PARISH OFFICE – When visiting the office, you are asked to wear a mask for the safety of everyone.
Thank you for your cooperation!
June 26, 2022, Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Appeal: The Annual Catholic Appeal will be coming to a close this week on Thursday, June 30th; all pledges and donations should be mailed by that date; materials to do so are still available at the entrances to the Church. Gratitude is extended to the 350 households of the parish who, understanding the demands placed upon the church to offer charitable, social, pastoral, and educational services and the ever-increasing costs of doing so, have generously pledged or donated $88, 473. 87 to this request for help from our bishop. Giving to this appeal enables us to be very much a part of the good works being carried out in the name of all the Catholic people of the Diocese of Fall River. Anything, that out of love, we do for church and charity will certainly return to bless us as God is never outdone in generosity, so may the blessings returning to those willing to contribute to this important annual appeal be abundant.
Organ Failure: The bad news is that our church organ, in the repair shop since before Easter, is not able to be repaired such that it would be reliable for the foreseeable future. We are grateful to have the loaner organ that has served us from Easter until now. The good news is that the company from which the organ was bought, and which has maintained it over the years has offered the parish a floor model of the most recent version of our organ at a greatly reduced price. The even better news is that the Catholic Women’s Club has donated $5000 to the parish which will be used toward the purchase of the new organ, and another generous parishioner has given $1000., so our remaining cost is $63,900 of what should have cost over $140,000! Any and all additional contributions toward the purchase of the new organ are welcome!
What’s Happening? This is the question posed by many as they see evidence of something going on in the back parking lot these days. That something is the several times delayed, thus long-awaited, construction of the solar ports under which parishioners will be parking by summer’s end, and which will perhaps be more greatly appreciated in the winter and at other times of inclement weather. The ports with solar panels on the roof will generate energy to be sold to the power companies, the parish will receive monthly rental income for the use of our property, and a reduction in the cost per kWh that we pay for power. Thus, the solar ports are a win-win situation, helping the parish financially while protecting our parishioners from the elements and at the same time doing something significant for the environment as a source of clean energy!
Bishop’s Blog: Did you know that Bishop da Cunha has a blog? In his weekly posts, Bishop da Cunha shares thoughts and reflections, prayers, and experiences from his ministry as bishop of our Diocese of Fall River. The blog includes photos, other media, and helpful links. Be inspired and be informed! Subscribe to Bishop da Cunha’s blog: https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/bishops-blog
June 19, 2022, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
CHURCH CALENDAR: Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
SECULAR CALENDAR: Father’s Day
FEDERAL AND STATE: CALENDAR: Juneteenth
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY: Today we honor all fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, godfathers, and second fathers as we express our gratitude to them for their paternal love and care, and better still, as we gather here in the church for Mass we offer our prayers to God for their happiness and wellbeing whether they still be living among us or have gone before us to God’s eternal kingdom!
CATHOLIC APPEAL: Gratitude is extended to the 284 households of the parish who have already pledged or donated $71,928.87 to the annual Catholic Appeal. As the opportunity to give to the appeal ends on June 30th, let us all remember to respond before then, giving as generously as we are able at this time to help support the charities, ministries, and services that carry out so many of the essential and good works of our local church which is the Diocese of Fall River.
EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL: Today we will join with the Catholic Churches throughout the United States is beginning a three-year focus on the centrality of the Holy Eucharist to the Christian people. Here at Christ the King we will hold a traditional Corpus Christi procession, bringing the Blessed Sacrament from the Main Church to St. Jude Chapel at the conclusion of the 10:30 AM Mass, A time of prayer and adoration will be provided after the procession until the Monstrance is returned to the Main Church for Benediction at 5:15 PM. Older Catholics are familiar with these traditional means of worshipping the Eucharist outside of Mass, but many of our young people may not be, thus, younger families are encouraged to teach their children about the centrality of the Holy Eucharist by allowing them to experience these simple but important pious practices.
THE EUCHARIST IS ESSENTIAL: The Holy Eucharist is not only important in the life of anyone who wishes to be authentically Christian, but also in fact essential. So often in our contemporary world, we discern that being Christian is now commonly understood as being nice and is about doing good works. Unfortunately, many who are baptized accept this shallow understanding and so defend their absence from Mass on Sundays or that of others by declaring themselves or others as excused because they are “good people” and may even judge that many who are in church regularly are not! One problem with this among others is that only God is the just judge and we then should refrain from any tendency to declare ourselves righteous or to judge others as not so because until we meet God face to face, we are all works in progress! But the ongoing work of sanctification – of becoming holy and righteous is not ours, it is in fact God’s, it is only up to us to permit God the opportunity to work his grace on us and then to cooperate with that grace. The source of God’s grace is greatest in and through the sacraments and most especially in the sacrament of all sacraments which is the Eucharist. Indeed, to be Christian means to become another Christ, and on our own, we are incapable of doing that, rather, we need to receive Christ, as he offers himself to us fully, body and blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist which he has given us for this very purpose. Indeed, in the Eucharist, we are meant to become what we are privileged to consume, the true body and blood of Christ, thus, anything short of regularly taking this divine nourishment while we may think of ourselves as good yet in truth we are at risk of starving ourselves to death in regard to living any fully authentic Christian life. So then Jesus tells us in the 6th Chapter of St. John’s Gospel: “Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life within you!” So as we begin our three-year focus on the centrality of the Eucharist in Christian life, let us renew our commitment to receive the life-giving Blessed Sacrament regularly as Jesus himself has urged us to do!
A NEW HOLIDAY: JUNE 19th: On this day, we are invited to join with African Americans whose ancestors were brought here as slaves in the 17th and 18th and 19th centuries, to rejoice with them as we recall that on this day in 1865 Union Soldiers entered Galveston, Texas and told the enslaved people there that the Civil War was over and that they were now finally and fully free!
June 12, 2022, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Eucharistic Revival: A three-year revival of faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist will begin next weekend on Sunday, June 19 the annual Feast of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). As a parish, we will have a Eucharistic Procession following the 10:30 Mass from the Main Church to St. Jude Chapel which will be followed by a period of adoration and prayer concluding with Benediction at 5:15. Those who attend the 10:30 AM Mass are encouraged to participate in the procession and to spend some time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after Mass. Those who attend the 5:30 PM Mass are encouraged to come a bit earlier than usual to participate in Benediction. On the eve of the feast of Corpus Christi, Bishop Da Cunha will celebrate a special Mass to inaugurate the Eucharistic Revival in our diocese at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River at 4 PM which will be followed by a Eucharistic procession. The Bishop invites representatives of each parish to participate; a bus will be available to transport people to Bishop Connolly High School on Saturday, June 18th. Christ the King Parish is sharing the expense of the bus with St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family Parish in Falmouth and so 20 spaces are available to our parishioners who desire to attend and represent our parish at this Mass and procession. A relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a newly beatified young man who was devoted to the Eucharist will be available at this inaugural event for the veneration of the faithful in attendance. Those who are interested in riding the bus and representing the parish may receive further details and sign up in the parish office by Wednesday of this week.
Catholic Appeal- 3 Weeks Remaining: Thus far, 259 households of the parish have pledged or donated a total of $63,365 to this annual appeal. The funds collected are used to fund the various good works of the apostolates, ministries, and agencies of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Fall River which is carried out in our name under the authority of Bishop Da Cunha. Here on the Cape that includes St. Joseph House, a homeless shelter, and St. Claire’s Residence, a home for formerly incarcerated women in transition which are both located in Hyannis. The appeal also funds the Pastoral Ministry to the Sick which places chaplains in both Falmouth and Cape Cod Hospitals. These are works sponsored by the Church which must depend on this annual appeal to continue, so all are asked to do their part in supporting the appeal with a pledge or gift before it concludes on June 30th.
Thank You: Since the 15th of May with the celebration of the 60th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood of Monsignor Tosti, through to the celebration of the ordination of Chris Hughes to the transitional diaconate, and concluding last weekend with the celebration of Matt Laird’s ordination to the priesthood and then his First Mass here we have had much cause for an extra measure of joy and gratitude in our community of faith. Thanks are extended to all who participated so enthusiastically and offered their prayers and good wishes to these men at these pivotal moments in their journey of priestly service to our local church which is the Diocese of Fall River. Such occasions are rarer these days, and some parishes do not ever see such events at all; thus for one parish to have three in one month reflects on the nature of its members who certainly foster, support and celebrate vocations. Thanks are also due to the parish staff, clergy, ministers, musicians, sacristans, servers, ushers, and the talented florists among us who did so much with such love and generosity to make these celebrations as beautiful as they were! We look forward to more of these very special events in the near future and hopefully in years ahead as well!
June 5, 2022, Pentecost Sunday
FIRST MASS AND PRIESTLY BLESSING: the newly ordained, Fr. Matthew Laird, a parishioner of Christ the King Parish, son of David and Kathy Laird, will offer his First Mass as a priest here at 3PM on this Sunday, June 5th. Following the Mass, a reception will be held in our parish hall and in the tent outside at which Fr. Matt will be available to extend his first priestly blessing to all who request it. Let us keep Fr. Matt and his three classmates who were ordained with him in our prayers as they begin a lifetime of priestly ministry to our local church which is the Diocese of Fall River.
TAIZE PENTECOST SERVICE: The hauntingly beautiful meditative music that has been composed by and for the Ecumenical Taizé Community in France is to be featured in this prayer service which will be held this Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost, at 7 PM at St John Neumann Church in East Freetown, all are welcome to attend.
EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL: The Bishops of the United States are calling for a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. They believe that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and sent out in mission “for the life of the world.”
This Eucharistic Revival will launch on the weekend of the Feast of Corpus Christi this year, and all are invited to a special event to inaugurate the Revival in the Diocese of Fall River. A special Mass to be followed by a Eucharistic Procession and Adoration will take place beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River. The high school is located at 373 Elsbree St., in Fall River. As every parish is encouraged to send a representative delegation to this Mass with Bishop Da Cunha, our parish is cooperating with the Parishes of Falmouth to hire a bus that will transport up to 20 parishioner from Christ the King, along with the same number from St. Joseph Guardian of the Holy Family Paris. To reserve a spot on the bus and receive more information please contact the parish office.
RELIC OF BLESSED CARLO ACUTIS: This young man from Italy who died of Leukemia in October of 2006 at only the age of 15 was beatified on October 10, 2020, in Assisi where he had requested to be buried due to his devotion to St. Francis. In his short life, Blessed Carlo used his computer skills to research and create a website documenting in one place many of the Eucharistic Miracles that have taken place across the centuries. Ironically, not being from a devout family, yet Carlo somehow had a very deep love for Jesus present in the Eucharist and went to daily Mass as often as he could by “dragging” his parents and other adult relatives with him ( A little child shall lead them!) When diagnosed with an incurable form of Leukemia Carlo stated: “I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, the Pope, and for the Church.” The cause for Carlo’s canonization was initiated in 2013, he was declared venerable in 2018, and Pope Francis recognized in him the virtues and merits of an evangelist for his generation and our times as he beatified him last Fall. A relic of Blessed Carlo will be present for the veneration of those participating in the special Mass celebrated by Bishop Da Cunha on Saturday, June 18th to inaugurate the three-year Eucharistic Revival in our Diocese.
CATHOLIC APPEAL: Thus far, 247 households of our parish have pledged $60,390 to this annual appeal from Bishop Da Cunha for our help in assuring that the apostolates, ministries and charities sponsored by our local church, the Diocese of Fall River, will continue to be carried out in the name of all the Catholic faithful. With now less than one month to go before the appeal closes on June 30th, it is hoped that every household of the parish will do their part in supporting this worthy yearly request for help from our bishop while the opportunity to do so presents itself.
May 29, 2022, the Seventh Sunday of Easter
Catholic Appeal: Our response to an annual request from Bishop D’Cunha for our help in supporting the apostolates, agencies, ministries, and social services of the Diocese of Fall River enables these to continue their good works but also provides an opportunity for all who contribute generously. We all want to be known as charitable, yet the virtue of charity is unlikely to increase in us unless it is exercised.! It is easy to be generous to people and causes we know or favor, but not so much so with those a bit more removed from us. Such may be the case with many of the services funded by the Catholic Appeal; we may never be in need of these ourselves or know anyone who has accessed them; thus the appeal requires that we contribute with no likelihood of any personal benefit. This sort of selflessness is precisely how we are enabled to come to “the fullness of charity” as we pray in the Second Eucharistic Prayer. So let us pledge or donate as generously as we are able to this annual appeal, grateful for the opportunity to exercise and thus continue to grow toward the fullness of charity!
