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A PRIL 2016


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Keeping Our Promise

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KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS aPril 2016 ♦ Volume 96 ♦ Number 4



10 Missionary of Mercy and Peace The Church welcomes Pope Francis for his first apostolic journey to Mexico. BY COLUMBIA STAFF

16 Hope Carved in Olivewood Order expands relief efforts to persecuted Christians in the Middle East through the Solidarity Cross Program. BY JOSEPH O’BRIEN

20 Divine Mercy Can Save the World Through prayer and openness to grace, you can help God’s mercy to overcome evil in our time. BY FATHER MICHAEL GAITLEY, MIC

22 Farewell to an Honorable Father The son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia commends his father to the mercy of God. BY FATHER PAUL SCALIA

25 Salvation on Screen Three captivating and complementary movies signal a return of the Bible film genre. BY SISTER HELENA BURNS, FSP

Pope Francis prays before the original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe after celebrating Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City Feb. 13. The Marian image was rotated for the pope to pray in the camarín (little room) behind the main altar.


Building a better world


As we focus on building the domestic church, now is the time to prepare our parishes to welcome the Holy Family. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON

Learning the faith, living the faith



Knights of Columbus News Order Recognized for Ethical Practices for Third Consecutive Year • A Touchdown for Special Olympics Athletes • WWII Monument Remains After Lawsuit

Rooted in the sacraments, families are called to be agents of mercy in their homes and in the world.

PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month

Photo by L’Osservatore Romano



Fathers for Good Catholic men are called to report for combat duty on the front lines of faith.

Knights of Columbus News Order Releases Comprehensive Report on Genocide in Middle East



Knights in Action

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The Power of Mercy IN A MEMORABLE scene of the 1993 film Schindler’s List, the character Oskar Schindler attempts to convince a murderous Nazi officer, Amon Göth, that it would be a greater demonstration of power to pardon an offender than to exercise justice. Göth initially laughs off the suggestion, since pardoning someone would seem to show weakness, not power. When announcing the Holy Year of Mercy last year, Pope Francis reflected on an insight of St. Thomas Aquinas regarding the mercy of God. “God’s mercy,” the Holy Father explained, “rather than a sign of weakness, is the mark of his omnipotence” (Misericordiae Vultus, 6). Göth’s lust for power leads him to consider Schindler’s words, though he never does grasp their truth. He proves incapable of understanding mercy, in part because he does not recognize his own need for it. In order to fully appreciate and experience the power of Divine Mercy, we must acknowledge our own sinfulness, open ourselves to receive God’s mercy, and show this mercy to others. And this cooperation is itself a gift of his grace: “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us,” and “We love because he first loved us” (Rom 5:8, 1 Jn 4:19). As Catholics and Knights of Columbus, whose first principle is charity, we are called to be ambassadors of God’s mercy in the world. But before we are equipped to do this, we must each first admit our own faults and seek God’s forgiveness, since “the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little” (Lk 7:47).

Encouraging regular confession, the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes, “By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful” (1458, cf. Lk 6:36). The command of Jesus, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,” is followed by another: “Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven” (Lk 6:37). That is, just as receiving God’s mercy inspires us to show mercy to others, practicing mercy also opens our hearts to God. And whereas sin damages our relationships with God and others, mercy allows them to be restored; therein lies its power. This is Pope Francis’ message for this year’s World Communications Day, to be celebrated May 8: “I would like to invite all people of good will to rediscover the power of mercy to heal wounded relationships and to restore peace and harmony to families and communities.” The Holy Father demonstrated “the power of mercy to heal” in words and actions throughout his recent journey to Mexico. So, too, the Order has sought to bring healing to persecuted Christians through major initiatives of prayer, advocacy and material support. But more often than not, the invitation to rediscover the power of God’s mercy is not a public event and does not make headlines. It begins in our own homes, and indeed in our own hearts.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR

CIS Resource: What Catholics Should Know About Islam Part of the Veritas Series published by the Order’s Catholic Information Service, the booklet What Catholics Should Know About Islam (#317) outlines the origins, history, central beliefs and practices of Islam. The author, Sandra Toenies Keating, is a professor of theology at Providence College and serves as a consultor on the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims. To download or order this and other Catholic resources, visit 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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COLUMBIA PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus ________ SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN Logan T. Ludwig DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT Charles E. Maurer Jr. SUPREME SECRETARY Michael J. O’Connor SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski EDITOR Andrew J. Matt MANAGING EDITOR Anna Bninski ASSOCIATE EDITOR ________

Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. ________ HOW TO REACH US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 ADDRESS CHANGES 203-752-4210, option #3 PRAYER CARDS & SUPPLIES 203-752-4214 COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 K OF C CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 E-MAIL INTERNET ________ Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.


Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER At a March 10 press conference, Coptic Orthodox Bishop Anba Angaelos displays a report on genocide in the Middle East. The Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians submitted the report to the U.S. State Department the previous day.

COVER: Photo by Tom Serafin


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The Journey to the Inn As we focus on building the domestic church, now is the time to prepare our parishes to welcome the Holy Family by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson FOR MANY CENTURIES, one of the most effective means of evangelization was the dramatization of events recounted in the New Testament. During the Middle Ages these reenactments became known as “mystery” or “passion” plays. The most famous of these has been performed every 10 years since 1634 in the Bavarian town of Oberammergau. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Franciscan missionaries used similar performances to great effect in transmitting the faith to the native peoples of New Spain. One of the most popular became known as Las Posadas — meaning “the Inns” or “the Shelters.” Today, thousands of parishes throughout Mexico continue this tradition and celebrate the Posada during Advent. Each year, millions of Mexican children together with their parents retrace the steps of Mary and Joseph in search of a room at the inn. In many parishes the Posada is celebrated with hymns, a rosary, piñatas and a meal. Several years ago, as part of our effort to reach out to Hispanic communities, we began promoting Posada celebrations through our councils. The program became so popular that last year we adapted it for use by all parishes and published a booklet titled Journey to the Inn: An Advent Celebration. In my Columbia column this past January, I wrote that our youth need a stronger relationship with their

parish and that parishes need more effective youth programs. I also asked that as part of our Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish initiative, grand knights meet with pastors to discuss how their council can support parishbased youth activities. For decades, one of our most successful programs has been “Keep Christ in Christmas.” The challenge seems to grow each year as social and

The Posada program became so popular that last year we adapted it for use by all parishes. commercial pressures make it more difficult to keep the reason for the season foremost in our minds. And no one is more vulnerable to these pressures than our children and our grandchildren. So this year, as part of our Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish initiative, I ask our councils to bring our parish families together with Mary and Joseph on the journey to the inn. Where this tradition does not already exist in a parish I ask that our grand knights discuss with their pastors the possibility of the local council sponsoring such a program during Advent and getting it scheduled on the parish calendar now.

Where the parish already celebrates such an event, the council can offer its assistance to involve more families or to combine it with a council-sponsored meal or charitable event for the children. Why has the Posada been so popular? I think it is because it teaches each new generation that the Holy Family is not some abstraction or ideal, but an actual family that daily faced the difficulties of real life. In accompanying Mary and Joseph as they search for shelter, the Posada teaches the fundamental lesson that the Holy Family truly accompanies us. Moreover, in accompanying the Holy Family to the inn and in offering Mary and Joseph a helping hand, we discover that we have been gathered together and called as a community to help each other. These are lessons that the Knights of Columbus is providentially positioned to transmit to the next generation of Catholics. When we observe Advent later this year, let’s make sure that millions of children in thousands of parishes learn them. This is one of the best ways we can Keep Christ in Christmas in our parishes and our families. The time to begin planning is now. Vivat Jesus!

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Divine Mercy and Your Family Rooted in the sacraments, families are called to be agents of mercy in their homes and in the world by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori AS YOU and your family arrived at possibility of finding mercy, forgiveyour parish church for Easter Sunday ness, the restoration of true joy in Mass, you may have noticed that the our lives. parking lot was more crowded than In an era when Mass attendance is usual. In fact, the church was proba- in decline, Knights of Columbus fam- gious persecution and an unmerciful bly filled to overflowing. As I cele- ilies should make it a priority to take secularism. brate Easter Sunday Mass, I am part in Mass every Sunday and enI think of how concerned my always happy to see so many people courage our extended families to par- brother Knights must be as they see filling the pews. Yet, in many ticipate in Sunday Mass as well. It’s their children and grandchildren growparishes, especially in North Amer- easy to imagine Father McGivney ing up in a world that, for all its many ica, the crowds are gone on the fol- telling parishioners at St. Mary’s blessings, has also become a harsher, lowing Sunday. It has been Church that he missed seeing them if less civil place. In the words of the late traditionally called “Low Cardinal Francis George, we live Sunday,” and more than a few in a world that “permits everypastors have dubbed it “lowHow important that all of us tap thing and forgives nothing.” attendance” Sunday! How important that all of us, ininto the power of God’s mercy as cluding Knights of Columbus Since Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina Kowal- we seek to build our broken world families, tap into the power of ska in April 2000, the Second God’s mercy as we seek to live Sunday of Easter has officially the principles of the Order and into a true civilization of love. become known as Divine build our broken world into a Mercy Sunday, and it is a true civilization of love. wonderful key to the Church’s ex- they weren’t at Mass. From his place tended celebration of Easter. During in eternity, Father McGivney should THE FAMILY: Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, the see all of us in church every Sunday! A SCHOOL OF LOVE Church remembers, and in a certain How easy it is to forget even God’s Just as the Church exists to share sense relives, the Lord’s victory over greatest gifts — and no gift is greater God’s self-giving and merciful love, so sin and death. Easter is a celebration than his Son, who is “Mercy Incarnate.” too the domestic church, the family, of the Lord’s merciful love — a love Or as Pope Francis put it in announc- is called to share God’s self-giving and that is tender and personal, and yet a ing the Year of Mercy, Jesus Christ is merciful love. Husbands and wives love that is so strong that it triumphs “the face of the Father’s mercy.” know from experience how important over sin and death. In Poland in the 1930s, Sister it is to share God’s love with each Faustina Kowalska was given extraor- other, and also with their children. MERCY IN OUR TIME dinary revelations concerning the The family is a school of love, a school After Easter Sunday, we don’t want to mercy of God. She received this mes- wherein young people learn how to simply return to “business as usual” sage of Divine Mercy at a time when give of themselves to others and where — living as if the Lord had not come the world was beset by wars and to- they learn how to be forgiven and to into the world; living as if he had not talitarian governments. This message forgive in turn. died for our sins; living as if he did is no less crucial in our conflicted No doubt such formation in love not rise up in triumph, giving us the times, amid threats of terrorism, reli- and mercy is easier said than done. 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/Paul Haring — ST. PEDRO DE SAN JOSÉ BETANCUR: Photo courtesy of the Bethlehemite Brothers, San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Tenerife), Spain

Pope Francis accurately identified the challenges which young people face in learning the art of self-giving through love that knows how to forgive and be forgiven. Speaking of the beauty and goodness of the vocation of marriage, the Holy Father said to young people, “In a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘forever,’ because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you,


Offered in Solidarity with Pope Francis UNIVERSAL: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor. EVANGELIZATION: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.

instead, to be revolutionaries … to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love.” All of this leads us back to what we celebrate in Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday. As with every Sunday, we celebrate in holy Mass the triumph of God’s mercy. But this season is also a time when many more people receive the sacrament of penance, take part in adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and pray the

Chaplet of Divine Mercy together. In addition to attending Mass every Sunday, families have the opportunity to experience such devotions outside of Mass. Given the chance to encounter Christ’s sacramental presence in these ways, many young people will open their hearts to him. Here is a graced moment to experience God’s merciful love, the very love parents are called to hand on to their children. My prayer is that you and your family will rejoice in the power of God’s merciful love and become agents of his mercy in our world!♦


St. Pedro de San José Betancur (1626-1667) PEDRO DE BETANCUR was born on one of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Morocco, on March 19, 1626. The oldest of five children in a Catholic family, Betancur worked as a shepherd until age 23, when he heard of miserable conditions in the “West Indies” and felt a missionary call to serve there. He set sail in 1649 and arrived 17 months later in Guatemala City, the capital of New Spain. While he was ill and impoverished himself, he witnessed the misery of slaves, Native Americans and the indigent, in whom he saw the face of the suffering Christ. Desiring to serve the people as a priest, in 1653 Betancur enrolled in the local Jesuit college but showed little aptitude for study. He eventually withdrew and became a sacristan at Calvary Church, where he spent hours in prayer before a crucifix in the sanctuary. In 1655, Betancur joined the Third Order Franciscans and adopted the name Pedro de San José. He devoted himself to works of charity among the most disadvantaged — slaves, the sick, prisoners, the home-

less, poor children and the native population. He also catechized children through songs and dramatic performances. In 1658, Betancur established the hospital of Our Lady of Bethlehem in a donated hut. He founded the Order of Bethlehemite Brothers to tend to the sick and is also credited with introducing the Christmas Posada celebration to Latin America. Pedro de San José de Betancur died at age 41 on April 25, 1667. Canonized by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City in 2002, becoming the first saint of the Canary Islands and of Guatemala, he is known as the “St. Francis of the Americas.”♦

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Order Releases Comprehensive Report on Genocide in Middle East

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson is joined by a panel of clergy and scholars at the release of an extensive report on genocide in the Middle East at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., March 10. The report was compiled by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians and presented to the U.S. Department of State the previous day. ON MARCH 9, the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians submitted a major report titled Genocide Against Christians in the Middle East to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The following day, the report was released to the public at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In February, senior State Department officials had requested that the Knights of Columbus produce such a report, in view of the congressionally mandated March 17 deadline for making a determination as to whether or not the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) has committed genocide against Christians and other minority groups. The 280-page report presents comprehensive evidence that Christians in territories controlled by ISIS have been killed, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery, driven from their homes, and dispossessed. It also includes interviews with witnesses of such atrocities collected during a recent K of C fact-finding mission to Iraq. “There is only one word that adequately, and legally, describes what is happening to Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson at the press conference. “That word is ‘genocide.’” EXPOSING “THE CRIME OF CRIMES” Supreme Knight Anderson was joined at the March 10 press conference by a panel of clergy, scholars and other advocates: Coptic Orthodox Bishop Anba Angaelos of the United Kingdom; Chaldean Catholic priests Father Douglas Bazi and Father Dankha Joola, both from Iraq; Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom; 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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Catholic University of America law professor Robert Destro; Prof. Greg Stanton, founding president of Genocide Watch; Defying ISIS author Johnnie Moore, and Juliana Taimoorazy, president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council. In his remarks, Anderson said, “This is not a case of precipitous action. Indeed, the European Parliament, various national governments, legal experts, religious and civic leaders and genocide scholars, and candidates of both parties including former Secretary of State Clinton have called what is happening to Christians ‘genocide.’” He added, “Secretary of State John Kerry himself in August 2014 stated: ‘ISIL’s campaign of terror against the innocent, including Yazidi and Christian minorities, and its grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide.’” The supreme knight also drew attention to 200-plus members of Congress from both parties who co-sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 75, which condemned as “genocide” the atrocities perpetrated against Christians and other religious minorities. He likewise observed that Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, together with archbishops and patriarchs of ancient religious communities in Syria and Iraq, have spoken out forcefully against ISIS’ genocidal efforts to rid Christians from the region. Noting that the report covered incidents in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Yemen and thus made it the most comprehensive document on this subject to date, the supreme knight stated that the evidence contained in its pages fully supports the conclusion that the crime of genocide has been committed.

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Left: Father Douglas Bazi, a Chaldean Catholic priest from Iraq who was kidnapped and tortured by Islamic extremists, holds up the bloodied shirt he wore as a hostage. • Right: Coptic Orthodox Bishop Anba Angaelos of the United Kingdom and Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson display the cover of the genocide report, which shows a photo of the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by ISIS in 2015. “For the United States government to stand alone in denying that this is genocide would be shameful, and an abdication not just of leadership, but of cooperation and common sense,” he said. VOICES FOR VOICELESS MARTYRS Following the supreme knight’s remarks, other panelists offered testimony in support of the report’s conclusions. Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church stated that the path to genocide began decades ago. “What we’ve seen is an ongoing persecution that has led to a desensitization, that has led to a systematic acceptance of that diminished state as the status quo,” said Bishop Angaelos. The bishop held up the cover of the report, which features a photo of the 21 Coptic Christian men who were beheaded by ISIS in Libya in 2015. “These are atrocities not only against international convention, but against a God-given right for people to live free, safe and dignified,” he said. “If we exclude Christians from the genocide designation, we risk putting them at greater risk.” Father Douglas Bazi, who currently runs a refugee camp at his parish in Erbil, Iraq, recounted some of his own personal ordeal. “I was kidnapped for nine days. They used a hammer to break my teeth, my nose and my back. And I still keep my shirt,” Father Bazi said, holding up a bloodstained shirt. “This is what is happening to my people every day.” The priest continued, “I am here to tell you that my people feel forgotten and alone. And I am here to tell

America that the first step to be taken is to call it genocide. If we are not clear that this is genocide, then we are not saying the truth.” Juliana Taimoorazy, an Assyrian Christian and president of Iraqi Christian Relief Council, said that ultimately this is not a legal discussion, but a human problem about bodies broken and family members killed. “Two weeks ago in Iraq, I met a 3-year-old girl whom ISIS members had thrown against a wall,” Taimoorazy said. “She can no longer talk. Where was her father? He had been murdered, as he was a Christian.” In addition to producing the genocide report, the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians also sponsored a national television advertising campaign in support of a petition calling on Secretary of State Kerry not to exclude Christians from a declaration of genocide. “It is our hope that our efforts will help mobilize greater public and governmental action to protect religious minorities — including Christians — in the Middle East and to ease their suffering,” Supreme Knight Anderson concluded. “A declaration of genocide by the United States Government is a key component of that protection.” On March 14, shortly before press time and several days before the U.S. Department of State was expected to make a decision on the issue, the House of Representatives passed H.Con.Res.75 with unanimous, bipartisan support. Earlier the same day, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued an urgent call to support the petition at, which had already received more than 100,000 signatures.♦

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THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS has been recognized as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere® Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. Recognized among the world’s most ethical companies since 2014, the Knights of Columbus is one of only two in the life insurance category, underscoring its commitment to leading ethical business standards and practices. “The Knights of Columbus was founded on providing financial security to our members and their families in keeping with Catholic values,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Those principles continued to guide our company as we grew into a toprated insurer with the same ethical commitment in every aspect of our business, our corporate governance, our professional agency force, our investments and our day-to-day business operations. It is this commitment to our Catholic principles that is the key to our ethical, sustainable and successful business model.” This year marks the 10th anniversary of Ethisphere and its World’s Most Ethical Companies® designation, which recognizes companies that align principle with action, work tirelessly to make trust a part of their corporate DNA, and help shape future industry standards by introducing tomorrow’s best practices today. More information about Ethisphere can be found at♦ 8 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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A Touchdown for Special Olympics Athletes

On Feb. 27, a mini football combine was held in Indianapolis for some 40 Special Olympics athletes. The experience included a series of drills and activities similar to those performed by athletes participating in the NFL Scouting Combine. Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Joe Reitz hosted the clinic at the Colts’ indoor training facility and was assisted by several dozen volunteers, including Indiana Knights. Supreme Secretary Charles Maurer Jr. was also present. Sponsors of the event included the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Athletes for Christ and Special Olympics Indiana.

