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COLUMBIA “After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty ... the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.” — Vince Lombardi Msgr. Basche Council 4505 Green Bay, Wis.

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Find your agent at kofc.org/faa

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



‘A New Era for the Knights’ The first combined, public exemplification takes place at St. Mary’s Church, the Order’s birthplace. BY JOHN BURGER

Louder Than Words


Knights bring food, clothing, medicine — and a Posada celebration — to migrants on the border. BY R. DANIEL CAVAZOS

12 Knights Who Shaped History A new book features both renowned and lesser-known Knights who left a mark on the Order and their times.

16 Haven of Hope McGivney House provides young Iraqi families with a stable foundation for the future after years of displacement. BY TOM WESTCOTT

20 A ‘Saint for Our Times’ Kendrick Castillo’s parents speak to Ukrainian Catholics about the heroic life of their son. BY ANDREW FOWLER

Knights stand with folded hands after receiving a rosary and K of C pin during the new exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity.

22 The Time Is Now State deputies share their experience of growing the Order in today’s challenging cultural landscape.


Building a better world


During a period of unrest and division, Father McGivney founded the Knights to unite Catholic men in a spirit of mercy. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON


Learning the faith, living the faith We are called to rely not on our own strength but entirely on the grace of God.

25 Knights of Columbus News Knights Deliver Aid After Puerto Rico Earthquakes • Midshipmen and Cadet Knights Stand in Unity Amid Rivalry


26 Knights in Action

PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month



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Welcoming Brother Knights The importance of recent Knights of Columbus initiatives, including online membership and the new combined exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity, may not be readily apparent. Perhaps my own experience of eventually joining the Order can help shed some light. While growing up in rural Michigan, I had some familiarity with the Knights. My dad was a longtime member, and I knew that local councils raised money for worthy causes. Still, I thought of the Knights of Columbus primarily as a fraternity for older men, some of whom donned a cape and chapeau for special functions. After college, working for the local diocese expanded my understanding of the Order and all of the good work that it does. Some day, I mused, it would be a good thing to join. I went on to pursue a master’s degree at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and soon learned that my education there was made possible by the Knights, which founded and supported the institute in Washington, D.C. One of my classmates, who is now a priest, urged the men in our class to join the college council at The Catholic University of America. We all agreed it was a good idea, but most of us were unable to attend the exemplification ceremony. After I moved back to Michigan to work for another diocese, my awareness of the Order’s impact continued to grow, and I was quickly running out of excuses for why I was not a member. Then, at the annual “Knights of Columbus Family Night for Vocations�

at a minor league ballpark, I was introduced to the state deputy, who personally invited me — one might say told me — to join. I finally took my First Degree, and after moving to New Haven, became a Third Degree Knight. By that time, I began to invite other men to join, explaining the Order’s mission and countering many of the excuses I had once made myself. However, barriers to recruitment remained. Even if a prospective member were interested, the process to get connected to a council, fill out a Form 100 membership document and align his schedule with an exemplification was often too complicated. Thankfully, that is not the end of the story. The new initiatives are removing obstacles to joining the Knights and bringing in new members. To give one example, my brother signed up online this past fall. He was promptly contacted by the local grand knight and joined the council — and now, as a busy father of two young boys, the new combined exemplification will allow him to become a full member more easily. In his speech introducing the new ceremony in November, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson made it clear that what is not changing is the Order’s mission and identity. To the contrary, by making membership more accessible to Catholic men, these initiatives are helping to advance the Knights’ legacy of protecting Catholic families, serving our communities and building up the Church.♌ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR

Invite Catholic Men to Join Our Brotherhood The online membership initiative helps councils recruit quickly and efficiently. Take advantage of this simple and effective way to meet Catholic men where they are, inviting them to join the Knights of Columbus and put their faith into action. Signing up takes just minutes and provides new members with at-a-glance information and spiritual resources. For more details, including an online application, visit kofc.org/joinus. 2 ♌ COLUMBIA ♌



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 COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 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 Š 2020 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER Legendary coach Vince Lombardi celebrates after his Green Bay Packers win in Dallas, propelling them into Super Bowl I in 1967.



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A Pastor of Charity During a period of unrest and division, Father McGivney founded the Knights to unite Catholic men in a spirit of mercy by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson A FEW YEARS BEFORE the founding of the Knights of Columbus at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, The New York Times published an article about the parish under the headline, “How an Aristocratic Avenue was Blemished by a Roman Church Edifice.” The article noted that these Catholics had previously been worshiping in “a cheap building” elsewhere in the city. The real blemish in the writer’s eye was not the Gothic style of the church building — nearby Yale University had pioneered the American Academic Gothic style — but the fact that these Catholics had moved from the margins of the city to its cultural and intellectual center. Although many of Father McGivney’s parishioners were recent immigrants and manual laborers, a number of the “go ahead” men who became early members of the Knights of Columbus would go on to elected office and positions of prominence in New Haven and Connecticut. New Haven — one of the four original Puritan colonies in New England — was a cultural, religious and intellectual center. And like the rest of New England, it wrestled with the legacy of its Puritan past. Popular philosophers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau and novelists like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville all grappled with the stern rigidity of Puritanism. We do not know what was on Father McGivney’s bookshelf or how

much time the young priest had for reading. But we do know that Catholics were involved in the great intellectual debates of their time, as Faith of Our Fathers (1876) by Cardinal James Gibbons (who ordained Father McGivney) and The American Republic (1865) by Orestes Brownson attest. We also know that McGivney had once hoped to join the Jesuits, and he was recognized for excellence in his studies while in seminary. Within walking distance of Yale University, its School of Divinity and the prominent Protestant churches on the New Haven town green, Father McGivney frequently defended his Catholic faith. But as a priest who was Father McGivney’s contemporary said of him, McGivney made a decisive shift in his thinking during his studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore: “While praising scholarship as a possession of great value, they taught him to regard it as merely a subsidiary quality in a priest — humanity, and not the humanities, should engage henceforth his most devoted study; sympathy for human woes was a property more intrinsic than knowledge.” The 19th-century America in which Father McGivney lived was tumultuous. In the decade before his birth, anti-Catholic riots burned churches and destroyed convents. The decade in which he was born marked the emergence of the nativist “KnowNothings.” Their political influence was strong throughout the country, and their message simple. In New England,

posters read: “All Catholics and all persons who favor the Catholic Church are … vile imposters, liars, villains, and cowardly cutthroats.” Soon, America was plunged into civil war — and vengeance became an operating principle. “As the Civil War escalated in scope and intensity,” writes historian James McPherson, “the fury of hatred and revenge … crowded out Christian charity.” In this way, the war presented an “unending challenge,” observes another eminent historian, Bruce Catton — “a challenge to the world’s greatest democracy to establish itself on a foundation so broad and solid that it will endure.” “Put at its simplest,” Catton writes, “it is nothing less than an avowal that we believe in the brotherhood of man and are determined that we will eventually find some way to put it into actual practice.” This is what Father McGivney did. He put into “actual practice” a Catholic brotherhood based on the principles of charity and unity; and while its membership was restricted to Catholics, its charity would be open to all. Father McGivney called on Catholics to see in the face of their suffering neighbor the face of Christ — so that, in their charity, they might show that neighbor not retribution or hardheartedness but the mercy of God. Vivat Jesus!



