Praised be Jesus Christ! The movie “Romero” came out in 1989 and became a staple for Catholic students as it was shown in religion classes for many years. I remember seeing it and being impressed by Archbishop Oscar Romero’s courage and his true solidarity with the poor. I was shocked when he was gunned down while celebrating Mass in March of 1980. This October 14th Pope Francis will canonize Archbishop Romero a saint and that means the poor of this world will have another true friend and intercessor in Heaven. His feast day is March 24th, the day he was martyred in the hospital chapel of Divine Providence. At some point it would be great to show the film and have some discussion about the impact of his life... keep your eyes peeled for this later in the fall. You might be familiar with the spiritual axiom that nobody goes to Heaven alone – in that spirit Pope Paul VI will be canonized a saint on the same day as Oscar Romero. Born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (I’m not kidding – what a mouthful!) in 1897, there is a famous story of how he came to Rome with his parents shortly after his 1st Communion. Pope Pius X was so moved by how pious little Montini looked in his 1st Communion outfit, that he suddenly took off his white skull cap (a.k.a. zucchetto), put it on the boy and said, “Ecco, quel papalino!” (Look at that little Pope). And lo and behold, in 1963 Pope Pius X’s prediction came true. For those of you who remember him, Pope Paul VI was austere in appearance and followed in the formidable footsteps of the affable Pope John XXIII. Whereas “Good Pope John” was gregarious and open-hearted, Paul VI was more melancholic in temperament (leading some to dub him “the sad Pope”). And while both became saints, the circumstances in which they did so were radically different. Pope Paul VI served as Vicar of Christ from 1963-1978, arguably some of the most tumultuous years the Church has endured since the French Revolution (1789-1799). This year we remember the 50th anniversary of the year that will forever be connected to Pope Paul VI: 1968. It was then he issued the encyclical Humanae vitae (“Of human life”), the document that affirmed the Church’s perennial teaching about openness to life and to God’s will for procreation. Saying it was not received well in some quarters is putting it extraordinarily mildly. The birth control pill had received full FDA approval in 1960 and the Supreme Court decision Griswold vs. Connecticut in 1965 had decriminalized the use of contraceptives. The expectation of many (including myriads of priests and religious, as well as some Bishops) was that the Church would follow the lead of the Anglican church and allow discerning couples to use the pill in a responsible fashion. Pope Paul VI shocked the world when he affirmed that the way of love according to God’s design could never endorse contraception, as it closes our hearts to trusting in Him in the marital act. Many dissenters were given a megaphone to tell the world that Pope Paul VI was wrong and that his predictions about this being bad for marriage and especially bad for women were roundly ridiculed. But the verdict is in: contraception has been very bad for marriage and family. Many people in our world still do not believe this. The best answer is in the families who are trying to live the way Christ teaches through His Bride, the Catholic Church. Our parishes are getting younger with many vibrant, faithful families, and that is in some part due to soon-to-be Saint Paul VI’s courage in teaching an unpopular truth. As Pope Liberius pointed out nearly 1,700 years ago, “The truth of the faith is not lessened by the fact that I stand alone.” We thank God for these two new saints who inspire us by their courage and assist us by their prayers.
May God be praised in His Saints – the holy men and women who were faithful in their trials!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
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Saturday: 4:00 PM
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Saturday: 3:15 - 3:45 PM
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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