Become a Parishioner
Becoming a member of St. John the Baptist Parish is simple! If you are new to our community or if have been attending St. John the Baptist for awhile but have not yet become a member of our Parish, we invite and encourage you to register. Father Carlson, our Pastor, likes to meet personally with each family and register them himself, so that he can get to know you and your family as you become members of our parish family.
You can make an appointment to register by calling the Parish Office at 952-474-8868. If you'd like to download, print and fill out the registration form prior to your meeting, you can click here for the form. Our Pastor would love to speak to you!
The Procession of the Faithful at St. John’s
It is for the spiritual development of our people, young and old, that we have instituted this procession at St. John’s in Excelsior. We ask that the entire congregation come forward at the Procession of the Faithful, under the direction of the ushers, beginning from the front pews of the church, following the bread and wine. There are baskets in the sanctuary designated for non-perishable food items and cleaning products (for the local food shelf) and layette items (for The Life Care Center), as well as for monetary offerings.
History of the Offertory Procession of the Faithful
In the Western Church, the Offertory Procession took place after the Liturgy of the Word, before the Eucharist.
“Participation of the people was strongly emphasized: the Offertory Procession of the Faithful was introduced. Nor was the procession entirely unknown in the Eastern liturgies. In Byzantium on solemn occasions the Emperor brought his sacrificial gifts to the altar; and there is evidence that in Egypt up to very recent times the faithful used to bring bread and wine for the Eucharist, though it was only in the West that the practice ever developed fully…
While bread and wine were gifts brought by the faithful, other items might also be offered, especially such as were destined for use in the church—oil and candles, for instance. Finally, from the eleventh century on, all these gifts were gradually replaced by legal tender.” (from The Mass, Joseph Jungman, Liturgical Press, 1976)
This Procession of the Faithful allowed the people a fuller participation in the Sacrifice of Jesus in the Eucharist. The people, of all ages and social classes, joined their offerings with the perfect offering of Jesus, Himself, on the Cross. This symbolic gesture of coming forward signified the desire of each person to offer him/her self in union with Jesus. It was a means of growing closer to Jesus; its spiritual effect upon the participants was of primary importance.
Children At Mass
Children of all ages are welcome to join the parish family of St. John's for the celebration of Mass. For families with younger children, there is a "Crying Room" just off the main nave which may be utilized at any time by families. This area is comfortable, with a clear view of the altar, and clear sound reinforcement so that families will still feel a part of the congregation as a whole. Eucharistic Ministers will bring communion to those family members who have chosen to utilize the crying room during Mass so that small children need not be left unattended.
For older children, ages 3 years-old through First grade, St. John's offers the Children's Liturgy of the Word at 10:00AM Masses. This program allows children to receive the same teaching of the Mass that their parents are learning, but at an age appropriate level, with other children of their own age. Children are escorted to the Gathering Place by their teachers a short time after the regular Mass begins and are escorted back to church just before the Eucharist.
Getting to Know Your Parish Family
Joining a new parish is like coming into a brand new family! St. John's offers many opportunities, aside from just saying "hello" at Mass, to get to know your new brothers and sisters in the parish.
After most Sunday morning Masses, everyone is invited to our Gatherig Place, the large fellowship hall behind the sanctuary, to enjoy refreshments. Coffee and tasty treats are offered by the people who serve in different ministries at St. John's. Families come to say hello to one another, to get to know new members or visitors, or to just spend some "family" time together enjoying a donut or playing dominoes.
Our "Welcome Sunday", offered three times a year, is a special time when new parishioners are personally invited to come to our after Mass hospitality, or to enjoy a steak dinner at the Knigths of Columbus steak fry, and spend some time getting to know each other and their parish family.
We also have our annual Gala Fundraiser, an elegant and fun event each year where we all come together for dinner and dancing, along with silent and live auctions - this is another GREAT way to get to know your new parish family.
Finally, we have our Annual Parish Picnic in September. This is a true family event under our large tent which is set up behind the church. This is a pot-luck event, with entertainment and fun and games for kids of all ages. It's a relaxed and casual time to see your parish family and friends, and really get to know each other!
What If I'm Not Catholic?
Everyone who comes to St. John's is welcome and invited to participate in the Mass, even if you are not Catholic!
If you are not Catholic and are joining us for Mass, you may be concerned that you won't know what to do and when! To assist those in Mass that want to be able to respond with the rest of the congregation, there are "Roman Missal Pew Cards". These cards, a little smaller than a regular sheet of paper, give the reader a step-by-step guide to what's happening during the Mass and what the expected response will be from the congregation at each phase of the Mass. Also available in each pew is the Liturgy of the Word book. This small paperback volume shows the Scripture readings that will be taught during each Mass, both daily and Sunday Masses, and you may use this to follow along with the Scripture, just by looking up the date on which you are attending Mass.
Each person is invited to join in the Offertory Procession of the Faithful if they choose. This occurs at the time that the Gifts (the wine and bread) are brought to the Altar for consecration. This procession is St. John's offering collection, and is a little different from most churches you may visit. Earlier on this page, there is a detailed description of this procession and its history.
At the Eucharistic Procession (Communion) everyone is invited to come forward. All practicing Catholics receive the consecrated host at this time. If you are not a practicing Catholic, out of respect for the Consecrated Holy Eucharist, you are asked to cross your arms over your chest to receive a blessing.
If you are Catholic and are returning to the Church, if you'd like to learn more about the Catholic Faith, or if you're interested in becoming Catholic, St. John's offers RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) sessions, usually starting in the fall. You can also always stop and chat with Father Carlson after Mass, email him at Fr.firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop in during parish office hours.
For an interactive website that has more information about the Catholic Faith today, you may also find the following link of interest: http://www.catholicscomehome.org/.