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K N I G H T S O F C O LU MBUS

D ECEMBER 2017

COLUMBIA


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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S december 2017 ♦ Volume 97 ♦ Number 12

COLUMBIA

F E AT U R E S

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Faith, Friendship and Football Despite an initial feud, former Georgia Tech football players become brothers in the faith. BY TRENT BEATTIE

14 ‘Jesus Will Always Be With Us’ The Christian community in Lebanon aids thousands of refugees with ongoing K of C support. BY DOREEN ABI RAAD

20 Gearing Up for Vocations Gallup Knights restore classic cars to raise funds for priestly vocations in their mission diocese. BY CARL BUNDERSON

Notre-Dame de Paris, the cathedral of Paris, is illuminated during a light and sound show titled ‘Dame de Coeur’ (Queen of Hearts). The Knights of Columbus supported the event, which took place Nov. 8-11 as part of the commemorations marking the centenary of World War I.

D E PA RT M E N T S 3

Building a better world

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In focusing on “Building the Domestic Church,” the Order helps Catholic families to fulfill their mission. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON

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Learning the faith, living the faith

Photo by A.G. photographe

The path to peace in the world, our families and our hearts begins with conformity to the virtues of Christ.

Knights of Columbus News Pope Francis Meets With Supreme Knight • Bust of St. John Paul II Blessed at Kraków Shrine as a Sign of Unity

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Fathers for Good The mystery of the Incarnation helps us to understand our marital vocation. BY BROOKE FOLEY

19 Christians at Risk Vice President Pledges Aid to Middle Eastern Christians, Praises Knights • International Conference Focuses on Persecuted Christians

25 Classic Columbia Our persecuted brothers and sisters remind us that Christ brings true peace and joy to the world. BY JAMES A. FLAHERTY

BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI

PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month

13 Knights of Columbus News Order Hosts Special Olympics Soccer Tournament at Rome Field

26 Knights in Action

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The One Thing Necessary AN OLD COLLEGE FRIEND recently sent me a photo of herself holding a book about the spirituality of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She included the following note: “I know it sounds weird, but I feel like this cancer is exactly where I’m supposed to be. I have never been happier or more purposeful.” Two years ago, my friend — a cradle Catholic who drifted away from religion in her young adulthood — received a devastating diagnosis: terminal brain cancer. Since that time, reflecting on her mortality has caused her to rethink and reprioritize a lot of things in her life, including her relationship with God. Though we, too, may find sudden moments of clarity and focus, the temptation persists to think that things like money, power and pleasure bring us fulfillment — despite abundant evidence to the contrary. There is no shortage of “successful” people who are living quite comfortably but who are otherwise miserable. There are likewise countless examples of people living in extreme poverty or suffering violent persecution who nonetheless possess abiding joy and a peace that “surpasses all understanding” (cf. Phil 4:7). In December 1926, the cover of Columbia featured a painting of a Yaqui Indian in Mexico suffering for his Catholic faith on Christmas Day (see page 25). In his commentary on the image, then-Supreme Knight James A. Flaherty wrote, “Is there not more comfort, more peace in the heart of this poor Yaqui left alone in his anguish than in the hearts of his persecutors? … When night comes, when the burning church

has been reduced to black embers, when the chill creeps into the bones of this persecuted follower of Christ, when all his nerves and sinews ache, he can still sing in his heart and know the peace that only the friend of God can know.” More than 90 years later, this scene is reminiscent of modern-day martyrs in the Middle East. The current issue of Columbia includes stories of refugees from Iraq and Syria, as well as stories of seminarians, football players and others, each living under very different circumstances but with a common experience: Their lives have been transformed by their friendship with Christ. And their witness, like that of the saints, can inspire us to avoid perpetual distractions and fruitless pursuits of temporal happiness. Tempus fugit, memento mori. Time flies, remember death. Especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we may be susceptible to what Pope Francis has called a “Martha complex,” characterized by excessive busyness. But it is precisely during the Advent season that we are called to foster a contemplative heart like Martha’s sister, Mary. While Martha was “anxious and worried about many things,” Jesus said to her, “There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her” (Lk 10:41-42). This “one thing,” this “better part,” consists of welcoming Jesus, listening to him and seeking first the kingdom of God.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR

Celebrate the Journey to Christmas THE POSADA is a traditional Advent celebration brought to the New World by 16th-century missionaries. It is a prayer, play and party all in one that reenacts Joseph and Mary’s search for an “inn” or “shelter” (Spanish: “posada”). The Knights of Columbus has published a booklet on how to host a Posada. Download Journey to the Inn: An Advent Celebration (#9898) at kofc.org/posada or request the booklet by mail through the Order’s Supply Department. 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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

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

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Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER The façade of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is illuminated Nov. 9 during a light and sound show commemorating the centenary of World War I.

COVER: Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

E D I TO R I A L


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A Renewal of the Family In focusing on “Building the Domestic Church,” the Order helps Catholic families to fulfill their mission by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson

THIS MONTH, we fix our gaze on the The Second Vatican Council also adHoly Family and are able to see how, in dressed the mission of the laity in the words of the Second Vatican Coun- broader terms, noting that “the laity, by cil, “authentic married love is caught up their very vocation, seek the kingdom of into divine love” (Gaudium et Spes, 48). God by engaging in temporal affairs and Much can be said about the family as In his apostolic exhortation Amoris by ordering them according to the plan a domestic church. But a good place to Laetitia, Pope Francis reminds us that of God” (Lumen Gentium, 31). begin is with what Pope Benedict XVI the Holy Family exudes the beauty of Then the council tells us something wrote in Deus Caritas Est about the family life (65). He then recalls the astonishing: The laity is called to “con- Church itself. “The Church’s deepest words of Pope Paul VI that the Holy secrate the world itself to God” (34). nature,” he explained, “is expressed in Family “illuminates the principle which The French philosopher Jean-Luc her three-fold responsibility: of progives shape to every family” (66). Marion suggests this means that each claiming the word of God, celebrating During the past several years, the Christian is called first and foremost the sacraments, and exercising the minKnights of Columbus has istry of charity” (25). begun a number of important These duties also apply to initiatives to help our families the domestic church. The famIn fulfilling its mission, “every draw closer to the Holy Family ily has the duty to evangelize, family, despite its weaknesses, and, in this way, to get “caught to worship and to perform acts up into divine love.” of charity. can become a light in the One of our most important In order to help more initiatives is our program of brother Knights take up their darkness of the world.” family consecration to the leadership role within their Holy Family. families — to help transmit the In his apostolic exhortation Familiaris to “convert the part of the world that faith to their children and lead them in Consortio, St. John Paul II wrote, “The is in him.” worship and a commitment to Christian family has the mission to guard, reveal We might add that the layman is also charity — we have made available the and communicate love” (17). He went on called to convert that part of the world new guide to fostering masculine spirito say, “Man cannot live without love. He which is uniquely entrusted to him: his tuality, Into the Breach. remains a being that is incomprehensible marriage and his family. Pope Francis also tells us in Amoris for himself, his life is senseless, if love is Seen in this light, the Order’s pro- Laetitia that “the Church is a family of not revealed to him, if he does not en- gram of family consecration to the families, constantly enriched by the lives counter love, if he does not experience it Holy Family will help many of our of all those domestic churches” (87). and make it his own, if he does not par- members to take an important step in With this in mind, we unite all of ticipate intimately in it” (18). fulfilling their responsibility as hus- our family programs in the initiative This task is revealed in an intense and bands and fathers to consecrate their Building the Domestic Church While intimate way to the members of the family “part of the world” to God. Strengthening Our Parish. In this way, — both as individuals and as a commuBy understanding the Christian fam- all of our Knights of Columbus families nity. Pope Francis states that in fulfilling ily as a domestic church, the Order’s ini- can be at the service of the Church in its mission, “every family, despite its weak- tiative to strengthen Catholic family life greater ways and help to lead a renewal nesses, can become a light in the darkness calls attention to the family’s identity of both family and parish life. of the world” (Amoris Laetitia, 66). and mission. Vivat Jesus!

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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

Peace on Earth The path to peace in the world, our families and our hearts begins with conformity to the virtues of Christ by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

