KNIGHT S OF C O LUMBUS
D ECEMBER 2009
“We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” Mt 2:2
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A BENEFIT OF BROTHERHOOD
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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S december 2009 ♦ Volume 89 ♦ Number 12
COLUMBIA F E AT U R E S
8 A Flood of Charity When Tropical Storm Ketsana devastated the Philippines, Knights were there to help. BY COLUMBIA STAFF
12 Rebuilding Hope Knights on the Texas Coast recall and recover from the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike. BY THOMAS A. SZYSZKIEWICZ
14 The Vatican, the Knights and Mass Media Through sponsorship of the Vatican’s satellite uplink program, the Knights help to bring the Gospel to the world. BY BRIAN DOWLING
20 Apostle of the Airwaves Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen saw and used the potential of mass media to communicate the Word. BY BISHOP DANIEL R. JENKY, CSC
22 Lifting Our Eyes to the Heavens The Church’s astronomers seek to understand God’s creation and celebrate its goodness.
The three Magi, also referred to as “Wise Men” or “Kings,” arrive to pay homage to the Christ Child, bringing with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Shown here is the painting The Adoration of the Magi, by Spanish artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682).
BY JESUIT BROTHER GUY CONSOLMAGNO
D E PA RT M E N T S 3
Building a better world
With Christ’s birth comes the gift of hope. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON
Learning the faith, living the faith The sacraments of the Church both signify and make present God’s transforming grace. BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN
Knights of Columbus News
Supreme Knight receives award from Rome’s mayor • K of C Museum features Latino Nativities • Knights give veterans the gift of mobility
Fathers for Good
Year for Priests A priest’s emphasis on Catholic identity inspires faith among students. BY AMY SMITH
Knights in Action Culture of Life
What we can learn from Joseph’s holy slumber.
Catholics join in prayer to conquer the culture of death.
BY BRIAN CAULFIELD
BY JOSEPH MCINERNEY
BISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI
PLUS Catholic Man of the Month
Columbianism by Degrees DECEMBER 2009
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The Meaning of Christmas IN HIS WEEKLY general audience Dec. 19, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI rhetorically asked, “If people do not recognize that God was made man, what is the point of celebrating Christmas?” G.K. Chesterton similarly observed in a 1925 newspaper column: “To be told to rejoice on Christmas Day is reasonable and intelligible, if you understand the name, or even look at the word. To be told to rejoice on the 25th of December is like being told to rejoice at a quarterpast eleven on Thursday.” The work of the Knights of Columbus to “Keep Christ in Christmas” is well known, and its importance should not be underestimated. At least publicly, many people today are content to celebrate Christmas with generic “holiday trees” and “jingle bells,” without reference to Christ and the universe-defining event of his Incarnation. However, a holy-day disconnected from the worship of God is like a body without a soul, and the celebration of the eternal Logos (or Meaning) that became flesh, with no acknowledgement of that Logos, is fundamentally meaning-less (cf. Jn 1:1-18). Whether caused by outward hostility toward Christianity, by the desire to be inoffensive in a pluralistic society or simply by a loss of faith, the exile of God from public life has tragic consequences. When one lives as if God does not exist, everything is affected. The world is flattened, so to speak, and drained of its very reason for being. Separated from the sacred drama of love and redemption, creation is reduced to mechanical forces;
human freedom is reduced to “choice”; time is reduced to simply a measure of change; and human dignity is no longer inviolable, but made dependent on some criteria, such as what a person can do. In each case, the finite finds no home in the infinite, and what remains is arbitrary. It is important to note that the very idea that God can be pushed to the “private” sphere rejects the God of Christianity from the onset, at least implicitly. After all, Christians profess belief in a God who created all that exists and holds it in existence. It is in him, St. Paul taught, that “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Yet, even more than his gift of creation is the fact that God radically joined himself to this creation by assuming our human nature. Calling the Incarnation an event of “cosmic significance,” Pope John Paul II wrote, “The conception and birth of Jesus Christ are in fact the greatest work accomplished by the Holy Spirit in the history of creation and salvation” (Dominum et Vivificantem, 50). Paradoxically, God’s power is most manifest when it is most hidden — in the littleness of a child. It is this great work of the Holy Spirit, which imbues all of creation with hope, meaning and purpose, that we celebrate during the great feast of Christmas. Let us truly “Keep Christ in Christmas” by inviting God’s saving presence into our hearts, our homes and our communities.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI MANAGING EDITOR
Supreme Knight’s Book Club – Dec. 30 Join Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and Msgr. Eduardo Chávez Sánchez, postulator for the cause for canonization of St. Juan Diego, online for a discussion of their book, Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of a Civilization of Love (Doubleday). For more information about the book, proceeds from which are donated to Knights of Columbus Charities, visit www.guadalupebook.com. Submit your questions online at www.kofc.org and take part in the discussion Dec. 30 at 5 p.m. (ET). 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
COLUMBIA PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus ________ SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN Dennis A. Savoie DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT Donald R. Kehoe SUPREME SECRETARY Emilio B. Moure SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Patrick Scalisi firstname.lastname@example.org ASSOCIATE EDITOR Brian Dowling email@example.com CREATIVE & EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ________ GRAPHICS Lee Rader DESIGN
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 PHONE 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org INTERNET www.kofc.org/columbia CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 ________ MOVING? Notify your local council. Send your new address and mailing label to: Knights of Columbus Membership Records PO Box 1670 New Haven, CT 06507-0901 ________ Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER The Large Megellanic Cloud, an irregular galaxy near the Milky Way, is seen in this Hubble Space Telescope image.
COVER PHOTO: CNS photo/NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team
E D I TO R I A L
BU I L D I N G A B E T T E R WO R L D
A Season of Hope Whereas consumerism brings anxiety and restlessness, with Christ’s birth comes the gift of hope by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson DECEMBER MARKS the official start trade a celebration of birth for one of of winter in most of the Western world. consumerism. A purely materialistic view of Christmas Yet, it is not the only winter that the world is facing. Demographers increas- — even more noticeable this year as recesingly speak of a “demographic winter” sion-affected merchants desperately seek to wherein birth rates fall below replacement improve their profits — can be a symptom reflect on our own lives and on the way of this same hopeless outlook on life. in most industrialized countries. Of course, as Christians, we have the re- we bring up our children. There are many causes of this phenomThe Christian has hope — on earth enon, as Pope Benedict XVI noted in minder of our hope in salvation that comes 2006. He pointed out, though, that the with Christ’s birth at Christmas. With this and in heaven. Those who put con“ultimate roots can be seen as moral and event, the process of our own redemption sumerism first have only anxiety and posspiritual; they are linked to a disturbing is made possible. Christ’s birth — as the sessions, which do nothing to decrease deficit of faith, hope and, indeed, love. To angels told the shepherds — heralds “peace the restlessness of our hearts. As St. Augustine famously wrote, our hearts are bring children into the world calls for self- on earth to men of good will.” That is quite a contrast to the anxiety restless until they rest in God. This rest centered eros to be fulfilled in a creative in God gives the Christian hope, while agape rooted in generosity and marked by of the consumer mentality. the consumer has only yestertrust and hope in the future.” day’s purchase. Indeed, such a decline is Hope is no small matter. In nothing short of a lack of A society with no hope in the future 2007, Pope Benedict wrote an hope. A materialistic mindset entire encyclical on it. His replaces hope in a real future is, not surprisingly, a society that words deserve serious thought: with something else: an immewould trade a celebration of birth “If we cannot hope for more diate desire for consumer than is effectively attainable at goods and status. This mindfor one of consumerism. any given time … our lives will set is sadly brought home to us soon be without hope” (Spe at this time each year, as Salvi, 35). Christmas seems each year to Our hope must be based not simply on In addition to Christmas, the Church become more of a consumer season than gives us other feasts in December that the here and now, but on the hereafter; a Christian one. and not just on ourselves, but on the one In his apostolic exhortation on the highlight hope, love and new life. On the feast of Our Lady of who made us. Christian family, Familiaris Consortio, Life, children and family are all Pope John Paul II observed: “In the richer Guadalupe, we remember the hope that countries … excessive prosperity and the Mary brought — and continues to bring founded on love. During Advent 2007, consumer mentality, paradoxically joined — to this entire hemisphere. She ap- Pope Benedict reminded us that “hope, to a certain anguish and uncertainty about peared as a pregnant woman to a defeated like faith, is demonstrated in love.” As we celebrate the feasts of Our Lady the future, deprive married couples of the people in search of meaning. Through her generosity and courage needed for raising message that each person is loved, she of Guadalupe, Christmas and the Holy up new human life: thus life is often per- brought the indigenous Mexicans to the Family this month, let us remember that they are feasts of hope precisely because ceived not as a blessing, but as a danger fullness of hope in her son Jesus Christ. Finally, we celebrate life within the they celebrate Christ’s life and loving famfrom which to defend oneself” (6). A society with no hope in the future family on the feast of the Holy Family, ily, and his greatest gift of love to us: our and a resulting lack of openness to life is, where Christ spent 30 of the 33 years of salvation. Vivat Jesus! not surprisingly, a society that would his life. It is a good opportunity for us to
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L E A R N I N G T H E FA I T H , L I V I N G T H E FA I T H
Celebrating the Church’s Liturgy The sacraments of the Church both signify and make present God’s transforming grace by Bishop William E. Lori AS CHRISTMAS APPROACHES, we ure” him or her to Christ. This means that should remember that the first Christ- the Holy Spirit brings about in the depth This, however, leads to two other immas night was a scene of worship. Mary of one’s soul a spiritual image of Christ couand Joseph worshipped the child given pled with a participation in his life. In bap- portant considerations. First, anyone who to them by God the Father through the tism and confirmation, this indelible seal performs a sacramental action, such as Holy Spirit. The angels sang “Glory to marks out the recipient as an adopted son baptizing or celebrating Mass, has a most God!” and the shepherds came filled or daughter in Christ, a person both pre- serious obligation to be in a state of grace with wonder and awe. pared and obligated to take part in the and to pursue personal holiness. Second, Thanks to the sacramental and liturgi- Church’s worship. Holy orders imparts a the sacraments need to be received with a cal life of the Church, the truth and further sacramental character, enabling the living and active faith. When we approach beauty of that first Christmas night is not ordained to act in the person of Christ in the sacraments with faith, we find that they express, nourish and strengthen our a dim memory but a present reality. As St. the celebration of the liturgy (227, 235). adherence to the faith of the Church. In Leo the Great taught in the 5th century: fact, there is a deep and mutual correspon“What was visible in our Savior has SIGNS OF GRACE passed over into his mysteries” (Com- The sacraments express and fulfill dence between what we believe and how pendium, 224). We have a living contact Christ’s promise to remain with his we worship (228). At this point we can readily see that the with Christ through the seven sacra- Church. This is the context in which we grace given to us through the ments, which Christ instituted and sacraments, even if they are not entrusted to the Church. The received by all the faithful, is necChurch celebrates these sacraments The sacraments are the means essary for salvation. Through the and is built up by them (226). through which the transforming sacraments we receive forgiveness, The sacraments are efficacious become the adopted children signs through which God wishes to power of grace is made available we touch and transform our lives. For of God, we grow in likeness to now, let us remember that three Christ and we become living and active in our lives. sacraments — baptism, confirmamembers of his body, the Church tion and holy orders — impart a (230). By sharing in the sacrasacramental character or spiritual mental signs, we long to see God “seal.” Each of these three sacraments can can most readily understand the Church’s in heaven with all the redeemed and to rebe received only once because they perma- teaching. The sacraments do not simply joice in his presence forever (232). nently transform the recipient and “config- illustrate God’s grace; they are also the The sacraments should not be undermeans through which the transforming stood to operate mechanistically. To the power of grace is made available and ac- contrary, they are celebrated in the sacred The 21st installment of Supreme tive in our lives. Christ was so deter- rites or ceremonies known as the liturgy, Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori’s mined to remain with us in this way that the public prayer of the Church. This faith formation program addresses the effectiveness of the sacraments does prayer spans heaven and earth, and is questions 224-249 of the Comnot depend on the personal worthiness shared with Mary, the saints and the anpendium of the Catechism of the of the minister performing them. Rather, gels (234). In the liturgy, we come toCatholic Church. Archived articles are “The sacraments are efficacious ex opere gether in the unity of the Holy Spirit as a at www.kofc.org. operato (by the very fact that the sacra- priestly people. The baptized offer themmental action is performed)” (229). selves as a spiritual sacrifice, while bishops 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
L E A R N I N G T H E FA I T H , L I V I N G T H E FA I T H
and priests act in the person of Christ, the head of the Church (235). A RICH & BEAUTIFUL TRADITION We are familiar with the use of water, bread, wine and oil as sacramental signs and symbols. We are also accustomed to gestures such as the laying on of hands. Some of these signs are drawn from nature. Others are drawn from human culture. All sacramental signs emerged in salvation history and were taken up by Christ to convey his saving truth and love. These signs are inseparable from the words that bear their meaning and power (236-238). The liturgy by which we share in God’s saving truth and love is to be celebrated, when possible, with music and song that
H O LY FAT H E R ’ S P R AY E R I N T E N T I O N S
Offered in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI GENERAL: That children may be respected and loved and never be the victims of exploitation in its various forms.
