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

2nd Sunday of Lent Reflection

By parishioner Craig Spihlman

“Rise, and do not be afraid.”  Matthew 17:7

In today’s readings we are challenged to dive into our Lenten journey and immerse ourselves in the challenges that the season brings.

In the first reading Abram is told to leave what he knows and is comfortable with and journey into lands that he is not familiar with.  How often are we reluctant to leave our comfort zone and charter a new path?  The challenge in Lent is to “be comfortable being uncomfortable”.  When we embrace that challenge we will find fulfillment in our Lenten journey.

Again, in the second reading we are challenged with going against the grain regarding our society. We often think of that we have the answers, and are reluctant to accept another’s viewpoint lest we feel vulnerable or appear weak.  This is the challenge that we face during Lent: to calm ourselves long enough to let God guide our actions and reach our potential during this season.

I really enjoyed reflecting on the Gospel this week.  As Jesus is transfigured in front of his disciples, before the prophets and God the Father himself.  They all shared in the joy of revealing who Jesus really is.  While we will most likely not ever see Christ transfigured in front of us, how often do we have a chance to see who someone really is?  Do we take time to listen attentively and have a meaningful conversation that adds depth and volume to our lives, or do we brush off the conversation and hurry off from one meaningless task to another?

Lent is a time to truly get in touch with our senses, experience God’s word in a very real way, and be enriched by those that we meet daily.

Make today and everyday great!

Craig Spihlman

1st Sunday of Lent Reflection

By parishioner Gail Hurt

“He fasted for forty days and forty nights…”  (Matthew 4:2)

As Lent nears, I recall the family conversations at the dinner table while growing up in my parent’s home, questioning why am I to Fast while Protestant friends did not have to abide by that same rule? My parents encouraged my inquisitive nature but were quick to add that my penance served over the next forty days was in no comparison to God’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. This courageous and selfless act provided me a greater insight to God’s love for us all and I quickly carried out my fasting without complaint. The monies saved by not purchasing my favorite treat usually resulted in a larger sum given in the Sunday collection at Easter. In addition to fasting, my parents promoted doing kind deeds for others without their knowledge. The two idioms most often heard in my growing up years, was to lead by example; to do good acts for others and actions speak louder than words.

These idioms “stuck” with me over the years and well into my professional and personal life. I’m reminded of my many human faults in a world motivated by materialistic lifestyles (i.e. the best dressed in the office, having the coolest car, having the latest electronic device, being the most popular student) and the challenges we face in defending one’s beliefs. This led me to question, how can we as Catholics put our faith into action in our everyday lives? The answers were found in the Bible. In 2 Timothy 2:15 - Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God, a workman who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviation. In 1 Timothy 4:12 - Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. As well as Titus 2:7 - Showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity. 1 Peter 5:3 - Do not lord it over those assigned to your, but be examples to the flock.

So, what might be some examples of putting our faith into action this Lenten season? Lead by example. Consider opening your work meeting with a prayer. Slow down your busy day to prioritize 1:1 time with God. Listen and let your heart guide you into action. Open the door for someone, visit the homebound, do an act of kindness, show love of thy neighbor, give up your worries to God, spread the Catholic faith around/evangelize, smile. Avoid gossiping/take the high road – lead by example as your actions will speak louder than words. People will notice your happiness and peace and will ask for your secret! Invite them to church for them to experience it for themselves!  See you in church!    

Lenten Fish Fry Meny

ST. JOAN OF ARC FISH FRY

MENU

 

DINNERS (price includes 2 sides & choice of bread)

 

Fried Cod Filet ...................................................................................... $ 8.00

Fried Catfish Nuggets (4-5 pc)................................................................. $ 8.00

Bake Fish Filet....................................................................................... $ 8.50

Jack Salmon (Lent Only)......................................................................... $ 8.00

Popcorn Shrimp.................................................................................... $ 8.00

 

KIDS MENU (children under 12, price includes 2 sides & bread)

 

Cheese Pizza......................................................................................... $ 4.50

Cheese Ravioli (6 pc).............................................................................. $ 4.50

Chicken Strips (Non Lent:  3 pc).............................................................. $ 4.50

 

SIDE DISHES       (BREADS:  White, Wheat, Italian and Swirl Rye)

 

Mac ‘nCheese                   Homemade Cole Slaw                  Apple Sauce

Spaghetti                             Green Beans                                   French Fries

Irish Potatoes                     Broccoli Parmesan

 

Bulk side dishes to go:  16 oz. - $3.00, 32 oz. - $6.00

 

A LA CARTE

 

Fried Cod Filet Sandwich........................................................................ $ 4.00

Baked Fish Filet Sandwich...................................................................... $ 4.50

Jack Salmon (2-3 pc).............................................................................. $ 5.00

Cheese Pizza (Slice)................................................................................ $ 2.00

Spaghetti............................................................................................. $ 3.00

Toasted Ravioli (8 pc)............................................................................ $ 3.00

Chicken Strips (Non Lent:  6 pc).............................................................. $ 4.00

 

DESSERTS

 

Cakes & Pies......................................................................................... $   .50

Soda.................................................................................................... $   .50

Coffee.................................................................................................. $   .50

Beer..................................................................................................... $ 2.00 Wine $ 2.00

 

COFFEE & DESSER ARE FREE TO OUR SENIORS

THANK YOU FOR COMING!  WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT.

Parish Pre K Program

INTRODUCING THE ST. JOAN OF ARC PRE K PROGRAM

A parish apostolate offered in the new South City Catholic Academy (Hampton and Pernod)

 

For 4 year olds born before Aug 1 and 5 year olds born after Aug 1.

Half Day and Full Day Curriculums

 

For more information, please contact Deborah DaLay or Gerianne Evans at (314) 752-4171 or gevans@stjoanofarcstl.com to register for the 2017-18 school year.

Pre School Open House

OPEN HOUSE FOR THE ST. JOAN OF ARC PRE SCHOOL

New Family Open House

Thursday, February 23, 2017

4-6pm.

The SJA Pre School is located on the corner of Pernod and Sulphur. Centrally located. Early childhood education, before, and after care for ages 2, 3 and 4yr old born after Aug 1.

For more detailed information or to register come to our Open House or contact Michelle Tissi at (314) 353-5384.