Column from Fr. Bob Epping 9-3-23

GOD’S MARVELOUS AND MYSTERIOUS CALL

Greetings and many blessings to all of you,

It was a pleasure to be asked by my provincial to accept an appointment to assist the pastoral staff of Christ the King Parish and School. During the final year as Superior General and my sabbatical, I experienced in my soul a growing “itch” to be involved again in parish ministry. I looked forward to regular pastoral contact with “ordinary” faithful Catholics who treasure close community life, vibrant worship, sacramental and catechetical growth, and life-giving Christian service to people on the margins.  Our Holy Cross Constitutions remind us “We must be men with hope to bring” (C8, 118). So all of us baptized people be!

I must quickly add that, since the announcement of my appointment, Father Steve, Father Cameron and all the members of the Pastoral Staff and school leadership, have received and welcomed me with enthusiasm and open arms. They have made me feel a genuine homecoming. I cannot be more enthralled. I look forward to renewing many past friendships and getting to know many new families who have found their religious home at Christ the King Parish over the past almost thirty years. I look to my future ministry among you and with you with hope and much promise.

Fr. Steve asked me to share a little about my call with you. In the bulletin a few weeks back, he gave you the basic outline of my priestly ministries since I left here in 1994. I wish to share the internal surprises of God’s call. The evolution of God’s plan for my life has been quite unexpected. Though I considered a priestly vocation from a young age [after all, we lived across the street from the Catholic school and so I often received a call to serve the 6:30 Mass at the Sisters’ convent], I grew to have a strong attraction to teach mathematics. That’s how God got me to the seminary at Notre Dame and to the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Congregation sent me to study theology in Rome and, after ordination and two years of parish work at St. Bernard’s Parish in Watertown, Wisconsin, I resumed specialty studies in Spirituality in Rome. I was recalled from Rome to go back to Watertown and spent the next ten years there as Associate Pastor and Pastor until the Congregation withdrew from the parish there and I came to Christ the King.

My days in pastoral ministry were firmly set.  I enjoyed every bit of parish life. It fit well, except that God had other surprising plans! The surprise call to serve in provincial administration for the next nine years followed, then I returned to my first love for parish ministry, nine years in Colorado and three years across town at Holy Cross. Before I knew what happened, in 2016 the General Chapter elected me to serve in the General Administration for six years. It was an exciting and challenging time — to learn the world-wide membership of Holy Cross and to discern how God wants us to continue serving the Church in the future. Therein continues to be our ongoing vocation and the challenge of being “men with hope to bring”. May we all walk in God’s mysterious and marvelous ways.

❖ Mass Schedule ❖

Saturday
8:00 am | 5:00 pm (Vigil)

Sunday
7:00 am | 8:45 am | 10:30 am | 12:15 pm

Monday – Friday
8:30 am
5:30pm (Lent Only)

❖ Sacrament of Reconciliation❖

Saturday
9:00 am or by Appointment

❖ Eucharistic Adoration ❖

Friday
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

❖ Contact Us ❖

Parish: (574) 272-3113 | Fax: (574) 273-6702

School: (574) 272-3922 | Fax (574) 273-6707

After hours, please use our sacramental emergency line (574) 272-3113 ext 250 and leave a message so that a priest can call you back.

52473 State Road 933
South Bend, IN 46637-3853