Save the Dates! We will be attending Adventure Camp August 4th - 9th. Adventure Camp is open to students entering the 7th grade this fall through 12th grade. Adult chaperones are needed also. This experience is a perfect blend of fun and faith. Please contact me if you are interested in attending. There are scholarships and fundraising opportunities available.
Praised be Jesus Christ! I recently read the book Walk-On Warrior, written by Marshfield native John Willkom. Some of you already know that he walked on at Marquette and the book makes it clear that playing basketball at the Division 1 level is not for the faint of heart. Many athletes dream of playing sports at the highest level, but little do they know what such dreams will require of them in terms of discipline and physical pain. A book like this confirms the idealism that mostly lies dormant in our hearts – so many of us have dreams that we shelve away for a variety of reasons as we pass through this life. The Church in her wisdom tries to animate these deep and often hidden desires and she does so most effectively by re- minding us that we’re made to live in Heaven. The problem is that spiritually we’re couch potatoes that could never abide the beauty and love of God in our present state. And so every Lent the Church challenges us to live more selflessly, to repent of pride and manipulation, and to truly imitate the life of Jesus Christ. When was the last time you made a heroic Lent? A priest named Father Rick Heilman in the Diocese of Madison has been challenging people to step up and really engage the season of Lent with more traditional spiritual practices. For example, he encourages fasting on bread and water at least once a week. Have you ever tried such a thing? The key is remembering why you’re doing it – Jesus Himself fasted for forty days in the desert so as to overcome temptation. Sadly, the meatless Fridays are not really leading people into heroic sacrifice and so fasting is a way to provide a counter-balance. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux accurately identifies our typical approach to preparing for Heaven: “Timid prayer does not pierce heaven, because immoderate fear binds the soul . . . being lukewarm, it (prayer) grows weak in its flight and falls because it has no strength. Prayer that is faithful, humble and fervent will undoubtedly pierce heaven and it will certainly not return fruitless.” By the way, Saint Bernard fasted and prayed a lot! What about some other penitential practices, you ask? Have you ever slept on the floor? Saint Francis slept on the ground for many years, often with a rock for his pillow. Now the goal is not to punish the body, but merely to discipline it. Athletes do this all the time and rarely are they criticized; when those who aspire to love God heroically do things to advance this noble cause, people get concerned and wax on about spiritual fanaticism. The best thing to do is let God inspire us and to try humbly to follow His lead. Some take cold showers as a form of penance – it’s a very effective way to save water, by the way! One thing about cold showers that makes such a practice more sustainable is to shower with warm water first, then turn to cold for the rinsing process – saying a set number of prayers is one way to place a limit on the experience. And then there are many things we can give up that are a daily reminder that we’re training to live in Heaven: alcohol, smoking, sweets, gossip, swearing, lying, cheating. When people say you don’t have to give up things anymore for Lent, it’s similar to saying that you don’t really have to practice to play basketball or in the band – just show up and everything will be fine! Silly human beings – we’re made for greatness but settle for so much less. Von Balthasar, the renowned 20th century theologian, put it like this: “It is as if modern man had had a tendon cut, so that he can no longer run toward his original goal, as if his wings had been clipped, as if his spiritual awareness of transcendence had withered. How can that have come about?” Fair question, don’t you think? In the immortal words of high school students everywhere, go big or go home – a worthy summons to make this Lent remarkable.
May God inspire us to discipline our will, so that we may choose Him and what He wants for us!
From the Pope:
Pope recommends a 5-minute examination of conscience at the end of the day, because it will help us to "not postpone our conversion of heart"
Grow in self-control, Pope Francis urges, without making the excuse that God’s compassion will lead him to forgive your many sins. As the Book of Sirach says, “Delay not your conversion to the LORD, put it not off from day to day. For suddenly his wrath flames forth.”
Attention !!! Calling all men, young and teenage boys, our grandfathers, fathers, godfathers, sons, uncles, those men who are spiritually a part of our parish community. An invitation is extended to you to attend “Breakfast” on Sunday March 17th, 2019 after the 8 am mass. Sponsored by the P.C.C.W. ladies. We look forward to serving you and to have successful attendance of men and boys of this parish.
Praised be Jesus Christ! Next Sunday we’re hosting a Mass of Healing at Our Lady of Peace at 3:30 p.m. Many of you are familiar with what this entails because we’ve hosted three of them in the past 18 months. Father Bob Thorn and his team came down from Wausau each time to help us, but now it’s time for the spiritual training wheels to be removed: this time it will be me and a healing team comprised of members of Christ the King, Saint John’s, and Our Lady of Peace. Please pray that the Holy Spirit guide us in our desire to be His instruments of healing. Now one might logically ask what type of healing one could expect at this Mass. As is the case for most of the millions of pilgrims that visit the Marian Shrine of Lourdes in France each year, rather rare are the claims of physical healing (though there are dozens of medically certified miraculous cures over the years). Instead, most experience a healing of hope that allows a person to continue to carry the cross with courage. Matthew Kelly tells the story of a female nurse named Jane who got sick with cancer. After being on sick leave for six weeks, she either had to return to work or lose her job. She was a mother with three children. The other nurses loved Jane and wanted to do something to help. A nurse named Anastasia suggested that they cover Jane’s three weekly shifts of 12 hours each so that Jane could continue to get paid and support her family. The sign up list filled up quickly and the nurses covered Jane’s shifts for three years as she recovered from cancer. In a way, that’s a story about healing on multiple levels. People who come to a Mass of Healing do not receive the Sacrament of Anointing (we call that a Healing Mass), but rather are prayed over and receive the consolation that comes from the Holy Spirit. The format is pretty simple: priests are available to hear confessions from 2:00-3:15 p.m. (this is one of the most constant and reliable sources of healing in the history of the world). Mass begins at 3:30 p.m. (and it is a Sunday Mass that fulfills the obligation to keep holy the Sabbath). At the end of Mass the priest recites a litany of deliverance prayers as sacramentals are used to open the hearts of those present to God’s will. Next we pray over anyone who comes forward – we do so with Jesus in the monstrance, which brings a powerful experience of His Presence in our life. Finally, our three teams are available for deeper prayers of healing and this concludes the service. I admit to being rather nervous about this the first few times, but it’s been clear that the entire enterprise is the work of God. As Mother Teresa was fond of saying, we’re just a pencil in God’s hand – He can write whatever words of love He wants through the way He inspires and guides us. And so, as we begin Lent this week, you’re very welcome to come next Sunday to the Mass of Healing at Our Lady of Peace. We will offer these Masses twice a year (the next one is scheduled for November 10th, same time, same place). And speaking of healing, as you’ve read a number of times in the bulletin, next Sunday is “Safehaven Sunday” throughout our diocese. That means we’ll be preaching about the plague of impurity, especially as fostered by pornography. For all who struggle to overcome this terrible temptation, we’ll be praying and honestly acknowledging that God’s grace is stronger than sin. Many people struggle with pornography because they have never known true love. God sent His Son into our world to heal that specific hurt, and He continues to do so in the Holy Eucharist and in confession.
May God help us to trust Him with our wounds, so that we might receive His healing and hope!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday: 3:15 - 3:45 PM
Monday - Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
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Welcome from Our Pastor
Welcome to Christ the King Catholic Church! Ever since 1938 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Our mission statement is essentially found in the stained glass window above the main altar: “For Christ our King.” Insofar as God made us and we belong to Him, we have come to... Read More