The Pastor's Pen
Last Sunday morning at 7, in the cool sunshine with other CTK Bike Team members, we began with a prayer, and then pedaled off for the Capital City Century. I rode 100K (63 miles)! I was with a group of 4 parishioners for most of that length; other team members rode varying lengths. Four parishioners rode 100 miles. The total miles for the team was 851 miles. Amazing! God is good! Donations have been coming in. We partnered with Catholic Charities, giving 10% of our total to the Mobile Food Pantry, and they put it on their Facebook Page; it’s been on our Facebook page too. We have met and exceeded the $5,000 challenge. Great! I expect some online donations yet. Thanks to all who made donations.
I am reintroducing the use of Mass Journal to the entire parish. All the students in PSR and the school have theirs and are ready to go. I first introduced this last Lent, but with little participation on your part. Over the summer, 2 parents returned from a Matthew Kelly talk, who advocates using a Mass Journal, and asked that I introduce it in the school. I want all in the family, and all parishioners to take up this practice. The theology department at SHG is introducing it as well. The point is, I want everyone to have a richer experience of Mass. Try to arrive early for Mass, to read the readings, and ask God to help you be attentive to what he wants you to hear. Then during Mass, tune in to what God is saying to you in the prayers, homily, the silence, and songs. God does speak to each of us; we just have to pay attention. Then jot down in your journal, you could use your phone quietly too, a word or phrase or sentence. Help me to be grateful everyday. Love before judging. Then in your prayer during the week, pull it out and recall what God said to you at Mass. Imagine the conversation in the car going home from Mass, or later at home, when you and your entire family are sharing about your richer Mass experience. This simple practice has the power to transform our relationships and our parish. Go buy a small notebook/journal and be ready for next weekend. You can read more about a Mass Journal at Matthew Kelly’s website, and order a free journal, https://dynamiccatholic.com/free-resources/the-mass-journal.
At the Wednesday school Mass, and on Monday in PSR, we prayed over the second and eighth graders in this special sacramental year for them. I have already had one 8th grade parent meeting. The parents, as well as the whole parish, have an important role in handing on the faith to the next generation and preparing our children for the sacraments. We hold them in prayer and we model our faith to them. So please spiritually adopt an 8th grader in our school and PSR. In the vestibule you will find a board with postcards with all the students’ name on them. Take home a card and pray for, make a sacrifice for, and be in touch with your student. We want our students to know we are a Spirit-filled community. We are not unaffected as the parish grows in its sacramental life. Bishop Paprocki will be here Friday, October 27 at 5:30 p.m. for Confirmation.
This week you will receive a letter from Bishop Paprocki asking for your support of our larger Church family in the Annual Catholic Services Appeal. The theme this year is “Go Therefore and Make Disciples.” This is in line with our Diocesan Synod, A Call to Discipleship. Disciples are generous stewards. I encourage your sacrificial giving to ACSA, a sign of your discipleship, so as to continue the mission and ministry of our local diocese. Our goal this year, $131,470 up $26,600 from last year. In last year’s appeal 252 households contributed $64,948. I am convinced we can exceed last year’s contributions because of your generosity. I ask each household to join me in making a pledge so we can reach our goal, and support the mission of our Church across the diocese. I will pledge, over the next 6 months, to contribute 1% of my annual income to ACSA. Will you join me? For every dollar you take in, can you give the diocese a penny? If so, then we will blow by our goal! Any excess over our goal comes back to Christ the King. If we fall short of our goal, then we must pay the balance out of our operating funds. Last year we had to pay $39,502 from our operating account. Pray Malachi 3:10 over your finances, trust in the Lord, then make your pledge.
This week is the Clergy Convocation, so I will be away Tuesday thru Thursday. All the priests will be gathering with the bishop to discuss the proposed declarations and statutes of the Diocesan Synod. Please note the Mass schedule, in that Fr. Chiola is not available to fill in for me.
In the peace of Christ the King,
You did not see me at Sunday Mass today because I am out on my bicycle for the Capital City Century. I’ll give you a report next weekend. I can tell you that through September 6 I have logged 925 miles this summer preparing for the ride. It’s been a commitment, and fun in a different way. You can see that donations have been coming in. A week ago Friday the CTK School students took advantage of a non-uniform day if they made a donation to the ride. The total was $683.00 WOW! Thanks! At the school Mass last Wednesday they sang The Blessing Song over me. It’s all amazing! Thanks to all who have made a donation.
This Thursday we are hosting a special evening for the Mother of the Eucharist & Grace Ministry with a Mass and healing service. This is open to all; if you are in need of healing in any way, please join me in attending. Mr. Carmelo Cortez has an amazing gift of healing, all by the power of God. Then on Saturday we are also hosting the Springfield Deanery Council of Catholic Women Convention. The ladies here have been busy with preparations. Bishop Paprocki will preside at Mass 11 a.m. and I will concelebrate. Anyone is welcome to the Mass to hear Bishop Paprocki, even if you are not attending the convention.
In the peace of Christ the King,
Things get busy here as we turn the calendar to September. Alpha starts this Wednesday and I look forward to welcoming all the participants. One bible study starts this Wednesday, and 2 more later this month. Men, I hope you can participate in the new Men’s Bible Study on Saturdays. The first school board meeting of the year is this week, and my first meeting with the parents of our 8th graders preparing for Confirmation is this week. We are hosting a special evening for the Mother of the Eucharist & Grace Ministry with a Mass and healing service. This is open to all, and I hope to see you there. We are also hosting the Springfield Deanery Council of Catholic Women Convention. The ladies here have been busy with preparations. All this is about growing in our discipleship, being the people God calls us to be. I hope you will participate in any number of these offerings, so Christ the King can be all that God desires for us.
Thanks to all who make these events and ministries happen. Your discipleship is evident in your generous time and talent.
Next weekend you will not see me at Sunday Masses as I will be on my bike for the Capital City Century. The team and I will roll up the miles, not just for our own accomplishment, but also for the good of the parish, and Catholic Charities. Recall that our tithe means 10% of what we raise will go to the Mobile Food Pantry of Catholic Charities. We have lofty goal, $10,000, like the high mileage bike ride. The $5,000 challenge gift means that your donation will be matched, up to $5,000. Thanks for your support! Check out the display in the vestibule. By the time you read this I will be approaching 1,000 miles on my bike this season. I’m feeling good!
In my absence please join me in welcoming Father Joseph Curalli, C.Ss.R., a Redemptorist Priest. He will be speaking about Liguorian, a leading Catholic Magazine published by the Redemptorists, and inviting you to subscribe. The magazine reaches about 60,000 households each month and provides solid and straightforward answers to the important questions and problems facing today’s Catholics.
Note that the office is closed Monday for Labor Day, and I will be out of town.
In the peace of Christ the King.
August 26, 2017
The campus has a decidedly different feel with the start of school this week. I was pleased to greet a number of parents and students, some of them new, at the meet the teachers night in the school. I addressed the parents at our meeting in the gym, and spoke briefly about the 2017 Diocesan Synod, A Call to Discipleship. The parents, in partnership with me and the school, are about this work of forming our children into disciples of Jesus. Actually all this is in line with the vision and direction we have set for our parish To sum up the Vision Statement for CTK, we are to become more dynamic in our Catholicism, a parish of intentional disciples. That means being generous stewards with our time, treasure and talent. It means having a rich prayer life, a relationship with Jesus Christ. We had the opening school Mass on Wednesday. It is good to begin the school year around the Lord’s table of Word and Sacrament, because this is where we are formed as disciples. I reminded the students about coming to Mass every Sunday. Sunday is really the first school day of the week, because we are schooled in the church’s liturgy. We learn who we are, and who we are to become as the body of Christ. This year the students will have a Mass journal, to jot down what they heard God speak to them at Mass, then share that during their religion class on Monday. God does indeed speak to us; we just have to pay attention. I will be in the school most Fridays to teach religion using the Sunday readings. There must be no disconnect between Sunday and the rest of the week. We are first and foremost a CATHOLIC School. We all make sacrifices to have our school as an important part of the mission of Christ the King Parish. May God abundantly bless our students, faculty, staff, parents and all who embrace Catholic education through our school.
In the peace of Christ the King.