Three years ago I was appointed Associate Director of the All Saints Catholic Newman Center at Arizona State University. As you know it was difficult to leave St. Joan of Arc. Many questions and concerns crossed my mind. Will the university have students on campus? As I began to observe, very few students were present on campus. It was an eerie sight as we were accustomed to seeing thousands of students everywhere.READ MORE
Greetings and blessings!
On July 10th, our Knights of Columbus Council here at St. Joan of Arc installed new officers which included my appointment as chaplain. I am grateful for the past Grand Knights, past officers and current members who fulfill their duties with the council. I offer my sincere congratulations to our new Grand Knight Chuck Reader and the rest of the officers. After attending the ceremonies, the brotherhood of the knights was inspiring as the men were reminded to embrace the cross of Jesus Christ. This brotherhood resembled a portion of the Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary vision prayer: “In brotherhood we strive to be discipled by Jesus in all things; to embrace joyfully His cross.”READ MORE
It’s not uncommon to hear people complain that we Catholics often fail in communicating our faith. Fair enough. We can and should improve there. But it’s interesting to notice that Jesus himself was implicitly accused by his disciples of a similar failure. This week in Matthew’s gospel they are perplexed that he speaks to the crowds in ambiguous parables. The Lord’s riddles leave many people more confused than before. He responds by pointing out that his parables have an intentional dual purpose: to hide (for some) and to reveal (for others) his Gospel: “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted” (Matthew 13:11). Is Jesus being unnecessarily difficult, obscurantist, or, worse, elitist?READ MORE
Blessed Sunday to all!
Thank you for the warm welcome back to Saint Joan of Arc parish! My heart has experienced an immense amount of joy and excitement this past week. The homecoming was also met with beautiful and ornate arrangements of decorative artwork around the church.READ MORE
While giving thanks and praise to almighty God, my return to St. Joan of Arc was received with tremendous joy and acceptance. This is the parish where I learned to be a priest for three blessed years from 2017 until 2020. As I return to being the pastor of souls, the Parochial Administrator, my heart is filled with gratitude and my intent is to fulfill this function with the diligence of a good householder. The advantage comes from the previous years of getting to know many of you. Since then, we have grown as a parish and I look forward to meeting our new families and the newest additions to the growing family. I am aware of some faithful departed members and I will miss them. In your kindness, please let me know who has gone before us.READ MORE
I never thought this day would come so soon, but this is my last bulletin letter. Being the pastor at St. Joan of Arc has been a wonderful gift and something I’ll always be grateful for. From the moment I arrived I felt like I was a part of this family. In April of 2019 I really didn’t know quite what to expect. It has been a privilege to be a part of your lives in so many ways. Having the opportunity to baptize your children and grandchildren, preside at marriages and offer Mass for you has enriched my priesthood. Not only these joyous moments, but visiting the sick in their homes, care facilities, and hospitals, celebrating funeral Masses when the Lord called your loved ones back to Himself, each of these moments has been a privilege for me to experience. I am grateful for being welcomed into your homes for meals, hearing about your journeys in the faith, listening to your struggles, all the while doing my best to accompany you. Thank you for being so patient with me as I learned and continue to learn what it means to be a pastor.READ MORE
A very happy Father’s Day to all of our fathers in the community. This weekend we are also celebrating the Solemnity of St. Joan of Arc. Her calendar feast day is May 30th, however, since she is our patroness, we are able to move it to the closest available Sunday so that more people in the parish can celebrate it. Since the Sunday after May 30th was Trinity Sunday and then Corpus Christi, the next closest Sunday is this weekend. The readings and antiphons will not be the same as are in the Lumen Christi missal.READ MORE
This Sunday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, or Corpus Christi. This solemnity always reminds me of the great Eucharistic processions that occur throughout the world on this day. After my second year of theology studies I spent the summer in Antigua, Guatemala. I had arrived there just in time for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Throughout the city families and different devotional groups were preparing “alfombras” for the Eucharistic procession. While the word “alfombra” typically refers to a rug, in this case the alfombra was about the size of a rug, but it was a design of flowers or religious symbol such as a monstrance. These designs would be created with flower petals or different colored sands.READ MORE
Summer is a great time for reading. Remember summer reading lists from school? I used to ride my bike down to the library in the first weeks of break and check out all the books I was supposed to read. Then I would find other books, too. Remember browsing the shelves? Then I would set up and read and read until all the summer reading was done. After that I was free to read on my own and what I liked.READ MORE
Monday the 29th will be Memorial Day, and while it is not a Church holy day, it is a day well worth observing. I have memories of many years of remembering those who have died in the service of our Country. And love of our Country is certainly part of love for our neighbor. Many years we have visited cemeteries, typically the VA cemetery, of course. There is a Vietor there. But one year we went to another cemetery, a Catholic cemetery. We pushed the stroller along the uneven ground (the kids were younger then) and read the stone markers. We thought about those who had died and of our hope of heaven.READ MORE
Easter season is now coming to an end with the celebration of the Ascension and then of Pentecost. Then we celebrate Trinity Sunday and then Corpus Christi, and so there are a number of major celebrations ahead of us. This is probably the richest time of the year from a liturgical point of view. Families especially will want to take the time to explain and discuss the meaning of these celebrations. Of course, along with these events in Church life, regular life continues ahead as well. School is ending and summer break is beginning. It is time for Vacation Bible School! People are going on vacation. We are all shifting into summer mode. It is great to have seasons of the year: times when we work harder and times when we take a break, when our schedule can change up a bit. May everyone find a way to really rest this summer, at least for a time and as we are able.READ MORE
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a letter in the bulletin but I’m glad to get back to it now. First off, I want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in the parish. It is always so wonderful to see all the mothers with their young children at Mass on Sunday. Of course many mothers have grown children and grandchildren! For all of you we are very grateful and wish you a very blessed day!READ MORE
If you had to summarize the essential core of the Christian life, what would it be? Mercy, truth, or love, perhaps? The readings today suggest another word which may surprise you. That word is priesthood.
St. Peter says to us, “You are a ‘chosen race, a royal priesthood…’” To be part of a priesthood is to offer a particular sacrifice in order for the community to survive and thrive. Jesus is the great high priest because he offers the one perfect sacrifice which heals and perfects the entire human race. Peter the Apostle wants us to know that all the baptized share in this priestly ministry. The whole of our lives, including every detail, is meant to become our acceptable offering to God.READ MORE