Issuu on Google+

KNIGHT S O F C O LUM BUS

J ANUARY 2010

COLUMBIA

Building a Culture of Life


Let our strength be your shield.

In times of economic uncertainty, you want to have total confidence in your financial portfolio. Knights of Columbus Insurance has earned that confidence with over 127 years of reliably protecting its members and their families. Even in a weak economy, Knights of Columbus Insurance has not only maintained the highest ratings for financial stability, but has grown to record levels with more than $73 billion of life insurance in force. As the new year begins, you have a renewed opportunity to benefit from the strength of a top-ranked insurance company. Meet with one of our professional field agents today to find out more. Click “find an agent� at kofc.org or call 800-345-5632.

a benefit of brotherhood

life insurance

A++ (Superior) A.M. Best

long-term care

annuities

AAA (Extremely Strong) Standard & Poor’s

IMSA Certified


K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S January 2010 ♦ Volume 90 ♦ number 1

COLUMBIA F E AT U R E S

8 Images of Life The Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative helps women to choose the gift of life. BY COLLEEN ROULEAU

14 ‘Grace abounds within these walls’ The Knights of Columbus and Sisters of Life celebrate the fifth anniversary of Villa Maria Guadalupe. BY COLUMBIA STAFF

16 Hope after abortion The Catholic Church brings forgiveness and compassion to those affected by the tragedy of abortion. By SUPrEME KnIGhT CArL A. AndErSOn

20 Saving Lives Through Love Maggie’s Place fights the culture of death with community homes for pregnant women.

PAINTING: Eugene Delacroix, The Good Samaritan, 1852, Art Resource, NY/ Victoria & Albert Museum, London

BY AMBRIA HAMMEL

23 What is a Child Worth?

The parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37) was upheld as the model of spirituality for the Second Vatican Council and is seen as a model for the pro-life movement today.

Today’s culture is sadly marked by a lack of appreciation for the gift of childhood. BY ANTHONY ESOLEN

D E PA RT M E N T S 3

Building a better world

6

The attempt of some legislators to impose mandatory support of abortion on taxpayers is illogical. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON

4

Learning the faith, living the faith Baptism and confirmation allow us to share in the life of the Trinity.

Knights of Columbus News Winter a bit warmer thanks to ‘Coats for Kids’ • Order announces $1 million ‘Food for Families’ program

7

25

Knights in Action

31

Year for Priests Jesuit Father Thomas King inspired deep faith and reverence for the dignity of life. BY DAVID M.A. GREGORY

Fathers for Good A Living Example: Building a culture of life at home

32

Columbianism by Degrees

BY ED RIVET

BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN BISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI

PLUS Catholic Man of the Month

JANUARY 2010

♦ COLUMBIA ♦ 1


Dispelling Lies with Charity OnE MAy OBSErVE that wherever the culture of death is present, the truth has been obscured. In light of the upcoming 37th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, consider, for instance, one of the false premises on which the ruling rests: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” Of course, it is a matter of scientific fact that the developing embryo or fetus is a living, growing human being — neither a “blob of tissue” nor a rhinoceros. yet, because the unborn child remains so hidden, it is easy to pretend otherwise. In recent years, as ultrasound technology has improved and become more widely available, more and more people have come to realize that “seeing is believing.” Mothers and fathers alike gaze in wonder as the miracle of life is made visible with the assistance of sound waves, and the child’s humanity becomes impossible to deny. Consider also the lie that abortion is “safe” and that its availability is essential to the health of women. In addition to health complications and maternal deaths associated with abortion, innumerable women and men have suffered psychological and emotional wounds as well. This is a reality that abortion proponents would like us to forget.

Then, there is the mantra of “freedom of choice,” which conveniently omits the object of the heinous choice being defended. While seeming to affirm an essential human value, the brand of “freedom” that is promoted alongside abortion is false, since it has no relation to truth and treats all choices as equal. The irony is that the frightened young woman who feels that she is trapped thinks little of the cult of “choice,” since she sees no other option than abortion. Authentic freedom, on the other hand, always affirms life; it is measured by the content, not the availability, of a choice. The heart of the culture of death is a web of lies and deceit; the heart of building the culture of life, therefore, must be the practice of charity in truth. This is evident in the constant work of the Knights of Columbus. In this issue of Columbia, we look at the Knights’ Ultrasound Initiative, which assists medically certified pregnancy resource centers in helping women to choose life (see page 8). Likewise, the Order’s support of post-abortion ministries, such as Project rachel, helps those suffering to find hope and healing through the Catholic Church (see page 16). Finally, the support that local Knights give to prolife maternity homes helps to provide a loving environment for women in difficult situations (see page 20). In these ways, and many more, we are working to counter the darkness of the culture of death with the light of love.♦ ALTOn J. PELOWSKI MAnAGInG EdITOr

Supreme Knight’s Book Club – Jan. 21 Join Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and Alice von hildebrand, widow of dietrich von hildebrand, online for a discussion of her late husband’s book, Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love (Sophia Institute Press). dietrich von hildebrand is considered one of the most influential Catholic intellectuals of the 20th century, and Pope Benedict XVI, like Pope John Paul II before him, has expressed great esteem for his work. Submit your questions online at www.kofc.org and take part in the discussion Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. (ET). 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

JANUARY 2010

COLUMBIA PUBLIShEr Knights of Columbus ________ SUPrEME OFFICErS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most rev. William E. Lori, S.T.d. SUPREME CHAPLAIN dennis A. Savoie DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT donald r. Kehoe SUPREME SECRETARY Emilio B. Moure SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EdITOrIAL Alton J. Pelowski alton.pelowski@kofc.org MANAGING EDITOR Patrick Scalisi patrick.scalisi@kofc.org ASSOCIATE EDITOR Brian dowling brian.dowling@kofc.org CREATIVE & EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ________ GrAPhICS Lee rader DESIGN

Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. ________ hOW TO rEACh US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza new haven, CT 06510-3326 PHONE 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 E-MAIL columbia@kofc.org INTERNET www.kofc.org/columbia CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 ________ 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 © 2010 All rights reserved ________ On ThE COVEr An unborn baby is seen at 20-weeks gestation in an ultrasound scan.

COVER PHOTO: Getty Images/UHB Trust

E D I TO R I A L


BU I L D I N G A B E T T E R WO R L D

Health Care, Politicians and the Catholic Conscience The attempt of some legislators to impose mandatory support of abortion on taxpayers is illogical by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson A TrOUBLInG new development has or violate the national interest, then I appeared in American politics. For would resign the office; and I hope any decades, Americans have been subjected conscientious public servant would do to the arguments of certain Catholic the same.” politicians who argued that while “perWhile some might consider that sonally opposed” to unjust policies like Catholic politicians have disagreed with abortion, they were nonetheless unwill- the public policy recommendations of tion. In his famous pro-life encyclical, ing to “impose” that view on the rest of their bishops in a variety of areas, the key Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II the country. This argument is disingen- point is this: many issues are prudential wrote: “The passing of unjust laws often uous, premised on the fact that somehow and open to reasonable disagreement, raises difficult problems of conscience for a Catholic conscience has to be put aside but the inalienable right to life in the morally upright people with regard to the in the public square. context of abortion is not — it is funda- issue of cooperation, since they have a now, the very people who argued that mental, and it may not be compromised. right to demand not to be forced to take they couldn’t bring their private conAs Cardinal Joseph ratzinger — now part in morally evil actions.” he said further: “Christians, like all science into a secular public square are Pope Benedict XVI — noted about poised to use the law to impose a partic- Catholic politicians in 2004: “not all people of good will, are called upon under grave obligation of conular view on others. By workscience not to cooperate foring and voting to include The very people who argued that mally in practices which, even if abortion coverage in health permitted by civil legislation, care legislation, several they couldn’t bring their private are contrary to God's law. InCatholic politicians stand to be deed, from the moral standthe deciding votes in forcing conscience into a secular public point, it is never licit to their fellow Catholics to fund square are poised to use the law to cooperate formally in evil. … abortion through tax dollars. This cooperation can never be While professing that they impose a particular view on others. justified either by invoking recannot impose their conspect for the freedom of others sciences on anyone else, these politicians seem to have little hesitation moral issues have the same moral weight or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (74). about imposing an immoral political as abortion.” It is doubly ironic that a law that view — one they claim to oppose in he continued: “While the Church exprinciple — on the consciences of horts civil authorities to seek peace, not would force millions to violate their conCatholic citizens. war, and to exercise discretion and mercy science by paying their taxes — and Catholic politicians willing to forsake in imposing punishment on criminals, it would entangle thousands of Catholic their consciences have come a long way may still be permissible to take up arms physicians, nurses, hospitals and charities from the legacy of the highest profile to repel an aggressor or to have recourse in the evil of abortion — is being considCatholic statesman in U.S. history, fellow to capital punishment. There may be a ered at precisely a time when the majority Knight John F. Kennedy, who while dis- legitimate diversity of opinion even of Americans, in greater and greater cussing his role as a Catholic and candi- among Catholics about waging war and numbers, identify themselves as pro-life. Catholic public officials in Washingdate for president said: “If the time applying the death penalty, but not howton have the power to prevent this moral should ever come — and I do not con- ever with regard to abortion.” cede any conflict to be even remotely Catholic politicians must now con- tragedy from happening. They should possible — when my office would re- sider the effect of national legislation not hesitate to do so. Vivat Jesus! quire me to either violate my conscience mandating Catholic cooperation in abor-

JANUARY 2010

♦ COLUMBIA ♦ 3


L E A R N I N G T H E FA I T H , L I V I N G T H E FA I T H

Born Anew and Strengthened in Faith The sacraments of baptism and confirmation allow us to share in the life of the Trinity by Bishop William E. Lori CELEBrATInG ThE FEAST of the Baptism of the Lord (this year on Jan. 10) reminds us that, in the course of his public ministry, the Lord gave the Church her sacramental life. When asked how we become members of the Church, most of us rightly answer, “baptism.” yet, our answer would not be complete if we omitted the other two sacraments of initiation. We are “born anew in baptism, strengthened in confirmation, and nourished by the Eucharist” (Compendium, 251).

The story of noah shows how water is both a source of death and of life, just as in baptism sin and death are “drowned” even as a new life of grace is engendered. In passing through the red Sea, Israel was freed from slavery to Egypt. So, too, when we pass through the waters of baptism we are freed from the slavery of sin. In crossing the Jordan, Israel inherited the Promised Land, an image of the eternal life that takes root in us (253). All of this was fulfilled in Christ. To echo the thought of St. Leo the Great, Christ’s passage from death to life passed over into baptism. Accordingly, the risen Christ sent the Apostles out to preach the Gospel and to baptize them

and the whole Church, however, share in the responsibility of attracting people to the faith, helping them to prepare for baptism (in the catechumenate) and to grow in the new life of faith and grace (258-259). normally, in the Latin Church, the bishop, priest or deacon administers the sacrament of baptism. In case of necessity, anyone can do so, provided that he or she has the intention of “doing what the Church does” and employs the correct form of the sacrament (260). Such BAPTIzEd InTO ChrIST latitude regarding the minister of bapThe word “baptize” means to immerse in tism is due to its importance. The words water. Whether baptism is carried out of the Compendium are instructhrough immersion or, more comtive: “Baptism is necessary for monly, through the pouring of Baptism gives us a share in salvation for all those to whom water, the effect is the same: The the Gospel has been proclaimed newly baptized person is immersed Christ’s priesthood. United to his and who have had the possibilin the death and resurrection of Christ. In baptism, we receive an self-offering and freed from sin, ity of asking for the sacrament” initial sharing of the holy Spirit (261). In the strength of we are enabled to offer up every Christ’s salvific will, however, and the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity (252). others are saved without ordiaspect of our lives to God. In God’s plan of salvation, events nary baptism, including those such as noah’s building of the ark who die for the faith (baptism and the miraculous passage of the chosen in the name of the Trinity from the day of blood); those who wish for the sacrapeople through the red Sea were like a of Pentecost onward (254-255). ment but cannot receive it; or those “forecast” or a “prefiguring” of baptism. Who, then, can be baptized? The who, moved by grace, sincerely seek short answer is, “anyone not yet bap- God (baptism of desire). Children who tized” (257). This includes infants, who die without baptism are also entrusted The 22nd installment of Supreme are born with original sin (see 75-78). to the mercy of God (262). Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori’s Through baptism they are freed from We should be grateful for the gift of faith formation program addresses the power of Satan and become children our baptism, particularly when we reflect questions 250-270 of the Comof God. When infants are baptized, on its effects. It not only removes original pendium of the Catechism of the their parents make a profession of faith sin, but also takes away any sins commitCatholic Church. Archived articles are for them. After attaining the use of rea- ted prior to baptism. Through the sacraat www.kofc.org. son, the baptized child makes his or her ment, we share in the life of the Trinity. own profession of faith. The godparents This is called “sanctifying grace,” and it 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

JANUARY 2010


HH TE S O O,LU L E A R NKI N IGG T FAFI TCH L IM VBU I N SG N TE HW E SFA I T H

joins us to Christ and makes us a member of his Body, the Church. Baptism also gives us a share in Christ’s priesthood. United to his self-offering and freed from sin, we are enabled to offer up every aspect of our lives to God. COnFIrMEd By ThE hOLy SPIrIT The second sacrament of initiation, given to those already baptized, “is called confirmation because it confirms and strengthens baptismal grace.” In the Eastern Churches it is called chrismation to describe the heart of the rite itself — anointing with holy oil or chrism, blessed by the bishop on holy Thursday (271). Like baptism, confirmation can

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

Offered in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI

PHOTOGRAPH OF POPE: CNS photo/Paul Haring — ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: CNS Photo/Nancy Wiechec

GEnErAL: That young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society. MISSIOn: That every believer in Christ may be conscious that unity among all Christians is a condition for more effective proclamation of the Gospel.

be received only once (269). In the West, the bishop normally administers the sacrament, although he can delegate a priest to do so. In the East, priests ordinarily confer chrismation immediately after baptism (270). This sacrament has deep roots in Scripture and tradition. The Old Testament prophets were anointed by the holy Spirit. not only was Jesus conceived by the power of the holy Spirit, but he also lived his entire life and conducted his whole ministry in complete oneness with the holy Spirit. At Pentecost, the holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and enabled them to proclaim the teaching and saving deeds of Christ with courage and power. The Apostles

imparted the gift of the holy Spirit to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands. Bishops, who are successors to the Apostles, continue to do so in the sacrament of confirmation (263). In a sense, confirmation enables the recipient to share in the mystery of Pentecost. It brings about a special outpouring of the holy Spirit in whom we are “sealed.” We are permanently marked both as followers of Christ and as full members of the Church. Through this sacrament, the gifts of the holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder and awe) are deepened in us. Thus, we are now more able to bear witness to Christ (268).♦

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

St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274) Feast day: Jan. 28 ST. ThOMAS AqUInAS, a patron saint of students and Catholic schools, was educated by Benedictine monks during his youth. The monks, recognizing Thomas’ diligence in both study and prayer, urged his parents to send him to the University of naples for advanced studies. It was there that Thomas discerned a vocation to join the Order of Preachers (founded by St. dominic in 1216), against his family’s wishes. he went on to teach in Paris, Cologne, naples, Orvieto and rome. As he grew in holiness, Thomas received mystical visions of such significance that he notably concluded, “Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be of little value.” not long after his death in March 1274, the Church embraced the gift of Thomas’ thought. his Summa Theologica became the standard textbook for theologians. he was named a doctor of the Church in 1568, and his writings have been honored at every Ecumenical Council since his death, confirming a statement of Thomas’ mentor, St. Albert the Great:

“his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world.” Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason): “Although he made much of the supernatural character of faith, the Angelic doctor did not overlook the importance of its reasonableness. ... This is why the Church has been justified in consistently proposing St. Thomas as a master of thought and a model of the right way to do theology.” As a faithful model of humility, intellectual rigor and intense spiritual awareness, St. Thomas Aquinas challenges us to search for truth, while remembering “love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” (Summa Theologica II-II, 27, 4).

JANUARY 2010

♦ COLUMBIA ♦ 5


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

Winter a bit warmer thanks to ‘Coats for Kids’

Deputy Supreme Knight Denis A. Savoie with a young girl who received a coat, hat and scarf during a Knights of Columbus “Coats for Kids” distribution in New Haven, Conn., Dec. 2.

ThIS WInTEr, the Knights of Columbus proudly continues its “Coats for Kids” program, bringing new, warm coats to children throughout the United States and Canada. The initiative is part of the Order’s “help a Child in need” campaign, which began in 2006 with a nationwide television appeal for donations to charities that support the needs of children. “As our nation faces tough economic times, we believe it is very important to respond within our communities in concrete ways to help those most in need,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “helping children in need was a fundamental reason for the formation of the Knights of Columbus in 1882, and it continues to be an important component of our work today.” Over several weeks between november 2009 and January 2010, approximately 10,000 coats from Ultimate Apparel will be distributed in more than 20 cold-weather cities throughout north America. So far, successful events have been held in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut, with additional distributions planned in Wisconsin, Ontario and elsewhere. “‘Coats for Kids’ is our effort to help families of limited means ensure that their children are protected against the cold this winter,” said deputy Supreme Knight dennis A. Savoie. “We hope these coats will make the winter of 2009-2010 a little warmer and a little brighter for these families.” For more information visit kofc.org/coatsforkids.

Order announces $1 million ‘Food for Families’ program AS ThE nUMBEr of U.S. and Canadian citizens at risk of hunger are far higher than usual and the number of those planning to give to charity at this time of year are lower than usual, the Knights of Columbus has committed $1 million and legions of active volunteers to its “Food for Families” program. The program encourages each jurisdiction in the United States and Canada to work with its parishes and other community organizations to collect donations for local food banks. States and provinces that see a significant number of councils participate will then be allocated a portion of the $1 million fund. “At a time when record numbers are at risk of hunger, and with fewer able to give financially to charity, the Knights of Columbus hopes this program will help both to alleviate the problem and encourage other religious and charitable organizations — as well as businesses and corporations — to conduct similar programs,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “People may not be able to give a lot of money to charity this Christmas, but many can give a can of soup to help their neighbors. The Knights of Columbus is committed to providing them the opportunity to do so.” “Food for Families” is one of the many projects in the 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

JANUARY 2010

Craig S. O’Sullivan of Jubilee Council 4398 in Costa Mesa, Calif., carves a turkey during a dinner for the needy at St. Joaquim Church. The event saw more than 300 meals served. Knights of Columbus “neighbors helping neighbors” initiative, which began at a summit on volunteerism that the Knights organized in new york City in February 2009. That summit drew leaders from scores of the nation’s top charitable organizations, including The Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, United Way, Catholic Charities, Points of Light, the national Fraternal Congress and many more.


FAT H E R S F O R G O O D

A Living Example Building a culture of life at home

PHOTO: Jupit er Images

by Ed Rivet POPE JOhn PAUL II rEPEATEdLy issued the clarion call for Catholics to counteract the present culture of death by building a new culture of life. The Church teaches that the foundation of every society, indeed of the whole world’s civility, is the family. The love between spouses, and between parents and children, is meant to reflect the life-giving love of the Trinity. This love is at the heart of a culture that sincerely respects the pinnacle of God’s creation — human beings. It is not enough, though, for us to follow the teachings of our faith by refusing to participate in the culture of death. Merely adopting a pro-life mindset is only responding halfway to the call to build a pro-life culture. Think about what the word “build” implies. It is not passive. It involves acquiring materials, using tools and laboring to create something tangible. If we are going to build a culture of life, starting in our homes, we need to be thinking about the materials, tools and labor needed to get the job done. The bottom line is that building a culture of life will necessarily involve living by example, creating a culture that encompasses both an internal mind-set and a way of daily living. Of course, prayer is both a tool and a labor of love that will enhance your family’s life-affirming attitude and empower you to share that attitude with others. devotional prayers to the holy Family can open up graces to the patience, purity and courage that the holy Family demonstrated. Peaceful homes that foster a purity of heart in children could readily produce a generation of courageous young people who will change the world for life. The materials provided to build this culture of life also include the teachings of the Church. The guidance provided by Scripture, sacred tradition and magisterial teachings is an incredible gift, but like any gift, it has to be received. The remarkable material we have to build from includes Pope John Paul II’s catechesis on the theology of the body. This teaching helps to illuminate what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God. Once you see yourself and every other person from this

perspective, a profound reverence for life becomes automatic. This next observation will perhaps be unexpected and unsettling to some. For husbands and fathers still in their parenting years, an essential tool for building a culture of life is to embrace and practice the Church’s teaching regarding procreation. Contraception may seem invisible and in no way a negative factor in your marriage, but it is a subtle and insidious poison to marital love and the culture of life. having lived a part of my married life on each side of this line, I can assure you that the freedom and blessings that come from living in this truth far outweigh the fear that drives one to use contraception. Pick up the tool that is natural family planning (nFP) and live the virtues necessary to practice it. you will develop a deeper love for your wife, and respect for life within your entire household will flow naturally from this practice. Finally, let your children see you do something that puts your pro-life convictions into action: donate items to a pregnancy resource center; attend a pro-life event or pray outside an abortion clinic; or contact your representatives about an important piece of legislation. Putting our faith into action in these ways creates a lasting impression about our role in shaping society. Indeed, building takes effort. Whether you are studying the theology of the body, practicing nFP or supporting a life-affirming ministry, learn from the model of St. Joseph. he knew well the admonition of Psalm 127:1, which states, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Joseph relied on spiritual strength as much as the work of his hands to provide for his family. your living example will serve your own family’s well-being as well as that of your community, nation and world.♦ Ed rIVET writes from Michigan, where he is a member of St. Peter Council 6534 in Eaton rapids. he has served as legislative director for right to Life of Michigan since 1988 and has taught natural family planning with his wife, Michelle, since 1998.

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

JANUARY 2010

♦ COLUMBIA ♦ 7


8 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

JANUARY 2010


IMAGES

of

LIFE The Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative helps women to choose the gift of life by Colleen Rouleau

JANUARY 2010

♦ COLUMBIA ♦ 9


achel Owens knows that life is full of new beginnings. As executive director of Choices Medical Clinic in Iowa City, Iowa, she has the opportunity to help women rediscover hope amid difficult situations. As one of the first pregnancy centers to receive funding for a cutting-edge 3/4d-technology ultrasound machine through the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative, Choices Medical Clinic has a powerful new tool to help women in need. The initiative is cause for great hope for those working to build a culture of life. With the assistance of K of C councils across the country, medically certified pro-life pregnancy centers like Choices Medical Clinic are able to offer truly compassionate care to women experiencing crisis pregnancies. Launched Jan. 22, 2009, the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative matches funds raised by local and state councils with a contribution from the Supreme Council’s Culture of Life Fund to purchase ultrasound equipment. So far, 12 pregnancy centers have benefited from this project, which serves as a con10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010

crete way for Knights to support the health and wellness of pregnant mothers and their babies. OPEnInG WIndOWS TO ThE WOMB Choices Medical Clinic, renovated largely with volunteer labor provided by local Knights, officially opened Sept. 3, 2009. Two Knights sit on its board of directors — robert h. Sinclair of Bishop davis Council 2818 in Williamsburg and Terry ducharme of Marquette Council 842 in Iowa City. With State deputy Patrick T. O’Keefe and Supreme director david A. Bellendier, they played a role in making the ultrasound machine a reality for the clinic. The statewide campaign, with support from many local councils, was matched by a $36,000 check from the Supreme Council. Additionally, St. Wenceslaus Council 14385 in Iowa City initiated a bottle collection project to raise the $10,000 needed for the annual maintenance of the machine. Since early June, Choices Medical Clinic has offered ultrasounds to dozens of women. Owens hopes to eventually see five to seven

PREVIOUS PAGE: Getty Images/ Steve Murez — Courtesy GE Voluson Image Library

R


Left: Dr. Michele Krieger, an obstetrician-gynecologist who volunteers her time at Life Choices Pregnancy Center in Kearney, Neb., performs an ultrasound scan on an expectant mother.

MOTHER: Melenbacker Photography — 3D IMAGE: Courtesy Philips Healthcare

Below: Most recent ultrasound technology produces both three- and four-dimensional images (the fourth dimension allows mothers to see their babies in real-time).

women a day. She explains that the ultrasound is a crucial part of giving women truly compassionate care. “Seeing their baby via ultrasound builds trust between the woman and the counselor,” said Owens. It also reinforces the bond between mother and child. The images are three-dimensional, and the 4d capacity allows the mother to see the baby in real-time. Each woman is also given a dVd of images of her baby. The clinic is available to the women for ongoing support throughout the pregnancy and after. “We are there to stand by them in their decision,” Owens added. Statistics show that approximately 90 percent of women who see their baby by ultrasound choose life. Interestingly, Owens notes that for fathers of the child the figure approaches 99 percent. “Because men are so visual, and because they have an innate desire to protect, the ultrasound is very powerful for them,” she said. Owens is emphatic in her praise of the Knights and their on-going support for the clinic. “I am not Catholic myself, but I have been

amazed to see how their mission is pro-life to the core!” she said. “It is so precious to have such wonderful men of God to support us. Seeing the Knights has restored my faith in men. receiving their generosity is one of the best parts of this job.” The Knights’ support also means a lot to dot harms, executive director of Culture of Life Family Services (COLFS) in San diego. The facility is a full-service Catholic medical center that also offers support to women in crisis pregnancies. The clinic receives referrals from across southern California and provided $90,000 in free medical care last year. With two new abortion facilities opening in San diego north County, COLFS felt it was imperative to open a second pregnancy resource center in Escondido but needed a new ultrasound machine. harms had begun a very lengthy application process with another pro-family organization to obtain a donated ultrasound machine when she learned about the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative. A $25,000 check from an anonymous donor and a matching grant

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 11


women in these situations besides our faith and the ultrasound.” Ultrasound technology can also help women consider adoption (COLFS made 12 adoption referrals in the last year). “I am a firm believer in adoption,” harms explained. “I encourage women to look at Mary’s gift to the world. Women in these situations have an opportunity to give someone a treasure, a life — it really is the most selfless gift.” harms has also greatly appreciated the assistance of the Knights. “It is very affirming to our ministry to have the Knights back us and work with us. They have been incredibly supportive.”

Michigan State Deputy John R. Moody (left) and Supreme Director Thomas M. Wegener view the new ultrasound machine at the Center for Women in Jackson, Mich., July 25, 2009. from the Supreme Council led to the clinic getting a machine faster than anticipated. Moreover, the new ultrasound machine has both better and portable technology, making it possible to take the device between COLFS’ two locations. It has already helped to save and transform numerous lives. “We had a young Marine come in with his fiancée,” said harms. Their baby was due before their wedding, and he was convinced they needed to abort the unborn child. The ultrasound completely changed his mind. “during the ultrasound that little baby gave an audition for life,” harms added. “There are no other tools we have to really help

BUILDING

FOR

L IFE

MEMBErS OF ThE KnIGhTS OF COLUMBUS John Paul II Chapter in Camden and Gloucester counties (n.J.) joined denise Cocciolone, president and founder of the national Life Center (nLC), to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Knights’ nLC ultrasound project nov. 3, 2009. This 882-square-foot, two-storey addition to the nLC building in Woodbury will provide space for an ultrasound exam room, a handicapped-accessible bathroom, an exterior concrete ramp, additional office space, and storage space for items to assist young mothers and their children. The new Jersey State Council, along with the 41 councils of the John Paul II Chapter, provided funding for the project. In addition, the Tom and Glory Sullivan Foundation of Potomac, Md., contributed $20,000 to complete the expansion. In an effort to defray the estimated $88,000 construction cost, Knights from several area councils also volunteered to help build the addition. They will work alongside Cipriani Builders, Joseph Badame of habitech Architects, who donated $5,000 in architectural services

12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010

‘ThE rIGhT ThInG TO dO’ At the 126th Supreme Convention in 2008, delegates voted unanimously to establish the Culture of Life Fund, proceeds from which have since been used to continue the Order’s “longstanding commitment to marriage, family and the gift of life.” A year later, in his 2009 report, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson issued the following challenge to his brother Knights: “We should make sure that crisis pregnancy centers have all of the resources they need, not just from our ultrasound program, not just from our Culture of Life Fund, but in the form of supplies and volunteer time from Knights and their families in thousands of councils in communities large and small. Many mothers who decide to have their children will need help after the child is born. Building a culture of life will necessarily mean helping them then, too.” Laurie Bollig, director of Loreto house in denton, Texas, could not agree more. She offers her friendship to all the women who walk through the door of Loreto house. “I have found it easier and easier to love the women who come to us. When you hear the stories of hurt and abuse,” she said, “it is hard not to want to take them in your arms for a hug and tell them it will be all right.” Bollig added that many young women just need to be reminded, or even told for the first time, that God loves them. A month after

by Bill Harris

to the project, and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew at Christ Episcopal Church of Woodbury. “Since 1970, the staff at the national Life Center has provided compassionate guidance and counseling to mothers facing pregnancy and has helped save half-a-million babies,” said Cocciolone. “nLC receives thousands of calls per month. Every woman is treated with respect, dignity and kindness. Complete confidentially is guaranteed, and our services are free.” She added, “By offering ultrasound exam services, nLC will be able to provide state-of-the-art images of the unborn child to their clients. Such technology will enable these women to hopefully make the choice for life.” Construction on the addition is expected to be complete by February, and ultrasound exams will be available to nLC clients by early spring. BILL hArrIS is a past grand knight of Camden (n.J.) Council 439 and a former district deputy of new Jersey district #55.


meeting Bollig, one young woman returned and said she had pondered the thought that God had a plan for her life. “She told me that she had changed her life,” Bollig recalled. “God blesses me with these women as spiritual daughters.” In addition to assisting pregnant women, Loreto house covers the full-spectrum of life issues by providing services for the elderly and dying. There is a chapel on site, and all staff members receive training from the Sisters of Life. Laurie Bollig’s husband, randy, serves as vice president of Loreto house. A member of denton Council 4771, he explained that Past State deputy Leo E. hanus (2004-06) got the ball rolling and secured a $1,500 grant to kick-start the fundraising efforts to purchase a new ultrasound machine. When they received the machine, Laurie nicknamed it “Gabriel.” “Our machine is our own angel of life showing moms the wonder of the little lives inside of them,” she explained.  nebraska State deputy Michael G. Conrad has been excited about the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative since he first heard about it in June 2008. he immediately wanted to make it a reality in his home state. At the time, a campaign was underway in nebraska that would require physicians to show women an ultrasound image prior to proceeding with an abortion. recognizing that abortion clinics would settle for low-quality ultrasound machines, Conrad wanted to make the latest technology available, allowing women to clearly see their babies. It took a year of planning and organization to make the purchase of a machine a reality. “As councils receive funds, we designate

Rachel Owens (right), executive director of Choices Medical Clinic in Iowa City, Iowa, shares information with a young woman. The ultrasound machine was purchased for the clinic through the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative. money towards pro-life activities, advertising, etc.,” Conrad explained. “donations come from across the state. In a certificate of deposit, these funds were growing. We knew someday we would use this money for an important project.” Even though the bulk of the population is located at the east end of nebraska, some women travel six to eight hours to get an abortion. “It was important that the machine be placed where it could do the most good,” said Conrad. having a centrally located ultrasound machine would give all women in nebraska an option for life much closer to home. Thus, Knights chose Life Choices Pregnancy Center in Kearney to receive the machine in July 2009. “right before the State meeting, we went to the center, and we paid for the machine. We got to see images of the babies,” said Conrad. “If we save just one life, it’s worth every penny. We must encourage councils to do this — it’s just the right thing to do.” For more information about the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative, visit www.kofc.org/ultrasound.♦ COLLEEn rOULEAU writes from Edmonton, Alberta, where she lives with her husband, Louis, who is a member of Our Lady of Fatima Council 4530. They have three children.

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 13


‘GRACE ABOUNDS WITHIN THESE WALLS’ The Knights of Columbus and Sisters of Life celebrate the fifth anniversary of Villa Maria Guadalupe by Columbia Staff

S

peaking to the Sisters of Life in July 1998, Cardinal John O’Connor of new york (1920-2000) recalled that even before founding the community in 1991, he dreamed of opening a prolife retreat center that would be “a place of peace, a place of tranquility, a place of light and refreshment, a place of love.” The most important aspect of building a culture of life, he added, is the “conversion of souls, conversion of hearts.” This, he said, “is surely the charism, the apostolate of the Sisters of Life.” Cardinal O’Connor’s words are now memorialized on a bronze plaque near the entryway of Villa Maria Guadalupe, the Knights of Columbus-owned retreat center operated by the Sisters of Life. Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., likewise recalled the cardinal’s words in his homily during a Mass marking the fifth anniversary of Villa Maria Guadalupe Oct. 5, 2009. The Sisters of Life, representatives from the Supreme Council and friends gathered at the 93-year-old facility in Stamford, Conn. — located midway between new york City and the Order’s headquarters in new haven — to celebrate the great works of grace that have taken place there. WELCOMInG GUESTS In July 2004, four years after Cardinal O’Connor’s death, the Supreme Council helped to make his vision a reality by purchasing a retreat center that had also served as a convent and school run by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters.

UPCOMING RETREATS • Introduction to Ignatian Meditation ♦ Jan. 29-31, 2010 • young Women’s retreat (Ages 18-35) ♦ Feb. 12-14, 2010 • Theology of the Body ♦ Feb. 19-21, 2010 • retreat for all Women: Feminine Genius ♦ March 5-7, 2010 • you are Salt and Light: A retreat for young Adults of the Generations of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI ♦ March 26-28, 2010 • Frassati young Adults retreat ♦ April 30-May 2, 2010 • young Women’s retreat ♦ June 25-27, 2010 For more information, visit www.sistersoflife.org

14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010

Area Knights spent countless hours renovating both the interior and exterior of the retreat house, which was renamed Villa Maria Guadalupe. Meeting rooms were also renamed to honor the respective founders of the Sisters of Life and the Knights, and the building was dedicated in October 2004. Since that time, the sisters at Villa Maria — including nine sisters in residence, plus assisting novices — have served and prayed with thousands of guests. These have included men and women involved with the pro-life movement; pregnant women, single mothers and those wounded by abortion; and others, including priests, religious, married couples and young adults. All together, more than 1,600 people come on retreat each year. Sister Mary Karen, the retreat house’s superior, tells those who arrive, “This is the house of Our Lady of Guadalupe. you can expect to be healed here.” She then repeats the comforting words of Our Lady to St. Juan diego. In addition to retreats that focus on a variety of spiritual and prolife themes, there are other regular events, such as training weekends for “Co-Workers of Life,” and seasonal events like Advent holy hours and an annual Fiesta Guadalupe. On July 4, 2009, the Sisters and Knights also hosted the first “Life Fest.” More than 700 people of all ages, including many young families, attended the daylong event, which featured food, music, catechetical talks, Mass and an evening eucharistic procession. Life Fest was inspired by the Love and Life Site, a shared effort of the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus at World youth day 2008 in Sydney, Australia. “With complementary missions, the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus collaborate at Villa Maria Guadalupe to build a culture of life,” said Mother Agnes Mary, superior of the Sisters of Life. “Each year, thousands of people make their way to this blessed house of Mary to be renewed in Christ and build community among his people.” The fifth anniversary celebration of this collaboration continued following Mass Oct. 5 with the unveiling and blessing of a new stained-glass window of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Among those in attendance was Edwin rambusch, whose company designed and installed the window, which guests see upon entering the front door of the retreat house. Also present were Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, postulator of the cause for canonization of St. Juan diego, and members of the Bernardine Franciscan community.


The exterior of Villa Maria Guadalupe is seen on a spring day. • Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori blesses the newly unveiled “Santa Maria Guadalupe” window following Mass Oct. 5.

EXTEndInG ThE nEW EVAnGELIzATIOn Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson later shared a few thoughts on the irreplaceable work of the Sisters of Life as a consecrated religious community, rooted in prayer and dedicated to the cause of life. “As much as we need organizations like the Knights of Columbus to do the practical ‘heavy lifting,’” he said, “we labor in vain unless we have the communities of consecrated life that are at the heart of building the civilization of love and the culture of life.” Villa Maria Guadalupe marked the first expansion of the Sisters of Life outside of the Archdiocese of new york, and the community has since become international with a house in Toronto. Today, there are more than 70 members of the Sisters of Life community, including novices and postulants. “Some day, I think the Sisters of Life are going to be around the world, and they’re going to be an important global community,” the supreme knight said. recalling the achievements of the Knights of Columbus and its humble beginnings, he added, “In many ways, those achievements will be surpassed by the Sisters of Life in the future.” On behalf of Mother Agnes Mary, who was ill and unable to attend the celebration, Sister Mary Elizabeth also shared a few anecdotes about how, in just five years, countless lives have already been changed at Villa Maria Guadalupe in fulfillment of Cardinal O’Connor’s vision. “We have had the joy of seeing this vision begin to be fulfilled weekend after weekend here at Villa Maria Guadalupe,” she said. “Truly grace abounds within these walls.” ♦ JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 15


HOPE AFTER ABORTION

16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010


F

or decades, the Knights of Columbus has worked tirelessly to build a culture of life. In recent years, this has included working closely with those doing pioneering work to heal the often-silent walking wounded: those who have suffered as a result of abortion. We have helped sustain the work of the post-abortion healing ministry Project rachel; we have co-sponsored two conferences on the effects of abortion on men, and have examined the effects of abortion on parents at a conference at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in rome. In the often shrill debate over abortion, such work is vital: It brings healing to those survivors of abortion that are so often ignored — the parents of the aborted child. I was in rome the day Pope Benedict XVI pointed this out last year. he said: “In the often purely ideological debate a sort of conspiracy of silence is created in their regard. Only by assuming an attitude of merciful love is it possible to approach in order to bring help and enable victims to pick themselves up and resume their journey through life.” It is undeniable that there are multiple victims of every abortion. Certainly there is the child, but then there are the parents, the siblings and the medical staff who are affected, too.

The Catholic Church brings forgiveness and compassion to those affected by the tragedy of abortion by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson

FOrGIVEnESS And hEALInG To understand this more clearly, let us recall the vision of Father Karol Wojtyła, the truly pioneering figure in the pro-life movement who later became Pope John Paul II. The young Father Wojtyła’s experience as a pastor led him to a deep understanding of the trauma that takes place after abortion. In his book Love and Responsibility (1960), he discussed a woman’s complex emotional response: “Apart from its physical effects, artificial abortion causes an anxiety neurosis with guilt feelings at its core, and sometimes even a profound psychotic reaction. In this context we may note the significance of statements by women suffering from depression … who sometimes a decade or so after the event remember the terminated pregnancy with regret and feel a belated sense of guilt on this account” (284-5). These are the people who need healing: the women — and men — whose pain from abortion lingers for years. They aren’t an abstraction either; they are our neighbors, our family members and our fellow parishioners. We find them in every walk of life, in every socioeconomic group and in every ethnic group. Statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, a division of Planned Parenthood, show that between one-third and 40 percent of U.S. women have had an abortion. Thus, an equivalent number of men have been involved as well, and because of this, we must consider carefully the words we use in this debate. Pope John Paul II’s understanding of post-abortion trauma found an articulate voice in Evangelium Vitae. Speaking directly to postabortive women, he said: “[d]o not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope…. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of Mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the sacrament of reconciliation. you will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living with the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life” (99). JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 17


18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010

PREVIOUS PAGE: Corbis/Ralf-Finn Hestoft

FIndInG COMMOn GrOUnd The message that abortion causes pain and is not a good choice for a woman is increasingly understood. Polling makes clear that something is changing in the minds and hearts of Americans. The American people no longer support the regime of Roe v. Wade. That’s not a controversial statement; it is simply true. Roe v. Wade, which has been interpreted to allow abortion without restriction, throughout pregnancy, is at odds with the view of the overwhelming majority of Americans according to several recent public opinion polls, including a comprehensive poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson delivers the keynote address at the 25th anniversary celebration of Two other polls — one by Pew, the other Project Rachel. From left are William Thorn, a member of Bishop Leo J. Brust Council 3702 in Milby Gallup — show far more consensus on waukee, Vicki Thorn, Project Rachel founder, and Auxiliary Bishop William Callahan of Milwaukee. the issue than the continued divisive political rhetoric would lead us to believe. John Paul II also wrote of the pressures that often drive people to Pew found that only 18 percent favored legalized abortion “in all have an abortion, pressures we must understand in dealing with those cases.” Twenty-eight percent said it should be legal in “most cases,” who have been affected. We also need to consider these pressures for 28 percent said it should be “illegal in most cases” and 16 percent those who are considering or might consider abortion. The pope said it should be illegal in all cases. In other words, even when polled wrote: “Then there are all kinds of existential and interpersonal dif- with broadly worded questions, 72 percent of Americans are against ficulties, made worse by the complexity of a society in which indi- unrestricted abortion. viduals, couples and families are often left alone with their problems. An even more recent Gallup survey grabbed headlines by finding There are situations of acute poverty, anxiety or frustration in which that a majority of Americans now identify themselves as “pro-life.” the struggle to make ends meet, the presence of unbearable pain, or Furthermore, it found that while 22 percent of Americans believe instances of violence, especially against women, make the choice to abortion should be legal in any circumstance, most do not. Twentydefend and promote life so demanding as sometimes to reach the three percent believe it should be illegal in every circumstance, and 53 point of heroism” (11). percent believe it should be legal “only under certain circumstances.” I was at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles The totals: 75 percent of Americans don’t agree with Roe, while only when I began to think about the pain and causes of abortion, and the 22 percent of those polled do. importance of the Church’s role in forgiveness and healing. There, neither of these polls, however, gives us the full picture. A poll comhanging in the alcove where confessions are heard is a print of rem- missioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by the Marist brandt’s beautiful painting of the return of the prodigal son. In this College Institute showed among the key findings that: painting, we see the loving embrace that the father gives his son upon • 86 percent of Americans would significantly restrict abortion. his return. he does not pass judgment; he simply loves and forgives. • 60 percent of Americans would limit abortion to cases of rape, In this tender moment, love overcomes the wounds of sin and weak- incest or to save the life of a mother — or would not allow it at all. ness, and healing begins. • 79 percent of Americans support conscience exemptions on aborLooking at this painting, I was struck by how differently we might tion for health care workers. This includes 64 percent of those who approach the abortion debate if we put front and center in our mind identify themselves as strongly pro-choice. this spirit of forgiveness and healing. how we discuss abortion with • 69 percent of Americans think that it is appropriate for religious someone we don’t know, or in public, might change if we consider leaders to speak out on abortion. that there is a 33 percent chance that they have been involved in an • 59 percent say religious leaders have a key role to play in the aborabortion. how we craft our Mass petitions on abortion might be dif- tion debate. ferent if we stop to think that as many as one in three parishioners • 80 percent of Americans believe that laws can protect both the may have had a direct experience with abortion. And how we think health of the woman and the life of the unborn. This includes 68 perabout the issue might be different if we started from the standpoint cent of those who identified themselves as strongly “pro-choice.” of loving and caring for the survivors, while working to protect those Additionally, the data showed that since October 2008 nearly every at risk — the unborn and their parents alike. demographic sub-group had moved toward the pro-life position exThe pain of these parents is no abstraction; it is real. And it is up cept for non-practicing Catholics and men under 45 years of age. to us to be the loving embrace of Christ and his Church to those sufThe data show that the American people are placing an ever-infering this pain. creasing value on human life. Far from the great divide that most peo-


CNS Photo/Paul Haring

ple think exists when it comes to the abortion debate, there is actually a great deal of common ground. Why has there been this sudden shift in public opinion toward the pro-life position? I believe the work of post-abortion healing programs provides a great part of the answer. With one-third of Americans directly touched by abortion, it’s safe to say that people know people who have been hurt by abortion. Two statistics from our most recent polling are also very telling on this issue. First, 53 percent of Americans believe abortion does more harm than good to a woman in the long term. The second statistic, released in September 2009, is that in thinking about abortion, that same number, 53 percent, want to hear from women who have had abortions. Only doctors, at 64 percent, had their opinions more in demand. ThE CALL TO LOVE So, the tide is turning. We saw this at the conferences focusing on men and abortion in San Francisco and Chicago. Even reporters from hostile publications broke down sobbing when confronted with the stories of abortion’s legacy on parents. Abortion has been sold to our country with the lie that it was a necessary choice for women. yet, we know it is always a tragic choice. There are no winners in abortion; there are simply the dead and the wounded. I believe that there is no more effective argument against abortion than this. Mother Teresa said that Christ comes to us in the distressing disguise of the poor. She also said that it is a terrible poverty that a child must die so that people might live as they wish. Taken together, I believe that the poorest of the poor are those whose poverty lies in the loss of a child. We should consider them the face of Christ in our lives and help them with a kind word, a listening ear, a healing embrace. Only love can overcome the tragedy of abortion, and that love must begin with each of us. Of course, our love must extend not only to those who have been affected by abortion, but also to those who are considering it. One concrete way the Knights of Columbus has helped women to avoid this tragic mistake is through our Ultrasound Initiative. We know that the vast majority of women who see ultrasound images of their children choose life. By helping pregnancy resource centers obtain ultrasound machines, we thereby help women to recognize the humanity of their unborn children and welcome their children into the world. you know, we sometimes hear from politicians and others that Roe v. Wade is settled law. Last year, at our annual Convention, which we held in quebec, I told our members that the Knights of Columbus will never consider Roe v. Wade to be settled law. As with any civil rights issue of the past, if we, the people, don’t consider an issue of this magnitude settled law, then it’s not settled law, and it will continue to be legally contested. As we work to legally protect the unborn, we must also work to help those living with us, wounded by abortion. I think a good model for us in this work is the homily that Pope Paul VI gave at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. he said this: “The old story of the Samaritan has been the model of the spirituality of the council. A feeling of boundless sympathy has permeated the whole of it. The attention of our council has been absorbed by the discovery of human needs… But we call upon those who term themselves modern hu-

Alveda King (left), niece of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and other women stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building during the March for Life in Washington and hold signs expressing their regret for having an abortion. manists, and who have renounced the transcendent value of the highest realities, to give the council credit at least for one quality and to recognize our own new type of humanism: We, too, in fact, we more than any others, honor mankind.” The ministry of the Catholic Church to those affected by abortion seeks to bring that message of the Good Samaritan to those most in need of it. Post-abortion ministries have modeled and exemplified this healing and forgiveness that is at the core of Catholic theology. Each of us must work to also be that face of Christ’s healing love. We must work to include recognition of the too often invisible walking wounded among us. We must be sensitive to the fact that so many who hear us speak out on the issue of abortion have been hurt by it themselves. We must seek to heal — not condemn — those who have experienced such pain. In short, we must answer our own call to love, sharing that love with those who need it most.♦ The preceding text was adapted from a speech Supreme Knight Anderson delivered at the 25th anniversary celebration of Project Rachel, hosted Sept. 18, 2009, in Milwaukee. For more information, visit www.hopeafterabortion.com.

