Dear Friends in Christ,
Here are a few updates from our parish for the week of November 21, 2021.
1) Thanksgiving: YES, ESPECIALLY this year! I came across this short 1.5 minute Thanksgiving Reflection Video last year and I thought I would share it again. It's about keeping our focus on Thanksgiving and Rejoicing even in the midst of the year we have experienced because of the pandemic.

2) Thanksgiving Day Mass: Please consider starting your Thanksgiving Day celebrations by joining us live or online for our 9 AM mass. You can join us online at
3) Annual Memorial Mass Video
Every November during our Annual Memorial Mass we show a video with the names and pictures of those who went home to the Lord from our parish over the past year. The entire Memorial Mass is a very moving experience and is certainly a highlight of the entire year.

I often get comments that it would be nice to post the video for all to see. We often don't always know the names of those who have died but we know them by sight. So, for those who would like to watch the video, please click on the link below.

The video starts out with the names of our pastors, associate pastors, deacons, and religious staff who have died over the years. The video is about 20 minutes and provides a great opportunity to pray for these souls who have gone home to the Lord.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
4) SJA Giving Tree Project 2021
"Giving Tree” is a special charitable project designed to match the generosity of our parishioners with the needs of our community during the Christmas holiday. The project serves 100% local individuals who may otherwise not receive a gift at this special time of the year.
After a one-year pause due to the worldwide pandemic, St. Joan of Arc Parish is proud to continue this tradition of gift-giving. Some things will be a bit different this year to accommodate social distancing and remote Mass attendance. But our commitment to the families and individuals helped by our Giving Tree project has not waivered.


1) PURCHASE GIFT CARD(S): Buy plastic* gift card(s) valued from $15-30 (per card). You may purchase more than one, but please make sure limits fall within per-card limits $15-$30.
* tangible gift cards please, no electronic vouchers. Please make sure cards have been activated at the retailer that issued the card.

STRES ACCEPTED: Meijer, Walmart, Target, and Amazon

WHERE TO BUY: At the named retailer, at most drug & grocery stores or online.

LET US PURCHASE THE GIFT CARDS FOR YOU: You may also donate this year via our online giving platform by clicking on the button below and indicating the amount you would like to donate. We will take care of the rest.
2) PLACE GIFT CARD(s) IN AN ENVELOPE: Place the gift card(s) in an envelope. The envelope may include a Christmas greeting card, but this is not required. Mark on the envelope (directly or with a pasted note) “GIVING TREE” along with the quantity, store name, and value of the gift card(s).

DEADLINE December 5, 2021: Bring your marked envelope(s) to the Parish Center Office during office hours, or place it in the locked collection boxes in the Sr. Carol Center or the Parish Center Lobby.

WHAT HAS CHANGED FOR 2021: Unlike past years where we accepted tangible gifts such as toys and clothing, the Giving Tree will accept only gift cards this year. This decision is to make it safer and easier for our parishioners to participate. It will also make the program more flexible for our charity agencies, who are also challenged with logistics and health protocols at this time. 
5) SJA's CSA Update as of November 21, 2021
I am grateful to those who have already contributed to CSA 2021. As of today, we have $193,601 in pledges and gifts toward our $217,002 goal ($184,860 has already been paid thus far toward our total pledged amount). This amount represents gifts from 569 families (we have 3,286 families registered). We have thus achieved 89% of our goal!
Here is a breakdown by gift range:
$2,500+ (7)
$1,000+ (35)
$500+ (47)
$250+ (108)
$100+ (215)
$75+ (16)
$50+ (72)
$25+ (42)
$10+ (24)
$0+ (3)
As stated above, the easiest way to give is electronically by clicking on the button above. If you wish to give by check, feel free to contact the Parish Center and we will mail out an envelope and related material.
6) This Sunday's Readings - November 21, 2021
7) Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word - Reflections on the Sunday Readings
In this week’s Encountering the Word video for the Solemnity of Christ the King, Jeff Cavins emphasizes the theme of Christ’s kingdom and how it permeates the Gospels.

This Sunday’s readings are:
First Reading – Daniel 7:13-14
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 93:1, 1-2, 5
Second Reading – Revelation 1:5-8
Gospel – John 18:33B-37
8) Grow+Go for the Solemnity of Christ the King
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) 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.
10) This Week's Edition of TALLer Tales
Thanksgiving Day (Part One): Of all holidays, Thanksgiving Day is at the top of my list. While Christmas and Easter are up there too, this one, as far as a national holiday, is one of my favorites. It’s one of my favorites because I usually have only one liturgy (a rarity with holidays), and more importantly, it’s a day to celebrate with family and friends. There’s no gift-giving; you simply get to “be” with family and friends. And I dare say we need to spend more time with family and friends.

As with all holidays and holy days, we need to reflect upon them in their proper context. Thanksgiving Day isn’t just about parades, turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and football! It’s about being thankful to God for all he has given us.
Because we live in such a busy and fast-paced world, it would be easy to breeze through Thanksgiving Day without pausing to thank God for all he has given us. Coming around the dinner table and asking people to share what they are thankful for would be a great way to start or end your gathering.
Thanksgiving Day (Part Two): Please consider starting your Thanksgiving Day celebrations by joining us for mass at 9:00 a.m. whether in person or online (  It’s a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with your “church” family! Parishioners from St. Lucy and Our Lady Star of the Sea parishes will join us as well. As is our custom, the collection taken up at mass will be given to our local St. Vincent DePaul Society Conference. Your contributions help our local Vincentians assist the poor and needy who live within our parish boundaries!
Thanksgiving Day (Part Three): Over the years, Mitch Albom has written several thought-provoking columns about Thanksgiving. I wanted to mention two of those columns here. The first column was written in 2010; it was entitled, “The Turkey Shrinks as the Absences Grow.” In this column, Mitch spoke about how missing Thanksgiving Day with family and friends was once unthinkable. Years ago, Thanksgiving with family encompassed the whole weekend. In recent years, he writes, “the holiday has been shaved, like one of those giant wedding cakes that slowly gets sliced away.” Today, however, the turkey “shrinks” as the excuses trickle in. People have all kinds of excuses why they can’t attend the usual family Thanksgiving Day (weekend) celebrations. The saddest reality, as Mitch points out, is that people are missing the best part of Thanksgiving … being with family! Mitch’s article is a great read and worth sharing with family and friends. You can find this column at Mitch Albom’s website:; search for “The Turkey Shrinks.”
The second Mitch Albom column I wanted to call your attention to was written three years ago. It’s entitled, “Empty chairs, empty table, but still Thanksgiving.” In this column, Mitch mentioned how he decided to set an extra table for Thanksgiving. It wasn’t for the kids or the extra desserts. It wasn’t for the out-of-towners. Rather, this table was for all those who “are no longer coming, all those who filled the house with laughter and stories and singing and arguments, and who, sadly, will never walk through the door again.” That year was the first time Mitch hosted his Thanksgiving Day celebrations without his parents. I can relate to his feelings as it will be different for our family too this year, as it will be the first Thanksgiving without Dad.
Mitch writes, “Now, like so many of my older relatives, my parents are gone. But I can still see them. Hear them. So I’m setting a table. Empty chairs.” Mitch then takes a walk down memory lane and recalls the family members who once filled the seats at his family Thanksgiving Day dinners. He recalls their stories, what they often wore, or brought. Mitch profoundly recalls how Thanksgiving for his family was that once a year opportunity to gather both immediate and extended family for a long weekend. It’s different now, he writes. It’s not the same as it once was. He also recalls how the absentees grow as he himself grows older. “One by one, they disappeared from the Thanksgiving table, and each year we mourned the latest absentee, until the absentees outnumbered the original attendees…. You can’t keep things alive. I’m learning that, painfully. No matter how much you love something, or someone, their existence is out of your control. You can weep. You can wail. But you can’t summon them back. All you can do is carry on and remember. So I pull out the furniture and move it around, if only in my mind, which is where so much of this holiday lives. Empty chairs. Missing loved one. Lord, how their voices once filled the room, as their echoes fill it now.” I encourage you to read the whole column. It can be found at Mitch Albom’s website:; search for “Empty Chairs.”
Thanksgiving Day (Part Four): Several years ago, I found a great editorial column about Thanksgiving Day posted in the archives section of the New York Times website. The piece was originally published on November 18, 1869. Here are a few snippets: “Thanksgiving is the Home Holiday. We have no sweeter festival in the calendar…. We need more holidays in our American life. We have many anniversaries, but few days sacred to friendship (and) faith …. This is the feast day of Family and of Friendship. Many a truant son and daughter will cross seas and travel weary miles to sit in the old pew, and hear the familiar psalms, and gather around the fireside with those they love. The real meaning of this day is Coming Home. There are no traditional glories, no memories of sacred adventure or suffering to divide it. It has but one embracing sentiment. ‘God has blessed us,’ we say, ‘and we thank Him in our homes.’ While we come together and thank God for his manifold kindness … let us remember that with our privileges there comes a duty always present, but in seasons like this, commanding and imperative. In the fullness of our own joy we must not forget those who are poor and sick and cast down by bitter fortune. The Master to whom so many praises will be sung this morning showed no holier attribute of divinity than when he taught us that true Christianity gave clothing to the naked and food to the hungry, and opened the prison doors to those in bonds. We have many prisons around us, where poverty and misfortune and hard necessity hold their victims with sterner grasp than with chains and bars. It is for us to open these doors and break these bonds, to spread our substance and store, to lend the helping hand and bless the day with deeds of charity. As we do to others so may we hope that others will do to us and our children. This is the lesson of the day. By its full observance we can make a true Thanksgiving, and show that the gifts we have received from the Father of all have not fallen upon hard and stony ground.”
Enjoy the week. Know of my prayers!