PHOTOGRAPH OF POPE: CNS photo/Paul Haring
MISSION: That at Christmas the peoples of the earth may recognize in the Word Incarnate the light which illuminates every man and that the nations may open their doors to Christ, the Savior of the world.
beautifully express the Church’s teachings and lift our minds and hearts to God. So, too, the liturgy is celebrated in the presence of holy images, above all the image of Christ. Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saints and the angels remind us that they are praying with us and for us in the liturgy of heaven (239-240). If it is fitting that the liturgy be celebrated amid beautiful music, song and images, it is also proper that it be celebrated in sacred buildings dedicated to the worship of God. When a church is consecrated, we see clearly the sacred importance of church furnishings: the altar, the pulpit, the tabernacle, the celebrant’s chair, the baptismal font and the confessional (244-246). Indeed, the liturgy is very rich and
beautiful. It has been celebrated for nearly 2,000 years in a variety of languages and cultures (247). Amid such rich diversity there is a oneness thanks to apostolic tradition — a oneness in faith and sacramental life received from the Apostles and handed down through the centuries. It is because the Church is Catholic that she can welcome into her unity “all the authentic riches of cultures” while safeguarding what God has instituted for our salvation (248). The Church carefully distinguishes between those things in the liturgy that are unchangeable and those that can be rightfully adapted to human cultures the world over (249). May you have a blessed Christmas, filled with the peace and joy of Christ!♦
C AT H O L I C M A N O F T H E M O N T H
St. John of the Cross (c. 1542-1591) Feast day: Dec. 14 BORN IN JUNE 1542 in a small community near Ávila, Spain, St. John of the Cross grew up in poverty. When John was still an infant, his father died unexpectedly, leaving him, his two older brothers and his mother to support themselves. Years of instability followed as the family moved often between poor Castilian villages. After studying at a Jesuit school and volunteering at a hospital in Medina del Campo, John entered the Carmelite order. After his ordination, he was determined to join the austere Carthusian order, but a Carmelite nun — Teresa of Ávila — and her plan to reform the Carmelites led him to reconsider. John and Teresa, along with Father Antonio de Jesús de Heredia, began founding monasteries of the Discalced Carmelites. Embracing strict poverty (discalced means “shoeless”), the reformed order sought to correct certain laxities and to center their lives more completely on God. In response, John was imprisoned in Toledo, Spain, where he received public
lashings each week. Nine months later, he managed to escape. He continued to found monasteries, in addition to serving as a spiritual director to many, while demonstrating wisdom, gentleness and humility. John’s mystical writings, such as the Spiritual Canticle and The Dark Night of the Soul, poetically chart the soul’s search for union with God that often involves both joy and despair, light and darkness. Pope Pius XI, in an apostolic letter naming St. John of the Cross a Doctor of the Church in 1926, said he “points out to souls the way of perfection as though illumined by light from on high.” We can learn much by meditating on the poetry, teachings and example of St. John of the Cross, who profoundly understood the importance of union with God and the mystery of suffering.
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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S N E W S
Supreme Knight receives Rome’s ‘Lupa Capitolina’ award
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson receives the Lupa Capotolina award from Giovanni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, Oct. 28 in recognition of the Order’s service to the Eternal City. THE MAYOR OF ROME bestowed a prominent honor on Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson in recognition of the Order’s long-standing contributions to the city. In honor of nearly 90 years of service by the Knights of
Columbus in Rome, the city honored the head of the Order with its ‘Lupa Capitolina’ award. Supreme Knight Anderson received the award from Rome’s mayor, Giovanni Alemanno, Wednesday, Oct. 28. “I am honored to receive this award from the City of Rome for the great work the Knights of Columbus has done there for nearly a century,” said the supreme knight. “As both the ‘eternal city’ and the center of the Catholic Church, Rome has a special place in the hearts of the Knights of Columbus, and we look forward to another 90 years of service in this great city.” The Order has been active in Rome since 1920, when a delegation of Knights led by the then-Supreme Knight James Flaherty met with Pope Benedict XV. The pontiff encouraged the Knights to expand their work in Rome. Later that decade, the Knights opened several recreational facilities used by the city’s youth. An additional facility was opened in the 1950s. Today, the Knights continue to operate four of these facilities, which are regularly used by the young residents of Rome. In 1965, the grounds of one of the facilities was donated by the Order for the construction of a papal audience hall, where the pope regularly receives pilgrims visiting the Eternal City.
Latin American Nativities featured at Knights of Columbus Museum FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, the Knights of Columbus Museum presents an exhibition of authentic, ethnic Nativity scenes to showcase the world’s varied and vibrant cultural celebrations of Christmas. This year’s exhibit, which opened Nov. 19 and will run until Jan. 31, features nativities from throughout Latin America and the southwestern United States. A Latino Christmas: Nativities of Latin America includes approximately 120 crèches from 16 Latin countries (Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela), four southwestern U.S. states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas) and Puerto Rico. Mexico, Peru and New Mexico are famous for the volume and quality of their nacimientos (crèches). A number of extraordinary works are on display, including pieces from Mexico’s Formento Cultural Banamex collection and six private U.S. collections. For additional information on this exhibit visit www.kofc.org/museum.
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Knights give veterans the gift of mobility THE MARYLAND AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA state councils of the Knights of Columbus and the American Wheelchair Mission (a division of the Global Wheelchair Mission) celebrated Veterans Day by distributing 110 wheelchairs to veterans at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center. The event included music by the Archdiocese of Washington District Fourth Degree Choir. For more information on the Order’s involvement with the Global Wheelchair Mission visit www.kofc.org/wheelchair.
FAT H E R S F O R G O O D
And Joseph Slept What we can learn from Joseph’s holy slumber by Brian Caulfield “WHY IS ST. JOSEPH SLEEPING?” asked my 9-year-old son. We were in the Holy Family Chapel at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council headquarters in New Haven, Conn., looking at the colorful mosaic that depicts Mary tending to her newborn son while Joseph nods off in the radiant presence of the Redeemer. “Well,” I said, remembering my own 3 a.m. rush to the hospital with my wife for the birth of the boy who just asked the question, “he was probably tired after walking the donkey with Mary on it all the way to Bethlehem.” Yet, the question got me thinking: Why is Joseph shown sleeping in some Nativity scenes? Did this early Christian artistic tradition express the fact that men can feel somewhat sidelined in the birth process? Was it a precursor to the iconic figure of the nervous dad handing out cigars in the hospital waiting room? Today, fathers are invited into the delivery room and even encouraged to grab the baby coming out of the birth canal. But honestly, do men really feel comfortable in that environment? I held my wife’s hand through two difficult C-sections to show my love and support for her, and left the emotional bonding with my newborns for a later time. Indeed, as I consider the nonstop rush of fatherhood duties over the last nine years — from midnight runs for asthma medicine to sleepless nights camping with my son’s Cub Scout pack — it seems that Joseph had the right idea in catching a few winks at the start. There are also theological reasons for the sleeping Joseph. The mosaics in the Holy Family Chapel were created by Father Marko Rupnik, the Jesuit priest who decorated the Vatican’s papal chapel for Pope John Paul II. In his notes, Father Rupnik says that Joseph “is seen as asleep to emphasize his distance from what has occurred between the Trinity and Mary.” This “distance” is what every new father feels. Though he has a part in procreation, every father knows that he did not make the soul or give his child the breath of life. That mystery
is something solely between God and the more-knowing mother, who shares her own substance with the baby. In his 1988 apostolic letter On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, Pope John Paul II explained it this way: “The man — even with all his sharing in parenthood — always remains ‘outside’ the process of pregnancy and the baby’s birth; in many ways he has to learn his own ‘fatherhood’ from the mother” (18). Joseph, as we know, woke up and did what “a just man” does (cf. Mt 1:19). He listened to the voice of God through an angel, bringing Mary and the Christ Child to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath and leading them back to Nazareth. He taught Jesus his carpenter’s trade and said not a word that is recorded in the Gospels. He was a man of unwavering faith and prompt action — the ultimate strong, silent type. How about us? Have we awakened, with Joseph, from our Christmas slumber? Have we followed him along the more difficult path of giving not just gifts, but ourselves? John Paul II wrote in his 1989 apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph (quoting Pope Paul VI): “His fatherhood is expressed concretely ‘in his having made his life a service, a sacrifice to the mystery of the Incarnation and to the redemptive mission connected with it…to make a total gift of self, of his life and work’” (Guardian of the Redeemer, 8). When God calls, what is our response? Do we even hear his command amid our daily duties and distractions? What is God’s will for me at this moment, as a husband and father? In facing these challenges, we cannot go wrong with Joseph, who gave up whatever comfort he had to play a part in the drama of redemption. He knew when to lead, when to follow, when to act and even when to sleep, letting God be God.♦
BRIAN CAULFIELD is a communications specialist for the Knights of Columbus and editor of the Web site Fathers for Good, www.fathersforgood.org.
READ ABOUT ‘ A FATHER ’ S FIRST CHRISTMAS ,’ PROFILING THE EXPERIENCES OF NEW FATHERS , AT WWW. FATHERSFORGOOD. ORG .
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A FLOOD of CHARITY When Tropical Storm Ketsana devastated the Philippines in late September, Knights were there to help by Columbia Staff
s Tropical Storm Ketsana slammed into the Philippines Sept. 26, comparisons were inevitably made to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005. The images of destruction were similar, along with the personal stories: loved ones injured or killed, homes flooded or swept away, personal belongings damaged or completely destroyed. As with Katrina, the Knights of Columbus rendered immediate assistance. Within two days, the Supreme Council sent an emergency donation of $50,000 to assist in the recovery effort. More than $70,000 in additional funds was later sent, as state and local councils contributed, and all online donations made to the United in Charity fund through Oct. 31 were earmarked specifically for Philippines flood relief.
A woman and child sit outside a house damaged by a landslide in the town of Arayat, north of Manila, Philippines, Sept. 28.
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AERIAL VIEW: CNS photo/Philippine Coast Guard/handout via Reuters PREVIOUS PAGE: CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters
At the same time, Filipino Knights provided immediate, hands-on help to their countrymen. Reports flooded into the Supreme Council headquarters about programs undertaken by councils in all three jurisdictions of the Philippines: Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas. When Knights werenâ€™t collecting used clothing and nonperishable food items, they were helping the Philippine Army distribute these items, greeting long distribution lines with friendly smiles, words of support and, most importantly, a bit of refreshment to keep the victims alive and well. Many Knights in North America also did what they could to collect supplies for their brothers overseas. Tropical Storm Ketsana, known locally as Typhoon Ondoy, caused the worst flooding in Manila in 40 years and claimed the lives of more than 400 people. At the height of the storm, 80 percent of the city was under water, and when the skies cleared, the majority of residents found themselves without electricity or running water. In a country that is home to approximately 250,000 Knights, the resulting surge of charity, unity and fraternity was historic in its scope. Yet, this was only the natural response of an Order that favors brotherhood among the highest virtues of Christian manhood.â™Ś
From bottom left clockwise: • Flood victims gather outside of San Ildefonso College in Tanay, Rizal, to receive relief supplies from the Knights of Columbus. • Knights in Rizal distribute relief materials to victims of flooding Oct. 1. • An elderly woman waits to receive a care package from members of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Council 8176 in Antipolo. Knights distributed rice, canned goods, noodles and used clothing to approximately 220 people who were affected by the storm. • Residents are stranded on rooftops as floodwaters caused by rains submerge houses in Carmen, Philippines, Oct. 9. A new wave of flooding, brought on by the second tropical storm to hit the Philippines within 10 days, left thousands of people homeless and at least 18 villages underwater, Catholic Relief Services officials reported. • After traveling under heavy rain to Marikina Oct. 1, Philippine Knights led by Luzon State Deputy Alonso L. Tan, Task Force Ondoy Chairman Bonifacio B. Martinez and other state service officers distribute 425 bags of relief goods to flood victims, many of them Knights and family members. • Members of St. Genevieve Council 14772 in Panorama City, Calif., stand with some of the relief goods they collected for typhoon victims in the Philippines.
REBUILDING HOPE Knights on the Texas Coast recall and recover from the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike last year by Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz f asked to name the three costliest hurricanes in the United States, most people would probably cite 1992’s Andrew and 2005’s Katrina, but may have a hard time naming the third. When Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast in 2008, many people outside of that region heard little about it. After all, when the storm made landfall Sept. 13, the hotly contested presidential election and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan kept it out of the headlines except for the following day. For those who lived through it, however, the destruction was unlike any other storm. James Braus, a K of C field agent in Bridge City, Texas, rode out Hurricane Rita in 2005, which he called “a dry storm” because the wind damage was far worse than the water, and Gustav in 2008, which hit mostly in Louisiana. When Ike finally landed squarely on the Texas Gulf Coast, the storm surge was like a mini-tsunami, according to Braus. It brought with it salt water from the Gulf, along with grass, bugs,
snakes and alligators from the coastal marshes. Even after the waters receded, mud covered house interiors, streets and yards. ASSESSING THE DAMAGE People in Galveston weren’t able to get back to the island until 10 days after the storm because the causeway was littered with boats. When Jim Kirwin, past grand knight of Msgr. J. M. Kirwin Council 787 in Galveston, got back to his house, his refrigerators and freezers were still without power. As the clean up began, people had to drag everything that was damaged — all their belongings up to four feet above the floor — out to the street curb. And there it all sat until crews came along to clean it up, which took up to three weeks. “Six inches of flood water in your house is like two drops of motor oil in a quart of ice cream — it ruins the whole thing,” said Braus, adding that only 14 houses in Bridge City were spared from the floodwaters.
J OINING TOGETHER
A Fourth Degree honor guard stands at attention during the opening procession of a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo Sept. 13, the first anniversary of Hurricane Ike. Banners representing each of the Galveston-area parishes that joined to form Holy Family Parish, were brought forward.
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MORE THAN 1,000 members of Holy Family Parish joined Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, for a special bilingual Mass at the Galveston Convention Center Sept. 13, the first anniversary of Hurricane Ike’s landfall. A new Catholic community incorporating the five Catholic parishes and three mission sites that previously existed on Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, Holy Family was officially established Aug. 15. In his homily, the cardinal said that the new parish, which serves more than 2,600 Catholic households at various satellite locations, is a sign of hope and unity of faith. He also assured parishioners that the archdiocese plans to restore St. Mary Cathedral Basilica in Galveston. The 161year-old church was severely damaged by the storm and has yet to reopen.
PHOTO OF MASS: Amy Bly/Courtesy of Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Floodwaters from Hurricane Ike surround homes in Bridge City, Texas, Sept.14, 2008.
AERIAL PHOTO: CNS photo/David J. Phillip, pool via Reuters
Kirwin said that 75 percent of the homes in Galveston were flooded. Residents were without electricity for weeks. Altogether, Ike resulted in more than $24 billion in damage in the United States, after causing a good deal of destruction in the Caribbean. Approximately 650 families have left Bridge City permanently, and 20 percent of the population of Galveston is gone. The local Knights have not taken a back seat in relief efforts. At first, Kirwin and Braus said they had to look to the basic needs of their families, such as food and clothing. “It’s humbling to be standing in the Salvation Army food line,” said Kirwin. Together with Knights from Houston, members of three area councils in Galveston gathered to help brother Knights gut their houses — the first step toward recovery. When his situation was sufficiently stabilized, Kirwin turned his attention to his council’s hall, which was almost completely ruined. He started getting calls from groups like the Red Cross that needed a place to put up volunteers who came to help with the clean up. The Knights let the volunteer groups stay without cost, and in return for the favor, some groups helped repair the hall. By December, the hall had been sufficiently repaired that the Knights could hold their annual Christmas party. Father Paul Chovanec, chaplain of St. Justin Martyr Council 8293 in Houston, had been the chaplain of Council 787 for a number of years. He got the Knights in Houston together to help with the party, including bringing gifts for children. AN ORGANIZED RESPONSE While Kirwin and Braus hope that a storm like Ike will not hit again in the near future, they are using their experience to prepare for other natural disasters. It is this kind of experience that Bob Sumicek, who serves as the emergency management chairman for the Texas State Council, will count on in the future. A former resident of New Orleans, Sumicek called around to the Knights in Louisiana and Texas asking what plans were in place to help out when Katrina struck. To his surprise, there was no official disaster recovery plan of any kind. Drawing on his military and nuclear power background, Sumicek took it upon himself to develop one, which he presented to the Texas State Council. Using the new emergency management plan, Texas Knights were able to coordinate the immediate distribution of approximately $110,000 in grants to brother Knights following Hurricane Ike. Sumicek also urged Knights in other jurisdictions to establish similar plans. “A localized emergency can happen in any state,” he said. Besides major hurricanes, there may be the risk of other threats, such as flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, fires or terrorist attacks. The benefits of a disaster relief plan are numerous, according to Sumicek. It not only helps those who are affected by tragedy, but provides the opportunity for increased volunteerism and inspires new members to join the Order, he said. For more information about the Texas State Council emergency management relief program, visit www.tkofc.org.♦ THOMAS A. SZYSZKIEWICZ writes from Minnesota. DECEMBER 2009
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the Vatican, the Knights and
Through sponsorship of the Vatican’s satellite uplink program, the Knights help to bring the Gospel to the world by Brian Dowling peaking Oct. 29 to the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pope Benedict XVI noted, “Even a casual observer can easily see that in our time, thanks to the most modern technologies, a true and proper revolution is underway in the field of social communications, of which the Church is becoming ever more responsibly aware.” He added, “These technologies, in fact, make rapid and pervasive communication possible, with an ample sharing of ideas and opinions. They transmit information and news, making them easily accessible to all.” As new technologies emerge, the Church uses these tools to bind together her global community, creating an engaging relationship with the whole human race. Commencing and maintaining this relationship would be difficult, if not impossible, without the advances of broadcast communication, namely television, to provide the public with a powerful looking glass into the intimate life of the Church. For decades, the Knights of Columbus has supported the Church’s social communications initiatives, including a telecommunications project that has allowed papal events to be transmitted worldwide by satellite since 1974. Every year, the transmissions of this program bring the pope and the reality of the universal Church into the living rooms of millions of people around the world.
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Since 1974, the Knights of Columbus has sponsored the satellite uplink of the Mass and related events from the Vatican. 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
PHOTOGRAPH:Getty Images/Franco Origlia
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CALCUTTA: Reuters /Jayanta Shaw
FORMING A PARTNERSHIP millions of people throughout the world an opportunity to see and In 1964, the Vatican and 10 other countries founded the Interna- hear our Holy Father at a time of desperate urgency for inspiring spirtional Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT), itual leadership.” through which the Holy See was able to transmit live audio and video anywhere in the world. Argentina and Chile were the first HISTORIC EVENTS countries outside of Europe to pick up the broadcast in 1969. With In 1978, the Catholic faithful were confronted with the death of Pope the Knights’ support, the number of countries increased to 35 in Paul VI, the election and death of Pope John Paul I, and the election 1985 and 47 in 2006. of John Paul II — all within three months. The Vatican broadcast these This partnership between the Knights of Columbus and the Pon- events via INTELSAT, and the world watched. Television crews hurried tifical Commission for Social Comto Rome Aug. 12 for the funeral of munications (the commission was Paul VI and the ensuing papal conelevated to a pontifical council in clave and election of John Paul I. 1988) began in 1974 at the request They soon returned at the end of Sep“While this should not be a of Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur, tember to report the sadly familiar guiding consideration, it must give who then served as president of the cycle of events: papal funeral, concommission. The Order’s Board of clave and election. us all a comforting feeling to Directors approved the commission’s “Cardinal Deskur called me and request for funding, while at the asked if we would pay to broadcast the realize that when the Holy Father same time fulfilling a 10-year-old funeral, the opening of the conclave appears on the television screen in resolution to expand and diversify and then the installation of the new the Knights’ use of media. pope,” recalled Past Supreme Knight our homes, you and I and all the Since that time, the Order has Virgil C. Dechant. “That’s what we provided for the “up-link” cost to did. And then when [Pope John Paul members of our cherished Order transmit signals to the satellite and, I] died 33 days later, Cardinal Deskur have helped to bring him there.” in certain situations for developing called again.” countries, the “down-link” cost for Cardinal John P. Foley, who served reception of the transmitted signal. as president of the Pontifical Council Specifically, this program annually for Social Communications from supports transmission of the Christmas Midnight Mass, the pope’s 1984 to 2005, related a story at the 113th Supreme Convention about Christmas Day message, the Jan. 1 Mass for the World Day of Peace, broadcasting World Youth Day 1995, which took place the previous numerous Holy Week ceremonies, the Easter Sunday Mass and the January in Manila, Philippines. Since the crowd was so large and the pope’s Easter message. popemobile could not fit through the crowd, the pope had to be taken In addition to these ceremonies, the Order has funded the trans- out of town and flown in by helicopter, forcing the Mass to begin 90 mission of numerous special events in the life of the Church, such as minutes late. the 1987 canonization of Lorenzo Ruiz, the Assisi Peace Summit in “We had ordered three and a quarter hours of satellite time, but 2002 and the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 2003, to with the pope an hour and a half late, he got to his homily just an name a few. hour before we were scheduled to go off the air,” said Cardinal Foley. Commenting on the satellite uplink program in 1975, then- “I ran out of the studio during his homily for some phone calls — Supreme Knight John W. McDevitt said that the program was “ide- one to extend our satellite time, and another to find Virgil Dechant ally suited to meet a crying need of our era. It will give hundreds of to see if he could pay for the extension.”
Left: Viewers watch the funeral of Pope John Paul II from Calcutta and London. Below: A Polish mother and her son watch the funeral of Pope John Paul II on television in their apartment in Wadowice, Poland, April 8, 2005. The pope was born May 18, 1920, in Wadowice.
LONDON: CNS Photo/Toby Melville, Reuters — WADOWICE: CNS Photo/Peter Andrews, Reuters — MANILLA: Reuters/Erik de Castro
Bottom right: A helicopter delivers Pope John Paul II to the stage after millions show up for 1995’s World Youth Day Mass in Manila, Philippines.
It was at this time, Dechant added, “Father [James] Reuter bumped into me, so right then we agreed to go ahead and broadcast the whole thing until it was over.” One of the largest known gatherings of Christians in history, estimated at 4 million in attendance, Cardinal Foley added, “It was a minor miracle that in the half hour of the pope’s homily I was able to make those two essential contacts to keep us on the air and to keep the Holy Father’s message going around the world.” On April 8, 2005, the world’s eyes again turned to Rome when the beloved Pope John Paul II was laid to rest. People watched in churches and public squares, in their homes or in public. With the aid of the Knights’ satellite uplink program, 137 television networks and 81 countries broadcast the funeral. It has been estimated that billions of people watched the event, a solemn commendation that brought an end to the third longest papacy in history and mourned the loss of a dedicated shepherd. Days later, the College of Cardinals elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the Church’s next pope. Both the election and first Mass of Benedict XVI were broadcast by the power of technology and the generosity of the Order to an estimated 2 billion people worldwide, making it one of the most-watched television events in history. There have been numerous smaller events transmitted far and wide with the Order’s support. Most recently, the Knights sponsored the broadcast of an evening recitation of the rosary with Pope Benedict to viewers in the Democratic Republic of Congo Oct. 10.
Left: The former president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, Cardinal John P. Foley, shakes hands with Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. Pope Benedict XVI named Anderson a consultor to the pontifical council in 2007. Right: Pope John Paul II greets Past Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant and members of the Supreme Board of Directors after blessing the mobile production van donated by the Knights to Centro Televisivo Vaticano (CTV) in 1995. During the event, Pope Benedict remarked: “This evening, too, we have availed ourselves of modern technology to ‘cast a net,’ a network of prayer linking Rome to Africa.” RECENT CHANGES Over the past two years, the satellite uplink program has changed its platform for worldwide broadcasting from INTELSAT to Eurovision World Feed. Through this change, coverage to Africa, Asia and Oceania has greatly improved; uplink costs are lower; and downlink costs are nearly obsolete. Due to the overall lower costs, worldwide coverage expanded to include the Jan. 1 Mass for the World Day of Peace, while Europe and North American coverage extended to include Palm Sunday and all Holy Week events. Thaddeus Jones, the satellite telecasts coordinator for the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, expressed hope for further expansion.
Some of the many special events broadcast to the world with support from the Knights of Columbus
Pope John Paul II opens the Holy Door Dec. 24, 1999, to inaugurate the Millennial Jubilee. 18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
BRIAN DOWLING is the Creative and Editorial Assistant of Columbia.
Dec. 24, 1974 – Opening of the Holy Door for the Jubilee Year Aug. 11, 1978 – Solemn funeral Mass of Pope Paul VI Aug. 26, 1978 – Installation Mass of Pope John Paul I Oct. 4, 1978 – Solemn funeral Mass of Pope John Paul I Oct. 16, 1978 – Installation Mass of Pope John Paul II March 24, 1985 – Message to workers from Fucino, Italy, on the feast of St. Joseph Oct. 18, 1987 – Canonization of Lorenzo Ruiz, first Filipino saint and martyr Jan. 15, 1995 – World Youth Day Mass Manila, Philippines
Dec. 24, 1999 – Opening of the Holy Door for the Millennial Jubilee Jan. 24, 2002 – Peace Summit in Assisi, Italy Oct. 19, 2003 – Beatification of Teresa of Calcutta & Pope John Paul II 25th Anniversary Mass April 8, 2005 – Solemn funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II April 19, 2005 – Election of Pope Benedict XVI April 24, 2005 – First Mass of Pope Benedict XVI Oct. 10, 2009 – Holy Father’s Marian Prayer with young people from nine African capitals
CNS photo/ Vatican, Reuters
“Apart from continuing work to improve satellite coverage, promotional efforts and monitoring reception of the broadcasts, we also hope to explore new ways of offering live online streaming of the telecasts,” he said. In a message earlier this year to a conference in Dallas concerning evangelization and mass communication, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, noted the importance of mass media in evangelization: “The Church is committed to engaging with the new media and the new culture of communication they are bringing into being. We must be willing to venture forth with faith and with a willingness to learn as we journey.” The task of communicating the Gospel to the modern world is not an easy one, but the “journey” so far has brought the Vatican to within a hand’s breadth of countless millions thanks to the Knights of Columbus. The words of Supreme Knight McDevitt to delegates gathered for the 93rd Supreme Convention in 1975 remain true today: “While this should not be a guiding consideration, it must give us all a comforting feeling to realize that when the Holy Father appears on the television screen in our homes, you and I and all the members of our cherished Order have helped to bring him there.”♦
YEAR FOR PRIESTS
Priest on Campus A priest’s emphasis on Catholic identity and authentic Christian witness inspires faith among students by Amy Smith WHEN MSGR. STUART SWETLAND studied at Oxford suited for college, especially with my own experience at a NewUniversity as a Rhodes Scholar, academics weren’t his only focus man Center.” — it was there that the Lutheran student discovered the Catholic Before embarking on a new assignment at the University of IlliChurch. “People were living the faith, engaging in an ongoing nois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as director and chapdialogue of faith and reason,” he recalled. “There was a strong lain of the Newman Center from 1997 to 2006, he completed his Newman Center and chaplain, who answered my questions as I doctoral studies at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies entered the Church.” on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. This prepared him Swetland’s conversion attests to the fact that the faith journeys for the questions he would have to engage in “an intellectual aposof young adults require authentic examtolate on campus,” he said. ples of faith. “They want to find people During his time serving university who will authentically answer their students, Msgr. Swetland has come to questions, who will walk with them and understand that strong Catholic identity live the faith with them,” he explained. is needed to encourage young-adult “We must accompany students as they faith. In addition to his work as the chair make this transition…as they go from of Christian ethics, he also leads the Presfaith inherited from their family to one ident’s Council on Catholic Identity at they own.” Mount St. Mary’s, Since last spring, Msgr. Swetland has “There needs to be the example of a served as the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn lot of living witnesses,” he said. “There Endowed Chair for Christian Ethics at needs to be a safe environment to ask the Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsright questions and have them answered. burg, Md. This is the latest chapter of a Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, vice president for Catholic There also needs to be the commitment priestly ministry marked by service to identity and Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Endowed to teach and preach the Gospel whole young people as they pursue their studies. Chair for Christian Ethics, is pictured in a classroom and entire, and the faith according to the Through his homilies and classes, during at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. Church’s discipline with Mass and the retreats and conversations, Swetland sacraments.” helps young adults understand who God is calling them to be in The Knights of Columbus, too, has been present throughout college and in the future. his ministry. “Being part of the Knights, especially councils at uniMsgr. Swetland’s philosophy for young-adult ministry comes versities, is a very good way for men to make a commitment to from Karol Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. “I think the faith and integrate faith into their lives,” said Swetland, who is of what one young person wrote about Karol Wojtyla in the a member of Illini Council 2782 at the University of Illinois. 1950s: ‘He didn’t become like us, but we sure wanted to be like And faith is something he has certainly found in large supply, him,’” said Msgr. Swetland. “We are to point [young people] to- especially during the Year for Priests, which has been observed ward being fully Christian men and women. I feel privileged to since June. “Being a priest is a phenomenal vocation,” Msgr. Swetbe on campus and able to do this.” land said. “It is difficult but rewarding — very joy-filled. The older Although a Newman Center helped Msgr. Swetland come to I get I come to realize how being a priest is a team effort. No priest the Catholic faith, it was his military experience, ultimately, that stands alone; they have their fellow priests and the lay faithful. led him to the priesthood. “The call to the priesthood was nur- John Paul II called this virtue solidarity.” tured in my time in the military by the Navy chaplains,” exHe added, “I am very humbled by this year. It shows the great plained Msgr. Swetland, who was ordained for the Diocese of devotion and appreciation the Catholic faithful have for their Peoria, Ill., in 1991. priests.”♦ Eventually, though, Msgr. Swetland was called back to campus. “I was honored to be asked to go back to a college campus AMY SMITH is the copy editor for the National Catholic Register. She is a by my bishop after my work at the chancery. He proposed work graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was in either high school or college,” he said. “I thought I’d be better active in the Newman Center during Msgr. Swetland’s tenure there. O B S E RV E T H E Y E A R F O R P R I E S T S W I T H A S P E C I A L P R AY E R C A R D AVA I L A B L E AT W W W. KO F C . O RG / Y E A R F O R P R I E S T S
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APOSTLE OF THE
AIRWAVES Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen saw and used the potential of mass media to communicate the Word by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
s our Lord said in his Great Commission, we are to “go out to all the nations and tell the Good News” (Mk 16:15) — a duty that is carried out in many ways. Whether through a mission trip to an impoverished country or a conversation with a neighbor, the ability to share the Gospel is always there. Dec. 9, 2009, marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who clearly did his part to proclaim the Gospel message in creative ways. A true media pioneer, as well as a Knight of Columbus, Archbishop Sheen used every communication tool at his disposal to share the Good News on a global level.
THE ELECTRONIC AGE Ordained in 1919 for the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., Father Sheen was a well-known scholar who wrote more than 90 books, pamphlets and articles, and was able to fill a church to capacity with each sermon he delivered. However, his preaching was not confined to the church pulpit. In Treasure in Clay, his autobiography written shortly before his death, Archbishop Sheen wrote, “I was born in the electronic age when light waves are used to communicate the Word.” While in his 30s, Father Sheen embraced this age and began his media ministry. His radio program began in 1926 with a series
THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is excerpted from a speech Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen gave Aug. 19, 1970, to delegates at the 88th Supreme Convention in Houston.
THE CRISIS TODAY is that the Church is making contact with the world. The Church went into the world, and the world came to the Church. First the Church went into the world. This is symbolized by the place where the various pontiffs received their crowns when they were chosen. Benedict XV was crowned at the far end of St. Peter’s at the altar of Our Lady; Pius XI under the dome; Pius XII walked through the walls and out in the portico; John XXIII walked out in the portico and reached out his great fleshy arms and bade the world to come with him. Paul VI walked through the front door and was crowned in the world. Second, the world came into the Church. At the council 1870, there was not one single bishop from Asia or Africa. In our last council, 60 percent of the bishops were from Asia, Africa and the Americas. The culture of the Church is no longer Mediterranean; it is cosmic. What we are feeling today is the im-
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pact of the world which produces two extremes: the psychotics who insist that the Church shall not be related to the world, and the neurotics who contend that we should be so related to the world as to forget the Church. It is hard for us who are striving to keep a balance to remind them that our Blessed Lord wants both. The first word of our Lord’s public life was “Come.” “Come to me; learn of me. I am the truth, I am the way, I am the life.” The last word of our Lord’s public life was “Go.” “Go into the world.” Our trouble today is we have too many “gos” and too few “comes.” And even some of the religious communities which some 20 years ago were saying, “I am holier than thou,” are the ones that are proclaiming today, “I am worldlier than thou.” Both are wrong. … One of the signs of the times is that we must reexamine our goals. Plans must be laid for a new world. Our mission has to be reexamined. We are in a new world. And the sooner we meet this challenge, the sooner we shall be strong again. … What the Second Vatican Council did, the Knights must do — readapt ourselves to the times.
Photo by Walter Sanders//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
of talks broadcast in New York City. He soon went on to reach even more listeners through his national radio program, The Catholic Hour, which had an estimated audience of 4 million listeners each week. Father Sheen was made a monsignor in 1934 and was ordained a bishop in 1951. Bishop Sheen first served as an auxiliary to Cardinal Francis J. Spellman of New York, who recognized his ability to captivate an audience. Cardinal Spellman suggested that he share his gift with the masses, and so, in 1952, Bishop Sheen began his famous television series, Life is Worth Living. Although there was doubt that the show would ever succeed on national television, Bishop Sheen surprised everyone. His dramatic style, speech and piercing eyes stole the show, resulting in a fan base of nearly 30 million viewers each week. Sheen even beat out Milton Berle, “Mr. Television,” in the ratings. When asked how he was able to do this, he credited his success to his four writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Bishop Sheen took every advantage of his popularity, using this gift for the glory of God. He asked fans to send spare change for mission work, and in his autobiography, Sheen later recalled, “In the course of years, thanks to the gifts that were spontaneously sent, returns for the missions ran into millions of dollars, every cent of which found its way to some poor area of this earth for the building of hospitals and schools and the further communication of the Word.”
PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS As he grew more and more popular, Bishop Sheen continued making personal appearances, traveling across the country to give lectures and always taking time to send handwritten notes to his fans. He served for three years as the bishop of Rochester before retiring in 1969, at which time Pope Paul VI elevated him to the rank of archbishop. Through his zeal and his charismatic television appearances, Archbishop Sheen was able to bring many converts to the Church, even celebrities like Clare Booth Luce and Henry Ford II. When asked how many converts he had made, Archbishop A MESSAGE Sheen refused to give a FOR THE TIME number. He said that if he Bishop Sheen was popular began counting, he may not only because of his feel that he had converted charisma, but because his his audience rather than message spoke to the comthe Holy Spirit. These conmon man — he took a versions did not stop after complex idea and preSheen’s death in 1979; sented it in a way that anypeople today continue to one could understand. He be influenced by the words also had a very diverse auArchbishop Sheen left bedience. Although he was a hind. Catholic bishop, viewers of There is little doubt that many faiths routinely Archbishop Sheen would watched his program. have used today’s technolBishop Sheen’s message did ogy — cell phones, the Innot condemn other reliternet, satellite television Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is seen during a taping of Life is Worth Living. gious traditions, but emand much more — in exbraced them. In fact, the traordinary ways. We The television series, which aired from 1952 to 1957, is believed to be the most majority of fan letters he reought to follow Archwidely viewed religious series in history. ceived came from Jewish bishop Sheen’s example viewers, followed by and make use of the gift of Protestants, and then Catholics. communication, which offers a tremendous opportunity to share Beginning each show with a joke, usually a self-deprecating one, the Good News. In so doing, let us never forget the power of a Bishop Sheen would lighten the mood. He believed that no audi- personal greeting, as we turn to our brothers in sisters in Christ ence should feel inferior to the speaker. Drawing on subjects of and say, “God love you!”♦ common interest, such as art and science, he would gradually introduce Christian philosophy. He was thus invited into homes BISHOP DANIEL R. JENKY of Peoria is the bishop of competence for the week after week, with families gathered around the television to cause for canonization of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He is a member of the Uniwatch Life is Worth Living. versity of Notre Dame Council 1477 in Notre Dame, Ind. DECEMBER 2009
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Lifting Our Eyes to the
The Church’s astronomers seek to understand God’s creation and celebrate its goodness by Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno
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Courtesy of Vatican Observatory
The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) observes the Milky Way Galaxy from the Mount Graham International Observatory in southeastern Arizona. were somehow at war. Pope Leo countered this attitude by showing that the Church itself was vigorously supporting the free exploration of the universe. But the history of astronomers being supported by the Church is much older than that.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The International Year of Astronomy, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei’s first use of a telescope to observe the cosmos, runs until Jan. 10, 2010.
ur mission at the Vatican Observatory does not pertain to the Star of Bethlehem. Nor are we missioned by the Church to set the date of Easter, evangelize aliens or cast the pope’s horoscope. (All of these ideas have actually been expressed in newspaper articles about us, however.) No, our mission at the Vatican Observatory is much simpler: perform good science. In 1891, Pope Leo XIII decided to establish a Vatican Observatory to show the world that the Church supports science. In that era, science was becoming more and more a technical job done by secular professionals — rather than the hobby of noblemen and clerics — and some of those professionals had promoted the idea that their work was better for being free of “clerical prejudices.” Indeed, this is when the misconception arose that science and religion
THE STUDY OF CREATION Small errors in the calendar established by Julius Caesar had built up to a 10-day slippage by the 16th century. In addition, missionaries opening up the New World needed a reliable way to calculate for themselves the date when Easter should be celebrated for any given location, in any year. The reform of the calendar by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 meant that the Church had to hire some astronomers for advice on choosing the best way to align the feast days with the actual seasons of the year. Even before then, astronomy was one of the four courses (called the “quadrivium” — the others were geometry, arithmetic and music) that every university student had to master in the Church’s medieval universities before they could go on to study philosophy or theology. In those days, astronomy was itself a branch of natural philosophy. The way that (we think) the universe works affects our deeper understanding of what the universe itself is all about. As C. S. Lewis pointed out in his classic text, The Discarded Image, this in turn shaped literature and the arts; Dante’s Divine Comedy is a classic example. Indeed, a common thread in Christian theology, from Church fathers like St. Athanasius and St. Augustine, to medieval writers like Johannes Scotus Eriugena, to moderns like G. K. Chesterton, is that a good God created this universe and found it good. In fact, it is so good and so loved that he sent his only Son to be a part of it and to save it. Thus, coming to an intimate knowledge of this creation is a powerful way to know the Creator. It is therefore no surprise that some of the most important advances in our understanding of the universe have come from priests, monks and other children of the Church. Jesuit priests Grimaldi and Riccioli devised the names of the features of the Moon that are used even today. (They did their work in Rome less than 20 years after the Galileo trial, and they named the most prominent crater on the Moon for Galileo’s hero, Copernicus.) The idea that stars could be classified by their spectral colors, the basis of all modern astrophysics, was pioneered by Father Angelo Secchi in 1865, using a telescope on the roof of St. Ignatius Church in Rome. And the Big Bang Theory came from the early 20th century work of a Belgian priest and mathematician, Father Georges Lemaître. Finally, as Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out, Galileo himself was a good Catholic — his two daughters were nuns — in spite of the unjust accusations he had to endure. DISCOVERING BEAUTY Today at the Vatican Observatory we continue to revel in God’s creation. We are a dozen active priest and brother astronomers, with several Jesuits working in supporting roles. We come from four DECEMBER 2009
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continents, speak nine languages and work in almost every field of modern astronomy: Big Bang cosmology and string theory, galaxy formation and evolution, stellar spectroscopy, meteors and meteorites. We have our headquarters in the pope’s summer gardens of Castel Gandolfo, in the hills south of Rome, with telescopes perched on the pope’s summer palace itself, and a modern advanced technology telescope in the dark, dry skies of southern Arizona.