ON THE FIRST Christmas night, tionships can also disrupt the workplace the sky was lit with stars but shone and other communities we belong to. brighter than ever with God’s glory. Ultimately, if we want to have peace in Born that night was Jesus, “the light of the world, we cannot neglect the disorthe world” (Jn 8:12) and “the true dered state of our own hearts. right relationship to God, to others and light which enlightens everyone” (Jn to ourselves. 1:9). Filling this resplendent scene VIRTUE AND ORDER The three theological virtues (faith, with song were the angels who pro- A popular hymn begins: “Let there be hope and love) help us to live in a right claimed, “Glory to God in the highest peace on earth, and let it begin with relationship to God. The four cardinal and on earth peace to those on whom me.” I used to complain about those (pivotal) virtues are stable qualities of his favor rests” (Lk 2:14) — words we lyrics because they seemed self-centered. mind and intellect that govern our apoften echo at Holy Mass. “Peace doesn’t begin with me, but with petites and actions in accord with reason Glory to God, peace on earth, good Jesus,” I mumbled as others poured their and faith. They enable us to relate to will in human relationships: Do these hearts into this song. Of course, that’s others in a wholesome and generous way words not awaken in our hearts while respecting our own Goda deep longing? After all, we live given dignity. These four virtues in a world that is anything but are prudence (by which we dispeaceful. We live in the shadow cern what is good), justice (by Those who acquire the virtues of nuclear war and terrorism. which we are constantly and live orderly, peaceful lives and are firmly disposed to give God and Many fellow Christians and other believers suffer religious others what is their due), fortitude a source of peace for others. persecution. Millions of refugees (by which we remain firm and are dispossessed and driven from constant in the midst of difficultheir homes. Many at home and ties) and temperance (by which we abroad suffer from poverty, racism, lack true: Jesus is the source of our peace. Yet, achieve mastery over our appetites and of health care and economic inequality. as time went by, I began to understand govern our emotions). Peace is threatened by the lack of rea- something that the Word of God and Those who acquire these virtues live soned dialogue among political leaders, great spiritual writers constantly teach orderly, peaceful lives and are a source nationally and internationally. Nor can us. When our lives are in order, the of peace for others. By contrast, those we overlook the societal discord and peace of Jesus reigns in us and we be- who are disconnected from God and lack of civility so painfully evident, for come sources of true peace in a divided whose appetites and emotions are out of example, in social media. world. When our lives are hobbled by control bring havoc, loneliness and bitThe angels’ greeting for the Prince of various forms of disorder, we contribute terness to themselves and others. Peace may also strike close to home, for to the world’s divisions and discord. many families suffer from a lack of A well-ordered life is not necessarily a THE WORD BECAME FLESH peace. At Christmas, those things that tidy, predictable life, nor is it exempt The theological virtues are received in divide our families weigh heavily on our from pressures and stresses. Rather, an baptism, the result of the grace of the hearts. Every family has its disagree- orderly life is a virtuous life, lived in the Holy Spirit. We acquire the moral ments, but in some they harden into real world. Virtues are those firm quali- virtues through effort and practice grudges and alienation; discordant rela- ties of character that help us to live in a while aided by grace. When these 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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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

virtues take root deep in our mind and heart, we begin to live a well-ordered life — a life in which we have the interior strength to love God with our mind, heart and spirit and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Think of how different the world would be if we all opened our hearts to the theological virtues and entered into a deeper relationship with the living God. Think of how good the world would be if, in God’s grace, everyone strived to attain the moral virtues and self-mastery. With this in mind, let us look at Jesus with the eyes of faith. He is God’s

H O LY FAT H E R ’ S P R AY E R I N T E N T I O N

Offered in Solidarity with Pope Francis

POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/Paul Haring — DANIEL RUDD: Photo courtesy of University of Notre Dame Archives

THE ELDERLY: That the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations.

eternal Son who assumed our humanity, and it is through his humanity that we are saved. The Son of God became man so that he could offer himself totally to the Father and to us. His gift of self is meant to shape who we are and how we live. The Child in the manger shows us how much God must love us if he would send his Son to save us from our sins, as well as how highly God regards our humanity that his Son would become one of us. The humanity of Jesus is a model for our humanity, exemplifying the Beatitudes and every virtue.

So as Christmas approaches, let us open our hearts to Jesus, true God and true man. Let us ask him for the grace of the Holy Spirit to put our lives in order, modeled on and sharing in Christ’s sacred humanity. Our conformity to his humanity is a lifelong process of growing in intimacy with Jesus through prayer, the sacraments and service to others. The closer we are drawn to Christ and the more our humanity reflects his goodness and love, the greater will be our peace and the better equipped we will be to bring peace to a troubled world.♦

C AT H O L I C M A N O F T H E M O N T H

Daniel A. Rudd (1854-1933) THE 11TH OF 12 children, Daniel Arthur Rudd was born into slavery Aug. 7, 1854, in Bardstown, Ky. His parents, Robert and Eliza, were both Catholic and served as sextons at their local parish. Rudd grew up with a deep love for the Church and later wrote fondly of receiving first Communion and confirmation with both black and white children. Following the Civil War, Rudd pursued secondary education in Springfield, Ohio. He worked for a newspaper in 1880 before a failed attempt at his own weekly paper. After moving to Cincinnati in 1886, he launched the American Catholic Tribune. Owned and operated by black Catholics, its circulation reached roughly 10,000. As editor, Rudd wrote against racial violence and discrimination, while also advocating for integration, equal education and voting rights. He used his paper both to challenge the Church to live up to its teaching of human equality and to evangelize non-Catholic AfricanAmericans. The Church, he wrote, was “the only place on the continent where rich and poor, white and black, must

drop prejudice at the threshold and go hand in hand to the altar.” In 1889, Rudd founded the Colored Catholic Congress (now the National Black Catholic Congress) and co-founded the interracial Congress of Lay Catholics. He was a member of the Catholic Press Association, and the Afro-American Press League, an association of 200 publications, asked Rudd to serve as its president in 1893. After his paper closed in 1897, he managed a lumber mill. Rudd was a friend of Father Augustus Tolton, known as the first black priest in the United States, and also worked for Scott Bond, the first black millionaire in Arkansas, co-authoring Bond’s 1917 biography. Daniel Rudd died in his hometown Dec. 3, 1933, at age 79.♦

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Pope Francis Meets With Supreme Knight On Oct. 6, Pope Francis received Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson in a private audience at the Vatican. They discussed the charitable initiatives of the Knights of Columbus, particularly its work supporting Christians at risk in the Middle East. On behalf of the nearly 2 million members of the Order, the supreme knight also presented the pope with the annual proceeds from the Vicarius Christi Fund, in the amount of $1.6 million. Since its inception in 1981, the fund has provided more than $59 million for the Holy Father’s personal charities and causes.

On the anniversary of st. John Paul ii’s election as pope Oct. 16, a bust of the saint was dedicated at a Mass held at the st. John Paul ii sanctuary in Kraków, Poland. a gift from the Knights of Columbus, the bust had been presented in august to Cardinal stanisław Dziwisz, archbishop emeritus of Kraków, by supreme Knight Carl a. anderson at the 135th supreme Convention in st. Louis. Polish state officers attended the Mass with a 20-member Fourth Degree honor guard and other Polish Knights, including andrzej GutMostowy, who served as the first territorial deputy of Poland. During the Mass, Cardinal Dziwisz expressed his happiness that so many Knights were present at the shrine to commemorate the occasion. he also thanked the Knights for their dedication to the work of both the Church and the Order, especially during the 2016 World youth Day in Kraków. archbishop Wacław tomasz Depo of Częstochowa, state chaplain of Poland, joined the cardinal in blessing the bust. in addition, Poland state Deputy tomasz Wawrzkowicz 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, archbishop emeritus of Kraków, speaks during Mass at the St. John Paul II Sanctuary in Kraków Oct. 16 before blessing a bust of the late pope, which was a gift from the Knights of Columbus. read a letter from the supreme knight to the cardinal. “it is my hope that this work of art — like the blood relics which have already forged a powerful spiritual bond — will now serve as a further sign of unity and solidarity between the saint John Paul ii national shrine in Wash-

ington, D.C., and the John Paul ii Center in Kraków,” the supreme knight wrote. the bust is modeled after the statue displayed inside the saint John Paul ii national shrine in Washington, D.C. Both the bust and the statue were sculpted by artist Chas Fagan.♦

TOP: Photo by L’Osservatore Romano — BOTTOM: Photo by Tadeusz Warczak

Bust of St. John Paul II Blessed at Kraków Shrine as a Sign of Unity


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Our First Christmas as ‘One Flesh’ The mystery of the Incarnation helps us to understand our marital vocation by Brooke Foley

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n the months leading up to our wedding this past June, my husband, Tim, and I prayed for insights into what becoming “one flesh” truly means (cf. Gen 2:24, Mt 19:5, Eph 5:31). Clearly, it refers to our physical union in marriage, but we found that there is also a spiritual unity of mind and will that comes from laying down our individual lives and taking up a communal life with each other. As we now enter the Advent season and prepare for our first Christmas together, we reflect on the fact that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). This raises a question: How can my husband and I reflect the unity of Jesus with humanity in our one-flesh union? In his Letter to the Philippians, St. Paul writes that Christ “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance” (2:7). Christ united himself with the flesh of humanity, setting aside his own greatness and perfection to take on the weakness and messiness of our humanity. He also laid down his own life to bear our sin and serve us on our path to heaven. And he did this without regard to the cost, the annoyance, the pain, the rejection, or the heartbreak. It was God’s marvelous plan from the beginning that through the one-flesh union of the Incarnation, Christ would bring about our redemption and open the way for eternal union with each of us. Christ’s self-emptying union with humanity has helped Tim and me better understand the one-flesh union of our marriage. Just before the verse above from Philippians, St. Paul writes, “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus” (2:5). If Christ’s attitude was one of self-emptying, humility and service, then ours should be too. In the union of our marriage, as with Christ’s union with us, we enter into the limitations and messiness of another person’s human-

ity. Sometimes this may take the form of piles of laundry or stacks of dishes, and sometimes it can be more subtle: missed signals, forgotten promises, silent resentment and mental score-keeping. Neither of us is perfect, and our flaws and shortcomings are not only our own; they are mutual burdens on our path to heaven. However, if we, as spouses, have the same attitude as Christ when he became flesh, then we have the opportunity to see these difficulties as chances to empty ourselves in service. In marriage, we enter into a new life where we are called to bear annoyances, inconveniences, pain and suffering for the sake of each other’s salvation. We are called, daily, to share in Christ’s mission of serving each other on our path toward union with him. As Christmas quickly approaches, a practical issue presents itself. Tim and I must decide where to spend our first Christmas as a married couple. Do we share our time with one or the other extended family, or spend the holiday together by ourselves? How do we best serve each other as spouses and our families whom we love? Another Scripture passage from St. Paul comes to mind. “Love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor” (Rom 12:10). The first thing we need to do is discuss the issues and our preferences and consider the expectations of our families. Then, with “mutual affection” and by “showing honor” in anticipating the good of the other, we will make our plans. In this way, any sense of compromise will be less of a concession and more like a double win. Let us pray!♦ BROOKE FOLEY lives in Virginia, where she is a Catholic high school theology teacher. Her husband, Tim, works as a government consultant and is a member of Mary Star of the Sea Council 511 in Hampton.

