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 […]

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

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 […]

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

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 […]

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 23rd, 2021|

Well, it truly is the end of an era here at Christ the King.  Some of you may have seen Linda Fitzpatrick’s letter in the bulletin last week (reprinted this week, in case you missed it), and it’s true:  after 27 years as our Parish Secretary, Linda will be retiring in February!  As she says in her email, she’s been a part of Christ the King for over 60 years, and that won’t change after she retires.  (I promise her a one-year break before I start recruiting her to do volunteer work at the parish.)  But her contribution to the parish during her 27 years as a member of our Pastoral Team is truly exceptional.

 

I can tell you firsthand that working for a Pastor is a thankless job!  Linda has had all sorts of responsibilities during her time here:  maintaining all the parish records, being the liaison for several different parish ministries, organizing our Safe Environment Program, leading our Art & Environment volunteers, and assisting with the Religious Education Program, among others.  (I won’t even try to list them all.  I’m bound to miss something!)  But most importantly, she has been a tremendous source of support to all the priests and lay employees who have served here over the last three decades, and a wonderful pastoral presence to our parishioners.  I know that many of you will be quite surprised (and perhaps a little sad) to read her announcement.  But I know we are all grateful for her selfless service to the parish over these many years, and excited for her as she begins this new chapter in her life.

 

We’ll do something for Linda when her retirement date gets closer, but in the meantime please […]

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 16th, 2021|

Instead of a bulletin column this week, I’ll give you a little more of a “photo essay” and share with you some pics of our new sacristy!  We have been using the Cry Room as a sacristy ever since the sacristy fire way back in February, but we’re finally back in the sacristy.  We’re not all moved in and organized yet, but it turned out beautifully.  Well worth the wait!  (We’ll be ready to use the Cry Room shortly, but first we have to clear out a few items that are stored in there that aren’t kid-friendly.)

 

Enjoy the photos!

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

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.

 

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 2nd, 2021|

October is Respect Life Month, and so we observe the first Sunday of October as Respect Life Sunday.  I thought this would be an appropriate time to share a reflection with you from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (https://www.usccb.org/resources/respect-life-program-reflection-2020-2021).  I encourage you to read this and use it in your personal prayer as we all continue to pray that, in place of the culture of death that seems to surround us, a culture of life may grow and thrive so that the way we treat the least of our brothers and sisters can glorify God each day.

 

 

Twenty-five years ago, Pope St. John Paul II wrote that the Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ saving message to the world (Evangelium vitae 1). In taking on human flesh, dwelling among us, and sacrificing his very life for our redemption, Christ reveals the profound dignity of every human person. This God-given dignity does not change with our stage of life, abilities, level of independence, or any other varying circumstance.

Rather, it is rooted in the permanent fact that each of us is made in the image and likeness of God, created to share in the very life of God himself. The human person is a “manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory” (EV 34). And we must reflect this truth in how we act and how we treat one another.

The truth of the Gospel of life is at the foundation of who we are as followers of Christ. In his earthly life, Jesus provided the perfect model for how we are to love our neighbor and live out the Gospel call: “Truly, I say […]

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 25th, 2021|

This is the weekend in which we participate in the annual Bishop’s Appeal.  We’ll watch the appeal video at all Masses, and all parishioners will be given the opportunity to support this appeal.  This year our parish goal is $159,817.27. Any money that is given above that goal will be returned dollar-for-dollar to the parish.  We count on a certain amount of over-goal money as part of our operating budget, but last year we were fortunate to go even beyond that amount, which really helped us offset the drop in collections we experienced as we emerged from the pandemic.

 

The diocese counts on this annual appeal as part of their operating budget.  This budget funds the Catholic Schools Office, which supports all of the schools in the diocese; various pastoral offices that provide religious education, Hispanic ministry, community outreach, and all sorts of other pastoral services; and all sorts of administrative support functions for parishes, including things like finances and human resources. This past year I began serving on the diocese’s Budget Review Committee, and I can say firsthand that they run a very lean budget.  In fact, their commitment to controlling expenses led to a significant (approximately $40,000) reduction in our parish goal last year, and the goal has stayed at that level this year, as well.

 

I hope that all of you will find some way to participate.  (Remember, any school family who is receiving the active parishioner tuition discount is expected to contribute to the appeal.)  Even if you are unable to contribute financially at this time, I’d ask that you still return a pledge card indicating a $0 pledge.  This will not only keep us from sending you any follow-up emails (!), but […]

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 19th, 2021|

Slowly but surely, many of our parish groups are starting to meet again.  Groups are being cautious and prudent, given the fact that we’re still withstanding the surge in the delta variant, and some groups will continue to use Zoom for meetings in order to accommodate their specific membership.  However, it’s definitely good to be able to meet again in person to resume the work of parish life that we’ve missed so much over the last 18 months.

 

Given how long it’s been since we’ve had in-person meetings – as well as the fact that a lot has changed about our physical campus since the pandemic shut down these ministries – I thought it would be helpful to review some changes that you’ll notice as these meetings resume:

 

¨ The Fr. Tripi Room is a new meeting room that is part of our new addition.  You can access it by parking in the north parking lot near the priests’ garage.  It’s the room furthest on the left as you face the new addition, right behind the new little kids’ playground.

¨ The Fr. Jones Room has been relocated as part of the construction project.  While it used to be located on the southwest side of the basement (i.e. right by the elevators), now it’s located on the northwest side (by the north entrance to the church). The north entrance is usually locked, so people can enter by the main doors of the church, go downstairs and walk through the basement to get to the room.

¨ We’re also using some of the old familiar meeting spaces that we used to use pre-COVID, such as the Computer Room and the Youth Room, so check with your meeting leader if you’re uncertain how to […]

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 11th, 2021|

This month, for the first time since the COVID pandemic, we are once again scheduling liturgical ministers!  While our county is still in the midst of a surge in the delta variant, this is one step that we can safely take to get things a little closer to normal.

 

Until now, we’ve just been using volunteer lectors and MC’s who sign up month-to-month, and we have only been recruiting EMHC’s when there was no deacon at Mass.  Now you’ll notice that we have returned to having four Communion lines instead of two.  (No more making a huge lap around the church for those of you in the side sections!)  We still are not distributing the Precious Blood until we receive notice from the diocese that they are ready to resume this practice.  There are also certain ministries, such as sacristans and altar servers, that we won’t resume until we are able to move back into the sacristy.  (We’re getting closer…  We had been waiting on the new cabinetry to arrive for several months, but it’s finally here, and most of it has been installed.  We’re just waiting on a little more hardware in order to complete the installation, after which we can install the sinks and the flooring and then move in.)

 

We’ve done our best to update our ministry lists (adding new people who’ve filled out their Time & Talent Forms, while deleting people we know wish to retire from a particular ministry), but we need your help to make sure things run smoothly as we resume these ministries.  In particular, contact Teresa at the rectory (toross@christthekingonline.org) if you:

Don’t know whether or not you’re on the ministry list
Signed up for a ministry but don’t […]

Comments Off on From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC
Skip to toolbar