From the Church
Beginning in June 2018, five young people working in conjunction with the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, launched a mission to bring the Gospel to the people of Northern Alaska.
Fairbanks has the distinction of being the largest U.S. diocese geographically, spanning 409,800 square miles in the northern two-thirds of the state, while serving one of the smallest U.S. Catholic diocesan populations of 18,000. The missionaries lead youth groups, host retreats, conduct Bible studies, promote Eucharistic Adoration and work in efforts to relieve the needs of the poor, bringing the love of Christ and unbridled enthusiasm to all they encounter.
Save the Date! We will be attending the Steubenville Rochester Youth Conference July 12th -14th, 2019.
Adventure Camp will continue in the Summer of 2019!, the tentative date being August 4th-9th 2019. More details will follow.
Trivia Night will be held in the Columbia Room at St. John's 7- 9pm on Fri., Jan. 11th. This is a fundraiser for Youth Ministry and to support our brothers and sisters in Venezuela. Mark your calendars and spread the word! This will be general trivia; open to all ages. The cost is $12 per person and there is space for 14 teams of 8.
Praised be Jesus Christ! For the record, writing this article almost killed me! Please allow me to explain. For as long as I’ve been here I’ve had an old, solid oak desk in my office. About a year ago I discovered that it was blocking the one vent and that was probably responsible for the fact that I was perpetually cold (no comments from the peanut gallery – I think the fact that it only took 61⁄2 years to figure this out is better than average for me). So we found an old desk in the basement (one that no longer blocks the vent) and found a friend to refinish it. A couple of weeks ago it was time to switch out the old and bring in the new desk (which is working wonderfully – as I’m typing this article I can actually feel my toes). While transferring all of the contents from the old desk to the “new” one, I found the article that I’ve shared below. We intended all along to move the oak desk to the basement, and Father Barry was more than willing to help me. Some of the office help thought we were biting off a bit more than we could chew, but what we lack in brawn we more than make up for in savvy and ingenuity. We were sliding the desk (on its side – it is about 5 feet tall when in this position) down the stairs backwards when Father Barry slipped and missed a step. I was directly underneath the desk and I thought for sure it was over. My life flashed before my eyes and I only wished I had kept my life insurance policy. For whatever reason, the desk did not fall on my head and crush me like a bug. We managed to get the desk to its new home in the basement, but I think I’ll stick to my day job from now on. So please enjoy this article that was written by Michael Perry (a friend of mine passed it along a couple of years ago and I put it in my old desk thinking it would be nice to share it someday): “Gratitude. Such a lovely word. Humble and warm. Humble, because it’s not a word you use if you think you did everything yourself. Humble, because no matter how hard you did work at whatever it is you’re grateful for, you know – and more importantly, acknowledge – there was some luck involved. Warm, because gratitude is not compatible with a cold soul. Warm, because gratitude radiates, like the gentle rays of a heart -sized sun. Gratitude goes softly out and does good works – which generates more gratitude. Gratitude is renewable energy. Gratitude, because to offer anything less would be to ignore all privilege. The privilege of existence. The privilege of health. The privilege of privilege. And now we are back at humility – or ought to be. Gratitude, because the world is awash with the sour surf of opposing sentiments. Gratitude, for those who show us the same. Gratitude, even in grumpiness. Which is to say I am not talking all hosannas, hugs, and puppies here, I am talking about perspective and preponderance and relativity and a sideways glance into the cosmic mirror, where behind me I spy millions of souls who would give all they own for just one of my disappointing Tuesdays. Gratitude as my moral duty. Gratitude, because it’s so easy. A note. A word. You don’t even have to talk. Gratitude can be soundless. You can speak it with your eyes. Share it with a smile. Weave it into your works. You can kneel down and offer it up. Gratitude. A triple- syllabic salutation to the six directions, whichever way you’re pointing. The echoes go on and on. The echoes are gratitude returning. There is the idea among psychologists that gratitude can be cultivated. Put it out there and it comes back to you. Gratitude as a practice. As an intentional act. Gratitude in the form of reflection. A quiet moment. A look back. Gratitude, not as obligation but as celebration. Gratitude, with our loved ones in mind. The ones who suffer our ingratitudes with grace, and that grace yet another reason for gratitude. Grace: cousin and catalyst to gratitude. Gratitude, because as this year draws to a close I am reminded it was another year granted, not guaranteed, and therefore not taken for granted. Gratitude, no matter the season. Gratitude.” Oh yes, gratitude – I’m grateful to spend another Christmas with you!
May God bless you with the grace of His peace this Christmas! Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
Mother Frances Streitel Center update: You’re now welcome to tour the basement at your leisure. We’ll keep the doors unlocked from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday and during the times of the weekend Masses. Please park on Blodgett during the school day and walk along the sidewalk between the church and the rectory to the entrance. People have again been asking if it’s too late to donate. No, it’s not too late. We’ll be taking donations for this work until June 30th of 2019. If you have any questions, you can contact me (Father Martin) or Pam Housworth. And by the way, Bishop Callahan will bless and dedicate the space on January 29th – then Adoration will begin in the new Saint John Paul II Adoration Chapel on February 1st. Deo gratias!