JESUIT BROTHER GUY CONSOLMAGNO, a native of Detroit, has recently collected images and essays by members of Vatican Observatory into a coffee-table book: The Heavens Proclaim: Astronomy and the Vatican (Our Sunday Visitor Press).
Courtesy of Vatican Observatory
Pope Paul VI sits before a television set at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, watching coverage of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon July 20, 1969.
Our detailed research results are published in the same journals as any other astronomer’s work, and we regularly collaborate with astronomers at universities and observatories around the world. We also do our bit to help train aspiring astronomers by sponsoring a fourweek summer school every other year. Two dozen students, most of them from developing countries, are given an intensive course in some aspect of astrophysics from world experts while developing friendships — and a taste for pasta and gelato — that will last a lifetime. And what have we found? More than just the details of our research papers, we astronomers encounter every day the glory of God as proclaimed by the heavens. First and foremost, of course, is the fact that the universe we see with our telescopes is both rational and beautiful. Even the mathematical explanations of what we see are, in their own way, also elegantly beautiful. Certainly the spark of joy at every new discovery reminds me of those rare moments of joyful prayer. It is in this beauty, elegance and joy that I find God’s presence. But then, astronomy has been leading people to the transcendent since humans first looked up at night. One of the major themes of this International Year of Astronomy is to remind us that we all share the same sky. The awe of the stars can help put our small lives into a larger perspective — you don’t need an advanced degree to be able to enjoy this stuff. After all, consider what guided the Magi to the Christ child. So, maybe it does pertain to the Star of Bethlehem after all.♦
“DEAR FRIENDS, modern cosmology has shown us that neither we, nor the earth we stand on, is the center of our universe, composed of billions of galaxies, each of them with myriads of stars and planets. Yet, as we seek to respond to the challenge of this Year — to lift up our eyes to the heavens in order to rediscover our place in the universe — how can we not be caught up in the marvel expressed by the Psalmist so long ago? Contemplating the starry sky, he cried out with won-
der to the Lord: ‘When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place, what is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man, that you should care for him?’ (Ps 8:4-5). It is my hope that the wonder and exaltation which are meant to be the fruits of this International Year of Astronomy will lead beyond the contemplation of the marvels of creation to the contemplation of the Creator, and of that Love which is the underlying motive of his creation — the Love which, in the words of Dante Alighieri, ‘moves the sun and the other stars’ (Paradiso XXXIII, 145). Revelation tells us that, in the fullness of time, the Word through whom all things were made came to dwell among us. In Christ, the new Adam, we acknowledge the true centre of the universe and all history, and in him, the incarnate Logos, we see the fullest measure of our grandeur as human beings, endowed with reason and called to an eternal destiny.” — POPE BENEDICT XVI, in an address to a colloquium sponsored by the Vatican Observatory in Rome Oct. 30.
Pope Benedict XVI views a display during his visit to the new headquarters of the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Sept. 16. Standing at right is Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, Vatican astronomer.
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CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano, Reuters
‘THE LOVE THAT MOVES THE STARS’
KNIGHTS IN ACTION
REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES
Fourth Degree Knights from throughout the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., raised more than $49,000 for the diocesan vocations fund. The funds, which were presented at a cookout for 37 seminarians, will support vocations education throughout the diocese. FOR THE DIOCESE Members of Father Michael P. Dowling Assembly in Omaha, Neb., grill burgers and steak during the assembly’s annual clergy appreciation barbecue. Knights provided dinner for 112 clergy, religious and seminarians, and presented Archbishop Elden F. Curtiss of Omaha with a donation to assist needy seminarians.
Msgr. Anthony Piegay Assembly in Alexandria, La., donated $2,000 to the Diocese of Alexandria. The funds will provide financial aid to four seminarians. BANKING ON IT
Archbishop Lamy Council 4227 in Albuquerque, N.M., held a benefit breakfast to support the Officer Street Survival Training Fund, a seminar and workshop that provides advanced training for police officers. The council was contacted about the project by Jim and Rita McGrane, whose son was killed in the line of duty. The event raised $3,100 to assist offi-
cers who want to attend the seminar with travel and tuition expenses. BUILDING FUND
Bishop Evans Council 10122 in Aurora, Colo., donated $10,000 toward the Queen of Peace Church building fund. The money will help build a new social and education center for the parish. Additionally, San Juan Bosco Council 10087 in Miami presented Our Lady of Divine Providence Church with $2,000 in support of its parish building fund.
Over two years, Cardinal Bernardin Council 12263 in Bluffton, S.C., collected more than 20,000 pounds of food and $12,500 for the Hardeeville Food Bank.
St. John Bosco Council 12846 in Springfield, Va., conducted a food drive to benefit the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC). Knights collected and delivered more than 3,000 pounds of food. GRILLIN’ FOR LIFE
St. Therese Council 8285 in Jackson, Miss., held its annual “Grillin’ for Life” barbecue cook-off. Twenty-seven teams raised $7,000 for local pro-life agencies. FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Council 13145 in Baton Rouge, La., donated $1,200 to the special education department of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. The funds will help educate students with intellectual disabilities. RAFFLE TIME
Msgr. Felino G. Caballa Council 12412 in Naga, Visayas, poured concrete for a paved path at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church. Before completing the path, parishioners often had to contend with mud and weeds.
Father Philip Lawlor Council 12133 in Avoca-Walnut, Iowa, sponsored a cash raffle to benefit local nonprofit agencies. Knights sold more than 200 tickets and raised $6,000. The winner of the raffle, a new mother of twins, received $10,000.
WHEELCHAIRS DONATED John Cossart, Frank Kosa and Patrick Clifford of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Council 13300 in Wildwood, Fla., present Father Peter Sagorski of St. Vincent de Paul Church with a new automatic external defibrillator (AED). Knights purchased the unit for $2,000 and donated it to the church, where it is accessible in the building’s vestibule. Father Sagorski is also a member of Council 13300.
Members of the Ontario State Council and their families traveled to Mexico to distribute 280 wheelchairs through the Global Wheelchair Mission. Knights distributed wheelchairs that were purchased with funds raised by councils across the province. Universidad Autónoma de Puebla Council 13582 in Puebla, Mexico South, also donated eight wheelchairs to people with physical disabilities through the organization.
Charlie Widmayer Sr. and Mickey Dillow of Father Andrew White Assembly in Ridge, Md., remove trash along the side of Maryland Route 5. The assembly adopted a one-mile stretch of highway that passes the Helen Veterans Memorial, where the Knights’ color guard often participates in patriotic events.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N A CATHOLIC UPBRINGING
To encourage parents to send their children to Catholic schools, Calumet Council 2556 in Chilton, Wis., provides $100 tuition grants to families with kindergartenage children who enroll in one of several area Catholic schools. Over two years, the council provided $2,400 to young students.
raffle. The funds will offset the church’s operational costs. Knights also co-hosted a pasta dinner with the Catholic Daughters of America that raised $1,900 toward the parish’s centennial fund. BOOKS FOR ABU DHABI
St. Paul’s Council 7265 in San Antonio, Texas, held a barbecue chicken and sausage dinner to raise funds for a statue of St. Paul at its parish. Knights served more than 1,000 meals at the event.
When Robert Hock of St. Mary of the Lakes Council 6520 in Medford, N.J., was assigned to a U.S. Air Force base near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, he immediately sought out other Knights stationed there. After their initial meeting, the Knights came to realize that St. Joseph Cathedral in Abu Dhabi — one of the only Catholic parishes in the city — was severely lacking in books for its parish school. The Knights began soliciting used books from their councils back home, eventually getting more than 6,000 donations. The delivery was so large that the cathedral now needs to expand its parish library.
Mary Immaculate Council 12769 in Secaucus, N.J., raised $1,500 for its parish during a council-sponsored
St. Bernard Council 9082 in Madison, Wis., held a pig roast at its parish that included craft sales, raffles and a barbe-
BUILDING THE INN
Corpus Christi Assembly in Flagler Beach, Fla., donated $2,000 to St. Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery in Bunnell. The funds are earmarked for the construction of St. Theresa’s Pilgrimage Inn on the monastery grounds. SET IN STONE
James Lanahan of Phoenixville (Pa.) Council 1374 presents a check to Principal Dorothy Gudz of Sacred Heart School. Council 1374 provides $3,000 each to Sacred Heart School and Holy Family School for tuition assistance each year. Also pictured are Father Timothy M. Judge, pastor of Sacred Heart, and several Sacred Heart students.
cue. The event raised $3,400, which was donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. TREE LOT
Members of Father Jose A. Burgos Council 9095 in Burgos, Luzon, planted mahogany trees at Holy Name of Jesus Church. The trees will help reduce soil erosion on parish property. SCHOOL BEAUTIFICATION
Father Paul Sutter Council 4858 in Sullivan, Mo., set out to update the exterior of St. Anthony School and provide it with a more Catholic identity. Knights purchased and installed new lettering that clearly identifies the school and ordered a statue of St. Anthony to adorn the front of the building. Knights and local parishioners performed all the installation labor themselves.
St. Joseph Council 9207 in Negros Occidental, Visayas, regularly provides food for pupils at Hauten Elementary School, many of whom come from needy families. The council also undertook a beautification project to plant new trees on school property. TRAVELING MASS KIT
Glenmary Council 7853 in Norton, Va., presented Father Mike Herbert, who serves three parishes in the area, with a traveling Mass kit. SHARING THE SURPLUS
St. Francis Council 11746 in Blairsville, Ga., volunteered at the District 9 Government Surplus Food Program at the Blairsville Civic Center. Knights helped arrange and distribute food to needy members of the community. BALLPARK KNIGHTS
SEMINARIAN BANQUET Members of St. Basil Council 4204 in Sugar Land, Texas, erect a new gazebo at the Basilian Mission Center. When the Basilian fathers announced they would hold a cookout for the seminarians at St. Mary’s Seminary, Knights volunteered to build a new gazebo on the Mission Center grounds. The council also volunteered at the cookout.
