Dear Friends in Christ,
Here are a few updates from the parish for the week of April 18, 2021. For those wanting access to the Listening for God conference, please see the new viewing instructions found in item no. 2 below.
1) The Festival: I’m sure you’ve already surmised, the Festival with rides and all the accompanying fun will not be taking place again this year. The Festival will be a raffle and food truck “festival” this year! The raffle is a sure thing. We are still working out the details for the food trucks for the weekend of May 21-23.
Moving forward with the raffle portion of the Festival is essential for our budget. The Festival is a significant annual fundraiser for us. Each year we net approximately $100,000 to $150,000. Given the drastic decline in Sunday offertory revenue, the added loss of NO festival revenue would create a substantial financial hit to the Parish. The raffle itself usually accounts for half of our net festival income. Going forward with the raffle is a “no brainer” because we need to narrow the gap in our lost revenue because of the pandemic, and the proceeds from the raffle will help that goal.
The raffle tickets will be dropped in the mail this week. I am hoping and praying that you can do your part to buy or sell $100 worth of tickets. If EVERY family who received raffle tickets (3,500 families) purchased $100 worth of tickets, we would cover not only the festival loss but also some portion of the loss from the significant decline in Sunday offertory revenue. Your generosity will go a long way to help our amazing Parish continue doing all the things it does. PLUS, you might be lucky enough to win one of the raffle prizes.
Last year, we brought in $140,800 from the raffle with an additional $5,000 of income from the food trucks. These numbers are amazing, and I was and am truly grateful for your amazing generosity in helping make Festival 2020 a huge success. I’m hoping we can ditto that experience this year.
As an incentive for you to buy (or sell) lots of tickets and do so early, our Early Bird Drawing will be the same as last year. For every $100 worth of tickets you return (or $50 for seniors … 65 years old or older), you earn a chance at the Early Bird or the Festival 100% Drawings. Thus, if you return $200 worth of tickets, you can turn in 2 - 100% tickets (or 4 – 100% tickets if you are a senior)! To be eligible for the Early Bird Drawing, you need to return your raffle and applicable 100% tickets by 1 PM on Sunday, May 2, 2020. Again this year, two (2) lucky winners will be drawn on May 3, 2020, from that pool of 100% tickets, and each will win $1,500!  You can continue to turn in your raffle and applicable 100% tickets until the drawing on May 23, 2020. At that time, we will draw five (5) of the 100% tickets from the entire pool of tickets, and each will win $500.
Raffle tickets can be dropped off at the Parish Center (through the mail slot in the door), or they can be mailed to us with the business reply envelope.

Regarding the business reply envelope, we ran into some delays with the Post Office last year in receiving those envelopes in a timely manner toward the end of the Festival. As such, we are suggesting that those envelopes not be used after May 10; rather do everything you can to drop your envelopes off in person or use first-class mail rather than the business reply mail envelope after May 10.
Please know of my gratitude for your generosity, especially now, given the financial challenges the Parish continues to deal with because of the pandemic. Let’s make Festival 2021 even more of a success than Festival 2020.
Speaking of the Festival, and simply for kicks and giggles and entertainment, I decided to look at the thank you video we did in 2018. Just in case you forgot what the festival looked like, take a look at the following video! Enjoy!
2) Listening for God Virtual Conference - Videos Available On-Demand through 2021.

***** PLEASE NOTE: The viewing instructions given out earlier in the week were not accurate. Read below for access information.
In the event you missed the Listening for God conference this weekend, our parish subscription allows you to watch the videos on-demand through the end of the calendar year. Simply click on the button below to access the more than 100 talks!

This is a FREE conference to help to you recognize God in your everyday life. Be inspired through personal testimonies, scripture, the lives of the saints, by more than 50+ amazing Catholic speakers including Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.; Mike Aquilina, Fr. Chris Alar, MIC; Jeff Cavins, Teresa Tomeo, Dr. Edward Sri, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Fr. John Trigilio, and many more!

VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS: To view the videos, please complete the form found on the following link and select INDIVIDUAL PREMIUM PASS, and then use the coupon code: joanofarc. (all one word, all lowercase). The coupon code will deduct the premium pass costs.
3) Easter People on MISSION Scripture Challenge:
The Archdiocese of Detroit's Unleash the Gospel Team recently announced the Acts of the Apostles Scripture Challenge.

The Acts of the Apostles was written in approximately 63 AD by Luke, a Gentile physician and traveling associate of the Apostle Paul. Written as a sequel to the Gospel of Luke, Acts continues the story of Jesus through the life and mission of the first disciples, tracing the first 30 years of Christian history from the Ascension of Jesus in Jerusalem to the imprisonment of Paul in Rome.

Acts begins a decisively new chapter in the history of salvation. God’s saving actions which began in the Old Testament came to a climactic fulfillment in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In Acts, God is present in the world in a new way through the activity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the Church. The principal theme in Acts is that Jesus’ followers are his witnesses, who are filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to speak and act in his name.  

Acts 1:8 outlines the course of the entire book: “But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The story unfolds in precisely this way beginning with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Chapter 2. Chapters 2 through 12 narrate the leadership role of Peter establishing the Church, while Chapters 13-28 narrate the missionary efforts of Paul in expanding the Church. 

Throughout Acts it is clear that the Holy Spirit sets the pace and direction for the growth of the Church. The book’s open-ended conclusion, with Paul still preaching the gospel in Rome, makes the entire Book of Acts a fitting prologue to the rest of Church history. 

Today, we are living in a time of abandonment of Christian faith on a scale we’ve never seen before. We, just like Jesus’ first disciples, are called to go out and bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. God has a specific role for you in this work. This brief study of Acts of the Apostles will help you consider what it means to live as a post-Resurrection Catholic Christian today, and inspire you to open yourself to the power of the Holy Spirit and step into the role to which God has called you.

Sign up for ‘Easter People on Mission’ Acts of the Apostles Scripture Challenge by clicking on the button below.

Suggested Structure for Weekly Reading and Reflection

  • Begin with a short prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to guide your reading and reflection.
  • Read the Overview provided for the week.
  • Read the assigned reading. (Do the reading ahead of time if you are part of a small group.)
  • Reflect on the questions provided and discuss if part of a small group.
  • Close with a brief prayer of thanksgiving for any insights or inspirations received.
  • Do the challenge in the upcoming week.

Resources Used in Developing the Commentary for this Scripture Challenge:

Kurz, William S. SJ. Acts of the Apostles. Grand Rapids: 2013.

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament RSV 2nd Edition. Scott Hahn, ed. Ignatius Press, 2010.

The New American Bible Revised Edition, St. Joseph Edition. Washington DC, 2010.
4) Tips for PRAYER: So many people will ask if we have tips for praying. I came across this great video from Fr. Mike Schmitz that I wanted to share. Here's the description of the video from Ascension:

"Prayer isn’t just another good thing to do; it’s absolutely necessary if we want to know God’s will in our lives and draw closer to him. The trouble is finding the time and willpower to pray. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz suggests being a bit more intentional in our prayer lives, asking these four simple questions: When should I pray, where should I pray, what should I pray, and why should I pray?"
5) Stimulus Check 3 Gift to SJA: With each of the Stimulus Checks, many in the parish have called inquiring if there was a family that could use the help. The answer is YES ... your parish family!

As was mentioned a few weeks ago, the first Saturday of March would have been our annual School Gala, the 15th Annual Gala. But because of COVID, the Gala couldn't take place. That annual fundraising nets approximately $100,00 per year. Then given the decline in Sunday offertory and Christmas collections because of the reduced number of people coming to Church, the income we rely on to carry out our many great works has been on the decline. So, we created, and are widely publicizing, the Stimulus Check 3 Gift to SJA. I hope you can be a part of this little project and fundraiser.

I realize not everyone can afford to give part or all of their stimulus check, but to those who can, I would ask that you consider this easy gift to the parish.

Checks can be written to SJA with a memo: Stimulus Check 3 Gift. You can also donate electronically by clicking on the button below.

Thanks for your ongoing and generous support of SJA!
6) Registration now OPEN for SJA School: If you or someone you know might be interested in sending their child or children to SJA School, please let them know that registration is now open. We have openings in all grade levels.

For over 70 years, St. Joan of Arc School has had a rich tradition of excellence in faith-formation, academics, service, activities, and athletics. Focusing on Jesus Christ and the Gospel message, the school community provides a caring and supportive environment in which every member is valued and encouraged to grow to his/her full potential. Students are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and Catholic vision necessary to become responsible citizens who have a living, growing faith and an understanding of their responsibilities as Christians in today's world.

Among the indicators of SJA quality is our accreditation by the Michigan Nonpublic School Accrediting Agency since 1992. This honor certifies that St. Joan of Arc School meets or exceeds the 14 standards of excellence in staffing, curriculum, services, and program effectiveness in meeting the needs of young people. Additionally, SJA School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education.

Extensive technology supports our fine academic program. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards and access to iPads. All students, K-8, learn varied applications of technology in our computer lab.

Check out our 6-minute Virtual Open House video below. For more information or to register call 586-775-8370 or visit
7) This Sunday's Readings - Sunday, April 18, 2021
8) Grow+Go for the Third Sunday of Easter:
Grow+Go, content is designed to help you understand what it means to be an evangelizing disciple of Christ. Using the Sunday Scriptures as the basis for reflection, Grow+Go offers insight into how we can all more fully GROW as disciples and then GO evangelize, fulfilling Christ's Great Commission to "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19) The concept behind the weekly series is to make discipleship and evangelization simple, concrete, and relatable.

Click on the button or image below to download a PDF copy of this Sunday's Grow+Go.
9) Sunday Reflection by Jeff Cavins:
In this week’s readings for the Third Sunday of Easter, Jeff Cavins reminds us that we can go to confession for a clean start, as he reflects on the day’s Scripture passages.
10) Giving to SJA: I'm truly grateful for all of your support of SJA during this pandemic. Your support means so much. The increase in electronic giving has been tremendous. Giving electronically, whether on a one-time or recurring basis is pretty simple. For more information on online giving, please click on the following button.
11) This Week's Edition of TALLer Tales
A Sure Sign: A few weeks ago, I had a long and draining week of funerals. In all, I think I alone had four funerals. One was a suicide; another was a drug overdose. These two specific funerals were for younger people, both of whom had children. Both of these funerals took place on the same day.
An interesting aspect of the priestly life is that you can go from a tragic funeral involving a young person to a baptism to a wedding all in one day. You learn very quickly that you have to keep your emotions in check because you don’t want the emotion from the tragic funeral to spill over to the baptism or wedding. You learn to go from liturgy to liturgy, matching the emotion of that particular liturgy. It’s when you get home later that night that you debrief with other priest friends or family.
With both of the tragic funerals behind me, I was preparing for the final funeral of that week. In some sense, I felt like I was in the home stretch of the emotional roller coaster weeklong string of funerals. I was tired and looking forward to a quiet evening.
Funerals take some time to work through. Even more time is needed when you’re helping a family through a tragic funeral. Then add any busyness at the Parish Center, and my eating habits go out the door! I will snack on anything within reach because I’m just flying from one thing to the next. The jar of peanut M&Ms sitting on the counter in front of the mail and Xerox room doesn’t help. If I only took ONE M&M per pass, that would be great. But my problem is that I take a handful of them each time I pass that counter. I once looked up how many points a half cup of peanut M&Ms is on Weight Watchers. I was stunned to find the number was ten points! For most, this is equivalent to a full-blown meal. Then, I could top the day off with a bowl or two of cereal. After all, I figured I deserved it! Then, I wake up the next morning, step on the scale and let out a moan and often declare it’s time for a diet; only to repeat the cycle yet another day!
On the day of this last funeral for that week, I had stepped on the scale that morning and let out a massive groan. It was a no M&M day, a day to start the dreaded diet! So, I was conscious of this fact throughout the morning. Everything with the funeral was going well until I sat down in the presider’s chair. Well, I guess you could say I plopped down in the presider’s chair. As I did so, I heard the cracking of wood, and suddenly I found my rear end sunken into the chair’s frame. This wasn’t good at all. I immediately froze, worried the chair was going to collapse altogether. I was hoping the camera wasn’t on me because the look on my face would have been priceless. I stayed frozen until I had to stand up for the Gospel, and I didn’t return to that chair for the rest of the funeral.
After mass, we tipped the chair over. Sure enough, the seat was broken, busted on several sides. Greg, one of our maintenance men, tried to assure me the chair appeared to have already been broken, but that didn’t ease my pain … or the thought this was a SURE SIGN the diet had to begin!
Enjoy the week. Know of my prayers!

