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F E AT U R E S
Ancient Splendor Renewed
The Knights of Columbus helps to restore the oldest wooden crucifix in St. Peter’s Basilica. BY COLUMBIA STAFF
12 ‘On the Edge Between Life and Death’ Congressman Chris Smith’s mission to Iraq and new emergency relief legislation offer hope to persecuted Christians. BY DOREEN ABI RAAD
16 Our Fathers in Faith St. Joseph and Father Michael J. McGivney teach us how to be faithful protectors and humble men of God. BY DOMINICAN FATHER PETER JOHN CAMERON
20 A Call to Spiritual Arms Knights Orderwide are rediscovering the source of masculine strength in faith, prayer and sacramental life. BY ED LANGLOIS
This revered 14th-century crucifix, one of the few remaining items preserved from the original St. Peter’s Basilica, was recently restored with support from the Knights of Columbus.
D E PA RT M E N T S
Photo by Mallio Falcioni, courtesy of the Fabbrica di San Pietro
Building a better world The courageous witness of 17th-century martyrs inspires us to pray for persecuted Christians today. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON
Learning the faith, living the faith As Christians in the world, we must replace divisiveness and snark with charity and civility.
Knights of Columbus News
26 Knights in Action
Historic March for Life Underscores Pro-Life Consensus, Momentum
19 Fathers for Good In raising healthy and happy children, parents must make digital downtime a family priority. BY JASON GODIN
BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI
PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month
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E D I TO R I A L
AFTER POPE JOHN PAUL II published Mulieris Dignitatem, an apostolic letter on the dignity and vocation of women, Aug. 15, 1988, many wondered if there would be a similar letter about the vocation of men. Exactly one year later, John Paul II published Redemptoris Custos, his apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph. Although it was not a document about men per se, readers needed to look no further than St. Joseph for a model of authentic masculinity. His example of courage, humility and hard work, lived through his vocation as protector of Mary and Jesus, has much to teach men today. In the introduction of Redemptoris Custos, John Paul II masterfully summarized St. Joseph’s heavenly mission with these words: “Just as St. Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, that is, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model.” Unpacking this statement can provide insight not only into St. Joseph but the vocation of all men. Consider first Joseph’s dedication as a husband and father. As head of the Holy Family, he is not a dominant ruler but a loving and humble servant. St. Paul exhorts: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church and handed himself over for her” (Eph 5:25). Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix reflects on this call to spousal love in Into the Breach, his apostolic exhortation to Catholic men. “Every man is made to live as a husband and a father in some way,” Bishop Olmsted writes. “Each man is
called to commit and give of himself completely.” This is embodied in a particular way in the vocation of holy orders, which also reflects St. Joseph’s mission as patron of the universal Church. Finally, the last part of the quote from Redemptoris Custos recognizes Mary as the icon of the Church herself, which includes women and men alike. In the end, a true renewal of “masculine” spirituality depends upon a recovery of the Church’s “feminine” and interior dimension, exemplified in Mary’s unreserved “Yes” to God’s call. We may observe, for instance, that the “manly” sacrifice of the 17th-century Jesuit missionaries martyred in North America and Japan was essentially a fruit of their receptivity to God. After the Last Supper, Jesus told his Apostles, “Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). Only then does he challenge them to sacrificial love: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). Practically speaking, the renewal of men’s spirituality and the continued work of the Knights of Columbus require that Catholic men become true contemplatives in action. As Knights, we will always be called to respond to the needs of our families, communities and the Church. But if we want our work and that of our councils to bear fruit, we must ground our actions in prayer and spiritual formation, always seeking to deepen our faith in Christ.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR
Catholic Information Center Resource: Into the Breach Into the Breach: An Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men (#340) by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix provides concrete answers to key questions: What does it mean to be a Catholic man? How does a Catholic man love? Why is fatherhood so crucial for every man? Published as part of the Veritas Series of the Order’s Catholic Information Service, this booklet includes a study guide and discussion questions. To download or order copies, visit kofc.org/cis. 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
V VERI TAS
PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus ________ SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN Patrick E. Kelly DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT Michael J. O’Connor SUPREME SECRETARY Ronald F. Schwarz SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski EDITOR Andrew J. Matt MANAGING EDITOR Anna M. Bninski ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. ________ HOW TO REACH US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 ADDRESS CHANGES 203-752-4210, option #3 email@example.com PRAYER CARDS & SUPPLIES 203-752-4214 COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 K OF C CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org INTERNET kofc.org/columbia ________ Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved ________ AN APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION TO CATHOLIC MEN Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix
ON THE COVER A detail of the oldest crucifix of St. Peter’s Basilica, restored with support from the Knights of Columbus, depicts the face of Christ in the moment of death.
