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Bulletin column 9-25-22 from Fr. Steve

By |September 22nd, 2022|

This weekend we observe our annual Bishop’s Appeal.  We’ll watch the Appeal video at all Masses, and anyone who hasn’t already made a pledge to the appeal will be given the opportunity to turn in a pledge card alongside your normal envelope in the collection basket.

Most of you are familiar with the Appeal since it has been in place for many years in our diocese.  It is an important source of funding for our diocese and is essential for balancing the diocese’s operating budget.  (I have sat on the Diocesan Budget Committee for the last couple of years and can assure you that I have a newfound appreciation for what a lean budget the diocese operates on.)  The diocese uses the appeal to fund the many ministries and services that support the work of our parishes, everything ranging from the administrative services of the Diocesan Business Office to the pastoral services of the Secretariat for Education and the Office of Family Life, to name just a few.  All parishes, including ours, depend on this support in order to serve our mission effectively.  Additionally, as many of you are aware, anything that we raise over our goal (which is $173,458.48 for this year) comes directly back to our parish, and this is an important part of our own operating budget.

We ask all parishioners to support the Appeal to whatever degree you’re able.  (As a reminder, all school families receiving the Active Parishioner tuition discount are expected to support the Appeal.)  Even if you’re not in a financial position to make a contribution to the Appeal at this time, I’d ask that you fill out a pledge card indicating a $0 pledge amount so that we know […]

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January 16, 2022

By |January 16th, 2022|

I have some very exciting news to report in this week’s column:  our capital campaign is officially closed!  As you recall, we conducted the campaign in the Fall of 2018 in order to raise money for the new addition (as well as the beautification of our exterior façade; more on that in next week’s column).  We received an amazing response, with pledges of well over $5 million from more than 600 families.  With such great support, we were able to open our beautiful new addition in the fall of 2020, and it has been a tremendous blessing to our parish.

We began collecting these pledges in 2019, which meant that the final pledges of this three-year campaign were at the end of last month.  I’m so humbled by the extent to which all of you followed through on your pledges.  We’ve had very few people who weren’t able to honor their pledges, and even during the worst of the COVID shutdown, people continued to pay faithfully on their pledges.  I couldn’t believe people’s faithfulness in the midst of such hard times, and I’m overwhelmed by your support.

You may also recall that when the project was completed a year ago, we took out a three-year bridge loan from the diocese in order to pay off our contractor while we were still collecting pledges.  We had expected to continue paying this bridge loan off after the campaign was closed, but I am very happy to report that we paid this loan off completely earlier this month.  That means that we were able to complete this project with no debt and without dipping into our savings!  It’s only your dedication and generosity that made this possible, so thanks to […]

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January 8, 2022

By |January 8th, 2022|

Back in the fall, I let you know that our long-time Parish Secretary, Linda Fitzpatrick, announced her retirement after 27 years of service to the parish.  Linda’s last day will be February 1st; she gave us plenty of notice so that she’d have some time to work with the new secretary.  After all, 27 years is a long time.  There’s a whole lot of knowledge to hand on!

I’m very happy to announce that, after a very thorough search, we have hired a new Parish Secretary, Mrs. Amy Tatay.  While I’m using this column to introduce Amy to the parish, many of you already know her quite well, as she’s been a parishioner here for three decades and worked in our school at one time, as well.  She brings with her many years of secretarial and administrative experience, including a long tenure served with the South Bend School Corporation.  We are so excited to have Amy on board as part of our Pastoral Team.  Please be sure to make her feel welcome as she begins to serve you as your Parish Secretary.

Below is a brief message from Amy to introduce herself to all of you.

Hello, my name is Amy Tatay, and I’m excited to begin a new chapter in my life as the secretary at Christ the King Parish. I’ve worked as a school secretary for the past 19 years. This parish has been a home to me for a long time.  It’s where I made my first communion, taught religious education for 10 years, attended mass with my husband John and three children, and worked as a teaching assistant in the school.  I feel very blessed that Christ the King will continue to play such […]

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January 2, 2022

By |January 2nd, 2022|

Happy New Year!  On January 1st we celebrate the coming of the New Year, as well as celebrating our Blessed Mother under the title Mary, Mother of God.  Catholics also observe January 1st as the World Day of Peace, certainly an important intention given the many areas of conflict throughout our world and even in our own nation.  In that spirit, here is a portion of Pope Francis’ address from last year’s World Day of Peace, which I hope may aid in your own reflection on this day.  The full text can be found HERE.

