The St. John the Evangelist Catholic Community welcomes you in preparation for celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage. Many of you will be longstanding parishioners through your family, but given the nature of our Rochester community, there will be many folks who do not have a tradition in this community. It is our desire to serve you in preparation for marriage no matter what your history might be. In baptism we are initiated into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Each and every sacrament recalls our belonging and by seeking the sacrament of marriage you indicate a desire to follow Jesus as the guiding factor of your life together. At the St. John the Evangelist community it is our desire to support you on your path.
Fr. Jerry Mahon
We encourage you to read this letter from a long time parishioner of St. John's. A true testimonial of a wedding experience here at St. John's.
"In a person’s life, there are certain events that leave a lasting impression. One such event for the Bachman Family was the marriage ceremony of our daughter Anna at the Church of St. John. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.
First of all, our family has a history with the St. John’s community. We have experienced the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation with each of our three children. We have participated in numerous dinner theaters and have sung our hearts out on many a Sunday morning! However, June 21st, was the first time, one of our children, our daughter Anna, was actually going to experience the sacrament of Marriage.
Our son-in-law to be, Andrew, is not a Catholic, and I had some concerns as to how he would respond to the required sessions with Father Mahon as well as to the traditions of a wedding service at our church. My worries were unfounded. From their first meeting on, I believe Andrew felt accepted and respected. Father Mahon consciously validated Andrew’s experience as he led both Anna and Andrew through the steps of wedding preparation.
At St. John’s, before the wedding party marches down the aisle, it is a tradition for Father Mahon to invite the guests to stand and face the rear of the church. At this point, the wedding party and family of the groom are gathered on either side of the baptismal font. As parents of the bride, John and I were asked to escort Anna into the church and to the font.
I will never forget the incredible moment when John, Anna and I entered the church. Directly in front of us, we saw pews filled with the smiling faces of all the friends and family who had come to share this important day with us. And behind these pews, in the front of the sanctuary, was the glorious figure of Christ, reminding us why we were gathered in this sacred place. Beautiful music, composed by Grandpa Bachman, magically filled the space. This image will be forever stamped in my heart.
When it came time for the homily, Father spoke briefly to the assembly at large, but quickly shifted his focus to the bridal couple. His words were just for them. It was almost as though the rest of us had been given special permission to listen in on a private conversation.
As he ended the ceremony, Father invited all of the guests to extend their hands in blessing over the newlyweds. We prayed that Anna and Andrew would always keep Christ as the center of their marriage. Once again, music served to intensify a beautiful gesture. There was no doubt that our children had become husband and wife.
John and I are very grateful to the Church of St. John and to Father Mahon for making the wedding ceremony of our daughter Anna an unforgettable experience. We wouldn’t have changed a thing!"
Long time parishioner of St. John's