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 19


Saving lives through love Maggie’s Place fights the culture of death with community homes for pregnant women by Ambria Hammel

S

amantha was seven months pregnant with her first child last summer, but her due date was not the most pressing thing on her mind. having outstayed her welcome at a large women’s shelter in the Cleveland area, she had just days to find a place to live. Workers at a local pregnancy resource center recommended a small communal home for pregnant women, The zechariah house, that was opening. It offered a private room for each mother and baby to share, and she could stay there until her child was six months old. Samantha soon became the first mom to live at The zechariah house. “It was so nice to have my own space. I had my own door. I hadn’t had that in five years,” she recalled. Once home from the hospital, Samantha’s bedroom was set up for her and her baby — a twin bed, crib, rocker, changing table and dresser. The zechariah house opened in June 2009 and marked the second nationwide expansion for the Phoenix-based Maggie’s Place in less than a year. The organization, which began on Mother’s day 2000, now runs five Catholic-based houses of hospitality. Its mission is simple: give pregnant women who would otherwise be alone or on the streets a place to live. More than 300 “alumnae moms” have passed through the Maggie’s Place houses. All of them quickly learned that each of the houses — three in Arizona and one each in Ohio and Idaho — is far from a shelter or institution. It’s a home. Better yet, it’s a home rooted in the vision of Catholic charitable outreach to the most vulnerable. “We were pretty far into the project when it collided with the pro-life aspect,” said Mary Peterson, director

20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010

and co-founder of Maggie’s Place. “Our passion for social justice met the pro-life cause.” Peterson and at least a dozen other social-justice minded friends from college got together to talk about opening a house to offer hospitality to people in need. The inspiration for the idea came while praying during eucharistic adoration. At the same time, Peterson’s roommate, a one-time director of a nearby pregnancy resource center, was coming home with stories of women who were pregnant, scared and didn’t know what to do. Soon, Maggie’s Place was born. Peterson began living in community with these women, and she now has her own set of stories. GOALS And MILESTOnES Peterson recognizes that a miracle occurs every time a baby is born. So far, she has welcomed more than 170 “miracles,” children born at Maggie’s Place, many of whom are now in school. “We’ve had women that were up on a table [for an abortion] and ran out,” explained Peterson, who has encountered many different and complicated situations over the past decade. Some Maggie’s Place moms move in after turning away from a life of drinking or drugs, or are trying to get back on their feet after leaving jail. Some are simply “couch-hopping” between friends and relatives when “a relationship ends or the family draws a tough

In less than 10 years, more than 300 women and their babies have lived in Maggie’s Place houses with volunteer staff who care for their needs.


line in the sand,” said Peterson, who “I’m still in shock about all the doadded that some of the women had nations that come in,” said Samantha, been “utterly abandoned.” who has received diapers, toys, toiPeterson recalled one pregnant letries and clothing from Maggie’s woman whom staff members had to Place. pick up at a campground after the The local churches and greater woman realized her partner wasn’t community routinely send both coming back. money and manpower to each Mag“The people who should have gie’s Place facility — it costs $200,000 been there to support them can’t or a year to run each house. won’t,” Peterson said. “From the beginning, the Knights But a handful of live-in staff — have been a part of the development young women largely fresh out of of the community,” Peterson said. college — are there to support the Members of Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) residents, 24 hours a day, seven days Council 1363, for instance, painted a week. They work one-on-one with Mary Peterson, founder of Maggie’s Place, stands in front of a 4,200-square-feet of walls in The Mary the moms to help them understand painting of St. Michael the Archangel at St. Michael’s House in house in Coeur d’Alene. Past Grand healthy relationships, develop sup- Phoenix. Knight david T. Carneiro said that port systems, learn life skills, set atfour men worked almost every day, five tainable goals, and establish day care days a week, to get the job done. and savings. The volunteers knocked out walls, refinished floors and put in It all starts with a constant message of, “you’re strong. you’re a handicap ramp in time for the home’s October 2008 opening. beautiful. This can be done,” Peterson said. Many of the women The men, most of them retired, also hauled away debris from the find themselves in a stable place for the first time, and this message work site and picked up office furniture donated by a local bank. releases a lot of fear and anxiety. Finally, they prepared a large garden that now yields tomatoes, pepThe average Maggie’s Place mom is 22 years old, but some are pers, zucchini, corn and herbs for the four staff members, four in their 30s or even 40s. Whatever their background, the moms moms and three babies living at The Mary house. pursue personal goals while living at Maggie’s Place such as obCalvin Meierbachtol, who serves as Council 1363’s pro-life chair, taining a GEd, maintaining sobriety and securing employment. recognized Maggie’s Place as “a way to be proactive and help the The staff and other moms celebrate their milestones, no matter mothers.” he added, “A lot of the other guys probably had the same how small. feeling.” The women often stay motivated once they move out, whether Jeff Langhorst of Our Lady of Clairvaux Council 12313 in Scottsit’s on their own, into another program or into transitional apart- dale, Ariz., is one such Knight. his council has supported Maggie’s ments that Maggie’s Place established early on. Place through fundraising and on-site projects at two of its houses “Since I left there, I accomplished every goal, so I have to set for nine years. In fact, the council offers such regular support that some more,” said Melissa Jackson, who moved out of The Elizabeth Maggie’s Place is now a line item on the council’s budget. house in Tempe, Ariz., in September 2008. “My biggest goal was “When we found out that these women could have made a difobtaining custody of my other children,” added Jackson, who was ferent decision, but didn’t, it was incumbent for us to get involved,” recently reunited with her 4- and 3-year-old children. Langhorst said. Jackson also paid off one of her fines and is finishing vocahe added that the Knights’ presence is an affirmation for the tional training to be an administrative assistant. She plans to get women that there are men who support their decision to choose life her driver’s license soon and ultimately get a house with a big for their babies. Likewise, Peterson said that while the moms’ interacbackyard. tion with the Knights is usually brief, the fact that there are men who Samantha’s future is mapped out, too. Maggie’s Place allowed treat them with dignity in language and action makes a difference. her to return to school more quickly, and she expects to start a And the more people who get involved, the faster Maggie’s Place nursing externship soon. can grow. There is openness to expansion, so long as the mission and Catholic identity of new houses can be well established. The ThE KnIGhTS’ PrESEnCE current out-of-state ventures fell into place easily, and Peterson has Each Maggie’s Place home includes a small chapel, where the considered other major cities to open houses as well. In addition, Blessed Sacrament is reserved, allowing residents and staff to seek she would like to see a fourth house open in Arizona. a moment of solitude. “To know that the Knights will support our work allows us to “Community prayer is the way of remembering that our deepest be more courageous in thinking about expansion,” Peterson said. sense of unity is in Christ,” Peterson said. Additional information about Maggie’s Place is available online Both the staff and the moms are expected to live simple lives at www.maggiesplace.org.♦ relying on divine providence and donations to provide for their daily work. AMBrIA hAMMEL is a staff writer for The Catholic Sun in Phoenix. 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010


What is a Child Worth? Today’s culture is sadly marked by a lack of appreciation for, and hostility toward, the gift of childhood by Anthony Esolen

O

n Christmas Eve, our priest carries under the folds of his vestment, as if his fingers were not fit to touch it, a symbol of the fact that God is with us. It is a figurine of the baby Jesus. he holds it up in procession while the congregation and the choir sing. It is a moment of wonder. here is God himself, that child, the Word made speechless, swaddled in bands as he would later be swaddled in a shroud. no more could we in the West view the child as merely a defective adult. That child was omnipotence. By contrast, several hundred years before Christ, the people of Carthage would slaughter children to appease their god Moloch, who governed a kind of economic relationship with his devotees. If you wanted riches, you had to give riches. If you wanted good harvests, you had to give blood. Sometimes, Moloch was represented by a large mouth, in front of a furnace. The idea, as Scripture records, was to make your child “pass through the fire” (cf. 2 Kings 23:10). This was not done with an easy heart; drums, tambourines and narcotic fumes drowned out the wailing of children charred beyond recognition. Their excuse was superstition in time of famine or war. What we do, by contrast, is done for convenience. What happens to a society that disposes of its children, as we have for 40 years? I mean not only those who assist in or procure an abortion, but everyone who breathes that cultural air.

CNS Photo/Cheryl Ravelo, Reuters

A TrAGIC LOSS OF MEMOry There are several things that happen to people who have sentimentalized both the Christ child and Moloch — who have forgotten that the Child has overcome the world and who turn demurely away from their own bloody sacrifices. The first is obvious. We learn to hate children. Today, there are

books that tell us how rotten it is to have a child and others to show us how to rub out any residue of childhood innocence. It is no wonder the birthrate of many countries in the West is suicidally low. I had 39 cousins growing up, and my wife had 42. These numbers lent themselves to a full childhood. But it is a lonely existence we give our children now. I have two children. They have three first cousins, and there will be no more. There are plenty of only children now, and even more who will not know what it’s like to have a sibling of either the same or the opposite sex. That’s a new thing in the world. In addition, we keep such children as we do have out of sight. In her book titled The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), Jane Jacobs traced the decline of American cities to the removal of children from everyday life, mainly by institutionalizing every facet of their existence. The real bonds of any neighborhood, she argued, are forged by children — those half-unruly creatures who pop in at the grocery, who cross through yards, who link people together, often against their inclinations. But today, we barricade children in school and in day care centers. The poet robert Frost grew up on a farm in new hampshire, yet somehow found time to wander through snowy woods or swing from atop birch trees. now we make sure our children will never know anything similar; worse, we corrupt them. If we actually liked children, we would not put pornographic spectacles before them every day. Our children are exposed to filth that is deadening to the soul. Take a good look at the magazines displayed at grocery counters or the swill that TV networks have to offer, let alone hollywood. The second effect is that we are severed from time and the generations. We are rootless. Back when we had families rich in chil-

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 23


dren, we would tell them stories about children who came before. oldest boy], who had a book before him….” And Peter reads: “And That is how one generation was linked to the next. People who live he took a child and set him in the midst of them.” dickens need with children do not just occupy a set interval of time but dwell not repeat the rest: “he said unto them, unless you become as one under a canopy of eternity. how poor is life without that prospect! of these you shall not enter the kingdom of God” (Mt 18:3). how paltry, to forget your ancestors because your descendants, if We think as we read A Christmas Carol that Tiny Tim is the you have any, will forget you in turn! This, too, is a new thing in cripple who needs to be healed by Scrooge, if only he will part the world, and no culture can survive it. with some of his money. yet, the cripple is Scrooge, and Tiny This severance also infects what we believe about marriage. To Tim has come to heal him, crushing his hard heart by his innosee what we lose, consider Edmund Spenser’s poem Epithalamion, cence and weakness as a child. When Scrooge, chastened and rededicated to his wedding day and his bride. A wedding, for Spenser, pentant, awakes from his last vision and discovers he is still alive, is not a matter of consenting adults who like each other for a while. he dances around his room and says, in a line that is loaded with All the cosmos is invited to share his joy, for a wedding is the act theological and personal significance, “I am quite a baby.” Those that binds together man and woman, reaching back in time to gen- who dispose of their children may be disposing of such opporerations before and looking tunities to dance with the reforward to generations to newed Ebenezer Scrooge. come. Today, on the other hand, we have reduced love to rECOVEry OF WOndEr eople who live with will, to appetite. The last effect is a diminished capacity for wonder — at children do not just EnGInEErInG JOy ourselves and at the world This leads to the third effect of God has given us. Behold the occupy a set interval of our cultural attitude regarding eyes of a newborn child. time but dwell under a children: loneliness and fear of When my daughter was born, our fragility. We are afraid of she had eyes that seemed like canopy of eternity. death, and the last thing we they came from another want around is a reminder of world. her eyes were full of mortality. Children are those wonder, and they were wonreminders. Every parent derful to behold. knows that as children are growing up, he or she is growing older yet, much of our educational system seems designed to flatten and frailer. A child reminds us, forcibly, of our own weakness, first wonder. We teach scorn and flippancy — fine vices, says C. S. because the child is utterly dependent on us and then because we Lewis’ devil, Screwtape, for tempting souls to their damnation. will eventually depend so utterly upon that child. Beauty? A neural tic, peculiar to the observer and not inherent in Consider the lie embedded in the name “Planned Parenthood.” The things; to be awestruck by the sublime is to play the fool. Wisdom? organization’s mission has never been about planning parenthood, but Aristotle said that philosophy begins in wonder. If so, we lose the rather about ensuring that parenthood does not happen — and, if it longing to be wise when we lose wonder. We end by transforming does, about disposing of the products. Even supposing the name ourselves into industrial products, designed babies, engineered bio“Planned Parenthood” were truthful, there’s something timid and mass. As Lewis argued in The Abolition of Man, as soon as we think child-hating about the idea that parenthood ought to be planned. we have triumphed over human nature, because we lack the capacA timid person will want at all costs to guarantee his security and ity to wonder at a gift that demands gratitude and reverence, nature to make sure of all eventualities. To paraphrase G. K. Chesterton, takes her revenge upon us. We can only conquer human nature by if you plan an adventure, you are not on an adventure. If you engi- reducing ourselves to objects, to products. neer joy, it is not joy. The best things in life come to us as gifts. If But there is hope. There must be, for God governs us, ignore him you plan a child, that child is but an egotistical extension of your- though we try. We must turn again to the child and remember what self, your vanities and your caprices. The family is good for us, it was like to love children; then we might cry out with the Psalmist, Chesterton says, precisely because it does not conform to our wishes “O LOrd, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the — because every child born to us comes to disrupt our routine. earth! you have set your majesty above the heavens! Out of the God gives us children to break open that hard shell of self. mouths of babes and infants you have drawn a defense against your Charles dickens understood this principle. In A Christmas Carol, foes, to silence enemy and avenger” (Ps 8:2-3). When we recover when Ebenezer Scrooge is with the most terrible of the spirits, the the wonder of the child, then and only then might we say, with the Ghost of Christmas yet to Come, he pleads with the ghost to show cheer of soldiers marching to battle, that God has made us “a little him a sight of tenderness associated with death. So, the ghost leads less than the angels” (Ps 8:6). May we do so, and may God give him to the Cratchit household, where in a corner are preserved a strength to our youth!♦ crutch and a stool for Tim, the crippled boy they loved. When Scrooge and the ghost enter the room, the other children are doing AnThOny ESOLEn is a Professor of English at Providence College, a senior something notable: “quiet, very quiet, the noisy little Cratchits were editor of Touchstone Magazine and the Modern Library translator of dante’s as still as statues in one little corner and sat looking up at Peter [the Divine Comedy.

P

24 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010


KNIGHTS IN ACTION

REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES

dodge City, Kan., held a charity breakfast that raised $866 for the council’s adopta-seminarian fund, which supports local men studying for the priesthood. INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

Father Thomas Carmondy Council 6498 in Bloomington, Ill., donated $200,000 to the Epiphany Church building fund. Members of Immaculate Conception Council 14405 in Cainta, Luzon, distribute care packages to inmates at the Cainta Municipal Jail. The packages included toothpaste, soap, shampoo and clothing.

GET YOUR RICE HERE!

Members of Kidapawan (Mindanao) Council 8249 distributed national Food Authority (nFA) rice to needy members of the community. due to a rice shortage and the high cost of commercial rice, Knights decided to purchase and resell nFA rice at a very low price. COMMUNITY DONATIONS

St. Anthony Council 1461 in Batesville, Ind., distributed more than $13,000 to various community agencies. Among the recipients were a local food pantry, a baseball complex, three area Catholic schools and 10 parish religious education classes.

parish over a two-year period. The funds are earmarked to repave the church parking lot.

MECHOUI DINNER

St. Calixte (quebec) Council 10975 hosted a mechoui dinner — lamb roasted on a spit over an open fire pit — that raised more than $2,530 for its parish.

Sts. Peter and Paul Council 11475 in Palmyra, Va., built new dog kennels for Caring for Creatures, a no-kill animal sanctuary dedicated to rescuing homeless animals. Caring for Creatures needed more space to train dogs in preparation for adoption. ON PAR FOR THE PANTRY

St. John neumann Council 7670 in Gansevoort, n.y., donated $200 to the St. Theresa Food Pantry. The funds were raised during a council-sponsored golf tournament.

member — who has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. More than 170 people attended the event, which raised $1,646. HOME VISITS

SCHOOL CLEANING CARING FOR CREATURES

Members of Grand Bahama Council 10647 on the Islands of the Bahamas stand with some of the altar servers they recognized from four area parishes. Knights presented each server with a certificate of appreciation.

Prior to the start of the new academic year, members of holy Trinity Council 6093 in Surigao del Sur, Mindanao, cleaned brush and overgrown plants from the grounds of a local elementary school.

Members of Msgr. nolan B. McKevitt Council 689 in Marquette, Mich., visit three area nursing homes each month. The Knights visit with residents and often perform magic tricks or standup routines. NEW TABERNACLE

BREAKFAST FOR LEVI

Blessed Sacrament Council 11001 in Lincoln, neb., held a fundraiser breakfast to benefit nine-year-old Levi dybdal — the grandson of a council

Oklahoma State University Council 11135 in Stillwater, Okla., donated $5,000 toward the purchase of a new marble tabernacle and stand at St. John Church.

BOOK DELIVERY

Meycauayan Bulacan (Luzon) Circle 3767 collected and distributed used books to needy children. Squires rented a boat to deliver the books to an indigent village, located two hours from their community. PAVING FUNDS

St. Vincent de Paul Council 11456 in dartmouth, nova Scotia, raised $11,250 for its

FUTURE MEN OF THE CLOTH

dr. Eugene Glover of Bishop Eugene McGuinness Council 4660 in Wilson, n.C., donated $15,000 to the council’s refund Support Vocations Program (rSVP) fund. With these funds, the council was able to assist 25 diocesan seminarians. Sacred heart Council 2955 in

Cmdr. Paul Younes (right) presents Father Randolph Chew with a U.S. flag that was flown over Baghdad. The flag was given in appreciation for the 187 boxes of care items that parishioners at two area churches sent to the needy in Iraq. The boxes were shipped by Father Christopher S. Rooney Council 3618 in Portsmouth, R.I., of which Cmdr. Younes is a member.

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 25


K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N WARM HANDS, WARM HEARTS

After learning of a project sponsored by the Central Maine Power Company to provide mittens to needy children across the state, holy Spirit Council 13486 in Waterville began soliciting help to donate 100 mittens to the project. The response to the council’s plea was so great that Knights collected more than 400 pairs of mittens — many crocheted personally by parishioners and other volunteers.

run by Father Kadarapu Chinnappa. Father Chinnappa has been visiting St. Patrick Church in Kathleen and will use the funds to support the orphanage upon his return to India. PARISH PAINTERS

Members of holy Trinity Council 1072 in Trinidad, Colo., painted the outside of their church. By doing the work themselves, Knights saved the parish several hundred dollars. FOOD FOR THE FUTURE

Members of Siquijor Island (Visayas) Council 6129 served food to students at Pangi Primary School. Knights hosted the feeding program for students and teachers, and planted malunggay vegetable plants around the school grounds. SIGN OF THE TIMES

A SPECIAL EXPEDITION

holy Ghost Council 10325 in Wood dale, Ill., repaired and repainted the outdoor sign/bulletin board at Church of the holy Ghost. Knights added a new section to the billboard that lists the church address and replaced two pneumatic hinges that keep the covers in place. The council provided all funds and volunteer manpower necessary for the project.

Prince of Peace Council 11537 in hoover, Ala., donated $1,000 to the Special Education Explorer Center. The funds will be used to purchase religious materials for the center, which serves as a religious education classroom for people with intellectual disabilities.

Father Patrick Power Council 4588 in Livermore, Calif., constructed more than 30 benches and tables for St. Clare’s retreat house in Soquel. The center is run by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Members of Kalilayan Council 10165 in Unisan, Luzon, prepare to haul garbage from the streets of Unisan. Knights held a coastal clean-up day to remove trash and debris from the city streets and from the coastline.

local women’s shelter and $1,000 to a club for the elderly, among others. CD/DVD DRIVE

St. Padre Pio Circle 4992 in henderson, nev., held a Cd/dVd drive for U.S. troops stationed overseas. Squires collected 142 dVd movies and 45 music Cds to send to troops. MILITARY BALL

Padre Louis de Soto Assembly in Bradenton, Fla., held a military ball to honor men and women serving in all branches of the U.S. Armed

Forces. Army Staff Sgt. donald Wendt was the event’s guest of honor. Wendt is a Bradenton firefighter who earned the Bronze Star while serving in Iraq. OLD MCDONALD

The Archangel Council 11732 in Aurora, Colo., and the St Michael’s Church men’s club assembled shelving at the Aurora ronald Mcdonald house. The shelving will be used to store food and supplies at the facility, which provides housing to the parents of patients at the Aurora Children’s hospital.

SIT A SPELL

ORPHANAGE IN INDIA

BANQUET DINNER

Father Michael A. Burke Council 14488 in Kathleen, Ga., and its ladies’ auxiliary hosted a pancake breakfast to benefit an orphanage in India

Lachine (quebec) Council 1776 held a banquet dinner during which the council distributed donations to several organizations: $3,000 to a

26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

Members of St. Thomas More Council 8129 in Dallas, Ore., stand in front of an 11,000-pound load of recycled newspapers. For the past 24 years, Knights have recycled more than 1,000 tons of paper and raised in excess of $56,000 for its charitable fund. Most of the money is used to provide scholarships to local students and seminarians.

JANUARY 2010

Charles Emberger of Mary Immaculate Council 12769 in Secaucus, N.J., helps fingerprint a child during the Secaucus Library Fair. Knights provided free identification kits to more than 200 families. Each kit includes fingerprints of the child and other pertinent information.


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

A PEOPLE FOR LIFE Knights promote a culture of life through a myriad of programs

Members of Our Lady of the Assumption Council 11077 in Fairfield, Conn., stand with students and faculty at Our Lady of the Assumption School and some of the new playground equipment purchased by the Knights. The school asked for support from the Knights to buy the equipment when school administrators realized that new toys would not fit into their fiscal budget.

HELPING THE USO

All Saints Council 9709 in raleigh, n.C., made renovations to the USO lounge at the raleigh-durham International Airport. Knights purchased and installed $1,300 worth of cabinets and countertops to help expand the facility. GUARDIAN ANGELS

When Father Ben Powers Council 1315 in Bowling Green, Ky., learned about a local woman who had fallen into deep financial trouble, Knights decided to help.

Through the council’s bingo games and charitable fund, Knights were able to purchase a used car for the woman and two years of liability insurance. They also provided her with two months rent and established her with a temporary job. A WAY TO COMMUNICATE

rev. Pere donat le Blanc Council 7334 in Shediac, new Brunswick, organized a dance to benefit Claudette Pellerin, the wife of council member hector Pellerin, who has ALS. The event raised $10,000, which will help Claudette purchase a special computer that she now needs to communicate.

ABOVE RIGHT: Bill Howard/The Colorado Catholic Herald

A SPECIAL OPERATION

Jack Seified (right foreground) of St. Elizabeth Council 13141 in Upper Uwchlan, Pa., removes a dead tree from church property with assistance from Paul Quinn (left) and Jim Smith. Knights removed about 30 dead trees at St. Elizabeth Church.

Members of yukon (Okla.) Council 6478, along with their ladies’ auxiliary and a parish youth group, shipped more than 50 boxes of clothes, school supplies and toys to a council member who is stationed in Iraq. The Knight, who is a member of the U.S. Army Special Operations, distributed the items to Iraqi children.

[Above] Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Colo., distributes Communion to members of Father Robert E. Kekeisen Assembly in Monument during a prolife event outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Old Colorado City. More than 100 people attended a rosary and a Respect Life Mass outside the clinic. Bishop Sheridan is a member of St. Paul’s Council 11634. • South Carolina State Deputy Joseph F. Gubeli Jr. presented Room at the Inn with a $2,500 donation from the state charity fund after the organization named its Bluffton facility after the Order’s founder, Father Michael J. McGivney. Room at the Inn is a safe haven for pregnant mothers and their children that helps young families move toward healthy, independent living. • St. Bonaventure Council 10049 in Manomet, Mass., held a pro-life baby shower to benefit the Archdiocese of Boston pregnancy re-

source center. Knights collected $2,400 in funds and $700 worth of baby items. • Father James L. Wallace Council 6794 in Independence, Mo., raised $828 for Mother’s Refuge by selling roses to parishioners after Mass. Mother’s Refuge is a home for young women in crisis pregnancies. • Father Albert J. Todd Council 12119 in FuquayVarina, N.C., hosted a spaghetti dinner to benefit the St. Bernadette Respect Life Fund. More than 200 people attended the event, which raised approximately $1,130. • Oak Harbor (Ohio) Council 1944 held a pancake breakfast and baby shower to benefit the Heartbeat Pregnancy Resource Center of Ottawa County. The event raised $340 in funds and more than $700 worth of baby items. The council also donated $200 to the Diocese of Toledo’s Foundation for Life pro-life educational outreach.

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 27


K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N EQUIPMENT LENDING

Wenatchee (Wash.) Council 1545 hosted a dinner to honor volunteers who aid with the Knights’ hospital Equipment Lending Program (KChELP). Volunteers deliver free home health care equipment to more than 3,500 needy people in the area. Since 1998, KC-hELP has amassed more than $1 million in aid to the community. A SPECIAL DONATION

Fort Belvoir (Va.) Council 11170 donated $6,000 to the U.S. Army Community Service program at Fort Belvoir. The funds are used to assist military families who have children with special needs. A CLEAN SWEEP

Members of Talakag (Mind.) Council 11056 collected trash and debris from a busy street in their community, and disposed of the rubbish properly. BASE BOMBING

Our Lady of Fatima Council 3228 in Indianapolis, Ind., received a U.S. flag that was flown over Baghdad, Iraq, in honor of the council and its ladies’ auxiliary. Knights and their wives shipped 15 boxes of care items to a squad in Iraq whose base was destroyed during a surprise attack. The soldiers lost all of their military

equipment and personal belongings. Sgt. Joseph Weston presented the flag in recognition of the council’s efforts while on leave from Iraq. MOVIES FOR VETERANS

After learning that the Alvin C. york VA Center hospice unit wanted to expand its video library and replace outdated equipment, Marian Council 4563 in Murfreesboro, Tenn., held a breakfast to raise funds and collect dVds. Knights collected more than 40 movies and $350 at the breakfast, all of which was donated to the hospital. HUNTERS’ NIGHT

Bishop Louis J. reicher Council 9151 in Wimberly, Texas, held its annual hunters’ night Out gun raffle and charity benefit. Knights raffled off several prizes, including furniture created by local artisans. during the event, the council also distributed more than $13,000 to various charitable organizations. ELDER CARE SYMPOSIUM

Spanaway (Wash.) Council 6806 and holy disciples Council 11948 in Puyallup co-hosted a fraternal benefits and elder care symposium at Our Lady, queen of heaven Church. Speakers delivered

Members of Charleston (Ark.) Council 12875 construct a workshop at the home of Brian King, a council member currently serving with the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq. King began work on the building before his deployment and hoped to finish it upon his return. Aware of the unfinished structure, council members completed the workshop before King’s return home.

presentations on a variety of topics, including Medicare, Knights of Columbus Insurance, hospice care and wills. PARISH DONATION

Matt G. Gilmore Council 999 in Missouri Valley, Iowa, donated $10,000 to St. Patrick’s Church to offset the cost of parish expenses.

PAPER DRIVE SPAGHETTI FOR THE HUNGRY

Immaculate heart of Mary Council 4463 in Moorhead, Minn., held a spaghetti dinner that raised $1,300 to help remodel the dorothy day Food Pantry. BANNER OF FREEDOM

Members of Dolores Council 7466 in Samar, Visayas, prepare relief goods for flood victims. Knights assembled bags full of sundries for affected families after a massive flood hit Eastern Samar.

28 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010

BOWLED OVER

Precious Blood Council 5147 in Bath, n.y., donated $3,000 to the Bath VA Medical Center. The funds will be used to refinish the bowling lanes at the center’s recreation facility, which is used to help rehabilitate disabled or troubled veterans.

When hopewell (n.J.) Council 7103 learned that 3,000 men and women from the new Jersey national Guard were being sent to Iraq, the council purchased two banners for the deployed soldiers. Both banners were signed by Knights and by parishioners at two area churches.

Jubilee Council 4398 in Costa Mesa, Calif., collected more than 3,100 pounds of newspaper during a councilsponsored paper drive. The newspapers were donated to the Fairview developmental hospital and are used in a vocational program for people with intellectual disabilities. Patients sort, collate and sell the paper to florists and wrapping companies that require a supply of clean, sorted newspaper. NEW MONSTRANCE

Chesapeake (Va.) Council 8240 and All Saints Assembly donated a new monstrance to St. Stephen Martyr Church.


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

around Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The care packages were mailed to a U.S. military unit stationed in Afghanistan and distributed to the Kuchis.

MISSION BREAKFAST

Oswego (Ill.) Council 7247 sponsored a mission breakfast to benefit the Passionist Fathers’ India Mission. The annual event is held to raise funds to purchase cows and construction materials. The breakfast raised enough money to purchase three cows for the mission.

RECYCLING IS KEY

BENEFIT FOR DEREK

St. Isaac Jogues Council 11312 in Lincoln, neb., hosted a dinner to benefit derek ruth, a local boy who suffered a brain injury while playing football. The event raised $5,400 to offset the family’s medical expenses.

John Lake and Tony Sacheli of Father Dubois Council 7092 in Okotoks, Alberta, stand with one of their signpost llamas during the council’s annual Llama Classic Golf Tournament. Llamas, which are raised in the area for their coat fiber, serve as walking “billboards” for the event, which raised $20,000 for the council’s charitable fund. Previously, the council has used tournament funds to help build St. James Church, which opened in 2007. Also pictured are: Elva Painchaud and Vi Lake.

Our Lady of holy rosary Council 5508 in Cebu City, Visayas, teaches children the importance of recycling by demonstrating how to sort cans and bottles, and thus produce as little trash as possible. PARISH DONATION

Laval (quebec) Council 2721 donated $75,000 to its parish to help fund a major restoration of the church’s interior.

HOSPITAL FUNDS

RAFFLE FOR PARISH

doctor Briggs Council 4597 in Courtenay, British Columbia, donated $10,000 to help fund the St. Joseph’s General hospital Palliative Care Unit. The money was raised through the council’s mobile food booth, which sells hotdogs, hamburgers and fries at local events.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Council 7479 in dix hills, n.y., held a raffle that raised $3,200 for church repairs.

illuminated St. John’s Bible, a custom display case and storage cabinet was needed to house the magnificent sevenvolume work. St. Catherine Laboure Council 11827 in Chino Valley, Ariz., purchased materials for and built an oak and walnut cabinet to store the books.

STUNNING DISPLAY

When St. Catherine Laboure Church purchased the hand-

Steve Day, Tom Donaldson, Bill Southard, Tom Hill and Julian Wagner of Our Lady of Fatima Council 3228 in Indianapolis hold some of the outdated electronic equipment their council recycled during a drive co-hosted by the Knights and by Workforce Inc. Council members collected old electronic components that were later recycled.

PEACE FROM THE NORTHEAST

Bishop Peterson Council 4442 in Salem, n.h., donated funds to help support Peace from the northeast, an organization that helps returning soldiers transition back into civilian life. Peace from the northeast was started by Michael W. Petrilli Sr. of Council 4442. The organization sponsors support groups, organizes family outings and retrofits the homes of veterans with disabilities. BROTHERS ACROSS THE WORLD

Father Peter J. J. Juba Council 4922 in Orange, Calif., donated $1,500 to nusedela Council 13009 in Santa Maria, Luzon, after a member of Council 4922 learned that

a church in the Philippines needed repairs. The funds will help refurbish the church’s sacristy, which is frequently flooded after heavy rainstorms. NOW HEAR THIS!

Burleson County Council 6366 in Caldwell, Texas, donated $6,000 toward the installation of a new microphone and speaker system at its church.

AED DONATED

Msgr. Joseph Fitzgerald Council 14041 in huntington, Conn., raised $1,500 to purchase an automatic external defibrillator (AEd) to St. Lawrence School and Parish Center.

BOXES FOR SERVICEMEN

Thomas A. Brandon Council 451 in Fort Wayne, Ind., mailed care packages to council members who are currently serving with the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq and Kuwait. The council has three Knights and two family members on active duty. LEAST OF MY BRETHREN

St. Thomas More Council 8488 in Manhattan, Kan., responded to a request for shoes, jackets and blankets for the Kuchi people of Afghanistan. The Kuchis are a nomadic and semi-nomadic people that live in and

Randy Hall (top), Harry Roberts (right) and John Kleespies of Joseph Sidle Council 5511 in Brookings, Ore., work to erect a pro-life sign on Highway 101. Knights completely funded the sign and volunteered to build it themselves.

