Congratulating Our Confirmandi 2019

The parishes of St. John & St. Joseph welcome Bishop Paul Sirba to the celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation. We thank you for your presence and ask God’s blessings on our candidates, our pastor and deacon, our choir who contributed so much beauty to this liturgy and, most especially, to you, Bishop Paul, for your words of wisdom to them.

Some things you left them with, Bishop Paul: increase your prayer life, so you might become closer to our God. Be willing to witness in ways large and small–by saying grace before a dinner–even at a restaurant, or inviting a friend to Mass. And finally, Bishop reminded them they are now the next generation–to bring their faith to their families through commitment to service and witness.

God bless you, our newest confirmandi!!

Such a beautiful night at St. John’s tonight! Congratulations to all of you. Know how we welcome each of you!

Confirmation 2019


Michaela Archer, Abby Rowe, Katerina Kroska, Isabella Kartch, Daniel Wapola, Abby Beyer, Andrew Twomey, Lauren Goman, Emma Johnson, Mya Kunst, Will Franckowiak, Paige Sanders, Jakob Wendinger

Thank yous to Bishop Paul & Fr. Drew, to our discipleship leaders who serve in small groups throughout the years, and to parents, family and sponsors of our confirmandi for their dedication to the faith.

And Hats Off to Ethan Rentschler

Proud of this kid! 

Ethan and his school construction class were a part of building a home and shed for Habitat for Humanity. He is a lot like his Grandpa. Boats and building.  

Ethan, your parish family is so proud of you!

Habitat for Humanity Home Ethan helped build!

Way to go, Ethan Rentschler!

Congratulations to Madelyn Morris!

Eighth grader Madelyn delivered a $300 check funded by Stella Maris students to Life House this week. She was the winner of the eighth grade nonprofit research project, where she wrote an essay on Life House, and everyone was able to vote.

Well done, Madelyn!

Here is Madelyn’s essay. Your parish is very proud of you!

Madelyn Morris

Lifehouse: Reconnecting Homeless and Street Youth to Their Dreams

Some of the everyday things in your life, things that you sometimes don’t think about, really matter to homeless and street youth in Duluth. Imagine a young woman having no home, nowhere to go, no food or water, and no one to talk to. She comes across Lifehouse, and she walks in the doors and is immediately greeted with smiling faces and bright colors. She soon makes amazing friends who are in the same position as she is, and she feels at home.

 Lifehouse is a nonprofit organization that helps reconnect homeless and street youth to their dreams. Lifehouse was founded in 1991 when the founder asked her son why his friend hadn’t left their house from a sleepover two days before. He told her that his friend had nowhere else to go, so she decided to take action. In 1992 Lifehouse opened their first youth drop-in center in downtown Duluth, and implemented their housing program. Lifehouse serves over 700 youth, plus their small children, annually. Lifehouse offers programs such as the drop-in center, community and residential housing, mental health and wellness, and a future education and employment program. Each of these programs helps the youth to “connect, stabilize, heal, and thrive”.

 “For some youth, they need a lot of help,” says Amy White, Lifehouse’s Development Officer. Lifehouse offers a free store full of everyday needs, such as food, clothes, baby supplies, and basic hygiene items. All of the things they get for their store are from donations. Since many of the youth don’t have homes, they offer housing for them. Some of it is temporary, and some is permanent. For teens, they have a teen loft which has bright colors, a commercial kitchen, and new furniture. Usually the teens can stay for ninety days at the teen loft, but they can extend their time. Next they have the Sol House, which is a house for young women who are survivors of sexual exploitation, who can live there for any length of time. The Sol house has six bedrooms and a wonderful study and kitchen area.

 The Duluth Police Department also plays a huge role for Lifehouse. They’re there to help whenever they need them. “We as a police department have a good working relationship with the Lifehouse,” says Sergeant Ryan Morris. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication they have to making the lives of these children better and providing them the crucial guidance that they’re missing in their lives.” Investigator Nick Lepak is on the board for Lifehouse and is the voice of the DPD. “They understand what we’re trying to do,” says Amy White.

Lifehouse bought the building next door and is working on expanding to add more offices, including working on their very own candle business called Limitless Candles. Lifehouse has created this candle business for youth who are old enough to get jobs to get the practice they need before getting an actual job. The youth create a variety of scents for their candles including pine, cranberry marmalade, cucumber melon, and many more. You are able to buy these candles online at any time at the Limitless Candles website.

