From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 23rd, 2021|

Well, it truly is the end of an era here at Christ the King.  Some of you may have seen Linda Fitzpatrick’s letter in the bulletin last week (reprinted this week, in case you missed it), and it’s true:  after 27 years as our Parish Secretary, Linda will be retiring in February!  As she says in her email, she’s been a part of Christ the King for over 60 years, and that won’t change after she retires.  (I promise her a one-year break before I start recruiting her to do volunteer work at the parish.)  But her contribution to the parish during her 27 years as a member of our Pastoral Team is truly exceptional.

 

I can tell you firsthand that working for a Pastor is a thankless job!  Linda has had all sorts of responsibilities during her time here:  maintaining all the parish records, being the liaison for several different parish ministries, organizing our Safe Environment Program, leading our Art & Environment volunteers, and assisting with the Religious Education Program, among others.  (I won’t even try to list them all.  I’m bound to miss something!)  But most importantly, she has been a tremendous source of support to all the priests and lay employees who have served here over the last three decades, and a wonderful pastoral presence to our parishioners.  I know that many of you will be quite surprised (and perhaps a little sad) to read her announcement.  But I know we are all grateful for her selfless service to the parish over these many years, and excited for her as she begins this new chapter in her life.

 

We’ll do something for Linda when her retirement date gets closer, but in the meantime please […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 16th, 2021|

Instead of a bulletin column this week, I’ll give you a little more of a “photo essay” and share with you some pics of our new sacristy!  We have been using the Cry Room as a sacristy ever since the sacristy fire way back in February, but we’re finally back in the sacristy.  We’re not all moved in and organized yet, but it turned out beautifully.  Well worth the wait!  (We’ll be ready to use the Cry Room shortly, but first we have to clear out a few items that are stored in there that aren’t kid-friendly.)

 

Enjoy the photos!

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 2nd, 2021|

October is Respect Life Month, and so we observe the first Sunday of October as Respect Life Sunday.  I thought this would be an appropriate time to share a reflection with you from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (https://www.usccb.org/resources/respect-life-program-reflection-2020-2021).  I encourage you to read this and use it in your personal prayer as we all continue to pray that, in place of the culture of death that seems to surround us, a culture of life may grow and thrive so that the way we treat the least of our brothers and sisters can glorify God each day.

 

 

Twenty-five years ago, Pope St. John Paul II wrote that the Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ saving message to the world (Evangelium vitae 1). In taking on human flesh, dwelling among us, and sacrificing his very life for our redemption, Christ reveals the profound dignity of every human person. This God-given dignity does not change with our stage of life, abilities, level of independence, or any other varying circumstance.

Rather, it is rooted in the permanent fact that each of us is made in the image and likeness of God, created to share in the very life of God himself. The human person is a “manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory” (EV 34). And we must reflect this truth in how we act and how we treat one another.

The truth of the Gospel of life is at the foundation of who we are as followers of Christ. In his earthly life, Jesus provided the perfect model for how we are to love our neighbor and live out the Gospel call: “Truly, I say […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 25th, 2021|

This is the weekend in which we participate in the annual Bishop’s Appeal.  We’ll watch the appeal video at all Masses, and all parishioners will be given the opportunity to support this appeal.  This year our parish goal is $159,817.27. Any money that is given above that goal will be returned dollar-for-dollar to the parish.  We count on a certain amount of over-goal money as part of our operating budget, but last year we were fortunate to go even beyond that amount, which really helped us offset the drop in collections we experienced as we emerged from the pandemic.

 

The diocese counts on this annual appeal as part of their operating budget.  This budget funds the Catholic Schools Office, which supports all of the schools in the diocese; various pastoral offices that provide religious education, Hispanic ministry, community outreach, and all sorts of other pastoral services; and all sorts of administrative support functions for parishes, including things like finances and human resources. This past year I began serving on the diocese’s Budget Review Committee, and I can say firsthand that they run a very lean budget.  In fact, their commitment to controlling expenses led to a significant (approximately $40,000) reduction in our parish goal last year, and the goal has stayed at that level this year, as well.

