Columbia June 2024

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Helicopter Heroes

A painting by Spanish artist José Luis Castrillo depicts the Sacred Heart of Jesus as “the light of the world” (Jn 8:12). The month of June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart. This year, the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 7.

Leo Chisholm, a Knight of Columbus for 64 years and counting, looks back on his life of service. 20 8 14 24

3 For the greater glory of God

The Sacred Heart of Jesus teaches us that true strength is exercised through love and self-control.

By Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly

4 Learning the faith, living the faith

The glorious light of God shines through Christ’s humanity and the sacraments he gave us. By Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

6 Building the Domestic Church

A series of columns on family life, leadership and financial stewardship

13 Knights of Columbus News Knights Across Canada March for Life • Pontifical Filipino College Library Named for Father McGivney

26 Knights in Action

Reports from councils and assemblies, representing Faith in Action

Nearly 150 people were rescued from violence in Haiti thanks to the courage of two Florida Knights.

Devoted to the Eucharistic Lord

K of C councils bear fervent witness to Christ’s real presence during the National Eucharistic Revival.

By Nathan Whalen and Columbia sta

Leadership Across the Generations

From Zoomers to Boomers and beyond, Knights answer the call to serve as council o cers.

I Want to Give Back


and Anthony Marinello stand beside the helicopter they flew to rescue nearly 150 people amid gang violence in Haiti this spring.

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.

JUNE 2024 ✢ COLUMBIA 1 CONTENTS ON THE COVER: Photo by David González — ABOVE: The Light of the World , 2017, painting by José Luis Castrillo,
Matos (left)
Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved
JUNE 2024 ✢ VOLUME 104 ✢ NUMBER 5

Lift Up Your Hearts

BEGINNING IN THE WINTER of 303, the emperor Diocletian issued several edicts a empting to extinguish Christianity throughout the Roman Empire. Churches were razed, Scripture and liturgical texts were burned, and Christians found assembling in worship were subject to death. Such was the case for a group of 49 Christians in the northern African town of Abitinae, in present-day Tunisia. A year a er the persecution began, the group was arrested while celebrating the Sunday Eucharist. When they were questioned, before being tortured and ultimately killed, one responded, “Sine dominico non possumus” — Without Sunday, we cannot live.

e story of the Martyrs of Abitinae, which was o en retold by Pope Benedict XVI and has been cited by Pope Francis in his catecheses on the Eucharist, is an extraordinary testament to the importance of the Mass. At a time when nearly 70% of American Catholics, according to a Pew Research survey, do not believe in the real presence, and a similar percentage, according to Gallup, do not regularly a end Sunday Mass, there is clearly a need to deepen understanding and appreciation of what the ancient martyrs were willing to give their lives for.

e National Eucharistic Revival, concluding year two of three, aims to renew devotion to Christ in the Eucharist (see page 14). is renewal involves much more than an assertion of Catholic teaching or the ful llment of an obligation; rather, it is an invitation to a personal encounter with the living God and to an active role in his work of redemption. is, too, is the very purpose of the liturgy, a word the Catechism of the Catholic Church de nes as “the participation of the People of God in ‘the work of God’” (1069).

In the Mass, the Church celebrates “the Paschal mystery by which Christ accomplished the work of our salvation … so that the faithful may live from it and bear witness to it in the world” (1067-68). From exemplary acts of charity to building unity and fraternity to the mission of evangelization, the entire work of the Church — and of the Knights — ows directly from the liturgy. As the Second Vatican Council a rmed, our participation in the Eucharistic sacri ce is “the source and summit of the whole Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, 11; cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10).

At the same time, there is an essential subjective dimension to the liturgy, such that “it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions … and that they should cooperate with divine grace lest they receive it in vain” (SC, 11; cf. 2 Cor 6:1). e council fathers therefore called for “full, conscious and active participation” in the liturgy (SC, 14); this includes things like responses, song and gestures, but even more fundamentally, it requires moments of silence, a entive listening and interior prayer. Do we approach the sacred liturgy merely as an obligation or routinely allow ourselves to be distracted during Mass? Or are we like the Martyrs of Abitinae, for whom, in the words of Pope Benedict, “the Sunday Eucharist was not a commandment, but an inner necessity”? When the priest proclaims, “Li up your hearts” (Sursum corde) at the start of the Eucharistic Prayer, it is not a mere ritual. It is an invitation to truly unite our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the source of all charity, unity and fraternity. ✢

Domestic Church Resource: The Gift of Fatherhood

The booklet The Gift of Fatherhood: What Every Man Should Know (#10168) by Father Carter H. Gri n explores the vocation of fatherhood rooted in one’s identity as a son of God and disciple of Christ. Part of the Order’s Building the Domestic Church Series, it identifies the crisis of fatherhood in our time and the challenges fathers face while providing a spiritual action plan to become better fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. To download or order a copy, visit



Knights of Columbus


Patrick E. Kelly

Supreme Knight

Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D.

Supreme Chaplain

Arthur L. Peters

Deputy Supreme Knight

Patrick T. Mason

Supreme Secretary

Ronald F. Schwarz

Supreme Treasurer

John A. Marrella

Supreme Advocate


Alton J. Pelowski


Cecilia Hadley

Editorial Director

Andrew J. Matt

Managing Editor

Elisha Valladares-Cormier

Associate Editor

Paul Haring

Manager of Photography

Cecilia Engbert Content Producer

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



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Meekness, Not Weakness

The Sacred Heart of Jesus teaches us that true strength is exercised through love and self-control

THE MONTH OF JUNE is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a centuries-long devotion which celebrates Christ’s love for humanity. The Sacred Heart has deep meaning for all of us and special significance for the vocation of husbands and fathers.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells us: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves” (11:29). This passage tells us much about Christ’s heart, but here I would like to focus on his self-description as meek — and how the virtue of meekness, contrary to popular belief, is a masculine virtue.

Meekness is a commonly misunderstood virtue. If we think of it as timidity or passivity, we miss the mark. The word in Scripture is often translated as gentleness, which is much closer, but even that doesn’t quite capture its full meaning.

Meekness is not weakness. Quite the opposite; it is a sign of greatness — and of real strength. It’s the virtue that allows a person to apply one’s strength in the right way. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, meekness “moderates anger according to right reason” (Summa Theologica II-II, q. 157). Meekness comes into play most when we are under pressure or feel threatened. It can be seen in how we react during moments of conflict. Meekness gives us a self-possession that helps us control our anger, so that we do not make matters worse or, more importantly, hurt those we love. Anger is certainly a normal part of life, including family life. And anger can often be justified. But it’s a passion that, if left unchecked, can inflict great damage. It can destroy human relationships and create divisions among spouses, parents and children that can last for years, even generations.

Meekness, on the other hand, is a unifying virtue. “The meek,” according to Pope Francis,

“are those who know how to control themselves, who leave space for others, who listen to them and respect their needs and their requests. They do not intend to overwhelm or diminish the other, they do not want to tower over or dominate everything, nor impose their ideas or their own interests to the detriment of others” (Angelus address, Nov. 1, 2020).

Meekness is an essential virtue for Knights of Columbus and for all husbands and fathers. It is the virtue that allows us to master our passions and exercise authority in such a way that helps our families flourish. When correcting our children, we need to choose our words carefully, recognizing their unique vulnerabilities while also reminding them of their God-given dignity. This is important because our children’s perception of God will be shaped largely by their interactions with us.

Meekness is also important in marriage. It helps a husband and wife keep the channels of communication open as we give and receive constructive criticism. We will learn much from our spouse if we can keep a cool temper and listen with an open mind to the truth of what the other has to say.

Finally, meekness helps us put up with the failings of others. “If we are constantly upset and impatient with others,” Pope Francis explains, “we will end up drained and weary. But if we regard the faults and limitations of others with tenderness and meekness, without an air of superiority, we can actually help them and stop wasting our energy on useless complaining” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 72).

A meek husband is a strong husband, just as meek father is a strong father. In treating others with meekness, we imitate the Sacred Heart of Jesus — and we confirm in our wife and our children their most fundamental identity, that they are loved by God.

Vivat Jesus!

Meekness gives us a self-possession that helps us control our anger, so that we do not make matters worse


more importantly, hurt those we love.
Photo by Michael Collopy

Eye Has Not Seen

The glorious light of God shines through Christ’s humanity and the sacraments he gave us

THIS PAST APRIL, a total solar eclipse generated great excitement as it crossed parts of North America. Millions of people looked to the sky that day to see the moon blocking some or all of the sun. But except for a few moments in the “path of totality,” an eclipsed sun is dangerous to the eye. We should never look directly at the sun, because its ultraviolet rays can damage the cornea and retina. Special sunglasses are needed to view what otherwise could not be seen.

In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, we profess our faith in an invisible God, the creator of all things. Like the sun, which is too bright to be viewed directly, the triune God dwells “in unapproachable light” (1 Tim 6:16). Both the Bible and the liturgy speak of the glory of God that exceeds what any eye can see or any heart can fully apprehend.

A god who merely reveled in his own glory would not have revealed himself to his creatures — that is, if he bothered to create anything or anyone else. But the God who is love has revealed himself to us. Indeed, he has called us out of the darkness of sin and error into his own wonderful light (see 1 Pt 2:9). That is why God raised up the chosen people and gave them the law and prophets. That is why God sent his only Son to assume our humanity and be our savior: to accustom our eyes of faith to the light of his glory, a light too bright for us to gaze upon directly.

