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Rev. John Barnes

rev. john barnes
Rev. John G. Barnes age 89 of New Hampton died Thursday, January 1, 2015, at the New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Hampton. Mass will be held at 11:00 on Monday, January 5th at Holy Family Parish, New Hampton with Archbishop Michael O. Jackels, celebrating the Mass and Rev. George Karnik as Homilist. Inurnment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Strawberry Point, IA, at a later date. Friends may greet the family at Holy Family Parish-Gathering Space on Monday, January 5th from 9:00 until prior to the Mass. Rev. John G. Barnes was born February 22, 1925, in Strawberry Point, IA, the son of Winnie and Mae (Byrnes) Barnes. Father graduated from Loras College in Dubuque. He continued his education at Catholic University in Washington where he contracted TB during his first year. He returned to Iowa and spent several years in the Dubuque Sanatorium convalescing. Once he recovered he returned to Catholic University to finish his studies. He was ordained a Catholic priest on June 7, 1952. Father John served in the following parishes of the Diocese of Dubuque; Notre Dame School in Cresco, 1952-1957; Sacred Heart in Waterloo, 1957-1960; St. Paul in Traer for a year; St. Joseph in Marion, 1961-1966; served as Chaplain at the Iowa Men’s Reformatory, Anamosa from 1966-1978; St. Joseph in Stone City, 1966-1978; St. John The Baptist in Mt. Vernon, 1978-1983; St. Joseph in New Hampton, 1983-1991; Sacred Heart in Walker, 1991-1995; St. Mary’s in Urbana, 1991-1995. Father John retired to New Hampton in 1995 and was an active member of the community. In his free time he enjoyed golfing. He spent winters in Florida away from the cold of Iowa. Father had many treasured friends and colleagues and enjoyed celebrating with them often. His Faith and family were very important to him. He leaves behind many cherished nieces, nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, M.J. Barnes, Joe Barnes, James Barnes, Edward Barnes; and one sister, Mary Ohl.

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  1. This is a picture of Fr. John the day he married my husband and I. I love butterflies, they were on our wedding invitation. The butterfly is so spiritual to me, Jim and I were starting a new life! When he came to get ready to say the mass, he found this vestment in the cliset! He was so happy with himself at this great find, and the joy was all over his face! He knew I would love it! I met Fr. John shortly after graduating high school, at the age of 24 I became engaged, he pulled me aside at a friends house, and we sat on the floor and talked! I had not dated much, and he was concerned things were moving to fast, and that I didn;t know Jim very well! I wanted to choke him! I was going to marry Jim, we started making plans, and I asked John to marry us! He said yes! About 25 years later when we were having dinner, I asked him if he remembered our conversation back then. He got that grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye, and said everyone can make one mistake! God love that man!

  2. I don’t know if any of Fr. John’s relative will receive this note, but he is in so many of my memories from childhood and beyond, that I want to share. Fr. John and my father, Bill Thyne, were such good friends. They grew up together and he would come stay at our house – sometimes passing through on his way to Chicago, other times just to come visit us. I remember him during hunting season, after a long day out, he and dad would laugh and retell stories from childhood. It was always fun when he was there. When my father passed, it felt empty at the funeral home, surrounded by family and friends. It was sad and a bit lonely for me until we heard the arrival of Fr. John – a wave broke through the room, he greeted my mother and each of us. He brought a happy peace with him – as he always did – I loved that about him. Years later, I lived west of Chicago and had an opportunity for a visit from him when three of my children were quite small. It was just as I remembered from my childhood. We had a lovely lunch together where he graciously ate mac and cheese. We had a nice chat about the old times but also caught up on each others lives. He blessed each of my children as he left and gave me a hug. I cried, it was like having a bit of Dad back for a day. My mother passed in 2010. We had some trouble finding where Fr. John had moved to, but found him in Florida. I had the opportunity to speak with him over the phone, he was just the same – after all those years he was sharp, cheery, and uplifting at a point that I was not able to see much hope in many ways. He comforted me and reminded me that God has a plan, ever when we cannot see it. I needed patience and faith, and then would find the way. He was right, it was not an easy journey, but God delivered, and we are so blessed. Fr. John was a fine gentleman and a kind soul. I think of him on occasion – always with a smile and always with a feeling of gratefulness that he was part of my life. God Speed Jacque (Thyne) Cervantes Batavia, IL

