How Should you dress for Mass in the Summer? (Part 2 of 2)

06-30-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This week I would like to continue to speak about pleasing Our Lord by how we dress for Holy Mass.

I read that Muhammad Ali explained modesty to his daughter this way: "Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at he bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them...Your body is sacred. You're far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too."

While mothers need to teach their daughters the art of being attractive without compromising their dignity, fathers need to teach their sons how to be gentlemen. Gentlemen do not wear shorts to church or hats inside church. Furthermore fathers need to speak to their sons about how to appreciate the gift of a woman without reducing her to a mere object of pleasure. For example, if a woman fails to dress appropriately the young man needs to learn the value of practicing custody of the eyes. Our Lord has warned us, "Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).


Modesty (Part 1 of 2)

06-23-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

With the hot weather it is a good time to remember the importance of dressing appropriately for church.
Sometimes during the summer people forget that they are going to the Lord's house for worship, and confuse it with a trip to the beach. Therefore, I would like to remind everyone, men and women, boys and girls, about the virtue of modesty.

Modesty is part of the virtue of purity. Modesty may vary from one culture to another, but there is nonetheless a universal "code" that we are to respect the dignity of every person. The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of it this way: "Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden...It inspires one's choice of clothing."


Happy Father's Day

06-16-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today we give thanks to God for those who have the special title of father. St. Joseph, the appointed father of Our Lord, teaches us the importance of the role of a father. His steadfast presence as provider and protector for Our Lord and Our Lady are beautiful reminders of a father's love. Those who have experienced a father's love – have experienced a great blessing. For those who have had a negative experience of their earthly father, Our Lord provides us with the answer.

Jesus told us to call God – FATHER. When his disciples asked him to teach them to pray, Jesus said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Our Father…' " Our Lord actually went a step further than telling us to call God "Father." He himself addressed God as "Abba." (Mk 14:36). That word is from Jesus' own language, Aramaic. It is the word small children used when addressing their father; it is the word for "Daddy." We don't need to bother asking a little child why he or she calls their father "Daddy." The whole point is that it's not something that has to be thought about: it's a spontaneous expression of affection and trust. It's something a child just does because they simply love and trust.


Celebration of First Eucharist and Confirmation

06-09-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I look forward each year to the celebration of First Eucharist and Confirmation at St. Joan of Arc. It is a wonderful day of celebrations! We especially welcome all the grandparents and extended family who have gathered to celebrate with those receiving their sacraments. Our first communicants and confirmandi are a wonderful group of people and we are honored to serve them at St. Joan of Arc.

In an encyclical entitled, Sacra Tridentina, published in the early years of the 20th Century, given to us by Pope St. Pius X, he encouraged daily communion in a time when people felt generally unworthy to receive Our Lord because of a heresy called Jansenism. St. Pius called the Eucharist, "the antidote whereby we may be freed from daily faults and be preserved from mortal sin." In other words, yes, we must be worthy to receive the Eucharist having repented from sin. But St. Pius X also believed that regular, even daily reception of communion gives us the grace to avoid sin and remain faithful to Our Savior.


The Solemnity of Corpus Christi

06-02-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Christ,

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi is a special time when Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is offered to Catholics and non-Catholics in the Eucharistic Procession. This is a wonderful opportunity for Catholics to show their love for Christ in the Real Presence by honoring Him in a very public way. According to Canon Law “Wherever in the judgment of the diocesan Bishop it can be done, a procession through the streets is to be held, especially on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, as a public witness of veneration of the Blessed Eucharist” (Can. 944 §1,2).

This weekend, after all the Masses at St. Joan of Arc, we are given the opportunity to participate in a Eucharistic Procession. A solemn procession with Our Lord is a wonderful way for Catholics to show our love for Our Lord and our neighbors. There have been many conversions of those struggling with their faith because of Eucharistic Adoration in our humble adoration chapel. How many more there would be if we could reach those who only drive by the church? Visible expressions of faith can be so powerful. There were many wonderful comments about the Eucharistic Miracle display offered here a few weeks ago. This display gave many people a chance to grow in their understanding of Our Eucharistic King and the many miracles directly attributed to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. When people are exposed to Our Lord truly present in the Eucharist their hearts can be changed for good forever.


Memorial Day

05-26-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Private Norman H. Clapper was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He was killed in action while engaged with the enemy near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea on December 2, 1950, nine days after he entered combat. He was 18 years old, one of the youngest to die in the Korean War.

