From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

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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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

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:  https://todayscatholic.org/praying-for-the-dead-in-november-how-to-gain-a-plenary-indulgence/?utm_source=Connection&utm_campaign=098e87ea0f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_02_26_03_58_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d89e2c3abb-098e87ea0f-408599789)

 

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 judgement, 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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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 31st, 2021|

 

Every year around this time, I like to share our year-end financial statements for the past fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2021.  (I usually wait until the fall to share these numbers with the parish so that our Business Manager and I have time to review them with the Parish Finance Council.)

 

I’ll be the first to admit that, with the unusual nature of the past year, these statements are hard to compare with previous years.  If you recall from past reports, we had been running at a deficit and have been working to shrink that deficit each year.  We have been able to do this without dipping into our savings at all because our cash flow has been stable, but we have been moving closer to a balanced budget each year to ensure the long-term financial health of our parish.  The events of the past year, however, particularly the COVID pandemic and the sacristy fire, have resulted in unusual and inflated numbers for both income and expenses.  Most significantly, we received a Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loan that proved to be enormously beneficial during the worst of the COVID pandemic, enabling us to continue normal operations without laying off any employees or reducing their hours or wages.  (The PPP provided a loan in the Spring of 2020 that subsequently was forgiven in full as part of the federal government’s CARES Act.)

 

These income accounts also reflect other extraordinary, one-time events, including grants that covered health and safety expenses, grants for technology purchases in the school, and insurance reimbursements related to the sacristy fire.  The expense side of the equation also contains a number of extraordinary items, including the health & safety and technology expenses […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 10th, 2021|

Last weekend some of you saw something new at Sunday Mass:  Deacon Joe Dietz preaching the homily.  Many of you who have heard Deacon Joe speak at different parish events (or who have listened to his homilies on our webs site) know that he has some experience as a preacher, and so we’re excited to add him to the preaching rotation.  He’ll be preaching half of the Masses on the last weekend of each month, as well as some during the week.

 

Until now, Deacon Joe has been preaching in service to the Diocese of Cleveland.  That’s where he lived before relocating to South Bend, and he has still continued to partially fulfill his assignment there by returning to Ashland, Ohio one weekend a month (as well as for the Triduum liturgies) to preach all of their Masses and give the pastor a bit of a breather.  Deacon Joe just recently concluded his service to the Diocese of Cleveland, and so now he will fulfill his preaching duties here at Christ the King, to the benefit of us all.

 

Permanent deacons (as opposed to “transitional deacons”, those who are ordained deacons on their way to being ordained to the priesthood) are a great blessing to the Church.  Theirs is a ministry of service; the word “deacon” even comes from a word that means “service” or “ministry”.  We have been very blessed to have Deacon Joe as a part of our parish, and we’re grateful to have another parishioner (Andy Oross) in formation for the permanent diaconate, as well.  We pray for  the Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom to be poured out on Deacon Joe  as he breaks open the Word for us each month.

 

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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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From Father Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 22nd, 2021|

One of the benefits of being a Holy Cross parish is that we are blessed with the presence of our men in formation, both seminarians and brothers, whom we get to welcome into our parish.  Over the past couple of summers we’ve been able to host guys for their summer placements, during which time we’ve been able to get them involved in all sorts of areas of parish life.  During the school year we also benefit from guys from Moreau who do their ministry placements.  This year we had men in formation performing all sorts of service, including tutoring, school counseling, Religious Education, Young Adult Ministry and even substitute teaching!  These men are a great witness to our parish, and our parishioners are a great witness to them.  It’s a real testament to the goodness of our parishioners that Holy Cross keeps entrusting these young men to do part of their formation with us.