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Spiritual Combat We are called to rely not on our own strength but entirely on the grace of God by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

THE OLDER I BECOME, the and our need for God’s mercy and more quickly Lent seems to roll grace. Among other problems, this around. But with advancing years, I badly exaggerated can-do attitude is also find myself taking this grace- symptomatic of the sin of pride, filled season of repentance more seri- which played a devastating role at the ously. Let me tell you why. dawn of human history, with the adAll of this came home to me while When I was young, I imagined my- vent of original sin. reflecting on a passage from the Letself to be invincible. I knew, of For some souls, God’s whispers are ter to the Ephesians: “For our strugcourse, that someday I’d grow old and sufficient. For others, he has to use a gle is not with flesh and blood but that my earthly life would be over — megaphone. I’m among the latter. with the principalities, with the but that seemed far off in the future. The Lord tried to dislodge Pelagian powers, with the world rulers of this My imagined invincibility didn’t ex- attitudes from my heart, but I resis- present darkness, with the evil spirits press itself in a wild and crazy in the heavens” (6:12). In lifestyle. Instead, it was exboth life and ministry, I was pressed in a seemingly endless engaged in spiritual warfare Lent is not merely a season capacity for work. There against the forces of evil. But weren’t enough hours in the in failing to rely utterly on the for self-improvement. It is a time grace of the Holy Spirit, I was day for all that I wanted to do or thought I needed to do — entering into heavy battle for laying aside illusions whether in my studies or my with the lightest of armor — of self-reliance. ministry. Naturally, I took part my own poor efforts. in Mass, received the sacraWe need to “put on the ment of reconciliation and armor of God” (Eph 6:11). prayed for God’s help. As a priest I ted, and sometimes still resist. He cer- This does not mean that we no longer preached on God’s grace and mercy tainly sent me lots of gentle signals, work hard or that we give up the and administered his mercies sacra- including good and patient spiritual struggle to attain virtue. Rather, it mentally. But deep down, the directors; hints that my health, while means that we let go of illusions about thought lingered that, if anything im- strong, is by no means invulnerable; our own personal efficacy in the face portant had to be done, I had better the witness of holy people whose way of opposition. The armor we must roll up my sleeves. of life spoke to their utter reliance on rely on is not our own but the victory I knew from my studies that such the Lord and his mercy. These were of Christ and the grace of the Spirit. an attitude doesn’t square with our nudges in the right direction. All of this brings me back to Lent, Catholic faith. Actually, it’s a heresy But years ago, the Lord decided to which begins with Satan tempting called Pelagianism. Pelagius was a beat me at my own game. He ladled Jesus in the desert. Jesus engages in fifth-century theologian who pro- out so much work and so many prob- mortal combat with Satan and for our fessed the view that we are able to lems that I had to face the fact that my sake wins the victory. In short, Lent is obey the commandments through the exaggerated self-reliance was foolish not merely a season for self-improvenatural powers of our will, so long as and untenable. I was up against things ment. It is a time for laying aside illuwe are enlightened by the teaching of larger than my abilities and beyond sions of self-reliance and, in the grace the Gospel. But this outlook fails to my control. That was God’s mega- of the Holy Spirit, sharing in the victory of Jesus over sin and death.♦ take into account human weakness phone in my ear: “You need me!” 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦


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A monthly reflection and practical challenge from Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.� (Gospel for Feb. 9, Mt 5:13) Imagine that you’re at a steakhouse, and your plate finally arrives. Then, just as you are looking for the salt, you learn that the restaurant has completely run out of it. It’s easy to see that


without salt, our food can be bland and tasteless. Turning to the words of our Lord, has your life of faith become bland and insipid? Jesus did not die for our sake in order that we might offer the world a mediocre reflection of his life. As we embark on our Lenten journey, may we strive to be men who season the world and our communities with the salt of an authentic and inspiring Christian life. Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori: This month, I challenge you to sharpen your Christian witness by saying grace before meals at home and in public. Second, as you begin your Lenten journey, I challenge you to develop your “saltinessâ€? through spiritual reflection, either with the Faith in Action Spiritual Reflection program or on a more informal basis.♌


Blessed James Miller (1944-1982)

We pray that the cries of our migrant brothers and sisters, victims of criminal trafficking, may be heard and considered.

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. 10 St. Scholastica, Virgin Feb. 11 Our Lady of Lourdes Feb. 14 Sts. Cyril, Monk,

and Methodius, Bishop

Feb. 22 The Chair of St. Peter the Apostle

Feb. 26 Ash Wednesday

DUBBED “BROTHER FIX-IT� by his students, Brother James Miller was known for his ability to repair almost anything — and he died as he lived much of his life: with a tool in hand. He was doing repair work outside a school for indigenous children in Guatemala when he was assassinated in 1982. James Alfred Miller grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, and he never lost his love for farming and manual labor. He encountered the De La Salle Brothers in high school and was drawn to their apostolate of education. He joined the order at age 15. For several years, Brother James taught, coached football and oversaw maintenance at a school in Minnesota. But soon after final vows in 1969, he was sent to Central America. In Nicaragua and later in Guatemala, Brother James helped to build and run several schools, and also taught vocational skills, including agricultural methods. Remembered for his boisterous laugh and jovial simplicity, Brother James was also serious in his commitment to the poor. Asked about the

region’s unrest and religious persecution, he told a fellow brother, “You can’t worry about that. There is too much to be done.â€? On Feb. 13, 1982, Brother James was shot by gunmen outside the Casa IndĂ­gena School in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. His murder was never solved, but the brothers may have been targeted for resisting efforts to force their students into the military. A month before he died, Brother James wrote, “I pray to God for the grace and strength to serve him faithfully among the poor and oppressed in Guatemala. I place my life in his Providence.â€? Declared a martyr in 2018, Brother James Miller was beatified in Guatemala Dec. 7, 2019.♌



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‘A New Era for the Knights’ The first combined, public exemplification takes place at St. Mary’s Church, the Order’s birthplace by John Burger



which Catholic men joining our brotherhood become better Catholics, better husbands, better fathers. And that’s the point of this exemplification of the three principles; that’s the point of having family members witness your promises.� ROOTED IN TRADITION Twenty-nine councils brought candidates and members to take part in the New Year’s Day exemplification, which was organized by the Connecticut State Council. A degree team made up of state leaders conferred degrees on 52 men — 10 new recruits, six online members and 36 First Degree Knights. Through the half-hour ceremony, all became full members of the Order. Separate degree exemplifications — in which candidates are conferred with the First Degree during one event and later devote several hours to the Second and Third degree exemplifications — can be an impediment to joining for time-pressed family men, said Connecticut State Deputy Gary McKeone.


THE BASEMENT OF ST. MARY’S CHURCH, site of the first council meetings in Knights of Columbus history, hosted another “first� on New Year’s Day. In the very place where Father Michael McGivney founded the Order in 1882, more than 50 men became Third Degree Knights — witnessed, for the first time, by their wives, children and other guests. This was the debut of the combined exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity, the new public ceremony that can now be used instead of individual First, Second and Third degree ceremonies. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who announced the combined ceremony at the midyear state deputies meeting in November, was on hand for the historic event and greeted Knights and their families afterward. “It’s the beginning of a new era for the Knights of Columbus,� Anderson told those gathered Jan. 1 at St. Mary’s in New Haven, Conn. “We’ve been talking for many years now about the Knights being a family-oriented organization, by

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Opposite page: Men participate in the exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity Jan. 1 in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn. • Right: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson delivers remarks at the historic event, organized by state leaders, including Connecticut State Deputy Gary P. McKeone (seated third from right). “I’ve been a member since 1988,” McKeone said. “If I were to join now, I would have gone through the First Degree but wouldn’t be able to give up a full Sunday to go through the Second and Third degrees. I wouldn’t want to spend the time away from my family.” Another reason behind the change is a decline in the manpower needed to form degree teams. Members often have to wait long periods of time to advance to the Second and Third degrees, and some lose interest before they can do so. To make the Order more inviting and accessible to a new generation of Knights, a simpler ceremony was developed by state leaders, Supreme Officers and experienced ceremonialists. This new streamlined ceremony “stay[s] true to our traditions while addressing the needs of our times,” Supreme Knight Anderson told state deputies in November. “It presents a fuller and richer understanding of who we are, what we stand for and what we are called to be.” The most groundbreaking change is that the new ceremony can be held in the presence of family and friends, whether in a council chamber or in a church. As a result, the condition of secrecy, which was a component of the earlier form, has been lifted. Nearly 200 guests witnessed the first exemplification at St. Mary’s, more than double the number organizers expected. Michael Shea, grand knight of St. Francis de Sales Council 9 in Bristol, Conn., observed that the new exemplification ceremony is more precise, while combining essential elements from each degree. “I also like how it incorporated our families,” Shea said. “As Knights, that’s one of our key duties: bettering ourselves, our families and parishes. The new ceremony emphasizes this from the first moment.” A SPECIAL DAY Lisa Gamsby of East Haven, Conn., was one of the guests; she watched with her mother and her 2-year-old daughter as her husband, Jason, advanced to the Third Degree, and her father, Glenn Stokes, became a new member of the Order. Both men are members of Our Lady of the Rosary Council 3300 in East Haven. “It was really beautiful to see such a community of people

