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A toast to your family, your faith & your financial security this new year.


Find your agent at kofc.org/faa

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


10 Voices of the Pro-Life Generation Young leaders speak about the impact they are having in the preeminent human rights battle of our time.

16 A Passionate Pioneer Remembered Dr. Mildred Jefferson’s ardent witness on behalf of the unborn remains a powerful model and inspiration. BY MARY HALLAN FIORITO

19 An Enduring Consensus For more than 40 years, Americans have supported the Hyde Amendment’s ban on federal funding of abortion. BY HELEN M. ALVARÉ

20 Canada’s Fight for Life An interview with Jeff Gunnarson, national president of the Campaign Life Coalition, about the Canadian pro-life movement today.

22 ‘Champions for the Unborn’ K of C councils are promoting pro-life legislation all across the United States. BY KEVIN J. JONES

26 Standing Firm Before a Slippery Slope Religious leaders, doctors and disability advocates speak out against physician-assisted suicide.

A young pro-life advocate rises above the crowd at the 2018 March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.




‘This Crisis Calls for Knights’ The Order will strengthen the Church by forging new paths that stay true to the founding vision of Father McGivney. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON




Building a better world Our works of charity, beginning with defense of the most defenseless, bear witness to the sacred dignity of every human life. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON


Learning the faith, living the faith My parents have been faithful and loving examples to me and others for many decades.


Knights of Columbus News New Book Illustrates K of C History • Order Honored for Service to Persons with Disabilities • ‘Spread the Light of Christ’


27 Knights in Action

PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month



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Abortion and the ‘Infinite Game’ SOME GAMES are finite: They have well-defined rules, objectives, opponents and endpoints. Baseball and bingo have clear winners and losers — but as author Simon Sinek observes in his bestselling new book The Infinite Game, most things in life are not so simple. In business, for instance, parameters and players are constantly changing, and the “game� doesn’t end. Effective and visionary leadership, Sinek argues, requires an infinite mindset, looking beyond finite goals and staying focused on a “just cause,� even if it may never be fully realized. As I was reading Sinek’s book, the pro-life movement came to mind almost immediately. For nearly five decades, one of the movement’s primary goals has been to reverse the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. To be sure, overturning Roe is a critical step that would save many lives — but to think that the victory would then be won, and the mission complete, would be a grave mistake. In a “post-Roe world,� abortion would remain unrestricted in many states. According to a July 2019 study conducted at Middlebury College, the short-term effect would be only a 12.8% reduction in the abortion rate nationwide. It is important to remember that laws have an impact on culture, and they are also a reflection of it. This was apparent when Roe v. Wade was nearly overturned once before, with the Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992. The court’s opinion noted that “for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized

intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.� From 1992 to 2017, the number of surgical abortions reported annually in the United States fell by nearly a half million, from 1,359,145 to 862,320. There are various reasons for this decline, including life-saving legislation, but one key factor is infinite-minded leadership. Consider, for example, all of the lifeaffirming medical clinics and pregnancy centers that today empower abortionvulnerable women to choose life — in many cases with help from ultrasound machines funded by the Knights of Columbus. As many pro-life leaders have said, the goal is not simply to make abortion illegal, but to make it unthinkable. In the end, the heart of the abortion debate is deeper than a question of science (when life begins) or of law (a socalled right to abortion). Rather, it is a question about the very nature of freedom, sexuality and what it means to be human. An adequate response requires the proclamation of the Gospel of Life in word and deed — a mission that is beautifully expressed in the work of the Sisters of Life and others, but which is also the responsibility of us all. There is no greater just cause than building an authentic culture of life — and even when Roe is eventually overturned, our work will have only just begun.♌ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR

Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death The gripping documentary Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death chronicles personal stories of assisted suicide in the United States, Canada and Europe. Directed by Kevin Dunn, a member of St. Ann Council 10009 in Ancaster, Ontario, the 56-minute film was produced in association with the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and partially funded by the Knights of Columbus in Canada. Fatal Flaws will make its world television premiere Jan. 15 on EWTN. Visit fatalflawsfilm.com. 2 ♌ COLUMBIA ♌



Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us.


HOW TO REACH US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 ADDRESS CHANGES 203-752-4210, option #3 addresschange@kofc.org COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 K OF C CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 EMAIL columbia@kofc.org INTERNET kofc.org/columbia ________ Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.


Copyright Š 2020 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER A Knight witnesses to the sanctity of life amid the massive crowd during the 2019 March for Life. Each January, the march follows Constitution Ave. and ends at the U.S. Supreme Court building.



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‘Seek the Kingdom of God’ Our works of charity, beginning with defense of the most defenseless, bear witness to the sacred dignity of every human life by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson LAST NOVEMBER, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reaffirmed and reissued its document on political responsibility, titled Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. Accompanying it was a letter that read in part: “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.” Our bishops are right: The ongoing destruction of innocent human lives — more than 50 million since Roe v. Wade — must be “our preeminent priority” if Catholic social justice teaching is to retain its coherence. It has been suggested that more attention should be given to the words of Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation on the call to holiness in today’s world, Gaudete et Exsultate. “Our defense of the innocent unborn,” the pope writes, “needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development.” He then adds, “Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection” (101). The decision in Roe v. Wade mandates the opposite. It insists that unborn children be treated unequally. In recent years, the abortion lobby has argued that pro-life advocates care only

for the unborn and ignore the plight of others. But Pope Francis rightly opposed this lie in Gaudete et Exsultate. The Knights of Columbus likewise refutes this argument every day, by a thousand acts of charity that help “the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged.” The Second Vatican Council reminded us that “the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God” (Lumen Gentium, 31). The Knights of Columbus seeks to do this through our fraternal life insurance program, our charitable activities, and our advocacy of basic human rights. St. John Paul II provided further guidance in his apostolic exhortation on the vocation and mission of the laity: “The inviolability of the person … finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination” (Christifideles Laici, 38). And Pope Francis affirmed this in his encyclical on human ecology, Laudato Si’: “How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings,” the pope asked, “if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? ‘If personal and social

sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away’” (120). When speaking of these matters during our Supreme Convention in Minneapolis last August, I noted that, for us, charity is a matter of principle, not politics. In our pro-life efforts and in our acts of charity, we must resist the tendency to politicize every activity — a tendency that leaves everything prey to the partisan question, “Who benefits politically?” We should not have to calculate political costs in our acts of charity and defense of the vulnerable, for as Catholics, we are called to apply a calculus different than politics. That calculus was articulated by St. John Paul II 25 years ago, when he wrote that the Gospel of Life “is the proclamation that Jesus has a unique relationship with every person, which enables us to see in every human face the face of Christ” (Evangelium Vitae, 81). Pope Benedict XVI, during his 2008 visit to the United States, further reminded us that praying for the coming of Christ’s kingdom also means “working for its growth in every sector of society.” As we begin 2020, let us continue to build this kingdom “in every sector of society” by seeing Christ’s face in all those we meet. Vivat Jesus!



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A Century of Life My parents have been faithful and loving examples to me and others for many decades by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

THIS MONTH, my mom cele- They loved Frankie and faithfully brates her 100th birthday, and my cared for him until he died a few parents celebrate their 73rd wedding years ago. anniversary. Dad is much younger Because my younger brother came than Mom. He’s only 98! along 11 years after I was born, I was I’ve been asked many times if I in- also able to witness how my parents’ them, I offer Mass in their room at herited their hardy genes. I don’t love enveloped the newest member of the nursing home and anoint them. know about that, but I do know that our family. “What a gift!” Mom always says. Mom and Dad taught us the faith When asked if she’s proud of me, she Mom and Dad have given me an even more precious inheritance — the gifts — both by word and by example. astutely replies, “Not proud, but Back in the day, my classmates and I grateful to God.” of life, faith and a good example. Mom and Dad are part of what studied the Baltimore Catechism. We In addition to everything else, Tom Brokaw called “the greatMom is artistically gifted. I est generation.” Dad is a have several of her paintings, World War II veteran and a and I cherish them. She and Dad arrived to take Mom longstanding member of the Dad were also good with Knights of Columbus. He power tools; for the most part, on a first date. Grandma looked served in the Navy, near Okithey did their own home renonawa, and about a year after vations and repairs. That gene him over and asked, “Are you reentering civilian life, he met was definitely not handed on the man St. Joseph sent?” my mom. to me! My maternal grandmother In the midst of all their knew that my mother was work, Mom and Dad always looking for a good Catholic husband, had to memorize a certain number of had time for others in need. When I so she prayed a novena to St. Joseph. catechism questions and answers every was still in the seminary, my parents Sure enough, on March 19, 1946 (St. night, and Mom always made sure I started visiting the sick and elderly Joseph’s feast day), Dad arrived to take had the answers down pat. My parents in nursing homes and continued Mom on a first date. Grandma looked expected me to study hard and to be doing so until they were up in years him over and asked, “Are you the man respectful of the religious sisters who themselves. For much of their lives, St. Joseph sent?” Evidently, he was. taught us. Usually, I did OK. they were daily communicants and They were married Jan. 17, 1947. At an early age I had an inkling never went a day without praying My parents worked hard — Dad that God was calling me to be a the rosary. Soon, family members and friends for the telephone company and mom priest, and I solemnly announced this at home, taking care of us three boys. to my parents. They surely knew that will gather to celebrate my mom’s We were a handful. In addition to I was way too young to be so certain, big birthday and parents’ anniverdealing with my mischief, Mom also but they didn’t let on. Instead, they sary. I look forward to sharing in had the challenging responsibility of gently encouraged me. They didn’t that happy moment of celebration caring for my older brother with spe- push or pull. and thanksgiving. May the Lord cial needs. In accepting that heavy As ordination drew near, I sensed bless them in their love for each cross, my parents taught me a lot their joy in my priestly vocation — other and in the love they have about commitment and perseverance. and I still do. To this day, when I visit shared with so many.♦ 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦


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A monthly reflection and practical challenge from Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori: And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. (Gospel for Jan. 5, Mt 2:9-12) Whenever I meet a refugee, immigrant or traveler, I am reminded of things I take for granted. Those who come great distances to find something often draw our attention to the


blessings we enjoy. Most of us are fortunate to have Jesus nearby, truly present in the tabernacle of our local church, but we take his close presence for granted all too easily. The Wise Men embarked on a difficult journey to encounter Jesus, but a fiveminute drive can seem too far for us. May our daily familiarity with Jesus never result in indifference. May we instead, like the Wise Men, enter the Lord’s house to do him homage. Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori: This month, I challenge you to take to heart the example of the Wise Men and go out of your way occasionally to visit the Blessed Sacrament in a local church. Second, I challenge you to participate in the Faith in Action March for Life or Novena for Life programs or to personally support a local pro-life initiative. ♌


Blessed Nicholas Kitbamrung (1895-1944)

We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote peace and justice in the world.