FIND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND RESOURCES FOR CATHOLIC MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES AT FATHERSFORGOOD. ORG .

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Faith, Friendship and

Football

Despite an initial feud, former Georgia Tech football players become brothers in the faith by Trent Beattie

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hortly after arriving on campus at Georgia Tech in 2013, Harrison Butker was looking forward to some solitary training on the practice field when he ran into Grant Aasen. “All I wanted to do was quietly kick some field goals by myself,” recalled Butker, a Decatur native who was recruited as a kicker for the Georgia Tech football team. “This guy I didn’t know at all comes along out of nowhere and acts as if we were best friends.” A fellow freshman, Aasen hoped to join the team as a walk-on punter and was blasting footballs all over the otherwise empty field. He was happy to see Butker and began chatting. He even asked Butker to videotape him punting so that he could analyze his technique. Whereas Aasen was having a great time, Butker was annoyed beyond belief. 8 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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“Harrison was one of the best kickers in the country, and he didn’t find the talkative ways of a low-level punter very appealing,” recalled Aasen, who didn’t make the team his freshman year. “He didn’t want to be bothered by me, and I thought he had a bad attitude, so we basically despised each other.” Little could they have imagined that by the time they graduated nearly four years later, with Butker drafted to the NFL and Aasen heading to seminary, they would be not only teammates and classmates, but also close friends and brother Knights of Columbus.

Grant Aasen (left) and Harrison Butker, members of Georgia Tech Council 14496 and former teammates on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team, are pictured at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta July 17. (Hales Photo)


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THE PATH OF CONVERSION Grant Aasen, who is currently enrolled at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, was not always interested in God. His spiritual search began three years before he arrived at Georgia Tech, when he experienced a life-threatening injury playing football at Starr’s Mill High School in his hometown of Fayetteville, Ga. “I was a running back on the JV team before becoming a punter,” Aasen explained. “One day in practice, I was flattened by a guy on varsity — 6 foot, 6 inch, 280-pound Ufomba Kamalu, who went on to play at the University of Miami and now is with the Houston Texans. My head hit the ground and I suffered what they call ‘whiplash of the brain.’” Aasen was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center, where a craniotomy was necessary to treat the bleeding of his brain. “I came close to dying, but after the surgery I recovered a lot faster than expected,” he said. His brush with death and speedy healing prompted an interest in religion. Thanks in large part to his older brother, Davis, who was also a student at Georgia Tech, this interest eventually centered on the Catholic Church. “Davis and I are really close,” Aasen said. “He and his friends taught me about how the Catholic Church is different from Protestant churches, how Christ founded one Church and that was ours. I saw how being Catholic is not a checkthe-box type of thing, but a profound commitment to the entirety of God’s revelation.” 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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At the start of his sophomore season, Aasen made the Georgia Tech team as a walk-on punter, joining his nemesis, Harrison Butker. Though Butker was thriving on the field, he increasingly felt frustrated and lonely. An occasional churchgoer during his high school years, Butker entered college planning to put what he perceived as the oppressive rules and regulations of the Church far behind him. But that separation had failed to bring happiness. Ironically, Butker found himself turning to the punter who had once irritated him so much. “I knew Grant was a practicing Catholic, and I also saw that he was joyful,” Butker said. “I didn’t understand how someone could live the way the Church wants us to and still be joyful.” In order to make sense of the situation, he started asking Grant questions about God and the Church. “He answered a lot of my questions and referred me to Catholic Answers and Father Joshua Allen at the school’s Catholic Center for responses to others,” Butker explained. “The explanations I got about salvation, marriage, family life, science and so many other things made so much sense. I started to see how someone could actually be happy as a practicing Catholic, because I was getting a clearer perspective on the nature of God and man revealed through the Church. I started going to Mass with Grant and then went to confession for the first time since second grade.”

Photo by Earl Richardson Photography

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HARRISON BUTKER’S ROOKIE YEAR Harrison Butker, pictured kicking one of five field goals during an Oct. 8 victory over the Houston Texans, has made a dramatic NFL debut with the Kansas City Chiefs. Previously a captain of the Georgia Tech football team and its all-time leading scorer with 337 career points, Butker was initially drafted by the Carolina Panthers last spring and was later signed to Kansas City from Carolina’s practice squad. A member of Georgia Tech Council 14496 in Atlanta, he has garnered formidable statistics in his rookie season. • Kicked the game-winning field goal for the Kansas City Chiefs in his NFL debut game against the Washington Redskins Oct. 2 • Third kicker since 1950 to connect on eight or more field goals in his first two NFL games • First player in league history to hit five or more field goals multiple times in his rookie season • Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October after hitting 18 field goals — the most by a rookie in a single month in NFL history • As of mid-November, has kicked 19 consecutive field goals, three shy of tying the franchise record

Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs

Butker says that his friendship with Grant completely changed his life. “That aggravating guy from freshman year became one of my best friends,” he said. “I can honestly say that if it weren’t for him, I would still be miserable right now. There are so many blessings for me to count, but even if you just look at football alone, I’m a better player now than I would have been had I not reentered the Church and realigned my life toward God.” A CATHOLIC COMMUNITY At Georgia Tech, Aasen and Butker were part of a vibrant Catholic community. Some 80 students attend daily Mass at Georgia Tech’s Catholic Center and 200 to 300 attend each of the center’s four Sunday Masses. “Father Josh is amazing. He has helped Harrison, other football players — three this year alone — and many more people into the Church, which meant probably 20 converts total last year,” Aasen said. Father Allen, who serves as chaplain of Georgia Tech Council 14496, is aided in his pastoral ministry by the Knights and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). Kyle Simonis, who served as the council’s grand knight in 2013-2014, had followed in the footsteps of his grandfather when he joined the Order in high school. He worked to build the same fraternal atmosphere on the Georgia Tech campus.

“I saw that the Church appeals to men from all walks of life,” said Simonis, whom Aasen credits for his own decision to join the Knights in 2014. Aasen explained, “I had looked up to Kyle and knew good things would come from the Knights since he was a member. He drove me to my First and Second Degree ceremonies, and my brother Davis joined, too. This was because of the good example from Kyle.” Butker, who was deepening his faith and looking for camaraderie with other young, practicing Catholics, also joined Council 14496 in the spring of 2015. “I was intrigued with the Knights of Columbus for all the charitable work that they do as well as their strong presence at the March for Life every year,” Butker said. Simonis graduated the following December with a degree in aerospace engineering and is now in his second year of seminary for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He estimates there are currently around 20 Georgia Tech alumni in seminary or religious formation. Butker and Aasen graduated in May 2017, each with degrees in industrial engineering. Butker ended his career at Georgia Tech as the school’s all-time leading scorer, with 337 points. After being drafted by the Carolina Panthers in April, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs Sept. 26. His first game with the team, which was also his first regular season appearance as a pro, included a game-winning 43-yard DECEMBER 2017

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Grant Aasen stands with fellow seminarians for the Archdiocese of Atlanta David DesPres (left) and Kyle Simonis, both past grand knights of Georgia Tech Council 14496, in the main chapel of Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.

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Catholic means I have a sense of purpose and a sense of peace in my soul, as well as a sense of connectedness to others that had been lacking.” Though their daily routines are now very different, Aasen and Butker continue to share common bonds. “Despite our initial differences,” Aasen said, “we both shared a deep desire for happiness — a desire that the world, despite its promises, cannot fulfill — and this brought us together as friends in faith.”♦ EDITOR’S NOTE: Some quotes from this article originated in interviews the author previously conducted for the National Catholic Register. TRENT BEATTIE is a correspondent for the National Catholic Register and the author of Fit for Heaven (Dynamic Catholic, 2015).