COVER: Photo by Mallio Falcioni, courtesy of the Fabbrica di San Pietro
A Call to Catholic Men
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BU I L D I N G A B E T T E R WO R L D
Grace and Solidarity The courageous witness of 17th-century martyrs inspires us to pray for persecuted Christians today by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson LAST MONTH, I wrote about Martin Mastrilli’s witness, not Father Ferreira’s Scorsese’s remarkable film Silence, based apostasy, better represents the Jesuit mison the historical novel of the same title sion in Japan. by the Japanese Catholic author Shusaku A Japanese account from the time Endo. Through the journey of two states that during the 17th century apyoung Jesuits, Father Francisco Garrpe proximately 100 Jesuits died as martyrs and Father Sebastião Rodrigues, Silence while only five renounced their faith, — providing thousands with food, explores the 17th-century persecution of after torture. clothing, shelter and medical care. Christians in Japan — and the conseThere is even evidence that toward the This year, we will continue our leaderquences of the apostasy, after torture, of end of his life Father Ferreira recanted his ship role and we will look for ways to proFather Cristóvão Ferreira, the Jesuit apostasy, after which he, too, was tor- vide even more help. The corporal works provincial there. tured to death. of mercy continue to be indispensable. As I wrote last month, Scorsese views And regarding the question of But we can also do more to foster a his film as a sort of pilgrimage, and I en- whether Christianity could take root in greater spiritual solidarity with Christians couraged those who see it to do so in the Japan, the fact remains that when who are suffering. This month, we will same light. Silence presents in an launch a new initiative to pray extraordinary way an important for those Christians suffering chapter — but only one chapter persecution. In this way, we will — in the long history of misjoin a new spiritual work of We can do more to foster a sionary activity and evangelizamercy with our ongoing corpogreater spiritual solidarity with tion. What is missing from ral works of mercy. Silence is also worth recalling. We are proposing a new Christians who are suffering. When news of Father Ferprayer, a Novena of Grace and reira’s action reached Europe, Solidarity (see page 15), based many Jesuits sought to travel to on the prayer of Father MasJapan not to ascertain the facts but to join Commodore Matthew Perry entered trilli. I urge all brother Knights and their those who were suffering martyrdom. Japan’s Edo Bay in 1853 there were families to join in this Novena of Grace Among them was a group of Jesuits led thousands of Japanese Christians. and Solidarity for persecuted Christians by an Italian, Father Marcello Mastrilli. Today, we see throughout parts of the throughout the world March 12-20. The Before leaving for Japan, Father Mas- Middle East, Africa and Asia the brutal novena may also be prayed any time trilli composed a new novena asking the persecution, torture and killing of throughout the year. intercession of St. Francis Xavier, one of Christians. The daily heroism of these In many ways, 2017 may be the decithe first Jesuits, for the success of the mis- brothers and sisters in the faith is an in- sive year in determining whether many sions and especially for those suffering spiration to their fellow Christians Christian communities throughout the overseas for the Catholic faith, that they everywhere. Middle East will continue to exist. Many would “live and die in the state of grace.” As we know, the situation is particu- Christians in the region tell me that our Father Mastrilli’s novena, traditionally re- larly acute in the Middle East, where so efforts give them renewed hope and decited in March, has come to be known as many Christians have been targeted for termination. the Novena of Grace. genocide and hundreds of thousands Let us pray that, in spite of all the Father Mastrilli and his companions have lost virtually everything. During tribulations they face, they will remain were captured shortly after their arrival the past several years, the Knights of faithful and that we will remain worthy in Japan. Horribly tortured, they suf- Columbus has become one of the inter- of their trust in us. fered martyrs’ deaths. Indeed, Father national leaders in helping these people Vivat Jesus!
