June 16, 2023

Mass Excursions

Christ the King Parish offers ‘a joyful spirit, a welcoming spirit’

Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis
By Natalie Hoefer

The year 1939 was a busy year in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Three parishes were founded, including Christ the King Parish on the north side of Indianapolis. It was formed out of St. Joan of Arc Parish as the city’s population continued to expand northward.

For 84 years since the parish’s inception, the faith community and its members have been serving, welcoming and evangelizing those in its community and beyond.

‘We desire to share God’s love and mercy’

One of Christ the King’s largest forms of evangelization is its K-8 grade school, says Father Robert Hankee, the parish’s pastor.

“Our school won the National Blue Ribbon Award for the 2021-2022 academic year,” he notes with pride. “We’re very blessed to have a good student body, and teachers and parents who work hard to continue to provide the Catholic education we have.”

Each year, the eighth-grade students choose a charity then spearhead efforts to raise money for it.

“They get the whole school involved,” says Father Hankee. “It’s fun to see the school come together for a worthy cause.”

He also credits the parish with being “very generous when it comes to serving those in need.” Christ the King is one of five parishes in the Indianapolis North Deanery that supports the Boulevard Place Food Pantry of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul-Indianapolis Archdiocesan Council, Inc. The food pantry serves a large swath of the city’s north side.

“We have a box in the back of the church [for food pantry donations], and every week it’s filled up,” he says. “Providing parish volunteers at the food pantry is one of our biggest ministries. We have that desire to love God and to express that love. That’s pretty evident here.”

A newer active ministry in the parish called Families with Young Children “grew out of the isolation during the pandemic,” Father Hankee adds. “It’s an opportunity for young parents and kids not old enough for the school to come together to socialize, have fun, make crafts,” like making Christmas cards for residents of nursing homes, he says.

He calls the Families with Young Children ministry a “growing group.” One reason might be the demographics of the parish.

“We have a good mix of generations,” says Father Hankee. “But it seems we’re getting younger families. I’m starting to hear more babies cry at Mass—which is a good thing!”

Each year, Christ the King reaches out to evangelize the local community with its Summer Social, held on the weekend following Father’s Day.

“Our festival is unique compared to some others,” says Father Hankee. “It’s more about opening ourselves to the wider community, inviting them to our ‘home.’ It’s more about socialization than fundraising. We have an evangelization team with a booth out to welcome folks and invite them to come learn about us.”

This year’s festival will take place on June 23-24. It will include live music, a kids’ area plus food, beer and wine. Admission is $1.

While visiting the church during the Summer Social or for Mass, Father Hankee suggests looking for one of his favorite features of the recently renovated sanctuary.

“One thing I find pretty cool—on the floor in the sanctuary is a huge crown of thorns, and the altar sits right in the middle. As I offer Mass, I’m surrounded by the crown of thorns. And the handrailing behind where the priest sits is embedded with thorns. We are Christ the King Parish, and the thorns remind us to be that sacrificial love for others that Christ was for us.”

Father Hankee invites people to come and experience the spirit of the faith community.

“There’s a joyful spirit, a welcoming spirit here,” he says. “We desire to share God’s love and mercy. Hopefully people who come here will encounter that.”

Christ the King Parish is located at 1827 Kessler Blvd. E. Dr. in Indianapolis. For Mass times and more information, go to www.ctk-indy.org or call 317-255-3666.

Unique trails, unique art, unique food

Within Christ the King’s parish boundaries is a popular section of the city known as Broad Ripple Village. Situated along the White River, the village offers fun from arts to parks to recreation—with plenty of stops for unique food along the way. It’s a must-see when coming to worship with the members of Christ the King.

Broad Ripple is a walkable village, whether strolling its streets to shop at boutiques, taking a trail along the historic Indiana Central Canal or trekking the 28-mile Monon Trail.

The Indianapolis Art Center offers free exhibits and an arts park on its 12-acre campus. It is also the site of the annual Broad Ripple Art Fair in May, a monthly urban market during the summer, and a summer jazz concert series. For more information, go to indyartcenter.org or call 317-255-2464.

The 62-acre Broad Ripple Park offers a playground, picnic shelters, a public swimming pool and wooded trails. For pool hours and more information, go to lnkiy.in/BroadRipplePark or call 317-327-7161.

Unique food opportunities fill the village. Try Mediterranean fare at Canal Bistro (canal-bistro.com, 317-254-8700), Cholita Taqueria for Los Angeles-style tacos and a variety of street food (cholitatacos.com, 317-389-5555), enjoy more than 40 flavors at Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station (bricsindy.com, 317-257-5757), and sample or take home a bag of Just Pop In’s gourmet popcorn (justpopinpopcorn.com, 317-257-9338).

(Mass Excursions is a feature highlighting an archdiocesan parish and local attractions, encouraging a trip to the area that includes Mass with the members of that parish.)

Local site Links: