Beatitudes for Mothers

Blessed are mothers
who did without for us,
they will be rewarded.

Blessed are mothers
who lost sleep when we were sick,
they will find rest.

Blessed are mothers
who taught us how to pray, they
will share God’s kingdom.

Blessed are mothers
who comforted us,
they shall be comforted.

Blessed are mothers
who taught us right from wrong,
they will know justice.

Blessed are mothers
who shared with us
the meaning of peace,
they shall know peace.

Blessed are mothers
who taught us the importance
of loving God and each other,
they shall see God.

–author unknown

In Memoriam: Connie Rohrbach

In your charity, please pray for the soul of Connie Rohrbach who passed away Thursday, May 7, 2020. Please include her family in your prayers.
Visitation and services will be private.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her, O Lord……

One Step at a Time

Dear Friends,

Archbishop Carlson has communicated to us that we may resume public Masses on Monday, May 18.  He will provide guidelines directing how can best open while being safe and respectful of the ongoing concerns regarding the presence of the coronavirus in our community.  I will likewise post, probably on Tuesday, May 12, our guidelines regarding how to attend Mass the following week.  

The good news is that we will be able to celebrate together.  It will not be the same; and I believe we are learning it will never be the same.  What is the same is God’s love for us.  What is the same is God’s presence to us and within us.  What is the same is God’s promise to us.  The Holy Spirit will be sent upon each one of us and we will search together for the ways God is calling us to reveal his glory through our love for one another.

We will continue our Friday Eucharistic Processions for healing and peace in our community, every Friday at 6:00 pm..  This evening we will travel west on Delor, north on Ridgewood, east on Taft and south on Newport back to the Grotto.

Please also note that roses will be available on the sidewalk in front of church this Sunday from 9-11:30 AM.  Please come by!

You are in my daily prayer.  Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Longing for the Bread of Life

This week the Church has proclaimed Jesus’ “Bread of Life Discourse” (John 6:22-59).  Years ago, a wise parishioner shared with me his passion for this passage and his passion for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; he reads this passage every day.  Every day.  I remember being so moved by his faith that I too began reading it everyday, for a few days.  Then I let it slip away.  This morning I received a text from a friend who is similarly moved by the profound witness of Jesus in the “Bread of Life Discourse.”  His excitement over this most beautiful gift from God ended with this wise and humorous insight: “immediately following Jesus’ ‘Bread of Life Discourse’ was the first ‘Mic Drop’ in recorded history.”  Yesterday I went for a walk in the woods and carried with me one phrase from yesterday’s portion of the passage in the Gospel, “whoever eats this bread will live forever.”  it brought me to tears, filled me with joy and so connected me to God’s desire to live eternally in communion with us that I could hardly contain myself.  And this morning, we heard the conclusion of the discourse, including these emphatic words, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”  

God so desires your love that he sent his only son into the world that you might have life.  God so desires your love that he has offered his only begotten son on the cross for you; gathering even sin and death into himself on the cross, which is now revealed as tree of life, transforming even sin and death into God’s glory.  God so desires your love that he has invited you to become his beloved spouse, sealing the marriage bond in the wedding feast of the lamb, where sharing the very body, blood, soul and divinity of his dearly beloved son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, for the atonement of your sins and those of the whole world, God brings forth his Kingdom, the Heavenly Jerusalem, fully present in the celebration of the Eucharist.  

When we celebrate the Eucharist, we are not “going to Church.”  When we celebrate the Eucharist we participate in the coming together of heaven and earth.  We are nourished by the fruit of the Tree of Life which is medicine for the nations (Rev 22:2).  And we become the body and blood of Christ; we become healing and peace for the life of the world.  Our nourishment from the Eucharist is not in preparation for heaven when we die; when we eat his body and drink his blood, we have eternal life, NOW.

Let us continue in prayer for healing, peace, holiness and wisdom as we continue to journey through this pandemic which is a real sharing in the suffering of Christ.  Let our love grow, let our life in this world be surrendered, let our eyes be opened to the depths of God’s love, let us trust our own resurrection life, let us long for communion which we will celebrate together in the Eucharist, soon and very soon.  Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. 


On this Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, let us ask for a sharing of her courageous spirit and seek her intercession for healing from the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

I realize we may all be living with anxiety in the midst of so many unknowns; yet through it all your faith is revealing God’s glory more and more each day.  From your outreach to one another by phone and mail, to your sacrifices for one another, to your manufacturing of facial masks, to your providing of assistance to the poor, to your ongoing prayer, you are giving witness to the Risen Christ.  I am grateful for your great faith and for your deep, abiding love.

I am particularly grateful to you for your generous support of our mission even while we are unable to celebrate publicly our communion of faith.  We have been able to continue the mission without difficulty, due to your stewardship over the years and your continued support during this season of social distancing.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

I offer a special word of thanks, too, to Jim Boeger, our Business Manager, who worked tirelessly to submit St. John the Baptist’s application for a Payroll Protection Plan loan from the Small Business Administration.  Through his hard work and by God’s grace we have received a loan which provides needed back-up during these uncertain times so we can confidently move forward knowing our mission is secure.  Together with your ongoing support we will be well positioned to thrive as we discover together what parish Life looks like in the wake of the pandemic.  

Archbishop Carlson has extended the suspension of public Masses through May 8.  Until then, we will continue celebrating daily Mass and our regular Sunday Masses with congregations of seven.  If you have not already done so, please call the parish office to let us know how many from your household to include in a future Mass.

We will continue with our Eucharistic Procession of Fridays at 6:00 pm.  This Friday we will journey east on Delor, south on Ulena, west on Bates, south on Gravois, north on Christy and east on Delor back to the Grotto. Please step out and join us in a decade or two of the Rosary as we pass near your home. 

Hopefully, we will be able to gather together, safely, soon.  We are one body in Christ; it his spirit, the spirit of the Risen Christ, dwelling within us and holding us together.  I pray that God’s grace and mercy be yours even in this difficult time of separation.  God bless you.  Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

St. Catherine of Siena

This week, on Wednesday, April 29, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena.  She is a courageous, loving and faithful mystic in the life of the Church.  She lived during the Plague of the 14th century, ministering to those who were sick.  She is recognized as a Doctor of the church.  She can be a great example for us and someone we turn to in prayer.  God bless you.