Mass Times and Locations

Lyrics & New Member Welcome

Blessings of peace and joy to your families!

Here are some things for your attention:

1. Singing during the penitential rite:

The following are the lyrics of the two songs I’ve been singing during the penitential rite:

A.            It’s me

Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me, oh Lord
Standing in need of mercy.
Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, oh Lord.
Standing in need of mercy.

It’s me; it’s me, it’s me oh Lord
Standing in need of mercy 
It’s me; it’s me, it’s me oh Lord
Standing in need of mercy 

B.          He touched me

He touched me, oh He touched me
And all the joy that floods my soul
Something happened, and now I know 
He touched me and made me whole

2. New parishioner Breakfast Meeting

Our parish, St. John the Baptist is a thriving parish that is blessed with new members from time to time; we praise Jesus! We have decided to alter the way we welcome new families to the parish. It’s customary in the parish that someone will visit and welcome a new family in their home. The challenge that is often encountered by those who volunteer to visit the families is that sometimes a family may not be home.

But it’s even more significant that we formally welcome and celebrate new families that join our parish together to give other parishioners the chance to know and embrace them as well. So, starting September 29th, we will have a new parishioner Breakfast Meeting after Mass every three months for new families that have not yet been welcomed in that manner. 

It will be expected that a member of each committee/commission for the ministries in the parish represents the ministry to give a brief description of their respect ive ministries in a way to let the new families discover and determine which ministries are available to them, if they decide to serve in any of them.

The Breakfast Meeting is meant just for the new families to the parish and the representatives of the committees/commissions to speak.

New families will receive an invitation through an email or/and a phone call from the parish sometime before the scheduled Breakfast Meeting.

Thank you.

Fr. Andrew

A Gesture of Silence

     I still remember the first phrase I heard from the onset of my days in the Seminary, “magnum silencium!” (great silence). Silence is the mechanism through which the divine presence is experienced in the heart and mind of a person.

     In my seminary days, we were encouraged to observe moments of silence in the morning before heading out to pursue the day’s undertakings and at night as we got ready for bed. But the two most profound moments to observe great silence were at church before Mass and a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.

      Arriving some minutes earlier to sit quietly in the house of God to listen and speak to God alone is a healthy spiritual practice.  Silence has always been the bedrock for discernment. Anyone seeking to discern and figure out something in their personal, family, professional, and spiritual life may resort to silence. I encourage you to come to spend some quiet time in conversation with God before Mass commences or make time to sit alone before the Blessed Sacrament.

     The Bible is inundated with instances when God entered human stories in silence. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), and “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!”( Hab.2:20) are spectacular calls for us to learn to be silent before the Lord.

     Living in a noisy and information-saturated world of today where our phones, computers, TV, radio sets, social media, and the like  compete for our attention all the time, even during our sleep and meal times, where else can we experience the power of silence except in the quietness of the house of God?

     Silence keeps her great spiritual benefits for those who are intentional at observing it. Think about the beautiful image of the Holy Saturday Easter Virgil, at the beginning when the church is partially dark, the Paschal Candle enters the church and illumines the whole room with the profound light of the risen Lord. This is what silence before Mass can bring to us. It also clears all the noise in our hearts and minds and prepare us to see the light and joy of Christ in the sacrifice of the Mass we have come to be partakers of.

In his book, “The Power of Silence,” Robert Cardinal Sarah, intimates, ” God carries us, and we live with him at every moment by keeping silence. Nothing will make us discover God better than his silence inscribed in the center of our being. If we do not cultivate this silence, how can we find God?

  I can imagine the profound experience of God’s presence we will all begin to realize if we can create together the spiritual atmosphere for silence in our parish. What if we created a culture of 20 minutes of great silence before Mass?

Let us be guided by the understanding that we come to the mass to encounter the Lord in our worship, and I think a gesture of silence from each of us to all who are present will prepare us for it.

And by the way, parents with little children must not feel bad when a child cries or makes noise; for that is always a joyful noise to the Lord, and we welcome it. Coming to Mass with your children is more honorable to us than you can imagine

Fr. Andy

Schedules and recognizing marriages

Dear  Parishioners,

Blessings of Peace and joy to everyone. There are a couple of things I like to bring to your attention:

 1.    Beginning the month of August, at the start of every month, we shall offer special blessing for all those who married in that month.

2.       Office hours for Fr. Andrew and Cheryl at St. Isidore will be Wednesday and Thursday, beginning the month of August from 10 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

On Tuesday and Friday, Fr. Andrew will work at St. John.

3. We will also like to recognize and bless those celebrat ing  25th or 50th wedding anniversary. Any couple who are married 25 or 50 years during the year, may call the office and indicate that they will be coming to mass.

4. Thursday, August 15, is the solemnity of Assumption, a holy day of obligation. There will be a vigil Mass on Wednesday, August 14, at St. John’s parish at 6:00 P.M. There will also be morning Mass at 8:00 A.M on Thursday, August 15, at St. Isidore’s parish. 

Please, take advantage of the opportunity provided to attend Mass of the Feast of Mary, the Mother of the Church and Helper of Christians.

5. The only weekday Masses during the week of August 12-16 in both St. Isidore and John will be the Masses for the Solemnity of Assumption. There will be no other morning Mass on Tuesday at St. Isidore or Wednesday and Friday at St. John during that week.