WWII Monument Remains After Lawsuit AFTER A FIVE-YEAR legal battle, a K of C-built statue of Christ, known locally as Big Mountain Jesus, will remain on government-owned land in Whitefish, Mont. In 1949, the Knights of Columbus leased a 25-by-25-foot plot of land at the Big Mountain ski resort from the U.S. Forest Service to erect a memorial honoring fallen World War II soldiers from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division. Inspired by shrines they had encountered in Europe during the war, local veterans joined with the Knights to remember their brothers in arms who never returned home. Since 1954, a 6-foot-tall concrete and steel monument of Christ has stood atop Big Mountain. The permit for the monument was renewed every decade without incident until 2010, when the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsinbased atheist group, demanded the statue’s removal on the grounds that it violated the U.S. Constitution. Threatened with a lawsuit, the Forest Service initially denied the permit but reconsidered after public outcry. In February 2012, the FFRF sued to have the memorial permanently removed.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty intervened in federal court to defend the statue on behalf of the Knights of Columbus and several individual Montanans. In June 2013, the district court rejected arguments that the monument violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. In August 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling. The deadline for appeal expired Feb. 18. “The statue now stands as a reminder that government cannot rewrite history or censor culture to strip the religious elements,” said Eric Baxter of the Becket Fund and lead attorney in the case. “The First Amendment prohibits religious coercion, not religious culture.”♦

TOP RIGHT: Photo by Tom Serafin — BELOW RIGHT: Photo by Rick Garnett

Order Recognized for Ethical Practices for Third Consecutive Year

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Masculine Spirituality Catholic men are called to report for combat duty on the front lines of faith by Mike Phelan



en, how’s your prayer life? This shouldn’t sound like a strange question. Masculinity and spirituality go together. But we have lost a sense of men as prayer warriors and spiritual leaders, which accounts for many of the problems in our culture today. Just observe Sunday Mass in your average parish. Where are the men, especially the young men? Surveys show that men make up only 40 percent of most congregations. We may think that women are more spiritual and therefore leave the faith up to them. But deep down, we know that St. Augustine was speaking to us all when he wrote: “You have formed us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” We may attempt to fill our restless hearts with work, money, sports and material possessions — all good things in their proper place — or we may pursue sinful thrills in lust, pornography, greed, gluttony and drugs. But only God can satisfy the incessant masculine longing to do something great, to be a provider, a protector, a hero. Most men would die to protect their family or run to save someone’s life even it meant risking their own. Too often these same men allow the gates of their souls to be broken down by temptation. We talk nostalgically of the Greatest Generation, which knew the stakes for civilization when signing up to fight overseas. Yet today we need an even greater generation to face the often silent war being waged on our souls and the souls of our loved ones. It’s time to report for duty! As Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix wrote in his recent pastoral letter titled Into the Breach: “Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you, the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men. This battle is often hidden, but the battle is real. It is primarily spiritual, but it is progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our own homes.”

This call resonates deeply with the masculine heart. For a renewal of virtue, marriage and family life, and for the Church wounded by men’s absence, we must sound this call to action in each parish. Men must prepare themselves for spiritual combat to reclaim their Catholic inheritance. But how do you go into battle if the enemy is not physical? This is where many retreat. One way to overcome this weakness or lack of spiritual awareness is to take up the method of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who teaches us to enter a Gospel scene, imagining ourselves as contemporaries of the apostles themselves. For example, when Christ approaches Peter and Andrew with their nets along the Sea of Galilee, we are to place ourselves right alongside them on the shore. As the Lord steps forward, his words are addressed directly to us: “Come, follow me” (Mt 4:19). We may then follow Jesus in different Gospel scenes during his public life, all the way to the cross and to the empty tomb. As he defeats the works of the devil, so do we, with his grace. In spiritual combat, like any battle, we need weapons and armor. Follow the instructions of St. Paul: “Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. … And take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:10-11, 17). Pick up a rosary, go to confession, attend Mass and receive Jesus in holy Communion. Finally, don’t try to go it alone. With your fellow Knights, you have a ready band of brothers for this fight. Along with good works, seek spiritual fellowship with other men, and shoulder-to-shoulder ask the Lord to lead you to your proper place in the battle.♦ MIKE PHELAN, director of the Office of Marriage and Respect Life for the Diocese of Phoenix, is a member of Father Marcel Salinas Council 11536 in Mesa, Ariz.


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eb. 12-17, Pope Francis visited Mexico for the first time, making stops in Mexico City and nearby Ecatepec, followed by trips to the states of Chiapas, Michoacán and Chihuahua. Knights of Columbus participated in the major events and served as volunteers at papal Masses (see sidebar on page 12). En route to Mexico, the pope touched down briefly in Havana, Cuba, for a historic meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the first-ever encounter between a 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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pope and a Moscow patriarch since the Great Schism of 1054. During his travels in Mexico, organized under the theme “Missionary of Mercy and Peace,” the Holy Father visited popular pilgrimage destinations, such as the site of Mary’s apparitions to St. Juan Diego in 1531, as well as places on the “peripheries” hit hard by drug trafficking, violence and poverty. On Feb. 13, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, home of the miraculous image of the Our Lady imprinted on St. Juan Diego’s tilma.

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F MERCY AND PEACE The Church welcomes Pope Francis for his first apostolic journey to Mexico by Columbia staff

Photo by L’Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis processes with the bishops of Mexico to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Feb. 13.

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson was present at the basilica Mass together with Mexican state deputies and local council leaders. After the Mass, Pope Francis spent 20 minutes alone in prayer before the Marian image in a room behind the basilica’s main altar. Two days later, the Holy Father traveled south to the state of Chiapas, where he celebrated Mass with representatives of the indigenous communities and later participated in a Meeting with Families. He then went to the central state of Mi-

choacán, where he celebrated Mass with priests, religious, consecrated people and seminarians, and also met with tens of thousands of young people. On the final day of his journey, the pope traveled north to the state of Chihuahua, where he visited a prison and blessed a large cross at the U.S border in memory of all the people who had crossed the frontier. He concluded his journey with an emotional open-air Mass at the Ciudad Juárez fairgrounds for more than 300,000 people.♦ APRIL 2016

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Missionary of Mercy and Peace ❦ Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Mexico

Mary Accompanies Us VISITING THIS SHRINE, the same things that happened to Juan Diego can also happen to us. Look at the Blessed Mother from within our own sufferings, our own fear, hopelessness, sadness, and say to her, “What can I offer since I am not learned?” … Looking at her, we will hear what she says to us once more, “What, my most precious little one, saddens your heart? ... Yet am I not here with you, who have the honor of being your mother?” (Nican Mopohua, 107, 119).

Today, she sends us out anew. As she did Juancito, today, she comes to tell us again: Be my ambassador, the one I send to build many new shrines, accompany many lives, wipe away many tears. Simply be my ambassador by walking along the paths of your neighborhood, of your community, of your parish; we can build shrines by sharing the joy of knowing that we are not alone, that Mary accompanies us. — Homily, Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City, Feb. 13.

K of C volunteers are pictured along the papal motorcade route in the border city of Ciudad Juárez Feb. 17. Altogether, more than 200 Knights and family members from Mexico Northwest traveled all night in bus caravans to volunteer at the papal events in Ciudad Juárez. Volunteers served in a variety roles, working in first aid brigades, in “human chains” to protect the papal motorcade and as ushers for an open-air Mass at the Ciudad Juárez fairgrounds. Earlier, on Feb. 14, in the poverty-stricken Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec, volunteers from councils throughout the Mexico South jurisdiction assisted with crowd management as “human chains” to guide the more than 400,000 people who attended the open-air Mass there. 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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TOP: CNS photo/Paul Haring


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The Power to Attract I AM HAPPY to be with you here, near Cerro del Tepeyac, in a way close to the dawn of evangelization in this continent. … La Virgen Morenita teaches us that the only power capable of conquering the hearts of men and women is the tenderness of God. That which delights and attracts, that which humbles and overcomes, that which opens and unleashes, is not the power of instruments or the force of law, but rather the omnipotent weakness of divine love, which is the irresistible force of its gentleness and the irrevocable pledge of its mercy. … In the mantle of the Mexican spirit, with the thread of mestizo characteristics, God has woven and revealed in la Morenita the face of the Mexican people. … Never cease to remind your people of how powerful their ancient roots are, roots which have allowed a vibrant Chris-

Fraternity and Forgiveness IN THE HEART OF MAN and in the memory of many of our peoples is imprinted this yearning for a land, for a time when human corruption will be overcome by fraternity, when injustice will be conquered by solidarity and when violence will be silenced by peace. … On many occasions, in a systematic and organized way, your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society. … How worthwhile it would be for each of us to examine our conscience and learn to say, “Forgive me! Forgive me, brothers and sisters!” Today’s world, ravaged as it is by a throwaway culture, needs you. — Homily, Mass with representatives of the indigenous communities of Chiapas, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Feb. 15

tian synthesis of human, cultural and spiritual unity which was forged here. … To rediscover that the Church is mission is fundamental for her future, because only the “enthusiasm and confident admiration” of evangelizers has the power to attract. — Meeting with the bishops of Mexico, Cathedral of the Assumption, Mexico City, Feb. 13

Photos by L’Osservatore Romano

The Witness of the Family TODAY WE SEE HOW on different fronts the family is weakened and questioned. It is regarded as a model that has done its time, but that has no place in our societies; these, claiming to be modern, increasingly favor a model based on isolation. Societies become increasingly inoculated — they refer to themselves as societies which are free, democratic, sovereign, but they are inoculated by ideological colonizations which destroy; and we end up being ideological colonies that then have a destructive effect on families, the family cell, which is the basis of every healthy society. It is true that living in a family is not always easy, and can often be painful and stressful, but, as I have often said referring to the Church, I prefer a wounded family that makes daily efforts to put love into play, to a family and society that are sick from isolationism or a habitual fear of love. I prefer a family that makes repeated efforts to begin again, to a family and so-

ciety that are narcissistic and obsessed with luxury and comfort. … Luxury and comfort without children, and then, when you want a child, it’s too late. ... I prefer a family with tired faces from generous giving, to a family with faces full of makeup that know nothing of ten-

derness and compassion. I prefer a man and a woman … with faces that are wrinkled due to the daily struggles over the 50 years of strong married love. — Address, Meeting with Families, Víctor Manuel Reyna Stadium, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Feb. 15 APRIL 2016

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Missionary of Mercy and Peace ❦ Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Mexico

Family: The First School of the Nation

Pope Francis greets a child at the Federico Gómez Pediatric Hospital in Mexico City Feb. 14. During his visit to the hospital, the pope gave a brief address to the children about Jesus — “He was little, just like some of you” — and gave medicine to a child. He also offered encouragement to children’s caregivers. “May God bless each person ... not only doctors but also those who provide ‘kindness-therapy,’ ” he said. “Sometimes a caress can greatly help the process of healing.”