In Christ,
Msgr Mike Simply Signature
12) Tire Tracks in the d’Arc
IX out of X for Effort; Zero for Execution: Last week I mentioned that I was planning to plant some vegetables and I promised an update on progress. I didn’t expect it to be so soon, but make hay while the sun shines.
Last week I decided it was a good time to start my project. I was planning to build a raised planter. Frankly, the way the cost of lumber has sky-rocketed recently, I was open to buying a pre-made box too, so I headed-off to Home Depot to scope it all out. On the way there, I was talking by phone to a friend who is always working on some project or another. I asked, out of interest, “So when you’re working on something, do you like to plan it on paper, or just go to the store and figure it out as you go?” We both agreed that just going to the store and “winging-it” was more fun, but that sometimes it’s more complicated and you have to figure out how many pieces you can get out of each piece of lumber to avoid wasting any. “This one is a simple project, though,” I said.
So I got to the store and found a reasonably-priced planter box, though it was not raised off the ground. So I decided I could easily enough make legs for it, color them and attach the box. I went over to the lumber section and picked-up the wood. The planter was made of cedar wood, so I went to the paint and stain department, found some exterior stain for the legs in a small can. I found the color-swatch and what I thought was a good match for the box and I took the stain to be mixed. It was all going so well. Then I pick-up some soil bags and headed home to get to work.
I measured the width of the planter and framed-up one set of legs in an “X” shape, wider at the bottom for stability. I measured the top of the legs so that the top width matched the bottom of the planter. Then I squared them off level so the planter would sit horizontally on top. With one set of legs framed-up, I laid it down on the garage floor to model it for the second set. I went to grab the rest of the lumber and had to kind of do a double-take. “Tell me I didn’t do that…Tell me I didn’t… I did, didn’t I?!”
Remember how I said this was a simple project that I could plan as I went along? Guess what I’d done….. My expertise in math is lacking….I’d only allowed for 3 legs!
X out of X for effort; zero for execution. In carpentry terms, this is known by the same term as it is known in any other endeavor: “a fail.” But, undeterred, I am ever-resourceful. Some would return to the store… “But have you seen the price of lumber these days?!” I’m not one to return to the store to try again, unless I have to. So I decided I could find another way to make my tripoded-planter a go. And I did! Buuuut…. Not without further math issues. I measured the third leg up against the set I’d already made, taking into account the horizontal header on top that was for attaching the planter. And I cut the leg to size to match that. With the off-cuts, I made a header for the third leg and screwed that on top. Then I screwed the other off-cut onto the bottom to make a foot. So now I had a nice “I” shaped leg and I rested it up against the first set of legs….. And I hung my head…. “How did that happen?!” The third leg was 1.5 inches taller! Of course, it was easy to see… the first set of legs was an “X” shape so it didn’t need a foot. The third leg had a header AND a foot! Head in hands…. A simple project, right?!
So I unscrewed the header and cut 1.5 inches off the leg and screwed the header back on. Finally, they matched…. Well, kind of…. height-wise at least.
By now, one of our office staff was watching out the window of the Parish Center kitchen, amused by what was going on. “Unique, at least,” he said. “That’s right!” I agreed, “Have you seen the price of lumber these days?!”
By now it was starting to rain, so I gathered-up my tools and moved inside the garage and stained the legs. “Four hours to fully dry” the can said…. “I need to get this done,” I said, “10 minutes is close to four hours!” So legs stained I fixed the box on top.
Okay, so it may not be pretty. But I had an objective here; I set out to grow vegetables, and life on the farm is not always pretty. No-one ever looked at their filet-mignon on the plate and asked what its cow-shed looked like before life went south!
Realizing I could use a bracket between the legs for stability, I considered borrowing one temporarily from the work-bench I built a few weeks ago, but I know how that goes…. it would never get replaced. At that moment, the friend I had been talking with on my way to Home Depot stopped by. He was about to build a sandbox for his young niece, who lives a couple of streets away from St. Joan. He was on his way to Home Depot and so he asked if I wanted him to pick-up some more wood for me. I said, “Sure, since you’re going anyway. An hour later he was back with my 2x4, which I measured and cut to size. Now I had to get the stain out again or else it would never get stained and would stand as a reminder of my incompetence for ever more.
By now it had been 3 hours since I stained the first stage of the project, “Three hours is almost four hours.” So I put the planter out in the backyard, minus the new leg-bracket. I filled it with soil and planted the seeds—cucumbers and carrots. Stay tuned!! The moral of this story?.... Urgh...answers on a postcard….
You are in my prayers this week!

Fr. Andrew

13) Words on the Word: April 18, 2021 - By the Numbers

It’s something the experts at Gallup have been watching for 80 years, and the numbers, for now, do not look encouraging.

According to a story reported recently on a national website, less than half of Americans (47 percent) say they belong to a formal place of worship – church, synagogue or mosque.

That’s down from 50 percent just three years ago, and from 70 percent at the turn of the century.

The number was at its high – 73 percent – back in 1937.

Generally speaking, the story noted, the declining percentage in membership in a particular church is tied to the trend of people indicating they have no religious preference at all. Sad as that is, it’s nevertheless logical that those with no preference also would not belong to a church.

What is all means, from a sociological perspective, is difficult to say and is better taken up by experts in the various disciplines.

But what it means for the increasing number of individuals who are choosing to be unaffiliated with religion, generally, and with the Church, specifically, should stir great concern.

After all, those who choose the so-called church-of-self, or some atheistic or agnostic approach to life, are putting their souls at risk.

Those questions, to be sure, are ultimately for them to address directly with God – and God with them – but people of goodwill should pray that all might find their way to Jesus and his saving message.

“The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments,” we hear in today’s second reading from the first letter of St. John. “Those who say, ‘I know him,’ but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them.

“But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.”

 © 2021, Words on the Word 
This week's LIVE Stream
Schedule at St. Joan of Arc:

Monday (April 19):
7:00 AM - Mass
10:00 AM - Funeral for Keith A. Johnson, Sr. (Read obituary HERE)

Tuesday (April 20):
7:00 AM - Mass
8:30 AM - School Mass (Grades 5-8)

Wednesday (April 21):
7:00 AM - Mass
8:30 AM - School Mass (Grades 1-4)

Thursday (April 22):
7:00 AM - Mass
7:00 PM - Holy Hour (Praise and Worship Music)

Friday (April 23):
7:00 AM - Mass

Saturday (April 24):
10:00 AM - Funeral for Sr. Jeanne Lenore Twomey (Read Obituary HERE).
12:00 PM - Baptism of Thomas Walworth II
1:00 PM - Baptism of Matthew Haberkorn
2:00 PM - Baptism of Joseph Corrado and Gianna Corrado
4:00 PM - Mass
6:00 PM - Mass

Sunday (April 25):
8:00 AM - Mass
10:00 AM - Mass
12:00 PM - Mass

Please note that all of our masses and events can be accessed through the ARCHIVE section of our Live stream page if you are not able to watch it live!

We also have our own ROKU Channel. Search for "CATHOLIC" in the ROKU channel store, and you will find SJA's channel. A Fire TV Channel is also available.
Click on the image below
to download a copy of our
Bulletin for April 18, 2021
The Third Sunday of Easter

Weekly bulletin: Sending the bulletin has been greatly received by so many people. IF you are getting the bulletin online and would prefer that it not be mailed to your home, please click on the button below to be removed from the mailing list.

At the same time, if you are NOT getting the bulletin and would prefer to get it, click on the same button and ask to be ADDED to the list.

Read the latest from the DETROIT CATHOLIC
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