CHRIST THE KING CATHOLIC PARISH

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1 March/April 2017 CHRIST THE KING CATHOLIC PARISH 1520 South Rockford Tulsa, OK (918) Taking Care of God s Creation Through Parish Gardening T he most important thing about a church is what happens inside it. However, it s also important for us to honor our Lord by making His house a beautiful place. Here at Christ the King, the Parish Gardening Ministry plants flower beds around the church grounds to create an environment that glorifies God s creation. As we come into church and attend Mass, I d like to think that the environment outside helps you to appreciate God s gifts, says John Speaker. In some way, this external beauty can serve as a reminder of the internal beauty that God provides. By looking at the beauty of these living plants, we can see the living God at work. About 65 Christ the King families are signed up for the Parish Gardening Ministry, which gathers in the spring and in the fall of each year. We have divided the church campus including the Marquette School, Early Childhood Center and rectory into different areas and flower beds, John says. We get the beds ready and have a map of the different areas where families can plant. They come at 8 a.m. on a Saturday, we have breakfast for them, and then they pick where they want to plant. We have seasonal flowers out there waiting for them we usually have over 175 flats total and we encourage families to choose a little spot and plant about flowers. While the ministry welcomes all parishioners, it s a particularly great way for parish families to serve together. It s something nice for families to do together it s outside, it doesn t take a lot of continued on page 2

2 Christ the King Taking Care of God s Creation Through Parish Gardening continued from front cover time out of a busy schedule, and it s something that even the smaller kids can help out with, John says. We have flowerbeds that are close to the school, and it s really nice when kids can adopt one and take care of it. It really hits home for them, because every time they come to school or to Mass, they walk by the area they planted. It gives them a chance for some ownership in the parish. By serving in the Parish Gardening Ministry, parishioners of all ages are able to grow in fellowship and in a spirit of service. The ministry creates a community atmosphere, John says. It can be a great start to getting involved, or a stepping stone to doing more. For example, you could meet someone who invites you to another activity, such as a prayer group or one of our spirituality series. We have a sort of battle cry here, which is, Take the next step! John adds. We believe that anything we do, ministrywise, brings us to a different place in our spiritual lives. We are here to provide ministries and programs that help people to take that next step, wherever they may be in their faith journeys. That step will be different for every individual. Whether it s your very first step, or you ve been a practicing Catholic for decades, there is always room to grow. If you would like more information about the ministry, please call the parish office at Be sure to watch the parish bulletin and website for updates on future planting dates! 2

3 March/April 2017 A Letter From Our Pastor Lent Is More Than Preparation for Easter Dear Parishioners, In 2013, Pope Francis issued his first significant work. It was what is called an apostolic exhortation titled The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium in Latin). While Rome may use fancy words for some of these things, an exhortation of this sort does not change any official Church rules or traditions. However, it does offer advice and encouragement about how we should live our lives. Pope Francis offers this kind of guidance on a regular basis, but this one in particular seems to present us with suggestions that are worthy of our consideration, especially during Lent. The pope called us to become missionary disciples: The Church which goes forth is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice (Evangelii Gaudium, 24). Speaking about his exhortation, Pope Francis said, One of the riches of the Second Vatican Council was to remind the Church of the two lenses of the season of Lent: baptismal and penitential. In fact, Vatican II noted specifically, The two elements which are especially characteristic of Lent the recalling of baptism or the preparation for it, and penance should be given greater emphasis in the liturgy and in liturgical catechesis. It is by means of them that the Church prepared the faithful for the celebration of Easter, while they hear God s word more frequently and devote more time to prayer (Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1348). It might be well for us to keep these in mind during Lent. There were vows made during our baptism, and this is the time of year to try to fulfill those vows, in addition to reaffirming them. We are given various opportunities to renew these vows, and we may tend to do it automatically without a thought. Now, however, is the time to think. Perhaps during Lent, we can renew these vows as families and we must not necessarily do it in church or at a Mass. Then, we need to do something during Lent to help each of us understand what that renewal means. The other important part of Lent pointed out by Pope Francis has to do with penance. Most of us have heard the traditional practices of Lent fasting, prayer, reception of the Sacraments, and almsgiving. These are things that may bring us closer to Christ. By fasting, we may gain a greater understanding of the hunger the Lord feels for our souls; by increased prayer, we join in union with God; through the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, we become a greater part of that union with God; through giving alms, we empty ourselves in part, just as Jesus emptied Himself for us on the cross. This is a time to do more than prepare for Easter. This is a time to change how we may approach living and our faith. God bless you now and throughout this holiest of seasons. Sincerely Yours in Christ, Rev. Msgr. Daniel H. Mueggenborg Pastor There were vows made during our baptism, and this is the time of year to try to fulfill those vows, in addition to reaffirming them. We are given various opportunities to renew these vows, and we may tend to do it automatically without a thought. 3

4 Christ the King Into the Light Welcoming Candidates and Catechumens From Our RCIA Process Catechist Harrison Garlick leads a recent RCIA class at Christ the King. One of the most beautiful traditions in the Catholic Church is the Easter Vigil liturgy. Following the simplicity and fasting of Lent, the solemn reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday, and the remembrance of Christ s suffering on Good Friday, the Easter Vigil Mass represents the reawakening of hope and light as we celebrate Christ s resurrection. It is also this Mass that allows us, as parishioners, to gather in celebration of a very special step in the faith journey of the catechumens and candidates here at Christ the King as they enter fully into the Church. According to Deacon Dean Wersal, Coordinator of our parish RCIA Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults process, the beauty and symbolism of the Easter Vigil are the perfect setting for this momentous occasion. The Easter Vigil Mass is a rich Catholic tradition, because you go from utter darkness into light, Deacon Dean says. You remember what happened in the Mass the week before it was the wood of the cross, it was Jesus dying on the cross and going into the place of the dead. And now, this Easter Vigil Mass is Him rising, being resurrected. We go from darkness into the light and all the new Catholics come into the church there is Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist it s liturgically rich. Easter Vigil is such joy, because you continued on page 5 4

5 March/April 2017 Into the Light continued from page 4 come into the light of Christ and get to experience that whole process in this particular Mass. As the RCIA Coordinator, Deacon Dean conducts the initial interviews with those who are interested in going through the process here at Christ the King. Then, the catechumens and candidates attend weekly classes on the Catholic faith taught by Msgr. Mueggenborg, Deacon Dean and a team of catechists. Typically, classes begin with the start of the academic school year in August, with a Rite of Acceptance taking place on the first Sunday of Advent for those who are serious about becoming Catholic. On the first Sunday of Lent, the catechumens go to the cathedral for the Rite of Election, led by the bishop. Having completed these important steps, our current RCIA class is now ready to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil Mass on April 15. As always, working with RCIA this year has been a rewarding experience for Deacon Dean. I like the change I see in those who are discerning the Catholic faith, just to kind of see them open up and really get what the message is, he says. Just seeing the change take place in all these people to see that excitement inspires you. I see it every year, and I also get to meet whole families husbands and wives and their children. I ve made a lot of friendships through this process, because you become familiar with these individuals that you meet over a 30-week period. In addition to the catechists, the sponsors of those preparing to enter the Church also enjoy the way that participating in RCIA both renews their own faith and strengthens their ties to the parish. I think the sponsors would tell you that they absolutely get a lot out of listening to the catechists teach, I like the change I see in those who are discerning the Catholic faith, just to kind of see them open up and really get what the message is. Just seeing the change take place in all these people to see that excitement inspires you. Deacon Dean Wersal Deacon Dean says. They hear things that they have forgotten over the years, or maybe were just never taught about their Catholic faith. There is a handful of couples who always want to sponsor each and every year because they see the fruit in these people and how their lives change. They become a part of the community and feel in contact with the parish family. When Deacon Dean considers what people find in the Church from the tangible encounter with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist to a community centered on love he is not surprised that so many people come to the RCIA program here at Christ the King to learn more. We have spiritual food for the journey, our whole life, he says. That s one of the main focuses of the Catholic Church celebrating the Eucharist at every single Mass. We believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. And there are a lot of people out there who are searching for a good faith community, Deacon Dean adds. If you come to a Sunday Mass at Christ the King, you discover immediately how family-oriented the church is. There are also many ministry opportunities to get involved with, and that draws people here. So, I think people are searching for something tangible and real where they can feel a part of that family in Christ. At its heart, the rich tradition of the Easter Vigil Mass is about rebirth and resurrection the coming out of the darkness and into the light. For those who have gone through the RCIA process this past year, this rebirth will take place in an extraordinary way. We welcome each and every one of them into our Church and into our faith community here at Christ the King! Interested in learning more about the RCIA process? You don t have to wait until August to get started we offer classes that start in May and bring you into the Church in the fall! All classes are also open to any parishioners who are already members of the Catholic Church but wish to learn more about the faith. There is plenty of room in the parish hall! For more information on the RCIA process at Christ the King, please contact Deacon Dean Wersal in the parish office at , ext. 204 or by at 5