  3. To Father John’s Family- We are all so lucky to have known such a special man. He and Father Rasing said masses at our farm for our family reunions. It meant so much to all who attended and we have great photos of those masses. He and Father Rasing and a priest from Osage came out many times to go fishing at our pond and had such a good time. We will all miss him but know he will be watching over all of us forever. Duane and Pat Lynch

  4. Wow! Fr. John, what a way to start the New Year; by entering Eternity! What a way to beat this bitter cold, seeing you could not go to Florida, – Eternity! Like so many others, was so sorry to not be able to be at your Celebration because of the winter storm etc. Reading all these great tributes & stories, I could identify with so much of what was shared. All I can say is ‘Amen’ to so much of what everyone is feeling etc. And to it all that I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to you, dear friend, for introducing me to Jesus Christ, as my ‘Friend’ over 40 yrs ago @ my Cursillo weekend. You spoke in such a way about a loving, kind, personal God, that my life has never been the same, Praise God! You were certainly a living example of all that you preached about that Loving God, Alleluia! So my Condolences to the Family, Friends, Parish Community & Archdiocese who have to say ‘good bye’ to your physical presence, but will always be very greatful to have had you in our lives, as a Beautiful Witness of a very loving God! Hallelujah! Happy Eternity, dear friend; please intercede to send ‘blessings’ our way! PTL!! Alma Pettit

  5. I met John Barnes when I was in my upper twenties; I’m in my upper sixties now. He and his friend, George, did an ‘intervention’ (Not to be confused with exorcism:) with me, regarding a path that could have resulted in a ‘heap of trouble,’ in my future. I was touched by his honest and caring approach: truly the ‘Jesus’ way. I will always remember his chuckle and non-judgmental manner. What a lovely man! With love, loss, and remembrance, Caroline Koppes

  6. Father Barnes was not only a great Father, he was a wonderful friend. We will never forget him, his love of golf and cards. May he rest in peace. Dave & Bonny Kayser

  7. The mass of celebration of Fr. John Barnes life must be starting since it is 11:00 am. I wish I could be there! Sing to the Mountains and let your voices be heard! The people clapped and stomped their feet with joy! You are with the angels, and look down and see how many lives you have changed! You would say it was God, and that is true. Free will allowed you to be his vessel, and holy were you! You were a vessel , as we are all called to be! John, you did not die, in my family we call it going away, and we will see you again! One of the things I loved about you was your ability to treat every one the same,you may have had favorites, but I never saw that. The person in front of you was all you saw! I am so grateful, you saw the real me and have helped to understand His great love for me! You helped Jim and I when he was so sick. we will never forget that love! Say hi to Jim for me, I still miss him. I wish I could be there, but I am no longer able to drive and a bad storm is heading this way, but my spirit is there rejoicing in a life well lived!!! i

  8. Fr. John was one of those special people touched by God. He was as close to a saint as we ever met and we shall miss him dearly. Can’t believe he will no longer pop in, prop his feet up, and settle in for a good chat. Our prayers are with his family and with those he served so gracefully. Mark & Cristin Donovan

  9. I share Connie and Bob’s anguish. I truely feel the need to be there for Fr. John’s funeral services. He was part of our family and was there for us in good times and bad. As we headed out Sunday in the snow we quickly realized how bad the roads were and then hearing about the second storm that would greet us in New Hampton and follow our path back home the decision was made to turn around and go back home. My Mother Edna Mae wanted to be sure that the family knows that she sends her Love and will miss Father’s phone calls and Love. The rest of the Milnor family echo’s those words. I’m wondering when Father’s inturnement at Strawberry Point is planned and if we could join the family at that time. Perhaps someone could let me know, my number is (847) 417-5671 Thinking of you all, Darby and Sandy Milnor Edna Mae Milnor, Nancy, Barbara and families.

  10. Chip and I had the honor of renting to Father Barnes. He always seemed to be the one who kept a watchful eye on all the tenants in building 4. If he didn’t get a response from someone in a timely manner, he would let us know that he was worried. He loved to eat and make wine but also enjoyed getting treats from others if it was homemade. Father had health issues which caused him to move in this past year of which he wasn’t happy about and his neighbors miss him greatly. Many stories were shared there and now the good news will be spread to all his neighbor in a greater magnitude in heaven. Rest peacefully and condolences to the family Chip and Darlene Schwickerath P.S. We will be sending a monetary donation to Holy Family Parish in his honor

