Mass Times and Locations

Wednesday, Sept. 18: Jr-Sr Night

As we opened this year’s conversation with juniors and seniors, we used the word, “discernment.” Webster’s gives us this definition: 1: the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure : skill in discerning 0r 2: an act of perceiving or discerning something. It is a word that our Archbishop uses and that Pope Francis has written about. They are probably aware that the root word for discernment in Greek is “diakrisis,” meaning to select, assess, or believe. In the New Testament, authors used the word “diakrino” which means “to distinguish between people.” We challenged our youth to consider this last definition in their world today. As they begin to make some of life’s bigger decisions, how will they call on their faith, on God, to help them choose between the persons they could become, to believe who they are called to be.

We took time to share our decision-making stories and admitted that our choices aren’t always guided by our call from Christ, that taking time to bring our faith into the “pro’s and con’s” list can be hard, but when we relied on faith, we were more content with how things unfolded. Which is precisely what St. Ignatius has to teach us. The once extremely vain soldier learned that if he thought about how he would impress people in his future life, he felt empty; but if he thought about modeling his life after the saints, he felt peace. His reflections led to a conversion and St. Ignatius spent years writing about discernment. He left us with a few templates to guide in “finding a way of proceeding” with Christ. One of these is the Daily Examen which can help us be more present to God. (

Big decisions can be challenging. But perhaps more important are all the little decisions we make every day. St. Ignatius’ encouragement to be present to God is a way to help us keep those little decisions on track with God’s desire for us. At the World Communications Day in 2018, Pope Francis reminded us why true discernment is so important:

“To discern truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness from whatever instead tends to isolate, divide, and oppose. An impeccable argument can indeed rest on undeniable facts, but if it is used to hurt another or to discredit a person in the eyes of others, however correct it may seem, it is not truth. The truth can be recognized from the fruits it bears: it promotes informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue. Untruth results in quarrels, division, and resignation.”

It seems that what Pope Francis has said is valid whether we are speaking to ourselves or to others. He and the great St. Ignatius are coaching us to work at discerning truth in all we do and say.

Beginning the journey to Confirmation

Confirmation is a big deal. It is the completion of an initiation process that, for most of us, began when we were infants. Looked at one way, the sacrament is meant to give a young person a voice, a decision, a choice in committing to the Catholic faith. Another way to look at Confirmation is that we were destined to be confirmed in Christ when we were baptized. God called us then – and when it comes to following God, we certainly have freewill in accepting or denying that call, but it is a call that we are born to answer. Before, during, and Confirmation, we might be confused, we might have doubts, we might even wonder what we believe. Nevertheless, we are invited to BE CONFIRMED so that we have the strength and grace to RESPOND to these emotions in a Christian way. When we were baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we became part of the Catholic Christian family. Why not accept the gift of Confirmation so that we can receive the strength of the Holy Spirit in full? It’s a big deal – can you feel it?!

Adoration Reminder

Now that school is in full swing, we want to remind you that Evening adoration takes place every first and third Wednesday of the month. There will be adoration this Wednesday, 9/18, from 8 pm until 10 pm.  You do not need to sign up to attend, but we are always in need of more volunteers who can sign-up so that we know someone will be present. Visit to find the signup link.

Coats for All Drive

The Knights of Columbus, Council 5677 are having their 5th annual “Coats for All” drive.  Drive will started this Sunday, September 15th and will run until Sunday, September 29th.  Because of your support over 1000 coats, jackets, shirts and sweaters were given to your local organization (SE Linn) for distribution last fall!
Winter coats, light jackets, sweat shirts and sweaters in good condition are needed.  Please place them in the box (Coats for All) that is located in the Gathering Area.  Because of  your donation there will be people of all ages warmer this fall/winter.

The Knights of Columbus thank you for helping fulfill one of Christ’s directives to clothe the naked!

40 Days for Life

September 25 – November 3

Help Save Lives in Cedar Rapids!

You can protect mothers and children by joining this worldwide movement. Through prayer, fasting, peaceful vigils & community outreach, 40 Days for Life has inspired 1,000,000 volunteers!

