Pastor's Column

Sunday, January 27, 2019

 Dear Friends,

Happy Catholic Schools Week! Today we’ll celebrate Mass with the South City Catholic Academy community.  There’s an Open House after the 10:30am Mass; all are welcome to join the SCCA community for donuts, tours of the school building, and meeting students and faculty.  The students will enjoy special activities throughout the week.

The Parish Life Initiative (PLI) was a great success. My thanks to all those who participated in the planning meetings and those who came last Sunday. We generated so many ideas and got such valuable feedback! I’ve already got meetings scheduled to start cultivating some of these ideas and put them into action. We’ll use the bulletin, website blog, and our Facebook page to disseminate those ideas and action items. There are two next steps then:

1.     One more meeting of the steering committee to debrief on the PLI.
2.     Individual Group Apostolate Meetings with interested parishioners who are ready to initiate and motivate some of the ideas generated.
Watch the bulletin, website blog, and Facebook page for more information.

Next on our radar: Progressive Dinner. It’s scheduled for Saturday, March 9th. There’s more details coming in the bulletin but save the date for this casual, fun, community-building event. Participants will visit the homes of two parishioners for drinks, food and fellowship; and then the entire group returns to the SJA Parish Center for dessert! It’s a great evening! I hope you can join us.

And finally: I’m heading out on a little mid-winter R & R. I’m leaving Tuesday, January 29th and I’ll be back Monday, February 4th.  Monsignor Dempsey is in charge but please DO NOT let him give away the cats or sell the school parking lot to CVS.  In fact, this time, I’m taking the check book with me, because last time I was gone, he was watching Home Shopping Network and bought a 30-piece pot-and-pan set, 3 vacuums, a curling iron, and a gold watch. Brutal!

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Peace and prayers for you.

Parish Life Initiative Apostolate Spot Light

The St. Vincent de Paul Society

The SVDP has a long pedigree in St. Louis and at St. Joan of Arc. Its mission is simple:  assist the poor with as much help as our resources allow. At St. Joan of Arc we are able to help with food and utility and rent assistance. Volunteers respond to requests by meeting with them and not only providing for their immediate needs, but also working with them to budget their finances and help them with similar tasks.

Our SVDP maintains our Food Pantry and also assists St. Agatha’s food pantry in Soulard. Volunteers collect and sort food items and when requested, fills orders and either delivers the food or makes arrangements for the food to be picked up at the parish office.

Our SVDP never gives cash but always works with landlords and utilities to assist in bill payment and budgeting assistance.

Our St. Vincent de Paul society is always looking for help. If you’re interested in helping, please contact Fr. Craig and he’ll put you in touch with current members of the SVDP.



Pastor's Column for Sunday, Dec 16th

Dear Friends,

Advent Penance Service and Individual Confession: Monday, December 17th, 7-8pm in church. Monsignor and I will both be available.  We also have our regular confession times: Saturdays, 8:30am until all are heard; and then 3-4pm before the Vigil Mass.

Introducing the Parish Life Initiative on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 11:45am-1:15pm in the school cafeteria. Last summer we participated in a survey for the All is Gift project.  From those surveys we learned that parishioners wanted to see more ‘town hall meetings’ where information could be presented en masse. This is a great idea and I’m happy to do it.

After discussion and discernment, though, a group of parishioners have come together and have collaborated to make these ‘town halls’, now called “Parish Life Initiatives”, not just information sharing, but also an opportunity to provide feedback and ideas about how to enrich and engage the life of the parish in all its facets. So, our Parish Life Initiative is not just about information sharing, but it’s also going to be a group effort to brainstorm and share how we can enrich our parish community.

So, what are we going to do on the 20th? Well, come and see! I’m inviting all parishioners: young, old, families, singles.  Anyone who has a vested interested in the life of the parish, our present and future- please come and be a part of the Parish Life Initiative. We all have something to contribute to the life of the parish because we are all essential, vibrant and vital members of the community. WE are SJA!!!

We’ll begin with donuts after the 10:30am Mass. After some fellowship, we’ll start and will conclude by 1:15pm.

-Our agenda will include:

1. A summary of the survey results

2. A vision statement by the pastor

3. A brief presentation of our financial position

4. Break out groups to share ideas on enriching our apostolic and community life

5. An opportunity to ask questions of the pastor/parish leadership

Please come with ideas and a willingness to share!

I’ll look forward to seeing you on January 20th at our Parish Life Initiative.

How to Set Up OnLine Giving

How to set up for Online Giving to support the work and Mission of St. Joan of Arc Parish.

