Fr. Steve’s column 11-20-22

By |November 16th, 2022|

Happy Feast Day!  And Happy 89th Anniversary, Christ the King!  Today is the Feast of Christ the King (or, more formally, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe; you can’t get much bigger than that!), and so it’s a special day for us to celebrate our parish and give thanks for being a part of this wonderful parish community.  I hope you’re able to do something special to acknowledge this feast.  (And don’t forget about our special Vespers service tonight at 7pm.)

 

The Feast of Christ the King is a relatively new addition to the Church calendar.  It was established in the 1920’s by Pope Pius XI in the aftermath of World War I.  This was a difficult time that led to the rise of fascists and Nazis, and the Church was in many ways being pushed to the side.  In short, it was a time when many people were putting their hope in earthly powers rather than in Jesus Christ.  It was in this environment that the Church sought to reaffirm that the power to overcome the ills of this world ultimately lies with Christ, and we ultimately owe our allegiance to Him more than to any earthly power.

 

In many ways, our world faces challenges similar to those that existed a century ago, when this feast was added to the calendar.  Without going into a laundry list of social ills, with which we’re sadly all too familiar, it’s safe to say that our culture largely fails to worship Christ as Our King, and to put our ultimate trust in Him.  Here at Christ the King Parish, though, we have an advantage.  Every time we pull into our parking lot, we are […]

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Fr. Steve’s column 11-13-22

By |November 16th, 2022|

Just a reminder that this Wednesday (November 16th) is our Sneak Peak at the new vestibule expansion!    Our parish-wide effort to raise $500,000 to complete this project (for which we’ve already raised over $1.8 million) will take place in April 2023, but we’re offering a chance for all of our parishioners to take a look at the plans (especially since many folks prefer to do their charitable giving at the end of the year.)

 

We invite all of our parishioners to consider giving at the following levels, whether you prefer to make your contribution now or wait until April:

$5000 (includes a large engraved brick in an exterior space in the new addition)

$1000 (includes a small engraved brick)

Any other amount will be gratefully acknowledged in the program when the new building is dedicated.

I gave a more detailed description of the features and benefits of the new addition in my column a couple of weeks ago, but you have to see the renderings to fully appreciate just how dramatically this will beautify our church and expand our gathering space, so I hope you can make it this Wednesday.

6:45pm:  refreshments will be served in the vestibule

7:00pm:  the program will begin in the church, including a video showing all sorts of architectural renderings and an opportunity for Q&A

The program will be done at 7:30pm.

For folks who can’t make it on Wednesday but who wish to make their contribution before the year-end instead of waiting until April, feel free to reach out to me and I can talk to you individually.  Otherwise, you’ll be hearing more about this project (and seeing more beautiful images) as we approach the fundraising stage in April.

 

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Fr. Steve’s column 11-6-22

By |November 16th, 2022|

Well, it’s that time of year again: time for our annual financial summary.  (Actually it’s coming out a few weeks later than usual this year, as there were a few factors that caused it to take longer than usual to close out our fiscal year.)  I hope you take some time to read this weekend’s bulletin insert, which gives you a summary-level picture of how our parish did financially for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022.

 

Overall, here are some highlights to point out from these statements:

 

You’ll notice that some adjustments have been made. The unadjusted income includes $2.4 million that was raised both to pay off our bridge loan for the 2020 addition, as well as to put towards our vestibule expansion. It also includes about $250,000 that was received in grant money and spent on technology purchases for the school.  We included adjusted figures that removed these amounts since this money is not available to pay for operating expenses, so the adjusted figures should give you an accurate picture of how we’ve done.
You’ll notice that the bottom line is a deficit of about $47,000. This is a tremendous improvement over past years, as we’ve been working steadily over the last several years to decrease our budget deficit.  We’ve submitted a balanced budget for the current fiscal year, and this will put us in a good position to save for future capital expenditures, such as the church roof that will need to be replaced in a few years; and the electrical work we are doing in the 1955 wing of the school.
You’ll notice that both income and expenses tend to be over budget in most categories. One big reason for […]

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Fr. Steve’s Column 10-30-22

By |November 16th, 2022|

Over the past year I’ve written a few columns letting you know that we were in the planning stages of an expansion of our vestibule.  (It began during our capital campaign with an intent to spruce up the exterior of the church, but our committee of parishioners quickly determined that this was a golden opportunity to build an addition to the vestibule that would give us the type of gathering space we’ve never had for community-building events.)

 

I’m happy to say that we are finally ready to start sharing these plans with the parish!  Here are some highlights of what this addition will offer:

 

5500 square feet of additional space
A beautiful new exterior facing 933
A spacious gathering space for community events, especially after Mass
An additional meeting room that will accommodate 45 people
The Food Pantry, Pack-a-Lunch Program and Casserole Program will all move upstairs for easier accessibility
Large-screen monitors to share parish news and upcoming events
An outdoor prayer garden located at the current breezeway
The existing vestibule will serve as a transitional space between the gathering space and the church
Groundbreaking in June 2023, with the hope of completion in May 2024

 

I am so excited about the possibilities that this new space offers us for community-building, ministry promotion, hospitality and evangelization.  I’m also excited that it will enable us to improve the security of our campus and our ability to publicize the many good things going on at our parish, not to mention that the new façade will be beautiful, not only making our campus more welcoming and inviting, but also beautifying our entire neighborhood.

 

Mindful of the fact that we just had a capital campaign in 2018, we have relied on the […]

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Fr. Steve’s column 10-16-22

By |November 16th, 2022|

This is Kickoff Weekend for our new St. Vincent de Paul Conference here at Christ the King!  I am so excited that we are undertaking this tremendous new ministry, which has the potential to do so much good for our community.  In accompanying our parishioners who have laid the groundwork for this ministry, I have become aware of so much need right here in our own parish boundaries (the 46637 ZIP code).  This team of parishioners has already started making home visits (including food delivery) to some of our neighbors over these past few weeks as they’ve been getting us ready to launch the Conference, and I’m incredibly grateful that we’ll now be able to help many more of our neighbors as we launch this ministry parish-wide.

 

This is a big undertaking for our parish, so I encourage each of you to get involved.  Here are some ways you can help:

 

Talk to a parishioner at the St. Vincent de Paul table after Mass. They can give you all sorts of information about their own experience so far and suggest ways that you can get involved.
Consider coming to our first meeting, tomorrow (Monday October 17th) at 7pm in the Fr. Tripi Room. This will be a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this ministry and to help get our Conference started.
Consider getting trained for home visits with food deliveries. The parishioners in the back of the church after Mass can tell you how to do this.  Since home visitors always serve in groups of 2, this is a perfect way for couples to serve together, or friends, or even parents with their high school children.  (Think Service Hours!)
Keep the […]

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Fr. Steve’s column 10-23-22

By |November 16th, 2022|

Last week we had the official kickoff for our Christ the King St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Conference, and on Monday the 17th we had our introductory meeting.  About 40 parishioners were in attendance, with several more who were unable to attend but want to be involved.  It was a terrific turnout, and it was great to see so much enthusiasm for this ministry.  It left me with a great deal of excitement for what the future holds.

 

The centerpiece of the ministry of SVdP is home visits, during which not only do parishioners deliver about a week’s worth of food, but just as importantly, try to establish a human connection with people who are suffering.  We’ve had a core group of parishioners working for several months to establish SVdP at Christ the King, and several of them shared stories about their experience doing home visits over the last month or so.  The goal was not so much to train people to do home visits – that will come later – but rather to share their own experience of what it was like to encounter the poor right here in our own neighborhood.  Some indicated that they drove by these houses all the time and didn’t realize that people inside were suffering.  As one parishioner described a home visit, “They may not remember me, but I will never forget them.”

 

And that’s the point of this ministry.  Yes, our SVdP Conference will allow us to offer material assistance to the poor to a greater degree than we’ve ever been able to in the past, but ultimately these encounters with the poor transform the giver every bit as much as the receiver.  It was evident from these stories […]

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Bulletin Column 10-2-22

By |October 5th, 2022|

I have some very exciting news to report:  Christ the King will be launching a St. Vincent de Paul Conference later this month!  What is a St. Vincent de Paul Conference?  As many of you are aware, St. Vincent de Paul reaches out to the poor and needy in our community, providing them not only with material assistance but with the respect and dignity that is their due as our brothers and sisters in Christ.  I am very excited about the potential for this Conference to help us greatly expand the way we serve the poor and marginalized in our area.

Our parish already does many wonderful things to provide this kind of outreach, most especially due to the dedication of our parishioners on the Christian Action Commission.  We operate an active Food Pantry, provide for people in need through the Casserole and Pack-a-Lunch Programs, and have so many other great ministries to reach out to those in need in our communities:  Thanksgiving & Christmas Baskets, Giving Tree, Dismas House, and activities to support the Women’s Care Center and Right to Life Michiana, just to name a few.  I’m so grateful for the tireless work our parishioners have put into making these ministries so fruitful.

When we did our strategic plan in 2018, one thing we recognized was the potential we had to build upon these ministries and grow them dramatically.  If this dedicated group of parishioners was already accomplishing so much, imagine what we could do if we doubled or tripled the number of parishioners involved?  The need is definitely there in our community.  (In fact, we discovered in our investigation of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference that many food deliveries are made by other […]

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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 22, 2022

By |January 22nd, 2022|

Saturday, January 22nd marked the 49th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that essentially legalized abortion on demand in our nation.  It’s always a sobering time of the year, a reminder of this horrific sin that has allowed 62 million babies to be killed legally.  It’s also a reminder of the deep divisions that exist in our nation and in our world, and of our need for healing and conversion.

As people of faith, we know that sin of this magnitude must call us to prayer, both individually and collectively.  (I’m especially grateful for the Monday Rosary for Life that so many of our parishioners have participated in for decades.)  This year, there is reason to pray even more fervently as the Supreme Court considers the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case, in which it will consider a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks.  This is a critically important case that could have far-reaching implications for the pro-life movement.  Essentially, this decision has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the abortion issue to the states.

There are many opportunities for us to join our individual prayers with the prayers of other people of faith throughout the nation.  The USCCB began a novena called 9 Days for Life, and it’s not too late to sign up at https://www.respectlife.org/9-days-signup.  You can also go to prayfordobbs.com and sign up to join this prayer movement.  You can also find a Novena to End Abortion at https://www.praymorenovenas.com/novena-to-end-abortion.  These are just a few resources – many more are out there.  The most important thing to know is that our prayers are part of something much bigger, as people of faith join together to ask God for His mercy and for the grace of conversion for our world.

I […]

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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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