July 27, 2023
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
National Night Out—Opportunity to Gather to Witness
This weekend we hear the Parable of Fine Pearls and how the merchant sells everything to buy it. We have found the greatest treasure on Earth, God who is love, desires to live in relationship with us through the Sacraments of the Catholic Faith! It is important for us to share our treasures with others. We do that by witnessing our faith to others and allowing Christ to shine through our words and actions. With our theme this year, Gather to Witness, we would like to provide you with tools and guidance on how you can witness your faith to others. This coming week is National Night Out, when neighbors get together for food and fellowship. Here at SJB, we will have cards available for you to hand out to your neighbors at your National Night Out Parties so you can invite them to entry-level events at SJB, including FallFest, a Men’s Steak Fry on September 10th, and devoted. These events are designed to welcome people of various backgrounds and introduce aspects of the Catholic Faith to them. We realize that we live in a post-Christian culture and need to be thoughtful in how we share the Gospel with people who have little understanding of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to take some cards this weekend as you leave church and hand them out to your neighbors. You can share with them that SJB has been a place of hope and strength for you, and you are inviting them so they can have the same experience.
We will also be handing out those same cards at the Stockyard Days Parade on August 12th as we can reach a wide variety of people during that community event. St. Mother Teresa said, “Bloom where you are planted.” That means make an impact right where you are. We desire at SJB, to make an impact in New Brighton and all our neighborhoods and share the treasure and beauty of our Catholic Faith with others!
Chapel Updates and Information
We have the blessing of the new Tabernacle in the Chapel of the Angels on the Memorial of Blessed Stanley Rother, whose relic we have placed on the front of the altar. You will now notice the congregation faces the same way toward the altar, the place of sacrifice and where love is revealed. We also installed a New Tabernacle that has a special door for the Blessed Sacrament to be accessed for adoration. This will allow groups to have adoration together before, during, or after meetings, without the presence of clergy. Teachers from our school will now be able to bring their whole class to adore Jesus in the Eucharist and rest in His presence. Behind the tabernacle are canvas prints of Fra Angelico’s fresco of the Archangel Gabriel and Mary at the Annunciation that he painted in the San Marco Convent in Florence, Italy. We split the image to include the Crucifixion scene, also from the same artist, forming a triptych in this space and creating continuity with our church. We are awaiting the arrival of the Archangels Michael and Raphael statues in September. These will be 36” tall and commissioned for this space. We received several specially designated gifts for the renovation that has made this all possible. See the video in Thursday’s email for more information regarding the chapel. Thank you to Steve Arndorfer, parishioner and owner of SMA Construction, for serving as General Contractor for the project as well as the chapel renovation committee for helping us bring this to completion.
As the Father loves me so I also love you,
Father Paul Shovelain