Here’s how to take part:

  • Vigil location: Outside of Planned Parenthood at 3425 1st Ave SE
  • Local contact is Pat Semelroth, 319-721-9730 or coalitionfor
  • Join us for the Kickoff Rally! Sept. 22 from 4-6 pm at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall, Luana Stolotenberg is our featured speaker

Learn more and get involved by visiting the campaign website:

Baptismal Welcome, September 8

The faith community of St. John the Baptist welcomes Deacon Alan, son of Brian and Sarah who was baptized on Sunday, September 8, 2019 by Rev. Andrew Awotwe-Mensah. May Deacon continue to grow in his faith life surrounded by the Christian example of his family and the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.


When Fr. Andy talked about having an opening session for parents for Faith Formation, I thought about asking for a pass on behalf of high school parents. You’ve been a parent of a kid in faith formation for awhile now, and your high school student is taking a bit more responsibility in getting to church on Wednesdays, so why worry about an official opening? But then I reflected on his idea and found myself singing the children’s song that says “the more we get together, together…the happier we’ll be.” I had always thought about that song meaning you have to invite everyone – more friends=more happiness. Yet, in my afternoon wondering that day, I recognized that it could also mean more, as in “often”!

I realized that Father was opening a door as one more chance for us to gather. And, it wasn’t just for parents because we also planned a welcoming sort of activity for our youth. Our time together was short, but we also shared in the Eucharist, which brings us together in the most Catholic of ways. And, despite that short time, we had the chance to connect. The high school students were left with a somewhat impossible task to complete a “passport” of impossible questions, but by all reports, the activity helped everyone interact. Aubrey shared that everyone was “able to introduce [themselves] to new freshmen and made them feel welcome in high school faith formation.” Paige shared that she loved seeing how eager everyone was to fill out the “impossible question passport.”

What I learned is that even though high school parents are, well, HIGH SCHOOL parents, every chance we have to get together is a chance to connect. And, when we get the chance to connect at Church, we are connecting through Jesus Christ himself. We have the chance to share his love, the more we get together….

RCIA: A Call to Join the Catholic Faith

What is RCIA?  RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation.  Follow your heart and join us this October at St. John the Baptist on the journey of Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Who would benefit?
R.C.I.A. is offered to anyone who feels called to the Catholic faith:

  • Those who have never been baptized as Christians.
  • Those who have been baptized in another Christian faith who are now interested in the Catholic tradition.
  • Those who have been baptized in the Catholic tradition but have not received the sacraments of Eucharist and/or Confirmation (fully initiated into the Catholic faith).

How to get started
If you, or someone you know, would like to enter the RCIA program, please contact Fr. Andrew Awotwe-Mensah at 319-895-6246 or Linda Hansmeier at 319-540-1190.

Baptism Welcome, Sept. 1

The faith community of St. John the Baptist welcomes Josephine Rae, daughter of Joshua and Katlyn, who was baptized on Sunday, September 1, 2019 by Rev. Andrew Awotwe-Mensah.

May Josephine Rae continue to grow in her faith life surrounded by the Christian example of her family and the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Bible Study begins Oct. 6

“Wisdom is seeing with God’s eyes.” – Pope Francis

Scripture and the Tradition of the Catholic Church provide an abundance of wisdom, though it can often be challenging to apply it to our lives. To help you learn to gather and live with greater wisdom, St. John’s will begin Wisdom: God’s Vision for Life on Sunday, October 6 at 6:30 p.m.   We will meet for eight sessions (1 ½ hours each) ending on November 24.  You will not only benefit personally from being part of this study; you will also help us to grow in fellowship as a parish as we grow closer to Christ together. 

Wisdom invites you to experience the transforming power of taking time to apply God’s wisdom to your own life. You will learn to see with his vision. You will experience the peace of knowing God cares for you, and you will see how God—and only God—can show you a path through any circumstance. Participants of Wisdom will receive a journal and will meet every week to view an engaging video presentation followed by a time of lively group discussion and fellowship. The eight 30-minute videos, presented by Jeff Cavins, will guide you through a variety of themes drawn from the wisdom literature of Scripture. Jeff will explain Scripture’s wisdom on decision-making, finances, relationships, peace of mind, and speaking to one another and will look at the beauty of wisdom gained through age and at how Christ himself is the embodiment and fulfillment of all wisdom.

For more information, you can go to for a video preview or you can contact Natalie Klostermann at 319-551-7650.  There will also be a sign-up sheet in the gathering space. Cost is $20 for a journal/workbook, which will need to be ordered by September 23.  

Welcome to our parish!

Please welcome Lawrence and Jessica Collins and their daughter to our parish! They have recently moved here from Sewickley, PA where they attended St. James Catholic Church.

St. Wenceslaus Goulash Day

St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids will host its annual Czech Goulash Day on Sunday, September 22. There will be food, games, music, kolaches, bingo, raffle, inflatables, and face-painting.

Knights of Columbus Thank You

The Knights of Columbus would like to thank the Parishioners of St John’s Parish for their generous contributions during our annual Tootsie Roll Drive. $1,470 was collected through our Parish campaign and $6,000 from area stores. All will be given to help both Discovery Living (90%) and Iowa Special Olympics (10%). Thank You Again for your generosity.

KC Council 5677

Baptism Welcome

The faith community of St. John the Baptist welcomes Merrill Joseph, son of Blake and Sarah, who was baptized on Sunday, August 4, 2019 by Rev. Andrew Awotwe-Mensah. May he continue to grow in his faith life surrounded by the Christian example of his family and the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Mass Servers

We would like to thank the youth who came to the training for current and new Mass Servers.  As of this date we have 21 new servers to start joining the current servers starting September 1st. 

May we all be supportive of these young parishioners as they begin their ministry as Mass Servers!

St. Anne’s Circles begins September 4

St. Anne’s Circle will begin meeting Wednesday, Sept. 4, for fun, fellowship, prayer and study.

All women and children regardless of
their stage of life are invited.

At the first meeting we will meet at 9 a.m.
(after mass) till 11 and plan to walk to the park with children in attendance.

We will continue to meet monthly the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays at 9 a.m.

Child care provided on 1st Wednesdays.

For information: Marylynn Murray 319-848-7311 or Linda Hansmeier 895-6758

Weekly Contributions to our parish

Just as your household expenses continue to occur no matter what is happening in your life, so too do the expenses for St. John the Baptist. We are dependent on your steady generosity to keep the lights on, the church cooled, our staff compensated, and providing programs to form us as disciples of Christ. Your weekly budget envelope is needed and appreciated. Thank you for being a consistent and cheerful giver!

If you are interested in monthly Auto pay contact the parish secretary Loraine Kula either by phone 319-895-6246 or email and she will email or send a form out to you to fill out and bring back to the parish office. You may also find it here.

Run for the Least 5K, Sept. 21

The Run for the Least 5K will be on Saturday, September 21.  We hope that you will consider running or walking in the race to help support over 4,000 students of the Belle Fontaine area in Haiti with school supplies, books, teacher salaries and continued education for their teachers.  Your assistance allows them the opportunity to become empowered and take ownership of their future.

 You can sign up for the race at

Not a Runner or Walker?  Please consider volunteering to help with Race Day details.   You can sign up to volunteer at this link:

Faith Formation Registration Open

Dear Parents,

We hope your family is having a good summer and at the same time planning for the upcoming school year. Here are some dates and events you can consider as you make plans for your children’s Faith Formation Program:

  • Faith formation begins Wednesday, September 11th for all students in grades 4th through 12th
  • 4th through 12th grade students will attend classes from 6:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

  • There will be a short meeting with parents of all children/youth in grades preschool through 12th held in the church from 6:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

  • At 6:35 p.m. Mass will be held for all students, preschool through high school, and their parents

  • Wednesday, September 18, 4th through 8th grade begins at 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Juniors and Seniors only will attend on the 18th at 7:00 p.m. Freshmen and Sophomores will attend on the 25th and all High School students will attend on October 2.

  • Preschool through third grade faith formation will begin On Sunday, September 15.

  • Preschool children (must be four years of age by September 14) and attend Mass with their parents. Following the introductory rite, before the liturgy of the Word, Fr. Andrew will call forth the children who are in the preschool class.  They will leave Mass to go to their classroom with their catechists, Julie Wenzel and Kathleen Wenzel.  They meet in room 107; parents pick them up in their room after mass. 

  • Kindergarten through third grade will meet following Mass until 10:45 a.m. 