Private Clapper was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Norman Clapper was a cousin of a friend of mine. Of course, I never met him, but from what I have heard of him, he was a kind young man who was exceedingly devoted to his divorced mother. He entered military service to lend her financial support. Decades after his death, he was awarded his high school diploma posthumously.


Nominations for Parish Council

05-19-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

St. Joan of Arc Parish exists so that God's children may develop, grow, embrace and live the faith and life of Our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed and taught by the Gospel and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Canon 515 of the Code of Canon Law states:

A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop.

Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; and it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and love.


Happy Mother's Day

05-12-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am continually amazed at the love and care that so many mothers share. It is a profound calling from God that embraces an integral part of the dignity of women. Pope John Paul II wrote a beautiful encyclical called, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, a great reflection for Mother's day.

The Holy Father's words are beautifully tender, most especially in light of the fact that his own mother died when he was a child. For example about pregnancy,he wrote: Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman's womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and "understands" with unique intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the "beginning,"the mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb. What I love about the Holy Father's words is the deep spiritual nature of the role of mothers.


Evangelization during the Easter Season

05-05-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Easter Season is longer then the Lenten Season. What does that mean? I suggest that a longer celebration means a greater significance. Lent is 40 days while the Easter Season spans 50 days.

We also do a lot of talking about Lent and specifically what we have, "given up" for Lent. We talk about fasting and we give alms to the poor. I'm always amazed by the fact that Ash Wednesday seems to be as popular as Easter as we pack the church to begin our penance. Then, as Lent continues, there is a dramatic increase in daily mass attendance. Yes, it seems that during the Lenten season, we know what to do, how to express our faith, and what Holy Mother Church expects of her faithful followers.


Bring Authentic Followers of Christ

04-28-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Sometimes people ask me why I became a priest. The answer is simply because God called me to be a priest but Our Lord called me through the people He placed in my life. My vocation to the priesthood grew because of the beautiful example of love shown to me by my parents, my brother and sisters, my friends and the Church. Of course the family is important to our growth in life and love but the role of the parish in encouraging and supporting vocations to the priesthood and religious life is also very important.

Just sitting there in the Church, week after week, among so many good people who were devoted to the faith helped me so much in my formation as a Catholic. To see around me people praying in the pews, serving on the altar and singing in the choir; to see ordinary people giving up their time to build up the Church was a powerful witness to how much they valued the faith they professed.


Easter Season

04-21-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Sixty-eight days ago on February 13, many of us came to church. We came to celebrate our common faith at one of our five Ash Wednesday Masses. This has been a particularly challenging Lent for me and from what I gather for many. On that Ash Wednesday, hardy groups of Catholics came to receive ashes and to take to heart the admonition of the Lenten Season: "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." And after Mass, these faithful Catholics disappeared from church back into their lives. Most were on their way to work or school, having begun the important task of every Catholic: preparing themselves for the coming of Easter some six weeks later.

And now we are in the season of Easter! Lent, like winter, is disappearing (hopefully!) from our landscape! The purples of Lent have disappeared from our church. The symbols of Jesus' journey in the desert, and his passion and death on the cross have been transformed into signs of His risen life--Easter lilies, spring flowers, the new Paschal Candle, and the abundance of water flowing from our baptismal fonts grace our church!


Pope Francis and Poverty

04-14-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Pope Francis makes me feel uncomfortable like Mother Teresa made me feel uncomfortable. They both remind me of the importance of personal simplicity. When I hear stories circulate about our new pope taking mass transit while in his native Argentina— it wakes me up! And his shoes are old! And he's not moving into the lavish papal apartment. So yes, he's making me uncomfortable and that's a good thing.

So what Pope Francis is teaching us about poverty? In addition to his call to relieve the sufferings of the poor by living more simply, he also is reminding us that poverty goes beyond the material world. For in the sight of the God of the Universe, we're all poor and needy.


Divine Mercy Sunday

04-07-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed." (Eph 2:4-5).

On Divine Mercy Sunday, the focus is on the healing power of Our Lord's Mercy. Through Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Confessions, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy, we will draw special attention to God's Divine Mercy. Along with the regular Mass schedule, we will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the main church beginning at 2:00 pm. In honor of Divine Mercy there will be the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. We will conclude the octave day of Easter with Mass at 3:00pm in which we will ask for Our Lord's Divine Mercy to heal our hearts, our minds, and our bodies.