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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |June 27th, 2020|

In last week’s column, I talked about how the leadership of our Church is responding to the racial unrest our nation is experiencing.  This week, I’d like to talk about the Church’s broader response to the sin of racism.  After all, the responses made by our leaders are based on the social teaching of the Church. They are rooted in the Christian belief of the dignity of every human life, and this belief has compelled the Bishops of the United States to speak out against the sin of racism long before the current wave of unrest began.

 

The U.S. Bishops recently (2018) published a document entitled Open Wide Our Hearts (http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/open-wide-our-hearts.pdf) addressing the sin of racism.  It’s just one of many things that they have written on the subject, but I think it encapsulates the Catholic perspective on racism very well.  It is certainly prophetic, and parts of it look like they could have been written last week.

 

The Bishops caution against thinking that racism is “someone else’s problem”, but rather stress that a sin against one member of the Body of Christ damages the whole Body, and that each and every one of us (including the institutional Church) is in need of ongoing conversion.

 

With the positive changes that arose from the civil rights movement and related civil rights legislation, some may believe that racism is no longer a major affliction of our society— that it is only found in the hearts of individuals who can be dismissed as ignorant or unenlightened. But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart.

 

Each of us should adopt the words of Pope Francis as our own: let no one “think that this […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |June 13th, 2020|

On the second Sunday after Pentecost, we always celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ.  This year this feast takes on a new poignancy since many of our brothers and sisters haven’t been able to join us in receiving the Eucharist.  Many are being cautious about returning to any kind of public gathering.  Others are heeding the State’s advice that people over 65 and others in high-risk groups should limit their exposure.  Either way, many people have expressed to me just how painful it has been to be separated from the Eucharist.

 

After listening to a lot of folks and having much discussion as a Pastoral Team, this Sunday we are going to begin making the Eucharist available to these folks outside of Mass on Sundays.  We invite anyone who is unable to join us in person for Mass, but who has watched Mass on TV instead, to come to the church between 1:30pm and 2:00pm, where they will have the opportunity to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

 

We’ve waited until this weekend to make this available for a few reasons.  Of course, it is providential that this is happening on Corpus Christi, and it also coincides with the beginning of Stage 4 of the Governor’s Back on Track Indiana, plan; while this still advises that seniors and others in high-risk groups exercise caution, it eases some of the restrictions and guidelines that had previously been in place.  (I encourage you to familiarize yourselves with these recommendations at https://www.backontrack.in.gov/2348.htm.)

 

We’ve also consulted different medical and public health officials before making this decision, and based on these discussions, we know that caution is still necessary.  Those who take advantage of this opportunity will still be asked […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |June 7th, 2020|

This week, I’d like to address my column specifically to all of our parishioners who are 65 and older.  Even as the state and the parish have slowly begun to reopen, our parishioners who are 65 and older have been encouraged to remain home and not attend Mass.  I know this has been particularly difficult for many of you.  I know that being deprived of the Eucharist since March has been a heavy cross for you to carry.  I also know that many of you feel that this recommendation unfairly singles you out, and some of you have felt like my wording of this recommendation (on posters, emails, etc.) has been too strong, making you feel unwelcome in your own parish.

 

I just want to take this opportunity to make sure that you know how much we value and appreciate you.  Our older parishioners are the heart and the backbone of our parish.  They are the stalwarts of daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and parish rosaries on Mondays and Saturdays.  Their willingness to pitch in wherever needed is one reason we are able to provide food from our food pantry, bring Communion to the homebound, and provide child care for parish events, just to name a few things.  But even more than that, our older parishioners are the foundation of our parish.  Many of them have been in the parish for decades.  They’ve built this parish, and we stand on their shoulders.  They’re the ones who remember the Little White Church, the ones who can talk about all the changes our parish has been through over the past 87 years.  They’ve seen many changes throughout the decades, but their faithfulness to Christ the King has been constant through it all.

 

That’s […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 30th, 2020|

This weekend is Pentecost Sunday, which marks the end of the Easter season.  But it also marks the first weekend we’ve offered our normal Saturday morning confessions since the COVID-19-related shutdowns began in mid-March.  I’m so happy to be offering the sacrament once again, especially since I know how many people wanted to make a confession during Lent but weren’t able to do so.

 

Just like Masses, confessions will look a little different than you’re used to.  Here’s some of what you can expect:

 

¨ We’ll still hold confessions from 9am to 10am Saturday morning, but we won’t be in the confessionals.  We’ll be using the Cry Room, as well as the Holy Cross Chapel, if both priests are hearing confessions.  There will be signs in the church that indicate which rooms are being used.

¨ Chairs will be spaced a safe social distance from one another, and both the priest and the penitent will wear masks.

¨ People waiting to go to confession will remain in the church.  Since the pews are already roped off to keep people at a safe social distance, people may wait in the pews (one person per pew).  They may also choose to stand on the markers on the floor, which are also spaced appropriately.

 

This may be a slightly different experience of confession than we’re accustomed to, but obviously this is a season where most parts of our lives look different than they used to, and we’re called to adapt.  But even though the room and the waiting line may look different, the most important parts of the sacrament are unchanged:  the confessional is still the place where sinners like us can completely unburden ourselves of the worst sins that are weighing us down, the place […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 16th, 2020|

By now, hopefully all of you have been able to read Bishop Rhoades’ letter to the diocese outlining his plan for resuming the public celebration of Mass.  Here are the highlights of how we will do this at Christ the King:

 

Our first public Mass at Christ the King will be the 5pm Vigil Mass on Saturday, May 23rd. Beginning then, we’ll resume our usual Mass schedule:
Sunday: 7am, 8:45am, 10:30am, 12:15pm
Monday – Friday: 8:30am
Saturday: 8am, 5pm (Vigil)
This means that Monday May 25th will be our first weekday Mass.
Bishop Rhoades has dispensed the Sunday obligation through August 15th. Anyone who is unable or reluctant to attend Mass is free to do so, and we’ll continue to make our Masses available on our YouTube channel.
People 65 and older are strongly encouraged not to attend Mass, as are people with a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Of course, anyone with symptoms should refrain from attending Mass.
Strict social distancing will be enforced at all Masses.
Overflow Masses will be held in the gym for the 5pm Vigil, 8:45am and 10:30am Masses. Once the allotted spaces are filled in the church, all people will be directed to the gym.
All parishioners who are able to wear masks are expected to do so. This is not only for your own safety, but for the safety of everyone around you.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word will not resume until the Governor declares that children are allowed to gather for school.
We will resume the public safety measures we had in place before the closure:
The Precious Blood will not be distributed.
Only clergy will distribute Holy Communion. No EMHC’s, MC’s or altar servers will be […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 10th, 2020|

Happy Mother’s Day!  I know that the days are blurring together for a lot of us these days, but hopefully everyone has remembered that today is Mother’s Day.  If not, you still have time – we all have a great excuse for not going out and buying a card this year!  (Note to my mom:  I did remember to buy you a card.  Hope it arrived there in time.  Hope my sisters remembered, too.  Happy Mother’s Day!)  Even though we might not be able to celebrate the way we usually do, I hope we’re all still able to do something extra to honor the important mothers in our lives, especially those who are really missing their children and grandchildren these days.  And we can still use this day to honor, remember and pray for the special mother figures in our lives who have died.

 

A couple of weeks ago I sat in on a meeting of the Surviving Divorce program.  (Many thanks to Pam and Jane for keeping that going via Zoom, even after public gatherings were suspended.)  One of the items that was on the agenda for the week was the image of the Church as our Mother.  It occurred to me as we talked what an important image this is, and how easy it is to take this image for granted.  There are many different images that help us understand our relationship with the Church.  The Church is the sacramental presence of Jesus in the world.  It’s the Mystical Body of Christ.  It’s the unbroken continuation of the earthly ministry handed down from Jesus to His Apostles.  And there are plenty of other images that help us understand and relate to the Church more fully.  Some people […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 8th, 2020|

Updates:  Just a reminder to take a look at Bishop Rhoades’ letter about resuming public Masses, if you haven’t already:  https://todayscatholic.org/public-liturgies-to-resume-with-restrictions-for-safety/   Here are the highlights of our plans at Christ the King:

Sunday Masses will resume beginning with the 5pm Vigil on Saturday, May 23rd.
Weekday Masses will resume on Monday, May 25th.
Seating in the church will be limited.  Overflow Masses will be held in the gym at 5pm (Saturday), 8:45am, and 10:30am.
All parishioners will be asked to wear masks.
People 65 and older, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are encouraged to stay home.
More details to come next week!