  11. After much anguish, Bob and I have chosen to stay home today because of the weather and the drive time that would put us in the coming storm this afternoon. We wanted to share our love with the Barnes family personally so this is yet another loss for us today. Please know that you all are in our hearts and prayers as you enter into the days ahead without this dear mans physical presence, knowing that his true presence is eternal. Much love, Bob & Connie May

  12. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Fr. Barnes was a wonderful priest and friend. He would come out to our farm, to visit at least twice a year. He handed out prayer stickers, enough for our 9 kids and their families and extra. I put two on the front of my bass guitar, that I play at mass and nursing homes. I could never get through Amazing Grace without crying since I was a kid, because it was always played at a funeral. Well, one time I sat near him, when we were singing that song and he had a ‘country twist’ to singing it and from then on I have never cried when that song is sung, His voice, with the ‘country twist’ is in my head. Thanks to Fr. Barnes for all he has done for us and many others. Ed and Sandy Shekleton

  13. I want to extend my deepest sympathy to all of Fr. John’s family. It’s hard to put into words all that Fr. John meant to me and my family. I was the secretary for St. Joseph Parish when he came to New Hampton and remained so during the time he was our pastor. Every morning, he would bring a cup of coffee for me and sit it on my desk. Sometimes he would call me early in the morning and ask me to bring a few potatoes or some other food item so we could make some soup. Other times, he would ask what time our family would be eating dinner, and he would always bring some food item along with him. Fr John was deeply spiritual and so full of the love of God. We spent many times praying and singing songs together. He also liked to show us how he could sing and sound like Willie Nelson. He and my husband, Bob, used to make wine together which meant there usually a few gnats flying around the house. Before my husband went home to heaven a couple of years ago, he spent many days and evenings visiting and praying with us. We will all miss our dear friend, but we know that he is now joyously celebrating where he was born to be sharing in the fullness of God’s unconditional love. Thank you so much Fr. John for all the love you have shared with me and everyone who knew you.

  14. We just want to send our condolences and let Fr. John’s family know how special we thought he was – one of a kind – a truly great man. He was so wise, gregarious, compassionate, caring, and had a great sense of humor. We will miss that twinkle he had in his eyes. He was always finding something for George to do for him or for others – from grinding down part of his shoe to making foot rests. And then, a few years ago, he asked George to make him a cremation box. He left it here, telling George to keep it here until he needs it. ~ Kathy and George Bouska

  15. Father John will be missed in Florida. He lived the last 2 winters next door to my husband and myself. He wanted to be called by (just) John. The first night he came to play cards with 8 women, he started out with ‘ I spent 12 years in prison.’ 8 women’s eyes threw darts at me. Then he laughed and winked at me. As I see from other stories, he lost his phone and keys often. I still have his car keys from his car here in Florida, and clothes, and books, and prayer stickers, He made people smile. He liked to cook. We will miss him. Bob and Linda Huey

  16. My sympathy to all you relatives and friends as you lose the physical presence of dear Fr John! He was and remains beloved by MANY… and his spirit and presence are very much alive in the hearts & lives he touched over his decades of living life to the FULL!! He now has new powers, so expect to feel his presence in new and surprising ways!! As one of the co-founders of the Christian Experience Weekends (CEW), I was amazed when in 1975, after only one year of our sponsoring the retreats, Fr John contacted Fr Karnik and asked us to adapt the format and begin putting on the weekend retreats for the prisoners at the Iowa State Reformatory in Anamosa where he was chaplain. This simple request showed his deep commitment to the residents of the Reformatory, his constant alert search for new ways of ministering to and with them, and his continuous desire to urge our society to see the potential in the men there. Over the next decades, countless lives of both inmates and outsiders were changed because of this one creative idea of Fr. John’s… and he had many. I am grateful for this and for the numerous times I’ve heard him speak about being open to God’s grace and the Holy Spirit!! He truly was/is a charismatic instrument of grace!! And now he rejoices in the FULLNESS OF LIFE forever!! We thank God for the gift of his life! Let us continue to live his spirit!! Sr. Carole Freking, OSF

  17. We will dearly miss Father John-as my brother said in an earlier tribute we met him in Waterloo IA at Sacred Heart Church and even though we moved to Minneapolis and then the Chicago-area he was always part of our lives. We will miss his wit and wisdom and his devotion to his faith. Every phone call he made to us started with ‘Hello there, how are you’ and then the conversation started after that. He came back to help celebrate the Mass when our father died in 2010. My mom, Edna Mae, was deeply touched by that. We know he is in a better place and now can share time with all those friends and family who have passed on before him. My God bless you Father John-until we all meet again. Blessings to his family with our thoughts and prayers. The Milnor Family, Edna Mae, Barbara, Nancy, and Darby

