded and down-to-earth. He keeps his eyes forever focused on his goals and higher purpose in life. WWJD is his motto: What Would Jesus Do?  He strives to see the world’s problems through the lens of differing viewpoints, and is measured at all times in his speech and thought processes. (Measured…hmmm, brings us back to the math)…

So, though you may find some similarities of coincidence throughout this short biographical summary of our Buz to the lives of the other two famous (X and Y ‘Buzzes’), the comparisons end there. The first similarity of coincidence you may find, however, has to do with the nickname itself. Buz’s real name is Sebastian. Since Buz’s fraternal twin brother, Frank, could not pronounce the name “Sebastian” when he was a child, it became Buster and Bus, until Buz’s wife, Pat, much later in life, dubbed him Buz with one Z, as “two are superfluous,” she felt. (Coincidentally, Buzz Aldrin’s sibling had the same problem with mispronunciation of the word brother, hence his Buzz nickname).

Our Buz was born to Italian Immigrants, Salvatore and Anna. “I want to give them credit for what they accomplished in their lives.” (That’s Buz, always giving credit where it’s due.)  He knows life was hard for them, his Dad a shipyard worker in New Jersey, and his mother, a dressmaker.  Buz grew up in a 5-story walk-up apartment in the Bronx of New York until his parents moved the family of 5 (a sister, 2 brothers, and the twins: Buz and Frank) to a home in Pelham Gardens, NY. (In typical Buz fashion, he rattles off from deep within his mathematical mind, all his siblings’ages, dates of their births, and other pertinent numbers.)  As for the twins, Buz is older by 15 minutes. Frank always joked that he kicked Buz out earlier “to check the weather.” They were a good balance. Buz teases, “I was the good twin.” He continues on with another family tale, recounting a story about his much older sister:  “She was the one that kind of raised us. When my twin and I were 4, my sister was 15.” He continues: “I guess, for my sister I was a little toy soldier to play with.”  (Gee, a ‘toy’ story—does it remind you of Buzz Lightyear?). Anyway, as this ‘Toy Story’ goes, when they moved to New York, his sister entered the twins in a local department store’s beauty contest, got them dressed, and Buz and his twin won! “I still have the silver trophy cup with our names on it, and 4 years old.” 

Beauty, again, entered his life when Buz was around the age of 16.  “God works in mysterious ways,” he says. His father passed away in February of 1947 (Buz quickly calculates here)…“at the age of 52.  It was a turning point in my life, as that is when I started dating the joy of my life,” his beauty, his future bride, Pat. As they say, it happened by chance, or in Buz’s case, by accident, a true accident on November 11th, 1947. Buz was playing football (as did Buzz Aldrin). It was a scrimmage game, with no helmet on his head. He ended up hitting his head hard, landing head-first into the player on the other team’s helmeted head. Buz was diagnosed with a resultant concussion. When home, the ‘dazed and confused’ Buz, ordered his twin to: “Get Pat!”  Frank, his twin, did proceed to get Pat, a neighbor, a guy named Pat…the wrong Pat! Buz insisted, “Get Pat…Pat Lynch!” She was one of the neighbor girls in their group that they hung around with. Though he hardly knew her, she came over, they bonded, and the rest became history—60 years of marital history, to be exact. (But, more on that romantic tale to follow: it was now time to concentrate on schooling and career.)

Buz attended public high school, Columbus High in NY with his twin, Frank, who ended up graduating 6 months after Buz. Frank failed an Italian class while Buz took Spanish, passed, and left high school ahead of his twin. “It seems I went to school all my life.”  He reminisces: “After high school, I went to New York University. Igraduated from Iona College and the Stonier College Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers, and the Advanced Management School, also at Rutgers University, achieving the equivalent of a Master’s degree.”  Buz also graduated from the American Institute of Banking (where he became President of the Westchester County Chapter of the American Institute of Banking). He also went to the Columbia Society of Real Estate Appraisers at Columbia University to get his certificate in that field.

As one would imagine, all this education landed Buz with many opportunities for prestigious positions within his chosen career path, as he moved up the rungs of the banking world’s ladder in New York. At one point, Buz was the youngest regional Vice President for the County Trust Company at the age of 42, a long climb from his first job as a messenger and file clerk at the Dollar Savings Bank in 1949. Buz was ambitious with his education goals, attending school 4 nights a week, taking the train after work at 18 years-old to NYU. He was also ambitious in those early years with his romantic goals. He and the then, Pat Lynch (the woman who came to his bedside to visit during his football concussion) had been dating since he was 16. When the Korean War broke out, Buz volunteered to go, as both he and his twin were summoned. (Yet another Buzz Aldrin coincidence, as Aldrin also served in Korea.) Buz went through basic training and leadership school, and OCS (Officer Candidate School) at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. (This is so fitting of his personality: Buz Benza: “The Officer and a Gentleman!”) At any rate, it was 1953, when he and the love of his life tied the knot. Buz was still in the Army. They got married on a 3-day pass. He flew out for the big wedding in New Rochelle, NY where they danced to their song: “Too Young (To Really Be in Love). The Mass before the reception had 5 priests on the altar. (No waiting in line for communion at that wedding! Another coincidence:  there was no waiting in line either for Buzz Aldrin:  he took communion privately on the moon when he landed there in 1969.).  Anyway, back to earth for the rest of the story: Buz and Pat later left for the honeymoon suite at the Waldorf Astoria. When Buz returned to report back to base at Ft. Hood, Texas from hismoon-shot (the 3-day pass), he was considered AWOL on a technicality, as he was not supposed to be more than 50 miles away from Ft. Hood. Thankfully, his company punishment (that he decided to take, instead of going to trial) consisted of getting up at 5 a.m. daily for a month to report to his duty officer.

Career and marriage pressed on after the war, first in Texas and later in New York. Buz and Pat’s love blossomed, their union giving life to 5 children in 7 years. Life was good. When the County Trust Company later merged with the Bank of New York, Buz made a decision. After a 40-year-career in banking, he took an early retirement at the age of 57.

In July of 1982, Buz and Pat came looking to move to the quieter country life of NH from the hectic pace of city-life in NY. His twin, Frank, owned property in Woodstock, NH, and suggested they search out a place nearby, across a lake, as there was property for sale. “My Mom always wanted her twins to be together.” As luck would have it, they put in an offer and have been in Woodstock ever since. For 20 of those years, Buz and Pat would vacation in winters down to Florida’s Satellite Beach. (Hmmm, sounds like a place an astronaut would visit!) Satellite Beach is located right next to Kennedy Space Center where they would watch rocket launches from the front of their house. Their kids would come and visit too. “Family has been my whole life,” Buz proudly announces. At present, Buz has 11 grandkids and 9 great-grandchildren.

Buz has enjoyed many leisure activities with family, enjoying all the beauty that nature in the mountains has to offer. In the past, also in winter, he and Pat went skiing and snowmobiling. These days, he enjoys gardening in the spring, tennis and golf in the summer. He is literally ‘A Man For All Seasons,’ adding: “The sum of all my hobbies is my love of golf,” Buz has been playing the game since he was 14. He jokes, “I think I have more mileage on a golf cart than on a regular car.”  (Buz still drives at the age of 88, a Chevy Colorado truck.)  But, it is the game of golf that has sustained him in retirement, working at Jack O’Lantern for 10 years and now entering his 21st year at Owl’s Nest Golf Course off of Exit 28 as a starter and a ranger.

