From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |August 8th, 2020|

Just a couple of notes about Masses this weekend:

 

Mission Appeal.  This weekend is our annual Mission Appeal.  Normally we have a speaker who comes in to preach about their firsthand experience in the mission territory to which our appeal is directed that year.  This year, our guest was supposed to have been Fr. Tad Balinda, who currently serves in our diocese at St. Patrick’s Parish in Angola, Indiana.  This year our appeal is going to the Diocese of Kasese in the East African nation of Uganda, where Fr. Tad is originally from.  More information about the diocese can be found at www.kasesediocese.org, and the appeal this year will go towards the construction of their new cathedral.  Because of COVID restrictions, Fr. Tad won’t be able to join us in person, so we will instead give you a message he has prepared for us.

Typically, we have special envelopes in the pews for the Mission Appeal (since this isn’t included in your regular envelope set) so that you can offer your donation during Mass.  This year, however, since we’re not leaving any materials in the pews or taking up collections in the same way, we’ll do things a little differently.  We’ll have a second collection box near the back of the church that will be clearly marked for Mission Appeal donations.  We’ll leave that box out for a few more weeks in order to give you plenty of time to contribute.  If you’re mailing in your contribution or dropping it off at the rectory, either place it in a separate envelope clearly marked “MISSION APPEAL” or write it in the memo line of your check so that your donation is sent to the proper place.  Thanks so much […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |August 3rd, 2020|

This Saturday we’re celebrating First Communion for our second graders.  (I guess they’re not second graders any more, are they?  They’re now rising third graders!  Sorry about that.)  Instead of our usual practice of celebrating First Communions at our regular Sunday Masses, this year we’ll have two private Masses on Saturday for the First Communicants and their families.  This will allow us to gather in small enough groups to maintain social distancing.

 

First Communion Weekend is always special, but this year it feels a little extra special.  These children prepared all of last year with the expectation that they’d receive the sacrament in May.  Like so many other things, that was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  I know that it’s been tough for them to wait so long, but to see how eager they are to receive the Blessed Sacrament is truly inspiring.  It shows that they really understand how special the Eucharist is and how close it brings us to the Lord.  They remind us all that we should never take the Eucharist for granted or lose sight of how truly blessed we are to be able to receive His Body and Blood here at Mass.

 

When we see the “holy longing” of our younger parishioners preparing for their First Communion, it should remind us of some of our other parishioners who are experiencing that same longing.  We still have many parishioners who are homebound or in nursing homes who can’t attend Mass.  We have many others who haven’t come back yet because of medical vulnerability or anxiety.  They are all part of the Body of Christ, and we miss them.  When we receive Holy Communion at Mass, let us take a moment to pray for […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |July 26th, 2020|

This week, we’ll celebrate our 8th Grade Graduation Mass.  We’re always excited to recognize our 8th graders as they complete their time at Christ the King School and move on to high school, but this year we’re even more excited to honor them.  After all, this ceremony has been a long time coming!  Just like other graduates across the world, they missed out on a lot when we moved to distance learning in March:  field trips, extracurriculars, the Service Immersion, and graduation, just to name a few.  I know that had to be a huge disappointment for them, but I’m proud of the way that they finished up a difficult year.  I’m also excited that so many of them will be back for our Graduation Mass.  It will be great to see them, and I’m sure they will be glad to celebrate with each other one last time before moving off to high school next month.

Speaking of going back to school next month, we have been hard at work on our plan to welcome students back to our school at the end of August. The start date of the new school year had already been pushed back due to construction, so we’ll begin the school year on Wednesday August 26th.  A very dedicated task force consisting of administrators, faculty and parents has worked throughout the summer to look at every aspect of our school day.  We’ve consulted broadly with experts in medicine, public health and education throughout this process.  No plan is perfect, and the situation around us is obviously fluid, but we have done everything in our power to make our school as safe as it can possibly be.  Our students and staff deserve no less.

We’ve […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |July 18th, 2020|

Believe it or not, it’s been almost two months since we’ve resumed public Masses.  I know that this has been a huge adjustment for all of us, and it will continue to be a challenge until the pandemic is truly behind us.  However, we’ve also seen tremendous grace at work through this whole process.  Here are some observations:

Mass attendance has gradually increased a little bit each week.  Our first weekend back, there was (understandably) a very small crowd.  Each week we’ve seen a few more people return.  We haven’t made much use of the overflow Masses yet, but right now many of our Masses are at capacity – we’ve figured out that we can get about 80 people in the church right now while maintaining social distancing – so we expect that overflow Masses will be needed regularly.  However, we don’t anticipate having to turn anyone away in the near future; since we can accommodate another 100 people in the gym.
I am so grateful for how patient all of you have been with all of the changes we’ve had to make.  I know that many of these changes are difficult.  People have been so gracious about things like wearing masks and receiving Communion on the hand, which I realize are big changes for many of you.  Thank you for adapting so readily.
Most of all, I have seen so many beautiful displays of our parishioners’ deep love for the Eucharist.  So many parishioners have made big sacrifices and put up with significant changes just in order to receive Communion.  I’ve also seen many tears of joy, especially when people return for the first time after a long time away.  It’s truly inspiring; you […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC Welcome Geoffrey Mooney, CSC

By |July 13th, 2020|

Our new seminarian, soon-to-be-deacon, Geoff Mooney has arrived at Christ the King!  We are very pleased to welcome as he prepares to be ordained a deacon (in September, at the same as Deacon Gil’s ordination to the priesthood) and ordained a priest in April.  (At this point we don’t have firm details about Fr. Mike Palmer’s transition to his new assignment, but I’ll keep you posted as we find out.)  Here are a few words of introduction from Geoff.

 

Dear Christ the King family,

It was Christmas Break of my fourth year teaching high school and the final week of 2012.  Just hours after returning from Midnight Mass with my family, I boarded an airplane bound for Rome to meet up with a group of Notre Dame graduates from the ACE program.  On our pilgrimage to the Eternal City, we toured the Coliseum and the Vatican museums, celebrated vespers inside St. Peter’s Basilica, took a train ride to Assisi, and watched fireworks from the rooftop of the Holy Cross Generalate on New Year’s Eve.  We took in all the sights and sounds (and tastes) of Rome, and for this I still have great memories, but perhaps the greatest personal impact of the pilgrimage came from an opportunity to spend a week in prayer and fellowship with young adults discerning God’s call for their lives in a place where so many Christians over the centuries—saints and sinners alike—had done the very same thing.

Though the first stirrings of a vocation to religious life for me came much earlier, this trip provided me the gentle push I needed to reach out to others and share how I thought God was calling me.  Growing up in southern Indiana, I attended Catholic […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |June 27th, 2020|

In last week’s column, I talked about how the leadership of our Church is responding to the racial unrest our nation is experiencing.  This week, I’d like to talk about the Church’s broader response to the sin of racism.  After all, the responses made by our leaders are based on the social teaching of the Church. They are rooted in the Christian belief of the dignity of every human life, and this belief has compelled the Bishops of the United States to speak out against the sin of racism long before the current wave of unrest began.

 

The U.S. Bishops recently (2018) published a document entitled Open Wide Our Hearts (http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/open-wide-our-hearts.pdf) addressing the sin of racism.  It’s just one of many things that they have written on the subject, but I think it encapsulates the Catholic perspective on racism very well.  It is certainly prophetic, and parts of it look like they could have been written last week.

 

The Bishops caution against thinking that racism is “someone else’s problem”, but rather stress that a sin against one member of the Body of Christ damages the whole Body, and that each and every one of us (including the institutional Church) is in need of ongoing conversion.

 

With the positive changes that arose from the civil rights movement and related civil rights legislation, some may believe that racism is no longer a major affliction of our society— that it is only found in the hearts of individuals who can be dismissed as ignorant or unenlightened. But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart.

 

Each of us should adopt the words of Pope Francis as our own: let no one “think that this […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |June 13th, 2020|

On the second Sunday after Pentecost, we always celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ.  This year this feast takes on a new poignancy since many of our brothers and sisters haven’t been able to join us in receiving the Eucharist.  Many are being cautious about returning to any kind of public gathering.  Others are heeding the State’s advice that people over 65 and others in high-risk groups should limit their exposure.  Either way, many people have expressed to me just how painful it has been to be separated from the Eucharist.

 

After listening to a lot of folks and having much discussion as a Pastoral Team, this Sunday we are going to begin making the Eucharist available to these folks outside of Mass on Sundays.  We invite anyone who is unable to join us in person for Mass, but who has watched Mass on TV instead, to come to the church between 1:30pm and 2:00pm, where they will have the opportunity to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

 

We’ve waited until this weekend to make this available for a few reasons.  Of course, it is providential that this is happening on Corpus Christi, and it also coincides with the beginning of Stage 4 of the Governor’s Back on Track Indiana, plan; while this still advises that seniors and others in high-risk groups exercise caution, it eases some of the restrictions and guidelines that had previously been in place.  (I encourage you to familiarize yourselves with these recommendations at https://www.backontrack.in.gov/2348.htm.)

 

We’ve also consulted different medical and public health officials before making this decision, and based on these discussions, we know that caution is still necessary.  Those who take advantage of this opportunity will still be asked […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |June 7th, 2020|

This week, I’d like to address my column specifically to all of our parishioners who are 65 and older.  Even as the state and the parish have slowly begun to reopen, our parishioners who are 65 and older have been encouraged to remain home and not attend Mass.  I know this has been particularly difficult for many of you.  I know that being deprived of the Eucharist since March has been a heavy cross for you to carry.  I also know that many of you feel that this recommendation unfairly singles you out, and some of you have felt like my wording of this recommendation (on posters, emails, etc.) has been too strong, making you feel unwelcome in your own parish.

 

I just want to take this opportunity to make sure that you know how much we value and appreciate you.  Our older parishioners are the heart and the backbone of our parish.  They are the stalwarts of daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and parish rosaries on Mondays and Saturdays.  Their willingness to pitch in wherever needed is one reason we are able to provide food from our food pantry, bring Communion to the homebound, and provide child care for parish events, just to name a few things.  But even more than that, our older parishioners are the foundation of our parish.  Many of them have been in the parish for decades.  They’ve built this parish, and we stand on their shoulders.  They’re the ones who remember the Little White Church, the ones who can talk about all the changes our parish has been through over the past 87 years.  They’ve seen many changes throughout the decades, but their faithfulness to Christ the King has been constant through it all.

 

That’s […]

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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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