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K N I G H T S O F C O LU MBUS
A PRIL 2017
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“Insurance by Brother Knights, for Brother Knights. That is the Knights of Columbus
promise. That is the Knights of Columbus
difference. That is the Knights of Columbus
advantage.” Carl Anderson
Trust the Knights of Columbus to help protect your family’s future. Find an agent at kofc.org or 1-800-345-5632
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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S APril 2017 ♦ Volume 97 ♦ Number 4
F E AT U R E S
Knights From the East Eastern Catholic K of C councils across North America bear witness to the universality of the Church. BY JOHN BURGER
13 On Pilgrimage to Washington K of C councils make faith-filled pilgrimages to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. BY ZOEY MARAIST
18 In Service to Survivors An interview with Dr. Zuzana Dudová, director of K of C-supported medical clinics in Iraq. BY COLUMBIA STAFF
22 The Age of Noise If we are to live as citizens of heaven, we must seek silence and contemplation amid the world’s distractions. BY BISHOP JAMES D. CONLEY
24 Testimonies of Grace Sisters share stories of how God’s presence touched young hearts at the K of C Mercy Centre in Kraków.
An icon depicts Christ, surrounded by divine light, descending into Hades and pulling Adam and Eve from their tombs.
BY SISTERS OF LIFE
D E PA RT M E N T S 3
Building a better world
In the many writings of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Church has been given a theological treasure. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON
Photo by Godong / Alamy Stock Photo
Learning the faith, living the faith The saving power of Christ’s love is shared with the world in and through the Church.
28 Knights in Action
Pope Francis Meets With Supreme Knight • Order Supports Church Bombing Victims in Egypt
Knights of Columbus News
Fathers for Good We can defeat efforts to legalize assisted suicide with education and love. BY PETER WOLFGANG
BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI
PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month
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Look to the East IN THE CHILDREN’S novel The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, a group led by King Caspian of Narnia sails on a dangerous quest to the far eastern end of the world. In this fantasy, one of Caspian’s bravest and most loyal knights, a talking mouse named Reepicheep, is especially anxious to make the journey because of what he believes lies at the end. “I expect to find Aslan’s own country,” Reepicheep proclaims. “It is always from the east, across the sea, that the great Lion comes to us.” Like the other books in the Narnia series, Dawn Treader is rich in Christian symbolism. In Narnia, Aslan is Christ, and his coming from the east is far from an arbitrary detail. For example, in the Old Testament, “The glory of the LORD entered the temple by way of the gate facing east” (Ez 43:4). After the birth of Jesus, the wise men proclaimed, “We have seen his star in the east [at its rising], and have come to worship him” (Mt 2:2). The Second Coming, too, will follow this pattern: “For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Mt 24:27). Moreover, the symbol of the rising sun has always been associated with Christ, whom sacred tradition refers to with titles like Morning Star, Sun of Righteousness and Dayspring (cf. Lk 1:78, Mal 4:2). As St. John of Damascus, a seventh-century Eastern Church Father, wrote, “It is not without reason or by chance that we worship toward the East.” Indeed, for most of the Church’s history, church buildings have, whenever
possible, been built facing east, and the priest has celebrated the Eucharist facing the same direction as the congregation — ad orientem (to the east) — in anticipation of Christ’s coming. In his 1995 apostolic letter Orientale Lumen (Light of the East), St. John Paul II observed that this expectation of Jesus’ return is even more pronounced in the Eastern Churches, whose “liturgy, in particular, is a commemoration of salvation and an invocation of the Lord’s return” (8). John Paul II further reflected on the unity that existed during the entire first millennium of Christianity, before the Great Schism of the 11th century separated the Western (Latin) Church and the East. Still today, many Eastern Catholic Churches preserve full communion with Rome (see page 8). And many of their members are among those suffering persecution for their faith in the Middle East. This year, Easter Sunday falls on the same day in both the West and the East. (Given to the complicated traditions of the respective liturgical calendars, this seldom occurs, and it is the last time the dates will coincide until 2034.) As we celebrate together what the Catechism calls the “Feast of feasts” and “Solemnity of solemnities,” it is a privileged opportunity to grow in “mutual understanding and unity” and to celebrate the universality of the Church (cf. CCC, 1169; OL, 24).♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR
CIS Resource: Eastern Christians and Their Churches Eastern Christians and Their Churches (#342) by Jesuit Father Steven Hawkes-Teeples provides a clear overview of main traditions or “ways of life” in Eastern Christianity and the Eastern Catholic Churches that developed out of them. Part of the Veritas Booklet Series published by the Order’s Catholic Information Service, this booklet also explains the key historical, liturgical and spiritual influences of Eastern Christianity. To download or order this resource, visit kofc.org/cis. 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
COLUMBIA PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus ________ SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN Patrick E. Kelly DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT Michael J. O’Connor SUPREME SECRETARY Ronald F. Schwarz SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski EDITOR Andrew J. Matt MANAGING EDITOR Anna M. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com INTERNET kofc.org/columbia ________ 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 Christ the crucified high priest, the Redeemer of Man, is depicted on the mosaic behind the altar of the Redemptor Hominis Church at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.
COVER: Photo by Peter Škrlep/Tamino Petelinsek
E D I TO R I A L
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A Roadmap for Evangelization In the many writings of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Church has been given a theological treasure by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson THIS APRIL 16 will mark a special event in the life of the Catholic Church: the 90th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Since the early 1980s, I have had the privilege of meeting him on many occasions. As vice president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, I arranged for him to visit Washington, D.C., while he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He gave a lecture to the faculty and students of the institute and of the Dominican House of Studies. In 2005, I was honored to be appointed by President George W. Bush as one of three members of the official U.S. delegation attending Pope Benedict’s inaugural Mass. While meeting Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and later Pope Benedict XVI was always an extraordinary event, it was encountering his writings that was truly life-changing. Ever profound and often prophetic, even the works he wrote in the 1960s remain contemporary today — especially books such as Introduction to Christianity and The God of Jesus Christ. Altogether, he has written 68 books, three encyclicals, three apostolic exhortations and thousands of lectures, homilies and meditations. Speaking to university students in Munich, Cardinal Ratzinger said that while many struggle with the question of whether God exists, the more pressing question is: What precisely does Christianity bring new into the world after 2,000 years of
history? In other words, what difference does belief in Jesus Christ make in the reality of our lives? The answer to that question rings through nearly half a century of scholarship by Cardinal Ratzinger, one of the great theologians and bishops of the Catholic Church. One of the mysteries — and some might say tragedies — of Christianity in our time is how so many Europeans ignored or discounted this theological and magisterial treasure, especially during those decades when Christianity dramatically declined on that continent. Not only were his books, such as Introduction to Christianity, truly prophetic but they also provided a theological roadmap for the new evangelization. It was fitting that the last synod of bishops over which Pope Benedict presided was convened on the topic “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.” His three papal encyclicals — Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love), Spe Salvi (In Hope We Are Saved) and Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) — remain pillars that will support Catholic faith for decades. In the introduction of Deus Caritas Est, Benedict succinctly summarized the ethos for a new evangelization: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” He also summarized its methodology: “Since God has first loved us, love is now no
longer a mere ‘command’; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us.” This year, the birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict falls on Easter Sunday. He has asked for no special recognition for himself on that day — nothing should detract from our celebration and profession of the Lord’s resurrection. But while honoring his request, perhaps all of us can take a minute on Easter Sunday to thank the Lord for this holy priest, bishop and pope whose life’s work has brought millions closer to Him whose resurrection we celebrate. In doing so, may we also remember these words of Pope Benedict: “Intent on gathering the signs of the times in the present of history, faith commits every one of us to become a living sign of the presence of the Risen Lord in the world. What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end.” May the example of Pope Emeritus Benedict inspire each of us to strive to be a more “credible witness” to the One who draws near to us in love. Vivat Jesus!