L I T U RG I C A L C A L E N DA R Jan. 1 The Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God Jan. 2 Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen Jan. 4 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Jan. 12 The Baptism of the Lord Jan. 17 St. Anthony, Abbot Jan. 21 St. Agnes Jan. 22 Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children (U.S.A.) Jan. 24 St. Francis de Sales Jan. 25 The Conversion of St. Paul Jan. 28 St. Thomas Aquinas Jan. 31 St. John Bosco

MANY EUROPEAN missionaries have preached the faith in Thailand in the last 400 years, but few as tirelessly and fearlessly as her native son and first martyred priest, Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung. His parents were both converts from Buddhism and raised their six children as Christians. At age 13, Nicholas entered the minor seminary. He was ordained in 1926 by Bishop RenĂŠ-Marie-Joseph Perros, the same French missionary who had baptized him with the name “Benedictus.â€? Father Kitbamrung’s work as a diocesan priest took him far and wide. From a parish near Bangkok, he was sent north to train a group of Salesian missionaries and teach them the Thai language. He then traveled even further north, along the border with Laos, reevangelizing Catholic communities and winning new converts. The nationalist government that came to power in 1938 viewed Christianity with hostility. As tensions with French forces in Indochina rose in 1940, Father Kitbamrung’s efforts to evangelize and promote religious freedom made him a target. After ringing a

church bell for Sunday Mass on Jan. 12, 1941, he was arrested, prosecuted for “promoting rebellionâ€? and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Father Kitbamrung continued to minister, catechizing his fellow prisoners and baptizing more than 60 of them. Unable to celebrate Mass or pray the breviary, he drew spiritual strength and consolation from the rosary. After eventually contracting tuberculosis, he was denied care because he was Catholic. He died Jan. 12, 1944, and his remains were later buried under the main altar of the cathedral in Bangkok. Pope John Paul II beatified Father Kitbamrung in 2000, recognizing him as a martyr who died due to hatred of the faith ex aerumnis carceris (from the hardships of incarceration).♌



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‘This Crisis Calls for Knights’ The Order will strengthen the Church by forging new paths that stay true to the founding vision of Father McGivney by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson our Church — usually measured by attendance at Mass — has been declining for many decades. This is a crisis for our Church. This is a crisis for our Catholic families. We are not talking about abstractions. We are talking about our parishes, our communities, our councils, our families and our friends. And this is a crisis for our Order. The hard reality is that the Knights of Columbus is not immune to these trends. You know as well as I do that we are finding it harder to recruit men — especially younger men. And while many jurisdictions are still adding members and inspiring more good works, in other jurisdictions this is no longer the case. This trend makes clear that our long-term future is far from secure — both as a Church and as an Order. We cannot expect someone else to come in and make everything right. The challenges are too great. All of us have a responsibility. We must step up and we must act now. This crisis calls for Knights.

EACH YEAR in November, we take stock of what we have done and what still remains to be done. Yet this year is different. Why? Because we’ve reached a turning point. We’ve reached a crossroads as an Order, and in the Church itself. A rising tide lifts all boats, and there has been a rising tide since the Second Vatican Council. The council opened the floodgates of lay involvement and lay leadership in our Church. The Knights of Columbus has been there at every level of the Church in service and in solidarity. In so many ways, we have been indispensable as the strong right arm of our pastors, our bishops and even, at times, our popes. As an Order, we have nearly doubled our OUR ESSENTIAL ROLE size since the middle of the 20th cenOur popes have been calling our attury, and in recent years, we exponentention to this crisis for decades — tially increased our charity. most importantly when they speak But there is another tide — a tide about the Church’s mission of evanthat is no longer rising. In fact, it is a gelization, as did Pope St. Paul VI in tide that is receding, and it is receding Evangelii Nuntiandi, Pope St. John Supreme Knight Carl Anderson addresses state deputies fast — and it’s pulling much of what Paul II in Redemptoris Missio and, during the midyear organizational meeting in November. we love out to sea. We all can see what most recently, Pope Francis in Evanis happening; it’s impossible to ignore. gelii Gaudium. We can see why this Over the last 50 years, more than 26 million Americans have is a crisis of evangelization when we examine the reasons left the Catholic faith, along with millions more in Canada. In the Catholics themselves say they leave. First, large numbers of young adults rebel after years of catechpast several decades alone, baptisms have fallen by more than 40%; sacramental marriages have plummeted by two-thirds; and the per- esis and sacramental practice under their parents’ guidance. Many centage of Catholics who attend Mass every week has dropped of them find they were only going through the motions with their parents; they never really internalized the Catholic faith and now from more than half to just over 20%. Approximately four out of every 10 “born and raisedâ€? Catholics they find it boring. A second category is made up of Catholics who choose a lifestyle no longer identify as Catholics, and for every person in the United States who converts to the Catholic faith, seven leave. This year contrary to Catholic moral teaching and leave the Church. And a third group is made up of Catholics who faced a crisis marked the first time that a majority of Hispanics in the United States said they don’t identify as Catholic. Although the recent scan- and needed help, but did not receive support from their fellow dals have contributed to this trend, the involvement of Catholics in Catholics. 6 ♌ COLUMBIA ♌



On Nov. 23, I delivered the following address at the Order’s midyear organizational meeting of state deputies in Orlando, Fla. I encourage all Knights to read and reflect on these remarks about the mission and future of the Knights of Columbus and a historic moment in the life of our Order — the introduction of a new, optional combined exemplification of our principles of charity, unity and fraternity.

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My brother Knights, this crisis in our Church is really a crisis A NEW CEREMONY FOR A NEW ERA of evangelization — or rather, it is a crisis of a failure to evangel- This historic new ceremonial is rooted in our past and tailored to ize. In a particular way, it is a failure to evangelize the Catholic our present. It will inspire more men to join us. Most of all, it is esfamily and to evangelize within the Catholic family. Such a crisis sential to the sustainability of the Knights of Columbus, as it will cannot be adequately responded to without the action of empower us to advance our mission and grow in the years ahead. Catholic husbands and fathers. It is essential to our ability to meet the crisis we now face. Three decades ago, St. John Paul II told us that the lay faithful Before I explain what the new ceremony entails, let me first adhave “an essential and irreplaceable role” in the Church’s mission of dress why it is necessary. The current degrees are products of the late evangelization (Christifideles Laici, 7). Today, I say to you that the 19th century. At that time, the Knights of Columbus competed Knights of Columbus has “an essential and irreplaceable role” in con- with other fraternal societies. In those days, men wanted secrecy fronting the crisis we now face as a Church. and the sense of progression that came with multiple degrees. That’s The Knights of Columbus will rise to meet this challenge. We will why our founder and first members initially created a system of two take up our essential and irreplaceable role. We must become again ceremonies. Over time, a third and then a fourth were added. a Church that evangelizes — a Church that evangelizes its children The idea of a journey through knighthood in which men proand families and at the same time reaches out to those who do not gressed from one degree to the next was meant to encourage greater yet know Christ who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” We can participation in the activities of the Order. It was meant to inspire and we must do this by our witness and our charity. men to seek leadership roles in our local councils — and for a time Today, the Knights of Columbus has the tools to meet this cri- it worked well. But the men of today are not the men of the 1880s, sis on two important levels. First, because of our Faith in Action or even the men of the 1980s. model we now have effective programs to meet the challenges we In recent decades, we have found it harder to bring men, esface — programs to evangelize and strengthen Catholic family pecially young fathers, into the Order. When we ask them why, life with our men’s spirituality and marthey tell us three ceremonies are too riage spirituality programs like Into the time-consuming and too difficult to atBreach, Complete My Joy, and The Family tend. They also tell us that secrecy is unFully Alive. necessary, and sometimes, it is even an UST AS OUR FOREFATHERS We are also inspiring a new generation impediment to joining. of Catholic men by the witness of brother Many local councils lack ceremonial RALLIED TO MEET THE Knights who are true Everyday Heroes teams or the manpower to organize dethrough the video series with that title. Our grees. This means many candidates wait CHALLENGES OF THEIR DAY, Office of Youth Protection offers a robust far too long to fully join our ranks. Some program to enhance a safe environment for give up. Too many never take their Second WE MUST INSPIRE THE MEN our children, and the film Protecting Our and Third degrees. Last year, little more OF OUR DAY. Children: A Family’s Response to Sexual than half of the men who took their First Abuse offers families knowledge and conDegree also took their Third Degree. crete steps to help keep their children safe. This situation will not improve during We continue in countless ways to bring the coming decade as the number of cerChrist’s love and concern to millions who suffer and are in need. We emonial teams — especially Third Degree teams — decline. provide a charity that evangelizes because it sees in the face of all Today, our current system is too often a stumbling block, not a those who suffer the face of Christ. And this must be especially true gateway to membership. Today, our current system too often fails for our brothers and sisters in our parishes who face hardship and to promote a truly Catholic fraternal membership according to suffering. We must redouble all these efforts, and we must bring the the vision of Father McGivney. programs in our Faith in Action model to even greater heights. Our ceremonials have always been an essential way we teach the We must forge a new generation of Knights — men who see in principles of charity, unity and fraternity. But today, too many men our principles of charity, unity and fraternity a path to leading a never hear the lessons of unity and fraternity. The current inability Catholic way of life that can strengthen their families, their parishes of our system to reach so many brother Knights and teach them and their communities. Just as our forefathers rallied to meet the the lessons of unity and fraternity must have an impact on the charchallenges of their day, we must inspire the men of our day. acter and life of many local councils. All this threatens the future of We must reach out to meet these men where they are. And when our Order. We have the responsibility to act and to act now. we do, we must show them that they are called to be men of charity, We must find new ways to bring the men we need — and the unity and fraternity. Because of this, we are acting to make our Order men who need us — into our Order. We no longer need a journey more inviting and more accessible. Our online membership initiative through knighthood based upon a progression of degrees that nearly has already opened the door to membership where no local councils half our men are unwilling or unable to take. Today, we need an may be active. Early in the new year, we will begin offering a new exemplification of our principles that presents, in a clear and conand groundbreaking combined exemplification of our principles of vincing way, how charity, unity and fraternity can come together charity, unity and fraternity. to form a Catholic way of life for today’s man and his family.




