KNI GHT S O F CO LUMBU S
J ULY 2011
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LO N G - T E R M CA R E
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
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COLUMBIA F E AT U R E S
8 Marathon Priests Training for endurance athletic events helps some priests to stay disciplined and focused. BY MIKE LATONA
14 Where Freedom is Threatened Commission helps to identify countries where violence and oppression stifle religious freedom. BY LEONARD LEO
20 The Vatican’s Newspaper For 150 years, L’Osservatore Romano has served as the paper of record for the universal Church. BY EDWARD PENTIN
12 World Youth Day Knights to host English-language World Youth Day Site in Madrid. BY COLUMBIA STAFF
19 How Mary Gained Her Crown An interview with the Vatican official who oversees the preservation of St. Peter’s artistic treasures. BY COLUMBIA STAFF
A representation of Madonna Avvocata del Popolo (Madonna, Advocate of the People) in Campagna, Italy, crowned in 1904, is part of a collection of nearly 100 images on display at the Knights of Columbus Museum exhibition (see page 19).
D E PA RT M E N T S 3
Building a better world
The Order’s charitable efforts and top-rated insurance program provide hope and security to those in need. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON
Fabbrica di San Petro in Vaticano, F.S.P 0635
Learning the faith, living the faith The practice of prayer disposes us to receive the gift of faith and grow in friendship with God.
Knights of Columbus News Knights of Columbus Sets Records for Charity, Volunteerism • Order Climbs 29 Spots on Fortune 1000 • New College Council Charged to Be Christian Witness on Campus • Supreme Knight Visits Salt + Light, Gives Address on Verbum Domini
Fathers for Good
BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN BISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI
The movie Courageous, which will be released this fall, highlights the importance of fathers.
PLUS Catholic Man of the Month
BY BRIAN CAULFIELD
Roman Missal The Penitential Act reminds us of our sinfulness, of God’s glory and of our need for forgiveness. BY MSGR. JAMES P. MORONEY
Knights in Action
Columbianism by Degrees
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Promoting True Freedom IN HIS MESSAGE for the World Day of Peace in 1991, Blessed John Paul II observed that religious freedom is “not merely one human right among many others,” but instead is fundamental, “since the dignity of every person has its first source in his essential relationship with God.” Promoting and protecting authentic religious liberty has also been a central theme of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate. In the pope’s 2011 World Day of Peace message, he said, “Religious freedom should be understood … not merely as immunity from coercion, but even more fundamentally as an ability to order one’s own choices in accordance with the truth.” In other words, although the right of religious freedom is usually put in terms of “freedom from,” seeing it primarily as “freedom for” provides a clearer perspective. Religious freedom is, of course, a topic of much debate and concern throughout the world (see page 14). Many of the challenges facing this freedom today were recently discussed at a plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in Rome. Mary Ann Glendon, president of the pontifical academy and former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, observed that although the most egregious violations involve the violent coercion and persecution of religious believers, there are also governmental restrictions and societal pressures that often endanger the liberty of religious minorities. Moreover, the vulnerability of religious freedom is not limited to those countries marked by violent conflicts or oppressed minorities. In this regard, Glendon re-
ferred to “the growth of secular fundamentalism in Western countries, which considers religious believers a threat.” Following the lead of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the session participants explored the contemporary question of religious freedom from two different directions: First, there is the obvious need to promote peaceful coexistence and freedom of conscience wherever war and oppression persist. At the same time, the indifference and hostility toward religion that is often found in modern democracies must also be addressed. In each case, authentic religious freedom is realized only when societies recognize the duty of each citizen to seek and embrace the truth. On the one hand, this truth cannot be imposed by violence but only by its own force (cf. Dignitatis Humanae, 1). On the other hand, if all claims of truth and moral values are banned from public dialog, democracy becomes grounded in power alone, independent from human dignity (cf. Centesimus Annus, 46). In the face of complex challenges presented by promoting religious freedom in various cultural and historical contexts, the Church both condemns various manifestations of religious persecution and witnesses positively to the truth and dignity of the human person. From the time of its founding, the Knights of Columbus has stood strongly with the Church in this important mission, working everywhere for the cause of true freedom in word and action.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI MANAGING EDITOR
Knights of Columbus Book Club — July 2011 IN Virtuous Leadership (Scepter, 2007), Alexandre Havard presents a guide for personal fulfillment through a commitment to moral principles in our personal and professional lives. Havard draws from the examples of modern political, intellectual and religious leaders to demonstrate how virtue and effective leadership go hand in hand. For more information, visit kofc.org/bookclub.
COLUMBIA PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus ________ SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN Dennis A. Savoie DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT Emilio B. Moure SUPREME SECRETARY Charles E. Maurer Jr. SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Patrick Scalisi email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Brian Dowling firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE & EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ________ GRAPHICS Michelle McCleary LAYOUT
Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. ________ HOW TO REACH US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 PHONE 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 E-MAIL email@example.com INTERNET kofc.org/columbia CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 ________ Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.
________ Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER Coptic Orthodox Christians carry an image of Jesus as they demonstrate in Alexandria, Egypt, Jan. 2.
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CoVer Photo: reuterS/Asmaa Waguih
E D I TO R I A L
BUILDING A BETTER WORLD
An Answered Prayer The Order’s charitable efforts and top-rated insurance program provide hope and security to those in need by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
STANDARD & POOR’S rating “John was a member early. … I reagency recently observed that the net in- member the day they phoned to say that come of our insurance program “soared” they would like to talk to me. They told in 2010, increasing 287 percent over me I would not have to ask for blood anyNot infrequently when we review the our 2009 performance. The same week more, as the Knights would take turns the Order received its S&P evaluation, donating after each operation and when- “soaring” accomplishments and growth of the Knights of Columbus, the question A.M. Best Company reaffirmed our ever it was needed. A++ (Superior) rating, noting our “su“You can imagine how that gave us arises, “Could Father McGivney have perior risk-adjusted capitalization” and hope. John was so grateful. He had a imagined such growth from the modest “consistently positive statutory operat- great admiration for his fellow Knights. beginnings of the Knights of Columbus ing results,” making the Knights of He was very worried about our family; in the basement of St. Mary’s Church?” I think it is safe to say that it would Columbus one of only five insurance we had five children from six months to companies in North America with the nine years old. The Knights were already have never occurred to our founder that top rating from both firms. helping us with food. Also gifts at today his Order would provide more A.M. Best also noted the “strong affin- Christmas time, etc., which was greatly than $80 billion of insurance protection for the financial future of hundreds of ity” of our members that results from two appreciated. thousands of Catholic families, aspects of the Order: our “charand that it would do so with itable programs and competiunsurpassed financial strength. tive portfolio of life insurance Father McGivney knew the power But Father McGivney did and annuity products.” know the power of our princiThe strength of our charitaof our principles and expected that ples of charity, unity and fraterble programs was made clear there would always be “grateful” nity when strengthened by our in a very personal way this Catholic faith and sacraments. year at the Ontario State Conwives and mothers praying And he would have expected vention. The “honored guest” that no matter how many at the award session was Mrs. for the growth of the Order. brother Knights there were in Eve Charette, whose story was this century or the next, there summarized in a letter that she recently wrote: “Along with parishioners, they took would always be “grateful” wives and “I told you I always remember when the turns driving me to Toronto General and mothers praying for the growth of the Knights of Columbus helped my dear first later to Sunnybrook Hospital. It was there Order — that is, praying that there would always be brother Knights ready husband, John. He was stricken with can- that John died…. cer at the age of 36, in September of 1956. “I have always spoken highly of the to offer “their kind support” to families “There wasn’t a lot known about cancer Knights of Columbus. I know I was not in the hour of need. As we begin this new fraternal year, we then; they did 13 operations to try to save the only one they assisted. God Bless them. him. There was a constant need for blood It’s good to know there will always be can be justly proud of the charitable and transfusions. It was up to the family to re- someone receiving their kind support. insurance accomplishments of the Order. quest people to donate blood for John. His Thanks to all the members of the Knights We have indeed answered many prayers, own family gave as much as they could. In of Columbus, and I hope you will get but we also have to recognize that there those days there were no blood banks. many more men interested in joining the are many more prayers still awaiting our Friends also helped, but it was the Knights Knights. My prayers are with you. Thanks response. Vivat Jesus! of Columbus that really came to our aid. from a grateful wife and mother.”
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LEARNING THE FAITH, LIVING THE FAITH
How to Pray Better The practice of prayer disposes us to receive the gift of faith and grow in friendship with God by Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori
CATHOLICS WHO KNOW and love their faith will often say that they have difficulty making time to pray or that they find themselves distracted when they do try to pray. To strengthen our life of prayer, the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers practical guidance from the great masters of the spiritual life and from the Lord himself. Let’s begin with where to pray. The celebration of Mass and the sacraments, as well as eucharistic adoration, should normally take place in a church or chapel that has been properly arranged and suitably adorned. Private prayer, on the other hand, can take place anywhere. For instance, a person might pray the rosary in a car or on a train. However, to foster a habit of daily prayer, it is good to set aside a place at home, which might be as simple as a favorite chair or a small room that affords a bit of privacy. Not to be forgotten, of course, is the importance of visiting churches and shrines in order to visit the Blessed Sacrament (Compendium, 566).
The 38th installment of Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori’s faith formation program addresses questions 566-577 of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Archived articles are at kofc.org.
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THREE FORMS OF PRAYER Jesus tells us to pray “without becoming weary” (Lk 18:1), and St. Paul advises us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17). Does this mean that we should cease our daily activity and simply pray? Whereas contemplative religious spend much of their day absorbed in prayer, most of us are called to punctuate our day with prayer so that everything we say or do is
Jesus tells us to pray “without becoming weary” and St. Paul advises us to “pray without ceasing.”
animated by a prayerful spirit (Compendium, 576). That is why we should pray in the morning and evening, before and after meals, or when we are facing some difficulty or temptation. The daily, prayerful reading of Scripture is a treasured and fruitful way to pray, as is the rosary. Laypersons also profit greatly from praying the Liturgy of the Hours, which clergy and religious are required to pray (567). In general, there are three forms of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation and contemplative prayer. Each of these requires us to focus on God and his loving kindness, cultivating a heart that is free
from distraction (568). Vocal prayer involves praying with particular words, either mentally or out loud. We use our powers of speech to give voice to prayer, wishing to give thanks and praise to God and to ask for the graces necessary to grow in holiness. The Our Father, which Jesus taught us to pray, is the perfect form of vocal prayer and will be the focus of next month’s column (569). Meditation comes from the Latin word meditatio, which means “thinking over.” A reflective form of prayer, it often begins with reading the Word of God and allowing it to resonate in our mind and heart. Meditation engages our powers of thought and imagination, as well as our emotions and desires. It marshals our interior powers to focus on the mysteries of our faith and on God’s will for our lives. The practice of daily mediation is a very important way to grow in holiness (570). Lastly, contemplative prayer is a prayer beyond words, in which we simply gaze upon the Lord in silence and love. It might be likened to the loving silence of a happily married husband and wife who no longer need a lot of words to convey their oneness of mind and heart. Contemplative prayer is a gift of the Holy Spirit that leads us to trustfully surrender ourselves to the Lord and his
LEARNING THE FAITH, LIVING THE FAITH
will for us. The practice of contemplative prayer, as St. Teresa of Avila teaches us, is an indication of our growing friendship with Christ (571). PRAYING WITH VIGILANCE If prayer is beautiful and life-giving, why is it often difficult? Why must we battle with distractions and temptations to cut our prayer short or to not pray at all? Of course, Satan does not want us to pray and would prefer that we focus on ourselves rather than “on the things that are above” (Col 3:2). Because of our human weakness, we are only too willing to submit to these temptations. Prayer is a grace that engages our willpower, and we
HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTIONS
Offered in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI
PoPe: CNS photo/Paul haring — toltoN: CNS photo/courtesy of Archdiocese of Chicago Archives and records Center
GENERAL: That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God. MISSION: That the Holy Spirit may bring forth from our communities numerous missionary vocations, willing to fully consecrate themselves to spreading the kingdom of God.
have to pray even when we don’t feel like doing so (Compendium, 572). Likewise, we sometimes might be tempted to think that God isn’t listening or that he is rejecting our pleas. At other times, we find ourselves so distracted that we want to give up praying altogether. Or we may wonder why our prayer is “dry,” that is, lacking in consolation. But prayer requires vigilance. When we pray almost in spite of ourselves, with humility and trust, we grow in faith and friendship with Christ. We are drawn ever more deeply into his life and love. Prayer also requires a repentant and trusting heart. We can become lazy
about praying or experience difficulty with prayer because we are not willing to repent of our sins (573-4). With the Psalmist we must often say, “a clean heart create in me, O God, renew in me a steadfast spirit” (Ps. 51:12). The more steadfastly we pray in faith, hope and love, the more the Holy Spirit transforms our hearts and makes evident the fruits of the Spirit in our lives (Compendium, 575). Jesus prayed throughout his life, but especially at the divinely appointed time of his passion and death. We should pray so as to enter into this prayer of Jesus, which he continually offers for us at the right hand of the Father (577).♦
C AT H O L I C M A N O F T H E M O N T H
Father Augustine Tolton (April 1854 – July 1897) AS THE FIRST U.S. Catholic priest publicly known to be black, Father Augustine Tolton began numerous apostolates to serve African Americans just decades after the U.S. Civil War. Tolton was born to a slave family in Missouri in 1854, and according to conflicting stories, his parents either ran away or were freed at the beginning of the war. His father went to fight for the Union Army, while his mother took him and his siblings to Quincy, Ill. With the help of two parish priests and favors from friends, Tolton was admitted to the Pontifical Urban College, a school for mission priests in Rome. Tolton studied in the seminary for six years, expecting to be sent to Africa, but he ended up returning to Illinois after his ordination in 1886. His parish, St. Joseph, was to be the black Catholic church in Quincy, and it is reported that many of the Masses he celebrated there were standing-room only. Father Tolton’s character and his articulate sermons drew widespread attention, and he
became known as “Good Father Gus.” Some other priests were angered when white parishioners began to leave to attend St. Joseph. Father Tolton, along with a few of his parishioners and his mother, then moved north to Chicago in 1887. There, with the financial help of Mother (now Saint) Katharine Drexel, he built a church and school for the black community on the south side of the city. He lived there in a small house behind the church until his death in 1897.♦
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KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS NEWS
Knights of Columbus Sets Records for Charity, Volunteerism IN HIS KEYNOTE ADDRESS at the annual State Deputies Meeting, held June 8-12 in New Haven, Conn., Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said that the mission of the Knights of Columbus is to provide charitable assistance to the most needy and to offer top-rated financial protection to members and their families. These two goals are so closely related that one serves the other, he noted. As examples of the Order’s recent charitable efforts, Anderson cited the “Healing Haiti’s Children” initiative, by which young people who lost a limb in the 2010 earthquake are receiving free prosthetic devices and physical therapy; donations from all regions of the Order for relief efforts in Japan after the tsunami and earthquake; work by councils in the U.S. South and Midwest to assist families following devastating tornadoes there; and longstanding programs of support for the Global Wheelchair Mission, Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. These examples were reinforced when the supreme knight announced the results of the Order’s Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity. Charitable giving for the year ending Dec. 31, 2010, increased by more than $3 million. Likewise, Knights reported serving a total of 70,049,433 volunteer service hours last year — an increase of almost 800,000 hours compared to the 2009 total. Cumulative figures show that the Knights of Columbus has donated more than $1.4 billion to charity and provided more than 653 million hours of volunteer service over the past decade. “The Knights of Columbus significantly expanded its outreach to those in need last year and will continue to do so because of the economic problems facing so many people in our communities,” said Anderson. “Despite the fact that the economy has also created hardship for many of our own members, Knights have stepped 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
Addressing newly and re-elected state deputies at their annual meeting June 8-12, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson outlined the Order’s mission and future goals. up as never before to meet the needs of their neighbors. We have taken very seriously the fact that we are our brother’s keeper.” Meanwhile, the Order’s financial products and insurance business are ranked among the top-rated companies in North America in terms of the protection they provide and the ethical standards that the Order maintains. The success of the program is measured in more than just the $80 billion of insurance in force. The real value is seen, Anderson said, “in securing and guaranteeing the financial futures of hundreds of thousands of Catholic families.” Although spreading the word about the Order’s strength and service must continue at the grassroots level, where K of C units do some of their most critical work, the responsibility begins with state leaders. One of the common threads from the meeting was a challenge to the state deputies and state secretaries from the Order’s 72 jurisdictions to strive for excellence during the new fraternal year, which began July 1. “As we
look forward to the coming year,” Anderson said, “we have to be proud of what has been accomplished and work hard to be good stewards.” The meeting featured various sessions that focused on topics such as membership growth and retention, insurance service, best practices, and fraternal charity and unity. Year-round member recruitment and strengthening the Order’s communications efforts were particularly underscored. Speakers emphasized that telling the story of the Order’s good works, positive initiatives and financial strength will help bolster the Knights’ public image as well as attract more members, thereby enabling councils to help even more people in need. Additional highlights of the meeting included Mass celebrated by Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn.; a tour of the Knights of Columbus Museum, which is currently featuring exclusive exhibitions on Blessed John Paul II and Crowned Madonna paintings from the Vatican; and a banquet dinner for state deputies and their wives.♦
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS NEWS
Order Climbs 29 Spots on Fortune 1000 THE KNIGHTS of Columbus moved up 29 places in Fortune magazine’s annual ranking of America’s 1,000 largest companies, according to the recently released list. Fortune’s 2011 list ranks the Knights of Columbus at number 900 in total revenues. The Order ranked 929 in the same category last year. The organization also rose 21 spots on the list of most profitable companies to 725, up from 746 last year. In April, the Knights surpassed $80 billion of life insurance in force — twice the amount of insurance in force when Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson took the helm slightly more than a decade ago. “We have every confidence in our continued success because we have a fundamentally solid business model, which continues to serve us well,” said the supreme knight. “We foresee similar success going forward.” The Knights of Columbus has enjoyed record growth during the past several years and is one of only five life insurers that holds top ratings from both A.M. Best (A++) and Standard and Poor’s (AAA).♦
New College Council Urged to Be Christian Witness on Campus
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and Dominican Father Jonathan Kalisch, chaplain, stand with charter council members of Father Bill Nolan Council 15094 at Dartmouth College. IN APRIL, Father Bill Nolan Council 15094 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., became one of the Order’s newest college councils and its latest at an Ivy League school, following the creation of Harvard University’s John Paul II Council 14188 in 2006. The council is also New Hampshire’s second college council, joining Saint Anselm College Council 4875, which celebrated
SAlt + lIGht: Photo courtesy of Salt and light Catholic media Foundation
Supreme Knight Visits Salt + Light TV, Gives Address on Verbum Domini
its 50th anniversary last year. Discussing the importance of providing Christian witness on campus, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson presented the founding charter to the newly formed council and said: “We are called to transform society. Our job is not an easy one. … We must, in the words of St. Paul, ‘put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm’” (Eph. 6:11).♦
SUPREME KNIGHT Carl A. Anderson visited Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of Canada’s Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, at the network’s broadcast center in Toronto March 30, when the supreme knight was invited to speak at a symposium about Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortation on the divine word of God. Titled Verbum Domini, the document followed the 2008 synod of bishops that focused on “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.” The supreme knight was an official observer at that gathering, and Father Rosica, who is a member of Toronto Council 1388, served as the English-language press attaché. At the symposium, the supreme knight was joined by other speakers that included Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C., Archbishop Thomas T. Prendergast of Ottawa and Archbishop Thomas C. Collins of Toronto. The event was co-sponsored by Regis College in Toronto and Salt and Light, which televised the various addresses over four days in June. The Order has partnered with Salt and Light for several years, providing financial assistance, co-sponsoring special events and co-producing features and documentaries.♦
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ATHLETIC EVENTS HELPS
Father Dan Callahan is preparing for his 13th Ironman triathlon, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a full 26.2-mile marathon.
SOME PRIESTS TO STAY DISCIPLINED AND FOCUSED
by Mike Latona
ishop Michael Byrnes admits that he is intimidating as a role model for regular exercise. He competes in endurance events that are longer than 25 miles and it is not uncommon for him to run 50 miles in a week. “I know it’s hard to look at me and be convinced [to do the same], because I’m insane,” laughed Bishop Byrnes, 52, who on May 5 was ordained an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. And yet, this marathoner’s mental state is not unique among his brethren. Many other clergy embrace endurance running as a way to stay healthy while enhancing their self-discipline and prayer life. Regimens like Bishop Byrnes’ may be completely alien to the “fitness-challenged,” those who would jockey for a close parking spot or cannot fathom how mankind functioned before the TV remote was invented. Such people might also wonder what possessed Atonement Father Dan Callahan, pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish and a member of Blessed John XXIII Council 4976 in Toronto, to complete 12 Ironman triathlons — each consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112mile bicycle ride and a full 26.2-mile marathon. Father Callahan, 60, said that preparing for and competing in these exhausting events is a way of life. “It’s what energizes me to do everything else I do,” said Father Callahan, who is popularly known as the “Iron Friar.” Bishop Byrnes, a member of George F. Monaghan Council 2690 in Livonia, Mich., has a similar philosophy. “We don’t belong to ourselves. To be on our game, we have to be able to serve with energy and for the long haul,” he said. “It’s really about celebrating the body, having the opportunity to be outside and using what God has given — and to finish.” JULY 2011
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SETTING GOALS Before his recent episcopal appointment, Bishop Byrnes served as vice rector and dean of formation for Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary. With the help of a close friend, Father Todd Lajiness, Sacred Heart’s dean of studies and the K of C state chaplain, he spearheaded a drive to get more young men from the seminary interested in distance running by taking part in the Detroit Free Press Marathon Oct. 17, 2010. His persistence had great results: About 60 seminarians turned out to participate. Most competed in relays. Some ran a half-marathon. And a couple went for the full 26.2 miles — as did Bishop Byrnes and Father Lajiness. Wearing Sacred Heart t-shirts, the group turned the event into a public celebration of priestly vocations. The race also marked the first full marathon for Father Lajiness, who had competed in numerous shorter races and triathlons in the past. At age 43, he claims to have felt “phenomenal” at the end. “It sounds kind of strange, but it’s pretty consistent that when I finish a race, there’s this kind of rush. You feel really good,” said Father Lajiness, a member of Anchor Bay Council 5981 in New Baltimore, Mich. Clergy interest in endurance events is not limited to the Motor City. For instance, Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Springfield, Ill., Auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver and Father Jim Crisman, vocations director for the Archdiocese of Denver, all took part in last fall’s Denver Marathon. While training for the marathon, Bishop Paprocki, a member of Tonti Council 1567 in Chicago, raised funds for the restoration of Springfield’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Bishop Conley of St. Patrick Council 9699 in Wichita, Kan., and Father Crisman of St. Francis of Assisi Council 14688 in Aurora, Colo., teamed up in a relay with seminarians Jason Wunsch and Ryan O’Neill of Denver’s St. John Vianney Theological Seminary to publicize vocations awareness and support. As for Father Callahan, he is gearing up for the Ford Ironman Lake Placid on July 24. Through his annual involvement, he has raised considerable funds for the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and St. Joan of Arc Parish. Along with competing, Father Callahan celebrates Mass the night before the race during which he gives a special blessing to all of the athletes in attendance. “Honest to God, there isn’t a dry eye in the house. They have worked so hard,” Father Callahan said. Speaking of hard work, how about Father Luke Willenberg? In the Boston Marathon this past April 18 — his first full marathon after competing in five triathlons since 2008 — Fa-
PreVIouS SPreAD: Photo by Nadia molinari —bIShoP byrNeS: Courtesy of bishop mike byrnes
Bishop Michael Byrnes, auxiliary of Detroit (left), runs the Detroit Free Press Marathon with Father Todd Lajiness, who serves as dean of studies for Sacred Heart Seminary and as the Knights of Columbus Michigan state chaplain.