coming together for something good,” Lisa Gamsby said. “There was a good family atmosphere, with people supporting each other. It was like a community you get to know within your own parish.” For Jason, a 39-year-old trial lawyer, the presence of his family was meaningful, as was taking the degrees in the very hall where the Order was founded. “I appreciated that I could invite my wife and daughter to come and see the process of becoming a Knight,” he said. “Gathering where Father McGivney started the Knights, right there at St. Mary’s, for the first exemplification of its kind — and then with Supreme Knight Carl Anderson being there to show his support — made the day extra special.” Also present for the historic degree ceremony was the pastor of St. Mary’s, Dominican Father John Paul Walker; Father Jeffrey V. Romans, Connecticut state chaplain, who took the part of chaplain on the degree team; and Father Alphonso Fontana, pastor of St. Francis de Sales in Bristol, Conn. Supreme Knight Anderson acknowledged that the new ceremony represents a major change. But, he added, “What is not changing is our commitment to charity, unity and fraternity.” He continued, “What is not changing is our understanding of Catholic discipleship as envisioned by Father McGivney, that this brotherhood of Catholic men — mostly laymen — is the way to live out one’s life as a dedicated Catholic, to strive to be better as a Catholic individually and to be better as husbands and fathers; to strive to be better as parishioners, to engage in the parish, to strive to be better citizens, bringing the influence of our Gospel values into society.”♦ JOHN BURGER writes for Aleteia.org and is a member of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Council 16253 in New Haven, Conn. FEBRUARY 2020


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LOUDER THAN WORDS Knights bring food, clothing, medicine — and a Posada celebration — to migrants on the border by R. Daniel Cavazos



ervando Salinas Rios and a dozen other Knights hoisted the last boxes of food and supplies over their shoulders and carried them to the nearby Casa del Migrante, a migrant shelter in Matamoros, Mexico. “Helping people who don’t have anything to eat, or a place to live, fills me with a lot of joy,â€? said Salinas Rios, 23, a member of Nuestra SeĂąora de Guadalupe Council 16378 in Matamoros, just across the border from Brownsville, Texas. Inside the shelter, young mothers holding toddlers balanced music sheets with their free hands to sing during a Posada celebration hosted by the Knights. Among those participating in the Dec. 13 event were Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, who had earlier blessed the truckload of supplies, and Bishop Eugenio Lira of Matamoros. Bishop Flores noted that Las Posadas — an Advent tradition reenacting Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter before the birth of Jesus — can be viewed as a reflection of the whole immigrant experience. “At times, the world closes its eyes and does not want to recognize the difficul-

ties of human existence,â€? Bishop Flores said. “I’d like to thank the Knights for raising awareness and reaching out to people who are on the peripheries.â€? The event in Matamoros was part of the Order’s initiative, announced at the Supreme Convention last August, to provide vital humanitarian assistance to migrant families in cooperation with dioceses and councils near the U.S.-Mexico border. Knights in Texas and Mexico have similarly distributed aid in Piedras Negras and Ciudad JuĂĄrez, where Central American immigrants seeking asylum await lawful entry to the United States. A TEAM EFFORT The story of the K of C border initiative begins in El Paso, Texas. Knights there, in conjunction with local parishes, had spent $54,000 by mid-2019 to purchase food, prepare cooked meals and rent showers for migrants across the border in Ciudad JuĂĄrez. Border towns like JuĂĄrez have struggled to accommodate the growing number of men, women and children waiting to be considered for asylum in the United States.

Knights unload food and supplies for the migrant families at the Casa del Migrante in Matamoros, Mexico, Dec. 13.



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“Parishes and councils were simply running out of money,â€? said Supreme Director Terry Simonton, a past state deputy of Texas. Simonton approached the Supreme Council for help, and his request led to the initiative announced by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson at the Supreme Convention in Minneapolis. In his annual report, the supreme knight stated, “This is not a political statement. ‌ This is about helping people who need our help right now.â€? The Knights of Columbus has since delivered more than $270,000 in aid to help meet the humanitarian needs at the border. With each delivery, Texas Knights have been welcomed and assisted by their Mexican brothers. “I can’t say enough about our brother Knights from Mexico and the United States, working together to help make the migrants’ lives a little better,â€? Simonton said. “The bonds that our brother Knights made at these distributions will never be forgotten.â€? Armando GonzĂĄlez, a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus/San Felipe Neri Council 11980 in Hidalgo, Texas, and a former district deputy, said it was gratifying to help those 10 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


in need so close to home. “We have helped people in many parts of the world,� he said. “Today, we are helping our Hispanic brothers who find themselves here in Mexico.� The migrants need more than food and shelter, said Servando Salinas Rios, who also helped with the delivery. “We should support people in need with food and bread,� he said, “but more importantly, with love and an embrace — taking the time to meet them and talk to them and listen to what they have to say.� Bishop Flores echoed this sentiment when he spoke to the shelter’s residents. “We are here to give this testimony — that you are to be treated as a person, not a problem, a number, a statistic that does not have an identity,� Bishop Flores said. “You have an identity that God has given you as sons and daughters of God.� JOY AND SORROW Fraternity and love of neighbor were especially evident during the shared Posada celebration, which was followed by a hearty lunch of tamales and festivities for the children. Excited boys


Bishops from both sides of the border visited the Matamoros shelter with K of C leaders. Pictured left to right (front row): State Deputy Juan Manuel Quintanilla BalcĂĄzar of Mexico Northeast, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Bishop Eugenio Lira of Matamoros, and Auxiliary Bishop Mario AvilĂŠs of Brownsville; (back row center in white): Texas State Secretary Alfredo Vela and Supreme Director Terry Simonton, a past state deputy of Texas.

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Children stand in line to burst a piñata during a Posada celebration hosted by the Knights in Matamoros. • A Mexican Knight holds a young resident of the Casa del Migrante. and girls swung sticks at piñatas and then scurried to scoop up the candies that had fallen to the floor. Yet the joy and fellowship felt at the event were interspersed with painful reminders of what drove the migrants on long journeys from their homelands. Edwin Reyes, a young Nicaraguan barely past his teenage years, spoke emotionally of fleeing the political repression in his country. “I am one of the people who defends our country, civically and democratically, and yet the government has tried to kill us,” he said. “Like many who are here, I am asking for an opportunity, because we fear losing our lives.” Another migrant, Wendy Concepción Castro Cruz of Honduras, spoke of being separated from her husband and son while staying at the shelter with her daughter. Her husband and son are awaiting initial asylum hearings in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. “It is difficult being apart,” said Castro Cruz, who worked daily at the shelter kitchen in Matamoros to show her gratitude. “We hope to be back together someday and make it to the United States to work hard, do our part, and provide for our children.”

The Knights witnessed the character and resiliency of the migrants, along with their gratitude for the distribution of food, shoes, medicine and hygiene items. “At every distribution, the people were so appreciative,” Simonton said. “There is no doubt that these events have changed the lives of the migrants for the better. It has also changed the lives of the Knights who have participated.” Bishop Eugenio Lira of Matamoros connected the distribution of aid to Christ’s “golden rule” about treating others as we would want to be treated. “This is what the Caballeros are doing in expressing love and solidarity with migrants who are going through difficult circumstances,” Bishop Lira said. “The testimony of what’s actually done is stronger than words.” For Simonton, the response of the migrants says it all. “The smiles on the faces of the children and their parents are priceless,” he said. “I’m so proud of what the Knights have done.”♦ R. DANIEL CAVAZOS is a veteran journalist based in Brownsville, Texas. FEBRUARY 2020

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 11

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KNIGHTS WHO SHAPED HISTORY A new book features both renowned and lesser-known Knights who left a mark on the Order and their times


heavyweight boxing champion, a Korean statesman and a spy-catching priest would seem to have little in common. But the men who call themselves “brothers� in the Knights of Columbus are not united by similar life experiences, but by faith, fraternity and charity. The new book The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History, by Andrew and Maureen Walther, is a comprehensive history of the Order featuring fresh research and over 500 images. In addition to telling the story of the Order’s founding, mission and growth, it shines a spotlight on more than 20 “Notable Knights� — such as baseball great Babe Ruth, U.S. presidential candidate Al Smith and Canadian prime minister Louis St. Laurent — who have brought distinction to the Order over the years. Four of these profiles are excerpted here.

Although later known for his active political career in South Korea, Chang Myon — or John Chang Myon, as he was known in the United States — began his professional life working for the Church. In 1925, after graduating from Manhattan College in the United States, he was employed by the Pyongyang diocese, where he translated religious terms into the Korean language and assumed other teaching and administrative duties. Chang would remain a devout Catholic throughout his life. After World War II ended and Korea was divided into North and South, Chang entered politics, filling several positions for the Republic of Korea (South Korea). ‌ In his role as ambassador to the United States from 1949 to 1951, Chang successfully appealed for international and United States military assistance against North Korea, eventually leading to U.S. involvement. The Knights of Columbus would not be established in Korea for another six decades, but in December 1949, Chang 12 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


joined Washington Council 224 in Washington, D.C. He attended the 1950 Supreme Convention, where he was widely acclaimed as the Order’s first Korean Knight. Chang Myon’s political service continued as he became deeply involved in South Korea’s struggles for democracy. In 1950, he became prime minister. In 1956, he won the vice presidential election. In 1960, when he ran for reelection, he


Defender of Democracy: John Chang Myon

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Above: Floyd Patterson (right) battles it out with Ingemar Johansson in the world heavyweight championship bout June 20, 1960, in New York City. Patterson knocked out Johansson in the fifth round, becoming the first heavyweight champion to regain his title. • Opposite page: John Myon Chang, the first ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States, shows his K of C membership pin to then-Supreme Knight John E. Swift during the 68th Supreme Convention in New York City in August 1950. lost by such a wide margin, there was suspicion that the election had been compromised. The government then fell and the “Second Republicâ€? adopted a parliamentary model, shifting power from the president to the prime minister, a position to which Chang was elected in 1960. However, that arrangement was shortlived, and when a violent rebellion overthrew the government and instituted martial law, Chang was forced to take refuge in a convent. After Chang’s forced exit from the political arena, he dedicated himself to his faith and is said to have inspired the conversion of many of the people who had worked with him. He often attended daily Mass and was a Third Order Franciscan. ‌ His religious convictions also helped shape the lives of his nine children, who included Sister Benedict Chang Yi-sook and Bishop John Chang Yik.

Champion With a Heart of Gold: Floyd Patterson Raised in an impoverished Brooklyn family, young Floyd Patterson struggled. Shy, virtually illiterate, and often truant or stealing food, Patterson ended up in reform school. Surrounded by supportive instructors, he was introduced to boxing — and it helped him rebuild his life. His skill swiftly catapulted him to the top. A protĂŠgĂŠ of Constantine (Cus) D’Amato, the teenage Patterson won the 1952 middleweight Olympic gold medal. At age 21, he become the youngest world heavyweight champion, holding the title for three years, then regaining it in 1960 — another first. Along with his hallmark “peek-a-booâ€? style, his sportsmanship stood out in gestures like helping an opponent up off the mat or refusing to gain an “unfair advantageâ€? by watching a future opponent train. FEBRUARY 2020

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There were battles outsides the ring too. Patterson strongly promoted civil rights and integration, despite opposition. In 1957, a hostile crowd of white locals impeded his arrival in Fort Smith, Ark., where he had a scheduled stop on an exhibition tour. A priest — himself an integration supporter — intervened, bringing Patterson and his entourage to the church and hosting them at the rectory. Soon after, Patterson demanded integrated venues for boxing. He later traveled to Birmingham, Ala., standing with Martin Luther King Jr. amid death threats, and he decried his opponent Muhammad Ali’s embrace of the Nation of Islam for its divisive outlook on race, stating that it “preach[ed] hate

and separation instead of love and integration.” While heavyweight champion, Patterson converted to Catholicism in 1957. He later joined the Knights of Columbus in New Paltz, N.Y., and became, in biographer W.K. Stratton’s words, “a mainstay” of Knights’ events. He also helped the parish by distributing holy Communion at the local nursing home, calling himself “the eucharistic minister with the biggest hands.” Despite his love of his sport, he once mused that if the Church forbade boxing, he would give it up. When an interviewer later recalled these words for Patterson and asked if his faith was still as strong, he replied that it was even stronger.

Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi celebrates after winning the NFL championship game Jan. 1, 1967, in Dallas. A few weeks later, Lombardi’s Packers won the AFL-NFL championship game, now known as Super Bowl I. They repeated the feat the next year. In 1970, the Super Bowl trophy was renamed in honor of Lombardi. 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


A man with strong Catholic faith and an unparalleled coaching career, Vincent “Vince” T. Lombardi is rightly one of the most revered coaches in NFL history. Within two years of taking over the struggling Green Bay Packers in 1959, he led them to two consecutive NFL championships, soon followed by a third championship, as well as victories in Super Bowls I and II. When he retired, Lombardi’s career coaching record stood at 105 wins, 36 losses and six ties. But beyond his coaching expertise, he earned regard for his values, which he both lived on his own and instilled in his team, urging hard work and discipline for overcoming problems and achieving goals. Believing faith was important in every life, he considered daily Mass and Communion the source of his strength, and he often led his Catholic players to Mass. Lombardi joined Msgr. Basche Council 4505 in Green Bay, Wis., and later became a Fourth Degree Knight. A believer in civil rights, Lombardi famously would not tolerate racial prejudice — and not just among his players. He made it clear to local shops and restaurants that if they refused to serve any of his players because of their skin color, they would be boycotted by the entire team. And players who displayed any act of prejudice would be dropped from the team. When Lombardi died in 1970 at age 57, thousands attended his funeral at New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Decades later, he remains one of the most notable sports figures of all time. Despite his success and the high regard in which he was held, Lombardi never lost sight of his purpose in life. This was perhaps best expressed by the following words, which he spoke to his players: “After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser, and after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”


A Coach for the Ages: Vince Lombardi

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Jesuit Father Robert Graham, an authority on Nazi and Soviet espionage in the Vatican, is pictured in Rome in 1992.

Espionage Expert: Father Robert Graham, S.J. Known as “the Vatican spy catcher,â€? Jesuit Father Robert Graham spent his life both researching Church history and making it. Born in 1912 and ordained in 1941, the California native spent two decades at the Jesuit magazine America, including as an editor, and published his first book, Vatican Diplomacy, after earning a doctorate in political science and international law from the University of Geneva. With Soviet-backed disinformation slandering Pope Pius XII as pro-Nazi, Graham was brought to the Vatican to research and report the truth. ‌ Although best known for making

public Pope Pius XII’s efforts to save the Jews during the Holocaust, Graham’s research also uncovered anti-Vatican espionage by Nazi, fascist and Soviet entities. ‌ Father Graham also wrote a monthly “Vaticanâ€? column for Columbia magazine from the 1960s to the early 1990s. Combining his knowledge of the Church with diplomatic acumen and journalistic skill, his column analyzed Church affairs in a global light. Working in Rome during the Cold War, Graham’s knowledge of tactics against the Catholic Church proved particularly relevant. As Soviet-era documents continue to reveal, the KGB and its affiliates attempted to destabilize the Church with “active measures.â€? ‌ Occasionally he even discussed such issues in Columbia. One 1969 column was titled “The story of bugging at the Vatican.â€? In it, Graham wrote: “The Vatican telephones have been tapped, confidential messages by radio or telegraph intercepted and decoded, files rifled, and the Holy See’s representatives abroad surrounded by informers. It has had to cope with hidden radio transmitters, fake students planted in Roman seminaries, traitorous workers in its offices and agents sent from the world’s capitals to gather classified information.â€? ‌ Graham’s ability to detect and expose those spying for the Soviets became legendary. ‌ His efforts were highlighted in the book Spies in the Vatican by John Koehler, a former Associated Press journalist and American OSS intelligence officer. ‌ A member of Msgr. John T. Dwyer Council 9851 in Saratoga, Calif., Father Graham witnessed the rise and fall of both fascism and communism in Europe during his lifetime. He moved back to the Golden State, publishing two more books related to World War II — one with David Alvarez on Nazi espionage against the Vatican, another on the Vatican’s experience with communism — before his death in 1997.♌

The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History


In this new history of the Order, inspiring stories from more than 135 years of charity and fraternity are paired with hundreds of the best photos from the Knights of Columbus archives.

Pre-order a copy of the hardcover, full-color book for $24.99 (including U.S. shipping) — almost 30% off the cover price. Copies will begin shipping March 2020. Visit knightsgear.com/history or call 855-432-7562.


