Pastor's Column

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Dear Friends,

It’s Homecoming Weekend!  We extend a heartfelt welcome to those who will join us this weekend; and heartfelt gratitude to those that make the festival possible! 

This is a great opportunity to introduce a new concept that I’ve been stewing on for the last couple of weeks: ENCOUNTER, EMPOWER, ENGAGE!

I want to focus on one of these over the next three weeks.

Before all else, our faith community is a place where we ENCOUNTER Jesus Christ. We ENCOUNTER Him in our celebration of the Mass- in Word and Eucharist.  We also ENCOUNTER Him when we gather as a community of faith to pray, work, and play together.  And when we ENCOUNTER Him we give Him permission to nourish, encourage, and if need be, correct us. Every time we ENCOUNTER Christ He draws us into deeper communion with Him and with each other- that communion is built with Faith, Hope and Love.

This ENCOUNTER leads to CONFORMITY! But CONFORMITY in the best way!  When we ENCOUNTER Christ in the Word and Eucharist, we are CONFORMED to be more like Him.  Over time, slowly, steadily, and often times imperceptibly, we are CONFORMED to be more like Him when we speak, act, pray and love.

So, our celebration of the Eucharist is time and place to ENCOUNTER Jesus Christ. This week, let’s pray that we are always OPEN to this ENCOUNTER.

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Pastor's Column

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Dear Friends,
We’re wrapping up our participation in the Annual Catholic Appeal. On behalf of Archbishop Carlson, thank you to those who have made a gift to the ACA. If you would still like to make a gift, please feel free to do so. If you’ve lost your card, please contact me at the parish office and I can help you.

The Flea Market was a huge success! My thanks to Catrina Fronick and Cathy Zitko for chairing the event. And to the scores of volunteers who made it all happen! Thank you. We’re still paying a few bills associated with Flea Market but we know we grossed over $18,000.00. Once we have a final number, I’ll pass that on.

Mark your calendars now for Homecoming: September 7 & 8.  More details to come.

You’ve noticed our new LED sign on the corner of Hampton and Pernod is up and running! My thanks to all those who have a gift to purchase the sign and provide for its installation.  I’m grateful for Jackson and Jamie Graves who will be taking care of keeping the content current and relevant. If you have any requests to post things on the sign, please contact me directly for review and approval.

It’s vacation time for this priest: I’ll be away from the parish beginning Sunday, July 28 and returning Monday, August 12- just in time for school to start! 

Ok- that’s it for now.

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.


Pastor's Column

Sunday, June 30, 2019 

Dear Friends,

You should have seen all of the things we collected for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Room at the Inn!!! I know that the clients of those two organizations are most grateful.  My thanks to the Visions Young Adult and Family apostolate for organizing, sorting and delivering the items.  I’m also excited that we’re beginning to work together to increase our outreach to those in need! Thank you, everyone!

A few updates regarding building improvements: 

1.     The new LED sign on the corner of Hampton and Pernod is installed. We’re waiting now for the software people to do their thing and then train a few parishioners on how to input info.

2.     We had the church sign on the corner of Pernod and Sulphur replaced, too. It was looking pretty wore out. We’re going to do some nice landscaping around it to dress it up a little bit. That’ll happen this summer.

3.     We’re going to be renewing Monsignor’s bathroom in the rectory. Time and usage has taken its toll on the tile and grout- it’s time to replace it. We’ve chosen affordable replacement options that will make it comfortable and accessible for the good Monsignor and for the next retired priest who lives with us.

4.     KidKare needed an outside door. Time and rot did a number on the outside door that leads into the boiler room. We’ve replaced the door with a metal door like the kind we put on the school.   

It’s summer time and the livin’ is easy! Enjoy these long days of summer with family, friends, backyard BBQs and vacations! 

BTW- the parish office is going to be closed July 4 and 5 for the holiday! We’ll reopen on Monday, July 8.  

And finally, something for our prayer this week.

