June 4, 2023
During the Parish retreat on June 10, we will be seeking feedback on our proposed parish priorities that arose from our synod experience. Please review the current draft.
- St. John the Baptist Catholic Community offers Christ-like inclusion and acceptance.
– We desire to accompany all on this journey of faith.
– We delight in the rich diversity of cultures and traditions.
– We recognize, respect, and are enriched by the experiences and perspectives of women and those who are marginalized or underrepresented.
- St. John the Baptist is rebuilding an actively engaged faith community.
– We seek to welcome back those who have left the Church.
– We offer healing and hope to those hurt or wounded by the Church.
– We develop stewards, who gratefully share their gifts of time, talent, and treasure for the building up of God’s Kingdom.
– We continue the synodal process as we engage with Partners in the Gospel.
- St. John the Baptist forms missionary disciples guided by the Holy Spirit.
– We strive for all to grow and share in their faith.
– We engage, respond, and increase our understanding to better serve youth, young adults, and families by meeting them where they are in life and in their faith journey.
– We reach out beyond our parishioners to the needs of the wider community, extending the care and compassionate love of God.
May 28, 2023
May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
I recently came across this article from National Catholic Partnership on Disability.
“One pastoral need facing the family as well as the parish family and larger community is the need for a better understanding of mental illness – what a mental illness is and what it is not. Mental illness is a biological brain disorder – physical disorder, not a choice, not a weakness, and not bad parenting.
Mental illness can be life-threatening and disabling for the patient and life-changing and traumatic for the family. People with a significant mental illness such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and major depression have a disturbance of brain chemistry. Irregular brain function causes people with these diseases to perceive their environment differently. With the onset of these diseases come difficulties in thinking, concentration, and organization.
Mental illnesses are treatable. With appropriate effective medication and a wide range of services tailored to their needs, most people who live with serious mental illnesses will be able to find a reduction in symptoms and a more satisfying measure of achievement and independence.
People with mental illness and their families face a stigma that they somehow caused this and are at fault and is a sign of disgrace. Somehow, they are not as good or smart as others. Mental illness, despite research, learning, and education, is still perceived by many people as a character flaw, a moral fault, or a sign of weakness, rather than what it is – a disease of the brain.”
May 21, 2023
The World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 is no longer considered a health emergency on a global scale. Our government has also ended the “emergency” classification in our own nation. We, therefore, are relaxing some of our parish protocols and returning to the way we celebrated Mass prior to the Covid emergency.
There will no longer be a socially-distanced section in the Assembly. The hosts will no longer be kept covered on the altar. Eucharistic Ministers (EMs) will no longer be required to wear masks, as they distribute communion. It will be their option if they want to use one or not. EMs will sanitize their hands when they come up to the altar, not immediately before distributing communion. If a communicant receives communion on the tongue, the EM will sanitize his hands only if he believes saliva has touched his fingers. Sharing from the cup will return as an option. Because of the positive feedback we have received, we will continue to invite people to come forward with their tithe and food donations.
COVID-19 has not disappeared, and there still are tens of thousands of cases in the country. Here is what you can do to keep the community safe.
- If sick with any cold or flu symptoms, stay home.
- Keep updated with your vaccinations.
- If you have been exposed to COVID-19, follow CDC guidelines.
For the time being, we will continue to supply masks and hand sanitizer for those who wish to use them.
May 14, 2023
Priests Consulted on Partners Draft
The priests of the archdiocese met May 3rd to review a draft of the proposed families of parishes. This was already the third draft. In June, the priests will meet again to review a 4th draft. Parish and Catholic school staffs will be consulted in August. All parishioners will be given the opportunity to offer feedback in late September and early October.
In preparation for this consultation, the statistics behind this reorganization will be available the weekend of May 27th and 28th. These numbers will show WHY we need to restructure parish life. This restructuring will include grouping two or more parishes together in what will be called a “Family” of parishes under the leadership of one pastor and possibly assisted by one or more other priests. Over the next three years, each family of parishes will then look at how they best can become one parish. This involves WHAT we should be as a Christian Community.
Here at St. John the Baptist we are having a parish-wide retreat on June 10th (from 9 am to 3 pm—ed.) to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to look at our unique identity and history, and to review our own parish priorities arising from the synod session we had last year. This will help us discern how we can enter our family of parishes and seek to be the community the Lord desires us to be. Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend our parish retreat.