Christ the King - St. Francis de Sales Parish
Save the Date
The Fall Bazaar will be on Saturday, October 26th from 10-3 in the Fellowship Hall. We are still accepting vendors. For more information please call […]Read More
Trunk or Treat
Join us for Trunk or Treat on Thursday, October 31st from 6-8 pm in the Fellowship Hall. There will be candy, hot dogs, doughnuts and […]Read More
myParish App Messages
February 20, 2020 We are saddened to announce the passing of parishioner Marion "Mert" Kasprowicz. May his soul and the soul of all...
January 30, 2020 We are saddened to announce the passing of parishioner Marilyn Cole. May her soul and the soul of all the...
January 11, 2020 Mother Nature wins. 😞 We will be cancelling the Minister training classes for this weekend. These are the meetings that...
January 09, 2020 There are training meetings for all liturgical ministers this weekend at CTK. They are scheduled for right after the Saturday,...
December 01, 2019 Faith Formation is cancelled for today, December 1st, due to road conditions. Be safe!
We are saddened to announce the passing of parishioner Marion "Mert" Kasprowicz. May his soul and the soul of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Visitation will take place at Heckman Funeral Home, Howard City, at 1 pm on Monday, February 24th with a service beginning at 2 pm. Guests are invited to join the family for a luncheon in Fellowship Hall following the funeral. Internment will take place at a later date. ...
Faith Formation Files: Vol. 2, Issue 19 February 16, 2020
While I grew up Catholic and the roots were there, I didn’t embrace my faith until I was an adult. I still have a long way to go, but I’m better than I was.
I come from a very strong German-Catholic community. At the time, Catholic school was only offered in grades 4-8, and even then, it was only part-time. The school was directly adjacent to the public school. We walked back and forth between buildings for our classes. The Catholic school offered religion class, reading and social studies. We went over to the public school for math, science, band/gym, and lunch. I don’t remember ever thinking it was a unique situation. It was just how it was. The public school took into account the liturgical year. Half-days or teacher work days and Spring Break were scheduled to accommodate important days for the Church- All Saint’s Day, Good Friday, Easter, and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We NEVER had sporting events on Sundays. It was common for someone, maybe even the coach, to pray before a track meet or volleyball game, and I can recall the announcer once praying for an injured player at a football game. This, and prayers before and after meals, and at bedtime were just a part of everyday life. I remember having religious pictures, icons, and other Catholic artifacts in my childhood home. Likewise, our grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends also had these types of things in their homes. They also had the same kind of prayer rituals. Living our faith was a part of our daily lives.
But then I grew up. “Enlightened” by a World Religions class at the local community college, exposure to co-workers who didn’t have the same kind of upbringing that I had, and the natural desire to establish my own independence resulted in me leaving the church. I didn’t necessarily rebel. I just fell away.
For the next 15-20 years, I pretty much did my own thing. I had a variety of jobs as I worked my way through college. I was a CNA at a nursing home. I milked cows on a dairy farm. I worked at summer camps. I did retail sales at the mall. I waitressed at restaurants and I delivered pizza. I babysat and was employed at daycare centers. Eventually, I got my degree and became an elementary school teacher.
I also had a variety of “extra-curriculars.” I played softball on a women’s league. I frequented bars/pool halls and was even on a pool league. I hung out with friends and co-workers. I traveled to many places. I lived what I thought was a fun life because I did whatever felt good. That’s what society had led me to believe was okay. But in hindsight, I can see that even though I did enjoy myself and did create a lot of memories, I was being completely selfish. For 20-some years, I indulged in all of God’s blessings and abundance without ever giving Him thanks or tempering myself to honor Him.
Eventually, I did grow up enough to gain a new perspective on this temporal life. It is full of God’s blessings. He created all these things for us to enjoy. But He wishes for us to show prudence and moderation in our decisions and in what we do. We are supposed to view the world through the lens of the Commandments. We are to show God’s love and mercy through our own thoughts and actions. We are called to humble ourselves and live by His rules. Adam and Eve committed the first sin when they didn’t trust God enough to provide for and protect them. We do the same thing when we live for our own desires, when we worry and don’t trust in God’s timing, and when we create excuses to justify how we’re living our human existence. Remember that God wants us to live with Him in Heaven for all eternity! Can’t you show a little self-control, eat some crow, and be generous with your gifts as a way to show God you want the same thing?
Remember that God is merciful. This was about the only consolation I had when I finally went to confession and received reconciliation after all that time away. Trust that the priest is acting “in the person of Christ” and will be as happy for and forgiving of you as the father was to the prodigal son. (Luke 15: 11-32.) It is not too late to start more boldly living your faith. God wants you to grow your relationship with Him. If you’re still saying the same prayers, participating in Mass in just a rote way, and living your life in the same way as you have for the last 10-20 years, then it’s time to grow! Consider adding the rosary to your daily prayers. Have you thought about coming to Mass on days other than just the obligatory Sunday? Join our Faith Formation classes or do an online Bible Study. Search out opportunities to use your gifts: cook at a food kitchen, organize a community clothes closet, help a couple of struggling newlyweds get their car fixed, offer to babysit for free for a single mother so she can have a little time for herself, shovel/plow someone’s driveway, sew/knit/crochet lap robes and deliver them to homebound folks. The list of ways that you can help others is endless. You just have to make the time, make a connection to the recipient(s), and commit to doing it. Please let me know what I can do to help you.