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‘A Burning Furnace of Charity’ The saving power of Christ’s love is shared with the world in and through the Church by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori SOME YEARS AGO, I offered Sun- sent by the Father to redeem us from day Mass at an old urban parish. The our sins. Jesus took our sins upon day was cold, and the church was himself and laid down his life on the colder. “Be mercifully brief!” my cross. He then rose from the dead, guardian angel told me as I climbed overcoming our sins and opening for The fire of love burning in the heart the stairs to the pulpit. In fact, as I us the way to everlasting life. So ar- of Christ reaches us principally in preached I could see my breath. dent is the love of the Savior’s heart and through the Church. As the After Mass, I asked the pastor why that it is sometimes described as “a Catechism of the Catholic Church the church was so cold. “Was it the burning furnace of charity.” This teaches, “The Church is born primaboiler?” I wanted to know. “No,” he means that his heart is perpetually on rily of Christ’s total self-giving for said, “the boiler is fairly new. I had fire with merciful love for you and our salvation” (766). The redeeming it checked and it’s working presence and love of Christ cirefficiently.” culates through all the memHe went on to explain that bers of the Church gathered Our first principle is charity — the real problem was the disfrom every race and nation. an extension of that burning love The Church is so closely tribution system. The pipes and valves that were supposed which Christ has for each person, joined to Christ that it is called to carry the hot water from the Body of Christ, and it is the boiler to the radiators and described as the “wondrous without exception. distribute the heat evenly sacrament” that came forth throughout the building were from Jesus’ side as he hung on not in working order. As you might me. He offers himself continually the cross. imagine, the cost of fixing that sys- and totally, and his love is stronger And through the seven sacratem was pretty steep. than our sins and more powerful than ments, Christ’s love is extended all I recently remembered that con- death itself. over the world and in every era of versation while I was sitting in my As baptized Catholics, we rejoice history. Scripture tells us that blood chapel, and it occurred to me that in this saving love of our Savior, and water flowed from the side of this old story might have a deeper Jesus Christ. Truly his heart is “a Christ when it was pierced by the meaning. It’s this deeper meaning I burning furnace of charity” for the soldier’s lance. Water represents the would like to share with you, espe- entire world. But how does the ar- sacraments of baptism and penance. cially in these days when we most dent love of Jesus, poured out upon Blood preeminently represents the solemnly celebrate the death and res- the cross and revealed in its power by sacrament and sacrifice of the Euurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. the resurrection, make its way to our charist we share in at holy Mass. own hearts? To put it another way, THE BODY OF CHRIST what is the “distribution system” by CIRCULATING LOVE As we take part in the beautiful litur- which Jesus’ love circulates through- In his design for the Church, the gies of Holy Week, the truth and re- out the Church and warms the world Lord willed to use frail and fallible ality of God’s saving love should around her? human beings as part of his distriburesonate in our hearts. We celebrate It might be said that the Church tion system. He entrusted his misthe immense love of Jesus who was herself is that distribution system. sion to the Apostles and to their 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
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successors, and every Christian, whatever his or her state of life or vocation, is called to circulate the love of Christ in a world where there is so much suffering and indifference. What a privilege to be a part of this living mystery! It is also the human element in this distribution system that often breaks down. Those of us charged with preaching the Gospel and celebrating the sacraments can lose our zeal. Those charged with maintaining the domestic church and transmitting the faith from one generation to the
POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/Paul Haring — KARL OF AUSTRIA: Photo Courtesy of the Gebetsliga, The Emperor Karl League of Prayer. EmperorCharles.org
H O LY FAT H E R ’ S P R AY E R I N T E N T I O N
Offered in Solidarity with Pope Francis YOUNG PEOPLE: That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
next can succumb to temptation and discouragement. Believers sometimes give scandal, causing people to lose or abandon their faith. Yet nothing is lacking in the furnace of charity that burns for our salvation. Breakdowns, when they occur, are due to our lack of connection to Christ. We should think of the Knights of Columbus as an important part of the Church’s distribution system. Our first principle is charity — an extension of that burning love which Christ has for each person, without exception. The strength and beauty
of the charity we are called to practice lie not merely in its massive scope or in the many forms it takes. Rather, our charity is a way of extending and circulating the love of Christ, especially for the poor, the needy, the widow, the orphan and the vulnerable. So as you engage in the charitable works of the Order, consider yourself part of the Church’s “distribution system.” By our zeal and enthusiasm for charity and service, let us help keep that system in good repair!♦
C AT H O L I C M A N O F T H E M O N T H
Blessed Karl of Austria (1887-1922) THE ELDER SON of Archduke Otto of Austria and Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony, Karl was born Aug. 17, 1887. His great uncle, Franz Joseph, was the Austro-Hungarian Emperor at the time. Largely influenced by his devout mother, Karl received a strong Catholic education and developed a lifelong love of the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. After high school, Karl entered the army and served as an officer in Bohemia. In 1911, he married Princess Zita of Bourbon and Parma, and they were eventually blessed with eight children. The couple had a happy marriage and joyfully taught their children the prayers and precepts of the Church. Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, Karl suddenly became first in line to the imperial throne. The outbreak of World War I thrust him into military service on the Galician front, where he witnessed the horrors of trench warfare. With the death of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1916, Karl ascended the throne at age 29. With limited political experience, Karl (also known as Charles I) was en-
trusted with the care of the dissolving Hapsburg monarchy on the cusp of the Russian Revolution in 1917. Committed to peace, he was the sole European statesman to support Pope Benedict XV’s call for a “peace without victory.” He also created programs to assist industrial workers, families and the needy. After the armistice in 1918, Karl was compelled to renounce participation in government affairs, though he refused to abdicate. In 1921, he was banished to the Portuguese island of Madeira, where he fell gravely ill the next year. Karl died with his wife by his side April 1, 1922, while calling on the name of Jesus. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004.♦
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Pope Francis Meets With Supreme Knight POPE FRANCIS received Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson in a private audience at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican Feb. 16. During their visit, the supreme knight discussed the work of the Order and presented the Holy Father with annual earnings from the Knights’ Vicarius Christi Fund, which will support the pope’s personal charities and causes. The supreme knight talked with Pope Francis about ongoing efforts related to the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund, Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish and the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative. He also shared with the Holy Father the Novena of Grace and Solidarity, which Knights have been invited to pray for persecuted Christians throughout the world.♦
GIVEN THE ONGOING needs of those affected by the bombing of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral complex in Cairo on Dec. 11, 2016, the Supreme Council has donated $75,000 to support the families of victims. ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide bomber’s attack in St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, which killed 29 people, mostly women and children, and injured 47 others. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson spoke to Coptic Orthodox Bishop Anba Angaelos of the United Kingdom shortly after the bombing to arrange support for the families and communities impacted by the tragic event. “The Knights of Columbus is honored to assist those affected by this terrible and tragic crime,” the supreme knight said. “Even long after events like those of Dec. 11, the physical and emotional scars of such calamities continue to affect the victims, and it is our hope that these funds will help to heal those who have had to endure this assault. It is also our hope that this donation will highlight the solidarity we feel with our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt. Their courage in persevering in the faith despite such attacks inspires us in our own faith, and while we are horrified by the attack, we are also deeply grateful for the Christian witness of forgiveness shown by those affected.” Expressing gratitude for the donation, Bishop Angaelos said, “On behalf of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark and the Coptic Orthodox Church, we are very thankful for the generosity of the Knights of Columbus and grateful for 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
A nun cries as she stands inside St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Dec. 11 after an explosion inside the cathedral complex in Cairo. A bomb ripped through the complex, killing 29 people and wounding dozens, mostly women and children. our ongoing relationship with them. Having worked closely with Supreme Knight Anderson and the Knights of Columbus in March 2016 on the campaign to highlight the genocide of Christians in the Middle East, we know that there is much that can be achieved when we stand together to witness for those persecuted around the world, whether in Egypt or elsewhere.” To donate to the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund, visit christiansatrisk.org.♦
TOP: L’Osservatore Romano – EGYPT: CNS photo/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters
Order Supports Church Bombing Victims in Egypt
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True Compassion We can defeat efforts to legalize assisted suicide with education and love by Peter Wolfgang
he campaign to legalize physician-assisted suicide is wellfunded and politically connected. It plays on the fears many people have of spending their final years in pain, hooked up to a machine. As defenders of life, we must be prepared to turn back this attack on the elderly and disabled by learning what assisted suicide is and what true death with dignity entails. After all, in due time, each of us must face the emotional issues surrounding death — including that of our parents, family members and ultimately ourselves. Legalizing assisted suicide licenses doctors to prescribe lethal drugs and grants legal immunity to the people who help a person kill himself. Advocates seek to legalize the procedure by cloaking it in popular notions of personal autonomy — “My Life, My Death, My Choice” — and by spreading the false perception that multitudes of people are dying in intractable pain. With these talking points, the death lobby moves from state to state. Changing its name from the “Hemlock Society” to the Orwellian “Compassion & Choices,” it has already successfully worked for legal assisted suicide in five states. It is targeting an additional nine states this year, with a special focus on Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. Yet my own experience shows that the lobby can be defeated by presenting accurate information to lawmakers and voters. The organization which I run, the Family Institute of Connecticut, is part of a coalition that turned away efforts to legalize assisted suicide in our state for the past four years. Our success in Connecticut provides a useful template for other states. Here are four key points: Write letters. One of the simplest and best things we all can do is to write to newspapers and elected officials, asking them where they stand on the issue and expressing our own views. Work across political lines. Our most effective allies are people with disabilities and advocates against elder abuse, including people who may disagree with us on other issues. A broad coalition can make a more persuasive argument to voters and decision-makers that assisted suicide is bad pub-
lic policy which puts vulnerable populations at risk. The potential victims of assisted suicide can speak with more credibility about the pressure they would face to prematurely end their lives when the “right to die” morphs inevitably into a “duty to die.” Refute arguments. Don’t let advocates get away with claiming that a person killing himself with the help of others is something other than assisted suicide. Don’t let them say that the issue is “pain” or “choice,” or that there are no abuses in states where assisted suicide has been legalized. Informative resources can be found at the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (usccb.org), under Pro-Life Activities. Argue against the specific bill. Even legislators or voters who may favor assisted suicide as a concept can be persuaded that a particular bill or ballot initiative would make bad law. Common-sense questions may get people to think twice and have rightly stopped assisted-suicide measures in the past. For example, can one of the witnesses to assisted suicide be a beneficiary to the will? How are the lethal drugs to be disposed of so children don’t harm themselves? What if the drugs don’t work and the person lives or is rendered disabled? Is the doctor prescribing lethal drugs required to have a long-term relationship with the patient or competence in psychology? Are state officials required to lie on the death certificate by describing the manner of death as “natural”? Most people who opt for assisted suicide where it is legal do not do so because they are in pain, and very few are referred to a psychologist to be treated for possible depression. In our own states, we must support true end-of-life care that includes adequate pain management as well as spiritual and personal accompaniment of ill and elderly persons that is best expressed in love. We must stand against a false compassion that replaces caring with killing.♦ PETER WOLFGANG is executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut (ctfamily.org) and a member of Fathers Duggan-Zebris Council 13424 in Waterbury, Conn.
FIND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND RESOURCES FOR CATHOLIC MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES AT FATHERSFORGOOD. ORG .