ONE OF MEXICO’S greatest treasures is that it has a youthful face: its young people. … Today the Lord continues to call you, he continues to draw you to him, just as he did with the Indian, Juan Diego. He invites you to build a shrine. A shrine that is not a physical place but rather a community, a shrine called “parish,” a shrine called “nation.” Being a community, a family, and knowing that we are citizens is one of the best antidotes to all that threatens us, because it makes us feel that we are a part of the great family of God. ... In the family we learn solidarity, how to share, to discern, to walk ahead with

each other’s problems, to fight and to make up, to argue and to embrace and to kiss. The family is the first school of the nation, and in the family you will find that richness and value that you have. The family is like the custodian of that great value. In the family you will find hope, for Jesus is there, and in the family you will have dignity. Never, never put the family to one side. The family is the founding stone upon which a great nation is built. — Address, Meeting with young people, José María Morelos y Pavón Stadium, Morelia, Feb. 16

UNITED TO YOU and with you today, I want to reiterate once more the confidence that Jesus urges us to have: the mercy that embraces everyone and is found in every corner of the world. There is no place beyond the reach of his mercy, no space or person it cannot touch. ... Jesus’ concern for the care of the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless and prisoners (cf. Mt 25:34-40) sought to express the core of the Father’s mercy. This becomes a moral imperative for the whole of society that wishes to maintain the necessary conditions for a better com14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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mon life. It is within a society’s capacity to include the poor, infirm and imprisoned, that we see its ability to heal their wounds and make them builders of a peaceful coexistence. … Speak with your loved ones, tell them of your experiences, help them to put an end to this cycle of violence and exclusion. The one who has suffered the greatest pain, and we could say “has experienced hell,” can become a prophet in society. — Address, Visit to the Center for Social Adjustment No. 3, Ciudad Juárez, Feb. 17

Photos by L’Osservatore Romano

Healing Wounds, Building Peace

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SUPREME DIRECTORS DISTRIBUTE WHEELCHAIRS DURING MEXICO CITY PILGRIMAGE Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and his wife, Dorian, greet a child and his mother during a wheelchair distribution outside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Feb. 20. The Knights of Columbus Board of Directors participated in the ceremony that marked the 50,000th wheelchair distributed through the Order’s partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission. The board gathered in Mexico City for business meetings followed by a pilgrimage to pray at the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which Pope Francis venerated just days earlier during his visit to Mexico. During the course of their visit to Tepeyac Hill, the board surveyed the future site of the Institute of Guadalupan Studies, the development of which is spearheaded by Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, postulator of St. Juan Diego’s cause for canonization and canon of the basilica. Afterward, the board processed through the holy door of the new basilica, where Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori celebrated Mass in Spanish. The pilgrimage concluded with a solemn Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral, celebrated by Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico City, after which the supreme knight presented the Caritas Award to the basilica’s rector, Msgr. Enrique Glennie Grau.

TOP: Photo by Randy Hall/Courtesy of the Global Wheelchair Mission — BOTTOM RIGHT: Photo by L’Osservatore Romano

Give Us Open Hearts IN THIS YEAR OF MERCY, with you here, I beg for God’s mercy; with you I wish to plead for the gift of tears, the gift of conversion. Here in Ciudad Juárez, as in other border areas, there are thousands of immigrants from Central America and other countries, not forgetting the many Mexicans who also seek to pass over “to the other side.” Each step, a journey laden with grave injustices: the enslaved, the imprisoned and extorted. So many of these brothers and sisters of ours are the consequence of a trade in human trafficking, the trafficking of persons. … The human tragedy that is forced migration is a global phenomenon today. This crisis that can be measured in numbers and statistics, we want instead to measure with names, stories, families. … Let us together ask our God for the gift of conversion, the gift of tears, let us ask him to give us open hearts …

Pope Francis stands in prayer near the border of Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, Texas, after blessing a massive cross in memory of those who crossed the frontier.

open to his call heard in the suffering faces of countless men and women. … There is always time to change, always a way out and always an opportunity;

there is always the time to implore the Father’s mercy. — Homily, Ciudad Juárez Fair Grounds, Feb. 17 APRIL 2016

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Hope Carved in Olivewood Order expands relief efforts to persecuted Christians in the Middle East through the Solidarity Cross Program by Joseph O’Brien 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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Nicola Sansour crafts olivewood crosses in his workshop in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Photo by Afif Amireh


ast August, during his annual report at the Supreme Convention in Philadelphia, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson invited delegates to stand with him in solidarity for persecuted Christians in the Middle East, raising olivewood crosses and reciting together a prayer for those suffering. In the fall, the Supreme Council initiated the Solidarity Cross Program to help raise further awareness and funds for Christians fleeing persecution and violence in the region. The program invites K of C units to purchase 5-inch olivewood

crosses made by Christian artisans in the Holy Land and then to sell them in their parishes and communities for a suggested donation of $10 per cross. The crosses themselves serve as a reminder to pray for persecuted Christians, and net proceeds of all sales are contributed to the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund. More than 80,000 crosses have been ordered in the program — translating into hundreds of thousands of dollars in relief money for Christian refugees, in addition to supporting the Christian artisans who made the olivewood crosses. SOLIDARITY & SUPPORT When Mexico South State Deputy José Antonio Fernández learned of the Solidarity Cross Program, he immediately recognized a bond between his own people and Christians in the Middle East. “In Mexico, we suffered religious persecution at the beginning of the 20th century,” Fernández said. “We received support from the Catholics in the United States and other parts of the world, and so now we want to show the same support for other persecuted people in the world.” Communities throughout Fernández’s jurisdiction became involved, including his own Guadalupe Council 1050 in Mexico City, the oldest council in Mexico. To date, Knights in the area have distributed approximately 500 crosses. “There has been a good response,” Fernández said. “People may not have much money, but they buy them because they want to help however they can.” Msgr. Bornemann Council 16066 in West Reading, Pa., received an overwhelming response to the Solidarity Cross Program, according to Grand Knight Gerald Blaum. “We had no idea up front how this program was going to go,” Blaum admitted. “So last December we ordered 100 crosses, and Father Keith Mathur blessed them at Friday morning Mass. There were maybe 25 people in the chapel, but we sold 33 of the crosses right after Mass. I thought, ‘Uh oh, we don’t have nearly enough number of crosses to meet demand!’” After the Knights in West Reading sold the remaining 67 that Sunday, they quickly ordered another 300. “But even then, the following weekend there weren’t enough, and so I ordered again,” Blaum said. “In total we have sold 470 crosses.” Christians in the wider Reading community also joined the effort, noted council member Robert Santoro. “A Lutheran friend asked me to get him two crosses, and later asked me to increase his order to five,” Santoro explained. “He also asked if one of our parish priests would bless them before giving them back to him. He wanted to give his family these crosses as presents on Christmas Day.” Salvatore Ficaccio, district deputy of District #26 in Alberta, encountered similar success when he introduced the Solidarity Cross Program to his district. Three councils immediately took up the challenge — Our Lady of Grace Council 12419 and Monsignor John Smith Council 9658, APRIL 2016

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both in Calgary, and Ficaccio’s own St. Gabriel the Archangel Council 14492 in Chestermere, Alberta — and together sold some 400 crosses. “Many Latino and Filipino parishioners were inspired to express their solidarity with the suffering people of the Middle East,” Ficaccio said. “They were very receptive to the crosses because of their own immigrant experiences.” PALESTINIAN PARTNERSHIP Not only are the crosses helping to bring relief in the form of housing, food and medical supplies to refugees, but the program is also helping nearly 200 Christian families in the Bethlehem area maintain their livelihood and traditions. In order to bring the crosses to North America, the Knights of Columbus has partnered with the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation. Father Emil Salayta, a priest in Jordan, and Rateb Y. Rabie, a Palestinian Christian 18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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TOP: Photo by Alonso Rodríguez Mortellaro — LEFT: Photo by Afif Amireh

Above: Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, postulator of the cause of canonization of St. Juan Diego, blesses Solidarity Crosses held by Knights in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. • Left: Newly carved Solidarity Crosses are pictured in a Bethlehem workshop.

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Photo by Matthew Barrick

in Washington, D.C., established HCEF in 1998 to help preserve a Christian presence in the Holy Land. Rabie, a former businessman, now serves as president of HCEF ( As a Fourth Degree Knight and member of Rock Creek Council 2797 in Bethesda, Md., Rabie welcomed the invitation to partner with Knights in North America. “I saw how the Knights of Columbus protected the Catholic Church in America,” he said in an interview from Bethlehem. “I felt that this is something I could do now to help defend the Mother Church here in the Holy Land.” Before the present decades-long conflict between Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land began, more than 20 percent of the population was Christian, Rabie explained. Today, some 200,000 Palestinian Christians remain in the Holy Land — a mere 1.5 percent. “How would you feel if you went to St. Peter’s Square in Rome and found no one there?” Rabie asked. “That is how we feel about Christians here in the Holy Land. We want to remain here.” The ongoing strife has also reduced the stream of religious pilgrims and tourists who used to provide a livelihood for local Christian artisans in the region to a trickle. It makes sense, Rabie continued, that artisans today are putting their talents to work making crosses, the universal symbol of Christianity. “We are protecting Christianity here, and just as Jesus carried his cross, we all carry a cross. It is our symbol of solidarity.” A Christian presence in the Holy Land, Rabie added, also serves as a peaceful witness to Muslims and Jews living there. “We feel that because we are Palestinians, we are the same as the Palestinian Muslims in everything but the faith,” he said. “With the Jews we have the Bible in common, and so we feel we are a bridge for peace and can understand both sides.” A FAMILY TRADITION Overall, 52 workshops have put 192 artisans to work, producing more than 81,000 olivewood crosses for the Solidarity Cross Program. Having produced 11,200 Solidarity Crosses with two other artisans in his shop, Nicola Sansour of Bethlehem has been better able to support his family with the additional income, and with his wife and three children, he can continue the family craft first started by Sansour’s grandfather in the 1920s. “I inherited my skills from my father and grandfather,” Sansour said. “My older son and daughter, who are 4 and 5 years old, are always helping me, sometimes carrying the crosses and the other things for me. They like to learn more and more and feel they can relate to me through the olivewood craft.” When the HCEF offered to help Sansour find work after the recent violence evaporated Bethlehem’s tourism trade, the Sansours found a new source of income and a new reason to hope that the olivewood trade will prosper. “It was really a wonderful feeling to have someone offer