Faith Formation Files: Vol. 2, Issue 18 February 9, 2020
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Paris, but years ago I was lucky enough to do so. My best friend and I traveled to the city by train. Neither of us knew French except for, “Parlez-vous anglais?” (“Do you speak English?”) Mind you, if you ask a French person this question, they’ll look at with disgust, release a “pfft!” at you, and tell you, “No!” (if they answer at all.) When we got off the train we figured we’d take the Metro (the subway) to all the various tourist spots and see as much as we could in our one day in the city. The problem was that without knowing French, we could neither communicate with others nor could we read any of the signage. Since we could not figure out how to find a Metro station, we set out on foot. In accepting our fate, we made a plan to visit a triangle of sites. We figured we could get to these 3 places in the time we had.
Our first stop was going to be the Arc de Triomphe. We were utterly amazed when we reached the site. While the structure itself is quite awesome (I love seeing things in person that I’ve previously only seen in pictures!) what really intrigued us was the traffic. It was chaos!!! (Search “Arc de Triomphe traffic” on YouTube to see for yourself! I also suggest looking up “Hanoi Vietnam traffic.)The Arc de Triomphe sits in the middle of a roundabout. This particular intersection is a hub where 12 different streets converge! I don’t even think understanding French would have helped us navigate this intersection. There aren’t any lines painted on the road to indicate lanes. There are no traffic lights or policemen directing cars in any way. It’s like there are no rules for how to pilot this traffic circle. I guess you just keep going around and around until you work your way in or out to the road where you need to turn.
So what does this have to do with Faith Formation? Well, life can be as chaotic as this traffic circle. But we do have some assistance to help us through. We have the 10 Commandments. These rules are not constraints which burden us. Rather, they are parameters to live within. Knowing which direction the traffic moves, understanding how vehicles can indicate their intention to move to one side or another, and comprehending the results of not showing patience and going around again are important components of traversing this crossroads in Paris. Likewise, knowing that God wants us to desire an eternity with Him, understanding the expectations He has of us, and comprehending how our decisions affect our ultimate perpetuity are important components of traversing this life. It’s almost like the 10 Commandments are God’s version of GPS!
We meet weekly for Faith Formation right after the 11 am Mass. With that said, please note that instead of having Faith Formation class this Sunday, February 9th, we will be hosting training on how to use our new AEDs. The First Communion class will still meet from 4-6 pm. We will also have our other regularly scheduled classes on February 16th- A Family of Faith Potluck & Follow-Up meeting and February 23rd- GIFT. I hope to see you there.
Faith Formation Files: Vol. 2, Issue 17 February 2, 2020
This month at Faith Formation we will be learning about and discussing the 5th through the 10th Commandments. The 5th Commandment, You shall not kill, seems so very straight-forward that one wonders how else it could be considered or how difficult it could be to obey? But I tell you, there are multiple ways that this commandment can be broken, and I personally know people who have done so in at least four of those ways.
Most clearly, to commit murder is to kill. I don’t know anyone who has actually done this, I’m glad to say. But considering the state of our world, I wouldn’t say that being removed from it by just one or two degrees is very possible. Unfortunately, I do know at least two people who have been murdered. Taking another’s life is incomprehensible.
Another way this commandment can be broken is by having or encouraging someone to have an abortion. The Catechism articulates the belief in the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. This is reflected in paragraph 2273, as well as the preceding and subsequent paragraphs. In 2270 it says, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.” I know a woman who at the age of about 18 years became pregnant before marriage. The father was of another race. A pre-marital, bi-racial pregnancy in the late 1980’s was an unfathomable situation. Feeling as though they had no other options, they sought an abortion. Whether the trauma that follows such a decision caused it or if there were other contributing factors, the couple eventually broke up. She did go on to marry and have 12 children! I presume she was attempting to “make up” for the loss of her first child’s life and will always grieve her decision.
A third way the 5th Commandment can be broken is by committing euthanasia. “Direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.” (CCC, 2277) Even though it is hard to see our loved ones suffer, it is beyond our human privilege to presume we know better than God regarding when someone is no longer “worthy” of life or when they have lived “long enough.” I have a friend whose grandfather was diagnosed with a terminal disease. I was young enough not to remember all the details exactly, but I recall that he was no longer able to move his arms. His wife, who was living with Alzheimer’s, was still living with him. Their daughter lived next door and they were well taken care of by her. Anyway, one day we heard that he had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But the man had lost the use of his arms… I don’t know the specifics for sure, but I’m sure that the wife thought she was doing the very best for her husband in whatever way she assisted.