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THE EAST Eastern Catholic K of C councils across North America bear witness to the universality of the Church by John Burger
s a deacon moved around the sanctuary, incensing the altar and icons, the choir chanted in Arabic. The music was in a minor tone, but the joy was palpable. “Peace be with the Church and her children,” Bishop Gregory Mansour chanted in Arabic as part of the opening rites. The word for peace — “salaam” — might have stood out to the ears of a visitor. Bishop Mansour is the head of the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, N.Y., one of two jurisdictions of Maronite Catholics in the United States. On Feb. 19, he celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Waterbury, Conn. To those gathered, he said, “I think God gave us the Maronite Church to serve as a bridge between East and West, and so many diverse peoples of the Middle East.” Among the parishioners were many members of Knights of Columbus Council 42, which was reinstituted in 2014 as St. Maron Council 42. Inspired by the story of Father Michael J. McGivney, a native son of Waterbury, council members have seen the Knights as a way to make a greater difference in their community and beyond. When founding the Knights of Columbus, Father McGivney was very familiar with the lives of immigrant families. But he probably never anticipated that, 135 years later, the Order would count scores of councils representing diverse parish communities that have preserved their unique heritage as Eastern Catholics.
three main liturgical “branches.” These Eastern Churches total some 18 million members, or about 1.5 percent of the Catholic Church worldwide. History, theological wrestling, geography, politics, language and culture have together yielded a variety of liturgical expressions, spiritualities and religious practices in the Catholic Church (see sidebar). In the Americas, early explorers, settlers and missionaries brought their predominantly Western or Latin Catholicism with them. But beginning in the 19th century, Catholic immigrants from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia established parishes where the Mass took very different forms. In recent decades, especially since the Second Vatican Council, popes and bishops have drawn attention to the importance of Eastern liturgical and spiritual traditions and have called on the Church to breathe with “both lungs,” Eastern and Western. “We’re the same. The only difference is the rite used at the Mass,” said Camille J. Atallah, subdeacon of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church and a member of Council 42. Notably, not everybody in the parish or council is Maronite. There are also Roman Catholics, and Melkites such as Grand Knight Charles Shaker, whose parents were born in Lebanon. Overall, the council has strong ties to the Middle East, and members are very conscious of current events there, including the plight of Christians persecuted by Islamic State militants. Together with
LEBANON IN WATERBURY The Catholic Church is often referred to as “Roman.” Yet that term does not reflect the full breadth of the Catholic Church, which includes nearly two dozen other Churches that stem from
Grand Knight Loran Chrusch (right) of St. Josaphat Kunsevich Council 13129 stands with council chaplain Father André Lalach and Past Grand Knight David Rybinski in Dormition of the Blessed Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
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Photo by Tammy Zdunich
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another Maronite parish in Connecticut, Council 42 held a coat drive in January for refugees and others in need in Lebanon. The chance to help Christian refugees is “an inspiration for us to become part of this personally,” said Atallah, who served in the Lebanese Christian army during the country’s civil war in the 1980s. “You have to practice what you preach,” the subdeacon continued. “Whatever you receive from the Church, as the Word of God, you have to practically do it in your daily life. So the K of C is like a little bridge to help us practice what we believe.” In addition, members take seriously their call to be the “strong right arm” of the Church and their parish priest. “If the priest needs something,” Atallah said, “he can reach out to the council, and the Knights are always ready to help.” FAMILY MATTERS IN SASKATCHEWAN As the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy (Diocese) of Saskatoon, Canada, Bishop Bryan Joseph Bayda, C.Ss.R, sees the Order’s emphasis on the formation of families as vital. “In this focus on family, the Knights are very much supports for the bishops and the clergy and the Holy Father,” Bishop Bayda said. “To strengthen the family is a priority of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as well.” Bishop Bayda, 55, is a member of Sheptytsky Council 4938 in Saskatoon. His eparchy was established in 1956, in the
heartland of a nation that had recruited Ukrainian peasants to settle and farm in the early 20th century. The eparchy covers about 651,000 square kilometers, but the current population of Ukrainian Catholics is only about 6,200 souls. The 29 active priests cover four to six parishes each on average, so they do a lot of driving. One example of a growing Ukrainian parish is Dormition of the Blessed Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church in Saskatoon. Among the approximately 100 families who attend the parish, there are more than 100 children, many under age five. Loran Chrusch, 52, is grand knight and a founding member of St. Josaphat Kunsevich Council 13129, which is based at the parish. Founded in 2002, the council has more than 50 members. “It’s a vibrant parish now because of our pastor, Father André Lalach,” Chrusch said. “Most parishioners are secondor third-generation Ukrainians, with a couple recently arriving from Ukraine. Our liturgy is mostly in English. Father says a number of the prayers in Ukrainian to keep some of the traditions. There’s a Ukrainian bilingual school across the street, which a lot of the young people go to.” Council 13129 regularly conducts fundraisers, and five members serve on the parish council. As the Maronite Church helps Christians in the Middle East, Ukrainians in Canada
K OF C COUNCILS AND THE EASTERN CHURCHES WHILE MOST Knights of Columbus councils are associated with Roman Catholic parishes, there are some 100 councils in the United States and Canada comprised of members who belong to Eastern Catholic parishes and traditions. Below is a brief overview of some Eastern Catholic Churches, with the number of K of C councils associated with them indicated in parentheses. • The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (37) is the largest of the Byzantine Catholic Churches and traces its history to the year 988. This Church is headed by a major archbishop, currently His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, a member of St. Volodymyr Council 15800 in Kyiv. It shares the same liturgy as the Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox and Ruthenian Catholic Churches, among others. • The Maronite Catholic Church (23) is headed by a patriarch, currently Cardinal Bechara Peter Rai, and traces 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
its history to the fourth-century St. Maron. Predominantly Lebanese, the Church follows a religious tradition from Antioch and has always maintained communion with Rome. • The Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church (20) developed in an area of Central Europe known as Transcarpathia. Agreements during the 17th and 18th centuries brought CarpathoRusyns into union with Rome. In the United States, it is known simply as the Byzantine Catholic Church. • The Chaldean Catholic Church (9) is led by Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, based in Baghdad and known as an advocate for the beleaguered Christians in Iraq. The Church’s roots are in the Assyrian Church of the East. • The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (4) is the second-largest Eastern Catholic Church. Its head is a major archbishop, currently Cardinal
George Alencherry in Kerala, India. St. Thomas the Apostle is said to have evangelized western India, and “St. Thomas Christians” of India share liturgical, theological, spiritual and other ecclesiastical traditions with the East Syrian Church. • The Melkite Greek Catholic Church (3) traces its history back to the 17th-century missionary activity in the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. It is headed by Patriarch Gregory III (Laham) in Lebanon. The Maronites and Melkites are the largest Catholic communities in the Middle East. • The Syriac Catholic Church (1) sprang from evangelization among the Syrian Orthodox in the 17th century. Based in Beirut, Lebanon, the current patriarch is Ignatius Joseph III Younan, a member of St. Rose of Lima Council 6209 in Union City, N.J., where he once served as a priest and bishop.♦
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Photo by Mike Ross Photography
Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron in Brooklyn, N.Y., visits with members of St. Maron Council 42 after celebrating the Divine Liturgy at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Waterbury, Conn., Feb. 19. cannot ignore the situation “back home,” where Ukraine is fighting a Russia-backed insurgency in the east. “Some of our parishioners have sent food and equipment to the troops in Eastern Ukraine,” Bishop Bayda said. “I arranged for schoolchildren in Canada to paint icons of Our Lady of Perpetual Help with writing in English and Ukrainian and on a couple of occasions took several hundred icons to Ukraine to bring to hospitals, orphans and widows.” The eparchy has also delivered wheelchairs, walkers and canes to Ukraine through the Saskatchewan Knights of Columbus and the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation. ANCIENT CHURCH IN THE NEW WORLD The Syro-Malabar Church, based in Kerala, a state in southern India, proudly holds up St. Thomas the Apostle as its founder. And the K of C council at St. Alphonsa Church in
Loganville, Ga., has taken his name as well. “The faith of ‘St. Thomas Christians’ has survived trials and tribulations for 2,000 years,” explained Joseph J. Michael, past grand knight and a founding member of St. Thomas Council 14350, which was chartered in 2007. “Our council members have become bearers of that faith within the fabric of the Knights of Columbus.” In the 1970s and 1980s, as the Church in the United States experienced a vocations crisis, many priests from India came to serve in Catholic parishes, Michael said. “Then came a lot of migration from Kerala,” he added, noting that many immigrants were well-educated, especially in health professions. Michael, who has a degree in economics from one of the oldest Catholic schools in Kerala, came to Atlanta in the 1990s to pursue a career in computer science. He met his APRIL 2017
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Joseph Michael, past grand knight of St. Thomas Council 14350 in Loganville, Ga., is pictured with Missionaries of Charity Sister Edwarda at Gift of Grace House, a home for indigent women suffering from AIDS, in Atlanta. The council periodically offers charitable support to the house.
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fish fry that has a particular Indian flavor to it: The fish is marinated with spices from the Malabar Coast. A portion of the proceeds are earmarked for the Order’s Christian Refugee Relief Fund. “The seeds of Christianity were sown all over the world, and it’s amazing to see how they have sprouted and survived so many different kingdoms and wars and persecutions,” Michael said. “As St. Thomas Christians in the 21st century, we are all called to evangelize by sharing the faith through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.” In living out this mission, such Catholic communities throughout North America, aided by their respective Knights of Columbus councils, are a striking reminder of the catholicity — that is, the universality — of Christ’s Church.♦ JOHN BURGER is news editor of Aleteia.org and a member of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Council 16253 in New Haven, Conn.
Photo by Hales Photo
wife — also an immigrant — through St. Alphonsa Parish 13 years ago. In 2001, Pope John Paul II had erected the diocese of St. Thomas of Chicago of the Syro-Malabars, the Church’s first diocese outside India. The diocese now has 34 parishes and a number of missions. “When our parish was formed as a mission, I was attending the local (Roman) Catholic church and was involved in the Knights of Columbus there,” Michael said. Jos Kannukkaden, now grand knight of Council 14350, later served as the architect of a new Syro-Malabar church, which the Knights helped to finance in 2006. Since that time, the parish has continued to increase in numbers and is already outgrowing the building. “We have a thriving council and are now implementing the Building the Domestic Church program,” Michael said. The council’s charitable work includes assisting the Missionaries of Charity in Atlanta and running an annual Lenten
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On Pilgrimage to Washington K of C councils make faith-filled pilgrimages to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine by Zoey Maraist
Photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann
hroughout the history of the Church, Christians have number of councils and other K of C-led groups are organizleft the comfort of their homes to seek places that would ing pilgrimages to the shrine, including more than 25 in the bring them closer to God, whether it be the land where Jesus first several months of 2017. walked, the burial place of an apostle or a site where the Blessed Mother appeared. Each pilgrim has his or her own A PLACE OF BEAUTY AND PEACE reason for going — perhaps to pray for healing or peace, or In addition to a host of historic buildings, iconic memorials simply to spend time on hallowed ground. Whatever the and museums, Washington features a number of Catholic pilcase, the combination of the grimage sites. The Saint John journey, the sights and the Paul II National Shrine is losacraments provide a powerful cated a short distance from experience of God’s living presplaces like the Basilica of the ence in the world. National Shrine of the ImmacuFor the past several years, as late Conception, the Franciscan Knights and other parishioners Monastery of the Holy Land in in New Jersey have trekked to America, and the Ukrainian Washington, D.C., for the anCatholic National Shrine of the nual March for Life, they have Holy Family. also made a pilgrimage to the Last October, more than 100 Saint John Paul II National parishioners of St. Louis Church Shrine. in West Haven, Conn., traveled “A pilgrimage of any kind, to Washington on pilgrimage. whether it be a grand adventure According to Rich Antosca, across the world or a four-hour treasurer of Father Curtin Counbus trip, allows us to focus on cil 2541, they visited many of key aspects of our faith — to the city’s sites, but it was the renew commitments to penance, Saint John Paul II National to sacrifice and to prayer,” said Shrine that kept his fellow pilSteven M. Picciano of Holy grims talking long after they left. A bronze statue of Pope John Paul II by artist Chas Fagan Family Council 14712 in Nut“The shrine really made me stands outside the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. The ley, N.J. proud to be a Knight of Columstatue was unveiled Oct. 22, 2016. But not every pilgrimage, he bus,” he said. added, provides such a priviUpon arrival, visitors are welleged opportunity to reflect on, comed into a rotunda that and introduce a new generation to, the legacy of St. John opens to the Redemptor Hominis Church at the heart of the Paul II’s life and historic 26-year papacy. shrine. The church, which seats more than 500 and was Since 2011, when Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson first named for John Paul II’s first encyclical, was completed in the announced that the Knights of Columbus would establish a fall of 2015, as was the Luminous Mysteries Chapel, a smaller shrine dedicated to John Paul II, the site has continued to de- space that prominently features a relic of the late pope. velop and become a popular place of devotion. A growing Stunning mosaics designed by Jesuit Father Marko Ivan
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Above: Knights from St. Augustine Council 15723 in Washington, D.C., are pictured during their council’s pilgrimage to the shrine in December 2016. Above right: Father Lee R. Roos, chaplain of George Brent Council 5332 in Manassas, Va., talks to council members and their families about the mosaics in the Luminous Mysteries Chapel. 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Rupnik adorn the walls of both worship spaces. Installed with the assistance of a community of artists in Rome, Father Rupnik’s work can be found at shrines and chapels throughout the world, including at the Vatican, Lourdes and even the Holy Family Chapel at the Knights of Columbus headquarters. The distinctive artistic style features wide-eyed figures and utilizes a variety of materials, such as cracked pieces of marble, coarse stones and smooth strips of brightly painted glass. Father Lee R. Roos, chaplain of George Brent Council 5332 in Manassas, Va., said that the simple but theologically resonant artwork brings greater meaning to those who attend Mass at the shrine. “These mosaics help us enter visually into what we hear proclaimed in the Gospel,” said Father Roos, who celebrated Mass in the Luminous Mysteries Chapel for some 50 Knights and family members who traveled to the shrine on pilgrimage Feb. 18. “The artist has a way of expression that sheds new light on
Photos by Jaclyn Lippelmann
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Photo by Matthew Barrick
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the encounter with Jesus,” Father Roos explained. As a gift from the shrine, each of the pilgrims then received a small metal crucifix based on the design of John Paul II’s crosier, which they had the opportunity to touch to the similarly designed reliquary attached to the chapel’s altar. Among several other councils making pilgrimages to the shrine Feb. 18 was Keane Council 353, located just a few miles away at Nativity Catholic Church in Washington. James F. Young Jr., a member of Council 353, said the beauty of the chapels and of the entire building makes it a special place to worship. “All of the mosaics — they’re outstanding and gorgeous. My first visit here I didn’t want to leave,” he said. “You can just feel the spirituality of this building. You just feel a peace.” SAINTHOOD ON DISPLAY During his nearly three decades as bishop of Rome, Pope John Paul II inspired millions with his joyful witness to Christ.
Today, the shrine’s permanent exhibit, “A Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II,” allows pilgrims to reflect on his teachings and holy example, from his upbringing in Poland to his final days on earth. Located on the shrine’s lower level, the 16,000-square-foot exhibit, which opened Oct. 22, 2014, features 10 galleries with photos, videos, artifacts and interactive displays. During Council 14712’s annual visit to the shrine coinciding with the March for Life, Picciano witnessed how teenage students respond to the exhibit. Although too young to remember him, the young people gained an appreciation for John Paul II, including his work to promote the culture of life. “Still today, people grow closer to the Church and more in tune with the faith because of the witness of John Paul II,” Picciano said. Each time he visits the shrine, Robert Hatler, state secretary of New Jersey and a member of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus APRIL 2017
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Council 3644 in Wallington, is reminded of the pope’s courageous role in fighting communism and his heart for young people, shown prominently in the World Youth Day memorabilia and informative touch-screen displays. During his most recent visit, Hatler focused on the shrine’s temporary exhibit “God’s Servant First: The Life and Legacy of Thomas More.” That exhibit, which concluded March 31, proved to be an eye-opening “history lesson” for many of the Knights, Hatler said. Like the John Paul II exhibit, it offered pilgrims a heroic example of Christian faith. Stephen Hawkins, a past grand knight of Council 353, found the replica of More’s cell in the Tower of London to be especially poignant. On the cell wall was displayed a prayer that More penned while he awaited execution. “It’s amazing how he still had a chance to do God’s work,” said Hawkins. The wealth of inspiration and information found in the shrine’s exhibits provides ample reason to return, as many groups do.
The shrine also offers a wide array of programs, talks and special events for more frequent visitors. For example, the shrine regularly hosts Domestic Church Day events for families and engaged couples, and Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy lead an Evening of the Merciful Jesus on the 22nd of every month (see sidebar). Whether they live in the Washington area or travel great distances, visitors experience the joy of being a pilgrim — coming to a sacred place in order to draw near to God. As for the K of C pilgrims visiting in February, some said they scheduled the trip in preparation for Lent. Others noted that what they learned at the shrine was an invaluable complement to the homilies preached in church each Sunday. Still others said they came to connect with fellow Knights and parishioners. In Hatler’s words, a pilgrimage to the shrine puts one’s life in better perspective. “When you walk out, you feel very much inspired,” he said. “That stays with you for a long time.”♦ ZOEY MARAIST is a reporter for the Arlington Catholic Herald.
THE MINISTRY OF MERCY IN NOVEMBER 2016, two members of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Kraków, Poland, were sent to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., to assist with the shrine’s ministry to pilgrims. Sister Donata Farbaniec and Sister Gaudia Skass — both natives of Poland — together with a small community of sisters in Boston are the only members of the congregation living in North America. Founded in Poland in 1862, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy are inspired by the Divine Mercy message received by their spiritual co-foundress, St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), who entered the congregation in 1925. In addition to Poland and the United States, the congregation is currently present in Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Brazil and Israel. Columbia recently spoke with Sister Donata and Sister Gaudia about their work at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Sister Donata Farbaniec and Sister Gaudia Skass of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy are pictured outside the Redemptor Hominis Church at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine.
Photos by Jaclyn Lippelmann
An interview with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine
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Knights and family members from Father Peter Paul Maher Council 6793 in Silver Spring, Md., admire artifacts in the shrine’s permanent exhibit titled “Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II.”
