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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |August 29th, 2021|

I’m so excited that this weekend we’ve had our Parish Kickoff and Ministry Fair, in conjunction with our Time & Talent Weekend.  We’ve traditionally had a “Time & Talent Sunday” every year in order to highlight the many active ministries we have here at the parish, and to encourage folks to sign up for ways to get involved.  This year you’ll be able to sign up for ministries electronically, using a QR code that you can scan in the vestibule.  Of course, good old-fashioned paper copies of the forms will be available in the vestibule, as well.  Regardless of how you sign up, I hope that every parishioner will take a moment to complete a Time & Talent Form before the end of August. Many thanks to Linda Fitzpatrick for her work in organizing the Time & Talent process.

 

This year, of course, things are a little different, which adds both some importance and some excitement to the Time & Talent process.  Encouraging ministry signups is especially important this year because so many of our ministries have been dormant (or at least very scaled-down) during the time of the pandemic.  I’m really excited that we are in a position to re-start most of our parish ministries, but that also means that we need to start from scratch in terms of recruiting new volunteers.  A lot of these ministries will only be able to resume when we’ve got an adequate number of volunteers, so I’m hoping for a healthy number of Time & Talent forms!

 

But I also think this presents us with a golden opportunity, not just to get back to exactly where we were before COVID hit, but also to grow in new and exciting ways.  […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |August 28th, 2021|

Over the past month, you’ve seen our Director of Music & Liturgy, Jessica Roberts, include several things in the bulletin to keep you updated on our music program.  In particular, she has written a few columns to let you know how we intend to restart our music program as we give all of our parish ministries a reboot after they slowed down during the pandemic.  Jessica has done a marvelous job of providing beautiful music for our liturgies almost singlehandedly for over a year and a half, but I know that like all of us, she’s anxious to be able to share the ministry with cantors and choirs again.

Part of the reason we’re giving so much attention to the liturgical music program is that we see this “reboot” as a golden opportunity to elevate our liturgical music even more.  Jessica has made tremendous strides in our music program during her six years here at Christ the King, and I’m excited to see what lies ahead.  She’s also worked very hard to act on the feedback that you gave us in the parish survey, way back in 2017.  (Wow, has it really been that long?)  For instance, the two predominant areas for growth that were noted in that survey were (1) the desire for the music not to drag, and (2) the desire for hymns that were more familiar and easier to sing along with.  Those changes were put into place immediately, and parishioners have seemed to respond really well to them.  There are some other, longer-term projects that Jessica is working on as a result of the survey, including putting together a hymnal supplement to add some more favorite hymns to our repertoire, offering more […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC and Jessica Roberts, Dir. of Liturgy and Music

By |August 14th, 2021|

As part of our long-term goals from what you told us on the 2017 Parish Survey, we are going to be assembling a new, custom hymnal supplement which will be in the pews along with the red Worship hymnal. This book (a small binder, really) will include a wide array of familiar Catholic songs appropriate for use at school Mass, weekend Mass, and other liturgical and devotional gatherings. The goal is to have it in the pews for November 21st, the Solemnity of Christ the King – think of it as a parish gift to ourselves for our feast day!  We are able to do this at a low cost due to the licensing fees we already pay with our current hymnal.

As part of this parish family who will be using it, you are invited to share your suggestions for songs that you would like to have included in this hymnal supplement. Not every single suggestion will make it in, due to copyright and other space factors, but all suggestions will be thoughtfully considered and evaluated. As we will continue to use the red Worship hymnal and not duplicate any hymns, there is no need to list your favorites in that. This will only contain suitable music from other hymnals which are not currently available to us, such as “Ah Holy Jesus,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman,” “Panis Angelicus,” etc. You may want to use the internet to search, or if you don’t own any other hymnals at home, you may make an appointment to come to the music office and look through some (appointments limited).

If you would like to participate, please email Jessica Roberts by September 15th with your music suggestions, or drop off […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |August 7th, 2021|

Our Parish Kickoff is coming soon!  In just two weeks (Saturday August 21st), we’ll have a terrific evening with the biggest parish event we’ve been able to hold since COVID hit.  It will be so good to come together as a parish family.  I’ve certainly missed that, and I know that many of you have expressed the same thing to me.

 

So why are we calling it a Parish Kickoff?  To me it seems appropriate to think of this moment in the life of our parish as a chance to “reboot”.  Prior to the shutdown, there were so many wonderful things going on in our parish, and based on our Parish Strategic Plan, we had many more great initiatives in the works.  COVID, of course, stopped many of these ministries and activities cold.  As we started to re-emerge, we were focused on the sacraments and the liturgy, which of course are the fundamental reason our parish community exists.  I am so grateful for the way our parish responded; it was very moving to see how much the sacraments meant to so many parishioners as we started to gather together again.  I’m also grateful to parishioners who found new and different ways for us to gather together, such as the outdoor Living Rosary and May Crowning.

 

However, it’s obvious that there are a lot of things about parish life that people missed dearly.  People definitely missed ministries they had performed, faith formation activities in which they had participated, and opportunities to connect with other parishioners.  That’s why I’m looking forward to this Parish Kickoff so much!  It will be a great social event, first of all, with kid-friendly activities, music, food trucks, a beer tent for adults, and […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |August 1st, 2021|

By now, I’m sure that you have all heard about the disturbing events of this past Sunday.  For those of you who might not know, we had someone break into the church overnight last weekend.  (More accurately, someone hid in the church before we locked up for the night.)  This individual then vandalized the church, most notably by setting off two fire extinguishers in the back of the church and in the choir loft, as well as kicking in a vent in the choir loft.  The individual was apprehended early Sunday morning as he attempted to vandalize another neighborhood business.  Most importantly, no one was hurt.

 

After moving Sunday Masses into the gym, we contracted with First Response (the same company that orchestrated the cleanup from our sacristy fire) to clean up the mess and get us back into the church.  (As I write this column, we are still assessing whether there will be any special cleanup required for the pipe organ.)   We may never know this individual’s motivations for doing what he did, but the Pastoral Team will review this thoroughly to determine how this incident might prompt us to take another look at our security procedures.

 

I am grateful for everyone who reacted so quickly to this situation, especially since I was away on vacation and unable to help.  Fr. Geoff took charge of the situation, and he and Jessica Roberts made sure that we were ready to celebrate Mass in the gym on short notice.  Deacon Joe, Abby Doyle, Leslie Burns and Amanda Jeffrey worked to identify the damage and provide the police with the information they needed.  And so many of our parishioners pitched in to help us set up for the gym […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |July 25th, 2021|

Some of you have been asking about the renovation of the exterior façade of the church.  When we conducted our capital campaign in 2018 (goodness, was it really that long ago?), one of the items on the campaign was this exterior renovation.  The last renovation was done in the 1990’s, and there’s a lot of visible staining, cracking and other damage to the surface.  Many people commented in the parish survey of 2017 that this was especially noticeable since so much has been done to beautify the interior of the church, and that the dramatic improvements from our interior renovation made an exterior renovation even more necessary.

 

We assembled a committee of parishioners (with a diversity of parish experience and professional expertise) to explore our options for this project.  The options ranged from simple repair of the damage all the way to a more comprehensive expansion that would give us a substantial gathering space in the vestibule, which is another need cited by many in the parish survey.  Our first meeting, however, was in January 2020.  (You can see where I’m going with this…)  When COVID closed everyone down in March 2020, the work of this committee was put on hold.

 

I’m pleased to say that this committee has resumed its work over the last couple of months, and our first official step has been to contract with an architect to come up with some preliminary designs of what our options might look like.  This will help us assess what will best meet our needs, as well as what we believe we can realistically and responsibly do with our parish resources.  (We have some donations that are specifically earmarked for this renovation, so part of the process […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |July 17th, 2021|

“When will things get back to normal?”  That’s been a frequent question ever since the COVID pandemic shut down so many things in March of 2020.  In 2021, we’ve thankfully seen many things return to normal here at Christ the King:  people have come back to Mass, some activities have resumed and people are reconnecting with fellow parishioners they didn’t see for a long time.  There are still some things about parish life that aren’t quite all the way back to normal yet, though.  But don’t worry, we’re getting there, and here are a couple of updates in that regard:

 

Parish Ministries:  Many parish ministries still aren’t quite up and running the way they were pre-COVID, but we are excited to be able to reintroduce them soon!  As part of the Parish Kickoff that we’ll have on August 21st, we’ll have a Ministry Fair that will reintroduce all sorts of ministries back to our parish.  All sorts of ministries will be represented:  liturgical ministries, service ministries, social ministries, formation/catechesis ministries, and many more.  In order to restart these ministries, we need people!  So whether you’re thinking of resuming a ministry in which you were previously involved, or trying something new, I encourage you to go to the Ministry Fair and fill out a Time & Talent Form.  (We’ll give Time & Talent instructions on the weekend of the Ministry Fair.)  We want things to get back to normal, and we need you to help us get there!