Lifehouse depends on donations such as food, clothing, and hygiene items to provide care to the youth. Much of their donations and funding goes towards their new expansion and making their facility even better.

Imagine, the young woman sits down on the bright yellow couch and is speaking with all the staff members about what happened to her. A lot of them can relate to how she is feeling, and she feels a sort of warmth inside her body because she knows that her true family is at Lifehouse. “We will never give up on our youth,” White says. “We’ll always be there for them.”

With help from the community, through financial and prayerful support, we can make these youth feel amazing, happy, and at home. ~ Madelyn Morris

A Message from Fr. Drew

Parish Mission: May 2019

Fr. Drew’s News

We’re wrapping up a few things as we approach the summer months. Soon school will be out, and we’ve finished our year of religious education, and this Wednesday, May 22nd, 6:30 p.m., Bishop will be coming to confirm those young men and women who have been preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

But before you head out to the cabin to enjoy your summer break, I hope that you will come join us for our 40 HOUR PARISH MISSION!!

The flyer above has all the details for the weekend.

I am extremely excited to have my good friend, Fr. Brandon Moravitz, lead us on this weekend retreat. Fr. Brandon is an incredible speaker and preacher! Don’t miss it!

The weekend will be packed with inspiring talks, beautiful music, and time for prayer and reflection. We will also have some time for confessions.

Please come join us for this spirit filled weekend. I promise you’ll walk away with a heart set on FIRE!

We all need a good retreat sometimes. I remember someone once telling me we are like balloons that have a continuous leak, and we need to be filled up from time to time, or else we just go spiritually flat.

I really wanted to offer this weekend to help fill us up! Come be filled up! May the Holy Spirit set our parishes ablaze! – Fr. Drew

The Blue Mass Honoring our Police Force

It was a beautiful morning as all three campuses gathered in the Cathedral of Our Lady for the Diocese of Duluth’s annual Blue Mass, honoring and remembering those in law enforcement. 

Thank you to our officers today and always for their dedication and sacrifice!

Processing into Church at the beginning of Mass
No photos were taken during Mass. This is processing out with the Morris altar servers whose father, Ryan, is an officer.
Bishop Sirba offering a blessing upon the officers & their squad cars.
And a blessing upon the children
Thank you, Officers & Fr. Petrich. You have our gratitude.

Stella Maris 5th Graders Host a Baby Shower for Women’s Care Center

Thank you to everyone who attended our baby shower in support of the Women’s Care Center! We are so proud of our fifth grade students for spearheading this event and ehlping to raise donations for mothers and their babies. It was a wonderful afternoon of games, food and prayer!

The Annual May Crowning

We are happy to share with you this wonderful annual event at Stella Maris (and formerly St. John’s). This year, Evelyn Patrick was chosen. The event was held at the Cathedral after a Wednesday school Mass and included all second graders walking in with flowers. Later some of the older students read petitions before the actual crowning.

At the very beginning, Mrs. Frederickson, principal at the Holy Rosary campus, and SMA president, Hilaire Hauer also read a prayer and did a reading.

It was really a beautiful event honoring Our Lady.

The Second Graders proceed to the altar offering flowers to Mary

May Crowning

First Communion 2019

The Parishes of St. John & St. Joseph share in the joy of our children’s first communions. Congratulations to them and their families. I asked one of them what was the highlight of the day. Without missing a beat, the young man said, “Receiving communion.”

First Communion 2019

A Shortcut to the New Ministry Schedule

St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church

A Note from Anny Goeb, Secretary

You are receiving your schedule for April 27-June 9th.

Log on to “

You do not need a user name or password.  Click on “Schedules,” then click on the current schedule. 

You can request a sub if you are scheduled at a time not convenient for you.  Simply click on “Find a sub,” fill in your email address, choose the date and time and send an email.  Both you and I will receive an email when someone fills your request.

