Mass Schedule:
Saturday: 4:00 p.m. (Main Church)
Sunday: 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. (Main Church)
Weekday Mass: 8:00 a.m. (Serra Chapel)
Saint Barbara Parish
Old Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA


Christ the King

Dear Friend,

When our family moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1963, my mother immediately enrolled us in the local parish, Christ the King. It was – and still is – the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I attended school there in third grade. The official cheer is still stuck in my head: C-K-S is the very best!

Something else has stuck with me from Christ the King, the memory of standing next to my mother one morning at Sunday Mass in the big Cathedral church, age 8 or 9. In an instant it hit me: we – me, my mom, everyone around us, and the priest up front – were all really talking to God. Yes, I thought, to God. G-O-D, could it really be?

I puzzled it all out in my child mind: God is really here. Why else would we all be talking this way? God, present, right here, right now. It was true. The priest had his arms open wide at the altar. I looked around – it all made sense.

The memory has crystallized inside me. Over the years, I’ve found myself recalling it and examining it from different angles. There’s always something new to see, depending on what’s going on in my life.

Today I see this: what took hold of me in that pew back in Christ the King Cathedral is the root and stem of everything I’ve come to understand and believe as a Catholic about how heaven relates to earth, right down to what I hear and believe in this Sunday’s second reading: In him all things hold together. Christ the King is with us, as present, and as hidden, as he was on the cross, when the criminal spoke to him with the clarity of a child and received an answer: Today you will be with me in paradise.


Fr. Dan ofm