 

I hope that all of you will find some way to participate.  (Remember, any school family who is receiving the active parishioner tuition discount is expected to contribute to the appeal.)  Even if you are unable to contribute financially at this time, I’d ask that you still return a pledge card indicating a $0 pledge.  This will not only keep us from sending you any follow-up emails (!), but […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 19th, 2021|

Slowly but surely, many of our parish groups are starting to meet again.  Groups are being cautious and prudent, given the fact that we’re still withstanding the surge in the delta variant, and some groups will continue to use Zoom for meetings in order to accommodate their specific membership.  However, it’s definitely good to be able to meet again in person to resume the work of parish life that we’ve missed so much over the last 18 months.

 

Given how long it’s been since we’ve had in-person meetings – as well as the fact that a lot has changed about our physical campus since the pandemic shut down these ministries – I thought it would be helpful to review some changes that you’ll notice as these meetings resume:

 

¨ The Fr. Tripi Room is a new meeting room that is part of our new addition.  You can access it by parking in the north parking lot near the priests’ garage.  It’s the room furthest on the left as you face the new addition, right behind the new little kids’ playground.

¨ The Fr. Jones Room has been relocated as part of the construction project.  While it used to be located on the southwest side of the basement (i.e. right by the elevators), now it’s located on the northwest side (by the north entrance to the church). The north entrance is usually locked, so people can enter by the main doors of the church, go downstairs and walk through the basement to get to the room.

¨ We’re also using some of the old familiar meeting spaces that we used to use pre-COVID, such as the Computer Room and the Youth Room, so check with your meeting leader if you’re uncertain how to […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 11th, 2021|

This month, for the first time since the COVID pandemic, we are once again scheduling liturgical ministers!  While our county is still in the midst of a surge in the delta variant, this is one step that we can safely take to get things a little closer to normal.

 

Until now, we’ve just been using volunteer lectors and MC’s who sign up month-to-month, and we have only been recruiting EMHC’s when there was no deacon at Mass.  Now you’ll notice that we have returned to having four Communion lines instead of two.  (No more making a huge lap around the church for those of you in the side sections!)  We still are not distributing the Precious Blood until we receive notice from the diocese that they are ready to resume this practice.  There are also certain ministries, such as sacristans and altar servers, that we won’t resume until we are able to move back into the sacristy.  (We’re getting closer…  We had been waiting on the new cabinetry to arrive for several months, but it’s finally here, and most of it has been installed.  We’re just waiting on a little more hardware in order to complete the installation, after which we can install the sinks and the flooring and then move in.)

 

We’ve done our best to update our ministry lists (adding new people who’ve filled out their Time & Talent Forms, while deleting people we know wish to retire from a particular ministry), but we need your help to make sure things run smoothly as we resume these ministries.  In particular, contact Teresa at the rectory (toross@christthekingonline.org) if you:

Don’t know whether or not you’re on the ministry list
Signed up for a ministry but don’t […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 4th, 2021|

I hope that this holiday weekend is a time when you get to rest from your labors, spend time with loved ones and give thanks to God for your blessings.  It is certainly a day when I am especially thankful for our parish community.

 

Labor Day was created to recognize the contribution of laborers to our society, and this is certainly in keeping with the Catholic social tradition of the dignity of work.  There is a beautiful prayer taken from the Liturgy of the Hours that sums up this idea beautifully:

 

God our Father, work is your gift to us, a call to reach new heights by using our talents for the good of all. Guide us as we work and teach us to live in the spirit that has made us your sons and daughters, in the love that has made us brothers and sisters. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

 

This prayer might sound a little strange to us.  Work, a gift from God?  I’m sure that work doesn’t always feel like a gift!  But when you think about it, work is a unique way to participate in God’s creative genius.  He gives us the raw materials, and our works helps transform them into wonderful things.  He gives us gifts and talents, and we practice them and put them to use for the good of others.  When we make a conscious effort to unite our daily work –in the workplace and at home – to God’s plan, we realize how incredibly privileged we are to get to share in His work as we do.

 

With that in mind, I hope we are always grateful and say “thank you” to people whose hard work benefits our daily lives.  […]

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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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