From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 30th, 2020|

This weekend is Pentecost Sunday, which marks the end of the Easter season.  But it also marks the first weekend we’ve offered our normal Saturday morning confessions since the COVID-19-related shutdowns began in mid-March.  I’m so happy to be offering the sacrament once again, especially since I know how many people wanted to make a confession during Lent but weren’t able to do so.

 

Just like Masses, confessions will look a little different than you’re used to.  Here’s some of what you can expect:

 

¨ We’ll still hold confessions from 9am to 10am Saturday morning, but we won’t be in the confessionals.  We’ll be using the Cry Room, as well as the Holy Cross Chapel, if both priests are hearing confessions.  There will be signs in the church that indicate which rooms are being used.

¨ Chairs will be spaced a safe social distance from one another, and both the priest and the penitent will wear masks.

¨ People waiting to go to confession will remain in the church.  Since the pews are already roped off to keep people at a safe social distance, people may wait in the pews (one person per pew).  They may also choose to stand on the markers on the floor, which are also spaced appropriately.

 

This may be a slightly different experience of confession than we’re accustomed to, but obviously this is a season where most parts of our lives look different than they used to, and we’re called to adapt.  But even though the room and the waiting line may look different, the most important parts of the sacrament are unchanged:  the confessional is still the place where sinners like us can completely unburden ourselves of the worst sins that are weighing us down, the place […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 16th, 2020|

By now, hopefully all of you have been able to read Bishop Rhoades’ letter to the diocese outlining his plan for resuming the public celebration of Mass.  Here are the highlights of how we will do this at Christ the King:

 

Our first public Mass at Christ the King will be the 5pm Vigil Mass on Saturday, May 23rd. Beginning then, we’ll resume our usual Mass schedule:
Sunday: 7am, 8:45am, 10:30am, 12:15pm
Monday – Friday: 8:30am
Saturday: 8am, 5pm (Vigil)
This means that Monday May 25th will be our first weekday Mass.
Bishop Rhoades has dispensed the Sunday obligation through August 15th. Anyone who is unable or reluctant to attend Mass is free to do so, and we’ll continue to make our Masses available on our YouTube channel.
People 65 and older are strongly encouraged not to attend Mass, as are people with a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Of course, anyone with symptoms should refrain from attending Mass.
Strict social distancing will be enforced at all Masses.
Overflow Masses will be held in the gym for the 5pm Vigil, 8:45am and 10:30am Masses. Once the allotted spaces are filled in the church, all people will be directed to the gym.
All parishioners who are able to wear masks are expected to do so. This is not only for your own safety, but for the safety of everyone around you.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word will not resume until the Governor declares that children are allowed to gather for school.
We will resume the public safety measures we had in place before the closure:
The Precious Blood will not be distributed.
Only clergy will distribute Holy Communion. No EMHC’s, MC’s or altar servers will be […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 10th, 2020|

Happy Mother’s Day!  I know that the days are blurring together for a lot of us these days, but hopefully everyone has remembered that today is Mother’s Day.  If not, you still have time – we all have a great excuse for not going out and buying a card this year!  (Note to my mom:  I did remember to buy you a card.  Hope it arrived there in time.  Hope my sisters remembered, too.  Happy Mother’s Day!)  Even though we might not be able to celebrate the way we usually do, I hope we’re all still able to do something extra to honor the important mothers in our lives, especially those who are really missing their children and grandchildren these days.  And we can still use this day to honor, remember and pray for the special mother figures in our lives who have died.

 

A couple of weeks ago I sat in on a meeting of the Surviving Divorce program.  (Many thanks to Pam and Jane for keeping that going via Zoom, even after public gatherings were suspended.)  One of the items that was on the agenda for the week was the image of the Church as our Mother.  It occurred to me as we talked what an important image this is, and how easy it is to take this image for granted.  There are many different images that help us understand our relationship with the Church.  The Church is the sacramental presence of Jesus in the world.  It’s the Mystical Body of Christ.  It’s the unbroken continuation of the earthly ministry handed down from Jesus to His Apostles.  And there are plenty of other images that help us understand and relate to the Church more fully.  Some people […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 8th, 2020|

Updates:  Just a reminder to take a look at Bishop Rhoades’ letter about resuming public Masses, if you haven’t already:  https://todayscatholic.org/public-liturgies-to-resume-with-restrictions-for-safety/   Here are the highlights of our plans at Christ the King:

Sunday Masses will resume beginning with the 5pm Vigil on Saturday, May 23rd.
Weekday Masses will resume on Monday, May 25th.
Seating in the church will be limited.  Overflow Masses will be held in the gym at 5pm (Saturday), 8:45am, and 10:30am.
All parishioners will be asked to wear masks.
People 65 and older, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are encouraged to stay home.
More details to come next week!