The Tradition of the First Priestly Blessing: In the middle of the 20th Century, many Catholics of all ages had experienced receiving a first priestly blessing as there were many more men being ordained to the priesthood at that particular time. Such is not so much the case in this first quarter of the 21st century as vocations to the priesthood are not as common as they once were. So next week we the parishioners of Christ the King parish will have the not so common privilege of receiving the first priestly blessing of the newly ordained Fr. Matthew Laird. Fr. Laird will be ordained by Bishop Edgar Da Cunha for service to the local church which is the Diocese of Fall River on next Saturday, June 4th.. Fr. Laird will then celebrate his First Mass here at his home parish of Christ the King on Sunday, June 5th, at 3PM. Following the Mass Fr. Laird will be offering his priestly blessing to all who approach him and request it. The pious tradition surrounding the blessing of a newly ordained priest is that when in the rite of ordination the bishop calls down the Holy Spirit upon the new priest by prayer and the imposition of hands, a full measure of grace and priestly power for a lifetime of ministry is imparted to the newly ordained. Thus, the blessing received from a new priest was thought to be all the more powerful than from one who has been spending that power for decades! While we must appreciate that grace cannot be quantified, nor does it grow weaker with the passing of time, the pious practice of receiving a blessing from a new priest does continue and it affords us the opportunity not only to be blessed but to extend our good wishes and promises of prayer to a man who is sacrificing much to be of service to God’s people as a teacher, sanctifier, and shepherd! So let us all come to celebrate Mass with newly ordained Fr. Laird presiding and seek his blessing as he begins a lifetime of priestly service in our diocese.
Many to Remember: As Memorial Day is observed we are asked to prayerfully and respectfully remember the souls of all who have served our country in the armed services, especially those who served during wartime, and those who made the supreme sacrifice of their lives for our freedoms. Additionally, we also remember our own deceased relatives and friends and if possible we decorate their final resting places with wreaths, flowers, or plantings. Yet this year as we mark two years of a pandemic, we might also remember the now one million people in our nation alone who have lost their lives in a different kind of battle but one that has proved no less perilous than any war in terms of mortality, in fact, even more so. As each death leaves nine people on average deeply grieving, let us remember in our prayers those families who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
Eucharistic Revival: Beginning on June 18th, the annual feast of Corpus Christi, The Diocese of Fall River will join with other dioceses in the United States in focusing on the great gift of the Eucharist to the church. Bishop Da Cunha invites each parish to send a delegation of parishioners to a special observance of Corpus Christi on Saturday, June 18th in Fall river which will include a Eucharistic Procession and Benediction to inaugurate this two year Revival. Parishioners who would like to represent our parish by participating in this service with Bishop Da Cunha are asked to inform the parish office to receive further information.
Office of Safe Environments: The Diocese of Fall River stands firm in its commitment to report abuse to law enforcement and cooperate with investigations. If you have been abused by someone representing the Church (priest, deacon, religious, employee, or volunteer), we are sorry. We are here to listen and support you. You can report an incident of abuse by contacting local law enforcement directly and by contacting Diocesan Director of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance, Carolyn Shipp at 508-985-6508 (confidential voice mail) or email@example.com. She can assist you in making a report and support you through the process.
May 22, 2022, the Sixth Sunday of Easter
Congratulations: Today we join together as a parish family in offering one of our own, Christopher Hughes, congratulations upon his ordination as a deacon this weekend. For men who are advancing toward the priesthood, becoming a ( transitional ) deacon is their entrance into major orders and thus the final step before being ordained a priest. Being ordained a deacon then entails a most solemn commitment which is reflected in the three promises that those who are about to enter major orders are required to make before the bishop in the presence of the clergy and laity assembled for the liturgy of ordination in the Cathedral Church.
• In the presence of God and his Church, are you resolved, as a sign of your interior dedication to Christ, to remain celibate for the sake of the kingdom and in lifelong service to God and mankind?”
• “Are you resolved to maintain and deepen a spirit of prayer appropriate to your way of life and, in keeping with what is required of you, to celebrate faithfully the Liturgy of the Hours for the Church and for the whole world?”
• “Do you promise respect and obedience to your ordinary and his successors?”
In St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River, Christopher and three other men answered affirmatively to these questions posed to them by Bishop Edgar Da Cunha and thereby committed themselves to a life of celibacy, prayer, and obedience to the bishop. These promises bind them to these three essential elements of ordained ministry which they will exercise for the next year as deacons in the local church that is the Diocese of Fall River before being ordained as priests. Such commitments obviously run counter to the spirit of our present age in which sexual immorality is rampant, faith is fading, and individualistic autonomy is prized above conformity to any authority whatsoever. So more than simply offering our congratulations upon taking such a major step, let us promise our continued prayers for Christopher and his classmates John, Brian, and Thiago; that in keeping these solemn promises they will join all ordained clergy in being light for the people of God so that they, in turn, can be light for others in a world increasingly confused about what is right and good.
