Dear Friends in Christ,
Here are a few updates from our parish for the week of October 3, 2021.
1) Respect Life Month:
As we begin Respect Life Month, we look to St. Joseph, the defender of life, to pray for us and to help us achieve a greater respect for all human life in our world.

As I was reviewing some of Spirit Juice Studios great pro-life videos, I came across this one from the 2019 March for Life. I thought it was worth sharing with you as we begin Respect Life Month.
2) Blessing of Pets
3) School GALA: Saturday, October 16, 2021

  • The event is on Saturday, October 16, 2021. We’re returning to LOCHMOOR CLUB in GPW! And we’ve shifted this year’s event to the Fall.

  • The Gala is our largest fundraiser to benefit the school. 

  • Attend or buy raffle tickets to support this event.

  • We need your donations. Contact the School or Parish Center to learn how to donate Silent and Live Auction items.

  • There’s a spot for you. Join the Gala Planning Committee or volunteer to help the night of the Gala.

  • We ENCOURAGE everyone to dress in their favorite Bavarian attire for this year’s Gala. There will even be a BEST OUTFIT CONTEST!

  • The event includes Silent and Live Auctions, Raffles, Open Bar, Strolling Dinner, and Dancing. Dinner tickets are NOW ON SALE!


Pam Graskewicz (
Matt Wyszczelski (
Maybe you want to help sponsor one of the larger gifts we hope to auction off at the Gala. Much like we do for the annual Sponsorship Appeal, we are looking for donations of any kind to go towards some bigger ticket items. If you are interested in helping to sponsor a bigger ticket item, follow the link below.

