From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC

By |September 21st, 2013|

September 22, 2013

THANK YOU to all who helped make our picnic a wonderful parish event.  We had over 50 volunteers that did an outstanding job of doing just about everything that needed to be done.  Linda Fitzpatrick and Mike Selsor handled all of the coordinating efforts, and things went very smoothly because of them.  My biggest job was eating corn and sausage, and “supervising” all the hard work going on around me.   Thanks to Bob Heiderman, Kyle Pope and Danny Fleming for running the climbing wall all day, and to Matt Dhoore and the Clay Fire Department who gave demonstrations and wowed the kids.  My only regret is I forgot to get a souvenir fire helmet of my own!  We had a great crowd despite the rainy, overcast weather, with people coming from as far away as Bavaria and as close as the rectory to sample our food and fellowship.  I’m looking forward to next year already!

There isn’t too much to update you all on regarding the parish happenings…there are many faith formation events that are starting up.  The various councils and boards are meeting in the school and in the parish, and (so far) there isn’t anything extraordinary to report.  I am excited to be part of the Christian Action Commission to find ways that we can follow the Lord’s mandate to “serve, rather than be served.”  There are many opportunities for every parishioner to take part in some form of service to God.  I firmly believe we can all do at least one hour per month of service.  Depending on where you are in life, that may mean an extra hour in prayer for people around the world, or it could mean becoming […]

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From Fr. Neil Wack, csc

By |September 14th, 2013|

Well, it’s finally here.  Our annual picnic Mass!  I must admit my mouth is watering a bit in anticipation of the corn and sausage to come!  As I write this column (9pm on Tuesday night) it’s a cool 85 degrees outside.  But “they” say it will be partly cloudy and 74 degrees on Sunday.  That sounds like great picnic weather to me!  And since we’re Christian, we don’t believe in superstition or luck so no worries about jinxing the day.  I hope everyone has an enjoyable time at the picnic…it’s somewhat of a family reunion for us, or at least a family reception.  It is truly wonderful to be a part of this parish family.

Today is the Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows.  Since this is the principle feast day of the Congregation of Holy Cross, we have been given permission to celebrate this Mass instead of the 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time.  It may seem odd to have such a day as our feast day, where we celebrate our religious family as we recall the seven sorrows of Mary, but it’s a reminder of what is always before us: the joy of the cross.  Mary knew there would be great sorrow in her life when she and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple.  Simeon was there, and told her “you yourself a sword will pierce”, foreshadowing the seven sorrows she would experience.  (This scene and Mary’s sorrowful heart are beautifully depicted in our stained glass windows.)

Last week Pope Francis said “But Jesus does not want to delude anyone. He knows well what awaits him at Jerusalem, what way the Father wants him to go. It is the way of the cross, for the sacrifice […]

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From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC, Pastor

By |August 31st, 2013|

Hello everyone, and welcome to September!  I know, it snuck up on us faster than ever it seems, but it means we are that much closer to the parish picnic, now two weeks away!   The “field project” (formerly known as “Tripi Lake”) continues, with a third and (hopefully) final seeding a couple of weeks ago.  We’ll be able to put the tent up in the field where the good grass is, so no worries about parking.  It should be a great day to get together as a parish family!  Tickets will be on sale after all of the Masses this weekend.

Last weekend we had a nice example of how good our parishioners are.  I was in my office at about 10:35am when Father Jarrod came in, fully vested for 10:30am Mass, and asked if there was a baptism at that Mass.  I assured him there was not a baptism, then looked through the unfortunate stack of papers on my desk and realized, yes, there is a baptism!  So Mass started a little late, and we had to make a few adjustments, but everyone adjusted without a complaint.  So that was completely my fault, but it was nice to see everyone come together and make sure our newest member was properly baptized and welcomed into the Church, and there was a 25th wedding anniversary blessing, and the vocation chalice was given, and doughnuts were announced, and most importantly, Mass was celebrated.  Whew!

September also means the beginning of the RCIA program.  RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is the process by which interested people can learn more about the Catholic faith and the Catholic Church, and discern if God is calling them to become Catholic.  We […]

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From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC

By |August 24th, 2013|

School has begun!  What a joy it is to have all of the students, faculty, and administration back for another school year.  Mike Selsor and his crew have done a wonderful job in preparing the grounds and the buildings, and everything is in great shape.  I am grateful we have a very good principal in Steve Hoffman, and the support of all of our parish family.