Rateb Y. Rabie, president of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation and a member of Rock Creek Council 2797 in Bethesda, Md., is pictured in his Bethesda office. you work,” Sansour said, “after you have been sitting at home with no work for a long time.” According to Sansour, the crosses are also an opportunity to supplement his meager salary as a Catholic high school religion teacher and to spread the Catholic faith beyond the classroom to the world. He sets about his craft with the same patience, diligence and joy that has defined the family tradition for almost a century. “When we join the two wooden pieces of the cross together, we then polish it to make it shine in the hands of all those who will hold it,” Sansour said. “I’m happy send it to my brothers and sisters in America so we can share the crosses together.” With the Solidarity Crosses, he added, “I can translate charity into reality.”♦ JOSEPH O’BRIEN is a freelance writer who lives in Soldiers Grove, Wis. APRIL 2016

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Divine Mercy Can Save the

World Through prayer and openness to grace, you can help God’s mercy to overcome evil in our time by Father Michael Gaitley, MIC

This painting, which was featured at the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), depicts Faustina with an image of Jesus as the Divine Mercy. The image of Jesus depicted here is based on a 1943 painting by Adolf Hyła that hangs in a chapel at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki, Poland.

espite so many harbingers of catastrophe and daily temptations to discouragement and even despair, I’ve got some very good news: Now is the time of mercy. Now is a time of great and extraordinary grace for the Church and the world. Now is a time when God wants to pour a superabundance of his merciful love upon suffering humanity. But don’t just take my word for it. In his March 6, 2014, address to the priests of the Diocese of Rome, Pope Francis said the following: “Listen to the voice of the Spirit that speaks to the whole Church in this our time, which is, in fact, the time of mercy. I am certain of this. … We have been living in the time of mercy for 30 or more years, up to now. … [St. John Paul II] had the ‘intuition’ that this was the time of mercy.” And now, thanks to our Holy Father, it’s also the year of mercy — the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. So, you might say we’re living in a time of mercy in the time of mercy! And this means that you and your family can lend a hand to the mighty movement of mercy that’s blessing modern humanity. More specifically, you can help save the world through prayer and works of mercy. ‘LOUD CRIES’ FOR MERCY The key to understanding the present time of mercy comes from Romans 5:20: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded

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Painting by Helena Tchorzewska, ©1993 Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy


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all the more.” Expressed as a principle, we could say that in times of great evil, God gives even greater grace. And the good news is that, right now, he’s giving it. In fact, this is what that “intuition” of St. John Paul II was really all about. In response to unprecedented evil in the modern world, it seems that God is providing unprecedented grace. This special gift of grace in our time includes the modern message of Divine Mercy, which comes to us from the great apostle of mercy, St. Faustina Kowalska. This Polish nun’s testimony to God’s mercy is reinvigorating the Church and inspiring untold numbers of people to turn to the very heart of Catholic spirituality, the very heart of the Gospel — namely, God’s mercy for sinners. Moreover, Faustina’s witness to mercy inspired St. John Paul II to send the whole Church on a powerful mission of mercy that truly can save the world. Specifically, in the stirring last chapter of his encyclical letter on Divine Mercy, Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy), John Paul gives the Church its marching orders in the present time of mercy. He indicates that we’re not to flee the evils that afflict modern humanity. Rather, we’re to directly confront them with the most powerful weapon of the Redemption: God’s merciful love. According to Pope John Paul II, who beatified and canonized St. Faustina, merciful love transforms consciences, puts a stop to evil and can renew the face of the earth. But to unleash its power, the sons and daughters of the Church must appeal to God’s mercy with “loud cries” (Dives in Misericordia, 15). Now, by “loud cries,” the pope does not intend that we should shout when we pray. Rather, he encourages us to pray with intensity, fervor and zeal. Indeed, he invites us to pray with bold confidence in the saving power of God’s merciful love. And such prayer truly is “loud.” In other words, it pierces the heart of God and can help save the world. But, again, don’t just take my word for it. Because of St. Faustina’s “loud cries” for mercy, Jesus told her, “For your sake I will withhold the hand which punishes; for your sake I bless the earth” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 431). He also revealed to her how prayer “ties his hands,” so to speak, and prevents him from inflicting the punishments the world deserves (see Diary, 818). Today the world certainly seems to deserve a severe punishment. For instance, simply consider that there have been more than a billion abortions worldwide in the last 40 years. In light of that statistic alone, it’s a marvel that God has not already sent to the modern world the same fire and brimstone that rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah. And yet, we’re still here. But why? It’s because, again, now is the time of mercy. As Jesus himself said to St. Faustina, “In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. … Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy” (Diary, 1588).

“SUPERCHARGED” PRAYER AND GOOD WORKS So we now know that in the present time of mercy, we’re to implore God’s mercy with “loud cries.” But how do we learn to pray like that? The Lord himself teaches us through a beautiful prayer he taught St. Faustina called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. This prayer is a kind of extension of what I call “the supercharged moment of the Mass.” That moment is when the priest at the altar takes the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ and offers it “through him, with him, and in him” to the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. It’s “supercharged” because it’s the perfect sacrifice of love, the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, offered to our Merciful Father. You might say that such prayer becomes the loudest of the “loud cries” we can offer. Indeed, when we fervently pray these words of the chaplet — “for the sake of [Christ’s] sorrowful passion, have mercy on us …” — we can be confident that the Father will not only have mercy on us, but also “on the whole world.” So, do you and your family want to help save the world and bring it back to God? Do you want to unleash an ocean of mercy upon hurting humanity? In this time of great mercy, if we fervently pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in union with the offering of the Mass, we can do it. But prayer alone isn’t enough. Unless we put merciful love into practice in our daily lives, “loud cries” for mercy may begin to sound like a “noisy gong” or a “clanging cymbal” (see 1 Cor 13:1). Christ reminds us of this in no uncertain terms through St. Faustina when he says, “I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it” (Diary, 742). So, let’s briefly review the works of mercy. Generally speaking, the works of mercy include any act of love that seeks to alleviate the suffering of others. Getting more specific, Jesus taught St. Faustina “The Three Degrees of Mercy,” that is, mercy in deed, word and prayer (cf. 742). The Catechism of the Catholic Church unpacks this for us under the categories of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy: “Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead” (2447). Pope Francis said it is his “burning desire” during this Jubilee Year of Mercy that we reflect on and rediscover the works of mercy, so as to bring to others the “goodness and tenderness of God” (Misericordiae Vultus, 15). And as we put these works into practice while persevering in supercharged prayer, we not only reveal the true face of our Merciful Father to the world — we help him to save it.♦ FATHER MICHAEL GAITLEY, MIC, is author of many books, including The Second Greatest Story Ever Told: Now Is the Time for Mercy (2015), and 33 Days to Merciful Love: A Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy (2016). APRIL 2016

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Farewell to an Honorable Father The son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia commends his father to the mercy of God

E DITOR ’ S N OTE : Father Paul Scalia, the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Feb. 14, delivered the following homily at the funeral Mass for his father at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Feb. 20. The text is reprinted with permission.


e are gathered here because of one man: a man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more; a man loved by many, scorned by others; a man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth. It is he whom we proclaim. Jesus Christ, son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified, buried, risen, seated at the right hand of the Father. It is because of him, because of his life, death and resurrection, that we do not mourn as those who have no hope, but in confidence we commend Antonin Scalia to the mercy of God. Scripture says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8). And that sets a good course for our thoughts and our prayers here today. In effect, we look in three directions: to yesterday, in thanksgiving; to today, in petition; and into eternity with hope. BLESSINGS OF YESTERDAY We look to Jesus Christ yesterday, that is, to the past, in thanksgiving for the blessings God bestowed upon Dad. In the past week, many have recounted what Dad did for them. But here today, we recount what God did for Dad, how he blessed him. We give thanks, first of all, for the atoning death and lifegiving resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Lord died and rose, not only for all of us, but also for each of us. And at this time 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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we look to that yesterday of his death and his resurrection, and we give thanks that he died and rose for Dad. Further, we give thanks that Jesus brought him to new life in baptism, nourished him with the Eucharist, and healed him in the confessional. We give thanks that Jesus bestowed upon him 55 years of marriage, to the woman he loved, a woman who could match him at every step, and even hold him accountable. God blessed Dad with a deep Catholic faith: the conviction that Christ’s presence and power continue in the world today through his body, the Church. He loved the clarity and coherence of the Church’s teaching. He treasured the Church’s ceremonies, especially the beauty of her ancient worship. He trusted the power of the sacraments as the means of salvation, as Christ working within him for his salvation. Although, one time, one Saturday afternoon, he did scold me for having heard confessions that afternoon, that same day. And I hope that is some source of consolation, if there are any lawyers present, that the Roman collar was not a shield against his criticism. The issue that evening was not that I’d been hearing confessions, but that he’d found himself in my confessional line. And he quickly departed it. As he put it later, “Like heck if I’m confessing to you!” The feeling was mutual. God blessed Dad, as is well known, with a love for his country. He knew well what a close-run thing the founding of our nation was. And he saw in that founding, as did the founders themselves, a blessing. A blessing quickly lost when faith is banned from the public square, or when we refuse to bring it there. So he understood that there is no conflict between loving God and loving one’s country, between one’s faith and one’s public service. Dad understood that the deeper he went in his Catholic faith, the better a citizen and a public servant he became. God blessed him with a desire to be the country’s

Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool

by Father Paul Scalia

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks to a crowd gathered at the Religious Freedom Monument in Fredericksburg, Va., to celebrate Religious Freedom Day Jan. 12, 2003. The annual program is sponsored by Rappahannock Assembly in Fredericksburg. • Opposite page: Father Paul Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court justice, delivers the homily at his father’s funeral Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Feb. 20.

