True Freedom

07-28-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Greg Menegay

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Forty-five years ago, in July of 1968, the late Pope Paul VI released the encyclical "Humanae Vitae," (Of Human Life). This encyclical upheld the Church's traditional teaching prohibiting the use of artificial contraception and emphasizing that human life is sacred from the very moment of conception. This encyclical also predicted that widespread use of contraception would lead to an increase in marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. How true this prediction has become as we now live in a society plagued with adultery, abortion, pornography and a growing lack of respect for the sacred institution of marriage.

However, in spite of the moral decline that has taken place, or perhaps because of it, many people are turning to the wisdom of the Church and discovering that there is a better way. By familiarizing themselves with the encyclical "Humanae Vitae," Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body," and "Natural Family Planning," Catholics are discovering the "gift" of human sexuality, and how by following God's plan in this area one can experience tremendous peace and joy. Consider the following quote from Humanae Vitae; "Conjugal love reveals its true nature and nobility when it is considered in its supreme origin, God, who is love, the Father, from whom every family in Heaven and on earth is named."


That Man is You

07-21-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Greg Menegay

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

While Fr. Kline is away on some well deserved R&R he asked me to cover his column, so the Pastor's column will be the Parochial Vicar's column for the next couple of weeks.

This past winter we successfully launched a Catholic Men's Fellowship group here at the parish. We met on Saturday mornings from 7:00am until 8:30am and the morning consisted of an instructional DVD, small group discussion, and, of course, bagels, donuts, and coffee. It was a good opportunity for men in the parish to get to know each other; learn about the faith; and support each other in living their faith. All in all it was a good beginning.

Beginning Saturday, September14, we're going to begin our second season of Catholic Men's Fellowship. The core team and I are very excited because we will be using a program that is spreading rapidly in parishes throughout the U.S. entitled "That Man is You!" The following is an excerpt from one of the promotional brochures; "That Man is You! Is an interactive men's program focused on the development of men in the modern world. It combines the best research from science with the teachings of the Catholic faith and the wisdom of the saints to develop the vision of authentic men capable of transforming themselves, their families and greater society." The program is divided into two 13 week sessions, one in the Fall and one in the Spring. All men 18 and above are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Stewardship & Gratitude

07-14-2013Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,

As I begin my fifth year as pastor of St. Joan of Arc, I have been reflecting on the question: Why am I here? The obvious reason I am here at St. Joan of Arc: Bishop Olmsted sent me to this parish. Bishop sent me here. I suppose I have had any number of responses to being sent here, but I would say that my daily response to God is one of gratitude.

Some of things I am grateful for would include the incredible campus… it is incredible because of the many people involved in making it so. I am grateful for the faith and sacrifice of those who entrusted this holy place to us. When I came in 2008, I was impressed by the Stewardship of many parishioners who sacrificed their time, their treasure and their talent to build the beautiful campus and church we now enjoy. There wasn't a police officer to arrest you if you didn't contribute every week to the collection. Nobody asked you how much you make every year or told you what to do with your hard earned money. No one made you become volunteer or how you must help to keep St. Joan of Arc in operation. Everything you give… your time, your abilities and your financial resources, these things are a free gift… and many of you gave with a grateful heart.



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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we observe Independence Day celebrations every year, we hear the word freedom being bantered around a lot. But the problem is, in our country today, our understanding of what freedom is and what it is supposed to be used for is dramatically disordered. That is, we see freedom primarily, often only, as "freedom from." Ask many Americans today and they will most likely tell you that freedom means freedom from something or someone. Men and women have come to the United States for over 230 years to escape from tyranny and oppression—all good things.

Instead of only thinking about "freedom from" we, as Catholics, need to be thinking of, "freedom for what?" Moving away from the pitfalls of the "freedom from" mentality, we need to reflect this Independence Day on what freedom is ultimately for.

So what do we use freedom for? St. Paul reminds us, "For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters, but do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love."