Adventure Camp: I recently attended the Diocesan meeting about Adventure Camp, and currently a family is intending to purchase CrossWoods Camp. Their tentative plans are to continue hosting Adventure Camp this summer. There are still a number of details to iron out, I will keep you posted on future developments.
Save the Date! We will be attending the Steubenville Rochester Youth Conference July 12th -14th, 2019.
Praised be Jesus Christ! More than ever people have been asking about end of the year donations and so I asked a friend who thoroughly understands tax laws to help me out. He generously passed along the following information: The standard deduction increased to $12,000 for a single person, $18,000 for the head of a household, and $24,000 for a married couple filing jointly. There is an additional amount for those over 65, $1600 for singles and $1300 for married couples filing jointly. If last year’s itemized deductions didn’t exceed these amounts and they’ve had no major changes this year, they should not itemize. There are only two things they can do: 1) double up their donations in this tax year, and if it gets them over the standard deduction they can itemize. They would then take the standard deduction next year; and 2) if they are over 70 1⁄2 and have an IRA, they may have all or part of their Required Minimum Distribution paid directly to Saint John the Baptist or Christ the King (or other charities). This will reduce their taxable income, which is what itemized deduction does. In 2018 many people who itemized will no longer find it beneficial. There really aren’t any other breaks for the average taxpayer. The AARP Tax-Aide program provides free basic tax preparation ( including Homestead Credit) and electronic filing for low-to- moderate income and elderly taxpayers. They operate in the Drendel Room of the Community Center from February 11th through April 10th. The hours are 12-5 on Mondays and 8-2 on Wednesdays. People can make appointments beginning on January 1st by calling 1-877-947-2211. I hope this information proves to be helpful. In the same vein, I was given an article deploring the materialism that becomes so ubiquitous during this time of the year. I heard about a priest who once lamented that Christmas was that time of year when we all wallow up to the feeding troughs of materialism and strap on our feeding bags. Not to be outdone, how about this quote from Emile Gauvreau: “I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.” And to think that Gauvreau was an optimist! Okay, if you’re still reading, allow me to make a non sequitur: I’ve been wanting to share a couple of quotes I’ve come across during the long Lent that we’re experiencing once again in the Church. For me, this has been the most painful time I have endured as a priest. While I’m not ashamed to wear the Roman collar, I keenly feel the distrust that these terrible sins have brought to all who minister as Catholic priests. In that light I’ve been on the lookout for sources of hope that will steel us for the road ahead. The first quote provides a timely reminder that our faith is in Jesus Christ: “The current crisis is deeply painful for all of us who love the Church. It is important to remember.... that we need to place our faith in the Lord and not men. We encourage our family to pray for healing and justice for victims, for repentance and accountability by perpetrators, and for peace and perseverance in the Faith among our brothers and sisters in Christ,” (Michael Warsaw, EWTN Chairman). Well said. And now I will leave you with the best quote yet – this comes from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the President of the American council of Bishops (USCCB). He spoke these words at the end of the Bishops’ annual conference in November: “We leave this place committed to taking the strongest possible action at the earliest possible moment... but our hope for true and deep reform ultimately lies in more than excellent systems, as essential as these are. It requires holiness: the deeply held convictions of the truths of the Gospel, and the eagerness to be transformed by those truths in all aspects of life.” So let it be written, so let it be done!
May God heal the brokenhearted, and teach us to use the things of this world with our hearts set on Heaven!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
The next holy days of obligation are Christmas and Mary, Mother of God. Mass times at St. John’s and Christ the King are:
December 24th 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00pm
December 25 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00am
Christ the King
December 24th -4:00pm (children’s Mass) and 10:00pm and December 25th -10:00am
MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
December 31st 5:15pm
January 1st 7:00 and 9:00am
Christ the King
December 31st 7:00pm
January 1st 8:30am
Commissioned extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, lectors, and servers are asked to assist. The sign-up sheets are in the sacristy.
Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM
Saturday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:30 PM
Sunday: 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 AM
Tuesday–Friday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM
1st and 3rd Fridays: Confessions begin at 6:00*
Saturday: 3:30 - 4:15 PM
*Friday confessions begin at 6:00, but vary in duration
PERPETUAL ADORATION: The Marshfield Deanery has the St. John Paul II Adoration Chapel located in the lower level of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, at 201 W. Blodgett Street. The chapel is accessible from the rear parking lot. For more information or to sign up, contact Jean Kaiser at 715-503-0118 or Deacon Ray Draeger at 715-207-6085. Click on the image below for more information
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Welcome to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church! Ever since 1877 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Pope John Paul II called the parish a “school of prayer” and St. John’s is committed to promoting growth in holiness in every state in life. Each of us is called... Read More
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