Called Forth this July!

July 6, 2023
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
Every two years, the priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis gather for a three-day assembly for fellowship and professional development. A few weeks ago, Fr. Joseph and I attended the gathering with about 220 priests and 6 bishops, 3 from our diocese, and 3 that were giving presentations. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from my brother priests and gain wisdom from their many years of experience. I also appreciated the opportunity to learn from Bishop Barron from Winona-Rochester Diocese, Bishop Zielinski from New Ulm Diocese, and Bishop Felton from Duluth Diocese. Those men gave excellent reflections that greatly benefited my brother priests and I.

Bishop Barron spoke about 4 different figures from the Old Testament that we could study to gain appreciation and understanding of the priesthood. The four were Adam, Noah, Joshua, and Jacob. One reflection that I found quite insightful was Bishop Barron’s comments about Noah needing to look forward and build the ark to prepare for the future. We need to look forward and strengthen our relationship with the ark of the Church to guide us through the future as we know there are storms upon us as we look at our culture and society. We do that through prayer, daily celebration of Mass, and building relationships with the faithful and fellow clergy. Bishop Zielinski spoke about Missionary Discipleship and shared stories about his time in military service. He spoke about the challenges of ministry and despite being in difficult situations, he was encouraged by his fellow servicemen and women to, “Press on Padre.” We need to press on and stay the course as the mission of Evangelization is of the utmost importance to bring about the salvation of the world. Bishop Felton spoke about the importance of the Holy Spirit in the work of Evangelization. He shared different observations and shared how he sees the Holy Spirit truly at work in our world, especially here in our Archdiocese through the synod. I am grateful as well as I notice the Holy Spirit bringing about unity during the conference and I look forward to seeing what the Holy Spirit will do through our docility.

The assembly was an opportunity for me to live out our core value of being willing to grow as the Lord desires to strengthen us for the mission that he has called us to. This summer, take some time to study our faith whether it is utilizing our Library, attending one of the sessions of the Chosen Summer Study, or our other summer programming. Through this growth, the Lord will fortify you with His grace and Truth and help you become a saint. 

Planning Study Update

Just as Noah needed to build an ark to prepare for the future, we also need to prepare for the future at SJB! As you may know, we need to update and improve our facilities at the church and school so we can continue our mission to GO. MAKE. TEACH. 

We are currently gathering feedback on projects that are considered high priority – church HVAC system, ceiling, sound system, and windows. School projects include bathroom repair, carpet replacement, and a playground surface upgrade. We have several secondary projects in mind as well. All proposed projects are outlined in a special fact sheet as a refence for the accompanying survey. Extra copies of the fact sheet can be found at the Harvest Table in St. Paul Plaza.

I would like to thank everyone who has already submitted their survey. If you have not yet responded, you can still do so by turning in your survey at the Welcome Desk or by completing the survey online. Your thoughts are extremely valuable to us, and we appreciate your support through this process!

For more information on our Planning Study, you may contact Mary May, Director of Development by phone at 651-633-8333 ex. 1253 or by email at

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