  18. My condolences and the promise of my prayers to the relatives and friends of Fr. John Barnes. Fr. John had retired shortly before my ordination but he was my wisdom source as an associate pastor when I was starting to visit those in the county jail. His wisdom was always no nonsense but full of compassion all the same. We shared many a summer priest’s retreat and Fr. John was always the one to organize a collection at the end as a tip for the retreat house kitchen and cleaning staff. A great man and great priest! A funeral here will keep me from Fr. John’s funeral but my thoughts and prayers are with you. Fr. Tom McDermott

  19. Father John We will truly miss you!!’!!! I will miss your urgent calls of I lost my phone, is it in the car? I left my phone charger at your house mail it back to me Did I leave my prayer book???? Where are the car keys? And my response is you know we leave them in The car. Can you pick me up in Waterloo @7:45 or it could be @ 2:30 and he would no more get into the car and request that you turn the radio off and the air conditioner. What’s for dinner tonight, or he would let you know early on that he had other plans. One of his famous sayings ‘We pray to fast and sing to slow’. And last but not least Father was at our house on Easter Sunday and we were ready to go to mass and out of his mouth was ‘well let’s go and see the lillies and poinsetts. I had to ask what he meant, and of course it was the people who attended mass on the holidays. Father John rest in peace and we love you. Red & Mary Rita Greiner

  20. Father John was our priest at Stone City while I was growing up. When our organist graduated from high school we were left without a musician. With his encouragement I learned to play guitar from one of the nuns at the hospital in Anamosa. I learned enough to be able to start playing at mass every Sunday. For the longest time I only knew one song…’They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love’ and we sang it EVERY Sunday! But Father Barnes didn’t care, as long as we were singing. I learned many more songs over the years and I continued to play for him during high school. When he moved to a new parish in Mt. Vernon he said mass at Cornell College and I would drive there from Cedar Rapids when I was in college to play for his masses at Cornell. He married my husband and I in 1982. His friendship continued with our family over the years. My dad drove him to Florida for his winter get away many times and then drove back to get him in the spring. We will miss his presence in our lives as will the many people here who have written such beautiful and eloquent tributes. Rest in Peace Father John.

  21. Father John Barnes will live on in the memory of many of us. I, in particular, feel blessed by him. Whenever I came home from my mission in Africa Fr John would always make sure we met for some time of sharing. I loved his percepton. He could always see beyond the ‘disturbance’ of the moment. His affirmation for me was deeply authentic. He understood the challenges of moving into another world, another culture, another religion. . . . .and how missionary activity must to be done with care and respect. I will always treasure the time I had with Fr John. I’m sorry he has departed. . . .but I am happy for him. He has attained his eternal reward. . . .. .which he greatly deserves.

  22. Fr. John was a big part of my and my Sisters lives, and continued to be even as our own Families grew. My parents and Fr John were acquainted through the Church in Waterloo when he was just out of the seminary and have been friends for over 60 years. Birthdays, Holidays, graduations even Christmas when I was growing up you’d find him at the door, driving to the Chicago area as soon as his Mass was over. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity as a kid to have spent my summers in and around Stone City / Anamosa with him and further to have had the chance to learn about Christianity and Gods Love through him and in the relationships with his friends and paritioners such as the May’s, Nachazel’s, Recker’s etc. I think so often of what other kids were doing while I was Hunting with Fr. John and my Dad or watching them play golf. (Or at least some game the claimed was golf) My Father passed away in 2010 and Fr John wanted so badly to be there to say the Mass that it took a relay of folks to get him from New Hampton to Dubuque where I picked him up…then ditto for the return trip. I had to laugh at one of the other memories posted here about him riding in the back seat and having to turn the radio off. Of course in my case he was in the back seat of my VW and he and I both had to laugh at his ‘extracation’ after the trip. Father made the whole sad weekend brighter with his ‘Celebration of Life’ even sharing his own humerous stories of his time and trips spent with Dad. I will miss his phone calls, encouragement, advice and Love. John Barnes gave us all the opportunity to see God’s Love here on Earth and I know that although he will be dearly missed, his memories and Love will live on in us all. Darby Milnor & The Milnor Family Lake in the Hills, IL

