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Friday, December 15 @ 8:30 am – Irvin & Louise Clark
Sunday, December 17 @ 8:30 am – Bennie Pospisil
2nd Sunday of Advent
He is coming. In today’s reading from Matthew, John the Baptist announces for all to hear the long-awaited coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist proclaimed a serious message of change and conversion. Indeed, he must have been a sight to behold draped in his penitential garb, nibbling on his locusts and honey. Anyone who heard him preaching must have taken notice, even if they didn’t take heed. If nothing else, John the Baptist surely got people’s attention.
But will he get ours? True conversion reveals itself outwardly. When our hearts change, our actions do too. Charity replaces criticism. Forgiveness replaces anger. Service replaces selfishness. The catechism teaches us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor and lowly; in other words, to those who have accepted it with humble hearts (CCC 544). This Advent, may we feel the urgency of John’s words and get about the serious business of repentance.
John the Baptist’s call to repentance is echoed in the U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter on stewardship:“Christians must beg God for the grace of conversion: the grace to know who they are, to whom they belong, how they are to live — the grace to repent and change and grow, the grace to become good disciples and stewards.”
Christmas Flower Monetary Donations
Donations are due by December 17th in order to make the bulletin insert for the bulletin on December 24th. Due to the holiday bulletins need to be sent in earlier. Thank you!
St. John’s Monthly Calendar
To save on materials the monthly calendar will now be sent by email. For those who do not have email, extra’s calendars will be placed on the table in upper level of the gathering area and down in the lower level entrance. If we do not have your email please contact: email@example.com to get on our parish list!
“Formation for All” is an online program designed to help Catholics of all ages to learn and pray about Respect Life and Social Justice issues. The first session of the Respect Life and Social Justice Formation for All program can be used through the season of Advent. The sessions will focus on Care for the Common Good. Sessions are designed for all ages and various settings. To participate go to: dbqarch.org/rlsj/formation
Closing of the books for 2017
All those who wish but have not yet sent in their pledge for your Capital Campaign for 2017 or any other donations for 2017 and want this counted on your 2017 statement for tax purposes, please turn into the parish office by Friday, December 29, 2017, by 12 noon. Thank you!
Parishioners contributions statements will be sent out in the mail by the third week in January. If you wish to have it emailed to your home contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Religious Retirement Fund
Help religious communities. “Your generous contribution helps us to care for our retired sisters and enables our younger sisters to continue in active ministry,” writes a religious sister. Your gift to today’s collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious helps provide medications, nursing care, and more for thousands of senior sisters, brothers, and religious order priests. It also helps ensure younger members can continue the good works of their elders!
Communal Reconciliation during Advent
Saturday, December 16, 10:30 am at All Saints Parish, Cedar Rapids
Thursday, December 21, 7:00 pm, 7:00 pm at St. Joseph Parish, Marion
Christmas Mass Schedule
The Fourth Sunday of Advent this year falls on the same day as Christmas Eve. There will be a regular SUNDAY Mass at 8:30 am on Sunday, December 24.
The Christmas Eve mass at St. John’s will be at 4:00 pm. There will be a Christmas Eve mass at St. Isidore at 6:00 pm.
Christmas Day mass will be at St. John’s on Monday, December 25 at 9:00 am.
3rd Sunday Loose Currency Collection
A reminder that the third Sunday’s loose coin and currency is given to the SE Linn Food Pantry to help those in need.
Hallmark Care Center
Hallmark is in need of winter Bingo volunteers. You can drop in any Monday or Wednesday at 3:00 pm to help out. Residents need help reading the bingo cards and placing bingo chips on cards. If you have questions, you can contact Mary Kay Harris at email@example.com or call her at 319-895-8891
Responses are due by midnight on Friday, December 15. The Witness is conducting a survey to seek responses in its effort to inspire and teach the Catholic faith. Since you are a catechist who receives access to The Witness through an archdiocesan faith formation grant, we would appreciate your participation in the survey. The survey can be accessed online here. If you have questions, please contact The Witness at 800-876-3546.
Pope Pius XII – Catholic Religious Emblem
Pope Pius XII is Catholic Scouting’s church-related ministries and vocation program. Scouts will explore the various life choices (single, married, religious, ordained), future occupations or ministries in the church as calls from God. It includes youth led discussions on current issues facing the church and society.