Catholic Appeal: Thus far 161 households of the parish have donated or pledged $37, 455.00 to the annual Catholic Appeal. All households of the parish are encouraged to be as generous as possible to this annual request from Bishop Da Cunha to help him to fund the continued good works of the various apostolates, ministries, and charities of the local church to which we all belong which is the Diocese of Fall River. The appeal will close on June 30th.
Return of the 7 AM Sunday Mass: Beginning next weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, and continuing through Labor Day we will celebrate Mass at 7 AM on Sundays.
Ascension Thursday, May 26th: This coming Thursday marks 40 days since the beginning of Easter, a day on which tradition holds that the risen Jesus made his departure from his disciples and returned to his Heavenly Father. This holy day is one of obligation; Masses will be celebrated on Wednesday afternoon at 4 PM, and on Thursday at 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM. This feast also reminds us that there are then 10 days remaining in the Season of Easter which will conclude on Pentecost Sunday, The nine days leading up to Pentecost are the original novena recalling when the disciples of Jesus prayed for nine days to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So let us make this novena as well asking that the gift of the Spirit we have received will be rekindled in each of us and all the baptized, especially those who have fallen away!
May 8, 2022, the Fourth Sunday of Easter
A Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day: To all our mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, godmothers and second mothers, heartfelt prayers of gratitude are offered for mothers of every sort, worthy of the honor we offer them this day as they embody and express the unconditional love that points to that divine love, best revealed in the self-sacrificing love expressed by Jesus Christ on the Cross! May their example continue to inspire their children to learn and live that same love.
Catholic Appeal: Thus far in the first week of its opening, 67 households of the parish have donated or pledged $ 9,225.00 to the annual Catholic Appeal. While the parish does not have a particular amount as a goal, it is our reasonable hope that every registered household of the parish would do something to respond to this yearly request by our bishop to cooperate with him in providing the resources necessary to fund the many apostolates, ministries, offices, and agencies that carry out the works of catechesis, pastoral care, and charity in our name as the local church.
St. Pius Tenth Youth Award: Annually the Diocese of Fall River honors one young person from each parish for their service to their parish community and to the wider Church. This year Bishop Da Cunha will give the Pope St. Pius Tenth Award to Emelia Alliegro, who has long served Christ the King Parish throughout her elementary and high school years as an assistant in our Religious Education Program, a member of our parish youth group, a money counter, and an altar server, as well as a volunteer for many other occasions and causes. Emelia is due to graduate from Pope St. John Paull II High School and plans to continue her studies at Assumption College in Worcester in the Fall. Let us all pray for her future success and her long involvement in the life of the Church wherever her future may take her.
Getting “Separation of Church and State” Right: The First Amendment simply provides that our national government may not establish or favor one religious denomination over another. Its purpose was never supposed to be about preventing the free expression of religion in the public square, rather its aim is to allow all faiths the freedom to flourish, both in the private and public spheres. In a recent case coming out of Boston, the Supreme Court unanimously sided with a Christian group that was denied the privilege of flying a flag at their gathering in City Hall Plaza because it had an image of a Cross on it, yet all other groups who hold gatherings on the Plaza have been allowed to fly flags that represent them. The plaza contains three flagpoles; two of them always display the U.S. and State flags, but with the third pole, while usually flying the City’s own flag, there is a custom of letting private groups who are holding ceremonies on the plaza replace that flag with a banner or flag of their own. In a more proper interpretation, the First Amendment not only doesn’t require the government to discriminate against religious expression, but it actively forbids the government from violating the right to free speech. It fell to Justice Kavanaugh, to summarize the court’s message in one sentence: “Under the Constitution, a government may not treat religious persons, religious organizations, or religious speech as second-class.” In this, we finally see a break from the more recent trend of those who oppose religion trying to erect an ever-higher wall to separate the free expression and practice of faith from life in the public square and misinterpreting the Constitution in order to do it!
