From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 31st, 2020|

Well, it’s hard to believe that this day is finally here.  Today Bishop Rhoades joins us to dedicate our new building!  About a year and a half has passed since we broke ground – and over two years have passed since we began our capital campaign – but our new building is finally finished, and it has been worth the wait and worth the work. 

As you can imagine, the COVID pandemic threw many wrenches into our construction timeline.  We were blessed with an intrepid crew who made countless adjustments in order to keep the project on track.  We ended up moving into the building in stages.  We were able to move into the downstairs classrooms when school started in August.  Then we moved into the second-floor classrooms in early October.  Finally, we just completed the gym this past week.  I think everyone will agree that the quality of the construction is outstanding. 

Financially, we are very blessed that parishioners have been so faithful with their campaign pledges.  Since we will still be collecting pledges through the end of 2021, we have taken out a bridge loan with the diocese to allow us to pay our final construction costs.  Once these costs (and the amount of the loan) are finalized, we’ll start publishing it in the bulletin so that you can see as we work that balance down.

So much work went into this project, and there are many people to thank.  The capital campaign was led by an amazing committee of parishioners:  Chris De Trempe, Juli Hardig, Bill Kempf and Aimee Matthews.  Parishioners Matthew Fulcher and Pat Matthews were on our building committee, along with our architect Creative Design Solutions (led by parishioner Andrew Roche), our general […]

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From Fr. Mike Palmer, CSC

By |October 24th, 2020|

 My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

In July 2016, I arrived at Christ the King straight out of the seminary, wide-eyed and eager to go work in the vineyard. A few months later, as a brand-new deacon, I administered my very first Sacrament by baptizing three young siblings at CTK – talk about a “welcome to Holy Orders” moment! This triple Baptism foreshadowed a common theme during my time here: at every turn, God has surprised me by pouring out more blessings than I could’ve possibly hoped for. And during these past four years, I quickly grew to love the new family that God and Holy Cross sent me to serve – namely, all of you.

When pouring out the waters of Baptism and the sweet anointing of Confirmation, I have seen the Holy Spirit rush upon the very souls of our sons and daughters. In Reconciliation, I have seen Christ’s tender mercy heal impossible wounds and restore light to those in darkness. I have witnessed the radiance of Christ in the beaming eyes of First Communicants and on the joyful faces of a husband and wife being united in Holy Matrimony. And even on the very threshold of death, I have witnessed the triumph of Christ’s eternal hope that conquers all grief and sorrow. Praise God for His everlasting goodness!

I am incredibly grateful for so many people here at CTK. First and foremost, thank you to my brothers in Holy Cross: Fr. Steve, Fr. Michael, Fr. Gil, and Deacon Geoff. Your fraternal love and unwavering support have meant the world to me, especially as I learned how to live out my vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the parish. I could not ask for […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 18th, 2020|

Just over a week ago, we had our first on-site parish-wide function since the COVID-19-related closures began.  The Living Rosary (a suggestion of your Pastoral Council) was an amazing event.  It was held outdoors in the parking lot, with each participant counting as one “bead” of the rosary.  We were able to keep everyone 6 feet apart from one another and still pray together as one community.  It was a great mix of parishioners – old and young, long-time parishioners and new families – all gathered in prayer.  (I venture to guess that we were a good witness to the folks passing by on 933 that evening.)  Most of all, though, it was just good to be together in person, even with all of the COVID precautions in place.  I have really missed that, and I could tell that the parishioners who were there missed it, too.

We have another parish event coming up:  the dedication of our new building!  Bishop Rhoades will preside at the 12:15pm Mass, and then we’ll head over to the new building immediately afterwards.  (I expect that we’ll probably fill up our available, socially distanced seating, so the Mass will also be live streamed in the basement.)  The dedication will take place outside, rain or shine.  (Trust me, no matter what the weather is … we’re dedicating this building!!!)  Then we’ll have tours available for anyone who’s interested, as volunteers from our Building Committee and Campaign Committee will lead tours for one household at a time.  Again, we’re being very cautious in how we execute this event, but I’m so glad we’ll be able to gather for this great parish milestone.

Other parish groups have asked when they can begin meeting again.  […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 10th, 2020|

As you are well aware, Election Day is fast approaching.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church stresses the importance of exercising our right to vote, but we’re also aware of how challenging it can be for a Catholic to cast their vote when neither political party fully embodies our beliefs as Catholics.  (This is especially striking in this year when the relationship between faith and politics is playing out so dramatically in Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.) 

Bishop Rhoades recently gave a talk entitled Faithful Citizenship in a Divided Nation:  The Political Responsibility of Catholics at Holy Cross College.  I encourage you to read the full text at https://todayscatholic.org/faithful-citizenship-in-a-divided-nation-the-political-responsibility-of-catholics/, but I’d like to summarize some very important points that he made.  I think he offers us a lot to think about as we discern our votes.

Bishop Rhoades says that “Faithful citizenship demands that Catholics hold fast to the teachings of the Church and not succumb to the temptation of adopting positions of either political party that are inimical to the truths of our faith”, and that this makes us “politically homeless” because neither party fully embraces the Catholic worldview.  He points out the extreme polarization that exists in politics and how this attitude of division has found its way into the Church.  He says, “Catholics should be part of the solution, not part of the problem that we face in our polarized society. We are called to be better.”

He continues that we need to have a well-formed conscience because “[t]here are parts of the traditional platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties that are in accord with Catholic social teaching. There are also parts of each platform that are not.”  He also warns us about “the sad reality […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |October 3rd, 2020|

This weekend (Saturday October 3rd) we celebrate the feast of St. Mother Theodore Guerin.  She’s someone with whom we should all be familiar because she is Indiana’s very own saint!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mother Guerin, here’s a synopsis of her life from the website of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods (https://spsmw.org/about/saint-mother-theodore-guerin/her-story/):

Saint Mother Theodore was a woman of courage, determination and compassion. From a young age she faced many challenges. Her trust in Providence – the protective care of God – helped her accomplish many things.

After the tragic deaths of both her brothers and her father, Saint Mother Theodore spent many years taking care of her mother and sister. Her deep desire to serve God would have to wait. At the age of 25 her mother finally allowed her to follow her dream and devote her life entirely to God.

Saint Mother Theodore entered religious life with the Sisters of Providence of Ruillé sur-Loir, France. It was around this time that she began having health issues that would plague her for the rest of her life. This did not deter her.

As a new sister Saint Mother Theodore was sent to various parishes in France where she taught, helped the poor and cared for the sick. When the bishop of Vincennes, Indiana requested sisters to come to the New World to help with the influx of Catholic immigrants, Saint Mother Theodore was thought to be the only woman who could undertake such a demanding mission.

The journey was long and difficult. After traveling for nearly three months Saint Mother Theodore and her five companions arrived only to discover they were in the remote wilderness of Indiana known as Saint […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 27th, 2020|

There’s an awful lot going on at the parish these days, so this week’s bulletin column will be a little bit of a hodgepodge.  Here are a few things you should be aware of:

We finally have some definite information to pass onto you about Fr. Mike’s departure from Christ the King.  Fr. Mike is scheduled to begin his new assignment as an active-duty Army Chaplain at Fort Benning, Georgia, this November.  Therefore, his last day at Christ the King will be Sunday October 25th.  Fr. Mike will preside at all of the Masses on the weekend of October 24-25.  We won’t be able to have the kind of going-away reception that we usually do, but our Pastoral Team is thinking of some more creative ways to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to say good-bye.  Please keep Fr. Mike in your prayers during this time of transition.

We continue to make progress on our building.  As I mentioned in an earlier column, we moved into the four 1st-floor classrooms at the end of the August when we started school.  This week we’ll be able to move into the 2nd-floor classrooms!  That leaves the gym and a few more miscellaneous locations before we have total occupancy.  In the meantime, I think everyone agrees that the new rooms are beautiful!  I’m so grateful to the contractors who have worked so hard to make this new building a reality in such a challenging environment.  I’m also incredibly grateful to our teachers who have been so flexible as we’ve had to move into the new building in stages.

