Happy Sunday and Happy Easter!
Jesus Christ is risen! In the midst of the wildness in which we find ourselves we still celebrate the Lord's Resurrection. We are very privileged to have had the Church remain open for private prayer and to have the adoration chapel continue. Thank you to our wonderful adorers who continue to spend an hour with the Lord every week. This has been such a great gift to our parish and to many others. In fact, during the Triduum, I met two young people who had driven from Tucson to pray in our Church! The Lord is truly at work.READ MORE
The Lord is risen! We are in strange times yet beautiful times! Never before have we celebrated the Triduum in private. These past four weeks have been without the public celebration of the Eucharist, and yet I have heard many wonderful stories of how your faith has been nourished. As the Church celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus, we are reminded that He is the Lord of all. He is not only the Lord of each of us, but He is Lord of life and death. Jesus is the one with true dominion over all things.READ MORE
We are very glad to welcome Fr. Dan Estes SOLT, this weekend to preach our Masses in preparation for our parish mission. The theme of the mission is "Hope for our Times". Fr. Dan is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. He has been ordained for eighteen years and served on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota for four years as an associate pastor and as a principal for a small Catholic school. He also served for four and a half years in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize, as the Pastor of Mount Carmel Parish which included three missions, four primary schools and a high school with over 2000 students. In 2008, he was assigned to Our Lady of Corpus Christi, a liberal arts institute, as Vice-President. From July of 2010 until July 2017, he was the director of Our Lady of Corpus Christi, which serves as a retreat center. Since July 2017, he has been the director of Santa Maria del Mexicano which is a home for children and elderly serving some 200 children ages 618 and about 25 elderly located in Colón, Queretaro, Mexico.
Fr. Dan has given parish missions, retreats to religious, as well as retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and healing retreats.READ MORE
On this Second Sunday of Lent we hear in our first reading about the call of Abram to become a great nation. God invites and Abram responds. This is a simple but important rule in the spiritual life, to listen attentively to the voice of God and respond. The Collect Prayer for mass this Sunday reads, "O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory." In this prayer we are acknowledging that God commands us to listen to Jesus, and when we do this we are better prepared to behold his glory. For Abram, this was realized in a material sense as God blessed him with abundance. In our own day, we set our sights, presently, on the glory of Easter, and eternally, on our heavenly homeland.READ MORE
Happy Sunday and Happy Lent!
Just like that Lent has begun! Thank you to everyone who helped with our preparations for Ash Wednesday liturgies. Thank you as well to everyone who has volunteered to work at the Fish Fry. Last year I arrived in the middle of Lent and I was so pleased to be able to attend the Fish Fry, eat delicious food, and see how much everyone cares about our amazing parish. I am looking forward to year 2!
Throughout the season of Lent the Church invites us to consider, in a particular way, how to grow in holiness through the practices of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. Each of these practices helps us to move our hearts and minds closer to the Blessed Trinity. When we fast, whether through days of fasting, or abstaining from certain types of foods, the absence of food is an invitation to turn our thoughts to God. One of my favorite prayers to pray when offering up something, whether in terms of fasting or in another difficulty comes from Our Lady of Fatima. "O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."READ MORE
I am very pleased to share great news with you. We have officially paid off our debt! After 20 years of making payments the final one has been submitted! While I am joyful myself to share this news, I know that I had very little to do with it. This success is the fruit of many years of St. Joan of Arc parishioners. I am especially grateful to all who have worked in our finance office and volunteered on our finance council. The leadership of these many people is a great gift and speaks volumes of the many parishioners who are so committed to our parish. Finally, there is a great thanks owed to Fathers Larry Weidner and Don Kline, our former pastors, who led this splendid effort. I am grateful to everyone who has so humbly and diligently assisted this effort over the years. You are all a gift!READ MORE
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. February 2nd is forty days since Christmas Day. The gospel today reminds us that Jesus was presented in the Temple according to the law, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord." On this day, then, we see Jesus being manifested to the world. For this reason, it has been the tradition of the Church to bless and light candles today. Mass begins with a solemn blessing of candles, many of which you brought from your own homes to receive this blessing and return home with. The lighting of candles today represents that Jesus Christ, the Light of all nations, is being manifested to the world. While we do this with candles, it is a reminder of us to spread the Word in our own communities. We pray today that the Lord Jesus will continue to work through us to make His light known to our community.READ MORE
This Tuesday the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, commonly called the Angelic Doctor. St. Thomas lived in the 13th century and was the most significant Scholastic of the period. Though a member of the Order of Friars Preachers, or Dominicans, he grew up in a wealthy family in Italy. Having expressed his desire to enter religious life his family sought a "suitable" position for him at the famous Benedictine monastery Monte Cassino. However, St. Thomas' desire was to live as a mendicant among the newly founded Dominican order. After much, and sometimes aggressive, protestation from his family he took the white habit. He became a student of St. Albert the Great. Once, when a fellow student mocked his oafish demeanor during class by calling him a dumb ox, St. Albert responded, "We call this man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world." His professor's prediction proved accurate. St. Thomas would go on to write the great Summa Theologica, and though it was never completed, it is still one of the most significant theological works in the history of the Church. Intended for seminarians and the literate faithful, it begins by addressing the questions of God's existence and the creation of man. This is commonly called natural theology, it is the things one can know through reason alone without divine revelation. St. Thomas then moves on addressing law, the moral life, the life of Christ, divine revelation, and more.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE