From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |January 16th, 2021|

This Wednesday, January 20th, is the feast day of Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.  Holy Cross is the religious community to which Fr. Gil, Deacon Geoff and I belong, and Holy Cross religious have staffed Christ the King ever since we were founded in 1933.  His feast day is a good opportunity to share something about our Holy Cross family with our Christ the King family.

 

Fr. Moreau was born in France during the French Revolution, and he was ordained a priest in the revolution’s aftermath.  This was a tumultuous time for the nation, including the Catholic Church.  The Church had been seriously weakened by the revolution, and so as the Church rebuilt, she was faced with a generation who had received little to no catechism or instruction in the faith.  On top of that, the Church was heavily involved in the French educational system, so the secular education system needed to be rebuilt every bit as much as the religious education system, particularly in rural areas.

 

Fr. Moreau was ordained a diocesan priest for the Diocese of LeMans, and he served as an instructor in the seminary.  During this time, two things happened that led to the founding of Holy Cross.  First of all, he had gathered together a group of “auxiliary priests” who traveled around preaching parish missions in order to try and re-evangelize parishes.  Secondly, he was asked to assume leadership of a group of religious brothers who had been charged with founding parish schools.  In 1837, he brought these two groups together to form the Congregation of Holy Cross, and within a few short years, he was sending Holy Cross missionaries all over the world (including to […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |January 11th, 2021|

Today marks the end of the Christmas season, as we return to Ordinary Time by celebrating the Baptism of the Lord.  While it’s always sad to see the Christmas decorations come down (the church always seems to look its most beautiful during the Christmas season – thanks Art & Environment crew!), we’ll now move forward into Ordinary Time, where our Gospel readings will allow us to enter into the daily ministry of Jesus’ public life.

 

I thought I’d use today’s column to touch on a few loose ends related to our capital campaign and construction project.  We’ve been all moved into our new facility for a few months now, but we’re still continuing to work on a number of smaller items in order to finish the project completely.  We’re also continuing to receive the final invoices from our contractor, so we’ll be able to provide you with a more detailed financial summary once the project is completely closed out.

 

As I’ve mentioned in a previous column, we’ve taken out a bridge loan from the diocese to allow us to pay these bills while we finish collecting our pledges.  Our 3-year campaign will wind up in December 2021, so all of the money we collect on your pledges during 2021 will go towards the payment of the bridge loan.  We expect that the remaining payments will fall a little short of the total bridge loan; as I’ve mentioned in a previous column, we were able to keep cost overruns to a minimum, but there were some that we had to incur.  However, we don’t expect to incur any long-term debt.  The worst-case scenario would be that we cover any difference with money from savings, but my hope is […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |January 3rd, 2021|

Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St. Joseph, and so that seems like a good focus for us all as we begin the new year.  The Pope made this declaration earlier this month in a letter entitled Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), on the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX declaring Joseph “Patron of the Catholic Church.”  Pope Francis said that his intention “to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal”.  It’s a beautiful reflection on the foster father of Christ (and it’s not especially long), so I highly recommend reading the full text at http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_letters/documents/papa-francesco-lettera-ap_20201208_patris-corde.html.

Even though Joseph doesn’t speak a word in Scriptures, Pope Francis acknowledges several virtues that he exhibits which are good models for us to follow.  He describes Joseph as

 a “beloved father”, who dedicated his life to serving Jesus and Mary
 a “tender and loving father”, who raised Jesus as his own and was an instrument of the tender love of God
 “an obedient father”, who obeys the voice of the angel who speaks to him in dreams, taking Mary into his home and taking the Holy Family to Egypt to keep them safe from King Herod
 an “accepting father”, who accepted Mary unconditionally into his home and who serves as a model for all, especially in a world where so many women are grossly mistreated
 a “creatively courageous father”, who dealt with difficulties in creative ways in order to care for Jesus and Mary
 a “working father”, who worked hard to make an honest living, and who therefore lifted up the dignity of human labor
 a “father in the shadows”, who dedicated his life to the […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |December 26th, 2020|

Happy New Year (almost…)  Since this is the bulletin that will be out on New Year’s Day, I wanted to leave you with a wish for the new year.  While many of us will be quite happy to see 2020 in the rear-view mirror, I hope that we can all find things to be grateful for from the year that’s ending, as well as to be hopeful for in the year that’s beginning.  Here’s a suggestion offered by the U.S. Bishops for a family prayer to begin the New Year.  I hope that 2021 is filled with blessings for you and all of your loved ones.