6 Christ the King Upcoming Events Ash Wednesday March 1 Mass Times are 8:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Beginning March 3 and all Fridays During Lent Lenten Soup Dinners and Speaker Series 6 p.m. in Fletcher Hall Stations of the Cross 2:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. every Friday during Lent Parish Lenten Mission March p.m. in Church Fr. Simeon Gallagher, OFM Cap Daily Mass During Mission 8:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday Daily Mass During Lent 8:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday Parishioner Church Tour Saturday, March 11 Fletcher Hall, 6 p.m. Spring Break March Oklahoma Catholic Women s Conference Saturday, March 25, in Midwest City Fr. Elkins Spirituality Series Saturday, March 25 Fletcher Hall 8:30 a.m. to noon Communal Anointing of the Sick March 25 and 26, following the Saturday Vigil Mass at 5 p.m. and the Sunday Morning Mass at 11:15 a.m. Extended Confessions in Church Saturdays and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., March 25-26, April 1-2, April 8-9 Oklahoma Catholic Men s Conference Saturday, April 1, in Norman Palm Sunday, April 9 Saturday, April 8 Vigil at 5 p.m. in Church Sunday, April 9 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. in Church Holy Thursday Service, April 13 7 p.m. in Church Adoration from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Mary Queen of Peace Chapel Good Friday, April 14 7 p.m. in the Church Holy Saturday, April 15 Easter Vigil, 8 p.m. in Church, followed by Easter reception in Fletcher Hall Easter Sunday, April 16 8 a.m. in Church 9:15 a.m. in Church Overflow Mass, 9:30 a.m. in Marquette Vision Gym 11:15 a.m. in Church 5 p.m. in Church Town Hall Meeting Sunday, April 30 7 p.m. in Fletcher Hall 6