 

I’m very excited to let you know that we’ll have a seminarian from Moreau Seminary living with us at Christ the King for part of this summer.  Peter Puleo is from St. Louis, Missouri and is currently in his second year of temporary vows with the Congregation of Holy Cross.  He moved into the rectory this weekend and will remain with us until June 21st.  Because school will be in session for the first few weeks of his time with us, he’ll spend quite a bit of time helping out in the school.  He’ll also work on various projects for the parish, and you’ll be hearing more about those in the weeks to come.  (He’ll also be helping out at the Catholic Worker when he’s not at Christ the King.)  You’ll also […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 15th, 2021|

The Christ the King Virtual Auction is coming up this Friday, May 21st, from 6:30pm to 7:30pm!  This is our 5th auction, and it’s a really important event for our parish.  It’s by far the largest single fundraiser that we have in the parish and school, and its success has been critical in keeping our school in good financial shape without constant fundraising or huge tuition increases.  (We’ve been able to keep tuition increases under 3% the last few years, and the auction has been an important reason why.)

 

Of course, in a COVID environment things are much different, so this year’s auction will be virtual instead of an in-person event.  While we’ll definitely miss being together (which has always been a blast in the past), this will still be a great community-building event, and we need all of your support to make it successful!

 

Here’s how you can support the auction:

 

Bid on auction items! Bidding is live right now, and it’s easy to participate. Here’s what you need to do:

Go to bit.ly/CTKauction2021
Click SIGN UP to register.
Once you are signed up and logged in, you can click on the tab that says, SILENT AUCTION. You are free to browse and bid!
There are also spots on the auction website to make outright donations toward the purchase of specific items, so there are ways for you to give even if you choose not to bid on anything.
Bidding closes at 7:30 pm on May 21.

 

Attend the Virtual Auction on Friday May 21st at 6:30pm.

Go to bit.ly/CTKauction2021
Click on SIGN UP to register (or simply click LOG IN if you have already registered).
The Virtual Auction will begin at 6:30 pm. You will […]

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From Father Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 8th, 2021|

Happy Mother’s Day!  Today is a day when all of us give thanks for our mothers, grandmothers and other women who have had a formative influence on us (appropriately timed during this month of May, when we traditionally honor our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary).  I know it’s been a little challenging to celebrate Mother’s Day the way we have in the past; while we’re not in a hard lockdown like we were last Mother’s Day, I know that in-person get-togethers are still a little tougher than they used to be.  I also know that there are some for whom this day is a bit of a struggle – I think of our parishioners who have lost their mothers over this past year, as well as families who are estranged.  (Please keep these parishioners in your prayers in a special way today.)  But I hope that this is a day when we can reach out to those influential mothers in our lives with expressions of love and gratitude for the many ways that they have been instruments of Christ’s love to us throughout our lives.  So often in Scripture, “a mother’s love” is used as an image of perfect, unconditional love, and I hope that each of us has experienced this glimpse of the Father’s love through these special women in our lives.

 

Here at Christ the King, we usually have a few different ways in which we honor and support mothers around this time of year.  To echo the mantra of the past year, these things will look a little different this year, but I hope we’ll still be able to support them.

 

¨ Over the past few weeks, you had the opportunity to support the Women’s […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 1st, 2021|

This weekend we are excited to celebrate First Communions for our children.  Last year, of course, we ended up having to postpone First Communions for several months due to the pandemic, so this year we’re excited to have these Masses at the traditional time of year.  Our kids have been preparing for this all year – including receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time in December – so it will be great to see these younger parishioners join us at the table of the Lord.  The only change this year is that we will have First Communion at two separate Masses this weekend instead of at one of our regular Sunday Masses, but we hope that next year we’re able to celebrate First Communions at Sunday Mass like we’ve done for so many years.

 

One of the (many) things that makes First Communion such a special time for our parish is that it reminds all of us how important and sacred Holy Communion is.  Sometimes it can be easy to take the sacrament for granted; compared to many times in our Church’s history (and compared to many parts of the world today), we have ready access to the sacrament – think of how many options we have for when we can attend Mass each Sunday, or even every day.  I hope that the events of the past year, when so many people were cut off from the sacraments in a way that they’d never experienced before, have made us all appreciate how special and important the sacraments are.  The Eucharist, in particular, is an incredibly intimate encounter that we have with the Lord, where His Body and Blood become part of our body and […]

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