May 5, 2022
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
“Mothers are the most important people,” exclaimed my Grandma Shovelain on our Facebook Live video two years ago. “You need to love Mary, as she is the Mother of God!” Grandma Irene had a very deep love for Mary and instilled that in me as well as our virtual audience in that feed. As we begin the month of Mary, we honor Mary as she is the Mother of God and did so much to support Christ throughout his life.
Two years ago today, was one of the greatest moments of my virtual ministry career. It was Grandma Shovelain’s 90th birthday and I gave an episode of “Father’s Favorites” called “Favorite Titles of Mary.” Grandma was able to watch it and I spoke to her afterwards. She was so fired up and excited when I called her. She loved Mary and rejoiced when she was honored. Christ, too, rejoices when we honor His mother. In fact, when we honor Mary, we honor Christ. So, this month as you honor Mary, remember that you are also honoring Christ.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers this weekend! We pray for all biological mothers, adoptive mothers, godmothers, grandmothers, and spiritual mothers. May they be strengthened through the intercession of Mary, our Heavenly Mother, and be comforted by her Son.
We pray as well for all our Confirmation students receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation this Saturday. Our new Auxiliary Bishop, Joseph Williams, will be confirming 42 of our students.
Please pray for our NET Team as they complete their time with us. We had a three-year contract with NET Ministries to host a team of 8 missionaries for 3 years, and this was our 3rd year. The program was to bring youth in the first year, train them in year two, and send them out and shepherd them in year three. Although, the pandemic made this very difficult, they have brought the love of Christ to so many in our community. In particular, they helped our youth minister, Mikayla Anderson, grow our youth programs and young adult ministry.
As we say goodbye to the NET Team we desire to keep the momentum going by caring for and making disciples of our families with middle school and high school youth. We will be hiring an additional full-time youth minister. Mikayla will continue to work with our families with high schoolers, develop leadership teams for Retreats, Peer Ministry, etc., as well as continue to build a structure for thriving young adult ministry. We will search for a Coordinator of Discipleship for Families with Middle Schoolers who will be responsible for Middle School Faith Formation and youth ministry, Campus Ministry for our Middle School, and Confirmation Preparation for 9th graders. To aid in the transition, we will be hiring a part-time ministry associate for summer programming and trips. Please pray for the search process.
Please also pray for the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines as they complete their service here at St. John the Baptist. We were blessed to have them serve here for the last three years. They worked in our preschool, school, faith formation, and one even served at the Little Sisters of the Poor in St. Paul. They will be returning to California and the Philippines for new assignments. I am grateful for their gentleness and the love of Christ that they shared with us. We plan to fill those positions with lay staff as we support continued growth in our school and faith formation programs. We will be having a special reception for the Sisters after the morning Masses on Sunday, May 22nd. Please stop in St. Joseph’s Hall after Mass that morning and say goodbye.
There are a lot of reasons to rely on prayer here! But we must rely on prayer because if we only relied on ourselves we would fall short. God is doing great things here and it is beautiful to see the fruits of our labors. I invite you to turn to Mary especially this month for these prayer intentions knowing that her Son is our Risen Lord who desires to provide for us!
As the Father loves me, so also I love you!
Father Paul Shovelain