October 28, 2021
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
Last week we had 4 funerals, this week we have 4 funerals and next week we have 2 more. I also have a funeral offsite for a parishioner of ours whose funeral Mass will be at another church. My childhood hero and priestly inspiration, Fr. Denny Dempsey, was tragically killed in a bike accident on Monday. Despite having hope in heaven, I am heartbroken and hurting knowing that I will never be able to concelebrate Mass with Fr. Denny again or celebrate Mass or other events with these people. Yet, I cling to hope that we have a loving God who desires us to be restored to life in Heaven one day. It is very hard to live life in abundance when one is grieving, yet I have found comfort in the Sacred Scriptures, where Jesus weeps at the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus weeps. Wow. It’s amazing to think of God weeping, and it gives me comfort knowing that it’s okay to grieve and be saddened by the passing of loved ones. Sometimes I think I must stay strong and show that I have faith that they are in Heaven. While it is the case that I have faith that they have made it to Heaven or will make it, it is okay to grieve and cry. Please pray that through our ministry at SJB, we would be able to comfort all those grieving and help them to be restored to life knowing that Christ is with them in this time of sadness. This weekend we will pray for all those from our parish who have passed away this past year. We pray that the Lord would look with mercy upon them and Restore them to Life in Heaven. We pray for all those grieving, that they would be given the consolation of the Holy Spirit.
We are 3 weeks away from renewing our commitment to living out the Core Values as a parish. We will highlight three parish households that live out the core values and invite you to renew your commitment with them as we build up Christ’s kingdom in New Brighton and beyond. This week’s video highlights Barb, whose son passed away after battling brain cancer this past year. With your support, she has been Restored to Life, and now, she continues to help others be Restored to Life. She is a disciple of Jesus and is committed to living out our core values.
Thank you to all those who came out to the All-Saints’ Party and dressed up like a Saint last night! It was great to be with the Communion of Saints and we pray that all those who have died were celebrating with all the Saints in Heaven. Since All Saints Day (November 1st) falls on a Monday this year, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. It is a holy day of opportunity though and you are welcome to join us for Mass either at 8:30 am or 7:00 pm. We will also have Mass on All Souls Day, November 2nd at 8:30 am and 7:00 pm.
As the Father loves me, so I also love you,
Father Paul Shovelain