Thanks for your support of Gala 2021!
4) 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 and at the Parish Center are general CSA brochures and envelopes that can be used to make a contribution to the CSA.
5) SJA's CSA Update as of October 3, 2021
I am grateful to those who have already contributed to CSA 2021. As of today, we have $165,929 in pledges and gifts toward our $217,002 goal ($150,885 has already been paid thus far toward our total pledged amount). This amount represents gifts from 509 families (we have 3,272 families registered). We have thus achieved 76% of our goal!
Here is a breakdown by gift range:
$2,500+ (5)
$1,000+ (34)
$500+ (44)
$250+ (97)
$100+ (192)
$75+ (14)
$50+ (63)
$25+ (36)
$10+ (22)
$0+ (2)
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 - October 3, 2021
7) Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word - Reflections on the Sunday Readings
In this Encountering the Word video for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jeff Cavins discusses the marks of a healthy marriage and a healthy relationship with the Lord.
8) Grow+Go for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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
What do I know? When it comes to sports trivia, well, and sports in general, I know very little. I’ll watch a football or hockey game, but that’s about it. I just don’t have the patience to waste hours chasing a golf ball or spend hours watching a football or hockey game. It’s just not my thing at all. Part of this comes from never being able to sit in the stands or stadiums for live games. Going to games or events is just torture at my size. With sporting events, I’m happy knowing enough to make it “sound like” I’m interested when people come back to school or work on Monday and talk about this or that great weekend play. I can “play the game” when I have to and sound like I’m interested and care. I guess you could say I know enough to fool people!
This past week, we had the funeral for Nick Newman, a 34-year-old who was tragically killed in a car accident in mid-September. Reading what his wife Jillian provided me and from what I saw at the funeral home, it’s a huge understatement to say that Nick was an enthusiastic Wolverine fan! Nick lived and breathed sports and U of M! Everything in the funeral home, and many of those who came to pay their respects were decked out in all things maize and blue! Jillian wanted to know if we could play the U of M fight song at the end of the funeral. While we couldn’t accommodate the request in Church, I was game to figure out how to play it outside as people were leaving the funeral. After all, we have the speakers, and I can do all of that from my phone! So, I left the funeral home, did some thinking, and hatched a plan.
As I thought about what to do, I figured it would be a sizeable crowd for the funeral. I then came up with the wild idea to ask the crowd to exit the Church at the end of the funeral and form somewhat of an honor guard going from the Sr. Carol entrance where the hearse would leave, down to Overlake, then up to the traffic light at Mack. I planned to cue up the infamous Michigan fight song, The Victors, and play that over the speakers while the hearse moved slowly through the crowd down to the traffic light. “The Victors” is one college fight songs I actually know and can sing!! I thought it would be a moving and touching tribute to Nick. But I had to count on my technology to work (remember, this is SJA) and that it would go off as I had concocted it in my mind.
Now, I have to give you the conclusion before I tell you what almost happened! The final tribute went off as planned. People diligently left the Church and followed my directions … that in itself was a massive feat. They lined up and formed the honor guard as I asked. It was cool to watch all of this unfold. Once the family was in place, and people were lined up, I gave the green light for the hearse to start moving. I then hit the play button on my phone and cranked up the volume. The hearse slowly moved through the crowd while “The Victors” was playing on all the speakers outside. I had it loud enough that people on Vernier could hear it! It was a very moving and touching ending as we bid farewell to Nick.
So, what almost happened? Well, I come up with these awesome ideas without a ton of time to plan them. So, I’m usually flying by the seat of my pants and just hoping and praying things go off as planned. Remember, I’m the quintessential Clark Griswold who does all this work, gathers the family, and then flips the switch only to have things go massively awry. With the funeral, I only had one chance. There was no turning back to correct my mistakes.
Before the funeral, I pulled up my Amazon Music app and searched for “Michigan Fight Song.” I cued up the first hit and created that one song as my playlist. I then walked outside to check the volume. After that, I played maybe a second or two of the song to ensure the volume was set right. After all, I wanted to make a big deal with this send-off. What I heard didn’t sound right or like what I’m used to hearing for the start of the U of M fight song, but I was too busy getting ready for the funeral to figure it all out. After all, what do I know? I just knew it was all set and ready for me to hit the play button.
Something, however, just didn’t sit right with me. I kept replaying in my mind what I heard in that two or three seconds of the song I played; I started to realize something was a miss. It wasn’t the Hail to the Victor’s I’m used to hearing. But, again, I was too busy getting ready for this big funeral that I just hoped and prayed this part worked. I figured if I had time I would listen to the whole song. I was confident my searching for “Michigan Fight Song” gave me the results I wanted.
I finally stopped and took the time to review my work. All I saw when I looked at my phone was a truncated title. It said “Michigan ….” But then I almost choked and started to laugh. It would have been a true Clark Griswold moment. Had I not looked beforehand, when I hit play on my phone as the hearse was leaving at the end of the funeral, I would have been blasting out “Victory for MSU” … Michigan State University’s Fight Song. That would have been a COLOSSAL blunder of massive proportions… one that many of those Wolverine fans who attended the funeral would not soon forget. Could you imagine what that honor guard would have been thinking? And I would have been like Clark Griswold or even Mr. Bean being so proud of my work that it would have taken way too long for me to realize something was wrong! Thank God my sports knowledge is enough to know what “The Victors” is supposed to sound like! This one was a close call!
Respect Life Month: With the beginning of October, Catholics worldwide celebrate Respect Life Month. With this year being dedicated as the Year of St. Joseph, this year’s celebration highlights the example of that great saint. Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, offered the following insights into this year’s theme. “As the faithful protector of both Jesus and Mary, we find in St. Joseph a profound reminder of our own call to welcome, safeguard, and defend God’s precious gift of human life…. Like St. Joseph, we are also called to care for those God has entrusted to us–especially vulnerable mothers and children. We can follow in the footsteps of St. Joseph as protector by advocating against taxpayer-funded abortion, which targets the lives of millions of poor children and their mothers here in the United States. We can imitate his care and provision by helping to start Walking with Moms in Need at our parishes, ‘walking in the shoes’ of mothers experiencing a difficult pregnancy, especially low-income mothers in our communities.”
“May we imitate St. Joseph’s faithful trust and courage as we work to uphold the dignity of every human life. St. Joseph, defender of life, pray for us!”
Enjoy the week. Know of my prayers!