In Christ,
Msgr Mike Simply Signature
11) Tire Tracks in the d’Arc
Thanks For The Socks: Growing-up, December 27th was always letter-writing day in our house. Christmas parties over, all the real chocolate on the tree eaten, only the off-brand ones left; now it was time to sit and write thank-you letters. I don’t have a big family, so in truth it wasn’t many letters, but still I dragged my heels. But my parents instilled the idea that when someone gives you a gift, even another pair of socks from Aunt Whomever, you’d better be writing to say “thank-you” pretty soon.
Who would ever dare to stand there, hands out-stretched and accept a gift from someone, face-to-face, and not say “thank you?”

Why these memories of Christmas before we reach Advent? Well, I had a moment of grace recently that just filled my heart with gratitude and I’m living on the fruits of that, praise God. Every Sunday, Jesus gives us the greatest gift anyone could ever receive. I’ve come to appreciate those sock gifts, but it takes time for children to realize that it’s not about the gift, but the giving – the intention behind it. But Jesus’ gift of Himself, His very bodily presence in the sacramental form of bread is unfathomably, infinitely more valuable.

Thanks For The Grace: The Eucharistic gift is the gift of the Giver Himself – a gift as significant as the intention behind it. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn 15:13). 

There in our hands is the cancellation of all our sins, salvation, the strength to face anything this world can throw at us and eternal life with the Father. St. John Vianney wrote, “There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.” We hold out our hands and willingly accept the gift, saying, “Amen,” declaring that we accept Him and we believe what we receive is truly Jesus Christ Himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. But do we believe? If we do, it cannot be without consequence.

Do we return to our seats filled with gratitude? Are we thinking about what’s next, when our Sunday really gets started? We just came face-to-face with the God of the universe, who created all that is, all that was and all that ever will be. And He gave Himself to you and to me...

Celebrating Mass every day comes with it the inherent risk of complacency and I pray that I don’t fall into this trap. As I genuflect behind the altar, at that moment of elevating the Body of Christ on the paten and the Blood of Christ in the chalice, I have to take a moment to remind myself of what is occurring on our altar, not through any ability of mine, but by God’s infinite grace and love.
As we receive the Eucharist today, I pray that there is a moment of reflection for all of us and that we pause to lift our hearts and minds to God with a “Thank you Lord! Thank you!” No letter writing needed.

