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Your Shield of

STRENGTH The Knights of Columbus remains committed to Venerable Father Michael McGivney’s vision of protecting the financial future of our Catholic families. Find an agent at kofc.org or 1-800-345-5632 LIFE INSURANCE




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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S february 2019 ♦ VoluMe 99 ♦ NuMber 2



Heroism in Paradise Knights save lives and lead relief efforts after the worst wildfire in California history. BY ANDREW FOWLER

10 ‘This is Where I Belong’ A wildland firefighter describes how his return to the Church brought strength, purpose and peace. BY JOSEPH PAPPALARDO

12 Calling Out Anti-Catholicism Voices across the religious and political spectrum decry religious bigotry in the Senate.

14 Heart of a Priest Thousands of Catholics venerate the incorrupt heart of St. Jean Vianney as it makes a nationwide pilgrimage. BY COLUMBIA STAFF

22 Leading With the Heart of Mary Religious sisters have a decisive role to play in renewing the Church through their joyful “yes” to God’s will. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON

The incorrupt heart of St. Jean Vianney is pictured in front of a statue of the saint at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 6. The major relic is making a nationwide pilgrimage sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.


Building a better world

Photo by Mary Dillard

A message from Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson about the Order’s history of charity and opposition to religious prejudice. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON


Learning the faith, living the faith As we look toward Lent, the Feast of the Presentation signals the Church’s profound need for renewal.

25 Fathers for Good A homeschooling family discovers the importance of the Church’s educational system. BY PETER WOLFGANG


32 Knights in Action

PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month



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We Do Not Stand Alone A message from Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson about the Order’s history of charity and opposition to religious prejudice

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following message from the Supreme Knight, addressed to all members of the Knights of Columbus, was emailed and posted on kofc.org Jan. 1. For related coverage, see page 24.

our Order holds firm to the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of life and marriage. Such attacks on the basis of our Catholic faith are hardly new. The Knights of Columbus was formed amid a period of anti-Catholic bigotry. We stood against that then, and we do so now. We have spoken out against persecution around the world for nearly a century. At the same time, here at home we stood against

ganization adhering to the teachings of the Catholic Church. As with the Church, our primary motivation in everything is Christ’s great commandment — that we love God completely and our neighbor as ourselves. ear Brother Knight: As the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church explains, There have been times in our coun“Jesus Christ reveals to us that ‘God try’s past when uninformed or prejuis love’ (1 Jn 4:8) and he teaches us diced people questioned that ‘the fundamental law of whether Catholics could be human perfection, and congood citizens or honest pubsequently of the transforma“The Knights of Columbus was lic servants. That’s why Fation of the world, is the new ther McGivney chose the commandment of love.’”[ii] formed amid a period of antiThis love impels us to our name “Columbus” for our Order — the discoverer was Catholic bigotry. We stood against great charitable endeavors on behalf of those in need. the Catholic figure from that then, and we do so now.” From inner cities in the American history most adUnited States to refugee mired and accepted at the camps in the Middle East, time. In fact, from our founding in 1882 until the election the Ku Klux Klan, including its at- our Order’s donations over the last of Brother Knight John F. Kennedy tempts to ban Catholic education, decade — more than $1 billion and in 1960, many still held that and we published books on the black hundreds of millions of hours in volCatholics were unfit for public office. and Jewish contributions to Ameri- unteer work — are the result of this Throughout that time, the Knights of can history decades before the Civil faith. These works of charity have pracColumbus worked to counter such Rights movement. More recently, we prejudice. stood with the Little Sisters of the tical impacts that transform lives as Sadly, it seems that in some quarters Poor in their fight for religious lib- we help people here at home and this prejudice remains.[i] First, in erty and have worked with both the around the world. Our charity 2017, a Notre Dame law professor Obama and Trump administrations helped typhoon victims in the Philipwas deemed unfit for a federal judge- — and both sides of the aisle in Con- pines rebuild their lives and liveliship by a U.S. senator who feared that gress — to help Christians, Yazidis hoods; it brought prosthetics and “the dogma lives loudly within you.” and Shi’a Muslims targeted for geno- rehabilitation to thousands of Haitian youth after the earthquake there; Now, two more senators have ques- cide by ISIS. tioned a brother Knight’s fitness for From our very beginning, the it puts coats on children in some of the federal bench precisely because Knights of Columbus has been an or- our country’s most impoverished




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ON THE COVER: Icon by Fabrizio Diomedi, commissioned by the Supreme Council (2018). Photo by Peter Škrlep © Knights of Columbus


neighborhoods each winter; it gives wheelchairs to those who otherwise could not afford them in countries like Vietnam and Mexico; and it provides education, housing and medical care to AIDS orphans in Africa. This love also motivates us to stand with the Church on the important issues of life and marriage, precisely because the Church’s teaching is based on and reflects that love. We stand with our Church because we believe that what our faith teaches is consistent with reason, is timeless and transcends the changing sentiments of any particular time or place. We do not stand alone. In his first message to our international convention, Pope Francis asked “each Knight, and every Council, to bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family, the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life, and the beauty and truth of human sexuality.” And our positions on life are not new. My two predecessors as supreme knight spoke out forcefully to defend the rights of the unborn. In 1973, Supreme Knight John McDevitt wrote that Roe v. Wade was “a mortal blow to all who consider human life sacred.” He urged the Order to “to initiate or increase efforts to offset the harmful effects of this lamentable decision.” My immediate predecessor, Virgil Dechant, said in 1977: “With some 1.2 million unborn babies being killed by abortion each year in the United States alone, we are confronted with an outrage against human life paralleled only by the ravages of a bloody war.” Simply put, our positions are now, and have always been, Catholic positions. We must remember that Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution forbids a religious test for public office, and the First Amendment guarantees our free exercise of religion, freedom of asso-

ciation and freedom of speech. Any suggestion that the Order’s adherence to the beliefs of the Catholic Church makes a brother Knight unfit for public office blatantly violates those constitutional guarantees. Let us continue to express our love of God and neighbor by helping those in need and by standing with our Church, regardless of the popularity of doing so. Let us remember that our “Christian witness is to be considered a fundamental obligation.”[iii] Let us also remember that, from our founding, we have embodied the truth that a good Catholic is a good citizen who shows civility and dignity even in the face of prejudice. As we begin 2019, Dorian and I wish you a new year filled with the joy and wonders of His love. Thank you as well for all the many ways in which you have brought joy into the lives of millions around the world. May the inspiration of our founder prompt us to greater confidence in that love and encourage us to even greater works of charity. Fraternally, Carl A. Anderson

[i] See the excellent study by historian Philip Jenkins, The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice, (Oxford University Press, 2003). [ii] Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2005), no. 54. [iii] Ibid., no. 570.


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 EMAIL 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.


Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER St. Jean Vianney, the holy Curé d’Ars, is depicted holding and pointing to a crucifix, indicating that Christ is the center of his life (see credit for more details). FEBRUARY 2019


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A Month of Purification As we look toward Lent, the Feast of the Presentation signals the Church’s profound need for renewal by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

WE OFTEN TAKE the names of the people. His arrival there attracts not various months of the year for granted. only Simeon and Anna, the widow and Take February, for instance. It is the prophetess, but perhaps even the Genshortest month of the year and pur- tiles in the Temple area. Jesus’ entrance portedly the last one added to the into the Temple signals its purification The Feast of the Presentation takes Roman calendar (around 713 B.C.). and foretells the hour when he will place every February, but this year it The word February comes from the again purify the Temple of those who takes on a special significance as Pope Latin, februum — a word which means were using it for their own unclean Francis gathers with the leadership of purification. Originally it may have re- purposes. bishops’ conferences from around the ferred to an ancient Roman purificaIn both the East and West, the world to discuss the sexual abuse crisis. tion feast held mid-month. For Church solemnly celebrates the Presen- For far too long has this crisis plagued Christians, Ash Wednesday marks the tation of the Lord. In the East, this the Church — wreaking havoc in the beginning of Lent, a season of lives of victim-survivors and purification usually beginning scandalizing the faithful. Please in February. God, may this important meetIt is only the deep personal This year, Ash Wednesday ing be a grace-filled moment doesn’t occur until March 6, of purification for the whole renewal of each member of the but there is another way that we Church. Let us pray, and pray can regard February 2019 as a fervently, that it will set a direcChurch that will restore the month of purification. In the tion that, in God’s grace, will Church’s beauty and vigor. Church’s tradition, Feb. 2, the truly purify the Church of this Feast of the Presentation of the great evil and set the Church on Lord Jesus in the Temple, is also the path of authentic renewal, a feast of purification. It commemo- feast is sometimes called Hypapante, a holiness and credibility. rates the event when, according to Jew- word that commemorates the first No single meeting and no set of ish law and custom, Mary and Joseph meeting of the Messiah with his people. measures, however effective in ensuring brought Jesus to the Temple for the In the West, this feast is sometimes transparency and accountability, will be customary rites of purification. Jesus, called Candlemas Day, a day in which sufficient to deal with this crisis. At the the all-holy Son of God made man had candles are carried to honor the new- end of the day, it is only the deep perno need to be purified. But carried in born Christ as “a light for revelation to sonal renewal of each member of the the arms of his mother, who herself was the Gentiles and glory for his people Is- Church — beginning with its bishops preserved from all sin, Jesus undergoes rael” (Lk 2:32). Because this event is — that will restore the Church’s beauty the prescribed rites. not locked in the past but is rather a and vigor. But that renewal and purifiMary and Joseph are met at the living mystery, we are challenged to cation must extend to every member of Temple by the aged and holy Simeon, welcome Christ anew into the temple the Church, including the family of the whose eyes of faith are as keen as ever. of our hearts and the Temple which is Knights of Columbus. Filled with the Spirit, Simeon realizes the Church. His coming into our May februarius, the month of Febthat an extraordinary event is taking depths and into our midst signals and ruary, be the beginning of that deep place. The long-awaited Messiah enters effects our purification from the dark- purification that will renew and beauthe Temple, his first encounter with his ness of sin and death. tify the Temple of the Church.♦ 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦


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A monthly reflection and practical challenge from Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori: Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him. (Gospel for Feb. 10, Lk 5:10-11) “They left everything and followed him.” My brothers, these words shock me every time I hear or read them. If we are honest, we have to admit how hard it is to leave everything to follow Jesus. After all, we are so good at taking stuff with us as we attempt to follow him — our pride, our possessions, our desire for power, comfort and pleasure. We attempt to drag this heavy luggage along, or sometimes try to sneak little trinkets into our bags to take with us. Maybe it’s our wandering eyes, our temper,


a critical spirit or our workaholism. But Jesus and his disciples travel lightly. He invites us to leave everything and follow him. Let’s experience this genuine freedom of being his disciple: a freedom that hits the open road with our Lord, free of everything that hinders us. Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori: This month, I challenge you to join other Catholic men who are striving to “leave everything and follow him.” Join them for some time of prayer, fellowship and encouragement, possibly at a Knights meeting, for breakfast or a drink after work. Second, I challenge you to be open with a brother in Christ about some area of your life where you are facing challenges. “Leaving everything” means that we also need to leave behind our pretense and appearances, and meet each other as true brothers.♦


POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/Paul Haring — BLESSED DANIEL BROttIER: Wikimedia Commons

Blessed Daniel Brottier (1876-1936)

For a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.

L I T U RG I C A L C A L E N DA R Feb. 2 The Presentation of the Lord

Feb. 5 St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

Feb. 6 St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

Feb. 11 Our Lady of Lourdes Feb. 14 Sts. Cyril, Monk,

and Methodius, Bishop

Feb. 21 St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Feb. 22 The Chair of St. Peter the Apostle Feb. 23 St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

HE DECLARED at age 5: “I won’t be either a general or a pastry chef — I will be the pope!” When his mother said that he’d have to become a priest first, the boy replied, “Well, then I’ll become a priest!” Daniel Brottier entered the minor seminary of Blois, 30 kilometers west of his family’s home in central France, at age 11. He was ordained 12 years later, in 1899. Father Brottier was assigned to a high school, where he became a popular teacher. Within a few years, however, a call to the missionary life led him to join the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. He was then sent to Senegal, where he founded a school for girls, cared for orphans and published the first Catholic monthly in West Africa. Ill health forced him to return to France in 1911. In the years that followed, he created a network of 200,000 benefactors that funded the construction of a new cathedral in Dakar, Senegal. At the outbreak of World War I, Father Brottier volunteered as a military chaplain, and he ministered in the trenches during the battles of Lorraine,

Flanders, the Somme and Verdun. He later attributed his survival to the intercession of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Cited six times for bravery, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor medal. In 1923, Father Brottier was appointed director of the Orphan Apprentices of Auteil in Paris. He built a chapel in honor of St. Thérèse and developed spiritual and practical programs, including an array of trade workshops, serving more than 1,400 orphans. After Father Brottier’s death in a Paris hospital Feb. 28, 1936, some 15,000 people attended his funeral. He was beatified in 1984.♦



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PARADISE Knights save lives and lead relief efforts after the worst wildfire in California history by Andrew Fowler



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avid Lemire was dropping off his 10year-old daughter at school last November when he noticed smoke moving over the steeple of St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Minutes later, the smoke became darker. Then dense ash the size of potato chips starting falling from the sky. Lemire became worried and informed Greg Kidder, the facility manager at St. Thomas More, that he was leaving with his daughter and son to pack supplies. Today, ash is all that remains of approximately 19,000 buildings, including the homes of 69 Knights, in Paradise, Calif. At least 86 people lost their lives and 90 percent of the town’s residences were razed in the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. Dubbed the Camp Fire, because it began on Camp Creek Road in Butte County, the blaze burned for two weeks, scorching over 150,000 acres. Heavy winds caused the inferno to spread rapidly Nov. 8, and within hours it engulfed Paradise. Many of the town’s 27,000 residents, including members of St. Thomas More Council 7773, barely escaped, leaving their possessions behind. “Paradise has been compared to Hiroshima after the Bomb,” said Grand Knight Jim Collins. “It’s

not much of an exaggeration.” Several members, including Lemire and Kidder, acted swiftly to save others, even as their own homes were about to be devoured by the flames. Joined by Collins and other local K of C leaders, they have since been instrumental in relief efforts. Meanwhile, Knights around the country also responded, sending supplies as well as donating more than $200,000 to assist in the recovery. ESCAPE FROM PARADISE When Lemire returned home with his children Nov. 8, he told his daughter to start filling the truck with clothes and other provisions while he checked on their elderly neighbor, Peggy, whom he had been helping for the past year. “I told her, ‘Look, we got to get out of here, I think there’s a serious fire coming up the ridge,’” Lemire recalled. Peggy refused to leave. But over the next halfhour, the situation became critical. Lemire heard the sound of exploding propane tanks and people screaming in the distance. The sky became pitch black. “I ended up having to pull her from her bathroom to the front door, and she started crying,” he said. “I kept saying, ‘I love you. I can’t leave you here!’”

A home is overshadowed by towering smoke plumes as the Camp Fire races through Paradise, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)



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Jim Collins (center), grand knight of St. Thomas More Council 7773 in Paradise, stands with fellow members David Lemire (left) and Greg Kidder in front of the gutted rectory of St. Thomas More Church. • Opposite page: Rubble lines a residential lot after the Camp Fire, burning in the distance Nov. 9, consumed a neighborhood on Skyway Road in Paradise. • Ronald Galla, a member of Council 7773, greets parishioners during a lunch Knights organized at Our Divine Savior Catholic Church in Chico.



The cars, driven by staff, headed to an assembly point in Chico. Kidder stayed behind to check every room in the church and school and to shut off the gas and electricity. “It was one of those things where you just act,” he said. “For me, it was executing the plan — processing what needs to be done, and crossing things off my list.” STICKING TOGETHER In Chico, Jim Collins made an effort to contact all of the Knights in his council, and he learned that 69 had lost their homes. “In my own neighborhood, six homes out of about 60 were left,” he said. “In other areas, where you had 100 homes, it was zero.” Kidder also made phone calls to confirm the welfare of parishioners. “The day after the fire, I just focused on our people. We made a gallant effort to gather them and keep them together,” Kidder said. “What they had was gone.” Lemire went from shelter to shelter offering his services, volunteering up to 20 hours a day. He became a hub of information and helped place about a dozen families in homes. The St. Thomas More community initially found refuge at the Newman Catholic Center in Chico, as well as support from St. John the Baptist Church and Chico Council 1137. Later, the parish set up administrative offices at Our Divine Savior Catholic Church, also in Chico. There, Knights from

Photos by Alisa Duenas

Lemire helped Peggy to her car, raced back to collect her medicine and then evacuated the premises. By now, the raging fire had reached his own doorstep, and there was no time left for Lemire to hook up his trailer. As he drove through the inferno, he told his children to keep their heads down and away from the windows. “Fire was on both sides of the street,” Lemire said. “I could hear the whistling of the propane tanks, the relief valves going off. I could hear explosions. It sounded like a war zone.” Lemire would know. A veteran of the Iraq War, he retired in 2007 after 25 years of service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. He and his children prayed during the 20-mile drive to Chico, a trip that usually took 40 minutes but lasted more than five hours. Kidder, meanwhile, was busy coordinating the evacuation plan back at the church and school, together with St. Thomas More’s pastor, Father Godwin Xavier. When he had first seen the smoke a few miles away, Kidder was unconcerned, since previous fires had always been contained. Before long, however, an emergency order to evacuate was issued. “It was a matter of hours,” recalled Kidder, whose priority was the safety of the more than 220 students. A steady flow of parents soon began picking up their children. “When we got most everyone off the property, we were down to 23 students, and we had to load them into cars,” Kidder said.

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TOP: AP Photo/Noah Berger

Paradise collaborated with members of Henry F. GiroudRobert Heimann Council 13765. Council 1137 also set up a centralized distribution center and hosted free dinners for displaced parishioners. When Kidder arranged a campground in an empty lot next to the church, Lemire offered to put to use the engineering skills he learned in the military. He cleared the land and, together with local Knights, installed plumbing, septic tanks and electricity. The lot now houses five RVs, including one for a widow of a Knight who died several days after the wildfire started. For many, the big question is whether they will rebuild in the Paradise or not. “A lot of people have been walking around in a zombie-like state, just overwhelmed by having to rebuild and trying to figure out their next move,” said Collins. To assist victims, Collins established a disaster relief initiative to distribute supplies and funds to those in need, with the motto “Arise and Rebuild.” Following Sunday Masses, Collins and other Knights, including Kidder, have handed out pillows, blankets, backpacks filled with supplies and over $10,000 in gift cards. The initiative has also raised $140,000 to cover one year of rent payments for 10 families in the community. “If we just chip away at it, person by person, and we use the money wisely, we should be able to plug the holes in the dike and help folks get back on their feet,” said Collins. MOVED BY CHARITY Nearly two months after the Camp Fire left his neighborhood in ruins, Collins was allowed to evaluate the damage to his home. “We have water now, but we can’t drink it because it hasn’t been purified,” Collins said. “We’re one of the lucky ones; at least we have something to go back to.” Kidder and Lemire both lost their homes. It took Kidder almost a month to find a semi-permanent residence, an apartment in Chico, for him and his wife. Lemire currently lives on the campsite he helped set up and continues to maintain while assisting other service projects in the area. In the weeks following the fire, Lemire heard from Peggy’s daughter, who thanked him for saving her mother’s life.

