In Service of the Lord and His Church

Fr. Jeff ErnstBread to Offer0 Comments

At the 2:00 Mass last Sunday, we celebrated Maria Mota’s 35th anniversary of profession as a lay member of the Society of St. Paul. Two Paulist priests from Mexico celebrated the 2:00 Sunday Mass for Maria on her special day, Fr. Mario from Mexico City and Fr. Carlos from Guadalajara. During the Mass, Maria publicly renewed her commitment to the Society. Maria sees her Paulist vocation and mission as evangelization through catechesis and faith formation. She has been indispensable here at St. John as she meets with and instructs Spanish-speaking youth, adults, engaged couples, and quinceaneras in their faith development and maturity.

Maria is very close to the Hispanic community in our parish, referring to them as “her brothers and sisters.” She loves them very much and desires that they continue to deepen their faith commitment to our Lord. Maria herself has a deep and personal faith relationship with Jesus, whom she refers to as “mi honey.”

While Maria loves all our parish staff, she is especially fond of those staff with whom she has worked for many years: Lois, Lisa, Cris, and Jen, whom she refers to as “Jennie.” They assist Maria with organization of catechesis programs, trips to the airport, obtaining airline tickets, and they provide emotional and prayer support to her as her sisters in Jesus. Maria is in constant communication with the Hispanic people (and she is adept at texting!). In all of these ways, Maria is a true member of the Society of St. Paul.

The Society of St. Paul was founded in 1914 by Fr. James Alberione to bring the Gospel to people through the media. The Paulists are still known for their media publications and productions. In particular, they bring papal encyclicals and other church documents to us in a simple format. At the time of Fr. Alberione’s death in 1971, their society numbered 7,000. Today, the Paulist Fathers, Sisters, and lay members number more than 10,000. Congratulations and many blessings on your anniversary, Maria!

I would like to bring to your attention another religious vocation in our parish, that of Jonathan Fox, a St. John Parishioner, alumnus of St. John School, and a seminarian at Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri. Jonathan is completing his two years of philosophical studies and will graduate on Saturday, May 14th. After working this summer with Prayer and Action, and a trip to World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland with Archbishop Naumann, Jonathan will move on to theology studies for the priesthood at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. I had a nice visit with Jonathan at Conception this past week. He is doing very well and is ahead of schedule, with all but one of his papers already finished. He will have exams the week of May 9th – 13th. Please keep Jonathan in your prayers.

If you are aware of a young person who seems to be a good candidate for the priesthood, sisterhood, or brotherhood, pray for that person and encourage him or her to consider a vocation to the religious life and/or priesthood. Sometimes it takes just a gentle nudge from someone to motivate a person in that direction. You never know, Jesus may be using you as he used Andrew to get Simon Peter to meet Jesus!

– Fr. Jeff

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