Dear Friends in Christ,
Here are a few updates from the parish for the week of April 25, 2021.
1) Confirmation: This week we welcome Bishop Don Hanchon to our parish as he celebrates the Sacrament of Confirmation with our 8th graders on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. 

Given capacity limits, only the confirmandi, their sponsors, parents and selected guests can be present in person in Church. However, we will livestream the liturgy so you can join in on the celebration and pray for our 8th graders as they celebrate this momentous occasion in their life.

The celebration of confirmation is always a highlight in the faith life of our young people. As we celebrate this great day, we should be reminded that the quest to learn more about our faith and the quest to be more active members in the Church cannot only be learned from catechists and religious leaders; it must be seen, lived, and taught at home. We look to the family, especially the parents and sponsors of the newly confirmed, to encourage and nurture the faith life of these young people. The active participation of parents, sponsors, and other family members at Sunday liturgies and other aspects of parish life speaks volumes to our young people!

Our newly confirmed, and indeed all of us, should take to heart the words offered in the instruction of the Rite of Confirmation. “Therefore, you who are already baptized will now receive the power of his Spirit and be signed with his Cross on your foreheads. And so, you must always bear witness to his Passion and Resurrection before the world, so that your manner of life, as the Apostle says, may be in every place the pleasing fragrance of Christ. His Mystical Body, which is the Church, the People of God, receives from him diverse graces, which the same Holy Spirit distributes to individuals for the building up of that Body in unity and love. Be living members of this Church, therefore, and, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, seek to serve all people like Christ, who came not to be served but to serve.”

Please keep our confirmation candidates in your prayers as they prepare for this great celebration on Tuesday.
2) The 52nd Annual Raffle:  We dropped the raffle tickets and accompanying material in the mail this past week so you should receive them soon. If you need or want more tickets, click on the button below! Tickets will be printed for you and either mailed or left at the Parish Center for pick up.

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. At the end of the 4 PM mass on Saturday, Father Rich set a nice goal for us this year. He suggested that we set the goal this year at $200,000. I think it's doable if everyone does their part. The extra income would help us especially given that we were not able to have the School Gala 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 9, 2021. Again this year, two (2) lucky winners will be drawn on May 10, 2021, 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, 2021. 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.
3) Mrs. Kathy Kalich to Retire: Recently, Mrs. Kathy Kalich, our school principal, announced that she would be retiring at the end of this school year. 

For the last thirty-four years, Mrs. Kalich has served our school community in various roles: three years as a teacher, twenty-five years as assistant principal, and the last six years as principal. She has given her all in everything that she has done. We are so grateful for the many ways she has shared her gifts and talents with us, but primarily for her dedication and how she has shared her love and faith with us! Even though she will be retiring, she will continue to work on the Gala and take on several school advancement projects. We will set up shop for her in the Parish Center so she can continue to be close to the action as she moves into her new role.
A search committee for a new principal has been formed. The search committee will include (apart from Father Andrew and me) two teachers, two current school parents, two people from my Leadership Team, and our Business Manager Dina Ciaffone. I will certainly keep you and our entire school community informed as our work progresses. Please keep the search committee and its work in your prayers.
4) A note about the 10 AM Mass on Sunday, May 16: A few weeks before we brought the 10 AM Mass back into the schedule, we scheduled one of our First Communion Masses at 10 AM on Sunday, May 16 (the Sunday after Mother's Day). Given our capacity limits and the need to maintain social distancing, we are asking parishioners who regularly attend the 10 AM mass to attend one of our other Sunday masses that weekend. Thanks for your understanding.
5) Clothing Drive this FRIDAY and SATURDAY
6) Listening for God Virtual Conference - Videos Available On-Demand through 2021.
In the event you missed the Listening for God conference, 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 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!
7) 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?"
8) This Sunday's Readings - Sunday, April 25, 2021
9) Grow+Go for the Fourth 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.
10) Sunday Reflection by Jeff Cavins:
In this week’s video for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Jeff Cavins reflects on what Jesus means when he says he is the Good Shepherd. 
11) 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!
12) 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.
13) This Week's Edition of TALLer Tales
Jolted: It was a long day already. But then again, like all of you, all of my days are long. It’s just a reality. Toward the end of this particular day, I decided I needed to do something fun. Even though I had 10,000 things on the “list,” I decided to attack something that would have been and should have been number 20,000 on the list. The “simple” and “quick” project was to swap out two dimmer switches and a GFI plug in my kitchen. I figured this quick project would take maybe an hour at the max. My first mistake was thinking this would be simple. The second mistake was thinking this would be quick. The third mistake was thinking I could accomplish this in maybe an hour. I forgot about the Clark Griswold factor and the SJA factor. Combine the two “factors,” and you get complex, long, and several hours.
The first project was to swap out a dimmer that controls my kitchen lights. I wanted to put in a smart dimmer so I could also program some automatic schedules. The old dimmer came out, and the new one was installed with ease. I was dancing the happy dance because the dimmer went in without any issues. My only issue was in programming the unit. The programming issues cost me some time, but I prevailed and eventually got it to work. Project one was done.
The second project was to install a GFI plug in the same gang box as the other dimmer switch I wanted to replace. The reason for swapping it out was that I was putting in a smart dimmer switch that was white and the GFI plug was beige. I had a white GFI on hand, so I figured that while I was in there, I would swap out the GFI at the same time. Like a good novice electrician, I traced the circuit to figure out which breaker to turn off. I dutifully paid attention to the wiring on the old switch (so I thought). After getting everything wired to the new GFI, I flipped the breaker on and stuck in my meter probes. My meter went nuts! It bounced all over the place from 110 to 150 to 210. It was bizarre. I immediately flipped the breaker again and tried to figure out what I did wrong. After determining the actual feeder line, I measured the voltage on the wires themselves and got a consistent 110. I felt much better. I re-wired the plug again, paying close attention to the feed and load lines; I then flipped the breaker on and was happy to see a constant 110 on my meter.

I then turned my attention to the dimmer switch sitting in the same gang box with the GFI. This dimmer would control my under cabinet lights. I recently swapped out the halogen bulbs with LED equivalents and was amazed by the difference simply from the generated heat perspective. With the halogen lights, I could never keep food on any of the lower shelves of my kitchen cabinets because if I turned the under cabinet lights on, they would bake whatever was on the bottom shelves. Swapping the halogen bulbs to LED made a huge difference; I can now store chocolate in my kitchen cabinets … this is important stuff.
Much like with the first smart dimmer switch, this second one also gave me difficulty in getting it set up and on our wireless network. Eventually, I prevailed, and everything was programmed. By now, I was already three hours into my simple one-hour project. As I was putting the faceplate over my work, I realized that both the dimmer and the GFI plug were tilted to one side. It looked pretty bad once the faceplate was in place; it certainly looked like a novice job! I wasn’t going to settle for imperfection, especially given I had already wasted three hours on this project. So, I took the faceplate off to see what I could do to make it look better. I decided to add some spacers and do some other tricks to get both of these units squared off so they would sit flush in the faceplate. First, I tried twisting the GFI plug so it would sit right. Well, I didn’t bother to turn off the breaker to accomplish this task. Can you see what’s coming? As I continued to twist and turn the plug, I touched the wrong things and got jolted a bit. Good heavens, that hasn’t happened to me in eons. Lessoned learned; I should have turned off the breaker. I still wasn’t satisfied with my work. So I tried carefully again to align both units so they would sit flush in the faceplate. I was jolted again! Good heavens. Lesson learned (obviously not).
I put the faceplate back on again and looked at my work. Yep, a novice job all the way. I still wasn’t satisfied. I was hoping for some perfection, especially given I now had wasted four hours on a project that I should never have started in the first place. But I decided they would stay in their imperfect and tilted form.
Later that night, I walked into the kitchen and was relishing how nice the very dimly lit lights looked under my kitchen cabinets. I was impressed to see how low the LED lights got with this new smart dimmer switch. But then I was thrown into a state of confusion. The dimmer was off! WHAT? I flipped the dimmer to see if I was imagining things. Sure enough, the dimmer was off. I turned it on and put it on its lowest setting. It was dim but not as dim as before. I turned the dimmer off, and the lights went back to a very very dim light as if it was set at 2% or lower. Good heavens, this was indeed a Clark Griswold job! What did I do now? After some google searching, I learned about LED ghosting effects. I found that with some dimmer switches, a very slight amount of current can run through the wires even in the off position that will cause LED bulbs to give off a very slight glow. The amount of current would never cause an incandescent lamp to light, but it’s enough for an LED bulb to give off a very faint amount of light. I then read about some solutions, but I was in no mood now to add more time to this “simple” project. Enough was enough. Imperfect it would stay. I just chalked it up to another Clark Griswold moment. In actuality, I didn’t want to get jolted again! But if you want some ideas on creating some under kitchen cabinet lighting that emits a faint glow in the middle of the night, let me know. I’ve got some great tips to share!
Enjoy the week. Know of my prayers!

In Christ,
Msgr Mike Simply Signature
14) Tire Tracks in the d’Arc
Robin Hood meets Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Luddites: In my high school, history was not well taught. We have such a rich history in Great Britain, but in my school it amounted to learning the names of King Henry VIII’s wives, the order he married them and how they met their demise. After that, label the parts of a castle and learn about WWII gas masks and that was it—you’d finished all of history.
In my 20s I saw an extensive BBC series called A History of Britain and found it fascinating because of the way it was presented. Since then, I’ve loved history. The village I grew-up in has a fascinating history, I mean besides being the hometown of Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise! (True fact). In the US, the war of 1812 means something, but in my hometown it means something else. April 11, 1812 was the uprising of the Luddites on Rawfolds Mill. The area was known for its cotton and wool mills because of the easy access to the river. In the 16th Century, the textile industry played a significant role in the Reformation and the spread of Protestantism in England, allowing Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible to travel across the country through the cloth traders. By the 19th Century, the owners of the textile mills were embracing new cloth producing technologies that were speeding-up production. While the owners were getting rich, the workers were losing their jobs and having wages cut. This saw the rise of the Luddites, a band of working-class people who opposed these new technologies. In April, 1812, a group of Luddites gathered in my village. They met at night, at a stone Obelisk erected in 1760. It’s still there to this day, standing 26ft high and known as “Dumb Steeple.”
Nobody’s quite sure why it’s named that, but it may have been a butchering of “Doomed steeple” because the remains of Kirklees Priory, a convent destroyed by Henry VIII stands nearby. This is all that remains of that building:
The Priority is rumored (along with about a thousand other locations!) to be the place where the legend of Robin Hood came to an end. Hood was supposedly sick and dying, being cared for in the Priory by nuns. He is said to have shot an arrow out of the window asking to be buried where it fell. There is indeed a large gave site structure in the woods behind the Priory ruins, marked with his name.
The Luddites were smart enough to know that destroying the mills altogether would not help their employment situation, so they hatched a plan to break into the mill, located at a place named Cooper Bridge, and to destroy the new weaving machinery. However, the owner of the mill caught wind of the plan and on that fateful night, stationed his own band of men to protect the mill. Two of the Luddites were killed, and later 17 more were tracked down and hanged for their involvement in the uprising.
Dumb Steeple is actually a few yards away from where it once sat. It was moved slightly in the 1980s to make way for a traffic roundabout at a busy intersection. It’s supremely ironic that it was the car that moved this marker of where these technology-resisters met before their attack. Even more ironic, I always thought is that the site of the mill is now a used car crushing facility. Maybe the Luddites won after all….
Half a mile up the hill from Cooper Bridge is Roe Head, the 1740 house that became a school, attended by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, the sisters who authored stories such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Two miles down the road from Roe Head is St. Mary’s Parish Church, belonging to the Church of England. The current church dates to 1871, but it is the 3rd stone church on that site. The original Catholic church was built in the 1260s. The site stands at the top of a hill. The street down the hill is Lady Heton Drive. Lady De Heton was walking to Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in the next village when she was attacked by robbers and murdered. As a result, her husband, Sir John De Heton travelled to Rome to petition the Pope and was granted a dispensation to build a church in the village.
Still standing on site, is the tower of the original 13th century church and behind it are the remains of a small castle, built in 1086.
Standing outside the church grounds is a set of wooden stocks, now covered is green moss. They date from the 14th Century.
By law, stocks had to be provided in each parish as criminals were locked into them for several hours at a time. The local youngsters would be free to pelt them with rotten vegetables while others taunted them at will.
As I think about the difficult days many have been experiencing over the past year, I am ever more grateful for the blessings of my life and for the conveniences of our modern world. But it’s a reminder that we are all the beneficiaries of the labor and hardship of those who have gone before us. And that is no less true of our faith. We are all the result of the experiences of our lives and of the work of others to pass on that faith. And now it’s our turn to ensure that we leave our world a little better for the next generation and that we do our part to pass on the faith gifted to us. God in his providence directs and governs all things that take place. History is the vehicle for God's work in the world, and we can learn so much about Him through it.
You are in my prayers this week!

Fr. Andrew

15) Words on the Word: April 25, 2021 - Eternal Protection

One of the truths we know about God’s eternal word is that the lessons imparted in the Old and New Testaments are as applicable to our lives today as they were at the time they were written.

It should not be surprising, then, when it may seem a line like this – taken from today’s second reading from 1 John – is being spoken directly to us:

“The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

That sure does sound, in so many ways, like the world in which we live, where most, if not all, of the 10 Commandments are broken as a matter of course and the Beatitudes are routinely ignored by so many.

It’s the stuff of which most headlines are made, after all.

It’s very refreshing, then, to hear of stories like the one coming out of a southern region in Brazil, where a new 14-story statue of Jesus is under construction and is expected to be completed by later this year.

The statue, to be called Christ the Protector, is being built in the city of Encantado, and will be taller than the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue further north in Rio De Janeiro.

At this time, according to one recent story, only a head and outstretched arms are built, but once finished the structure will include an interior elevator and an observation deck.

It’s inspiring when something under construction in 2021 will celebrate Jesus and his message of protection for his flock.

“I am the good shepherd,” Jesus explains in today’s gospel passage from St. John, “and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.”

That message, after all, is truly eternal.

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

Monday (April 26):
7:00 AM - Mass

Tuesday (April 27):
7:00 AM - Mass
8:30 AM - School Mass (Grades 5-8)
7:00 PM - Confirmation

Wednesday (April 28):
7:00 AM - Mass
8:30 AM - School Mass (Grades 1-4)

Thursday (April 29):
7:00 AM - Mass
7:00 PM - Holy Hour (Silent)

Friday (April 30):
7:00 AM - Mass

Saturday (May 1):

9:00 AM - Baptism of Isla Cavis
10:00 AM - Baptism of Tatum Mack and Beckham Mack
1:00 PM - Wedding of Sarah Bingham and Joe Cybulski
2:30 PM - Baptism of Lillian DeHaven
4:00 PM - Mass
6:00 PM - Mass

Sunday (May 2):
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.
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to download a copy of our
Bulletin for April 25, 2021
The Fourth Sunday of Easter

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