May 1, 2022, the Third Sunday of Easter
Annual Catholic Appeal: Once a year Bishop Edgar Da Cunha calls upon all the Catholic people of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the Islands to make a very concrete expression of our faith and our Catholicity by responding to his call to help him support the agencies, offices, apostolate, and ministries that carry out the spiritual, social, charitable, catechetical and pastoral works of the church throughout the year. The annual Catholic Appeal opens today and will conclude at the end of June, permitting us time to discern what it is we would be able to give or pledge and to donate it when it would be most opportune for us to do so given our other financial obligations. Our parish does not have a quota or goal as may be the case in other dioceses, but as your pastor, my hope is always that every registered household, with very few exceptions, would do something for this appeal, by which we express our solidarity as Catholic people with our bishop in the local church that is the Diocese of Fall River!
Lenten Almsgiving: our sacrifices during Lent have enabled us to share a greater amount in alms for the good of others. The Holy Thursday Collection will be distributed as follows: $3,558.00 for Matthew 25; $3,558.00 for Catholic Relief Services; $3,558.00 for The El Tablon Project of Food for the Poor. Let us trust that as by our self-denial over the 40 Days we have been able to greatly bless the lives of those served by these charities, that we will also be blessed in turn!
Here Comes the Sun; Solar Power to benefit the Parish and others: After lengthy delays for permitting and contracting, My Generation Energy will begin constructing a solar port in our back parking lot this coming week. The solar energy company will pay the parish monthly rent for placing the port on our property and we will also be given a reduction in the amount the parish pays per kilowatt-hour for the power we consume. Thus your cars will soon be sheltered as you park in the back lot, and this will hopefully result in less snow to plow in the winter months plus additional lighting in the lot at night year-round. The agreement with My Generation Energy will last for 20 years before it is renegotiated. This is a significant step we as a community of faith can take to do something for the protection of the environment which we recognize as God’s creation and for which we must accept the responsibility of good stewardship!
Celebrating Priestly Vocations: As the Gospel reminds us of the Risen Jesus asking Peter, and his successors and associates to feed the flock that follows Christ, appropriately we celebrate significant moments in ministry for Monsignor Tosti, Deacon Matthew Laird, and Seminarian Christopher Hughes. On the 15th of May at 1 PM, Monsignor Tosti will celebrate Mass to mark 60 years of ordained priestly ministry, many of which were spent among us in this parish and before its existence in this region of Cape Cod. On the 5th of June, the newly ordained priest, Matthew Laird, will celebrate a First Mass at 3 PM, and on May 22nd as newly ordained Transitional Deacon, Christopher Hughes will exercise his new ministry of preaching the Word among us at the 10:30 AM Mass. There are those who may criticize our making much of these significant moments in the priesthood and toward it as clericalism yet let us not forget that priesthood is not merely a profession or job, it is a singularly unique vocation that costs those who will embrace it their entire lives! Jesus died to give us life, and the foretaste of that life is found in the Eucharist. Thus quite rightly our Catholic tradition asks that those who would continue to act in Christ’s name in celebrating and confecting the Eucharist would be willing to die as well in the sense of forgoing the comforts and pleasure of marriage and family in order to preside in the person of
April 24, 2022, the Second Sunday of Easter
The Week of Weeks: Easter is not just a day but a Season of 50 days; 7 weeks of 7 days which will conclude with Pentecost Sunday. The good news of Christ’s resurrection cannot be fully comprehended or celebrated in one day alone; we need to take our time to deepen our understanding of the implications of his resurrection for our own lives and express our joy as we renew our appreciation of the enduring truth that because Christ is risen and promises the same to believers that in the end, all will be well!
The Synodal Process: Janet Trask and Don Frederico who is serving as the liaisons between our parish and the Synodal Committee in the Diocese of Fall River have sifted through the responses to the questions posed to all of us for our contemplation, and the responses which were heard and discussed at the various listening sessions in the parish. While it was not an easy task to sift through so much material, they have seen some common themes emerge and it is these that will be included in a report that will now be forwarded to the Diocese of Fall River and ultimately to Rome. Among the issues that surfaced were people’s concern that we as a parish be more mindful and inclusive of the marginalized in our community; that we redouble our efforts to reach out to young families and increase opportunities for fellowship and further formation for adults; that better communication about ministries and activities already happening to be provided to welcome and encourage greater participation. Indeed, the Holy Spirit is usually most evident where consensus is found and so our community has through participating in the synodal process come to see the Holy Spirit working among us and speaking within our synodal gatherings. Beyond these common themes that have surfaced, the genius of Pope Francis is that he got us to not only talk about a synod but to actually practice being a more synodal church by gathering in groups to listen to one another. From our experience here at Christ the King Parish we see that it would be beneficial to add another element of consultation in our community by having the Parish Council conduct an annual listening session after Labor Day each year. This annual session would be much like the synodal listening sessions in which parishioners would be welcome to speak freely in order that the Council members, whose duty it is to inform and advise the pastor about the needs of the parish, would have the chance to hear the suggestions and concerns of a wider group of parishioners. It is hoped that the participation of many will make that a worthwhile annual effort and a valuable outcome of our recent experience. Again, gratitude to Janet and Don and all who assisted them, and especially to all who helped lead or participated in the listening sessions.