COLUMBIA: How did the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy become associated with the Knights of Columbus? SISTER GAUDIA: We met the Knights of Columbus in Kraków, at the Divine Mercy Shrine. I remember we were very impressed by this first meeting. The Knights offered help with preparations for World Youth Day. Then we started working together on the film The Face of Mercy, and we continued collaborating on other projects. During a short period of time a lot of good has happened. COLUMBIA: What is the relationship between your congregation’s charism of mercy and St. John Paul II? SISTER DONATA: For us, St. John Paul II is the Pope of Mercy. We think that the deepest current in his life and teaching was the spirituality of Divine Mercy. SISTER GAUDIA: He wrote the very first official document of the Church devoted entirely to Divine Mercy: the beautiful encyclical Dives in Misericordia. He established the Divine Mercy Sunday for the whole Church and also beatified and canonized Sister Faustina Kowalska. And the fact that he died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday and that his beatification and canonization were both celebrated
on Divine Mercy Sunday seem to be unmistakable signs of the times. COLUMBIA: How does your presence complement the mission of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine? SISTER GAUDIA: We understand our presence in the shrine as a continuation of St. John Paul II’s mission to spread the message of Divine Mercy — the message about God whose love is greater than we can imagine. SISTER DONATA: St. John Paul II called the message of mercy the message of hope for our times. We believe that this shrine, which attracts more and more people from faraway places, is a special place where people find new hope, which has the power to change their lives. COLUMBIA: What are some of the ways that you share the message of Divine Mercy with pilgrims? SISTER DONATA: Every day, we lead the prayer at the Hour of Mercy at 3 p.m. Once a month, we meet with young people during the Evenings with the Merciful Jesus, which are becoming more and more popular. This is a very special time of adoration with praise and worship, followed by fellowship that gives young
people an opportunity to share their faith. The talks we give during these evenings help all of us to come to know better the face of our merciful God. SISTER GAUDIA: It is also our joy to share the message of mercy by giving talks to the pilgrims who come to the shrine on daily basis. We greatly value the everyday cooperation with the staff of the shrine, preparing together various events like the Domestic Church Days and WYD Unite. COLUMBIA: What has your experience been like at the shrine so far? SISTER GAUDIA: Our presence in the shrine gives us great opportunities to share the message of mercy, and our time here has already been very fruitful. Many people whom we meet here already live out the message in their lives, but still there are others who hear about the message for the first time and they are deeply touched by it. SISTER DONATA: We are very grateful to the Knights of Columbus for inviting us to participate in the mission of Saint John Paul II National Shrine. It’s a joy for us to work here. With hope we look ahead that our common work will bear an abundant fruit in the Church.♦ APRIL 2017
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In Service to Survivors An interview with Dr. Zuzana Dudová, director of K of C-supported medical clinics in Iraq by Columbia staff
ince August 2014, the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund has raised more than $12 million to aid Christians and other minorities suffering persecution in the Middle East. In the spring of 2015, the fund began providing support for the St. Elizabeth University’s Project for Iraq in Need (STEP-IN) project, a medical initiative that serves Iraqi refugees targeted for genocide by Islamic State militants. The Slovakian-based initiative includes a clinic in Erbil, Iraq, named for Blessed Zdenka Schelingová, as well as a mobile clinic in Dohuk named for Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko. The heroic work of the clinic and its staff, led by Dr. Zuzana Dudová, was featured in the March 2016 issue of Columbia. For this issue, we caught up with Dr. Dudová about the project’s ongoing mission, growth and future plans. To donate to the Knights of Columbus Refugee Relief Fund, visit christiansatrisk.org. 18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
COLUMBIA: With K of C support, you have been able to expand the STEP-IN project’s laboratory clinic in Erbil and purchase more technical equipment (a generator, an ultrasound scanner and electrocardiograph machines). How has this equipment improved the services you provide? DR. DUDOVÁ: The purchase of the generator for the clinic in Erbil has been a true milestone for us, since the supply of electricity in Iraqi Kurdistan is very unreliable. During the winter and summer months, when people use a lot of energy to either heat or cool their houses, state electricity is sometimes available for as little as two hours per day. With the generator, we now have a stable power supply throughout the day, no matter the time of the year. This allows us full access to the laboratory and diagnostic equipment and ensures comfortable conditions for our patients and staff. The new ultrasound scanner and electrocardiograph machines have greatly improved our clinic’s diagnostic capabilities.
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Left: Dr. Pavla Janská, assisted by a nurse translator, receives a displaced family in the K of C-cosponsored STEP-IN clinic in Erbil, Iraq. • Above: Dr. Zuzana Dudová, director of the STEP-IN project’s medical clinics, speaks with patients in Erbil.
Photos courtesy of STEP-IN
We have hired a part-time radiologist who comes once a week to examine patients referred by our general practitioners. In addition, some of our GPs are able to use the ultrasound scanner themselves. Having the ability to perform ultrasonography exams in the clinic speeds up the diagnostic process and makes it more reliable. COLUMBIA: What are some of the unique ways that STEPIN has been able to meet the needs of internally displaced persons? DR. DUDOVÁ: Our psychiatrist, Kateryna Katrashchuk, is from Ukraine. She has been with us for a year and has already helped hundreds of people. In the Dohuk province, there are only four psychiatrists, so she has treated a significant number of previously neglected patients with PTSD, depression and other illnesses. Kate helps us a great deal, frequently taking on the role of GP, but she could sure use a helping hand herself.
Alongside our regular everyday medical consultations, we are also run a “socio-medical support program” using donations that private people send to our project to support what we call “social cases.” These are patients who require special operations, drugs or rehabilitation — or simply people in particularly difficult circumstances. For example, last year a Yazidi woman who had been enslaved by ISIS was freed and given a place in one of the camps. But without any family, she was struggling to make ends meet. We provided her with modest support for the first six months. Another woman’s husband left for Germany some time ago but died before he could bring her and their children there. She is now living in an unfinished building with her nine children and has nobody to care for her. As if that were not enough, she developed a medical condition requiring regular injections. We now cover a part of her medical costs. COLUMBIA: Describe the relationship STEP-IN has developed with the displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil and the Yazidis and others in Dohuk. Has a sense of trust grown over time? DR. DUDOVÁ: Very many patients have told us that our doctors were the first who ever seemed to actually care about them. It is sad that they feel that way, but for us it’s another source of motivation and satisfaction from work well done. We’ve grown to know these people well. When you’re a doctor, you enter into an intimate relationship with the patient. You hear stories from their lives, you learn about their problems and their living situations. You often see them in their APRIL 2017
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Above: Dr. Dudová (second from left) and other members of the STEP-IN medical team visit a displaced Iraqi family in their temporary home. • Left: Dr. Martina Partelova examines a child at a STEP-IN clinic in Darkar camp in northern Iraq.
most vulnerable moments. It creates a special kind of bond in which compassion, responsibility and a sense of duty combine. COLUMBIA: Describe the sense of mission and camaraderie among your colleagues. DR. DUDOVÁ: I have been blessed with great colleagues. They all know why they are here, working hard every day, often going beyond their job description to help our patients and make STEP-IN better. The climate is one of cooperation, mutual respect and understanding the common goal. 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
COLUMBIA: STEP-IN also plans to provide a health care clinic and microbiology lab in the recently liberated town of Qaraqosh. How is this initiative progressing? DR. DUDOVÁ: Newly reclaimed areas like the town of Qaraqosh near Mosul, which was mostly Christian before the arrival of ISIS and has been deserted for over two years, are awaiting the return of the displaced populations. Availability of health care is one of the important factors in making the decision to return. We will soon have another logistics manager coming, this time from France. He will be responsible, among other things, for preparing and running the clinic in Qaraqosh. If the security situation allows, we plan to open a medical clinic there in July, as this is when the original Christian inhabitants are expected to start returning to the city.
Photos courtesy of STEP-IN
Our local paramedics come from different backgrounds. We have Christians, Yazidis and Muslims in our ranks. In the beginning, it was a bit rough. One could sense tension and sometimes even see hostility from the members of the persecuted minorities toward their Muslim colleagues. But today, they all seem to see beyond their differences and manifest not only professionalism but also a sense of duty to the people they serve.
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C OLUMBIA : Do the people whom you serve have a greater sense of hope now that military operations to free Mosul and the Nineveh Plain from ISIS are underway? DR. DUDOVÁ: Surely, with potential defeat of ISIS on the horizon and the liberation of their hometowns, a part of the burden is falling off their hearts. But it does not mean that they are already optimistic about the future. When they return, their houses will be left burned or bombed. There will be no water or electricity, and the towns and villages will require extensive reconstruction before life can return to anything resembling normal. The complex and unstable political landscape of Iraq and the Middle East in general makes the future very uncertain for everyone. COLUMBIA: What are the most acute needs of the internally displaced persons right now? D R . D UDOVÁ : Not to be forgotten and left behind. As the new focus of the big humanitarian actors in Iraq is now, understandably, to help the newly displaced persons affected by the battle for Mosul, the problems of the other IDPs remain unchanged. And they will not be over with the defeat of ISIS. Their lives, shattered in a short moment two and a half years ago, will take many more years, if not forever, to rebuild. COLUMBIA: If you could speak a word to Knights of Columbus and their families, what would you say? DR. DUDOVÁ: Thank you. For all that you are doing in Iraq and all over the world, for your financial support, advocacy, education, social work and all the numerous other things you are doing. And thank you in particular for your support of the STEP-IN project. Without K of C support we wouldn’t be where we are now, and we wouldn’t have been able to help more than 20,000 people in these last two years. Working together brings better results than going alone, and our collaboration in helping the people of Iraq is a fine example of this truth.♦
DOCTORS SPEAK FROM THE HEART THE DEDICATED TEAM of doctors that runs the STEP-IN project’s clinics in northern Iraq work in austere conditions to bring healing and hope to refugees and genocide survivors. Three team members shared some personal reflections about the work they do and the people they serve in Erbil and Dohuk. KATERYNA KATRASHCHUK, psychiatrist from Ukraine I have worked with STEP-IN for almost a year now. At first it seemed impossible — how can a psychiatrist from Europe understand the people of the Middle East? But when you love your work and have excellent translators, they will teach you to see not just with your eyes but also with your heart. Every day I see how refugees and local people are very much like all of us. Among all of them I find people with great challenges, but also those who have hope. So many people lost everything — home, work, car, property, but they have not lost their humanity. Many times I witnessed with humility how the poor help the ones who are even poorer. Our organization is not large, but it allows me to be closer to those who are suffering and those who need our help. And in the words of Mother Teresa, “Not all of us can do great things — but we can do small things with great love.” MARTINA PARTELOVA, pediatrician from Slovakia To be a part of the STEP-IN project is a unique and life-changing experience. Every day is full of little beautiful moments that give me motivation for further work. To see the patients leaving with the same gratitude, no matter if they are Christians, Muslims or Yazidis, makes you understand that there are not so many differences between us. The most difficult part for me is to cope with the destiny of those who, if they lived in the West, would have the chance to receive proper treatment and live a normal life. But here, in Iraq, a lot of medication and medical procedures are affordable only to the rich. It sometimes brings the feeling of powerlessness — but I never lose hope, because nothing is impossible with God. I would like to thank you, dear members of the Knights of Columbus, for giving us this opportunity to provide our care and our time to those who are in need. This helps them understand that the world is not ignoring their suffering. ELIZABETH DOTSHENKO, general practitioner from Ukraine I am the “youngest” member of the team and joined the project one month ago. The first thing I noticed when communicating with people, of course through an interpreter, is the diversity of languages, religions and cultures. What has surprised me the most is how easily IDPs speak about escaping from their towns, about their house blowing up and other tragic events. It is difficult to comprehend what they have experienced. Workdays in Dohuk are very diverse, because every day we go to a different village, and each village has its own peculiarity. Local people are very hospitable and open to help. There are many patients who cannot afford to undergo further testing in specialized hospitals. We treat them to the best of our abilities. And of course there’s our team. Nothing here gives me more inspiration and strength than the people involved in this project. It makes our job more fulfilling, inspiring, effective and even fun.♦
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THE AGE OF
NOISE If we are to live as citizens of heaven, we must seek silence and contemplation amid the world’s distractions by Bishop James D. Conley EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was originally published Feb. 10 in the Southern Nebraska Register, the newspaper of the Diocese of Lincoln.