¨ We’re so excited to host our first in-person parish event in ages, a Living Rosary on Wednesday October 7th (the Memorial of Our […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |September 13th, 2020|

Over the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed that we’ve reconfigured our seating.  Instead of every third pew being available, we’ve opened every other pew.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve noticed a marked uptick in Mass attendance, even at Masses that previously were never close to being full.  The Pastoral Team and Pastoral Council both engaged in discussions about the best way to manage this increased attendance, keeping people as safe as possible while maximizing the number of people who can celebrate Mass in the church.  (The overwhelming feedback that we got suggested that people would much rather be in the church than watching a live stream in the basement.) 

This new arrangement should allow us to accommodate more people in the church, while still keeping people 6 feet apart.  The previous arrangement separated folks by far more than 6 feet, which we thought was the prudent way to go during the first few months of reopening.  After carefully watching what other local parishes are doing, we felt this was a good time to make this change. 

In the coming weeks, you should also notice some additional signage that will spell out how and where to sit in the available pews in order to accommodate the greatest number of people while maintaining six feet of distance between people.  I know this is a little bit of micro-managing, but since we’re still knee-deep in this pandemic, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Additionally, beginning this weekend we’ll offer an overflow Mass in the basement.  Now that Fr. Gil has been ordained and we’re back up to two priests on Sundays, we’ll be able to offer a live Mass in the basement instead of just live streaming […]

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From Deacon Gil

By |September 9th, 2020|

It is a great joy and an unbelievable privilege to have made my Perpetual Vows and been ordained a deacon last weekend. In my prayer and reflections leading up to this moment, I’ve thought a lot about the roles of a Deacon. According to the Catechism, Deacons assist during the “divine mysteries” (Mass), preach the Gospel, and in a special way serve the poor.

I thought about this a lot because a recent PEW survey found that only 25% of Catholics believe the Eucharist to truly be Christ’s Body and Blood. Most see it only as a symbol. Flannery O’Connor, the great American Catholic writer, once wrote in a letter “Well, if the Eucharist is just a symbol, to heck with it.”

Flannery saw a gift far great than a symbol. In the Eucharist, God doesn’t just symbolically give himself to us. He actually does it.

He truly descends and dwells with us. Jesus says, “My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” (John 6:55) and “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). He gives his whole self to us as a gift, so that we might in return give ourselves completely back to Him. That exchange is the goal of the Christian life. It is what we hope for and pray we can enjoy eternally as Christ’s Body in heaven.

We don’t need to be angry at our fellow Catholics who see the Eucharist primarily as a symbol. For one, our disappointment won’t change anything. Instead, we can let this survey spur us to talk more openly with […]

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From Fr. Steve Lacroix, CSC

By |August 18th, 2020|

At long last, our kids are coming back to school!  The first day of school will be this Wednesday, August 26th (Happy Birthday, Mom!), and it will be great to have the kids back in the building.  Five months without students in the school has been way too long – we’ve missed you!

Getting ready for a new school year is always a hectic time, but this year has obviously been especially challenging.  Our principal, Mr. Hoffman, and the rest of our administrative team have worked nonstop throughout the summer, without getting their usual summer break.  We’ve also been blessed to have a dedicated task force comprised of administrators, teachers and school parents (including some health care professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic) who have met weekly to help us put together the most comprehensive plan we could.  Their dedication to our parish and school is both humbling and inspiring.

Our school families have already seen a copy of our plan and have received weekly updates throughout the summer, but I think it’s important that all of our parishioners hear the basics of this plan since the school is the largest ministry of our parish.  First and foremost, I think it’s important to know that our plan to return to the classroom was reviewed in detail with the Director of the St. Joseph County Health Department and has received his blessing; as badly as we want to return to school, we would never want to make the decision to bring students into the classroom without making sure it’s safe. 

The cornerstones of our back-to-school plan are mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene.  Students and teachers will wear masks throughout the day, although teachers will have […]

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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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