Hello from Quarantine
By the time most of you read the bulletin, I will be in day 9 of my two-week quarantine. The good news is I have experienced no symptoms and have tested negative for the COVID-19. My quarantine has been lifted so I will be taking a few vacation days. Then, I expect to be back in the office on Tuesday, August 25.
The first week at home has allowed me to catch up on many needed chores both inside and outside. Inside the house, my task was dusting and washing the windows. Outside required doing some of the late summer, early fall garden clean up. Years ago, an experienced gardener once told me, “don’t plant violets as they are very aggressive.” While I never planted violets, I have to say they are ferocious in their ability to multiply and take over.
Also I have taken time for some spiritual reading. I decided to again read a great spiritual classic by St. Francis de Sales called, An Introduction to the Devout Life. It is an important book for anyone who wants to grow closer to God, become a saint and live forever in Heaven. I would encourage everyone to find a copy and read it slowly. The book is set up with many small chapters. After each chapter, just pause and ask yourself, “in what I just read, what is there to help me grow closer to Jesus Christ and my spiritual life?” As I often say to people who do spiritual reading, the goal isn’t to get through the book as quickly as possible, but rather, to absorb helpful points that are being made. St. Francis de Sales ends his book by saying, “I say to you, look up to Heaven, and do not forfeit it for Earth. Look down into Hell, and do not cast yourself into it for the sake of fleeting things. Look upon Jesus Christ, and do not renounce Him for all the world. And when the labors of a devout life seem hard to you, sing with St. Francis of Assisi:
“Such are the joys that lure my sight, all pains grow sweet, all labors light. Live, Jesus! To whom, with the Father and Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and throughout the endless ages of eternity. Amen.”
United States Grace Force
We are now finishing the first week of the 54-day Novena for praying for the United States. If you have not yet begun, you can start now, simply by picking a time and place to pray, particularly the Rosary for the conversion of the United States. I like what a priest said to me years ago regarding Lenten practice: “What we do for Lent, we ought to do for the rest of our lives.” I hope this is true with this Novena for the United States. Once we begin, may we continue to pray for elections, for Thanksgiving, through Advent, right into the New Year. God knows our country needs our prayers.
Festival Begging Letter
I am pleased to say that with just three weeks to go, we have reached $60,000 of our $70,000 goal. Thank you once again for all who are helping with this special collection. If you haven’t made a contribution, please prayerfully consider doing so.
August Holy Hour
The Respect Life Committee invites you to their Holy Hour for the Unborn on Wednesday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m. With so many outside distractions in our world, let’s not forget the unborn. They are still in dire need of our prayers. Please join us!
Please be aware of telephone calls, texts, and emails that appear to be from myself, or other Parish staff or Parish leaders. There has again been a recent increase in this kind of activity. The sender’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Do not reply to this email address. It is not my legitimate email address. I will not ask you for a favor, or ask you to buy gift cards for myself, for staff or for other Parish leaders. Please be on alert for these and similar scams. Ignore and/or delete any such messages.
24-Hour Perpetual Adoration
St. John’s is fortunate to have 24-hour Perpetual Adoration. Please take advantage of this beautiful opportunity to stay close to God in these difficult times. Hand sanitizer is available in the Adoration entrance (south side of Church), and we ask that you practice social distancing and stay at least six feet from others while in Church.