Dear Parish Family,

So how did your first week of Lent go?  Have you been able to dedicate some time to be with Jesus in the desert and engage your demons in spiritual battle?  Maybe the desire to go deeper with the Lord is there, but you just haven’t figured out how.  Or maybe it’s because you haven’t been able to overcome the busyness of life to carve out and prioritize that daily prayer time to be with God.  


If that resonates with you, one of the best things you can do during these times of trying to get over the hump and get some spiritual momentum is to lean in on your brothers and sisters in Christ here at St. John.  Our staff has been working hard to provide the various avenues to help you get that spiritual momentum. Here’s a review of several of those ways.  I encourage you this Sunday to discern and commit to taking advantage of at least one of them this week:


On the first three Fridays of March (March 2, 9 and 16), we have a series of three talks by Focus missionary, Joseph Gruber.  Many of us have the desire to reach out to folks and invite and accompany them back to the sacramental life of the Church, but we just don’t know how without seeming uncomfortable.  Well, Joseph has been doing it for a living for 8 years with college students with great success.  One of their slogans is Win, Build, Send,” and Joseph will teach us winsome ways to enter into authentic, meaningful relationships with our loved ones and acquaintances, which eventually leads us to that Ultimate Meaning of life.  CHILD CARE IS OFFERED, so parents of young kids, come on out!  Give us a heads up if you can, by contacting Shayne Slough at the parish office. 


Beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 9 and ending 24 hours later at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, we are taking part in a worldwide initiative from Pope Francis called “24 Hours for the Lord.”  We will have 24 hours of of Eucharistic adoration, beginning and ending with Holy Mass.  The diocese has encouraged each region to have one, and so the Jackson city parishes have come together and chosen to use our St. Joseph Oratory for our place of adoration.  During all 24 hours, we will also have a priest on duty hearing confessions!  So after Joseph Gruber’s talk here at 6:00 p.m. on March 9, we can simply head on over to St. Joseph Oratory to commence the “24 Hours of the Lord” at 7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Oratory.  


We all have some folks in our lives who we can’t imagine seeing at Mass.  And yet, Jesus calls them to himself.  So what’s the next baby step towards the right direction?  Alpha!  Some people are understandably hesitant to invite their family or friends to something they themselves have never experienced.  So, I invite you to do just that for Alpha, so that when it is offered again in the fall, you’ll know basically what to expect.  There are still three sessions left for you to sample the way a number of our parishioners have found their way back into the life of the Church!  The evening begins with complimentary dinner at 6:00 p.m.  CHILD CARE IS OFFERED FOR THIS EVENT AS WELL.


On Wednesday evenings, not just during Lent, but each and every Wednesday, we have Catholicism 101., during which we go over the basics of Church life and doctrine.  It begins with a potluck meal at 6:00 p.m.


On Tuesdays, Todd Gale leads a Bible Study open to everyone at 1:00 p.m., and on Thursdays, Angel leads our Women’s Bible Study at 11:30 p.m.   On Sundays, check out our DVD-driven Bible Timeline study, hosted by Lucas Sponsler & Candy Copeland, at the elementary school, 10:00 a.m.


So, you can see there is no shortage of opportunities here at St. John to help you gain that spiritual momentum!  Which ones will YOU take advantage of in this second week of Lent?  As you “Grow” this Lent, you’ll be ready to “Go” come Easter!  


Yours in Christ,


Fr. Chas