St. Joan of Arc Blog

Fathers, Step out in Faith

06-30-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Sunday!

This Sunday I invite you to turn your attention to Mark 9:17-29. Here Jesus heals a boy with a mute spirit. The boy is brought to Jesus by his father. The man says to Jesus, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a mute spirit; and wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” Jesus has just come down from being transfigured and he is met by this man. Commenting on their faithlessness, Jesus then invites the man to bring his son to Him. However, this leads to the spirit convulsing the boy. One can hear the agony in the father’s voice as he tells Jesus, “...if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.” Mark tells us that Jesus responds thus, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.”

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Another Father Figure: Jairus

06-23-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Sunday!

This week I would like to propose another father figure as a point of prayer and reflection. The man this week is Jairus whom we encounter in Mark 5 (below) and Matthew 9. We read:

"When Jesus had crossed again [in the boat] to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, "My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live." He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him. While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?" Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid; just have faith." He took along the child's father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum," which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!" The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around."

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Happy Father's Day

06-16-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Sunday!

This week I'd like to turn our attention to another father figure in the New Testament. Zebedee was the father of two apostles, James and John. We do not receive any words from him in written form, but there is still much to glean from what the Scriptures do tell us. Let's take a look:

"And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and follow him." (Mt. 4:21-22)

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Pentecost

06-09-2019Pastor's LetterFr. Dan Connealy

Happy Pentecost! This Sunday, 50 days since Easter, the Church celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the day traditionally recognized as the birthday of the Church. On this day the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles like "tongues as of fire." The image of fire is one of strength, purification, and courage. For the first Christians the gift of the Holy Spirit was important because He did for them what He desires to do for us. That is, to fill us with his love and be strengthened and prepared to spread and defend the Gospel.

In this month of June I'd like to propose St. Joseph as a model of obedience to the Holy Spirit. I hope to reflect on fatherhood throughout June taking texts from the Gospels. St. Joseph seems an exceptional saint to begin with as we celebrate Pentecost. The Scriptures share no words that he ever uttered. Everything that we hear from him is about his desire to be a just man, his discerning heart, and his action. St. Matthew tells us that when Joseph discovered his betrothed was with child "being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife…'" (Mt. 1:19-20).

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