Thanks For The Gloves: A friend told me a story a while ago about a time he volunteered at a Soup Kitchen downtown. It was the dead of winter and he got talking to a homeless man at one of the tables. Eventually, he said goodbye to the man, and as he got-up to leave, the man said, “wait, it’s freezing out there and you don’t have any gloves. Here, take mine!” And the homeless man handed him his pair of old gloves. My friend was so touched by this, that every winter since then, he goes to the dollar store and buys 50 pairs of gloves. Then he goes downtown and hands them out to anyone he finds sitting on the streets.

Generosity breeds thankfulness, which in turn produces generosity of heart. A homeless man had given away his own gloves, to a man who was about to drive himself home in his car. That homeless man placed no limit on his generosity. He gave out of his need, not his surplus. He didn’t stop to consider the cost to himself. He just saw a need and he cared enough to step-up and meet that need. And he produced in my friend a desire to share that gift with others.

Thanks For The Faith: Someone, somewhere, somehow, has shared the gift of faith with us. Out of love for us, they offered us what they’d been given – the gospel message: Christ is Born, Christ has Died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again in Glory to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.
That’s the message we are to take and to share generously, with family, friends, co-workers, strangers…… not counting our personal cost. Not waiting to see if we have the resources, the right words, enough confidence, enough courage, whatever it might be that holds us back from giving….. Just putting faith in God that He will reward our generosity.

So how far can we push our limits of generosity? Generosity is the fruit of love, so the question is really, "Is there a limit to how much we love?” Do we love freely, or do we count the cost first and only then decide how much we can afford to love?

Thanksgiving: I could swear it was just Easter! How is it Thanksgiving this week? I do like Thanksgiving. Considering that I grew-up in England, where there is no Thanksgiving holiday, I think I’ve adopted this holiday pretty well. It’s really a feel-good holiday without all the over-commercialized stress of Christmas. It kind of feels like a warm-up for Christmas. And I LOVE turkey. Turkey isn’t always the staple for Christmas here, but it is in the UK. My parents always named the Christmas turkey. This isn’t a unique tradition, but my parents always had an odd take on this tradition, because the turkey was ALWAYS named Henry. Why? I have no idea. I was never privy to that piece of knowledge.

Sensitive to this being a holiday here, my mom always feels like she should send me Thanksgiving greetings. On one occasion she somehow managed to actually find a “Happy Thanksgiving” card, in the UK! But generally, I find a Thanksgiving e-card in my email inbox. Now I appreciate the kind intention and don’t tell my mom, but if I have a pet peeve, it might be e-cards. Until you open the e-card and watch the animation of a turkey dressed in a pilgrim’s hat, dancing around a pumpkin…. it doesn't go away. EVER!! It just keeps emailing you a reminder that you have an e-card you didn’t open yet! I shudder! Thanks mom!

I don’t know if all the talk of a turkey shortage this year is true. I don’t know if you’ve had any trouble finding Henry. Whatever, please make sure that you enjoy your Thanksgiving, however, you spend it. We are so blessed. Let’s be grateful, let’s be thankful. Say thanks, then pass it on.
You are in my prayers this week.

Fr. Andrew

12) Words on the Word: November 21, 2021 - Swinging Pendulum

The political climate, especially on the national level, is often thought of in terms of a pendulum swinging back and forth.

Momentum carries it from more liberal thought and approaches on the left to more conservative thought and approaches on the right.

Results of the elections earlier this month – particularly a few gubernatorial races on the East Coast, and some local initiatives in the Midwest and on the West Coast – made national headlines for their largely surprising results.

Generally, those results suggested a shift in national thought.

Immediately, of course, politicians and commentators from across the spectrum put their own spin on what the shift meant.

For the left, it might have signaled that the electorate is seeking a less-progressive agenda than has recently been pursued. Or perhaps, in the view of some, an even more progressive agenda is the answer.

