By Fr. Paul Shovelain

This past week I met with my leadership team to discuss the past 6 months and look forward to the next 6 months. We discussed the challenges of the pandemic as well as the opportunities it provided for us. We are all grateful for the many ways staff and parishioners grew in unity through the Holy Spirit even as the world tried to pull us apart this past year.

Looking ahead, our theme for our new fiscal year is “Restored to Life.” Jesus Christ tells us in the Gospel of John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” It is time for us to breathe in his love more deeply. Many have been hesitant to reengage with society, but Christ is calling us out. It is beautiful to hear feedback from parishioners who are seeing a full church or sharing food after Mass or a funeral luncheon and share about how important it is to be together. Through our ministry at SJB, we desire to help people receive Christ and thus be restored to the life that he has created for them. This last weekend was the first weekend with the dispensation lifted, and we desire all people to come to receive the Bread of Life, the Eucharist at Mass. He will restore you to life. We have given much of ourselves in different ways this last year and now is the time to be replenished by the source of Life. We may have been starved of the life due to not be able to attend Mass due to being high risk or a caregiver. Well, Christ desires to nourish us now.

This coming week we desire to help our children in Vacation Bible School and our youth in Totus Tuus be restored to Life as well. They will participate in the Sacraments as well as grow in understanding of who God is through classes and activities with our Totus Tuus Missionaries and our volunteers. Thank you to all those who are helping to make this work. Please pray for all participants, that they would be “Restored to Life” in abundance through this great ministry!

As we plan and prepare for the upcoming year, we desire each and every parishioner to be restored with the fullness of Life in Christ. Please pray for this intention and reflect upon where Christ is calling you to have life more abundantly.

PS. It’s been a while since you’ve seen a fish picture so here’s a nice Sunfish I caught on Long Lake on the 4th!