Dear Friends in Christ,
Here are a few updates from our parish for the week of September 12, 2021.
1) Remembering 9-11: 'Not lost in vain’: Two decades after 9/11, archbishop, religious leaders honor fallen 
DETROIT — On a morning similar to the crisp, sunny dawn that broke over New York City two decades ago, about 200 people gathered on the Detroit Riverfront to pay tribute to the fallen, honor the victims and first responders and pledge never to forget the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Joined by Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders, most of those in attendance were service personnel — including members of the Detroit Police Department, firefighters, Border Patrol, federal agents and various branches of the military. 

In a spirit of unity and prayer, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron offered the morning’s opening invocation, standing in a plaza beneath Detroit’s Renaissance Center, with the Detroit River behind him.

2) Parking Lots
Well, the first lot is done ... almost! AMEN! Thanks for your understanding. We've learned that the project stretches into two days, so we'll be prepared for that reality the next two Saturdays! We will have signs next weekend directing people where to park as we did this weekend.

Here's the remaining schedule for the work to be done:

Saturday, September 18: the “Bank Lot” on the north side of St. Joan Street, as well as the Athletic Field Lot

Saturday, September 25: the main Mack lot and the small “Teachers’ Lot” next to Fr. Andrew’s house

This will undoubtedly bring a bit of confusion for parking for masses and Athletic events these next two Saturdays, but, as I've mentioned, we had to be creative in scheduling the work so it could be done before winter.
We’ve attempted to seal coat and repair the lots for several years, but COVID got in the way. So I’m glad we’re finally able to accomplish this task before all that white stuff arrives. The total cost of the project is $29,995.00

Thanks for your generosity that makes a project like this possible!
3) Upcoming Protecting God's Children Workshops:
As we start a new school year and as we continue to get back to some "normalcy," there will be a need for people to complete a Protecting God's Children workshop. We have several upcoming workshops that are available. Two workshops are in person at SJA (with social distancing being practiced), and two will be conducted entirely by zoom.

  • Monday, September 20, 2021 from 6pm-9pm (@ SJA)
  • Tuesday, October 12, 2021 from 6pm-9pm (online zoom)
  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021 from 6pm-9pm (@ SJA)
  • Monday, October 18, 2021 from 6pm-9pm (online zoom)

What is VIRTUS® Protecting God's Children training?

The Protecting God’s Children program is the VIRTUS program aimed at protecting children from child sexual abuse. Protecting God’s Children is a 3-hour awareness session for adults in the faith community who interact with minors.

Participants are taught to identify situations that could leave a child vulnerable, the signs that a child may have experienced abuse, the methods of sexual offenders, and critical steps to help prevent abuse. The program has trained more than 101,000 adults in Archdiocese of Detroit parishes, schools, and other ministries, creating a united faith community that is uniquely qualified to protect our children.

Who is required to attend Protecting God's Children workshops?

All clergy working in the Archdiocese of Detroit
All adult paid employees of Central Services, Parishes, and Catholic Schools
All adult volunteers who have regular and/or unsupervised contact with minors

To register for a workshop, click on the following button (Registration is required):

4) Family Formation at SJA
This year at St. Joan of Arc, we are moving into a new exciting family faith formation model. This is something we've been interested in pursuing, and with prayer, the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and a little help from Covid-19, we feel the Lord is directing us with great purpose to move in this direction. Watch the informational video below and follow the link for details, dates, and registration. Our program is for students in grades K-8. 

