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KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS august 2016 ♦ VoLume 96 ♦ Number 8



A Lost Boy Finds Hope


Colorado Knights help Sudanese refugees reunite, establish home in land of promise. BY ROXANNE KING

14 Faith in a Time of Persecution Christian joy, courage and love of life are the strongest weapons against terrorism. BY ARCHBISHOP AMEL SHAMON NONA

18 Gold Medal Faith An interview with Catholic Olympian and world champion shot putter Joe Kovacs. BY COLUMBIA STAFF

22 800 Years of Grace The Order of Preachers celebrates its 800th jubilee, a milestone marked by vibrant communities and flourishing vocations. BY KATIE SCOTT

A mosaic of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christ Child giving the rosary to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena is pictured in the Dominican novitiate house in Cincinnati. This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Order of Preachers (see article on page 22).


Building a better world The ongoing work of the Order testifies to the laity’s vocation and mission in the Church. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON

Photo by Dominican Father Lawrence Lew


Learning the faith, living the faith As domestic churches, our families are called to reach out beyond themselves in loving service.


Knights of Columbus News State Deputies Meeting Focuses on Strengthening Families, Parishes • Pope Francis Greets Supreme Knight, Addresses Pontifical Council • Supreme Director Graydon Nicholas Named to Order of Canada • Knights Pray Novena for National Healing

13 Fathers for Good Our responsibility to show mercy to others begins with small lessons of kindness. BY KATHLEEN M. BASI


State Deputies 2016-17


Knights in Action


PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month



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Memory and Belonging BLESSED MOTHER TERESA of Calcutta once wrote, “Today, if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” There would be no cause for war, she added, “if everyone could see the image of God in his neighbor.” These insightful words of wisdom are especially instructive at a time when we find our world and our communities plagued by bitter divisions and acts of senseless violence. In recent decades, the Church’s magisterium has observed a close association between “forgetfulness” about fundamental human relationships and a widespread forgetfulness about man’s relationship with God. “When God is forgotten, the creature … grows unintelligible,” noted the Second Vatican Council (Gaudium et Spes, 36). St. John Paul II put it this way: “By living ‘as if God did not exist,’ man not only loses sight of the mystery of God, but also of the mystery of the world and the mystery of his own being” (Evangelium Vitae, 21). Pope Benedict XVI often spoke of the “eclipse of God” and, in a 2012 address, said that “it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears.” Finally, Pope Francis, in his first encyclical, wrote, “We can speak of a massive amnesia in our contemporary world. The question of truth is really a question of memory, deep memory.... It is a question of about the origin of all that is, in whose light we can glimpse the goal and thus the meaning of our common path” (Lumen Fidei, 25). One might ask: What does belief in God have to do with human dignity? After all, in the Middle East and else-

where, are not terrorist attacks and even genocide committed in the name of God? However, from a Christian perspective, man has transcendent dignity as a creature made in God’s image. And recognition of creation as gift carries with it a concept of human nature that has farreaching implications for how we understand things such as freedom, the body and our relationship to others. Acknowledgement of this given human nature, which is rooted in love, counters not only relativism, radical individualism and practical atheism (that is, living as if God does not exist) but also evil ideologies based on severely distorted notions of God. Authentic faith provides a lens through which we are able to see our place in the world more clearly, and, together with the theological virtues of hope and charity, it illuminates a path to happiness and peace. Consider the perspective and purpose that a former “Lost Boy of Sudan” received when he discovered faith in Christ as a refugee (see page 8); the joy and love exhibited by Iraqi Christians even when faced with violent persecution and forced to flee from their homes (see page 14); and the faithful witness of consecrated men and women, especially Dominican friars as they celebrate their 800th jubilee (see page 22). So, too, the principles of the Order — charity, unity, fraternity — are not arbitrary virtues but a testament to the conviction that our faith in God and our belonging to one another go hand in hand.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR

CIS Resource: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit The Gifts of the Holy Spirit According to Saint Thomas Aquinas (#360) by Dominican Father Peter John Cameron explains how the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit — wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord — draw us closer to Christ. Part of the Veritas Series published by the Order’s Catholic Information Service, this booklet is infused with the teaching of Aquinas and rich Marian insights. To download or order this resource, visit 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦


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

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


Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER A detail of a 15th-century painting by Fra Angelico (1387-1455) depicts St. Dominic meditating on Scripture.

COVER: Detail from The Mocking of Christ, ca. 1440 / Scala / Art Resource, NY


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A ‘Prophetic Flame’ of Charity The ongoing work of the Order testifies to the laity’s vocation and mission in the Church by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson THIS PAST JUNE, I had the privi- lay Christians must rediscover the lege of attending the 28th plenary as- beauty of their prophetic vocation in sembly of the Pontifical Council for the world! They must allow themthe Laity. I had been appointed a selves to be inflamed by this fire and member of the council by Pope John missionary zeal.” struggling — to more fully live the Paul II and reappointed by Pope Obviously, there is much here for us joy of the Gospel. Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. to think about. But the first thing we Our efforts to protect religious libAt the start of the meeting, the may say is that the clock has not erty and end the scourge of Christian president of the council, Cardinal stopped for the Knights of Columbus. genocide have already achieved imStanisław Ryłko, observed that Pope To the contrary, as the world’s premier portant results, not only in the courts Francis recently reminded us of a organization of Catholic men, we are but also in the U.S. Congress and the phrase that was popular following in many ways ahead of time. State Department. And we have bethe Second Vatican Council: come a leader in providing “The hour of the laity has direct aid to and raising come.” But then, the pope awareness about persecuted Each year, our councils added, “it seems that the Christian refugees in the undertake many thousands clock has stopped.” Middle East. In his direct and often Each year, our councils unof programs, making life better provocative way, the Holy dertake many thousands of Father was raising the issue locally inspired programs at for millions of people. of whether the laity today the parish level, making life lives up to its vocation and better for millions of people. mission in the Church. He went on And all of this is the legacy of our That is to say, we continue to hold to say that the laity is called to many high “the prophetic flame” to which founder, Venerable Father Michael J. initiatives exhibiting “the necessary Catholics are called to bear witness. McGivney, whose spiritual genius inboldness to enable the Good News Our Ultrasound Initiative, for in- spired generations of Catholic men of the Gospel to be brought to all stance, has placed 600 state-of-the- to step forward with courage to conareas of the social and, above all, po- art ultrasound machines in front the challenges of their day by litical sphere.” pregnancy resource centers that are living out the principles of charity, Pope Francis rejects a view that saving thousands of lives every unity and fraternity in a distinctly minimizes the role of the laity and month. Catholic way. “gradually extinguishes the prophetic The prophetic flame that Pope Our programs to strengthen flame to which the entire Church is Catholic family life, such as Building Francis speaks about continues to called to bear witness.” the Domestic Church, the Holy burn bright in the hearts of our Reflecting on these words, Cardi- Family Holy Hour, and family con- brother Knights around the world. nal Ryłko stated, “The missionary secration to the Holy Family, will That flame ignites in them a Church, a Church that goes out with help develop a network of family- true sense of Catholic charity — a courage toward the peripheries of the friendly parishes in all the countries charity that evangelizes and that world, sees the urgent need to rekin- where we are active. These programs brings, in a very concrete way, a light dle the flame that animated the life will encourage millions of families — to the nations. Vivat Jesus! of the prophets. In order to do this, many of whom are wounded and



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Families United in Charity As domestic churches, our families are called to reach out beyond themselves in loving service by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

NOT LONG AGO, I had the joy the beauty of a family that embodies and honor of ordaining a priest who the spirit of charity that should anicomes from a large and wonderful mate the whole Church. In the words Catholic family. The night before his of Jesus, “The greatest among you ordination, I hosted a Holy Hour and must be your servant” (Mt 23:11). ing outward to the needs of others, dinner at my residence in Baltimore. they maintain the inner unity of I sat next to the ordinand’s father, and LOOKING OUTWARD hearth and home. To echo St. Francis as we talked, two qualities of his char- Over nearly 40 years of priestly min- of Assisi, it is in giving that they reacter stood out: his love for his family istry, I’ve been privileged to know ceive. and his love of the Lord. The young many families that reach out in lovFamilies are united in service in man’s mother likewise showed a deep ing service in their local parish and to many ways. Many participate in love for the Lord and her family, and the wider community. Like all fami- Knights of Columbus activities or it was clear she is also a very parish outreach efforts, such as organized and disciplined food pantries. Sometimes I see person. I got the impression families volunteering in larger Family members cannot allow she could run a Fortune 500 initiatives run by Catholic themselves to withdraw from one Charities or in other activities, company! As the evening progressed, such as rehabbing homes or another or from the parish and I became more and more imhelping veterans. pressed with this family. Some In addition, these families the wider community. of the older siblings had just often unite in love by welcomreturned from a weeklong ing to their homes those who walking pilgrimage from Annapolis lies, they have their ups and downs, might need a bit of encouragement or to Ocean City, Md. They had joined their triumphs and tragedies. Parents companionship. Many years ago, with other young people in bearing have their share of disagreements and when my own family was in the witness for religious freedom. And as financial worries, and their children process of moving, my father had to busy as this family is, they find the experience the joys and the challenges remain behind at our previous home time to readily reach out to others in of growing up in today’s culture. Yet for a few weeks. During that period, need. They are involved in all sorts of for all their trials, such families never he often received invitations to dinservice projects, making their home a turn in on themselves. They live sim- ner from families in the parish, beplace of hospitality and a bustling do- ply and often deny themselves luxu- cause they knew he was separated mestic church. ries that other families consider to be from his own loved ones. How many All this was summed up when one necessities. They don’t split apart, people in their advancing years, perof the young man’s sisters stood and each member of the family withdraw- haps widows or widowers, would like made a toast. Her words were filled ing to his or her digital corner. Instead, to spend an evening with a welcomwith joy at the very thought of her they stay together and maintain strong ing family? brother’s ordination, but they also family ties, and their love spills over, contained a challenge: to be a priest far beyond their home. Their lives are ‘UNITED IN SERVICE’ who serves others in a spirit of open- marked by a spirit of service that looks As we know, a parish is called to be a hearted love. In this way, she radiated outward. Strangely enough, by look- community of faith, worship and 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦


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service. Pope Francis goes a step further and challenges parishes not to become “a useless structure out of touch with people or a self-absorbed group made up of a chosen few.” Instead, the parish is to be known as “an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, for proclamation, charitable outreach, and celebration” (Evangelii Gaudium, 28). If the family is a domestic church, that is to say, “the Church in miniature,” then it must avoid the same pitfalls and exhibit the same virtues.

POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/Paul Haring — BLESSED JOSÉ MARÍA DE MANILA: Courtesy of the Philippine Province of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin


Offered in Solidarity with Pope Francis UNIVERSAL: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world. EVANGELIZATION: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty and love of neighbor.

Family members cannot allow themselves to withdraw from one another, from their extended families, or from the parish and the wider community. Pope Francis warns that “some Christian families, whether because of the language they use, the way they act or treat others, or their constant harping on the same two or three issues, end up being seen as remote and not really a part of the community” (Amoris Laetitia, 182). The family must create a loving environment where both parents and children hear God’s word, share it, talk about their joys

and sorrows in light of it, and proclaim it by their lives of love and service to others. A family that reaches out in love to others will have no trouble in seeing Sunday Eucharist as the culmination of their week and as the place where they are renewed for further love and service. This is a special challenge for Knights of Columbus families. Charity is our first principle, and we proclaim ourselves “united in service.” May our families also be united in service to One, in service to all.♦


Blessed José María de Manila (1880-1936) EUGENIO SANZ-OROZCO Mortera was born to Spanish parents in Manila, Philippines, Sept. 5, 1880. He was the son of the last Spanish mayor of Manila, Eugenio Sanz-Orozco, and his wife, Feliza Mortera y Camacho. Groomed by his parents to become a lawyer, young Orozco was sent to the Ateneo de Manila University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran and University of Santo Tomas. He excelled as a student, and his classmates noted his fondness for prayer and interest in religious subjects. During these formative years, he also developed a deep love for Filipino culture. At age 16, before departing for Spain to further his education, Orozco consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary. After completing his studies and briefly practicing law, he declared his desire to become a Franciscan priest. Against the initial objections of his parents, Orozco entered the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in 1904, taking the name José María. He made his final vows in 1908 and was ordained a priest in 1910. Despite the fall of the Spanish East Indies government in 1898, Father

José María longed to return as a missionary to the country of his birth. Though circumstances prevented him from fulfilling this dream, he remained “a Filipino at heart.” An ardent preacher, he resolved to proclaim the Gospel in Spain. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936, revolutionary forces unleashed a wave of anti-clerical violence that claimed the lives of thousands of Catholics. Father José María de Manila, who had carried on his priestly ministry in hospitals despite the persecution, was executed at a Madrid barracks on Aug. 17, 1936. His last words were “Viva Cristo Rey!” He was beatified with 521 fellow martyrs in 2013.♦



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State Deputies Meeting Focuses on Strengthening Families, Parishes

FRATERNAL LEADERS from each of the Order’s 75 jurisdictions gathered for the annual Organizational Meeting of Knights of Columbus State Deputies in New Haven, Conn., June 8-12. The event featured keynote addresses on the charitable work of the Order, workshops on recruitment and insurance, and fraternal activities and daily Mass. In his keynote address June 10, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson emphasized the importance of Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish and related initiatives as a new fraternal year begins. “These programs are designed to strengthen families, to strengthen our parishes, to build a new and confident men’s spirituality,” he said. “These families will help strengthen society for the better.” Such initiatives will also help to break down stereotypes about the Knights and “open wide the doors” of councils to new members, he added. “People join the Catholic Church by attraction. In the same way, men join the Knights of Columbus by attraction. We have to be the men that others want to be with, men who stand for something, men who mean what they say, men who practice ‘a charity that evangelizes.’ That is our greatest attraction — us.” Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore also noted the importance of the Domestic Church initiative and cited Into the Breach, a letter to Catholic men by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix. The document, which has been printed by the Knights and made available to councils, is “perfectly suited to the mission of the Knights of Columbus” as seen by Father McGivney, the supreme chaplain said. It is a guide for men who are “willing to engage in the spiritual warfare necessary to be a good husband and father and a good disciple who spreads the Gospel by word and by example,” he added. 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦


Prior to the business session, state deputies and their wives gathered at St. Mary’s Church, the Order’s birthplace, for a Mass and installation of the new officers. Archbishop Lori served as the principal celebrant and homilist, and prayed that the state deputies receive “the gift of prayerful, loving and courageous hearts — capable of leading your jurisdictions to new heights of devotion and service.” The following day, Archbishop Lori celebrated Mass for the feast of St. Barnabas. “As this important meeting proceeds, St. Barnabas gives us much to think about and much to pray about,” the supreme chaplain said, encouraging the state deputies to follow the saint’s example of holiness, zeal and teamwork depicted in the Acts of the Apostles. At the closing session June 12, the supreme knight announced the results of the Knights of Columbus Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity. The Order set a new all-time record for charitable donations and service hours in 2015 with $175,079,192 in donations and more than 73.5 million hours of service, over 1 million hours more than the previous year. Donations grew by more than $1.5 million since 2014, achieving an increase in giving for the 17th consecutive year. “We are very proud of these Fraternal Survey numbers,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. “These are a clear indication that we are keeping faith with Father McGivney’s principle of charity and also of unity, not only among ourselves, but with those in need. This is what we call a charity that evangelizes. This is what makes Knights of Columbus different.” In his closing remarks, the supreme knight added, “We are answering Pope Francis’ call to go to the peripheries. We can reach halfway around the globe to help those in need, and we can reach to our neighbor next door. And we do that every day. That makes us witnesses to the faith.”♦

TOP: Photo by John Whitman

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson addresses the assembled state deputies in New Haven during their organizational meeting June 10.

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Pope Francis Greets Supreme Knight, Addresses Pontifical Council

TOP: L’Osservatore Romano — GRAYDON NICHOLAS: Photo by Keith Minchin/Canadian Press — NOVENA: Photo by Tom Serafin

ADDRESSING THE Pontifical Council for the Laity’s 28th plenary assembly in Rome June 17, Pope Francis said, “We need lay people who are formed well, animated by a clear and sincere faith, whose lives have been touched by a personal and merciful encounter with the love of Jesus Christ.” The pope personally greeted participants, including Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson, who has served on the Pontifical Council for the Laity since his appointment by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Anderson’s appointment was renewed by Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis appointed him to an additional term in 2014. During the plenary assembly, the supreme knight and other council members discussed the history and accomplishments of the Pontifical Council for the Laity as well as the mission for the new dicastery for laity, family and life.♦

Pope Francis greets Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson during the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome June 17.

Supreme Director Graydon Nicholas Named to Order of Canada SUPREME DIRECTOR Graydon Nicholas was appointed to the Order of Canada June 30 by Governor General David Johnston. Nicholas received Canada’s highest civilian honor, established in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II to recognize outGraydon Nicholas standing achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Nicholas, who numbered among the 113 new appointees announced just before Canada Day, served as the first aboriginal lieutenant governor of New Brunswick 2009-2014. He holds advanced degrees in law and social work. The office of the governor general cited Nicholas’ “contributions to the people of New Brunswick as a lawyer, judge, lieutenant governor and indigenous leader.” Nicholas, a member of Bishop Dollard Council 1942 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, has served on the Order’s Board of Directors since 2015.♦

Knights Pray Novena for National Healing FOLLOWING A WEEK of violence across the United States, the Supreme Council called for a novena of prayer to heal the wounds and divisions afflicting the nation. Knights, their families and all people of good will were encouraged to join in nine days of prayer July 14-22 by praying St. Francis of Assisi’s Prayer for Peace. “The violent episodes of the past week have shocked the conscience of our country,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “Through this prayer, each of us has the opportunity to help transcend hatred and violence by personally committing to the concepts of love of neighbor, peace and forgiveness that are central to an authentic embrace of Christianity.” Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore also urged people to join this prayer campaign: “During this Year of Mercy, let us pray for an end to violence and senseless killings. Through our prayers and good works, may we help build a society that is merciful, just, and peaceful.”♦



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Colorado Knights help Sudanese refugees reunite, establish home in land of promise by Roxanne King


n 1987, 12-year-old Daniel Maduok’s village in southern Sudan was attacked by Islamic militia who killed residents, burned homes and slaughtered cattle. In the chaos, Maduok fled for his life and began a 16-year odyssey as a “Lost Boy.” In 2003, after years in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Colorado. Daniel had found faith through the Catholic Church during his ordeal, and in Colorado he found brothers in the Knights of Columbus, joining St. Paul’s Council 11634 in Colorado Springs. He also found love when, in 2010, he wed a young Catholic woman from his Dinka tribe. A long-distance marriage ensued.



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Daniel Maduok, a former Lost Boy of Sudan, walks with his wife, Mary, and their two sons in Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Photo by Ryan Dearth)



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Earlier this year, aided by fellow Knights, two Catholic parishes and a generous co-sponsor, Daniel, now 41, brought his wife, Mary, and two young sons from Africa to live with him in Colorado Springs. “We went through a bad situation. We didn’t have an idea of what life is: family and home,” Daniel said. “Now we are together. We are learning about each other. I am so thankful.” FROM HERDER TO HUNTED In 1983, the Second Sudanese Civil War, which followed on the heels of a previous 17-year conflict, was triggered when the Islamic government in Khartoum imposed sharia law upon all minorities. Four years later, the regime ordered the deaths of males in the Christian south. Government-backed civilian militia carried out these orders in lightning raids on the largely Catholic Dinka population and 400 other tribes that adhere to Christianity or traditional African religions. Young Daniel was tending cattle when an armed paramilitary group invaded his village, Nyamlell, in the state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal. “When they came, they gathered the whole village and started shooting. People scattered,” recalled Daniel, who was separated from his large family. “You just run and save your life.” Instantly, Daniel went from being a cattle herder to hunted fugitive. With only the clothes on his back, he was one of some 20,000 boys forced to flee hundreds of miles, seeking safety in refugee camps. 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


Like Daniel, other Lost Boys were typically 5- to 12-year-old cowherds who fled into the bush when their villages were destroyed. Girls were often killed with their parents or enslaved. Without food or water and pursued on the ground and by air, Daniel trekked for months with boys from other raided villages to a refugee camp on the Ethiopian border in an exodus called “The Walking of the Many.” “We had a huge group,” Daniel recalled. “But it reduced because a lot of boys died.” Many of those who were not shot or captured and conscripted as soldiers were either killed by lions or died of hunger and thirst in the sweltering heat. “We walked. We ate leaves from different trees, roots. You didn’t know what to eat,” Daniel said about his perilous forced march to the United Nations’ camp in Panyido, Ethiopia. “If someone died, you put leaves over them,” he explained. “No time to bury.” Those who did make it to the Panyido camp faced malnutrition and disease, as resource centers were overwhelmed by the number of youths. In 1991, civil war caught up with Daniel and the other Lost Boys, and they fled again. Chased by armed militia, the boys had to re-enter war-torn Sudan and cross the Gilo River as they journeyed to a camp for displaced persons in Pochalla. On the way, many were killed by gunfire, drowned or were eaten by crocodiles. After living under deplorable conditions at Pochalla, war sent them running again, this time to the United Nations

Photo courtesy of Daniel Maduok

Above: Daniel Maduok is pictured with cattle during a visit to his village of Nyamlell, South Sudan, in 2012. • Opposite page: Daniel is pictured wearing his tuxedo and Fourth Degree pin at St. Paul Catholic Church in Colorado Springs.

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Photo by Barry Staver

refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. “You didn’t have hope,” Daniel said about his journeys, which totaled some 1,000 miles. “You were just waiting for death.” Daniel lived in the Kakuma refugee camp for 11 years. The civil war, which officially ended in 2005, killed 2 million people, displaced 4 million and devastated southern Sudan, which became the independent nation of South Sudan in 2011. FROM DEATH TO LIFE Raised without faith, separated from family and surrounded by death, Daniel found hope and new life when he encountered Jesus Christ through a Catholic Mass at the Kakuma camp. He was initially drawn by the beautiful hymns in his native tongue. “I like to sing,” he said of his decision to attend Mass. “When I went to the church, God called me to be Catholic.” His call was nourished by the Scriptures, which convinced him that, like the biblical Daniel in the lion’s den, God had protected him from the dangers he had faced. “I passed through crocodiles and death,” he said. “God saved me from all that. I read in the Bible that God is life. He is Jesus Christ. That gave me faith.” In 2001, the U.S. government gave approval for 4,000 Lost Boys to relocate to the United States. Two years later, Daniel was sponsored by a church and brought to Denver. In 2007, he moved to Colorado Springs to share an apartment with four other Lost Boys. A year later, he became a U.S. citizen. In 2010, Daniel returned to Sudan for three months to wed Mary, a young woman who shares his Dinka heritage and Catholic faith. In 2012, he made a one-month visit to his wife and held their son for the first time. To the parents’ joy, a second boy followed. “Daniel’s story is a true journey of faith,” said Tom Platek, past grand knight of St. Paul’s Council 11634. “I was an usher at St. Paul Church and quite often he would be there before me, sitting in church reading the Bible. I saw that he was very serious about his religion.” On one occasion in 2010, Platek complimented Daniel about how nicely he always dressed and was moved by the response. “He said, ‘Would it be any other way when you visit the house of the King of Kings?’” recalled Platek, who now lives in Michigan. “His respect for God and his house hit home with me. I said, ‘My brother, how would you like to really be my brother?’”

Platek not only recruited Daniel into Council 11634 but also took him to the meetings. Today, Daniel is a proud Fourth Degree Knight. “I like the Knights because they help people,” Daniel said. “In Africa, we had a small Christian group to help each other, and I need to do the same here.” SUPPORT FOR A FRIEND Orphaned and reared in refugee camps after fleeing for their lives, Lost Boys are among the most badly war-traumatized victims, according to experts. “What’s amazing about Daniel is you hear about PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), but he has a constant smile,” said Morgan Moon of Council 11634. “He is very Christ-like and grateful for everything: his heartbeat, the sunrise.” Having been to Africa while in the Air Force and aware of Sudan’s history of violence and instability, Moon asked Daniel when they first met at St. Paul Church whether he was a Lost Boy. “He said, ‘Yes,’” Morgan recalled. “He showed me a picture of his wife and kids and said they were still there.” Moon immediately offered to assist Daniel with the immigration process to bring his wife and children to the United States. He also helped him get two full-time jobs: at a grocery store and at a resort. Yet even with two jobs, Daniel did not earn enough to meet immigration norms to bring his family to the States. Nor could he afford their airfare. Moon then took the situation to Council 11634, asking if they could help raise airfare for Daniel’s family. Members readily lent their support and also urged him to appeal to other councils in the area. “The Knights said, ‘Go for it, we’ll back you!’” Moon recalled. And they did. Within 10 days, they raised the necessary $3,000 to fly the family to Colorado. “The founding principle of the Knights is charity,” said Jim Lauer, a past grand knight of Council 11634 who set up the airfare fund through Colorado Knights of Columbus State Charities. “This is what the Knights are about.” Lauer learned that a brother Knight was relocating and had a houseful of items to give away. Aware that Daniel needed furniture for his family, Lauer told him, “I know just the right guy!” Meanwhile, retired Air Force Col. Steve Steele, who had befriended Daniel soon after the refugee arrived in Colorado Springs, offered to be Daniel’s immigration co-sponsor. The two met when Daniel took a class taught by Steele’s wife, Mary AUGUST 2016

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Beth, and began attending the couple’s parish, St. Peter Catholic Church. Steele gave the financial aid qualifying Daniel to bring his family to the United States, and St. Peter and St. Paul parishes provided $2,000 to help with rent and food expenses. “It’s a very compelling story,” Steele said about Daniel’s hardships, deep faith and love for his new land. “He’s very appreciative of being here and of what the Knights and the two churches have done.” A REUNITED FAMILY On Jan. 22, Daniel welcomed his wife and sons at Denver International Airport. It was the first time he met and embraced his 2-year-old son, Maduok. He hadn’t seen his 5-year-old boy, Wol, since the child was a toddler. And he’d only spent a total of four months with his wife, Mary, now 26. “Even though I didn’t see them, I knew God would help me,” Daniel said of the years his family lived an ocean apart. He had to deal with mounds of paperwork for his family members as they lived in Nairobi, Kenya, and lacked identification papers from the fledgling South Sudan. “When they got here, they were already grown,” Daniel said of his preschool-age sons, whom he had never held as babies. “I would just send them money.” 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


But the chance to hold a newborn child is on the horizon. “We have another one coming,” he said with a smile. “Due December 24, Christmas Eve. That’s our present!” Today, Daniel’s sons, formerly without a country, are U.S. citizens. Mary has an immigrant visa and aims for citizenship within five years. Their adopted nation is the land of promise that offers his family hope of a better life, Daniel said. “They will never go hungry. Now, they are in a good situation,” Daniel said. “I like the United States because it is a place of opportunity — to get a job, to follow your religion. Here you can worship whether Catholic or Muslim.” Now Daniel dreams of the day when he can work just one job and pursue an education, which would enable him to better provide for his family. “What makes America great is education,” he said. “Education makes everything better.” He hopes to pay forward what he’s received. “How can I pass my thanks?” he said. “I want to do the same — to help, to volunteer, to sponsor someone. There are still many people who need help.”♦ ROXANNE KING is a freelance journalist based in Denver.

Photo by Ryan Dearth

Daniel Maduok and his wife, Mary, enjoy a moment together in Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs.

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Mercy Begins in the Home Our responsibility to show mercy to others begins with small lessons of kindness by Kathleen M. Basi



henever I go out with my three rambunctious, superhero-obsessed young boys and their sister, people zero in on my daughter, who has Down syndrome. Their reaction is always the same: “You sure have your hands full!” Well, yes, I do. But not for the reason they think. Truthfully, the kid with special needs is the easy one. It’s the rest of them I have to worry about. On any given day, the preschooler will demolish the LEGO masterpiece that took his big brother three days to build. The 7-year-old will shove his little brother down and then play the victim when the other retaliates. The tween will decide that sitting in the front seat of the van is the hill he’s ready to die upon. During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, I’ve had ample opportunities to recognize a fundamental truth: Mercy begins in the home. We often think of “mercy” in relation to forgiveness, but if we distill the corporal and spiritual works of mercy to their essence, they are about recognizing and honoring the elemental goodness — the presence of God — in everyone around us. Mercy is about opening our hearts and minds to accept and love others, rather than judge and censure them. You might say that in the home as in the world, mercy begins with kindness. But kindness is in short supply these days. Ratings trump integrity; shock value drives ratings; and commentators and social media users feel entitled to say things to the faceless internet that, not so long ago, would have been universally recognized as bad manners. We aren’t encouraged to find the best in others; we’re conditioned to assume the worst. How can we expect our children to honor the presence of God in complete strangers — and even enemies — unless they first learn to honor that presence in those who are closest to them? For instance, let’s say my son goes to confession because he’s fighting with his little brother. His best intention to “sin no more and avoid whatever may lead me to sin” is

doomed if he doesn’t learn to open and soften his heart toward his brother. He’ll be back in the confessional soon enough. In this case, true mercy means replacing antagonism with kindness, learning to view conflicts through his brother’s eyes, speaking with gentleness and seeking solutions that are good for everyone, not just himself. Fallen human nature says, “I don’t like that game, and I’m not playing with you!” Kindness says, “I know you want to play that game, but I really don’t, so if you’ll give up that one game, I’ll play whatever else you want. Your choice.” Fallen human nature says, “Don’t you dare drink from my cup!” Kindness says, “Here, I’ll share.” Small lessons, to be sure, but as our children’s world expands, so does their understanding of it. When we train ourselves to see the best in others rather than the worst, the formal works of mercy follow naturally. We perceive the need around us differently. When we see a person standing at a street corner or living in squalor, our first reaction is “How can I help?” instead of “Their problems must be a result of their own bad choices.” I don’t mean to oversimplify. The world’s problems are real, and there are few easy answers. But mercy, as Pope Francis emphasizes, is the appropriate response for a Christian. And mercy — which we access through kindness — is not just found in a sacrament or memorized as a list of works. It is a deeply practical way of interacting with others. In fact, it’s a way of life, and our best hope of changing the world. As St. John Paul II once said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” It begins with mercy. And mercy begins in the home.♦ KATHLEEN M. BASI, a mother of four, writes an award-winning column for Liguorian magazine. Her work has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and on the NPR program All Things Considered. Visit her online at



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Faith in a Time of Persecution Christian joy, courage and love of life are the strongest weapons against terrorism by Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


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A Christian woman prays July 8 at the site of a suicide car bomb attack associated with the Islamic State. More than 250 people were killed in the shopping area of Karrada, in Baghdad, Iraq, five days earlier, making it the deadliest such attack since 2003.


Photo by REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily

n Jan. 16, 2010, I arrived in Mosul, the most dangerous city in Iraq at the time. I arrived as a new archbishop for an ancient diocese, which traces its origins to the end of the first century. Once the second largest archdiocese in Iraq after Baghdad, Mosul had remained without a bishop for about two years after my predecessor, Archbishop Paul Faraj Rahho, was kidnapped and killed in 2008. Because of the persecution of Christians, the majority of the faithful had already fled the city by the time of my arrival. One might ask: How could one go and live in a place like Mosul in 2010? I think that the more correct question is: How does one confront persecution from a standpoint of faith?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Chaldean Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona served as archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, from 2010 to 2014. When Islamic State militants (also known as ISIS or Daesh) overran Mosul in June 2014, Christians were forced to flee to the Kurdistan region in the north of the country. In January 2015, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Nona to head the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Sydney — the Chaldean Catholic diocese for Australia and New Zealand. This text was adapted from an address he delivered Jan. 17 at the New York Encounter — an annual gathering in New York City organized by the Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation — and is reprinted with permission.

COUNTERING FEAR WITH FAITH Several weeks after my arrival in Mosul, I said to the faithful gathered for Mass: “Our lives are worth living fully with joy and strength at every moment. Even if others want to kill us, even if I have to die an hour from now, it is required of us to live life well, rejoicing and filled with courage in the present moment. The strongest weapon against terrorism is a joyful, fully Christian life.” In preparation for my first Easter as archbishop, I announced that we would work to have a Mass in the evening, and a late one at that. Since 2003, there were no more late and evening Masses because of fear and also because an 11 o’clock curfew was imposed at night. “Make one Mass and live it with joy and as a truly spiritual moment,” I told the faithful. “We will face fear with our faith, with unity and participation in our destiny. After that, if they wish to kill us, so be it.” When the time came, we celebrated Easter Mass at a very late hour. The church was filled to standing room only, and it was wonderful. We challenged fear with the joy of our faith, and with courage, unity and reason — sticking with our culture and Christian tradition amid the high waves that countered them. In 2011, we planned for Easter to be celebrated during the afternoon so that people did not stay late into the evening. In the morning, I woke and was told that the army had imposed a “curfew” in all of Mosul. No one could go out in a car, and in some places people were not even allowed to walk. I was waiting with concern and hoping that this curfew would be lifted before Mass, but it was not. I asked the local police to take me to the church, and considered if Mass could take place with just one or two people. When I arrived, about a third of the church was filled with people, and soon more people came and filled it. I was amazed, because I knew they were from distant neighborhoods, and I asked them how they came to the church. AUGUST 2016

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Archbishop Amel Nona, the former Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, delivers an address at the New York Encounter, a national gathering of Communion and Liberation, in New York City Jan. 17.

THE POWER OF CHRISTIAN JOY Islamic terrorists are well aware that implanting fear in others helps them do what they want in the world. So our weapon as Christians is to live without fear — showing them that we love life and will never give up. When they see our brave choice they lose the foundation of their fear-based ideology. In other words, we fight them by living out our Christian life, which counters their basic thinking and principles. From my experience in Mosul, I can say that we can defeat the evil incarnate in those terrorists. And we do it by a solid, strong Christian life and the fullness of joy, showing all this 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


SUPPORT THE CHRISTIAN REFUGEE RELIEF FUND SINCE AUGUST 2014, the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund has raised more than $11 million to support Christians and other minorities suffering persecution in the Middle East. All funds go directly to those in need to provide food, housing, medical aid, education and general relief. For more information or to donate, visit

Photo by Gina Lopez, courtesy of the New York Encounter

“We walked,” they said. Some families had walked more than an hour — father and mother, sons and daughters, including young women. When the army saw Christians along the streets, they asked, “Why are you walking during the curfew?” The Christians replied, “Because today is our feast.” In some cases, the soldiers invited them into their cars and brought them to the church. Do you know what it means for a Christian family, especially women and girls, to walk on the street when there is curfew in Mosul? It means they are easy targets for anyone who wants to kill or abduct them. When I saw the actions that these people took, we began Mass, and it was very beautiful. If someone asks me how can one could go to Mosul and live with fear, I always answer them with this parable, this real example. I say, “How can we not have courage when we see faith like this? With faith and courage like this, we can defeat any evil, without fear.”

openly to others. Terrorists are afraid of a very happy Christian life. So let us become joyful Christians who are delighted in our faith in order to defeat them. There are many people who come back to Christianity because of fear. The return to faith is good, but the cause of this needs to change from fear to courage, from fear to strong Christian conviction. We have to be convinced and believe that Christianity is the true way of life. I know one thing from my experience having lived in Mosul: the Christian faith is the solution. It is possible to fight fear with courage in the declaration of our faith. And such a declaration does not just mean the Christian example, but also the courage to talk about this example and to reveal this everywhere and to everyone. We fight fear when we believe that we are going to die someday. When? I do not know, but until I die, the question is: How do I live my life? With strength and joy — because I am a Christian. If not in this place, then in another. If not in Mosul, then maybe in New York. Daesh can do nothing, terrorists can do nothing, when Christians live as true believers. During the recent wave of immigration to Europe, I saw a report on television about a Greek lady who rescued a family from drowning in the sea. She said that people’s lives have changed: They have lost joy and safety; they have lost interest in life due to the large number of tragedies. They no longer feel reassured and loved. I reflected on what she said and I did not feel the same, even though I lived for four years surrounded by terrorism, in very critical conditions. When I drove to homes and churches, I had to frequently change routes and dress in lay clothes for safety. Still, I did not feel what the woman described, but her words made me wonder: Why had her situation and that of others reached this point? I think the reason is not the tragedies in front of us, but rather the empty space in our lives. What is the basis upon which we live our lives?

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

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BEARING WITNESS TO TRUE FREEDOM In the Western world, we have established life based on one thing: freedom. We fought for freedom, and it is really worth fighting for. But we have set all of our life on this one and only basis. Only freedom. As a result, with the first signs of a problem or a challenge to our freedom, everything breaks down. We lose joy and safety, we no longer feel reassured and loved. Freedom is necessary, but it cannot be separated from truth and love. We cannot live as free people without Christian principles, values and ethics informing all aspects of our lives, such as the economy, politics and relationships. When we deprive freedom of all this, it becomes only an idol and comes to mean merely that we do whatever we want. When confronted with terrorism, the majority of people are afraid not only of losing their lives, but also of losing the kind of freedom on which we founded our current system of life. At the same time, there is a growing fear of Christianity in Western society because people think that anything with fixed principles is a threat to their way of life. But faithful Christians are called to face challenges with strength, firmness and lack of fear. We should not be afraid to call ourselves Christians and to embrace a different way of life. As Christians love their haters and persecutors, they show their strength and teach others how to respect life, even when they sometimes have to resort to the use of pressure and force. To love the other does not mean giving in to what the other wants, but nurturing and educating the other with the love that we received from Christ. In a culture that evades responsibility, Christians need to be responsible even for the wrongdoer, the villain who wants to kill us; we should not allow him to continue his wickedness. Jesus said, “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5:39). This means to stop the evildoer by showing him a face that he does not know. It does not mean that we always are to be pessimistic and submissive and to allow others to hurt us. But to stop them and stop their evil, we can show that we do not hurt them even though we could, because we love their humanity in spite of their wickedness. We need a responsible Christianity, a faith that takes responsibility for the evil and the good, for the whole world. Pope Francis says that there is “globalization of indifference.” We must be witnesses to our mission, not indifferent or apathetic to what is happening around us. This includes the question: How can we in the West help those persecuted Christians?

Spray-painted graffiti on the wall of a Christian home in Mosul, Iraq, is pictured July 26, 2014, showing the Arabic letter nun — ‫ — ن‬the first letter of the word Nasara (meaning “Nazarenes”), used by Daesh to refer to Christians. Also written in Arabic are the words: Real estate property of the Islamic State. You can help the persecuted Christians when you return to your community with courage and say that we are Christians and we want a society that is Christian; when you declare by your words and actions that you are Christians at every moment and in all areas of life: in the home, in relationships, at work, with friends and with strangers, with your social, political and economic stances. When you do all that, you are helping persecuted Christians. Shemon Bar Sabbae, a patriarch of our Church, was martyred in the fourth century under Persian rule for refusing to deny his faith. When they were taking him and hundreds of Christians to execution, stripped of their clothes, he sang a hymn that we still sing in the Chaldean liturgy. I conclude with two lines from this hymn: “Even if they stripped off your outer clothes, do not take off your inner clothes, dear baptized faithful. If you are dressed with this invisible weapon, even the waves of many temptations will not defeat you.” Just as the martyrs at the beginning of Christianity were filled with joy when they gave their lives, so it is today in many places of the world. Our behavior shows our faith. Our words translate our Christianity.♦ ARCHBISHOP AMEL SHAMON NONA, a native of Iraq and former archbishop of Mosul, currently serves as head of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Sydney, Australia. AUGUST 2016

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Gold Medal Faith An interview with Catholic Olympian and world champion shot putter Joe Kovacs by Columbia staff

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Photo by Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

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urrently ranked the No. 1 shot putter in the world, Joe Kovacs was born in Nazareth, Pa., on June 28, 1989. Raised in a Catholic home by Joseph and Joanna Kovacs, he suffered the loss of his father at age 7. Kovacs graduated in 2007 from Bethlehem Catholic High School, where he excelled in football and won state titles in the shot put and discus. In 2008, Kovacs earned a track and field scholarship to Penn State University and joined the Knights of Columbus as a member of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Council 4282 in Nazareth. An All-American shot putter, he graduated from Penn State with a degree in energy business and finance. After just missing the 2012 Olympics with a fourth place finish at the Trials, Kovacs became a professional athlete the same year, endorsed by Nike. In 2015, he heaved a throw of 22.56 meters (74 feet, ¼ inch) — the best in the world since 2003 and the 8th longest in history. Later that year, he won the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. On July 1, Kovacs qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games, which take place in Rio de Janeiro Aug. 5-21. Columbia recently spoke with Joe Kovacs about the role his Catholic faith and community have played in his life as a world-class athlete.

COLUMBIA: Can you describe the impact that your mother has had on you? How has she helped you over the years? JOE KOVACS: My dad passed away when I was 7, and my grandmother, my mom’s mom, passed away the very next day. That experience brought us very close together. The whole time growing up she was juggling a bunch of different roles, and she was always there for me. Once I was in high school, she became my track coach. I went to a small Catholic school — Bethlehem Catholic High School — and we didn’t have a track or a facility. I started track just to stay in shape for football, which was my primary love and sport at the time. My mom came to practice and realized we didn’t really have a coach for shot put and discus. Because she knew some things about throwing, having been district champion back in her day, she helped me out. She found a coach who knew a lot, and we’d drive down to Harrisburg every Sunday after church and meet with him. I’d practice, and my mom would learn with me, which really brought us together and helped me a lot in the sport. COLUMBIA: Your mom made a point of providing good role models for you after your father’s untimely death. Could you talk a little about that? JOE KOVACS: We’re really close to the community of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. They’re the priests at our parish, Holy Family, and their retirement community is about 20 minutes from my house. The whole community of priests

Joe Kovacs shows his gold medal during the awards ceremony for the men’s shot put final at the 15th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China, Aug. 24, 2015.

and sisters in the area really helped me and my entire family get through that tough time. They helped me with my faith, but they also helped me do things that aren’t the norm. One of the priests, Father Joe Gleixner, was my confirmation sponsor and helped me a ton. I was in a lot of science fairs in high school, and he showed me how to build things. We built a wind tunnel together. One of the retired priests also helped me chip a golf ball around their grounds, and that’s how I learned to have a good golf swing. So the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have been very close to my family. They weren’t just role models, they were friends, and I consider them all part of my family. COLUMBIA: When you were a freshman at Penn State, you joined the Knights of Columbus. What led you to join? JOE KOVACS: As a little kid, it was the guys with the swords who were really cool. But I got close to the Knights at church just because they were always the people volunteering, holding events. They have done so much in our community. So that’s what attracted me — I realized that the people I looked up to or wanted to become were part of this great organization. Before I joined, I was a Squire for two or three years in high school. I went to our Pennsylvania meeting twice; it was an awesome place to be. At Penn State, I kind of got away from it, since I was gone almost every weekend traveling for track. I definitely have not been as active as I’d like to be. I’ve been living in at the Olympic Training Center for almost the past three years but would like to start back up once I’m able to find my own place and settle down. COLUMBIA: Do you find it difficult to practice your faith while competing internationally? JOE KOVACS: I have to say that one of the coolest things about the Catholic faith, being universal, is that every time you go to a church in a different country the format of the Mass is the same. I may not know what they’re saying in their language — but I do know what they’re saying. In most countries, I know only enough words to order food in their languages, but when I go to church I know what’s going on and can participate in Mass. COLUMBIA: Have you found common spiritual bonds among your teammates or coaches? JOE KOVACS: My coach, Art Venegas, comes from a Catholic upbringing. He actually taught in a Catholic school before he went to the collegiate level. I was at the Vatican last year, and when I came home, I gave his mother a rosary blessed by the pope because she always says a rosary for me every time I go on a trip. And on competition day, she’s always praying I won’t get hurt. It feels good to be associated with people who know the Catholic faith. Of course, if people in the track community heard this about Coach Venegas, they wouldn’t believe it. He’s a very old-school coach and one of the craziest and loudest people you’d hear, but he has great values and a strong faith. AUGUST 2016

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COLUMBIA: What have been your proudest and your most challenging moments as an athlete? JOE KOVACS: I like telling people that I’ve lost way more than I’ve ever won. I won States my senior year of high school, but it wasn’t that I had a spectacular performance — I feel that I got lucky that day. And I never had big throws in college until the end. I was always the one working the hardest. My high school welcomed me back for an awesome recognition assembly after winning Worlds in Beijing, and they read off my athletic résumé, saying “All-American” a bunch of times. It sounds good, but you get All-American if you’re top 8. So if I hear that in 2006 I was All-American, I remember that I was fifth, or I was fourth. Fourth place is not the place you want to be in. As I look back, I think that’s what kept me going. I had fire in the belly and a chip on the shoulder because you go into every meet wanting to win. At the same time, I was excited to be in fourth place at the 2012 Olympic Trials because that’s when I realized I had a big PR. The next week, I was in Paris for my first international meet, so it opened a lot of doors for me to keep doing this. Probably the proudest moment so far has been lifting up the gold medal last year in the World Championships, wearing the U.S.A. jersey in Beijing. Everything we planned I was able to execute and get done. 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


COLUMBIA: What are you looking forward to most in Rio? JOE KOVACS: I have a lot of family coming; I think 14 family members. Now, it’s really exciting for me, but going into the Trials when I hadn’t punched my ticket yet, that was stressful — knowing that they were all getting ready to travel to Rio, and I hadn’t done what I need to do. So, I’m excited that they’re coming down now, because they can experience it with me. They haven’t seen me wear the U.S.A. jersey; that’s the biggest thing. Wearing the U.S.A. jersey means so much to me; I love representing my country. But it also represents being at the top level. If you’re from any other country and you throw 66 feet, that’s the Olympic standard. Just throw that once and you’re going to the Games, whereas over here in the States we’re throwing 70 and not making the team. So, if you are wearing the U.S.A. jersey at Rio, you know you can come away with a medal, and that’s the biggest vote of confidence. Of course I’m going for the gold, that’s the plan. And we still haven’t backed off our training yet, so we’re looking to see some good things. With my coach, it’s all about: “You don’t have to do anything special.” I want to be the guy who just had to do what he did on a normal day. COLUMBIA: Any final words for our readers? JOE KOVACS: Thank you, guys. Prayers always help — for our whole team going down to Rio. God bless.♦

Photo by Jiro Mochizuki/IOS via AP Images

Joe Kovacs wins the shot put with a distance of 72 feet, 2.5 inches (22.01m) in the ExxonMobil Bislett Games 2016 in Oslo, Norway, June 9.

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AP Photo

Athlete, author and Knight of Columbus James B. Connolly was the first to win in the modern Olympic Games ONE OF THE most distinguished — and improbable — vic- tually Easter Sunday, April 5. Connolly’s event was slated to foltories in Olympic history occurred 120 years ago, when James low the opening ceremony, the very next day. B. Connolly won the first event of the 1896 Olympic Games. Eighty thousand spectators filled the stadium as the sleep-deA feisty and energetic 27-year-old son of poor Irish immigrants prived triple jumper walked out to the sandpit. There were no from South Boston, Connolly became the first Olympic cham- trials; three jumps would determine the winner. On his final pion in more than 1,500 years. turn, Connolly leaped 45 feet before the astonished crowd. Abolished in 393 A.D. by Emperor Theodosius I, the Olympic Prince George of Greece, the chief fields judge, announced Games lay dormant until their 1896 revival by Pierre de Cou- the results of the first Olympic event. “You are the victor,” he bertin, a French nobleman. As Eurotold Connolly. “You have beaten the peans were expected to dominate all second man by a meter.” The crowd the events, the United States fielded erupted with “Nike! Nike!” — “Victor! only a dozen athletes, mainly Harvard Victor!” — as a band broke out into and Princeton men. To qualify, all the the Star-Spangled Banner and the Americans had to do was fill out an American flag was raised over the staentry form and pay their way across dium. Connolly later described the the ocean. Connolly, the American sensation: “I went floating, not walkrecord holder in the triple jump, was ing, floating across the stadium arena determined to join the team of ’96. on waves that sounded like a million One of 12 children and the sixth of voices and two million hands cheering 10 sons, Connolly was born Oct. 28, and applauding.” 1868. His father was a fisherman, while Connolly was then crowned with an his mother raised the children and olive wreath and received a silver translated Gaelic poetry. Though he medal. (In the 1896 Olympics, only never completed high school, Connolly the top two received medals; silver for was a man of boundless enterprise and first and bronze for second.) He went imagination. After working as a clerk in on to take second place in the high a Boston insurance company, he joined jump and third place in the long jump. the Army Corps of Engineers in SavanThe next year in New York, Connolly nah, Ga., where he founded a Catholic would set a new triple jump record sports club, wrote a sports column for with a mark of 49 feet, which stood for James B. Connolly poses with a U.S. flag at the first a weekly newspaper and established a 13 years and was not matched in modern international Olympic Games held in bicycling business. In 1890, he won the Olympic competition until 1924. Athens, Greece, in 1896. national triple jump championship. Connolly’s colorful career continued Bright but uneducated, he took Harback in Boston, where he wrote for a vard’s entrance exam in 1895 and was accepted to study in the fall. living and joined the Knights of Columbus as a member of Back “I was a freshman at Harvard,” Connolly later recounted, Bay Council 331. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War “when I saw in the papers that the Olympics were to be revived. in 1898, he enlisted with the Ninth Massachusetts Infantry and Right away, I wanted to go. I was National A.A.U. hop, step fought at San Juan Hill in Cuba, publishing war reports in the and jump champion, and I asked Harvard if I could represent Boston Globe. He married Elizabeth Hurley in 1904 and later had them at the Games. They said if I left I’d have to resign and a daughter, Brenda. During World War I, he covered U-boat acmight not get back in school when I returned. So I quit.” tion for Collier’s magazine, met Pope Pius X and later reported Returning to his roots, Connolly received sponsorship from on the Irish War of Independence. His writing also appeared in his Suffolk Athletic Club of South Boston. With the help of his magazines like the Saturday Evening Post, Harper’s and Columbia. family’s Catholic parish, he then managed to raise enough money Renowned for his salty temperament, Connolly authored for a ticket on the U.S.S. Fulda, a Naples-bound steamer that more than 25 novels and 200 short stories based on his extenwould carry him and most of his Olympic teammates across the sive maritime travels, which included trips with Gloucester Atlantic for the start of the Games on Easter Monday, April 6. fishermen and German fleets in the Baltic, Arctic whaling exHaving calculated that they would have 12 days to get accli- peditions and a trans-Atlantic voyage in a racing yacht. He was mated in Athens, the young Americans trained as much as they dubbed “America’s best writer of sea stories” by Joseph Conrad could on the deck of the ship. After 16 straight days of travel, and also admired by T.S. Eliot and President Teddy Roosevelt. they arrived at their destination only to discover with shock that James Brendan Connolly died in New York on Jan. 20, 1957, — according to the Julian calendar used in Greece — it was ac- at the age of 88. — Andrew J. Matt AUGUST 2016

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800 Years of Grace The Order of Preachers celebrates its 800th jubilee, a milestone marked by vibrant communities and flourishing vocations by Katie Scott

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Image courtesy of the artist, Bernadette Carstensen, © Dominican Province of St. Joseph, 2015

Beloved Dominican Saints, a painting by Bernadette Carstensen, commissioned by the St. Joseph Province for the 800th jubilee of the Order of Preachers, portrays 24 Dominican saints and blesseds. St. Dominic, the founder, appears kneeling in the center left.


n early 1995, a graduate student of environmental engineering and chemistry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore stepped into the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Inside, rosaries dangled from the friars’ ankle-length white tunics, chants filled the chapel, and texts of theology and philosophy lined the library shelves. But amid the sounds and symbols of an order characterized by traditional Catholicism and rigorous study, he also encoun-

tered frequent laughter and discussions ranging from bluegrass to baseball. The friars “were eminently human,” while “it was clear they had a strong sense of purpose,” said the now-Dominican priest, Father John Paul Walker. That purpose — to preach the truth of Jesus Christ with intellectual reasoning and compassion — has stretched across nearly a millennium and existed under 90 popes. Founded in 1216, the order marks its 800th jubilee this year. AUGUST 2016

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It is a time to celebrate not only its founding but also the increasing number of vocations around the world, including in the United States and, in particular, the St. Joseph Province, which covers the Eastern U.S. The number of active friars in the province is expected to increase by 50 percent in the next 10 years, according to figures presented at a June provincial assembly. Part of the order’s appeal is that it combines “a very traditional sense of the faith with a strong evangelical outreach,” said Father Walker, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., and a member of Father Michael J. McGivney Council 10705. “We see the beauty in the deeper tradition of the Church, but don’t see that tradition as a shell to retreat into,” he said. “Rather, we see that tradition as something that is beautiful and compelling and can be used to bring others into the faith or into a deeper experience of the faith.”