“I believe God moves believers to do special things,” said Lemire. “I’m just trying to do the right thing.” Kidder shared a similar perspective. “God has always taken care of me,” he said. “I don’t have to look for something to do, because he always puts something in front of me.” St. Thomas More Parish lost four buildings, including the rectory and parish hall, as a result of the wildfire. Kidder expects it will take more than a year to restore the church and school, but is grateful no one was hurt. As the members of Council 7773 strive for normalcy once again, Knights throughout the country have reached out in support. Many councils sent backpacks filled with supplies, while others hosted fundraisers. “People break down in tears because they figured there was no hope,” said Collins. “I think it shows what the Knights are truly all about.” More than 250 people, including California State Deputy Joe Salaiz, attended a Mass celebrated for wildfire victims at Our Divine Savior Church in December. “This is a perfect example of Father McGivney’s mission: to be there for the families and to take care of our families,” said Salaiz, who also distributed relief funds for those in need. Knights nationwide collectively donated more than $200,000 to assist the victims, including $132,500 through the Supreme Council’s disaster relief fund.

“The Knights at all levels have jumped in there and participated in the outreach,” said Kidder. “There’s guys within the parish who are saying, ‘I need to become a Knight, because they really take care of each other.’” To help victims of the California wildfires, donate to kofc.org/disaster.♦ ANDREW FOWLER is a content producer for the Knights of Columbus Communications Department. FEBRUARY 2019


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‘This Is Where I Belong’ A wildland firefighter describes how his return to the Church brought strength, purpose and peace by Joseph Pappalardo

hen a wildfire moves, it sounds like a freight train. California firefighter Daniel Magallanes would tell you this is true, but right now he’s facedown in the dirt, digging a hole for fresh air. What started as a “prescribed burn” — a fire set in the cooler seasons so the summer blazes will be less intense — is suddenly out of control. Luckily for Magallanes and his crew, they can gasp for oxygen in the flat dirt clearing, albeit surrounded by a raging fire. This is how Magallanes describes what he experienced on April 18, 2010. He remembers the date clearly, because it was his son’s 6th birthday, and he had been planning to take the day off. If Magallanes were to encounter such a trial today, he would utter an Our Father or Hail Mary and pray for strength. But during what he calls the scariest moment of his career, he did not consider himself a practicing Catholic. The 38-year-old has been fighting fires for 16 years, most recently operating the fire truck as an engineer. In that time, he questioned his faith, left the Church and finally converted back, together with his wife, Gabriela. Today, they and their four children are active parishioners at Christ the Good Shepherd Parish 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


in Adelanto, Calif., where Magallanes serves as deputy grand knight of San Juan Diego Council 13469. “I used to feel a false sense of invincibility, crediting success to myself,” Magallanes said. “Now, every aspect of my life revolves around God.” TAKEN BY THE HAND Daniel Magallanes grew up a cradle Catholic in Calipatria, Calif. The former altar boy said he thought about the priesthood when he was 10 or 11 but his family discouraged a vocation. “I felt embarrassed,” Magallanes said. “I didn’t get support from my family; not that they weren’t religious, but I was young and a troublemaker.” Growing up across the street from a fire station, he found a different calling. He spent time at the station in high school and became a firefighter himself in 2002. He later became a wildland firefighter and today works for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. It was in the early stages of his career, Magallanes said, that doubts about his faith began to grow as he watched internet videos tearing down everything he had once believed in. “Without any sort of education myself, I fell for the trick

Courtesy of Daniel Magallanes


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Opposite page: Daniel Magallanes prays the rosary during a break while fighting the Donnell Fire in northern California’s Stanislaus National Forest in August 2018. Magallanes and his crew worked 14 days straight to contain the fire, which burned more than 13,000 acres. • Magallanes, who serves as deputy grand knight of San Juan Diego Council 13469, and his family are active parishioners of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Adelanto.

Photo by Steve Heisler

and started doubting,” he said. He questioned Catholics like his church-going sister but didn’t find their answers convincing. Magallanes lost faith in the Church and organized religion; around 2006, he began considering himself an atheist. Then, during what was supposed to be a routine controlled fire in 2010, Magallanes had his brush with death. A few months later, Gabriela was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a large tumor on a cranial nerve. The couple was not married at the time, but they had already been together for 10 years and had four children. Suddenly, as Gabriela prepared to undergo the eight-hour, high-risk surgery, it seemed they might not have any time left together. When Magallanes finally entered the ICU to find Gabriela still breathing, he wasn’t alone. A man was sitting at the nurses’ station, looking over at the couple without saying anything. When he finally came over to talk, he asked if he could pray for them. “He grabbed my wife’s hand, and he grabbed my hand,” Magallanes recalled. “At that moment, I could feel this jolt go down my spine. I can only describe it now as the Holy Spirit.” The man was Father Miguel Urrea, a priest of the Diocese of San Bernardino and the Catholic chaplain for the hospital. Magallanes burst into tears as the priest continued to hold their hands and pray. When Father Urrea asked them if they were married, Magallanes explained he’d wanted a big wedding. “Do you think that’s what it’s all about?” the priest asked. “Having a big party?” After further discussion, the couple agreed to return to their faith, and in a unique situation, Father Urrea offered to preside at their wedding that very day, making all of the necessary arrangements. “He did everything himself,” Magallanes recalled. “We got married by the Church and by the court on the same day.” RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME After Gabriela was released from the hospital, the Magallanes family began attending Christ the Good Shepherd Parish. They gradually became more involved, and Daniel joined the Knights of Columbus in 2013.

“I realized that the Knights do a lot for the Church and the community, which I’m really passionate about,” he said. “I feel that I can’t do enough to help the Church.” Jerry Burns, grand knight of Council 13469, recalls recruiting Magallanes after seeing him at Christ the Good Shepherd. “He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to let everybody know he’s there,” Burns said. “But he wants to help, and he’s always at the right place at the right time.” The family often assists with, or participates in, K of C fundraisers such as dinners and dances at the parish. Daniel serves on the parish council, and he and Gabriela are both extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. They are also members of the parish’s Blue Army chapter and strive to make daily devotions to Our Lady of Fatima, praying the rosary and going to confession regularly. “Our faith is very important to our family,” Gabriela said. “We have been fortunate that our children also help serve in the parish with us.” Despite his own busy schedule, Daniel also makes time to visit his kids’ school, giving safety talks and discussing his job. His professional duties include maintaining the station and fire engine, making sure everyone is prepared and, because of a worker shortage, fighting the intense fires with his team. He gets to go home most nights, which is a luxury for wildland firefighters. Prayer has become a constant part of his daily routine, and the white rosary he carries is a stark reminder of purity and faith amid ash and ruin. “I try to pray every chance I get,” he said. “I know that the devil is trying to bring me down and get me to lose focus.” Magallanes also asks others to pray for his crew and the many firefighters scattered across the country’s isolated forests. It’s very difficult, he said, for wildland firefighters to keep up their strength. “A lot of people work with us for a season or two and say, ‘No, this was not what I expected.’” Though prayer isn’t usually discussed in his line of work, Magallanes said, he sometimes receives questions from his peers, just as he once questioned his sister. He humbly acknowledges he doesn’t have all of the answers, and strives to give a passionate example of faith in action in both his career and his service with the Knights. “My brother Knights and I try to do whatever we can for our church, and we are proud to serve,” he said. “When I joined the Order and started helping, I knew this is where I belong.”♦ JOSEPH PAPPALARDO is a content producer for the Knights of Columbus Communications Department. FEBRUARY 2019

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Calling Out Anti-Catholicism Voices across the religious and political spectrum decry religious bigotry in the Senate


wo U.S. senators — Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) — made headlines in December after they questioned whether a judicial nominee’s membership in the Knights of Columbus would prevent him from being an impartial judge. The nominee was Brian C. Buescher, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Council 13080 in Omaha, Neb. Sen. Hirono stated that “the Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions” and then asked Buescher whether he would withdraw his membership with the Order if confirmed, “to avoid any appearance of bias.” In a similar vein, Sen. Harris called the Knights “an all-male society” and asked if Buescher was aware that the group “opposed a woman’s right to choose” and “marriage equality.” Buescher responded that he has been a member of the Knights since age 18 and that his membership “has involved participation in charitable and community events in local Catholic parishes.” The senators’ line of questioning was widely viewed as a “religious test” for lawmakers, drawing a response from many political and social commentators, as well as from other legislators. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson’s response took the form of a letter to members Jan. 1 (see page 2). Below are excerpts from three of the many op-eds and articles written in the days and weeks following.

books on black and Jewish history in America. They stood against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, the height of its power, helping fund the Supreme Court case that defeated the Klanbacked ban on Catholic education in Oregon. The Knights spoke out against the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany as early as the 1930s. Today they assist victims of Islamic State. If Catholics like the Knights can be targeted, what should members of my Pentecostal church expect? We share traditional views on abortion and marriage. What about Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Mormons and evangelical Christians? Even the Rev. Martin Luther King’s biblical beliefs would be anathema to Sens. Harris, [Diane] Feinstein and Hirono. JFK, himself a proud Knight of Columbus, would be unacceptable too. … We non-Catholics must also stand up, if not for courage, then for survival. When first they come for the Catholics, we can be certain that all of us are next, and that the respect for faith and diversity of belief that made this country a beacon of freedom is now under severe threat — even from those we entrust with its defense. — Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, a Pentecostal minister, is director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies in Boston.