My thanks to Mike Selsor, Dee Rogers, and all the many volunteers who made the picture directory process go very smoothly.  I know it was a challenge at times, but it will be great to have an updated directory, and one hopefully without a picture of the pastor on a “bad hair day”!  Please note, if you weren’t able to have your picture taken here, you may submit a photo to Dee Rogers.  You can give her a paper copy, but actually an electronic copy will work even better ( Please do this sometime this week so we can move to the next phase of designing the layout with our creativity team.

RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is starting soon.  Each Tuesday night we will gather to learn more about the Catholic faith, and to help folks discern if they are being called to be a Catholic.  I am so excited to be leading this year, with other members of the parish who make up the RCIA team.  I went back and looked at my old RCIA files for exactly how to word this, and found things from my deacon year 10 years ago!  Thankfully our faith hasn’t changed in the last 10 years (or the last 2000 years!), so we’re going to be in good shape.  Please […]

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From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC, Pastor

By |August 10th, 2013|

Hello good people!  Here it is, the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The Picnic Mass is about a month away!  I hope to see you all there, if you are able.  I know there are conflicts with sports and other things, but I’ve found there’s always conflicts no matter what date we pick.  September 15th is the Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows, which is a special feast day for the Congregation of Holy Cross.  So if you see a seminarian, priest, sister or brother that day (who is also a CSC) feel free to tell them “Happy feast day!”

This weekend we say goodbye to one of our seminarians, Cathal Kelleher.  It has been a great joy to have Cathal here, only partly because it’s fun trying to tell people how to pronounce his Irish name, but more importantly because he represents the future.  He will be joining twelve other men this week at the Holy Cross Novitiate, located in Cascade, Colorado.  They will be there for a year, discerning God’s will in their lives, learning more about our congregation, and praying a LOT.  Let us keep Cathal, his classmates, and all men and women who are discerning a call to the religious life and the priesthood in our prayers.

Recently I received a wonderful letter from a fellow parishioner.  In part, here’s what it said:

On behalf of our whole family, and particularly our son, I am writing to thank you and the CKS parish community for your constant and supportive prayers for him during his career in the military.   The prayers of the CKS family sustained him during his career, all the intensive training and two deployments; one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. […]

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From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC

By |August 3rd, 2013|

Happy 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, everyone!  I hope you are still able to enjoy the summer days with a bit of relaxing and reflection, especially in the last week or so where it’s felt more like football weather than middle of the summer weather.  Our school administration returns tomorrow from a well-deserved rest, and with their return comes another indication that the new school year approaches (the start date is August 21st).  Still plenty of time to do the things that we need to do to prepare for the school year, and lots of time for the kids and their parents to still enjoy the summer.  Lots of news to share with you.

We have hired a new pastoral team member for youth ministry and homebound/nursing home care!  Her name is…well, as of today it’s Abigail Ulbrich.  Abigail has had quite a few events in her life…first, she just graduated from the ECHO program at Notre Dame.  Then, she was married this weekend.  And starting August 19th, she will be joining us here at Christ the King.  Stay tuned for a future column where Abigail will introduce herself.  I’m grateful for our interviewing committee’s good work…we had many qualified candidates, and I can’t be more pleased at our final selection.

On that same subject, we are in the midst of interviewing for the liturgy and music position.  We will take as long as it takes to find the right person for this parish family.  In the meantime, we have a group of accompanists and cantors who have done a great “job” in leading us in song.  In the interim between directors, I have asked for there to be a few changes.  I think it’s important to […]

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From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC, Pastor

By |July 13th, 2013|

Hello good people!  Today is the fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, when we hear the parable of the Good Samaritan in answer to the question “Who is my neighbor?”  That question alone could fuel our prayer for quite a while, and give us some insight into Christ’s call to serve, rather than be served.  When we think too big, however, we can be overwhelmed with the needs of the world, so much so that we aren’t able to do anything.  When we look to our local community of South Bend, Granger, Niles, etc. we see great need among the people with which we walk every day.  In my time as pastor, I have seen wonderful works of service by our parish, and my hope is that in the next three years we can do even better, making it a part of everyone’s life.  For some, that may mean a great deal of time, for others it may be an extra prayer or two.  That is a powerful way that we all become laborers in the field for the harvest of the Lord.

