Over the next four weeks our Gospel at Mass will be from the sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel. This is the beautiful and profound “Bread of Life” discourse. In John’s Gospel, there is no “institution narrative” of Jesus giving us the Eucharist at the Last Supper as we find in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Rather, we have Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in the midst of the Last Supper. John’s treatment of the Sacrament of the Eucharist is this lengthy discourse in Chapter Six. Since the Eucharist is so connected with the Mass, I thought I would use the next few weeks to remind us of some of the practical matters of celebrating Mass here at St. Joan of Arc.
One thing that you may have noticed: we have been using a Common Psalm for the Responsorial Psalm at Mass these past couple of weeks. A Common Psalm is one that can be used for the different seasons of the Church year. There are common psalms for Advent, Lent, Easter and, as we are doing now, in Ordinary Time. The Common Psalm thematically connects the different Sundays within a season. For example, these next four weeks we will be using “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord”, which is perfect as we reflect upon the Eucharist. The Common Psalm can be found on the worship aid in the back of the hymnal. It will NOT be found on the page with the Sunday readings. Since just the refrain is in the worship aid, listen carefully to the cantor as he or she chants the verses. The Church give us many options within the Liturgy. We are just using the option of using the Common Psalms!
The month of July brings us many beautiful feast days in the liturgical calendar. Each saint speaks to us of how we are called to live as Christians in our own unique time and place. Each of us has a vocation and only when we hear and follow God’s call do we really find happiness and joy. Let’s look at a few:
Saint Thomas (July 3) - Known in history as “doubting Thomas”, this apostle is remembered as a great missionary. Tradition tells us that he brought the Gospel to India and to this day many Christians there proudly call themselves “Saint Thomas
Saint Benedict (July 11) - This great saint is a seminal figure in both the history of the Church and the history of Western Civilization. Considered the founder of western monasticism, he is an example of those called to the religious life.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14) - The “Lily of the Mohawks”, Kateri faced opposition from family and tribe to follow Jesus. She is a wonderful example of humility and chastity, especially for those who remain single throughout their lives.
Saints Joachim and Ann (July 26) - This married man and woman were parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. They found their great calling in the midst of married life.
Apostle and missionary; monk or priest or nun; single person; husband and wife, parent and grandparent: each is called to live a life of holiness. So am I and so are you! Come to know your vocation, be faithful to it and become the saint that God has created you to be!
July is usually a sleepy month in most parishes and things have slowed down a bit since the flurry of activity surrounding the end of school and the parish festival. Of course, here at St. Joan of Arc, we have a large number of weddings (I would venture to say the most in the diocese) and that is always a good thing. But this July we are seeing a lot of work being done in the parish. The hallway in the Education Center (from the gymnasium all the way to the end of the building near the Parish Center) is being painted and a new floor is being laid. In blues and golds and light grey (you all know by now I like a grey
color scheme), it is going to look great. We have also already begun readying the cafeteria to become our new Parish Social Hall by laying a new floor in wood tones. It is amazing how big the place looks! Although it does remind me how much the rest of the room needs updated! Along with the interior renovations, we have been doing a lot of outdoor work with trimming trees and doing landscaping. (A special thanks to the parishioner who gave us a good amount of money to freshen up the landscaping!) Most of the work will be done by the beginning of August so then you can stop over and see the improvements! Updating and maintaining and freshening up is all part of good stewardship for any parish. I hope you like the end product!
Our parish community welcomes these newly baptized children of God:
We congratulate and rejoice with these couples of our parish community
whom recently united in marriage:
Jarrod Shutter & Caley Clement
Cody Woods & Denise Marlin
Kevin Klawitter & Elizabeth French
William Stinson, Jr. & Sharon Lucas
William Taylor & Annalei Grant
Steven Kopenhaver & Antoinette Kurzinger
Some thank-yous and some updates:
Thanks to all those who volunteered at our Festival this year. It appears that we had an exceptional festival! We will tell you what profit we made when we have all the numbers in. Thank God for the glorious weather those three nights.
A special thank you to Marcie Warner who is leaving as DRE this month. She did a great job with Vacation Bible School. While Marcie will not be employed here, she assured me that we she will volunteer and help Earl Tropp, our new full-time DRE.
Thanks to all of our parishioners who have been so welcoming to our summer visitors. We get many visitors throughout the year and our hospitality is important.
We welcome Eileen Rusnack as our new Coordinator of Parish Ministries. Eileen will start this month and while she will be working just roughly ten hours a week, I know she will be a great asset in organizing, facilitating and assessing the many ministries we have in our parish! Welcome, Eileen!
A special thanks to a parishioner who left us a bequest of $114,000. Think about St. Joan of Arc when you are making our your will.
We are going to have another great year financially in the parish. Thanks for your great generosity. One of the things that I have been hearing is that our financial reporting in the bulletin is confusing to may people. (Some people read that and seem to think that we are not doing well financially! Nothing can be further from the truth!) We will be looking at a new way of reporting our finances each week in the bulletin.
Our Centennial Project is well underway. We will probably be starting a Capital Campaign in the Fall.
Finally, as you might have read or heard on the news, the Grand Jury Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse has been delayed in being opened to the public but we still expect it to be published. Let us continue to pray for the victims of all sexual abuse and continue to make strides in preventing it in the Church!
Have a great summer!
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