Please go to for information on fees and for the link to the registration system.

Thank you from Sue Schettler

To the Holy People of St. John:

Thank you so much for all your cards, notes, gifts and well wishes sent and offered for my retirement.  The celebration after Mass, on June 30th, was perfect, lots of fun and very memorable.  And the food was great! I thank all those who attended as well as those who helped in some way to organize it. I enjoyed the time that we worked together as a parish over these thirty-six years of my ministry. God will continue to bless and enrich this parish as you grow together in Christ.

Blessings to all of you!

Sue Schettler

Ad Altare Dei Boyscout Badge begins Sept. 15

Ad Altare Dei – Catholic Scouting Religious Emblem

The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei (to the altar of God) program is to help Catholic Youth of the Roman Rite develop a fully Christian way of life in the faith community. The program is designed for Scouts ages 13-14 years old, but all Scouts up to 18 years old and Venture Scouts up to their 21st birthday can attend. The program is organized in chapters based on the seven sacraments. The seven Sacraments are a primary means toward spiritual growth. Participants must also attend a retreat and participate in a group service project.

Sessions will be held at All Saints Catholic Church on Sundays from 4:00 to 5:30 PM for eight weeks, beginning Sept. 15, 2019 and ending on Nov. 3, 2019.

The retreat and Board of Review will be held on Sunday, December 1, 2019 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. To register for this event go and search for Catholic Scouting – Ad Altare Dei-Cedar Rapids Fall 2019.

Free Blood Pressure Checks

Blood Pressure Checks with Mary Kay Harris…

   When:  4th Friday of every month

   Time:     9 am to 10 am                                                              

    Where: SE Linn Community Center  

Come and get your blood pressure checked before Breakfast BINGO

Blessing of Married Couples

Beginning Sunday, August 4, Fr. Andrew will offer a blessing on the first Sunday of the month for all those who were married during that month. If you are celebrating a 25th or 50th wedding anniversary, please inform the parish office so that you can be recognized at mass.

Mass Server Training

 Mass Server Training will be held on Sunday, August 4th following the 8:30 am Mass. A make-up session will also be held on August 18.

All 5th – 12th graders who are interested in being a Mass Server and for our current Mass Servers please plan to attend.  Fr. Andrew and Jim Kendall will be helping along with of some of our current servers.  Please email Loraine at to let us know if you will be attending the training and so we can complete the schedule for September and October.

Franciscan Missions to visit

Our parish will host Fr. Percival Tayem of Franciscan Missions, Waterford, WI, for mission coop appeals on Sunday, July 28. Please, take note of the dates and prepare to support the missionary endeavors of the Franciscans.

Baptismal Welcome

The faith community of St. John the  Baptist welcomes Brynn Kathleen, daughter  of Sean and Brooke who was baptized on Sunday July 7, 2019 by Rev. John R. Flaherty. May Brynn Kathleen continue to grow in her faith life  surrounded by the Christian example of her family and the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Thank you for June Meals on Wheels

Thank you to Tom Apel, John and Thelma Rife, Dennis and Judy Modracek, Dale and Eileen Sargent, Bill and Leona Smith Faoro for their help delivering Meals on Wheels in June, and to John Pospisil for organizing!

New to our parish?

Are you new to the area or just have not had to time to come into the main office to register with us.  All it takes is a call to the parish main office (319-895-6246) and Loraine will be happy to get you registered.  A registrations form can be emailed or sent to your home.  Just drop Loraine an email at!

Baptismal Welcome – June 16

The faith community of St. John the Baptist welcomes Bradley Patrick, son of Jeremiah and Allison who was baptized on Sunday, June 16, 2019 by Rev. John R. Flaherty.

May Bradley Patrick continue to grow in his faith life surrounded by the Christian example of his family and the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Home and Away School Supply Drive

The Social Justice Commission is collecting school supplies for local students and for students in Haiti. They will be sent to the Southeast Linn Community Center and to Notre Dames de Lourdes Parish in Haiti for distribution to students.

Collections will go until July 21st. Look for baskets in the gathering space.

For a list of needed supplies, click here.

Blood Drive Thank You!

Many thanks to all who participated in the June 27th Blood Drive that was held at St. John.

