Mass Times and Locations

St. John’s Julian Verba Scholarship

Those who will be attending a Catholic College or University in the fall may apply for the Julian Verba Scholarship.  Those who are presently in a Catholic College or University and plan to continue may also apply.  Please call the parish during office hours to pick up a form. 

An OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT from high school or college is needed.  Please have the school or college send the transcript stamped and mailed to the parish office.

Applicants must have at least a C average (2.0 GPA) to apply. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2019.

St. John’s Catholic Church

Attention: Loraine Kula

212 7th St. SE

Mount Vernon, IA  52314-1518

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.

Regis High School Class of 1979 Reunion

This year will be the 40 YEAR REUNION for the class of 1979

Please join us for …

Conversation and reminiscing on Friday, June 28 at

Iowa Brewing Company – 6:00 PM

Social hour, dinner and live music on Saturday, June 29 at 

Knight of Columbus Hall #909 – 6:00 PM

More information can be found on the Facebook page- Regis Class Of 1979

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

Catholic Evangelization Outreach

Our next CEO (Catholic Evangelization Outreach) will be held at All Saints on Thursday, May 9 from 6:30-8:00 pm.  Parishioner Cynthia Gunsolly, OFS will share how our Lord’s grace worked in her life and in er family’s life.  A light meal will be served. Childcare is available.  This event is FREE and ALL are welcome!  Bring a friend!!

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.

Haiti Donations

There are “Haiti Fund” envelopes on the table in the gathering space if you would like to donate.  All donations can be put into the collection basket.  All Saints, St. Mary’s – Vinton and St. John are all part of our Sister Parish Notre Dame de Lourdes.

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!

Name Tag Sunday

On Sunday, May 5, we will have another name tag Sunday where everyone attending mass will be invited to wear a name tag. This month, we invite everyone to ask each other, “Were you named for someone special?”

We hope to sponsor a name tag Sunday on the first Sunday of every month along with a question-of-the-month.

“I have called you by name.” ~ Isaiah 43:1

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:

An Easter Search for the body

At our Easter retreat on April 24, we asked ourselves a couple questions. The first was, “who are you looking for?” In the opening verses of the Passion story, in all four Gospels, there are a lot of people looking for Jesus. Why are they searching for him, and who remained once He was taken as a prisoner?

As the Passion story unfolds, each Gospel provides us glimpses into the people who witnessed the events unfold. There were those who laughed, those who mourned, and those who tried to help. Jesus loved them all.

The second question comes to us with Easter morning: “Where’s the Body?” This is a question not just for that Easter morning following Jesus’ death, but for us today. Where can we find “the body of Christ?” In Luke’s Gospel, in the days following the resurrection, a couple apostles are walking on the road to Emmaus. A fellow traveler approaches them and the men walk and talk. They stop and share a meal. Only when they break bread together do the apostles recognize Jesus’ presence among them. Challenge yourself to consider where was The Body of Christ in this story? Perhaps the story of Emmaus is what our Christian life should look like: we walk along together, we experience what others have to say and we are open to their stories. WE break bread together. We have hope. We do these things and our hearts WILL burn with love, for others and for Jesus Christ.

Save the Date!

Totus Tuus is coming to St. John and St. Isidore this summer! Instead of our usual VBS, we are sponsoring a week of Totus Tuus July 7-12.

Totus Tuus is an Archdiocese summer mission program. It includes a day-time program for kids in grades 1st through 6th from 9 am – 2:30 pm (Monday-Friday) and an evening program for 7th-12th grade youth from 7 pm – 9:15 pm (Sunday-Thursday).

Look for more details in the weeks to follow!

Totus Tuus is a Latin phrase meaning “Totally Yours.”  Its mission is to provide children and teens of the Archdiocese of Dubuque with a fun and meaningful experience of our Catholic faith

Family Promise of Linn County

The purpose of Family Promise is to intervene in homelessness and poverty, which affect so many in our society. Because of our love for mankind, we should have the desire to effect and facilitate better lives for our fellow man.  

To be a part of this ministry, contact Dave Martin at 319-362-8061, ext. 202, or visit the online sign-up at

St. Wenceslaus will host Family Promise May 12-18. Visit the the website to find our what volunteer roles are available.

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.

Catholic Outreach Event

The next CEO (Catholic Evangelization Outreach) will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Tuesday, April 9 from 6:30-8:30.  Parishioner Keith Nester will share his amazing journey to the Catholic faith!   Refreshments will follow. Childcare is available.  There is no charge and all are welcome!  Bring a friend!!

Easter Flower donations

Easter flower donations are due Monday, April 8th. Donations may be made in honor or memory of a loved one. You may drop your donation off at the Main Office between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm on Monday.

“Essential Elements of a Strong Catholic Marriage” Day

All married couples are invited to strengthen their marriage by attending the Archdiocese of Dubuque “Essential Elements for a Strong Catholic Marriage” renewal day led by Greg and Julie Alexander on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at St. Ludmila Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids. Learn more and register by visiting: and clicking on the date. For questions, contact Matt Selby, Director of Marriage and Family Life, at 563-556-2580, ext. 233 or

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

Third week of Lent: the Dhathcroos family

The Dhathcroos family returned home after fleeing violence in their country to build a prosperous farm and become vital contributors to their community. How can you assist refugees in your community to rebuild their lives? How can you support refugees worldwide who are fleeing violence at home? Visit to learn more.

Lisbon/St. John Cemetery Clean-up

Spring cleanup at the Lisbon cemetery should take place between April 1 thru April 15. Please remove all arrangements you wish to save. Arrangements include all artificial and fresh arrangements on any portion of the lots, slab or monument. This includes flowers in vases attached to the monument and flowers on cradles atop the monument.  New arrangements can be placed after April 15th. 

Send a card to Marilyn Overman

Marilyn Overman who was a long time parishioners here at St. John now lives in Cedar Rapids.  Marilyn had a bad fall three weeks ago and now has been moved to assisted living. If you would like to drop Marilyn a card her new address is:

Marilyn Overman

Evergreen Estates II – Rm #10

307 Edgewood Rd. SW

Cedar Rapids, IA  52404


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:

Heart of Mary parishes offer Lenten Mission

The parishes of the Heart of Mary Cluster 
invite you to join us for our Lenten MissionKnowing Christ, March 31-April 2.  Through Scripture, prayer and reflection on our life experiences we will seek to increase our knowledge and understanding of Christ in his ministry, death and resurrection and become more aware of how God is active in us, in others and in the world today. 