Important note - students entering 7th grade this year will also begin preparing for their Confirmation for 2023.
If you have a financial need or are unable to pay in full at this time - please contact Kristine Hass at
Also - if you feel you are being called to be part of this program as a helper or a catechist - please email Mrs. Hass or call the Faith Formation office at 586-772-1282. We'd love to have you!
5) 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!
6) 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.
7) SJA's CSA Update as of September 11, 2021
I am grateful to those who have already contributed to CSA 2021. As of today, we have $159,434 in pledges and gifts toward our $217,002 goal ($141,014 has been paid thus far toward our total pledged amount). This amount represents gifts from 460 families (we have 3,249 families registered). We have thus achieved 73% of our goal!
Here is a breakdown by gift range:
$2,500+ (5)
$1,000+ (33)
$500+ (43)
$250+ (92)
$100+ (172)
$75+ (13)
$50+ (58)
$25+ (27)
$10+ (15)
$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.
8) This Sunday's Readings - September 12, 2021
9) Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word - Reflections on the Sunday Readings
In this week’s Encountering the Word video for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jeff Cavins asks “What does it mean to be Christian?”
10) Grow+Go for the 24th 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.
11) 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.
12) This Week's Edition of TALLer Tales
Sticking to the Day Job: I guess I’ll never learn. I know enough information about some things to get me in trouble; I then rely on YouTube videos for the stuff I don’t know too much about! Even with the help of YouTube videos, I’d be better off sticking to my day job!
The backdrop to this story is that the previous day of the event in question was “moving day” for those Fire King Safes that Deacon Tom, Tony Latarski, and I moved from a warehouse in Livonia to the Parish Center. From my previous article about moving those Fire King safes, you may recall that we had some torrential rainstorms to deal with that day. I was soaking wet by the end of the day because there was no real way to be protected from all that rain while trying to move those safes. So, keep the torrential rainstorms in mind as a backdrop to this story.
As one whose uniform is all black clothing, I can attest that there are MANY shades of black. People laugh at me when I say I’m going home to get into my better suit for a special event or liturgy because that means I’m switching to a real suit rather than a separate suit coat and pants combo; with my real suits, my black pants and suitcoat will match! Rarely do my separate suit coat and pants combo have the same shade of black. Even worse is the situation with my clerical shirts. They quickly go from a deep black to a greyish black after a year of washing, even when you rotate through 7 shirts like I do and use all those “supposed” special dark color laundry detergents.
I recently ordered some new shirts, but because they’re all custom made because of my size, it sometimes takes up to three months for them to arrive. So, being impatient and wanting to get rid of my now grayish-black clerical shirts, I decided to try dying them. I did this once before, but it didn’t yield favorable results. So, I was a little skeptical about doing it again, but I was willing to give it a try. So, I decided to watch a few YouTube videos and read all the instructions on the Rit Dye website for doing this project in a washing machine. Having thus earned a Ph.D. it Rit Dying, I decided I would give it a try.
I followed the instructions and loaded the stainless steel tub in my wash machine with hot water, two cups of salt, my shirts, and two bottles of Rit Black Dye. As I closed the lid, I said a little prayer because I had visions of destroying my wash machine in the process. After all, even I acknowledge my projects often backfire on me!
I watched the process through the glass lid of my wash machine and continued to say some prayers it would work out. I left for a bit and returned toward the end of the wash cycle. I almost gasped because my white laundry tub was no longer white, and my once shiny steel mesh lint trap was now black. I feared the inside of my wash machine would look the same. After the wash cycle, I cautiously opened the lid, expecting to see a disaster inside but found my stainless steel drum still intact. I moved the shirts around and did a rinse cycle as suggested. After that was done, I did a complete wash cycle again to get any remaining dye out of the shirts. They eventually got sent to the dyer (and I was hoping the heat would bake any remaining dye into those shirts). When all was said and done, I hung my shirts and was somewhat impressed with my work. They were undoubtedly more black than before, but I wasn’t sure the difference in color was worth all the effort that went into making this work. I tried scrubbing down my laundry tub and did my best to “erase” as much of the black ring as I could. But I now had some not so grayish-black shirts to hold me over until the new ones arrived.
Now, back to the day after the Fire King safe move day. I got up at my usual time and started getting ready for the day. When I got to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, it looked like the seams of my t-shirt had lint on them or something. I was still a bit groggy, so I wasn’t sure if I was seeing correctly. My glasses usually don’t make their way onto my face until I’m completely dressed, so I didn’t have my glasses on yet. As I picked at the seams, there was no lint to be found. I was now confused. I retrieved my glasses and confirmed there was no lint on my t-shirt, but it was indeed black. Upon further inspection, I discovered not only were the seams black, but the ENTIRE back of the t-shirt had huge splotches of black blobs all over it. It took me a minute, but then it dawned on me that my rain-soaked, newly dyed black clerical shirt “oozed” onto my t-shirt in the rain. So much for all those extra washings. This is why I should stick to my day job … or just wait for the new shirts to arrive! A Special Gift for You! I want to call your attention to the Formed Pick of the Week flyer that we now include every week in our bulletin from We have a parish subscription to FORMED, which gives each of you unlimited access to the wealth of material available on the FORMED website. There is something for all ages: movies, video studies, an audio bible, audiobooks, testimonies, and other inspiriting talks and e-books. Even better, FORMED has an app so that you can have all of these resources available with just one click anytime and anywhere.
I’m always amazed by how many Catholics will share how they wish they could learn more about their faith, but they don’t have time to attend programs or events at the parish. Well, my friends, FORMED can help feed that quest for knowledge and help you build a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. So I encourage you to start a subscription to FORMED.ORG and start delving deeper into your faith. It’s free to you as a parishioner of SJA, and it’s available anytime! Simply go to, sign up as a parishioner, enter St. Joan of Arc, and select the St. Joan of Arc Parish in Saint Clair Shores. It’s that simple.
Parking Lots: By the time you read this, we hope that the lot between the Church and School will be in the middle of being seal coated, the festival tent stake holes and cracks finally plugged, and the lots restriped and ready for winter. Then on Saturday, September 18, the “Bank Lot” on the north side of St. Joan Street, as well as the Athletic Field Lot, will be done. Finally, on Saturday, September 25, the main Mack lot and the small “Teachers’ Lot” next to Fr. Andrew’s house will be worked on. This will undoubtedly bring a bit of confusion for parking for masses and Athletic events these three Saturdays, but we had to be creative in scheduling the work so it could be done before winter.
We’ve attempted to seal coat and repair the lots for several years, but COVID got in the way. So I’m glad we’re finally able to accomplish this task before all that white stuff arrives. The total cost of the project is $29,995.00. So, get ready to welcome some newly seal coated, repaired, and striped lots! Thanks for your generosity that makes a project like this possible!
Enjoy the week. Know of my prayers!