Photo by Zack Smith Photography

field goal against the Washington Redskins Oct. 2. Aasen still had a year of athletic eligibility when he graduated last spring, but rather than staying at Georgia Tech, he decided to forgo the extra year and apply to seminary. “I want to bring people close to Christ, and the priesthood seems like the best way for me to do that,” Aasen said. “The priesthood is an amazing thing, but I don’t think I should get credit or some award for pursuing it. If that’s my calling, that’s my calling, just like another young man might be called to marriage.” Butker, in fact, is engaged to be married in February 2018. His fiancée, Isabelle Tehrani, had her own path to conversion while studying at Georgia Tech and came into full communion with the Church last Easter. “Being a practicing Catholic has made me a better man, a better football player, and, I anticipate, a better husband and father than I would have been,” Butker said. “Being a practicing


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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S N E W S

Order Hosts Special Olympics Soccer Tournament at Rome Field

POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano — OTHER: Photos by Christian Rizzo

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS hosted the 2017 Special Olympics Unified Football (Soccer) Tournament Oct. 13-15 at the Pius XI Athletic Center in Rome. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson represented the Order at the event, which gathered 200 Special Olympics athletes from Lithuania, France, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Romania and Italy. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 30. On the first day of the tournament, during which athletes with and without intellectual disabilities compete together, Pope Francis received athletes and officials in a private audience at the Vatican. “In these days you will have the opportunity to reaffirm the importance of ‘unified’ sport,’” said the Holy Father. “This beautiful reality, which you carry out with commitment and conviction, nourishes the hope of a positive and fruitful future of sport, because it makes it a real opportunity for inclusion and involvement.” Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver also spoke during the meeting about the goals of the global organization. “Your Holiness: We are here to lead a revolution,” Shriver said. “We are here to lead the inclusion revolution,

a revolution of the heart. The inclusion revolution is led by those who are poor in the eyes of a distracted world but are rich in love.” Supreme Knight Anderson joined Shriver at the “Let’s Change the Game” forum Oct. 14, which was attended by more than 400 athletes, family members, school representatives, volunteers and team managers. Following the games, the supreme knight congratulated the athletes and assisted in presenting medals at the awards ceremony. Located adjacent to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pius XI athletic facility is the Knights’ premier sports center overlooking Vatican City. The venue was constructed by the Knights in the 1920s, following the request of Pope Benedict XV that the Order support the Church’s outreach to youth. The Knights of Columbus has partnered with Special Olympics since the first Summer World Games in 1968. Knights volunteered nearly 300,000 hours and raised more than $4 million for Special Olympics during the last fraternal year.♦

Clockwise, from far left: Pope Francis accepts a pair of shoes from a child during an audience with Special Olympics athletes at the Vatican Oct. 13. • Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver and Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson look on as athletes carry the Olympic flame onto the playing field of the Pius XI athletic facility. • With the dome of St. Peter’s visible in the distance, Special Olympics team members enter the field during the opening ceremony.

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‘Jesus Will Always Be With Us’ The Christian community in Lebanon aids thousands of refugees with ongoing K of C support by Doreen Abi Raad | photos by Tamara Abdul Hadi

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n a hot afternoon in September, some 400 Iraqi refugee children sat cross-legged in rapt attention in a Catholic school courtyard in Beirut, Lebanon. A priest recounted the Old Testament story of how Joseph forgave his brothers, and in so doing, helped them to be more loving. 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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Mariam, an 11-year-old Syriac Catholic from Bartella, Iraq, took its lessons to heart. “I learned from the story of Joseph to be more patient and to be strong in my faith,” she said. During a break, music erupted from the speakers. To the tune of a hit Spanish pop song, the Arabic lyrics proclaimed,


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A Christian Iraqi girl looks out from a classroom at a Salesian school in Beirut, Lebanon, where she and other refugee children participate in a summer camp. The camp is one of the programs sponsored by the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate in Beirut to assist Christian refugee families. DECEMBER 2017

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Three Iraqi girls, all members of an extended family from Bartella, Iraq, who were driven from their homes by Islamic State militants, prepare for a day at the summer camp in Beirut. “Jesus will always be with us. ... He will save us.” The small outdoor space overflowed with joy, with some children dancing and others chatting or playing. Before school buses arrived to take them back to cramped apartments scattered in poorer neighborhoods throughout Lebanon’s capital, the children quietly assembled for prayers. With heads bowed and eyes closed, they concluded, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart, my soul and my life.” The summer program for Christian refugee children is just one way that the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate in Beirut is assisting families with support from the Knights of Columbus. Through the Order’s relief efforts, including renewed pledges of more than $200,000 of aid to Lebanon in 2017, the patriarchate is assisting around 2,700 families who fled Iraq and Syria. “The humanitarian assistance — to so many people who lost everything in their home country — has many dimensions,” explained Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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Younan, who is based in Beirut and is a member of the Knights. “Our major concern is to help those refugees recover from the catastrophic impact on their life,” Patriarch Younan stressed. “Christian hope,” he added, “inspires renewed trust in the Lord and prevents them from falling into despair.” HOPE AMID SUFFERING A small nation with a history of religious pluralism, Lebanon currently has the highest proportion of refugees in the world. Since 2011, some 2 million people have fled to the country, which is about two-thirds the size of Connecticut and had only 4.3 million inhabitants in 2010. Most of those who have sought safety in Lebanon are Syrians displaced by their nation’s six-year civil war. About 20,000 Iraqi refugees have also come to Lebanon since the Islamic State overran the Nineveh Plain region in the summer of 2014.


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Sister Maguy Adabashy teaches pupils at a school run by the Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament in Beit Habbak, Lebanon. The K of C-supported school serves many Maronite Christian families in need, as well as Syrian refugee families. Situated on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon has the highest proportion of Christians of any country in the Middle East, other than Cyprus — about 40 percent. While most of the Iraqi refugees are Christian, 97 percent of the Syrian refugees are Muslim, which has upset the demographic balance of the country and caused tensions. As the refugee crisis has strained Lebanon’s resources, the Order has offered material support to ministries serving both Lebanese and refugee populations — helping to provide food, lodging, health care and children’s education. “My message to all the Knights is to first keep the faith and defend it in whatever earthly situation they encounter, either moral, social or political,” stressed Patriarch Younan. “Support for their brothers and sisters enduring much suffering in the Middle East is a profound witness to their love to Christ.” With K of C support, the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate operates the Salesian school for refugees as well as the summer camp. This year’s camp focused on the Old Testament story of Joseph and the theme “Because You Are With Me.” Led by two priests and 21 volunteers, themselves refugees, nearly 400 Iraqi children attended the eight-week program, which combined religious instruction with skits, uplifting songs and handcrafts, such as making rosaries. The summer program offered Mariam and her and her two siblings — as well as their cousins — a much-needed break from their living situation. A total of 17 relatives share their three-bedroom apartment, and there’s no room for the children to play outside in the crowded neighborhood. The three families were among some 100,000 Christians who escaped to Erbil in northern Iraq when the Islamic State militants overtook the region. Two months later, the three families came to Lebanon with the hope of emigrating to a Western country. They have been waiting since 2014. Close bonds always characterized the relatives, which include three brothers, their wives and children, and an unmarried sister. Even in Iraq, they saw each other every day. “We’re inseparable. We support one another,” said Ghassen, one of the brothers, who had a flourishing iron crafting business in Iraq but has not found work in Lebanon. Ranna, Mariam’s mother, said that the most important thing now is for the children to continue with their studies.

“We know they are in a good place under the care of the Church,” she added. The patriarchate also helps the families with food. “It’s not just about the assistance,” Ranna said. “We feel that the Church is by our side and will never leave us.” Suitcases and winter blankets are stored in one of the bedrooms in the apartment, while neat stacks of crates contain her family’s limited clothing and shoes. “We have to live like this for now,” Ranna said. “With all our struggles, the only thing keeping us going is our faith. We have to smile, or we’ll always be down.” A BETTER LIFE FOR ORPHANS Lebanon’s refugee crisis is taking an economic and social toll on the country, particularly the Church’s efforts to help support poor Lebanese Christians. In the town of Beit Habbak, some 40 miles north of Beirut, the Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament serve struggling Christians in neighboring villages. Syrian refugee families, most of whom are Muslim, have also migrated to the area, which is about 90 percent Maronite Catholic. “Our presence here is very important, especially in praying and welcoming people from all religions,” Mother Superior Mona-Marie Bejjani explained. “This is a testimony, a witness to Christianity, to be mothers to all.” Ancient churches, some dating back 1,000 years, dot the winding roads surrounding Beit Habbak, where the sisters’ main convent and school is situated, 1,770 feet above the coastal town of Amchit. Most of the 1,325 Lebanese students enrolled in the sisters’ school come from families in need. Although the government previously assisted with tuitions, the school has not received DECEMBER 2017

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Young students are pictured at the school run by the Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament in Beit Habbak, Lebanon. Most of the 1,325 students enrolled in the sisters’ school come from families in need. any of that funding since 2013. Likewise, many charity organizations that donated to the sisters’ mission have shifted their focus to the refugee crisis, further straining the sisters’ meager resources. “Now the Knights of Columbus are helping,” said Mother Mona-Marie. “We thank God that Jesus Christ is sending people to help us.” Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron in Brooklyn, N.Y., was instrumental in obtaining K of C assistance for the sisters. In addition to tuition aid, K of C funding supports the sisters’ residential orphanage for girls who come from broken homes, have lost one or both parents, or have a father in prison. Currently, 80 girls, ages 4-18, are residential students during the school year. “We are helping the girls to have a better life and to have values,” Mother Mona-Marie said. During evening prayers with the sisters before the Blessed Sacrament, many of the girls offer intentions for a father, a sick mother or a relative who died. Among the K of C-supported initiatives is the congregation’s dispensary, which offers free consultations with doctors 18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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and fills medicine prescriptions for a nominal fee. Last year, for example, 500 poor children were vaccinated, among them students from the school and Syrian refugees. In conjunction with the congregation’s Beirut convent, the sisters also organize three annual events for refugees — gatherings for children at Christmas and Easter and a day trip during the summer. Finally, aid from the Knights helps the sisters in a religious education apostolate that is distinct from their school. As they prepare children for first holy Communion and teach catechism to hundreds of children and teenagers, the sisters simultaneously conduct sessions for parents on marriage and family. In remote areas, a priest may be responsible for up to five parishes and therefore relies on the support of the sisters’ ministry. “We are helping to keep the villages alive,” explained Sister Maguy Adabashy. “To give hope that Jesus didn’t leave this land and won’t leave this land.”♦ DOREEN ABI RAAD writes from Beirut, Lebanon.


