Praised be Jesus Christ! During my parish mission in Amherst and Fancher a month ago a man passed out at the 8:30 a.m. Mass. For the record, it did not happen during my homily. The people helped the man and eventually gave me an indication that he was okay and that we could proceed with the Mass. While a Mass certainly can be interrupted, it should always be finished if at all possible. What a priest wants to know is if the person who has collapsed is in danger of death and should be anointed. Most priests have their holy oils with them and would be happy to stop the Mass and offer the Sacrament of the sick to a person in a real medical emergency. Keep in mind that most people who pass out have merely fainted because of sickness or because they forgot to take their medicine or did not eat a proper breakfast. Father Burish claims he nearly passed out at the altar a number of times because of the ex- treme cold in the rectory and the always-empty refrigerator. It doesn’t help my reputation that Father Sedlacek is telling peo- ple that he’s lost 10 pounds in the last year – my theory on that is the rancid beer he’s been brewing. Anyway, back to medical emergencies at Mass: we’re almost always surrounded by out- standing medical personnel and they’ll be happy to assess the situation and call for help if needed. The goal is to determine how best to help the person, and then continue offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Think of all the prayers a person gets if they fall ill during Mass – not that I’m encouraging you to get sick during a weekend Mass! Now on to a more serious matter: protecting ourselves from a potential shooter. We’ve been advised by our insurance company to do all we can to assure that our parishes move from being a soft target to a more difficult one for a shooter. Both Christ the King and Saint John’s basically require that one enter from the back of church (the outside door to the sacristy at Saint John’s is now locked at all times). That gives our ushers and others a chance to see if someone is acting suspiciously and to alert others to it. On a spiritual note, we can now publicly ask the prayers of Bishop Oscar Romero, who will be canonized later this year. Bishop Romero was gunned down while celebrating Mass in Guatemala on March 24th, 1980 and now becomes an official intercessor. My prayer is always that any danger in church be directed to me. A priest has no wife or children and many times is the most obvious target for a deranged person. Please God, noth- ing like this will ever happen. But I cannot think of a holier death than to be in church with Jesus and His people, offering His sacrifice for the salvation of all people. One last topic has to do with our upcoming pilgrimage. We’ll be leaving at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, April 16th and will not return until around mid- night on Friday, April 27th. We take the bus to O’Hare and fly first to Paris. One day in Paris and then we travel by train to Lourdes. After two days in Lourdes we travel by bus across the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain and then meander westward until arriving in Fatima, Portugal. I’ll share our experience in writing upon our return. Father Sedlacek will be in charge while I am away. Please keep an eye on our “Bearded Brewster” so that he doesn’t get overwhelmed by the work and stress. Of all the dangers I’ve shared in this column, the greatest might be leaving Father Sedlacek in charge! Please pray for us, that our pilgrimage will help us grow closer to God and to each other. And be assured of our prayers, especially at the tombs of the saints and the apparition sites of our Blessed Mother.
May God protect us and give us a profound trust in His Providence!
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