From “Senators employ stalking horse to oppose Catholic judicial nominee” — Crux, Dec. 30, 2018: From “Another Religious Test in the Senate” — Wall Street Journal, Jan. 4: IS THE POPE AN EXTREMIST? Should anyone loyal to the church’s teachings be barred from public office? There is no reason to accept such political bigotry. But this isn’t about anyone’s membership in a particular group. It is about silencing believers of any kind whose views differ from the progressive view on social issues. As a leader of black Christians, I feel particularly strongly about the Knights of Columbus. For more than a century they bravely defended minorities. The group ran integrated hospitality and recreation centers for troops in World War I — the only charitable organization that did so. To confront prejudice in the teaching of history, in the 1920s the Knights commissioned 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


OPPOSITION TO ABORTION and gay marriage are not policy positions of the Knights of Columbus but of the Catholic Church, as articulated most recently by the current leader of the Church, Pope Francis. On abortion, Francis takes a remarkably strong rhetorical line, even comparing the decision to have an abortion to “hiring a hitman to resolve a problem” during one of his weekly general audiences in October. … Francis also has been firm in his opposition to gay marriage. In a book-length interview last year with Dominique Wolton, Francis argued that by its very definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Decrying what he called a “critical confusion” about marriage in the culture, Francis responded to a question about

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Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

Past Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart presents President John F. Kennedy, a fellow Knight of Columbus, with a framed copy of the Pledge of Allegiance Oct. 11, 1961. gay marriage by saying, “Let’s call this ‘civil unions.’ We do not joke around with truth.” This past June, in unscripted remarks to an Italian organization representing Catholic families, Francis said, “It is painful to say this today: People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family,” but “the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one.” One could go on piling up examples, but the point ought to be clear: Saying “no” to abortion and same-sex marriage is not an idée fixe of the Knights of Columbus, but rather the corporate stance of the Catholic Church and its leadership. In other words, Hirono and Harris are employing a “stalking horse” in the Buescher case, because their real target isn’t the Knights of Columbus but Catholic teaching. Presumably, however, they felt it would be poor form to say they wanted Buescher blackballed because he’s Catholic, so they picked a softer target. … For integrity’s sake, it’s important to be clear whom their argument is with — and it’s not the Knights of Columbus or anyone else. It’s with the Catholic Church and the man in white. — John L. Allen Jr. is editor of Crux, specializing in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. Visit cruxnow.com.

From “Elected leaders who weaponize religion are playing a dangerous game” — The Hill, Jan. 8: IF BUESCHER IS “UNQUALIFIED” because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus,

then President John F. Kennedy, and the ‘liberal lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy would have been “unqualified” for the same reasons. Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that there “shall be no religious test” for any seeking to serve in public office. No American should be told that his or her public service is unwelcome because “the dogma lives loudly within you” as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings in 2017 to serve as U.S. Circuit Court judge in the 7th Circuit. While I absolutely believe in the separation of church and state as a necessity to the health of our nation, no American should be asked to renounce his or her faith or membership in a faith-based, service organization in order to hold public office. The party that worked so hard to convince people that Catholics and Knights of Columbus like Al Smith and John F. Kennedy could be both good Catholics and good public servants shows an alarming disregard of its own history in making such attacks today. … Elected leaders engaging in religion-baiting are playing with fire. They are sacrificing the well-being, peace and harmony of our country to satisfy their own political ambitions for partisan political interests. We must stand together, call out and reject religious bigotry no matter where it comes from, and fight to protect the freedoms and principles that bind us together as Americans. — U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, represents Hawaii’s 2nd District. FEBRUARY 2019

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HEART of a

PRIEST Thousands of Catholics venerate the incorrupt heart of St. Jean Vianney as it makes a nationwide pilgrimage by Columbia staff

OPPOSITE PAGE: Photo by Matthew Barrick


ome 17,000 young people gathered for Mass Jan. 12 at the annual conference of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). They stood in reverence as a reliquary holding the incorrupt heart of St. Jean-Marie Vianney was solemnly processed into the convention center in Indianapolis. Throughout the conference, participants waited in long lines to approach the relic for personal veneration. There have been similar scenes in churches and chapels across the United States since the “Heart of a Priest” pilgrimage, organized by the Knights of Columbus, began last November. The relic has been entrusted to the Order by the Shrine of Ars, France, where St. Jean Vianney (1786-1859) served for more than 40 years. The possibility of the pilgrimage was first presented last spring, before the clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted. In September, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson suggested that the pilgrimage would serve as a “spiritual response” to the crisis, remarking, “We welcome as providential this opportunity to invoke the intercession of

the patron of parish priests, whose holiness and integrity are a singular model for clergy.” Father Patrice Chocholski, St. Jean Vianney’s successor as curé, or pastor, of Ars and rector of the shrine there, brought the relic to the 136th Supreme Convention in Baltimore last August. The pilgrimage officially began Nov. 10 at St. Mary’s Spiritual Center in Baltimore, in the chapel where Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, prayed during his seminary studies. While in Baltimore, the relic was present at the U.S. bishops’ Fall General Assembly during a full day of spiritual discernment and prayer, as well as at two area seminaries. Following stops in New Haven, Conn., where Father Chocholski offered a series of reflections at St. Mary’s Church and the Knights of Columbus Museum, the relic has visited dozens of cities from New Orleans to Atlanta to Washington, D.C. The pilgrimage continues until early June. Visit kofc.org/vianney for the schedule and more information.

Above: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and Father Patrice Chocholski, rector of the Shrine of Ars, hold a reliquary containing the incorrupt heart of St. Jean Vianney and a chalice that belonged to the saint, during Father Chocholski’s visit to the Supreme Council headquarters April 14, 2018. Behind them hangs a painting of another model for parish priests, Father Michael J. McGivney. • Opposite page: The heart relic is seen at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., with a mosaic of Christ the High Priest in the background. FEBRUARY 2019

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‘Alive in Christ’ F

ather Patrice Chocholski, a native of northeastern France, was ordained in 1989 in Rome. The pastor and rector of the shrine in Ars since 2014, he has extensively studied the life of his predecessor, St. Jean Vianney. Educated in France, Italy, Poland and Jerusalem, Father Chocholski teaches at the International Seminary of Ars and has served as the general secretary for the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Rome (2008), Kraków (2011), Bogotá (2014) and Manila (2017). When Father Chocholski visited the United States last November to give a series of reflections coinciding with the pilgrimage of the St. Jean Vianney’s heart, Columbia editor Alton Pelowski interviewed him about the saintly Curé of Ars and the significance of the pilgrimage. COLUMBIA: The French Revolution began in 1789, shortly after St. Jean-Marie Vianney’s birth. What effect did it have on his family and on his vocation? FATHER PATRICE CHOCHOLSKI: During the French Revolution, it was very dangerous for priests who remained faithful 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


to Rome, and many Christians died as martyrs, especially in Lyon. The Vianney family followed the Church, which was forced underground, and Jean-Marie received his first Communion during a clandestine Mass. The transition in the years that followed was difficult. JeanMarie was later allowed to enter seminary, but he was then forced to join the Napoleonic army. Somehow he got lost in the mountains on the way to Spain and received the status of deserter. We do not know how it really happened, but we do know he remained more than one year in the village of Les Noës, where he taught children and was appreciated by the people there. When he returned home, his father refused to let him into the house because of how much the family had suffered in his absence. His brother, Francis, had to take his place in the army and later died on the German front. With both sons gone, his mother died of grief. His father told him to go pray at his mother’s tomb. Jean Vianney felt guilty and wounded and later wrote letters to his father begging for his pardon.

Photo by Aaron Joseph

An interview with St. Jean Vianney’s successor about the patron saint of parish priests

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SPEAKING FROM THE HEART As the relic of St. Jean Vianney has made its way across the country, the Supreme Council has received many notes expressing gratitude for sponsoring the pilgrimage. “A few months ago we read a biography of the saint in the refectory. I was impressed by his humility and pastoral love, but now I feel like I’ve experienced these myself because he wanted to come here to us! “While I was praying with the heart, I found this verse in John 18: ‘This was to fulfill the word which he had spoken, Of those whom thou gavest me I lost not one.’ This thought seems so fitting for a pastor who ‘lost not one’ of the multitude of souls entrusted to him and who will lose not one of the intentions entrusted to him on this tour.” — Sister Dominic Mary of Mercy, O.P., Monastery of Our Lady of Grace, North Guilford, Conn.

Father Chocholski gives a reflection at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven during a prayer vigil Nov. 18. The vigil concluded three nights of prayer at the parish for healing, reparation and purification.

We can see how this impacted his future as a priest. This sensitive man was able to relieve so many people of their guilt by welcoming them with the tenderness of God in the sacrament of confession. And he helped them experience the healing of Divine Mercy through absolution. C OLUMBIA : What other challenges did Jean-Marie face in pursuing his vocation? FATHER CHOCHOLSKI: His father hoped that he would become a farmer like him. He didn’t give Jean-Marie the opportunity to go to school and learn Latin like other boys. When Jean-Marie eventually entered the seminary, he was told he needed nine years of study, and

“I am very touched and humbled to be in the presence of my great-greatgreat-great-grand uncle, St. John Vianney. Someday, I hope to visit Ars, France. I hope and pray for a blessed tour and great healing and hope.” — Wade Anders Vianney, West Hartford, Conn. “It was an amazing experience for us in Pensacola. We estimated that 600 visitors passed through the doors of the Basilica between our four Masses, vespers and extended hours of being open. I could not have been more pleased with the response of the Catholics in the area, plus those who joined us from outside Florida. “As I observed people in prayer before the relic, the intensity of their prayer was quite visible. We have received a number of expressions of gratitude for having the relic present in our diocese.” — Very Rev. Joseph P. Callipare, rector of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, Pensacola, Fla.

“To see a heart that was totally in love, a heart that was undivided and purified by love of the Cross, was an inspirational event. It was amazing to be able to see the heart of the parish priest who lived the life we are seeking to emulate. It reminded me that, with the grace of God, it is possible to become a saint despite any challenges that might be in our way.” — Louis McHale, seminarian for the Archdiocese of Washington at the Saint John Paul II Seminary and a member of The Catholic University of America Council 9542 “Welcoming the holy and incorrupt heart of the Curé of Ars was a historic moment for the Apostolate for Family Consecration. At this time in the Church when so many hearts yearn for healing, it was a privilege to provide the over 400 faithful in attendance — families, students, priests and religious — with an opportunity to encounter the heart of a man whose love for God and his Church was unshakable. “As a Knight, it’s my personal prayer that God, through the intercession of St. John Vianney and Venerable Michael J. McGivney, grant me a heart like the Curé of Ars.” — J. Basil Dannebohm, vice president of advancement and evangelization for the Apostolate of Family Consecration in Bloomingdale, Ohio “What an incredible blessing for us to have St. John Vianney’s incorrupt heart at the recent SEEK conference! Priest after priest told me how powerful it was to have the relic there. The thousands of young people present loved it too, venerating it in the eucharistic adoration chapel. We are very grateful for the Knights for making this possible.” — Curtis Martin, founder and CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) and a member of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Council 7502 in Northglenn, Colo.


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Above: Father Mark Ivany, director of spiritual formation at the Saint John Paul II Seminary and director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Washington, leads seminarians in prayer before the relic. • Left: Parishioners stand in line to venerate the relic at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven.

COLUMBIA: How did St. Jean Vianney have such an impact on Ars and become so popular during his lifetime? FATHER CHOCHOLSKI: When he arrived in Ars, he found an abandoned, disheveled parish. There were fewer priests in France at that time, and some were swept up in the spirit of the Enlightenment. But a new clergy began to organize missions to the villages and towns in each diocese — evangelizing, preaching and hearing confessions. Jean Vianney’s popularity began with his involvement in these missions. He did not preach because his theology was considered weak, so he was asked to hear confessions instead. He had a gift for listening and understanding with the ten18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


TOP: Photo by Matthew Barrick — LEFT: Photo by Aaron Joseph

he had difficulty keeping up. He would not have been allowed to become a priest if Abbé Balley, the priest of Écully, had not told the bishop he would take him in and prepare him. There were a lot of humiliations. One of his fellow seminarians was young Mathias Loras, who had no problem with his studies. Mathias once became impatient and lashed out at Jean-Marie, who instead of getting angry knelt down and asked for forgiveness. Mathias immediately reconciled with him, weeping. He later became the first bishop of Dubuque, Iowa, and the two remained lifelong friends.

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Photos by Kevin Parks/Archdiocese of Baltimore

Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore celebrates Mass at Baltimore’s Basilica of the Assumption Jan. 11. The major relic of St. Jean Vianney was also present for veneration in the basilica’s crypt church (pictured below) before the Mass and at a reflection that followed.

derness of Christ, and so it was in the confessional that the people encountered a saint. More and more people came to him. In Trévoux, for example, it is said that the pressure of the waiting crowd moved his confessional. Then people began coming to Ars for his spiritual guidance. Before long, penitents were arriving from all around France, as well as from Italy. Some had to wait a week to go to confession. People were also attracted to his teaching, which was simple and inspired by the Gospel and the Fathers of the Church. He spoke in a language that both children and adults understood. So Ars became a shrine and place of pilgrimage. But Jean Vianney tried to be very poor and free from this

fame. He went through terrible trials, and there were petitions against him. People in the village wanted to get rid of him. He even had to endure a false accusation that he had fathered a child. It was not an easy fame. COLUMBIA: Four years after canonizing him in 1925, Pope Pius the XI declared St. Jean Vianney the patron saint of parish priests. Why is his witness so exemplary? FATHER CHOCHOLSKI: I believe that St. Jean Vianney became configured to Christ in a very special way. Christ is universal, and the more Jean Vianney became similar to Christ, the more his life and message became universal. Because Jean Vianney emptied himself in humility and poverty, Christ could find a free space to dwell in him. And so what he was experiencing, living and expressing was more and more Christ. Christ alone. When my bishop asked me to become a successor to St. Jean Vianney, I was afraid, and I told him, “Please, find somebody else.” Since coming to Ars, I’ve witnessed the graces received by pilgrims all over the whole world. They give testimony to what Christ has done in their lives, and I feel poor, somehow like Jean Vianney. COLUMBIA: The life of St. Jean Vianney overlapped with that of Father Michael McGivney. Do you see any similarities between them? FATHER CHOCHOLSKI: They each bore witness to Christ’s love for everyone in their parish, and they paid special attention to FEBRUARY 2019

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From top: Father Jack Campbell, parochial vicar of St. Paul Church in Pensacola, Fla., concludes the procession of the heart relic before Mass at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel Dec. 3. Father Joseph P. Callipare, rector of the basilica, is seen at right. • The relic is displayed for veneration Jan. 8 at the St. John Vianney Chapel and Welcome Center, operated by the Apostolate for Family Consecration in Bloomingdale, Ohio. • Catholic schoolchildren pray before the relic of St. Jean Vianney at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta Dec. 7. • Dominican Father Patrick Mary Briscoe carries the reliquary in procession before Mass at SEEK 2019, a conference of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) that drew more than 17,000 participants to Indianapolis in January. 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


From top: Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee — Photo by Daniel Lappert — Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Atlanta — Photo courtesy of FOCUS

the poorest people. They were not self-centered. They encouraged a communion of saints around them. The nucleus of St. Jean Vianney’s spirituality was the Divine Mercy. Experiencing and sharing Divine Mercy with others — this is what will attract hearts, and transform them, and make them run to Christ. He was convinced that the renewal of the Church would come through mercy, not the fear of hell. I see something similar in the spirituality of Father McGivney and the Knights of Columbus. They trust in the Divine Mercy, and they work to build a civilization of love. Also, we cannot imagine Jean Vianney as a priest alone in his shrine. Like Father McGivney, he was a priest carrying a community. Jean Vianney was revolutionary in his day, working together with the lay people. He used to find a place, a mission for everybody in his village, even for those

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A MAN OF PRAYER, A MISSION OF LOVE Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States and a native of France, celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 2018, on the occasion of the reception and veneration of the relic of St. Jean Vianney. Below are excerpts from his homily.

TOP: Photo by Matthew Barrick

WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD, my family traveled to Ars for a few days during the summer. I remember stopping to pray before the famous sculpture by Émilien Cabuchet. St. Jean-Marie Vianney has been and remains an attractive figure to me. And why? What did I see there in the image? That image incarnated what he was — a man of prayer. The saint himself wrote: “Prayer is nothing else but union with God. When one has a heart that is pure and united with God, he is given a kind of serenity

and sweetness that makes him ecstatic, a light that surrounds him with marvelous brightness. In this intimate union, God and the soul are fused together like two bits that no one can ever pull apart. This union of God with a tiny creature is a lovely thing. It is happiness beyond understanding.” These are profound words of St. JeanMarie Vianney. I desired this happiness, and he inspired me to seek this deeper union with God. … After signing his letter of appointment [to Ars], the vicar general reportedly said to him, “There is not much love for God in that parish; you will bring some into it.” That was his mission. Indeed, St. Jean Vianney brought so much love to it that a tiny village became the center of the world in just a few short years. … Once during an exorcism, the devil cried out, “Three more like Vianney and

our whole kingdom will be ruined.” Perhaps, there will be three men here — or even more — whom the Lord will raise up to be his faithful priests!♦

who did not practice their faith. For Jean Vianney, everybody was important in the mission of the Church. I am sure he would have been very happy working together with the Knights of Columbus.

friend to his people. He used to pray and intercede for them. Though dead, he is alive in Christ and is still a friend to his people. This physical presence reminds us of his intercession, of his prayer for us.

COLUMBIA: How did St. Jean Vianney’s heart become a relic? FATHER CHOCHOLSKI: His body was exhumed in the early 20th century in view of his beatification, and it was a surprise to discover it to be incorrupt. Some parts were kept for veneration. Why did the Church pay special attention to his heart? First, because it was incorrupt, but also because it related to his spirituality. He used to say that priesthood is the love of Jesus’ heart. For Jean Vianney, the mission of the priest is to be a heart in the middle of a community, to represent actually and sacramentally the love of Jesus. So his heart truly defined his presence as a priest.

COLUMBIA: Can you share how this pilgrimage came about, and speak of its significance at this time when the Church faces so many challenges? FATHER CHOCHOLSKI: Yes, it is providential that it is happening now. The inspiration came from the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, and it was intended to help people rediscover the beauty of being a priest — to encourage priests in their ministry and to promote vocations. It is very hard to organize such a pilgrimage, and it had been planned for some time. St. Jean Vianney was very drawn to the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi. At a certain time, he wished to become a Capuchin. We could say that he is a kind of Franciscan — his devotion to Jesus crucified, his poverty, the repentance of the penitents and so on. We recall how the Lord said to St. Francis that his mission was to rebuild the Church. We can see how St. Jean Vianney helped to rebuild the Church in France after the revolution. He can also help rebuild the Church today.♦

COLUMBIA: What do you tell people who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the Church’s veneration of relics? FATHER CHOCHOLSKI: As Christians, we believe in the Incarnation, “the Word became flesh.” It is an ancient tradition in the Church to keep physical signs of this closeness of the saints. As a priest, St. Jean Vianney was a friend of God and a


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Leading With the Heart of Mary Religious sisters have a decisive role to play in renewing the Church through their joyful “yes” to God’s will by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson EDITOR’S NOTE: The following text is an abridged version of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson’s keynote address at the national assembly of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) in September 2018. It is printed here in light of the World Day for Consecrated Life, celebrated on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Feb. 2. 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦



n Mary, all of us have the perfect model of the Christian life. But women religious have a special connection to her, and your unique reflection of her is greatly needed for the Church — especially today. The witness of your communities is especially important because of the crisis our Church now faces. More than ever our Church needs leadership with the heart of Mary.

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Photo by Becky Tower/Courtesy of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious

Leaders of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious stand with Bishop Edward M. Rice of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri, following Mass Sept. 22, 2018, at the Old Cathedral of St. Louis. Let us set the scene for a moment. Mary saw things that even today would shock us. Her country and people were subjugated by the Romans. She was called to be an unwed virgin mother — at no small risk to herself and her reputation. Then she had to see the civil and religious authorities of her day conspire to kill her son. And yet, she remained full of faith and a beacon of faith for others. Her faithfulness survived the Church’s first apostolic scandals, as she lived through the apostasy of her son’s apostles. She knew Peter, who denied her son publicly. She knew Judas, who betrayed Jesus for money. She also knew the cowardice of the other apostles, who went into hiding when Christ was arrested and condemned. At the foot of the cross, only one of the Twelve returned to stand with her. She remained faithful while those around her did not. Mary did not waver, because her heart would not waver. LISTENING TO MARY’S WORDS St. Francis famously gave the instruction to preach, and if necessary, use words. That admonition resonates with the portrait of Our Lady in the Gospels.

The Gospels record more about what Christ’s mother did and less about what she said. But the words recorded reveal Mary’s heart and her leadership in her journey from being the Mother of God to being our mother — Mother of the Church. Her words from the Annunciation to the wedding feast at Cana — from Christ’s embryonic life to his public ministry — present an illuminating awareness of God’s will at work. And she brought that awareness to others, drawing them toward God with decisiveness. “May it be done to me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38). Mary’s decisiveness did not come from knowing the details of God’s will or plans. She had no blueprint detailing how she would bear the Son of God — and she got only a vague answer from the angel. Later, she gave the servants at the wedding feast at Cana no instruction aside from “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Her decisiveness arose from God’s love in her heart and her trust in him. It is with a similar decisiveness and love that each consecrated woman speaks her vows, aware of God’s work in her life. Like Mary, each of you bring to others an FEBRUARY 2019

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THE MISSION OF CONSECRATED WOMEN In the history of this country, consecrated women awaken the world to the glorious plans of God — his righting of wrongs, his preference for the poor, his fidelity and his love. There is no shortage of stories of religious women who have shaped the history of our Church. We think of women from our own lifetime like St. Teresa of Calcutta, who helped shape the entire world’s view of human dignity. And we think of the little way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, or the dramatic actions of St. Catherine of Siena. CMSWR sisters have provided this strong witness in so many ways. When the HHS mandate demanded that Catholics compromise their conscience to provide contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs, it was the Little Sisters of the Poor who became the conscience of our country. It was not out of duty to rules, but out of love for God. As Mother Loraine Maguire noted last year, the 24 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and his wife, Dorian, stand with Sister Mary Bernard Nettle (far left) and Sister Robert Francis Tait, members of the Little Sisters of the Poor, at the 2018 CMSWR national assembly. Little Sisters wanted the mandate rolled back “so that we can continue caring for the elderly poor and dying as if they were Christ himself without the fear of government punishment.” So we might ask, “What kind of leadership is called for in the Church today?” Today, we need consecrated women to step forward into a place that had been abandoned by many and to stand as did Mary — faithful, steadfast, unafraid. We are called to remember, especially during this time, that in Christianity there is always the possibility of a new beginning. The apostles did not remain in hiding forever. They returned to courageously preach the Gospel and to do so ultimately at the cost of their lives. And this brings us finally to the root of the crisis facing our Church today. In Familiaris Consortio, St. John Paul II writes: “The essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. Hence the family has the mission to guard, reveal, and communicate love” (17). The greatest challenge facing our Church today is the challenge to its “mission to guard, reveal, and communicate love.” In that mission you have an irreplaceable role. Leading with the heart of Mary will mean not only stepping forward into places that others have abandoned, but most importantly stepping forward into places that only you, like Mary, can occupy.♦

Photo by Becky Tower/Courtesy of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious

awareness of God’s work. You draw others toward God’s love — a love which brought each of us into existence. Like Mary, all of us, but especially those who are brides of Christ, are called to live lives of faith and ministries of love. Mary’s Magnificat prayer is reflected in lives that praise and magnify the goodness of the Lord. Indeed, one of the key ways the goodness of God’s loving plan is communicated is through joy, which is itself a form of preaching without words. In one of his most beautiful speeches, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said: “The deepest poverty is the inability of joy, the tediousness of a life considered absurd and contradictory. This poverty is widespread today, in very different forms in the materially rich as well as the poor countries. The inability of joy produces the inability to love, produces jealousy, avarice — all defects that devastate the life of individuals and of the world. “This is why we need a new evangelization — if the art of living remains an unknown, nothing else works. But this art is not the object of a science — this art can only be communicated by [one] who has life — someone who is the Gospel personified.” Mary, our perfect model of the Christian life, not only bore the Word within her, but she is also clearly the Gospel personified. She has taught the art of Christian living by being who she is. This is, in many ways, the message of the opening lines of the Magnificat: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Lk 1:4647). The Almighty has done great things for us, and he has called each of us to be a vessel from which he can pour out great things for others. In answering the call of Christ, you have taken on a lifelong relationship that is poorly understood by the world — but is a relationship desperately needed by the world.

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Plus Signs for Catholic Schools A homeschooling family discovers the importance of the Church’s educational system by Peter Wolfgang

CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier


ith seven children under the age of 19, my wife and I have sought to embrace fully the Catholic faith we returned to during the papacy of St. John Paul II. Having read in John Paul II’s 1981 exhortation Familiaris Consortio that parents are the “first and foremost educators of their children,” and not finding a school nearby that seemed right for our family, we decided to homeschool. God blessed our decision. In Connecticut, there is an excellent homeschooling support group as well as a classical homeschooling hybrid program. We homeschool our four youngest children to this day. But when our oldest child graduated from the classical high school program last year, our family was at a crossroads. Homeschooling was working well for some of our children, but not others. And that is when we learned just how fortunate Catholics are to have our own school system. Today, our oldest child is in her first year at a Catholic college that takes its identity seriously, and our two other teenagers attend excellent Catholic high schools in Connecticut. Sending our children to three different Catholic schools is expensive. But true to their mission, the schools work with families to reach a price they can afford. And the benefits far outweigh the cost. From our perspective, as a mostly homeschooling family at a turbulent time in the life of our Church, these are some of the plus signs we see in Catholic schools: 1. With three children going off to school, the teaching load at home is lighter, and we can give our younger children more of the attention they need. 2. Our older children are in the company of other adults — teachers and administrators — who take their faith seriously. The male high school teachers, in particular, have given my son healthy role models of Catholic masculinity. This matters to me at a time when unhealthy male behavior both in the Church and in society is so much in the news.

3. We now attend more extracurricular, friend-building activities than when we only homeschooled. Enrolling in schools that provide these programs as part of their mission takes the burden off parents to organize them. 4. Our children have more opportunities to be around priests and women religious and to discern the possibility that God may be calling them to a vocation. 5. Surrounded by other Catholic young adults on campus, our teens have opportunities to build lifelong friendships and perhaps meet their future spouse. 6. My wife and I also have opportunities to meet with other Catholic parents and widen our social circle. 7. We are now better homeschoolers! Prior to sending our older kids to Catholic schools, we had timemanagement problems, as we tried to balance our duty to the younger children with our efforts to give the older children the best education that we could. 8. An added bonus has been the joy of seeing our teens fit in well and work to their abilities in a larger school setting, knowing that we have given them a firm foundation at home. Catholic schools are not necessarily the best choice for every family and budget, but they are the right choice for us, and for millions of other families. Nor do Catholic schools absolve parents from the obligation to teach the faith and virtues at home. As the Church has consistently taught, Catholic schools were never meant to take the place of mom and dad, even in the days when they were booming and staffed by religious communities. My wife and I have come to greatly appreciate how Catholic schools can help us in our God-given tasks as educators, and we are grateful to find Catholic schools that can help us in this mission.♦ PETER WOLFGANG is executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut and a member of Fathers Duggan-Zebris Council 13424 in Waterbury, Conn.



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Cary-Grove (Ill.) Council 12824 honored the altar servers of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church for their service to the parish with a recognition after the regular Saturday evening Mass. The servers received certificates of appreciation, and Council 12824 treated them and their families to a pizza dinner. Members of Msgr. Joseph F. Loreti Council 3240 in Roselle Park, N.J., stand at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., at the conclusion of their “Divine Mercy Pilgrimage for Persecuted Christians” in October 2018. The 330-mile cycling journey from Roselle Park to Washington, D.C., raised more than $7,500 for the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund. “Our team of five riders and three support crew undertook this pilgrimage to remember and help those Christians in the Middle East who have suffered so greatly in recent years,” said Past Grand Knight Thomas Grasso (fourth from left). “It was also our way of showing spiritual solidarity with them as members of the universal Church.”