CAllAhAN: Photo by Nadia molinari
ther Willenberg developed a leg cramp after 17 miles but, incredibly, still managed to finish in 3 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds. He placed 1,580th out of 15,445 male entrants, nearly cracking the top 10 percent of arguably the world’s most competitive marathon. He is determined to drop below the three-hour mark next time out. “In long-distance races, you always race with yourself. You try to push and challenge yourself more and more,” said Father Willenberg, 29, assistant pastor of St. Luke Parish in Barrington, R.I. A native of Poland, he also serves as chaplain for Bishop Hickey Council 3623 in Riverside, R.I. In general, these clergy have participated in other sports dating back to youth but over the years became attracted to the challenges of endurance competition. Bishop Byrnes describes himself as “somebody who’s very task-oriented, goal-oriented — my life seems to work better that way.” In addition, he said, exercising helps him to tackle his daily routine. “I just feel better — I’ve got energy. I don’t need to take naps, I sleep better at night.” Neither Bishop Byrnes nor Father Lajiness are concerned about their times so much as completing a race. And for the young men they guide, their emphasis is less on killer workouts and more on the basic need for priests to stay fit. To this end, Father Lajiness believes it is key for each individual to develop his own regimen. “If that means you walk 20 minutes a day, then you walk 20 minutes a day — but it has to be something you’re committed to,” he said, adding that a good diet and sufficient rest are also vital. “It does take discipline on our part to start the process. I might be a little tired this morning, but exercise is going to rejuvenate me and be good for me.” Added Father Callahan: “If you don’t feel like going, you just put your shoes on and go anyway. And you’re glad you did.” RUNNING THE RACE Exertion from running, biking and swimming requires one to turn deeply inward for strength, creating a natural path to deeper spirituality. In fact, Father Callahan said he doesn’t view his regimen in terms of pain and fatigue. Rather, he said, “Your body is at one with nature, and your mind is free to pray.” For Father Willenberg, nothing can beat watching a sunrise over the Rhode Island waters while running. “I really find it great for meditation. I feel so blessed,” he said. “Those are really deep moments of prayer and meditation for me.” Father Lajiness, meanwhile, gains fortitude by reflecting on Christ’s final moments. “As things hurt a little bit and you get a little tired, I think of the Way of the Cross,” he said. “Our physical suffering can’t in any way compare to Christ’s suffering toward the end, but you do think, ‘Yeah, it hurts, but I can keep going; I’ve got to grind through this.’” Bishop Byrnes, who often prays the rosary as he trains and competes, also finds his spirit growing stronger as his flesh weakens.
“You have this awareness of God and awareness of Christ and you say, ‘Thank you God that I have another day to exercise, to use this body you’ve given me,’” he said. Bishop Byrnes considers intense exercise “a kind of a mortification” guided by the words of St. Paul, who in I Corinthians 9 uses the analogy of athletics as a means of applying self-control. “I think that is a great spiritual benefit. It gets us into a mentality of doing something we just don’t feel like doing,” Bishop Byrnes said, adding that through this process he can better appreciate what a “mountaintop” moment is. “I’ve been to Mount Sinai and Mount Tabor, walked up both those mountains. It’s hard,” he said. “Part of the mountaintop experience is that there is a certain kind of spiritual openness. I’m convinced it’s [due to] the effort of climbing up that mountain, getting there.” These marathoners and triathletes also receive ample spiritual lifts on race days, thanks to considerable crowd support. “People talk to me all along the way about faith,” Father Callahan noted, adding that some of his most cherished moments occurred at the end of Lake Placid Ironman competition — which, last year, took him nearly 16 hours to complete. “It’s very emotional. There are literally thousands of people cheering you on,” he said, likening the experience to the “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews 12:1. Plenty of emotion was packed into the Detroit Marathon last October for Michael Weisbeck, a seminarian at Sacred Heart. “The support from the community was almost overpowering at times. People in the crowd would recognize my Sacred Heart shirt and cheer me on,” Weisbeck recalled, adding that he frequently got to promote his seminary and vocation with fellow runners during the half-marathon. He and Robert Bacik, a fellow Sacred Heart seminarian, welcomed any morale boost that came their way since neither had a distance-running background. “When I first started training in the spring of 2010, I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping to rest,” said Bacik, 31, from Jackson, Mich. Weisbeck, who had never run more than five miles at once, said it took him several days to recover from his halfmarathon. “I remember invoking the Lord’s help, especially during the last mile,” said Weisbeck, 23, from Bismarck, N.D. Despite these initial trials and tribulations, it appears that Bacik and Weisbeck have bought into Bishop Byrnes’ so-called insanity: They now enjoy distance running year-round. “Running has become a great stress release for me,” Bacik said, noting that Detroit-area Knights of Columbus have assisted by funding his running-shoe supply. Added Weisbeck: “Believe it or not, I have developed a passion for running.”♦ MIKE LATONA, a staff writer for the Catholic Courier in the Diocese of Rochester, is a member of Our Lady of the Cenacle Council 3892 in Greece, N.Y., and co-author of A Coach and a Miracle: Life Lessons from a Man Who Believed in an Autistic Boy (Beacon, 2011).
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WO R L D YO U T H DAY
Knights to Host English-language World Youth Day Site WITH LITTLE MORE than a month to go before Madrid Rosica, founder of Canada’s Salt + Light Television Network; welcomes the more than 1 million young Catholics expected Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, postulator of the cause of canonizato fill its streets, the Knights of Columbus continues to pre- tion of St. Juan Diego; Jesuit Father Robert J. Spitzer, former pare both spiritually and logistically for the thousands of president of Gonzaga University; and others. Besides the main stage events, the venue will also house English-speaking pilgrims who will be joining Pope Benedict two eucharistic adoration chapels, an art exhibit, dozens of XVI for the 26th World Youth Day Aug. 16-21. Housed at Madrid’s Palacio de Deportes, a 15,000-seat displays and several breakout rooms with additional proconcert and sports arena, the Love and Life Centre: A Home gramming. Each afternoon will feature various panels and for English-Speaking Pilgrims will be co-hosted by the multimedia presentations on topics such as faith and reason, entertainment, religious Knights of Columbus freedom, theology of the and the Sisters of Life. body, and prayer. The center’s programs In the evening, followwill include inspiring ing the main events of speakers and faith-filled the day, pilgrims will be entertainment, making it invited to return to the the premier EnglishPalacio de Deportes, speaking site of World where the Love and Life Youth Day 2011. It will Centre will be transoperate during the four formed into a youth fesdays leading up to World tival with a vastly Youth Day’s culminating different lineup each weekend, which will feanight. The festivities will ture a vigil and Mass range from high-energy with Pope Benedict. concerts to a Marian fesIn planning the 40 tival and eucharistic adohours of programming ration led by the for the Love and Life Franciscan Friars of the Centre, organizers from Renewal. the Knights and the SisCollege Knights are pictured in Sydney, Australia, in 2008, during the last Artists who will take ters of Life have sought the stage include singers to build upon the theme international celebration of World Youth Day. Alexander Acha, Dana of this year’s event: “Planted and Built up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith.” In Scallon and Danielle Rose; Hollywood actors Matthew his message for World Youth Day, Pope Benedict encouraged Marsden and Clarence Gilyard Jr.; Celtic folk-rock band the Church’s youth to live out this theme by grounding Scythian and Mexican band Adoremus Knight. Whether or not members will be making the trip to themselves in a personal relationship with Christ and surrounding themselves with friends who will support their Madrid this summer, the Order encourages all Knights and their councils to participate in the spiritual preparations for walk of faith. “Do not believe those who tell you that you don’t need World Youth Day, especially by praying for the hundreds of others to build up your life!” he said. “Find support in the thousands of Catholic youth participating in the events. One concrete way to do this is to join the “Firm in the faith of those who are dear to you, in the faith of the Church, and thank the Lord that you have received it and have made Faith with Mary” rosary campaign organized by Holy Cross Family Ministries, one of the co-sponsors of the Love and it your own!” To this end, speakers at the Love and Life Centre will Life Centre in Madrid. The goal of the campaign is to enencourage pilgrims to boldly live out their faith, sharing courage Catholics of all ages and nationalities to pray the both personal testimonies and giving practical advice on rosary on each Saturday leading up to World Youth Day. how Catholic young adults can draw closer to Christ in a Find out more online at firminfaith.org.♦ secular world. For more information about the Love and Life Centre, The roster of speakers includes Archbishop Charles J. visit wydenglish.org or facebook.com/wydenglish. A Chaput of Denver; Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson; Fa“WYD Experience App” for iPhone and Android will ther Robert Barron, founder of the popular Catholic media be also be available soon. organization “Word on Fire”; Basilian Father Thomas
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FAT H E R S F O R G O O D
A True Fatherhood Film The movie Courageous, which will be released this fall, highlights the importance of fathers by Brian Caulfield
Photo by todd Stone
athers don’t fare well in today’s popular media. When ers were members of Sherwood Baptist Church, men and dad is present at all in prime-time television, he is women with big hearts but limited screen experience. often portrayed as weak and ineffective, and no match for With this in mind, the fact that all of the Courageous achis wiser wife and wiseguy kids. This situation is much tors are members of the Georgia church hardly sounds like the same on the big screen, where movie fathers are either a recommendation for the movie. Yet after prescreening the divorced or dangerous figures, or else well-intentioned two-hour film, I can report that the acting is excellent and but never quite the dad they should be. natural. You will see many of the same actors from Fireproof With so few modern examples, do we even know what and notice how, in their new roles, they have grown in abila decent, responsible, hardworking father would look ity, confidence and screen presence. The script, directing like in entertainment? Well, moviegoers are about to and cinematography are also a few notches better, so much find out with the release so that I can confidently of the film Courageous say: If you liked Fireproof, on Sept. 30. you will love Courageous. Courageous tells the The film’s tagline is story of four fathers and “Honor Begins at Home,” their families, and how and the plot follows the the decisions they make struggle of the police offiand the way they relate cers trying to balance the to their wives and childemands of their careers dren affect their direcwith their obligations at tion, success and home. There is also an outhappiness in life. It is a of-work contractor who litmoral tale with a Chriserally walks into the plot tian message that inthrough coincidence, or dicludes deep themes of vine providence. In the humanity, touches of end, the men learn that humor, and characters Pictured is a scene from the fatherhood-themed movie Courageous, God must take priority in who are real, familiar which is scheduled to be in theaters Sept. 30. their marriages and in livand likeable. The movie ing out their fatherhood. runs the gamut of If Catholics were to make human experience and emotion, including early death, a similar film, there would be some differences. At the end earthly judgment and final reconciliation. of the movie, for example, the celebration of the Eucharist It is also a “guy film,” as three of the main characters would be a stronger sign of unity than a witness talk to a are policemen who engage in car chases, run down sus- church congregation. Despite the fact that the producers pects and bring criminals to justice. In addition, there are working within their own faith tradition, they are once are some good-natured station house pranks and male again reaching out to Catholic dioceses and parishes to stage bonding among the officers. screenings. After all, the film’s theme of faithful fatherhood Courageous is the work of Sherwood Baptist Church in should resonate with Catholic audiences. Albany, Ga., the same group that released the movie FireCourageous has all the elements that people look for in a proof three years ago. You may remember that film, which movie: drama, conflict, action and humor, in addition to was shown in many Catholic parishes, as having well-in- some serious themes about fatherhood, family life and the tentioned actors and a good message about saving a fal- prospect of eternal life. It is good also to know that it is a tering marriage, but also as being a little stilted and movie that the entire family can enjoy.♦ preachy in parts. The only professional actor on screen was former child star Kirk Cameron. The other perform- BRIAN CAULFIELD is editor of Fathers for Good. FIND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND RESOURCES FOR CATHOLIC MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES AT WWW. FATHERSFORGOOD. ORG .