In Christ,
Msgr Mike Simply Signature
11) Tire Tracks in the d’Arc
Thank you!: We were bowled over by the generosity of all those who offered a gift to the appeal last weekend for Leeland’s family, to help them purchase a wheelchair ramp for their son. Thank you to all who participated, and a special thank you to the 3rd grader from our school who heard the appeal at mass, wanted to help and brought some of his own money to the school door on Monday morning. That was a beautiful gift—thanks for being Jesus for Leeland! You are a real disciple.
It was interesting to note as I spoke to people after our masses that some wanted to help because they could relate to similar situations in their own families; others recognized how they have been so blessed with healthy children in their families and wanted to express their gratitude to God, while helping others.
As I mentioned last weekend, Leeland’s mom, Beth, asked primarily for our prayers, so the first step was to put an appeal out the St. Joan of Arc Prayer Warriors on Facebook for their prayers. I do not want to overlook thanking so many who responded to offer their prayers for the family. It’s a clear sign that though we are called to be workers in the vineyard, to help each other wherever we can, to share with others in need the resources that we have been blessed with, our work must begin in prayer. God is faithful. Through our prayers He will stir the hearts of His people, as He indeed did. Thank you for your compassion. Your generosity will allow Leeland’s parents to now purchase the much needed ramp for their son. You are amazing!
Speaking of prayer… 

I’ve had a number of conversations with parishioners recently about prayer along the lines of, “I want to pray. I know I should pray more, but I don’t feel I know how to.” The good news is that they’ve already overcome the first hurdle in being self-aware enough to know that they should be praying. Our lives are complex enough for us to hopefully at some point conclude that we need help from the one who has the answers we do not have for ourselves.
Secondly, the desire to pray is a great starting place. That should be the motivation to express the problem, i.e. the feeling that we don’t always know how to pray. Any internal feeling bears more fruit when it’s expressed outwardly instead of kept as an internal emotion. So if you don’t know how to pray, take the advice of an old spiritual director of mine. He would say on many topics we talked about, “Don’t have a monolog, have a dialog. “Don’t tell yourself, ’I don’t know how to pray,’ tell God, “Lord, I don’t know how to pray. Show me how to pray.” And what do you know, you are already praying – you are talking to God.
Always be real with God. Tell Him how you’re feeling, what’s going on in your world, in your heart, in your mind – the good, the bad and the ugly. You’re not going to fool God if you’re not being honest with Him. He knows it already, but He just wants to hear in from you as a sign that you trust that He’s there and involved, that He wants to be included in your life and wants to include you in His.
We have entered into this month of October, a month the Church dedicates to the Blessed Mother, who did not refrain from asking her Son for favors when in need. She expressed the need to save the wedding party from embarrassment when the wine jars ran dry in Cana, and she told the servants to “Do whatever He tells you,” trusting entirely that Jesus would hear her petition and provide assistance. Mary is a great intercessor and provider of favors. October 7th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
October offers us the opportunity to focus on life in all its beautiful states. We often associate “Respect Life” month in the campaign against abortion, but as Leeland’s story illustrates, we are called to support life and all life-giving vocations that fall between conception and natural death. That means being equally supportive of young family’s decision to choose life as we are of marriage, religious vocations and those in the final days of life.
Our readings today call us to reflect on the sanctity of marriage. Mary and Joseph are a great example for couples today of endurance under great trial and the weight of responsibility. We can be assured that they would have prayed together. Prayer is so much more that the spiritual wrapper to remove before beginning your meal. Grace before meals is a great practice for families, but it is only giving thanks to God, who we acknowledge as the one who provides for our needs. And if we acknowledge this, why would we not turn to Him at other times in our day?
How Prayer Builds Your Marriage

1. Prayer unites you spiritually before God. By coming before God you are naturally uniting your hearts for one common end. This is God’s design for prayer in your marriage.
2. Prayer encourages humility and honesty. If you want to grow in your prayer life together, it is necessary to honestly bear your soul before your spouse as well as before God. 
3. Prayer develops and deepens your communication. When you describe your commitment in prayer to obey and follow Christ, you are communicating to your spouse that he or she can trust that you will be committed to fulfilling all your responsibilities in your marriage too.
4. Prayer establishes deeper companionship. The key issues that hinder real companionship are independence, pride, and a lack of communication, problems are naturally addressed by the first 3 points. As you humbly pray with one another, communicating your needs before God, you will automatically grow in a spiritual unity with one another which results in a deeper companionship. 
5. Your marriage will be built up because you will be built up. Don’t miss what God wants to do in this area of your marriage because of independence, pride, or fear. Open your heart and ask the Father to work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). 
How can you make the practical changes needed to pray together?

1) Find a mutually agreeable time;
2) Keep the prayer time short;
3) Keep it personal and about your day;
4) Pray for your marriage and for each other. 
You are in my prayers this week.

Fr. Andrew

12) Words on the Word: October 3, 2021 - Bridge to Heaven

Northern Michigan – let’s define that as, say, from the Mackinac Bridge and northward from there – can in many ways be considered a little slice of heaven.

So, a bridge in northern Michigan – including the Mackinac Bridge, of course – could be considered a bridge to a little slice of heaven.

It’s interesting, then, that northern Michigan bridges were in the news a few times over the last few weeks.

One story on the M-Live portal reported that anyone who wished could buy a small piece of the Mackinac Bridge’s grate for $20. All one has to do is stop by the bridge’s office, pay up, and take home a little piece of history; symbolic as that would be of so many northern Michigan memories.

Another story, also on the M-Live portal, reported on a pedestrian bridge being put in place at Lower Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula. The bridge is intended to make it easier for people to hike at that particular slice of heaven.

Bridges to heaven.

In a sense, that’s the function that Jesus fulfilled. The Word, who always was with God, became incarnate, entering time and space, in order to enable us to be with God eternally in Heaven. In that way, he clearly was – and is – a bridge to Heaven.

The beauty and serenity of Northern Michigan is, perhaps, an earthly parallel to this profoundly wonderful reality.

“Brothers and sisters: He ‘for a little while’ was made ‘lower than the angels,’” St. Paul writes to the Hebrews in today’s second reading, “that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

“For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.

© 2021, Words on the Word 
13) Baby Bottle Drive to Support Mary's Mantle
14) Ascension Presents with Father Mike Schmitz:
Who Is Influencing You? And Why?

Do you find that you give others too much influence over your mood and emotions? Do you find yourself caught in a cycle of judging all your choices based on what others think about that decision?

Today, Fr. Mike reflects on the role of positive and negative influences in our lives and how to discern if we are giving others too much power over our lives.
15) 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.

16) 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.
17) This Week on St. Joan of Arc LIVE:
This week's LIVE Stream
Schedule at St. Joan of Arc:

Monday (October 4):
7:00 AM - Mass

Tuesday (October 5):
7:00 AM - Mass

Wednesday (October 6):
7:00 AM - Mass
10:00 AM - Funeral for Lawrence Varga (Read Obituary HERE)

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

Friday (October 8):
7:00 AM - Mass
10:00 AM - Funeral for Christine Burgess (Read Obituary HERE)

Saturday (October 9):

1:00 PM - Wedding of Bridget Barrett and Johnny Drop
4:00 PM - Mass
6:00 PM - Mass

Sunday (October 10):
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.
18) SJA's Bulletin for October 3, 2021
Click on the image below
to download a copy of our
Bulletin for October 3, 2021
The 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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.