Father Jeffrey Kirby and Roch Girard of Our Lady of Grace Council 14765 in Indian Land, S.C., stand with the First Communion class of Our Lady of Grace Parish. Each child received a rosary handmade by Knight John Neu to commemorate the event. 26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

St. Paul’s Council 11105 in Damascus, Md., held its annual rosary-making workshop for fourth- and fifth-grade religious education students. Knights assisted the 18 students with the trickier knots, explained the prayers to go with each bead, and gave each child a colorful pamphlet on how to say the rosary. HEARTY BREAKFAST

Fenton (Mich.) Council 7418 and its associated women’s group served a hearty “country breakfast” to more than 200 parishioners


after morning Masses at St. John Parish, approaching 10 years of the monthly fundraiser. Each breakfast averages $700 to $1,000 in proceeds, which go directly to the parish.


Father Tim S. Hickey, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Marienthal, Kan., and former editor of Columbia, presided over the dedication of a new Marian rosary garden on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Members of Marienthal Council 2930 contributed the funds to purchase the statue of the Blessed Mother, while parishioners and others raised more than $10,000 to finance the construction of the rosary walkway and provide landscaping on the parish grounds. HELP TO THE HOLY LAND


Multiple councils around Mississauga, Ontario, collaborated on their annual clergy appreciation dinner. Knights expressed gratitude to bishops, priests, deacons and seminarians for their support of the Church, the Order and the community. The event was organized by Andrei Dias of the Richer Agency.

Father Charles A. Bartek Council 9431 in Jackson, Wyo., made a $500 donation to Holy Land Christian Society, an organization serving Palestinian Christians. The society’s president expressed deep gratitude, explaining that new taxation on nonprofits operating in the Holy Land made for a time of great financial need.

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Mother Seton Council 5427 in the Township of Washington, N.J., and the Jessie F. George School Parent Service Organization partnered to help a local family with medical expenses. The council held its annual Charity Picnic while the PSO conducted a walkathon; together they raised $5,900 to assist Dave Saunders with treatment bills for an autoimmune disorder.

Patrick Hull (far left) and Craig Lunz (far right) of Celina (Ohio) Council 1800 present roses to the parents of newly baptized members of Immaculate Conception Parish. The gift of roses at infant baptisms expressed the council’s support of parents choosing to raise children in the Church.


The Wisconsin State Council made a $300 donation to a Green Bay family who lost their possessions in a fire.

paint to the interior of a Habitat for Humanity home destined for the daughter of a council member. FAMILY FÊTE


Past Grand Knight Chuck Kline of Pope Leo XIII Council 10804 in Norfolk, Va., assists a young angler at the 31st annual Knights-sponsored Kids Fishing Day at Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk. Some 175 children from the Boys and Girls Clubs of southeastern Virginia enjoyed a day of fishing and marine education under the mentorship of members of Council 10804, Father Robert B. Kealey Council 3548 in Norfolk and Father Nicholas J. Habets Council 4632 and Kempsville Council 10515, both in Virginia Beach.

In their Sweethearts Program, St. Henry’s Council 12012 in Nashville, Tenn., has found a special way to protect and serve the widows of members. Fellow members “adopt” the ladies and then visit them, help with errands and household projects, and honor them with lunches out, birthday celebrations and Mother’s Day remembrances.

St. Edith Stein Council 13049 and Rheal Franche Council 6198, both in Rockland, Ontario, hosted their first annual Family Day at Deschamps Park in Rockland. More than 150 attendees enjoyed face painting and balloons, a soccer game, a raffle drawing, a visit from firefighters and a barbecue dinner. The event raised some $500 for a local charity. HELP IN HARD TIMES


Members of St. Andrew’s Council 9901 and Father James Knight Assembly 3070, both in Moore, Okla., teamed up to frame and later apply two coats of

St. Francis of Assisi Council 12610 in Mocksville, N.C., stepped in to help fellow member Jesús Torres while he was out of work for seven months after back surgery. Over a two-day event at the parish hall,

Council 12610 solicited donations and sold pizza, baked goods and raffle tickets, netting some $1,750 for the Torres family, the 2017 North Carolina State Family of the Year. CHARITY BASKETS

Members of Cardinal Ritter Council 1221 in New Albany, Ind., delivered more than 60 food baskets to needy families, a seasonal project they have repeated over many years. FOR THE LADIES

St. Elizabeth Council 13141 in Upper Uwchlan, Pa., held its first Wives Appreciation event. More than 30 couples, celebrating two to 60 years of marriage, took part at a special Mass and renewal of vows. Most of the group adjourned to a local restaurant to enjoy refreshments together.


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Over two and a half years, St. John Neumann Council 8305 in Yuma, Ariz., collected more than 1 million aluminum can tabs in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona. Led by John Schiemer with the collaboration of fellow Knights and other parishioners, Council 8305 was the first fraternal organization to reach the Southern Arizona branch of the Ronald McDonald House’s “Thanks A Million” milestone.

COMMUNITY raffle tickets. Half the proceeds were given to the raffle winners, while the rest went to support organizations working to promote mental health, medical research and aid for youth. HOOPS FOR A CAUSE


Members of Mary Cause of Our Joy Council 8447 in Soldiers Hill, Muntinlupa, Luzon South, clean and paint the stones and remove debris from grave plots at a public cemetery.



John Cardinal Dearden Council 744 in Mount Clemens, Mich., supported Macomb County Rotating Emergency Team (MCREST) by providing two hot breakfasts for nearly 50 homeless people during their oneweek stay in St. Peter Parish facilities. MCREST has been serving Macomb County for 24 years, starting with 12 congregations; currently, 90 congregations participate. Overnight shelter for homeless men, women and children is provided in addition to meals, transportation and shower facilities in a warm, safe environment.

Father Cyril Karlowicz Council 9002 in Woodstock, Va., launched its Knights Hands program in concert with the various ministries of St. John Bosco Parish. Through the initiative, Knights accept referrals, match verified needs to the various competencies of brother Knights and appropriate agencies, and render timely aid. The inaugural Knights Hands projects included light building repairs to the historic parish church as well as window replacements, refuse hauling and site assessment at the Shenandoah County Pregnancy Center in Edinburg.

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Having chosen to sell its home corporation building, Bishop McFadden Council 3777 in North Canton, Ohio, established a $500,000 endowed scholarship program at Walsh University, providing need-based aid for students seeking a Catholic education. The new partnership also gives Council 3777 partial use of Walsh’s facilities and brings the Catholic organizations closer together in service to the community.

Father James O’Mahoney Council 4956 in Sherman Oaks, Calif., held its annual 5th and 6th Grade Basketball Tournament. Eight local Catholic schools participated in the three-day weekend tournament, and Council 4956 raised $1,000 for charity projects.


St. Joan of Arc Council 11317 in Spring Hill, Fla., held its 26th Annual Ethnic Festival, which featured a variety of food booths with selections from around the world, carnival rides, entertainment and a secondhand shop with new and gently used items for purchase. The $49,000 in proceeds benefited church expenses, repairs and beautification projects. RAFFLE WIN

Knights of St. Ferdinand (Quebec) Council 9149 staffed tables at several local businesses over the course of a month, selling $4,616 in

Television personality Hank Cisco (left) interviews Herb Kaemmer of Father Joseph C. Tomko Assembly 934 in Norristown, Pa., about the Knights’ work. “The Hank Cisco Show,” a cable program produced in conjunction with high school students that began its 30th season in 2018, highlights organizations that serve the community.

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Immaculate Conception Council 13904 in Nashua, N.H., held its 9th Annual Winter Charity Barbecue, which drew some 120 people and raised more than $1,000 for Nashua Catholic Regional Junior High School. The event featured typical barbecue treats, a raffle and time for staff to speak about their school and its programs. Knights also put out informational material about Council 13904 and the Order, and displayed entries from this year’s Keep Christ in Christmas Poster Contest. EQUIPPING THE DISABLED

Spearheaded by St. Joan of Arc Council 3384 in Orleans, Mass., the Massachusetts State Council made a $20,000 donation to Cape Abilities, which serves people of all ages who have intellectual disabilities, and

Washington State Deputy Bob Baemmert and principal Rachel Sherwood help a student try on a donated coat at Bemiss Elementary School in Spokane, Wash., as members of St. Joseph Council 8872 in Colbert look on. Through funding from its annual Coats for Kids Breakfast, Council 8872 has donated some 350 coats this year to be distributed to needy children in partnership with area schools and charitable organizations.

children with physical disabilities. The donation funded multi-sensory equipment for Cape Abilities’ day habilitation programs — and a member of Council 3384 personally matched the donation to further support the program.

Kloset, a donation center that discretely provides free clothing, school supplies and hygiene products to families with low incomes. Kids Kloset volunteers reported that the donations came just in time to restock outerwear in preparation for the winter.


Bill Newbrough, Alex LopezBueno, Danny Orino and Cesar Sanchez-Luna (left to right) of St. Joseph Manyanet Council 5567 in Wheaton, Md., prepare for their annual car raffle drive. The event, which helps fund the Maryland State Council’s Charity and Scholarship program, was held in front of the Shrine of St. Jude Catholic Church in Rockville and at St. Catherine Laboure Church in Wheaton.

