Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
All of us always look for happiness in our life. We are looking for happiness for our family, for our children. Happiness, by definition in general, is a state of well-being, contentment and prosperity. But not all of the rich, even in good health, could obtain happiness in their life.
Jesus in today’s gospel gives us a guide to inner happiness. The Greek word “kamarios” or blessed or happy in English usually means inner happiness. In teaching about the Kingdom, Jesus turns up side down the world. Those who Jesus calls blessed, the world calls wretched, those who the world calls wretched, Jesus calls blessed: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the sorrowful, the persecuted.” Inner happiness is what the world cannot give. It can be given to those who come to Jesus and draw from him, the source of peace and joy.
How can we obtain that inner happiness? Let us look at what Jesus did in this life so that we can learn from him to get inner happiness.
Let us live a life of sacrifice, to live for others, to live for our family, for our children for our community. If we are concerned of others, we believe that God will not forget us; God will give us his true and lasting happiness. That is what I try to appeal to you this Sunday, asking you to consider supporting our parish’s DSA campaign.
We are truly God’s hands, to bring God’s love and mercy to others.
May God continue to bless our parish family!
— Fr. Joe
Christ the King Church was founded in 1940 to serve the African-American Catholics in High Point, and has since become a multi-ethnic parish celebrating both the diversity and unity of the Catholic faith and tradition. Then-Bishop Eugene F. McGuinness of Raleigh invited the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement of Graymoor, NY to staff the new mission in High Point in 1940. Father Bernardine Watson served as the first pastor, originally celebrating Mass in a funeral home. Through the generosity and perseverance of Father Watson and several benefactors, a clothing shop was acquired for use by the mission. While Mass continued to be celebrated there during much of 1941, the mission community members also turned their attention to building a new church and rectory on Kivett Drive. The new colonial-style church was dedicated by Bishop McGuinness Dec. 14, 1941.
During the 1940s and into the ’50s, the Christ the King parish community continued to grow. A school building and convent were built in 1949, and in 1950 the Franciscan Handmaids arrived from New York City to staff the school. The African-American communities, both Catholic and non-Catholic, of High Point, Thomasville and Greensboro were served by the new Christ the King School, which opened its doors to 50 students in September 1950. The friars continued their pastorate in High Point for the next several decades, cultivating a faith community that became continually more culturally diverse over time. A stained-glass window behind the church’s choir loft depicts that diversity, with Jesus surrounded by four individuals representing the African, Asian, European and Indian bloodlines that make up much of the parish community today.
Lowering enrollment, financial difficulties and the recalling of the sisters to New York forced Christ the King School to close in 1981. The diocesan office of education converted the school for use as a day care center, which began its operation in August 1981. That same year, Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement arrived at Christ the King Church to conduct the religious education program and other ministerial work, including assisting at the day care center. The center, still located on parish grounds, is now privately operated and continues to serve the area.
Upon the friars’ leaving High Point in 1991, Christ the King Church became a diocesan parish in December of that year. Fathers Martin Madison and John Hoover served the parish until December 1994, when Father Philip Kollithanath, was appointed to Christ the King Church. Assisting in the advancing growth of the Christ the King community have been many commissions and ministries focusing on the spiritual , educational, multicultural and evangelical dimensions of the parish. Parishioners gather to engage in Bible study , to learn English as a Second Language, to put their faith into action in the local community and to celebrate their ethnicity. A Hispanic center and bilingual religious education program provide sharing and learning opportunities for English and Spanish speaking parishioners, and the parish African-American Ministry offers outreach programs benefiting the local region. The Women’s Guild, Altar Guild, 55+ Club and Young & Spirited Group are active in parish and community services, and the evangelization commission provides for the spiritual needs of homebound parishioners through its Visitation Ministry. The community of Christ the King Church looks ahead to expansion and renovation projects that will accommodate the needs of a growing parish. One hundred and sixty-one households currently make up the parish registry.