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Councils from throughout western Tennessee hosted a dinner to benefit the Diocese of Memphis seminarian fund. Knights and other volunteers served more than 300 guests, and the event raised $13,000.
Members of South Plainfield (Ill.) Council 6203 and their families regularly operate the first- and third-baseline concession stands at Somerset Patriots Ballpark in Bridgewater. Proceeds from the games fund the council’s scholarship program.
K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
The funds are earmarked for the purchase of new pews, Stations of the Cross and a consecration candle. NEW THREADS
Fourth Degree Knights from throughout the Diocese of Nelson, British Columbia, presented Bishop John D. Corriveau with a handmade chasuble and miter at the Knights’ annual barbecue. Peter Kiefer and James Zik of St. Peter the Apostle Council 13290 in Libertytown, Md., demonstrate how to change a flat tire. Knights hosted a car maintenance clinic to teach new drivers how to properly care for their vehicles. Attendees learned how to check fluids, change tires, swap oil and perform several other essential tasks.
IN A LOUD VOICE
Father Rodolfo Cabonce Council 8587 in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, held a book and poster drive to benefit the Patag Day Care Center. Meanwhile, Nuestra Señora de Fatima Council 11249 in Dasmarinas, Luzon, donated more than 500 textbooks to Salitran Elementary School.
Santa Maria Council 6065 in Plano, Texas, donated $500 to the Texas Voice Project, which treats people with communications disorders related to Parkinson’s disease.
HELPING A WIDOW
Members of Pope John Paul I Council 7315 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, removed trees from the home of a widowed parishioner. In the event of inclement weather, the trees posed a threat to the parishioner’s property.
RELOCATING A FAMILY
Father D. L. McElligott Council 3703 and Father Michael J. Keyes Assembly, both in Mountain Home, Idaho, assisted a local family whose home was damaged in a fire. Knights donated $500 to assist the family and moved any belongings that survived the blaze.
Members of St. Thomas More Council 11439 in Oceanside, Calif., along with their families and other volunteers, refurbished several apartments in Escondido. The apartments house elderly members of the community who have fallen below the poverty line. KEEPING WARM
Pope John Paul I Council 7370 in Hazel Green, Wis., hosted a steak fry that raised $7,500 toward a new boiler at St. Joseph School. WHAT A HEAP!
Burgos Sañta Cruz (Mindanao) Council 7830 began composting to supplement its council fund. Knights discard biodegradable material in a
compost heap, which is then broken down by worms to create a rich, organic fertilizer. The fertilizer is then sold for approximately 25 pesos per kilo. Proceeds are added to the council’s charitable fund. TIJUANA PROJECT
Holy Innocents Church Council 11881 in Victorville, Calif., provided partial financial backing to the Damien High School Tijuana Mission Outreach Program. Students at Damien High raised $120,000 and volunteered to build six houses, two classrooms and a community center in La Morita, Mexico. A FOND FAREWELL
Our Lady of Sorrows Council 6302 in Wahiawa, Hawaii, sponsored a breakfast in honor of departing soldiers from the 25th Infantry. Knights fed 150 soldiers and their families prior to their deployment overseas. COMMUNITY BREAKFAST
Prince of Peace Council 5903 in Englishtown, N.J., holds a bi-monthly community breakfast, proceeds from which are added to the council’s charitable fund.
UN-CANNY AID NEW MOWER
Holy Family Council 7435 in Vernon, Texas, donated a new John Deere ride-on mower to its parish. Funds for the mower were raised at a council-sponsored raffle. FIRE SAFETY
St. John de Brebeuf Council 8233 in Kingsville, Ontario, donated $500 to the Kingsville Fire Department. The funds are earmarked for the department’s “safety trailer,” which demonstrates important skills to use in case of a fire.
St. Michael’s Council 4501 in Leamington, Ontario, arranged a donation of 86,000 pounds of canned food to Canadian Food for Children, an organization that ships food, hand tools, clothing and other care items to Third World countries. The food was donated by Henry Iacobelli, owner of Sun-Brite Canning. PARISH UPDATES
Father Alexander C. Denis Council 7087 in Kiln, Miss., donated $3,000 to St. Matthew the Apostle Church.
Shoppers browse a tool booth run by Msgr. Newman Council 4665 in Shively, Ky., during the annual St. Joseph Children’s Home picnic. Knights sold used tools and raised $1,500 for the home, which provides child-care services to orphans of any race or religious background.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N CHURCH REPAIRS
Members of Norwood-Havelock (Ontario) Council 8287 painted the exterior of St. Paul’s Church. When a cherry picker used for the work left deep ruts in the church grounds, Knights and a parish youth group spread a truckload of new topsoil and 20 pounds of grass seed to repair the damage.
from Kentucky when Doug was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Knights solicited funds, goods and volunteers to completely refurbish the home. FEEDING OTHERS
Christ the King Council 12813 in Cambridge, Minn., donated $1,000 to the Cambridge Family Pathway Food Shelf. The funds will help the organization purchase food for needy members of the community. SCHOOL DONATION
Father Ron Piepmeyer of St. Philip the Apostle Church blesses a new statue of St. Philip that was donated by St. Malachy Council 5128 in Morrow, Ohio. Father Piepmeyer, who also serves as council chaplain, requested the statue for placement near the altar.
Lubbock (Texas) Council 3008 held its annual Tech Knight Kickoff fundraiser to benefit several local agencies. More than 600 people attended the event, which included a golf tournament and auction. Proceeds were donated to Christ the King Church, the Diocese of Lubbock seminarian fund and Catholic Family Services, among others.
Dallas (Texas) Council 799 donated $10,000 to Notre Dame School, a Catholic school dedicated to students with intellectual disabilities. The donation will help support Notre Dame’s programs, which include independent living skills and job training. NOT WITHOUT HELP
When a local parishioner was evicted from her apartment, members of St. Francis of Assisi Council 13456 in Henderson, Nev., helped move the woman’s belongings into storage. Knights also rented a moving truck and volunteered to help the woman move.
Carlos Homs (center) of San Juan Bautista Council 1543 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, leads a short prayer before Knights and their families begin cleaning the coastline. For the second consecutive year, the council participated in Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Campaign. Knights and their families spent two hours cleaning trash.
will help support the courage lion program, which aids critically ill, traumatized, abused and other children in crisis situations. WALKING FOR A CAUSE
Pope John XXIII Council 7104 in Congers, N.Y., participated in a five-mile walk to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research. The Knights raised $1,500. ABIGAYLE’S KNIGHTS
St. Matthias Council 13992 in Sterling Heights, Mich.,
held a baby bottle drive to benefit Abigayle House, a pregnancy resource center. Knights secured 500 baby bottles and asked parishioners to fill them with spare change. The drive raised more than $4,880. TILAPIA FARMING
St. Joseph the Worker Council 12363 in Vicmico, Visayas, initiated a tilapia farming project to assist local residents who lack funds for food. Council members farm the fish for distribution to area haciendas.
A HELPING HAND
Father William Tracy, a Redemptionist missionary in Brazil, operates a mission to help Roman Catholic priests and religious who have become addicted to alcohol. Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) Council 246 held a benefit dinner to support Father Tracy and raised $6,000 for his rehabilitation center.
St. Catharine Council 11354 in Bexley, Ohio, raised $25,000 and volunteered to refurbish a home owned by Doug Barlay, his wife, Sheri, and their two children. The family moved back to Ohio
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Father Maurice J. Wolfe Council 11372 in Abingdon, Md., donated $1,000 to the Courage Unlimited Corporation, which produces Duffy, the courage lion. The funds
Ron Marulewski (left) of St. John the Baptist Council 9167 in Johnsburg, Ill., presents a plaque to Sal de Marco (center) of Val’s Foods while Knights John Petco and Ron Robaczewski look on. With help from the supermarket, Council 9167 conducts food and fund drives throughout the year. Items are donated to Friends in Service Here (FISH), an agency that distributes food to the needy. Also pictured is Barbara Pierce, director of FISH.
K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
water and a level of dignified care if ever they are incapacitated. More than 50 parishioners took advantage of the program, and Knights notarized the necessary documents free of charge. THOUGHTS FROM HOME
Members of Immaculate Conception Council 12608 in Doña Soldad Subdivision, Mindanao, clean a clogged drainage canal in preparation for the country’s rainy season. Knights removed mud, rubbish and debris from area canals to aid the flow of drainage water.
Blessed Joseph Allamano Council 11359 in New Westminster, British Columbia, donated $500 to the Regimental Association of The Royal Westminster Regiment to send care packages to 29 soldiers serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The care packages contained snacks, granola bars, food vouchers and more. AED PURCHASE
FLEA MARKET AND AUCTION
St. Lazare de Bellechasee Council 11614 in St. Lazare, Quebec, held an auction and flea market that raised more than $6,500 for its parish. ‘LOVING’ WILLS
Joseph I. Driscoll Council 4497 in El Paso, Texas, hosted a campaign for parishioners to establish “loving” wills — a living will that provides for an individual to receive food,
Cathedral of St. Joseph Council 11405 in Hartford, Conn., purchased an automatic external defibrillator (AED) for its parish. Knights raised $2,000 to purchase the unit and provide the necessary training to use it. A DEDICATED GROUP
Father Lawrence A. Vieck Assembly in Washington, Ind., provided an honor guard for the dedication of the new Our Lady of Hope Church and Elementary
Members of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Circle 5222 in San Pedro, Luzon, stand with some of the used clothing they collected for the needy. The clothes were delivered to Caritas de Manila, a division of the Archdiocese of Manila.
School. The assembly, along with members of Columbian Council 630, volunteered more than 3,000 hours preparing the new school and church before their dedication. Knights moved equipment and furniture, landscaped the grounds, painted, and poured concrete for a new sidewalk. ILLUMINATED IN CHRIST
When Sainte-Trinité Church in Rockland, Ontario, was declared a cultural and heritage site, Rheal Franche Council 6198 donated $6,000 to the church so that its steeple and cross could be illuminated every night. The cross can be seen from virtually everywhere in the community. A FRESH CUP OF JOE
Members of Father Andrew H. Hohman Council 5253 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, stand with the eight chalices they donated to St. Pius X Church. Knights donated the chalices as part of the parish’s 50th anniversary celebration. Seven of the chalices bear the names of the parish’s current and former pastors, and the eighth is dedicated to the council’s deceased members.