Fr. Chris Manahan, S.J. will be our presenter.  Fr. Chris is in his fifth year as director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago near Oshkosh, WI.  He entered the Jesuits in 1993 at the age of 37, following a 15 year career as a newspaper reporter and editor in Minnesota and Iowa, during which time he was a news editor at The Gazette in Cedar Rapids from 1982-1991.  He was a member of St. Patrick Parish in Cedar Rapids, attended St. Pius X Parish where he volunteered in its religious education program and joined St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish when it was established, helping in its RCIA program.

 The mission will consist of three separate but related talks with one at each of our parishes as follows:

                ·         Sunday, March 31 – St. Mary, Urbana – 402 Ash Ave

                ·         Monday, April 1 – Sacred Heart, Walker – 516 Rowley St

                ·         Tuesday, April 2 – St. Mary, Vinton – 2200 2nd Ave

 Each night a light meal will be served in the parish hall starting at 6:30 p.m. with the talks taking place in the church starting at 7:00 p.m.

 Questions may be directed to Marcia Reilly at or by calling 319-472-3368.

Hear Stephen Tony on The Paschal Mystery

Speaker Stephen Tony will speak on the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ at this event for young adults and young parents.  April 6th, following 4:30 pm mass, from 5:30 to 7 pm at St. Pius X in Pius Hall. Appetizers and drinks at 5:30 pm – Talk will take place at 6 pm.

This event is open to young adults 21 and older.  Limited childcare available upon request.  Contact Anthony  at 

Check out the young adult community at

Grief & Loss in the 21st Century

Watching the news these days can be a traumatic experience for some, with mass shootings or tragedies that happen all too frequently and may trigger many types of grief reactions. Whether we are directly or indirectly impacted by these incidents, they can leave a mark. What do we do with all this? How do we heal and grieve? To learn more and read the full article written by Lisa Turner, Catholic Charities’ counselor.

Mount Vernon Cemetery Clean-up

To facilitate Spring Clean-up at the Mount Vernon Cemetery please remove all arrangements you wish to save before April 22nd.  Arrangements include all artificial and fresh arrangements on any portion of the lots, slab or monument.  This includes flowers in vases attached to the monument and flowers on cradles atop the monuments.

New flower arrangements can be placed on April 27th.  Thank you for  your cooperation.              

Fraudulent emails

The archdiocese has received reports of fraudulent emails that appear to be coming from pastors. These emails are part of an international scheme that has emerged over the past few years. Scammers are trying to trick parishioners into believing that their pastor is requesting money or gift cards for various parish needs through a series of email messages.

Again, these are fraudulent emails. Official archdiocesan priest email addresses end in These emails come from different addresses, often disguised to look like personal Gmail or Yahoo accounts. The body of these messages are generic and include phrases like “Are you in the office now?” and “How are you? Please contact me.”   Please ignore such an email if you receive one.

Lost and Found

LA pair of glasses were found on St. John parking lot.  If they are yours you may pick them up at the main office.   The glasses have a black frame and look like reading glasses.

First Week of Lent: Norma

In Guatemala, we encounter Norma, who as a young mother, supports her family and shares her skills with her community. Reflect on the importance of family in your life. How can you contribute to support families in your community? Visit to learn more.

Meet Susan Thayer: 40 Days For Life

Former Planned Parenthood (PP) manager Sue Thayer is coming to Cedar Rapids Monday, March 18th as part of the national 40 Days for Life team.  Join her in prayer outside Planned Parenthood in Cedar Rapids from 4-4:30 pm. Then hear her talk at All Saints Parish Hall from 5-6 pm.

Pray for that people recognize and affirm the dignity of human life, and that God leads each of us to take steps to defend life.

The Coalition for Life of Iowa invites you to pray in front of Planned Parenthood during our 40 Days for Life campaign. This draws attention to the evil of abortion through prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach. For additional info:

Phone: Call Pat at 319-721-9730

Are you an Alum of IMPACT or Lay Formation?

Alumni of the Archdiocese Lay Formation and IMPACT programs are invited to this faith formation opportunity:

Experience God’s grace and explore its impact on your life during our next IMPACT/LF Alumni Retreat, “Grace: On the Journey to God.” The retreat will be held at New Melleray Abbey, just outside of Dubuque. We are excited for the opportunity to pray with and learn from the monks this Lenten season. Join us Saturday, March 30, 10 am to Sunday, March 31, 12 noon. For more information or to register, contact Theresa Alt, 319-447-1132,

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.

Encounter Lent: CRS Rice Bowls

After the resurrection, when the disciples went forth in all directions, the Lord accompanied them. This is what happens as the result of a true encounter.” ~ Pope Francis

Dear families,

During Lent, our community will participate in CRS Rice Bowl, a faith-in-action program than invites us to encounter the needs of the world with the hope of the Resurrection.

We will reflect on how this encounter can be transformative. We will see how our Lenten prayers, fasting and almsgiving can respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to Share the Journey by supporting those worldwide who are forced to flee their homes and find safety or better opportunities.

As we prepare for this holy season, it is especially important to come together as a family and reflect on the crosses of hunger, poverty and war that our brothers and sisters forced to flee their homes carry. In so doing, we pledge to stand alongside these members of our human family, supporting them as the Gospel calls us to do.

Please consider these suggestions in your family’s Lenten plan:

  • Use your CRS rice bowl and Lenten Calendar as a daily guide to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving
  • Read the Stories of Hope and daily reflections to inspire your Lenten journey
  • Prepare simple, meatless meals on the Fridays of Lent to eat in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world
  • Visit to watch videos of the people and communities you support through your Lenten gifts to CRS Rice Bowl

We will collect your CRS Rice Bowls on Holy Thursday, so stay tuned to learn more.

Thank you for participating in CRS Rice Bowl with your family.


Social Justice Commission

P.S. Did you know that CRS Rice Bowl has a web page specifically for families? Visit for activities that will help your family grow in our Catholic faith this Lenten season.

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.