Our most recent Supreme Convention adopted a resolution from Illinois to consider combining our current First, Second and Third degree ceremonies into one and removing the condition of secrecy. Following the Supreme Convention’s action, I directed an in-depth review of our ceremonials with an eye toward staying true to our roots while at the same time presenting our principles of charity, unity and fraternity in a more clear and convincing way. We undertook an inclusive process with supreme directors, state officers and ceremonialists with many decades of experience in the exemplification of our degrees. The result is a new ceremony that stays true to our traditions while addressing the needs of our times. Instead of having separate ceremonies, all three degrees can now be conferred in a single ceremony. The new exemplification focuses on the history and principles of our Order. It presents a fuller and richer understanding of who we are, what we stand for and what we are called to be. It hearkens back to the simple ceremonies of unity and charity first approved by Father McGivney. Our new ceremony can be held in a council chamber or in a church with families and friends seated in the pews. They will see firsthand the organization that their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and friends are joining — the principles and values they are committing to and why it matters.

Supreme Master Dennis Stoddard (left) and Supreme Council staff demonstrate the new combined ceremony for the exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity during the midyear meeting of state deputies.

FOLLOWING OUR FOUNDER Now, I recognize that this is a significant change. Like so many of you, I have a special fondness for the old degree ceremonies. Yet, also like you, and every leader of our Order, I want to see the Knights of Columbus thrive and grow. The Knights of Columbus needs the men of today. In the 1880s, Father McGivney oversaw reforms that were needed to allow his young organization to flourish. Looking back on those changes, our founder proudly declared: “The Knights of Columbus is the same now as when first instituted.� My brother Knights, I say the same to you today. Together with our online membership initiative, our new combined ceremonial will form the two wings upon which membership growth can soar to new heights. All of this will be supported by a new branding and marketing campaign that will be released early in the new year. It will focus on how we can more effectively invite men to join us. And it will show that “one-on-one recruiting� is most effective when it expresses our own personal experiences in the Order. We are making a paradigm shift. Years ago, when each of us accepted the responsibilities of fraternal leadership, few of us thought that those duties would one day include taking up programs to support the Church’s mission of evangelization. Yet, such are the circumstances we face. Throughout our history, the Knights of Columbus has been called to adapt to change. Now we are again taking bold steps. But boldness is what the times demand. We cannot shrink from the crisis around us. We must meet it head-on, with firm reliance on our faith and in each other. Today, we face a great crisis throughout the Church in North America. We are at a crossroads we cannot avoid. At such times, our thoughts turn to Father McGivney.

During his trip to the United States in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of our founder. He said Father McGivney represented “the secret of the impressive growth� of the Catholic Church in our continent. We should be inspired and humbled that a pope should highlight Father McGivney in such a way as a model for our fellow Catholics. We continue to pray for his canonization — that through the example of his heroic virtue, his vision and his intercession, millions of Catholics will be inspired. Father McGivney’s example and his vision can again be the reason for the “impressive growth� of our Church in the days ahead. Father McGivney saw that Catholic men united in charity could form a brotherhood that would enable them to fulfill their mission to manifest Christ to others by their witness and in that way contribute to the sanctification of the world. For Father McGivney, the path of charity, unity and fraternity was to be an enduring path of Christian discipleship. Then, Father McGivney did something that made all the difference — he entrusted this great task to the Catholic laymen he called his brothers. He could have chosen to serve as the leader of the new organization that his vision and his determination had made a reality. Instead, he trusted laymen, in unity with their clergy and with their guidance, to direct and carry out their own part in the mission of the Church. This is the great legacy that you and I have inherited. May the intercession of Father McGivney guide, sustain and enable us to fulfill our vocation as leaders of this great Order for the welfare of our brother Knights and the renewal of our Church. Vivat Jesus!




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New Book Illustrates K of C History

Order Honored for Service to Persons with Disabilities

MORE THAN 135 YEARS of faith, fraternity and charity are depicted in a new comprehensive history of the Knights being published this year. The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History, by Andrew and Maureen Walther, is the first publication to take full advantage of the trove of photographs in the Order’s archives. Written in an approachable and entertaining style, the book’s detailed research and Order the full-color, hardmore than 500 images bring to cover, 296-page book for life both renowned and little$24.99 (including shipknown stories from Knights of — almost 30% off ping) Columbus history. the cover price — at In addition to major Orderknightsgear.com/history wide initiatives, the book highor at 855-432-7562. lights individual Knights and visionary council programs that continue to change lives. Throughout its pages, an illustrated timeline of national and international events shows how K of C history intersects with that of the Church and the world. This book is both our Order’s chronicle and its photo album, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson writes in the foreword. “As Pope John Paul II observed when visiting Japan in 1981: ‘To remember the past is to commit oneself to the future,’â€? he adds. “In light of this idea, The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History is not simply a record of yesterday’s harvest, but also contains within it the seeds of a future filled with promise.â€?♌

THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC Partnership on Disability (NCPD) recognized the Knights of Columbus for its commitment to persons with disabilities — including its work to provide wheelchairs for those who lack the freedom of mobility. The Longing for Belonging Partnership Award was presented to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson on behalf of the Order at the NCPD Celebration Dinner Nov. 8. Board member Michael Adamus (above right), who is also the grand knight of Holy Cross Council 12235 in Orlando, Fla., conferred the award. “I am proud to accept this award on behalf of so many of my brother Knights who selflessly serve people with disabilities,â€? Anderson said. “The gift of mobility provides new access to the simple and regular activities of life that the rest of us take for granted.â€?♌

‘Spread the Light of Christ’ Archbishop Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic bishop of Erbil, Iraq, joins Supreme Officers and Dominican Father John Paul Walker, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., for the annual “Spread the Light of Christ� Christmas tree lighting at the Order’s headquarters Dec. 3. After blessing the tree and praying the Our Father in Aramaic, Archbishop Warda flipped the switch to illumine the tree. In brief remarks, he said, “Because we have Christ we can make a change within this troubled Middle East, but that comes because of your prayer and your support and solidarity.�



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national leader of abortion advocacy arrived in downtown Washington, D.C., during the 2010 March for Life and could barely believe her eyes. Nancy Keenan, then president of NARAL, later told a Newsweek reporter: “I just thought, my gosh, they are so young. There are so many of them, and they are so young.� As if confirming Keenan’s observation, a NARAL survey the same year revealed a sharp “intensity gap� about abortion among millennials. While 51% of pro-life voters under the age of 30 considered abortion to be a “very important� voting issue, only 26% of pro-abortion voters under 30 felt the same way.

Fast-forward a decade, and the cause continues to attract passionate young people. Roughly a quarter of participants in the annual March for Life are high school or college age, and pro-life demonstrations throughout North America are likewise filled with young faces. Meanwhile, some of the millennials represented in NARAL’s 2010 survey are now at the forefront of the pro-life movement, advocating in various ways for the unborn, abortion-vulnerable women and those struggling with the pain of past abortion. Columbia spoke with five of these leaders, young Catholic men and women spanning the millennial generation, about their pro-life mission.

Above: A crowd of young people show their support during the rally preceding the 2017 March for Life in Washington, D.C. 10 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌



Young leaders speak about the impact they are having in the preeminent human rights battle of our time

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Jorge Eduardo Mendoza Gonzalez, 22, is the founder and president of Seminarians for a Culture of Life. A seminarian for the Diocese of Fresno, Calif., he is in his fourth year of studies at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Ore., where he is a member of St. Benedict Council 15595. I have been pro-life for as long as I can remember, but my passion to defend the dignity of life took stronger root during my senior year of high school. That was when I sought to start a student pro-life group at the high schools in Madera, Calif. Despite opposition from the administration, our efforts bore fruit and the groups took flight. This leap of faith fostered an even deeper desire in me to spread the culture of life.


How I’m involved: I founded SCL in 2017 because I wanted to unite all seminarians under one common mission and banner. We focus on building a strong foundation of prayer, an intellectual understanding of the life issues, and active support so that we may cultivate a profound love for life, especially in the heart of the seminarian. Pro-life challenges: Among the greatest challenges are polarizing divisions based on political, social and economic conditions. Those divisions have no place in our movement; we truly are a movement of all people. Another challenge is the

widespread relativism within our culture, which promotes indifference. We are called to counter this indifference with authentic love. The pro-life message: It is my strong desire that pro-choice people would come to realize the deep love and hope we have for human life. We are not pro-life only because of our religious beliefs, but also because science and reason tell us that life begins at conception and each human being is unique. Signs of hope: Anyone who advocates for the dignity of life is a sign of hope. Those who pray before abortion facilities, march for life and witness publicly to the beauty and dignity of life ignite conviction for future generations. Through the involvement of my peers and younger individuals, a ray of hope shines amid the darkness of our culture. The tide is turning, and hearts are changing. Advice to Knights: My brother Knights, persevere in your convictions to defend the sanctity of life through love and support for those in need. As St. John Paul II often said, “Be not afraid.� Be not afraid to show your support for the prolife cause, to help those in need and to be a public witness for life. Above all, pray without ceasing that the sanctity of life may be respected. JANUARY 2020

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Dr. Thomas Bouchard, 37, is president of the Calgary Pro-life challenges: The first step is building friendships with

As I was growing up in Red Deer, Alberta, my parents taught natural family planning and ensured that a culture of life was celebrated in our family. My formation at the Newman Centre at McGill University helped me to develop a deeper understanding of the philosophical foundations of the prolife movement. While attending a Physicians for Life conference in med school, I met students from across the country who wanted to practice medicine like me, with a pro-life worldview. How I’m involved: Despite the efforts of our Catholic medical organizations to lobby the government to maintain a Hippocratic view of medicine, respecting life at all stages, euthanasia was legalized in Canada in 2016. We are now focused on upholding the dignity of our patients’ lives by defending freedom of conscience in this new environment. For the last five years, I have also been a medical consultant for the Marquette University Institute for Natural Family Planning, and I’ve co-authored over 30 articles, mainly related to the science of NFP. 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


people with different opinions and learning to listen to their perspectives in a sensitive way. When a one-on-one friendship of trust is established, more controversial subjects can be approached. Careful listening is also key to building trust between physicians and patients. The pro-life message: We cannot simply preach to the choir. We have to “speak in tongues” — learning the best words to reach all kinds of people, doing our best to understand where they are coming from and respecting their freedom while still advocating for the littlest ones who don’t have a voice in our society. Signs of hope: Once we find fellowship, through our parishes and pro-life organizations, we must also provide a welcoming home for others. We need to mentor younger people to learn to speak with clarity and charity, and we need to share our testimony with them. This new generation is convinced by compelling stories. Advice to Knights: True religion is to look after orphans and widows in their distress (cf. Jas 1:27). The Knights are one of the best examples of this. People who, because of circumstances and upbringing, have not understood the pro-life message, are also “orphans and widows.” We have to open up new horizons to them so that they find in us fathers and brothers who can bring them back home.



Catholic Medical Association, past president of the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians & Societies, and a past board member of Canadian Physicians for Life. As a family medicine doctor and the medical director at two nursing homes, his work spans from delivering babies to geriatric care. He is a member of St. Albert the Great Council 12446 in Calgary.

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Andrea DeLee, 29, is director of operations for the March for efforts to build a culture of life must begin with offering up Life Education and Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.


As the oldest of eight children, my childhood was filled with the excitement and joy of getting ready to welcome new siblings into our Catholic family. This gave me a profound awareness that each person is infinitely precious from the moment of coming into being. In a word, my desire to protect the lives of little ones in the womb was ignited by my parents’ generous “yes� to life. Later, during my undergraduate studies in Indiana, I wrote my senior thesis about the impact of viewing ultrasound images on the abortion decision-making process. How I’m involved: Eager to develop a deeper understanding of the human person and the nature of a culture of life and civilization of love, I pursued graduate studies at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America. A few years later, prayer and discernment led me to an opportunity to work for the March for Life, where we strive to end abortion by uniting, equipping and mobilizing pro-life America. Within the organization, I act as the chief of staff, keeping our team in close collaboration and leading daily operations. Pro-life challenges: We live in a culture fixated on avoiding suffering at all costs, and this fixation can deter us from sacrificing for what is most beautiful and most precious. My

my own little crosses in the midst of daily life, and with praying consistently for mothers and fathers to have the courage and support they need to choose life. The pro-life message: The March for Life chooses a theme each year focusing on what is most needed at the present moment in our culture; the 2020 theme is “Life Empowers: ProLife is Pro-Woman.� I wish all women could realize that far from being something shameful or demeaning, saying “yes� to motherhood is always an ennobling, empowering and heroic path. Signs of hope: Growing up with ultrasound images on our refrigerators, millennials are aware in a special way of the humanity and vulnerability of the child in the womb. They bring a renewed fervor to the fight for life in our country. In a particular way, the hundreds of thousands of young people taking a stand to end abortion at the March for Life are an incredible witness to hope. Advice to Knights: The life-saving work of the March for Life would not be possible without your generous support. Thank you for persevering in the fight to protect the most vulnerable among us. With the deepest gratitude, I ask you to remain dedicated to building a culture of life at work and at home. JANUARY 2020

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Sister Catherine Joy Marie, 26, joined the Sisters of Life in 2015 and professed her first vows in 2018. She currently serves university students, pregnant women, and women who have suffered after abortion at the sisters’ Centre at St. Peter’s Church in Toronto. My parents cultivated in me and my four sisters a deep love for life, especially through our Catholic faith and our family’s tradition of military service. The first time I went to the March for Life, two Sisters of Life joined my high school’s bus from Connecticut to D.C. I was profoundly moved by witnessing their bridal and maternal love, reading St. John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae that one sister lent me, and being engulfed in a sea of joyful marchers on Capitol Hill. The great wounds of our culture and even greater beauty of human life pierced my heart and inflamed it with a desire to lay down my life so that others may live.

Pro-life challenges: Every human person has been created for joy and communion, yet confusion and discouragement often hinder this desire and purpose God has planted in our hearts. One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) in the pro-life movement today is to keep aflame our joy and to strengthen our solidarity, not letting the storms around us dampen our hope. The pro-life message: Perfect love really does cast out fear (cf. 1 Jn 4:18); this is a reality that I have the privilege to watch unfold in people’s lives. Love is creative and will find a way. One of the most powerful things we can do to reach hearts and minds is to take time to listen and to accompany the other towards truth, in love. 14 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


Signs of hope: I am always struck by the spirit of joy at the March for Life. Countless millennials carry “We are the Pro-Life Generation� signs with smiles on their faces as they march. Without even saying a word, they witness to the world that the pro-life movement is young, joyful and full of hope. Advice to Knights: Never underestimate the witness of a family’s love to proclaim the sacredness of life! Others will be struck by your joy as a family, your unity with one another and your openness to life in all its blessings and challenges.


How I’m involved: I discovered in the Sisters of Life what my heart was deeply longing for — to be a bride and mother, giving myself fully for the protection of all human life. As Sisters of Life, we have the great gift of serving vulnerable pregnant women and their unborn children, and inviting women wounded by abortion into the healing mercy of Jesus. We also foster a culture of life through evangelization and host weekend retreats for women and men.

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Billy Valentine, 32, is vice president of public policy at the Susan B. Anthony List, an organization that seeks to end abortion by electing pro-life leaders and advocating for pro-life legislation. He is a member of St. John Bosco Council 12846 in Springfield, Va., and he and his wife, Natalie, have three children.



My parents met through the pro-life movement, so I grew up in it and have always been passionate about it. I really benefited from doing sidewalk counseling for a year during college, interacting with abortion’s victims or potential victims. That experience haunts me. It keeps me driven while working in public policy, which sometimes can feel a step removed from the front lines of the abortion fight. How I’m involved: I work in public policy because pro-life laws save lives. Research shows that the Hyde Amendment alone — which prevents our tax dollars from paying for abortions under Medicaid — is directly responsible for 1 million people walking this planet today who otherwise would have been aborted. Public policy is messy; we’re dealing with politicians, and there can be a lot of “gray� area. But there is tremendous opportunity to save children, and therefore we must engage. Pro-life challenges: The biggest challenge is that Roe v. Wade largely took away the power of the people to legislate on abortion through their elected representatives. It leaves the

American people handcuffed while the unborn are legally slaughtered. Since 2016, we’ve been able to shift the balance of the Supreme Court and transform the lower courts, which puts the erosion or even overturning of Roe within grasp. The pro-life message: Advances in science and technology have proven beyond any doubt that it is a child in the womb. We’ve won that argument. The next frontier is to communicate how the pro-life movement loves and cares for the mother and the child beyond the womb. The reality is that we do actively care for both, but the perception is that we care only about protecting the baby, and that mother and child are on their own after birth. We need to change that perception. Signs of hope: At the federal and state levels, our government is currently passing a record-breaking number of pro-life laws. No longer does the pro-life movement settle for lip service from politicians — we require action. I think millennials especially understand that: They are action-oriented. Advice to Knights: Do what you feel called to do, and act. It could be a commitment to private prayer, peaceful witness outside of abortion facilities, volunteering with a pregnancy care center, donating funds to pro-life causes, volunteering for pro-life politicians, or even running for office yourself. Whatever you do, just take action. Innocent unborn children pay the price when we don’t.♌ JANUARY 2020

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A Passionate Pioneer Remembered Dr. Mildred Jefferson’s ardent witness on behalf of the unborn remains a powerful model and inspiration


hen Black History Month is observed each February, news stories often highlight African American women who have made history in different ways — women like civil rights activist Rosa Parks, astronaut Mae Jemison and Olympian Wilma Rudolph. Yet one woman whose name is seldom mentioned led a life that inspired all who encountered her, and her dynamic personality and rhetorical brilliance changed the mind of a president of the United States on one of the most contentious issues of the day. Her name was Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson. Born in east Texas in 1927, Jefferson was the only child of a schoolteacher and a Methodist minister. Her interest in medicine was sparked by early encounters with the local doctor, who made house calls in a horsedrawn carriage. He permitted Millie, as she was known, to accompany him on some of his visits and encouraged her to keep up with her studies. Jefferson was an academic prodigy, graduating from her local segregated high school at age 15. She later went on to become the first African American woman to be accepted to Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1951. Her professional accomplishments didn’t end there; Jefferson also became the first woman of any race to complete a surgical rotation at Boston City Hospital and the first female surgeon at the Boston University Medical Center. Jefferson’s involvement in pro-life work began in the late 1960s but kicked into high gear in 1970, when a fellow doctor 16 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


called her with a question. The local chapter of the American Medical Association was preparing a resolution in favor of abortion rights; would she sign a petition against the resolution? That question led Jefferson to join the burgeoning movement to oppose abortion laws. She helped found Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which was incorporated four days after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and co-founded the National Right to Life Committee, serving as its president for three terms (1975-1978). While NRLC president, she gave remarks at the 94th Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention, which was hosted in Boston in 1976. “Abortion on demand is not merely ‘the right to choose,’� she said. “The demand is ‘the right to choose’ to kill an unborn child and pay some doctor to do it. In a sound society, there are choices which we must agree not to make and not to allow.� A 1984 Philadelphia Inquirer feature on Dr. Jefferson noted that the plain-talking Texan “didn’t get where she was by mincing words.� The sexism and racism she had endured gave her a boldness of spirit to — in today’s parlance — “speak truth to power,� and her work as a doctor gave her particular authority. “I became a physician in order to save lives, not to destroy them,� Jefferson said in a 1978 interview. “I will not accept the proposition that the doctor should relinquish the role of healer to become the new social executioner.�


by Mary Hallan FioRito

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Dr. Mildred Jefferson receives the Lantern Award for Patriotism from the Massachusetts State Council in 1979. Also pictured are Cardinal Humberto Medeiros, archbishop of Boston, and Past Supreme Knight John McDevitt (seated far left). Abortion was particularly distressing to her as an African American woman. Given that women of color aborted at higher rates than white women, she saw racist motives in the push to publicly fund abortion, which she called a “class war against the poor and genocide against blacks.� Jefferson personified the diversity of the pro-life movement and was quick to correct anyone who tried to portray it as being led largely by men. “The pro-life movement is the people’s movement,� she said. “We come rich and poor, proud and plain, religious and agnostic, politically committed and independent. We can only agree on our respect for life and our determination to defend the right to life.� Dr. Jefferson received numerous awards and multiple honorary degrees for her tireless defense of the unborn — including an honorary doctoral degree in humanities from the College of the Holy Cross, which she received alongside St. Teresa of Calcutta in 1976. But she was most proud of moments in which her persuasion, intellect and eloquence were able to change hearts and minds. One of Dr. Jefferson’s converts wrote her after seeing her

on a television panel in 1972: “Several years ago I was faced with the issue of whether to sign a California abortion bill. ‌ I must confess to never having given the matter of abortion any serious thought until that time. No other issue since I have been in office has caused me to do so much study and soul-searching. ‌ I wish I could have heard your views before our legislation was passed. You made it irrefutably clear that an abortion is the taking of a human life. I’m grateful to you.â€? These heartfelt words were written by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan of California. His presidency would later shape the judiciary and legislative landscape for years to come. Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson died Oct. 15, 2010, at age 84, leaving behind a legacy of caring not just “for one’s own family, but for the whole family of man.â€?♌ MARY HALLAN FIORITO is an attorney who currently serves as the Cardinal Francis George Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as at the DeNicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame. JANUARY 2020

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‘EUGENIC GOALS’ AND ABORTION Last May, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, a two-part case involving an Indiana abortion law. In the first part, the Court upheld the state’s law regarding the disposal of aborted fetuses. Justice Clarence Thomas noted that the law “prohibits‌ treating the bodies of aborted children as ‘infectious waste’ and incinerating them alongside ‌ laboratory-animal carcasses, and surgical byproducts.â€? The second question before the Court was whether the state could prohibit abortions based on the child’s race, sex, diagnosis of Down syndrome, disability or related characteristics. Though the Court declined to consider that part of the law, Justice Thomas took the opportunity in his concurring opinion to address the topic of eugenics in relation to elective abortions. The following excerpt is drawn from his judicial opinion.

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Justice Clarence Thomas, pictured here in 2000, is the longest-serving justice among the current members of the Supreme Court. He was nominated by President George H. W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1990. a disturbingly effective tool for implementing the discriminatory preferences that undergird eugenics. In Iceland, the abortion rate for children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero approaches 100%. Other European countries have similarly high rates (98% in Denmark, 90% in the United Kingdom, 77% in France), and the rate in the United States is approximately two-thirds. In Asia, widespread sex-selective abortions have led to as many as 160 million “missingâ€? women — more than the entire female population of the United States. And recent evidence suggests that sex-selective abortions of girls are common among certain populations in the United States as well. Eight decades after Sanger’s “Negro Project,â€? abortion in the United States is also marked by a considerable racial disparity. The reported nationwide abortion ratio — the number of abortions per 1,000 live births — among black women is nearly 3.5 times the ratio for white women. And there are areas of New York City in which black children are more likely to be aborted than they are to be born alive — and are up to eight times more likely to be aborted than white children in the same area. ‌ Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the twentieth-century eugenics movement. In other contexts, the Court has been zealous in vindicating the rights of people even potentially subjected to race, sex, and disability discrimination. Although the Court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever. — Justice Clarence Thomas


THIS CASE HIGHLIGHTS the fact that abortion is an act rife with the potential for eugenic manipulation. From the beginning, birth control and abortion were promoted as means of effectuating eugenics. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was particularly open about the fact that birth control could be used for eugenic purposes. These arguments about the eugenic potential for birth control apply with even greater force to abortion, which can be used to target specific children with unwanted characteristics. Even after World War II, future Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher and other abortion advocates endorsed abortion for eugenic reasons and promoted it as a means of controlling the population and improving its quality. As explained below, a growing body of evidence suggests that eugenic goals are already being realized through abortion. Like many elites of her day, Sanger accepted that eugenics was “the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.â€? ‌ In her view, birth-control advocates and eugenicists were “seeking a single endâ€? “to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.â€? ‌ Sanger even argued that “eugenists and others who are laboring for racial bettermentâ€? could not “succeedâ€? unless they “first clear[ed] the way for Birth Control.â€? Sanger herself campaigned for birth control in black communities. In 1930, she opened a birth-control clinic in Harlem. Then, in 1939, Sanger initiated the “Negro Project,â€? an effort to promote birth control in poor, Southern black communities. ‌ To be sure, Sanger distinguished between birth control and abortion. ‌ Sanger argued that “nothing short of contraceptives can put an end to the horrors of abortion and infanticide.â€? ‌ Today, notwithstanding Sanger’s views on abortion, respondent Planned Parenthood promotes both birth control and abortion as “reproductive health servicesâ€? that can be used for family planning. And with today’s prenatal screening tests and other technologies, abortion can easily be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics. ‌ As petitioners and several amicus curiae briefs point out, moreover, abortion has proved to be

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An Enduring Consensus For more than 40 years, Americans have supported the Hyde Amendment’s ban on federal funding of abortion by Helen M. AlvarÊ



egardless of political party, race, sex and even whether a per- is forbidden by the First Amendment. Opposition to abortion corson identifies as “pro-lifeâ€? or “pro-choice,â€? clear points of con- responds to the beliefs of many religions, but it is primarily a quessensus exist in the abortion debate. Polling by the Knights of tion of human rights, not of religion. Because the Hyde Amendment is a “riderâ€? to the funding Columbus and Marist College Institute for Public Opinion has found year after year that a majority of Americans support substan- bill, it requires a vote every year. Hyde shouldered the annual tial restrictions on abortion. And one strong point of agreement is burden of getting his amendment passed through 2006. He retired in January 2007, after his 15th term, and died the followthat elective abortions should not be paid for by taxpayer dollars. The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for ing November at age 83. Over the years, bipartisan support for the abortions except in rare circumstances, has amendment inspired Congress to put aborpassed both houses of Congress since 1976 tion limits into other federal health care proand secured the signatures of Presidents Reagrams beyond Medicaid, including those gan, Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, covering the military and federal employees. Obama and Trump. Numerous polls show Despite demands by many Democratic that this bipartisan consensus persists among presidential candidates today to repeal the U.S. voters today, despite high-profile defecHyde Amendment, a majority of Americans, tions among presidential hopefuls. including many Democrats, continue to The Hyde Amendment first passed in support it. A June 2019 article in the left1976 as an amendment or “riderâ€? to the fedleaning magazine Slate summarized U.S. voteral spending law that funds Medicaid, the ers’ opinions: “In every poll, a plurality of low-income health insurance program. AcAmericans opposes public funding of aborcording to reliable estimates, Medicaid had tions. In every poll but one, that plurality is spent $300 million on abortions since the a majority.â€? Roe v. Wade decision three years earlier. Slate cited numerous sources, including Efforts to pass a constitutional human life amendment were not succeeding, and firstthe most recent Knights of Columbus/ term Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde, a Marist poll, which found that 54% oplongtime Knight of Columbus, concluded posed tax funding for abortions while only that one way to reduce abortion was to re39% support it. A 2019 Politico/Morning duce its funding. Proposing the legislation Consult poll showed that even among regin the House of Representatives in June U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde speaks to reporters in istered Democratic female voters, more 1976, he told lawmakers, “We seek to in- 1980, after the Supreme Court ruling that support (41%) than oppose (39%) the hibit the use of federal funds to pay for and allowed the ban on federal abortion funding to Hyde Amendment. The article noted, thus encourage abortion as an answer to the go into effect. “These polls aren’t close. The average gap human and compelling problem of an unbetween the pro-funding and anti-funding wanted child.â€? positions is 19 percentage points.â€? He concluded his impassioned speech with these words: “An inThe Hyde Amendment is a reflection of — and excellent outnocent, defenseless human life, in a caring and humane society, let for — Americans’ profound moral discomfort with abortion. deserves better than to be flushed down a toilet or burned in an Because of Roe v. Wade, citizens cannot effectively ban the aborincinerator. The promise of America is that life is not just for the tion of unborn human lives, but thanks to Hyde, nor are they privileged, the planned or the perfect.â€? forced to pay for it. It is up to voters to hold elected officials acThe amendment passed with strong bipartisan support by a vote countable and ensure this ban on federal funding of abortion of 207 to 167. It was immediately challenged but eventually went continues to be respected.♌ into effect in 1980, after the Supreme Court confirmed that it did not violate Roe v. Wade — since Roe didn’t promise to fund the HELEN M. ALVARÉ is professor of law at Antonin Scalia Law constitutional right it announced. The Court also held that the School, George Mason University, and co-founder of the moveamendment did not represent an “establishment of religion,â€? which ment Women Speak for Themselves. JANUARY 2020

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Canada’s Fight for Life An interview with Jeff Gunnarson, national president of the Campaign Life Coalition, about the Canadian pro-life movement today

eff Gunnarson remembers exactly when he joined the prolife movement 32 years ago. “My wife was pregnant with our first child when I happened across a Life magazine showing the development of the unborn child,â€? he recalled. “I saw a picture of what my son would look like at three months’ gestation. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I became pro-life at that very moment.â€? In 1997, Gunnarson entered the Catholic Church, and the next year, he joined the Knights of Columbus as a member of Galt Council 2184 in Cambridge, Ontario. Since 2006, he has worked for the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) — Canada’s largest pro-life political organization and the organizer of the annual National March for Life in Ottawa, among other events. In 2018, Gunnarson succeeded Jim Hughes as CLC’s national president. Columbia spoke with Gunnarson about his role and the current prolife landscape in Canada. COLUMBIA: What are some of the greatest challenges to restoring a culture of life in Canada today? J EFF GUNNARSON: We have been facing major political challenges in Canada for decades, beginning with the deadly 1969 omnibus bill that opened the floodgates to abortion on demand. Over the years, even though the mission to overturn that law hasn’t changed, we’ve had to face other challenges as well: delaying chemical abortions from entering the Canadian market; defending traditional marriage; opposing embryonic stem-cell research; opposing laws that would limit pro-life speech; opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide; promoting conscience rights laws; and defending parental rights and Catholic education from an aggressive effort to impose radical sex education and gender ideology on our children. 20 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


All these issues are connected and are rooted in a rejection of God and his plan for mankind. Canadians seem to be drunk with desire for humanism (seeing man as absolute). This is the state religion now; we now worship at the altar of political correctness. Our greatest challenge is a spiritual one: to re-evangelize the Catholics in the pews and those Catholics who choose to not practice their religion. This is not the mandate of Campaign Life Coalition per se, but we must do our part to include God in our work. All of our communications and actions are steeped in prayer, hope and trust in God. COLUMBIA: What have been your biggest goals or priorities since becoming CLC president last year? GUNNARSON: One of my top priorities has been to keep Canadians engaged, regardless of the many setbacks we face — especially now, with a radically pro-abortion government and opposition party leadership that refuses to open the abortion debate. For decades, CLC has been in the business of informing Canadians and helping them get involved in their local politics, schools and churches. In order to restore a culture of life in Canada, it needs to be a bottom-up approach. Our team is working at full throttle, and we are making a significant mark in the sociopolitical landscape in Canada. COLUMBIA: Have there been any notable pro-life victories? What are the greatest signs of hope? GUNNARSON: We’ve had some pro-life victories in the political realm over the years, which include electing pro-life members of Parliament, provincial legislatures, local councilors and school board trustees. We have also had success in



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Above: Thousands of Canadians protest their country’s abortion laws during the 2019 National March for Life in Ottawa. • Opposite page: Jeff Gunnarson, national president of the Campaign Life Coalition, speaks at the pre-march rally on Parliament Hill.

influencing policies at both federal and provincial levels. In the federal election in October, 69% of our endorsed candidates won. We are several election cycles away from seeing 170 pro-life MPs in the House — 170 are needed to attain the 51% vote ratio to pass pro-life legislation. We work daily toward that goal, and with God’s blessing we will see a culture of life return to our nation. COLUMBIA: What has been the impact of the National March for Life in Ottawa? GUNNARSON: The National March for Life is truly a beacon of light and hope in Canada. CLC has been organizing the march since 1998, and every year we are truly amazed by the thousands of people who show up and get involved, not just in the rally and march, but in the candlelight vigil, the Rose Dinner and youth banquet and conference. The event does different things for different people. For some, it’s a wake-up call to do something for life; for others, it’s an opportunity to network and spend time with likeminded people; for still others, it’s an opportunity to get

reenergized for the year ahead. At the end of the day, the National March for Life is crucial to the pro-life movement in Canada as it is a powerful witness of the truth to our government, members of Parliament and all citizens. COLUMBIA: Have you seen the Knights of Columbus have an impact on building a culture of life in Canada? GUNNARSON: Most definitely. Beyond the Order’s support of initiatives like the National March for Life, I have seen an intensified effort in recent years on a state and local level. The Ontario State Council, for example, has kicked up its efforts a few notches and it has had an effect on the local councils. Many individual Knights have come forward and helped with the March for Life, Life Chain and 40 Days for Life. The pro-life monuments that councils erect throughout Canada have also had a huge impact. I am very pleased, for example, with the stand that Knights in Belleville, Ontario, recently took when they ran into opposition for erecting a memorial gravestone for the unborn. This is what we do, and when I see this, I feel proud to be a Knight.♦ JANUARY 2020

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THE UNBORN’ K of C councils are promoting pro-life legislation all across the United States by Kevin J. Jones


group of Knights of Columbus gathered in a church basement after Sunday Mass in rural Michigan. They posted some signs — “Love Life, Choose Life” — and laid out their weapons: pen and paper. Each signature collected was a step toward winning a legislative battle — to ban a grisly second-trimester abortion procedure in their state. This recent effort in Michigan is just one example of how Knights at the state and local level are contributing to grassroots pro-life work. From circulating petitions to meeting with legislators to participating in marches for life and other demonstrations, Knights are a positive force for legislative advocacy throughout the nation. Members in many states, including Michigan, California and Virginia, have been a unified voice for the right to life. “It’s important that Knights be leaders,” explained Richard Marciniak, the culture of life director for the California State Council. “It’s important that we work at both the state level and in our community to protect life from conception until death.” MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD Tim Donovan, who serves with his wife as pro-life chair couple for the Michigan State Council, has a hard time describing the procedure he is working to stop. “It’s just gut-wrenching,” he said. Medically known as a dilation and evacuation abortion, it involves pulling off the limbs and crushing the skull of an unborn child in the second trimester of pregnancy. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 1,908 dilation and evacuation abortions were performed in the state in 2018. A ban on the procedure passed in the Michigan legislature 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


last spring but was vetoed by the governor. Right to Life of Michigan has led an initiative to collect petition signatures from at least 340,047 Michigan residents by Dec. 23. If the petition effort is successful, the legislation will be reintroduced and cannot be vetoed if passed. Barbara Listing, president of Right to Life of Michigan, said the organization always seeks out the Knights first. “The Knights have been a great partner over the years,” she said. “They have always been such faithful champions for the unborn.” Shortly after the petition to ban dismemberment abortions was announced late last spring, the Michigan State Council pledged to secure 40,000 signatures and provided financial support for printing the first petitions. The Knights mobilized volunteers, and the first batches of petitions were distributed at K of C meetings during the summer. “It’s really at the local level that many of the Knights have been out there, collecting signatures,” said Listing. In Listing’s hometown of Shepherd, Mich., where her husband, Otto, is a longtime member of Shepherd Council 8554, Knights collected signatures at local churches and went door to door in the community. On behalf of the Michigan Knights of Columbus, State Deputy Bill Chasse received Right to Life of Michigan’s life achievement award in September 2019, in recognition of the Order’s active leadership. Donovan, who helped coordinate the Order’s statewide participation in the petition drive, is proud of the response of Knights to pro-life initiatives near and far. “I truly believe that many of these different pro-life efforts throughout the nation would not be happening if it were not for the support and solidarity of all my brother Knights,” he said.

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Tim Donovan (left), state pro-life chairman, and members of St. John Council 3281 and Msgr. David M. Stotenbur Council 7237 collect petition signatures Dec. 1, after Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in St. Johns, Mich. The petition, submitted to the state government in late December, aims to ban a grisly second-trimester abortion procedure. LEVERAGING NUMBERS On the West Coast, the California State Council has also been effective at mobilizing many of its 80,000 Knights to pro-life action. California Knights have helped to organize and support the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, OneLife LA and the San Diego Walk for Life, as well as many smaller events. The state council also communicates with local chapters, district deputies and grand knights about pending legislation. Through this network, individual Knights in different legislative districts are encouraged to contact their representatives and sign petitions. If even 10% of Knights sign and submit a petition, legislators

take notice, explained Richard Marciniak, the state culture of life director. “Legislators are beginning to recognize that the Knights are numerous and have a real role in their community,” he said. Robert Burnside, the state council’s legislative chairman, noted that the Knights’ political engagement is also motivated by the principle of patriotism. “Participating in the system is important,” Burnside affirmed. “Prayer is always good, but sometimes you have to come out of the pews to tell legislators that something is to be done or not.” Knights have a chance to do that in person during Catholic Advocacy Day, an annual event organized by the California JANUARY 2020

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Catholic Conference, the bishops’ official public policy voice. Some 40 Knights joined Marciniak in the capital of Sacramento last spring to meet face-to-face with their representatives and present the Church’s positions on important policy issues. For example, in response to legislation that provides free abortion pills for students at state universities, Knights encouraged legislators to instead consider provisions for housing, counseling, medical care and child care to help women choose life. Marciniak is hoping to increase the K of C presence each year. While there has been some success in affecting public opinion, he said, “It’s very important to keep members focused on legislative issues, because that’s where the battle is really being won or lost.â€? A focus on policy, not political affiliation, is also key, he added. “You can’t do this as a partisan thing,â€? Marciniak said. “You have to focus on the issues, the ethics, the morality of the issue. Otherwise you’re going to alienate a lot of people.â€? Marciniak believes advocacy within each state is crucial, even in places where it seems like an uphill battle. “Pro-life laws at the state level greatly affect life issues,â€? he said. “This is won or lost at the state level.â€? 24 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


TAKE IT TO THE STREETS In Virginia, Knights have been bringing the fight from the national capital to their state capital. Virginia Knights have long played an instrumental role in the national March for Life, held in Washington, D.C., each January since 1974. According to Thom Harrington, a board member of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, March for Life president Jeannie Mancini has put it this way: “Without Virginia Knights of Columbus, there would be no March for Life.� Harrington, a member of George Brent Council 5332 in Manassas, Va., leads operations and logistics for the march. Knights — mainly from Virginia, but also other nearby jurisdictions — have served as marshals for the national march from the beginning. They help to keep things running smoothly, as the event draws hundreds of thousands of participants every year. “A crowd that size can sometimes get a mind of its own,� explained Virginia State Deputy Bob Szerszynski, who has served as a marshal for many years. “Our job is to try to keep people on the march route.� Harrington noted that the event is the largest annual, peaceful human rights protest in the world.


Knights serve as marshals during the inaugural Virginia March for Life, held April 3, 2019, in Richmond.