  23. Like so many others, I have been blessed to call Fr. John my friend. He was an authentic servant of God in the way he lived, loved and encouraged others to grow in faith. He gave challenging and engaging homilies filled with questions of how we relate to others and treat ourselves… And by doing that, how we relate to God. He taught me that prayer, love and inviting God inside everyday is our daily bread… Our journey towards God matters in all things. His crooked Irish grin, sense of humor, many visits and zest for life will always stay with me. The many voices of men you won’t hear from are all those Fr. John served in prison ministry. He told me he was happy if only one man came to mass, though he usually had more come to listen and be listened to and not be judged. John was so often delighted to see people respond when they asked him what he had been busy doing… ‘Well, I just got out of jail!’. He is no longer feeling ‘under par’, and he found a way out of the Iowa winter… To the most beautiful place and company! Angie Tornabane

  24. Father John stopped to see me, and informed me that he had stopped earlier and I was not there, and he was going to steal my peaches off of the trees. I told him they weren’t mine. I said, “If they were mine you COULDN’T steal them, you would just take them because it would be taking from a friend, and wouldn’t be stealing.” With no available comeback, he just smiled and said, “Is that so?!” Sue Meehan, Anamosa

  25. It is no surprise that Father entered heaven on a Holy Day ( Mary of Solemnity Mother of God). I am a second cousin, Father and my deceased father were first cousins. My family was always thought of as his family. Father married most of our family and the homilys were always directed to the individual couple. He would travel with us to out of town weddings and always wore his ‘glad rags’ When I picked out the readings for our wedding, he wanted to know why and the meaning to us. Always made you think. He would come to Cedar Rapids Mercy Medical Center where I was employed and stop by my office. I would ask who are you visiting at the Hospital? He would say ‘ You’. Made me feel special. At any meal he attended he would do the blessing and would end it with ‘ Bless the cook’. Father John has been in my life for as long as I can remember and I have always been proud to be related to him. RIP Polly (Barnd) Hatala You.

  26. I remember Father fondly from his service to us at Notre dame high school in Cresco. Always smiling and helpful. I’m only sorry I wasn’t able to see him in later years. Judi Owens Weinkauf

  27. Our Deepest sympathies, to Father John’s Family! We have always had a special place in our heart for Father John, as he married us in 1990. Never forget in the weeks before the wedding, when we would meet w/ him, how he would always try to pick your brain….Just to see what make ya tick lol, Always had to be on your ‘A’ game!! He will be missed by many, as he touched so many hearts. Rest in Peace Father John Leo and Bev Dowd

  28. Anyone who ever met him knew he was special. Remember to thank the good lord for him and his time in the communities he served.

  29. Our sympathies to Father John’s Family and all those who love him and miss him. Our Parish was blessed to have Fr. John as our Pastor. I will never forget how he encouraged us to hold hands at the Our Father. He told us to look at the person on our right and on our left and remember that we may be the only person to touch them that day. It almost makes a tear come to my eye when I see our church family reach over to someone across the aisle. Fr. John was the original ‘What Would Jesus Do’ person before it just became WWJD. He gave us such a wonderful example of strong faith and love for everyone. He will be missed!

  30. …Such a great man and oh so full of wisdom! Father John was never afraid to ask the tough questions, nor to give you his honest opinion, like it or not. We had a few nice times together when he’d need a ride to Waterloo…he always sat in the back seat, feet propped up, with his first words….’Turn off the radio and let’s talk’. Thank you, Fr. John, for all the lives you’ve impacted. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  31. Fr. John has been in our family’s life since 1970. Our sons grew up knowing what a true priest really is because of his love and witness. One of them upon reflecting said that he could never remember him saying an unkind word about anyone. A more fitting tribute I cannot imagine. We will miss those phone calls out of the blue asking ‘are you home’ I am coming over. Then there was the time when he wanted to know if Bob used an electric razor and I said yes. He said good I am coming over to shave. (He forgot his razor on that trip) Well done good and faithful servant. Now you have entered God’s joy. I think heaven would love your clown outfit Much love, The Bob May family. .

  32. Father Barnes touched many lives.He was always busy doing something.He would come to our house and tell Tom they had to go do the garden or pick strawberries,Then bring them back and say if I could wash them he’s be back to get them.He was a special person and will be missed by many.God bless him.Tom and Marian Gebel

  33. Dear Mike, Thanks for those pictures and the recording made at his 60th anniversary gathering. When I think of the odds overcome by his family of origin it is easy to see why John was the person he was. Strength after strength. Connie May

  34. Mike, Because of the weather we couldn’t make it yesterday to the funeral. My hope was that you were recording it and we might someday be able to see and hear it. I so remember our time at MN at the family resort. I got my one and only fish story the day we arrived. If you would like to hear it please call me at 319-521-7310. Love, Connie May. .