Another way people can break the 5th Commandment is by committing suicide. CCC 2280 says, “We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.” The church is understanding of those who suffer from mental illness or are suffering other distress. For them we pray. My brother-in-law committed suicide about 4 ½ years ago. He was plagued with feelings of inferiority, unworthiness, and depression. Ultimately, he must have believed that his family would be better off without him. I don’t know what else we could have done to support him in his life, but I know that he is dearly missed. His wife and daughter would much rather deal with his anxiety and feelings of mediocrity yet still have him to hug than how things turned out.
Have you ever considered that it is yet another way to break this commandment when you “kill” someone’s spirit? Have your words or actions ever been so vindictive or hurtful that you have contributed to someone’s feelings of insignificance or self-loathing? Have you encouraged or supported someone who was doing this to another? Have you delighted in someone else’s failure or pain? Parents, spouses, siblings, and co-workers can say and do awful things to each other in an attempt to tear the other down. I bet we all know someone, or are guilty ourselves, who has done this type of thing.
There are yet other examples of how this 5th Commandment can be broken. Scandal is covered in CCC 2284- 2287 but is summed up in 2326, “Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately leads others to sin gravely.” Also covered in the Catechism is the respect of health. We are called to take good care of our bodies, but not to invest so much that it becomes an obsession. We are told to make sure the health of others is protected or given assistance in attainment of food, clothing, housing, education, health care, education and employment. We are also to not abuse ourselves through the use of/excessiveness of food, alcohol, tobacco, and medicine/drugs. Within the dissertation of the 5th Commandment the Catechism even clarifies the church’s standing on a number of topics including but not limited to embryo production and selection, chromosomic manipulation, what is commonly known as Hospice care, reckless actions that pay no heed to harm to self or others, basic scientific research as well as applied research, organ transplants (donation after natural death is noble and meritorious!), respect for the dead, anger, and war. Check out the entire text in the Catechism of the Catholic Church Part three, Section two, Article five, paragraphs 2258-2330.
As you can see, this commandment like so many others is multi-faceted and so much deeper than just surface level.
Come to Faith Formation in Fellowship Hall after the 11 am Mass to join in our learning and discussion of this and the remaining 5 Commandments.
**Please note that instead of having Faith Formation class next Sunday, February 9th, we will be hosting training on how to use our new AEDs. The First Communion class will still meet from 4-6 pm. We will also have our other regularly scheduled classes on February 16th- A Family of Faith Potluck & Follow-Up meeting and February 23rd- GIFT.** ...
Faith Formation Files: Vol. 2, Issue 16 January 26, 2020
In Matthew 22:39, we hear Jesus tell the Pharisees, “And the second resembles [the first great commandment]: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” How is it that we apply this directive in our lives? What are ways that you have loved your neighbor? There are personal actions that some of us have taken. Others participate in established programs and initiatives that benefit others. We are called to fill our own cup first, to take care of our own, (1 Timothy 5:8) but then to share with those less fortunate or without the same gifts that you have been given. What (more) can you do to live this Second Great Commandment?
Personal actions include many of the small things that we tend to do on a daily basis. We hold open the door to the building as we see another person approaching. We take the grocery cart back to the corral for the mom who is trying to load groceries and kids. We help someone at work who has dropped a stack of files or a tool that they’ll need to do their job. These seemingly small things are very simple to include in our daily activities but are huge to the receiver. Keep (or start) doing them! Other things that people may be doing on their own include giving a street peddler a blessing bag or some cash. Have you ever helped someone physically push their car off the road or to a gas station? What about doing yardwork or minor home repairs for an elderly or sick neighbor? Maybe you pay for someone else’s coffee or tank of gas? Have you ever been able to grace someone with a larger gift such as paying to have their propane tank filled, buying someone a reliable vehicle, or contributing to their schooling? As long as you are not creating a burden for yourself or your family, giving to others is a gift that benefits the giver just as much as the recipient. And it exemplifies living the Second Great Commandment, loving and taking care of others. It is often these types of giving that are shared on Facebook and give so many of us hope for humanity.
Others (and sometimes it is the same folks) participate in organized programs that are set up to help people. Our diocese runs several of these campaigns throughout the year: Catholic Services Appeal, World Mission Sunday, and Catholic Campaign for Human Development, among others. But not all the initiatives come from the diocese. Right now we have a fundraiser going on for Life Resources of Northern Michigan. We recently collected for the YDisciple group to attend Winter Jam 2020. (It was amazing! See our Facebook page for pictures or talk to one of the kids in the parish who attended.)
Other things we can do that don’t involve giving money include working at our Fish Fry events or joining any of the Christian Service projects. (Right now they are prepping for the Indoor Garage Sale.) Have you volunteered at any of the Service Saturdays? These ways of loving our neighbor are also very valuable and often quite necessary. If you haven’t participated in any of these initiatives, please join in.
It is really not hard to live this commandment. You can do it! Chances are, if you do participate in any of these projects, you can do even more! As long as your own are taken care of, do what you can to help others.
This weekend our Faith Formation is the GIFT (Generations in Faith Together.) Join us in Fellowship Hall after the last Sunday Mass as we work together to plan for ways that we can live this commandment.