Christ the King Church
195A Brandon Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Parish Newsletter
February 17, 2021
Staying Connected
A Letter from our Pastor - Fr. Paulson
Dear Friends,

Starting today, Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, with distribution of ashes we have begun a season of grace. A touch-free sprinkle of “dust” on your head instead of a smudged brow as we are accustomed to experiencing is just one of the many variations being planned for the Lent and Easter season during COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to encourage heads of households to distribute ashes to the members of your family, in the context of the mass. It is one way to build up the domestic church.

After a year of isolation, deprivation, fear and loss in society, we need this season of grace even more. It is so relevant this year. In “normal” times, it’s easy for many people to brush aside the elements of Lent that touch on death, isolation, illness and healing. But this year, the ashes of Ash Wednesday that symbolize death and the Scripture readings about Jesus’s 40 days alone in the desert are closer to many people’s reality than ever.

I have invited many of you to share your reflections on the themes of Lent this year on Thursdays after the 6.00pm Mass in the church. There will be two speakers reflecting 10 minutes each in the church, which will also be livestreamed for those who cannot attend. I look forward to listening to your reflections. In addition to these reflections, Deacon John is offering 3 sessions each on the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist starting tomorrow with a 30-minute video presentation. I invite you to sign up for this right away.

In his message for Lent 2021, Pope Francis asks people to “experience Lent with love,” which “rejoices in seeing others grow.” “To experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In these days of deep uncertainty about the future, let us keep in mind the Lord’s word to his Servant, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you’ (Isaiah 43:1). In our charity, may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realize that God loves them as sons and daughters,” Pope Francis wrote in the message published Feb. 12.

During Lent we take up practices that help us to become aware of and responsive to the needs of others. The three traditional practices of Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. A commitment to these practices during Lent leads to an awareness of God and conversion of the heart. Prayer can help us to become more responsive to those who suffer. Find ways to pray often during Lent, focusing on the needs of those who are the victims of injustice. You can participate in almsgiving in many ways including the use of Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl program. This program encourages us to donate to CRS relief programs by preparing simple meals and donating the money saved each week. We are invited to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as a mandate. Let me recommend three other ways of fasting:

1. Fast from Noise. It is hard not to notice that our world is flooded with noise. It’s disguised as music, news, talking, gossip and more. Silence is a rare gift. In the book of Isaiah we read, “I will come to you in the silence.”

2. Fast from Gossip. Pope Francis has urged us to give up gossip. It may be more insidious because it disguises itself as idle, some would say harmless chatter. For Pope Francis, gossip is not only harmful because it tears down our fellow human beings, but because it diverts our attention away from what is most important: our own Christian behavior.

3. Fast from putting yourself First. The Prayer of St. Francis states, “It is in giving that we receive... and in dying that we are born to eternal life.” The simple spiritual exercise of intentionally putting the needs of others to the forefront of my vision, like opening the door for someone, helping a person carry something or letting another driver in before me. These are ways to keep me from being the center of my universe.

I wish each and every one of you a time of grace, growth in compassion and intimate encounters with Jesus.

Fr. Paulson
Lent
Ash Wednesday, February 17th
7:30am - Indoor Mass
9am, 12 noon, and 6pm - Outdoor Masses
7:30pm - Indoor Mass in Spanish
(The 9am and 12 noon masses will be livestreamed)
St. Stephen Church - 9:30am Mass

4pm - Prayer Service/Outdoors
(for RE families, but all are welcome to attend)


New - Daily Mass - 9am in the Church
Beginning February 18th, daily mass will be celebrated in the church.
Monday - Saturday at 9am
All are invited to attend. We will continue to livestream.


Thursday - Lenten Reflection Speaker Series
6:30pm to 7:00pm
(after the 6pm indoor mass)
You can watch in person or on-line.

Our livestreamed events can be found here:
St. Stephen Church
Stations of the Cross/Outdoors
Prayed privately on church grounds
at 1101 Keaveny Ct., Walnut Creek

Mondays & Wednesdays 12pm to 2pm
Fridays 12pm to 6pm

Follow a guided audio experience
on your smart phone or tablet in
English or Spanish at

New - Stations of the Cross led by one of our clergy
Join us at 1pm every Friday outdoors at St. Stephen Church.
All are Welcome!
Lenten Study Series
via Zoom

Join us once a week as we prepare for Easter and provide a spiritual renewal with two short courses on sacramental “Encounters with God.” For more information and to sign up Read More
Lenten Resources
for your Family

Lent looks a little different this year.
Catholic Relief Services
has resources to keep your
family engaged, including reflections, meatless recipes and
stories from around the world.

Learn more by clicking here.
Over the Weekend
On Saturday, through the sacrament of Baptism, we welcomed Lucas and Jack to our CTK and St. Stephen Family. Congratulations!
Parents: Maria & John
Baby: Lucas John
Parents: Nicole & Robert
Baby: Jack Niko
Weekly Church Bulletin
Transitioning Back into Church
We are making the transition to have some Masses inside the church. Please observe the following protocols:

·      Masks are mandatory.
·      Sit every other pew.
·      Space out your family to sit in the middle and the
ends of the pew. 
·   If you bring your own chair and remain on the outside patio in front of the church – you can hear over the speakers. Communion will be brought to you.
·      If you stay in your car - tune into FM 106.7 on your radio.

