August 11, 2022
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
“Run with your eyes on Christ!” These words are on the front of my racing shirts, which are a paraphrase of the beginning of our second reading at Mass this weekend, Hebrews 12:1-2 “Brothers and sisters, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” These two verses give me inspiration to always keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. There are so many things that distract us, and it is easy to get depressed when you take your eyes off Him. We turn to the news, social media, illnesses, financial issues, and become disheartened by all the brokenness in the world. Yet, when we keep our eyes on Christ, it helps us persevere. When I am exhausted running a race, I tend to lower my head and focus on the ground in front of me. That then lessens my breathing and increases my exhaustion. So, too, on the journey of faith when we sin, we can become fixated on it and then we get stuck in it. We keep looking at it, and we then return to it. This is not helpful on the path to holiness. Rather, we must turn our gaze to Christ, especially after sinning, and allow His mercy to call us forth into repentance. He loves and forgives us, which strengthens us to avoid the near occasion of sin again. As the Lord calls you forth this week, “Run with your eyes on Christ!”
Former Convent Update and Capital Projects
We officially closed on the former convent on Wednesday this past week. The proceeds from that will help with various building upgrades and projects around campus. We are upgrading the sound system in our school; we added a sidewalk to the west side of our school playground; we are installing bottle filling stations in the parish center; we converted a conference room upstairs to two more offices for parish staff; we are moving the band room to make room for the new preschool room; and we are updating the heating and cooling controls, as well as adding glycol to the in-floor heating system. We have hired Steve Arndorfer to serve as the General Contractor of our Chapel Renovation project. We are also working with a construction company to come up with a plan for renovating and updating our church interior. We are looking at how to clean the ceiling, update the HVAC, install a new sound system, and fix or replace windows. Thank you for your continued generosity, as we not only maintain our campus but grow the kingdom of God here in New Brighton and beyond!
FallFest is just over a month away! Please plan to join us for the fun all weekend long! We need your help to make it a success. Please pray for the planning and good weather. Please also volunteer, as many hands make light work. This year we are having some parishioners serve as SJB Ambassadors and simply mingle with the people attending. The hope is to call forth people to SJB after the festival and be drawn deeper in communion with God. If you are interested in helping people get connected with SJB, please contact the parish office and ask for the Director of Parish Life, Jessica Balzarini, who is organizing this effort. Please watch the parish communications for more information about FallFest in the upcoming month.
Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
This Monday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. Since it falls on a Monday this year, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, but it is a Holy Day of Opportunity. We will have Mass at 8:30 am and 7:00 pm. Please join us!
As the Father loves me, so I also love you,
Father Paul Shovelain