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L E A R N I N G T H E FA I T H , L I V I N G T H E FA I T H
What’s in a Label? As Christians in the world, we must replace divisiveness and snark with charity and civility by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori
LABELS ARE USEFUL. When buy- IN THE TRENCHES ing milk, I look for a label that tells All around us, we find disparaging lame it contains 2 percent milk fat. If bels applied to others with little hesitaI’m shopping for a shirt, I read the tion — and sometimes with outright label to see the size and material. enthusiasm. We saw this in the bruising ing on marriage and sexuality is increasWhen taking medicine, I read the 2016 political season and have sadly ingly labeled as bigotry, especially when label to find out the dosage and pos- seen it even in some Catholic journal- Christians seek to live according to their sible side effects. ism. We who are consumers of the news beliefs. Indeed, a host of “isms” and However, labels don’t tell us every- media — both secular and Church-re- phobias are tossed about and attributed thing. They won’t tell me if a partic- lated — too readily apply pejorative la- to people with minimal regard for what ular food is actually good for my bels to other people. these terms actually mean or for the perhealth. They won’t say who sons so described. designed a product, how it Related to this is another curwas manufactured or how rent: so-called identity politics. It much it cost to make. In is, of course, reasonable that peoLet’s contribute to making our truth, labels often provide ple with common backgrounds society a less divisive place by more hype than help, and and interests who feel oppressed many are misleading. come together to improve making the Church less divided. would Labels can be even more intheir lot in society. That has always appropriate and misleading been a part of politics. Yet this when they are applied to perform of politics, which involves sons. Our society rightly rejects labels In the heat of political battle, for ex- self-labeling, is now pursued so vigorthat demean or humiliate a person on ample, candidates often hurl epithets at ously and single-mindedly that it has the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, looks, one another and their supporters. Last deepened divisions in the country along mental capacity, illness, disabilities year’s presidential race in the United lines of racial, ethnic and sexual identity. and so on. States gave us many painful examples It’s as though we’re all consigned to The Church embraces societal ef- of this. Ad hominem insults such as World War I-style trench warfare. This forts to speak with charity and goes “crooked” and “deplorable” took the sort of “self-branding” actually discourfurther by teaching that a person is place of the reasoned political discourse ages tolerance and compromise, espenot the sum of his or her weaknesses that candidates owe to one another, to cially when it slaps disparaging labels on or sins. No one’s humanity should be the electorate and to the country. those who seem to hold contrary views. reduced to and summed up by labels Of course, the fault for the negative such as “cheater” or “liar” — even if personal tone of politics does not lie BUILDING BRIDGES one may be guilty of those offenses. entirely with politicians. Rather, it re- Unfortunately, the Church is not imSuch labels do not do justice to the flects a society already accustomed to mune to all this. While not “of the whole person, nor do they recognize snarkiness. world,” the Church is most assuredly the possibility of repentance and reAdded to this are two other currents “in the world.” The style and content of form. Rather, they are a way of writ- in political life. The first is to reduce an the speech all around us affects us ing off that person as unworthy of opposing point of view to a malevolent deeply. Yet, if we are striving to follow our consideration. ideology. For example, Christian teach- Christ and live the Beatitudes, our re4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
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L E A R N I N G T H E FA I T H , L I V I N G T H E FA I T H
gard for others should be markedly greater than what we find in the secular media. We should be very reluctant to pin labels on others. Labeling a Church leader is a way of putting that person in a box so that one does not have to deal thoughtfully with what the leader actually says or does. For example, some parishioners may readily refer to their priest as “conservative” or “liberal” without ever really talking to him. Though labels may contain a grain of truth, they often short-circuit important conversations. And, sadly, ideological labels readily
H O LY FAT H E R ’ S P R AY E R I N T E N T I O N
Offered in Solidarity with Pope Francis
POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/Paul Haring
SUPPORT FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS: That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.
