Called Forth into Life with the Trinity!

June 1, 2023
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
As a disciple of Christ, we need a willingness to grow, that is, a willingness to be called forth by the Lord on our journey of faith. This past year it has been inspiring to see so many parishioners called forth on their own journey of faith. As a result of their willingness to grow, they have become closer to the Lord. This growth strengthens and enlivens them and is a blessing to others. 
As a parish, we desire to grow and be more effective in building up the kingdom of God in New Brighton and beyond. Hence, we rolled out a survey on May 2nd and received nearly 900 responses. Through the survey we received valuable feedback. We are analyzing the results and discerning how to better serve you. Here is a brief analysis: 
Highlights (positive strengths) 
  • Overwhelmingly high number of responses (897) & significant majority of comments were positive 
  • 95%+: High marks for safety, cleanliness, and ability to navigate the campus 
  • 92%+: Homilies are of good quality, allow for growth in faith, and deepen teachings of the Catholic Church 
  • 90%+: Warm and welcoming parish that fosters a sense of community and belonging 
  • 90%+: Music matters within Mass experience 
  • 80%+: Prefer email correspondence 
  • 70%+: Respondents attend SJB weekly 
Opportunities (areas for growth) 
  • Acoustics and sound system – improvement recommended to enhance the homily, music & overall experience. 
  • Church ceiling – attention needed to address the condition of our ceiling  
  • Organ is generally appreciated by many; opportunity to explore volume levels and impact on congregation’s participation at Mass 
  • Opportunity to explore musical styles, song choices & length, along with the use of Latin 
  • Homilies – suggestions included avoiding repetition and being concise; more depth desired  
  • Hospitality – Evaluate the mix of hospitality, as currently we have none on Sunday evening; add healthier options, welcome new members, and reach out to those sitting alone  
Our staff members are continuing to analyze responses and comments, and are coming up with ideas to grow the kingdom of God by meeting the needs of those who come through our doors. We believe that as we grow through this feedback, SJB will become an even greater blessing to others. Please pray for discernment and that we follow the Holy Spirit’s lead as we GO. MAKE. TEACH.  
Fr. Paul’s Summer Challenge:
This summer I challenge you to read one book or watch a DVD from our parish library.  Our library is a tremendous asset to our community, and it will help us be called forth in our relationship with God even throughout the summer. This weekend we are having a library open house and this is a great opportunity to not only check out the library but to check out a book or DVD. I’d love to hear from you as well about what book or DVD you checked out and what you thought of it.
As the Father loves me so I also love you,
Father Paul Shovelain