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 2nd, 2020|

Well, as many of our families know, this weekend was supposed to be the weekend when we celebrated the First Holy Communion of our second graders.  They’ve been working hard all year to prepare, they’ve made their First Reconciliation, and they’re ready!  I know how disappointed they must be that their First Communion has been delayed.

 

The most profound reason that they must be disappointed is because they know how special the Eucharist is.   After all the study and formation they’ve done over this past year, they know that the Eucharist isn’t just bread and wine.  It’s the Body and Blood of Christ, and that Jesus is really present.  They know that receiving the Eucharist is as close to Jesus as they can possibly be.  No wonder they are so anxious to receive Him!  No wonder they wouldn’t want this great day to be postponed a minute longer than absolutely necessary!

 

I would imagine that most of you can empathize with them this year in a way that is different from years past.  You know firsthand what it feels like to know what the Eucharist is – and to long for it – but to be unable to receive it.  In so many of the comments I’ve received from parishioners over these last several weeks, one of the things I’ve heard over and over again is how much people miss the Eucharist.  Even though right now you’re called to virtual Mass and spiritual communion, we all know that these things can never take the place of the Eucharist.  Many people have expressed to me how they didn’t realize how much they depended on the Eucharist, or how they had perhaps started to take it for granted a […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |April 19th, 2020|

Happy Easter!  We can still say that, because we’re still in our 8-day celebration of the Easter Octave!  I hope that this has been a joyous week in your homes.  I know that we’re still in a time when many people are worried about many things, not the least of which are their health and their security; but perhaps if Easter has provided some much-needed joy and consolation this past week, then we can really take to heart how our only true consolation comes from the Lord, and not from the things of this life.

This weekend is bittersweet here at the rectory, because Deacon Gil was supposed to celebrate his first Mass on Sunday.  His ordination, like many other things, has been postponed, so now he’ll be ordained on September 5th, and he will celebrate his first Mass on September 6th at the 12:15pm Mass.  While I know he’s more than ready to be ordained, I also know that he’ll continue to make an enormous contribution to the life of our parish as a deacon until that day finally arrives.  Please include Deacon Gil and his three classmates in your prayers during their longer-than-expected deacon year.

On a personal note, I can tell you that, as much as I can’t wait for us to be able to celebrate Mass together again, there are many things for which I’m very thankful in the wake of this quarantine.  I’m thankful for our schoolteachers, who have poured themselves into their eLearning classes.  We’ve always known that we have a committed, caring and professional faculty at our school, but over this past month I think we all have a new appreciation for just how dedicated they really are.  I’m grateful to […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |April 11th, 2020|

Happy Easter!  I know that’s the natural thing to say on Easter Sunday, but it sounds a little strange to say it this year, doesn’t it?  After all, I’m sure that this doesn’t feel like the “happiest” Easter we’ve ever had.  I personally miss you all every Sunday (every day, really), but even more so on Easter.  And I know that being separated from loved ones and unable to come to church are incredibly painful for you, as well.

But, COVID-19 or not, Easter is still the happiest day on the calendar!  The tomb is still empty.  Christ has still risen from the dead.  He has still opened up the gates of heaven so that poor souls like us can hope to join Him there one day.  Every reason for our Easter joy is just as real this year as it’s ever been.  No virus, no quarantine can ever take that away.  And so I hope your Easter is, indeed, happy.

So what can you do to make Easter a joyful celebration in your home?  First and foremost, watch the Mass on TV.  In fact, I’d recommend watching multiple Masses!  (At Christ the King alone, we’ll have both an Easter Vigil on Saturday night, and an Easter Mass on Sunday morning.  That’s in addition to countless other Mass broadcasts available on TV, on Redeemer Radio and online.)  Multiple Masses give you the chance to hear more homilies, enjoy more music, and be united with more of your fellow homebound Catholics in prayer.  And never forget that every time we participate in Mass, we’re also praying alongside the saints and angels in heaven, where the Divine Liturgy is always going on.  You may be at home by yourselves, […]

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