degenerate into uncharitable, ad hominem attacks on the integrity, abilities and worth of fellow Christians with whom we are supposed to be united in the Body of Christ. The net effect of labeling our fellow Christians is to weaken the Church’s mission by weakening the Church’s unity. This unity is based on truth — not only the revealed truth but also basic truths about our common humanity and what constitutes a just and peaceful society. If, instead of building bridges, we find ourselves obscuring the truth by pitting Church leaders and fellow
parishioners against one another, we are breaking down that oneness that the Lord willed for his followers — so that the world may believe (cf. Jn 17:21). So, here’s an idea for Lent 2017. Let’s abstain from labels. Let’s abstain from snarky, uncharitable speech. Let’s contribute to making our society a less divisive place by making the Church less divided. Doing so will take a lot more grace, self-control and self-sacrifice than giving up candy, liquor or caffeine. Yet, as winter gives way to spring, such a sacrifice will yield a harvest of truth, joy, peace and love.♦
C AT H O L I C M A N O F T H E M O N T H
Blessed Marcel Callo (1921-1945) MARCEL CALLO was born into a poor, devout family in Rennes, France, Dec. 6, 1921. The second of nine children, he was an enthusiastic member of the Scout movement and of the local Eucharistic Crusade group. At age 13, Callo left school to begin an apprenticeship with a local printer. A year later, he joined the Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne (Young Christian Workers). The Catholic apostolate’s members, known as Jocistes, dedicated themselves to evangelizing through daily Mass, prayer, intellectual formation and community outreach. Gifted at creating friendships, Callo eventually became the group’s president. He organized sporting events, plays and dances that helped draw many young people, including non-practicing Catholics and non-believers, into the life of the Church. At age 20, during the German occupation of France in World War II, Callo fell in love with Marguerite Derniaux, a fellow Jociste. His desire to announce their engagement at his brother’s priestly ordination in 1943 was dashed when Callo received orders to enter a forced labor camp. Callo chose to comply rather than to hide and bring
reprisals on his family. “It is not as a worker that I go,” he wrote. “I leave as a missionary.” In March 1943, Callo was sent to an armaments factory in central Germany, where the grim living conditions wreaked havoc on his health. He organized a monthly Mass with a German priest and activities to boost the morale of the deportees. In April 1944, the Gestapo arrested Callo for being “too Catholic” and eventually sent him to the Mathausen concentration camp in Austria. For five months, Callo prayed and encouraged his fellow prisoners; he died of malnutrition and tuberculosis on the feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 1945. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.♦
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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S N E W S
Historic March for Life Underscores Pro-Life Consensus, Momentum
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Top: College Knights pose for a picture in front of the Washington Monument before the 44th March for Life Jan. 27. • Above: Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly meet with Vice President Mike Pence backstage before the March for Life rally on the National Mall. of the board of directors of the March for Life, welcomed the crowd to what he enthusiastically called “the largest annual civil rights demonstration in the world.” After recalling this year’s theme — “The Power of One” — Kelly asked participants to ponder the tremendous impact a single person can make on the course of history, citing the work of U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, Susan B. Anthony and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “My challenge to you today,” he added, “is to use the power of your influence to stand up for the unborn, to give a voice to the voiceless and to build a culture of life. If you do this, you will be amazed by what the power of one can do.”
TOP: Photo by Alton Pelowski — OTHER: Photo by Matthew Barrick
ON FRIDAY, JAN. 27, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 44th March for Life. Many Knights of Columbus and their families traveled from throughout the country to participate in peaceful protest of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly joined Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, in welcoming Vice President Mike Pence to the event. Pence, who took office just a week earlier, addressed those assembled on the National Mall for the March for Life rally, marking the first time a sitting vice president of the United States participated. “Because of you and the many thousands that stand with us in marches like this all across the nation, life is winning in America again,” Pence said in his remarks. He further emphasized that the pro-life movement must be known for love and compassion, not anger and confrontation. “I believe that we will continue to win the hearts and minds of the rising generation if our hearts first break for young mothers and their unborn children,” Pence said. “And if we each of us do all we can to meet them where they are, with generosity, not judgment.” Following the vice president’s remarks, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on ProLife Activities, officially kicked off the rally with a prayer. As in years past, the rally and march were organized by the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, which receives support from the Knights of Columbus. Deputy Supreme Knight Kelly, who serves as chairman
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Photo by Tom Serafin
K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S N E W S
Mancini began her remarks by noting that following the previous week’s Women’s March and presidential inauguration, there had been a lot of talk about numbers. “The only number I care about, and the number all of us here care about, is 58 million,” Mancini said. “Since 1973, 58 million Americans have been lost to abortion. We stand here for them today.” Mancini went on to commend all the “courageous birth mothers” who had chosen adoption for their children, noting that many families have been blessed through adoption as a result. “But unfortunately, while there are almost 1 million abortions in our country every single year, there are only 22,000 infant adoptions,” she said. “We need to do something about that. Choosing life, choosing adoption: it’s noble and heroic. And the life that these women choose to give has the power to change the family’s life, the power to change the world.” Mancini then invited the crowd to watch a brief video based on polling commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, discussing a consensus in America in favor of greater abortion restrictions. As Mancini put it, “Pro-life is the new normal.” Upon the release of the latest K of CMarist polling data, Supreme Knight Anderson said, “This poll shows that large percentages of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are united in their opposition to the status quo as it relates to abortion on demand. This is heartening and can help start a new national conversation on abortion.” Members of Congress and other prominent pro-life figures, such as former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson and Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson, also addressed the rally, after which the nearly two-mile march progressed along Constitution Avenue and past the U.S. Capitol, concluding at the Supreme Court building. As in past years, people of diverse faiths and political backgrounds participated. Many attended with their families and children. Young people, including busloads of college and high school students from throughout the country, were present in force. Countless pro-life banners and flags were on display, including thousands of Knights of Columbus “Defend Life” and “Choose Life” signs, and many marchers shared their support on social media using the hashtag #PowerofOne. The event’s positive and life-affirming atmosphere was even more hopeful thanks to recent pro-life government actions.