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 29


O N - TA RG E T R E C RU I T I N G

K OF C ITEMS Available from the following designated official suppliers

TIME TO GIVE FrAnK A. rOTOndI, membership director of Msgr. Edward J. McCormick Council 521 in Port huron, Mich., has an outstanding strength: he never gives into the line, “I’m too busy to join.” “his main strategy [in recruiting] I think is his ability to not concede,” said Pietro Cervini, grand knight of Council 521. “Frank will walk up to a young man and explain that the man is already a Knight because he is attending Mass; by being a Catholic he is already doing most of what we do. he makes it seem easy for them to join by asking them to help with one or two events per year and paying their dues.” rotondi initially joined the Order in 1967, but his job as a long-distance truck driver prevented him from dedicating much time to his council. he reentered the Knights when he retired in 2006. “I find the guys who thought they would have little time to give often end up being much more involved than they thought they would be,” said rotondi, who has used his experience to bring more than 20 qualified men into the Order. “All I ask of a prospect is that he join the Knights,” rotondi continued. “What he does as a Knight and the amount of time that he puts into the organization is completely up to him. [The council] pushes the attitude that a

man’s family comes first — we’ll take whatever [the man] is willing to give after he has taken care of his family. It’s a voluntary relationship, and there is no set commitment of the amount of time a member is expected to give.” Cervini said that the council’s basic recruitment strategy is to hold a membership “blitz” during which a member of the council, or the council’s chaplain, makes an announcement from the pulpit explaining the Order and asking men to consider joining. Four to six council members cover the exits of the church after Mass to answer questions and pass out information. If a man is interested in joining, the recruiters get his contact information and arrange a time for him to attend an information night. From that point, the prospect’s information is turned over to rotondi, who sets up meetings with the prospects and with other council members. At the meeting, the Knights offer more information about the Order, answer questions and help prospects complete a Membership document (#100). “If I had to give one bit of advice to recruiters it would be to stay with a prospect even if he’s unwilling to join at first,” rotondi said. “I’ve had some members that it’s taken a year to convince to join. Talk to your prospects like you’d talk to a friend, not like they’re just someone you’re trying to recruit.”

CAPES, CHAPEAUX, SWORDS, FLAGS, PLAQUES AND MORE Call ThE EnGLISh COMPAny InC. at 1-800-444-5632 or visit www.kofcsupplies.com. Free catalog available. ROBES, FOURTH DEGREE ITEMS Call LynCh And KELLy InC. at 1-888-548-3890. Catalog available FOURTH DEGREE TUXEDOS Approved K of C dress Code Call ChILBErT & CO. at 1-800-289-2889 or visit www.chilbert.com. Free catalog available.

OFFICIAL JAN. 1, 2010:

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, CASE POSTALE 935, Station d’Armes, Montréal, PQ H2Y 3J4 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. COLUMBIA (ISSN 0010-1869) IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 1 COLUMBUS PLAZA, NEW HAVEN, CT 06510-3326. PHONE: 203-752-4000, www.kofc.org. PRODUCED IN USA. COPYRIGHT © 2010 BY KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT NEW HAVEN, CT AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO COLUMBIA, MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. CANADIAN POSTMASTER — THIRD-CLASS POSTAGE IS PAID AT WINNIPEG, MB, PERMIT NO. 0100092699. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 1473549. REGISTRATION NO. R104098900. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 505 IROQUOIS SHORE ROAD #11, OAKVILLE ON L6H 2R3 PHILIPPINE S —FOR PHILIPPINES SECOND-CLASS MAIL ATTHE MANILA CENTRAL POST OFFICE. SEND RETURN COPIESTO KCFAPI, FRATERNAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1511, MANILA. 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. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENTTHEVIEWS OFTHE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS.

01/10

J O I N T H E FAT H E R MCGIVNEY GUILD Please enroll me in the Father McGivney Guild:

nAME

CITy STATE/PrOVInCE

Frank A. Rotondi (center) of Msgr. Edward J. McCormick Council 521 in Port Huron, Mich., serves a tray of food during the council’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party at the Sanctuary at Marydale, a community home for the elderly.

30 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010

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

LEFT: Photo courtesy of Ricardo R. Ramales

AddrESS


YEAR FOR PRIESTS

A Priestly Witness of Life Jesuit Father Thomas King inspired deep faith and reverence for the dignity of human life by David M.A. Gregory BEFOrE EVEn SETTInG FOOT on the campus of GeorgeFather King’s ministry both inside and outside the classroom town University in the fall of 2006, I had heard of a legendary tirelessly spoke of the dignity of human life. he co-founded UniJesuit priest named Father Tom King who celebrated daily Mass versity Faculty for Life in 1989 and served as its president for 15 at 11:15 p.m. I dragged my roommate to this Mass our first night years. An advisor to Students for Life and a strong advocate of on campus and proceeded to attend each day for the rest of my the Knights of Columbus, he believed strongly in the sanctity of freshman year. during my sophomore and junior years, I served every human life and worked to expose the evil of abortion. FaMass with Father King and ther King once posited that came to know and love him if one could, in good conintimately as my priest, as science, condone the abormy spiritual father and as tion of a child, one could my dear friend. Just a logically condone the abormonth after celebrating his tion of the infant Jesus in 80th birthday in May the womb of Mary — a 2009, surrounded by shocking thought. dozens of devoted friends A memorial Mass was and alumni whose lives he held in honor of Father had transformed, Father King this past September, King passed away June 23. and the gathering of stuOver the course of three dents, alumni, faculty, adyears, I came to learn more ministrators, friends and Jesuit Father Thomas M. King (1929-2009), professor of theology at and more about the family filled dahlgren Georgetown University and co-founder of University Faculty for Life, celerenowned priest, a man Chapel, leaving dozens of brated a late night Mass at the university for more than 40 years. who was named Georgeattendants to stand in the town’s “Man of the Cenaisles. Jesuit Father ronald tury” in 1999 by one of our Murphy preached a strikcampus newspapers, The Hoya. Indeed, a veritable mythos sur- ing homily in which he described his experience on one of the rounded this man, reflecting the universal and immense respect many pilgrimages that Father King led to the holy Land. he dethat members of the Georgetown community held for him. scribed how he and Father King spontaneously fell to their knees Thomas Mulvihill King was born May 5, 1929, in Pittsburgh in front of the altar at the Basilica of the Annunciation, upon and entered the Society of Jesus in 1951. After his ordination to which are inscribed the words “Verbum dei hic Factum Est” the priesthood in 1964, he completed a doctorate and arrived on (the Word of God was made flesh here). Indeed, Father King had the campus of Georgetown University in 1968. Over his more a consummate awareness of the living Christ, the God who bethan 40 years at Georgetown, Father King taught courses ranging came man in order that we might become divine. This awareness from the introductory “Problem of God” to a graduate course on penetrated into the hearts of those whose lives he touched. Catholic mystics. A noted scholar of the Jesuit paleontologist Profoundly aware of the abiding presence of God in and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, he sought to integrate the spirituality through all things, Father King served as an indelible medium of of St. Ignatius of Loyola with his coursework, leading his classes God’s grace. Although his absence is sorely felt, those who knew on a weekend retreat for many years and striving to draw all of and loved Father King can take confidence in his intercession and his students toward the living God. prayers for us. Perhaps my dear friend, Andrea Pittaluga, put it he celebrated Mass six nights per week in the dahlgren Chapel best: “We can feel the walls of heaven rebound with joy at Father of the Sacred heart for four decades, and he drew countless mem- King’s presence in the kingdom.”♦ bers of the Georgetown community to fall more deeply in love with Jesus Christ. In fact, dozens of Georgetown undergraduates dAVId M.A. GrEGOry, past grand knight of Georgetown University discovered their vocations to the priesthood and religious life Council 6375, is a senior at Georgetown University, where he is majoring in through their friendship with Father King. philosophy and theology. O B S E RV E T H E Y E A R F O R P R I E S T S W I T H A S P E C I A L P R AY E R C A R D AVA I L A B L E AT W W W. KO F C . O RG / Y E A R F O R P R I E S T S

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 31


C O LU M B I A N I S M B Y D E G R E E S

Fraternity MEMBErS OF Lancaster (Calif.) Council 2455 landscape the home of Knight Leo Ballman and his wife, Barbara. When the Ballmans were cited by the city for their home’s lack of landscaping, Knights completed the project for the 80-year-old couple. • St. Jude’s Council 12092 in Blackwood, n.J., launched an endowed scholarship program at Our Lady of hope School in memory of richard Simpson, a deceased council member. A $1,000 scholarship in Simpson’s name will be awarded annually to a deserving student.

Charity

Unity

Patriotism

MEMBErS OF St. Edmond Council 10293 in Lafayette, La., complete a concrete form while repairing the parking lot at St. Edmond Church. rainwater runoff was eroding the soil on church grounds and encroaching the road surface of the church parking lot. Knights installed a proper drainage system to help correct the problem. • redemptorist Council 9566 in davao City, Mindanao, distributed bags of rice, canned goods and noodles to 138 families whose homes were damaged in a devastating fire. Knights distributed care packages to each family affected by the blaze.

rEynALdO GUAdALUPE of St. John nepomucene Council 12075 in Bacolod City, Visayas, teaches local schoolchildren how to plant saplings at a council-sponsored tree planting and feeding program. Knights visit a local elementary school each month to provide food to impoverished children, who in turn help the Knights plant new trees in the area. • When the religious education building at St. Jude Church became so run down that it was no longer acceptable for housing students, Sacred hearts Council 11262 in Mineral, Va., stepped in to make repairs. Knights replaced walls, doors, emergency lighting and carpeting, saving the church more than $25,000.

MEMBErS OF Frank J. Parater Circle 5069 in richmond, Va., stand with Lt. r. Brian Alexander (third from left), who presented the circle with a U.S. flag and a certificate of appreciation. Both items were presented after the Squires shipped 14 boxes of care items to U.S. soldiers stationed at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. • Father Chirouse Council 5816 in Lynnwood, Wash., provided financial backing to council member Arnie Wheeler after he became involved with The hugs Project. This initiative sends care packages to U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

32 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

JANUARY 2010


KNIGHT S O F C O LUM BUS

Building a better world one council at a time 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.

TO

BE FEATURED HERE , SEND YOUR COUNCIL’ S

Members of Sts. Gabriel and John Vianney Council 12335 in Colorado Springs, Colo., work to frame a house that was being erected by Habitat for Humanity. Knights volunteer quarterly at the Habitat-built neighborhood Woodmen Vista and at the organization’s resale store.

“K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” C OLUMBIA , 1 C OLUMBUS P LAZA , N EW H AVEN , CT 06510-3326

PHOTO AS WELL AS ITS DESCRIPTION TO : OR E - MAIL : COLUMBIA @ KOFC . ORG .

JANUARY 2010

♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 33


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

KEEP T HE FA IT H A LIVE

‘I REALIZED IT WAS GOD ASKING ME TO BE ALL FOR HIM.’ I recall vividly the moment I realized our Lord was calling me. My vocation discovery occurred during a brief encounter with two Pauline sisters who were selling religious books as part of their street ministry. After I politely purchased a few books, one of the sisters asked me if I ever considered a religious vocation. “No, not that I can recall,” was my response. She persisted and asked again, “Marla, you’ve never thought about being a sister?” Because I was on a career track and had many aspirations, I decided to end the exchange with an answer that I knew would settle the issue: “Look, I’m not worthy to be a sister.” She simply said, “But Marla, no one is worthy.” In that moment, I realized that it was God asking me to be all for him. The next year, I entered a Roman Catholic congregation serving in the mission of evangelization and catechesis. As of June 2008, I began under Bishop Gregory J. Mansour the first Maronite religious congregation of women to be founded in the United States. In imitation of Mary, we are called to be spiritual mothers to God’s people radiating the light of his hope and mercy. SISTER MARLA MARIE LUCAS MARONITE SERVANTS OF CHRIST THE LIGHT WEYMOUTH, MASS.


Columbia January 2010