AP Photo/The Free Lance-Star, Suzanne Carr

good servant, because he was God’s first. We Scalias, however, give thanks for a particular blessing God bestowed. God blessed Dad with a love for his family. We have been thrilled to read and hear the many words of praise and admiration for him, his intellect, his writings, his speeches, his influence and so on. But more important to us — and to him — is that he was Dad. He was the father that God gave us for the great adventure of family life. Sure, he forgot our names at times or mixed them up, but there are nine of us. He loved us, and sought to show that love, and sought to share the blessing of the faith he treasured. And he gave us one another, to have each other for support. That’s the greatest wealth that parents can bestow, and right now we’re particularly grateful for it. So we look to the past, to Jesus Christ yesterday. We call to mind all of these blessings, and we give Our Lord the honor and glory for them, for they are his work. TODAY, WITH A VIEW TO ETERNITY We look to Jesus today, in petition, to the present moment here and now, as we mourn the one we love and admire, the one whose absence pains us. Today we pray for him. We pray for the repose of his soul. We thank God for his goodness to Dad, as is right and just, but we also know that although Dad believed, he did so imperfectly, like the rest of us. He tried to love God and neighbor, but like the rest of us, did so imperfectly.

He was a practicing Catholic, practicing in the sense that he hadn’t perfected it yet, or rather, that Christ was not yet perfected in him. And only those in whom Christ is brought to perfection can enter heaven. We are here, then, to lend our prayers to that perfecting, to that final work of God’s grace, in freeing Dad from every encumbrance of sin. But don’t take my word for it. Dad himself, not surprisingly, had something to say on the matter. Writing years ago to a Presbyterian minister whose funeral service he admired, he summarized quite nicely the pitfalls of funerals and why he didn’t like eulogies. He wrote, “Even when the deceased was an admirable person, indeed especially when the deceased was an admirable person, praise for his virtues can cause us to forget that we are praying for and giving thanks for God’s inexplicable mercy to a sinner.” Now, he would not have exempted himself from that. We are here, then, as he would want, to pray for God’s inexplicable mercy to a sinner — to this sinner, Antonin Scalia. Let us not show him a false love and allow our admiration to deprive him of our prayers. We continue to show affection for him and do good for him by praying for him: That all stain of sin be washed away, that all sins be healed, that he be purified of all that is not Christ. That he rest in peace. Finally, we look to Jesus, forever, into eternity. Or better, we consider our own place in eternity, and whether it will be with the Lord. Even as we pray for Dad to enter swiftly into APRIL 2016

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eternal glory, we should be mindful of ourselves. Every funeral reminds us of just how thin the veil is, between this world and the next, between time and eternity, between the opportunity for conversion and the moment of judgment. So we cannot depart here unchanged. It makes no sense to celebrate God’s goodness and mercy to Dad if we are not attentive and responsive to those realities in our own lives. We must allow this encounter with eternity to change us, to turn us from sin and toward the Lord. The English Dominican Father Bede Jarrett put it beautifully when he prayed, “O strong Son of God, while you prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that we may be with you and with those we love for all eternity.” Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. My dear friends, this is also the structure of the Mass, the greatest

prayer we can offer for Dad, because it’s not our prayer but the Lord’s. The Mass looks to Jesus yesterday. It reaches into the past, to the Last Supper, to the crucifixion, to the resurrection, and it makes those mysteries and their power present here, on this altar. Jesus himself becomes present here today, under the form of bread and wine, so that we can unite all of our prayers of thanksgiving, sorrow and petition with Christ himself, as an offering to the Father. And all of this, with a view to eternity, stretching towards heaven, where we hope to enjoy that perfect union with God himself and to see Dad again, and, with him, rejoice in the communion of saints.♦ FATHER PAUL SCALIA is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington and a member of Battlefield Council 10246 in Fredericksburg, Va.

JUSTICE SCALIA SPEAKS TO THE KNIGHTS ANTONIN “NINO” SCALIA (1936-2016) was named to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan and served on the court for nearly 30 years. A lifelong Catholic, he was married for 55 years and had five sons and four daughters as well as 36 grandchildren. Though Justice Scalia was not a member of the Knights of Columbus, he spoke at several K of C events. Never shy about sharing his faith as well as a hearty laugh, he is remembered on these occasions for his incisive and sometimes provocative statements about religious freedom and public life. Below are excerpts from two of these speeches.

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Justice Antonin Scalia stands with members of Rappahannock Assembly 1613 in Fredericksburg, Va., at the Religious Freedom Day celebration sponsored by the assembly Jan. 12, 2003. Scalia recused himself that term from a Supreme Court case on whether “under God” should be in the Pledge of Allegiance. “To believe in traditional Christianity is something else. … For the Son of God to be born of a virgin? I mean, really. To believe that he rose from the dead and bodily ascended into heaven? How utterly ridiculous. To believe in miracles? … God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools ... and he has not been disappointed. ... “If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.” — Address at the 100th anniversary celebration of Baton Rouge (La.) Council 969, Jan. 29, 2005.♦

Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

“We’ve said in our [Supreme Court] opinions that the government may neither favor nor disfavor any particular sect of religion or religion in general. Never mind that this is contrary to our whole tradition, to ‘in God we trust’ on the coins, to Thanksgiving proclamations, to chaplains, to tax exemptions for places of worship, which has always existed in America. ... It is that philosophy that has enabled a district court in California to hold … that it is unconstitutional to say in the Pledge of Allegiance ‘one nation, under God.’ … “Unfortunately what has happened with the establishment clause has happened in other areas of the Constitution as well. It is the consequence of the new view of the Constitution which says, ‘It doesn’t mean what Thomas Jefferson thought it meant. It doesn’t mean what the framers thought it meant. It means what we think it ought to mean.’” — Address at Religious Freedom Day sponsored by the Rappahannock Assembly in Fredericksburg, Va., Jan. 12, 2003, commemorating the day in 1777 in Fredericksburg when Thomas Jefferson and others drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which served as a blueprint for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was due to this speech that Justice

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Salvation on Screen Three captivating and complementary movies signal a return of the Bible film genre by Sister Helena Burns, FSP

Courtesy of Outside da Box /


ver since the runaway success of Mel Gibson’s The Passion life of the 7-year-old Jesus) have tumbled out — almost as if of the Christ (2004), Hollywood has been trying to repli- planned as a harmonious trilogy. Two are backed by big-name cate Gibson’s juggernaut. But tinseltown has struggled to un- producers, and one is an art-house film (Full of Grace) by a lock the secret of what Christian audiences will embrace. Why Catholic company. the struggle? For starters, The Passion set the quality bar very, In each of these three films, I find a new maturity in both very high. On top of that, filmmaking and audience Christians delighted in seereception. What does this ing Jesus rather than just “maturity” entail? For one, another Christian-themed a more “ethnic” Jesus along movie. with other Bible figures, toProfitable Christian filmgether with a much more making eventually hit its human portrayal of their stride in 2011, with feature personages in contrast to films that were each stylististiff, oratorical, transcencally unique and heavy on dent characters — while authenticity and humanity: still preserving the divinity Of Gods and Men, Soul of Jesus. And what’s good Surfer, Courageous, The about this newfound relataWay, Tree of Life. Roma bility? The fact of the InDowney and Mark Burnett carnation and a God who then launched their cinechooses to work through matically literalist Old and matter and through people, New Testament The Bible flawed as we are. The fact TV miniseries in 2013. Dethat many people of the spite a chorus of naysaying Bible are not so different Actors Bahia Haifi and Noam Jenkins play the roles of Mary and Peter Hollywood insiders, audifrom us. in Full of Grace, a film about the beginnings of the Church. ences took to it like ducks to water, so much so that a RISEN movie was extracted from The film Risen tells the it: Son of God. Although the quality of The Bible was nowhere story of a fictitious Roman tribune named Clavius (Joseph Finear The Passion of the Christ, I’d wager that our visual society ennes), commissioned not only with overseeing the crucifixwas simply hankering for anything biblical they could see. Two ion of Jesus the Nazarene, but also tamping down his whole epic Bible films from nonbelievers then graced the big screen movement, starting with his inner circle: the Apostles. in 2014: Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings to mixed reviews Risen explores parts of the New Testament rarely seen on (though I appreciated both efforts immensely). film, and it’s glorious — in a bumbling sort of way (it’s meant Now, in recent months, Risen (a Roman soldier confronts to be bumbling). In it, the Apostles don’t have all the answers. the risen Christ), Full of Grace (the post-Resurrection Mary, One of the best things about Risen is its unpredictability. If Peter and Apostles) and The Young Messiah (one year in the it was simply the Bible itself with a few fictitious subplots, APRIL 2016

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we’d know what’s coming. But this is the story of Clavius, a stern but not ruthless man, who is torn between carrying out his mission of destruction and his attraction to the Jesus that witnesses describe. We sense a man at the end of his rope, a man intimately acquainted with the pax romana — peace and order imposed through conquering brutality — who is wondering what the point of it all is. The whole point of the movie comes down to the question: “Where is the body?” At one point, Clavius interviews various followers and disciples about Jesus and his “dead” body’s whereabouts: a device that could have been trite and boring, but is nothing of the sort. This is not a child’s Bible picture book come to life. This is a carefully and cleverly imagined, fairly airtight “what if ” film that keeps faithfully within the bounds of the sacred text. Much of the dialogue is outstanding. We begin to see the logic of all the parties involved at this “fullness of time” into which the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity chose to enter human history. FULL OF GRACE After viewing Risen, you’re ready for an in-depth, contemplative film depicting the early Church’s birth pangs (while 26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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the Mother of God is still in its midst to guide, comfort and inspire)! In Full of Grace: The Story of Mary the Mother of Jesus, written and directed by Andrew Hyatt, Mary’s story is interwoven with the plight of Peter, who — although the Church is growing — is faced with distortions of the Faith in thought and practice. Our Lady summons Peter and the Apostles, because she knows she is getting ready to go to the Father’s house. Mary is able to strengthen Peter’s faith (and ours as we listen to her!), not only by recounting details of the Annunciation and Jesus’ life and ministry, but through her own reflection and wisdom about what it all means and “where to go from here,” when the Apostles and first Christians had no Church history to fall back on. Imaginatively faithful and well-scripted, Full of Grace is based in part on the ancient Christian text known as the Didache and on what we know of the early Church. Mary (Bahia Haifi) and Peter (Noam Jenkins) are not primarily focused on Church structures, rules and internal strife. They know that’s not the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter is the Risen Lord, and Mary instructs the Apostles as to how they, too, can have her faith. At the very end of the film, it is Peter who has the payoff

Rosie Collins/Columbia Pictures /

A scene from the film Risen shows the Roman tribune Clavius (Joseph Fiennes, left) and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) on horseback at Calvary.