ore than 70 years ago, the English satirist Aldous Huxley wrote that modernity is the “age of noise.” He was writing about the radio, whose noise he said “penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions — news items, mutually irrelevant bits of information, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis.” If Huxley had lived into the 21st century, he would have seen the age of noise redoubled and amplified beyond the radio — first to our televisions and then to our tablets and mobile devices, machines which bring distraction and “doses of drama” with us wherever we go. We are, today, awash in information, assaulted, often, with tweets and pundits analyzing the latest crisis in Washington, or difficulty in the Church, or serious social, political or environmental issue. It can become, for many people, overwhelming. To be sure, we have a responsibility as faithful Catholics to be aware of the world and its challenges, and to be engaged in the cultural and political affairs of our communities. We cannot shirk or opt out from that responsibility. But we are living at a moment of constant urgencies and crises, the “tyranny of the immediate,” where reactions to the latest news unfold at a breakneck pace, often before much thought, reflection or consideration. We are living at a moment where argument precedes analysis, and outrage, or feigned outrage, has become an ordinary kind of virtue signaling — a way of conveying the “right” responses to social issues in order to boost our social standing. The 2016 U.S. presidential election was a two-year slog of platitudinous and superficial argument, and now that the 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
election is over, that argument seems interminable. No person can sustain the kind of noise — polemical, shrill and reactive — which has become a substitute for conversation in contemporary culture. Nor should any person try. The “age of noise” diminishes virtue, and charity, and imagination, replacing them with anxiety, and worry, and exhaustion. The Lord didn’t make us for this kind of noise. He made us for conversation, for exchange and communion. And our political community depends upon real deliberation: serious debate and activism over serious subjects. But the Lord also made us for silence. For contemplation. For quietude. And without these things anchoring our lives and our hearts, the age of noise transforms us, fostering in our hearts reactive and uncharitable intemperance that characterizes the media and social media spaces which shape our culture. The age of noise is grinding away at our souls. In the second century, just 100 years after Christ’s Ascension, an anonymous Christian disciple wrote a letter to a man named Diognetus, telling him something about the lives and practices of early Christians. “There is something extraordinary about their lives,” he wrote. “They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. ... They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven.” When our friends and neighbors look to us, as disciples of Jesus, they should see that there is something extraordinary
Photo by Sean Scanlin/eyefull.tv
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about our lives: that although we live fully in our nation, we are, first, citizens of heaven. This means that we must live differently, in the age of noise. We must speak, and act, and think differently. In the words of St. Paul, we must “not be conformed to this world,” to the age of noise, “but be transformed by the renewal of our minds” (cf. Rom 12:2). We must be, in the best sense of the word, “counter-cultural.” To be citizens of heaven, we must be detached from the noise of this world. We must participate fully in cultural, and political, and public life, but we must entrust the outcomes of our participation to the Lord. We must detach ourselves from the news cycles, and social media arguments, and television pundits, which inflame our anger, or provoke our anxiety, or which shift our focus from the eternal to the fleeting and temporal. My good friend Chris Stefanick, a wise speaker and author, wrote recently that we should “read less news,” and “read more Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.” He’s right. We won’t be happier, or wiser, or more peaceful because we consume more of the “age of noise” than we need. Of course, we should be engaged in current affairs. But we’ll be truly happy, through Jesus Christ, when we spend far more time reading Scripture, and spending time before the Lord in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We’ll be free from the anxiety and worry of the “age of noise”
when times of prayer, and silence, are regular facets of our day. We’ll be detached from false crises and urgencies of the culture of outrage when we do our small part, and then entrust the affairs of this world to the Lord. We’ll also be — when we quiet the “age of noise” in our hearts — the leaders of wisdom and virtue which our culture desperately needs right now. St. Teresa of Ávila, the great Carmelite mystic, wrote a small poem that should guide us in the “age of noise”: Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices. The noise of our culture is designed to disturb and frighten us, and to distract from the unchanging and ever-loving God. But in silent prayer and contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament, we can turn down the noise, and the Lord himself can calm our hearts and renew our minds. To live extraordinary lives, as citizens of heaven before all else, it’s time that we turn down the “age of noise.”♦ BISHOP JAMES D. CONLEY of Lincoln, Neb., is a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Council 13015 in Lincoln. APRIL 2017
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OF GRACE Sisters share stories of how God’s presence touched young hearts at the K of C Mercy Centre in Kraków by Sisters of Life ast year, the Knights of Columbus organized and sponsored the premiere international site for English-speaking pilgrims attending World Youth Day in Kraków, Poland, and the event continues to bear fruit in the Order and in the Church. From July 26-31, Tauron Arena Kraków, one of the largest entertainment and sports venues in Poland, became known as the Mercy Centre. The site provided an unforgettable experience for more than 100,000 young pilgrims who came for morning liturgies, numerous exhibits, talks and testimonies, and the Night of Mercy — an extraordinary evening of eucharistic adoration, reflection and music. Following the openair papal Mass concluding World Youth Day July 31, the Mercy Centre hosted a meeting with Pope Francis and some 12,000 WYD volunteers. The spiritual lives of many thousands of young people were renewed or transformed through their experience at the Mercy 24 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Centre. And in the months that followed, members of the New York-based Sisters of Life — who were among the Knights’ chief partners at the Mercy Centre — shared with gratitude personal reflections about the events. Below are excerpts from just a few of their testimonies. THE PRESENCE OF THE SAINTS Sister Mary Margaret Hope We were sitting in the chapel at the Mercy Centre waiting for the volunteer Mass to begin. All of a sudden, the procession began and everyone stood. One of the college Knights entered, carrying a wooden object. Behind him came several other people, a mixture of sisters and other volunteers. The procession began to pass by me, and I was suddenly hit by a spiritual wave of what I can only describe as the presence of holiness. That’s when I noticed they were carrying reliquaries. The saints had arrived, fresh from their blessing of the arena!
Photo by Jakub Wawrzkowicz
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Sister Bethany Madonna of the Sisters of Life gives a talk on the main stage of the K of C-sponsored Mercy Centre at World Youth Day 2016. From that moment, I felt the protection and strong presence of the five patrons of the Mercy Centre: St. Brother Albert, St. Faustina, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko and St. John Paul II. I was assigned to help “guard” the relics throughout the week. It was amazing to see how many young people waited in line, sometimes for hours, to venerate the relics. One of my favorite moments was when a young couple arrived with their 9-month-old baby. The baby reached towards each relic with tenderness and surety, then waved goodbye as they moved on to the next relic. I feel sure that he could see, with his innocent, pure eyes, the heavenly patrons present to everyone who passed through the Mercy Centre. THE FACE OF MERCY Sister Magnificat Rose The Night of Mercy was an event that young people are still talking about. Even the young woman I sat next to on the plane on the way home spoke of her incredible experience of being brought back into the Lord’s love that night. My experience of grace from the Night of Mercy was not from within the arena, but one from being outside with the pilgrims who could not get in. Another sister and I were sent to be the face of God’s mercy to all of the pilgrims who were waiting outside because the arena was already at full capacity. We brought a guitar and a little drum outside and played music as we gently shared with the pilgrims that they would not be able to come inside. A young pilgrim came running up to me and immediately poured her heart out. She shared how she had been badly
WORLD YOUTH DAY KRAKOW: A PILGRIMAGE OF MERCY THE KNIGHTS of Columbus has produced an inspiring new documentary film World Youth Day Krakow: A Pilgrimage of Mercy. The film features the major events of WYD 2016, which gathered an estimated 3 million pilgrims, as well as exclusive footage from the Knights of Columbussponsored Mercy Centre at Tauron Arena Kraków. “This documentary captures the spirit of World Youth Day and allows those who could not attend to have a window into this moving event,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “It brings to life the spirit of Divine Mercy, preached by Pope Francis in the town that is the epicenter of this devotion, and was home to St. John Paul II, his predecessor, who also did much to spread that message.” The 40-minute film is available for purchase in DVD format at KnightsGear.com and has also aired on Salt + Light Television in Canada and on EWTN. More information about the documentary and additional video galleries of Mercy Centre programming are available online at wydenglishsite.org/film.♦
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wounded in the past and asked me to pray for her that she could forgive those who had hurt her. Waiting to get into the arena became the place of grace for her. It did not matter that this young woman could not get inside; God’s love and mercy were pouring out of the arena. THANK A PRIEST Sister Faith Marie directly on the way to the adoration chapel in the arena was a little table that always grabbed my attention. three things were on it: brightly colored Post-it notes, a cup full of pens and a sign above it inviting people to “thank a priest” and post it up on the wall. Seeing the table consistently surrounded by people, often with a group waiting in line, I found myself moved by people’s eager desire to thank the priests in their lives. as the wall grew more colorful with more Post-it notes each time I walked by, I stopped to read some of the com-
ments. I found things like “Father, you’ll probably never know, but that confession changed my life — thank you”; “thanks for always being there for me and my family at church as we grew up. Your witness has made me think about the priesthood in my life”; “Being received into the Church was one of the best days of my life”; “thanks for never giving up on me and always being around when I needed to talk”; and many more, including messages in languages I couldn’t read. Stopping to talk with those who were writing, I found that people loved being able to share their love for their priests in a tangible way. MEETING HANNAH Sister Jordan Rose the story that most touched my heart extends beyond our time in Kraków. When the Saint John Paul II National Shrine
World Youth daY in Kraków in July 2016 provided a special opportunity for Polish Knights of Columbus to serve the Church. Many members were involved at the local and national levels preparing for the event and during WYd itself. K of C councils were instrumental in numerous parish-based WYd activities as well as larger programs. of particular note is the “ticket for a Brother” initiative, which raised funds for pilgrims from the former Soviet republics who could not afford to come to Poland without financial assistance. our lady of Częstochowa Queen of Poland Council 14004 in radom, for example, financed the pilgrimage for 50 young people from ukraine. 26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore and Mother M. Petra Kowalczyk, superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, stand with Polish Knights at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki during World Youth Day 2016.
