It is a profound joy and gift to join you as your acting pastor during Fr. Paul’s sabbatical in the extended days celebrating Jesus’s birthday. You may know how I love to wish you a happy birthday. I’m currently trying to track down that birthday list to get back to your birthday calls.
Though I was with you as recently as 2014-2016, I’m sure much has changed for you. I greatly look forward to catching up with you and learning what the Lord has been doing in your life. I know that many of you and your family members have suffered significantly over the past years. I am eager to pray with you and help you find the Lord’s presence in your everyday life.
Since we were last together, I have been teaching philosophy and Scripture at the University of St. Thomas and St. Paul Seminary. I also became a chaplain in the Air National Guard and provide spiritual support to all Air Force personnel in the Twin Cities, including the Air Force Reserve. Along with this, I have spent the past two years as the priest chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center and am currently at North Memorial Hospital. I am on the Archdiocesan Covid Anointing Corps and have anointed about 400 people sick with the coronavirus.
This work with the sick and military personnel has shown me how much more vulnerable our society is than it seemed only a little while ago. I am very eager to support our efforts to strengthen the faith of those who are reasonably well, as well as our outreach to those who are particularly struggling.
As we near the end of the calendar year, I encourage you to see the link below for year-end gifts. Help St. John’s shed more light in our dark times! And you may be interested to know that even if you file taxes and opt for the standard deduction, you can still receive a $300 per individual/$600 per couple tax deduction for contributions to St. John the Baptist in those amounts. Our acknowledgment of your contribution will fulfill the IRS requirement for the deduction. And please pray for the sick whom I also serve each day.
That my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete,