Memorial Day

05-26-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Private Norman H. Clapper was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He was killed in action while engaged with the enemy near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea on December 2, 1950, nine days after he entered combat. He was 18 years old, one of the youngest to die in the Korean War.

Private Clapper was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Norman Clapper was a cousin of a friend of mine. Of course, I never met him, but from what I have heard of him, he was a kind young man who was exceedingly devoted to his divorced mother. He entered military service to lend her financial support. Decades after his death, he was awarded his high school diploma posthumously.


Nominations for Parish Council

05-19-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

St. Joan of Arc Parish exists so that God's children may develop, grow, embrace and live the faith and life of Our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed and taught by the Gospel and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Canon 515 of the Code of Canon Law states:

A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop.

Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; and it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and love.


Happy Mother's Day

05-12-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am continually amazed at the love and care that so many mothers share. It is a profound calling from God that embraces an integral part of the dignity of women. Pope John Paul II wrote a beautiful encyclical called, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, a great reflection for Mother's day.

The Holy Father's words are beautifully tender, most especially in light of the fact that his own mother died when he was a child. For example about pregnancy,he wrote: Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman's womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and "understands" with unique intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the "beginning,"the mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb. What I love about the Holy Father's words is the deep spiritual nature of the role of mothers.


Evangelization during the Easter Season

05-05-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Easter Season is longer then the Lenten Season. What does that mean? I suggest that a longer celebration means a greater significance. Lent is 40 days while the Easter Season spans 50 days.

We also do a lot of talking about Lent and specifically what we have, "given up" for Lent. We talk about fasting and we give alms to the poor. I'm always amazed by the fact that Ash Wednesday seems to be as popular as Easter as we pack the church to begin our penance. Then, as Lent continues, there is a dramatic increase in daily mass attendance. Yes, it seems that during the Lenten season, we know what to do, how to express our faith, and what Holy Mother Church expects of her faithful followers.


Bring Authentic Followers of Christ

04-28-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Sometimes people ask me why I became a priest. The answer is simply because God called me to be a priest but Our Lord called me through the people He placed in my life. My vocation to the priesthood grew because of the beautiful example of love shown to me by my parents, my brother and sisters, my friends and the Church. Of course the family is important to our growth in life and love but the role of the parish in encouraging and supporting vocations to the priesthood and religious life is also very important.

Just sitting there in the Church, week after week, among so many good people who were devoted to the faith helped me so much in my formation as a Catholic. To see around me people praying in the pews, serving on the altar and singing in the choir; to see ordinary people giving up their time to build up the Church was a powerful witness to how much they valued the faith they professed.


Easter Season

04-21-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Sixty-eight days ago on February 13, many of us came to church. We came to celebrate our common faith at one of our five Ash Wednesday Masses. This has been a particularly challenging Lent for me and from what I gather for many. On that Ash Wednesday, hardy groups of Catholics came to receive ashes and to take to heart the admonition of the Lenten Season: "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." And after Mass, these faithful Catholics disappeared from church back into their lives. Most were on their way to work or school, having begun the important task of every Catholic: preparing themselves for the coming of Easter some six weeks later.

And now we are in the season of Easter! Lent, like winter, is disappearing (hopefully!) from our landscape! The purples of Lent have disappeared from our church. The symbols of Jesus' journey in the desert, and his passion and death on the cross have been transformed into signs of His risen life--Easter lilies, spring flowers, the new Paschal Candle, and the abundance of water flowing from our baptismal fonts grace our church!


Pope Francis and Poverty

04-14-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Pope Francis makes me feel uncomfortable like Mother Teresa made me feel uncomfortable. They both remind me of the importance of personal simplicity. When I hear stories circulate about our new pope taking mass transit while in his native Argentina— it wakes me up! And his shoes are old! And he's not moving into the lavish papal apartment. So yes, he's making me uncomfortable and that's a good thing.

So what Pope Francis is teaching us about poverty? In addition to his call to relieve the sufferings of the poor by living more simply, he also is reminding us that poverty goes beyond the material world. For in the sight of the God of the Universe, we're all poor and needy.


Divine Mercy Sunday

04-07-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed." (Eph 2:4-5).

On Divine Mercy Sunday, the focus is on the healing power of Our Lord's Mercy. Through Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Confessions, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy, we will draw special attention to God's Divine Mercy. Along with the regular Mass schedule, we will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the main church beginning at 2:00 pm. In honor of Divine Mercy there will be the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. We will conclude the octave day of Easter with Mass at 3:00pm in which we will ask for Our Lord's Divine Mercy to heal our hearts, our minds, and our bodies.


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.