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C H R I S T I A N S AT R I S K

Vice President Pledges Aid to Middle Eastern Christians, Praises Knights VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence pledged that the U.S. government will provide aid to suffering Christians in the Middle East, singling out Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and the Knights of Columbus for “extraordinary work caring for the persecuted around the world.” Speaking Oct. 25 at the fourth annual Solidarity Dinner of the In Defense of Christians national advocacy summit in Washington, D.C., Pence said that the United Nations’ distribution of U.S. aid in the region had been ineffective in helping Christians targeted for genocide by ISIS and other terrorist groups. “While faith-based groups with proven track records and deep roots in these communities are more than willing to assist, the United Nations too often denies their funding requests,” Pence said. “My friends, those days are over. This is the moment. This is the time. And America will support these people in their hour of need.” Supreme Knight Anderson introduced Pence at the dinner and reminded the audience of the genocide perpetrated against Christians and other religious minorities in the region. “Today we face another challenge: to avoid the possibility of a generation of Christians who look at a map of the Middle East and see only places from which the Christian communities have vanished,” he said. “Government and civil society must find ways to assure that this will not happen,” the supreme knight continued.

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson welcomes Vice President Mike Pence to the stage at the fourth annual In Defense of Christians Solidarity Dinner for Christians in the Middle East. “Let us rededicate ourselves to the defense of our brothers and sisters in faith.” In Defense of Christians also honored U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) at the Solidarity Dinner for his extensive work on behalf of Christians in the Middle East.♦

TOP: White House Press Photo — BOTTOM: Photo by Edward Pentin, courtesy of the National Catholic Register

International Conference Focuses on Persecuted Christians REPRESENTATIVES from 30 countries gathered in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 11-13 for the first governmentsponsored conference on Christian persecution. Hosted by the Republic of Hungary, the event was titled “International Consultation on the Persecution of Christians — Finding the Appropriate Answers to a Long Neglected Crisis.” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson spoke Oct. 12, outlining key ways that leaders in civil society can create a consensus in the fight against the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere by asserting the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, building solidarity and maintaining commitment to democracy. S UPPORT

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The supreme knight stands with Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil, Iraq, at the international conference. “It is appropriate here to thank the government of Hungary for its efforts to assist those religious refugees returning to the Nineveh Plain to rebuild their lives by providing the funding necessary

to return approximately 1,000 families to the town of Teleskov,” Anderson said. “As a result of that action, the Knights of Columbus decided in August to provide a similar grant to make possible the return of families to the town of Karamles. The large majority of these families are Christian, but the town will also include Shabak Muslims and Yazidis.” Other conference participants included Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil, Iraq, and Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan, both close collaborators in the Knights of Columbus relief efforts; Stephen M. Rasche, director of the Nineveh Reconstruction Project; and Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C.♦

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GEARING UP f Gallup Knights restore classic cars to raise funds for priestly vocations in their mission diocese by Carl Bunderson | photos by Samantha Mary Photography

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P for Vocations Above: This 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible is one of the restored cars featured in the V8s for Vocations program, which raises scholarship funds for seminarians of the Diocese of Gallup.

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hen a parishioner donated a beat up 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS in 2014, Father Matthew Keller saw it as a way to build fraternity among parishioners, mechanics and local car guys, many of whom are Knights. Father Keller, who is the New Mexico state chaplain for the Knights of Columbus, has been restoring hot rods for several years now. When he isn’t celebrating Mass or hearing confessions, the best place to look for him tends to be the garage of Gallup’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, fixing up a classic muscle car. This past summer, it was a carousel red 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible. The cars are raffled off to support the education of seminarians of the Diocese of Gallup, which is the poorest in the nation. The project, called V8s for Vocations, is a fruit of Father Keller’s lifelong love of cars. “God gave us gifts and talents, and growing up this was a big part of my life,” he said. He was also inspired to use the opportunity to help support the diocese’s seminarians. The initial project netted $140,000 in 2016, and this past year, the refurbished Firebird raised an additional $107,000 for seminarian tuition. OPENING DOORS Father Keller, who serves as rector of the cathedral and vicar general of the Gallup Diocese, remembers vividly the first classic car he rebuilt. “I was 15 when I brought home my first car — a ’64 Malibu Super Sport. I fixed it up, and it was gorgeous,” he said. “My father taught me most of what I know about being a mechanic. My brother and I worked on cars together, so it was something that I shared in common with my family; it was a bonding thing.” It was also something Father Keller thought he had put behind him when he went to seminary. “I thought I’d just be using practical cars the rest of my life for ministry,” he said. But the interest remained, and he prayed about his latent skills. “I thought, ‘I’ve got talents and interests and abilities that aren’t being put to use for the Kingdom,’ and that all got revealed to me as this started to unfold: This is why God bothered to let me do all that stuff as a youth, because I can use it for the sake of the Kingdom.” When the Chevy Chevelle was donated in 2014, Father Keller got to work. “Right away, men in the parish started hearing about it and wanted to get involved,” he said. “It created tons of good will; there were people who wouldn’t come into the front doors of the cathedral, but would come into the garage at the back of the cathedral.” “There are always people who just have burdens, so I heard confessions back here as well,” Father Keller added. “It’s definitely the case that there are men practicing their Catholic faith now as a result of this project.” While V8s for Vocations was born of Father Keller’s love for working on cars, he credits its fruition as a vocations project to Supreme Director Patrick Mason, state deputy of New Mexico. 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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“It was really his prompting that helped me think about this in a nonpersonal way, as a project for vocations,” Father Keller affirmed. “Patrick definitely was the spark for that.” The project attracted a number of Knights from the beginning. According to Mason, “It started with a lot of Knights just helping Father Keller work on the car.” It was natural for Knights to embrace the project as a means to support vocations. “Vocations are central to our mission because as we build the domestic Church and strengthen our parishes, a key part of that is increasing vocations to the priesthood,” Mason explained. “Without priests, we don’t have a strong parish, and if we don’t have strong parishes, we can’t have strong families.” For Father Josh Mayer, vocations director of the diocese, the holy camaraderie he has seen in the project is among its best aspects. “When I got ordained in 2015, there was usually someone in there working on the car, sometimes two or three guys, who just really liked Father Keller,” explained Father Mayer, who is a member of Fray Marcos Council 1783 in Gallup. “They were able to spend time with a good priest who was approach-


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Seated inside a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS are (front, right to left) Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup with Father Matthew Keller, New Mexico state chaplain and rector of Gallup’s Sacred Heart Cathedral; (back, right to left) Deacon Mitchell Brown; Father Josh Mayer; and Supreme Director Patrick Mason, state deputy of New Mexico. • Opposite page: Two cars restored as part of the V8s for Vocations program — a Chevrolet Chevelle (left) and a Pontiac Firebird — are pictured beside Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup June 17. able, so it had a really simple, unexpected evangelical component that just wasn’t really the plan, but ended up being one of the most beautiful things about it.” SUPPORT OF THE MISSION Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, a member of Father Patterson Council 3121 in Chandler, Ariz., has been an enthusiastic supporter of the V8s for Vocations initiative from the beginning. “At the heart of the program is the salus animarum — the salvation of souls,” he said. “The primary purpose is to raise funds for the formation of priests, who will minister to the people entrusted to their care.” Gallup is a mission diocese spanning northern New Mexico and Arizona, with fewer than 25 active diocesan priests serving some 65 parishes and missions that consist largely of indigenous populations, including the Navajo Nation. To date, six seminarians have benefited from V8s for Vocations, including four men ordained in recent years and two currently in formation. One of the current seminarians is Mitchell Brown, a transitional deacon who is studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Raised in

Grants, N.M., about an hour east of Gallup, he will become one of the few priests native to the diocese when he is ordained next June. Aside from the obvious monetary assistance for tuition and associated costs of seminary education, which runs $26,000 per year on average, he has observed that the project presents priests as real men with interests and hobbies. “It has given people a chance to see that there is more to the priesthood than just what they see on Sunday,” said Deacon Mitchell, who is a member of St. Teresa of Avila Council 3683 in Grants. “It’s helped people to see the priesthood as truly human rather than something ethereal.” In 2016, at a First Degree exemplification and meeting of state officers, the Knights of Columbus held a “panel pulling party” with the Firebird. “Councils could volunteer to take a panel of the car back to their council to fix up themselves,” Mason explained. Local councils saw to it that the panels were repaired, sanded and primed. Each council brought their panel back to the midyear meeting in Las Cruces, where members voted on the best panel. The DECEMBER 2017

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winning panel’s council received a contribution to its Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP) account, which it uses annually to support vocations. “That’s how we got the body work done on the Firebird,” Father Keller said. “It worked out really well, and the only complaint we got was from people who didn’t hear about it and weren’t able to participate.” Father Keller already has a car ready for next summer’s raffle: a black 1978 Pontiac Trans Am with a K of C license plate on the nose. Three more cars have already been donated to the project as well: a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible, a 1966 Plymouth Sport Fury, and a 1966 Chevrolet Caprice. “People love the idea and want to participate in it,” said Father Keller. “God planted the seed and blessed it, and that’s why it has grown so much on its own. We have to work — God doesn’t take that part away, but he really has blessed the results.”♦ CARL BUNDERSON is a reporter for Catholic News Agency/EWTN News based in Denver, Colo. He is a member of Longmont (Colo.) Council 1313.

The featured V8s for Vocations car for 2018 is a black 1978 Trans Am. For more information, visit v8forvocations.org

A PASSION FOR CARS AND CHARITY

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A 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan, one of the featured cars at the 2017 Carmel Mission Classic car show, is seen in front of the Mission San Carlos Borroméo Aug. 16. “This car show has something for everyone,” said DiPaola, who concludes the show with a presentation of awards. “The Mission feeds the soul, cars and wine feed the senses, and our council raises funds for charity.” The 2017 event attracted more than 1,000 visitors and raised over $100,000

for local charities and institutions supported by Council 4593, such as Carmel Mission’s Junipero Serra School, the St. Vincent de Paul Farm Workers Program, the Carmelite Monastery of Our Lady and St. Therese and the ongoing restoration of the mission’s basilica. For more information, visit carmelmissionclassic.org.♦

BOTTOM: Photo by Steve Natale

AMONG THE SCORES of K of Csponsored car shows across the county each year, one is held just steps away from a saint. The annual Carmel Mission Classic and Blessing of the Automobiles takes place next to the basilica where St. Junípero Serra is buried at Mission San Carlos Borroméo in Carmel, Calif. Hosted by Carmel Mission Council 4593, the event was launched in 2013 by council member and former LAPD officer Frank DiPaola and former NYPD officer Richard Pepe of St. Columbanus Council 14991 in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. Held every August as part of Monterey Car Week, the Carmel Mission Classic features some 50 vintage and rare classic cars that are blessed by Bishop Richard Garcia of Monterey, accompanied by a Fourth Degree honor guard. Everything from vintage Model T Speedsters to Rolls-Royces to pre-war Alfa Romeos are on display. Some of the more eyebrow-raising automobiles have included Cary Grant’s 1951 Bentley Continental, Rita Hayworth’s 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe (one of only two built) and Steve McQueen’s 1957 Jaguar XKSS. The daylong event also includes entertainment by local musicians, gourmet food and tastings hosted by area wineries.


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C L A S S I C C O LU M B I A

The Spirit of Christmas Our persecuted brothers and sisters remind us that Christ brings true peace and joy to the world by James A. Flaherty EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is abridged from a column by then-Supreme Knight James A. Flaherty in the December 1926 issue of Columbia. Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles began enforcing anti-Catholic laws earlier that year, leading to the violent persecution of the Church in Mexico.

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hristmas is in grave danger of becoming a financial success. It is, in our time, the most abused of all feasts. The weeks of Advent, set aside that the soul may have time to prepare in quiet for the coming of the Savior, are turned into weeks of mad scrambling through the shops. Christmas accessories are so many and so complex that the body of the day is altogether obscured. Electric lights glare where candles used to glow. Plum puddings used to be gorgeous, expansive things, occupying a cubic foot of space, or more. Now they are neatly encased in tins, confined to the straight, narrow boundaries of a package. Pies once were spontaneous, over-sized fruits of inspiration. They oozed at the edges. Now they are products of the laboratory, mechanically perfect creations of the chemist. The flavor, to be sure, is missing, but the measurements are marvelously exact. Can we not save one day in all the year? Can we not have just one day free from efficiency, business, worry, competition, machinery and all modern improvements? Can we not dedicate one day to the commemoration of the birth of our Savior and to nothing else? Can we not have gifts that are simple expressions of affection for our friends and not elaborate manifestations of pride? Perhaps I talk like a very old man, out of patience and out of step with the rest of the world. But I do cherish the friendliness, the charity and the peace of the real Christmas. And if I am afraid that Christmas will be taken from us altogether, my fear is not without cause. Many of you, perhaps, have been wondering just what sort of Christmas this year will bring to Mexico. I have

tried to imagine myself in Mexico on Christmas morning. I have tried to imagine how I would feel. My conclusion is that the faithful of Mexico will more closely approach the true spirit of the day than many more happily situated. Let us study the very beautiful cover Mr. St. Amand has painted for this December Columbia (see image). It is Christmas in Mexico. A Yaqui has been stripped and bound to a post, alone. Below him, he sees his church in flames. The picture is not pretty. But give it a little thought. … Is there not more comfort, more peace in the heart of this poor Yaqui left alone in his anguish than in the hearts of his persecutors? They have in their hearts hatred for Christ. He has in his heart love for Christ. No hunger or thirst or cold or loneliness or villainy of his fellow man can take Christmas from him. … When we are at Mass on Christmas morning, let us be thoughtful of our persecuted brothers in Mexico. Let us think of them with sympathy and affection. And let us rejoice with them. For it is possible that the Christmas Star will shine more brightly over Mexico where men are suffering for their faith, than over lands where men are apt to be forgetful, in their comfort, of the goodness of God. … In Mexico, a tyrant has done all that a man can do when he chooses to make war on Christ. He has murdered and imprisoned priests, he has seized the sacred vessels of the altar, he has dispersed worshippers, he has desecrated churches and put ruffians on guard before their doors. Yet, despite the vileness of his intentions, he has provided the people of Mexico with an opportunity to know Christmas gloriously as the martyrs knew it, as Christ himself knew it, in poverty, stripped of the gaudiness that mocks the simple beauty of the day. … From my heart I hope that we may share the peace of soul and the spiritual joy that will make this a real Christmas day for our persecuted brothers in Mexico. This wish is my greeting to you.♦

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KNI GHTS IN ACTION

REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES five new rooms, leaving the center of the old church open for large meetings. The Knights also restructured meeting space in the parish administrative building. RED CROSS SUPPORT

San Lorenzo Ruiz Council 9466 in Iloilo City, Visayas, conducted a blood drive with the Philippine Red Cross. The blood drive, part of the council’s ongoing support of the Red Cross, took the theme “Thank You for Saving My Life.” A DAY OF PLAY Members of a youth group organized by Mons. Dr. Fernando Ruiz Solorzano Council 13963 in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico South, gather at the Día Nacional de la Juventud Católica (National Day of Catholic Youth). The event, coordinated by the Yucatan Diocese Youth Ministry, included reflections on mercy and a pilgrimage to the Holy Door at the Parish of Our Lady of Fatima, where Archbishop Gustavo Rodríguez Vega celebrated Mass and encouraged the young pilgrims to live the Gospel courageously.

HIGH POINT

Bishop Joseph A. Albers Council 4090 in Davison, Mich., held its annual fundraising dinner for seminarians. The event featured a dinner prepared by Most Blessed Sacrament Council 11532 in Burton, pie provided by the Daughters of Isabella, auctions, raffles and more. Proceeds totaled more than $17,000, making this dinner the most successful in the event’s 33-year history. Between the council’s efforts and a donation from Ardon F. Dubie Assembly, also in Davison, $1,030 was donated to each of the 19 seminarians of Lansing.

which included fruitcake, fudge and biscotti, not only supported the monks but also allowed the council to make a $1,328 donation to Father Gilbert Exumé, pastor of St. Matthew Catholic Church, for the “Burn the Mortgage Fund.” BREAKFAST AND BEYOND

BAKED GOODS

Faithful Shepherd Council 7604 in Eagan, Minn., hosted a Breakfast Bonanza with the slogan “More Than Just Pancakes.” The $1,700 in proceeds were dedicated to the medical expenses of a brother Knight’s family. Their daughter was born with a chromosomal condition that often requires prolonged treatment.

St. Matthew Council 13229 in Winder, Ga., conducted a bake sale for the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers. Selling the monastery’s baked goods,

St. Jude Council 14410 in Albuquerque, N.M., remodeled the old facilities of St. Jude Thaddeus Church so

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that the parish could use the space for its religious education program, which has roughly 1,000 students. The council constructed and painted walls to configure

St. Elizabeth Ann SetonWhippany Council 6904 in Cedar Knolls, N.J., held its eighth annual Knights in the Afternoon outing for the widows of council members. Aiming to support the women and maintain their ties with the K of C family, Council 6904 treated them to a Sunday matinee of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and a festive lunch with the cast.

MAKING SPACE

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Jeremy Labonte, financial secretary of St. Andre Bessette Council 15829 in Blackstone, Mass., applies wood stain to an outdoor Station of the Cross. At their pastor’s request, several Knights spent a Saturday morning staining all the stations in the prayer garden of St. Paul’s Church.


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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N PRO-LIFE WITNESS

APPRECIATION

St. Lawrence the Martyr Council 13417 in Toronto reinvigorated its parish’s participation in Life Chain 2016 by promoting the event, coordinating sign-ups, distributing signs, taking a collection to support pro-life causes, and providing participants with food and drink. Life Chain invites various churches across North America to stand on designated sidewalks to pray and rally for one hour on the first Sunday of each October.

As a first step in its newly launched “Support Our Police Officers” program, Father Philip Grant Assembly in Pawleys Island, S.C., provided care bags containing snacks to officers of the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Department, City of Georgetown Police Department and Pawleys Island Police Department.

MEN’S CONFERENCE

Our Lady of the Rosary Council 8104 in Land O’Lakes, Fla., sponsored its annual men’s conference for the St. Petersburg Diocese. The conference drew more than 1,200 men and offered talks by great speakers, confession and a Mass celebrated by Bishop Gregory Parkes of St. Petersburg. Father Malachy Hugh Maguire OSB Assembly, also in Land O’Lakes, provided an honor guard.