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HAVEN of HOPE McGivney House provides young Iraqi families with a stable foundation for the future after years of displacement by Tom Westcott


or hundreds of displaced Christians in northern Iraq, uprooted from their homes by Islamic State militants five years ago, the opening of McGivney House in Erbil offers a promise of a new beginning. “I’m so happy here,” said Nahrain Samir Shamoun, bustling around her little kitchen in preparation for Christmas last December. “What I love most is the feeling of finally being settled.” Just a month earlier, Nahrain and husband Rami Nourir, both 37, were living in cramped conditions with Rami’s extended family — with no savings, precious little income and no prospect of living independently. Nahrain’s family had lost almost everything when the Islamic State group seized control of the Nineveh Plains region in 2014. They were forced to flee from their home in Bartella, an Assyrian town where Christians have lived since the second century. In November, Nahrain and Rami were among the first families to move into McGivney House, the 140-unit apartment building constructed by the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil with assistance from the Knights of Columbus. As the building neared completion last March, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson made a visit, accompanied by Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil. The Kurdish Regional Government also assisted the project by upgrading the power grid in the Ankawa district to accommodate the facility. McGivney House is now providing 120 high-quality, rent-free apartments to young impoverished families, for a period of five years each. By February, the 20-unit Pope Francis Venerable Care Home on the first floor will welcome 40 elderly residents together with an on-site medical team. 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


The opening of McGivney House is the latest step in the Knights’ support for persecuted Christians in Iraq since 2014, which Archbishop Warda has called “historic work.” ‘WE ARE HAPPY, THANK GOD’ Through its Christian Refugee Relief Fund, which has contributed more than $25 million in humanitarian assistance in the region, the Knights of Columbus has helped the archdiocese address pressing needs, including emergency food distribution, medical care and education. Since the defeat of the Islamic State group in the Nineveh Plains region in May 2017, the Order has facilitated reconstruction efforts there, including $2 million to help displaced residents return to and rebuild the ancient town of Karamles.

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Soleen Sami Ibrahim feeds her baby in her family’s new apartment in McGivney House in Erbil, Iraq. Soleen and her husband, Bara Dia Ghanaen (left), struggled to find stable housing before moving into the 140-unit apartment building, built with assistance from the Knights of Columbus. “Whenever the Knights saw a need they responded immediately,� Archbishop Warda said. “This is really charity with a merciful face.� The opening of McGivney House, the archbishop said, has helped the archdiocese with one of its greatest responsibilities: to give back dignity to the most vulnerable displaced Christians — an almost impossible task back in 2014 when Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, unexpectedly received tens of thousands of people within 24 hours. Nahrain will never forget how those nightmarish days affected her family. Thinking the danger was temporary, they

crammed into a church minibus and fled to the safety of Iraqi Kurdistan, some 50 miles to the east. Nahrain’s aunt, a nurse, did not manage to escape. She was tortured and abused, forced to convert to Islam, and compelled to treat wounded militants until her rescue in 2017. “What happened was a tragedy. We had homes, businesses, cars and good lives in Bartella, and we left everything behind,� Nahrain said. “We thought we were just leaving for a few days. We had no idea we were leaving for so many years.� After the forced exodus, Christian homes were looted and set ablaze, and livelihoods destroyed. Although Erbil is relatively


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Left: Moqdad Abdul Ahad Messehi and his wife, Rana Abdul Ahad Younis, parents of a 5-year-old daughter, stand in the doorway of their new apartment in McGivney House. • Above: Nahrain Samir Shamoun looks out from her family’s new apartment to the Ankawa district of Erbil. Violence forced the family to flee from the Nineveh Plains region in 2014. • Opposite page: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson stands with Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil outside McGivney House in early 2019.

safe, job opportunities are scarce and rental costs often prohibitive. So, for many families, McGivney House offers a lifeline. The new residents are among the community’s poorest. Though many had successful careers prior to losing everything in 2014, financial circumstances precluded them from traveling to neighboring countries to seek asylum or rebuilding their former homes and lives. For former Mosul residents Rana George, 39, husband James Albert, 40, and their two young children, McGivney House has offered respite from 16 years of uncertainty and instability. “From 2003, Christians in Mosul started being persecuted, so we moved from place to place and it was a very hard time,â€? said James, a former security guard at one of Mosul’s churches. “We were living in Mosul when IS came and we fled with everyone else. Since then, for five years, we have lived off charity.â€? The couple, who are Chaldean Catholics, returned just once, after liberation, and found their former rented home collapsed and the interior stripped of every item, leaving them 18 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


FOSTERING FAMILY LIFE Though the one- and two-bedroom apartments in McGivney House are modestly sized, they are finished to an exceptionally high standard and partially furnished. Families need to buy just a few items, such as sofas, tables and soft furnishings, to finish off apartments with their own personal touch. “It’s great here, and it feels like we’re living outside Iraq, in Europe, because all the systems and services work,� said Rana Abdul Ahad Younis, 37, who is a basketball coach. She and her husband, Moqdad Abdul Ahad Messehi, 38, a writer, have a 5-year-old daughter. Their apartment is “perfect for now,� said Moqdad, adding with a smile that they might need more space in the future if they are graced with more children. Moqdad fled his hometown of Mosul in 2005, after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq ushered in a period of sectarian violence. He tried living in Syria and Turkey but obstacles prompted him to return to Iraq in 2011. He and Rana married in 2013 but, since then, they moved from one shabby rented place to another, suffering from poor basic services and unpredictable landlords.


with almost nothing. With few work options in Erbil, they often went without food to pay rent each month, so moving into a rent-free apartment in McGivney House has alleviated a major source of worry. “It’s early days for us here but so far, so good,� said Rana. “We are happy, thank God.�


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“Finally, daily life has become easier for us,� Rana said. “And I want to give a very big thank you to the Knights of Columbus.� Bara Dia Ghanaen and Soleen Sami Ibrahim, both 30, similarly struggled to find good housing in Erbil for themselves and their 8-month-old daughter, Patricia. Bara fled persecution in Baghdad in 2010; he and Soleen have been married a year and a half. “At our last place, the owner lived above us and complained whenever the baby cried,� said Soleen, a physical education teacher. “We had no privacy or personal space there. We are safe and secure here, and we know no one will tell us to leave or suddenly raise the rent.� Archbishop Warda said the stability of guaranteed rent-free accommodation for five years was crucial for newlywed Iraqi Christians. “Building a family is important, but some young people are postponing having children for economic reasons,� he said. “It’s the Church’s responsibility to help with that.� More fundamentally, projects such as McGivney House have also helped to maintain Iraq’s diminishing Christian community, Archbishop Warda said. About 1,500,000 Christians lived

in Iraq before 2003; now that number is estimated to be fewer than 200,000 as thousands of families seek asylum abroad. “Of the 13,000 families we started caring for, 8,000 families have returned to Nineveh and 2,500 have stayed in Erbil,â€? the archbishop said. “We cannot control people’s decision to leave the country, but we can give them options and it’s proven by the numbers that such support has helped keep Christians in Iraq.â€? Five years ago, in this outlying district of Erbil’s Ankawa suburb, the Daughters of Mary Convent had to put chairs outside their little chapel to accommodate the hundreds of displaced people coming for Mass. Today, former wasteland stretches are being transformed into Iraq’s newest Christian district. A stone’s throw from the recently completed Sts. Peter and Paul Church and a Christian school, McGivney House stands at the heart of this new community, helping some of the country’s long-suffering Christians to finally envision a future for themselves in Iraq.♌ TOM WESTCOTT is a British freelance journalist based in the Middle East. FEBRUARY 2020

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A ‘Saint for Our

Times’ Kendrick Castillo’s parents speak to Ukrainian Catholics about the heroic life of their son by Andrew Fowler


rchbishop Borys Gudziak was so inspired by the testimony given by the parents of 18-year-old hero Kendrick Castillo at last year’s Supreme Convention that he recently called him a “saint for our times.” The metropolitan archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia since June 2019, Gudziak invited Kendrick’s parents, John and Maria Castillo, to speak Dec. 8 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. “He gave his life for his friends, and there is no greater love than that,” the archbishop said. “That’s what we Christians are called to do — give our life for the other.” Kendrick was killed after he charged a gunman at his suburban Denver high school last May; he was posthumously made a Knight of Columbus and his parents were presented with the Caritas Medal, the Order’s second-highest award, at the 137th Supreme Convention in Minneapolis last August. Archbishop Gudziak introduced the Castillos during the archeparchy’s Sobor assembly of Ukrainian Catholic clergy, religious and laypeople. Also in attendance was Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halyč, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church worldwide and a member of the Knights. John Castillo described his son as a “catalyst of love” who understood the importance of community and close relationships with family and friends. Kendrick’s devotion to God, he added, was “number one.” Kendrick frequently volunteered at Knights of Columbus events with his dad, who is a member of a member of Southwest Denver Council 4844, and planned on joining the Order shortly after graduating from high school. 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


“Kendrick would go out of his way — nothing was more important than helping someone else,” John Castillo said. “He did what we should all be doing in our faith. We gather here as a community to learn the lessons of love, but when we exit the doors, it should never stop, and Kendrick figured that out.” At the end of the testimony, Archbishop Gudziak led the attendees in praying “Eternal Memory,” a Byzantine prayer for the dead. This was the first time the Castillos were invited by a diocese to speak about Kendrick’s life. John Castillo hopes that talking about his son will help those who feel lost in today’s culture, especially younger men. “If Kendrick can be the new light to bring people out of darkness, to let them know that there’s hope and to live their lives differently, get involved, reach out to the marginalized … I think that’s a good thing,” John Castillo said. “We need someone like that, and he was that person.”♦ ANDREW FOWLER is a content producer with the Knights of Columbus Corporate Communications Department.

