Alleluia! He Is Risen!

03-31-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Alleluia, He is Risen! After journeying through another Lenten Season we have once again arrived at the great Feast of Easter. We gather to celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; the victory Christ has won over sin and death; the gates of Heaven being opened wide to those who put their faith in Christ. "Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice, arrayed with the lightening of his glory, let this holy building shake with joy, filled with the mighty voices of the peoples, " (The Exsultet, Easter Proclamation).

If you are visiting St. Joan of Arc parish I welcome you, I'm glad that you're here.

If you are Catholic and do not attend Mass on a regular basis, I invite you to join us here at St. Joan of Arc and let us help you to actively live your faith by attending Mass every Sunday.


Freedom's Battle

03-17-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we celebrate the last Sunday before Holy Week during this Year of Faith, we are reminded of the importance of faith. First, we have the election of a new pope. This is a time for Catholics around the world to pray for our new Vicar of Christ. The words of Our Lord, "You are Peter… and on this rock I will build my Church" point to the beautiful role of our Holy Father and why we need to pray for him everyday.

We also celebrate the final "scrutiny," for the candidates who will be received into the Church this Easter. This means they will receive Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. So today's scrutiny is a pre-baptismal exorcism. Today's exorcism is a powerful reminder that Jesus is greater that Satan.


Deacon Jim Springer

03-10-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As many of you already know, our Deacon Jim Springer is very ill and in need of your prayers at this time. Deacon Jim has served faithfully at St. Joan of Arc for the past four years. He is truly a man of God who in deeply in love with Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. He has generously shared the faith throughout his many years as an ordained deacon for the Church. His presence with the Hispanic community has touched many hearts and brought many to a deeper love and understanding of Our Lord. He is a gifted teacher and his passion for sharing the Good News is a tremendous blessing to all who know and love him.

In a recent conversation with him about dealing with illness and the future he responded with complete surrender and trust in God's plan for him. Even in the midst of great suffering and hardship, Deacon Jim reminded me of the importance of faith in the Divine Physician who can heal all our illnesses.


Electing a Pope

03-03-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are called to be a people of hope and so what can we hope for in the coming days as the cardinals prepare to elect our new Holy Father?

Here are the steps that will be part of the election process:

The voting by cardinals to elect the next pope takes place at what is called a conclave behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel.

Secret ballots can be cast once on the first day of the conclave… the voting continues until a new pontiff is elected.

Only cardinals under the age of 80 can vote in the conclave; older cardinals do not enter the Sistine Chapel. In theory, any baptized male Catholic can be elected pope.

The names of nine voting cardinals are chosen at random: three to serve as "scrutineers," or voting judges; three to collect the votes of any sick cardinals who remain in their quarters at the Domus Sanctae Marthae; and three "revisers" who check the work of the scrutineers.

The paper ballot is rectangular. On the top half is printed the Latin phrase "Eligo in Summum Pontificem" ("I elect as the most high pontiff"), and the lower half is blank for the writing of the name of the person chosen.

Each cardinal then walks to the altar, holding up his folded ballot so it can be seen, and says aloud: "I call as my witness Christ the Lord who will be my judge, that my vote is given to the one who before God I think should be elected." He places his ballot on a plate, or paten, and then slides it into a receptacle.


Pope Benedict XVI

02-24-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The papacy is a tremendous blessing to us. Pope Benedict XVI is a tremendous blessing to us, as Blessed Pope John Paul II was to us. It is interesting to think about the difference between the two, most especially in how they dealt with suffering and frailty. As a casual observer, when I witnessed Pope John Paul II, the word, "natural" comes to mind. It seemed that he handled the duties of the supreme pontiff with ease. So when his health declined, it was important for us to witness his suffering. It was the final lesson of a great teacher. Pope Benedict XVI, on the other hand, did not seem as natural, preferring the study of our faith and contemplation. He definitely was not as accessible and I believe that much of the "celebrity" status of the papacy was a tremendous burden and cross. So in the end, the word, "logical" comes to mind about how each of them dealt with the deterioration of health. One showed us how to suffer on the public stage. The other showing us that at the end of life, contemplation, prayer and penance need to be our focus.


