Dear Friends in Christ,
Here are a few updates from our parish for the week of September 5, 2021.
1) Labor Day Mass
Please join us at 7 AM for our normal daily Mass on Labor Day. You can also join fellow parishioners from St. Joan, Our Lady Star of the Sea, and St. Lucy Parishes for Mass at 9 AM at St. Lucy Parish.

Please join us as we pray that the labor we undertake “may bring progress in this life and by [God’s] favor, advance the spread of the Kingdom of Christ (Collect, Mass for the Sanctification of Human Labor).”
2) Parking Lots
Over the course of the next 3 Saturdays, we will be doing some much-needed repair and maintenance to our parking lots. Each of the lots will be seal-coated, holes and cracks plugged, the lots restriped and the parking bumper blocks repainted.

Here's the schedule of which lots will be done when:

Saturday, September 11: the lot between the Church and the School

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 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!
3) 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!
4) School GALA: 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!


Pam Graskewicz (
Matt Wyszczelski (
5) 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.
6) SJA's CSA Update as of September 4, 2021
I am grateful to those who have already contributed to CSA 2021. As of today, we have $157,984 in pledges and gifts toward our $217,002 goal ($139,891 has been paid thus far toward our total pledged amount). This amount represents gifts from 455 families (we have 3,246 families registered). We have thus achieved 73% of our goal!
Here is a breakdown by gift range:
$2,500+ (5)
$1,000+ (33)
$500+ (42)
$250+ (91)
$100+ (169)
$75+ (13)
$50+ (57)
$25+ (27)
$10+ (15)
$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.
7) This Sunday's Readings - September 5, 2021
8) Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word - Reflections on the Sunday Readings
In this weeks Encountering the Word, Jeff Cavins reflects on showing partiality and judgement towards others.
9) Grow+Go for the 23rd 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.
10) 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.
11) This Week's Edition of TALLer Tales
When Technology Backfires: As I’ve mentioned over the past several weeks, my family and I have spent the last month clearing out my mom’s condo so that some much-needed renovations could take place. My parents moved into the condo in the early nineties, and they haven’t touched it or upgraded anything since then. SO, it was time to “freshen” it up a bit.
In anticipation of the work, we’ve been going through a bunch of junk in the basement and throwing out a ton of stuff. We thought a bit of clearing would be great, and then we only had to move things to the center of the rooms to get things ready for the renovation work. But then the contractor dropped a bombshell on us. He wanted us to empty the condo as best we could so they could come in and work unhindered. EMPTY. THE. CONDO? You’ve got to be kidding? UGH! Believe me, the EMPTY THE CONDO experience will generate a few TALLer Tales articles. This article is only ONE of those stories!
Emptying the condo and moving things into a storage unit has given us the chance to look through everything and toss a ton of stuff. It’s also allowed my mom to give away a few things. One more prominent item leaving the condo was a curio cabinet that my sister Jackie said she would love to have at her house. So my mom told Jackie it was now hers.
Jackie was excited to be the new owner of this curio cabinet. She knew exactly where it would land in her house. She just had to figure out how to tell my brother-in-law Lonnie they were now the proud owners of a new curio cabinet. I’ve been around enough with a mom and my sisters, and then having an office filled with wives that “sneaking” things into a house can be a full-time challenge. But sneaking in a curio cabinet could prove to be quite complicated.
On the day all of this was taking place, Lonnie was out having dinner with some friends, so he wasn’t at the condo to watch all this unfold … so we thought. I told Jackie I would help load the curio cabinet into her car, and then she could break the news to Lonnie when she got home.
So Jackie, our niece McKenzie, and I gently maneuvered the curio cabinet out of the condo, through the garage and into the back of her car. I thought I had accurately measured the thing to make sure it fit, but I was off a bit. So, it took some time to move her front seat forward enough before we could push it into place and close the hatch. Eventually, it all worked, and the curio cabinet was now secure in Jackie’s car.
As Jackie was pulling out of my mom’s driveway, she got a call from Lonnie. He wanted to know what the big thing was we were putting into the back of her car. Jackie was stunned. “How in the world did you know we put something into the back of my car?” “Well,” Lonnie answered, “I was waiting here at the restaurant for my buddies to show up and decided to check out mom’s garage ring camera to see what was happening at the condo. That’s when I saw you guys struggling to put something into the back of the car. So, what’s coming to our house now?” Who would have thought he was watching all of this unfold. The timing was impeccable! We all had a good laugh over this one. I guess my technology backfired on me a bit. But at least Jackie didn’t have to break the news now about the curio cabinet when she got home. So much for trying to sneak this one into the house.
“The devil loves noise; Christ looks for silence.” I often have this quote on the front sign. The quote is attributed to St. Ambrose. Yes, the devil loves noise. With lots of noise, the devil is able to complicate or even cease our conversation with God. Christ looks for silence so he can enter into dialogue with us.
Silence has become somewhat of a lost reality in our lives. There is noise everywhere! Unfortunately, we have become so accustomed to noise, and lots of it, that we have grown uncomfortable with silence and even stillness, for that matter. Prayer, which is an essential ingredient to the Christian life, REQUIRES both silence and stillness. I believe that because we have grown so uncomfortable with silence and stillness, many have difficulties then entering into any form of prayer. It’s not that they don’t want to pray; they don’t know how to deal with the silence and the stillness.
Cardinal Dolan, in his book Advent Reflections, quotes a Cistercian monk and spiritual writer, John Walgrave, who makes an interesting claim about our modern society: “You must keep in mind that the contemporary world presents a conspiracy against the silence that is essential for the development of the interior life.”
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) the psalmist says. We also have the voice of God at the transfiguration telling us, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” As we enter into the fall with all the uptick in activity the fall brings, may we find time, schedule time, to be still in the presence of God, and do all that we can to listen to him! We will be better people because of that silence and stillness before God!
Are you interested in being baptized or converting to Catholicism? Are you an adult who needs to be confirmed? If your answer is YES to either question, please leave a message at the Parish Center (586-777-3670 or by email at for information about our forthcoming RCIA classes. The RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. While the title would imply it’s only for adults, a fair number of children go through the program too but on a different track designed for them.
One of the concerns people often raise is the time commitment. Don’t worry about the time commitment. While we have a formal schedule, we know that special arrangements have to be made from time to time because of work or home obligations. So, if you are interested in learning more, please talk to a pastoral staff member before or after mass or call the Parish Center for more information.
Labor Day Mass: We will still have our usual 7 AM Mass on Monday morning. You also have the option of attending Mass at St. Lucy Parish at 9 AM with other parishioners from our parish, St. Lucy, and Our Lady Star of the Sea Parishes. Please join us as we pray that the labor we undertake “may bring progress in this life and by [God’s] favor, advance the spread of the Kingdom of Christ (Collect, Mass for the Sanctification of Human Labor).”
Enjoy the week. Know of my prayers!