Your gift of donating blood will save a life.  It is so generous of you.  St. John will host another drive on August 29th.  If you did not have a chance to donate in June, please consider donating on August 29th.

Thank you to Terese Pisarik and Patty Lynch for organizing this Blood Drive. 

A Note from Fr. Jon Seda

Fr. Jon is the Chaplain at St. Stephens Catholic Student Center at UNI and is also the vocation director for the Archdiocese Seminarians. He visited our parish on June 23rd.

Fr. Jon sent us this note:

Thank you for your warm welcome to me in my recent visit to your parish. If you still want to help us out at St. Stephen the Witness, you can give online at I am deeply grateful for your help in our mission to serve our students at UNI.

– Fr. Jon Seda

Parish Election Results

Pastoral Council:

  • Denise Brannaman
  • Denny Dietrich
  • Tom Wieseler

Faith Formation:

  • Kelly Leeper
  • Allison Nissen

Congratulations to those who were elected. Thank you to everyone who put their name on the ballot!

Baptized in Christ

The faith community of St. John  welcomes Maverick Alison, son of Isaak and Valerie who was baptized on Sunday May 26, 2019 by Rev. John R. Flaherty. May Maverick Alison continue to grow in his faith life surrounded by the Christian example of his family and the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

2020 Archdiocesan Women’s Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2020 Archdiocesan Women’s Conference, Beauty in Christ: Fearless. Faithful. On Fire! Saturday, January 25, Doubletree by Hilton, Cedar Rapids. Dynamic speakers, Hallie Lord and Katie Prejean, with Archbishop Jackels presiding at Mass. Please contact your sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends to save-the-date!

Natural Family Planning

Scholarships will be available beginning July 1st to help offset the costs of training for individuals or couples in the Archdiocese to become Natural Family Planning instructors (of any Church-approved method). Those interested in pursuing training as an NFP instructor may contact Matt Selby at or (563) 556-2580, ext. 233 to learn more about training opportunities and applying for a scholarship for funding.

Visit the Archdiocesan NFP website: for a list of current NFP instructors in the Archdiocese of Dubuque, as well as other valuable information about NFP. If you would like copies of the “Top Ten Reasons to Use NFP” brochures or posters in either English or Spanish, please contact Matt Selby.

Updated parish email addresses

The parish staff is transitioning to the email system provided by the Archdiocese. Please email staff at these addresses:


Visit Jesus in Adoration this summer

St. John’s is open for Adoration on the first and third Wednesdays every month from 8-10 pm. During the summer months, as many people travel, we want to invite you to sign up for a time slot to make sure that we have two volunteers present at all times. Visit, where you will find a link to the Adoration Sign-up page. When you sign up, you will also receive an email reminder close to your assigned date.

Baptized into Our Faith

Congratulations to the parents and families of  Wyatt James and Ethan Joseph who were both baptized on the weekend of May 19, 2019 by Rev. John R. Flaherty. May our faith community of St. John the Baptist provide Christian witness to Wyatt James and Ethan Joseph, and assist these two children to grow in their faith.

Totus Tuus: A summer camp for youth!

Totus Tuus means “totally yours” and was the motto of St. John Paul II. This summer mission program is brought to us by the Archdiocese. We will have a team of young adults visit our parish for programs the week starting July 7.

The team will host a day camp for 1st through 6th grade students Monday-Friday from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm. They will also host an evening program for 7th through 12 grade students from Sunday-Thursday starting at 7:00 pm each night.

For more information and a registration form, check out our Totus Tuus page at

Welcome to the Table, May 12

Audrey, daughter of Justin & Cara; Gabrielle, son of Kasey;
Claire, daughter of Jamie & Annalyn; Adalyn, daughter of Matt & Rachel;
Isaac, son of Keith & Janet; Tyler, son of Jeremy & Paul; Griffin, son of Tom & Kody

Tour the Holy Land

The Newman Catholic Student Center at The University of Iowa is sponsoring a 10-day tour of the Holy Land March 17-26, 2020.  Tour hosts will be Fr. Jeff Belger and Newman Center rep, April Rouner. The full tour itinerary can be viewed at  Cost is $4059 per person from Chicago (other departure cities available).  A charter bus will take travelers to/from O’Hare from Iowa City.   Price includes RT air, first class accommodations, most meals, professional tour director, sightseeing entrance fees, optional daily Mass and more.

