Called Forth in Generosity

November 3, 2022
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
Living out of a Generous Spirit!  
Why do Catholic Churches have crucifixes in the front? Is that not a terrible marketing idea? Will that scare people away? Well, the reality is the crucifix reminds us of the incredible love that Christ had in laying down His life for our salvation. He died without sin and so opened for us the gates to Eternal Life. The crucifix reminds us of Christ’s generous spirit, as He gave of Himself totally for me and for you. In the Mass we participate in receiving the generous gift of Christ in the Eucharist, which sustains our spiritual strength, as we seek to live fulfilling lives while on earth. When we receive love, we want to respond with love. 

Here, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and School, we strive to follow Christ’s example by living out of a generous spirit. It is seen in our parishioners’ donations for our food drives, Baby Gift Tree, Angel Tree, Kidz Closet, St. Vincent de Paul collections, and the sock and underwear drive. It is seen in the hundreds of volunteers that help every week, from helping with the celebration of the Mass, to helping teach our Family Formation students, to volunteering in our school, to leading our youth ministry programs, to serving those in need through our food shelf, to serving mothers in need through our Kidz Closet, to serving various meals, from funeral meals to waffle breakfasts, to soup suppers, to fish fries and more. We have so many community events like our recent FallFest, All Saints party, and this weekend’s Turkey Dinner, where many people give of themselves generously to help people encounter Jesus’ love, as they come on our campus. I do not list all the incredible volunteers in this short summary; however, I am grateful for each and every one of our volunteers. Their witness is truly inspirational to see.

Your generous spirit is also reflected in your financial support of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and School. Your donations not only help us pay our hard working and dedicated staff members, and keep our campus maintained, but your sacrificial gifts also help people experience healing and hope when they step foot on our campus. From daily Mass attendees to Sunday Mass attendees, to those looking for support, to those enrolled in our programs, to our guests coming for a Baptism, Funeral, Wedding or other celebrations, everyone who comes through our doors enters an environment where Christ’s presence is felt. Your financial contributions make all this possible. Please know that we are attentive to our finances and work hard to spend wisely every dollar that is gifted to us. 

How is the Lord calling you forth to live out of a generous spirt and reflect Christ on the cross? There are many ways to do that here, as listed above. While there is a lot of uncertainty about the economy and finances, know that God is never outdone in generosity. He will give you more than you can even imagine. 

The crucifix is not bad marketing, rather it is a reminder of Christ’s generous gift of self. You are living witnesses of that when you live out of a generous spirit. You are reflecting Christ through your sacrifices. Together, with your help and support we will continue to grow the kingdom of God in New Brighton and beyond!

As the Father loves me, so I also love you,
Father Paul Shovelain