  35. Fr. Barnes touched so many lives. What an inspiration he was to all of us. His warm greetings and kindliness, his smile and great sense of humor certainly made ones day. He demonstrated his wisdom and faith in everyday life and was a respected priest and friend. He did his earthly job and now is with our Heavenly Father. May he rest in peace.

  36. Condolensces to the family, Know that he will be missed greatly. I will miss him calling me and asking where this is or that is, as I was one who tried to help him keep his place in order. And it wasn’t always me who put it in that secret spot. He’d say, ‘Oh yes, I remember that I put it there, I thought it would be safe there.’ I can remember when he celebrated his 60th anniversary in the priesthood and he couldn’t find his money he got in his cards. He called me to help him come and find it. He had found a good hiding spot amongst his hats in the closet. Fr. John was also someone who answered a question with a question. So he definitely made you think about what you asked him. I used to joke with him about that. Godspeed and may you fly with the angels.

  37. Father John was a good man. I will miss our talks. I will not be able to attend services as I have out-of-town appointments. Regards to his family and friends.

  38. Fr. Barnes was always smiling. His words meant alot to me because you could see how great a man of God he was. He will be missed, but he is our guardian angel now. Jeanne Roder

  39. John Barnes was my mentor on how to be a good priest/pastor/person. My four years with him and the parish were awesome. He embodied joy, renewal, spirit and openness. I remember celebrating John’s 60th birthday. I went before the parish and said how hard it was to visualize 60 so we had 60 people come forward with 60 candles and Ray Klenske in the rear dressed as a fireman. You could hear the laughter beginning from the back of the church. It is what John loved – laughter and joy. Rest in peace, my friend, Mike Tauke

  40. I thank God for his gift of Fr John Barnes and the time shared together. My students at St John s loved the time Fr John shared with us. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so whoever believes in him would never die’ John 3:16

  41. Sending my prayers and sympathy to all loved ones of Fr. John. Fr. John was one of the people who encouraged me to attend Loras College, the school which has had a profound influence on my life. I always appreciated Fr. John’s kind and inspirational words, and his deep faith. One of my memories of Fr. John was at his anniversary Mass of 60 years of serving as a priest, and how he began Mass by sharing his background and how he came to have a personal relationship with God. Rest in peace, Fr. John!

  42. My sympathy to all of us who know and love Father Barnes. He was the priest that baptized me and most of my sisters. I will miss visiting with you. Rest in Peace.

  43. Our deepest sympathy to Fr. Barnes family. He was our priest and dear friend for many years. May he rest in peace. Good-bye dear friend. Jack and Betty Gorman

  44. He dwelt in the shelter of the Lord, he was loved by God, and he knew it! What he knew he shared, and he had the ability to say it in a way that would touch your soul! That is a gift! Thank you Lord for allowing me to experience that love! Something happened a number of years ago that left me broken, and thinking I was not worth very much! I talked to him on the phone, and he asked if I knew the story of The Good Shepard! I thought to myself of course everyone knows that! I replied yes I did! He say’s but do get the reality of it? I said no longer sure of myself, probably not John, but your going to tell me aren’t you? He said, the shee pthere are no 99, we are all the one God seeks! I could not speak, I had been so busy trying to be one of the 99 and who never quite made.it. John was telling me I was the one Jesus seeks, along with everyone else on the planet! How precious it is when we open our self to God’s love! John Barnes radiated God’s love in so many ways he could be tough as nails, make you uncomfortable when you needed to be. He could cry with you laugh with you, and most of all he loved you! Dance and sing with the Angels

  45. Our sympathy and prayers to all who knew and loved John Barnes. We were blessed to have him as the parish priest who greatly influenced our lives in so many ways. His loving guidance helped Melody decide to answer God’s call to join the church. He baptized two of our three children. The Christian Experience Weekends we worked on with Fr. John were wonderful times of sharing our faith, especially the night he was driving and tried to take Joe and Angie Tornabane to see Jesus with him (Yikes!), but the Lord helped him miss the other car. We saw him less in recent years, but were always delighted when he would drop by when he was in town and he was constantly in our thoughts and prayers. His is a wonderful example of a joyful servant of God and we are truly blessed that he was a part of our lives. Joe and Melody Butz


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