1.     Visit our website at 

2.     At the top of the page, click on “Church”

3.     On the drop-down menu, click on “Donate”

4.     Now click on the black box that says “Donate Online Today”

This will take you to “Welcome to Online Giving” (

Now it’s time to set up your new account in 5 easy steps!

1.     Click on “Create New Account”

2.     Enter your Profile information and when complete click on “Enter Credentials”

3.     Choose a User Name and Password and click on “Continue”

4.     Under “Payment Method” choose how you would like to set up your contributions.   

a.     You can directly debit your checking account or click on the “Add Charge Card” if you would prefer that option.   (Remember if you choose either a debit or credit card you will need to go in whenever your card expires and enter the new expiration month and year.) 

5.     Continue by clicking on “Create Payment”

a.     Continue by choosing the “Gifts” you would like to donate to.  Each one will ask you if this is a one-time, or a reoccurring, gift.

If you have any trouble please contact Our Sunday Visitor at (800)348-2886 and choose Option 1 for Customer Service.   Their business hours are 7:30 am to 5 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Thank you for choosing On Line Giving and supporting the work and Mission of St. Joan of Arc parish!

Pastor's Column

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Members of the parish finance council met on May 24th and we decided to keep our Kid Kare program going. We’ve had some success with this program over the years and while we’ve had some staff turnover and some building issues recently, we’re committed to providing this service to the young families of our parish and neighborhood. A healthy percentage of Kid Kare children will be joining the Kindergarten class at South City Catholic Academy for the upcoming school year. The summer program is at capacity. We’ll be making some improvements and repairs to the building over the summer months.  Please help spread the word: St. Joan of Arc Kid Kare is open for business!

The school year at South City Catholic Academy has ended. Enjoy summer break, everyone!  And a big THANK YOU to all those who support the mission and ministry of Catholic Education here at SJA. It takes a parish to make it all go- it’s a beautiful thing when, moved by Grace, we work together to BE and DO Church!

And finally, THANK YOU to all those who made a gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal. Once again, SJA has surpassed it’s goal. THANK YOU to the Farkases and Provazniks for their leadership in coordinating our efforts. We’ll have a final number in a couple of weeks after we wrap up the last few requests.

OK- I’m in California this weekend for a wedding of some SJA parishioners who are originally from Modesto, CA. I’ll be back on Monday, June 4th. You’ve got the good Monsignor all weekend!

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

With Peace and Prayer for you,
Fr. Craig Holway

Holy Thursday Homily

Some have asked about that quotation from Romano Guardini on Humility. Here it is. It come from his book called, The Lord.

"The attitude of the little man who bows to the greater is none not of humility but of truth; genuinely humble is the greater man who bows before the lesser because in his eyes the little man has a mysterious dignity. To recognize this dignity, to gather it up and bow before it- that is humility."

(Romano Guardini, The Lord, Gateway Press reprint, 2014 pg. 423)

Pastor's Column - Link to Survey

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Dear Friends,

I’d like to introduce the second part of the ALL IS GIFT Program: the Parish Survey.
Firstly, though: many, many thanks to those who responded to the ALL IS GIFT Offertory Increase Appeal. My thanks also to those who couldn’t make an increase, but promised to pray and participate in the life of the parish! Many parts; many gifts; ONE BODY! Thank you!

The second part of the ALL IS GIFT Program is much easier and comes at NO COST to you!  Well, this will cost you some time- 10-15 minutes to be exact. The Parish Council and I are asking you to please complete a survey. The Parish Council and I would like to get a reading of where we are, where we’d like to go, and what kind of tools do we need to get there. I want to be certain that the parish is providing the necessary tools for her members to live out the apostolic commission of Jesus to grow in holiness and engage the community both within the parish, and outside.

The survey had its genesis at a parish council meeting back in September. Since then, in December we enlisted the help of a parishioner, Liz Boyd, who does surveying/marketing analysis for a living. She helped to formulate the survey for maximum effectiveness and created the survey on line. My gratitude and appreciate for all of Liz’s help!

We’re going to start out by offering it on-line. Here’s the link: Just enter this URL into the address bar at the top of your internet browser and it’ll take you there. I’ll also make it available on the Facebook page and parish website (blog page).  Later, after the initial gathering of data, we’ll assess and figure out a way to make the survey available to those that don’t have access to the internet. We’ll certainly use the bulletin and perhaps even a targeted direct mailing. Stay tuned for that portion of it.

If you have any questions or concerns or if you know for certain that you won’t be doing the survey online and would like a paper copy, please feel free to contact me directly or Jane in the parish office.

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Peace and prayers for you,
Fr. Craig