Catholics Reading the Bible

This semester, the high school faith formation team has focused on opening scripture. It’s been a chaotic semester with all of the weather cancellations, but we have slowly been walking through the beauty that is unfolded in the Bible.

We spent two weeks in January reading about some of the people of the Bible and some of our favorite stories. We met people like Miriam (Ex 15:19), and Joseph (Gen 37) and became reacquainted with more familiar folks like Paul, Abraham, and David. Some of our more favorite stories were the story of Joseph and his brothers, the tale of Jonah trying to hide from God, and the story of the fiery furnace (Dan 3).

Throughout our scripture journey, we have focused on how the stories of the Old Testament lead us and point to the stories of Jesus. In February, we have taken a closer look at what’s known as Salvation History – the timeline that shows us how the events written about in the Old Testament build up to Jesus’ birth and ultimate resurrection. The HS Mentor team recommends the book “The Real Story” by Edward Sri and Curtis Martin if you’d like to learn more. Copies of this book are on our book cart in the gathering space.

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

Going Natural, a Healthy Choice

A conference sponsored by the Coalition for Life of Iowa, Dubuque County Right to Life, Johnson County Right to Life, Iowans for Life, and the Marshalltown Culture of Life Committee. “Going Natural, a Healthy Choice” will be held on Saturday, March 30 at the Marshalltown Community College in DeJardin Hall from 9:00am – 3:00pm. All are welcome, including engaged and married couples, counselors, teachers, students, clergy, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and social workers. The class objective is to present a scientific analysis of the chemistry of sex, fertility, and relationships. Many experts in the field are scheduled to speak. Class testimonies: “I am excited and feel empowered to share this information with women I work with”, “This conference ROCKED!” and “Excellent speakers! There were able to engage the audience and entertain while still teaching something powerful!” Lunch is included in your registration fee and there will be great door prizes! For more information, please call Mary or Mark Mauk at 641-750-8412 or visit

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

Update from Parish Auction

Donations from the parish auction included the purchase of a defibrillator, which is now located in the parish gathering space. Thank again for your generosity!

Knights to offer Weekly Lenten Fish Fry

The Knights of Columbus 5677 will once again offer a family fish fry each Friday during Lent beginning March 8. Dinner will be served from 5pm -7:30pm at the KC Hall on Vernon Valley Dr, behind the Casey’s at the corner of Highway 13 and Mt. Vernon Rd.

No Adoration on Feb. 20

Due to ongoing concerns over the weather, we will not hold Adoration on Wednesday, February 20. Please join us in Adoration next week Wednesday, February 27 from 8pm – 10pm.

Expressing Our Faith, Sunday Feb. 17

We talked about different ways that our faith is expressed and began with these three verses from scripture:

 “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another [in] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph 5:19-20)

“love the Lord, your God, follow Him in all ways, keep his commandments, hold fast to Him, and serve him with your whole heart and your whole self.” (Josh 22:5)

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)

It seems that each of these provides us with different ways that our faith in Jesus can be expressed. Yet, these are not the only way to live out one’s faith. Our Catholic tradition is rich with practices, sacraments and sacramentals, prayers, and the examples of all the saints! All of these can guide us as we live and learn our faith. The key words of this last sentence being that we “live and learn” our faith. Pope Francis tells us that living and growing in faith means being called to holiness. That might seems a bit daunting unless we consider what the Second Vatican Council has to say in guiding us: “Strengthened by such a great means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition, are called by the Lord – each in his or her own way – to perfect holiness.” (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentium) Scripture guides us in the same way. In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul reminds us that every person is given gifts of the spirit to their own benefit. The point of our call to live (express) our faith is that we do not grow complacent in our relationship with Jesus. As we bask in the nourishment of Christ himself at the end of each mass, we are jolted out of our seats when the priest announces, “Go in peace!” We are meant to leave the church, to take what we learned and express it. What does that mean to you? What gifts has God provided to you so that you can express your faith in a way that is true to the person He created in you? Is it time to seek new ways to express your faith?

Lenten Adoration

Please visit the Adoration Page to learn more about Adoration opportunities at our parish. We would once again like to offer a weekly time of Adoration during Lent. If you would like to sign up for a weekly time and receive reminders, you can find the sign up on that page.

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.

Celebration for Birthright

 is having their annual celebration sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on March 2nd from 5-9 at St. Patrick’s, Cedar Rapids.

Silent auction, meal, dance, door prizes, face painting, etc. Proceeds go to Birthright. Tickets are $8 with 5 and under free.

Catholic Charities Services

Did you know that Catholic Charities offers a diverse array of programs and services throughout the Archdiocese of Dubuque, including Mental Health Counseling, Crisis Pregnancy and Post Abortion Counseling, Affordable Housing, Immigration Legal Services, Jail & Prison Ministry, mentoring and support for single parents and Disaster Services?  We ask you to consider supporting these services with your gift to the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal. Learn more at

Adoration Thank You

We would like to thank everyone who was willing to volunteer to sit in adoration on Tuesday, January 22nd to pray for the unborn and an end to abortion. We were overwhelmed by the response of volunteers signed up and look forward to making this an annual event. We were, of course, disappointed with the weather interfering, but your prayers were heard, nonetheless. We knew that 24 hours of adoration would be difficult to fill, but your outpouring of support made it possible. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Second Annual Parish Auction a Success!

The 2nd Annual Parish Auction 
was so much fun!  If you missed it, you missed a great time!

Thanks to the following who made this event possible: Marcia & Kevin Driscoll, Kim & Tim Fall, Troy & Tracey Louwagie, Lisa Thuerauf, Jim Kelly, Erin & Mike Downey, Justin Dix, Mike Clark, Tim Keegan, Ryan Crock, Erin & Andy Moeller.  Andrew, Mitch, Molly and Betsy Louwagie.  Eli Krob, Ryne & Evelyn Moeller, Aubrey Frey, Emma Stevenson, Paige and Shannon Beck and Penelope Vig .  All the Sunday morning catechists, Linda Hansmeier and Charlene Vig and anyone we may have forgotten.  All the people who donated to the Auction and to all the bidders.  One final thank you to Mr. Weasel who came to visit the crew Saturday morning!   The total amount made on the Auction will be in the bulletin on Sunday, February 24.

Mount Mercy Lecture Series

Thursday, February 21st at 7 pm in the Chapel of Mercy

Please join us at Mount Mercy University for the first of three spring lectures on the relationship between faith, reason, and science. Nationally prominent Catholic scholars will present and help students, parents, teachers, and faith formation leaders address the alarming trend of people leaving the Church because they see faith and science as contradictory. The February 21 lecture is titles “Religion vs. Science? Don’t Believe It. The speaker will be Dr. Brad Gregory from the University of Notre Dame.

Visit for more information.

February 11 CEO Event

Catholic Evangelization Outreach (CEO) is hosting a speaker on February 11 at 6:30 pm at St. Matthew in Cedar Rapids.

The event will feature Mike Goldsmith on “Reclaiming the joy of being Catholic.” Mr. Goldsmith seemed to have it all…a great family, a faith community, a steady job as a teacher at Xavier High School that he loved. Then he found himself inexplicably at a level of spiritual depressions he had never experienced before. He was in the middle of a spiritual dryness when God’s grace reached down in a special way to bring him back to true joy. Come hear how God helped Mike reclaim that joy.

A light meal will be served and childcare is available. There is no charge. More information is available at http://CRCEO.INFR

Catholic Charities Annual Appeal

Catholic Charities is an organization that supports the most vulnerable. Individual contributions make up 30% of the organization’s budget – every gift is important!

You can make a contribution by mailing your donation to 1229 Mt. Loretta Ave, Dubuque, 52001 or online at www.CatholicCharitiesDubuque.org

Please do not send checks to the parish – they need to go directly to Catholic Charities.

Birthright Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who donated items in our annual Birthright drive. Sarah Covington and Dennis Allard packed up the donations and delivered them to Birthright of Cedar Rapids. This drive was started by Dennis’ wife & Sarah’s mom, Darlene Allard, who was a long-time volunteer at Birthright. The family and the organization appreciate your generosity to this important cause.

Join us in running the way of love!

Waiting for a scheduled date? Wait no longer! Pick your own date! Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration invite single women, ages 18 – 40, who are considering religious life to visit for a weekend, for a weeklong Monastic Experience or for a personal discernment retreat at our monastery in Clyde, Missouri. It’s a chance to experience the daily rhythm of our life where you can join us in singing the divine office, attend daily Mass, spend time in personal prayer, and open your heart to God’s call by learning about discernment and prayer. There is no cost to attend and more details can be found at

To register, contact Sr. Maria Victoria at (660) 944-2221 ex. 127 or e-mail”

Just a quick note:  The Benedictines Sisters have made St. John’s Altar Bread for over 30 years!

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.

Help with Parish Upkeep/Heating

January has been miserable for everyone with snow and freezing temperatures.   It has also taken a toll on St. John’s budget with higher heating bills and more frequent snow plowing.  To those of you who have given extra for these two items we would like to say Thank You!

To specify donations for facility up-keep, you can use your church envelope marked for that or use your own envelope and simply note that it is for facility upkeep.


Discovering God’s Dream


Saturday, March 30, 2019

11 am to 8 pm (lunch and dinner severed)

Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey

8400 Abbey Hill Ln, Dubuque, IA


* Listening to God’s Voice

* Exploring the Beauty and Demands of Discipleship

* Discovering You Unique Path

* Connecting with Other Young Women

* Enjoying a Few Caramels!


* $10.00 PER PERSON

* Visit:

Sponsored by DAVA (Dubuque Area Vocation Association)and the Archdiocese of Dubuque

SE Linn offering Parent Cafe

Parents – do you have kids under age 18?  Are you looking for support and resources?  If so, join us for a …


Parent Cafe Is an informal discussion group that offers an opportunity for parents to connect with others to share tips and ideas.

Every Tuesday in January to March 12.  5:30 – 7:30 pm (come to any or all sessions) @ Southeast Linn Community Center, 108 S, Washington St., Lisbon.  Free meal & childcare provided!

For more information or to RSVP call/text Steve @ 319-241-1400.

On BEing Catholic

This week, as part of our Confirmation preparation, we asked the question, what does it mean to BE Catholic? Our discussion began by “getting to know” people who are “famous” Catholics. Many of the people we talked about are people we read about in the news everyday. We also talked about saints, priests and bishops, and the folks around our parish. Which brings us to the idea that all Catholics are called to be saints, as in, “let’s all be a part of the communion of saints!” The Catholic Catechism states being Catholic even more simply when it says that God gives each of us unique talents and that our mission in life is to use those talents in ways that bring good to others or even, bring glory to God.

A few years ago, the Archdiocese asked us all what our reasons were for being Catholic. They came up with a Top 10 list that included the saints, Mary, sacraments, and The Eucharist among other things. Ours is a rich tradition with much to offer. The source and summit of our Catholic experience is the Eucharist which we can receive anytime we go to mass. The Eucharist is Jesus and it is communion with Him and each other: the heart of BEING Catholic.

As we prepare for the final leg of the journey of Catholic initiation, it’s good to consider what it means to be Catholic. Ask your parents, a grandparent, your sponsor. You may receive a different answer from every person. And that’s ok. Consider this though: how does each person’s point back to Jesus?

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!

2nd Annual Parish Auction

Believing in our past and bidding for a better tomorrow!

Sunday, February 10 immediately following mass

Please come for some breakfast, bidding, and A LOT of fun!

10% of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Archdiocese Seminarian Fund

Childcare will be available

Donations may be dropped of at mass on February 3. Contact Marcia Driscoll to make arrangements:

To sign-up a donation, go to

Birthright Drive, January 13 – February 3

St. John’s will collect items for Birthright of Cedar Rapids. Birthright assists babies and new moms who have chosen life and who are in need of assistance.  No blankets or bottles are needed at this time, but they can always use the following items:

  • disposable diapers up to size 2
  • wipes
  • clothing, pajamas, and outerwear in sizes 3 mo to 12 mo
  • bath and toiletry items
  • feeding items, including bibs
  • socks and shoes

To learn more about Birthright, visit

Holiday Thank You’s

Many people in our parish provide their time, talent, and treasures during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Gifts and food are provided, pies and cookies are made, decorations are purchased and displayed, and many prayers are spoken. To all who supported our parish and the various efforts that were made to help others, thank you. Let’s continue our care of others in this new year.