When the food bank inventory of the local St. Vincent de Paul Society was dramatically reduced due to high demand, Msgr. William J. Collins Council 5066 in Southbury, Conn., promptly collected more than 4,500 pounds of food to restock the shelves. Council 5066, which has supported the pantry for some 20 years, also gathered $350 to donate to St. Vincent de Paul. CASES OF COATS

Members of Stillaguamish Council 8015 in Arlington, Wash., participated in the K of C Coats for Kids program by delivering 10 cases of coats to Arlington Kids


The Maryland State Council partnered with Cross Catholic Outreach for the “Boxes of Joy” program. In the first year of the program, councils, auxiliaries and others provided 1,400 boxes filled with gifts for the people served by Cross Catholic Outreach in the developing world, including at an orphanage and a home for survivors of domestic abuse in Guatemala. Several state officers travelled to Guatemala and witnessed the impact of the program. QUILTS FOR KIDS

Bishop Edward T. Hughes Council 15540 in Three Bridges, N.J., made a $1,000

donation to Quilts for Kids, a program which provides quilts handmade by its volunteers to children in hospitals throughout the United States, as well as St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick. Council 15540 has supported Quilts for Kids for years, and the donation was just one of many dispersed from the proceeds of the council’s annual fall Golf Outing and spring Comedy Night. REACHING OUT

Blessed Mother Council 13338 in Delray, Fla., held its 8th Annual Food Drive for the CROS (Christians Reaching Out to Society) Ministries of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. The food drive, at Emmanuel Catholic Church in Delray Beach, took in more than 7,000 pounds of nonperishable food. For 39 years, CROS Ministries has aided the hungry in Palm Beach and Martin Counties through community collaborations.


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LIFE the indigenous community, with free care, checkups and medicine. Council 3694 also distributed free reading glasses at the event. WHEELS ARE TURNING

Members of St. Mary of the Assumption Council 14531 in Stockton, Calif., take part in the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco, during which the Knights distributed rosaries to the participants.

A member of Father McGivney Council 6392 in Marlboro, N.J., leads members of the St. Leo the Great Parish “Ignite” Youth Ministry in creating a cross display honoring the souls of aborted children on Respect Life Sunday. Each of the 60 small white crosses the council and youth group planted in front of St. Leo Catholic Church represents 1 million children aborted in the United States since Roe v. Wade.

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John C. Webb Council 12134 in Fincastle, Va., has placed donation cans in over 100 area stores to raise money for KOVAR, a Virginia K of C charity that provides financial assistance to organizations helping those with intellectual disabilities. The ongoing project has raised $26,500 in the two years since its inception.

St. Henry Council 10990 in Averill Park, N.Y., held a pancake breakfast fundraiser to support NOpiates, a community grassroots organization founded by two parents who lost their son to opiate addiction. Council 10990 donated $2,500 raised at the breakfast to assist NOpiates with its mission of educating the public about the dangers of opiate addiction, and donated an additional $500 to Miller Youngs Pharmacy in Averill Park to assist with the installation cost of a DEA-approved prescription drug take-back box.


Over the past several years, St. Michael the Archangel Council 13227 in KailuaKona, Hawaii, raised a total of $12,800 in donations toward an ultrasound machine for a pregnancy resource center in Kailua-Kona. Thanks to matching funds from the K of C Ultrasound Initiative, this is the second machine the council has donated since 2013.



Zambales Council 3694 in Iba Zambales, Luzon North, sponsored a medical and dental mission, which provided 680 patients, primarily very poor members of

For the fourth year in a row, Our Lady of the Rosary Council 3876 in Brookhaven, Pa., raised more than $1,500 during its annual Wheelchair Collection. Over that period and thanks to the generosity of parishioners at Our Lady of Charity Church, Council 3876 has provided 45 wheelchairs for people who need them.

Members of St. Martin of Tours Council 13133 in Talty, Texas, take a breather from cleaning up the grounds at the White Rose Women’s Center in Dallas. Dallas Council 799 joined them to trim trees and shrubs, clear logs and mow the lawn at the pregnancy resource center.

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Father Gregory Gerrer Assembly 1864 in Shawnee, Okla., held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church. The proceeds were used to purchase a new set of flags, poles and flag stands for the Oklahoma District Fourth Degree Honor Guard, which participates in more than 50 events a year.

Members of Bishop Becker Council 2427 in Elkton, Md., present a float commemorating Knights of Columbus World War I huts during a local parade. In the spirit of the Knights giving out candy to the doughboys, council members gave out Tootsie Rolls to the parade spectators.



To help provide service dogs for veterans with PTSD, Father Francis X. Seelos Council 2878 in Metarie, La., held a five-week raffle. The fundraiser yielded $17,000.

St. Joseph Council 3402 in Keyport, N.J., held a prime rib dinner fundraiser for Send a Soldier Home for the Holidays, a Trenton Diocesan Federation-sponsored charity

Children and members of Archbishop Carney Assembly 2701 in Port Moody, British Columbia, prepare to take part in Port Coquitlam’s May Day Parade in a “Santa Maria” float. Many years ago, when a small boat was no longer needed by a local business, a member of Assembly 2701 lovingly restored it in the image of the Santa Maria, the ship used by Columbus. Maintained by members of Assembly 2701 and other Knights in the region, the Santa Maria remains in good condition and is used in parades by numerous assemblies and councils in the Lower Mainland Region of British Columbia to showcase the Knights of Columbus in local communities.

that pays the transportation costs of active-duty military personnel to return home for Christmas. The meal raised $2,158, which the council supplemented with a fund drive and money from its charity account for a total donation of $9,000.

of Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna. Led by council member Joseph C. Fischer and his wife, Ann, the gatherings draw 25 veterans, and at Christmas the council solicits specific gift requests and shops for the veterans.



St. Michael the Archangel Assembly 3696 in Lake Wylie, S.C., sponsored a “water drive” for the United Service Organizations of North Carolina’s Charlotte Airport Center, which serves nearly 13,000 active and retired military members and their families. After putting out a call to parishioners of All Saints Catholic Church, Assembly 3696 collected 18 cases of bottled water and $1,800 to purchase additional cases, enough to hydrate the USO Center for a full month.

San Mateo (Luzon North) Assembly 3726 renovated a municipal World War II Filipino Veteran Monument, which was built in cooperation among the Knights, the mayor’s office, the Veterans Federation of the Philippines San Mateo Post and the Society of Sons & Daughters of World War II Veterans.


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

For five years, Dover Council 4182 in Camden, Del., has taken part in a monthly gettogether for veteran residents

kofc.org exclusive


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

OFFICIAL FEB. 1, 2019: To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7 ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. SUBSCRIPTION RATES — IN THE U.S.: 1 YEAR, $6; 2 YEARS, $11; 3 YEARS, $15. FOR OTHER COUNTRIES ADD $2 PER YEAR. EXCEPT FOR CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENT IN U.S. CURRENCY ONLY. SEND ORDERS AND CHECKS TO: ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901.


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It began with a call to set a few more places at the table. St. Pius X Council 10762 in Tucson, Ariz., received a request in October 2018 from the St. Pius X Parish office to expand its regular community breakfast to accommodate some Guatemalan immigrants just released from U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforceJoe Keaney (right), a member of St. Pius X ment detention. The parish did not Council 10762, enjoys a community breakknow why they had fled their home fast with recent immigrants from Guatemala. country. “All we knew,” said Grand Knight Anthony Pennisi, “is that they were hungry.” The parish gym was packed that Sunday. The immigrants pitched in to help serve and clean while the Red Cross and community volunteers provided clothing and supplies. Meanwhile, the Knights kept the food coming through Friday afternoon, as more than 700 men, women and children received meals. Some K of C volunteers arrived daily at 5 a.m. and did not leave until late afternoon. “We responded, ‘This is what we do,’” Pennisi affirmed. “We had to feed the Body of Christ.” ✼✼✼ For the past several years, members of St. Peter’s Council 13988 in Kansas City, Mo., have similarly answered a call to nourish their neighbors. Brian Makar, a member of Council 13988, was biking alongside Brush Creek, a tributary of the Blue River, in 2016. He had traveled the corridor for years, but this time was different. After encountering a homeless person and offering a granola bar, he was inspired to do something more substantial. Since that time, Makar and fellow Bob Dearth, a member of St. Peter’s council members — who call themselves Council 13988, joins other “Knights the “Knights of Brush Creek” — have of Brush Creek” to deliver food, blanspent Sunday mornings before Mass kets and warm clothing to homeless cooking hot sandwiches, assembling packpeople along the Brush Creek Corridor ages of personal items and delivering in Kansas City, Mo. them by bicycle to needy people they encounter along the route. Family members and parishioners have pitched in to cover shifts, and the council began fundraisers to help cover the costs. The crew has fed more than 1,300 people and hasn’t missed a single Sunday. “I’ve always tried to help those in need, but it was a little here and there,” Makar said. “By being part of the Knights, I saw that we could make a bigger impact together.” — reported by Margaret Kelly, associate editor

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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.

Grand Knight Juan Ygnacio Vargas Esqueda (center) of Fray Junípero Serra Council 13787 in Querétaro, Mexico, stands with members of his crew at the Casa Pater Noster church of the Operarios del Reino de Cristo, a religious order of priests. Council 13787 and family members repaired the church’s pews, which had been damaged by rainfall.




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FATHER PAUL M. NGUYEN, O.M.V Oblates of the Virgin Mary Alton (Ill.) Council 460

Photo by Sid Hastings

Growing up, I had steadfast examples of always putting family and faith first. My father suggested that perhaps one day I would become a priest. At 15, I met the Oblates of the Virgin Mary at their parish near my home in Long Beach, Calif. I was attracted to their passion for preaching God’s mercy and making the sacraments available around the clock. They introduced me to the methods of prayer and discernment from St. Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Imagining Jesus crucified before me, I contemplated my future life for Christ. Then, Mary whispered into the silence, “What about the priesthood?” I maintained spiritual direction through the remainder of high school and a university program in computer science. Finally, only 10 days after my younger sister joined a Dominican congregation, I entered the seminary in Boston. I had embarked on an adventure that would take me to three continents on the path to ministry as an Oblate priest, just like those who had captivated me at 15 — and I love it!

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Columbia February 2019

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Columbia February 2019