Blessings of peace and joy to all of you! It gives me great joy to count myself now as a member of St. John’s parish family, and to accept the noble responsibility of serving you as your pastor. From the time I learned about my appointment to St. John’s parish, I constantly thank God for all of you and remember you in my prayers.
A brief introduction of myself: My name is Rev. Andrew Awotwe-Mensah. I am a native of Cape Coast in Ghana, where I was formed and ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cape Coast. In Ghana, I was mainly involved in minor seminary formation, but I did part-time parish ministry as well. I’m from a huge family of ten children; all nine siblings and my mother are doing well in Ghana.
My experience and ministry in the U.S. took off in 2012, at a parish in New York City, for four-and-a-half years. I moved to the Archdiocese of Dubuque in 2016, where I served in Mason City and Manley for a year, and Dubuque for two years.
At this point, I’m delighted to acknowledge the tremendous dedication and invaluable contribution of our sister, Sue Schettler, to the parish of St. John for these many years. Sue’s leadership over the years has resulted in great changes in the parish and made it a growing parish community. On your behalf, I express warm sentiments of appreciation to Sue, for saying yes to the Lord and the parishioners of St. John, to become Parish Life Coordinator. We wish her happy retirement and good health as she spends more time with her family.
We also express heartfelt gratitude to Fr. Jack, for his years of service to St. John’s as Sacramental Priest. Certainly, all parishioners have receive spiritual growth and blessings from his weekly celebration of the holy sacraments with you. The current arrangement only provides a little relief for him as he still has the care of All Saints.
Finally, in my years of ministry and life experiences, one thing stands in front of my eyes: I’ve always learned more from parishioners and people in general than I am able to teach them. This conviction fills me with greater expectation and hope as I come to join you to keep building St. John’s parish together. All of us are the members and owners of St. John’s parish. Let’s own it; let’s build it, and let’s worship and grow grow together in our faith.
Thank you for being part of St. John’s parish family!