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BE AN ADVOCATE FOR LIFE Knights and other Catholics play an integral role in the political life of our nation. But our duty to engage in the political process may sometimes feel daunting. Here are three steps you can take to become an effective advocate: 1. Connect with your state Catholic Conference. Most states have a Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops of the state in public policy matters. Stay informed about the issues highlighted on the Catholic Conference’s website, and if your state does not have a Catholic Conference, connect with your diocesan pro-life office about how to get involved. 2. Subscribe to action alerts. Action alerts are messages concerning public policy and legislation, sent by organizations to mobilize members and influence the decisions of elected officials. Stay up to date with important legislation by subscribing to action alerts from your state Catholic Conference, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. When you receive an action alert, contact your elected officials using the form provided.


Knights meet with state legislator Adrin Nazarian (second from right) during last year’s Catholic Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Richard Marciniak (right), the state council’s culture of life director, encourages Knights to advocate in person for pro-life policies. “Our example has led to statewide and local marches across the country,� Harrington said. This, in turn, has had an effect on pro-life legislation. “Pro-life witness changes the culture, and laws reflect the culture,� he explained. “A large number of state laws have been enacted to place important limits on abortion, yet more needs to be done.� In early 2019, Virginia became a center of controversy after a legislator acknowledged that a proposed bill — later withdrawn — would allow abortion for any reason until birth. To many observers, defenses of the bill appeared indistinguishable from defenses of infanticide. As part of the response to the bill, the March for Life Education and Defense Fund worked with state groups to organize a march that brought several thousand people to the

3. Personally contact your elected officials. There have never been more ways to contact your elected officials. Personal visits, letters, phone calls and social media posts are all effective ways to make the Catholic voice heard in the public square. Find the contact information for your elected officials by visiting www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

Virginia capital April 3. The Virginia Knights stepped up to help, sponsoring more than dozen buses to Richmond and serving as marshals for the event. “Because the unborn cannot speak or march for themselves, we must do so on their behalf,â€? Harrington affirmed. Szerszynski agreed, noting that pro-life advocacy is integral to the Knights’ mission. “If you think about it,â€? he said, “this is why Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus: for the protection of widows and orphans — by extension, that means everyone.â€?♌ KEVIN J. JONES is a journalist living in Colorado. He is a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Council 13205 in Littleton. JANUARY 2020

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Standing Firm Before a Slippery Slope Religious leaders, doctors and disability advocates speak out against physician-assisted suicide


hysician-assisted suicide is now legal in nine states and Washington, D.C. Maine is the most recent state to allow it, with the law going into effect Jan. 1. Advocates say such laws show compassion for the dying. In reality, vulnerable populations are facing greater pressure to end their lives. The more assisted suicide is accepted, the more “the right to dieâ€? will become, for many, a duty to die. Despite the legal and cultural forces promoting acceptance of assisted suicide, the Catholic Church is holding fast to the dignity of the human person and the integrity of medicine. And the Church is not alone in condemning these laws; professional medical associations, other religious leaders and advocates for people with disabilities — including the Knights of Columbus — have all vocally opposed physician-assisted suicide in recent months. Many professional medical organizations, including the World Medical Association and American Medical Association, oppose the killing of the terminally ill or those thought to be terminally ill. On Oct. 26, the WMA reaffirmed its long-held stance on physician-assisted suicide at its 70th general assembly: “The WMA reiterates its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics and that utmost respect has to be maintained for human life. Therefore, the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.â€? The declaration went on to address physicians’ conscience rights: “No physician should be forced to participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide, nor should any physician be obliged to make referral decisions to this end.â€? Two days later at the Vatican, representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox churches issued a joint statement with Jewish and Muslim leaders on “matters concerning the end of life.â€? While recognizing the difficult dilemmas of end-of-life decisions, the statement was unequivocal: “Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong and should be forbidden with no exceptions.â€? These two declarations came a couple of weeks after the National Council on Disability underscored the harmful effects of assisted suicide laws on people with disabilities. 26 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


In a report titled “The Dangers of Assisted Suicide Laws,â€? the independent U.S. federal agency warned that “if assisted suicide is legal, some people’s lives, particularly those of people with disabilities, will be ended without their fully informed and free consent, through mistakes, abuse, insufficient knowledge and the unjust lack of better options.â€? Following the report’s release Oct. 9, NCD Chairman Neil Romano stated, “Assisted suicide laws are premised on the notion of additional choice for people at the end of their lives, however in practice, they often remove choices when the lowcost option is ending one’s life.â€? Significantly, the study found that unmet service and support needs — not pain — is the primary motivator of assisted suicide. The agency’s report was particularly critical of the failure of purported safeguards. For example, it noted that insurers have denied treatment to patients but offered to subsidize lethal drugs instead — “potentially leading patients to hasten their own deaths.â€? In addition to noting the effects of misdiagnoses and “financial and emotional pressuresâ€? on patient choice, the report also analyzed how often doctors referred patients seeking suicide for a psychological evaluation. Though depression often drives these requests, only 3.5% of those who reportedly died under Oregon’s assisted suicide law in 2017 were referred for an evaluation before a prescription for lethal drugs was written. The next year, only 1.8% were referred. Protecting the weakest and most vulnerable among us defines who we are as Catholics and as Knights of Columbus. We have historically served and defended the poor, persons with disabilities and the sanctity of life, all of which are threatened by the effort to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. In response, we must educate our neighbors and policymakers. We must work across political lines with people who understand that assisted suicide is bad public policy that puts vulnerable populations at risk.♌ PETER WOLFGANG is executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut (ctfamily.org) and a member of Fathers DugganZebris Council 13424 in Waterbury, Conn.


by Peter Wolfgang

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On a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina, members of Holy Spirit Assembly 3385 in Kennewick, Wash., donated two chalices to a local parish in memory of deceased Knights and brothers Bill and John Zilar. After presenting the engraved chalices, the pilgrims were given a tour of the church by the pastor.

about the priesthood and religious life while enjoying food and fellowship with their Catholic community. NEW WORSHIP SPACE


Members of St. Patrick’s Council 11296 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, presented a check for $21,000 to Father Glen Wilwerding, pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish and a member of the council. The money, raised through numerous fundraisers, will go toward the capital campaign of the new parish church.

Members of Good Shepherd Council 5573 in Plainfield, Ill., joined seminarians of the Diocese of Joliet to prepare and serve breakfast for parishioners of St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church at a “Pancake Breakfast With Your Future Priests.� More than 500 guests learned

Msgr. James H. Willett Council 7847 in Hopkinsville, Ky., purchased a stained-glass window portraying Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney and had it installed at Sts. Peter and Paul Church.



Catholics from across Alabama and Georgia gathered for a Spiritual Reflection Retreat conducted by Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Council 4083. Participants heard talks from Dr. Ray Guarendi, a psychologist and radio host who is also a Knight, and Father John Paul Mary of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word. The event included eucharistic adoration and culminated in Mass, at which a K of C honor guard comprising Knights from several assemblies was present.

Crusaders Council 10151 in Orland Park, Ill., involved families and youth in its annual St. Nicholas Pancake Breakfast. The Knights continued its tradition of placing treats in the shoes of over 100 religious education students; worked with the Boy Scouts to serve food; promoted the youth ministry’s wreath and poinsettia sale; and celebrated the birthday of retired Bishop John Gorman. QUEEN OF PEACE CRĂˆCHE

Queen of Peace Council 5296 in Elk River, Minn., designed and built a new outdoor crèche for St. Andrew Catholic Church with statues and materials donated by one of its members.

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Members of Milford (N.H.) Council 3035 removed dead and dangerously positioned trees from the yard of a single mother in need and split them into firewood for her use. KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS PARTY

Msgr. Edward J. Dodwell Council 6920 in Gainesville, Ga., hosted a parish Christmas party that brought together families of St. Michael Catholic Church. Children enjoyed Nativity crafts, music, snacks and the chance to meet St. Nicholas.

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Edmond (Okla.) Council 6477 awarded a grant to Alex Littell to help him fund his Eagle Scout service project: the construction of a grotto for a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the Baby Jesus. Littell installed the grotto outside Sister Barbara Joseph’s Pantry, a ministry in Oklahoma City providing food, clothing and transitional housing to people in need. +,.&1.*%-1-/!%/.1 ,' )0.1+*%-1,.&1//1*/+.,.110#

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Five Indiana councils sponsored the third annual Friday Knights Hunger Bowl, a collection to benefit a St. Vincent de Paul food bank, during a high school football game in Evansville. Members raised nearly $3,000

during the game between the Reitz Memorial High School Tigers and the Mater Dei Wildcats by passing the bucket in the stands and collecting donations at the gate. SPECIAL DELIVERY

Saugerties (N.Y.) Council 4536 supplied almost 300 food baskets for families in need. Members packed the food in boxes and delivered them to recipients’ homes the next morning. FOR A HERO’S FAMILY

Msgr. Peter M. H. Wynhoven Council 3091 in Westwego, La., sponsored a potluck dinner for the local police department and donated $1,200 to the family of a fallen officer.


Nearly 150 guests participated in a family square dance hosted by St. Lawrence Council 2950 in Utica, Mich. Ticket sales raised approximately $3,500 for St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen, a Detroit nonprofit that offers free medical and dental services as well as community meals. HAM IN EVERY HOME

Rev. M. Ernest Wilson Council 20 in Farmington, Conn., worked with Farmington Community Services to provide Christmas food boxes — each containing a complete ham dinner — for neighbors in need. The council purchased the food in bulk, packed each meal into festively wrapped boxes and delivered them to Community Services for distribution.

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For 15 years, Sacred Heart Council 1340 in Ely, Nev., has participated in the Nevada Adopt a Highway program, adopting a portion of U.S. Highway 50, sometimes described as the “loneliest road in America.� Twice a year, a dozen or so Knights remove litter along a 2-mile stretch of the remote roadway and then enjoy a barbecue lunch. COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS

South Plainfield (N.J.) Council 6203 held its annual Christmas party for residents of Keystone Community Living, a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities. More than 120 residents and staff enjoyed dinner, desserts and a visit from Santa.


With the help of parishioners, members of San Ă“scar Arnulfo Romero Council 17192 in Hyattsville, Md., and their wives organized a sale of Hispanic food that raised $4,000. The funds were donated to Father Roberto CortĂŠs, pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, to purchase a new church sound system. JACKETS FOR THE HOMELESS

The Jackets for the Homeless Drive, a collaboration of six California councils, yielded approximately 5,000 jackets for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties and beyond. Grand Knight Zaki Mustafa of Rancho Cucamonga Council 13403 in Alta Loma,

Calif., and his wife, Loretta, led the project. The coats were distributed to 34 shelters and rescue missions.