Father Thomas Lane Council 3645 in Renton, Wash., purchased a new commercial coffee maker for the parish hall at St. Anthony’s Church. Knight Vince Becker championed the idea to promote community among parishioners. CROSS REFURBISHED
Archbishop Joseph L. Wilhelm Council 1008 in Belleville, Ontario, refur-
bished a large cross at St. James Cemetery and landscaped the surrounding grounds. Knights provided all funding for the project and added new lighting to the area so the cross will be visible at night. NEW LAPTOP
St. Rita Council 4610 in Quezon City, Luzon, donated a new laptop to seminarian Kennedy Garcia. The council also supports Garcia through the Order’s Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP). DIOCESE DRIVE
St. Anastasia Council 5911 in Douglaston, N.Y., held a fund drive to benefit the Diocese of Brooklyn. Knights solicited donations from passing motorists and collected $400 for the diocese. FIRE RELIEF
Msgr. Vicente S. Fernandez Council 9101 in Abucay, Luzon, distributed clothing, food and financial assistance to victims of a fire that took place in Barangay Wawa. The council solicited donations from local businesses and from individual donors. A total of 35 families were affected by the blaze.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
K OF C ITEMS Available from the following designated official suppliers
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON Knights work to keep Christ in Christmas IF THERE’S a will, there’s a way — at least according to the Knights of Columbus in regards to retaining the real meaning of Christmas. Through plain ingenuity, Knights have found many ways to spread the “Keep Christ in Christmas” message, whether through car magnets, lawn signs, bumper stickers, buttons (like the one pictured above left, available through pcbuttons.com) or even highway billboards. Consider, for instance, the Knights in Iowa who began selling waterproof foam Nativity sets for display on customers’ lawns; or the 23 councils in Michigan that band together to rent billboards throughout the month of December. By these methods and countless others, Knights remain at the front lines of cutting through the holiday hubbub and reminding everyone of the real reason for the season.
CAPES, CHAPEAUX, SWORDS, FLAGS, PLAQUES AND MORE Call THE ENGLISH COMPANY INC. at 1-800-444-5632 or visit www.kofcsupplies.com. Free catalog available. ROBES, FOURTH DEGREE ITEMS Call LYNCH AND KELLY INC. at 1-888-548-3890. Catalog available FOURTH DEGREE TUXEDOS Approved K of C Dress Code Call CHILBERT & CO. at 1-800-289-2889 or visit www.chilbert.com. Free catalog available.
OFFICIAL DEC. 1, 2009:
Grand Knight Jay Richardson of Father Joseph Plummer Council 10872 in Spring, Texas, presents Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, with the one-millionth “Keep Christ in Christmas” car magnet. St. Margaret Mary Council 11091 in Algonquin, Ill., began the magnet program in 2006. Since then, Knights have sold magnets and decals in the United States, Canada and countries around the world. Councils in North America alone have raised more than $3.5 million for charity. Visit www.kcnativitysets.com for more information.
STATemeNT oF oWNerSHIP, mANAGemeNT ANd cIrculATIoN (Act of August 1, 1970: Section 3685, title 39, u.S. code) 1. Publication title: columbia 2. Publication No.: 12-3740 3. date of filing: oct. 3, 2008 4. Frequency of issue: monthly 5. No. of issues published annually: 12 6. Annual subscription price: $6 7. location of office of publication: 1 columbus Plaza, New Haven, cT 06510-3326 8. location of publisher’s headquarters: 1 columbus Plaza, New Haven, cT 06510-3326 9. Names and address of publisher, editor and managing editor. Publisher: carl A. Anderson, 1 columbus Plaza, New Haven, cT 06510-3326 managing editor: Alton J. Pelowski, 1 columbus Plaza, New Haven, cT 06510-3326 10. owner: Knights of columbus Supreme council, 1 columbus Plaza, New Haven, cT 06510-3326. 11. Known bond holders: none. 12. For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at special rates.
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C U LT U R E O F L I F E
Praying to End Abortion Through the Night of Prayer for Life, Catholics join in prayer to conquer the culture of death by Joseph McInerney HISTORY IS THE ARENA in which spiritual powers engage and Aztec Empire, a nation of more than 10 million people stretching do battle. Great historical events are driven by the conflict of evil from modern day Guatemala to central Mexico, had reached the stirring in the hearts of man and the goodness that strives to over- zenith of its power. Despite many achievements, Aztec culture emcome that evil. Atheistic philosophies and totalitarian governments braced a bloodthirsty religion that claimed thousands of lives each in the last century have left stark examples of how systematic evil year through human sacrifice. On Dec. 9, 1531, only a decade after the arrival of Spanish explorers in Mexico, the Blessed Virgin Mary can leave untold human suffering in its wake. We are also faced with the reality that in the United States appeared to the humble Indian convert named Juan Diego. The appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe alone, abortion has claimed the lives of led to an unprecedented tide of convermore than 50 million babies over the sions to the Christian faith, bringing last 36 years. Moreover, the evil of about an end to the culture of death abortion enjoys the protection of law that resulted from the Aztecs’ pagan beand has the support of many private lief system. and corporate entities that help to fund Given Our Lady’s powerful work Planned Parenthood and other aborsome 500 years ago, it is natural for us tion providers. And now, proposed to seek her intercession to overcome health care legislation in the U.S. Senour contemporary culture of abortion. ate threatens to provide federal fundFor the past two decades American ing for abortion. Catholics have gathered at their To paraphrase Pope John Paul II, parishes to observe the National Night structures of sin emerge at times of Prayer for Life. From the evening of throughout history that give rise to a Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate culture of death. What are the faithful Conception, to Dec. 9, the feast of St. to do in the face of a horror that seems Juan Diego, all Catholics are invited to so much greater than our meager repray before the Blessed Sacrament for sources? an end to abortion and the growth of Despite the power of the abortion an authentic culture of life. industry, Scripture and Catholic history Since its modest beginning in 1990 in teach us that God is the Lord of life and the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., has power to overcome death. In our the movement has spread to more than need, we must turn to God in prayer. A 17th century statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 700 parishes throughout the United This is important for at least two readraped by a reliquary holding a small piece of St. Juan States and Canada. In anticipation of the sons. First, although the fight against Diego’s tilma (or cloak), is seen at the Knights-sponsored feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. abortion happens at many levels and re12, the National Night of Prayer for Life quires many different talents — talents Marian Congress in Phoenix last August. offers Catholics the chance to present a that some possess and others do not — prayer is the duty of every Christian. Second, it is in prayer where unified plea to Our Lady for her intercession. For more information on the National Night of Prayer for Life, we find our greatest power. In turning to God in prayer, we enlist and unleash the ultimate source of goodness in our effort to defeat visit www.NationalNightofPrayerforLife.org.♦ the evil of abortion. In addition to the confidence that comes to us through faith, the history of the Western Hemisphere gives us cause for hope. The JOSEPH MCINERNEY, a graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute curse of abortion is not the first time that a culture of death has for Studies on Marriage and Family, lives in Springfield, Va., with his wife reigned on the American continent. In the early 16th century, the and five children. He is a member of Springfield Council 6153. FOR INFORMATION ABOUT KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS PRO - LIFE INITIATIVES AND RESOURCES , VISIT WWW. KOFC . ORG / PROLIFE DECEMBER 2009
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C O LU M B I A N I S M B Y D E G R E E S
Patriotism CARL ROBERTS, Ronald Benkovic, Josip Kajic and Mike Rubinich of Bishop Joseph T. Daley Council 3625 in Steelton, Pa., display some of the care packages their council assembled for U.S. troops. Knights collected more than 130 bags of care items at their parish and sorted the donations into 65 packages. • St. Stanislaus Council 7875 in Pleasant Valley, N.Y., unveiled a permanent display at its parish in honor of parishioners who are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The display features a shadowbox that lists the name and rank of each parishioner, and a leather-bound book with photos and biographies.
ON SUNDAY, Nov. 1, Alton J. Pelowski, managing editor of Columbia and a member of Father Michael J. McGivney Council 10705 in New Haven, Conn., ran the 40th New York City Marathon after raising $2,500 for Tuesday’s Children, a nonprofit family service organization founded by the families and friends of Sept. 11 victims. With a field of more than 44,000 runners, the 26.2-mile race through the city’s five boroughs was one of the largest marathons in history. • Sacred Heart Council 4628 in Rothschild, Wis., donated $750 to St. Clare’s Hospital for the hospital’s prenatal bereavement program. The funds will assist families that have lost a newborn or young child.
MEMBERS OF Pendleton (Ore.) Council 1673 roll back the old carpet at St. Mary’s Church in preparation for renovations. Knights removed carpet and two layers of flooring so that a new subfloor and tiling could be installed at their church. • St. Ann Council 10245 in Coppell, Texas, donated $7,000 to help fund construction of a new cloistered Carmelite convent for the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, India. The convent will be located at the foot of Malayattoor Mountain, a popular pilgrimage site where the Sanctuary of St. Thomas the Apostle is located.
FATHER VINCENT T. NGUYEN, chaplain of St. Francis Xavier Council 10500 in Vancouver, British Columbia, speaks about Mount Angel Seminary in Portland, Ore., before a group of Knights and their families. Council members made a pilgrimage to the seminary, where they joined a retreat of approximately 100 people. • St. Benedict Council 10633 in Duluth, Ga., held a pancake breakfast to raise funds for the family of Alberto Figuerdo, a council member who died of a heart attack at age 37. The event raised more than $5,800 in support of Figuerdo’s widow and three children.
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KNIGHT S O F CO LUMBUS
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Gard Genest, Albert Mazerolle and Robert Obonsawin of Iroquois Falls (Ontario) Council 2641 repair a stone cross at Abitibi Cemetery. Knights restored the cross over a twoday period, scraping off old paint and applying a fresh coat.
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PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
KEEP THE FAIT H ALIVE
‘I SIMPLY COULD NOT IGNORE THE LORD’S CALL ANY LONGER.’ I come from a family of believing and practicing Catholics. As a child, I remember Father Eugène Garant, the saintly priest of our village, St-Lambert de Lévis near Quebec City. I was struck each time I saw this man shining with goodness. In my imagination I told myself: “When I grow up, I want to be just like him.” When I was in the first grade, Father Garant said my class, “I am sure that all you boys have already thought about becoming a priest.” I realized I had already thought about it, and after that, the idea never really left me. During my adolescence, I tried to tell myself, “It really doesn’t make sense to become a priest in today’s world.” At the end of my college training, I was torn between my interior desire to become a priest and the expectations that people had for me. The call of the Lord, however, was stronger. Having committed myself to a more intense prayer life with specific Marian devotion, I felt the Lord’s call to the priesthood so strongly that I simply could not ignore it any longer. FATHER JOCELYN PLANTE ARCHDIOCESE OF SHERBROOKE, QUÉBEC
Published on Dec 2, 2009
The December 2009 edition of Columbia features recent updates about disaster relief efforts sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in the Phil...