From Deacon Joe Dietz

By |February 9th, 2020|

Happy Valentine’s Day. I want to thank Fr. Steve for the opportunity to prepare the bulletin column this week.  As the only married member of the clergy staff here at Christ the King, I am here to tell you I have the perfect Valentine’s Day present for you to give your spouse.   My lovely wife Mary has been my valentine for 43 years now (we’ve been married for 41 but of course being each other’s valentine is one of things that got us to the altar), and what I want to tell you about is something that has made this past year one of our best.  That is the “Marriage in Christ” (MIC) program – a program that we are offering here at Christ the King Parish in March.   Someone suggested that Mary and I attend this program when it was offered at Little Flower Parish last year in order to evaluate bringing it here to CTK, and so we did.

You know it’s funny, but having been married for as long as we have, you wouldn’t think a marriage enrichment program would have had anything new to teach us, but the truth is we learned some things at MIC that we would have benefited from early on in our marriage, plus we were reminded of some really cool things that we had forgotten.  For some reason, when couples hear about a marriage enrichment program being offered at the church, they think it’s a marriage repair program, and they shy away because their marriage is doing fine.  But with MIC, that just isn’t the case, it provides a tune up for marriages that are doing well as well as a tool for those that might need […]

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From Fr Mike Palmer, csc

By |February 1st, 2020|

Since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by discovering why certain feast days always happen on certain dates. As it turns out, many of our Catholic celebrations closely imitate or pay homage to the patterns of life and worship that were first observed by the ancient people of Israel. For example, whenever a Jewish mother gave birth to her firstborn son, she and her husband would travel to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer their child to God 40 days after the child’s birth. This ritual purification symbolized (among other things) the child’s special status of being claimed by God. It also invoked the Lord’s special love for His people that kept their firstborn children safe on the night of Passover – the same love that sent us God’s firstborn Son. (Another great example is the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th, which is celebrated exactly nine months before the Nativity!)

So it’s no coincidence that this weekend’s Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (also known as “Candlemas”) takes place 40 days after Christmas each year. As told in Saint Luke’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph received a shock when they arrived at the Temple with their child. Simeon, a holy man who had been awaiting the Messiah his entire life, rushed up and swept the infant Jesus out of Mary and Joseph’s arms, tearfully uttering the beautiful hymn of praise known as the Nunc Dimittis: “Lord, now You may let Your servant go in peace, for my own eyes have seen the salvation which You have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal You to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Simeon immediately recognized the presence of […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |January 25th, 2020|

Today we begin Catholic Schools Week.  I’m sure that all of you who have been a part of our school remember with fondness all of the activities that go on during this week when we give thanks for the incredible impact that Catholic schools have on our Church and on our world.  (And on our parish, too – when we look around at Mass and see all of the young families with which we’re blessed, we know our school has a lot to do with their presence.)  Our celebration begins today (Sunday January 26th) with our school’s Open House, and will conclude next Saturday, when we recognize our Light of Learning Award winner, kindergarten teacher Kathy Greve, at the 5pm Vigil Mass.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Catholic education.  I can think of very few things that do more to pass on the faith to our young people.  Going to a Catholic school doesn’t guarantee that a child will grow up to be a practicing Catholic, but it sure increases the odds.  It is uplifting to live and work at a school where I get to see incredible witnesses of faith every day.  It’s just as uplifting to keep in contact with many of our school’s graduates and look with pride on who they’ve become, knowing that our parish and school helped form them into the adults they are.  While we pride ourselves on a top-notch education, that kind of formation of the whole person is the reason why we put so many resources and so much energy into this ministry.

I hope that all of our parishioners get a chance to stop in during our Open House.  Whether or not you have kids in […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |January 18th, 2020|

Over the last couple of months, you may have seen information in the parish bulletin about a new program we’ll be offering called Surviving Divorce, which begins on Wednesday January 29th.  This is a 12-week program that is designed to help people work through the pain, grief and other issues associated with divorce.  Published by Ascension Press, this program is specifically geared towards divorced Catholics, and it addresses all of these issues through the lens of our Catholic faith.

Christ the King already ministers to divorced parishioners through our St. Helen’s Divorce Ministry, which is an ongoing support group that seeks to give support and a sense of belonging to divorced parishioners.  Surviving Divorce will complement this ministry and serve those who are actively grieving the loss of their marriage, accompanying them as they work through this grieving process and seek to heal from the pain of divorce.  Two of our parishioners, Pam Maxwell and Jane Anderson, have been trained to facilitate this ministry, and I’m grateful for their leadership and willingness to serve.

It’s so important that we as a parish family pay attention to our parishioners who have experienced the pain of divorce.  Divorce can really test a person’s faith for a number of reasons.  People may question why this happened, without coming up with a good answer.  They may have difficulty reconciling being divorced with being Catholic.  They may feel out of place when they come to Mass feel surrounded by seemingly healthy, intact families.  They may even feel judged by others.  Since it’s a time when people’s faith may be especially vulnerable, we have a special obligation to give them the extra love and support they need.

But I also know that a person’s […]

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Detailed Construction Update

By |January 12th, 2020|

As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve been trying to make sure that construction updates are printed in the bulletin every other week, including a lot of photos.  I know that the construction is taking place on a part of the property that most people can’t see easily, so I hope the photos help.  I thought I’d use this column to give you a more detailed update on how things are going (with thanks to our architects at Creative Design Solutions for providing these great photos every other week).

Ever since we finished the groundwork several months ago, our primary concern has been putting up masonry walls.  This work will continue until the end of May.  Many of the first-floor rooms by the gym are starting to take shape, and we’re in the middle of erecting the gym walls.  (The south wall of the gym is the part that you can see from 933.)  Additionally, we’ve begun the foundation work for some of the first floor classrooms, which will be north of the gym.
Many people have asked if the weather has caused any delays.  Our work crews have had to work through some cold days, and we’re grateful for their dedication.  All in all, though, winter has been relatively mild so far, for which we’re all grateful.  All of the rain we had in the fall set us back a few weeks, but we’ve been using extra masonry workers to catch up, and we should be back on schedule by the end of January.  We’re still on track for our target completion date of August 20, 2020.
Many people have asked about the windows on the outside of the existing school building.  These windows will all […]

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Happy New Year!

By |January 7th, 2020|

Happy New Year!  It’s hard to believe that 2020 is upon us, but here we are!  I hope that you all have enjoyed a little bit of rest, as well as time with loved ones, during these past couple of weeks.

New Year’s is, of course, a time when people make resolutions for the coming year.  I know that often these resolutions don’t last, but I think that it’s healthy to start the year with some concrete, achievable goals in mind.  With that, I humbly suggest that this is the perfect time to set goals that help us deepen the practice of our faith.

Which goals make sense for each person depends on where they’re at in their faith journey.  For someone who is sporadic in making it to Sunday Mass, a commitment to Sunday Mass and some kind of daily prayer (even as simple as grace before meals) is a great place to start.  For someone who worries that they are just “going through the motions” at Mass, there are several goals that might fit – arriving at Mass a few minutes early to pray, preparing the Sunday readings ahead of time, or even simply dressing up a bit more for Mass.  If daily prayer isn’t a part of someone’s life, then that’s a terrific goal for 2020.  And for those who wish to go deeper in their faith, there are a host of opportunities to take advantage of – doing some spiritual reading, praying together as a family, joining a Bible study, listening to a Catholic podcast, making a commitment to regular service/volunteer work.  Once you make your resolution, share it with some people you love and respect.  Not only will they help hold you […]

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Merry Christmas!

By |December 28th, 2019|

Merry Christmas!  I know that most of us probably won’t hear those words out in the rest of the world too much this weekend.  It’s funny – we’ve been hearing Christmas carols, putting up Christmas decorations and seeing Christmas commercials for weeks (even months) before Christmas, but as soon as the clock strikes midnight on December 25th, all of those things disappear in a hurry.  You’ll probably see plenty of Christmas trees out by the trash this weekend, and the stores are already replacing their Christmas decorations with decorations for Valentine’s Day.

That’s too bad, because as Catholics, we know that our celebration is just beginning!  Christmas Day isn’t the end of the Christmas season.  It’s just the beginning!  Our celebration of Christmas lasts for 8 days (an “octave”), from Christmas Day through January 1st.  And the Christmas season continues for over a week past that, concluding with the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday, January 12th.  During that time we celebrate all sorts of great Christmas feasts, such as the Holy Family (which we celebrate today) and Epiphany (next Sunday).  We also continue to enjoy Christmas carols and decorations throughout this season, long after the secular world around us has put these things away.

I hope that you are able to continue celebrating Christmas in your homes, too.  Don’t be in a rush to take those decorations down, especially your Nativity scene.  (After all, the Magi still haven’t arrived there yet.)  Continue to listen to Christmas hymns and to wish each other a Merry Christmas.  After all, the Church gives us a full season to celebrate the Incarnation of Our Lord.  Why not take advantage of it?

 

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Christmas Day

By |December 21st, 2019|

Merry Christmas!  I realize many of you are reading this on the 4th Sunday of Advent, but this bulletin also serves for Christmas Day, as well, so I want to extend special greetings and prayers to all of our parishioners and to all who are visiting us this Christmas.  I hope that, amid the bustle of this busy season, you can find some quiet time to rest in the peace of our newborn King.  Below is part of Pope Francis’ Christmas message from last year, which I think applies just as much today.  May the Pope’s words give us all something to think and pray about during this joyful season.

Fr. Steve

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!

To you … I renew the joyous proclamation of Bethlehem: “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace among those whom he favors” (Luke 2:14). Like the shepherds who first went with haste to the stable, let us halt in wonder before the sign that God has given us: “A baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). In silence, let us fall to our knees and worship.

What does that Child, born for us of the Virgin Mary, have to tell us? What is the universal message of Christmas? It is that God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters.

This truth is the basis of the Christian vision of humanity. Without the fraternity that Jesus Christ has bestowed on us, our efforts for a more just world fall short, and even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty.

For this reason, my wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation […]

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Advent Practices

By |December 14th, 2019|

Now that we’re a few weeks into the Advent season, it’s a good chance to take stock of how our Advent preparations are going.  I always find it helpful to get ideas from other people about how they observe this season and make it meaningful, so I asked members of our St. Gianna Mom’s Group to share some of their Advent practices.  Hopefully these might give some of you ideas as to how to make future Advents (and the remainder of this Advent) fruitful.  Here are some of the things they had to say:

After dinner each night, we light the Advent wreath and do family prayer.  We keep it simple and short, singing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” reading one line of scripture from the daily readings, and then use art supplies with the kids’ Advent booklets from church.
We have collected several nativity sets over the years, and we set them up throughout Advent, but without baby Jesus.  We parents hide the baby Jesus figures around the house and on Christmas Eve morning, the kids get to hunt for them and put them into the nativity scenes.
We were gifted a big Advent calendar several years ago with a tiny door that opens for each day in December.  We write different tasks on 24 slips of purple paper that help to prepare our home and hearts for Christmas, and the kids open a new door each morning to read (and hopefully do!) what the slip says. Some examples include:  set up the kids nativity set, buy gifts for the CTK giving tree, say a prayer for a friend, bake and deliver cookies to our elderly neighbor, put up the Christmas tree.  […]

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Sacrament of Reconciliation

By |December 7th, 2019|

Throughout the year, but especially during Advent and Lent, we make a real effort to encourage all of our parishioners to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I feel blessed that confession is alive and well in our parish.  Fr. Mike and I usually stay pretty busy every week when we hear confessions on Saturday morning, and we’re grateful for the lines of people there!  But Advent and Lent are particularly appropriate times to receive the sacrament.  I know that many of you are in the habit of going to confession during these seasons, but I encourage all of you to take advantage of this beautiful sacrament.

There are many reasons why some folks are reluctant to go to confession.  The broader culture seems to believe in sin less and less, believing that there’s no such thing as objective truth.  But even among those who are sincerely working to grow in virtue and fight against sin, some folks might still stay away from the confessional.  Many people wonder why they can’t just tell Jesus their sins and instead have to tell them to a priest.  Many people get frustrated because they just confess the same things over and over again.  And others find it difficult to name their sins out loud in the presence of another person.

If people ask me why they need to go to confession instead of just telling Jesus they’re sorry, I always begin my answer by saying that Jesus told us to!  When Jesus gave His Apostles the authority to forgive sins, He must have done it for a reason, right?  He certainly didn’t do it to make us jump through an extra hoop in order to receive His […]

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