For the right, it might have signaled that the former president has less of an influence on political races than previously believed.

Intelligent people, of course, can and will debate the outcome of this election cycle – and of the upcoming cycle – for months to come.

Just as people of goodwill will continue to debate how best to address the issues of the day; which ideologies and approaches ultimately make the most sense.

In the end, though, it’s important to remember that all of this – important as it is – is transitory. If history teaches anything, it’s that there will always be problems, and we’ll always argue about them. But truth, alas, is timeless and (should be, at least) above reproach.

“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth,” Jesus tells Pilate in today’s gospel passage from St. John. “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

© 2021 Words on the Word
13) Ascension Presents with Father Mike Schmitz:
Thanksgiving Special: Squanto

Do you know the story of Squanto? It could be seen as a prime example of a life filled with one tragedy after another. But in this special Thanksgiving video, Fr. Mike Schmitz offers a different perspective by showing how blessings can be found in even the most dismal situations. By realizing this truth in our own lives, we may learn to find God in the most unlikely places.
14) FORMED Pick of the Week:
Our parish has a subscription to FORMED, a premier online platform filled with over 4,000 Catholic studies, movies, audio dramas, talks, e-books, and even cartoons for our children. FORMED has content from over 60 apostolates, including Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press, and the Knights of Columbus, with material that is professionally produced, engaging, and solid in its catechism. Best of all, this material is free to you because of our parish subscription.

You have easy access to all of the material on FORMED to support your own faith journey and that of your family members.

You can enjoy FORMED on your computer or on your television with an inexpensive Roku device or Apple TV. You can even listen on your phone as you commute to work or do chores. 

To gain access to all of FORMED’s content, follow these simple steps:

  • Go to 
  • Enter our parish’s zip code 48080 or enter St. Joan of Arc
  • Enter your name and your email address
That’s it! You’re in. Now you can get the free FORMED app for your phone by searching FORMED Catholic in your app store.

15) Hallow App:
Are you looking for a one-stop app for prayer and meditation? Look no further than Hallow. Hallow is an awesome prayer app. Hallow is a Catholic prayer and meditation app that helps users deepen their relationship with God through audio-guided contemplative prayer sessions. The app launched 2 years ago and is already the #1 Catholic app in the world.
We have a number of parishioners who are already using the app and loving it (my mom being one of them and she is on the app most of the day). Great for praying alone or together with your spouse/family, Hallow truly has something for everyone, no matter what you are going through (see below for their different content categories).
Hallow is free to download and has tons of permanently free content, as well as a premium subscription, Hallow Plus.

To get started, simply click the button above/below to activate your free account on the Hallow website. Make sure to select “Sign Up with Email” when registering. For step-by-step instructions, you can visit this process guide. Enter the code stjoanofarcmi to obtain a discount on individual pro plans.
16) This Week on St. Joan of Arc LIVE:
This week's LIVE Stream
Schedule at St. Joan of Arc:

Monday (November 22):
7:00 AM - Mass

Tuesday (November 23):
7:00 AM - Mass
8:30 AM - All School Thanksgiving Mass
12:00 PM - Funeral for Amal Aranki

Wednesday (November 24):
7:00 AM - Mass
10:00 AM - Funeral for Frank Licata (Read Obituary HERE)

Thursday (November 25):
9:00 AM - Thanksgiving Day Mass

Friday (November 26):
7:00 AM - Mass
12:00 PM - Baptism of Theodore Ighani
1:00 PM - Baptism of Audrina R. Walters

Saturday (November 27):
10:30 AM - Mass and Baptisms for the Tobin Family
12:30 PM - Baptism of Elaina A. Puhy
1:30 PM - Baptism of Layne A. Desano
2:30 PM - Baptism of Jacob R. Eagen
4:00 PM - Mass
6:00 PM - Mass

Sunday (November 28):
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.
17) SJA's Bulletin for November 21, 2021
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to download a copy of our
Bulletin for November 21, 2021
The Solemnity of Christ the King

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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