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British actor Adam Greaves-Neal stars as the 7-year-old Jesus in the film The Young Messiah, which was released in U.S. theaters March 11.

lines regarding the solution to the multiple impasses facing the Church. God’s ways are always simpler than we think. Never easy, but always sure and true. And the Truth — who never leaves us all alone — will also set us free. THE YOUNG MESSIAH Released March 11, The Young Messiah is, in my opinion, the best Jesus movie ever. It combines the latest and best in filmmaking, the dramatic arts, biblical scholarship, theology and imagination. Jesus’ humanity is perfectly balanced with his divinity. The filmmakers wanted to make a “favorite” Jesus film that families will watch together over and over again. Plausible plot points are skillfully woven in to support the Scriptures, not draw away from them. Adam Greaves-Neal plays the 7-year-old Jesus with childlike openness, earnestness and chutzpah. His facial expressions and reactions are completely natural. Mary and Joseph are the consistently best Mary and Joseph the screen has seen. They don’t have all the answers, but they know this precious and precocious kid is God’s Son, and their own profound faith and love encompass him. As director Cyrus Nowrasteh put it

in an interview, “It is a story about the family, and we take you inside the Holy Family.” Little Jesus is moved by human misery, suffering and sickness, and realizes that when he prays over people healings occur, miracles happen. But Herod Jr. — as despicable as his father — begins to get wind of a little healer boy that is just the right age to be the Messiah. Maybe this child escaped the Bethlehem bloodbath. Herod sends his centurion, Severus (Sean Bean), to find and kill the boy Jesus. This constant, believable danger, with its intrigue and narrow escapes, imparts an urgency to the whole film. This five-star film manages to make the gentleness of Jesus tough and cool — even in the face of the savage might of Rome. Hollywood has been trying to make a Jesus movie that will move and wow crowds once again? They just did.♦ SISTER HELENA BURNS is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, an international congregation founded to communicate God’s Word through the media. She is a vocations director for the congregation and writes movie reviews at APRIL 2016

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REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES of the Order’s traveling icons of the Immaculate Conception to the church. With the official end of this particular Marian prayer program, Knights chose St. Michael Church as the icon’s final home because it sits on the site of a previous church that was named after the Immaculate Conception. The icon will now reside in the church entrance in perpetuity. SCRAP METAL FOR SISTERS

Members of Mater Dolorosa Council 14818 in South San Francisco, Calif., guide a boulder into place during the creation of a Pietà garden at their parish. With help from their chaplain, Knights spearheaded the creation of a prayer garden that included a statue of the Pietà, the Seven Sorrows depicted on seven benches, and the Stations of the Cross depicted on tiles on a series of boulders. San Pedro Calungsod Assembly and St. Francis Assembly provided an honor guard for the garden’s dedication.


Holy Trinity Council 15548 in Comstock Park, Mich., joined its parish youth group to participate in a 5K run to assist an orphan advocacy group. Knights collected $2,160, which will be used to provide grants for couples pursuing adoption. CAT SCAN

Drayton Valley (Alberta) Council 7374 donated $2,000 to the Drayton Valley Hospital Foundation to help purchase a new CT scanner for a local hospital. MOVING ASSISTANCE

Red Bank (N.J.) Council 3187 helped a single mother move into her new apartment following several relocations in the years after Superstorm Sandy. Council 28 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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members arrived with an array of trucks, vans and other vehicles to move all of the family’s furniture and belongings to a new house 16 miles away. CHARITY RAFFLE

St. Gabriel the Archangel Council 13286 in Cave Creek, Ariz., hosted its annual K of C charity raffle, which raised more than $6,700 to help pay down the debt at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church.

Bishop Kevin M. Britt Council 13526 in Belmont, Mich., conducted a scrap metal drive that netted more than $1,500 for the Consolata Missionary Sisters. MISSION ASSISTANCE

Father Nicholas Rausch Council 1643 in Olympia, Wash., raised funds for a new commercial oven that provides meals and schooling to 200 children at a mission in Juárez, Mexico. The council also supplied a new microwave oven, pots and pans.


Piedmont Council 939 and Abbot Vincent G. Taylor Assembly, both in Greensboro, N.C., volunteer monthly at the St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville. Knights assist with housekeeping and general maintenance tasks at the retreat center. LANDSCAPING WORK

Corpus Christi Council 11325 in Lexington, S.C., provided labor and technical support to council member and Navy SEAL veteran John Beauregard to beautify his driveway with poles and solar lighting and to perform other landscaping work.


St. Joseph the Worker Council 4215 in Levittown, Pa., organized and led a rosary march from its council hall to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. After completing the rosary at the church’s Marian shrine, participants gathered at the Byzantine Rite parish for a celebration of the Divine Liturgy followed by refreshments.


A contingent of Knights from Archbishop Howley Assembly, Msgr. John J. Rawlins Assembly and Archbishop E.P. Roche Assembly, all in St. John’s, Newfoundland, traveled to St. Michael Church on Bell Island to present one

clients with healthy food options during pregnancy.


Sangamon Valley Council 5754 in Petersburg, Ill., donated more than $1,600 to the Pregnancy Care Center of Springfield to assist with the organization’s “Food for Two Program,” which assists

From top, Casey Reuter, Luke Dixon and Bruce Kleinmaier of Dixon (Ill.) Council 690 lift a piece of framing into place while working at a Habitat for Humanity site. Knights volunteered at several Habitat projects this year, working mostly on roofing trusses, and also provided lunch to workers.

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Members of Blessed Trinity Council 11741 in South Boston, Va., work to remove a life-size crucifix at the home of Leo Helie for relocation to St. Paschal Baylon Church. After Helie decided to move to New Jersey to be closer to his family, he offered to donate the crucifix, as well as another statue, to the church. Knights undertook the task of removing the statues, cleaning them and placing them in their new home.


St. Patrick Council 10567 in Adamsville, Ala., donated two baby swings, specially equipped to soothe substance-exposed babies, to the St. Vincent Hospital NICU unit. Nameplates noting the contribution by the council were placed on each swing.

Bathurst (New Brunswick) Council 1935 helped renovate the altar at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Knights volunteered 300 hours to remove an old carpet and underlay in preparation for new flooring and donated $500 toward the installation of new stained glass. FENCE STAINED

Immaculate Heart of Mary Council 4463 in Moorhead, Minn., stained the fence surrounding the children’s play area at the Perry Center in Fargo, which provides shelter to women in crisis pregnancies. CRAZY HAIR

Msgr. James A. Supple Council 13160 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, participated in a fundraiser that raised $400 to assist with the renovation of four family apartments at a local shelter. Inspired by another college council, members tabulated votes from the public for a crazy hair design for each Knight. When the fundraiser


Holy Spirit Council 14784 in Las Vegas auctioned off a Ford truck to raise $18,000 for the capital campaign at Holy Spirit Church.

ended, each brother was given the hair design with the largest donation. EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS

Hull (Québec) Council 1693 held a charity dinner to benefit the Paul Gérin-Lajoie Foundation, which aims to ensure that children in five developing nations have access to quality education. CHALLENGER BASEBALL


Father Maurice J. Wolfe Council 11372 in Abingdon, Md., sponsored a dinner for the Johns Hopkins University Parkinson’s Disease Community Outreach and Education Center. The event, which was attended by more than 100 people, raised $3,000 to help research and combat Parkinson’s disease.

Members of St. John Council 11281 in Naples, Fla., dole out soup during an event called “Feeding Hunger, Filling Hearts” at St. John Church. Knights volunteered to help serve food at the event, which raised $13,500 for Guadalupe Social Services.

Gary Browning (far left) and Rick Arnold of Msgr. Newman Council 4665 in Louisville, Ky., speak to a customer during a parish festival at St. Peter the Apostle Church. Knights operated a booth at the festival, serving pork chop and chicken dinners to those in attendance and raising funds for the parish.

Union (N.J.) Council 4504 and VFW Post #2433 sponsor two Little League teams for children and young adults with disabilities. Every Saturday for three months, the teams play baseball with assistance from their parents and volunteers. In addition, the council also sponsors a party for players and their families following the last game of the season. PAPAL FLAG

Frank Servidea Council 1064 in Ridgway, Pa., used part of the proceeds from its annual chicken barbecue to purchase a new papal flag for St. Leo Church.


Msgr. Matthew M. McHugh Assembly in Great Falls, Mont., participated in a memorial service hosted by the organization Missing in America, whose goal is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans. Knights provided an honor guard for the ceremony, which memorialized six veterans who served between World War II and Vietnam. Later, Helena Assembly provided an honor guard for the actual internment of the remains, with a full funeral procession and military honors. CARE PACKAGES FOR THE HOMELESS

St. Michael’s Council 10377 in Hudson, Fla., partnered with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to create care packages for homeless members of the community. Each package contained a pair of socks, a washcloth, toiletries and a granola bar. These packages helped the Society of St. Vincent de Paul distribute aid to up to 200 people per month.

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wives collected more than 1,400 diapers for a local pregnancy resource center. NEW TREADS

St. Vincent de Paul Council 8469 in Seward, Neb., put new tires on the cars owned by two seminarians who were in town for a religious event. The tires on both cars were severely worn and unsafe to use. COMPLEX CARE

Members of San Antonio de Padua Council 14558 in Panama City, Panama, use a stencil to repaint the handicapped parking spot at San Antonio Church.