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Clockwise, from top: Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia delivers introductory remarks Dec. 8 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halyc looks on. • John and Maria Castillo speak with Archbishop Gudziak following John’s testimony about their son. • John and Kendrick help in the kitchen during a breakfast hosted by Southwest Denver Council 4844.


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IS NOW State deputies share their experience of growing the Order in today’s challenging cultural landscape


he Catholic Church in North America is facing a crisis, as the rates of baptisms, sacramental marriages and weekly Mass attendance have dropped significantly in recent decades. Never has been the mission of the Knights of Columbus to strengthen the family and build up the Church been more relevant. “The Knights of Columbus will rise to meet this challenge. We will take up our essential and irreplaceable role,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in November, addressing the midyear meeting of state deputies. “We must become again a Church that evangelizes — a Church that evangelizes its children and families and at the same time reaches out to those who do not yet know Christ.” Recent K of C initiatives provide tools for this mission of evangelization, beginning with welcoming and engaging new members. Online membership, for example, has made it easier to enroll recent recruits, while the new combined exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity,

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announced at the midyear meeting, likewise makes membership more accessible. The Faith in Action program model focuses Knights’ activities on four essential categories of Faith, Family, Community and Life and lays out a clear path to get involved, grow in faith and practice charity. “We must find new ways to bring the men we need — and the men who need us — into our Order,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. “We cannot shrink from the crisis around us. We must meet it head-on, with firm reliance on our faith and in each other.” The state deputies have taken to heart this message. With assistance from their state leadership teams, these dedicated men of prayer and service are working tirelessly to grow the Order and serve the Church in their respective jurisdictions. Last month, Columbia spoke with three such state deputies, who shared with us how they have transformed challenges into opportunities to put their faith into action.

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team every day in order to build relationships in our jurisdiction. Districts and councils are willing to work harder if that relationship is there. New initiatives: I like to think of the new program model as “Faith and Family in Action.� With many of these new programs, we can promote family involvement more easily. Any time we can use the word “family� in a presentation, I feel we are opening up our Knights of Columbus world. Younger families especially love the faith component. They don’t want to join the Knights just to flip pancakes; they want prayer and fellowship. We have had reasonable success with online membership as well. The remote areas have embraced it the most. The key to getting new members connected has been following up after the membership drive.

State Deputy Dale Hofer of British Columbia and Yukon joined the Knights of Columbus in 2005 and is a member of St. Teresa Council 12202 in Coldstream, British Columbia. Now retired, he worked in information technology and later owned a winemaking supply store. He and his wife, Dianne, have three children. Why I am a Knight: Joining the Knights of Columbus totally changed my life. I never prayed much before becoming a Knight, other than going to church on Sundays. Now I pray daily. A big part of it has to do with the people I now surround myself with. Keys to membership growth: The keys to growth have been trusting relationships and hard work, while also having fun. I call a grand knight, district deputy or someone on the state

Responding to challenges: Accepting some of the recent changes has been a challenge, particularly for some of the older members; it’s human nature to resist change. Fortunately, the state team loves the changes and is working on promoting them in the jurisdiction. These changes have proven to be for the good of the Order. Another challenge in British Columbia and Yukon is the physical size of the jurisdiction. We travel a lot. We also communicate with brother Knights by making a video each month. The videos have helped make the messages more personal and engaging. Advice for brother Knights: Build relationships and think outside the box. Sometimes it makes sense to keep things the same, but most of the time, I am looking for a better mousetrap. Change can bring challenges, but it can also bring excitement, anticipation and new opportunities. My motto is “Live, Laugh and Be Happy, all while doing God’s work.�


State Deputy William Chasse of Michigan has been a member of Richard Council 788 in Lansing since he joined the Order in 2006. He has run his own construction remodeling business for the last 25 years. He and his wife, Marybeth, have been married for 33 years and have three sons. Why I am a Knight: I joined the Knights of Columbus after someone explained all of the charitable work of the Order. Being a Knight has made me a better Catholic, as well as a better husband and father. Keys to membership growth: We emphasize the importance of communication and a positive attitude. Getting buyin from all members is a must. We talk about the importance of recruiting Knights for the good of the whole Church — the more men join the Order, the stronger the Church will FEBRUARY 2020

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be. We also ask our members to invite someone they know who doesn’t attend Mass on a regular basis back to church and bring them out to breakfast afterward. New initiatives: The Faith in Action program model has been very positive in recruiting. It gives new members ways to grow in their faith and practice what they believe, while belonging to a fraternal organization that wants them to become stronger men of God. Online membership has been a great success in Michigan. About half our new members in December initially joined online. It helps the new member belong without committing to a certain number of hours until he is ready. In our busy technology-driven world, online membership gets men in the door. From there, they learn what we do and hopefully become active members in a council.

Responding to challenges: The biggest challenge is time — men feel they just cannot do one more thing. We have developed cards with questions like “Do you have time to put a coat on a child during the winter months?� and “Can you help us just two hours a year to collect money for people with intellectual disabilities?� All the cards end: “If you can do that, you will be a great Knight of Columbus.� Another way of working through the challenges is repeating the reason to recruit — to strengthen the Church. Advice for brother Knights: The time is now. We must show pride in being Catholic and ask all brother Catholics to help us rebuild and protect our Church. We must act now. If we don’t, who will?

State Deputy Mark Jago of Pennsylvania has been a member of the Order for 37 years, and belongs to St. Patrick Council 4057 in Carlisle. After a career as an Army paratrooper, including service during Operation Desert Storm, he worked in state and local government and then as a K of C field agent. He and his wife, Janis, have three daughters and eight grandchildren. Why I am a Knight: A fellow officer invited me to join while I was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. I had no knowledge of the Knights at the time but was curious and wanted to learn more. I became involved and began to take on leadership roles.

New initiatives: The new Faith and Family programs have made a dramatic difference. They remind us that everything we do as Knights is rooted in our Catholic faith. People no longer view the Knights as just another service organization but as lay leaders helping to build up the domestic church. Online membership has proved to be an extremely effective tool to attract new members, especially younger men. Through programs like the Everyday Heroes video series, the Supreme Council is also doing a great job of conveying what it means to be a Knight. 24 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


Responding to challenges: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson delivered a message to the midyear meeting of district deputies in Pennsylvania, where the abuse crisis has hit the Church particularly hard. He highlighted the serious situation in which the Church finds itself and emphasized our need to evangelize. A major way we can evangelize is through the example of our Faith in Action programs. We also must continue to bring in younger men in order to continue our legacy of charity and service, mentoring these new members so they can lead future generations of Knights. Advice for brother Knights: Keep your trust in God and let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit and by the example of Father McGivney. Leaders must also have the courage to be open to new ideas and approaches to problems. Give clear objectives and guidance, and then stay out of the way. Above all, let all of your actions be motivated by love.♌


Keys to membership growth: The first step is to pick good men to serve on your membership team, and the key to success is good communication. I have daily contact with our excellent membership director, and our team has monthly teleconferences to review our goals and strategies. To further promote growth, I attend exemplifications and visit councils throughout the state to present Star Council Awards. I never miss an opportunity to explain why bringing in new members is vital to the life of the Order and the life of the Church.

