Category: News

December 27th: Wishing Fr. Drew Braun a Very Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Father! A Happy Birthday Song!

Father… It’s your Day! Have a wonderful Birthday! Just for you… a special greeting, on a Special Day! Wishing you a Happy Birthday!

December 27th: The Feast of St. John the Evangelist

Who was Saint John the Evangelist?

December 27th is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, frequently referred to as “the Beloved Disciple” in the Gospels. He was one of the first disciples called by Christ and is considered the author of the Gospel of John, at least the first of the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. He was also the only apostle not to die a martyr’s death even though the emperor Domitian tried very hard to make it twelve for twelve.

We remember in love and gratitude the life & work of the Beloved Disciple of Christ, John the Evangelist, the patron saint of our parish.

John was the son of Zebedee and Salome and made his living fishing in the Lake of Genesareth with his brother James “the greater”. He and other disciples, including Peter and Andrew, had originally been followers of John the Baptist but immediately followed Christ when called (John 1:35-42) . In between his travels throughout Jordan and Galilee with Jesus, John and some of the other apostles maintained their fishing business as can be seen from the accounts of Jesus calming the storm while on a fishing trip with the apostles.

Saint John the Evangelist

St. John receives prominent placement throughout the Gospels as one of the three apostles at the transfiguration, one of the apostles sent to prepare a place for the Last Supper, one of the three apostles present in the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ was arrested, the first to arrive at Christ’s tomb following the Resurrection and the apostle to whom Jesus entrusted His mother from the Cross. He was also the apostle who first recognized Christ standing on the lake shore following the Resurrection.

After the Ascension St. John traveled to Samaria and was thrown in prison with St. Peter (Acts 4:3). He also traveled to Ephesus and is credited with founding the church there, and Ephesus is considered the location of his death when he was about 100 years old. Based on visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, the home of the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to be located in Ephesus. She is thought to have traveled there with St. John sometime during the persecutions of Herod Agrippa I and spent the remainder of her life there.

Tradition holds that Emperor Dometian had him beaten, poisoned and thrown in a pot of boiling oil but that he emerged unscathed. The emperor then banished him to the island of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation.

Some of the events mentioned in the Gospels featuring St. John are also key to apologists for the truth of the Catholic Faith. For example, Jesus’ last words to Mary at the foot of the Cross, “Woman, behold your son,” (John 19:25-27 ) are considered a strong case that Jesus was an only child. Also, John was the first apostle to reach the tomb following the Resurrection but he let Peter enter the tomb first pointing to a hierarchy among the apostles with Peter as the head apostle (John 20:2-10).

In art St. John the Evangelist is frequently pictured with an Eagle or represented as an Eagle in images with the other Gospel writers. He is also pictured with a chalice from which a serpent is rising in reference to the attempted poisoning by Dometian. Upon being given the cup of wine he blessed it and the poison rose out of the cup in the form of a serpent.

-This article used information from the Catholic EncyclopediaButler’s Lives of the Saints, and the Patron Saint Index.

Our Former Bishop, Dennis Schnurr, Sends His Condolences

Last week, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, who previously served the Diocese of Duluth, sent his condolences to the faithful of the Duluth Diocese:

December 2, 2019

Dear Friends in the Diocese of Duluth,

It is with great sadness that I write to assure you of my heartfelt sympathy and prayers following the sudden death of your beloved shepherd, Bishop Paul Sirba.

Like myself, all of you know Bishop Sirba as a faithful servant, a clear teacher of the faith, and a courageous leader during a difficult period in the history of the diocese. On a personal level, I will always remember Bishop Sirba’s warmth and graciousness whenever we had the chance to interact.

Death can be especially difficult to deal with when it is sudden and unexpected, which it certainly was in this instance, claiming a man so young and full of life. As Catholics, we take consolation in our firm belief that life is changed, not ended. I will be celebrating Mass asking our Lord to grant Bishop Sirba eternal rest and each of you His comfort and hope.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati

Bishop Paul Sirba May you Rest in Peace

Bishop Paul Sirba may you rest in peace
Bishop Paul Sirba may you rest in peace


We anticipate that many mourners, both from the Diocese of Duluth and from outside of our diocese, will wish to attend our beloved Bishop Paul Sirba’s funeral Friday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, and that the resulting crowd may well far exceed the available seating at the Cathedral. Therefore we are grateful to announce that WDIO TV has graciously offered to have the liturgy livestreamed on the Internet, making it accessible to all across the region and beyond who wish to see it.

The stream will be available on

We hope this will enable as many people as possible to be united in prayer for the repose of Bishop Sirba’s soul and for his family and our local church and all who mourn.

As a reminder: Public visitation for Bishop Sirba will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Cathedral, which is another opportunity to say goodbye and pray for him. The visitation will then resume at 8 a.m. Friday morning and continue until the 11 a.m. funeral Mass.

Please share this information widely so that as many people as possible can be made aware of it.

Bishop Paul David Sirba, Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Duluth, MN, beloved shepherd of the people of the Diocese of Duluth, dear son, brother, uncle and great-uncle died of apparent cardiac arrest at his home in Proctor, MN on Sunday morning, December 1, 2019, the First Sunday of Advent. Bishop Sirba was born in Minneapolis, MN on September 2, 1960, to Norbert and Helen Sirba. He attended Nativity of Mary Grade School in Bloomington, Academy of the Holy Angels in Richfield, and the College of St. Thomas and St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. Bishop Sirba received his Master of Divinity degree from St. Paul Seminary as well as a Masters in Arts from the Notre Dame Apostolic Catechetical Institute in Arlington, Virginia. Paul Sirba was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on May 31, 1986 and served in the following parishes: St. Olaf, Minneapolis; St. John the Baptist, Savage; and Maternity of Mary, St. Paul. He also worked in the Spiritual Formation Department at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul and was a Spiritual Director at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. He was appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on July 1, 2009, and was subsequently appointed by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, as the Ninth Bishop for the Diocese of Duluth. He was ordained Bishop of Duluth on the feast of St. John of the Cross, December 14, 2009.

While a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Sirba was a member of several committees including the Priority and Plans Committee, Administrative Committee, and the Catholic Home Missions Committee. Bishop Sirba was also an active member of the St. Paul Seminary Board of Directors and the Episcopal Advisory Board for the Institute on Religious Life. He also served as the state chaplain of the Knights of Columbus.

On Pearl Harbor Day: One Voice

This holiday season The USAF Band offers the beautiful song, “One Voice”…a reminder that together we can create a better world. Watch until the end as one voice becomes a chorus inside the stunning Washington National Cathedral. Let the power of unity light the way throughout this season.

The Pope Francis Commission

The Pope Francis Commission is a committee of St. John’s Church members seeking ways of bringing our Catholic Faith in words and deeds to those in our community in need of basic necessities.

Food Shelf

Non-perishable food items can be dropped off in the designated boxes at the entrances of the church. Cash donations can be placed in the collection or mailed to the parish office. Your envelope should be marked “Food Shelf Donation”. Cash donations will be mailed directly to the Food Shelf and non-perishable food items will be brought to the Food Shelf by a volunteer driver.

Giving Tree

St. John’s helps out families from the parish and surrounding area that may not be able to purchase gifts during the holidays because of financial or some other hardships with our Giving Tree. The weekend of Thanksgiving a tree is put up decorated with ornaments made by the Religious Education and School children. Tags are attached to the ornaments with requests for gifts and food. These gifts are collected until the week before Christmas. Second collections are held during Advent to help purchase larger gifts, food baskets or any tags remaining on the Giving Tree. Gifts and food are distributed by parish volunteers the weekend before Christmas.

E-mail Sarah with an offer of much needed help: [email protected]

Union Gospel Mission

This ministry involves serving lunches and dinners to patrons of Union Gospel Mission several times a month. E-mail Bruce Mars if you are interested in serving. They also serve a Christmas dinner on December 17 and are looking for members to help with that particular time–from about 3:30 – 7:00.

For more information, call the parish office or contact Bruce Mars at [email protected]

E-mail Bruce Mars with an offer to serve meals and/or to help with the Christmas dinner.

Reminders about the New Mass Schedule & UCA News

Saint John’s

Monday thru Friday………………..8:00 am

Saturday ……………………………. 4:30 pm

Sunday……………………………    10:30 am

Saint Joseph’s

Sunday………………………………………….9:00 am

Fr. Drew’s News

 I am always amazed at how generous you are here at St. John’s and St. Joseph’s.  Our monthly second collections are a major sign of that generosity.  We give a great deal to the organizations we support, and they are extremely grateful for it.

Your support to your respective parishes is also significant.  Thank you for that as well. But  I’m  reaching  out  to  you  today  to  draw  your attention to our annual UCA (United Catholic Appeal).  

Each year we are assessed a particular number and in one way or another we are responsible to pay our portion of the UCA.  With the end of the year less than two months away, I have looked at St. John’s UCA money collected, and we are just barely over halfway towards our goal.  We still need $30,441. (Assessed $71,271.) 

And St. Joseph’s has collected $9,600 of their assessed $15,387 goal. Years ago we were very good about paying our UCA, but more recently we have fallen further and further short of our assessment.  I think it’s time that we turn this trend around. 

I believe that many are just simply unaware that we even are this short in our collection, and so I hope to just raise an awareness of what we still need. I think we have an opportunity here to join together as parishes and take pride in the fact that we meet our UCA goal each year. 

I have been a part of parishes in the past who redoubled their efforts and strived to meet their goal when maybe in past years they hadn’t.  I found it very inspiring and telling of the life of those parishes that they would commit to this goal.  In the end it raised the entire spirit of the parish when they had begun to collect the necessary money well ahead of schedule.  I hope to do that here at St. John’s and St. Joseph’s. 

I would ask all of us to focus our efforts on our UCA.  Let’s really try to meet our goal.  And be proud to do so.                -Fr. Drew

October 14, 2018: The Canonization of Oscar Romero

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

From CNA: Polish Bishops Open Beatification Process for Parents of St John Paul II

The Parents of Pope St. John Paul II

Krakow, Poland, Oct 10, 2019 / 04:01 pm (CNA).- The Polish bishops’ conference has agreed to begin the canonization process for the parents of Saint John Paul II.

The Polish episcopate made the announcement Oct. 10, setting in motion the first steps for the beatification of John Paul II’s father, Karol Wojtyla, and mother, Emilia nee Kaczorowska.

The next step will be to ask the Holy See to initiate the process of sainthood at the level of the Archdiocese of Cracow.

Karol, a Polish Army lieutenant, and Emilia, a school teacher, were married in Krakow Feb. 10, 1906. The Catholic couple gave birth to three children: Edmund in 1906; Olga, who died shortly after her birth; and Karol Junior in 1920.

The family was known to be faithful Catholics and rejected the increasing anti-Semitism of the time.

“The immediate family strongly influenced spiritual and intellectual development of the future Pope,” the bishops’ conference said.

Emilia had received a formal religious education. Before she died of a heart attack and liver failure in 1929, the mother was a staple of faith for the house. At the time of her death, Karol Jr. was a month away from his ninth birthday.

“Emilia Wojtyła graduated from the monastery school of the Sisters of Divine Love. With full dedication and love, she ran the house and looked after the sons Edmund and Karol,” the conference said.

His father raised his sons alone until his death 12 years later. According to Catholic Online, Karol was a prayerful man and pushed Karol Jr. to be hardworking and studious. The father also took on family chores such as sewing his son’s clothes.

“Karol Wojtyła senior as a father was a deeply religious, hard-working and conscientious man. John Paul II repeatedly mentioned that he had seen his father kneeling and praying even at night. It was his father who taught him the prayer to the Holy Spirit which accompanied him to the end of his life,” the conference said.

The Canonization of John Henry Newman: Oct. 13

Saint John Henry Newman Pivotal Players’ Series

In anticipation of John Henry Newman’s upcoming canonization on October 13th, Bishop Barron’s John Henry Newman: The Convert film is FREE to watch for a limited time!

In this beautiful feature length film, travel through England where Newman left his mark and sparked an English Catholic revival.

You’ll discover how he used his prodigious intellectual gifts to help the Church better understand its identity and mission and engage the challenges of a secular age.

It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about this brilliant theologian as he’s canonized a saint!

Watch Bishop Barron’s full feature length film right here: