Dear Friends in Christ,
Here are a few updates from the parish for the week of June 6, 2021.
1) The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ: As we celebrate this awesome Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, I couldn't help but recall the short film Spirit Juice Studios created in cooperation with the Veil Removed Project. The short film shows the world what they would see during every Mass if the "veil was removed." "The film reveals the coming together of heaven and earth at Mass, as witnessed by saints and mystics in visions, and revealed by scripture and in the catechism of the Catholic Church. Visual effects played a huge role in this piece, making it the biggest production to date for Spirit Juice, totaling over 50 crew members and 50 cast members. The film has impacted thousands and has been screened all over the world ("

Whenever any Mass is celebrated it is as if the cross of Christ was planted in our midst. The simple elements of bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ. What an awesome mystery we get to participate in. Heaven joins with earth. Earth joins with Heaven.

I encourage you to watch this short 7-minute film to show you what you would see if the veil was removed.

May we do all that we can to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Mass and all that Christ did when he offered his body and blood for our salvation.
2) Catholic Services Appeal 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
In St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians, he urges them, "Whatever you do, do from the heart (Col. 3:23)." These words are particularly meaningful since he wrote them from prison, facing persecution and hardship. The faith community at Colossae was facing its own hardships as they strove to live the life Christ called them to whatever the circumstances. Being rooted in the Lord would serve them well as they continued to grow as a faith community, and as the Church continued to grow throughout the world.
The theme of the 2021 CSA is FUEL THE MISSION. The mission is simple, to make Christ's kingdom present in our day to the many people of Southeast Michigan. That mission cannot be fully accomplished unless it is fueled with human and materially resources.
Our CSA goal this year is just slightly more than $217,000. Anything raised above the goal will return to the parish, while any shortfalls must be covered by the parish. Thus, your support is greatly needed and appreciated.
Your gift helps support men who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood. It impacts youth, family, and young adult ministries to help people at all stages of life grow in faith. It helps Catholic schools continue to form the next generation of leaders and disciples. It helps our food pantries and soup kitchens feed and clothe the poor. Your gift brings Jesus to Southeast Michigan in a very real and tangible way.
You may have already received a mailing from the Archdiocese of Detroit. If you did so, please make a contribution to the CSA as indicated in that mailing. You can also easily give by visiting: or by clicking on the button below.
Also available at the Church exists, in the bins outside the Sr. Carol Center, and at the Parish Center are general CSA brochures and envelopes that can be used to make a contribution to the CSA.
I'm grateful to those who have already contributed to the CSA. We have raised a little more than $41,575 toward our $217,000 goal. I hope I can count on you to help FUEL the MISSION of all that the Archdiocese of Detroit is trying to accomplish in the name of Christ in Southeast Michigan.
Archbishop Vigneron's 2021 CSA Message
3) Save a Life - Contact Congress to SAVE the Hyde Amendment
Congress is trying to force Americans to pay for abortion.

The Hyde Amendment and similar laws have protected taxpayers from funding elective abortion for 45 years. Now, powerful members of Congress want to take away these laws that both Democrats and Republicans have supported for nearly half a century.

Billions of taxpayer dollars could be used to pay for abortion.

Sign the petition to Congress!

Save Hyde. Save lives.

Taxpayer dollars should NOT pay for abortion. 
The majority of Americans agree with this - both Democrats and Republicans. 

​For 45 years, the Hyde amendment and similar laws have protected taxpayers from being forced to pay for elective abortion. 

​The Hyde amendment has been signed into law every year since 1976, whether the Congress and the White House were led by Republicans or Democrats. 

​The Hyde Amendment has saved nearly 2.5 million babies and mothers in difficult circumstances from the tragedy of abortion. 

​An overwhelming majority of Americans, including low-income women and women of color who are most impacted by it, support the Hyde Amendment and laws that prevent government-funded abortion.  

​We urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to ensure that the Hyde Amendment and all similar life-saving appropriations riders remain in place during the 117th Congress and beyond.  

​Do not force Americans to subsidize the taking of innocent life. Oppose any bill, including any appropriations bill, that expands taxpayer funding of abortion. 
4) Motor City Makeover:

Join the Archdiocese of Detroit and Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan as we participate in the 2021 Motor City Makeover. We will begin in the church at St. Suzanne / Our Lady Gate of Heaven at 8:00 am for prayer and then send people out to work in the District 7 community (surrounding the parish). Please bring a sack lunch and a lawn chair and eat a picnic with us in the St. Suzanne parking lot following the service project!

We will collect trash and do minor landscaping on public property. Supplies will be provided-- but an e-mail will go out to registered volunteers requesting any additional tools we may need for the day that you could bring.

ALL PARTICIPANTS UNDER 18 must attend with a parent/legal guardian or an official chaperone (a parish-endorsed representative who is Safe Environments trained and has in-hand signed AOD-endorsed permission slips indicating that they are the supervisor of the event). The AOD and CCSEM will not be able to provide chaperones as part of this event.

Date: 06/12/2021 (Sat.)
Time: 8:00am - 12:00pm CDT

Location: Start at St. Suzanne / Our Lady Gate of Heaven
9357 Westwood St, Detroit, MI 48228
5) This Sunday's Readings - Sunday, June 6, 2021
6) Grow+Go for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
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.
7) Sunday Reflection by Jeff Cavins:
In this week's Encountering the Word video for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Jeff Cavins shows how the Sunday Readings in the Old and New Testaments recount the blood covenants God entered with Israel, through Moses, and then with humanity through Christ.
8) 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.
9) This Week's Edition of TALLer Tales
Complicating a Simple Project: I’m such a novice Do It Yourself-er (DIYer)! As I type this, I couldn’t help but think that it would be quite a documentary if I had videos of all of my failed projects!

For several weeks, I’ve been assessing what I needed to do to plant flowers at the five graves where we already have headstones in place at Resurrection Cemetery. Only four graves are occupied right now; the fifth headstone is at my mom’s future resting place. Buried in our little “family section” are my dad, my mom’s parents, and my mom’s sister. While we’re good with grave blankets in the winter, I’m not so good with flowers the rest of the year. But this was going to be the year I would change that habit. Of course, I couldn’t simply square off a little section above the headstone and plant flowers. NOOOOO, I wanted to bury a window box flush to the ground. I think most novice DIY people like to complicate their projects! I’m a master at that! The idea was to find this two-part planter system I’ve seen at other graves. You first bury the “holding” container; the second piece then slides right into that first piece. This way, you can plant and arrange the flowers at home and then simply drop the planter in the buried “holding container.” I’ve searched high and low for this two-part grave planter system and have had no luck finding it. The two-part planter makes for easy swapping of flowers at the change of season. But since I couldn’t find this two-part system, I decided to settle on some window boxes I could bury.
I’ve also learned through this little project not to convince your mom that your idea is the ultimate idea so that when things don’t go as planned, you can easily back out of your not so brilliant idea without anyone knowing about it. But, be as it may be, I had my mom convinced we would bury these five window boxes with ease! Well, there was no “ease” with this project!
So last Sunday, we decided to venture out to Lowes and English Gardens to find all that we needed to plant flowers at the graves. Since our family was gathering for Memorial Day, everyone was on their own for that Sunday. So my mom and I decided to attack this little project. The first task was to find the window boxes we needed. The regulations allow for a planter no greater than 24 x 10 inches. We eventually found what we needed at English Gardens. Next, we ventured over to Resurrection Cemetery with a car full of window boxes, potting soil, and plants.  By this time, it was already 5 PM. Once we got all of our supplies up to our little family section, my first task was to start digging out enough dirt to plant my first window box flush to the ground.
My dad’s grave was the test case. It didn’t take long to realize I’d never make it as a gravedigger. Good heavens, the ground was tough, and while I was trying to fling the dirt onto this tarp I placed on the ground, my aim wasn’t so good as my mom caught dirt wandering onto nearby graves. Now, I only had to go 7 inches deep, but it took me close to a half-hour to dig one 24x8x7 hole. With time and lots of tweaking, I finally got one of the planter boxes flush to the ground. I made sure to unplug the existing drainage hole but decided more holes were needed. So, I went back to my car and grabbed my drill. Using the biggest drill bit I had in my car (a standard rotary bit rather than a spade bit), I started to drill away. “This was going to be easy,” I thought to myself. The plastic was so hard I could have used my impact driver! With the first hole drilled out, I went to the opposite end and started to drill again. I got through the plastic with ease this time, but then the damp clumpy dirt from below forcefully “grabbed” my drill halfway to China before I realized what was happening. By the time I released the trigger, my drill bit and half of my drill was through the plastic and left a hole as big as the front of my drill. As the peanut gallery was watching and laughing behind me, I heard, “I guess there’ll be enough drainage now.”
With the planter in place, we planted the flowers and got things arranged the way my mom wanted them arranged. At this point, I was ready to call it quits, but I had to haul the dirt away, pack things up, and try to figure out how I was going to water these newly planted flowers. Of course, we didn’t bring a watering can or anything, so getting water up to the site would be a challenge. I ended up using one of the unused window boxes to haul some water, but I wanted to get a watering can. So, I convinced my mom we would quickly run over to the nearby ACE Hardware store to get a watering can and then return to the cemetery to water the flowers and say all of our prayers. Before we left the cemetery, we decided to stop by the office for a quick bathroom break. When we got back into our car and saw how late it was, we decided to return to the graves and improvise with what we had on hand to water and soak our flowers. As we approached our section, I could see a small box on the right hand side of the road. We both couldn’t figure out what it was until I was nearly on top of it … and then my heart sank. It was my drill case! Good heavens. I propped it up against the back wheel of my car as I was packing everything up and never saw it there as we sped away to get a watering can. I could only roll my eyes at myself. Thankfully, no one took it! It was bad enough that the clumpy damp dirt almost grabbed my drill halfway to China, but then it almost got left behind at the cemetery. But then again, who uses a drill to plant flowers at a cemetery other than a DIYer who likes to complicate his own projects! UGH! And to think, I have four more of these things to plant!
CSA 2021: FUEL the MISSION: This weekend marks the beginning of the annual Catholic Services Appeal for our parish. This year’s CSA theme is FUEL THE MISSION. Your contribution to the annual CSA helps “Fuel the Mission” of the Archdiocese of Detroit as it responds to the needs of our six counties in southeast Michigan.
I hope you take the time to consider prayerfully what you can give to this year’s CSA. While one-time gifts are rather popular, I encourage you to consider a ten-month pledge to the CSA. Speaking from my own experience, I can give a much larger gift to the CSA by pledging over ten months. Our goal this year is $217,002. As of today, we have raised $41,175 from 196 donors.
To make a gift to the CSA, please complete the form found at the bottom of your CSA letter and return it along with your initial pledge payment (made out to the Archdiocese of Detroit - CSA) to the Parish Center or mail it as noted in your CSA letter. You can also give your gift online by going to
Enjoy the week. Know of my prayers!

In Christ,
Msgr Mike Simply Signature
10) Tire Tracks in the d’Arc
Finding direction: I don’t know if I consider this progress or not, but I was on my way back from Clinton Twp. on Friday last week. It was that day that was raining most of the day, the day Michigan reminded us that it was still May and we returned from the 90 degrees of the start of the week to 46 by Friday. I was headed back to the parish on I-94 and my Jeep GPS started telling me to take the exit onto 10 Mile Rd. “Well, that’s silly!” I thought. “I don’t live on 10 Mile.” Now, I’m very used to Bobbi Jo Jr. (all my vehicles have names) sending me by different routes for no apparent reason. I’ve never been to Resurrection Cemetery by the same route as I’ve returned. They say all roads lead to Rome. I’m not sure all roads lead to Resurrection Cemetery, but most seem to. Anyway, that’s a tangent, I wasn’t on my way back to the Cemetery, but still, I was not surprised that my GPS was throwing me a curveball. I decided to ignore the suggestion. But then there were brake-lights ahead and the traffic began to slow…. Then crawl. Then I realized as far ahead as I could see were brake-lights. It was 2:15pm and I didn’t really intend to spend the next hour sitting on the freeway. So, okay, I’ll move over one lane and see what happens. Then another lane, as the exit approached. But traffic was all backed-up to the exit. I hadn't decided to take the exit yet but I was trying to keep all options open. Bobbi-Jo didn’t know this. She always assumes I’m listening to her advice, until it becomes obvious that I have stubbornly disregarded her ideas. That wasn't obvious yet, so she was still suggesting the 10 Mile exit, and I moved over one more lane. I was beginning to think maybe she’d seen this whole traffic jam ahead of time and was actually trying to help me for once instead of her normal attempts to trick me for her own amusement.
On one occasion I asked Bobbi-Jo to stop navigating, since I knew my way. Her response was, “We don’t appear to be navigating anywhere. If you’d like directions to ‘Anywhere,’ say, “Give me directions to ‘Anywhere.’” This was nonsensical, but I thought I’d play along with her game and see what would happen. So I said, “Siri, give me directions to ‘Anywhere.’” I think I called her bluff on that one and she got confused. So did I, so I gave up on that project. Anyway, I digress into another tangent.
Okay, there was the gap in traffic, so I moved over one more lane into the exit lane and I took the 10 Mile Rd ramp. Bobbi-Jo seemed contented with that. And as I drove up the ramp and over the freeway on 10 Mile, I saw the lines of traffic stretching down the freeway. So apparently, Bobbi-Jo had done her good deed for the day and had the best of intentions, and hey diddly, what d’ y’ know, I had listened for once and it all worked out.
That got me thinking about this Feast day of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. That’s right, I’m going to make that leap. Yes, my whole article has been a shameless tangent all along!
There was a time when I was being given frequent directions: I was working for a Catholic charity, attending daily mass, talking frequently with Catholic priests through my job, visiting Catholic Churches around the state on the weekends, my best friends were all Catholic and people were telling me I should become Catholic. But I had a better route…. I thought. I thought the people telling me to join the Church were “being Bobbi-Jo;” I thought they were misleading me and I knew better. And that went on for several years.
I’ve told the story of my conversion in this article previously, but it was the Eucharist that was the biggest stumbling block for me. How could what looked like bread and wine be Jesus’ Body and Blood? How could it be? Because I had no answer, I assumed the question was a moot point. Why try to understand something that I believed I already understood… and that I understood differently to the Church. Ultimately, despite learning over time what the Church taught, the “how it’s possible” part was always missing, but that was still the part I thought I needed to have before I could assent to believing it. I was wrong - on two counts. First, I was wrong about the Eucharist. It is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus, sacramentally present under the form, under the “accidents,” the appearance of ordinary man-made bread and wine. But secondly, I didn’t need to understand how that happens. And not understanding, but still believing is not blind faith. My moment of conversion, before the Eucharist, at Mass one day, spoke deeply to me on the level of the heart. It was a voice telling me that there was much more there than I realized and that although I needed to go and learn more, the power and mercy present in the Eucharist was already tangible and something I could sense, even without the answers to my questions.
It comes down to some very human traits. I can be stubborn. I can be prideful. I can be rational-minded. But what is irrational is to think that a stubborn and prideful human being could have all the ways of God worked-out. What is truly rational is to place your faith in the God who gives us all He has and will never stop using His people to reach those who do not believe. As the letter to the Hebrews says, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”
When I was received into the Church at the Easter Vigil in 2006, receiving the Eucharist for the first time brought me to tears. Why? Because I had had to search for faith. It was work, but I knew it had been worth it. Now I had the most precious gift God has ever given to us.
I’m struck by the beautiful words of the Corpus Christi sequence from the liturgy today:
“This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
   To his precious blood the wine:
Sight has failed, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
   Resting on a power divine.
Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
   Signs, not things are all we see:
Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
   Christ entire we know to be.”
That moment of genuflecting behind the altar at the consecration at mass is such a powerful moment for me. It’s a moment of professing to God that I know that I didn’t do what has just happened on that altar. That consecration of the gifts of bread and wine in to the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Jesus was the work of God. I recognize in that moment that I didn’t get there by following my own directions. It was only by listening to the directions of God that I found my way home. May we never receive the Eucharist casually, without pondering the precious gift we have among and within us.
You are in my prayers this week!