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Knights Deliver Aid After Puerto Rico Earthquakes KNIGHTS IN PUERTO RICO moved quickly after a series of earthquakes in late December and early January left thousands of their neighbors homeless. Within days, council members delivered temporary shelter, hot food and other necessities to the communities where the tremors did the most damage. State Deputy JosÊ Vazquez Padilla and General Agent JosÊ Lebrón-Sanabria helped coordinate the local effort, working together with the Diocese of Ponce. The Supreme Council donated $30,000 toward the Knights’ emergency relief, as well as shipments of tents, flashlights and generators. The series of earthquakes and aftershocks that began Dec. 28 killed one person and caused more than $100 million in damage, much of it on the southwestern coast of the island. Among Puerto Rico’s 5,200 Knights, at least 15 members lost their homes and eight were injured. The tremors left countless structures unsafe and uninhabitable. About 20,000 people in Guånica were forced live and sleep outdoors, according to Father Segismundo Cintrón, a priest at the parish of San Antonio Abad in Guånica and a member of the Knights. At Father Cintrón’s request, State Deputy Vazquez Padilla and other Knights delivered 20 canopies to create a refuge center outside the church. They also delivered a canopy to La Inmaculada Concepción Parish in nearby Guayanilla. Father Melvin Díaz Aponte celebrated Mass Jan. 12 under the canopy, not far from the rubble that used to be the outer wall of the 180year-old church building.

State Deputy JosĂŠ Vazquez Padilla and General Agent JosĂŠ LebrĂłnSanabria deliver a canopy to be used for Mass at La Inmaculada ConcepciĂłn Parish in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Jan. 12. Later that day, dozens of Knights and family members prepared a hot meal for Guayanilla’s newly homeless and delivered cases of water throughout the area. One important stop was a Dominican convent, home to 25 elderly sisters; eight are bedridden and 17 require walkers. LebrĂłn-Sanabria also worked with the diocese to relocate the sisters to safer quarters in Ponce. LebrĂłn-Sanabria said he and his brother Knights have been welcomed with open arms by victims of the earthquakes, especially by local priests and religious. “I have a valuable tool to offer my community and that is the Knights of Columbus,â€? he said.♌


Midshipmen and Cadet Knights Stand in Unity Amid Rivalry Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly and Supreme Secretary Michael O’Connor join college Knights from the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at the 120th ArmyNavy football game Dec. 14 in Philadelphia. This year, Deputy Supreme Knight Kelly, a retired Navy captain, and the midshipmen claimed victory in the annual rivalry match: Navy beat Army 31-7.


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Windsor (Colo.) Council 11575 hosted a men’s retreat at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. The daylong event included prayer, spiritual reflection and a presentation by Catholic author and speaker Matthew S. Leonard, who is also a Knight.

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Members of St. Cecilia’s Council 7395 in Claremore, Okla., helped the Benedictine monks at Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey in Hulbert replace a suspension bridge over a flood-prone creek, opening a path between the monks’ living quarters and their workshops. The bridge was more than 30 years old and dangerously unstable. SEMICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

Father Stephen T. Roman Council 15689 in Ocean Shores, Wash., kicked off a yearlong celebration of St. Jerome Catholic Church’s 50th anniversary with a barbecue dinner and games 26 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌

for parishioners. In honor of the anniversary, Council 15689 also donated nearly 100 new coats to the Ocean Shores Community Emergency Response Team for distribution to homeless and foster care children. WELCOMING SEMINARIANS

Responding to a call from Father Thomas Gardner, pastoral coordinator of West Chester University Catholic Newman Center, members of Msgr. Henry C. Schuyler Council 1333 in West Chester, Pa., cooked and served a hearty breakfast for students and a group of visitors from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. More than 30 seminarians and priests were visiting


the campus for two days of evangelization and outreach, including eucharistic adoration on the quad. GRAND REOPENING

St. Mark Parish Council 10874 in Stouffville, Ontario, prepared St. Mark’s Catholic Church for reopening after a major expansion project closed it for more than a year. Members cleaned the church, brought items out of storage, gave tours to visitors and acted as ushers at the rededication Mass. St. John Paul II Assembly 3325 in Markham provided an honor guard at the Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, archbishop of Toronto.

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Maine District #14 partnered with Good Shepherd Parish in Saco to sponsor a free seminar on estate planning in the hall of St. Philip Church in Lyman. Attorney Bob Boudreau, a member of St. Joseph Council 12941 in Biddeford, presented information on organizing finances, passing wealth on to beneficiaries and preparing documents concerning endof-life arrangements.

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John K. Mahaney Champion Council 7491 in Warren, Ohio, hosted a spaghetti dinner, raising money to offset medical costs for the family of a 14-year-old girl who needed surgery to treat her brain cancer. FOR FAMILIES DISPLACED

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Members of Koronadal Council 4576, Marbel Council 7658 and St. Anthony of Padua Koronadal Council 17256, all in South Cotabato, Mindanao, delivered three truckloads of donated food, water, tents and clothes to more than 700 families at an evacuation center in the village of Ilomavis. The families had been at the epicenter of a magnitude 6.5 earthquake, one of three devastating quakes to hit Kidapawan in one month.



Louis-HĂŠbert Council 6468 in Moncton, New Brunswick, conducted a drive to collect winter clothing for Moncton Headstart, which provides early education and social services to young children and their families. The council delivered more than 50 coats, as well as snowsuits and mittens, to the community organization.

Ste-Élie d’Orford Council 8053 in Sherbrooke, QuÊbec, donated more than $6,500 to a local family to help them pay for home renovations to accommodate their adult daughter with disabilities. RENO ROSARY RALLY

Msgr. Patrick J. Connors Council 4997 in Reno, Nev., and Our Lady of Snows Church organized a KITCHEN rosary prayer rally for famiPITCH-IN lies, friends and parishHoly Spirit Council 15196 ioners outside St. Thomas in Memphis, Tenn., do- Aquinas Cathedral. nated 50 sets of new FAMILY kitchen utensils to families FUND DRIVE served by the Church of the Holy Spirit Parish food Members of Msgr. Anton pantry. Members person- Link Council 1861 in Sidally donated half of the ney, Neb., brought their $3,000 cost, and the rest young children on a fund was drawn from the coun- drive for people with intellectual disabilities. cil treasury.


♌ C O L U M B I A ♌ 27

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Members of Westminster Council 1283 in New Westminster, British Columbia, and their wives cooked and served chili con carne to more than 300 people at The Door Is Open, a drop-in ministry providing food, clothing, counseling and shelter in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Canada.


St. John Paul II Council 10821 in Douglasville, Ga., donated more than $20,500 raised at a golf tournament to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home in Atlanta, a palliative care facility for patients with incurable cancer run by the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne. KNIGHTS WITH THE SEMINARIANS

New Braunfels (Texas) Council 4183 raised more than $24,000 for five San Antonio seminaries at its 11th annual “Knight with the Seminarians.â€? More than 500 guests, including 64 seminarians, attended the event, which began with Mass and continued with a dinner of pierogi and 28 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌

bigos in honor of new council chaplain Father Krzysztof Bytomski, who is from Poland.

Gary Koenigsknecht and the parish facilities manager to beautify the grounds of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.



San Alfonso Maria de Ligorio Assembly 3769 in Annapolis, Md., donated $2,100 raised by its fifth annual soccer tournament to Father Hever SĂĄnchez, vicar of Hispanic ministry at San Juan Neumann Mission Church, to be used in Hispanic community outreach programs.

Members of St. Robert Bellarmine Council 16440 in North Manchester, Ind., replaced deteriorating stucco siding on the house of a local parishioner who is battling cancer.


Members of Michigan State University Council 17197 in East Lansing, Mich., spent several hours assisting council chaplain Father



Since 2012, Father Edward Farrell Council 5591 in Princeton, Ill., has raised more than $100,000 and collected nearly 20,000 nonperishable food items for the Bureau County Food Pantry through its weekly collections at St. Louis Catholic Church.

Past Grand Knight Tim Mell of Our Lady of Hope Council 8086 in Port Orange, Fla., gives away coats to students at an elementary school in Volusia County as part of the council’s annual Knights of Columbus Coats for KidsŽ distribution. Members purchased nearly 500 coats for students in seven elementary schools with $6,000 from various fundraisers, including the council’s annual duck derby.