In Christ,
Msgr Mike Simply Signature
12) Tire Tracks in the d’Arc
New Beginnings: If Labor Day is the unofficial end of the summer, it must also be the start of something new. New school year, new schedules, new responsibilities, new challenges, new opportunities. What’s changing for you? That might be an easy question to answer. But the real question ought to be what are you going to change? We are constantly being called by the Lord to a deeper conversion – and that means change. Some of us don’t like change. We like comfortable, known, predictable experiences, we like things the way they’ve always been. Well, okay, we can keep it that way, do everything the same way and miss the newness of the season and the opportunities it brings. But then we shouldn’t be surprised if the things we’ve always wished were better stay the same too. What might we be cutting ourselves off from? And in what ways are we limiting God from doing incredible things in us, through us and for us?
Today we live in a world that so values science. For every effect, there is a measurable cause. So applying the same scientific thinking to our spiritual life should not raise any surprises. 
If we find ourselves constantly lacking peace in our lives, bothered by even the smallest incidents or comments; if we feel overwhelmed and overburdened by our workload and responsibilities, what might be the cause? Maybe it’s not how much we’re carrying, but that we’re doing it all alone – that we’ve never invited the Lord to carry it. Maybe it never occurred to us to make that the subject of our prayer. Begin anew. Invite Him in. If you’re finding mass to be “boring” or you’re “not getting anything out of it,” or “it’s too long” what’s the cause? Can a celebration that has existed in practically the same format for 2,000 years really be at fault here? Or could it be that you’ve missed something? What does our commitment look like? Do you arrive late and miss the chance for forgiveness of minor sins offered by the Penitential Rite at the beginning of the mass? Might those unforgiven sins that, as a result, still blemish our soul be the cause of our lack of our internal peace? Or do we leave early and miss God’s blessings upon the up-coming week’s challenges. Then no surprises if the week turns out to be far more challenging that you’d hoped - cause and effect.
Do we only make it to mass every other Sunday, or once a month? Punching-in and punching-out doesn’t allow us to develop a relationship with the Lord, so it’s no wonder some people struggle to understand what we’re doing at mass.
What we’re doing is celebrating a relationship. Fundamentally, that’s what underlies it all. But you can’t celebrate a relationship if you’ve never worked on developing one. Try knocking on the door of a total stranger and when they answer hand them a balloon and a cake and tell them, “I’m here to celebrate our friendship!” Relationships take time and effort to develop. Being able to enjoy time spent celebrating that relationship is the result. No surprises - cause and effect.
The great gift God gives time and time again is the opportunity to begin anew. That gift starts with our baptism, continues with His graces offered in the mass and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Every time, we begin again.
Let’s be humble enough to recognize where a new beginning is needed in our spiritual life. Every day is a new opportunity to recommit, start over and grow, to search deeper within ourselves for the great beauty of the soul God wishes to animate. Today, this week, this new school year, really can be a new beginning. Re-commit to our faith, and our relationship with God, with family and friends and with the world. Do this and we will grow in ways we can hardly imagine. It’s just cause and effect.
Lastly, in celebration of God permitting us to participate in His work of creation, rest is an essential ingredient. A barbeque and good company makes for a restful Labor Day and great enjoyment. It’s just cause and effect!
New Season, New Programs: Speaking of the mass, one of the new programs to be offered this Fall is a wonderful offering from Ascension Press called, A Biblical Walk Through the Mass. I was a participant in this program 10 years ago but it has been re-worked to be based around a beautiful video presentation that takes us through the different rites of the mass, from the opening sign of the cross to the closing blessing. The videos trace the origin of each of the rites from their foundation in the scriptural texts and takes time to explain how what the biblical story tells us applies to what we are doing in that moment of the mass.
Taking this class myself in a parish gave me such a better understanding of the mass and even reviewing some of the material again as we considered running this program, I again was being reminded of things that are easy even for a priest to forget. I think about this every time I say “Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church” during the Eucharistic prayer. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “oblation” outside of mass or a seminary class and I wonder if people are following what we are praying together.
I remember when I learned that the Responsorial Psalm we sing at mass is not simply called Responsorial because the cantor sings and we respond, but because the Psalm itself responds to the first reading. That was a revelation to me that helped me to often see the link between the readings, and the themes being spoken of by them. I mentioned last Sunday in my homily that we have to be careful that our devotions do not become robotic—that instead we learn to pray intentionally, reflecting about what we are doing and saying, so that our prayer comes from the heart and not simply from our mouths. If we don’t understand the actions and the words of the mass, we run the risk of just saying words to God, and we never really “Lift up our hearts to the Lord.” (heard that at mass?... it’s from Lamentations 3:41).
This video series will begin this Fall (date to be announced) and run weekly for 5 weeks. The prep time for each session is probably 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If you find you are unable to do all the prep for a session, don’t worry about it, but the doing the prep will allow you and others participating to benefit the most from each session.
The mass transcends time and space as it makes present to us the life, death, Resurrection and Ascension of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. The mass is steeped in the Word of God throughout. Why would we not want to understand that more? Look out for details of the materials needed and dates for the sessions in the coming weeks.
You are in my prayers this week.

Fr. Andrew

13) Words on the Word: September 5, 2021 - A Fine Line!

Jesus does a couple very interesting things in today’s gospel – one miraculous, the other noteworthy.

First, he heals the deaf man with a speech impediment, just as he heals countless others throughout the gospel narratives.

Then, he gives those nearby who witnessed the miracle a directive:

“He ordered them not to tell anyone,” St. Mark writes. “But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished, and they said, ‘He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’”

One might have been reminded of that gospel passage, coincidentally, a few weeks ago, when a tightrope – yes, a tightrope – made local headlines. A casino in West Michigan commemorated the opening of a second, 8-story hotel tower by bringing in a well-known tightrope walker to put on a show at the grand opening ceremony. The daredevil walked across a 450-foot-long tightrope that was suspended eight stories above the ground. A precarious display, to be sure.

Our spiritual lives might similarly offer situations in which we find ourselves walking a proverbial tightrope. Consider a circumstance, for example, in which a friend or family member might be considering making – or already has made – a morally compromised decision.

On the one hand, we might understandably be compelled to speak out, to offer direction, based in our faith, for what they should do.

On the other hand, we might also know their reflexive action will be to resist or reject that direction, believing that such a perspective is irrelevant to their circumstances.

Thus, the tightrope. The good news is that God is there, ready to help us speak and them hear, even if it might seem as if we’re operating precariously, without a rope or a net.

© 2021, Words on the Word 
14) Ascension Presents with Father Mike Schmitz:
When You're Discouraged

It’s not unusual to experience discouragement on the road to holiness, especially when we live in a world that is filled with temptations and persecution. With God on our side, nothing the devil can do will ever prevail over us. However, it’s the moment we become too discouraged to ask God for help that the devil is waiting for. So how can we prevent this from happening?

Today, Fr. Mike explains the root of discouragement in our faith journey, and how to keep leaning on God through that struggle.
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 (September 6):
7:00 AM - Mass

Tuesday (September 7):
7:00 AM - Mass

Wednesday (September 8):
7:00 AM - Mass
12:00 PM - Funeral for David Pochmara (Read Obituary HERE).

Thursday (September 9):
7:00 AM - Mass
7:00 PM - Holy Hour (Praise and Worship Music)

Friday (September 10):
7:00 AM - Mass
10:00 AM - Funeral for Patricia Higgins (Read Obituary HERE).

Saturday (September 11):
10:00 AM - Funeral for Susan Kafka
12:30 PM - Baptism of Kirk Abello and Olivia Abello
1:30 PM - Baptism of Joseph Salvatore Imbrunnone
2:30 PM - Baptism of Landon Michael Gadde
4:00 PM - Mass
6:00 PM - Mass

Sunday (September 12):
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 September 5, 2021
Click on the image below
to download a copy of our
Bulletin for September 5, 2021
The 23rd 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.