Members of several councils in and near Davao City, led by Mantina Pangi of Davao City (Mindanao) Council 17168, planted approximately 200 mahogany trees on a vacant stretch of river bank. As the planting ended, they had the opportunity to perform several works of mercy. A man approached them to request their presence and prayers at his father’s wake, and they also visited the widow of a recently deceased council member and a Knight mourning the loss of his mother.


Easton (Mass.) Council 238 served its annual free dinner for senior citizens at the hall where the council meets, carving up 300 pounds of turkey for approximately 100 guests. All seniors in the community were invited. BREAKFAST FOR HUNDREDS

Members of Padre Agapito Iriberri Council 5014 in Humacao, Puerto Rico, prepared and served breakfast to hundreds of people after Masses at local chapels during the 10 days before Christmas.

Members of the Greater Austin Chapter in Texas unload some of the 21 wheelchairs they donated in partnership with the American Wheelchair Mission to Park Valley Inn Nursing Home in Round Rock.


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Holy Family Council 11811 in Novi, Mich., and St. James Catholic Church sponsored two talks on suicide prevention by Leon Judd, president of NAMI Metro, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Members organized the presentations at the 30 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌

Catholic Church of the Holy Family over two evenings, welcoming participants and handing out materials. Over 140 people attended, learning more about signs and symptoms of mental illness and the resources available in their community. MEMORIAL BLOOD DRIVE

St. Thomas the Apostle Council 11684 in Providence, R.I., organized a blood drive in partnership with the Rhode Island Blood Center, bringing in close to 100 donors and $600 to offset costs. The drive was conducted in memory of a local baby, Francesca, who required numerous blood transfusions after being born at 25 weeks weighing just 13.4 ounces.



A new initiative of St. Frances Cabrini Council 9679 in Yucaipa, Calif., serves cancer patients at chemotherapy clinics. The council purchased copies of Eating Well Through Cancer in bulk and delivered them to clinics for doctors to give their patients. LIFE IN FOUR DIMENSIONS

St. Margaret of York Council 13429 in Loveland, Ohio, raised funds with the Respect Life Ministry at St. Margaret of York Catholic Church to purchase a 4D ultrasound machine for Elizabeth’s New Life Center, a network of pregnancy resource centers and pro-life ministries based in Dayton.

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Msgr. John J. Linnehan Council 3745 in Lynnfield, Mass., collected more than $2,300 from parishioners of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Maria Goretti Churches during its annual “Change for Baby� bottle campaign. The council donated the funds to Catholic Charities to support family and pro-life ministries.

St. Joseph’s Council 3420 in Bode, Iowa, refurbished a pro-life memorial on the lawn next to St. Joseph Catholic Church, replacing worn wooden crosses with vinyl ones. Members assembled 61 new crosses to represent the estimated 61 million children aborted in the United States since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Before installing the crosses, Knights and their families carried them in a procession to the parish hall, where the council chaplain, Father Merle Kollasch, blessed them.

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Bishop England Assembly 1072 in Columbia, S.C., held its annual Christmas dinner for Army recruits in training at Fort Jackson. The dinner is held every year at Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church for trainees who are unable to go home for Christmas. More than 200 recruits were served by members of the assembly and their families.

St. Anna’s Council 14425 in Monroe, Ga., partnered with several community groups to provide personal care items to the Northeast Georgia Homeless Veterans Shelter in Winder. The toiletry items were collected, put into handmade pillow cases and packed into backpacks for each veteran living at the shelter. MOBILITY MISSION

Members of St. Theresa of Avila Council 2657 in Gonzales, La., presented three new wheelchairs to the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve. The council donated the chairs to residents in partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission. NEW CHAPTERS FOR VETS


Members of Father James Wilmes Council 14087 in Andrews, N.C., collected donated books from parishioners at several local Catholic churches to share with veterans waiting for treatment at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville. Parishioners donated approximately 1,300 books, which members dropped off in the waiting rooms and offered to patients at their bedsides. Members of Msgr. Lawrence L. Meyer Assembly 2267 and Marshall Council 1422, both in Marshall, Texas, replace the U.S. flag outside Marshall High School in remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. Assembly 2267, continuing an annual tradition, donated funds for the new flag and respectfully retired the old.


Three Las Vegas units — Father John Kenny Assembly 3772, Christ the King Council 14144 and Holy Spirit Council 14784 — donated more than 2,000 gallons of drinking water to Veterans Village Las Vegas, a nonprofit serving homeless veterans. Rick Houle, a

For the past 10 years, members of Our Lady of Charity Assembly 3089 in Sarasota, Fla., have attended funerals at Sarasota National Cemetery for veterans who have no next of kin present. At least a dozen Knights are present at most services. The assembly has paid its respects at more than 500 such funerals since 2010.

member of Assembly 3772, learned that fresh water was their greatest need, and local Knights responded generously to the appeal. Houle and Faithful Navigator Terry Zehl from Assembly 3772 received a Humanitarian Award from Veterans Village for the Knights’ efforts. COLUMBUS AT CHRISTMAS

St. Agnes Assembly 3094 and St. Agnes Council 14202, both in Naples, Fla., won first place at the Naples Florida Christmas Parade for their float, a replica of one of the ships of Christopher Columbus.


St. Dominic Council 5343 in Blauvelt, N.Y., donated $7,500 to Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon, a nonprofit that sends care packages to service members and supports wounded veterans with equipment and services.

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


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RESOLUTION NO. 334 AMENDING SECTION 8 OF THE CONSTITUTION NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the position of Supreme Physician be eliminated and Section 8 be amended as follows: “SEC. 8. Annually, at its first meeting held on or after September first in 1955 and thereafter, the Board of Directors shall elect a Supreme Chaplain and a Supreme Warden and shall appoint, from their own number, a Supreme Knight, a Deputy Supreme Knight, a Supreme Secretary, a Supreme Treasurer, and a Supreme Advocate and a Supreme Physician, to serve for a term of one year, unless removed for cause. It shall fill any vacancies for the unexpired terms of Supreme Officers heretofore or hereafter elected or appointed. It shall appoint an Insurance member to perform the duties of Supreme Advocate or Supreme Physician if there is not a Supreme Director eligible, qualified and available for appointment to either such office.”

Navy & Gold T-Shirt This 100% cotton navy blue T-shirt, printed with gold and white lettering, expresses your pride in the Order and its core principles of charity, unity and fraternity. M, L, XL: $21 each XL: $23, 3XL: $24, 4XL: $25

RESOLUTION NO. 335 REPEALING SECTION 34 OF THE LAWS OF THE ORDER NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Section 34 of the Laws of the Order be repealed, and that the term “Supreme Physician” in Sections 27.3, 36.14, 38, and 44 be deleted; and FURTHER RESOLVED, that the term “Supreme Physician” in Sections 102, 109, 117, 121, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 153, 154, 168.7, and 235 be replaced by the term “Medical Director.” RESOLUTION NO. 336 AMENDING SECTION 60.5 OF THE LAWS OF THE ORDER NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in order to facilitate the appointment of successful District Deputies for more than four one-year terms, Section 60.5 be amended as follows: 5. … Except for unusual circumstances as determined by the Supreme Knight upon the recommendation of the State Deputy, a member who has served four eight consecutive terms in the office of District Deputy shall be ineligible for appointment to that office.”

OFFICIAL JANUARY 1, 2020: To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7 ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. SUBSCRIPTION RATES — IN THE U.S.: 1 YEAR, $6; 2 YEARS, $11; 3 YEARS, $15. FOR OTHER COUNTRIES ADD $2 PER YEAR. EXCEPT FOR CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENT IN U.S. CURRENCY ONLY. SEND ORDERS AND CHECKS TO: ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901.


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Challenge Coin This brass coin with antique finish is 1.75 inches in diameter and 3 mm thick. On one side — the emblem of the Order with the words “IN SERVICE TO ONE, IN SERVICE TO ALL.” On the other side — the U.S. and K of C flags encircled by the four principles of the Order in capital letters. Keep one as a reminder of the principles and give others to brother Knights as a token of appreciation or recognition. $4.50 each

Navy Blue Full-Zip Sweatshirt (Personalized) This versatile Sport-Tek® sweatshirt features rib cuffs and waistband, set-in sleeves and front slash pockets. The emblem of the Order or Fourth Degree — together with your council or assembly name and number — is embroidered in full color on the left chest. Please allow 10-12 business days for the production of this custom item. S, M, L, XL: $50 each 2XL: $52, 3XL: $53, 4XL: $54

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

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Knights of Charity


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

Indiana Knights and friends finish a 170-mile bike ride across the state, from Illinois to Ohio, to raise funds for the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative. Indianapolis Mater Dei Council 437 sponsors the annual “Biking for Babies� event in cooperation with the Indiana State Council. At every break on the three-day trek, participants prayed a decade of the rosary for a stronger culture of life. In the past three years, “Biking for Babies� has raised approximately $12,000 to help place ultrasound machines in Indiana pregnancy resource centers.




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FATHER MICHAEL NIEMCZAK Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M. Nuestra Señora del Rosario Council 10517


As the son of Polish immigrants, I grew up in a good Catholic home. But it wasn’t until I began participating in our parish youth group that I embraced the faith as my own and fell in love with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. A girl I was dating went to daily Mass, and I began going with her. It didn’t take long for my focus to shift from her to what took place in the sanctuary — God coming down to be with his people! I found myself with thoughts like, “How would I preach on that Gospel?” At first, these thoughts terrified me. For the next several years, I wrestled with the idea of becoming a priest, often in the parish adoration chapel — eventually gaining the trust to say “yes.” Following high school graduation, I entered seminary and eight years later was ordained a priest. Though the vocation has been demanding, it has been infinitely more rewarding. I can say with confidence: If God calls you to the priesthood, nothing on earth will give you greater joy.

Profile for Columbia Magazine

Columbia January 2020  

Columbia January 2020  

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