Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We come to the feast of the Pentecost this Sunday. Among the signs that happened at the Pentecost, the “speaking in tongues” given to the apostles could be the most impressive one. As the Jews gathered in Jerusalem from every country around the Mediterranean, they heard the message from the apostles in their own languages (Acts 2:1-11). It may be seen as a replay in reverse of the language confusion that arose when people tried to build the tower of Babel in the Bible. These people were scattered since they no longer understood each other. Human beings are now invited by the apostles to reunite again. The gift of tongues bestowed on the apostles is something that proclaims the principle role of the Church that is born today: to speak to human beings in the language of the Holy Spirit so as to reunite them to Christ.
It is important to know the fact that Pentecost did not just happen to the apostles, it has happened to all of us and it has affected the whole world. The feast of Pentecost is not just a celebration of the gift of tongues; it challenges us to live and to use the language of the Holy Spirit in our daily life, the language of love, harmony, humility and unity.
*In our family do we use the language of love and sacrifice for the sake of our family or we just want to follow our own desires?
*In our community do we use the language of forgiveness, humility and service to foster unity among us or we just want to quarrel and tear the community apart because we want people to follow our own will?
*In our workplaces, our neighborhood, do we use the language of honesty, caring and love in order to bring the presence of the Lord to them, or through our lies, cheating and deceptions we destroy the image of Jesus Christ?
Yes, we are called to be true disciples of Jesus, we are filled with the Holy Spirit and we are to use the language of the Holy Spirit to transform the world, to unite people to Christ.
May The Holy Spirit guide and unite us in one!
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.