God’s glory shone brightly in the truth of Jesus’ words, in the goodness of his deeds, in his power over sin and death. On Mount Tabor, the glory of God shone with blinding brilliance on Jesus’ face, the same glory he would manifest after his resurrection. For the Lord not only revealed God’s glory in our human flesh, but, sharing our humanity, he delivered us from sin and death through his cross and resurrection.

And did this revelation of glory simply disappear when Jesus ascended into heaven? Not at all. In the Church, the Lord left us ways and means to see him and to experience his saving love. The sacraments are signs that effect what God in his goodness and glory wants to do for us, and they are the means by which the Lord’s will is accomplished. Sacramental signs are like those special eclipse sunglasses. They reveal the brightness of God’s glory and the warmth of his love — but they do not give us face-to-face vision of God, a vision that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard” (1 Cor 2:9). As St. Paul says elsewhere, “At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.” (1 Cor 13:12). How good God is to accommodate us!

At the heart of the Church’s sacramental life is the Eucharist, “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church , 1324). At the Last Supper, Jesus took bread and wine, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “This is my body. … This is my blood.” In the Mass, the signs of bread and wine are changed to become Christ truly present, body, blood, soul and divinity. We see bread and wine, but our eyes of faith behold the crucified and risen Savior. The sacramental signs of bread and wine reveal the true presence of the Lord yet conceal the fullness of his glory, which as yet we cannot see.

When we are properly disposed and receive our Lord in the Eucharist, and when we contemplate his presence in Eucharistic adoration, our eyes of faith are better able to behold the Lord of Glory crucified for our salvation. And the light that we behold shines in us and through us more brightly, attracting others to the Eucharistic mystery, until that day when we behold the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces. ✢

The sacramental signs of bread and wine reveal the true presence of the Lord yet conceal the fullness of his glory, which as yet we cannot see.

Supreme Chaplain’s Challenge

A monthly reflection and practical challenge from Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” (Gospel for June 30, Mk 5:40b-41)

Jesus restores the young girl to life by his word and touch. He restores us to life through the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of penance, with the words of absolution pronounced by his priest. We too can improve the lives of those in need around us, extending to them Christ’s love through our own words and works of charity.

Challenge: This month, I challenge you to find one way each day — even a small way — to concretely share Christ’s love with those you meet.

Find accompanying reflection questions at

Catholic Man of the Month

Blessed Volodymyr Pryjma (1906-1941)

IN LATE JUNE 1941, two men set out from the village of Stradch in western Ukraine into a volatile landscape. The German army had attacked the Soviet Union only days before; with Soviet troops in retreat before Hitler’s forces, moving around the countryside was dangerous. But Father Mykola Konrad was determined to bring the last sacraments to a woman outside town, and Volodymyr Pryjma was determined to help and protect him if he could.

Pryjma was from Stradch, a village northwest of Lviv. Born on July 17, 1906, he was one of nine children, and his father worked at the local church. Two of Pryjma’s six surviving brothers became priests, while he, like his father, worked for the parish after graduating from a school for cantors established by Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, archbishop of Lviv. Pryjma married Maria Stoyko in 1931, and they had four children.

On June 26, 1941, four days after the invasion of the Soviet Union, Father Konrad was asked to visit a sick woman in a neighboring settlement. Despite the

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St. Justin, Martyr

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) (USA)

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs

St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Barnabas, Apostle

St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

St. Irenaeus, Bishop, Martyr and Doctor of the Church

Sts. Peter And Paul, Apostles

priest’s protest — “Volodymyr, this is my duty as a priest; you should take care of your family in this uncertain time” — Pryjma insisted on accompanying him.

The two men reached the woman’s home, and Father Konrad gave her Communion and heard her confession. But as they returned, they were apprehended by members of the Soviet secret police agency, the NKVD. Their bodies were found five days later in the woods; Father Konrad had been shot, and Pryjma had been beaten and stabbed.

Volodymyr Pryjma was beatified with Father Konrad and 26 other martyrs of Ukraine by Pope John Paul II in 2001. In 2013, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church named Pryjma patron of Ukrainian Greek laity. ✢

Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intention

We pray that migrants fleeing from war or hunger, forced to undertake journeys full of danger and violence, find welcome and new opportunities in the countries that receive them.

FROM TOP: Courtesy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church/enhanced using AI — Raising of Jairus’ Daughter (1871), detail, by Vasily Polenov/Wikimedia Commons — CNS photo/Vatican Media

The Role of Prayer in Christ’s Leadership and Ours

The most significant choice of leaders in the history of the Church was made by Jesus when he chose the Twelve Apostles. St. Luke tells us that, to prepare for that momentous decision, Jesus “departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God” (6:12). Making wise decisions is no doubt crucial to leadership, and Jesus’ example of prayer before such decisions is an important model for Catholic leaders today. Yet good decision-making is not what drew followers to Jesus. Divine love was the bond, the cement that united Jesus’ followers to him. The divine love that belongs to Jesus by nature belongs to us, too, as adopted children of God. Jesus prayed more than anything else he did — the Gospels tell us of more than 30 instances of him praying — and we must also pray if we are to have God’s love in our hearts. Through our prayer, we must become a living monstrance that shines the light of Christ’s love into the world. If Christ’s love shines in everything we do as Christian leaders, we cannot fail to draw followers to our Lord. ✢

— Joseph McInerney is vice president of leadership and ethics education for the Knights of Columbus.

Make a Plan


for holiness by building spiritual structure into your family life

EVERY CATHOLIC, and every Catholic family, should have a “plan of life” — specifically, a plan for spiritual life, what we might call a PSL.

We might understand the idea of a PSL better if we think of priests or consecrated religious. We know they have structured prayer, such as the Liturgy of the Hours. They receive the sacraments in a consistent and frequent manner. It makes sense to us that their lives are ordered like this. How else would they grow in holiness?

Well, lay people are also called to holiness. The difference is that the Church largely leaves it up to us. We don’t have specific norms or rules related to spiritual life except for the precepts of the Church, which — let’s be honest — are a list of “minimums” we must comply with to stay in communion with the Church.

But do we really want a faith of minimums? Our prayer and sacramental lives should have structure, aligning with an intentional plan or schedule we’ve created for ourselves.

It’s the same when it comes to our families. A father, in particular, has the duty to lead the way in creating a PSL for himself and his family.

Ponder the following: At what points during the day, and during the week, will we pray together as a family? Praying before family meals is a given. Can we also start the day by offering it up to the Lord? Can we pray the Angelus together? Can we do an examination

of conscience together at night? Can we pray the rosary as a family, if not daily, at least weekly?

But there is more. The Church requires that we go to confession at least once a year; can we go together once a month? Can we schedule a family Holy Hour? Can we make it a habit to read aloud the Scriptures or a spiritual book, as a family, at regularly scheduled times each week?

All of these are components of a PSL, but each family’s PSL will look a little different. A successful plan of life should be flexible and designed to fit our lives — just like, as St. Josemaria Escrivá would say, “a glove that fits the hand perfectly.” ✢

CRISTOFER PEREYRA is the founder and CEO of Tepeyac Leadership Inc., a Catholic apostolate dedicated to civic leadership development for lay professionals. A Knight of Columbus, he lives with his family in Goodyear, Ariz.

FROM LEFT: Christ in the Wilderness (1898) by Briton Rivière Photo © Guildhall Art Gallery / Bridgeman Images — CNS photo/Chaz Muth


What is biblical generosity, and how does it impact charitable giving?

It can be tempting to reduce the Bible to a kind of divine rulebook when it comes to charitable giving: If I donate this much money or this much time, then I’ll be square with God.

But biblical generosity is greater than a mere checklist. In fact, we have things backward if we focus on how much money we give rather than how much of ourselves we give.

Look to the Gospel story of the widow’s mite: After silently watching

a multitude of people give lavishly to the temple, Jesus praises a widow who gives only two small coins.

“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury,” Jesus said. “For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood” (Mk 12:43-44).

Jesus’ message is clear — we must be prepared to give everything to God, and not begrudgingly, but with joy. St. Paul writes, “Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7).

Like the widow, there are some whom God calls to truly contribute everything. But for most of us, our total gift of self is lived out through fiscal responsibility that prioritizes generous, sacrificial giving.


Surrender Together

Entrust the care of your marriage to Jesus, and you will reap peace

WE COULDN’T GET TO the bottom of it. Working together was supposed to be hard, but not this hard. Week after week, a trivial misunderstanding, a slight overreaction or a mildly passive-aggressive comment would derail us. Suddenly, our sense of unity would be shattered. Once again, we would find ourselves losing precious hours as we worked to regain our equilibrium.

Then we heard about the “Surrender Novena” of Father Dolindo Ruotolo, one of St. Padre Pio’s spiritual advisors. Looking back, we knew our strongest seasons were when we prayed together, not just alone or with the kids. Clearly, we needed to surrender. Daily. Together.

We found the right time — after the kids are out the door but before the workday unfolds. It was in that moment that we were most prone to fall into wounded patterns — striving, controlling, trying to “make it happen” for ourselves. We knew we needed to invite the Lord into that moment.

And by giving cheerfully, we too turn even the smallest coins into a great offering to the Lord.

Visit for more resources to help you and your family cultivate biblical generosity. ✢

— Evan Holguin is a relationship manager with Knights of Columbus Charitable Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, sponsoring a donoradvised fund program. He is a member of St. Ambrose Council 6801 in North Branford, Conn.