Housing Assistance Corporation: A wonderful agency on Cape Cod that works to develop and obtain decent affordable housing for people who are often just a paycheck or major expense away from homelessness, will be conducting an annual walk as a much-needed fundraiser. HAC Walk for Hope will be held on Sunday, May 22nd at 1 PM with walk routes in Falmouth, Hyannis, and Orleans. It is also possible to “walk” virtually! Those who would be interested in more information to either walk or support this worthwhile fundraising effort are encouraged to visit the HAC Website. Those who want to register as an individual or a team for the actual walk are asked to go to hacwalkforhope.org! Let us support this valuable community organization that is attempting to address an often unseen but very serious problem on Cape Cod!
April 10, 2022, Palm Sunday
Support for the People of Ukraine and Eastern Europe: Through the generosity of the people of the parish $8,658. has been collected and will now be forwarded to Catholic Near East Welfare Association to assist Ukrainians and those in the surrounding countries who have taken in so many of them who are seeking refuge from the dangers of the war.
EASTER MASSES: Masses at Easter are on a different schedule. There is only the Solemn Vigil of Easter at 7 PM on Saturday Evening, thus no 4 PM Mass, and as there is no 5:30 PM Mass on Easter Sunday, 3 Masses are offered on Easter Sunday Morning: 8 AM, 9:30 AM, and 11 AM. Please
note these changes which are for Easter only.
Were You There? The holiest days of our year as Christians are the Three Days that begin on the evening of Holy Thursday and end on the evening of Easter Sunday during which all the baptized are called to suspend all usual activity in order to gather for the annual celebration of the Lord’s Passover from death to life. The Triduum includes one continuous liturgy that begins on Holy Thursday evening and does not conclude until the dismissal at end of the Solemn Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday, having taken us from Supper Room to Crucifixion to Resurrection. This is our annual celebration of the Pascal Mystery, the central mystery of our Christian Faith, the mystery which provides our only hope of being saved from final death. Curiously, these holiest of days, with the exception of Easter Sunday, are not legislated to be Holy Days of Obligation! Why? Because obligation alone is far too inferior a reason to worship and most especially so on these most sacred days! Indeed the Triduum provides those who truly understand and appreciate the great price paid for their salvation and know well the one who so obediently and lovingly paid it, to join with their fellow believers in order to render their heartfelt thanks and praise to God. The Sacred Triduum, therefore, presents the opportunity for each of us to prove the depth of our discipleship and the sincerity of our gratitude by participating in these liturgies to which we are not obliged, but from which we would find it difficult to excuse ourselves and justify being anywhere else.
40 Days of Self Denial: Our Lenten time of fasting and self-denial ends this coming Thursday evening with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper which opens the shortest but most important phase of our Liturgical Year Sacred Triduum. Therefore it is traditional that at the Mass on Holy Thursday evening we offer the fruits of our Lenten Sacrifices, that is, what we have saved by denying ourselves various indulgences and presenting these funds as alms for the poor. As is customary here at Christ the King Parish we invite the parishioners to come forward with their alms to be placed in baskets at the altar steps. This collection will then be divided among three Charities: Matthew 25 which serves the poor of the wider local community; Catholic Relief Services which is a charitable agency organized to bring relief to people throughout the world in the name of the Catholic people of the United States; The El Tablon Project of Food for the Poor, a special project of our parish that has immensely improved the lives of the people of one village in Guatemala. So let our 40 days of self-denial and sacrifice now bear good fruit as these have permitted us greater mastery over ourselves and
not will bless many who are in need.