LEFT: Photo by Karol Gut
WORLD YOUTH DAY STRENGTHENS ORDER IN POLAND
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From left: Sisters of Life visit with WYD pilgrims outside of Tauron ´ • Post-it notes Arena Krakow. with words of gratitude for priests cover a wall near the Mercy Centre’s chapel. • A college Knight volunteer venerates relics of the Mercy Centre’s five patron saints. • The Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession through the arena during the Night of Mercy.
TOP: Photos by Sister of Life Faith Marie, Jakub Wawrzkowicz, Jaclyn Lippelmann
in Washington, D.C., hosted a WYD Unite event Oct. 22, I ran into a young woman named Hannah. She had come by herself and told me she had gone to WYD Kraków by herself as well. As a college student and a fallen-away Catholic, she considered herself an atheist prior to World Youth Day. Wanting to go on an adventure and not really knowing what World Youth Day was, she decided to go. While in Kraków, she happened to come to our Mercy Centre one day and was particularly struck by the testimony of a young woman named Jill. Jill had shared about her own past WYD experience — how she had gone just for the adventure and then encountered the Lord in a life-changing confession. Hannah then felt impelled to go to confession herself, but was afraid to do so. Walking the streets of Poland late that night, she ran into a young man and they began talking. Somehow, the Mercy Centre came up, and he said, “Did you hear my friend Jill
Among the fruits of this initiative were closer cooperation between Polish and Ukrainian Knights and the friendship between the WYD pilgrims and Polish host families. During the week of World Youth Day, Knights of Columbus volunteers served at several key locations. In addition to the K of C-sponsored Mercy Centre, members served at Cracovia Stadium and worked with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in nearby Łagiewniki, which was visited by 1.5 million pilgrims that week. “The involvement of the Knights of Columbus in the work of World Youth Day was a great gift, both for the organizers of the meeting, its participants, as well as for the whole Church in Poland,” said Father Grzegorz Suchodolski, general secretary of the Organizing Com-
speak?” Hannah began sharing with this young man about her desire to go to confession, and on the streets of Kraków, in the middle of the night, they looked for and found a priest. Hannah made her first confession after being away from the faith for many years. She walked around for hours that night feeling like a new person. As Hannah was telling me all this, I knew Jill was standing right behind me, so I asked her, “Do you want to meet Jill?” Her eyes filled with tears as she met Jill and realized God’s intentional and deeply personal love for her in bringing her to Kraków and to D.C. that day. Jill and Hannah are now connected, and both recently attended a Young Women’s Retreat at Villa Maria Guadalupe. Through the Knights of Columbus hosting the Mercy Centre, hosting the WYD Unite event, and supporting Villa Maria Guadalupe, Christ’s mercy has overflowed and will continue to be poured out into the life of this young woman.♦
mittee of World Youth Day. Following the Knights’ cooperation during WYD 2016, the Order in Poland received further requests for assistance in organizing Catholic events and initiatives. In November 2016, the Knights provided an honor guard and coordinated logistics at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy during a ceremony concluding the Jubilee of Mercy. Tens of thousands of pilgrims, including the president of Poland, attended the event. On March 1, to commemorate the Year of St. Albert Chmielowski announced by the Polish bishops’ conference, the Knights began a nationwide pilgrimage of relics and an image of St. Albert in cooperation with Albertine Sisters. Coinciding with the relic pilgrimage, the Knights are collecting blankets
and sheets to benefit shelters run by the Albertine Sisters, a congregation founded by St. Brother Albert. According to State Deputy Andrzej Anasiak, the Knights see their work as an extension of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and World Youth Day, which likewise focused on mercy. “Cooperation with the Congregation of Albertine Sisters is an honor and privilege,” he said during a recent media briefing after visiting with Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, the new head of the Archdiocese of Kraków. “After the Year of Mercy and the meeting of Pope Francis with young people at WYD,” Anasiak added, “we are eager to continue the Order’s work of charitable outreach and evangelization.” — Reported by Tomasz Adamski, a member of St. Brother Albert Council 15128 in Kraków. APRIL 2017
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KNI GHTS IN ACTION
REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES families of deceased young ones could not afford a proper grave marker. Multiple councils and a color guard attended the monument’s dedication by Bishop W. Francis Malooly of the Diocese of Wilmington. PARISH PARTNERSHIP
Pam Galanius, clinical director of the Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf, Iowa, demonstrates the technological capabilities of a newly purchased 3D/4D ultrasound machine to Jack Swan, past grand knight of Allouez Council 658 in Rock Island, Ill. Swan spearheaded the council’s fundraiser, which collected more than $46,000 for the machine’s purchase. The drive was launched with a generous bequest followed by gifts from individuals, local councils and assemblies, the Peoria Chapter of the Knights of Columbus and matching funds from the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative.
When the 483 kneelers of St. Patrick’s Church in Arroyo Grande, Calif., became worn from 36 years of use, Arroyo Grande Council 1375 came to the rescue. With funds raised by two pancake and sausage breakfasts, a team of council members purchased 80 square yards of material, 30,000 staples, new foam and rubber feet and refurbished all of the kneelers over a two-year period. Twenty percent of the kneelers’ oil-filled dampers, which soften the sound when the kneeler is lowered, were not 28 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
working. However, the necessary dampers were no longer available for sale, so the Knights had to carefully replace the parts and oil to prevent the kneelers from disrupting Mass.
occasion, 370 people were welcomed to an outdoor barbecue. Knights arranged the site, prepared the menu and worked with other volunteers to serve the attendees.
CELEBRATION OF SERVICE
Knights of Delaware and Maryland replaced temporary, broken and missing grave markers for infants and young children at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Dagsboro, Del., with a granite wall engraved with their names. The project was initiated by a Knight who, while visiting the grave of his deceased wife, found that many
St. Joseph Holy Family Council 14251 in Bradley, Ill., collaborated with St. Joseph Church to raise food and funds for local charities. The parish set a goal of donating 10,000 pounds of food to the Center of Hope Food Pantry over the course of two years. During this time, the council agreed to donate $100 for every 1,000 pounds of food donated. The goal was reached, and the council contributed $500 to the Center of Hope and an additional $500 to the Kankakee Catholic Food Pantry at St. Teresa Church.
The Regina (Saskatchewan) Chapter helped the Marian Centre, a soup kitchen and day center run by the Madonna House Apostolate, celebrate its 50-year anniversary of serving those in need in Regina. The center regularly serves a hot lunch to 7090 men daily, but for the
Two members of Brother William Kerkel Council 5866 in Midlothian, Ill., repair a necklace for a volunteer in preparation for a clothing and sports memorabilia sale. Knights fixed up many items before the sale, which raised $5,000 to help St. Christopher Parish refurbish its school cafeteria.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N DAY FOR MOTHERS
Western Batangas Council 4668 in Balayan, Luzon South, teamed up with several local organizations to offer a “Pregnant Women’s Day.” A record-breaking 156 women came for a free ultrasound provided by the Luzon South Jurisdiction, a checkup by a resident OBGYN, free vitamins, a meal, baby bottles, pro-life and educational films, and a talk about women’s and children’s rights. FOOD PANTRY FUNDRAISER
St. Ann’s Council 14695 in Long Grove, Iowa, held its annual golf fundraiser for the North Scott Food Pantry. Thanks to the work of Knights coordinating the event and serving food, and the generosity of sponsors, the 18-hole event netted $11,000. The proceeds were presented at the council’s monthly breakfast. DIAPER DRIVE
Father James P. Conroy Council 4403 in Bettendorf,
Iowa, together with St. John Vianney Parish, conducted its second annual Diaper Drive in support of the Women’s Choice Center of the Quad Cities. Since economic pressures can cause pregnant women to consider abortion and baby supplies are expensive, the 16,119 diapers and 13,896 wipes collected will be a significant resource for the WCC and its clients. PREGNANCY CENTER SUPPORT
St. Francis of Assisi Council 16356 in Kings Bay, Ga., held a “Stuff the Baby Bottle” fundraiser to support the Care Net Pregnancy Center of Coastal Georgia. The onemonth drive raised $1,860 toward the annual operating costs of the three area pregnancy centers. NEW ENTRY
Father Pierre De Smet Council 9756 in Pinedale, Wy., recently assisted with the renovation of the entryway to Our Lady of Peace Church. A statue of Mary that was more
Members of San Juan Nepomuceno Council 12728 in Moalboal, Cebu, Visayas, work together to erect the 14th station of the Way of the Cross. At the request of the parish, the council donated the time, materials and labor to complete the project in just two days. Local Catholics can now walk more than 6 miles to visit stations throughout the city, concluding in front of the parish church.
than 50 years old was restored and placed in the vestibule of the church, while a newer Mary statue was installed and placed in a grotto provided by a parishioner. The original church bell was relocated to an outside pedestal, and a monument of the Ten Commandments and the beatitudes was relocated to a point where it could be better viewed by parishioners entering the church. RAFFLES GALORE
PREPARE THE WAY
Over the course of 40 volunteer hours, members of Arthur J. O’Neil Council 5112 in Goffstown, N.H., constructed a 47-foot ADAcompliant wheelchair ramp for a local family, the father of which had spent nearly 8 months in rehab due to an unexpected medical condition. The funding for the ramp was provided by the Samaritan Fund of the local Saint Lawrence Parish.