Contact April Rouner at or 319-337-3106 Ext. 119 for more information or a registration brochure.

Welcome to the table – May 5, 2019

Brogen, son of Nick & Sarah; Lucas Allen, son of Robert & Bridget;
Daisy, daughter of Christopher & Mallory; Skyler, daughter of Rick & Katie;
Kenzi, daughter of Jesse & Ashley; and Alaina, daughter of Scott & Nicole

Specific Needs at SE Linn

As the month of May starts, the SE Linn Community Center is short on the following:

Kleenex, paper towel, shampoo & conditioners, deodorant, cleaning supplies, and hand soap.

Welcome to the table

On April 28, 2019, First Communion was celebrated by: Tanner, son of Roger & Katie; Kayla, daughter of Shannon & Tracy; Greyson, son of Jake & Niki; Kinley, daughter of Nick & Allison; Lana, daughter of Chad & Heather; Noah, son of Kyle & Nikki; and Eden, daughter Nathan & Meredith. Congratulations!

Social Justice Backpack Program

Collections will begin on May 5th for food and monetary donations for the Southeast Linn Community Center summer backpack program for kids in need. SE Linn specifically needs single-serve healthy food options such as fruit cups, granola bars, raisins, juice boxes, cereals, peanut butter, pasta (spaghetti/Mac-n-Cheese/ravioli, etc). Monetary donations will be used to purchase fresh fruit through the summer.

Volunteers will be at Garys and at Brothers after mass on May 5. Collections at church will continue through May 19. Checks may be made out to St. John’s.

Welcome into the Church!

Cynthia Marie Dake and Andrew Jon Torkelson made their profession of faith at the Easter Vigil on April 20. Welcome them into full communion of the Catholic Church!

Calling All Grandparents! 

Grandparent Pray and Play, Saturday morning, June 8th,Dyersville. Bring your grandchildren and join us for a delightful morning of praying and playing together at the beautiful Basilica of St. Francis Xavier, Dyersville! Registration to come.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

This federal legislation would require that any child born alive from a failed abortion must be treated medically as any other child born alive. Human Life Action has an action alert to encourage the House to consider the bill. The link to the action alert is:  Once you go to the action alert you can also sign up for updates and future alerts from Human Life Action.

Iowa Legislature considers Death Penalty

The Iowa Legislature is considering a bill that would reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. The newest revision of the Catholic Catechism states:  “the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.” (CCC #2267)” Please take a moment to share this action alert to Iowa State Senators opposing the reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa:

Looking for couple married over 60 years

Do you know a couple married 60 to 80 plus years? Please nominate them in the Longest Married Couple search sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. The longest married couple in each state will be recognized and a special recognition is given to the longest married couple in the nation.

Go to or call this special phone number 405-850-4274. Nominations must be received by midnight May 14, 2019.

Take Action: Asylum Seeker Rights

Please click here to contact the Department of Homeland Security and ask that the government rescind the Remain-in-Mexico policy and instead support asylum seekers.

“Under the Remain in Mexico policy, certain asylum seekers, including families, are sent back to Mexico to wait throughout the duration of their U.S. immigration court proceedings, which could take months in which people are living in dangerous and inadequate conditions.” 

Take Action: The Death Penalty

The Iowa Legislature is considering a bill that would reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. The newest revision of the Catholic Catechism states:  “the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.” (CCC #2267)” Please take a moment to share this action alert to Iowa State Senators opposing the reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa:

Click here For more information on the Death Penalty from Iowa Bishops:

ICC Action Alert


The Office of Respect Life and Social Justice has a webpage dedicated to the various Catholic organizations with Political Action alerts. Sharing these resources allows parishioners to follow specific organizations like the Iowa Catholic Conference, Human Life Action, Justice for Immigrants, and others. All people of faith are encouraged to go to the organization sites and sign up to receive action alerts when a bill or policy is being addressed at the state or federal level. Links to the various organizations can be found at:

Welcome to our Faith!

Please welcome Kyle Stoner and Aaron Schwiebert into the community of St. John. 
Kyle and Aaron were received into the Roman Catholic faith on March 3, 2019 by Rev. John R. Flaherty.