Palm Sunday/Holy Week Taizé: A service of prayer, readings, and meditative music in the tradition of Taizé. Sunday, April 10th, at 7 PM – St. John Neumann Parish, 157 Middleboro Road, East Freetown, MA.
April 3, 2022, Fifth Sunday of Lent
The Goal In Sight: Lent often takes on a life of its own, but we cannot forget its purpose which is to help us to be better prepared to celebrate the Paschal Mystery with minds and hearts renewed. One week from now we will be beginning our observance of that one week of the year that we designate as “holy” when in our liturgy we remember the pivotal events that took place in Jerusalem from the triumphal entry of Jesus into that city and his passion, death, and resurrection which followed. In Jerusalem, the Lord passed through death to life, and it is this mystery that we not only recall but in which we actually participate by having “died” with him through our Lenten observances of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving so that we may rise with him to new life in the joy of Easter. We are best prepared to enter Holy Week and celebrate the Sacred Triduum if through Lenten repentance and conversion we have left some of the less than Christian aspects of ourselves behind and been renewed in gospel-guided living. At Lent’s beginning, we were invited to die to self as we received ashes and were instructed to turn away from sin so as to be faithful to the gospel. As Lent moves more swiftly toward its end we must assess how well we have done thus far. If we have to admit that we have not been as disciplined as we might have been, nor have we progressed as far as we might have hoped, we should not give up easily by consoling ourselves with the thought that there is always next Lent! The point of being reminded by ashes that we are destined to return to dust is to increase our awareness that the time to repent and change for the better is always now not later! So if necessary let us redouble our efforts in this fifth week of Lent and on through the days of Holy Week right up to the evening of Holy Thursday when Lent officially ends. Let us begin to assess the fruits of our self-denial and calculate what we are accumulating to share with the poor when our Lenten alms are collected on Holy Thursday evening. What are we denying ourselves so as to have more to share with the poor? What is the cost of 40 café lattes or the same amount of wine or liquor? How much would a meal taken out at a restaurant each week have cost us or a day at a spa? If we didn’t forgo anything at all or ended up indulging in what we said we would give up then we perhaps owe more than the costs of these indulgences not less! The point is that the collection of alms on Holy Thursday is supposed to represent 40 days of self-denial, so it requires giving more than a dollar or two or nothing at all lest we end up compounding our debt to God by neglecting the poor! So as over the next 10 days, we find ourselves literally in the final quarter of Lent, let us make every effort and take whatever extra care necessary to be sure that we can end this penitential season having truly died to ourselves so as to be better able to rise to a new life with Christ especially as he is found in those who are in trouble or need.
Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion: On next weekend palms will be blessed and distributed and the Passion of the Lord will be proclaimed at all Masses. Baskets to collect old palms which you may have at home are located at the entrances of the church and will be there through Palm Sunday. This Palm will be properly disposed of as it is burned in the Easter Fire on Holy Saturday evening.
Plan Now for The Sacred Triduum and Easter:
Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper – 7 PM, followed by prayer before the Blessed Sacrament concluding with Night Prayer at 10 PM
Good Friday: Morning Prayer at 9 AM, Service of the Lord’s Passion at 3 PM, Stations of the Cross at 7 PM
Holy Saturday: Morning Prayer at 9 AM, Solemn Vigil of Easter at 7 PM
Easter Sunday (Please note change in Mass Schedule for Easter Only) 8 AM, 9:30 AM, and 11 AM ( no Sunday evening Mass on Easter Sunday).
The Annual Report: While the pastor will accept responsibility for its delayed release, thanks are due to the parish staff, Bud Breault, Diane Davis, and Kelly Spodris for the annual accounting of our parish income and expenses for the fiscal year ’20-’21 which is available at the entrances of the church. All are encouraged to take a copy, and to divide the costs incurred in operating and maintaining the parish by 2600 registered households to come to understand what fairly sharing in the upkeep of the parish would entail per household on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. To those who are doing their fair share and even so much more, we all owe a debt of gratitude for their generosity; to those who are not yet doing all they might, we would ask them to prayerfully consider doing more; and to those who are not giving any traceable contribution on a regular basis to the parish, we must all ask why not as it is this kind of negligence, though often mistakenly assumed benign, which is largely responsible for the demise and eventual closure of parishes as sadly witnessed over the last two decades in our own and other Dioceses of the United States. As members of Christ the King Parish let us all care deeply about the well-being of our parish now and into the future so as to support it to the best of our ability.