In Christ,
Msgr Mike Simply Signature
13) Tire Tracks in the d’Arc
Back to School: With the school year now underway, I was reflecting on my own school career as I begin grade 41. Six weeks was all I used to get in the British school system. That was our summer. If we were lucky the sun might have come out at some point during that time, but no guarantees. Six weeks of “get outside… and come home when the street lights come on!” It would all come crashing-down when mom said, “We’re going to Natasha’s tomorrow.” Natasha’s was the little local school uniform shop. My schools had strict uniform codes. I wore a school tie from 10 years old and up. But there always seemed to be the kids who somehow got away with the cooler, but not quite regulation items. That wasn't going to fly with my mom. She adhered to the code down to the last comma and period. So I couldn’t stand the annual trip to Natasha’s as the measuring-tape came out of mom’s bag and a line of new, starch-stiffened boring gray shirts were pulled from the shelf. Those shirts were a reminder, taunting me about the up-coming school year. Natasha’s was the only show in town for all the local schools. But it only became a part of my back-to-school regiment for my third school. My first school was a very small, very much the old country schoolhouse. Lee Green school, with the stone walls and slate roof was too small to stay open and it closed after my second year in the same classroom. They turned it into two homes.
It was kind of a traumatic moment in the life of this 7 year old. My friends all went to Crowlees Primary school, but my parents decided Knowl First School would be better for me. It was another small school, maybe 75 students. It was actually only about 150 yards from our house, but thanks to crazy Yorkshire roads, it was about a mile walk without climbing over the neighbor’s fences. Knowl school was again a very traditional-looking schoolhouse building, but with a stone bell-tower in the center. Today the building remains, but it’s been turned into the town’s community center.
Two years at Knowl and it was time for middle-school, which in Yorkshire always meant a change in schools again. So it was off to Castle Hall Middle School, a mile in the other direction. I would walk there every day, uphill both ways. There was “the long way,” via Cam Lane, which took me past the house where the actor Patrick Stewart, aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise, was born; “the middle way,” which was almost as long, but by-passed his house and took us down one of Yorkshire’s famous “snickets” - a public footpath between houses that formed a short-cut from street to street; or there was “the short way” (we were so creative with the names!). The short way took us from snicket to snicket almost directly from the subdivision to the sports field behind the school.
It was at Castle Hall that I scored on my first try playing rugby; that I hit a six (like a home-run) in cricket with my poor thumb. Glory days! I recall some disappointing science experiments in Chemistry, and perhaps one overly-dramatic one…. we won’t talk about that one!…And by my 4th year at Castle Hall, I encountered Mr. Ward’s Math Problems on the 3rd floor, with the glass wall, overlooking the front field. I don’t think I had ever been that high up in a building in my town until that year!… Mr. Ward’s Math Problems were our weekly adventure of math homework from the most feared teacher in the school. Mr. Ward was a fierce man in his early-60s who always brandished a 36-inch wooden ruler and a scowl. I think he had a soft heart, but didn’t like to show it. He never once called me by my name. I was always “Jerry,” as in the Tom and Jerry cartoons. When he learned that my younger sister would be coming to the school, she already became “Little Jerry.”
But after 4 years at Castle Hall, it was time for high-school, and off to Mirfield High School—another mile in the other direction, or just one snicket away! There I spent my first year in a “temporary” classroom in the parking lot, a 30 year old cardboard hut built to cope with the school expanding to around 400 students.
In what would have been my Junior year, which we referred to as Sixth-Form, finally… I was freed of the annual Natasha’s uniform pilgrimage. Now I only had to find my own dress pants and shirt and tie of my own choosing. Freedom!! And by the end of high-school I said, “No more! Please, no more education.” I didn’t want to go to college. But that summer after senior year, I saw my classmates heading-off to colleges far and wide and wondered if I was missing-out. I decided to take a year out and work and then apply to colleges. And a year later I headed down to Plymouth in Devon, in the South West of England, which is a beautiful part of the country. My college was just 6 miles north of the English Channel and the departure point of the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower. Six miles to the north was Dartmoor National Park, another beautiful distraction for a break from studies. Three years at college and I had definitely had my fill of education this time. But it was that degree, not by my design, that qualified me for visa I needed to take-up a full-time position at Camp Sancta Maria in Gaylord. It was there that my conversion to the Catholic Church happened and it was while working there that I discerned the call to the priesthood… And that meant seminary and more of the education system!! And so, 13 years after I left college, I was back into full-time study…
As our students return to classes and to whatever victories and opportunities the coming school year will present to them, God is writing the story of their young lives and weaving them in and out of each other’s stories and memories. Let’s hold all of our students and teachers in prayer over this coming year. There will, no doubt, be several Math Problems, maybe a home-run or two, hopefully no overly-dramatic Chemistry experiments, but without a doubt, it’s all a step into the unknown plans God has in store for their lives. Let’s pray that they are open to following His lead through all the unexpected twists and turns as they continue to learn, not just academically, but to learn to hear and to recognize the voice and the heart of God calling them.
You are in my prayers this week.

Fr. Andrew

14) Words on the Word: September 12, 2021 - The Crosses We Bear

If someone was homeless for a time, and had to live out of their car, we might say they had carried a cross.

And if someone suffered from food poisoning while planning the funeral of a beloved uncle, and that food poisoning led to a seizure, which triggered a foot injury, which ultimately resulted in two broken legs, there, as well, we might say that person had carried a cross.

And if someone was born with an eye malady that nearly left her blind … well, there, too, we might say that person had carried a cross.

And, finally, when one notes that these same circumstances all have confronted the same, 73-year-old woman, there is no question she has carried her share of crosses in life.

This remarkable woman’s story was shared a few weeks ago in the Detroit Free Press. The point of the story wasn’t so much her struggles, though, as what she has chosen to make of her life.

She has earned four degrees and has taught and published. She walks 15 miles a week and works out two hours at a time at a Detroit playfield.

And, the story notes, “for the past nine years, she has conducted her own ‘campaign,’ which has provided items like clothes, shoes, blankets, sleeping bags, and … tablet computers to Detroit youths in need.”

The point is, everyone carries crosses – some larger, some smaller, some more frequently – but everyone has a choice of what to make of their circumstances.

“(Jesus) summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me,’” we hear in today’s gospel from St. Mark. “’For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.’”

© 2021, Words on the Word 
15) Ascension Presents with Father Mike Schmitz:
The Price of Forgiveness

Sometimes saying sorry just isn’t enough.

Chances are that you can remember a time you hurt someone through your actions. Maybe it was just missing something important to them, or letting your words slip to someone else, but whatever you did cost them something. And when your mistakes lead to someone in your life losing something, saying you’re sorry just isn’t enough.

Today, Fr. Mike explains why we have to ask people for forgiveness and not just say we’re sorry.
16) 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.
17) 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.
18) This Week on St. Joan of Arc LIVE:
This week's LIVE Stream
Schedule at St. Joan of Arc:

Monday (September 13):
7:00 AM - Mass
10:00 AM - Funeral for Josephine Mary Dehelean (Read Obituary Here)
6:30 PM - Baptism of Lanie Mae Beyer

Tuesday (September 14):
7:00 AM - Mass
10:00 AM - Funeral for Lillian Dreary (Read Obituary Here)

Wednesday (September 15):
7:00 AM - Mass

Thursday (September 16):
7:00 AM - Mass
7:00 PM - Holy Hour (Praise and Worship Music)

Friday (September 17):
7:00 AM - Mass

Saturday (September 18):
11:00 AM - Memorial Mass for Charles Sochowicz
12:30 PM - Baptism of Marley Jones Hoban
1:30 PM - Baptism of Magdalena June Faba
2:30 PM - Baptism of Fallyn B. Jamieson
4:00 PM - Mass
6:00 PM - Mass

Sunday (September 19):
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.
19) SJA's Bulletin for September 12, 2021
Click on the image below
to download a copy of our
Bulletin for September 12, 2021
The 24th 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.