St. Joan of Arc Blog

We remember the faithful departed

11-10-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

As we continue our journey through the liturgical year we pause in this month of November to remember the faithful departed. The Church invites us to pray in a special way for our loved ones who have passed from this life. In fact, she invites us to pray for all the deceased. We often speak of offering prayers for the souls in Purgatory. The Church teaches us that Purgatory is the place where souls go after death who "are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven" (CCC 1030). Preaching about praying for the dead, St. John Chrysostom said, "Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them." Prayers for the dead are a powerful way to assist those who are being purified, even if we do not know their names.

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2018-2019 Financial Report

10-27-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

The Lord has been good to us this year. I am happy to publish our 2018-2019 Financial Report. There are many highlights from the report, thanks in no small part to the great generosity of our community. We are grateful to have received $229,000 in contributions from the Together Let Us Go Forth campaign. This allowed us to complete the campus-wide roofing project, campus-wide exterior paint project, and the Ramada renovation. We were also able to do work on the parking lot including a seal coat and re-striping. The priests were grateful that part of the project included a rectory chapel addition, interior paint in the rectory, and an A/C unit.

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Rosary Sunday

10-20-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

This Sunday the Diocese of Phoenix celebrates Rosary Sunday. Hundreds of Catholics are gathering downtown to support this festive celebration. The rosary is a beautiful way to offer our hearts to the Heavenly Father, especially when we are at a loss for words. The rosary stands as an opportunity to live in communion with the Blessed Trinity through meditating on the life of Christ with the Blessed Mother. In the Gospel this Sunday Jesus says, "Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to Him day and night?" Even when we call out day and night and feel like our hearts do not match our words, this in itself is the perseverance in prayer that the Lord invites us to have.

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2019 Catechetical Congress

10-13-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

Somehow we are midway through October! The Lord is good and there are many exciting things going on here at St. Joan of Arc and in the Diocese of Phoenix. One exciting opportunity is the 2019 Catechetical Congress. On October 26 catechists and other Catholics desiring to grow in the missionary spirit are gathering downtown for a day of prayer and talks. The keynote speaker is a man named André Regnier, the founder of a missionary group called Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) and author of the book Clear and Simple: How to Have Conversations that Lead to Conversion. The cost for this day of prayer and talks is $35 (does not include lunch) until October 23 ($40 after) and you can find the link to register at dphx.org/childrens-catechesis/congress/. This is an amazing opportunity to hear one of the most effective evangelists in the Church today and grow in your missionary zeal.

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Increase our Faith

10-06-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

Life is in full swing here at St. Joan of Arc. Our religious education programs, youth group, choirs, and adult groups are all off to great starts. Last weekend our senior group graciously hosted donuts and coffee after the morning masses. They are a true gift to our parish, helping to build community, along with the Knights of Columbus who also regularly host donuts and coffee. Thank you so much to everyone involved!

In our Gospel this Sunday, the apostles make a modest request of the Lord, "Increase our faith." Jesus responds saying, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you." Rather than considering this as a time when the Lord tells the disciples how weak their faith is, I would argue he is affirming their desire to have greater faith. It would seem that in offering this simple proposition he is telling them that as they grow in faith they will be able to do great things, but they must begin with what has been commanded. If the simple commands have not been heeded, then their faith will not be able to grow.

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The Resurrection is the Central Mystery of our Faith

09-29-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

The Church offers us beautiful and yet difficult readings this week on the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We hear about the rich man who lived well and the poor man Lazarus who sat at his door. Upon the death of both men, Lazarus is "carried away by angels" while the rich man found himself in torment. When the rich man begs for mercy for his brothers, who lived in the same way as himself, he is denied. His request was for Lazarus to visit them from the dead. Abraham's final response is, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." These words are clear and yet cause us to wonder about ourselves. Truly, Jesus is the one who has risen from the dead and offers us eternal life. And we see how His invitation to our world has gone unheeded. To proclaim Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, apart from the whole of Scripture and without the entirety of His message falls short. The Resurrection is the central mystery of our faith, and yet it does not stand alone. The Church always invites us to continue to nourish ourselves with scripture, apologetics, and spiritual reading.

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Consider spending an hour with Our Lord in Adoration

09-22-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

The Gospel today beautifully invites us to reflect on honesty and true wealth. Jesus says, "No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon." Once again, we are invited to pledge ourselves completely to the living God. It makes a bit more sense now when we read in the Old Testament lines such as, "I am a jealous God" (Exodus 34:14). God is not jealous for the sake of being jealous, rather He is jealous for us! To think that the Eternal God desires us exactly as we are. And so, when He says we cannot serve God and mammon, He is offering us what He offered the Israelites in the desert and even more. He offers us eternal bliss with Him. And all of this begins now, wherever we may find ourselves. Jesus asks for a complete and clear "yes" to Him every day. Service to Him is not sad or denigrating, rather it is true freedom because serving Him is serving true life.

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Together Let Us Go Forth Campaign Update

09-15-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

Beginning this week all of our religious education programs will be off and running! This is a very exciting time of year as the Church campus picks up speed. Thank you again to all of our wonderful catechists and volunteers who make everything possible. Please continue to keep all involved in your prayers.

Last month we received $40,000 from the Together Let Us Go Forth Campaign. Thank you so much to everyone for keeping up to date on your pledges. It makes a huge difference. If you have not remembered to continue your pledge now is a great time to discern whether the Lord is inviting you to continue doing so. I know so many people find themselves in different situations but I am grateful for each of you and your generosity in whatever way you are able to give. As a reminder, 35% of your gift comes directly back to St. Joan of Arc while the rest supports many evangelical efforts around the Diocese of Phoenix.

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How do our possessions affect our freedom?

09-08-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

The parish staff continues their wonderful work as we prepare for fall programs to begin. Please keep our staff and volunteers in your prayers as they continue their preparation for Religious Education, RCIA Gatherings, SOLTeen Youth group, choirs, and many more. It's exciting for me to see everything getting ready in my first year. These 5 months have been full of blessings and I am so grateful to be a part of the wonderful things happening here at St. Joan of Arc.

This Sunday gospel speaks to us of carrying the cross, proper planning for endeavors, and finally the renunciation of our possessions. These flow together in an odd, yet beautiful way. First, Our Lord equates discipleship with carrying the cross. That is, to be a disciple, one must follow the Master. Without the Master, the Good Shepherd, we become our own ruler. And so this seems to be the preparation that Jesus encourages when setting out in the missionary life. To be like the Master we must prepare as He did, which means to set our hearts on the salvation of souls, and walk towards Jerusalem knowing that on this path suffering does not triumph, but becomes the means for our salvation.

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New Music Opportunities

09-01-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday,

Jeffrey Morse, our new Director of Sacred Music, has some exciting plans for the music here at St. Joan. Please read the following and see where and how you and your family members can join our music opportunities.

Choir Rehearsal to begin September 18/19 Call for New Choir Members

The Adult Choir will have its first choir rehearsal of the year on Wednesday, September 18, from 7-9pm, and the Spanish Choir will meet the following evening September 19, from 7-8pm in the Choir Room. These choir rehearsals will begin the Fall Choir Term. This is an excellent time for new choir members to join. Please call Jeffrey Morse 602-867-9171 Ext 326 or email jmorse@stjoanofarc.com for more information.

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