Dear Parish Family,

This weekend begins the hallowed season of Advent!  Amidst the distress and division in our world and perhaps even in our own extended family, the great Advent cry, “Come, Lord Jesus!” expresses the yearning of our souls for God to make all things right and new!  Advent is a season of preparation for his coming, and the best preparation for our Lord’s coming to make all things right and new in our world is to allow his power and grace to make all things right and new in our own souls and then in our own families!

The Knights have reinstituted awarding a “Family of the Month,” and they have awarded the family of R.J. and Betsy Howell as “Family of the Month” for November 2021.  They are a great example of how to allow the Lord’s power and grace to renew us and our families.  So let me tell you a little about them!  

The Family of R.J. and Betsy Howell – November Family of the Month!

R.J. and Betsy have four children: Jocelyn, Max, Harper, and Coby.  Jocelyn attends Lumen Christi, and the other three are students at our St. John School.  The family especially enjoys outdoor activities like camping together.  R.J. takes the children on his favorite pastime, hunting.  In fact, he works at Schupbach’s, where he shares with folks his enthusiasm and knowledge of hunting.  

As a mental health counselor at Peaceful Mind Counseling Services, Betsy has a heart for helping people heal from past wounds and emphasizes how important the spiritual dimension and the Divine Physician are in that healing.  She also has a gift for writing, especially for expressing the little God moments of everyday life.  

Betsy offers inspired insights as a member of the Pastoral Council and as a Parish Representative of Young Adults.  She is also a member of our school’s Marketing Committee.  Both R.J. and Betsy are part of a new outreach initiative at the school in which they are contacting other school families who have indicated a willingness to meet at Mass and for Family Gather Time.  Mrs. Blair said, “Although this outreach is in the infancy stages, it’s already bearing fruit.” 

How have they allowed the Lord’s power and grace to renew their family?  Well, Betsy mentioned how, when their family was getting a bit offtrack, they decided to compose a family mission statement together, an idea from Dr. Gregory Popcak’s book, Parenting Your Kids with Grace.  Jocelyn read what they came up with at church:  “We are the Howell Family.  We have been called together by God to live lives of respect, kindness, and care for one another with a spirit of happiness, fun, and health in our relationships with one another and everyone we meet!”

During this Year of St. Joseph, R.J. and Betsy led their family through the 33-Day Consecration to St. Joseph.  I’ve noticed the effect St. Joseph has had in cultivating his characteristic virtues in R.J. and the whole family.  I also appreciate not only their regular attendance at Sunday Mass, but for how active Jocelyn and Max are as altar servers.  For all these reasons and more, the Howell family is the Knights of Columbus November Family of the Month.

May we, like the Howells, take intentional steps of preparing for the coming of Jesus and thereby allow his power and grace to make all things right and new in our own souls and in our families!  


Yours in Christ,

Father Chas