Called Forth to Honor our Mothers!

May 11, 2023
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day and honor all women, whether they are with us or have returned to the Lord, who have given their lives to love, nurture, and support us. The love of a mother is something that we can always return to. We know that she will always receive us, especially when we are undergoing a difficult trial. It is a mother’s love that gives us a firm foundation in which we can grow and become the men and women God calls us to be.
I remember as a child when I was talking with my mom about being a priest, and I told her that it would be cool to be a priest, but I could not be one because I did not know how to speak in public. She thought about what I said for a bit and replied, “Joseph, if God is calling you to be a priest, then He will give you everything you need to be one, even the ability to speak.” Her response is something I still remember to this day, especially since my first time ever preaching after being ordained was on Mother’s Day of 2021. There was a tremor in my voice, but I was able to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and it was thanks to that simple and loving encouragement that I received from my mom that grounded me in God’s love and helped to get me where I am at today.
Another mother that we can honor today is our blessed mother Mary. We can take her as our spiritual mother who loves, nourishes and supports us as we become more like Jesus her son. At the foot of the cross, Jesus tells us, “Behold your mother” and he says to Mary that we are her children. She receives her role as our mother from God and humbly guides us to Jesus her son. One of the best ways to spend time with Mary is to pray through the mysteries of the Rosary with her. As we often look to our biological mother and her experiences to guide us through life, we can look to Mary and her experiences of the mysteries of Jesus’s life as we pray. We see the events of Jesus’s life through the eyes of Mary our blessed mother. Whether that be the joy of the Annunciation, the sorrow of the Crucifixion, or the wonder of the Resurrection, she can lead us through those mysteries and she can also lead us through the joys, sorrows, and wonders of our own life.
God has given us the gift of our mothers to love us through all our experiences of life. They give us a firm foundation of love from which we can grow to become saints. May we honor our mothers and so thank the Lord for the gift that they are to us.
In Christ,
Father Joseph Nguyen
Parochial Vicar
Synod Evangelization Team Update:
Archbishop Hebda asked priests to pull together a team to help further his initiatives laid out in his Pastoral Letter. Here at SJB, I have put together of twenty staff and parishioners. On April 29 we met for six hours to understand Archbishop’s vision and how we can strengthen and improve our small group ministry here at SJB. 
This weekend at the 10:30 am Mass, I will commission the team as representatives of me on behalf of Archbishop Hebda. They will call parishioners forth to serve as small group leaders and serve in various ways to build up Christ’s kingdom. We have a variety of gifts to share with the Lord and I encourage you to pray about how the Lord is forming you to be a leader or even a support person for the small group ministry. Although we have had good success with our small group ministry, we want to do better to reach more people for Christ.
Pictured above is our team: Front row (left to right): Betsy Godmare. Emily Perez, Sarah Wilder, Ann Laird, Annie Reddy, and Catherine Floeder. 2nd row: Louie Fondevilla, Socchie Fondevilla, Jessica Balzarini, Jill Fink, Naomi Hard, Bob Gabler, Steve Godmare, and Fr. Joseph Nguyen. 3rd Row: Neil Steffl, Fr. Paul Shovelain, Rob Jensen, and Matt Smaron.
Not pictured: Beth Robertson, Deacon John Belian, and Claire Brostrom.
Feel free to reach out to any of the team members and share how you want to be involved in furthering Christ’s kingdom as we strengthen our small group ministry here at SJB!