Called Forth this Beautiful Christmas Season!

December 29, 2022
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,

Happy New Year SJB! 

As we begin this new year, we often think of resolutions and areas where we would like to grow. I invite you to think about where the Lord is calling you forth and make a resolution in that area. Consider doing the Catechism in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz. Consider signing up for a weekly hour of adoration. The Lord will bless you tremendously as you take the next step on your journey of faith.

It has been a beautiful Christmas season so far and we have one week to go, as the Christmas season goes through January 9th this year, which is the Baptism of the Lord. The coming of Christ has given us hope and encouragement knowing that God is with us. Let His love continue to guide you throughout the upcoming year.

Join us next weekend for Journey to the Inn, as we follow the star with the wise men to find baby Jesus. You will notice that St. Joseph looks a lot like me and has similar mannerisms as me. Come and see who it is! Father Paul becomes Farmer Paul as I plan to have animals from my brother-in-law’s dairy farm. We also hope to have a few other parishioners bringing animals as well. It will be a great event. See page 4 in the bulletin for more information.

Please pray for the women from the parish who will be on retreat January 13-15th. During my sabbatical, I felt called by the Lord to offer a women’s and men’s retreat. I am grateful to Jessica Balzarini, our Director of Parish Life, for coordinating this retreat and making that call a reality. The Men’s Retreat will be on March 3-5th. Please see page 4 in the bulletin for more information and sign-ups. Matt Birk, former Minnesota Viking, will be giving two of the talks along with Fr. Paul on the Men’s Retreat.

For the next several bulletins and email messages, I have asked staff to share updates or information in areas that they are working on. I am planning to do our next bulletin series during the Lenten season on Archbishop Hebda’s Pastoral Letter. I encourage you to read it in the new year if you have not yet.

As we close out 2022 and look ahead to 2023, I want to take a moment for gratitude. Thank you, Lord, for the many blessings you have bestowed upon SJB this past year. In particular, I am grateful for the addition of Fr. Joseph Nguyễn. He has been a great addition to our team and brings joy and youthfulness to our ministry. I am grateful for our hard-working staff, who also call parishioners forth alongside them to minister to those who come through our doors. I am grateful for our amazing volunteers, who do so much around here as they live out the call to serve like Christ. I am grateful for your financial support of SJB, as through you we are able to grow the light of Christ here in New Brighton. I am grateful for your participation in Sunday Mass as we worship and receive our Most High God. I am grateful for your participation in our programming and for utilizing the opportunities we provide to rely on prayer, grow in your faith and live generously. It is very inspiring to see. Thank you for your presence at SJB.

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