The program is designed for age 15-16 year old, but all registered Venturers (male or female before their 21st birthday) and all registered Boy Scouts (in high school, before their 18th birthday) are eligible.
Meetings will be held on Sunday afternoons at All Saints Parish in Cedar Rapids beginning on January 14, 2018 with a targeted completion date of April 1, 2018.
To register go to Eventbrite.com. Search for Pope Pius XII Catholic Scouting Religious Emblem to complete the registration Process. For more information, please contact John Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Christian Experience Weekend? (Women’s CEW Weekend Feb. 2 – 4); (Men’s CEW Weekend Feb. 23 – 25)
The weekend is a time of adult renewal held separately for men and woman, 18 years of age or older. It is intended for anyone looking to live life more fully as an adult Christian. The renewal of one’s life in Christ is the focus as each participant examines his or her relationship with self, others, and God.
How is the weekend structured?
The CEW weekend begins Friday night at 7:30 pm and ends about 5:00 pm Sunday. In order to maximize the CEWcommunity experience, all participants spend the entire time together, in one building, sleeping on cots or air mattresses and using their own bedding. Meals are included in the registration fee.
What happens on a Christian Experience Weekend?
A series of talks, discussions and activities are conducted by both religious and lay persons which enhance your awareness of God in your life and in the Christian community. Mass will be celebrated during the weekend.
Who should attend?
Anyone wishing to grow in their faith, strengthen their personal relationship with God become engaged with their Christian community. Non-Catholics are welcome to attend. This retreat weekend includes a strong Catholic emphasis in the talks plus a sacramental presence of the Eucharist and Reconciliation.
What does the weekend cost?
The full amount of the weekend is $35.00. We ask that you include $10.00 with the application. Make your check payable to: Christian Experience Weekend. Information contact Mary or Dan Goiffon at 365-0614 or go to email@example.com, or go to www.crcew.org
Archdiocesan 2018 Women’s Conference
Mark your calendar for the 2018 Archdiocesan Women’s Conference, Beauty in Christ, January 27, at the Doubletree Hilton in Cedar Rapids. Invite your friends, sisters, mother, and daughters to this exciting event! Registration is now open:www.archwomensconference.org. Offered in Collaboration with the Office of Catechetical Services.
TEC Retreat for Seniors
Teens Encounter Christ is a 3-day Catholic retreat experience for high school seniors at a time when they are preparing to make important decisions that will give their lives direction – vocational, social, educational, and spiritual. TEC can be a great opportunity for real personal growth in a community of love and trust. Go to www.DbqArch.org/TEC for more information
January 27-29 at Marquette High School in Bellevue (register by January 13); March 3-5 at Beckman High School in Dyersville (register by February 17); and April 7-9 at CFS Elementary School in Calmar (register by March 24)
Sometimes you have something to share with people that causes you to well up inside with excitement to the point of going crazy. A pregnancy test, a pay raise, a college acceptance, and wedding engagement are all examples of moments in life when we might be bursting at the seams to tell somebody the good news. When we finally get the chance to tell somebody, joy just seems to flow through us with ease. We literally want the entire world to share in our jubilation.
When was the last time you shared with a friend or loved one how much your faith in Jesus means to you? You don’t feel the same motivation to share? Are you not overwhelmed with a desire to spread the good news?
Don’t feel bad. You are not alone. As Christians, we often fail to grasp the powerful implications of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. We can become complacent and lose sight of what matters the most. That is when sharing with others about our faith seems uncomfortable.
Faith is a gift. As everyday stewards we are called to share with others what God has given us. Advent is a great time to grow in our faith and love of the Lord. The more we cultivate our faith and the closer we draw to him, the more we will want to share about him. We might not have the impact of John the Baptist in the course of human history, but our proclamation of the Gospel to others might be the gift that changes their history.
—Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS
If you are new to our parish family or if you have been here awhile and would like to register as a parishioner, please call 319-895-6246 to make an appointment. If you have changed addresses or plan to move away from the parish, please let the office know. Contact Loraine Kula at firstname.lastname@example.org with address changes, including email or phone number.