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Above: Newly ordained Dominican Father Joseph Anthony Kess blesses a couple in the Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Eleven friars were ordained to the priesthood May 21 at the basilica. • Opposite: Friars of the St. Joseph Province pray together at Solemn Vespers June 16 during their provincial assembly at Providence College in Providence, R.I. ,

The friars and nuns have “a close and important relationship,” said Father Legge. Like the friars, the cloistered nuns take a vow of obedience to the master of the order. Today, they are led by Father Bruno Cadoré, who was elected in 2010 for a nine-year term and is the 86th successor of St. Dominic. The nuns pray for the friars’ preaching and the friars provide intellectual development for the contemplative sisters. “It’s a spiritual friendship,” said Sister Maria of the Angels, novice mistress at the Monastery of Our Lady of Grace in North Guilford, Conn. Active Dominican sisters, with congregations around the world, are part of the order but retain various degrees of autonomy. Their apostolates include teaching as well as caring for the young, sick, incarcerated and the poor. A number of lay and priestly fraternities and organizations also exist to further the work of the order. Lay Dominicans, formerly called the Third Order of Preachers, number more than 150,000 worldwide. FAITH BEYOND BORDERS The success of the Dominicans was not guaranteed, Father Walker pointed out. When it was founded, preaching was primarily the prerogative of bishops, and an order of priests wandering “across the known world with universal permission to preach … was a radical idea,” he said. The fact that they were mendicants, or beggars, and the order’s internal emphasis on the democratic process were similarly “eyed with suspicion,” said Father Walker. But supported by the nuns’ prayers, St. Dominic’s order spread throughout Europe and beyond.

Photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann

PREACHERS FOR EVERY AGE Founded under Pope Honorius III, the Order of Preachers emerged from challenges that have parallels in the 21st century, said Dominican Father Dominic Legge, a professor of dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, located within the Dominican House of Studies. St. Dominic de Guzman of Spain felt compelled to establish the order after realizing that uneducated clergy and wealthy monasteries were failing to impart the faith properly. As a result, some Christians came under the influence of gnostic sects such as the Cathars or Albigensians, who denied the goodness of the material world, including the body. Father Legge, a member of The Catholic University of America Council 9542 in Washington, said we face a similar gnosticism today. “We think we can be spiritual without honoring our body in a way ordained by God,” he said. St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers to refute this heresy and grounded the order upon four pillars: prayer, study, community and preaching. To aid his missionary efforts, he spread one of the Church’s most treasured devotions: the rosary. According to tradition, the saint devised the rosary after he received a vision of the Blessed Mother. About 10 years before the order was approved, St. Dominic gathered a group of women converts into a monastic community, whose members prayed for the success of his preaching. Contemplative Dominican nuns emerged from this community, while the order’s active religious sisters were established later. Thomas Aquinas, the 13th-century saint and doctor of the Church, joined the Dominicans within a few decades of the order’s founding. He remains the greatest thinker and theologian to emerge from the order, which regards his work, especially the Summa Theologica, “as a special heritage,” said Father Legge. Together with Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Martin de Porres and St. Rose of Lima are among the 103 canonized Dominican saints. More than 370 Dominicans have been beatified.

Photo by Scott Indermauer

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Dominicans arrived in the New World in 1526, just two years after the Franciscans. They soon went to the Philippines in the late 16th century, eventually founding the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest existing university in Asia. In Vietnam, which now enjoys a strong Dominican presence, the order arrived in the 17th century; Dominican friars were among the first martyrs in the region. In 1806, the Order of Preachers gained a permanent presence in the United States when Dominican Father Edward Dominic Fenwick established the first province — St. Joseph. Three additional U.S. provinces — St. Albert the Great (Central), St. Martin de Porres (Southern) and the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Western) — followed. Dominicans have a long history of meeting and forming young minds through their outreach at colleges and universities. In addition to Providence College, founded in Rhode Island by the Dominican friars in 1917, there is a Dominican presence at dozens of U.S. campuses, including New York University, Stanford, the University of Virginia and Purdue. Rooting its work in approximately 40 provinces worldwide, the order extends its charism outward through foreign missions, and over time, missionaries lay the foundation for new provinces. St. Joseph Province’s current mission is in East Africa. In Poland, Dominicans established a province just a few years after the order was founded. “It’s amazing to realize that the Dominicans have been in Kraków continuously for nearly 800 years, surviving even two world wars,” said Father Benedict Croell, St. Joseph Province

vocations director and a member of Archbishop Elder Council 1195 in Cincinnati, Ohio. During World Youth Day in Kraków July 25-31, Dominicans helped the Knights of Columbus with the largest English-speaking catechetical site at the international pilgrimage. An enduring relationship between the Knights and the Dominicans was established more than a century ago, when Dominicans arrived at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven just four years after Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights at the parish in 1882 (see sidebar). AN ENDURING MISSION With thriving communities around the world, “we’re experiencing extraordinary grace during this jubilee year,” said Father Croell. “Now is a Dominican moment.” Internationally, growing provinces include those in England, Nigeria, Ireland, Vietnam and Poland. In May, 11 men were ordained priests for the St. Joseph Province — the largest class of friars ordained for the province in 45 years. This summer, around 16 men will enter the province’s novitiate on the feast of St. Dominic, Aug. 8. Approximately 70 men are in formation, making it the order’s second-largest formation program in the world for a single province. Among the fastest-growing Dominican congregations of active sisters in the United States are the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tenn., and the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Mich. Another thriving community, the Dominican Sisters of St.


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Rose of Lima in Hawthorne, N.Y, was founded in 1900 by Catholic convert Rose Hawthorne, the daughter of the American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. Dominican Father Gabriel O’Donnell, who served as the initial postulator for Father McGivney’s cause for canonization, has also served as postulator of Mother Rose’s cause, which is currently being reviewed by the Vatican. Some of the flourishing contemplative, cloistered communities in the United States include the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, N.J.; St. Dominic’s Monastery in Linden, Va.; and the Monastery of Our Lady of Grace in Connecticut. Our Lady of Grace Monastery went years without a single vocation, but now four women are in formation and three are in the application process. According to Sister Maria of the Angels, the order has attracted vocations in part because it offers a healthy blend of prayer, study and charity. People might think of a cloistered monastery as dour or lonely, but the opposite is true, she said. When you are aware that “God created us to be his friends,” she said, “you have great joy.”

There’s a balance in the Dominican order, added Father O’Donnell. “It has to do with laws, but more fundamentally with a vision of the human person,” he said. “We have an optimistic view of creation. Every aspect of life is important, not only prayer, but eating, drinking and sleeping.” This holistic, incarnational understanding of human life informs how Dominicans engage with the world. People might think of them as bookworms, said Father Croell. “But we are meeting people where they are — on the Metro, on our YouTube page.” Reflecting on the order’s efforts and this year’s jubilee, Father O’Donnell — a Dominican for more than a half-century — said the 800th anniversary “has prompted a lot of gratitude.” “We’ve had highs and lows in the order over the centuries and have been reduced at times,” he said, “but it’s as vibrant now as when I entered.” “As Dominicans, we believe that if people see truth, they will move toward it,” added Father Croell. “We are trying to help them see it.”♦ KATIE SCOTT is a reporter for the Arlington Catholic Herald.

THE KNIGHTS AND THE DOMINICANS ST. MARY’S CHURCH in New Haven, Conn., is not only St. Dominic Church in Washington, said there’s “a consisthe birthplace of the Knights of Columbus; it is also where tency in Father McGivney’s work and the Dominican idea an enduring relationship between the Knights and the Do- of mission.” minican order began. Both engage with the world and proThe bond originated when Dominican mote faith formation by nurturing the friars arrived at the parish in 1886, just spiritual as well as the cultural life of the four years after Father Michael J. Mcfaithful, he said. Givney founded the Knights. Father John Paul Walker, the current St. Mary’s was built in 1834, but a fire pastor of St. Mary’s and a member of destroyed the immigrant-Catholic church Father Michael J. McGivney Council 14 years later. In 1874, a new church was 10705, observed that both the Knights constructed on the exclusive Hillhouse and Dominicans seek to serve young Avenue near Yale University. Though it people and foster “true reverence for the “gave Catholics a real presence in an area liturgy.” filled with anti-Catholics, it created enorAccording to Dominican Father mous debt,” said Dominican Father CarGabriel O’Donnell, several Yale stuleton Jones, former prior and pastor of St. dents have entered the Dominican order Mary’s and a member of Sts. Philip and over the years due to the “good preachJames Council 14102 in Baltimore. ing and good liturgy” at St. Mary’s. The Dominicans were appointed to aid Father O’Donnell, a member of the financially struggling parish, and by Council 10705, served as the initial pos1900 a debt-free St. Mary’s was thriving tulator for Father McGivney’s sainthood — as was the relationship between the cause, and Dominican nuns assembled St. Mary’s Church, New Haven friars and the Knights. the first relic cards, placing a piece of For well over a century, Dominicans have remained at St. Father McGivney’s casket lining within each card. Mary’s, serving the parish as it has evolved from an immiA number of Dominican friars, including Father O’Dongrant community into a diverse congregation. nell, have also served as directors of the Order’s Catholic InFather Jones, now prior of the Dominican community at formation Service. — Katie Scott 26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


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REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES rosary with members of the parish. Fifty people joined to reflect and pray for citizens and leaders. YOUTH ROSARY

St. Paul Council 10775 in Inabanga Bohol, Visayas, coordinated nightly rosaries for young people during the month of October and spread Pope Francis’ call for the Church to protect the environment through the network of the Parish Pastoral Council. Elibert V. De Gracia of Calauag Council 8262 in Quezon, Luzon, lifts a waterlogged bundle of debris from the Calauag coastline during a municipality-wide cleanup day. Knights joined with other civic groups, individual citizens and government officials to remove trash and debris from beaches and waterways and to identify sources of waste that contribute to pollution.



