Praised be Jesus Christ! I heard recently that there are roughly 18,000 Catholic parishes in the U.S. Our own Diocese of La Crosse has 161 parishes (down from 165, due to mergers). Speaking of Dioceses, there are 197 in the US, of which 32 are Archdioceses. If you’re enjoying this statistical glance at the Catholic Church, then you’ll be happy to know there are 83 minor Basilicas in the U.S., 2 of them being Holy Hill and Saint Josaphat in Milwaukee. Moving right along, did you know that the number of priests in the U.S. dropped from nearly 59,000 in 1965 to about 37,000 in 2016? And that’s nothing when you consider that there were nearly 180,000 Sisters in 1965 compared to the 47,000 we have today. The decline in vocations is a significant challenge and this is complicated by the very wonderful fact that we have more Catholics to serve (c. 48 million in 1965 compared to 74 million today). Something that we have seen here is more parishes without a resident priest – Christ the King last had a resident pastor in 1996. God willing, all of this information whets your appetite for more and you’ve now decided to purchase a sesquicentennial book. We or- dered 315 of these and it’s up to you to prove that this was a prophetic number in that we are able to sell every last one of them. It’s an extraordinarily handsome book that is full of beautiful pictures, not to mention great prose that tells of the miracles of faith and God’s love in our Diocese over the past 150 years. As you know, I’ve made it a hobby to visit as many of the parishes in our Diocese as I can and I’m down to just 3 parishes left. For those of you who have much more normal hobbies, you can virtually visit every parish in the Diocese just by purchasing the book – every parish has a double - page spread! As the Roman poet Cicero once put it, “ To be ignorant of the past is to remain always a child .” Or maybe you prefer the philosopher George Santayana, “ Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ” If you buy a 150 th anniversary book, never again will you have to worry about anyone exposing your igno- rance of the past. And for only $33.00 you’ll have a gift that keeps on giving (I will re - gift mine after a year or so – just in time for the 151 st anniversary of the Diocese). Now to come full circle, the book will make it clear that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Gone are the days when poor people built churches and the faith was much more central to peo- ples’ lives (Mass attendance has dropped from nearly 50% of Catholics in 1965 to 22% today). One suspects that the life of sacrifice and hard work made people more disposed to the reality of God and His Providence. And while it’s inac- curate to compare different eras, suffice it to say that times have changed and the challenges to preaching and living the Gospel are as formidable as ever. Thank God that the genius of our Catholic faith is its ability to flourish in times of adversity. As Saint Thomas More put it, “ No time is so cor- rupt in which a saint could not thrive. ” And so our faith in- spires us to “ put out into the deep ” and cooperate with God’s will so that souls may be saved. Yes, we are asked to do more with less, but so it was for our ancestors, and so it will always be for those who set out on the straight and narrow way of the cross. So get down on your knees and pray, oh, and dig into your purse and fork over the 33 bucks!
May God grant you the joy of the Gospel as we celebrate Gaudete Sunday!
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