Lent has officially begun

02-17-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Lent has officially begun! I can remember as a child that Lent was a time of misery and suffering because I no longer was able to watch television and eat candy. As a child, I perceived Lent as that time of year when we would have to give enjoyable things up. Many years later, I have a much different take on Lent. I realize now that my childhood understanding was only partially correct. There is much more to Lent than just "giving things up".

Lent is a hope-filled season that offers us a time to clean up our souls with Our Lord's help. As we "purge" our lives by getting rid of the stuff we don't need i.e., sin, we make room for Our Lord… we make room for love. If we do allow Lent to be a time for us to get rid of sin, then we can focus on what truly matters. We can focus on God. Through our penance and prayer, alms giving and other works of virtue and charity we come to experience the love of God for us precisely through the Cross of Christ. Lent is less about giving up sweets and more about focusing on Our Lord. Lent is a time to recall God's infinite love and mercy for us, as seen in the life, death, and Resurrection of Christ.


Remember You Are Dust…

02-10-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Can you believe that Ash Wednesday is this week? Fr. Greg and I just took down the Christmas tree?!?! Whether we are ready or not, Lent begins this Wednesday.

I was recently reminded of the Pope Alexander VII monument, one of the most haunting artistic masterpieces in St. Peter's Basilica. Created by Bernini, a skeletal figure representing death emerges from drapery at the bottom of the scene holding an emptying hourglass while Alexander fervently prays without noticing that his time is up. The story behind the image goes something like this… When Alexander VII was elected pope, he had his casket made and placed it beside his bed. He said, "I will be a good Pope, if I think of death." The same could be true for us—that we will be good Catholics if we think of death!

So the ashes we receive are our yearly reminder of death. Apparently, in the Middle Ages the dying were laid on the ground on top of sackcloth sprinkled with ashes. The priest would bless them with holy water, saying, "Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return." (Sounds familiar?) After the sprinkling, the priest asked, "Art thou content with sackcloth and ashes in testimony of thy penance before the Lord in the day of judgment?" To which the dying person replied, "I am content." The symbolism of mourning, mortality, and penance could not be more clear.


As St. Paul reminds us...

02-03-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As St. Paul reminds us…

"Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.


Our duty toward the weakest & most defenseless

01-27-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This week we commemorated the 40th anniversary of Roe. v. Wade in which the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision that legalized abortion. With no legislative input, the justices removed legal protection from unborn children right up to the moment of birth. 55,881,760 unborn children have been put to death since 1973. If we were to observe a second of silence for each one of them, it would last twenty-one months.


Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty

01-20-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

An important part of the Year of Faith includes deepening our understanding of issues concerning life, marriage and religious liberty. A person who is seeking holiness will include pro-life efforts, the sanctity of marriage, and the protection of our religious freedom in their daily prayers. The United States Catholic Bishops have come up with essentially five Catholic resolutions for 2013 that are meant to help us make the most of this Year of Faith.


A note for Life from the Respect life Chair…

01-13-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Each year, January has been a month devoted to Respect Life Awareness, and this being a Year of Faith, I thought it fitting that you hear from Karen Williams, Chair of our Respect Life Team here at SJA….

God Bless, Father Kline

Cada año, el mes de Enero es el mes que es dedicado a la sensibilización de Respetar a la Vida, y siendo el Año de la Fe, lo vi apropiado que escuchen unas palabras de parte de Karen Williams, la presidente del comité de Respeto a la Vida de nuestra parroquia Santa Juana de Arco...

Que Dios los bendiga,
Padre Don Kline


Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord

01-06-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. What exactly is an epiphany? Some would say that it is a sudden, profound realization of something important; a breakthrough; a deep and profound understanding of something once mysterious. The Church uses the term to describe God as being made manifest in Jesus Christ. On Christmas we focused on Jesus' humanity. On Epiphany we turn our attention to Christ's divinity. We pause here today, just like the wise men, to pay this Divine Child homage and adoration as only a true King deserves. Next week we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a dramatic leap forward in Jesus' life when we celebrate the initiation of Jesus' public ministry. After his Baptism in the waters of the Jordan, we ponder that Jesus walked among us, teaching us by his words and example-as God and as man.