Elsewhere in this bulletin there is a notice about the Habitat for Humanity build on August 3rd.  Every year local faith communities join together to build a house.  This is a great way to “dip your toe in the waters” of service, as the total time commitment is only four hours.  I hope to be there myself, barring some unforeseen duty here at the parish.

Signups for the picture directory continue…if you’ve signed up, thank you!  If you are still contemplating it, please go to our website ( and sign up for it.  It’s a wonderful way to put names to faces in our parish […]

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From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC

By |June 29th, 2013|

Thanks again to everyone who helped with our first “landscaping day”!  I joked during the announcement that it was our first annual weekly landscaping day, but no one laughed!  I think that shows I needed to recharge my batteries a bit, so this past week I had a small retreat and spent time visiting relatives.  A few updates for you:

We are still receiving resumés for our pastoral team positions.  Please keep that process in your prayers, that the Lord send us good people to help our parish family grow in holiness.

The playing field has been seeded, and is going to grow into a beautiful field of grass, I’m sure.  Our picnic Mass is scheduled for September 15th, so I’m hopeful that the field will be ready by then!  If not, we have a contingency plan so we should be just fine (my parents will host it at their house…just kidding!).

We are about a month away from our first sittings for the picture directory!  Please see the bulletin for details on that…and if you can help be a “welcomer” for the days we are taking pictures, let me know.  I’m looking forward to learning some of the names I’ve been missing for the last 8 years, and having new parishioners in there as well.

This weekend we say goodbye to Erika Linsdell, our Director of Liturgy and Music.  Erika has been with us since 2008, and now she is moving on to be closer to her mom in New York.  We wish her all the best, and thank her for her ministry here at Christ the King!



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From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC

By |June 20th, 2013|

Dear Christ the King Family,


For our 80th anniversary as a parish, we are creating a new Picture Directory!  It will contain color portraits of all of our families, some candid pictures of our activities and updated addresses and phone numbers.  These directories are very helpful in building community for our parish, and they help absent-minded pastors learn everyone’s name better!  We will be using Lifetouch, which is the company we were very happy with 5 years ago for our previous directory.


Each parish family photographed will select a pose for the directory, and receive FREE:    

An 8 x 10 Portrait or 9 Wallets
A Church Directory


For your convenience, you will be able to view your portraits immediately after having them taken. There is NO OBLIGATION; however, you will have the opportunity to order portraits. Please bring your credit card, cash or checkbook.


Lifetouch tells us it might be beneficial to sign up with other families that you are related to, so you can have extended family pictures in addition to your individual family pictures.



1)     Schedule an appointment online at and receive a $10 coupon with your reminder email

2)     Sign up on Sundays at church


Please sign up ASAP to lock in your preferred date.  Plan to be here for about 1 hour.

The photography sessions are here at the church on:


July     31        2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug     1          2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug     2          2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug     3         10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Aug     6          2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug     7          2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug     8          2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug     9          2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug     10       10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Aug     13        2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Aug     14        2:00 pm – […]

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From Fr. Neil Wack, CSC

By |June 8th, 2013|

Last weekend we had a second collection for the tornado victims in Oklahoma, and the response was really wonderful.  Thank you all for your generosity.  God-willing we rarely have to do these types of second collections, but the response from the parish is always outstanding.

We are collecting many résumés for our pastoral team position, and starting to solicit for the liturgy and music position.  I will be asking parishioners to help with the interviewing process to make sure we get a broad spectrum of opinions and feedback.  We will keep searching until we find the right people for our pastoral team, and for our parish community.  That may require some patience on everyone’s part, which seems to be so easy for everyone but me!  Please keep the whole hiring process in your prayers.

As I write this bulletin column, the schoolchildren are outside for “field day”, running around, playing games, and listening to music.  I think I’m finally of the age where I want to lean my head out of the office window and yell “Turn down that music!”  Just another step toward saying exactly what my parents used to say!  Actually, it’s really great to hear all of the kids having such a great time, as it’s a reminder of the blessing our school is for us, and how much joy the school community brings.  Let us pray that we may all find some time for rest and relaxation this summer, never forgetting to put the Lord first in all things (especially on His day).

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