¨

Sacristy:  Of course, one of the things that has been out of the ordinary has been the sacristy renovation.  We’ve been using the Cry Room as a sacristy ever since the sacristy fire back in February.  Right now we’re just […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSc

By |July 10th, 2021|

As we continue to emerge from the COVID pandemic, you’ll notice some other changes we’ve made recently:

 

Parish Emails.  Last week, you may have noticed that we’ve scaled back from our daily parish email and instead are sending a weekly email every Saturday.  The daily email seemed to be a very effective way to keep our parish connected when so many people were unable to make it to Mass.  With increased Mass attendance, though, it doesn’t seem like that need is quite as great, and we certainly don’t want to overload your inbox and become a nuisance.  We’ll keep up the weekly emails throughout the summer, and then at the end of the summer we’ll reevaluate based on the feedback we get from parishioners.

 

YouTube Channel.  For the time being, we’ll continue to live stream our daily and Sunday Masses.  The viewership of these Masses is much lower than it was at the peak of the pandemic, but right now it still seems to be important for our parishioners who are homebound or otherwise unable to attend Mass.  We’ll reevaluate this at the end of the summer, as well.

 

We will, however, continue to use our YouTube channel.  In addition to live streaming Masses, this has proved to be an effective way to involve more parishioners in different faith formation and prayer activities going on here at the church.  We hope this will be a good vehicle for parishioners to be able to participate in parish activities when they’re unable to be here in person.

 

Social Distancing.  You’ll also notice that last week we changed up the cords that we have used to block off pews.  Now we’re just keeping the cords on the side pews of the Joseph […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |June 12th, 2021|

Every summer we do a lot of work to maintain and upgrade our facilities, so today I’ll give you an update so that you have an idea of what’s going on around the parish.  In addition to the normal things that we do every year (carpet cleaning, floor waxing, etc.) there will be a few items that are more disruptive, particularly those associated with restoration from the damage done by the sacristy fire in February.  (This work was delayed until the insurance claim was approved, but we also tried to make sure that the most disruptive parts of this work took place over the summer rather than when school was in session.)  Here is some of what you can expect to see over the summer.

We will be reinstalling the sound system in the church June 14th through the 17th.  We’ve been using a backup sound system since the sacristy fire, but now they’re ready to install the new system, which hopefully means we’ll be on a permanent system soon.  Please note that daily Mass will be in the basement the week of June 14th while work is being done in the church.  They’ll be all wrapped up in time for Sunday Mass to return to the church that weekend.
 We will also be finishing up the cleaning/ice-blasting of our interior brick the following week, June 22nd through the 25th.  This is a section of brick (leading into the sacristy from the church) which has not yet been cleaned since the fire.  Because of the mess and the noise involved, Mass during the week of June 22nd will also need to be moved to the basement, and once again, we’ll be able to return to […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |June 5th, 2021|

I thought I’d use this column to give you all an update on the status of our capital campaign and our bridge loan to the diocese.  I mentioned to you in a bulletin earlier this year that we were taking out a bridge loan from the diocese to pay our final construction costs.  This was expected, as we haven’t yet collected all of our pledges from the capital campaign.  (Payments will continue on campaign pledges throughout the rest of this year.)  The bridge loan enabled us to pay off our final construction costs while we await the receipt of these payments.

 

I also mentioned in that same bulletin that our total collections from the campaign will end up falling short of the total construction costs, although I didn’t have a final number to give you at the time.  While I think we and our contractors did a really good job of keeping our construction costs under control (especially since this project took place right in the middle of the COVID pandemic, which created a ton of challenges for us), we still had some unexpected costs in completing the addition.  The bridge loan will allow us to pay down these cost overruns without re-opening a campaign or dipping into savings, since it allows us to spread out these costs over three years.

 

Since we’ve now started paying on the principal of this bridge loan, we’ll begin publishing a monthly report on our progress so that you’ll be able to see the exact amount of our debt to the diocese, as well as our progress in paying it down.  All of you were so unbelievably generous in making this project happen, so I want to make sure we’re as […]

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