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WHERE FREEDOM IS THREATENED Commission helps to identify countries where violence and oppression stifle religious freedom by Leonard Leo
hreats to the freedom of religion around the world are greater than ever, and that is perhaps most clearly the case for Christians. This is the conclusion of an annual report recently issued by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. An independent, bipartisan U.S. government agency, the USCIRF makes recommendations to the president, secretary of state and Congress regarding how to better protect freedom of religion abroad. Since its establishment by Congress more than a decade ago, the commission has been recommending which countries should be identified as “Countries of Particular Concern” or CPCs. Once a country is so designated, the president has authority to impose various kinds of sanctions and to take action directed at improving religious freedom. 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
This year, the commission recommended that 14 countries be designated as CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and, for the first time, Egypt. These are countries where, in the commission’s judgment, there have been severe, egregious and persistent abuses of religious freedom. In many of these countries, Catholics and other minority Christians suffer violence because of their beliefs: They are murdered or beaten, or their property is destroyed, and the government often does nothing to bring to justice the perpetrators of these acts. Rather, governments stand by as extremists disseminate various forms of hateful ideology that encourages violence and discrimination against Christians.
mAhmuD hAmS/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian Coptic Christians gather outside the state radio and television headquarters in Cairo March 13 to demand the rebuilding of a church that was set ablaze, sparking deadly clashes between Muslims and Christians.
And in a number of cases, there are laws that oppress Christians and prevent them from worshiping freely.
tence of these ancient communities, which in turn jeopardizes Iraq’s future as a diverse, pluralistic and free society. Although violence in Iraq has decreased overall, late 2010 CHRISTIAN MINORITIES saw a surge in attacks against Christians and a new wave of Notwithstanding claims of an “Arab Spring,” Egypt is a strong Christian displacement. The attacks included the worst single example of a Country of Particular Concern. In recent assault on Christians since 2003 — the Oct. 31 hostage-siege months — both before and after President Hosni Mubarak at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Baghdad. stepped down from power — the plight of Egypt’s Coptic The Iraqi government has publicly condemned such violence Christian community has received significant attention. Pope but continues to fall short of investigating the attacks and Benedict XVI, U.S. President Barack Obama and German bringing the perpetrators to justice. Many remaining ChrisChancellor Angela Merkel each singled out Egypt this past tians reside in the three governorates of the Kurdistan Rewinter because of the unchecked violence against Coptic gional Government or in the highly dangerous Nineveh Christians. The government’s failure to address this violence governorate. In these locations, religious and ethnic minorities through prevention, investigation, prosecution and punish- are often caught in the crossfire of the struggle for control and ment is the principal reason why the commission designated have been targeted for abuses and discrimination. Egypt as a CPC. As a result, the commission urged the U.S. government to To be successful, Egypt’s political transition depends on its take concrete steps to make the prevention of abuses against full respect for the rule of law, religious minorities a high priincluding respect for religious ority; to make certain that the freedom. But as violence toward local Kurdistan government upChristians has increased, Egypt’s holds minority rights; and to Catholics and other government has made no signifensure that the situation of inicant effort to address these atternally displaced persons and minority Christians suffer tacks. The severe level of refugees is effectively addressed. violence because of violence and the failure to convict those responsible — includA WORLDWIDE PROBLEM their beliefs: They are ing two of the three alleged In Nigeria, religion and reliperpetrators in last year’s Naga gious identity are intertwined in murdered or beaten, or Hammadi murder of seven ethnic, political, economic and their property is destroyed, Coptic Christians leaving social controversies. As such, church on Christmas — conpoliticians, religious leaders and and the government often tinue to foster a climate that others often misuse religion to makes violence more likely. galvanize their constituencies does nothing to bring to Despite the transitional govfor political gain. justice the perpetrators ernment’s initial efforts to disCombined with the Nigerian mantle the repressive state government’s toleration of crimof these acts. security apparatus, Egypt’s state inal acts, this has created an atof emergency remains, along mosphere for violence that has with laws and practices that hinled to the death of approxider religious freedom. Since February of this year, military mately 13,000 Nigerians during the ongoing strife between and security forces have used excessive force, including live Muslims and Christians. In the last two years, hundreds of ammunition, against Christian demonstrators and churches. Christians in the northern community of Jos have been killed Because of these conditions, the commission recommended and thousands more have been beaten or displaced from their that the United States direct some of the aid it provides Egypt homes. The recent election of Christian politician Goodluck to enhance physical protection for Copts and other religious Jonathan as Nigeria’s president ignited the most recent wave minorities and their places of worship. of religiously related violence. In addition to Egypt being added to the list of Countries In late 2010, for the first time in years, the Nigerian govof Particular Concern, the commission also continued to rec- ernment brought some of the perpetrators of violence to jusommend that Iraq be named a CPC. This recommendation tice, convicting 15 persons on federal terrorism charges for is, in good part, based on the severe religious freedom abuses their role in March 2010 violence in Jos. These convictions inflicted upon Christian communities and the inadequate are an important first step to end the culture of impunity, but measures taken by the Iraqi government to protect them or the commission has concluded that the Nigerian government to hold accountable perpetrators of violence. must do more to prevent these incidents, to prosecute perpeChaldo-Assyrians and other Christian minorities routinely trators and to protect all Nigerians. After all, disputes between face violence, forced displacement, discrimination, marginal- federal and state officials often prevent prosecutions and are ization and neglect. These conditions threaten the very exis- a contributing factor toward religious violence. JULY 2011
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Attacks against Christians and other minorities are exacerbated by state laws that oppress religious minorities and by the failure of several governments to address the dissemination and exportation of extremist ideology. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran have been designated as CPCs because of these conditions. Religious freedom is oppressed, for instance, through direct bans on religious worship and laws against blaspheming the state-approved version of Islam. The governments of these countries have also ignored the distribution of hateful and incendiary propaganda materials that foster a climate of intolerance at home and abroad. In a number of countries, religion continues to be viewed as a threat by totalitarian governments rooted in the idea that one cannot both worship God and obey Caesar. Christian faiths are among those most affected by these repressive regimes. China, which has been on the CPC list from the beginning, is a case in point. As several commission members noted in the report this year, China continues to seek to control the internal governance and hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Confiscation of church property regularly occurs in China and in Vietnam, another designated country. In addition to the Countries of Particular Concern, the commission also maintains a “watch list” of nations that warrant careful monitoring and attention because of their troubling records. A number of these countries’ policies and practices are posing real challenges and threats to Christianity. Violence may be on the decline for minority Muslims in Afghanistan, but Christians face enormous threats under blasphemy and anti-apostasy laws. There is little room for progress because the country’s constitution designates Islam as the state religion and prohibits any rules or practices repugnant to Sharia principles. Turkey’s radically secularist regime poses a different but equally dangerous threat to the Christian minorities there: Control of the governance of Christian churches, as well as the shutdown of seminaries, are suffocating the Christian Orthodox and other ancient Christian traditions. And in Indonesia, blasphemy and anti-conversion laws that the government has defended as preserving religious harmony have instead emboldened Muslim extremists to shut down, vandalize or destroy Christian churches. Freedom of religion is under assault all over the world. Minority Christian communities face this threat along with many other religious groups — Buddhists in Vietnam and China; Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan; Sunni Muslims in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; Jews in Iraq and Venezuela; Baha’i in Egypt and Iran; and Uighers in China, to name just a few. When these countries and others fail to protect the freedom of religion, they fail to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every human person. They create insecurity, instability and economic uncertainty by increasing the risk of violence. It is therefore incumbent upon the United States, as a beacon for human rights, to stand up for religious freedom around the world.♦ LEONARD A. LEO is chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and a member of Potomac Council 433 in Washington, D.C. 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: A GLOBAL VIEW This map illustrates which countries are designated as areas where religious freedom is endangered
The government of EGYPT engaged in and tolerated religious freedom violations before and after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11. Serious problems of discrimination, intolerance and other human rights violations against members of religious minorities, as well as disfavored Muslims, remain widespread in Egypt. Violence targeting Coptic Orthodox Christians remained high during the reporting period. This high level of violence and the failure to convict those responsible continued to foster a climate of impunity, making further violence more likely. The Egyptian government has failed to protect religious minorities, particularly Coptic Christians, from violent attacks, including during the transitional period when minority communities are increasingly vulnerable.
NIGERIA continues to tolerate violations of religious freedom by failing to respond to acts of religiously related violence, to prevent reprisal attacks and to bring those responsible for such violence to justice. Approximately 13,000 Nigerians, if not more, have been killed since 1999 in religiously related violence between Muslims and Christians.
