With the pandemic throwing all schedules off a bit, this also impacted the Synod events and plan created at the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. The following is a segment of a greater article shared on the archdiocese website (referenced below).
The first phase of our Synod process was focused on casting the net broadly to see what was on the minds and hearts of the faithful and thereby determine the topics for our Synod, the next phase needs to be more focused and go deeper. In particular, the 2021 deanery and parish consultations will focus on how we can take action to address specific topics.
The 2022 Archdiocesan Synod will focus on three areas: 1) Forming parishes that are in the service of evangelization; 2) Forming missionary disciples who know Jesus’s love and respond to his call; and 3) Forming youth and young adults in and for a Church that is always young.
For those of you who participated in the Synod prayer and listening events, the three focus areas chosen should not be surprising: We heard those three broad themes as priorities time and again. There was an awareness that we would be a stronger Church if we would focus our time and attention on these three areas in the next five years, giving us a foundation for addressing more vigorously some of the other areas of concern surfaced at the prayer and listening events.

Use this link for the full article on the Synod update. (Sept. 3, 2020)


Were you able to make it to a Synod small group? We sure hope so! If not, you are missing out on an amazing opportunity to learn more about the Church’s teachings, to share faith stories in small groups, to get to know other St. John’s community members, AND to take advantage of the rare opportunity to give valuable feedback to the archbishop on how to consider moving the Church forward in the coming years. Don’t miss another week! It’s easy, just show up and we’ll help you get started; plus, there’s no homework or prep work involved. Attend one of these small group sessions currently meeting in the atrium:
Mondays 7–9PM
Tuesdays 9:30–11:30AM or 6:30–8:30PM
Thursdays 6:30–8:30PM
Fridays 9:15–11:15AM
See more at archspm.org/synod. Questions? Contact Liz Lockhart at


Bill Fitzgerald

Bill joined the parish in 1971 and began singing with the choir in 1972. He has been an active participant in our parish for over 47 years. Bill has observed the ebb and flow of our congregation through several pastors who led us to our current dynamic environment. By volunteering, Bill believes that real listening on his part will reach out and reengage our Catholic community and invites parishioners to attend as many of the listening sessions as possible.

Bolanle Santos -

Bolanle is a young professional in digital communications. Bolanle has been an active participant in the parish for as long as she can remember. She was a religious education catechist for seven years, volunteered at vacation bible school, participates with Loaves & Fishes, and regularly volunteers at Feed My Starving Children. Bolanle is excited to serve as an ambassador for the Synod and encourages all of you to attend a listening session or reach out to her with questions in the upcoming months. 

Elda and Scott Larson -

Elda and Scott Larson became parishioners at St. John the Baptist seven years ago, though they regularly attended Mass here in prior years. Scott also attended Mass at St. John’s with his family while growing up. They have two young boys, 10 and 6 years old. Scott and Elda have been religious education catechists for the past three years and have enjoyed the rewards of teaching children about the Catholic faith. They are excited to serve as Synod ambassadors and look forward to being liaisons through this process. Scott and Elda encourage you to be active participants in this once in a lifetime event. Please do not hesitate to contact them with any questions you may have.

Fr. Michael Barsness

In August 2019, Fr. Barsness was tasked with drawing together an ambassador team for the Archdiocesan Synod.  Father is sure that this is a great opportunity to draw people back to Jesus and his Church.  Fr. Barsness is excited to be involved in this great undertaking as it is an opportunity to have a say in the forming of our diocese.  The archbishop wants our input and we get the chance to inform him of our desires for our parishes and diocese. Please take the time to invest in this process!

Grace Baumler

Grace currently attends Prior Lake High School, and attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School from Pre-K to 8th grade. Grace is currently in her fifth year of teaching Sunday school and also volunteers during summer stretch and vacation bible school. Grace is excited to serve as an ambassador for the Synod and encourages all of you to attend at least one of the listening sessions in the upcoming months. 

Cindy and Brian Busch

Cindy and Brian are now retired and have lived in Burnsville and been members of St. John’s their entire married life of 43 years.  Cindy's involvement includes the Evangelization Commission, teaching religious education,  chaperoning youth mission trips,  participating in ministries such as BeFrienders and pillowcase dresses, praying in weekly adoration and with the Holy Family prayer group, and Divine Mercy Cenacle. Cindy and Brian pray that Archbishop Hebda and all involved are guided in discerning the Holy Spirit’s direction in planning for the future of our archdiocese’s pastoral needs.

Teresa Hoffman

Teresa’s family joined St. John's parish in 1995, but she has a long history with the parish, having attended school at SJB and Mass here as a child. Teresa and her husband, Scott, have three adult children. Teresa has been a volunteer in several ministries including teaching religious education, lectoring, and serving as a Parish Council Member. She has recently completed the Catechetical Institute's two-year catechism class at Mary, Mother of the Church. Teresa is excited and honored to be a parish ambassador and looks forward to guiding the parish and our archdiocese with the upcoming Synod. Teresa truly believes that we each have a voice and Archbishop Hebda wants to hear from you!

Tom and Kathy Lerick -  ;

Tom and Kathy have been parishioners at St. John the Baptist since 1997, and their three children all attended the school from preschool through 8th grade. Tom is involved in the Knights of Columbus as well as the prison ministry. Kathy has been active in various ministries throughout the years and is currently involved with Bible studies, prayer shawl ministry, and the Divine Mercy Cenacle. They are grateful to be serving as a part of the Synod ambassador team and are looking forward to the process!