Virginia District 12 Deputy Bryan Roberts donated blood, accompanied by Art Peacott of John Paul I Council 7165 in Dale City, Va., and two Red Cross phlebotomists. Council 7165 coordinated the annual blood drive, which required 26 volunteer hours and resulted in 28 units of blood for local hospitals and research.
Over the course of a year, Rev. George E. Keefe Council 4475 in Middleburgh, N.Y., raised $4,000 from an ATV raffle, $6,000 from a zeroturn mower raffle and $1,200 from a firewood raffle for their parish’s capital campaign. The campaign’s goal is
to modernize the parish hall facilities and make other improvements to the church and parking lot. The council also raised $1,650 for the Patriot Highlander Challenge, an endurance and obstacle course event that supports wounded veterans.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N SCHOOL PROJECT
Cohoes (N.Y.) Council 192 provided six 30-gallon-sized bags filled with smaller plastic grocery bags to South Colonie Central High School. A student group is recycling these bags to make plastic sleeping mats for use by the local homeless population. The mat-making project involved students, teachers and administrators, as well as a local service agency that will be responsible for the distribution of the mats. VOCATIONS DONATIONS
Rogue River Council 1594 in Medford, Ore., leads a rosary for the unborn at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Medford. Parishioners joined the council members on Good Friday in 2016 at the parish’s memorial to unborn children to pray for the Blessed Mother’s intercession.
Conception Immaculate Council 4140 in San Antonio, Texas, hosted the 43rd annual Nuns’ Appreciation Day, serving more than 130 women religious from various religious orders in and around San Antonio. The nuns were served a delicious meal prepared by Knights and provided entertainment, games and prizes. KITCHEN RENOVATION
St. Charles Borromeo Council 5399 in Port Charlotte, Fla., contributed more than 350 hours of their time and talents toward cleaning, painting and renovating the kitchen facility at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and School. The council’s $25,000 overhaul included the purchase and installation of a new pilotless stove, griddle, fryer, 30 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
work tables, splash guards, freezer, ice-maker, fans, window blinds, and flooring for the walk-in freezer. TOY DRIVE
Our Lady of Light Council 10498 in Fort Myers, Fla., sponsored a stuffed animal collection, during which parishioners donated more than 100 soft toys. The animals were given to the Lee County Sheriff ’s Office for distribution to children who are involved in, or witness to, traumatic events. In many incidents the children are ignored since the responders are so busy addressing the immediate crisis. RAMP REQUESTED
Having heard of the Knights of Columbus’ good works, a nurse contacted Deacon Edward L. Christianson Council 3572 in Winchester, Va., asking for help for a patient. Confined to a wheelchair by
a stroke, the woman lacked a handicapped-accessible entrance to her home and had to be carried over her steps by caregivers. With a grant from the state council, a team of council members pitched in their time and individual expertise to build a wheelchair ramp. The woman soon made her first trip on the completed ramp, pushed by her grandson.
St. Mary’s Council 4196 in Spokane Valley, Wash., recently made two donations to Bishop White Seminary in Spokane. The first donation, $4,510 in scholarship funds, was raised through a “100-Mile Bike Ride” fundraiser and supported by Knights and St. Mary’s parishioners alike. The second donation consisted of a check for $3,000 from the council’s general funds and will serve as debt relief for the seminary.
Msgr. Edgar M. Holihan Council 4746 in Vestal, N.Y., and Msgr. Leonard B. Friese Council 1839 in Endicott teamed up to provide pizza and soft drinks for more than 350 children and young adults participating in the Special Olympics bowling competition in Vestal. Council 1839 also donated 24 coats to Broome County Catholic Charities for distribution to people in need.
Members of St. Mark’s Council 8870 in Calgary, Alberta, and parish volunteers prepare palms for use at Masses on Palm Sunday. The palms had to be cleaned and sorted before they were ready for the liturgy.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N LARGE-SCALE PRAYER
St. Monica Council 14725 in Methuen, Mass., and St. Michael the Archangel Circle 5539 worked together to construct a larger-than-life rosary for use at living rosary events and the parish school. The rosary was constructed using marine rope and swimming pool buoys, with 18 inches between each Hail Mary “bead.” The entire length of the rosary is approximately 150 feet. MEAL MINISTRY
St. Vincent de Paul Council 13297 in Holladay, Utah, provided a spaghetti dinner with salad, garlic bread and dessert to the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City. The council prepared and served the meal to approximately 70 people staying near the Primary Children’s Hospital due to the hospitalization of a child in their families. GETTING THE GOODS
Joseph P. Dougherty Council 6730 in Morristown,
Newly ordained Father Kyle Mangloña accepts a set of chasubles from members of St. Charles Borromeo Council 13238 Tacoma, Wash. The vestments were purchased by the Knights with funds from the council’s annual Oktoberfest charity fundraiser. Charities supported by the event include the parish food bank, St. Charles School and other parish organizations.
Tenn., collected more than 1,100 pounds of coats, socks, underwear, clothing and toiletries thanks to the generosity of St. Patrick Catholic Church parish-
Members of Humber Valley Council 3945 in Etobicoke, Ontario, stand with personnel of St. Francis Table to present a new delivery van. St. Francis Table, an outreach program of the Capuchins of Central Canada at which the Knights often volunteer, is unlike many soup kitchens in that it requests a $1 donation from patrons and serves meals at table rather than in a cafeteria line, offering a respectful meal experience. Hearing that the organization’s food delivery van needed costly repairs, the council voted unanimously to donate funds for a new vehicle.
ioners. Due to the recent Gatlinburg fires, the council split the donations between the Mountain Home Veterans Hospital in Johnson City and El Ministerio del Espiritu Santo Church in Sevierville. The items assisted hospitalized and homeless veterans in the community, as well as the immigrant population affected by the fires in Sevier County.
also collected 502 boxes of building materials, tools and clothing for the cause. TIME FOR PRAYER
Sacred Heart-Bornish Parkhill (Ontario) Council 8961 held its second annual council retreat at Sacred Heart Church. There, Knights attended a study on the Year of Mercy and what it means to Knights of Columbus, led by Father John Comiskey, moderator of the curia of the Diocese of London.
Mason (Mich.) Council 9182 held a special fish fry, silent auction and collection to support cyclone relief efforts for Vuna, a village on the Fiji island of Taveuni and hometown of St. James Catholic Church’s pastor, Father Kusitino Cobona. The projects raised $18,000 for recovery after the cyclone devastated homes, crops and the local church. The St. James community
St. Paul the First Hermit Council 14222 in Summerfield, Fla., donated $1,000 to Interfaith Emergency Services in Ocala for their Food 4 Kids program, which offers weekly backpacks of food for children in need to take home over the weekends. The council also delivers 20 backpacks of food to two local schools.
FEED THE HUNGRY
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
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Members of Msgr. O’Reilly Council 746 in Baraboo, Wis., transport a plank cut from a fallen tree. When high winds damaged trees at Camp Gray, a Catholic summer camp and year-round retreat center, the council used a member’s portable sawmill to transform the fallen timber into tabletops, benches and wainscoting for the facility. The work continued the council’s 60-year tradition of assisting Camp Gray.
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OFFICIAL APRIL 1, 2017: 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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REJOICING IN UNITY
Assumption Council 6899 in Prince Edward Island welcomed Christians of varied denominations to the 20th Easter Sunrise Ecumenical Service. Beginning at the official time of sunrise, the council-sponsored service brings together members of the wider Christian community to celebrate the Resurrection through prayer and shared thanksgiving. PROVIDING FOR CHILDREN
St. Joseph Council 7408 in Palm Bay, Fla., collected 1,552 pounds of food for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The council also held a fund drive that netted $2,120 for the Coats for Kids program. Coats purchased through the program were distributed by the SVdP, accompanying their delivery of holiday meals to those in need. SMALL FRIENDS
Father Carl Vogel Council 16047 in Van Alstyne, Texas, sponsors
monthly visits from a team of miniature horses to the Meadowbrook Care Center, a skilled nursing facility. The visits brighten the day of the senior residents, providing them the therapeutic effects of spending time with friendly animals. CARE FOR CREATION
Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan Council 7923 in Lilburn, Ga., donated $579 — the proceeds of a recent family breakfast — to St. John Neumann Catholic Church’s Creation Care Team, the parish’s initiative for sustainable practices and environmentally friendly parish life.
kofc.org exclusive See more “Knights in Action” reports and photos at www.kofc.org/ knightsinaction
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K N I G H T S O F C O LU MBU S
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.
BE FEATURED HERE , SEND YOUR COUNCIL’ S
C OLUMBIA , 1 C OLUMBUS P LAZA , N EW
Boys examine gifts brought by Mons. Dr. Fernando Ruiz Solórzano Council 13963 in Mérida, Yucatán. To spread the message of Christ’s love, the council hosted a celebration and outreach activity in the town of Muchucuxcáh, 150 km away from Mérida. The Knights distributed toys to the boys and girls and donated soccer balls and goalposts for the community.
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PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
K E E P T H E FA I T H A L I V E
“GOD SPEAKS IN WHISPERS.”
FATHER ALAN M. GUANELLA Diocese of La Crosse John F. Kennedy Council 1257 in Eau Claire, Wis.
Photo by Dennis Steinke
A priest of my diocese once told me that God speaks in whispers, not in loud clashes. From a young age, I heard a quiet whisper from God to consider becoming a priest. Throughout my years of discernment, that quiet whisper never disappeared. I joined the Knights at 18, as a seminarian, and became grand knight of my council two years later. The principles of the Order complemented my priestly formation, and support from the Knights has been a constant encouragement in my discernment and vocation. In the life and legacy of Father Michael J. McGivney, I find a model of Christian living and an exemplar of the priestly life. I have no doubt that the Church will be blessed with many priests and religious through his intercession. I have likewise been inspired by the priestly example of St. Luigi Guanella, a cousin who was canonized in 2011. There are many young people in the world today searching for God. Do all you can to help them to listen to his quiet whisper, most especially through your prayers.