May 25, 2023
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
As spring is truly upon us, I took a fishing trip up north last weekend. Although we did not catch as many fish as we did last year, we caught bigger fish which was a lot of fun. We fished Lake Winnie and caught some big walleye. The highlight was celebrating Mass Saturday evening on the lake shore after a day of fishing. I shared with the group of fathers and sons I was with that this is similar to the apostles’ experience in the early Church. After a day of fishing, they would celebrate Mass together.

We are very blessed here at St. John’s to have a summer deacon again! Archbishop Hebda has assigned Deacon Derek Gilde to serve at SJB this summer. Here is an introduction from him as well as a reflection on this upcoming weekend’s readings.

As the Father loves me so I also love you,
Father Paul Shovelain
Enthusiastic Abandonment to God
Happy Pentecost Sunday! My name is Deacon Derek Gilde, one of the eleven newly ordained transitional deacons with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in priestly formation at the Saint Paul Seminary. As part of my pastoral formation, I will be joining St. John the Baptist for the summer serving in the role as deacon starting May 30. I look forward to getting to know the parish community, partaking in liturgies, and being included in a number of the dynamic ministries that unfold in the daily life of the parish. For me, I can’t think of a better place to grow and be formed as a future priest and servant of Christ.

As for a little about myself, my hometown is River Falls, Wisconsin and my home parish is St. Mary’s in Stillwater. Prior to my life in seminary, I had served fifteen years as a mental health social worker. While this was a rewarding path that allowed me to act in faith and serve the Lord, my life took a radical turn with my conversion to Catholicism. Since then, my heart has become enkindled with a burning desire to offer people the greatest human need of all, our Lord Jesus Christ. A fun fact, the same priest who brought me into the Church and offered me my first sacraments (now Bishop Michael Izen), also ordained me and my class into the order of the diaconate.

As for one who can testify to the many ways God has moved in my own life, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the upper room at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11) calls us to remember that this same Holy Spirit still remains active and alive among us today. For most of us, it is most visible when we look back and remember key “God moments” at various stages of our lives. But not every day will feel like that. Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, in his book “Sober Intoxication of the Spirit” addresses this very issue. He says having a life fully alive in the Holy Spirit is often about two key ingredients of “enthusiasm and abandonment” to God. While only God can give us His Spirit, we too must be vigilant to cherish the joy of the Lord, but also be honest about any obstacles present in our commitment to prayer, abandonment to God’s will, or life of charity that might “grieve” the Holy Spirit from working in our own lives and in the life of the Church (Ephesians 4:30). Pentecost ushers in the season of Ordinary Time. With a new openness to “enthusiastic abandonment” to the Holy Spirit, may it for us more fittingly translate to “Extraordinary Time” with all God desires to do.

In Christ,
Deacon Derek Gilde