May 7, 2017

Dear Friends,

In today's Gospel on this Fourth Sunday of the Easter Season, Jesus states, "I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10). Whenever I read this verse of Sacred Scripture, I am taken back to World yOuth Day in Denver, Colorado in August, 1993.  It was there, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains that St. John Paul II met with hundreds of thousands of young people from throughout the world.  Along with 1700 young people from the Diocese of Wichita, I traveled with our youth by bus to Denver for this memorable trip.  The verse from John 10:10 was the theme of the gathering.

Jesus is a life-giver. When we receive the life of Jesus and we share his gift of life with others, we receive even more life in Christ. This life of Christ we call "grace." The Sacraments of the Church give us grace by which we share in the life of God. Jesus not only wants us to have life, but to have it abundantly! Sin empties the life of grace within us. As we witness 16 of our young brothers and sisters recfeive Jesus today for the first time in Holy Communion, may each one of us pray with this verse of Scripture and reflect upon what Jesus says to us, "I have come so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."

Jesus Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Fr. John

April 30, 2017

Dear Friends,

This coming week our second graders will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the very first time.  Understandably, these children are excited, (and a little nnervous and anxious), about these upcoming experiences.  I invite you to think back in your own life to the time that you received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion for the first time.  What memories resonate in your mind?

One simple definition of a sacrament is that a sacrament is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.  The excitement of a young child when receiving the sacraments con wane over the years.  As adults, we can forget what is truly happening when we receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion at Mass and we sadly "go through the motions" with little or no conscious awareness of what is happening.  As we witness our young children receive Holy Communion for the first time on Sunday, May 7, at both the 8:00 a.m. and the 10:30 a.m. Masses, let us silently recite this prayer for each of us, regardless of our age: "Child of God, may I receive Jesus in Holy Communion at this Mass as if it were my first time, as if it were my last time, as if it were my only time."  May this prayer remind us of the graces received when we receive the sacraments of the Church, when we encounter Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

Jesus Christ is Risen!  Alleluia!

Fr. John

April 23, 2017

Dear Friends,

Jesus says, "I have come to give life and give it abundantly." (John 10:10). The Resurrection of Jesus Christ that we now celebrate for the fifty days of this Easter Season accents the gift of life - life now on earth and life after death in the Kingdom of God.

Our parish family of St. John the Evangelist than's God for the gift of life! We thank God for the gift of life in 65 years of marriage between James and Joanne Flippin on April 19; the gift of life of Rebecca Maus and Grant Morris entering into the Sacrament of Matrimony on April 21; the gift of life of Rachelle Pelz and Kody Decker entering into the Sacrament of Matrimony on April 29; the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion for Keyonna and Keyton Wright at the Easter Vigil on April 15; the Baptism of Jonah Daniel Youngers on April 23. In May, we will celebrate the life of our second graders receiving Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Communion for the first time; the graduation of our high school seniors moving into the next chapter of their lives; the marriage of Elizabeth Ast and Anthony Wilkerson and the ordination to the Order of Deacon of Derek Thome.

The Sacraments of the Church give us life and give us life abundantly; what a precious gift. Jesus Christ is risen. Alleluia!

In Christ's Service,

Fr. John

April 16, 2017

Dear Friends,

Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Today is Easter Sunday and for the next 50 days of the Church Year, we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read, "United with Christ by Baptism, believers already truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ, but this life remains "hidden with Christ in God." The Father has already "raised us up with him, made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Nourished with his body in the Eucharist, we already belong to the Body of Christ. When we rise on the last day we "also will appear with him in glory." (CCC, n. 10003)

This Mystery of the Resurrection is the foundation of our Catholic Faith. May these days of the Easter Season allow us to penetrate more deeply through our prayer these sacred mysteries that we celebrate.

I express gratitude to our parish family of St. John the Evangelist for making Holy Week truly holy, (i.e. set apart for Divine Service). From Palm Sunday through Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil, the parish prayed so beautifully. May you and your loved ones have a blessed Easter Season!

In Christ's Service,

Fr. John

April 9, 2017

Dear Friends,

A national motel chain has a catchy and memorable slogan for their ad campagin which states, "We'll leave the light on for you!" This is Holy Week. And this week, we will leave the light on for you. What light? The light in the Confessional. A significant way to make this week holy, (i.e. "set apart for God's use"), is to come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We celebrate in Holy Week the Paschal Myster of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why did Jesus die on a cross? For the forgiveness of our sins and the sins of the whole world.

On Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. I will be hearing Confessions at Church of the Holy Spirit in Goddard. On Monday night and Tuesday nights here at St. John's, I will begin hearing Confessions from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. or until all are heard. On Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m., there will be four priests here offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are leaving the light on for you. This offer is not about a good night's sleep. This offer is about eternal life! Make this week HOLY!

In Christ's Service,

Fr. John

April 2, 2017

Dear Friends,

We are blessed and pleased to welcome Bishop Carl Kemme to our parish family at this weekend's 10:30 a.m. Mass. Bishop Kemme is the eleventh Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita. Our diocese was established on August 2, 1887 and this year, we mark our 130th birthday. Bishop Kemme will mark his third anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination as he was ordained a Successor of the Apostles on May 1, 2014.

Our parish of St. John the Evangelist was established in 1888, and this year marks our 129th birthday. It is important that we remember with gratitutde those who have gone before us in our parish and diocesan family who have passed on the Catholic Faith to us. As our 27 young people are being confirmed today, they too are called forth by the Holy Spirit to bring the Joy fo the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Please pray for our young adults who are being confirmed with the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit!

In Christ's Service,

Fr. John

March 26, 2017

Dear Friends,

We are blessed to welcome Bishop Carl Kemme to our parish family on Sunday, April 2. He will celebrate the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass and will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to 27 of our young adults. Seating in the church for the Mass will be reserved for the Confirmation candidates, their sponsors and members of their families. Our parish church seats 220 people and it will be full for this Mass!

However, because it is a rare treat to have Bishop Kemme with us, please know that you are welcome to come to the 10:30 a.m. Mass, but know in advance that you will need to be seated in the Parish Center. There will be a live video and audio feed and Extraordinary Minsiters of Holy Communion will come to the Center to distribute Holy Communion during the Mass. Following the Mass, all are invited to a reception in the Parish Center with Bishop Kemme.

Please pray for our young adults who are being confirmed with the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit!

In Christ's Service,

Fr. John

March 12, 2017

Dear Friends,

This past Saturday morning at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, our parish family participated in the Rite of Election with Bishop Kemme. Two of our young people, Keyonna and Keaton Wright, were received by Bishop Kemme as "Elect." The sister and brother, (they are twins), will be baptized and confirmed and make their First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil here at St. John's on Holy Saturday night. Please pray for Keaton and Keyonna as they draw closer into our Catholic Faith.

Also this past Saturday, our parish hosted 98 high school students who are preparing to receive teh Sacrament of Confirmation. Of that number, 27 of these high school students are parishioners of St. John the Evangelist parish. They will be confirmed by Bishop Kemme on Sunday, April 2, at the 10:30 a.m. Mass that morning. Please pray for these young people.

Much is happening here in our parish! Thank God. We are blessed.

In Christ's Service,

Fr. John

 

March 5, 2017

Dear Friends,

We welcome Fr. Pat Malone to our parish this weekend! I am grateful to him for covering the Masses at St. John's as I am conducting a Lenten Parish Mission at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. I will be back at the parish on Wednesday.

As this is the First Sunday of Lent, what are you/your family doing to make this day "Our Sunday Rest?" Some suggestions include going to Pawnee Prairie Park and taking a hike together as a family; playing a game of Monopoly or Yahtzee; how about a card game of Pitch? Perhaps you could fix one of the recipes from another country on the Rice Bowl brochure and eat together as a family celebrating "Our Sunday Rest?" Shoow me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I will share some of your ideas in a future parish bulletin. Let us pray for one another on our Lenten Journey 2017.

In Christ's Serivice,

Fr. John

February 26, 2017

Dear Friends,

As you likely know, one of our very long-time parishioners died on Monday afternoon.  Dean Pauly was born on the same dairy farm where he lived for 91 years, just west of St. John's Church on 71st Street South. My heart has been moved with great joy as I have witnessed so many of our parishioners assist in the preparations for Dean's funeral services, which took place on Saturday February 25. I offer a special word of thanks to the Altar Society who worked around the Taste of Spring Breakfast in the Parish Center so that as a parish family, we could welcome and accommodate the Pauly family and their friends. This is what a family does. We accompany one another in this journey of faith. It is a blessing indeed!

In christ's Service,

Fr. John