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |May 2nd, 2020|

Well, as many of our families know, this weekend was supposed to be the weekend when we celebrated the First Holy Communion of our second graders.  They’ve been working hard all year to prepare, they’ve made their First Reconciliation, and they’re ready!  I know how disappointed they must be that their First Communion has been delayed.

 

The most profound reason that they must be disappointed is because they know how special the Eucharist is.   After all the study and formation they’ve done over this past year, they know that the Eucharist isn’t just bread and wine.  It’s the Body and Blood of Christ, and that Jesus is really present.  They know that receiving the Eucharist is as close to Jesus as they can possibly be.  No wonder they are so anxious to receive Him!  No wonder they wouldn’t want this great day to be postponed a minute longer than absolutely necessary!

 

I would imagine that most of you can empathize with them this year in a way that is different from years past.  You know firsthand what it feels like to know what the Eucharist is – and to long for it – but to be unable to receive it.  In so many of the comments I’ve received from parishioners over these last several weeks, one of the things I’ve heard over and over again is how much people miss the Eucharist.  Even though right now you’re called to virtual Mass and spiritual communion, we all know that these things can never take the place of the Eucharist.  Many people have expressed to me how they didn’t realize how much they depended on the Eucharist, or how they had perhaps started to take it for granted a […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |April 19th, 2020|

Happy Easter!  We can still say that, because we’re still in our 8-day celebration of the Easter Octave!  I hope that this has been a joyous week in your homes.  I know that we’re still in a time when many people are worried about many things, not the least of which are their health and their security; but perhaps if Easter has provided some much-needed joy and consolation this past week, then we can really take to heart how our only true consolation comes from the Lord, and not from the things of this life.

This weekend is bittersweet here at the rectory, because Deacon Gil was supposed to celebrate his first Mass on Sunday.  His ordination, like many other things, has been postponed, so now he’ll be ordained on September 5th, and he will celebrate his first Mass on September 6th at the 12:15pm Mass.  While I know he’s more than ready to be ordained, I also know that he’ll continue to make an enormous contribution to the life of our parish as a deacon until that day finally arrives.  Please include Deacon Gil and his three classmates in your prayers during their longer-than-expected deacon year.

On a personal note, I can tell you that, as much as I can’t wait for us to be able to celebrate Mass together again, there are many things for which I’m very thankful in the wake of this quarantine.  I’m thankful for our schoolteachers, who have poured themselves into their eLearning classes.  We’ve always known that we have a committed, caring and professional faculty at our school, but over this past month I think we all have a new appreciation for just how dedicated they really are.  I’m grateful to […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |April 11th, 2020|

Happy Easter!  I know that’s the natural thing to say on Easter Sunday, but it sounds a little strange to say it this year, doesn’t it?  After all, I’m sure that this doesn’t feel like the “happiest” Easter we’ve ever had.  I personally miss you all every Sunday (every day, really), but even more so on Easter.  And I know that being separated from loved ones and unable to come to church are incredibly painful for you, as well.

But, COVID-19 or not, Easter is still the happiest day on the calendar!  The tomb is still empty.  Christ has still risen from the dead.  He has still opened up the gates of heaven so that poor souls like us can hope to join Him there one day.  Every reason for our Easter joy is just as real this year as it’s ever been.  No virus, no quarantine can ever take that away.  And so I hope your Easter is, indeed, happy.