We probably still have some glitches to figure out, but I hope this new program works for both you and us.  Feel free to call if you have a problem.  Once I send the schedule, I will be able to see what you are looking at and can hopefully help you.   —Anny

Stella Maris Academy: The May-June Principals’ Monthly Letter

Our Stella Maris 2nd Graders

(A Contribution from the “Duluth Parish Neighbors'” Magazine)

When choosing a school for their child, there are many factors that parents consider. How strong are the academics? What about the teachers and administration? What is the mission of the school and how is it fulfilled?

And above all else, parents must ask: will it be a good fit for my child and our family?

When parents today are faced with more educational opportunities and school choices, these questions are important to answer. Upon reflection and examination, it will quickly come to light that Catholic schools stand out in a number of ways. Here are 5 reasons that Catholic schools are worth the investment:

1.      Daily Practicing of Religion

Walking down the halls of Stella Maris Academy, it is not uncommon to hear young voices joined together in prayer – upon arrival in the morning, before lunch, during religion lessons and throughout the day. Students have the opportunity to practice their religion openly in the classroom, whether it is by reading books about Jesus, learning about God during classroom lessons or praying for those in need.

These daily practices are extremely special, as exemplified in this email that SMA recently received from a parent:

“I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for providing such incredible faith-filled moments like the one I witnessed today. I attended school Mass at the Cathedral, followed by Adoration. It was one of the most beautiful examples of praise and worship that I’ve watched our school share together. Watching so many children choose to kneel alongside Father Jeremy at the Altar and pray among their peers was something so special.”

2.      Character & Moral Development

Stella Maris Academy focuses on educating the whole child through four pillars of education: intellectual, spiritual, human and the care of others through stewardship. These four pillars share equal importance and are interconnected. When children lead their class in the Rosary, they are not just developing their religious skills; they are building confidence. When they spend time performing service work for their community, they are not just caring for others; they are building character. When a child enters Catholic school, they are able to learn and grow in such a way that sets them on a life-long path of intellectual curiosity, spiritual and humanistic growth, and service to others.

3.      Culture of Service

A culture of service is a gift one will find in every Catholic school. Stella Maris Academy is no different. Students partake in several major service projects throughout the year, including a school-wide day of community cleaning. They also perform numerous smaller projects, such as food drives, decorating Valentines for police officers, packing boxes for Feed My Starving Children and Operation Christmas Child, and making tie blankets for residents in assisted-living homes.

The gift of serving others is precious and appreciated, as exemplified in this email received from Silver Bay Veterans Home, where blankets for veterans were recently delivered:

“I would just like to thank you all on behalf of the residents here at the Silver Bay Veterans Home. The residents here LOVED the blankets and were very appreciative of the snack bags. They had a hard time choosing between all the wonderful colors and patterns … As I was handing out the blankets to the residents, I also received many compliments from the staff saying how beautiful and soft they were!”

4.      Strong Community

When a child steps in to Stella Maris Academy, they will find themselves immediately enmeshed in an active and loving community. The mixture of small class sizes, passionate faculty and a shared devotion to Catholic education creates a strong sense of fellowship. Stella Maris Academy’s vibrant school community is strengthened by having outside support from parishes, alumni and community members. The students benefit knowing that they are a part of a larger community. That outside support is cultivated and cherished knowing that SMA could not fulfill its mission without the support of others.

5.      Rigorous Academics

Historically, Stella Maris Academy students have performed in the top 85th percentile and higher of national academic norms and 1.5 to 2.0 grade equivalents above their current grade placement. This is not uncommon in Catholic schools. Teachers stress rigorous academics and work closely with students to ensure they are fully supported. Students thrive in an environment where they are held to challenging expectations and know that they will be given the help they need to succeed. Catholic schools take great pride in their historically outstanding academics.

Pretzel Making & The Legend Surrounding Them

Stella Maris 3rd Grade

Last week, Ms. Zanardi’s 3rd grade class read a story called “Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward: How the Pretzel was Born.” The kids earned a pretzel as a “little reward” when they learned their prayers, because the legend says that the pretzel shape resembles children praying with their arms folded on their chests.

Holy Rosary Campus Kindergarten Shadow Stations

A special thank you to Mrs. Tessier & Mrs. Morris for this poignant reenactment of Jesus’ walk to Calvary. This project involved the help of several older students as narrators but was primarily our kindergarteners who created the shadows.

Thank you, too, to Emily Patrick who was kind enough to turn this into a video for us!

Stella Maris wishes all of you a happy Holy Week.