7 March/April 2017 Indescribable Blessings a Highlight for Eucharistic Minister Some of the best feelings in this life are indescribable like the way a hug feels, or hearing a particularly moving piece of music. Or that moment when you just can t put your finger on it, but you know it s pretty amazing. This is how Margaret Johnson feels about the privilege of ministering the Eucharist. As a member of the Liturgy Committee and a trainer for the Eucharistic Ministers, Margaret says being a small part of bringing the Host to her fellow parishioners has been a true gift to her spirit. It s another dimension to be able to offer the Essence of our faith to family, friends, fellow parishioners, and some are all of the above, she says. When you know people and the things that are going on in their lives, when they come forward for Communion and you re standing there with them and holding the Body or offering the Blood of Christ, it means something in a deeper way. I sometimes feel moved to tears. It s deepened my appreciation of it, and to witness the impact it makes on others, it s absolutely deepened my faith. Fulfilling the role of Eucharistic Minister means taking an important place among those who serve our parish at every Mass. Far from just helping make sure each parishioner receives Communion in an orderly and timely fashion, these individuals are also commanded with taking special care of the Eucharist and possessing an attitude of reverence worthy of their job. Having served as a Eucharistic Minister for more than 25 years, Margaret says it s a spirit of reference that often makes the minister uncertain if they re ready for the task. In training, among people who have expressed interest, there s a sense of I don t know if I m worthy of doing this, she says. I tell them, The fact that you feel that way probably makes you a prime candidate, because you hold it in such high regard. Ideally, that s what you want in someone that steps forward to do this. Each candidate that wishes to become a Eucharistic Minister at Christ the King is first vetted by Msgr. Mueggenborg. Margaret says because Eucharistic Ministers are seen as representatives of our parish, a quick meeting with the Monsignor ensures the candidate is living their faith in a way that upholds our shared values. Training with Margaret then shows the new candidates the ropes of assisting clergy in providing the congregation with spiritual food. I always tell the new people that my prayer for them is that they find this ministry as moving and as powerful as I have, she says. It s a gift and it brings lots of things. Sometimes, it s the strength we need to walk out and finish the day, or just a little bit of calm and respite in between. The longer you do it, probably the more that it deepens your faith because, as you get to know people, your parish becomes an extension of your family. That s been my experience. Parishioners who wish to serve as Eucharistic Ministers must have completed Confirmation and be at least a junior in high school. Training is typically held in the fall, but can be scheduled at other times during the year if necessary. Please contact Margaret Johnson at or for more information. 7

8 CHRIST THE KING CHURCH MARQUETTE SCHOOL 1520 South Rockford Tulsa, OK (918) Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID PERMIT #876 TULSA, OK Return Service Requested Weekend Mass: Saturday, 5:00 p.m. Vigil Sunday, 8:00, 9:15, 11:15 a.m., 5:00 p.m. Daily Mass: Tuesday - Friday, 8:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Holy Days: 8:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Reconciliation: Saturday, 3:30-4:30 p.m. (or by appointment) Eucharistic Adoration: Mary Queen of Peace Chapel, Wednesday, 6:00-9:00 p.m., Thursday, Noon - 5:00 p.m. and 6:00-9:00 p.m. Friday, Noon - 5:00 p.m. Stewardship Hannah, the Good Steward What should we do when our prayers are answered? Is there anything left to do after we have sincerely thanked God for His favors? If God were a human peer, we would probably try to reciprocate by granting Him a favor in return. But the truth is that God cannot be made greater by anything that we do for Him. Instead, God receives our thanks and tells us to go and do likewise. That is, He tells us to share with others the good that He has bestowed on us. And in doing so, we are really sharing God Himself. That is the definition of stewardship! The Old Testament Book of Samuel contains one of the most poignant examples of stewardship in the entire Bible. The first chapter teaches us of an unhappy, barren woman named Hannah. Desperate in her barrenness, Hannah prays that God will give her a son, vowing that she will raise him to be a man of God. Imagine Hannah s elation when she was granted her prayer! When Samuel was born, her heart s desire had come true! Imagine further the pang of motherly sorrow, as Hannah kept her promise to God by taking Samuel at a young age to be the servant of Eli, the high priest. The Book of Samuel tells us that once Samuel became Eli s servant, Hannah saw her young son just once a year. Indeed, Hannah knew that Samuel was truly a gift from God an answered prayer. Hannah s response is that of the Good Steward with an attitude of both gratitude and sacrifice, she gave up her son to honor God. One imagines that Hannah probably struggled with this sacrifice during those first years. She probably did not know what God had in store for her son. Yet, through her faithfulness, God used him as a gift to an entire nation. Samuel would, in time, become one of the greatest prophets of Jewish history. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the sacrifices we make in the name of stewardship, while the results may just be impossible to miss! However, He asks that we continue to be faithful in either case. God has undoubtedly bestowed gifts on all of us at whatever the cost, we are to go and do likewise.

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