“Jesus’ life and ministry represent the supreme revelation of the Father’s love for humanity… At the culmination of his mission, Jesus gave the ultimate proof of his care for us by offering himself on the cross to set us free from the slavery of sin and death. By the sacrificial gift of his life, he opened for us the path of love. To each of us he says, “Follow me; go and do likewise”.

The spiritual and corporal works of mercy were at the heart of charity as practiced by the early Church. The first generation of Christians shared what they had so that no one among them would be in need. They strove to make their community a welcoming home, concerned for every human need and ready to care for those most in need …

The compass of these social principles, so essential for the growth of a culture of care, also points to the need for relationships between nations to be inspired by the fraternity, mutual respect, solidarity, and the observance of international law. In this regard, we must recognize the need to defend and promote fundamental human rights, which are inalienable, […]

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December 25, 2021

By |December 25th, 2021|

Merry Christmas!  It’s so good to be a part of this parish community has we celebrate the birth of our Savior, the coming of God as a human being, breaking into human history in order to save us from sin and death and lead us to eternal life.  Amid all of the hustle and bustle of this season, today we remember that what we truly celebrate during the Christmas season is the greatest gift ever given, God’s gift of Himself to each and every one of us.  I hope that this Gift brings true peace to your hearts today and always.

I’m sharing with you the Christmas message from our shepherd, Bishop Rhoades, from last year.  Please know of my prayers for each of you during this holiest of seasons.  Merry Christmas!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 “Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

These words of the angel to the shepherds on the night of the Nativity are, as the angel said, “for all people,” including us. They bring us joy and hope. God entered our history. He became Emmanuel, God-with-us. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He took our sins upon Himself as if they were His own. Out of love, God united Himself to us in order to communicate His life to us, to save us from sin and death. He opened for us the road to His heavenly Kingdom. The Son of God assumed our human nature so that we might share in His divine life.

The great gift of […]

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December 19, 2021

By |December 19th, 2021|

We’re heading into the home stretch of Advent, our last week of preparation before we celebrate the coming of Our Lord at Christmas.  While I’m sure that most of us have plenty of secular preparations to attend to in order to be ready for Christmas, I hope we ramp up our spiritual preparations, as well.  One option the Church gives us is the “O Antiphons”, which are part of the Church’s prayer from December 17th through December 23rd each year:
December 17
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
December 18
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
December 19
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
December 20
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
December 21
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.
December 22
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
December 23
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
I found a great online resource from Word Among Us with some simple yet very beautiful prayers you can say at home with these antiphons in order to make this last week of Advent even more meaningful, so I encourage you to check it out:  Here. It’s a wonderful resource that helps relate these beautiful prayers to everyday life.

Whether or not you take advantage of this particular resource, please be sure to do something to make this last […]

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December 12, 2021

By |December 12th, 2021|

The U.S. Bishops just released a very important document last month entitled The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.  (For the full text, visit HERE.  For a write-up on this document in a recent edition of Today’s Catholic, visit HERE.)  There was a lot of speculation around this document concerning what it may or may not say about whether Catholic politicians who promote policies that directly oppose the teachings of the Church should be allowed to receive Communion, and this is what much of the coverage in the secular (and even Catholic) press has focused on.

However, the document is much larger than any political issue and instead sets the stage for a greater national Eucharistic revival, which will begin next year.  Clearly, such a Eucharistic revival is critically important at this moment in the life of the Church given recent data that confirm that an astounding percentage of American Catholics do not understand or accept the Church’s teaching about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  We are blessed that our own Bishop Rhoades (in his role as the head of the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine) was instrumental in the drafting of this document.