Fr. Andrew

11) Words on the Word: June 6, 2021 - Perfect in Practice

Perfection, as we all know, can be an elusive goal. For most, it’s rare, if not impossible. For others, it is a height that can, indeed, be achieved.

Our Lord, of course, created and achieved perfection with his human body, as a tabernacle, as we hear in today’s second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews.

“Brothers and sisters: When Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be,” the reading begins, “passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

That, to be sure is the most profound perfection, and it sets the bar high for us.

It was nice, then, when some local media reported a few weeks ago on a high school senior from Macomb County who achieved perfection on his SAT exam. Literal perfection – a score of 1600.

The story, reported on the WWJ Newsradio 950 website, indicated that the student planned to attend Harvard Law School, with the ultimate goal of someday becoming president. Doing so, he said, would enable him to emulate Abraham Lincoln, with a service ethic grounded in his faith and family.

“You have to dedicate yourself to serving the people around you one way or another,” the student was quoted in the story as saying. “Politics just seemed like a good outlet for me to do that.”

Indeed, this young man may or may not find that political life is the right outlet for his urge to serve, but one has to admire his mindset. And the fact that his goal to serve clearly is consistent with the goal that Jesus so perfectly met.

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

Monday (June 7):
7:00 AM - Mass

Tuesday (June 8):
7:00 AM - Mass
5:30 PM - Baptism of Arthur Dennison Schrage

Wednesday (June 9):
7:00 AM - Mass
8:30 AM - All School Mass
12:00 PM - Funeral for Stanley Wegrzynowicz (Read Obituary HERE)

Thursday (June 10):
7:00 AM - Mass
7:00 PM - Holy Hour (Praise and Worship Music)

Friday (June 11):
7:00 AM - Mass

Saturday (June 12):
10:00 AM - Memorial Mass for Stella Milewski (Read Obituary HERE)
12:00 PM - Baptism of Ella Mallon and Mila Mallon
1:00 - Baptism of Beau Daniel Carroll
4:00 PM - Mass
6:00 PM - Mass

Sunday (June 13):
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 June 6, 2021
The Solemnity of Pentecost

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
Click on the image below.