What is the big church campus on Tackora Trail near Lake Mamanasco?
Photo by Deborah Hayn
Christ the King Church is part of the Society of St. Pius X, a worldwide Roman Catholic order founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre after the sweeping modernist reforms of the Second Vatican Council.The Society’s mission, to train priests in the traditional manner and preserve the Catholic faith in its original interpretation, has led to a complicated relationship with the Vatican, which initially did not give its endorsement. Yet Father Jean Violette, one of the six priests who currently reside there, explains, “We believe the church is a divine institution and is not supposed to change.””
Sunday high masses are conducted in Latin, as was the custom prior to Vatican II. The traditional liturgy and the holy sacraments are the primary means for maintaining the integrity of the church. Christ the King urges its followers to maintain the discipline of Christian life.
Over 200 parishioners attend regularly, coming mainly from Fairfield, Westchester, and Putman Counties. “Not just older nostalgic people,” says Father Violette, “but young families looking to hold onto the roots of the Catholic Church. The property is also home to the Padre Pio School and the St. Ignatius Retreat House. Padre Pio School has about 55 students from kindergarten through grade eight, as well as a co-op high school for students who wish to continue studies through the church.
The Retreat House offers five-day retreats throughout the year. The picturesque 13-acre property is conducive to silent reflection and prayer. Says Father Violette: “Come and see what the Catholic church was and what it should be.”