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Aldo J. Zazzi Council 6992 in Kingsport, Tenn., held its annual smoked meats sale to raise money for The M.R. Foundation of Tennessee, a K of C charity that provides financial assistance to organizations serving persons with intellectual disabilities. This year, Council 6992 secured an $8,000 grant from the foundation for Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center, a nonprofit in Kingsport that promotes the growth and healing of people with special needs and disabilities through equine-assisted activities.

Members of Warwick Valley (N.Y.) Council 4952 contributed more than 100 hours toward the construction of a local playground meeting the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project, led by nonprofit Warwick Playground Dreams, culminated in a weeklong build involving hundreds of community volunteers. CONSOLING ANGEL

Pope John XXIII Council 5788 in Melfort, Saskatchewan, funded the creation of an angel statue by a local artist for a meditation garden at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. The cemetery recognized the council’s gift by having the emblem of the Order engraved on a bench opposite the statue.

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Bishop George Avis Fulcher Council 12387 in Carmel, Ind., delivered more than two tons of canned goods and personal hygiene items, collected from council members, Boy Scout Troop 202, local companies and other donors to the Lord’s Pantry at Anna’s House, a poverty outreach center in Indianapolis. STEPPING STONES TO PRAYER

Leo Council 716 in Silvis, Ill., donated more than $5,800 to help install a walkway at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Rapids City. Stones in the walkway, which will connect the church’s front entrance to its Marian garden, will be inscribed with the names of deceased members of the council.

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Members of Commodore John Barry Council 2544 in Dunellen, N.J., delivered nearly 700 pairs of used prescription eyeglasses to New Eyes for the Needy, a nonprofit in Short Hills that sorts and distributes donated pairs of glasses. Council 2544 has collected glasses at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Piscataway for the past several years. GIVE THEM SHELTER

Joyce Kilmer Council 1177 in Suffern, N.Y., hosted a screening of Gimme Shelter, a feature film inspired by the work of Several Sources Shelters and their founder,

Kathy DeFiore. The event raised more than $500 for the organization, which provides long-term care to pregnant women as well as other services for women and families in need. CHAPLAIN TRIVIA

A sports trivia night held by Father Perez Council 1444 in Chicago raised more than $2,500 for the Chicago Police Chaplains Ministry, which provides spiritual support to active and retired members of the Chicago Police Department and their families. Father Dan Brandt, director of the ministry, attended the event and addressed the overflow crowd.



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Hyde Park (N.Y.) Council 6111 and DutchessNY4Life, a local pro-life group, cosponsored a conference on the philosophy of palliative care. Carmelite Sister M. Peter Lillian Di Maria, a licensed nursing home administrator and director of gerontology at the Avila Institute in Germantown, spoke on Christian compassion and care for the dying. SILVER ROSE OF BOISE

Members of St. Mark’s Council 12172 in Boise, Idaho, participated in a Silver Rose ceremony organized by Idaho State Faith Director and Silver Rose Chairman David Palumbo at St. Mark’s Church. The Silver Rose program promotes 30 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌

respect for life and devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn. ROSARY MARCH

Notre Dame Council 10514 in Flagler Beach, Fla., joined the Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church Respect Life Committee for a pro-life march and rosary. A color corps from Corpus Christi Assembly 2810 led the marchers while Father James May led a rosary for the cause of life. Participants then processed to Mass at the church. ULTRASOUND BLESSING

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, assisted by Father Don Heet, chaplain of Family of Man Council 7566 in Reston, Va., blessed a 3D/4D


ultrasound machine at Tepeyac OB/GYN, a pro-life medical practice in Fairfax. Council 7566 worked with other Virginia councils to raise $18,000 to purchase the machine with a matching donation from the K of C Ultrasound Initiative, plus almost $24,000 in additional donations to cover operating costs at Tepeyac. AID FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER

Over five years, St. AndrÊ Bessette Council 15162 in Stayner/Wasaga Beach, Ontario, has donated more than $50,000 to Campbell House, a nonprofit palliative care center in Collingwood. The funds were raised through the council’s annual golf tournament and by soliciting donations from local businesses.

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St. James/St. Anthony of Padua Council 525 in Red Bank, N.J., and the Monmouth County Chapter helped plan a “Mass for Life,� concelebrated by nine local priests at St. James Church. Nearly 500 people attended, and many gathered afterward to process to the local Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Shrewsbury and pray the rosary outside.

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Members of Monroe (La.) Council 1337 purchased and distributed red sweatshirts at the Northeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in honor of the Remember Everyone Deployed (R.E.D.) campaign to raise awareness for men and women serving in the military, a grassroots initiative founded in 2005. Members of James Cardinal Gibbons Assembly 379 in Westminster, Md., prepare to install cross markers at Ellsworth Cemetery, a neglected burial ground for African American veterans of the U.S. Civil War. The cemetery was established by Union veterans for African American soldiers who were not permitted to be buried elsewhere. Members of the assembly have been identifying and marking remains and restoring the cemetery grounds for more than seven years. From left to right: Dan Kloss, Brad Kriddle, Tom Greul and Barry Segelken.



Isaias “Cy� Alba III, a member of Father Walter F. Malloy Assembly 1894 in Fairfax, Va., and a past district master, stands at attention while Boy Scouts and troop leaders line up to solemnly retire worn flags at a ceremony at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Annandale. Msgr. Francis L. Bradican Assembly 2996 and the Boy Scouts conducted the ceremony to retire more than 300 flags.

A dozen Fourth Degree color corps members from assemblies in Cebu City, Visayas, joined a company of soldiers from the Philippines Armed Forces, ROTC cadets, Boy Scouts and World War II veterans in a wreath-laying ceremony honoring veterans, led by Cebu City civic officials. STARRY KNIGHTS

Stephen P. Barry Assembly 940 in McKeesport, Pa., developed the “Astronomy for Disabled Veterans� program to cheer and inspire wounded veterans at the VA Medical Center in Aspinwall. Councils in Pennsylvania have contributed $29,000 to build an observatory with sliding roof on the hospital campus, and the program is now raising

money to outfit it with a powerful telescope and develop astronomy classes for the veterans.

with them to the sanctuary, where they will be permanently displayed.


St. Mary of the Lakes Council 6520 in Medford, N.J., raised $8,400 through collections at St. Mary of the Lakes Church for New Jersey’s Mission of Honor, a nonprofit that locates, identifies and honorably inters abandoned remains of veterans.


Pope John XXIII Assembly 1536 in Plymouth, Mich., sponsored a coat collection for veterans. Over a period of three weeks, Knights and family members collected, sorted and delivered more than 600 coats to veterans’ service organizations in southeastern Michigan. CHURCH AND STATE

St. Anne/Oratory Council 6756 in Rock Hill, S.C., presented the Vatican and U.S. flags to St. Anne Catholic Church. Father Louis Pham, parochial vicar, blessed the flags, and the Knights formally processed

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


♌ C O L U M B I A ♌ 31

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OFFICIAL FEBRUARY 1, 2020: 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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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.

Dan Stoffel, past grand knight of Shaun P. O’Brien-Prince of Peace Council 11716 in Plano, Texas, carries a young girl to her new wheelchair in Oaxaca, Mexico. Council 11716 raised close to $130,000 in a Prince of Peace Parish drive to provide nearly 400 wheelchairs to the Oaxaca CRIT Center, a rehabilitation center for children with disabilities, through the Order’s partnership with the American Wheelchair Mission. A delegation of Knights and Prince of Peace parishioners traveled to Oaxaca to help distribute the wheelchairs at the center and the homes of recipients.




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JONATHAN R. RUZICKA Seminarian, Archdiocese of St. Louis Father Kapaun Council 16869


Not long ago, a friend asked me an intense question: “What has been your most profound encounter with the mercy of God?” I had an answer — even a specific date: Oct. 24, 2010. On that day, I wasn’t expecting anything dramatic as I walked into the confessional in St. Mary Magdalene Church in St. Louis. But I had a profound experience of God’s mercy that changed everything. The personal holiness embodied by the priest who heard my confession awakened in my soul the desire to stake everything on Jesus. How could I not? Jesus calls us to the fullness of life and love, and through this encounter, he invited me to the priesthood. I was all in. Later I learned that Oct. 24 is the feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret — not a household name, but the opening prayer for his Mass is apropos: “Grant, through his intercession, that … we may earnestly devote ourselves to winning our brothers and sisters for Christ.” On that day in the confessional, the priest “won me for Christ.” Through my own priesthood, Jesus wants me to win souls for him.

Profile for Columbia Magazine

Columbia February 2020  

Columbia February 2020  

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