St. Joan of Arc Blog

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

01-19-2020Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

As we dive into Ordinary Time, having just celebrated the Baptism of the Lord last Sunday, we stay with St. John the Baptist in our Gospel today. John sees Jesus and remarks, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." To the Jewish ear, the allusion would have been quite clear. This is a clear comment about the Passover Lamb, now in a person. Where the blood of the Passover Lamb in Egypt had protected the Hebrews from the angel of death, John now points to a person who is the true Lamb of God. The power of Jesus is power over death. Even more so, his power is the power of life itself. Every time we attend mass the priest holds up the Host and echoes the words of John, "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb." The last part reminds us that as we are called to share in the "supper of the Lamb" now, even more so are we called to attend in eternity. In the Mass, we receive a foretaste of heaven, an invitation to receive now what God desires us to share for eternity.

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The Feast of Epiphany

01-05-2020Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy New Year!

2020 is here! It's hard to believe that a new year is upon us once again. This past week, 9 members of our staff attended the FOCUS SLS20 conference. This event focused on evangelization and making missionary disciples. I am very grateful that our parish had the opportunity to attend with such a great showing. While originally for college students (there were about 15,000 present), FOCUS recently added a track for those living and working in the parish setting. We look forward to co ntinue to discern how the Lord is inviting each of us here at St. Joan of Arc into a deeper relationship with Him.

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Feast of the Holy Family

12-29-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

I pray everyone had a joy-filled Christmas, rejoicing in the celebration of Our Lord's Nativity! A great thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to help with the different ministries for the Christmas Masses. I am incredibly grateful to our wonderful ushers, lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, sacristans, singers, musicians, altar servers, gift shop volunteers, and many more. As you can see, there are a number of moving parts that are all so important. If you've never been able to volunteer, maybe 2020 is the year! We'd love to have you join one of our marvelous teams.

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Fourth Week of Advent

12-22-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

We have arrived at the final Sunday of Advent and the shortest week of this liturgical season. This Sunday's liturgy begins with the antiphon joyfully proclaiming "Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior." With great anticipation we sing for the coming of the Savior. Though this is the shortest week of Advent, finishing Tuesday evening, one can feel the tension of the antiphon. Jesus Christ is coming! The prayers of the patriarchs are heard, the words of the prophets find fruition! Our Gospel tells of the angel visiting Joseph, commanding him to name the child "Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." We are the people Jesus comes for to save us from our sins. I would like to invite you over the next couple of days before the Christmas season begins to pray with the prayers and readings from this Sunday's mass. To take time in silence to hear the anticipation of the prophets and to rejoice with Holy Mother Church.

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Third Week of Advent

12-15-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday! Today the Church celebrates Gaudete Sunday. This Sunday of rejoicing shifts the focus of Advent more closely to the coming of the Lord. Throughout the first two weeks we have been looking especially towards the coming of the Lord, but now the tone is changed. The entrance antiphon this Sunday proclaims, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near." We no longer speak of a thing in the distant future of an unknown time, but rather of something close. What does this mean for us? St. James offers us some advice in our second readi ng for this Sunday. "Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand ." There is no one else to prepare our hearts for other than Jesus. He is the one who breaks into our lives in the silence, just as in the manger. The Lord comes quietly and in unexpected ways. The preparation of hearts means making them a place to receive the Lord as gives Himself to us.

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Second Sunday of Advent

12-08-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

This has been quite the weekend for St. Joan of Arc. Our high schoolers have been on retreat in Prescott accompanied by Fr. Daniel. We pray they had a renewing weekend and that the Lord deepened their knowledge and love of Him. As well, our St. Michael Indian School Mission group went up north to deliver the many donations. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed so generously. A special thanks to all those who made the journey to deliver all the donations, this certainly makes a big difference to the people in the St. Michael Mission.

On Monday of this past week the Diocese began celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Phoenix. There was a Mass at Comerica Theater to kickoff the year long celebration. We give thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed on our wonderful diocese. Including the founding of our own parish, which happened ten years after the Diocese of Phoenix was created. We pray for many more fruitful years of evangelization and deepening the love of God in the life of our diocese.

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First Sunday of Advent

12-01-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

Today the Church begins her new year! In anticipation of the great celebration of Christmas, we begin to prepare ourselves through prayer, especially liturgical prayer. The readings that we hear during this season, not only on Sunday but during the week, remind us of the great expectation of the people of Israel for their Savior. In this Sunday's first reading from Isaiah we hear, "In days to come, the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it…" That is, God will establish among his people something special which will draw all the nations towards it. This mountain is Zion, a foreshadowing of eternal life in heaven. Our passage continues to say, "For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." The instruction that goes forth will be the teaching of Jesus Christ. God himself will come to us and He will teach us. No longer will the people of Israel look at their prophets for God's words because God Himself will teach them.

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The Feast of Christ the King

11-24-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

Today we joyously celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This afternoon we will host our Eucharistic Procession through the neighborhood. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ and be joined together in prayer. In a particular way it emphasizes the kingship of Jesus Christ. The Church celebrates this Solemnity because Jesus is not the Lord of one country or people, but of all peoples and so the Church rightly regards Him as King of the Universe. That is, He is the king of all created things, not merely our parish, city, country, etc. In processing Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament through the neighborhood we remind ourselves and those we meet that Jesus desires to be the Lord of all people and all things.

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We remember the faithful departed

11-10-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

As we continue our journey through the liturgical year we pause in this month of November to remember the faithful departed. The Church invites us to pray in a special way for our loved ones who have passed from this life. In fact, she invites us to pray for all the deceased. We often speak of offering prayers for the souls in Purgatory. The Church teaches us that Purgatory is the place where souls go after death who "are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven" (CCC 1030). Preaching about praying for the dead, St. John Chrysostom said, "Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them." Prayers for the dead are a powerful way to assist those who are being purified, even if we do not know their names.

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