After six months as administrator of St. John of the Cross Parish in Euclid, Father John Betters was named pastor in November. Bishop Nelson Perez installed him during a Mass on Dec. 9.
Father Betters also serves as pastor of SS. Robert & William Parish in Euclid, just two miles away. He is the second pastor of St. John of the Cross, which was established in 2009 by the merger of St. Felicitas and St. Paul parishes. It just began the celebration of its 10thanniversary.
After being ordained in 2003, Father Betters served as parochial vicar at St. John Vianney and St. Mary (Hudson) parishes before Bishop emeritus Richard Lennon named him pastor in 2010 of the newly created SS. Robert & William Parish, which was formed by the merger of St. Robert Bellarmine and St. William parishes in Euclid.
Bishop Perez asked members of Father Betters’ family to standing, noting that if it wasn’t for his parents, he wouldn’t be there to become pastor.
Reflecting on the Gospel for the second Sunday of Advent, the bishop asked everyone to reflect on the message of John the Baptist.
“He loudly proclaimed the coming of the Lord,” the bishop said. “We all have a John the Baptist in our lives. Who is it in your desert who is screaming and saying prepare the way of the Lord?” he asked.
“The work of Advent is to tune in,” he added.
He said no one knows when Jesus will come again. “It will be like a thief in the night,” he explained. But it is our job to be ready.”
In addition to several concelebrants, the Knights of Columbus attended the Mass and formed an honor guard.
Father Betters said as pastor of both nearby parishes, he is working on collaboration to make things run more efficiently while preserving the individuality of the two parishes. There are about 700 families at St. John of the Cross.