JULY 2011 eGyPt: CNS photo/remo Casilli, reuters — NIGerIA: CNS photo/Akintunde Akinleye, reuters
COUNTRIES DISCUSSED in the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom report fit into three categories that correspond to the severity of violations of religious liberty. In the first category, a “country of particular concern” (CPC) is one that “exhibits systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious
freedom,” according to the report. The next category focuses on countries placed on a watch list for serious violations “that do not meet the CPC threshold but require very close attention.” The final category consists of other countries that the USCIRF closely monitors.♦
• CTurkmenistan,P Uzbekistan,C Vietnam.: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Belarus, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajikstan, Turkey, Venezuela. •• CO W M L : Afghanistan, : Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Morocco. OUNTRY OF N
The CHINESE government continues to severely restrict religious groups that, it claims, threaten national security or social harmony, although the government tolerates some religious activity within approved organizations. The government also detained more than 500 unregistered Protestants in the past year and stepped up efforts to destroy churches and close “illegal” meeting points. Dozens of unregistered Catholic clergy remain in detention or home confinement, or have simply disappeared.
In SUDAN, violations of religious freedom continue to occur. These include the efforts by the Arab Muslim-dominated government in Khartoum to impose its version of Sharia law and enforce religiously based morality laws through corporal punishment to limit the fundamental freedoms of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Conversion from Islam has also been criminalized and is punishable by death.
In IRAQ, members of the country’s smallest religious minorities suffer from targeted violence, threats and intimidation, against which the government does not provide effective protection. Perpetrators are rarely identified, investigated or punished, creating a climate of impunity.
PAKISTAN continues to be responsible for serious violations of religious freedom. Two high-profile members of the ruling party were assassinated for their advocacy against Pakistan’s repressive blasphemy laws. These laws and other religiously discriminatory legislation, such as the anti-Ahmadi laws, have created an atmosphere of violent extremism and vigilantism. Sectarian and religiously motivated violence is chronic, and the government has failed to protect members of both the majority faith and religious minorities. Pakistani authorities have not consistently brought perpetrators to justice or taken action against societal leaders who incite violence.
excerpts from the united States Commission on International religious Freedom’s 2011 annual report IrAQ: CNS photo/Atef hassan, reuters — ChINA: CNS photo/reinhard Krause, reuters — VIetNAm: CNS photo
VIETNAM’S government continues to control religious communities, severely restrict and penalize independent religious practice, and brutally repress individuals and groups.
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RO M A N M I S S A L
The Majesty of our Merciful God The Penitential Act reminds us of our sinfulness, of God’s glory and of our need for forgiveness
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles on the Roman Missal in anticipation of the new English-language translation, effective in the United States beginning Nov. 27.
t the beginning of Mass, we ask for God’s mercy and thereby acknowledge a timeless truth: God is big, we are little, and only he can save us from our sins. The Church’s liturgy has begun with some form of a “Penitential Act” since the first centuries, as reported in the Didache, one of our earliest descriptions of the Mass. All the baptized come together on Sunday for the breaking of the bread “after having confessed their sins.” Humility and contrition are unpopular in a world obsessed with celebrity. However, the holiness of the Church, according to the great liturgist Father Lucien Deiss, “consists precisely in recognizing herself a sinner in order to be able to welcome the forgiveness of Jesus.” There are three forms of the Penitential Act in the Roman liturgy. The first dates from the 11th century and is known by its first word in Latin: Confiteor. In the new translation of the Roman Missal, it reads: “I confess to Almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, (striking breast) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.” While the Confiteor begins with a confession of sinfulness, it is also a proclamation of God’s mercy, trusting in the intercession of the saints before the throne of God. In this new translation, there is a notable restoration of the once familiar triple mea culpa, accompanied by the striking of the breast in repentance, as well as the more accurate translation of the admission that I have “greatly sinned.” The second form of the Penitential Act is the shortest and is taken from Psalm 85:8. In this form, which is most
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often chosen for weekday Masses, the priest will now say “Have mercy on us, O Lord.” And the people reply: “For we have sinned against you.” The people’s response to the second invocation — “Show us, O Lord, your mercy” — remains unchanged: “And grant us your salvation.” The third option for the Penitential Act consists of a series of acclamations praising the mercy of Christ. Our response to each is the ancient cry for mercy: Kyrie Eleison (Lord, have mercy), Christe Eleison (Christ, have mercy). There are many suggested acclamations for this third form of the Penitential Act in the Roman Missal. Each is a proclamation of praise for God’s mercy and not, as sometimes happens, an enumeration of our sins. The Kyrie response is used in each of the forms of the Penitential Act. It is one of the oldest and most treasured prayers of the Catholic Church and the only part of the Mass still in Greek. It also echoes the prayer of the two blind men begging to see (Mt 9:27), of Bartimaeus (Mk 10:4748), and of the Canaanite woman for her little daughter (Mt 15:22). Each of the three forms of the Penitential Act begins the same way, with an invitation by the priest to quietly recall our need for God’s abundant mercy. This is followed by one of three formulas of general confession and is concluded by the priest’s prayer of absolution, in which he prays that God will forgive our sins and lead us to everlasting life. While this prayer does not possess the same efficacy as the prayer of absolution in the sacrament of penance, it does help us begin each Mass by recalling that we are little, broken and sinful, and that only God’s mercy, majesty and glory can save us.♦ MSGR. JAMES P. MORONEY served as executive secretary of the Vox Clara Committee. A priest of the Diocese of Worcester, Mass., he is a faculty member of St. John’s Seminary in Boston and a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Paul’s Council 12182 in Worcester.
Return of the Prodigal Son, c. 1667-1670, (oil on canvas) by bartolomé esteban murillo (1617-1682) National Gallery of Art / Wikimedia Commons
by Msgr. James P. Moroney
C O LU M B I A C O N V E R S AT I O N
How Mary Gained Her Crown An interview with the Vatican official who oversees the preservation of St. Peter’s artistic treasures by Columbia Staff
CroWNeD mADoNNA: Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano, F.S.P 0617
s a formal acknowledgement and expression of encouragement to devotion inspired by certain artistic images of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Vatican has historically “crowned” these images and retained reproductions. Over the past eight years, a collection of nearly 100 images has been restored with the objective of exhibiting them at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. Columbia spoke with Dr. Pietro Zander, who coordinated the restoration, about the new exhibit, which opened May 8 and is titled “Full of Grace: Crowned Madonnas of the Vatican Basilica.” A Knight of Columbus, Zander is the chief architect of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, the 500-year-old pontifical organization that has the task of overseeing the preservation of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Necropolis.
COLUMBIA: How does an image of Mary become a crowned Madonna? ZANDER: The practice of placing a crown on the Virgin Mary’s head and that of the child Jesus dates back to the beginning of the 1600s. To crown a Madonna, one had to carry out a series of formal steps and write a letter to the Vatican, requesting permission to crown an image of Mary that was considered particularly important for worship. Documentation had to demonstrate the history of religious devotion and the occurrence of miraculous events. The Vatican would then examine this documentation before giving its approval to crown the Madonna — a very exclusive privilege. The crowned Madonnas are part of a history of devotion to Mary that traverses time and space. Here we have paintings that span four centuries and cover a vast area, from Europe to Latin America. And behind every one of these paintings, there is a story of devotion that originated with the people and that became important enough to merit the building of great shrines. The last Madonna to be crowned inside the Vatican Basilica was the Polish Madonna, the Madonna of Częstochowa. She was crowned [in 2005] just a few hours before the death of Blessed John Paul II, when pilgrims were praying for the dying pope inside the chapel. When the pontiff heard the news, he seemed quite pleased that the coronation took place
in his own Polish chapel, which was actually restored with support from the Knights of Columbus. COLUMBIA: Could you please tell us about the Vatican’s collection? ZANDER: The collection portrays images that have perhaps deteriorated over time or, in some cases, have completely vanished. We keep only the pictorial copies, as we no longer have the originals, but these paintings still retain a remarkable historical significance. There were about 1,300 coronations of Mary from the establishment of the process in 1636 up to 1985. However, we are showing just a selection of those paintings that are still kept at the Fabbrica di San Pietro. The collection has approximately 100 paintings in all. Ninety-eight of them were sent [to the Knights of Columbus Museum]. They have never been out of the Vatican and have been unknown to the world until now. I hope that the exhibit might spark a lot of interest, both for the aspect of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the great significance it has to art history. COLUMBIA: You mentioned miraculous events being attributed to the images. What are some examples? ZANDER: The miracles related to the images are diverse and wonderful events. For example, there have been people who weren’t able to speak but who regained the ability after crying out for the Virgin Mary to intercede on their behalf. There have been entire cities that were saved from dreadful diseases thanks to the protection of the Virgin, as well as the sudden ending to periods of terrible famine. COLUMBIA: How has the Knights of Columbus worked with the Fabbrica di San Pietro in the past? ZANDER: We say that there are two generations that are carrying on this collaboration with the Knights of Columbus. My father, who also worked as an architect for the Fabbrica di San Pietro, started working with [Past Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant] in the beginning of the 1980s to coordinate the significant work that was done on the façade of St. Peter’s and in the Vatican grottoes. This collaboration has since continued with other work that is much smaller, but also beautiful and important.♦
♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 19
For 150 years, L’Osservatore Romano has served as the paper of record for the universal Church by Edward Pentin
ardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, then-archbishop of Milan, wrote in 1961, “Everyone knows how difficult it is to produce a newspaper, but few guess how extremely difficult it is to produce L’Osservatore Romano.” The cardinal, who would later become Pope Paul VI, saw that L’Osservatore Romano’s challenges stemmed from the newspaper’s uniqueness: It wasn’t just an organ of information, but an instrument of formation. Likewise, it didn’t set out just to provide news, but to shape ideas. The paper’s universal perspective had to respect the broad, solemn and demanding doctrine of the Church. That meant no crosswords, television schedules or Sunday cartoons — just reflective articles suitable for the “pope’s newspaper.” Little has changed in the approach of L’Osservatore Romano (Italian for “The Roman Observer”) since the paper was founded 150 years ago. It is still a paper of record, publishing all the pope’s addresses in full and commenting on the major Church and world issues of the day. As Italian intellectual Sergio Romano recently wrote, unlike the mainstream press, L’Osservatore Romano largely continues to avoid “ephemeral news, irrelevant events, superficial discussions, and inconclusive chatter.” But because of the “incontinence” of the popular press, he said, L’Osservatore Romano has filled a void, making it “not a mirror on the world” so much as “a mirror on the world in which we would prefer to live.” It is this characteristic that has been a hallmark of the newspaper from the beginning. L’Osservatore Romano was launched July 1, 1861, to defend the Papal States from Giuseppe Garibaldi and his desire to absorb the pope’s territories into a newly unified Italy. During this period of anti-clericalism, the publication began as “a political and moral newspaper.” On its masthead were the words that remain there today: “unicuique sum” (“to each his own”) and “non praevalebunt” (“they will not prevail,” an allusion to the gates of hell and the powers of evil). A RICH HISTORY One of the first major stories L’Osservatore Romano covered was the First Vatican Council, but at that time the paper was still owned by various independent Catholic publishers. Even when Pope Leo XIII definitively acquired ownership of the publication for the Holy See in the late 19th century, L’Osservatore Romano still had not formally assumed the character of an “official” Vatican newspaper. Nonetheless, the publication evolved rapidly, expanding from four pages to six under the editorship of Giuseppe Angelini (1900-1920) and including more varied content, such as columns dedicated to art, sports and theater. 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
By this time, the newspaper was disseminating papal speeches but was still dominated by coverage of Roman issues with particular attention given to Italy. It was not afraid to comment on the political events of the day, although it had an editorial policy of “strict impartiality” in its news coverage. In 1929, during the long editorship of Count Giuseppe Dalla Torre from 1920 to 1960, the newspaper moved its offices from the center of Rome to inside the Vatican, where it is located today. The relocation coincided with further growth
Courtesy of L’Osservatore Romano
Pope Benedict XVI reads a copy of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo in 2010. in its prestige and distribution, but it also marked the beginning of the paper’s clashes with the Fascist regime. Forced to reduce its press run drastically, L’Osservatore Romano wasn’t even allowed to publish war news. By this time, the newspaper fell under the purview of the Vatican Secretariat of State, as it does today. During the postwar period, L’Osservatore Romano also saw other innovations, most notably the advent of weekly language editions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German, with a
monthly Polish edition beginning in 1980, following the election of Blessed John Paul II. From the outset, the newspaper has been blessed with talented editors. After seeing the newspaper through the war years, Dalla Torre was succeeded in 1960 by Raimondo Manzini, a respected journalist and politician who led the paper during the Second Vatican Council and the years that followed. In 1978, Manzini was succeeded by Valerio Volpini, an intellectual and writer who oversaw a redesign of the newspaper. And from JULY 2011
♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 21
1984 until 2007, Mario Agnes, a former president of Italian Catholic Action, edited the daily, during which time it became more detached from Italian politics and more polemical. Today, the newspaper’s editor is Giovanni Maria Vian, a former professor of Christian Literature at the Sapienza University of Rome. Vian is no stranger to the Vatican: He began his journalism career writing for the Italian bishops’ daily Avvenire at the age of 21. His father ran the Vatican Library and was a friend of Pope Paul VI. Since he took the helm in September 2007, Vian has made L’Osservatore Romano into a truly modern newspaper. He has introduced some important changes, most of which were requested by Pope Benedict XVI. These have included expanding the international news section (with a particular emphasis on the Eastern Catholic Churches), introducing more articles by lay specialists and non-Catholics, including a greater number of interviews, and recruiting more women journalists. Vian said that Pope Benedict specifically asked him to reform L’Osservatore Romano into “a place for discussion and debate, open to confronting ideas both among believers and non-believers.” He added that the pope “favors a fruitful debate on the relationship between faith and culture — the aim is to expand the horizons of society, to create a space within the person for at least the possibility of God.” In this regard, Vian said, the newspaper is an important tool of the new evangelization. 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
INTO THE MODERN WORLD As the editor-in-chief, Vian is free to edit the newspaper with a significant amount of autonomy, even if close attention is paid to the newspaper’s editorials. “The pope himself pays great attention to them,” Vian said. Certain sensitive issues, however, are covered in close collaboration with the Secretariat of State — in particular, stories relating to China, nuclear weapons and the Middle East. With these and other stories, Vian said the paper looks to “overcome divisions and oppositions, looking for a better understanding of differences, and always upholding the dignity of the human person.” The newspaper also works closely with the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Library, the Vatican Secret Archive, various congregations, and Catholic educational institutions around the world. Vian pointed out that these connections are well established, as the newspaper is the oldest published information source of the Holy See. (By contrast, Vatican Radio celebrated 80 years earlier this year, and the Holy See Press Office was not founded until 1939.) At the pope’s behest, the newspaper now includes more photographs and, in recent years, the front and back pages of the daily edition have been printed in full color. But the newspaper’s most adventurous initiative of late has been its decision to go online. In April, a new, expansive website was launched in anticipation of L’Osservatore Romano’s 150th anniversary.
NeWSboyS: Courtesy of L’Osservatore Romano
A fleet of newsboys departs by bicycle with newly printed copies of L’Osservatore Romano in 1936.
PAPer: Courtesy of L’Osservatore Romano — bIShoP reADING: CNS photo/Paul haring — PoPe PIuS XI: Courtesy of L’Osservatore Romano
The first issue of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano was published July 1, 1861. • A bishop reads the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, before the start of a session of the Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican in October 2009. • Pope Pius XI visits the L’Osservatore Romano newsroom Jan. 20, 1930. On his right is then-editor Giuseppe Dalla Torre. “This is where our future lies,” said Marcello Filotei, L’Osservatore Romano’s online editor. “It’s an exciting time for us.” Filotei said that although the newspaper does not yet have applications for digital devices like the iPhone, these developments are in the works. “Everything takes time at the Vatican,” he added. He also explained that it is too early to say how successful the venture into online publishing will be, but the signs so far are promising. Vian is particularly optimistic: “The newspaper’s development has traditionally been progressive,” he said. “The circulation of its print editions is hindered by the crisis affecting traditional media worldwide, but the wider circulation is growing thanks to important investment in the presence of the newspaper on the Web.” The newspaper is run on a relatively modest budget of around $6 million, and its Italian daily edition has a circulation of 15,000. In addition to its Internet presence, L’Osservatore Romano is also working to boost its circulation by partnering with publishing houses worldwide. Notably, Vian said that the circulation of the Spanish edition was multiplied 200 times after partnering with La Razon, a general-interest daily newspaper based in Madrid. L’Osservatore Romano also occasionally produces special editions, such as its 150th anniversary issue and a commemorative edition for Blessed Pope John Paul II’s beatification earlier this year. One-hundred pages of color, printed in seven languages on four continents, the souvenir edition had a print run of 400,000 copies. As to whether they will ever publish a daily English edition, Vian said that much depends on the newspaper’s limits, adding that he is “confident” in divine providence. In the meantime, he stressed how important it is that the newspaper is now wellknown and being commented upon by “different international authoritative publications such as The Economist, Le Monde, and many newspapers in Italy” — a welcome development, he said. In his 1961 article, Cardinal Montini joked whether anyone at a bar or on a train would ever strike up a discussion about L’Osservatore Romano. Although the essence of the newspaper has hardly changed, it is a jest the cardinal could not make so easily today.♦ EDWARD PENTIN is the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register.
For more information about how to subscribe to either the printed or digital version of L’Osservatore Romano, visit www.osservatoreromano.va or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 23
S TAT E D E P U T I E S 2011-12
ALABAMA RAYMOND M. CARNEY
ALASKA MICHAEL W. WELCH
ALBERTA GARY H. JOHNSON
ARIZONA PATRICK J. SCHULLER
ARKANSAS CHARLES L. KETTER
BRITISH COLUMBIA DWIGHT C. WILMOT
CALIFORNIA CHARLES H. CLARK
COLORADO ROGER G. MULLER
CONNECTICUT RALPH A. GRANDPRE
DELAWARE DAVID R. BROWN SR.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PETER A. GABAUER JR.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ROBIN E. SANTANAHIROJO
FLORIDA CHRISTOPHER E. KERNAN
GEORGIA RICHARD G. SISKO
GUAM FRANCISCO A. FLORIG
HAWAII MICHAEL P. VICTORINO
IDAHO JOHN R. GANGUZZA
ILLINOIS RICHARD C. SPADA
INDIANA THOMAS GAWLIK
IOWA MICHAEL P. LAAKE
KANSAS MARK W. ROTH
KENTUCKY RICHARD D. ARNOLD
LOUISIANA RONNIE L. BOUDREAUX
LUZON ARSENIO ISIDRO G. YAP
MAINE RAYMOND A. SARGENT SR.
MANITOBA MERLYN A. ONYSCHUK
MARYLAND PETER R. DAVIO
MASSACHUSETTS MICHAEL J. BALDNER
MEXICO CENTRAL JOSE HERNÁNDEZBARBOSA
MEXICO NORTHEAST FILADELFO MEDELLÍN-AYALA
MEXICO NORTHWEST GUSTAVO A. GUZMÁN-OLIVAS
MEXICO SOUTH CARLOS A. CARRILLOCOLORADO
MICHIGAN THOMAS A. MARCETTI SR.
MINDANAO BALBINO C. FAUNI
MINNESOTA CRAIG A. LARSON
MISSISSIPPI GERALD E. SCHMUCK
24 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
S TAT E D E P U T I E S 2011-12
MISSOURI JOHN S. APPELBAUM
MONTANA RODNEY S. MCELWEE
NEBRASKA JAMES N. HAIAR
NEVADA DAVID M. RYAN
NEW BRUNSWICK GÉRARD J. ARSENAULT
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR BADEN L. CLOUTER
NEW HAMPSHIRE JOEL D. PLANTE
NEW JERSEY DANIEL ROSSI
NEW MEXICO MEL APODACA
NEW YORK SALVATORE A. RESTIVO
NORTH CAROLINA GREGORY S. KENT
NORTH DAKOTA GARY J. STEIER
NOVA SCOTIA ROBERT W. BROOKS
OHIO DAVID A. HELMSTETTER
OKLAHOMA DANIEL P. HOGAN
ONTARIO JOSEPH T. SALINI
OREGON PATRICK L. RICE
PENNSYLVANIA GEORGE R. KOCH
POLAND KRZYSZTOF ORZECHOWSKI
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND GAYE T. HOOD
PUERTO RICO FREDDIE SANCHEZ-RIVERA
QUEBEC JEAN-MARC MOYEN
RHODE ISLAND JOHN L. MARCELLO
SASKATCHEWAN EDWARD P. GIBNEY
SOUTH CAROLINA THOMAS M. MONAHON
SOUTH DAKOTA TERRY M. SCHWEITZER
TENNESSEE MICHAEL L. WILLS
TEXAS ANTON A. HERRETH
UTAH RAY L. LOPEZ
VERMONT THOMAS F. CURRAN
VIRGINIA RONALD P. GORMAN
VISAYAS RODRIGO N. SORONGON
WASHINGTON DONALD J. McBRIDE
WEST VIRGINIA DARRELL W. CAPRAL
WISCONSIN DANIEL E. HULL
WYOMING DONALD J. SCOTT
♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 25
KNIG HTS IN ACTI ON
REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES
GOIN’ TO THE HOP
St. Omer (Quebec) Council 7866 volunteered about 200 hours to install a new fence at St. Louis de Gonzague Cemetery.
Bishop Charles B. McLaughlin Assembly in Brandon, Fla., held a sock hop to raise funds for veteran support programs. Knights and their families gathered for dinner, followed by music from the 1950s and 60s. The event raised more than $1,500 to support programs at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Haley’s Cove Community Living Center. Meanwhile, Barney Gonyea Council 7109 in Safety Harbor, Fla., held a sock hop to commemorate the anniversary of its parish. More than 220 people attended the event, many of whom brought socks, undergarments and blankets for Pinellas Hope, a homeless shelter.
Members of St. Francis of Assisi Council 12610 in Mocksville, N.C., stand with the prayer and memorial garden they built at their parish. Knights donated $3,000 and more than 900 volunteer hours to build the garden for the church’s 50th anniversary. The new space includes a statue of St. Francis, engraved memorial bricks dedicated to deceased Knights and parishioners, two benches, and solar lights. SANDWICH SALES
Twice yearly for the past 22 years, members of Holy Crusaders Council 9193 in Blackwood, N.J., have gathered to make and sell hoagie sandwiches. The council sold 750 sandwiches at its most recent event for a profit of $1,200. Since 1988, the sandwich sales have raised approximately $45,000, most of which has been donated to support vocations.