Golf has given him some perspective in life too. He tells how he doesn’t look to have the best cars or personal things in life. “I try to set an example primarily to live a good life according to the gospels. I’m hoping that I leave the world a better place than I found it. Just like on the golf course, you always replace your divots and fix your ball marks.” He believes everyone should share their 3 Ts: Time/Treasure/Talent. In Buz’s case, though, it’s Time as Treasurer and his Talent as such. Buz has served as Treasurer on more charitable organizations and committees than you can count, everything from Boy Scouts to the Red Cross.  He has continued to share that talent here at Saint Joseph Church, serving in the past as Chairman of the Finance Committee, and now as a Trustee of the Knights of Columbus. He also serves as an usher and greeter at the 10 o’clock Mass on Sundays. He requests many of those Masses for his beloved wife, Pat, who passed away in 2013 from pancreatic cancer. Their hearts will always be intertwined; they have been since the tender “Too Young” age of 16 years-old. He tells a story that illustrates their bond beautifully: “In 2004, Pat had a heart attack and was operated on at CMC for bypass surgery.” While visiting his wife there, Buz was told by doctors that he didn’t look so good himself. “We ended up being operated on in the same hospital within a day of each other for the same heart surgery.”  (Now, that’s two hearts that are one!)  He also is deeply saddened by the very recent loss of his twin, Frank. These two loves of his life are now buried in Woodstock under the same cemetery stone. He misses both of them dearly. Many years from now, Buz, will take that ‘giant leap’ into the unknown and join them. When he does, I’m willing to bet he’ll shout with joy at each ‘small step’ of the way: “To Infinity and Beyond!”  (That, my friends, you can take to the bank.)

Fr David’s Last Weekend

Well, my last weekend will not go out with a whimper!  Lots to pray for…two funerals, a Baptism and a Wedding!  Keep in prayer the family and friends of Sam Boyle (son of our very own Quentin Boyle), and the family and friends of Georgia Robie and for the repose of both their souls. Also keep in prayer little Ava Maria-Anne Clark to be Baptized this Sunday and her family.  And lift in prayer Kristin Peterson & Nick Flair to be wed this Sunday afternoon for many blissful years together!

Thank you for all the well-wishes and prayers in my new endeavor to join my new parish under the patronage of my patron saint, St. Lawrence.  I always attribute/”blame” him for my vocation to the priesthood.  Lol!  St. Lawrence had a wonderful sense of humor, cared for the poor & marginalized and was martyred for the Faith.  It is by no coincidence that my transfer centers around his feast day, August 10th.  I am sure he is interceding for me.

Thank you, and God Love You; forever in my heart.

Fr. Kneeland  (and Bear-ie) 

Father David’s Message

As I take leave from St. Joseph after eight truly blessed years, and move to St. Lawrence in Goffstown, NH, these past couple weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me:  fear, apprehension, being overwhelmed by love and affirmation.  At times, I have felt total exhaustion.  Throughout it all, what has remained constant in the midst of my feelings, is deep abiding gratitude in my prayer. 

I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I recall being your Pastor here these past eight years.  Ministering to you has been a source of joy and fulfillment along with times of great moments of laughter.  This community really knows the meaning of what it is, to be, the Church; especially fulfilling the Parish Mission Statement: Centered in the Living Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, …we are a welcoming Catholic Community.  …we come together under Christ …to promote the truths of Faith, to sanctify them through the Sacraments, and to serve our Loving God and one another through worship, witness, and works of Charity.  You do this without question.  I am so proud to have been Spiritual Father of your community these past eight years.

Despite my struggle of leaving, I am so thankful for all the friendships I have formed here in the parish, and for how you have helped me grow in my relationship with God.  I am grateful.

One of my favorite old school rock bands, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), has a song, Shangri-La that I have been particularly listening to lately.  This song gets me to tears, because this parish community is a little Shangri-La in the White Mountains.  At the end of the song, lead singer, Jeff Lynn, sings “I will return…”  My late grandmother always said, upon leaving someone, “please don’t say ‘good-bye’; just: ‘see you later.’”  And so, in her words:  “See you later…next weekend!”

Fr. Kneeland

St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: 1:3-6 is a fitting passage:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. t

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