So what can you do to make Easter a joyful celebration in your home?  First and foremost, watch the Mass on TV.  In fact, I’d recommend watching multiple Masses!  (At Christ the King alone, we’ll have both an Easter Vigil on Saturday night, and an Easter Mass on Sunday morning.  That’s in addition to countless other Mass broadcasts available on TV, on Redeemer Radio and online.)  Multiple Masses give you the chance to hear more homilies, enjoy more music, and be united with more of your fellow homebound Catholics in prayer.  And never forget that every time we participate in Mass, we’re also praying alongside the saints and angels in heaven, where the Divine Liturgy is always going on.  You may be at home by yourselves, […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |April 9th, 2020|

Suffice it to say, this just might be the strangest Holy Week most of us will ever experience.  I know that some of our parishioners know people who have been directly impacted by the coronavirus.  But even for those who haven’t, the experience of being under a stay-at-home order is a drastically different experience for most of us.

From a faith standpoint, it seems even more disheartening that this experience includes Holy Week.  Holy Week is a climax of the liturgical year.  Especially if we’ve been really committed to our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, Holy Week is a time when we Catholics have our game faces on!  We begin the week with Palm Sunday, recalling the Lord’s Passion and receiving blessed palms that we keep in our homes for the whole year.  And that all leads up to the true high point of the year, the Sacred Triduum, where we journey with the Lord from the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, through His Passion and death on Good Friday, all leading up to His triumphant Resurrection from the dead at the Easter Vigil and the other Easter Masses.  From the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, to the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, to the baptism of our elect at the Easter Vigil, there are so many things that we will miss out on.  We could certainly be excused for thinking that it doesn’t “feel” like Holy Week.

But (without trying to make too much lemonade, here…) perhaps this situation is an opportunity to enter into Holy Week in a new and different way.  Perhaps the feeling of being stuck in our homes can help us understand how the Apostles felt, […]

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A Message from Father Steve

By |April 4th, 2020|

Suffice it to say, this just might be the strangest Holy Week most of us will ever experience.  I know that some of our parishioners know people who have been directly impacted by the coronavirus.  But even for those who haven’t, the experience of being under a stay-at-home order is a drastically different experience for most of us. 

From a faith standpoint, it seems even more disheartening that this experience includes Holy Week.  Holy Week is really a climax of the liturgical year.  Especially if we’ve been really committed to our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, Holy Week is a time when we Catholics have our game faces on!  We begin the week with Palm Sunday, recalling the Lord’s Passion and receiving blessed palms that we keep in our homes for the whole year.  And that all leads up to the true high point of the year, the Sacred Triduum, where we journey with the Lord from the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, through His Passion and death on Good Friday, all leading up to His triumphant Resurrection from the dead at the Easter Vigil and the other Easter Masses.  From the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, to the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, to the baptism of our elect at the Easter Vigil, there are so many things that we will miss out on.  We could certainly be excused for thinking that it doesn’t “feel” like Holy Week. 

But (without trying to make too much lemonade, here…) perhaps this situation is an opportunity to enter into Holy Week in a new and different way.  Perhaps the feeling of being stuck in our homes can help us understand how the Apostles […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |March 29th, 2020|

It is strange to write this bulletin column knowing that almost no one will read it in print.  We’re about a week-and-a-half into our parish closure, and I think most of us would say that this is unlike anything we’ve experienced before.  For many of our parishioners who work in health care, they are working overtime at a breakneck pace.  For others, they are largely confined to their homes.  Either way, I doubt there are any of us who haven’t been seriously affected; every one of us certainly has an extra cross to carry this Lent.

And yet, even with all of the distress that the Cross carries, I’ve been in a privileged position to see this ordeal bring out a lot of good in us.  So many people have let me know how painful it is to be deprived of the Mass, and as painful as that is, it’s also been inspiring to see the deep love that so many of you have for the Mass and the Eucharist.  It’s a powerful reminder to me that when I’m praying my Mass in private each day, that I’m praying it with and for each of you who can’t join me in person.

I’ve also witnessed an awful lot of good in different exchanges I’ve had with parishioners who have dealt with this crisis in some powerful ways.  We have parishioners who have set routines of daily prayer with their spouse or family, far beyond what they’d ever done before.  We have parishioners who are reaching out to others who might be alone or anxious.  We have parishioners who’ve searched for creative ways to help other people, even with the restrictions we have on our movement.  We have […]

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