Christ The King Parish

The Pastor’s Pen

March 8, 2020, Second Sunday of Lent

Not Out of Fashion; Lenten Fasting and Self-Denial: Last weekend we started the season of Lent with the gospel account of the 40 day fast of Jesus in the wilderness of Judea. This becomes the model for the 40 days of Lent that we began officially counting last Sunday and so now arrive at 33 days remaining. From that gospel passage, we are invited to see that the fasting and self-denial of Jesus are what enabled him to resist the temptations presented to him and to say a wholehearted “yes” to the will of his Heavenly Father. It is only by learning to say no to ourselves that we are able to say a fuller yes to God, and that is why fasting and self-denial are part of the fabric of our observance of Lent. In more recent times we have heard sincere Christians say things to the effect that they don’t “give up” for Lent but rather take things on, and hopefully they do, but unless they do make some sacrifices then they will probably be limited in what they have to give. We don’t “give up” just for the sake of doing so, we are invited to deny ourselves some things we want but don’t necessarily need in order to have a greater portion to share with others who would benefit from our charity be that our monetary resources or our time and effort or all of the above Thus fasting and self-denial go hand in hand with almsgiving, and the one is meant to support the other. So, while Lenten sacrifice is deeply traditional it is not outdated, and should be embraced in some form or another by all of us in this penitential season. If we were to forgo entertainments such as a play or a concert, or dining out, not because these things are bad but quite the opposite, and do so with the intention of donating the cost of these to the charitable causes we have identified to be recipients of our parish almsgiving during Lent, imagine how much “extra” we would have to share! Or if we were to give up television viewing, or video game playing and the like and then be enabled to spend the time we might have given to these pursuits and devote it instead to volunteer service for a worthy cause, then our self-denial would certainly yield blessings for others. So, this Lent let us say this simple prayer as we plan our daily sacrifices – Lord help me to say no to me this day that I might more fully say yes to Thee who are ever-present in my neighbor in need.

Adult Formation Classes: Sundays at 11:30 AM in the St. Jude Chapel, and at 6:30 PM in Classroom A: The subject of this series is the portrait of Jesus as it emerges from the Gospels both those accepted as canonical and those that were not. Half hour lectures from Luke Timothy Johnson, a noted biblical scholar, are presented for learning and discussion. Dr. Johnson helps answer questions of how the early Church understood Jesus, his identity, his mission, and his message. The series will provide an excellent background to future focus on the Synoptic Gospels.

Lenten Prayer: In addition to our own increased private prayer, opportunities for additional communal prayer are available at Masses on Tuesday or Thursday evening at 5:30 PM in St. Jude Chapel, and at Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 4 PM.


March 01, 2020, First Sunday of Lent

The Paschal Season: On this Sunday, the First Sunday of Lent, we begin the annual Paschal Season which includes the 40 Days of Lent, the 3 Days of The Sacred Triduum, and then the 50 Days of Easter bringing us from the 1st of March to the 31st of May this year. The Paschal Season is that season when the Paschal Mystery, the central mystery of our Christian faith, is brought into sharper focus, as we are invited to die and rise anew as we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Lent-Easter Seasons. This spiritual dying and rising can only be accomplished through repentance and conversion to which we are invited in the 40 days of Lent; an invitation that we outwardly accepted as we came forward to receive ashes on our foreheads this past Wednesday. Repentance is the first step as it involves rethinking about ourselves in light of the Gospel, and where we see gaps in our attitudes and behaviors and those of Christ, we are called to conversion. Yet we are also asked to show our regret for those gaps in a concrete way that we call penance. The traditional penitential practices prescribed for Lent are prayer, fasting (self-denial), and almsgiving. The purpose of these is to show our contrition for our failings but also to provide a remedy for their cause by helping us to learn anew how to more readily say no to ourselves so that we a freer to say yes to God! The things we might deny ourselves then are not simply for the purpose of deprivation but so that we might generate some resources that are to be shared with the poor. So, the indulgences we might choose to forgo, the treats, the meals, the drinks, the entertainments enable us to give to those in need, and when we do, we are giving to God. As our penances are each of our individual choices in terms of how we will pray more, what we will forgo, and what we will generate in order to give, still there is an important communal aspect of this, as all the baptized are called to do this during these 40 days which we were counting today.

The parish invites us to consider giving the alms we generate through self-denial to three specific causes:

1.) The Matthew 25 Fund enables our parish to feed the hungry in our local community.

2.) The Catholic Relief Services which enable us to be part of a national effort of Catholics in the USA to assist in providing emergency relief in areas around the world where the poor are particularly affected by disasters.

3.) The El Tablon Project, a special effort by our parish to help better house the poor of a particular region of Guatemala in cooperation with Food for the Poor.

So let us begin this Paschal Season with the 40 penitential days of Lent, praying that we will be renewed in the unconditional love preached and practiced by Jesus Christ and that proof of our ongoing conversion will be seen as those in need are greatly blessed by our charity. Indeed, let us embrace the disciplines of Lent with zeal as if it were our last!

On-Going Formation for Adults: Sundays at 11:30 AM and 6:30 PM – Locations will be announced at Mass

Additional Weekday Mass: On Tuesday and Thursday evenings during Lent Mass will be celebrated in the St. Jude Chapel at 5:30 PM.

Women and Men’s Conference: The annual Women and Men’s Conference will be held on Saturday, March 7th at Stonehill College in Easton; registration cost is $50 and the deadline to register is March 2nd. Brochures with registration information are available at the entrances to the Church or through the parish office. Those who register are asked to inform the parish office so that a list of those attending can be kept for purposes of arranging carpools to this event.


February 9, 2020, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Day of Prayer for the Sick: As we observe this day each year on February 11th, we are reminded of the Church’s care for the sick as essential to our proclamation of the Gospel. Here at Christ the King Parish we have a Coordinator of Pastoral Care to the Sick and Homebound, Donna Erdman. Donna organizes the Eucharistic Ministers to the sick and elderly who may be confined to the home and should be contacted when you or a relative, friend or neighbor is no longer able to attend Mass. We ask that no one assume this ministry to the homebound on their own apart from the parish ministry. Additionally, residents of The Royal Cotuit and Bridges receive a weekly visit from Eucharistic Ministers and Mass is celebrated there on a monthly basis. On a less frequent basis, these ministries are also available at the Laurentide. Please be sure to inform the activities departments at these facilities if you or a loved one becomes a resident there that Catholic ministries are desired. If you or a loved one are patients in the Cape Cod or Falmouth Hospitals, please inform the chaplain’s office there and do not assume that they somehow know you are Catholic and desire pastoral visits or the sacraments. For other care facilities please call the parish office and let us know where you or a loved one are located because with current privacy laws the parishes are no longer informed of your presence by these facilities. If you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, especially one that is not curable, it is recommended that you request the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. and sooner rather than later as the purpose of the sacrament is not to guarantee the salvation of the dying but rather to strengthen a person to bear illness with faith. When dealing with illness and disability, please help us to help you spiritually by informing Donna Erdman of your situation by calling the parish office.

Women and Men’s Conference: The annual Women and Men’s Conference will be held on Saturday, March 7th at Stonehill College in Easton; registration cost is $50 and the deadline to register is March 2nd. Brochures with registration information are available at the entrances to the Church or through the parish office. Those who register are asked to inform the parish office so that a list of those attending can be kept for purposes of arranging carpools to this event.

THE ANCHOR: February is Catholic Press Month and so all parishioners are reminded that the Diocesan newspaper is published twice a month and the subscription cost is only $25 per year or $45 for two years. Please consider supporting this paper by purchasing a subscription. Send your name, full mailing address, phone number and email address to THE ANCHOR, 887 Highland Avenue Fall River, MA 02720. Gift subscriptions can also be arranged.


February 2, 2020, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord: Every few years this feast which marks 40days since the Feast of the Lord’s Nativity falls on a Sunday and so is celebrated by a larger number of the faithful. The feast is sometimes called Candlemas because as Christ is proclaimed by Simeon to be the light of the world, candles are carried in procession and those for use by the church and in the home during the coming year are blessed. This day has a long history of being the feast chosen for the profession of religious men and women and the ordination of priests as a reminder of their vocation to reflect the light of Christ through their single-hearted dedication to Him and service to His Church; thus we observe the World Day of Consecrated Life on the Feast of the Presentation each year. As the official end of what was once known in church tradition as Christmastide, this would be the final day for candles in the windows and the display of the Holy Family in the creche. These are the rich traditions that should be preserved as these distinguish us as Catholics from other Christian denominations that do not observe feasts and seasons and separate us from the secular culture which observes February 2nd as Ground Hog Day!

February 3rd-The Feast of St. Blaise: Remembering the near-miraculous rescue of a young man choking on a fishbone by St. Blaise, a bishop, and martyr, candles blessed on the Feast of the Presentation are used to bless the throats of the faithful asking the Saint’s intercession before God to protect the recipients from any and all afflictions of the throat and all other evils. Throats will be blessed following the 8:30 AM Daily Mass on Monday.

February 11th- The annual Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes: Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, many of them contending with serious illness, visit the shrine in Lourdes, France dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary who began appearing there to Bernadette Soubirous on this date in 1858 and who would ultimately reveal her Identity as The Immaculate Conception. Instructing Bernadette to dig and uncover a spring of water, many who have bathed in its waters have found healing and so this day has been set aside by the late Pope Saint John Paul II as a World Day of Prayer for the Sick. In anticipation of this annual day of prayer, the parishes of the Cape Cod Deanery are offering communal celebrations of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick on the weekend of February 8th and 9th at which those experiencing chronic or serious illness or the physical and mental effects of advancing age are invited to receive healing and strength through this anointing. At Christ the King Parish, those services will be held at 3:30 PM on Saturday prior to the 4 PM Mass and at 10 AM on Sunday before the 10:30 AM Mass. Registration to receive the sacrament is required in order that its administration can be recorded in the Sacramental Registers; the forms for this are available at the entrances to the church or through the Parish office.

Catholic Divorce Healing Program –Surviving Divorce. A twelve-week program features discussions and a thirty-minute DVD presentation addressing divorce among Catholics from both professional and personal perspectives. Please join us, beginning on Thursday, February 20, 2020, at 6:30 PM. Confidentiality will be assured. The only cost is $20 for the Student Workbook. Childcare is not available. Pre-registration is required to ensure that we have enough workbooks and to ensure the program is right for you. Please call Frank at 207-337-2076 or email at f.h.patch@gmail.com. For more information go to https://ascensionpress.com/collections/surviving-divorce.


January 26, 2020, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The Second Vatican Council made an effort to restore the celebration of the sacraments in accord with their true meaning and purpose and that is especially true of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Because of accidents of history, this sacrament had become “extreme unction”; an anointing to be received before dying. Today the church still struggles to overcome the too long-held notion that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is mainly for the dying when it is really for the sick and so tries to promote its reception for those whose illnesses would benefit from the physical, mental and above all spiritual benefits it can offer. There is a healing to be received through this sacrament that comes from a strengthening in one’s faith and an increase in one’s trust in the Lord’s abiding love and care in all circumstances of life. This assurance is especially needed as a person faces their vulnerability to illness and the discouragement that can accompany the limits that sickness may impose upon their usual or desired activities, or the fears felt as illness reminds a person of their inevitable mortality.

In the Mediterranean culture in which our Christian faith had its origin and took root and grew, olive oil, which was used as food, medicine, and light, was necessary for life itself. When used in the celebrations of the sacraments blessed oil is always seen as a balm through which the power of the Holy Spirit strengthens the life that is God’s gift to us and in particular the life of the spirit which is destined to endure physical and mental decline and even death. So if and when a person is rather seriously ill; or facing hospitalization or surgery, or contending with chronic conditions that may eventually be life-threatening or moving closer in age toward life’s inevitable end then it may be appropriate for them to receive the Sacrament of the Sick. If you have questions about the reception of this sacrament please seek the counsel of a priest, deacon or minister to the sick and homebound who may be able to advise you as to when the sacrament would be best received given your condition. If the sacrament is appropriate for you and you wish to receive it, this can happen at periodic communal celebrations such as those to be held on the weekend of February 8th and 9th and is also available upon request at the end of Sunday and weekday Masses or personally in homes, hospitals or nursing facilities.

Communal Anointing Services -Saturday, February 8th, 3:30 to 3:50 PM. Sunday, February 9th, 10 AM to 10:20 AM – Please use the forms available at the entrances of the church or in the parish office to register for the reception of the sacrament and turn it into the priest by whom you are anointed. In that way, we will know who was anointed and by whom so as to enter this information into the sacramental register as is required.

Support for the Divorced: Mr. Frank Patch, drawing on previous experience as a group facilitator, is forming groups to experience a 12-session program designed from a Catholic perspective for those seeking healing after a divorce. Registration is required to begin the program and can be accomplished by completing the forms available in the parish office. Sessions will be scheduled once a sufficient number have expressed interest in participating.


January 19, 2020, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 18th to January 25th – Annual Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity:
Let us pray with Christ that all his disciples be united as one in mind and heart.

Speak up for Life: There are presently two bills before the Massachusetts Legislature- H. 3320 and S1209 which would remove nearly all reasonable restrictions on the practice of abortion in the State. Both would expand access to abortion for all nine months of pregnancy; eliminate requirements for late-term abortions to be performed in hospitals; eliminate the requirement that medical care be provided an infant who survives an attempted abortion; dispense with requirements for consent of parents, guardians, or the Courts for those under 18 who seek an abortion; and expand State funding for abortions.
Please make your voices heard to your legislators in opposition to such extreme unrestricted access to abortion that even infanticide would not be prohibited.

Floral Offerings: In this time between Christmas and Lent, and when we return to Ordinary time again after Easter when the sanctuary may be rather stark but not necessarily so, floral offerings donated in memory or honor of family or friends would be welcome and may be arranged through the parish office. Floral sprays will be ordered at your request from local florists by the office with a donation of $125 per spray and the donation will be noted in the bulletin and in the announcements before Mass.

A Vision to Inspire Us: As we prepare a Strategic Plan for publication we must state for the sake of future planning the purpose of our existence as a community of faith so that we will know what goals to seek and how to prioritize them. The vision for our parish is simply stated but places a challenge to all of us for how it is to be lived:

The purpose of Christ the King Parish is to create a spiritual home in this region of Cape Cod where all the baptized and those being prompted by the Holy Spirit to seek God as revealed by Jesus Christ will feel welcome and will be encouraged to deepen their Christian faith through Catholic traditions and practice. Here all are invited to join together in building up that “temple of living stones”, a vibrant community of believers, whose light can shine before all throughout this locality by our faithful worship, our unwavering witness to Christ, our warm hospitality and our charitable good works.

Next – What is Our Mission?

World Day of the Sick: Each year the Church calls us to show our concern for those contending with any sort of illness by designating a day to pray for them in particular. World Day of the Sick is annually observed on February 11th- the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and will be this year as well. On the Sunday prior to that day, all the Parishes of the Cape Deanery will offer communal celebrations of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Here at Christ the King Parish that will take place on Saturday, February 8th at 3:30 PM prior to the 4 PM Saturday Vigil Mass and again on Sunday Morning beginning at 10 AM prior to the 10:30 Mass. Anywho are contending with illness of any kind serious enough to challenge their faith and confidence in God are invited to register to receive this sacrament; forms are available at the tables at the entrances to the church and should be filled out and returned when you come forward for the anointing so that the sacrament can be recorded as received as is required by Church Law.


January 5, 2020, The Epiphany of the Lord

Christmas Continues: Traditionally the 12 days of Christmas which are counted beginning on December 25th lead up to the grand ” 12th Night” or eve of the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. In more recent times the celebration of the feast has been moved to the nearest Sunday so that more may share in the observance of this pivotal day in the Christmas season. In our own nation, many whose root is Spanish will be anticipating the arrival of the Three Kings who will bear gifts to Christ and presents to young children as well. Other days in the Christian observance of Christmas as a season, rather than a single day, are also appropriate for the exchange of gifts and we would be wise to recover such traditions over and above the commercial interests which insist that we should have had all our shopping done by December the 24th but this is more for their purposes of having a week to assess the bottom line before the end of the month and calendar year.

Epiphany Concert: A Schola of acapella voices will sing classical and traditional carols and hymns of Christmas for one-half hour before the beginning of the 5:30 Mass this Sunday, January 5th as a celebration of Epiphany.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord: On next Saturday evening at the 4PM Mass and at all Masses on Sunday those who minister in the Parish as lectors, sacristans, servers, ushers, Eucharistic ministers, musicians, cantors, choir members, catechists and ministers of hospitality and charity will be invited to renew their commitment to ministry on this Feast of the Lord’s Baptism as a reminder that all Christian ministry flows from Baptism, and all who are baptized are called to some form of service. .

Reminder: When school is canceled in Mashpee due to winter weather so too is the daily morning Mass. Sunday Mass is rarely if ever canceled but all should use prudent judgment as to the safety of travel on the roads before trying to come out to Mass in severe weather. Please remember to sign up for FLocknote to receive timely cancellation information from the parish and its organizations.