St. Joan of Arc Parish Book Club

St. Joan of Arc Parish Book Club
New Book: "Silence: A Novel" by Shusaku Endo. Along with a commentary called "Faith Stripped to its Essence"
Next Meeting: Monday, July 17 at 7pm in the Naeger Room
We have space for 8 more people. Contact Jane Lafentres at jlafentres@stjoanfoarcstl.com or (314) 832-2838 to reserve a book. Or if you want to buy and bring your book and join us- that'd be cool too! All are welcome!

Masses this Weekend

Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25
Masses this Weekend:
Sat, 4:30pm - Monsignor Dempsey
Sun, 8am - Father Peter
Sun, 10:30am - Father Craig

We'll also celebrate three baptisms after the 10:30am Mass.

In our readings this weekend Jesus invites us to Courage for the sake of the Community. Come and be nourished and strengthened by our great SJA community.

All are welcome at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church

5821 Pernod Ave, 63139

Pastor's Column

Pastor’s Column for Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce a new Adult Faith Formation Class! Beginning on Tuesday, July 25 and running for 10 weeks, I’ll be leading a class on the Early Church Fathers called, “Epic: The Early Church”. Our church has a fascinating, complex, and inspirational history- the first 500 years included. The format will include a DVD presentation, readings, and class discussion. We’ll gather in the Naeger Room at 7pm beginning on July 25. All are welcome!

Join us!  There’s no cost but please contact the parish office to reserve a spot so I can order the right amount of books.  Contact Jane to reserve a spot: jlafentres@stjoanofarcstl.com or (314) 832-2838.

Also, remember the Thursday morning Bible Study at 9:30am in the Naeger Room. All are welcome as we read, learn about and pray with the readings for the up-coming Sunday.

That’s it for now. Enjoy these summer days!
Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Peace and prayers for you,

Fr. Craig

Updates

Back from vacation! Ready to roll!

-Bible Study resumes this Thursday morning, 9:30am in the Naeger Room

-Spiritual Reading Book Club resuming later this month: we'll be reading Shusaku Endo's novel "Silence" along with a study guide. There's space for about 9 more people. Let me know if you want to read with us. We'll meet in the evenings. More details to come.

-Adult Study Group: Epic Church History: the Early Church. Learn about the first 500 years of our church's history. More information to come but starting in July.

-SCCA uniform fitting, June 20th

-Masses this weekend: Corpus Christi Sunday

4:30pm, Saturday - Fr Craig Holway

8am, Sunday- Fr Craig Holway

10:30, Sunday - Monsignor Dempsey

5th Sunday of Lent Reflection

By Parishioner Jenny Green

"Thus says the Lord God: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel."  (Ezekiel 37:12)

On January 8th, my daughter Emilia was baptized into the Catholic Church. I was ready; the house was clean, the white gown was pressed, the cake was iced. I was prepared for my daughter's special day. I did not know what the Lord had in store for me that day. I did not know on the 7th how profoundly different I would feel following Emilia's Baptism. Not only was our daughter welcomed into the Catholic faith and community on that day, God opened my family's graves and rose us up. How do I figure? Emilia was only a baby; my husband and I are young, active, and healthy individuals. What graves could we possess? How did I rise from my grave that day?  

As I professed my faith in God that day alongside my family, God saw in me an emptiness that needed to be filled. A void or grave that only He could fill. I felt the void; I felt that something was missing. And if I felt it, we know God felt it. God looked into my soul and rose me up. He rose me out of the grave alive with Christ. When we brought our child forward to be baptized, I was lifted from my grave, from the emptiness and put my faith in God’s hands. The Lord freely took me in; He brought me back to the land of Israel.   

This reading ignites a sense of healing, hope and comfort in me; the prophet Ezekiel shows us that our Lord intends to provide us with eternal life. "I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord". What comfort we can take in the Lord, that he bears his plan to us. God is delighted to open our graves, rise us up and bring us home.  

I could not have foreseen the profound difference January 8th would have on my life; but that’s the beauty behind God's plan. He is always there to see in our souls, open our graves, and raise us closer to Him.

Jenny Green

4th Sunday of Lent Reflection

                       “Live as children of the light”  (Ephesians 5:8)

      We sing about it often.  We ask for it in prayer.  “…I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord…I want to see You, I want to see you.”  What is this about blindness?  The man in today’s Gospel was physically blind, but nearly as obviously, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for their spiritual blindness.  What does that look like in our 21st century?  How are we called to “Awake, O sleeper” as St. Paul startles the Ephesians in today’s second reading? 

       When I was a child, I was enthralled with Helen Keller stories.  I decided that losing my eyesight would be the worst ability to lose.  My gratitude for the gift of vision was and is strong.  In my adult life, I’ve had 3 friends that were blind, each incredibly independent women.  I learned that physical blindness affected some of their choices, but none of them let it become an obstacle to living life to the fullest and seeing the beauty of the world and the people around them.

         I also grew to believe that spiritual blindness is more of an obstacle and burden in one’s life than most other things.  Sometimes we inherit some of these blindspots and don’t even realize it:  prejudices, grievances, fears, negativity, etc.  Sometimes we hold onto them and hide in the darkness, at least for a while.  But when God’s amazing grace stirs our hearts, we desire light.  We long to see.  We ask Jesus to be healed.  With God’s help and our efforts, we can see again.  We are freed to live as children of light.  And once we see clearly, we can no longer pretend to not see. 

         O God, Source of all light and beauty, remove my blindness and help me to see you more clearly.

Sr. Pam Falter, OSF

3rd Sunday of Lent Reflection

“Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4:13-14 

It was late afternoon on a cloudy day as I began to read the Scriptures for this Sunday.  I continued to read in the increasing darkness, strugglingto see the words.  I finally turned on a light, and of course things became much clearer.  It caused me to reflect on how often this is what happens in my prayer life – I attempt to handle things by myself, forgetting that all I need to do is ask God, and He will help me to see more clearly.  Just as Moses asked God for help when the people began to doubt, and the Lord provided water to quench not only their thirst but also their lack of hope and trust in His loving care.

The Samaritan woman in the Gospel did not know about this “living water”, but was moved to believe because she listened to what Jesus told her.  This Lent I am trying to listen more closely to what the Lord may be trying to tell me, that I might “gain access by faith to this grace in which we stand”, (Romans 5:2).

Just getting out my Bible and reading these Scriptures has reminded me that I used to do that often, and was nourished by doing so.  I will continue the practice throughout Lent and hopefully beyond Easter.

Dorothy Indelicato