On Day 1 of the novena, we read, “Leave the care of your affairs to me [Jesus], and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.” After each day’s exhortation, we prayed, “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything!”

Of course, we still struggle. But with time, the novena has begun to sink roots deep into the soil of our marriage and life. And a profound peace and joy is unfolding. He takes care of everything. ✢

SOREN AND EVER JOHNSON have five children and are co-founders of Trinity House Community. Soren is a member of Holy Family Council 6831 in Leesburg, Va.

FROM TOP: The Widow’s Mite (ca. 1898) by Gustave Doré / Photo © Look and Learn Bridgeman Images — Kobus Louw/E+ via Getty Images

Helicopter HEROES Helicopter HEROES

Deacon Benny Matos (left) and Anthony Marinello stand in front of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter they flew to rescue Americans in Haiti this past March and April.
Nearly 150 people were rescued from violence in Haiti thanks to the courage of two Florida Knights

As Anthony Marinello guided his helicopter into Haitian airspace under the cover of night, he thought about the unknown dangers awaiting him and the other team members aboard.

It was just a er 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 12. irty hours earlier, Marinello had been in Florida, heating his dinner and preparing to enjoy his Sunday evening. Now, he was ying into a volatile region exploding with violence. Could they be shot down by the gangs who had taken control of much of Haiti over the previous week? Would they return home to their families?

But even when his Sikorsky S-76 aircraft broke through the clouds, revealing the fires and billowing smoke of ruin in the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, Marinello remained resolute.

“I’ve captured hundreds of criminals by helicopter, operated thousands of medevac ights, and this was the most intense thing I’ve ever done,” said Marinello, a law enforcement pilot for more than 20 years. “We risked our lives, but it was up to us to get this thing done.”

Marinello and his co-pilot, Benny Matos, both Knights of Columbus in Florida, ew three helicopter rescue trips to Haiti this spring. Over ve weeks, they brought 143 people, mostly Americans, out of the troubled nation to safety.

“Our code — and anyone else who’s served in law enforcement — is that we respond when someone’s in trouble,” said Matos, a longtime New Jersey state trooper who is now a K of C eld agent and deacon. “It didn’t ma er if it was average Joes or corporation presidents. All we knew was that people needed to be saved, and that was enough for me.”


Marinello was eating dinner at his home near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when his phone rang around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 10.

“I’m calling from the office of Congressman Cory Mills. Can you fly a mission to rescue Americans in Haiti? You’d need to leave tonight.”

Marinello’s first thought was this had to be a joke, a friend calling to pull his leg. His helicopter air medical service, Tropic

Photo by David González

Air Rescue, had just started operating March 1. There’s no way he’d get a call like this so soon, he thought.

But the sta er assured him the request was real. Gangs of violent rebels had forced the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s largest city, to close, and hundreds of Americans were e ectively trapped. Among them were Mitch Albom, a bestselling author based in Michigan, and nine other visitors to the orphanage Albom established in Port-au-Prince. A member of the group contacted U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain of Michigan for assistance, who looped in Mills.

A U.S. Army veteran, Mills had rescued Americans from dangerous situations before: He brought a woman and her three children out of Afghanistan in September 2021 and helped shu le out more than 250 Americans from Israel in October 2023.

Now, the congressman needed a pilot crew to evacuate the Americans in Haiti. Marinello was the 13th pilot his office had contacted — the first 12 were unable, or unwilling, to help.

“I thought about it for a minute, and I said, ‘Yeah, I think we can do that,’” said Marinello, a member of John A. Hill Council 4955 in Pompano Beach. “So I put my food in the fridge and headed to the airport.”

But first, he called Matos, his close friend and colleague

of more than two decades. Marinello and Matos served together in the New Jersey State Police for many years, and both moved to Florida when they retired from law enforcement. No Matos, no mission. At first, Matos wasn’t sure about going, until he heard who needed to be rescued.

“When he said these Americans were serving an orphanage, the first thing I thought about was Father McGivney and his care for orphans,” recalled Matos, who had attended a K of C exemplification that afternoon. “My ‘yes’ was instant after that.”

As Matos began the hourlong drive from his home in West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Marinello and his staff began making plans and preparing the helicopter.

e four-man crew — Marinello, Matos, Mills and Brian Young, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran — departed from Fort Lauderdale around 10:30 p.m. for the Dominican Republic, where they would make a nal assessment before carrying out the mission. Stopping for gas in the Bahamas and in Turks and Caicos, they nally arrived in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, early Monday morning.

e rising sun prevented a covert operation to Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, and the crew didn’t want to risk drawing the a ention

Smoke billows from the Ministry of Finance Building near the National Palace in Port-auPrince, Haiti, as people walk through the area on April 2. Police engaged in a prolonged battle with armed gangs in the latest of a series of attacks on government infrastructure.


of insurgent gangs. So they took the day to rest and draw up new plans a er deciding on a new, secret pickup location with Albom. ey also communicated with the U.S. State Department and Dominican foreign ministers to ensure they had permission to y to Haiti. at evening, they ew to the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo to fuel up and waited for darkness to fall.

Before leaving Santo Domingo, Mills asked Matos, who serves as a deacon at Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles Parish in Royal Palm Beach, to offer a prayer and blessing for the group.

“ e four of us joined hands and bowed our heads,” Marinello recalled. “When we looked up, we saw the entire terminal — practically every person in the building — had stopped to watch us pray. ey didn’t know exactly what we were going to do, but they knew something was happening.”


Around 2 a.m., the crew began the 30-minute ight from Santo Domingo to the new pickup location. Given the sudden change, Marinello had only a satellite image of the location — he would be landing almost sight unseen. To help him nd the spot, he instructed the evacuees to listen for the helicopter and then “blink every light in the house like a Christmas tree.”

e helicopter ew over the Dominican-Haitian border and between two mountain ridges before breaking through the clouds. “ at’s when the seriousness of what we were doing really set in,” Matos recalled.

They soon spotted the blinking house lights. The pilots were trained to always fly a few reconnaissance circles when approaching an unfamiliar landing zone, especially at night, to detect wires or trees that could endanger the landing. But Marinello decided they didn’t have enough time for that — Port-au-Prince was essentially a war zone. They were going in blind.

As Albom later wrote in the Detroit Free Press, Mills and Young jumped from the helicopter as soon as it touched down, yelling a series of commands: “All 10 here?” “Everybody in?” “Everyone OK?” “Everyone got passports?” “GO!” e rescue, from touchdown to li o , took just 67 seconds.

With 14 people now aboard, Marinello ew back to the airport in Barahona, Dominican Republic. From there, the evacuees would take a three-hour shu le to Santo Domingo and y back to the United States. Before that could happen, however, they were stopped by Dominican airport security.

“We had told them we were on a diplomatic mission,” Marinello said. “But when we got back and a dozen people poured out of the helicopter, their eyes got as big as saucers, and they started pulling out their radios.”

Several enforcement agencies arrived to question the group. But thanks to Matos’ translation e orts, any confusion was cleared up.

e exhausted crew returned home the next morning, but their respite was short-lived. Within a few days, the Florida state government reached out to Marinello about doing a

A group of people sit in Marinello’s helicopter after being evacuated from Port-au-Prince on April 14, Marinello and Matos’ final day flying rescue missions.

second rescue mission, this time coordinated with Haitian o cials. e state estimated an additional 400-600 Floridians were still trapped in Haiti. Marinello and Matos jumped back into their ight suits and headed to Cap-Haïtien International Airport on Haiti’s northern shore — about 80 miles north of Port-au-Prince — on March 18.

Once they landed, however, Haitian officials refused to let them take off again due to paperwork problems, Marinello said. The situation went on for two more days before they were allowed to leave, departing for a daytime rescue of 14 people from a United Nations landing zone in Port-au-Prince.

ere, the pilots experienced a taste of the violent chaos that had enveloped the city. An armed group of Haitians tried to prevent them from taking the people to be evacuated. Security guards connected to the evacuees pushed back. Helping people into the helicopter, Matos — unarmed because it was a civilian operation — was stuck in the middle. “I had to push one guy and punch another just to get back into the helicopter,” he said. “I basically jumped into the helicopter and told Tony to go. I didn’t even have a seat belt on when we took o .”

The helicopter returned to Cap-Haïtien for the evacuees to catch a U.S.-bound jet. But, once again, the rescue crew wasn’t allowed to return home. They had taken off without permission, Haitian flight officials claimed, and needed to

JUNE 2024 ✢ COLUMBIA 11 OPPOSITE PAGE: AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph — TOP RIGHT: Photo courtesy of Anthony Marinello

pay a $3,000 fine immediately. Marinello paid, only to be told, just as they were ready to take off, that they hadn’t paid enough.

“I looked at Benny and was like, ‘Yeah, OK,’” Marinello said with a chuckle. “So we just took o .”


A er waiting several days in the Dominican Republic, the pilots returned to Florida on March 24 — Palm Sunday — to allow lawyers time to work out the necessary permits for additional rescue ights. It was not a moment too soon for Matos, who arrived just in time to ful ll his diaconate duties for the Holy Week and Easter liturgies at his parish.

He and Marinello waited on standby for the next two weeks as permits were led, and permission was eventually given for a third trip. is time, they’d be part of a small eet of helicopters assisting with evacuation e orts.

Arriving in Cap-Haïtien on April 8, the duo made three to ve missions to Port-au-Prince each day over the next week, picking up groups of eight to 10 people, most of whom were humanitarian aid workers. is time, things went smoothly. By April 19, more than 700 people had been evacuated from the capital. Marinello and Matos, who ew until April 14, were personally responsible for rescuing 143 of those people over their three rescue trips.

When news of Rep. Mills’ rst rescue mission broke March 12, photos of Marinello and Matos were o en included in the coverage. But the two Knights eschewed the fanfare and downplayed their heroism.

“When you get the call, you have to go,” Marinello said. “Some jobs are just more dangerous than others.”

One honor they did accept was an invitation from John A. Hill Council 4955 to be recognized at the council’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. It was only after arriving that they realized that their chief mechanic, Richard Sill Jr., is also a Knight; while Sill didn’t fly to Haiti, he maintained the helicopter and was responsible for preparing it before each mission. “We all played our part,” Marinello said. “A lot of people behind the scenes kept us moving.”

Marinello said his wife questioned why he took on these dangerous missions. “She’d ask me, ‘Why must you help those people? Why do you put yourself at risk?’” he recalled. “Because, I told her, who’s going to help them if I say no? I was the 13th helicopter company they called. e 12 in front of me all said no. So at what point do you say yes?

“Sometimes you have to sacri ce and put your life on the line for others.” ✢

ELISHA VALLADARES-CORMIER is the associate editor of Columbia and a member of Sandusky (Ohio) Council 546.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Marinello Matos and Marinello gather on the tarmac at Cap-Haïtien International Airport with the 14 U.S. citizens they rescued during their second mission trip March 20.

Knights Across Canada March for Life

THOUSANDS OF PRO-LIFE advocates, including Knights of Columbus and their families, marched against abortion and euthanasia in cities across Canada on May 9. In addition to the 27th National March for Life in O awa, demonstrations were held in Regina, Saskatchewan; Edmonton, Alberta; and Victoria, British Columbia.

e Knights of Columbus is a major sponsor of the national march in O awa, which is organized annually by Campaign Life Coalition, and dozens of local members serve as its marshals.

Deputy Supreme Knight Arthur Peters, past state deputy of Ontario, spoke at the pre-march rally on Parliament Hill, emphasizing the need to provide assistance to mothers in crisis pregnancies and appropriate care for the sick.

“ e theme for our march this year is ‘I will never forget you,’ and indeed we will never forget the child in the womb or the elderly, the ill or the inrm who rely on our e orts to advocate for them,” he said.

Peters noted that Knights in Canada have contributed over $265,000 to help 90 pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes across the country

Pro-life advocates march through downtown Ottawa during Canada’s National March for Life on May 9.

through the Order’s ASAP (Aid and Support A er Pregnancy) program since 2022.

Abortion has been legal in Canada at any point during a pregnancy since 1988. Euthanasia and assisted suicide have been legal since 2016; the country’s “medical assistance in dying” program accounted for 13,241 deaths in 2022 — more than 4% of all deaths in the country.

Je Gunnarson, president of Campaign Life Coalition and a member of Galt Council 2184 in Cambridge, Ontario, encouraged marchers to stay engaged despite challenges.

“We are here not to shame or to shout and protest,” he said. “We are here in love; we pray in love for God to be with us so that by our loving witness, hearts and minds will be touched.” ✢

Pontifical Filipino College Library Named for Father McGivney

ON APRIL 27, the Ponti cal Filipino College in Rome renamed its library — recently renovated and expanded with support from the Knights of Columbus — in honor of Blessed Michael McGivney.

Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly joined Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, former archbishop of Manila and a pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, and others for the library’s dedication.

Cardinal Tagle, a member of Imus (Luzon South) Council 5896, encouraged the Filipino priests studying in Rome to root their academic pursuits in the search for God.

“All that research will amount to nothing if we do not say what Philip says: ‘I am looking for the face of the Father,’” he said. “ at library … will serve its purpose if it enhances our search for the Father.”

e Knights of Columbus, which has more than 500,000

members in the Philippines, has long provided scholarships to the Ponti cal Filipino College for priests from each of the nation’s island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. ✢

JUNE 2024 ✢ COLUMBIA 13 KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS NEWS FROM TOP: Photo by Patrick Doyle — Photo by Tamino Petelinšek
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly unveil a plaque at the library’s dedication April 27.


K of C councils bear fervent witness to Christ’s real presence during the National Eucharistic Revival


College Knights carry the canopy over the Blessed Sacrament and Fourth Degree Knights provide an honor guard as Bishop Edward Rice leads a Eucharistic procession through Cape Girardeau, Mo., March 17. It was the final day of an 845-mile Eucharistic pilgrimage across the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

While many college students travel somewhere warm and sunny during their spring break, this past March a group of college Knights from Southeast Missouri State University took a very di erent kind of road trip.

“We literally had Jesus in the truck, in a traveling tabernacle,” said Jared Koehler, past grand knight of the university’s St. omas Aquinas Council 15294. “One of our guys said it beautifully: ‘You know, this is as close to the Gospels as we could live, traveling with Jesus everywhere we went, taking him to the people, relying on them to care for us, to feed us, just like the disciples did in the Gospels.’”

For eight days, Knights from Council 15294, together with their Newman Center chaplain, zigzagged across the Diocese of Spring eld-Cape Girardeau, traveling 845 miles on what they dubbed the Anima Christi ’24 Eucharistic pilgrimage.

e group of 11 made stops at 21 parishes, inviting local communities to join them at Masses, Holy Hours, walking Eucharistic processions and all-night adoration.

“This was a beautiful response from the campus Knights of Columbus to respond to the urgent call for Eucharistic renewal,” said Bishop Edward Rice of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

e Anima Christi pilgrimage is but one of the numerous ways K of C councils across the United States have promoted Eucharistic devotion since the U.S. bishops launched the National Eucharistic Revival in June 2022. As the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage makes its way to Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress in July, Knights of Columbus continue to take up the call, emphasized by Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly during his installation in 2021, to be “Knights of the Eucharist.”

Photo by Castletown Media

Knights and other parishioners participate in a Holy Hour at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lacey, Wash., on May 6. The century-old monstrance was restored last year through the efforts of Father Nicholas Rausch, OSB Council 1643 in Lacey.


Inspiration for the college Knights’ Anima Christi pilgrimage came from last year’s Organizational Meeting of State Deputies in New Haven, Connecticut.

“I was fortunate enough to serve the Mass with Archbishop Lori and then carry the crucifix during the Eucharistic procession through the streets of New Haven, ending at St. Mary’s,” explained Jared Koehler, who now serves as director of evangelization and faith formation for Council 15294. “I saw how beautiful it was, and how beautiful it could be to do something like that.”

However, before Koehler’s idea for a Eucharistic pilgrimage in his home diocese could become a reality, he had to convince his bishop.

“When Jared first proposed the idea, I thought, ‘Oh, this isn’t going to work,’” recalled Bishop Rice. “But when they came back with a detailed plan, I thought, ‘You know what, these young men are zealous about this. They’re giving up their spring break to do this.’”

From Sunday, March 10, to Sunday, March 17, the college Knights visited more than a dozen Missouri towns. They typically began the day with Mass, followed by a


Photo M. Scott Brauer
“This is the thing that sets us apart from anybody else — the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament. It’s about Jesus, bringing Jesus to the streets and reviving hope in the faithful.”

Holy Hour and Eucharistic processions in one or two locations. In the evenings, the churches they visited would offer confession and parishioners were invited to participate in overnight adoration.

“The all-night adoration is where, as young men in the faith, our prayer lives really grew over the course of the week,” Koehler said.

A convert to Catholicism who was recently accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Koehler is convinced of the power of public Eucharistic witness.

“It’s so important now that we do this as a testament to our faith,” he said. “ is is the thing that sets us apart from anybody else — the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament. It’s about Jesus, bringing Jesus to the streets and reviving hope in the faithful.”

He recalled a few of the reactions the Eucharistic processions received.

“In the small town of Van Buren, we’re processing down the street, and this li le girl and her family — not Catholic — come out,” he said. “And she pulls on her mom’s hand and says, ‘Hey, it’s Jesus,’ and points at the monstrance.”

In Spring eld, the procession passed a church where about 100 homeless people were receiving a meal. “ ey were loud and rowdy,” Koehler said. “But as we go by, this homeless man with ta oos and piercings yells at all the others, ‘Hey, be reverent. It’s the Eucharist!’”

roughout the week, local councils and assemblies supported the pilgrims in many ways, with Fourth Degree Knights stopping tra c during processions.

“People love the processions; everybody’s longing to see Christ,” said Alex Harold, grand knight of Council 15294. “A lot of the parishes we went to were just lled with this great sense of hope, seeing young people bring Christ to them.”

On the nal morning of the Anima Christi pilgrimage, Bishop Rice celebrated Mass at the Southeast Missouri State University Newman Center and then led a one-mile Eucharistic procession to St. Mary of the Annunciation Cathedral.

“This three-year Eucharistic Revival has awakened a latent spirituality that’s been underground, and now it’s breaking through and bearing fruit,” affirmed Bishop Rice. “I see that with our young people — the faith is there.”


Enthusiasm for Eucharistic processions as a dynamic means of evangelization and strengthening Catholic parishes has grown at the state and local level alike. In Washington, delegates to the state convention in May 2024 approved a resolution to establish Eucharistic procession teams in every council in the jurisdiction.

Washington State Deputy Greg Mahoney said the resolution was inspired by three things, first among them the National Eucharistic Revival itself.

“The Revival is intended to strengthen faith and belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Christian life,” Mahoney said. “It’s where we receive the courage, strength and wisdom to bear witness to Christ in our daily lives.”

The second element was the Eucharistic Processions Guidebook that the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council produced as a resource for the Revival. State leaders thought the book, which gives step-by-step guidance for organizing a procession, could be the basis of a dynamic state program.

“The last element, of course, is Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly’s emphasis that we should be Knights of the Eucharist,” Mahoney affirmed. “As Knights of the Eucharist, we should be the go-to men of the parish who can assist the pastor in conducting a Eucharistic procession.”

The goal is for training to take place within each council and for each council to procure the necessary equipment to conduct a procession with reverence. Mahoney has urged councils throughout the state to form teams by the end of this fraternal year.

The 2024 state convention, which took place May 17-19 in Yakima, was marked by a number of Eucharistic moments, including a Holy Hour and an outdoor Eucharistic procession. An adoration chapel was also available to Knights and their families on two days.

“Our Eucharistic Lord was present during the entire convention as the focal point of why we were there, which was for his greater glory,” Mahoney said.

A century-old monstrance from Sacred Heart Parish in Lacey made the 180-mile trip across the Cascade Mountains to Yakima to be used at the state convention for the second year in a row. This time, however, it appeared in its full splendor.

Members of Father Nicholas Rausch, OSB Council 1643 in Lacey worked to restore the fragile monstrance after last year’s convention. Bob Panowicz, a member of nearby St. Martin University Council 1636, tapped his jewelry company to clean, repair and strengthen the antique.

“What a great piece of history,” said Mahoney. “[The restoration] was a wonderful expression of faith that honored our Lord in a special way.”



St. Ann Parish in Ridgecrest, California, held perpetual Eucharistic adoration for nearly 25 years, until the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to the devotion streak in 2020. Now the parish’s e orts to revive its 24/7 adoration chapel have received a boost from Father John Crowley Council 3199.

e council used proceeds from the sale of its hall to provide more than $9,000 for the renovation of the chapel, along with manpower to assist with the work.

“ e Eucharistic Revival really sparked the desire to make the chapel a more ing place for adoration,” said Past Grand Knight Mark Nazeck. “ e 20-plus years since the chapel was last redecorated were really starting to show.”

Located in the Mojave Desert near Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the council includes many members who served in the Navy or work at the Navy facility. e Catholic community there, Our Lady of the Desert, worshiped in temporary locations on the base a er their chapel building was destroyed in an earthquake in 2019. It o cially united with St. Ann Parish in 2022.

“Part of our adoration chapel remodel was to incorporate religious items salvaged from the destroyed base chapel,” noted Nazeck, a Navy veteran. “In this way, it served as a visible a sign of the uni cation of the two congregations.”

A cruci x, a statue of Mary holding the Child Jesus and a statue of St. Joseph that were once used in the base chapel now adorn the renovated adoration chapel. In addition, wood from a pew at the former base chapel was used to make the tabernacle altar.

“Many of our brother Knights, myself included, are active adorers, and this new space is welcoming, bright and comfortable,” said Grand Knight Sean Patrick. “ e refurbished chapel allows adoration participants and visitors to have a place of reverence and solitude, a quiet retreat for prayer and re ection. We couldn’t be more pleased with how this remodel turned out.”

Father Santiago Iriarte, St. Ann’s pastor and the council’s chaplain, rededicated the chapel on Divine Mercy Sunday.

“After COVID, it took some time, but our parish community is growing, there is more unity,” said Father Iriarte. “God is one, so we’re trying to reflect that — bringing the two communities together in the chapel, because it is Eucharistic.”


In March 2023, Larry Koerner, Nebraska state faith director and a member of Victor Vifquain Council 7704 in Crete, Nebraska, approached his pastor, Father Christopher Stoley,

Father Santiago Iriarte, pastor of St. Ann Parish in Ridgefield, Calif., carries the Eucharist following Benediction at the parish’s Blessed Sacrament chapel May 9. The chapel was recently renovated with financial support from Father John Crowley Council 3199, for which Father Iriarte serves as chaplain.


with a request: Could the council present a display about Eucharistic miracles at Sacred Heart Parish?

Father Stoley, whose parish is 80% Hispanic, had one question: “Does it exist in Spanish?”

He continued: “Because if it doesn’t, you need to get me PDFs of the English so I can translate it into Spanish.”

Koerner readily agreed, and the council soon produced Spanish-language copies of the display, titled Eucharistic Miracles of the World, based on the research of Blessed Carlo Acutis. e Italian teenager created an online catalog of Eucharistic miracles before his death at age 15 of leukemia in 2006; he was beati ed in 2020.

The Knights set up dozens of panels in both English and Spanish in the church hall March 1-7. More than 300 people visited.

“ ere was never a time when we didn’t have people there,” Father Stoley said. “As they went around, they were like, ‘Wow, this is interesting!’ ey were mind-blown by it. … To see their awestruck wonder was very cool.”

Neighboring parishes later requested permission to use the bilingual exhibit. e panels were also displayed at the state convention in April, and Sacred Heart Parish prepared to show the exhibit again for the feast of Corpus Christi.

Other councils across the country have hosted Eucharistic Miracles of the World exhibits as well. In 2022, Michigan Technological University Council 17237 in Houghton displayed Blessed Carlo’s Eucharistic exhibit on campus, which generated keen interest among students. Holy Spirit Council 4648 in Brook eld, Wisconsin, organized an exhibit that included 40 hours of Eucharistic adoration and a rstclass relic of Blessed Carlo. Berkeley (Calif.) Council 1499 set up a large Eucharistic Miracles exhibit at the Diocese of Oakland’s Eucharistic Revival Congress at the Cathedral of Christ the Light last September.

“When people read about these miracles, it has a way of making a person stop and say, ‘Hey, the Eucharist is real,’” Koerner said.

e exhibit also reminds people that a miracle occurs every time a priest consecrates bread and wine, which becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ.

“We don’t know when the next Eucharistic miracle is going to happen,” Koerner said. “Even so, every Mass is a miraculous event in itself.” ✢

NATHAN WHALEN is a freelance journalist based in the Greater Seattle area and a member of Everett (Wash.) Council 763.

JUNE 2024 ✢ COLUMBIA 19 OPPOSITE PAGE: Photo by Christine Bartolucci — TOP: Photo by Kenneth Ferriera
Larry Koerner, state faith director and a member of Victor Vifquain Council 7704 in Crete, Neb., shows young parishioners one of the Eucharistic miracles detailed in a bilingual exhibit at Sacred Heart Parish in Crete.


From Zoomers to Boomers and beyond, Knights answer the call to serve as council o cers

Knights of Columbus young and old — and those in between — are encouraged to step up to leadership positions in their councils and jurisdictions, strengthening the Order with their di erent skills and perspectives. With Christ as the model, age is less of a criterion for K of C leadership than a spirit of sacri cial service: Jesus told the Apostles at the Last Supper, “Let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant” (Lk 22:26). Here, Knights representing several di erent generations share their experience of taking on leadership roles and responsibilities, navigating challenges and growing in faith and charity.

Nicholas Gartonzavesky , 27, joined the Knights in 2019 and, beginning in 2021, served two years as grand knight of Mater Misericordiae Council 15576 in Phoenix. Married and the father of three young children, he teaches math and science at St. Mary’s Catholic High School.

Foundation of Faith: My mom is a cradle Catholic, and my dad is a convert who has taught at a number of Catholic schools all over the country. I’m the oldest of ve boys, and all ve of us remain close to the Lord and his Church. We’ve run with the faith instilled by our parents and made it our own. I met my lovely wife,

Spirit Juice Studios
Photos by Roy
Photo by
Mark Anthony Lodrigito, executive secretary to the Luzon North State Council, speaks during the jurisdiction’s evangelization and discipleship training in Manila on May 11.

Mariah, while studying at omas Aquinas College in California, and we got married in the summer of 2019.

Sharing Time & Talent: I joined the Knights for two reasons. First, my father is a Knight, and I remember helping him with Operation L.A.M.B. when I was 5 years old. I wanted to be like him, and I saw the good that being a Knight did for him. Second, we were raised to help the Church with our time, talent and treasure, and we didn’t have much treasure growing up, so I learned to donate time and talent however I can. I didn’t seek to become a leader, but the need was there.

Difference Makers: I’m proud of the role our council has had in helping our parish transition to a larger church building in the last few years. Our members have helped with installing ooring and pews; they serve as ushers, porters and choir members. e best way to engage other men, I believe, is simply to be a man of Christ and be present to those around you. Your prayers and example will lead other men to join!

Courage & Communion: In this day and age, apathy and isolation are among the biggest challenges men face. In response, courageous men need to be leaven, to li up their parish community by their prayers and actions. It is a great sign of hope to me to see young families and especially young fathers living their faith. Nothing could be of greater importance than a strong domestic church.

Looking Forward: We stand on the shoulders of saints. Millions of other Catholic gentlemen have held true to the Catholic faith and the Order’s timeless principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. It is never easy to witness to the truth, but Christ never said it would be easy. He promised we would have victory if we are steadfast and hand on the gi of faith we have received.

Mark Anthony Lodrigito , 36, works in human resources at Bulacan State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in governance and innovative leadership from the University of the Philippines Diliman. A past grand knight and former district deputy and state warden, he currently serves as executive secretary to the Luzon North State Council in Manila.

Family Reinforcement: My mother raised me and my two stepsiblings by herself, and thanks to my extended family I grew up involved in parish life. ey would take me to Sunday Mass and traditional practices such as the reading of the Passion of Christ, or Pabasa, during Lent and the Journey to the Inn, or Panuluyan, during Christmas.


Called to Serve: I became a Columbian Squire when I was 15 years old. Having grown up without the presence of a biological father, it was a joy for me to be part of an organization where I found many father gures. I became a Knight at 18, and since that time I have taken on various leadership roles within the Order. I am driven by a desire to bring Catholic men closer to Christ.

New Horizons: In 2018, the Luzon North State Council asked me to travel to the northernmost islands of the Philippines, in the province of Batanes. With the help of Father Ronaldo Manabat, we established three new councils, the first in the region. As state program director during the COVID-19 pandemic, I initiated Faith in Action Talks to connect with Knights despite the lockdowns. Now, I’m honored to help our councils implement Cor and other evangelization and faith formation initiatives.

Challenges & Opportunities: One signi cant challenge has been the lack of nancial resources to meet various needs, such as helping families in our community — including those of members — who were a ected by a typhoon and severe ooding. ere have also been challenges to being a young leader: When I was still a new council o cer in my early 20s, I felt hesitation from my fellow brothers in listening to me because I was young. Over time, though, I gradually felt their respect.

First in Faith: e Knights of Columbus is adapting to meet the evolving needs of its members and the communities it serves. Beyond embracing modern technology and media to facilitate member engagement and activities, the most signi cant adaptation the Order has made is a paradigm shi in our programs. We are not merely a charitable organization focused on serving the Church, family and community, but a brotherhood concentrated on strengthening our relationship with Christ, which itself inspires acts of service. I am excited to see our Order become “ rst in faith, as in charity.”

Samuel Llanas , 49, is a charter member and grand knight of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Council 17501 in Charlotte, North Carolina. A married father of three daughters, he runs a residential construction and remodeling company in Charlotte.

Taking Responsibility: I grew in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and my parents took us to church and catechism every Sunday. But as an adult, I only a ended Mass from time to time. When my rst daughter was born, however, I started to understand what a big responsibility fatherhood is, and that the best way to teach my children is by example. It was then that I began to walk again with the Church, and my faith has been strengthened li le by li le in the last 18 years.

Men of Action: I rst heard of the Knights at a retreat I a ended in 2017, where they showed us a video about the Order. When I learned about its history of service as “the strong right arm of the church,” how could I not be part of something so important? I went to my pastor, and a er two years of work, Council 17501 was established. e Faith in Action programs especially impress me because they adapt to any need and place; our church is a young community, and these programs have been a success. Knights of Columbus insurance also gives me peace of mind that my family is protected if something happens to me.

by Faith Montoya


A Living Faith: e phrase “Faith in Action” summarizes everything we do. As I tell my brother Knights, we have so many opportunities to serve our neighbors and at the same time exercise our faith. St. James said that “faith without works is dead” (Jas 2:26). Our council has a great faith that cannot be hidden. We a end to the needs of the community, and our support for a Knight whose home burned down was recognized at last year’s Supreme Convention as one of the International Family Programs of the Year.

Overcoming Obstacles: ings that are worthwhile have a cost, and there have been challenges since the council was established, such as language barriers and lack of organization. I’m learning to become a more responsible leader

Joseph Internicola , 62, is married with ve children and works in the painting and decorating industry. He joined the Knights in 1993 and, for more than two decades, has held various o cer positions for St. Rose of Lima Council 13244 in Toronto. He currently serves as grand knight.

Back to the Church: I was born in Canada to an Italian immigrant family that was nominally Catholic but didn’t live out the faith. I reverted to Catholicism at age 29, inspired by the witness of a wonderful deacon, the ponti cate of St. John Paul II and EWTN. I’ve since been blessed to have many wonderful priests, religious and friends foster my faith along the way.

Welcomed by Brothers: I was intrigued by the Order — its storied history and its legacy of charity. Newly married, my wife and I had a baby and no life insurance, which also made joining the Knights a ractive. I love the fraternal

as modeled by the district and state leaders who have always supported us.

e Founding Vision: Our council is almost entirely made up of Hispanic immigrants like me. It is a clear example of Blessed Michael McGivney’s vision, still so alive a er 142 years: to protect Catholic families, especially immigrants, and to work to build a be er future, just as our predecessors did. Now it is our turn to put our faith in action.

aspect, as well as the shared mission to serve the Church and community. It is Christian stewardship in action. e Knights I’ve met along the way since joining have always encouraged me to take on more responsibility.

Proud to Be a Knight: I believe in leading by example. Volunteering to help whenever I am able — even if I’m busy with work and family — helps set an example for others. I’ve always encouraged our members to think of any encounter with a Catholic man as a recruitment opportunity. Sometimes, men just need to be invited to join — and they o en will. I love seeing the smiling faces of new members who say they’re proud to be Knights.

Walking with Men: I think the biggest challenge is keeping members active, engaged and motivated. People lead busier lives, and time is precious. We always tell our members that whatever way they can do to help out — no ma er how li le — is always appreciated. God and family come rst. e Cor initiative will certainly help foster the spiritual life of the Order, and this is heartening to see.

Passing the Torch: The Order is making use of new technology and media to communicate our message to more Catholic men, and we have made it easier for men to join the Knights through e-membership and the online exemplification. At the same time, we remain committed to our Catholic faith and our founding principles, which drive us to help each other and serve our communities. It is inspiring to know that we walk the same path as so many brother Knights who have passed the torch to us to continue the mission set forth by Blessed Michael McGivney. ✢

Photo by Nadia Molinari

I Want to Give Back

One evening in the fall of 1985, Leo and Elsie Chisholm were driving back to their home in Iowa when they spo ed a car in ditch, a woman pinned inside. Leo rushed down and helped the woman out of the car and up the embankment. Just moments later the car exploded.

“You do these things without even thinking,” Leo later said. “You can’t stand there; you’ve just got to do it.”

The rescue earned Leo Chisholm an award for valor from Iowa’s governor. Countless, somewhat less dramatic, acts of charity have marked his long life as a husband, father and Knight of Columbus. The 93-year-old district deputy, a past grand knight of Sacred Heart Council 4308 in Osage, recently reflected on his service to the Order and his community in an interview for the K of C video series Everyday Heroes , from which the following account is adapted.

Igrew up on a 320-acre farm west of Osage, Iowa, the fourth of eight children. We had a strict religious upbringing: Mass every Sunday, holy days, abide by all the rules of the Church. And the way Dad and Mom raised us back then, when somebody had problems or needed help, your family went over and did something.

I was 12 when my dad died at age 42, and my mom was pregnant at the time. For the next six years I helped support my family working in a poultry processing plant. I joined the Navy in 1948 at age 18, and was stationed at Pearl Harbor and later in California. Two years later I was discharged and met my future wife, Elsie, at a basketball game in Mason City, Iowa. A er the game, they had a dance at my parish, Holy Family. We were married four years later at St. Joseph Church in Mason City on Aug. 16, 1954.


I never completed high school, but eventually went to night school and junior college. en, in 1960, I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in mortuary science and ran my own funeral home in Iowa for 13 years. I loved that work because it involved showing compassion to people. I also ran an ambulance service and a furniture store.

It was also in 1960 that I joined Sacred Heart Council 4308 in Osage. Grand Knight Al Alexander explained to me what the Order was all about, and I thought, “Hey, this is an organization I’d like to belong to.” I eventually served as grand knight in the late 1970s, and as district deputy in the early 1980s.

One of Osage’s most successful charitable initiatives began on anksgiving Day in 1983. No restaurants, grocery stores or anything were open in town. I went by the old Bloxham Hotel, and there were ve or six guys standing out in front. And I thought, “What are these guys going to eat? Where are they going to eat?” I was overwhelmed by the awful loneliness I saw on those men’s faces, the loneliness that I knew must be lurking behind many closed doors. I came home and I told Elsie, and she said, “Don’t tell me what you’re going to do — please, I know what’s going to happen.” And she was right.

Beginning in 1984, for 13 years, we hosted a free anksgiving dinner at the Knights of Columbus hall for those who would be alone on that day, such as widows and widowers. With the help of the other churches in the community, we served 250-300 people a lot of times. I had all my kids involved


Photo Spirit Juice Studios
“My advice to a young Knight is this: Volunteer. Get involved. Don’t sit back and wait for somebody else. And be honest, sincere and compassionate. It’s just a matter of showing a little love in this world.”

and they learned a li le lesson in giving to the world. We were recognized in Columbia for our work.

en, in 1985, I wanted to nd out what people in Mitchell County who had applied for food stamps did for food while they waited for the stamps. It turns out they had to wait about six weeks. So I thought we ought to get together and buy some food, and if somebody needed it, we’d give it to them.

We got 15 people — one person from every town and from every church — to make up the board of directors of the Mitchell County Food Bank. I served as the executive director for 35 years, and during that time we gave over 1.25 million meals to those in need in Mitchell County.

In the early 2000s, I became very involved with the American Cancer Society. Only a few years later, in 2004, I was diagnosed with melanoma on my neck, a deadly one, which was moving toward my voice box.

As I was lying in that hospital bed, I promised God that if he didn’t take my voice box, I’d become a spokesman for the Cancer Society. I should have said once every two months or something — not every day, like I have been doing 20 years now! But in that time, I served six years on the Society’s leadership and advisory council for the state of Iowa and the Midwest region, and I’ve raised over a million dollars through Relay for Life and other fundraisers.


I never have a bad day. Some days might be a li le be er, but never a truly bad one. But you have to set your mind to it. And you can’t get through life without prayer. I say two rosaries every morning. And, every night, if you don’t thank God for what he gave you, then, boy, don’t go to bed. You’ve got to thank him every day. And when you get up in the morning, say, “ ank you,” for living through the night, and, “OK, what can I do today, now, to help somebody?”

at’s my mission: I want to help somebody. I’ve been given so much; why wouldn’t you give back? My advice to a young Knight is this: Volunteer. Get involved. Don’t sit back and wait for somebody else. And be honest, sincere and compassionate. It’s just a ma er of showing a li le love in this world.

I like to say you can either be a duck or an eagle. Do you want to be a duck and just sit in that water all day and paddle and squawk and not do anything? You’re not going to get far. I would prefer to be an eagle — take o , y high, see the beauty of this world.

And I like to stay active. It’s good for the mind, the heart and the body. I’ve been fortunate. I don’t feel like I’m in my 90s. I feel like I’m about 65 or 70. I really do. Last year at the Mayo Clinic, where I go for checkups, a nurse came out and said, “Are you Leo Chisholm?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “I was looking for an old man in a wheelchair. Are you 92?” I replied, “Yes, I am.” She said, “I can’t believe it.”

I’ve been a Knight now for 60-something years. I’ve recruited nearly 150 members for the Knights of Columbus over the years, and I started ve new councils. I was named top district deputy in Iowa in 1981, and again this fraternal year. I was inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Iowa Knights of Columbus Hall of Fame in 2021.

My greatest accomplishment, though, was being married to my wife for over 67 years. She was my partner; we did everything together. Because of her I’m here today. I loved her dearly. And we have a wonderful family — three children, six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. I cannot complain about anything. I have been blessed with a wonderful life, and I just want to keep giving back. ✢

JUNE 2024 ✢ COLUMBIA 25 Photo courtesy of Leo Chisholm
Above: Iowa State Deputy John McGee presents Leo Chisholm with the District Deputy of the Year Award at the state convention April 13. • Opposite page: Chisholm, a Knight since 1960, sits at his home in Osage, Iowa.

Knights and family members from throughout Mexico, including state deputies from four of the country’s five jurisdictions, gather after the annual K of C pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Christ the King in Guanajuato, seen atop Cubilete Hill. Father Esteban Martínez, associate state chaplain of Mexico Northeast, celebrated Mass in front of the sanctuary’s hermitage, which was bombed by the Mexican government in 1928, during a period of anti-Catholic persecution. After the liturgy, all in attendance made an act of consecration to St. Joseph.


William J. Sheady Council 1507, Msgr. Walter Hawkins Council 10631 and St. George Council 16183, all in Guelph, Ontario, organized a gala celebrating the service of Cardinal omas Collins, who was born and raised in Guelph. Cardinal Collins served as the archbishop of Toronto from 2007 until he retired in 2023. Proceeds from the gala totaling CA$8,000 bene ted several local charities, including Food4Kids Guelph, Michael House Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services, and Sanctuary Outreach.


For six years, the Finger Lakes Chapter in Rochester, N.Y., has sponsored a program at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry that allows people around the world to audit one of the school’s summer classes — either in person or online — for free. The chapter’s councils and assemblies contribute $5,000 toward the program each year. Last summer, nearly 600 people enrolled.


To foster Marian devotion and grow together in faith, the members of Watertown (Wis.) Council 1478 began praying the rosary before their meetings in April 2022. Since then, council leaders report, the new devotion has coincided with meeting a endance tripling.


Fourth Degree Knights from Joseph Gerke Assembly 3080 in Harrisonville, Mo., provided an honor guard for a Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church to celebrate the church’s patroness. A er the liturgy, the honor guard accompanied a Marian procession for children in the parish’s religious education program.


Bishop Kenny Council 1951 in Jacksonville, Fla., raised $2,500 for seminarians from the Diocese of St. Augustine with a soup dinner at Assumption Catholic Church. An additional $500 was donated by the Supreme Council through the Refund Support Vocations Program.





Ninety men from throughout the Diocese of Laredo, Texas, a ended a retreat organized by San Martin de Porres Council 9626 at San Francisco Javier Church in Laredo. e retreat emphasized discipleship and evangelization and incorporated several K of C resources, including Into the Breach, an apostolic exhortation for Catholic men.

Samuel Onyewuchi (left), a member of Father Abram J. Ryan Assembly 1087 in Dallas, and his wife, Reshunna, present a chalice to Father Cosmos Edochie at his parish, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Orji, Nigeria. The Onyewuchis delivered the chalice — donated by the assembly in honor of deceased member Eric Prasse — during a visit to southern Nigeria earlier this year.

TOP: Photo by Jesus Fuentes


Squires from Meycauayan (Luzon North) Bulacan Circle 3767 present an electric fan to Christopher Conahap, head of Barangay Bayugo Elementary School and a member of St. Francis of Assisi Council 3941, which sponsors the circle. The Squires donated the fan to the school after a recent heat wave. They also conducted a community outreach program at St. Francis of Assisi Church, handing out snacks and rosaries to their peers.


Members of General de Lafaye e Assembly 249 in Lafaye e, Ind., prepared meals for the more than 170 people who a ended a fundraising event hosted by the Haiti Ministry at St. Mary Cathedral. e dinner and concert raised more than $13,000, which will provide more than 17,000 lunches for students at two Haitian parochial schools in areas known for gang violence.


St. Columbkille-David J. Ochs Council 15813 in Dubuque, Iowa, held a breakfast to bene t a family at St. Columbkille School whose daughter has leukemia. More than 500 people a ended the event, raising $17,000 to o set the family’s medical and travel costs.


St. Cleophas Council 15756 in Barre, Mass., donated $6,000, proceeds from the council’s charity golf tournament, to the Barre Food Pantry. Since 2017, the annual tournament has raised more than $83,000 for three local food pantries.


Nearly 100 men from St. Michael Catholic Church in Independence, Ohio, and several other local parishes a ended the 2024 Men’s Breakfast and Speaker event hosted by Lafaye e Council 3970 on Palm Sunday. Dr. Ray Guarendi, a Catholic psychologist, author and Knight from North Canton, Ohio, spoke to a endees about being a

strong father and grandfather in today’s culture. Some of the event’s proceeds will be donated to support seminarians from the Diocese of Cleveland.


Dannemora (N.Y.) Council 2166 recently held a spaghe i dinner and silent auction fundraiser to bene t a family from the Church of the Assumption in Redford. e event raised more than $5,000 to help pay funeral costs for a member of the family who had died.


Members of Dysart (Saskatchewan) Council 5557 constructed a memorial gazebo at the village’s Knights of Columbus Park to honor Broden Dancsok, a community member who died in a tragic accident at the age of 18in 2020. A er Dancsok’s death, his family held a dinner in his memory to raise funds for several community organizations, including the Knights. Council 5557 voted to use the funds received by the council to build the gazebo.

Jonathan Damur, a member of Archbishop MacDonald Council 6083 in Sherwood Park, Alberta, helps his son, Gabriel, seal a box during Sherwood Park Against Hunger, a food-packing event at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish. The council has partnered with local organizations to sponsor the event five times since 2020. This year, nearly CA$30,000 was raised to purchase food, and nearly 200 volunteers packaged about 100,000 meals for distribution to families in need, both locally and around the world, through the Emmanuel Foundation.

BELOW: Photo by Jason

District Master Craig Harrell (left) leads Knights from three Mississippi assemblies in presenting the colors before a game at Trustmark Park in Pearl, home of the Mississippi Braves minor league baseball team. Local Knights have sponsored Catholic Night at the Park for more than 15 years.


e St. Vincent de Paul Society District Council serving Naples, Fla., asked St. John Council 11281 for help when a local resident with physical disabilities was threatened with eviction by his homeowners association due to several code violations. e Knights held a work day to repair the man’s concrete walkway and a broken awning, and also removed more than 80 large bags of yard debris from the property.


Knights from Visayas, including Visayas Deputy Odelon Mabutin and Supreme Director Rene Sarmiento, participated in anti-human-tra cking training organized by the Visayas State Council and the Arise Foundation at the Department of Education Ecotech Center in Cebu City.


Before Deputy Grand Knight Steve Busam of Sacred Heart Council 13476 in Marengo, Ill., and his wife, Bobbi, traveled to Hawaii for their 50th wedding anniversary, they decided to raise funds to support wild re relief e orts

on Maui. Steve personally delivered a donation of $6,000, including $1,000 from Council 13476, to Grand Knight Lorenzo Magana of Maria Lanakila Council 15774 in Lahaina.


St. ecla Council 12403 in Clinton Township, Mich., worked with the Christian Service Commission at St. ecla Catholic Church to sponsor a breakfast that raised more than $500 to support the Good Shepherd Coalition in Fraser. e organization provides food and nancial assistance to people in need throughout Macomb County.


Bishop Hickey Council 3623 in Riverside, R.I., recently donated $400 to Father Jude Kasaija of the Diocese of Fort Portal, Uganda, to support a youth soccer team organized by the priest. Father Kasaija, who joined the council during a visit to the United States a few years ago, is now pastor of Christ the King Parish in Fort Portal, and Council 3623 regularly sends funds to support his parish and community, including $800 to help install new wells.


Mark Hanson, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Council 9270 in Riverview, New Brunswick, and an avid fisherman, displays some of the custom brooches and lapel pins he makes out of fishing flies to raise money for the council’s charitable donations. Since 2011, Hanson who also sells regular fishing flies, has raised more than CA$36,000, which the council has given to local organizations like the Albert County Food Bank, Harvest House Atlantic and Crossroads for Women.


Archbishop Fitzmaurice Assembly 148 in Wilmington, Del., donated 2,000 co ee cups, lids and hot sleeves, and two large containers of co ee creamer to the Wilmington VA Medical Center. e assembly routinely replenishes the lounge where veterans can get free co ee while they wait for their medical appointments.




Queen of the Apostles Council 11076 in Belmont, N.C., has supported Shining Hope Farms, which provides equestrian therapy to people with disabilities and veterans with PTSD, for several years. In addition to donating $7,500 to the organization, Knights frequently help with Shining Hope’s construction needs, building wooden hay mangers, fencing for several elds and ramps to assist riders in mounting their horses.

Knights from Mary, Queen of the Apostles Council 9877 in Parañaque, Luzon South, watch as Father Natie Lobi, assistant parish priest of Mary, Queen of the Apostles Parish and a member of the council, blesses the council’s memorial for unborn children. Council 9877 organizes a prayer service each year at the memorial to pray for children lost to abortion.

Knights and family members from several California councils participate in a plane pull benefiting Special Olympics Southern California. The event at Long Beach Airport, in which teams competed to pull a Boeing 757 aircraft weighing over 130,000 pounds, raised more than $270,000.


Members of several councils in the Diocese of Calbayog, Visayas, participated in a Walk for Life in Calbayog City sponsored by the Visayas State Council. About 1,000 people, including Visayas Deputy Odelon Mabutin and Knights representing 20 councils, joined the pro-life demonstration and a ended a Mass celebrated by Bishop Isabelo Abarquez, the state council’s chaplain.


Don Bosco Council 7784 in Newton, N.J., raised nearly $7,000, which was matched by the New Jersey State Council, to purchase a new ultrasound machine for Today’s Choice Women’s Center. e Supreme Council added $13,900 toward the purchase through the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative.


Church of the Good Shepherd Council 13161 in Cumming, Ga., funded a pro-life message on a local billboard throughout the month of January; the electronic display was shown every ve minutes and delivered nearly 54,000 impressions during the month.


Since 2015, St. Edward Council 15538 in Sea le has raised more than $70,000 to purchase 11 ultrasound machines for pregnancy resource centers. e machines have been given to nine centers in Washington, as well as one in California and one in Idaho.


Led by Monticello (Minn.) Council 6825, several Minnesota councils worked together to sponsor a charity golf tournament that raised $17,450 toward the purchase of a new ultrasound machine for Options for Women/Cornerstone in St. Michael, the only pregnancy resource center in Wright County. e Supreme Council matched the funds, and Auxiliary Bishop Michael Izen of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis blessed the machine, the 50th donated by Minnesota Knights through the Ultrasound Initiative.

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TOP: Photo by Drew Kelley


Parishioners of Chofu Catholic Church in a pro-life march in Chofu, Japan. District Deputy David Heiny (wearing green cap) of the Military Overseas District in Japan provided K of C “Love Life, Choose Life” signs for marchers to carry.

Faithful Navigator Lawrie Caron (back row, center) and other members of Captain Miles MacDonell Assembly 370 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, gather with students from St. John Brebeuf School on Feb. 15, the anniversary of the day Canada inaugurated its maple leaf flag in 1965. The assembly celebrated Flag Day by donating some 350 miniature flags to the school.

Grand Knight Jean-Baptiste Doat of St. Jeanne d’Arc Council 17198 in Domremy-La-Pucelle holds his daughter up to view the tomb of St. Thérèse in the Chapelle de la Chasse at the Basilica of St. Thérèse in Lisieux. Several Knights attending the jurisdiction’s convention in Normandy visited the basilica to venerate the Little Flower’s remains.

BOTTOM: Photo by François-Régis Salefran FRANCE CANADA


Knights from Blessed Primate Stefan Wyszyński Council 17938 in Lublin deliver supplies for The Little Prince’s House, a local children’s hospice. Council funds were used to purchase the goods, which included nonperishable food, hygiene items and games.

Antonio Basada of Santa Maria Council 4526 in Eastern Samar, Visayas, cuts the hair of children from Sohutan neighborhood during a Serbisyo Paghigugma (Service for Love) Caravan sponsored by the council. In addition to giving free haircuts, Knights and family members provided food and dental care kits to nearly 60 children in the community.

Above: Rienzi Orellana, financial secretary of San Jose Denver Council 17980, paints a baseboard in the parish hall of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Denver during a council service day. At the request of Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodríguez, their pastor and council chaplain, the Knights took care of several painting projects and other jobs around the church.

Left: Members of Generalissimo Agustín de Iturbide Assembly 422 in Aguascalientes, Mexico West, gather by a statue of St. Felipe de Jesús after Mass at San Felipe de Jesús Parish. The Knights provided an honor guard for the Feb. 5 Mass, which honored the parish’s patron — the first Mexican saint — on his feast day.

JUNE 2024 ✢ COLUMBIA 31 BOTTOM RIGHT: Photo by Rachel Woolf

‘This Project Can Help Save Souls’

Knights in Wisconsin build new confessionals for their parish

ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC Church in Baraboo, Wisconsin, hasn’t had confessionals since the early 1990s, when they were removed during renovations and never replaced. For more than 30 years, the sacrament of reconciliation has been held in makeshift “confessionals” that afford little privacy, usually in a small library in the back of the church.

Father Paul Arinze, parochial administrator of the Diocese of Madison pastorate to which St. Joseph belongs, has encouraged frequent confession among parishioners. So he didn’t hesitate when members of Msgr. O’Reilly Council 746 in Baraboo asked him last December how they could support him and the church.

“He just said, ‘Confessionals,’” recalled Grand Knight Bob Kappel. “A er that, it was amazing to see the Knights move ahead so quickly on the project.”

Within a few months, the Knights had transformed an alcove in the church narthex into a beautiful and private place for parishioners to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. Council members and their families did almost all the work, from designing the stalls to building the kneelers.

The Knights began with professional plans drawn up by council member Bill Ryan, CEO of a local architectural firm. Past Grand Knight Bryan

Thompson, an expert carpenter, led the construction process and built furniture for the confessionals, including kneelers, side tables and wall trim. Several Knights’ wives helped with painting and staining.

“We had the skills and capabilities to do the work, so we saved the parish quite a bit of money,” Thompson said. “I lined up people to help and kept the movement going.”

Construction on the two confessionals was completed on Good Friday, March 29, and they opened for use in mid-May, once the occupancy lights and furniture had been installed.

“Thanks to [the Knights’] donation and skills, we now have these beautiful confessionals at St. Joe’s,” said Father Arinze. “It was truly a Knights’ affair, and we are grateful to the council for bringing this dream to reality.”

Kappel hopes the privacy and approachability of the confessionals will bring people who have been avoiding confession back to the sacrament.

“This project can help save souls,” he said. “[The confessionals] will hopefully be more welcoming to people who haven’t been in a long time. To me, that’s the most important part.” ✢

— Cecilia Engbert is a content producer for the Knights of Columbus communications department.

Join the Father McGivney

Pat Kash and Deputy Grand Knight Pat Finnegan, members of Msgr. O’Reilly Council 746 in Baraboo, Wis., work on the confessionals in St. Joseph Catholic Church. 1-833-695-4872


To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7 ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-9982. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS.



LEFT: Photo by Matthew Barrick
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Complete this coupon and mail to: The Father McGivney Guild, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or

Knights of Charity

Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a di erence — 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 be er world.

Michael Lannon, family director for Rutland (Vt.) Council 232, gives a bag containing water, snacks and personal items to Dan Garcia, who has been homeless for the past few years. Twice a year, Council 232 prepares care packages for Knights to store in their cars and o er whenever they encounter someone who is experiencing homelessness. The rate of homelessness in Vermont has increased significantly since 2020 and is now the second highest among U.S. states.

To be featured here, send your council’s “Knights in Action” photo as well as its description to: Columbia, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or e-mail: KNIGHTS OF CHARITY
Photo by Cindy Schultz
‘I longed to be with Jesus.’

I grew up in Kerala, India, where my Syro-Malabar Catholic family planted faith in my heart at a young age. Ever since I can remember, we prioritized family prayer and the rosary, as well as going to daily Mass and weekly charismatic prayer meetings. My faith continued to grow a er my family moved to Houston, and later when I went to college.

It was during a silent retreat in college that I received my call from Jesus to become his bride. at night changed everything — every plan, every dream I had for myself. I no longer wanted to belong to the world; I longed to be with him who gave peace and joy to my heart.

A er a few years of discernment, I came to know the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and was a racted to the community’s charisms of prayer, praise and evangelization, and its love for the cross. By taking up my cross daily, as Jesus says (Mt 16:24), I truly become his disciple. To anyone discerning their vocation, my advice is to give your whole life to Jesus. He is worth it all.

Sister Paula Marie Babu

the Lord Jesus Christ Prayer Town, Texas

Photo by Trace Thomas


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