I share with you this reflection:
What a journey we have travelled together over the last thirteen years. Maybe I’ll have time now to reflect over those years at St. John. I am so proud of the St. John community. You are a great community of wonderful people. I am so thankful for your love and support. I am also so thankful for all you have taught me and how you have shown me the meaning of generosity, love and how to live faith. St. John has accomplished so much over the past several years through your dedication and hard work. I encourage you to keep all that alive and pass it on.
As I have said so many times over the past six months the future of our parish looks bright. We fought long and hard to obtain our new property which is nothing less than a miracle! Now you will be able to expand both school and parish needs into a beautiful campus where the needs of the whole community can be better served. I know Fr. Sergio Lopez, the new Pastor, can work with you all to build upon what has been achieved and bring to completion the development of the newly acquired property.
My hope is that the constantly emerging and diverse community that is now the faith family of St. John will continue to grow and truly become the presence of Christ in San Lorenzo and beyond.
I reflect upon the purpose of my coming to St. John, this isn’t easy to answer. Central for me has been to help you know who you are. Namely, that you are the beloved of God. Hopefully I have helped you know your name. Something that is powerfully portrayed in a work by the Irish writer Brian Friel called “Translations”, which tells the story of a sadder Ireland in a nineteenth century setting where Catholics are denied an education. The school teacher holds class in the hedgerows where a young girl with a stammer is so happy when she is taught to say her name. That has been my important task here at St. John, to teach you all your name that you are the beloved of God!
There is a scene at the end of the story of the Last Samurai, where the Samurai warrior, who spent his life searching for the perfect cherry blossom is dying on the battle field. Beautiful cherry blossoms are drifting down around him from a nearby orchard. Seeing this he says “perfect! They are perfect!” I know that no one or nothing in life is ever perfect but I do believe the way things are progressing here at St. John is so perfect.
Let us hold each other in prayer and continue to relate in love that we may thrive. I take you with me in my heart as I express my heartfelt gratitude for your love, your faith, your generosity and support throughout my years at St. John.
Blessings, Fr. Mike
Dear Parishioners of Saint John the Baptist,
Since the announcement of my new assignment to Corpus Christi in Fremont I have been overwhelmed by the expression of your gratitude for my short ministry here. There have been the hugs, the laughs, the tears, and good memories.
I am exceedingly blessed, full of gratitude and overwhelmed as I say good-bye on July 1st. Let us keep each other in prayer, close to the heart of Jesus!
May our Blessed Mother help you. May Saint Joseph watch over the families. May Saint John the Baptist interceded for our young people. I will/do miss you!
Let us have Faith in YOUR Future!
In Christ, Fr. David Mendoza Vela
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Yet again in Ordinary Time, Jesus seems to demand extraordinary commitment. A would-be disciple enthusiastically volunteers to follow Jesus “wherever” (Luke 9:57). Jesus replies that “wherever” means “nowhere to rest his head” (9:58). To other candidates, Jesus brusquely denies reasonable requests to fulfill family obligations (9:59, 61), declaring that discipleship demands total commitment— now! But Jesus also demands that we not judge how others respond.
When James and John volunteered to “call down fire from heaven” (9:54) to destroy an unwelcoming town, Jesus “turned and rebuked them” (9:55). All violence of any kind is completely unacceptable among Jesus’ disciples, a lesson this Jubilee Year of Mercy is teaching the Christian community once again. Paul’s challenge to the Galatians and us reinforces Jesus’ decisive command to James and John that they express their commitment to him through compassion for others.
We must abandon the violence of “biting and devouring one another” (Galatians 5:15), choosing instead to “serve one another through love” (5:13).
Mark your calendar for BUNCO. The date is Tuesday, August 9, and the fun begins at 7:00 pm. The cost is $5 per person. The prize winners receive money. Please spread the word and invite family members and friends to an evening of fun. All ages are welcome; 8 to over 90....it's a simple game, quickly learned. We will also have a bag raffle and refreshments will be served.
Jackie Freitas, Chairperson
Saturday & Sunday, July 9 th and 10 th , (all Masses)
Needed are: cereal, peanut butter, jam, canned fruit and vegetables, rice, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce and canned tuna.
UNOPENED ITEMS ONLY
Thank you, St. Vincent De Paul & Presentation Associates
The Portuguese community of Ashland Holy Ghost Association will celebrate their “fiesta” on July 10th. A parade will arrive at St. John’s Church for the 11:30 a.m. Mass, followed by a celebration at the Ashland Holy Ghost Hall.
St. John The Baptist welcomes:
The container will be here July 8-11th in our parking lot. Please bring good clothes and household items (No mattresses or car seats). Questions: call 278-5315
Date: July 9, 2016
Time: 5:30 pm-9:30 pm Square Dancing & Prizes
Cost - $20 per person in advance, $25 per person at the door
Dress - Country Casual
Demeanor - Smilin' Happy Face
Polish those boots and shake out them jeans cause the Country Hoedown Number 6 is comin'. We'll start the shenanigans off with a no host bar and a bunch of socialisin'.
A luscious supper prepared by Texas Roadhouse will commence about 6:30 pm. We will have nice door prizes and bag raffle prizes.
Contact Grand Marshall Pat Forsythe for reservations/ tickets (510-278-4161 or 510-750-5686).