St. Anne Council 2329 in Porterville, Calif., held a prolife awareness walk at Veterans Park for council members, their families and parishioners. The day started with the rosary, followed by a twomile walk.
A PLACE FOR THE PARISH FAMILY
St. Benedict Council 10633 in Duluth, Ga., and Father Mychal Judge Assembly in Cumming took part in the dedication of a new family center at St. Benedict Church in Johns Creek. Knights marshaled the parish community to help raise the $1.7 million needed to construct the center, and Council 10633 pledged $100,000 toward its construction (of which $60,000 has already been delivered). The center includes a play area, sports field, picnic pavilion and an outdoor Stations of the Cross.
26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Immaculate Conception Council 13966 in Malden, Mass., hosted a pancake breakfast to benefit Housing Families, an organization that provides housing and transitional support for homeless families and after-school childcare. Nearly 300 people attended the event, which raised $1,250.
Hamilton Township (N.J.) Council 6213 presented an honorarium to the Holy Cross Center of Learning, which is operated by the Diocese of Trenton’s Holy Innocents Society. The center, which was founded by Angelo Romanello of Trenton Council 355, prepares children with intellectual disabilities for the sacraments of penance, holy Eucharist and confirmation. RUN OR WALK TO GET THERE
Springfield (Va.) Council 6153 held a 5k run and family walk at Burke Lake Park. About 250 people participated in the event, which was followed by a hearty lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs. The run raised more than $3,000 for people with intellectual disabilities.
SIGN OF THE CROSS
Marian Council 3779 and Cathedral of St. John Berchmans Council 10728, both in Shreveport, La., worked together to charbroil and serve more than 500 leg quarters. Proceeds from the sales will help purchase a new organ for the cathedral, and any leftover food was donated to charity.
RIGHT IN THE HEAD
Father Patrick O’Kelley Council 3860 and Msgr. Schulte Assembly, both in Dearborn, Mich., were summoned on short notice to participate in a fundraiser for Father Bernard Luedtke, a local priest who was preparing for extensive brain surgery that was not fully covered by his insurance. The fundraiser netted $4,200 to assist with Father Luedtke’s medical expenses.
Members of Beatrice (Neb.) Council 1723 remove trash and debris from the side of the road during a community-wide cleanup event. Knights clean the road twice each year and took on an additional two miles during the event, filling three trucks with garbage.
St. Bridget Council 4330 in Loves Park, Ill., distributes 24-inch white crosses to area Christians to place in front of their homes as an outward sign of their faith. Knights have distributed more than 600 crosses in exchange for freewill donations, including smaller window versions for apartments and condos. All proceeds from the crosses are donated to St. Bridget Food Pantry.
K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N MORE BITE THAN BARK
St. Polycarp Circle 5248 in Smyrna, Del., held a fundraiser to purchase a bulletproof vest for the Delaware State Police K9 Unit. Currently, fewer than 50 percent of K9 dogs have protective equipment like their human partners. Following the presentation, Squires and their families were invited to attend a K9 demonstration. CONCERT FOR AUTISM
South Plainfield (N.J.) Council 6203 hosted a acoustic concert with recording artists Billy and Rose Falcon to benefit Autism New Jersey Inc. The show raised about $2,000. NEIGHBORLY HOSPITALITY
Bishop John R. McGann Council 564 in Bay Shore, N.Y., held a benefit dinner to raise funds for the hospitality center at St. Patrick Church. The event raised more than $9,000 to feed needy members of the community throughout the year.
The Pennsylvania State Council donated $15,000 to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) initiative. Under the program, any business that pays taxes to the state can apply to donate a portion of those taxes to support education. As a registered participant in the program, the Pennsylvania State Council dispenses funds to various dioceses in the state to assist the educational needs of low-income families. FEEDING THE NEEDY
Members of St. Gertrude Council 1926 in Oshawa, Ontario, volunteered to serve food to the poor at St. Vincent’s Kitchen, a local organization that provides up to 50,000 meals each year.
FUNDING A CURE
Carmel Council 3605 in Hamden, Conn., hosted an ovarian cancer awareness breakfast that raised more than $2,000 for the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven Hospital.
Members of Whitehaven Council 5062 in Memphis, Tenn., served spaghetti at a fundraiser for St. Peter Manor, a rental retirement community operated by the Diocese of Memphis. Knights volunteered 45 hours to prepare and serve dinner to hundreds of guests. READY FOR DELIVERY DAY
KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON
Lake of the Ozarks Council 6365 in Camdenton, Mo., donated nearly $1,000 to Lake Area Ministerial Benevolence (LAMB) House, an organization that provides food, clothing, commodities, and occasionally fuel and rental assistance to needy members of the community. The funds were used to supplement the organization’s utility shut-off fund.
David Guttierrez and Richard Roberts of Alex Semel Council 12989 in Lacombe, La., prepare jambalaya for participants at the “Friends of the Poor Walk,” hosted by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Councils from throughout Louisiana District #14 prepared hot dogs and jambalaya for the benefit walk’s 250 participants.
Erin Shutt (center), volunteer coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul’s Beans and Bread, and a kitchen volunteer (left) speak to John Mayni of Long Green Valley Council 8736 in Hydes, Md., after the council delivered a load of fresh-picked apples to the food bank. Knights picked 14 bags of apples at area orchards and donated them to several inner-city soup kitchens and food banks in Baltimore. The organizations were especially thankful for the gift of fresh fruit to compliment their normal donations of frozen casseroles and nonperishable items.
St. Louis (Mo.) Council 453 held a pro-life baby shower at St. Mary Magdalene Church to benefit Birthright and Our Lady’s Inn, a shelter for pregnant women and their children. Knights collected more than 100 maternity and baby items during the drive. RAFFLES FOR A CAUSE
St. Pius X Council 9976 in Billings, Mont., held a raffle that raised more than $9,800 for Dave Stebbins, a local man who has a rare form of cancer. The funds will help Stebbins pay for his frequent trips to Texas, where he receives treatments for his condition. Elsewhere, Msgr. J. M. Hanson Council 5038 in Ankeny, Iowa, hosted a
“Raffle for Life” to benefit the Gabriel Project and Catholic Charities. The council sold more than 150 tickets for the raffle to raise more than $6,700. YOUTH EXPERIENCE
Canonsburg (Pa.) Council 3291 hosted a daylong youth experience that included a talk by Leah Darrow, a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model. About 400 people came to meet Darrow, whose talk was followed by eucharistic adoration, Mass and a concert. REPLACING THE RENT
St. Joseph Council 10627 in High Bridge, N.J., contributed $1,000 to the Life Choices Women’s Health Center in Phillipsburg. The funds will help the organization purchase the building that it currently leases. DANCE FOR SENIORS
Knute Rockne Circle 82 in Lindenhurst, N.Y., hosted a dance for seniors that was attended by 180 people. The event raised $1,100, which was added to the circle’s charitable fund.
♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 27
K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
military service personnel and their families. The Community Covenant, started in 2008, is an initiative of the Secretary of the Army to invite communities and organizations across the United States to foster partnerships with the military and to improve the quality of life for service members and their families.
Members of St. Padre Pio Council 13443 in Kleinburg, Ontario, clean the steps leading up to the altar at St. Padre Pio Church. In addition to council’s other events at the parish, Knights dedicate one Saturday each month to cleaning and maintaining their new church, which opened in September 2010.
Bishop Joseph Lennox Federal Council 14399 in South Ogden, Utah, joined other volunteers to clean the grounds of Mount Benedict Monastery. More than 40 people helped the Sisters of St. Benedict beautify the land owned by the monastery. BARBECUE FOR SISTERS
Cathedral of St. Paul Council 14752 in St. Paul, Minn.,
hosted a barbecue for the Little Sisters of the Poor. Knights had the opportunity to meet with members of the religious community and with other area Catholics. COMMUNITY COVENANT
At a special meeting to honor council and community veterans, Holy Rosary Council 869 in Harrisburg, Pa., signed a Community Covenant with the U.S. Armed Forces to show the council’s support for
BARBECUE FOR FAMILY
Immaculate Conception Council 6326 in Denham Springs, La., held a barbecue chicken dinner to benefit a local Knight and his family, none of whom have medical insurance. The dinner raised more than $8,200 to help pay down the family’s current medical bills. PANCAKES & BAKED GOODS
St. Paul of Tarsus Council 11689 in Clinton Township, Mich., hosted a pancake breakfast and bake sale that raised $3,500 for its parish food pantry. CHEER FOR TROOPS
St. Joan of Arc Council 14357 in Phoenix hosted a drive at its parish to collect care items for Army National Guard Troops serving in Afghanistan. SOCCER TOURNAMENT
Holy Rosary Council 3374 in Dipolog, Mindanao, cosponsored a youth soccer tournament for boys ages 17 and under. Knights provided snacks for all the players as well as 120 medals and trophies.
Members of Clason Point Council 6218 in the Bronx, N.Y., stand with some of the food they collected at Holy Cross Church. Knights held an emergency drive to sustain the parish food pantry after its normal delivery of food was delayed for weeks. The council collected enough food to keep the pantry open for an entire month. 28 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
RIDE FOR CHILDREN
Lake County Council 5644 in Leesburg, Fla., volunteered at the Bruce Rossmeyer Ride for Children to benefit Camp Boggy Creek. About 1,200
motorcyclists participated in the event, which raised more than $45,000. Camp Boggy Creek is a year-round camp for children with serious or life-threatening illnesses. ST. FRANCIS FUND
Father Boutlou Council 2954 in Morgantown, W. Va., presented $3,500 to St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic School. The funds are earmarked for the St. Francis Fund, which supports the spiritual and educational needs of students by helping to finance tuition assistance, technology updates and teacher salaries. Funds for the donation were raised at a council-sponsored spaghetti dinner. RETREAT HELP
James Madison University Council 9286 in Harrisonburg, Va., served meals and built a bonfire during a women’s retreat hosted by the school’s Catholic Campus Ministry Department. By volunteering at the retreat, Knights allowed those in attendance to focus on the retreat itself and not on organizing meals. SPAGHETTI FOR JOSEPHINE
Our Lady of the Mountains Council 3533 in Livingston, N.J., held a fundraiser dinner to benefit Josephine Senek, a young girl who suffers from a very rare disorder. More than 100 Knights and guests attended the event, which raised more than $5,000 for the Senek family. STOCKING THE SHELF
Father John B. O’Connell Council 14600 in Enfield, Conn., donated $332 to the Enfield Food Shelf, an organization that collects, prepares and distributes food to needy members of the community.