The Knights of Columbus Arrowhead Desert Valley Chapter in California presented Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino with $10,000, earmarked to assist diocesan seminarians. The funds were raised through the contributions of local councils throughout the diocese at the chapter’s annual Seminarians Burse event. CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT

Martinsburg (W. Va.) Council 1169 hosted a cornhole tournament to raise funds for the 2015-16 Coats for Kids program. Eight teams participated in the tournament, which featured K of C branded boards and raised $735 to help purchase coats for children in need during winter.

furbishing a worn ciborium that had been used at St. Edward Church for decades. SEEING AGAIN

St. Barnabas the Apostle Council 13895 in Maricopa, Ariz., held a pancake breakfast to benefit Jesse Ramirez, a local veteran who was injured in a car accident that claimed most of his vision. The breakfast raised $1,775 to put toward a set of $15,000 glasses that will help restore Ramirez’s sight.


Blessed Trinity Council 2719 and Father Edward Collet Assembly, both in Carlsbad, N.M., shared the cost of re-

Our Lady, Queen of Peace Council 4556 in Imlay City,

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Mich., cleaned the cemetery at Sacred Heart Church, hauling away six truckloads of debris. Knights regularly assist at the cemetery with routine mowing as well. TREES TRIMMED

Westminster (British Columbia) Council 1283 trimmed trees and pruned shrubs at the residence of the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate. A group of Knights filled three trucks with excess trimmings, which were then taken to a recycling facility.


Cloverdale (British Columbia) Council 7276 presented a “Life Kit” to Cloverdale Catholic School. The Life Kit provides age-appropriate lessons focusing on human relationships, growth and development to students in kindergarten through seventh grade to help promote the culture of life among the next generation. CEMETERY CLEANED

Dr. Briggs Council 4597 in Courtenay, British Columbia, donated $1,000 from its general charity fund to Glacier View Lodge, a care facility for patients with complex health needs. The funds will help purchase new furniture for the facility’s adult day program space.


Holy Cross Assembly in Lynchburg, Va., conducted a “Hats Off to Veterans” campaign to collect hats for patients at the Salem VA Medical Center. Knights collected more than 300 hats at three parishes for veterans in need. THANK MOM FOR LIFE

North Branch (Mich.) Council 9568 and its ladies’ auxiliary collected diapers for a “Thank Mom for Life” diaper drive. Knights and their

Timothy Sabean of Commodore John Barry Council 14534 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., shovels manure out of the bed of a pickup truck while volunteering at a mission in the Dominican Republic. Several members of Council 14534 traveled to Santo Domingo for a weeklong work trip that saw them remove dead trees and brush, transport and dispense manure for use in gardens and flowerbeds, and clean and paint a seminary and rectory. The trip also included times for daily Mass and reflections on service.

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Despite worries about the economic climate, Iroquois Falls (Ontario) Council 2641 hosted its annual sportsman and trade show at a local arena with sellout participation by 70 exhibitors. Combined with proceeds from the council’s annual calendar raffle, the event raised $15,000 for a number of local charities and organizations. PLAYING AROUND

Sacred Heart Council 4628 in Schofield, Wis., partnered with a local motorcycle dealership to deliver 24 video game systems to St. Joseph Children’s Hospital in Whitfield. The Nintendo systems will provide entertainment to the young patients while they undergo treatment. DAY AT THE RACES

About 150 Knights and their wives from throughout Louisiana gathered at a local racetrack to honor residents of the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home. Knights shared an afternoon of food, fellowship and horse races with the veterans in attendance.

mission for urban ministry. Knights sold 729 fish dinners, raising about $4,000. The money will help Some Other Place provide school clothing and supplies for approximately 1,000 children. PASTORAL DONATION

St. Joseph the Worker Council 1805 in West Winfield/Richfield Spring, N.Y., donated $1,000 to Bishop John Yaw Afoakwa of Obuasi, Ghana, during his visit to the area. The funds will help the diocese’s pastoral goals, including the improvement of training for seminarians and religious, infrastructure upgrades, and provisions for Catholic schools. PB&J SHELF

Father Curtin Council 2541 in West Haven, Conn., donated $300 to the WHEAT food pantry to sponsor the organization’s peanut butter and jelly shelf for an entire month. Under this new sponsorship program, indi-


Bishop Bernard J. Ganter Council 951 in Beaumont, Texas, hosted a charity fish dinner to benefit Some Other Place, an ecumenical

viduals and organizations can either donate money or collect one kind of food to keep a specific shelf stocked for one month. SPIRIT QUEST


St. Lucy Council 12542 in West Long Beach, Calif., hosted a vocations booth at its parish to coincide with the ordination of a local deacon who is studying for the priesthood. Knights handed out books and vocations literature on the work being done by priests and religious.

Volunteers stand with a giant mound of bottles and cans that they collected and sorted during the annual “Returns for Vocations” fundraiser hosted by Msgr. Esper Council 3027 in Fowler, Mich. By collecting more than 43,000 redeemable bottles and cans, as well as monetary donations from members of the community, Knights were able to raise $5,000 to support area men who are studying for the priesthood.

Charlie Callaghan of Bancroft & District (Ontario) Council 7476 mounts the steering wheel of a wooden soap box car in preparation for a council-sponsored soap box derby during the Bancroft Wheels, Waters and Wings event. Callaghan, a master carpenter, built 30 cars, which fellow council members later painted in shades of red, blue, yellow and white.

St. Brendan Council 14693 in Montreal participated in a community-wide “Spirit Quest” in which young people visited various sacred places throughout the city on a kind of scavenger hunt. Knights were stationed at St. Joseph Oratory, where they spoke about charity and patriotism and gave the young people their next clue.

pregnancy resource centers and other goodies. THE ORDER’S MISSION

Our Lady, Queen of the Americas Council 15983 in Dinwiddie, Va., provided assistance to the family of a local Knight after he passed away. Council members arranged lodging and transportation for the Knight’s family when they came to town to settle his estate. Additionally, the council worked to donate the deceased Knight’s car, furniture and more to various agencies, taking on any fees that arose in the process.


Bishop James E. Fitzgerald Council 14649 in Downers Grove, Ill., joined parishioners to assemble more than 120 “hope packets” during a recent pro-life action day. The packets contained a sandwich, a booklet on fetal development, contact information for local exclusive See more “Knights in Action” reports and photos at knightsinaction

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Please enroll me in the Father McGivney Guild: NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE/PROVINCE ZIP/POSTAL CODE Complete this coupon and mail to: The Father McGivney Guild, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or enroll online at:

OFFICIAL APRIL 1, 2016: To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7 ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. SUBSCRIPTION RATES — IN THE U.S.: 1 YEAR, $6; 2 YEARS, $11; 3 YEARS, $15. FOR OTHER COUNTRIES ADD $2 PER YEAR. EXCEPT FOR CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENT IN U.S. CURRENCY ONLY. SEND ORDERS AND CHECKS TO: ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901.


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APRIL 2016

Clockwise from above: Canned goods await distribution by Msgr. Nash Council 3875 in Buffalo, N.Y. • Members of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Council 16378 in Matamoros, Mexico, transport food. • Past Grand Knight Reyes Solis of St. Anne Council 14124 in Albuquerque, N.M., sorts produce.

DURING THE JUBILEE Year of Mercy, Knights of Columbus councils Orderwide continue to serve their communities in fundamental ways by practicing the corporal works of mercy, including feeding the hungry. For example, this past December, Msgr. Nash Council 3875 in Buffalo, N.Y., celebrated its 50th year of distributing Christmas baskets to families in need. What began in 1966 with one Columbian Squire has grown through the dedicated service of Knights and their families to help an average of 130 families each year. The project is one of the council’s most popular activities, noted Past Grand Knight Bob Smering. “It brings in so many Knights and families, fathers and sons,” he said. “It’s just a wonderful event.” Seeking to serve people at the margins, members of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Council 16378 in Matamoros, Mexico, and their chaplain traveled to various parishes within the diocese, which borders the southern tip of Texas. They reached out to individuals who eke out a living picking through a municipal dump, by delivering food and clothing as well as sharing hot chocolate together. Many K of C councils, such as St. Anne Council 14124 in Albuquerque, N.M., join forces with the wider community. For the past three years, Knights of Council 14124 have worked with St. Anne Parish, the Roadrunner Food Bank, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Supreme Council’s Food for Families program. The combined resources allow more than 100 local families to visit St. Anne’s every month sure that they will leave with groceries. “Our church is in the south valley, a low-rent district. There’s a lot of need,” explained Grand Knight Randy Wagner. “The program brings great honor to our church and builds camaraderie among the Knights. It’s brought graces from Jesus, no doubt.” — Reported by Anna Bninski

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Building a better world one council at a time Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a difference — whether through community service, raising money or prayer. We celebrate each and every Knight for his strength, his compassion and his dedication to building a better world.




Members of St. Benedict Council 12290 in Anchorage, Alaska, dive into the seventh annual Special Olympics Polar Plunge at the icy shore of Goose Lake in December 2015. The Knights’ efforts gathered pledges of $5,267 to support training and competition for Special Olympics Alaska athletes throughout the state. Council members onshore served hot coffee, tea and cider to the participants and supporters.

“K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” H AVEN , CT 06510-3326


APRIL 2016

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SISTER MARIE FIDELIS SLEDGESKI Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ Prayer Town, Texas

Photo by Kaili Herr Photography

As a carefree 20-year-old graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville, I was seeking to know my vocation and respond to it generously. Through daily prayer, discernment with a spiritual director and visiting various communities, I knew that Jesus was calling me to religious life. I had first become attracted to the idea in high school, after witnessing the happiness of priests and religious. But like the rich young man in the Gospel parable, I hesitated to respond to Jesus’ call to follow him. I, too, was clinging to my possessions and popularity. As I meditated on this parable, I felt sadness at the rich young man’s response. How could he walk away from the call of Jesus? And what sadness I would feel if I chose my possessions over my Lord! Although we do not know what happened to the rich young man, I rejoice that God gave me the grace to learn from him and to respond to Jesus’ call. I entered my community after graduation and have great joy and fulfillment in living as a bride of Christ!

Columbia April 2016  

Columbia April 2016

Columbia April 2016  

Columbia April 2016