Blessings in Christ,

Fr. Andrew

Adding a daily mass

Blessings of peace and joy to you and your families.

Part of the excitements and benefits of having a resident pastor as a parish community is the opportunity to have daily Masses in addition to weekend Mass. And as we continue to build and develop our growing parish together, one immediate introduction we are making to our scheme of parish life is another morning Mass during the week to the existing Friday morning one. This will day will be Wednesday at 8:30 A.M.

The Catholic Mass is miracle to families, parishes, towns, cities, and nations. One favorite  scripture that inspires my love for the Holy Mass is 2 Chronicles 7:14:  “  If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Is it any wonder that the Mass is offered in almost every village and cosmopolitan city in the world?

The miracle of the Mass is that it makes the saving power and victory that Jesus brought to the world present daily to our families and the world. As we participate in the Mass, we receive forgiveness and healing grace that empower us to live with gratitude. We’re able to count our blessings because we see in the Mass the very hand of God transforming and bringing victory in the troubled areas of our lives, gentle calmness in the chaos that surround us, and peace to the turbulence that buffet our lives.

Jesus is present to us and our community as we become the human tabernacles of the living God in the world though our reception of Holy Communion. The world owes a lot to the Catholic Church for the transforming power of the Mass that is celebrated daily around the globe bringing God uniquely to the world.

Why don’t you decide to make time to attend Mass at St. John the Baptist Parish during the week, if your schedule permits?

Save the date! The start of this new weekday mass will be Wednesday, August 7, 2019. In the meantime, the regular Friday mass will continue.

Fr. Andy

Getting to Know You

Blessings of peace and joy to you!

Last Tuesday, my pastoral ministry in the Archdiocese of Dubuque took a lovely turn with my arrival at the sister parishes of St. John in Lisbon-Mount Vernon and Isidore in Springville to serve as the pastor.

The initial “baptism” into the engaging parish life of Saints John and Isidore was exciting. With a bundle of enthusiastic young children and an evangelistic-minded team of missionaries and parish staff hosting “Totus Tuus,” it was obvious to me even without anyone expressing it that I have joined to two most lively, faith-filled communities.

The weekend celebrations and welcome rapport, amidst meal sharing, were the icing on the cake.” Everyone was delighted to see me” is the mantra I have repeated to people in Ghana, New York, Dubuque, and Mason City. I feel so much at home and comfortable already because of your smiles, handshakes, words of love and welcome.

With a deep sentiment of gratitude, I want to thank everyone of you and say that your families are my families as well. My mother will be delighted to here that I have many mothers here in Springville and Lisbon-Mount Vernon. My deceased father will be happy to notice that I have many fathers. My siblings will be excited to here that I have many siblings here to compensate for the sentimental loneliness that my distance from them create.

Lastly, I appreciate all those who came to mass at the weekend to welcome me and interact with me. Thank you for your handshake, smiles, words of welcome, and your faith. Thanks to all those who organized my welcoming gathering, and those who brought something to share with others.

Now permit me to introduce and share with you some sayings that I like to use from time to time, especially during mass.

1. God is good,…. all the time; All the time,….God is good.

2. My soul glorifies the Lord … spirit rejoices in God my savior.

3. The Almighty has done great things for me,….. holy is His name.

I encourage all parishioners to adopt these snappy, prayerful expressions and say them all the time, and the blessings of God will alight upon our parishes and our families.

In Christ,

FR. Andy A-Mensah


Dear Parishioners,
Blessings of peace and joy to all of you! It gives me great joy to count myself now as a member of St. John’s parish family, and to accept the noble responsibility of serving you as your pastor. From the time I learned about my appointment to St. John’s parish, I constantly thank God for all of you and remember you in my prayers.

A brief introduction of myself: My name is Rev. Andrew Awotwe-Mensah. I am a native of Cape Coast in Ghana, where I was formed and ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cape Coast. In Ghana, I was mainly involved in minor seminary formation, but I did part-time parish ministry as well. I’m from a huge family of ten children; all nine siblings and my mother are doing well in Ghana.

My experience and ministry in the U.S. took off in 2012, at a parish in New York City, for four-and-a-half years. I moved to the Archdiocese of Dubuque in 2016, where I served in Mason City and Manley for a year, and Dubuque for two years.

At this point, I’m delighted to acknowledge the tremendous dedication and invaluable contribution of our sister, Sue Schettler, to the parish of St. John for these many years. Sue’s leadership over the years has resulted in great changes in the parish and made it a growing parish community. On your behalf, I express warm sentiments of appreciation to Sue, for saying yes to the Lord and the parishioners of St. John, to become Parish Life Coordinator. We wish her happy retirement and good health as she spends more time with her family.

We also express heartfelt gratitude to Fr. Jack, for his years of service to St. John’s as Sacramental Priest. Certainly, all parishioners have receive spiritual growth and blessings from his weekly celebration of the holy sacraments with you. The current arrangement only provides a little relief for him as he still has the care of All Saints.

Finally, in my years of ministry and life experiences, one thing stands in front of my eyes: I’ve always learned more from parishioners and people in general than I am able to teach them. This conviction fills me with greater expectation and hope as I come to join you to keep building St. John’s parish together. All of us are the members and owners of St. John’s parish. Let’s own it; let’s build it, and let’s worship and grow grow together in our faith.

Thank you for being part of St. John’s parish family!

In Christ,
Fr. Andrew