Father McGivney Council 8027 in Enfield, N.H., presented Father Johnny Vadakkan with $9,000 to help replace the floor at St. Helena Church.

Councils in Washington State, through Columbus Charities, donated $20,000 to the KC HELP Program of Central Washington. KC HELP provides durable medical equipment to those in need, serving up to 2,400 clients per year.


St. Elizabeth Council 13141 in Upper Uwchlan Township, Pa., donated $5,000 to its parish school to purchase workbooks for every student in grades four through eight. HIGHWAY CLEAN-UP

St. Patricks Council 643 in Parsons, Kan., completed its 25th year of trash pickup along the local highway as part of an initiative to keep area roads clean. The council has been picking up trash three times a year since the Kansas Department of Transportation instituted the Adopt the Highway program. 30 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦



Monsignor John F. Callahan Council 3600 in West Hartford, Conn., in conjunction with a Mass and presentation by Father Jeffrey Gubbiotti, vocations director for the Archdiocese of Hartford, held its third annual fundraiser dinner to support seminarians. Over 100 people attended. PRAYER FOR THE NATION

Our Lady of the Lake Council 10463 in Lago Vista, Texas, organized a patriotic


Holy Family Council 15732 in Shorewood, Ill., donated 24 coats to Daybreak Center in Joliet, a Catholic Charities shelter that is open 24 hours a day. CLEANING AND PLANTING

St. Vincent Ferrer Council 16312 in Lawis, Visayas, cleaned up the local seashore. The council planted mangrove seedlings on the site as well as hosted a family picnic. SENIOR DINNER

Father Harold M. Wren Council 3963 in Billerica, Mass., served over 150 senior citizens at the 50th annual Gert Holmes Memorial Dinner. The traditional roast beef dinner, which the council donates and prepares, commemorates a Knight’s deceased wife who coordinated community events for many years. COATS OF THEIR OWN

Las Vegas (Nev.) Council 2828, together with an anonymous donor, provided 120 coats to children at J. E. Manch Elementary School. Previously, many siblings

Robert Castner and Brother Robert Lauricella of Vincent T. Lombardi Council 6552 in Middletown, N.J., prepare hot dogs and hamburgers for guests at a local chili festival. Knights manned a grill at the event, which helped to raise $20,000 for an area education foundation.

were forced to share one coat between them during the winter. PREGNANCY CENTER UPDATE

St. Jude Council 6551 in Berlin-Gibbsboro, N.J., gave time and funds to the refurbishment of the National Life Center, an agency serving pregnant women and their families. Knights painted the offices, replaced lights, planted shrubs, repaired the electrical system, and contributed to the cost of carpeting and a new ultrasound machine. FUNDS AND FOOD

Westminster (Md.) Council 1393 ran a successful fund drive for people with intellectual disabilities, which raised over $5,000 for local service organizations. The council also collected 2,500 pounds of food for the St. Vincent de Paul Society food pantry during a “Food for Families” parish weekend.

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John A. Hill Council 4955 in Pompano Beach, Fla., commemorated Father James Connaughton, the late pastor of St. Ambrose Church, by donating an icon of the Divine Mercy as well as $500 to the parochial school. HOME REPAIR

Our Lady Star of the Sea Council 7122 in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., raised $500 for a disabled veteran and his wife, whose home was severely damaged in a record-setting flood in October. The South Carolina K of C matched the council’s contribution. SCHOOL RENOVATION Immaculate Heart of Mary Council 4420 in Atlanta, Ga., donated $50,000 to St. John the Evangelist Catholic School. The school, which has been recognized for its academics, is in need of renovations.

St. Alphonsus Council 15158 in Chicago, Ill., present a $3,500 check to the Misericordia Home organization, which provides housing and career opportunities, as well as developmental care, to people with intellectual and physical disabilities. As part of Giving Tuesday, council members helped with food preparation and other tasks at the Heart & Flour Bakery, which makes baked goods for sale online and in-store for the Misericordia Heart of Mercy home.




Columban Council 6192 in Bellevue, Neb., held its second annual dinner in honor of first responders. Nominated individuals from the police, fire, and EMT departments received thanks and an award for their service to the community.

Obispo Enrique San Pedro, S.J., Council 15224 in Miami, Fla., worked to feed the hungry in 2015. Over the course of the year, the council donated more than 56,000 pounds of food to churches and food banks. The amount included 200 pounds of chicken, 20 Thanksgiving turkeys and 75 Christmas hams.

St. Ferdinand (Ind.) Council 14555 teamed up with Veterans of Foreign Wars to assist a disabled Iraq veteran. Because he had difficulty accessing his home, the council and the VFW pooled resources and volunteer hours to lay cement on his sidewalk and gravel drive, creating a smooth wheelchair route.

DINNER FUNDRAISER Quentin Manuel and Derek Baranowski of St. Gabriel’s Parish Council 10061 in Burlington, Ontario, pause for a moment while painting the inside of an old hospital ward during a renovation project. Knights partnered with the Angel Project to refurbish and convert several hospital wards into family rooms that can be used by long-term or terminally ill patients to spend quality time with their families.

St. Mary of Huntley (Ill.) Council 11666 teamed up with Ladies’ Auxiliary 73 as well as local businesses to coordinate a spaghetti dinner to benefit local organizations serving veterans. Over 380 people attended the dinner, which raised $1,500 each for the Huntley Area Veterans Foundation and Transitional Living Services. Proceeds also went to the Gary Sinise Foundation.


Nuestra Señora de Guadeloupe Council 13570 and San Pedro y San Pablo Council 15218 in Valle Hermoso, Mexico Northeast, held a raffle to raise money for a local university’s scholarship fund. The project raised 3,000 pesos for students in need. exclusive See more “Knights in Action” reports and photos at knightsinaction


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Knights, Teens Make a Difference

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

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


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Left to right: Youth minister Sara Sahlezghi is pictured with participants Sam Glynn, Cameron Cashiola, Ryan Harrington and Sarah Gregor, Past Grand Knight Gary Arrington and “Go Make a Difference” chairman Kim Schwartz of Council 11343 in Sugar Land, Texas.

What will a teenager do with $50? For the eight teens from St. Laurence Catholic Church who participated in the “Go Make a Difference” program of Rev. John T. Weyer Council 11343 in Sugar Land, Texas, answers ranged from having a meal with a homeless man to helping out victims of a local flood. “We offered each kid 50 bucks and said, ‘Use your thoughts and prayers and go figure out how to make a difference for somebody,’” explained Past Grand Knight Gary Arrington. The kids in question were high school juniors and seniors, participants in the parish’s “Legacy” program for teens seeking to grow in their own faith and as Catholic youth leaders. The council has included the “Go Make a Difference” program in its budget, working with the parish ministry of St. Laurence Catholic Church to help young Catholics reach out in charity to those in greater need. With each teen deciding how to use the funds, the project provides a preview of faithful Catholic adulthood and service to the local community. Of course, the students were not the only beneficiaries. While volunteering at a pregnancy resource center, two of the teens discovered that donations could be used to purchase supplies for local mothers and gave their combined $100 to the center. Responding to an immediate need at a gas station, another student purchased gasoline to help a stranger in dire straits. Sara Sahlezghi, youth minister at St. Laurence Catholic Church, saw a change in the teens after several of them shared their stories with Council 11343 at a “Go Make a Difference” presentation evening. “They were really revved and pumped up that they had the opportunity to make a difference,” she said. But they were even more affected by the moments of encounter that the program caused. “The simple notion of ‘this is possible’ has radically changed the way they approach encountering people,” she added. “The most incredible fruit was very fact of seeing Christ in others.” — Anna Bninski

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Building a better world one council at a time

Photo by Spirit Juice Studios

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.




Students from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and North Dakota State University in Fargo competed April 30 in an annual 32-mile bike race to raise funds for their respective Newman Centers. College Knights from both North Dakota State University Council 9126 and Cardinal John Henry Newman Council 10829 at the University of North Dakota participated in the event. Members of Council 9126 (pictured) also held a bike clinic beforehand to make sure things ran smoothly. In total, more than $120,000 was raised to help support the two campus ministries.

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



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SISTER JOSEPH MARIA OF THE HOLY FAMILY, O.P. Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary Summit, N.J.

Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser

My vocation started with an out-of-the-blue question. Our parish youth director asked me, “When are you going to enter the convent?” Me, a sister? It had never even crossed my mind! I had plans: go to college, get a good job, get married and have lots of kids. But the thought soon came back: “Why not? What if the Lord is calling me?” I had to do something, because ignoring this idea was not working! I then deepened my prayer life through daily Mass, eucharistic adoration and more frequent confession. Once, while I was alone in church, I looked around and thought of the many churches in the world where Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was left alone, longing for people to come visit him. I told Jesus I wanted to spend my life loving him and keeping him company. After this, I searched for communities with perpetual adoration. As I learned about the cloistered life, I realized that the Lord was calling me to a life hidden in him.

Columbia August 2016  

Columbia August 2016