From St. Teresa of Calcutta: “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Pastor's Column

Sunday, April 14, 2019

This weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday- the beginning of Holy Week.  You’re all invited to attend our Holy Week Services which are listed elsewhere in the bulletin.  Make this sacrifice of time to the Lord and you will not be disappointed! 

Also this weekend we are kicking off our celebration of the 2019 SJA Dinner Auction- At Bat for SJA!  Join us after Sunday Masses for Donuts, drinks and fellowship in the school cafeteria. There will be information about the dinner auction including display boards detailing our Fund-a-Need- a renovation of the Parish Center/School Gym.  There are still a couple of weeks to register to attend the auction or assist in other ways. You can go to to register.  Or, if you don’t do computers, just give us a call at the parish office and we’ll get you signed up and ready to go!

Finally, I want to say thank you to parishioners Francie and Steve Valenta. For nearly two decades they’ve coordinated our efforts with the St. Patrick Center Casserole Program.  Steve and Francie have decided to step aside and pass along the ministry to someone else.  Please join me in thanking Steve and Francie for their many years of service to the poor and the St. Joan of Arc community. And welcome John and Mary Beth Fisher who have graciously agreed to take over coordinating our efforts. We’re going to introduce some new elements into our ministry with St. Patrick’s Center- but that’ll come in another email.

So, the Spirit is moving here at SJA. There’s more to come following our first round of meetings following the Parish Life Initiative. Keep an eye on the bulletin for more information regarding outreach to new parishioners, social justice concerns and an increased emphasis on caring for our planet and natural resources.

Happy Holy Week. Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Pastor's Column

Sunday, April 7, 2019


It’s time to turn our attention to the coming celebration of Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday.  Our celebration of these all-important Days can inspire and instruct us in the Christian life like no others. So, I’ll invite you to participate in them.

Our Celebration of the Lord’s Supper with be on Holy Thursday at 7pm. We’ll celebrate the Eucharist and the Washing of the Feet. If you’d like to have your feet washed as part of the Mandatum, please contact me directly: We need 12 people to volunteer, please.

The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion will be on Good Friday at 7pm. The Veneration of the Cross followed by the Solemn Petitions are the keystones of this celebration.  

The Easter Vigil will be celebrated on Holy Saturday beginning at 8pm. We will receive two people into the Church at the Easter Vigil. The Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion will be given to them from the Treasury of Easter Life.

I hope you will join me for these solemn, joyful and prayerful celebrations of the Church’s Liturgical Life.

We’re also focused on the Dinner Auction which is now 1 month away. If you haven’t registered yet, you can go to  Or, if you don’t do computers, just give us a call at the parish office and we’ll get you signed up and ready to go!

Know that you are loved dearly, and prayed for daily.

Pastor's Column

Sunday, March 24, 2019 

Dear friends,

First, a clarification about registering for the Dinner Auction. We’re doing that on-line this year.  All you have to do is enter this address into your web browser and it’ll take you right there: Now, if you don’t do computers, or if you need help, please call us here at the rectory and we’ll get you signed up. While a lot of what we’re doing for the auction is ‘online’, we can still get you registered the ole fashioned way!

Our next Parish Life Initiative Apostolate meeting is Monday, March 25 at 7pm in the Naeger Room (basement of the parish office; enter through back door). Our focus at this meeting is our Social Justice and Outreach to the Poor Ministry. Lots of great ideas coming out of this. Join us! 

If you want to make a donation to Fr. George’s school in Uganda, you can still do so. Two options here:

1.     Make a check payable to St. Joan of Arc and we’ll make a bulk transfer directly to the school at the end of Lent. You can use the blue envelopes in church and either drop it in the Sunday basket or drop it at the rectory.

2.     Or you can call the school’s St. Louis’s ‘headquarters’ at (314) 724-6654. The office is located near St. Margaret of Scotland parish where Fr. George was living while here in St. Louis.

