Happy Birthday to St. John the Baptist!
 Greetings!
Salutations to you! How are you? On this special day perhaps you are leaping for joy as John did within the womb of his mother Elizabeth when Mary visited them (Luke 1:39-56). We commemorate the birthday of St. John the Baptist today. Along with Our Blessed Mother on September 8th and Jesus on December 25th, St. John is the only person whose birthday is celebrated in the liturgical year. His martyrdom and entry into heavenly glory is celebrated every year on August 29th. In honor of this great patron saint of my alma mater (St. John’s University in Collegeville) I thought that it might be nice to include an excerpt from a poem that Thomas Merton wrote about him:  
St. John the Baptist
St. John, strong Baptist,
Angel before the face of the Messiah
Desert-dweller, knowing the solitudes that lie
Beyond anxiety and doubt,
Eagle whose flight is higher than our atmosphere
Of hesitation and surmise,
You are the first Cistercian and the greatest Trappist:
Never abandon us, your few but faithful children,
For we remember your amazing life,
Where you laid down for us the form and pattern of
Our love for Christ,
Being so close to Him you were His twin.
Oh buy us, by your intercession, in your mighty heaven,
Not your great name, St. John, or ministry,
But oh, your solitude and death:
And most of all, gain us your great command of graces,
Making our poor hands also fountains full of life and wonder
Spending, in endless rivers, to the universe,
Christ, in secret, and His Father, and His sanctifying Spirit.
Through the intercession of St. John the Baptist on this day of his birth to Saints Elizabeth and Zechariah may we draw closer in our friendship with Jesus his cousin and our Lord. Amen.

Mercy with Christ,
Fr. James
Fr. James Daily Video Message
Daily video messages from Fr. James and Masses celebrated by Father James can be found on Facebook, YouTube, our My Parish app and on our website:
Welcome Father Andy Jaspers!

It is a great joy to join you as your new priest-in-residence! I am a classmate of Fr. James and am literally taking the place of Fr. Bruno—in his rectory room and in his ministry at North Memorial Hospital. I have just been re-assigned by Archbishop Hebda from work as the priest chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center. Though my assignment does not officially include work at Immaculate Conception, I anticipate serving you when Fr. James is away. I also teach Scripture at St. Paul Seminary and am an Air Force chaplain.
 
I grew up in Lake Crystal, a small town near Mankato. My father was the town doctor and I have three siblings. I spent ten years in the Jesuits before joining the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as a seminarian, as I found that diocesan priesthood was a better fit.
 
Fr. James and I have been good friends since we met in seminary. We both love parish and retreat ministry, ministry in Spanish, and evangelization. I look forward to deepening our friendship and learning from him the love for the people of Immaculate Conception Church and School.
 
Let us pray for each other.
Fr. Andrew M. Jaspers
Sunday Dispensation Obligation Update
July 1 marks the end of dispensation in Minnesota. Read the full text of the Minnesota bishops’ statement here:

Archbishop Hebda Welcomes the Faithful Back to Mass.
Q: The dispensation is being lifted July 1, 2021. What does that mean?
 
A: The Sunday obligation to attend Mass in person was temporarily lifted during the pandemic out of concern for the safety of our most vulnerable.
 
As the pandemic subsides, and public gathering restrictions and safety protocols are lifted, it is time to gather as the Body of Christ once again. Therefore, the bishops and diocesan administrators of the Minnesota Catholic Conference have decided to reinstate the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation beginning the weekend of July 3-4, 2021.
 
Q: If I’ve been worshipping from home for over a year, why should I go back now?
 
A: Since resuming public worship in May 2020, parishes have taken great care to ensure safety protocols are followed by staff, as well as Mass-goers. With the rise in percentage of the population vaccinated, cases are decreasing and we are starting to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. For these reasons and more, Gov. Walz announced in Executive Order 21-21 that social distancing is no longer mandated indoors as of May 28, 2021, meaning parishes may now open at full capacity. Parishes stand ready and eager to welcome back the faithful for in-person worship.
 
Q: Will Mass look different?
 
A: Yes, it might. Even though social distancing is no longer mandated indoors, parishes may still have designated seating areas as they transition back to full capacity. While there is no longer a mask mandate in Minnesota, your local municipality or parish may still require face coverings indoors for all those ages five and over. Additionally, baptismal fonts and holy water stoups may be empty, restrooms may have capacity limits, congressional singing may be discouraged, coffee and donuts may not be offered yet, and parishes may provide hand sanitizer for all those participating in the Mass.

Yet more powerful than the differences are what remains the same: Jesus in the Eucharist. The sense of community and fellowship among those worshiping. And the opportunity to participate in the sacrifice of the Mass, just as believers have since the very beginning of Christianity.
Trivia Question of the Week
How many relatives of Saints Elizabeth and Zechariah were named John according to Luke 1:55-66, 80?

A. Zero
B. One
C. Two
D. Three 

See the bottom of this newsletter for the answer.
Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Feast Day – June 24
First Century

In the Gospels, John, a kinsman of Jesus through their mothers, preached repentance and baptized to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. This feast marks his exceptional birth to the aged priest Zechariah and the equally aged and barren Elizabeth. The angel Gabriel announces his birth in a vision to Zechariah, who hesitates in believing and is struck mute until eight days after John’s birth. Then, Zechariah, in a beautiful canticle that ends the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, proclaims that John “will be called prophet of the Most High.” John’s eventual beheading is commemorated with an Aug. 29 feast. A patron saint of Canada and Jordan, John is also the patron of Florence and the Knights Hospitaller of St. John.

(Copyright © 2021, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.)
Faith Formation Registration is Now Open
Registration is open for all 2021-22 Faith formation classes! We offer Family Formation (Kindergarten-Grade 6), 1st Eucharist preparation, pre-Confirmation and Confirmation preparation (Grades 7 and up). Register online or contact Mary Nawrocki, Director of Faith Formation, at 763-788-9062 or mnawrocki@immac-church.org. Classes begin in mid-September. Spaces fill quickly, so register early. We look forward to having your family join us this fall!
Archdiocesan Synod at Home
Holy Land Pilgrimage
Make a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in November of 2021 with Fr. James! Spots are limited. Please see the Magi Travel website for more details:
Enjoy a free subscription to FORMED.org

FORMED provides amazing online videos, audio and books 24/7 for you to grow in your faith. It's EASY and FREE to Register!

  • Go to iccsonline.formed.org and click next
  • Enter your name and email and click sign-up
  • Enjoy and share with others in our local community!

You can watch with your free parish subscription by simply selecting our parish’s name during registration at formed.org/signup.
Immaculate Conception Parish App
Answer to the Trivia Question of the Week:
A. Zero
 Immaculate Conception
Church and School
Church: 763-788-9062
School: 763-788-9065
info@immac-church.org | ICCSonline.org
You're receiving this email because of your relationship with Immaculate Conception Church and School. To no longer receive messages from Fr. James Peterson, please click the link at the bottom of this email to unsubscribe. Thank you.