Fr. Steve

On New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, the household gathers at the table or at the Christmas tree or manger scene. Many people make New Year’s Day a day of prayer for peace.

All make the sign of the cross. The leader begins:

 Let us praise the Lord of days and seasons and years, saying:

Glory to God in the highest!

R/. And peace to his people on earth!

 The leader may use these or similar words to introduce the blessing:

 Our lives are made of days and nights, of seasons and years, for we are part of a universe of suns and moons and planets. We mark ends and we make beginnings and, in all, we praise God for the grace and mercy that fill our days.

 Then the Scripture is read, Book of Genesis 1:14-19:

 

Listen to the words of the Book of Genesis:

 

God said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |December 19th, 2020|

As we enter into these final few days before Christmas, I thought it would be appropriate to share this Christmas message from Pope Francis.  Although this was written last year – and who could have ever imagined the year we’ve had since? – it applies every bit as much today.  Merry Christmas to all of you and your loved ones!

 

 

 

 

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1)

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Merry Christmas!

 

From the womb of Mother Church, the incarnate Son of God is born anew this night. His name is Jesus, which means: “God saves”. The Father, eternal and infinite Love, has sent him into the world not to condemn the world but to save it (cf. Jn 3:17). The Father has given him to us with great mercy. He has given him to everyone. He has given him forever. The Son is born, like a small light flickering in the cold and darkness of the night.

 

That Child, born of the Virgin Mary, is the Word of God made flesh. The Word who guided Abraham’s heart and steps towards the promised land, and who continues to draw to himself all those who trust in God’s promises. The Word who led the Hebrews on the journey from slavery to freedom and who continues to call the enslaved in every age, including our own, to come forth from their prisons. He is the Word brighter than the sun, made incarnate in a tiny son of man: Jesus the light of the world.

 

This is why the prophet cries out: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1). There is darkness in human hearts, yet the light of Christ […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |December 12th, 2020|

This weekend we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent.  That means that Christmas is coming soon!  As you might imagine, some things about Christmas Mass will look different this year.  After all, the church is usually packed for Christmas Masses, but our COVID restrictions will only allow us to accommodate a fraction of the usual crowd.  We don’t want to deny anyone the opportunity to go to Mass on Christmas, so our solution is to provide overflow Masses for every Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Here’s what our Mass schedule will look like:

Christmas Eve: 

4pm Mass in the church

4:15pm overflow Masses in the basement, the old gym and the new gym

6pm Mass in the church

6:15pm overflow Mass in the basement

10pm Mass in the church

10:15pm overflow Mass in the basement

Christmas Day: 

9am Mass in the church

9:15am overflow Mass in the basement

11am Mass in the church

11:15am overflow Masses in the basement and the old gym

Because we will need to accommodate such large crowds, we’ll need to ask everyone to be patient.  In particular:

¨ You might not get to attend Mass in your first-choice location; if the church is full, we’ll have hospitality volunteers direct you to the next available overflow Mass.

¨ You might not get to sit in the seat you want; as much as possible we’re going to have hospitality volunteers seat people so that we can accommodate as many people as possible safely in the church.

Therefore, please be flexible!!!!  Whether we’re in the church or an overflow Mass, we should all be grateful that we’re able to celebrate Christmas Mass together as a parish family.  I think that this year we’ve all learned in a special way not to take Mass for granted.  Just know […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |December 5th, 2020|

        Please join me in congratulating (and praying for) our parishioners who received the Sacrament of Confirmation this week.  In the Sacrament of Confirmation, these parishioners received the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Now that the are fully initiated to the Catholic Church, they receive the “special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross”, as it says in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1303).  Congratulations to all of our newly confirmed parishioners!

  As with everything else this year, Confirmation looked different this year than it has in the past.  First and foremost, we had to split Confirmation into two evenings. (Many thanks to Bishop Rhoades for coming out here twice to administer the sacrament on both Thursday and Friday.  I’m sure he’s saying a whole lot of extra Confirmation Masses this year!)  Also, our 8th graders were joined by adult parishioners.  Normally, adults who were baptized Catholic but haven’t been confirmed receive the sacrament at a special Adult Confirmation Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, but this year those kinds of gatherings aren’t possible, so we were happy to have these folks join us this week.  Even pictures with the Bishop looked different, as we made some adjustments to allow for socially distanced photos!

Preparing our candidates for Confirmation was obviously a much greater challenge this year, especially since our school has had to revert to eLearning for the month of December because of increased faculty, staff and students who have had to quarantine as COVID close contacts.  While we weren’t able to have our usual retreat and other preparatory activities, […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |November 26th, 2020|

Today is the beginning of the Advent season!  I know this is a much different preparation for Christmas than we’re used to, but there will still be plenty of opportunities to prepare for the coming of the Lord by our works of prayer and penitence.  Here are some of the opportunities that we’ll offer here at Christ the King:

Advent reflection materials will be available in the vestibule of the church for you to take home.

Taize Prayer (a beautiful, sung meditation) will take place in the church at 7pm on Sunday November 29th, and it will also be available on our YouTube channel.

An evening Mass will be offered every Tuesday in Advent at 5:30pm.  Confessions will follow every Tuesday at 6pm in the Cry Room.  (Wait in the church.)

Instead of a communal penance service, this year we’ll offer a lot of extra opportunities for confession.  In addition to the Saturday morning and Tuesday evening confessions, we’ll hold confessions in the Cry Room and the Holy Cross Chapel at the following times:

Monday December 21st:  9am to 10am

Monday December 21st:  7pm to 8pm

Tuesday December 22nd:  7pm to 8pm

 Wednesday December 23rd:  9am to 10am

Wednesday December 23rd:  7pm to 8pm

 A Zoom Bible Study will be offered for Advent.  Check the bulletin (or contact Fr. Gil) for more details.

Check your daily emails for tons of different Advent reflection materials that you can add to your Advent prayer routine.

Also check your daily emails for some special videos that will come out during the week before Christmas!

In addition to these structured Advent activities, there are plenty of ways that you can prepare on your own.  The extra time you carve out for prayer, the small acts of charity and penance that you practice, […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |November 21st, 2020|

A couple of years ago, as the Church was reeling from the latest round of revelations about the clergy sex abuse scandal, it was announced that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was being suspended from ministry after a credible allegation of abuse against a minor.  He was eventually laicized after that claim was investigated, and Pope Francis announced that there would be a thorough investigation of how someone facing those kinds of accusations could have possibly risen through the ranks to become a Cardinal Archbishop. 

As you have probably seen in the news, that report was released last week.  It is thorough, coming in at well over 400 pages, and the investigation included interviews with more than 90 witnesses, including abuse survivors.  (The full report is available at http://www.vatican.va/resources/resources_rapporto-card-mccarrick_20201110_en.pdf., and the first 14 pages are an executive summary.  A good summary of the article can also be found in last week’s edition of Today’s Catholic at https://todayscatholic.org/mccarrick-report-cites-lack-of-investigations-of-rumors/). 

Although the details of McCarrick’s abuse came to light two years ago, this report is sure to reopen many wounds among the faithful.  In particular, this report is different because it goes into more specific detail on how our leadership failed to investigate or address these accusations adequately.  The report concludes that Pope St. John Paul II was reluctant to believe the accusations because of his own relationship with McCarrick, among other factors, and thus didn’t insist on a more thorough investigation.  It also concludes that although Pope Benedict XVI asked McCarrick to step down in 2006 after new accusations came to light, he didn’t impose formal sanctions on him.  Instead he asked him to keep a lower profile, a request McCarrick promptly disregarded. 

It is painful to see that leaders we love and admire should have […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |November 14th, 2020|

I’d like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the good things going on in our school.  To say that this has been an unusual school year would be a massive understatement.  Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of life for every person in the world.  Our school is no exception, and it has taken a monumental effort to create an environment that is safe and responsible while still engaging the hearts and minds of our children and allowing them to still be kids.  I’m really proud of the way that our community has come together to do that.  I’m equally proud that we have been able to continue to have school in person (while offering the option of eLearning to those families who are not comfortable returning in person), especially when I know that so many schools all over the nation have not been able to do so.

Many people deserve credit for this.  Of course, the hard work of our Back-to-School Task Force (consisting of administrators, teachers and parents) throughout the summer created the protocols we’ve been following diligently throughout the school year.  Our administration has worked tirelessly to manage the countless challenges that COVID has created.  Our teachers and aides deserve special recognition.  Teaching in-person and eLearning students at the same time has increased their workload tremendously, but they have done an amazing job in making this a good year for our students.  We’re also grateful to our school families.  After all, we can control what happens on our campus during the school day, but we can only continue to meet in person when all of our families make good choices and stay safe on evenings, weekends and breaks.  […]

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