24 Hours of Adoration and prayer for the unborn

St. John’s will offer 24 hours of adoration on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade beginning at 6:00 am Tuesday, January 22 and until 6:00 am on January 23. This will be a time to come to the church and to pray in the presence of Jesus for the unborn and for an end to abortion. We ask that at least two people are present for each hour available. Drop-ins are welcome. To sign-up for a specific time, contact

Get to know your pew neighbor

During the weeks of January 13 and January 20, all who attend mass will be invited to wear a nametag to help us get acquainted or re-acquainted. Feel free to wear a work nametag or we will have nametags available.

Support the Retirement Fund for Religious

A donor writes:

“Your flyer touched my heart – seeing the retired religious, such memories surfaced.”  Do you remember the sisters, brothers, or religious order priests who made a positive difference in your life? Today many are elderly and need assistance. Their religious communities struggle to meet retirement needs while continuing to serve the People of God.

The collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be held on December 8th & 9th.

You will find an envelope in your bi-monthly envelope packet that is mailed to registered families to use for this collection. If you have misplace it you may use your own envelope and mark it “Retirement for Religious”.


Catholic Charities Update on Immigration

Proposed Changes to “Public Charge” Determination
On October 10, 2018, the Trump administration formally announced a proposed regulation that would dramatically broaden the ‘public charge’ test that has been part of the federal immigration law for decades.

The rule targets legal immigration to the United States and will have dramatic negative impacts on economic security, public health and the ability of families to stay together. To view a summary of the proposed changes and a handout outlining who would be subject to this rule and what public assistance programs would be considered, please click here

Please join us in praying for the families who will be impacted by these potential changes, click here for a prayer

If you would like to submit comments on these proposed changes, you can do so here

The comment period is open until December 10, 2018.

Give the gift of a Marriage Encounter

The holidays are coming! Give your spouse the perfect gift, the gift of quality time with you for an entire weekend. Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends allow couples private time to focus on their relationship and rediscover the one they fell in love with. Sign up for upcoming weekends to ensure your spot. Gift certificates are available.  Upcoming dates: Mar 8-10 LaCrosse, WI; Apr 12-14 Ankeny, IA; May 3-5 Dubuque, IA  For more information visit our website at: or call 563-608-3305 or email  

Wednesday, November 14: The Church and politics

On this Wednesday, our subject was the Church and politics and it was as challenging of a discussion as you might imagine. In our discussion, we challenged each other to make voting decisions in races where the decision was not clear-cut: the mayoral candidate who was anti-abortion while also supporting the death penalty, the governor’s race where the environmentally-concerned, pro-life candidate had a marital affair and was running against a candidate with no strong opinions but was considered morally strong…the list goes on. Many of our participants thought it might be better to not vote. Yet, the Church teaches that “each, according to his position and role, participate in promoting the common good and that this obligation is inherent in our dignity as humans.” (CCC 1913)


We then attempted to frame some of these decisions by introducing Catholic Social Teaching . These topics include Social Justice, Marriage, Family, Economic Equality, and Global Solidarity. These are tough issues. They are confusing issues where the Catholic Church often stands apart from what we hear about and read about in the rest of our culture. Just because they are uncomfortable to consider does not mean that we shouldn’t discuss them. We may not always agree with what the Church teaches either. Our role as Catholics, especially if we disagree, is to learn more. Why does the Church encourage economic equality that seems counter to our democracy? What is the thinking behind the Church’s campaign for supporting traditional family structures? The CCC (2549) even tells us “it remains for the holy people to struggle,” yet God provides us with grace to carry on. Catholic social teaching allows that we can discuss individual positions critically and provide constructive arguments but encourages us to find the basis for our arguments in basic Catholic values.


As I consider politics and Catholic social teaching, am reminded that the Church also teaches us the 10 commandments. Thou Shall Not Lie seems to be the one commandment that trips me up. Not that I intentionally tell lies, but I have found myself bending the truth a bit when it saves me from trouble. The beauty of our Church teachings is that we are also taught that God always forgives. He always understands and takes us back in. It is often said that our Catholic faith is one that calls for constant conversion – conversion to Christ’s way. So when we lie, we seek reconciliation and forgiveness. When we wrestle with the Church’s social teachings, we do so in prayer and we seek reconciliation, forgiveness, and mercy again. It’s a process and we, the humans, are slow to learn. Christ gets that. He waits. He comes back and picks us up and shows us the teachings again and again. That is why it is important to discuss the church, politics, and what Catholic social teaching guide us toward. We can always learn, we can always proceed toward God, even when we don’t always agree.

Going to Mass: Wednesday Reflection, October 24 & November 7

Our Catholic Mass is called “the source and summit” of our faith. Faith Formation leaders work hard to center their lessons around the weekly liturgy in order to highlight its importance in our Christian lives. For example, all the the commissions (committees) at St. John are encouraged to begin their meetings by reflecting on the week’s upcoming Gospel. Our bulletin includes a reflection on the week’s Gospel written by Sue and often includes quotes or additional insights from published sources. This year, families with kids in our faith formation programs were given a resource so that they could read the Sunday scriptures at home. These resources “point us” to the mass each week.

The question for each of us, is how do we approach the weekly liturgy as “a source?” How is it a summit, a highlight for us each Sunday? These are likely not easy questions, but with practice and participation, they can be! Consider how rich our mass is…every action, prayer, even pause is considered. It can be enlightening, amazing, and surprising to dig into what the mass is really all about. One good way to start is to consider The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, where the entire mass is explained. Simply reflecting on each week’s liturgy is another way that you can become more in tune with the ebb and flow of our weekly liturgy.

We attend mass as a source for mercy (Introductory Rite), knowledge (Liturgy of the Word), nourishment (Liturgy of the Eucharist), and encouragement (Concluding Rite). Through the experience of the Mass, we dwell in Christ’s presence and catch a mere glimpse of the eternal life He invites us to – truly the summit of our life in Christ. How is the Sunday Liturgy your source and how is it your summit? How does it make a difference in the rest of your week?

A Note about Wednesday Night Faith Formation Parking

Since the beginning of the 2018-2019 Faith Formation year, Wednesday night dropping off and loading the students has taken place in the lower level.  Several things have been noted over the past weeks by parents and staff:

  1. Parking in the lower level and coming in to get your children has resulted in no waiting in line.  
  2. More importantly, parents are no longer backed-up to highway 1, creating a one-lane road.  The neighbors appreciate this a lot.
  3. Instead of having to leave home a lot earlier to get a place in line, you can park your vehicle, enter the lower level, collect your child or children, return to your vehicle and leave.  
  4. It is safer, and a relief for staff, to not have to worry that a child will run out in front of a moving vehicle.
  5. A volunteer (usually Judy) doesn’t have to stand outside with the children as all of them brave the elements, which often are not fun, especially when raining or snowing or just plain cold.  

As a result, on Wednesday nights, 4th-8th grade students will continue to be dropped off and picked up on the lower level.  Beginning this Wednesday, 4th – 8th grade students will go to the upper level education wing to sign in.  During November and December classes they will continue to use the stairs by the kitchen to get to the ed wing, due to Fr. Jack holding reconciliation in the hallway on the upper level.  As one parent said, the parking lot project is a blessing in disguise, helping us with a better faith formation pick-up process. For parents with small children in their car (Wednesday evening or Sunday morning) please contact me via email at so we can plan to assist getting your child or children safely to your vehicle.  

Please remember that as the parents you are required to enter the building and physically pick up your children, have an older child come in to get them or contact me to make plans to help get your child or children safely to your vehicle.  Thank you for your help.

Linda Hansmeier,

Director of Faith Formation

St. John the Baptist

Cell: 319 540 1190

Diocese meets goal for Our Faith STO!

The Our Faith School Tuition Organization has reached its 2018 fundraising goal of $5,278,555. We thank the nearly 1000 donors who made this possible. These funds will be used to provide need-based scholarships to qualifying students wishing to attend a Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Dubuque in the 2019-2020 school year.

Families wishing to apply for assistance in the 2019-2020 school year may do so starting January 1, 2019. Applications are due by April 15, 2019. Information about how to apply can be found on any Catholic school website or at

Once again, THANK YOU to all who contributed their financial gifts as well as their prayers for the continued success of this assistance program.

Archdiocesan Women’s Conference – get a discount until January 7


Perfect, Only in Him! Society sets false demands of perfectionism, while Christ calls us to be perfect – only in Him. This day is “perfect” for women from young moms to more mature women struggling for self-acceptance (all of us!) Come to learn, laugh, share, and worship together at the Archdiocesan Women’s Conference, Beauty in Christ: “perfect” isn’t perfect, Saturday, January 26th, DoubleTree by Hilton, Cedar Rapids, IA, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, discount rates apply until Monday, January 7th.

For more information and to register:

Parking Lot Update, November 6

The upper parking lot continues to be unavailable and will likely will not open for the November 11 mass. We appreciate your patience and your efforts to work around the inconvenience.

The Rathje Construction Company has not released the lot for use yet as they have a number of items that need to be completed to ensure that everyone can use the lot safely. The weather has dogged the construction process all summer and fall so it has also been difficult to commit to an end date for the project.

We are pushing Rathje Construction to try to get this completed as soon as possible. We will certainly let you all know when at last we can park in the upper lot!  We could use a week or two of warmer, sunnier weather. So if you have a prayer or two, please offer it up for the benefit of all.

SE Linn Community Center Food Pantry Needs

Some new items that SE Linn is requesting are:

Macaroni & Cheese

Instant Rice

Brownie Mix

Regular need are:

Pancake Mix

Applesauce, in jars or individual size

Spaghetti sauce

Crackers – all varieties, including saltines and snack crackers

Peanut Butter – an item always high in demand


Canned Soups

Low sodium canned goods

Peaches, canned or in individual serving size

Cereal – no cheerios please – Rice Krispies, others

Toilet Paper


Pancake Breakfast Thank you!

The September Pancake Breakfast hosted by the Social Justice Commission raised $1,100 that went toward purchasing food supplies for our “Take Away Hunger” food packaging event. Many thank yous to all who helped with the breakfast, especially our students, the Knights of Columbus, and Gary’s Foods. The Take Away Hunger event was help on October 10.

Christmas Bazaar at St. Mary’s Tipton

St. Mary’s parish in Tipton, IA is holding a Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, November 10 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. There will be crafts, a cookie walks and a food stand. The parish will serve chicken noodle soup, chili, ham sandwiches, homemade pies, hot apple cider, coffee and lemonade. St. Mary’s is located at 209 Mulberry St. in Tipton.

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.

Over $8,000 raised at Haiti 5K!

Thank you to everyone who made the Haiti 5K possible! We raised over $8,700 this year! All of that money will go toward the education of 5,000 children across 25 villages in Haiti. There were 96 registered runners for the race. Jean Springsteen was the overall female winner and Kory Swart was the overall male winner.

2019 Retreats for Incoming and Current High School Students

Learn about the many retreats open to high school students in 2019! There will be a table in the gathering space with additional information about NCYC 2019, Urban Plunge, Stuebenville, and Life On the Edge: Colorado. All of these opportunities are open to current 8th grade and high school students.

For additional information about these opportunities, check out the High School Ministry Page.

Confirmation, Sunday, October 21: Encountering Jesus

Pope Benedict stated “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the result of an encounter with an event, a person, that gives life a new, decisive direction.” In Acts, we read about the Ascension. Luke states that Jesus “presented himself alive to [the apostles]…during forty days [following his suffering].” That would be an amazing encounter with Jesus! Chances are, most of us will never experience that type of experience, yet Jesus DOES appear to us every day in a variety of ways. As Christians, our job is teaching ourselves to recognize these moments instead of “waiting” for His appearance in the sky (like in Acts 1:11). Perhaps Jesus really does have a hand in arranging your parents’ schedules so that they can attend a midweek concert/game/event where you are participating. Or, it is very possible that Christ himself sent that awkward kid in your class to the empty seat next to you at lunch. Growing in your faith takes practice just like learning to be a better athlete, student, musician, scientist, etc. One way to practice your faith is to “see” Jesus at work in your day. Give it a try! For the next few days, pick a time when you can stop and consider your day, maybe before you go to bed. Consider all the ways that God guided you in making decisions, connecting with others, providing for your well-being. Keep a journal or simply treat your thoughts as a prayer.