Therefore this document beautifully elaborates on the fact that the Eucharist is not just a symbol, but rather is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, freely given to us to eat and drink.  It also discusses the idea of the Eucharist as a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice, quoting St. John Paul II:  “The Church constantly draws her life from (this) redeeming sacrifice; she approaches it not only through faith-filled remembrance but also through a real contract since this sacrifice is made present ever […]

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December 5, 2021

By |December 5th, 2021|

Advent is in full swing.  These four weeks go by quickly, so if it seems like the season is getting away from you, don’t worry – there’s still time to make this season a meaningful preparation for our upcoming celebration of Christmas.  Here are some things going on in our parish that can help you prepare:

An evening Mass is offered every Tuesday during Advent at 5:30 pm, perfect for those of you who aren’t able to make our daily morning Mass.
Confessions will be offered every Tuesday at 6:00 pm, right after the evening Mass.
A lot of extra confession opportunities will be offered during the week leading up to Christmas:

Monday, December 20th: 7:00 – 8:00pm
Tuesday, December 21st: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Wednesday, December 22nd: 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Thursday, December 23rd: 9:00 – 10:00 am

An evening of Taize prayer will be offered tonight at 7:00 pm. (It will also be available on our YouTube channel.)
I’d also encourage you to consider adding Eucharistic Adoration to your prayer routine, offered here in the church from 9:00 am to noon on Fridays.
Volunteers are needed to assist with the Giving Tree, so Linda Fitzpatrick in the parish office can give you information on how you can help.

Of course, all of these offerings are in addition to the personal works of prayer and service that you are performing already.  If these are off to a slow start, I encourage you to think of some way to incorporate daily prayer into your routine.  There are several terrific (free) resources online, and your fellow parishioners can offer great suggestions as well.  The most important thing is that, in the midst of the hectic nature of the […]

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November 14, 2021

By |November 14th, 2021|

If you follow Catholic news sources, you may have heard about the preparations that Pope Francis is asking all dioceses to make for the next Synod of Bishops in 2023.  (A “Synod of Bishops” is a relatively new structure in the Church since the Second Vatican Council, designed to foster collegiality and collaboration between the Pope and the bishops.)  The topic of the next synod will be “synodality” itself.  I feel like I may have already lost many of you by using the word “synod” so many times in the first paragraph of this column, but the whole idea behind this gathering will be to discuss ways to make us more of a listening Church, allowing the Holy Spirit to work through all of us, not just the hierarchy.  It’s a way of hearing the voices of all the local churches throughout the world to discern God’s will for His Church at this moment in history.

Bishop Rhoades recently preached on this at a special Mass celebrating the opening of the diocesan phase of this synod.  I encourage you to read the full text of his homily at https://todayscatholic.org/journeying-together-as-the-pilgrim-people-of-god/, but I’ll include some highlights here.  He described synodality as “a journeying together of all the faithful since all the baptized, both the hierarchy and the laity, are called to be active participants in the saving mission of the Church”.  He said that “we are being asked by the Holy Father to be open to the Holy Spirit and thus discern how God is calling us towards deeper communion, fuller participation, and greater openness to fulfilling our mission in the world.”  The Bishop cautions that we “must be careful not to think of the Synod as a […]

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Nov. 7, 2021

By |November 7th, 2021|

Every November, Catholics make a concerted effort to pray for the dead.  At Christ the King, we began the month of November by celebrating our annual Mass of Remembrance on All Souls’ Day.  This Mass was offered for all of our parishioners who have died over the past year.  We also have our Book of Remembrance in the church by the Mary statue, in which parishioners have entered the names of deceased loved ones.  We pray for all of these folks throughout the month of November.

Praying for the dead is an important part of our Catholic tradition.  In particular, we pray that if a loved one is in purgatory, they may be cleansed of their sins so they might live forever in heaven.  (Today’s Catholic recently had an interesting article explaining the practice of gaining indulgences for the dead:  HERE)

There’s a great explanation of this given in the Old Testament.  In the Second Book of Maccabees (12:38-46), the hero of the story (Judas Maccabeus) finds that some of his soldiers have died in a state of sin.  “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out… In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection in mind; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.”

That’s exactly why we pray for the dead:  because we believe in heaven.  Yes, we know there is judgment, and that there are consequences for our sins, but we also believe that we are still connected to our deceased brothers and sisters in the same Mystical Body and that our prayers for […]

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