Baptism Blessings

The faith community of St. John the Baptist welcomes Oscar Jay , son of Andrew and Katherine who was baptized on February 24, 2019 by the Rev. John R. Flaherty.  May Oscar Jay continue to grow in his faith life surrounded by the Christian example of his family and the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Birthright Thanks You

Dear St. John’s,

Thank you for the wonderful donations to Birthright of Cedar Rapids! We were very low on our baby items and your donations were a beautiful surprise. God Bless your congregation!

Deandra Chlystun, Co-Director

A letter from Sue Schettler, PLC

To the Holy People of St. John:

After a lot of prayer and thought, I have informed the Archbishop that I plan to retire June 30, 2019. I am giving you all a formal notice that my 36 years of work at St. John will come to an end this summer.

The decision to retire has been fueled by the fact that I want and need to spend the next few years with Bill. Some of you know that he has buried three brothers in the last couple years. He has a fourth brother currently in very serious health. I just woke up one day and said I don’t want to wait so long and regret that I didn’t retire sooner. So, there you have it!

I feel I have done what God called me to do as the PLC since 2002. I am at peace with my decision and confident that God is calling someone else to lead. The Archbishop is the one to appoint the next leader. That information will not be forthcoming for awhile.

I think St. John is one of the most vibrant and vital parishes in the Archdiocese. I thank you all for this vitality and vibrance as well as all that you have sacrificed and done for this parish. Bill and I plan to remain as members.

I remain yours in Christ,

Sue Schettler, PLC

Pictures from Haiti

On Sunday, February 24, Linda Hansmeier will share stories and photos from her recent trip to Haiti. The presentation will be given following mass in the Gathering Space and coffee will be available.

Baptized in faith

Calen James, son of Aaron and Lisa was baptized on January 20, 2019 by Rev. John R. Flaherty.

Marleigh Grace, daughter of Michael and Katie was baptized on January 27, 2019 by Rev. John R. Flaherty.

May Calen James and Marleigh Grace continue to grow in their faith life surrounded by the Christian example of their family/friends and all the parishioners of St. John.

A note from Hallmark Care Center

Dear St. John’s,

It has been another year of the St. John parish going above and beyond doing a fabulous job in supporting our residents and tenants during the holiday.  We are grateful. The parish members makes it such a memorable time during the holiday, whether it’s the gifts provided or the cookies that the St. Anne’s Circle made for them, and also the nice gesture of visiting our residents. We also would like to thank all of St. John volunteers  for their dedication throughout the year. Again thank you from the bottom of our HEARTS!

Mary Kay Harris, Activity Assistant

Thank you from the Sisters of Mercy

The Sisters of Mercy, Cedar Rapids would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to all who gave to them through the Giving Tree this past Christmas.  We are so thankful that you think of the Sister’s of Mercy each year.  We continue to keep St. John parish in our daily prayers.  Many blessings and Happy New Year!

Baptism Blessings

Congratulations to Lynk O’Connor and Dot Zulu, children of Travis and Ashley, who were baptized on Sunday, October 21, 2018 by Rev. John R. Flaherty. May our faith community our Christian witness to Lynk and Dot and to their parents in assisting them as they and their children grow in their faith.

Archdiocese Financial Report

The Archdiocesan Pastoral Center has published a financial report for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The report answers questions about income from parish taxes and shows how gifts to the archdiocese allow us to partner with others to continue the mission of Jesus in the ministries of the Church. Read the report online at DBQARCH Financial Report.

Baptism Congratulations

Joseph John was baptized was on  Sunday, September 23, 2018 by  Rev. John R Flaherty.  Joseph’s parents are Christopher and Kayleigh. May our faith community of St. John the Baptist provide Christian witness to Joseph John and assist his parents in helping Joseph John to grow in his faith.

Baptism Congratulations

We welcome William Francis son of John and Stephanie who was baptized on Sunday, September 9, 2018 by the Rev. John Flaherty.  May the parishioners of St. John the Baptist provide Christian witness to William Francis and assist his parents to help him grow in his faith.

Welcome to our Parish!

Please welcome Aaron and Lisa Schwiebert and their two children to our parish family.  The Schwiebert family come to us from St. Mary’s, Williamsburg, IA.