UNITED CHARITY

Five councils of northern Kentucky united to make an $11,000 donation to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Covington. The money supported the Lifeline Fund, which provides assistance to pregnant women in difficult circumstances. The Knights’ annual golf outing funded the donation. BLOOD DRIVE AND BBQ

St. Alphonsus Liguori Council 2807 in Greenwell Springs, La., hosted a blood drive and prepared more than 250 barbeque chicken dinners for donors and

Knights of Canon John Burke Council 6217 in Ottawa, Ontario, serve the children of Our Lady of Peace Elementary School in Bells Corners. The council’s annual hot dog barbeques, held at two of the elementary schools served by its host parish, are a great opportunity for the council to provide something fun in celebration of the school year coming to an end. Students respond with thank you cards, which are posted on the parish bulletin board.

blood bank staff. The area had been impacted by severe flooding, and despite many parishioners being displaced or still in recovery from the disaster, 78 units of blood were donated to assist the local community. CELEBRATING WITH SERVICE

Malolos (Luzon) Council 3710 celebrated its 63rd anniversary by making its annual outreach visit to the Tahanang Mapagpala Home for the Elderly and the Emmaus House of Apostolate. The council brought food and hygiene supplies for the centers and visited with the residents. TAKING FLIGHT

Father Gerardo Fornan, DCC, chaplain of Immaculate Conception Cathedral Council 3504 in Cotabato City, Mindanao, and council members pray with inmates of the local jail. Following prayer and a seasonal reflection, the council provided morning snacks and necessary personal hygiene kits for the 380 inmates. The council also visited the 35 residents of the Bahay Maria Foundation in Cotabato City, as part of a Christmas caroling program that provided assorted groceries for their daily needs.

Holy Trinity Council 11279 in Pittsburgh pooled members’ frequent flyer miles to provide five round-trip flights from Pittsburgh to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a young parishioner requiring specialized treatments for a rare form of cancer.

Father Michael Tkachuk, pastor of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church (left); Father Kelly Wilson, Parochial Vicar of St. Augustine of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church; Deacon John MacKenzie of Brandon (Manitoba) Council 1435; and Father Michael Savarimuthu, pastor of St. Augustine, stand prepared to serve. The clergy joined in Council 1435’s monthly program at a local soup kitchen, greeting and serving some 150 people. The council also held a collection and gave the proceeds of its “Keep Christ in Christmas” button sale to support the transition of two former Anglican priests, converts to the Catholic Church, on the road to maintaining their Benedictine community and discerning the path to the Catholic priesthood.

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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N HELPING HANDS

STATUE RENEWED

Monticello (Minn.) Council 6825 assisted Bishop Joseph F. Busch Council 4863 in Sauk Centre with its first breakfast fundraiser in several years. The breakfast served approximately 200 people, and all proceeds were donated to support vocations.

Fair Haven (Vt.) Council 810 revitalized its parish’s statue of Our Lady of Seven Dolors. Under the direction of their priest, members of the council worked every Wednesday afternoon for two months to take the statue down to its mortared beginnings and bring it back to life with fresh paint. It is now the centerpiece of the church’s rosary garden.

NOT TOO CRABBY

St. Joan of Arc Council 9206 in San Ramon, Calif., set a council fundraising record of more than $27,000 at its annual Crab and Pasta Feed. Proceeds benefited St. Joan of Arc Parish and other local charities. KNIGHTS AND KNEELERS

Keene (N.H.) Council 819 removed and refurbished the pew kneelers at St. Bernard’s Church in the Parish of the Holy Spirit as part of an overall church restoration effort. The council, with help from their brothers in Richard P. Gilbo Council 5414, also in Keene, whisked the kneelers to an offsite location just prior to Ash Wednesday services,

Bernie McNulty, Larry Hartman, Al Seubott and Larry Michielli of St. Agnes Council 4449 in Catonsville, Md., prepare boxed lunches for first responders in the aftermath of disastrous flooding July 30. The council also donated $3,200 to various organizations for flood relief.

performed the restoration work, and returned to install the newly upholstered kneelers in time for Holy Week. An estimated 250 volunteer hours were put into the project, saving the parish thousands of dollars. CONTINUING EDUCATION

St. Stephen Council 9282 in Old Hickory, Tenn., held a

Past state deputies of Saskatchewan, Ontario, Texas, Nevada, Wisconsin, Maryland and British Columbia gather to celebrate the ordination of Saskatchewan Past State Deputy Edward Gibney (seated center left) as a priest for the Diocese of Saskatoon. An honor guard of 36 Knights served at the ordination Mass, which was celebrated by Archbishop Donald J. Bolen of Regina at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon.

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collection to provide 400 rosaries for a council-run “rosary training” class for the parents and children of St. Stephen Catholic Community. The project came about after the Knights reached out to Father Pat Kibby to learn how they could best assist their parish. DOUBLE THE INITIATIVE

St. Thomas the Apostle Council 12386 in Smyrna, Ga., worked with the Respect Life ministry of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church to complete a “Change 4 Life” baby bottle drive. Working with the Georgia State Council, Council 12386 was able to make a $10,389 donation to the Pregnancy Aid Clinic. With matching funds from the Supreme Council through the K of C Ultrasound Initiative, the donation covered the cost of two new ultrasound machines and equipment, allowing the clinic to replace old machines at two of its locations without dipping into operational money.

STRETCHING FUNDS

St. James Council 3509 in Molalla, Ore., saved its parish more than $1,000 in labor costs by removing old shingles from a wall of the parish hall. Thanks to their efforts, a professional contractor may now be hired to replace siding and remove dry rot decay. SIGN TEAMWORK

Crawford County Right to Life asked Holy Trinity Council 711 in Bucyrus, Ohio, for assistance in erecting a pro-life billboard along a state route. Knights spearheaded the project, holding a chicken BBQ to raise $1,200 to purchase supplies. Afterward, council members and Right to Life volunteers worked together to erect the billboard frame and place the sign all in one day. GIVING THANKS

Lancaster (Ohio) Council 1016 hosted its 38th annual Blue Coats Awards Dinner. Honorees were chosen by 18 area first responder agencies, including members of the local fire, sheriff, rehab and corrections, and highway patrol departments. The honorees and their guests were welcomed in the council’s yearly effort to thank those who serve in their communities in times of emergency.


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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N TAKING A STAND FOR LIFE

Father Crisostomo Council 6000 in Cabantuan City, Luzon, joined St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish members and others in a Walk for Life in Metro Manila. The walk took place a few days after the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Philippine Legislature, approved restoration of the death penalty in the midst of extrajudicial killings related to the government’s violent campaign against drugs. A GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING

St. Alphonsus Council 16112 in Los Angeles, Calif., prepared more than 150 meals for local first responder agencies in conjunction with a Red, White and Blue Mass for first responders and their families. Council members brought leftover meals to members of the homeless population and the Dolores Mission. On another occasion, the council reached out to a member who had

Members of Don Bosco Council 7784 in Newton, N.J., stand with a recently erected “Keep Christ in Christmas” sign. The 4-by-8-foot sign was mounted and framed by Knight Bob Barcelona, delivered to Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church and set up by council committee members.

suffered a leg amputation by honoring him at one of its monthly meetings, held specially at his home. SEMINARIAN SUPPORT

Ten councils in southeast Michigan united to host a dinner that drew more than 400 people and raised

$7,804 to support formation and pilgrimages for seminarians. Fourteen seminarians attended, and several shared testimony about their vocations and the impact of travel to the Holy Land. ROLLING ALONG

WHODUNNIT?

Reverend John E. Schreiner Council 10063 in New London, Ohio, worked with Invacare Corporation of Elyria to supply eight brand-new wheelchairs for the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky.

Pope St. Pius V Council 14041 in Bartlett, Tenn., hosted two interactive murder mystery plays. Knights and parishioners of the Church of the Nativity took active roles in the fundraiser, which supported Council 14041’s charities.

THRIFTY GIFT

Arie Smits (left), Agustin Gramajo and Philippe Daude-Lagrave of Guardian Angels Council 14723 in Vancouver repair the wooden fence at the parish rectory. Given $220 for the project, the council was able to donate the funds to Habitat for Humanity. The council also served a pancake breakfast at Guardian Angels Parish, which resulted in $220 in aid for people in Haiti.

the St. Agnes-Sacred Heart CYO boys basketball teams to host a fundraiser breakfast. The event raised $4,000 to support a parish family with financial difficulties related to health issues.

Alpena (Mich.) Council 529 worked with managers at local branches of three clothing retailers to take advantage of seasonal reductions and provide for those in need. Council 529 obtained 42 coats, worth a retail value of $2,245, for $500. The coats were given to Children’s Closet, a local charity. BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER

Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Long Council 14731 in Sellersville, Pa., teamed up with

LONG-LASTING LOVE

Victor Giasson Council 10733 in St. George, Utah, sponsored a renewal of wedding vows for 27 couples of St. George Catholic Church at a special Mass celebrated by Father Oscar Martin Picos. The color corps assisted, and after the Mass, a reception was held at which the wedding photos and love songs of each couple were highlighted. Several couples celebrated 60 years or more of marriage.

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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N GAME TO PLAY

Msgr. James H. Willett Council 7847 in Hopkinsville, Ky., used the proceeds of its fund drive for people with intellectual disabilities to purchase basketball uniforms for the Christian County Special Olympics team. Thanks to the donation, the team, which is composed of players of all ages, are able to participate in the Kentucky Special Olympics league. GOOD CAUSES

Members of Msgr. Paul V. Heller Council 8393 in Luray, Va., wait to collect supplies for the Life Center of Page Valley. The Knights set up a giant baby bed outside a store and handed out a list of needed items. Customers then brought back the requested items and placed them in the bed. The Life Center provides free assistance to pregnant women and families with young children, offering maternity clothes, car seats, cribs, strollers, diapers, formula, baby food and clothes. The council has conducted the drive for three years, bringing in more than $6,000 to help women in need.