K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N RESTORING THE STATIONS
Members of Holy Spirit Council 14079 in Soddy Daisy, Tenn., prepare and cook roast beef during a barbecue to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Knights teamed with the First Baptist Church of Soddy Daisy to cook and sell meat at an area bank, raising $2,000 for future Habitat projects. TREES PLANTED
Ascension Council 14943 in Bastrop, Texas, planted five crape myrtle trees outside of the Ladies of Charity Thrift Store as part of a communitywide beautification project. ‘WE’RE PULLING FOR YOU’
Eight Knights of Columbus Insurance Agents from the Schreiner Agency in Manville, N.J., participated in an airplane pull at Newark International Airport to benefit New Jersey Special Olympics. The agents were tasked with pulling a 93,000pound plane as far as they could down the tarmac in the least amount of time possible. The event raised $84,000, of which the agency was responsible for $2,500.
Arthur U. Joyal Council 4225 in Dracut, Mass., donated $8,500 toward the total cost of refurbishing the Stations of the Cross at Franco American Catholic School in Lowell. The total cost of the restoration is projected to exceed $85,000. PORK ROAST
Assumption Council 13652 in Maybrook, N.Y., hosted a traditional roast pork dinner that raised just under $500. A portion of the proceeds was donated back to Church of the Assumption, while the rest was retained for the council’s charitable fund. SAFE ENTRY
Members of St. George Council 3928 in Guilford, Conn., installed a garage door opener at the home of a council member who was injured in a fall. While living at a rehabilitation center, the Knight expressed concern for his wife’s safety since she was returning home alone each night after dark. The council contributed funds toward the cost of the opener, while several council members performed the actual installation.
Msgr. Linus J. Dury Council 505 in Zanesville, Ohio, volunteered to straighten and reposition grave markers in an old parish cemetery. Previously, many of the markers had been pushed over by vandals or had sunk into the ground due to weathering. SHOOTING HOOPS
Unity Council 726 in Hammond, Ind., donated 36 tickets to a Chicago Bulls basketball game to the basketball team at Bishop Noll Institute, a local Catholic high school. MARY’S SHELTER
A SPECIAL FESTIVAL
For the past 22 years, West Volusia Council 6274 in Deland, Fla., has co-sponsored a festival for children with intellectual and physical disabilities with St. Peter Church. Special education students from 10 area group homes and schools are invited to the event, which features a morning of carnival rides and fun.
Gilbert Jose of Bishop James J. Sweeny Council 11485 in Waianae, Hawaii, trims brush away from a row of gravestones at an area cemetery that is owned by Sacred Heart Church. The graveyard was established around 1800 and was previously overgrown with weeds and out-ofcontrol decorative trees. Knights now clean the cemetery each month.
Members of San Fabian (Luzon) Council 5739 remove stones from the future construction site of a new housing development. Knights helped clean the site so that the groundwork could be laid for new houses to replace those destroyed by a typhoon.
San Antonio de Padua Council 9195 in Anaheim, Calif., painted Mary’s Shelter, a maternity home in Santa Ana for pregnant teens and their babies. In addition to painting several rooms at the facility, Knights also performed a number of general maintenance tasks. SECURE OVERHEAD
Members of St. Louis de Montfort Council 14553 in Oak Lawn, Ill., volunteered with two professional roofers to repair the home of Deacon Mike Karnoski. Knights
helped the contractors clean up old shingles, roofing paper and nails, and transport the debris to a dumpster. This helped the roofers save time in making the needed repairs. PRAY-N-PLAY
Members of St. John the Baptist Council 8891 in New Freedom, Pa., served food at the first-ever “Pray-n-Play” at the Mount St. Mary’s University grotto in Emmitsburg. Knights also helped to organize and promote the event, which included booths from area pro-life organizations, music, children’s games, crafts, basket raffles and Mass. “Pray-n-Play” raised more than $4,000 for the Heart of Mary Pregnancy Center in York and a pro-life group that offers counseling to women who have had an abortion.
kofc.org exclusive See more “Knights in Action” reports and photos at www.kofc.org/ knightsinaction
♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 29
K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
IN SERVICE TO ONE, IN SERVICE TO ALL
• Windsor, Ontario New York •• Bayville, N.J. • New Cumberland, Pa. Kearney, Mo. •
• South Korea • Afghanistan
St. Joseph Council 443 in New York, raised $1,000 for several sustainability projects in Haiti. Following the January 2010 earthquake that devastated much of Port-auPrince, the council met with Daniel Tillias, a project director for Pax Christi, who was looking to obtain seed money for several projects. The donation from the council will help fund a small machine to process
fresh fruit into juices, jams and marmalades to sell in markets; irrigation pumps to supply water for small farmers; and the development of church-based community gardens to raise crops. BUS FOR ORPHANAGE
St. Michael Council 8915 in Kearney, Mo., donated
Lt. James Cullen (far right) and some of his fellow soldiers at a hospital in Afghanistan display several Beanie Babies® that were donated to the facility by St. Barnabas Council 8603 in Bayville, N.J. Cullen is the nephew of council member Ron Filan and volunteers his off-duty time working with children at the hospital. When the council learned about this, they sent Cullen and his comrades a box of Beanie Babies® to distribute to young patients. 30 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
$4,250 to purchase a school bus for an orphanage in Honduras. The bus will be used to transport young people at the orphanage to area trade schools, where they will learn skills that will enable them to one day earn a living. Funds for the donation were raised when council members worked at a softball tournament. UNITED IN CHARITY
Holy Family Council 4386 in Windsor, Ontario, partnered with the Windsor Islamic Association to host a pasta dinner in support of ongoing flood relief in Pakistan. The interreligious event raised $4,465, which was donated to Knights of Columbus Charities to buy relief packages for flood victims. Following the floods in Pakistan one year ago, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council donated $25,000 to support disaster relief efforts there. SOCKS FOR THE HOMELESS
Since 2008, Bishop John J. Kaising Council 14223 at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea, has
provided socks and toiletries to homeless people who are served by the Min-dle-le Soup Kitchen. Council members, along with the base’s Catholic community, collected 120 pairs of socks during the council’s most recent drive. MAP-PING A COURSE
St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus Council 8921 in New Cumberland, Pa., purchased a medical travel pack from MAP International, which contains medicine for approximately 700 patients in a Third World country. The travel pack, which includes antibiotics, antihistamines, gastrointestinal medicines and more, was purchased for Juliet Geiger, an area nurse who made a humanitarian trip to Haiti to distribute the medicine and provide health care services.
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♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 31
C O LU M B I A N I S M B Y D E G R E E S
Unity VOLUNTEER JON WALKER (left), along with Louis Kovacs (center) and Gene Abel of Father William P. Garrity Council 1166 in Bedford, Ind., level and reset a gravestone at Green Hill Cemetery. At the suggestion of Abel, a former district deputy, Knights fixed more than 30 grave markers that had been turned over or damaged by vandals. Kovacs, a local business owner, loaned the heavy machinery needed for the job. • Sacred Heart of Jesus Council 14958 in Garchitorena, Luzon, donated a karo — a four-wheeled cart used to transport statues of saints during feast day processions — to its parish.
KENNETH L. PIFKE (left) of John Paul II Council 13791 in Prophetstown/ Tampico, Ill., and Jim Foltz, a volunteer, work to assemble the retaining wall for a memorial garden and fountain at St. Catherine Church. Knights helped to construct the prayer garden and fountain along with other volunteers who donated their time, talent and equipment as needed to complete the project. The finished result includes a small waterfall and a statue of the Holy Family.
MEMBERS OF Kraków (Poland) Council 14000 and Matki Bozej Milosierdzia z Ostrej Bram Council 15128 process into Our Lady of Ostrabrama Church for a K of C Mass celebrated by Father Tomasz Kraj, associate state chaplain for the Knights in Poland. • Bishop Scollard Assembly in Sudbury, Ontario, donated a memorial chalice to Auxiliary Bishop Noël Simard of Sault Sainte Marie. The chalice is engraved with the names of six deceased Knights, and the widows of each Knight were presented with a certificate of condolence. Bishop Simard is a member of L’annonciation Council 8360 in Sudbury.
SOLDIERS AT Contingency Operating Base Basra in Iraq wait outside a bunker to receive Communion from Bishop F. Richard Spencer (second from right), auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, after their Good Friday service was interrupted by rocket fire. Bishop Spencer is a member of Bishop John J. Kaising Council 14223 at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea. Also pictured (right) is Deacon Paul Rodriguez, chaplain assistant for the 36th Infantry Division of Texas.
32 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
KNIGHT S O F CO LU MBUS
Building a better world one council at a time Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a difference — whether through community service, raising money or prayer. We celebrate each and every Knight for his strength, his compassion and his dedication to building a better world.
BE FEATURED HERE , SEND YOUR COUNCIL’ S
Volunteer Todd Laird (second from right) sits with Monty Murphy, Dustin Husk and Luke Purcell of Salem-Kinmundy (Ill.) Council 6985 and the K of C memorial walkway that they helped build next to St. Theresa of Avila Church. By selling memorial pavers for the walkway, Knights raised $5,000 to make repairs to parish buildings. The walkway is part of a prayer garden and grotto adjacent to the church.
“K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” C OLUMBIA , 1 C OLUMBUS P LAZA , N EW H AVEN , CT 06510-3326
PHOTO AS WELL AS ITS DESCRIPTION TO : OR E - MAIL : COLUMBIA @ KOFC . ORG .
♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 33
PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
KEEP T HE FAITH ALIV E
‘I WANT ALL WHO COME NEAR ME TO EXPERIENCE DIVINE LOVE.’
SISTER MARY OLIVIA AGBAKOBA Daughters of Divine Love Congregation McAllen, Texas
Photo by Raphael Sepulveda
My parents are very dedicated Catholics who love the Church. They instilled and supported my faith by motivating me to go to daily Mass, to join Catholic societies and to attend Catholic school. They constantly prayed for me and encouraged me. When I was about 5 years old, our local bishop in Nigeria visited my family. When I came to greet him, he must have seen something in me that made him say that I might one day belong to the congregation he was just starting. My parents, especially my mother, took this blessing very seriously. The hope and dream that I have as I pursue my vocation is that I want to become a saint. I want all who come near me to experience divine love. It takes lots of devotion, dedication and sacrifice to make a commitment to a vocation. My advice to those called to religious life is to embrace it fully. As we look toward the promise of everlasting life, it makes sense that we value our heavenly inheritance, leaving behind worldly attractions.
KEEP T HE FAIT H ALIVE
‘I WANT ALL WHO COME NEAR ME TO EXPERIENCE DIVINE LOVE.’ My parents are very dedicated Catholics who love the Church. They instilled and supported my faith by motivating me to go to daily Mass, to join Catholic societies and to attend Catholic school. They constantly prayed for me and encouraged me. When I was about 5 years old, our local bishop in Nigeria visited my family. When I came to greet him, he must have seen something in me that made him say that I might one day belong to the congregation he was just starting. My parents, especially my mother, took this blessing very seriously. The hope and dream that I have as I pursue my vocation is that I want to become a saint. I want all who come near me to experience divine love. It takes lots of devotion, dedication and sacrifice to make a commitment to a vocation. My advice to those called to religious life is to embrace it fully. As we look toward the promise of everlasting life, it makes sense that we value our heavenly inheritance, leaving behind worldly attractions.
Photo by Raphael Sepulveda
SISTER MARY OLIVIA AGBAKOBA Daughters of Divine Love Congregation McAllen, Texas
PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE. PM40063106