The Parish Lenten Mission is this week. Fr. Simon Felix, a Dominican priest, will be our Mission Preacher. Join us Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday evenings, 7-8pm in church. Fr. Simon is an excellent preacher and teacher. Give this time to the Lord and you will not be disappointed!

 Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Pastor's Column

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dear Friends,

Well, how’s your Lent going?

I want to offer just two bits here for your prayer:
1.     I want to invite you to attend our Lenten Parish Mission on March 26, 27 & 28(T-Th), 7pm-8pm in Church. Fr. Simon Felix, a Dominican Priest, will be leading the Mission. If you’re in need a spiritual pick-me-up I hope you’ll come. If you need a little inspiration, I hope you’ll come. If you struggling a bit and need some encouragement, I hope you’ll come in. If you need a break from the craziness, stress, or boredom, I hope you’ll come. If the Lord is consoling you now and everything is going your way, I hope you’ll come. There’s going to be a little something for everyone. Give this time to the Lord and He will not leave it wasted.

2.     Our parish Penance Service is scheduled for Monday, April 1st at 7pm in Church. If it’s been a year since your last Confession, you’re due. Come on in and celebrate this Sacrament of Healing and Restoration before our celebration of Easter. Big sins, little sins, lots of sins, not so many sins- Forgiveness and Second Chances are available from God’s Abundant Willingness to hang in there with us and call us to become those people that we were created to be. 

Donuts this weekend! Come over to the school cafeteria after Sunday Masses for some fellowship!

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Fr Craig

Pastor's Column

Sunday, March 10, 2019
Dear Friends,

Happy Lent. We’ve begun our Lenten observance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. A few things to keep in pray with here.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the Appeal for our Sister Parish in Guatemala. We are assisting them in building a church on the parish grounds. We’ve raised $13,413.25. That number automatically gets doubled thanks to an anonymous generous donor who has matched every penny that we’ve raised. Our total gift to Fr. Sergio and the Community of Hope in Guatemala is $26, 826.50.  WOW!! Once again, SJA is a witness to the generous hearts of Christians. Thank you!

Here's a special opportunity to support our school community. There’s a Trivia Night to benefit South City Catholic Academy on Saturday, March 30th, 6pm at the Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Center- Faenger Hall. It’s $200 for a table and all the fun that comes with a Trivia Night. The contact is Therese Nims at (314) 775-6016 (call or text) or  Please consider putting a table together and joining in the fun. All proceeds benefit the South City Catholic Academy Makerspace. Let me know if you need more information.

It’s with a grateful heart that we recognize the retirement of Ed Ortleb as SJA’s St. Vincent de Paul Society Conference President. Ed has served faithfully for years and years. Ed- thank you for your generous service to the parish and to the needy who come to us asking for help! I’d like to thank Denny Brennan for agreeing to serve as the new President. Denny will assume leadership responsibilities immediately. Thank you, Denny, for being willing to serve.

To that end, I am pleased to announce our third Parish Life Initiative Apostolate Meeting on Monday, March 25 at 7pm in the parish office. Our topic is Social Justice, Outreach to the Poor and our St. Vincent de Paul Society. We’ve got a lot of great ideas to expand our outreach to the poor both in our neighborhood and beyond. So, if you’re interested in getting involved and have some ideas to share, please join me, Monday, March 25 at 7pm in the parish office.

So, here’s the line-up of the Parish Life Initiative Apostolate Meetings scheduled so far.

-Tuesday, March 19th – New Parishioner Outreach/Welcoming/Mentoring Apostolate

-Wednesday, March 20th – SJA Goes Green! Caring for our Common Home Apostolate

-Monday, March 25th – Social Justice, St. Vincent de Paul, Outreach to the Poor Apostolate

All meetings will happen at 7pm in the parish office/rectory. Please contact me directly if you have any questions or would like more information.  There are more Apostolate meetings coming, so please keep an eye on the bulletin, web site blog and Facebook page. 

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.