Haiti Fund

There are Haiti Fund envelopes available in the gathering space for anyone wishing to contribute to our sister parish there. Other than the Run for the Least 5K, we do not have specific fundraisers for Haiti. Donations are welcome anytime.

Wednesday, October 17: Being Intentional

As Catholics, we are invited to be partners with Jesus in continuing his mission in the Church; essentially, we are called to be his disciples. The challenge we have today is understanding what being a disciple looks like. According to The Catechism, “Jesus associates his disciples with his own life.” That seems like a pretty tall order! In our recent Sunday Gospels, we have heard how the followers of Jesus’ own time were instructed. Jesus expected that they follow the commandments, that they love God and others, and that they “gave their all” in following Christ. Our discussion over the last couple weeks has suggested that to be one of these disciples of Christ, we have to BEGIN to behave like one. This week, we discussed how we can start that walk by being intentional. How can we intentionally choose God, over all else, day in and day out? Consider all the ways, in an average day, that you can express an awareness of God: in all that he has given, in the faces and stories of the people with whom you interact, and in your own actions, words, and behaviors. Can you intentionally find God’s hand in these?

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.

Thank you from the Haiti 5K Run Committee!

Thanks so much to everyone that made the RunForTheLeast 5k and Fun Run such a success despite the rain. From the runners and walkers, to the ones that cheered them on, to the pie makers (so many compliments about having homemade pies), the course monitors, the pre-registration and registration peoples, the packet pickup people, our singer of the National Anthem, and for Fr Jack’s blessing!

A BIG THANKS to all the sponsors that help make this all possible

Alive in Christ Retreat, November 3

“Alive in Christ – An Inclusive Retreat Day” for anyone wanting to deepen their faith in celebration with persons of diverse abilities is scheduled for Saturday, November 3rd at Saint Matthew’s Church in Cedar Rapids. This is an archdiocesan sponsored retreat for adults with disabilities. The day is filled with prayer, sharing, singing, activities, and social time. To request a registration form or for additional information, please contact Jim Betzner at or (563) 556-2580 ext. 286.

Confirmation Session 1, Sept. 30

Confirmation is a big deal. It is the completion of an initiation process that, for most of us, began when we were infants. In many ways, the sacrament is meant to give a young person a voice, a decision, a choice in committing to the Catholic (and other Christian) 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?!


Since your baptism, what has led you to being confirmed? Parents, what gifts of the Holy Spirit have you recognized in your lifetime?

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.

Wednesday, Sept. 26: What Is God’s Will?

It is certainly God’s Will that we build amazing relationships. We got a start on that with a crazy introduction game where each of us wrote down a question to ask someone we would like to get to know. The collection of questions posed was interesting and also has us asking if we need to practice getting to know one another better? We discussed 4 facets of figuring out what God’s Will for us might be. ONE of those facets was recognizing the people who have shaped our lives. Have you ever ran into an acquaintance and ended up in a conversation with them that surprised you? Perhaps God placed this person in your life once just so they could return to have that conversation! Take time to get to know each other – that is something that delights our Lord. The other facets of understanding God’s Will are:  Taking a look at what brings us joy because joy is from the Lord; Reflecting on our skills, talents, and capabilities because God gives us the gifts we need to do His will here on earth, but sometimes, we have to uncover those gifts; and finally, when we examine this beautiful world that he created for us, what matters to us personally? God made us to care for one another and for our world. If we consider world events that stir our interest, we may find that God is calling us to make a difference in those places. Relationships, Joy, Gifts, and World Issues are four things to consider as we pray for God’s guidance in our life’s journey. We can get a start on these today and in our church by taking time to get acquainted. That might mean asking another teen about their Clash of Clan skills, but we challenge you to ask something else. You never know how a conversation can change your life.

Parking Lot Update: Upper Lot Closed

Work has begun on the upper parking lot. All upper-level entrances will be closed while the upper lot is under construction. Please park in the lower lot. If the lower lot is full and you park on the street, please be aware that you will need to walk to the lower lot to enter the church. Also, we have been asked not to park on Seventh St., the street that runs along the church; please use A or B Avenues.

Faith Formation pick-ups and drop-offs will take place through the lower level. We ask that parents come into the lower level to pickup their younger kids. Pick-up times are 10:45 am on Sunday mornings and 7:15 pm on Wednesday evenings. On Wednesdays, please be aware that new lights have not yet been installed in the lower lot.

Deliver Meals on Wheels in October

St. John Parish  is in charge of October’s “Meal’s on Wheels” food delivery for the homebound through SE Linn Community Center in Lisbon. If  you are able to help deliver meals contact John Pospisil @ 895-6525

Wednesday, Sept. 19: Discernment

“To discern truth, we need to discern everything that…promotes goodness…from whatever tends to divide…”

That’s a mighty strong statement made by Pope Francis on World Communications Day earlier this year! It seems simple: if something is right, it causes no harm. Yet, there are so many shades of gray in that thinking, and how does that apply when we are faced with life choices? Would attending the University of Michigan versus attending Ohio State cause harm? How to choose one over the other? In his YouTube video called Four Helpful Rules for Discernment, Father Mike Schmitz says to ask four questions. There are: 1. Is this a “good” option? 2. Is this option a reality for me? 3. Is the choice wise? and 4. Is this choice what I want to do?  These are still difficult questions to answer, which is where prayer comes in. Particularly with big decisions, if we allow ourselves time to ponder those questions – in prayer, meditation, journaling, or all of the these – we may eventually feel a “nudge” in one direction or another. The nudge is the Holy Spirit at work! But letting God “speak” to us in our decision-making takes some patience. We might have to spend some time alone with our thoughts. Pope Francis calls this “informed and mature reflection.” God has blessed most of us with wonderful choices to make in our lives. How do we acknowledge God’s role in presenting opportunities? Have you ever felt His “push” when weighing important life options? Do you feel as if you are living the life that God desires for you? How can you check in with God about His will for you?

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Wednesday Sept. 12

On Wednesday, Youth Leaders from several Cedar Rapids area parishes led what they hope to be the first monthly multi-parish Worship and Adoration event for teens. I would like to support this effort as much as I can but I also recognize that it might not be practical to get our teens from Lisbon-Mount Vernon into Cedar Rapids once a month. We are pretty well-established in a routine here and being at our own church is less of a time commitment on a school night versus heading into CR. And yet…I place high value on interacting with a broader Catholic Community than what we have here at home. Our local faith community is truly amazing – I have learned so much from our community through prayer and conversation. Nevertheless, I have also been surprised as I’ve experienced prayer and conversation that are outside my comfort zone. What a gift to learn that there are “others out there!”

The Adoration event follows a format that is similar to what we’ve experienced at NCYC. It provides some time for quiet reflection, but that is interspersed with song and prayer. The lead time of vocalists do a great job of setting a tone for reflection. The next time that we have a “non-scheduled” night here that coincides with a Worship Wednesday is January 9. I plan to reach out to organize a carpool again. Between now and then, if you think an evening of Worship would suit you better than a night of learning and discussion, I encourage you to check out the Youth Ministry calendar and attend a Worship Wednesday on your own. They are geared to teens, but all are welcome

Our Call to Share

The Our Call to Share Collection will be taken up in our parish on the weekend of September 22-23, 2018.  The combined collections for Fall include:  The Catholic University of America, The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry, Black and Indian Missions, Catholic Home Missions, and World Missions.  Each parishioner will receive a brochure and offertory envelope in the mail.  On the envelope you may designate how you would like to have your contribution distributed.  Please be generous and remember these important efforts of the mission of the Church in your prayers.

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.

Wednesday, September 5: Evening Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, or Divine Office, is “the daily prayer of the Church.” There are 5 designated readings or prayer times, but my favorite has become Evening prayer, or Vespers, which occurs at 6:00 pm or before dark. I like evening prayer because it is something that is spelled out for me. I use the Laudate app on my phone and it includes all the prayers for the designated hour. However, I have also learned that evening prayer does not have to be so formal. There are many adaptations of evening prayer. For me, it’s the combination of prayer and scripture and then also knowing that Catholics all over the globe are praying at that same time. I imagine that it is a time of “super-sized” prayer where the intercessions of all the prayers are lifted up together. How fitting it is, then, that we take this time to pray for our students. during this hour, when our prayers join the prayers of our earthly communion of saints. Our students need our prayers; they are busy people holding all sorts of possibilities. Let’s pray that God is their guide in all they do.

Lumen Gentium (Nature of the Church) as We Read It Today

Last Wednesday, the High School mentor team met to kick off the school year. We chose this particular Vatican II document because it does a great job of defining a role for lay people in the Church. It calls each person to holiness as well. We thought it would be a great message to consider as we set about making plans for high school faith formation this school year. Little did we know that the news leading up to our small meeting would be dominated by issues of sexual abuse at the hand of clergy. Our discussion turned into a “how to respond” session. Our small group struggled with these current events, but we felt confident that the Lumen Gentium document will continue to provide guidance as to how our Church and its leaders can move forward in a way that honors Christ’s mission for us. Here’s a link to the document if you want to take a look at it, or stop by the Youth Office for a “plain text” version.

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.

Vacation Bible School (VBS) will be traveling to Haiti!

Next January 14-23, 2019, the Haitian Team will again be traveling to Haiti and besides providing teachers in-servicing, they will host VBS for the younger children.  The Haiti committee received $323 dollars from the St. John VBS collection to be used to help purchase supplies and materials.  On behalf of the Haitian committee, Thank You for your generous donations that will help take God’s Word to the children of the Durcabon area of Notre Dame de Lourdes.   We are forever grateful for your thoughtfulness.

Pray for the Legal Protection of Human Life

Message from Archbishop Jackels

Archbishop Jackels invites us to join others nationwide to pray every Friday through September 28th for the intention of the legal protection of human life.  Every Friday during that time period we are encouraged to pray one “Our Father”, one “Hail Mary”, and one “Glory Be” at a time of our convenience.

Marshalltown Relief through Catholic Charities

Father Jack spoke in his homily this past weekend about the request made by Archbishop Jackels  to collect funds the weekend of August 12th for the town of  Marshalltown which was hit severely three weeks ago by a tornado.

The Archbishop realizes that this is a bad time of year with getting kids ready for school and college but there is never a good time to ask for monetary donations. He asks that you find in your heart to give something.

You may place your donation in envelope marked “Marshalltown Relief” or loose check in the collection please write in the Memo “Marshalltown Relief.

If you write a check please make it out to St. John’s we in turn will write out one check out to Catholic Charities.

This collection will be taken up at Offertory Time.

Thank you and God bless.

Support for Divorced or Divorcing Catholics

If you are a Catholic who is experiencing divorce, Surviving Divorce is an opportunity that you might like to considerSurviving Divorce is facilitated, small –group Catholic conversation; an 11-week process of healing, hope, and support.

The sessions take place on Tuesday, September 4th – November 13th from 6:30  to 8: pm at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hiawatha.  Contact Cate Biro for more information (  Childcare will be offered upon request: please contact Linda Sadler ( to learn more.

The Hallmark Care Center in Mount Vernon is looking for volunteers

Although we welcome new volunteers anytime at Hallmark Care Center, we have a specific need for one or more volunteers on Thursdays @ 8:15 am for manicures; The volunteer would remove polish and polish residents nails.

Below is a list of other activities we use volunteers for, if there is an interest in doing something other than manicures

  • Bingo – Mon/Wed @ 3 pm, Tue @ 6:30 pm, and later in the fall we will be starting bingo again on Sat @ 3 pm
  • Games/Cards @ 10 am any day of week except Sunday
  • Various Exercise (Music-N-Movement, Sittercise, Fittercise, Bowling, Bags, Frisbee Golf, etc. @ 11 am any day of week except Sunday)
  • Special Events
  • Arts & Crafts at various times throughout the month

Any other ideas you may have for volunteering would be considered also If you are interested in volunteering on an as needed basis instead of a regular schedule, that is fine also. Volunteers find it to be very rewarding to visit with our residents and they definitely brightens our residents days!  Please contact Mary Kay Harris, Activity Assistant or Stephanie Fangman, Social Services & Activity Director at Hallmark Care Center (319.895.8891) if you have an interest.

Thanks very much for considering!