We continue to upgrade our technology to improve the livestreaming of Masses inside the church
Celebrating Black History Month

Religious sister, civil rights advocate, candidate for sainthood. In this article about one of six different Americans of African descent with open causes for sainthood, Sr. Thea Bowman is a granddaughter of a slave and recognized as the first African-American woman to address the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). She spoke at their spring meeting in 1989. Her message about race and the Catholic faith is as meaningful today as it was thirty-two years ago. Read More

One of the most notable performances at the inauguration was given by Harvard graduate, Amanda Gorman, who became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. Her poem titled, “The Hill We Climb” eloquently spoke to her African American roots and journey in America. If you found yourself being moved by the Holy Spirit during her poem, it is not surprising. Gorman’s spiritual journey is rooted in Catholicism.
Weekly Reflections on Sunday Readings
first sunday of lent
First Sunday of Lent
Welcome to our weekly reflections on
the Sunday Scriptures.

"Since Mark, Matthew, and Luke included the temptation story in their gospels, the first Christians must have considered it important for us to remember it." Read More
News from our Diocese
Put Laudato Si' Into Action
Wondering how to keep your resolutions regarding
climate change for 2021?

Join us in an Interfaith Climate Action Network (ICAN) sponsored meeting February 24th as we work with other Contra Costa faith communities to “create a cleaner, healthier future…and even find ways to save money in our homes.” For more info, go to Cleanercontracosta.org and sign up there. You may call Carolyn Peters for more details, 925-926-1035.
Monument Crisis Center Food Drive
Monument Crisis Center Food Drive
A barrel for food donations is located in front of the church
until February 25

Food Items Needed:
Canned (preferred pull tab in lid): Fruits, soup, vegetables, tuna, chicken, “hearty” canned meals like: beef ravioli, stews and chowders.
Baby food and peanut butter (no glass jars).
Boxed or bags: Cereal, pasta, rice, beans, oatmeal.
Side dishes like: Mashed potatoes, pasta, rice and soups.
40 Days of Life Prayer Vigil
This Lenten season, all Bay Area Catholics are invited to join in the current 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil, which is being held DAILY from Ash Wednesday, February 17th through March 28th. The 40 Days for Life vigils consist of forty days of prayer for an end to abortion, where volunteers peacefully pray for life and offer women love, support and information about free local resources if they wish. See Flyer for more details here
Mass Schedule
No Reservations or Sign Ups Required

Mass will take place on our lawn area
(Our Large Tent is also available to sit under)
Please note some masses are now celebrated in the church

Mass will take place rain or shine!

Bring your own chairs
Face Masks are required

Or continue to stay in the comfort of your car - tune into FM 106.7
Or watch from your smart phone/tablet
Wifi ID: CTK Streaming Password: outdoor1

Only the 4pm Saturday Mass and the 9am Sunday Mass will be livestreamed both on Facebook and YouTube

Weekday Mass
9am - Monday-Friday Indoors/Church (New)
(Masses will still be livestreamed)
6pm - Thursdays - Indoors/Church (New)

Weekend Masses:
Saturday:
9am - Indoors/Church (New)
4pm - Remains Outdoors

Sunday:
7:30am - Indoors/Church (New)
9 am,10:30am, 12noon (Spanish) - Remains Outdoors
4pm - Indoors/Church (New)

Song Sheet for Feb. 20/21 Masses Here
Spanish Mass Worship Aide/Guía de Adoración Here
Readings for Sunday Mass Here
Drive-Thru Holy Communion

Every Sunday
11:30am to 12 noon
In front of the church
9am - Daily Mass
Monday - Saturday

Mass will now be in the church
(all are welcome to attend in person - indoors)

Mass will continue to be Livestremed
on Facebook and YouTube
Thursdays, 6pm - Indoor Mass
Honoring Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Mass will not be livestreamed
Worship Aide Here
5:40pm - Holy Rosary
Livestreamed on Facebook

Mondays, Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Fridays
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Private Confessions will continue every Saturday from
3pm to 3:30pm.
Please meet in front of the church.
St. Stephen Church - Outdoor Mass
St. Stephen Church
1101 Keaveny Ct.
Walnut Creek 94597

Sunday - Mass at 9:30am - Outdoors
First Saturday of the month at 4pm - Outdoors
Worship Aide Here

Drive Thru Holy Communion - 10:10am

Masses at St. Stephen are now being live-streamed on the St. Stephen Facebook page. If you are unable to attend with us in person, please join us through Facebook. A link is on our web site: saintstephenparish.org.
Thank You for Your Continued Financial Support to CTK and St. Stephen Church
On-Line Giving: (click button below)
We depend upon your contributions!
Offertory Envelopes and
Paper Checks
Can be sent directly to:
Christ the King Church
195A Brandon Rd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Offertory Envelopes and
Paper Checks
Can be sent directly to:
St. Stephen Church
1101 Keaveny Ct.
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Gracious God, today begins a period of inner reflection and examination. The days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that holds your Spirit. This special time beckons me to see my life through Christ's eyes and the truth and reality of your love incarnate. Give me the grace to enter the space of these days with anticipation of our meeting. And, when I open my soul to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my heart.
Amen
"To Hear the Gospel and Make a Difference"