MARRIED LIFE

Bishop Daniel M. Gorman Assembly in Pocatello, Idaho, hosted a special celebration and wedding vow renewal ceremony for two members of two neighboring assemblies. Both Knights

At a vocations night hosted by Sts. Felicitas and Perpetua Council 14026 of San Marino, Calif., Grand Knight Alan Barasorda and Deputy Grand Knight Chris Nuno share the life story of Father Michael McGivney with John Paul Talbot, a seminarian the council supports.

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have been married for 50 years; they were wed on the same day in 1967, in different chapels dedicated to St. Rose of Lima. WILD TIME

Bishop Sheen Council 7487 in Jenison, Mich., rallied for 1,800 volunteer hours to plan and host a Wild Game Dinner. The sold-out event featured dishes including alligator, frog and bear and raised $7,200 each for the Ruby Creek Disabled Veterans Hunt Club and Georgetown Harmony Homes, which serves adults with intellectual disabilities. AT HOME IN THE PARISH

Fort Dodge (Iowa) Council 613 sold its aging parish hall and donated the $30,000 in proceeds to the Building Campaign Capital Fund of

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Holy Trinity Parish, the council’s home. Events, such as the council’s fish fry dinners, are now held at the parish hall, which has greatly increased attendance. The council also gave $1,000 to Camp Courageous, a therapeutic year-round camp for people with disabilities.

St. George Council 12560 in Post Falls, Idaho, held its first Charity Golf Tournament, netting over $10,000. The proceeds went toward an array of charities, including Christmas baskets for veterans and families in need; the warming center at the local St. Vincent de Paul facility; Special Olympics; the St. George Friendship Kitchen; and Promise of North Idaho, which serves homeless families with children.

PAINTING PROJECT

Msgr. Henry C. Schuyler Council 1333 in West Chester, Pa., helped out the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, by prepping and painting seven rooms in the Camilla Hall nursing home. The service came as part of a chapter-wide work project; since many of the Knights had been taught by the IHM sisters in grade school, it was also a decadeslater day of appreciation by the sisters’ students.

Two members of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Council 13575 in Worcester, Mass., spread mulch at Our Lady of Loreto Parish. Knights purchased and placed 15 yards of mulch as an act of charity toward their new parish.


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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N (FUND)RAISE THE ROOF

St. Alphonsus Council 3088 in Hessmer, La., hosted 830 guests at a dinner fundraiser. The event yielded $7,135 for the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Roof Repair Project. Seeing an urgent need to fix the roof and curtail water damage to the interior of the church, Council 3088 also gave $3,000 from the proceeds of a 5K Fun Run and $4,865 from its general funds to donate a total of $15,000 toward the roof ’s repair. FOSTERING GROWTH

Father Ernie Council 13315 in Anchorage, Alaska, donated $3,000 to the Holy Cross Parish Building Campaign to help fund muchneeded additions to the church. That same evening, the council raised another $900 for the campaign during a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Council 13315 pledged to donate another $3,000 in the coming months. RACE FOR LIFE

Rev. Mitchell J. Cetkowski 6201 in Jackson, N.J., held

its 17th annual Race for Life Benefit, which raises money for local victims of cancer and their families. This year’s recipient was a 3-yearold girl who is suffering from T-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. With the help of the community, the Knights were able to raise over $16,000. GO FOR THE GOLD

St. Mary’s Council 4065 in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., held a “Backyard Olympics” that raised $3,800. The proceeds funded the purchase of 37 wheelchairs for area residents with reduced mobility, including veterans and elderly community members. Other wheelchairs will be used by local service centers, such as the library, post office and town hall. PRENATAL AID

Sixty-six Knights from six councils encompassing two districts worked together to host the first Medical Ultrasound Mission in Dumanjug, Cebu, Visayas. Seven doctors and two medical students

Greg Rausch of Columbia Assembly in Wichita, Kan., assists a veteran at the Robert J. Dole VA Hospital’s County Fair event. The assembly put together 40 gift bags of miniature bath items and sweatpants, which the hospital has a difficult time acquiring.

volunteered, using an ultrasound machine newly purchased by the jurisdiction. Chairman Asa Esguerra assured that all 76 clients had the chance to meet with a doctor, despite the work extending late into the evening. Success was measured by the women emerging from their checkup with huge smiles, exclaiming, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” WHEELCHAIR MISSION

Chuck LeDuc of Our Lady of the Mountains Council 13093 in Stevensville, Mont., paints in preparation of a parish’s 175th anniversary. Founded in 1841, St. Mary’s Mission is the oldest parish in the state of Montana. Over the course of 60 days, the council raised more than $13,000, garnered the help of 29 volunteers and worked more than 700 hours repainting and refurbishing the entire church and rectory.

St. Ignatius of Loyola Council 12853 in San Jose, Calif., sponsored a Wheelchair Sunday at Holy Family Church. In a single weekend, parishioners contributed more than $13,000 to the Global Wheelchair Mission, which is enough to purchase almost 90 wheelchairs. The Knights encouraged donations by explaining the Global Wheelchair Mission and the Knights’ efforts following each Mass.

CORRECTIONS On p. 6 of the August issue, a news item reported an increase of 73 million volunteer hours in the previous fraternal year, rather than an increase from 73 million to 75 million. On p. 10 of the May issue, Fort Gordon was described as near Atlanta, Ga. It is located close to Augusta. On p. 29 of the April issue, Council 12075 was misidentified as Council 12728 in a photo caption.

kofc.org exclusive See more “Knights in Action” reports and photos at www.kofc.org/ knightsinaction

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STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION (Act of August 1, 1970: Section 3685, title 39, U.S. code)

P RO M OT I O NA L & G I F T I T E M S

1. Publication Title: Columbia 2. Publication No.: 12-3740 3. Date of filing: September 2017 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 and editor: Publisher: Carl A. Anderson 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 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. The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes (check one): (x) Has not changed during the preceding 12 months.

( ) Has changed during the preceding 12 months.

(If changed, publisher must submit explanation of change with this statement.) 13. Publication name: Columbia. 14. Issue date for circulation data below: OCTOBER 2017 15. Extent and nature of circulation: Av. # copies each issue during preceding 12 months

# copies of single issue published nearest to filing date

A. Total no. copies (net press run): 1,699,796 1,705,015 B. Paid and/or requested circulation 1. Outside-county mail subscriptions stated on Form 3541: 347,106 351,511 2. Paid in-county subscriptions stated on Form 3541: 0 0 3. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales and other non-USPS distribution: 1,000 1,000 4. Other classes mailed through the USPS. 1,345,738 1,343,959 C. Total paid and/or requested circulation: 1,693,844 1,696,470 D. Free distribution by mail (samples, complimentary and other): 1. Outside-county as stated on Form 3541: 0 0 2. In-county as stated on Form 3541: 0 0 3. Other classes mailed through the USPS: 5,000 5,000 4. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution outside the mail (carriers or other): 0 0 E. Total Free or Nominal Rate distribution (Sum of (15d, (1), (2), (3) and (4): 5,000 5,00 0 F. Total distribution (sum of 15c and 15e): 1,698,844 1,701,470 G. Copies not distributed: 300 300 H. Total (sum of 15f and 15g): 1,699,144 1,704,770 I. Percent paid and/or requested circulation (15c / 15f x 100): 99.7% 99.7% 16. Paid electronic copies 0 0 I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete. ALTON J. PELOWSKI, Editor 11/01/2017

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Spinner Ornament This 2.5” ornament is white with gold accents, and features a spinning emblem of the Order. Gift boxed in white satin lined box. $15.00

Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad 3” Ball Ornament Gift packaged in Feliz Navidad/Merry Christmas box. $7.00

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6” Acrylic Church Ornament This 6” acrylic church ornament sparkles in the light as it hangs on your tree, reminding your family of the unity of Jesus with his Church. Packaged in a blue gift box. $8.00

knightsgear.com Questions? 1-855-GEAR-KOC (855-432-7562) Additional shipping costs apply to all orders. Please call before mailing in an order.


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K N I G H T S O F C O LU MBU S

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

Knights from Texas and Indiana gather beside a trailer of cleaning supplies and relief items. Within the weeks following Hurricane Harvey’s disastrous flooding in southeast Texas, area Knights responded with tens of thousands of dollars in goods and services and more than 5,000 volunteer hours to aid those affected. Knights from many other states also responded with aid.

TO BE FEATURED HERE , SEND YOUR COUNCIL’ S “K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” PHOTO C OLUMBIA , 1 C OLUMBUS P LAZA , N EW H AVEN , CT 06510-3326 OR E - MAIL :

AS WELL AS ITS DESCRIPTION TO : KNIGHTSINACTION @ KOFC . ORG .

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PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

K E E P T H E FA I T H A L I V E

‘I WANTED TO SERVE THE HUMAN FAMILY’

FATHER STEPHEN VACCARO Diocese of Arlington Pope John Paul II Council 4522 Annandale, Va.

Photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann

St. John Paul II wrote, “The future of the world and of the Church passes through the family” (Familiaris Consortio, 75). These words really ring true to me. Everything that I am, including my vocation, flowed from God’s wonderful hands through my parents and siblings. When I was young, the faith was a real and normal part of life, with weekly Mass, monthly confession, daily family meals and prayer. Around the dinner table and in daily life, I learned the centrality of love, and I saw my parents’ strength, which came through their faith. I knew that I wanted to serve the human family, to give that which was so crucial to my own family: Jesus Christ! This desire to share our Lord through service eventually led me to the priesthood. I entered seminary after college and was ordained this past June. Now, just as I received the seeds of my call from my family, I hope that my vocation will assist all families on the path to holiness.

Columbia December 2017  

Columbia December 2017