Vice President Pence noted, for instance, that the “Mexico City policy,” prohibiting U.S. funding of international programs that perform or promote abortion, was reinstated earlier in the week. Likewise, the House of Representatives passed a resolution Jan. 24 to make the Hyde Amendment permanent. Named the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017 (H.R. 7), the bill was authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus, and passed by a vote of 238 to 183.
“We are experiencing a megatrend in America — consistently reflected in polling data — that the American public not only does not support taxpayer funding for abortion, but the public increasingly supports actions to protect unborn children and women from the violence of abortion,” Smith wrote in a Jan. 24 Washington Times article. “A new Marist Poll released Jan. 23 found that a supermajority of Americans in the United States — 61 percent — oppose taxpayer funding for abortion — and only 35 percent support it.” Finally, four days after the March for Life, the pro-life community welcomed the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat that has been vacant since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. “We applaud the president’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Supreme Knight Anderson said in a statement Feb. 1. “From his writings and his record it is clear that he will interpret the Constitution as it was written, including our First Amendment right to religious freedom and the right to life of every person.”♦
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Ancient Splendor Renewed The Knights of Columbus helps to restore the oldest wooden crucifix in St. Peter’s Basilica by Columbia staff
n the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the Knights of Columbus was proud to support an initiative to restore a stunning — yet nearly forgotten — masterpiece of sacred art: a 700-year-old crucifix in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. 8 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
Depicting the dying Christ with his head resting on his right shoulder, the wooden sculpture was caked with nine layers of paint and riddled with cracks and woodworm holes. Once a popular and much venerated work, it was eventually relegated to a peripheral chapel of the basilica behind an elevator shaft.
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Photo by L’Osservatore Romano
Pope Francis is pictured with the newly restored medieval crucifix (at right) during the Jubilee Mass for Prisoners in St. Peter’s Basilica Nov. 6, 2016. Plans that were already in motion to renovate the crucifix were accelerated with the April 2015 announcement of the holy year. “We hope that this remarkable image of Christ’s suffering will serve as a reminder to all who see it of the great love our Savior has for each one of us,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson, “and of the depths of his mercy, always ready to embrace and forgive us.” After 15 months of painstaking labor by a professional team of restorers and the Fabbrica di San Pietro, the office responsible for maintaining the basilica, the refurbished crucifix was exposed for public devotion during the final weeks of the holy year in late 2016. At the request of Pope Francis, it was first displayed at the basil-
ica’s Altar of the Confession, to the right of Bernini’s baldacchino, for the Jubilee Mass for Prisoners Nov. 6, 2016, and then again for the Jubilee Mass for the Socially Marginalized Nov. 13. “The oldest wooden crucifix of St. Peter’s Basilica, dating back to the 14th century, was restored for the devotion of the faithful,” Pope Francis announced at the conclusion of his Nov. 13 Angelus address. “After arduous restorations, it was brought back to its ancient splendor and will be placed in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament as a reminder of the Jubilee of Mercy.” PRESERVING HISTORY The crucifix was carved in the early 1300s by an anonymous sculptor of remarkable skill and religious sensitivity. The figure of Christ is represented at the moment of his death. MARCH 2017
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“The face is marvelous — his eyes are still open, yet the astonished pupils are already fixed on eternity; the lips of his half-open mouth are strained in the last spasm of life,” explained Dr. Pietro Zander, chief archeologist of the Fabbrica di San Pietro. “One could say that the artist has captured the instant when, according to the Gospel accounts, Jesus uttered a loud cry (Mk 15:37) and exclaimed, ‘It is finished.’ Then bowing his head he handed over his spirit (Jn 19:30).” Measuring 7 feet from head to toe, the torso and legs were crafted from a single piece of seasoned walnut; the arms, made from separate pieces of the same tree, span 6 feet 4 inches. Altogether, it weighs 159 pounds. “It is amazing how many precise anatomical details in this work are not found in other wooden crucifixes,” said Msgr. Vittorio Lanzani, secretary of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, during an Oct. 28 interview with Vatican Radio. “The sculptor was an expert in anatomy, starting from the veins in the arms and legs, the contracted tendons and finally the ribs. At the wound in the side we actually see two openings: one in the living flesh and the other in the pierced skin that is folded back. This was a crucifix created to elicit the compassion of the dying Christ.” Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica and president of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, in a Dec. 11 interview with Rome Reports, stated: “It is a crucifix that has looked, we could say, with compassion over human history and the history of the Church.” Antique archival documents and prints reveal that the Crucifix of St. Peter, as it came to be called, was installed in nine separate locations within the original, fourth-century basilica and the current Renaissance structure, which was completed in 1626. The crucifix was first placed in the central nave above 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
the altar of Sts. Simon and Jude, one of the seven privileged altars of the old basilica. There it inspired the prayers of a multitude of visitors and pilgrims, including St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). During the Sack of Rome in 1547, marauding mercenaries dressed the crucifix in their uniform and desecrated the basilica, using it as a horse stable. Over the course of the next century, with construction of the new basilica underway, the crucifix was moved to six different chapels and altars. In 1629, it was hung on the inside of the Holy Door while awaiting the completion of its own special chapel, where it remained until 1749. It was then relocated to make way for Michelangelo’s Pietà. Before moving in 1750 to the adjacent Relics Chapel, its final location until the recent restoration, the crucifix underwent major repairs to fill wormholes and other damage. Having already been painted several times to resemble bronze, it received three more coats of even darker pigment. In 1888, the Relics Chapel was fitted with an ornate metal door, making the crucifix less accessible. Finally, during the pontificate of Pius XI (1922-1939), an elevator was installed in the center of the chapel, obscuring the crucifix even more. Thus confined to a neglected and practically unreachable corner of the basilica, the crucifix was essentially withdrawn from the faithful and nearly forgotten. RESURRECTED FROM OBSCURITY The Fabbrica di San Pietro, aware of the history of the ancient crucifix, alerted the Knights of Columbus to the possibility of a restoration project to coincide with the Year of Mercy. With support from the Order, the restoration was undertaken by
LEFT AND MIDDLE: Photos by Mallio Falcioni, courtesy of the Fabbrica di San Pietro
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RIGHT: CNS photo/Paul Haring
From left: Lorenza D’Alessandro, the principal restorer of the 700-year-old crucifix, uses high precision lenses and lasers to remove layers of paint from the walnut sculpture. • Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and his wife, Dorian, visit the Vatican workshop to admire the restoration work June 27, 2016. • A detail of the renovated crucifix is pictured during a Vatican press conference announcing the completion of the restoration project Oct. 28, 2016. Lorenza D’Alessandro and Giorgio Capriotti. Experienced professionals, the two worked with the Fabbrica di San Pietro in 2013 on the Order-supported restorations of two venerated fresco paintings: the Madonna of the Column, also known as Mater Ecclesiae (Mother of the Church), and the Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help). The meticulous restoration of the crucifix began with careful UV-florescent photographic investigation and diagnostic studies. Through these processes, D’Alessandro and Capriotti determined they would be able to unearth the sculpture’s original appearance from beneath the many layers of paint and protective coatings. To remove the most recent layers, the restorers used a highprecision laser, but much detailed technical work remained. “We could not reach the original layer of paint directly with the laser, since it would have been ruined,” D’Alessandro told Vatican Radio in October 2016. “So the only way to preserve the precious information of all of the restorations was to remove the layers one by one. Every new layer of paint needed a particular solvent or a certain tool. … It was truly a journey back in time!” The restoration recovered 90 percent of the figure’s strikingly realistic original paint and revealed other lost artistic details. “When all of the paint that covered the crucifix was removed,” Msgr. Lanzani told Vatican Radio, “we discovered that the eyes were open, whereas before it was believed that they were closed. It was truly incredible!”
Cardinal Comastri was particularly struck by the gaze of Christ’s face as it emerged. “As the workers were cleaning the eye,” he said, “it seemed to me that, in a way, the crucifix was looking at me as if to say: ‘What are you waiting for? Do you see love? Then respond.’” While the restoration was entering its final months — its progress having been carefully documented through photographs and 3-D imaging — two major features remained before the crucifix returned to public view. The workshop of the Fabbrica di San Pietro built a new wooden cross based on historical prints that portray the original, which was removed in 1749. Measuring 13 feet high by 8 feet wide, the cross is made of wood from an old walnut tree that grew near the Marian shrine of Montemisio in central Italy. Finally, the restorers replaced the “crown of thorns” made of rope, which the sculpture had borne since the 1800s, with a true crown of thorns. D’Alessandro explained, “In this case, a specific kind of thorn was chosen: the Spina Christi, which is a Mediterranean shrub.” On Nov. 17, three days before the conclusion of the Year of Mercy, the crucifix was carried in procession to the basilica’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel, where it was blessed and permanently installed to the left of the tabernacle. “All who now come to encounter and pray to Christ in the Eucharist,” said Dr. Zander, “will also be able to contemplate his image in this crucifix, filled with divine mercy, gentleness and humanity.”♦ MARCH 2017
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‘ON THE EDGE Between Life and Death’ Congressman Chris Smith’s mission to Iraq and new emergency relief legislation offer hope to persecuted Christians by Doreen Abi Raad
xpelled from their ancestral lands in 2014 by militants of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or Daesh), more than 70,000 Christians — nearly one-third of all remaining Christians in Iraq — are still in exile in Erbil, in the Kurdistan region. The displaced community saw a ray of hope when, for the first time, a U.S. congressman came to visit them just before Christmas. Rep. Chris Smith (RN.J.), a leading human rights lawmaker who has chaired nine congressional hearings on atrocities in Iraq and Syria since 2013, arrived in Erbil Dec. 20, 2016, on a mission to witness firsthand the plight of the displaced Christians. “When I went to Erbil, temperatures had already begun to drop below freezing, and the risk of lifethreatening illnesses was on the rise,” Smith said of the visit. “U.S. action is more critical than ever to ensure these genocide survivors receive the assistance needed for their basic survival.” Invited by Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil, Smith met with refugee families, local Catholic and Orthodox bishops as well as government and NGO officials. Knights of Columbus staff helped to organize the trip and accompanied Smith during the visit. For the past two years, the Order’s Christian Refugee Relief Fund has provided aid to the displaced community, which has been denied humanitarian assistance by the U.S. government and the United Nations. Following the December visit, Rep. Smith, together with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), introduced legislation in the newly 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
convened 115th U.S. Congress to provide emergency relief to persecuted Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities, as well as to ensure accountability for perpetrators. “This bill is timely because just last month I saw in Iraq the lack of humanitarian aid for Christian genocide survivors,” Smith said Jan. 10, the day the bill was introduced. “They are at risk from freezing winter temperatures and require emergency help.” LISTENING TO SURVIVORS During his visit to Iraq, Smith made it a priority to visit Ashti 2, the largest Christian refugee center in Erbil, to meet with displaced families who had survived the horrific summer of 2014. It was such a priority, in fact, that when the U.S. government was unable to provide protection for Smith because of a flight schedule change, he risked going to the center guarded by the Zerevani, Kurdish paramilitary police instead. Ashti 2 is an enclave of prefabricated containers housing a total of 6,000 refugees. Each family dwelling is about 50 square feet. The congressman heard firsthand from families about the terror and trauma they experienced in escaping ISIS. One family shared with him how persecution has followed them. After being evicted from Mosul, they settled in Qaraqosh, where they thought they would be safe from terrorists. They never imagined that one night, in August 2014, they would be among some 50,000 Christians expelled from the town by ISIS.
Photo by Stivan Shany/Archdiocese of Erbil
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Photo by Maciej Moskwa/NurPhoto/Sipa USA via AP
Iraqis attend Christmas Eve Mass at the Assyrian Orthodox church of Mar Shimoni, in Bartella, Iraq, Dec. 24, 2016. Bartella, once home to thousands of Assyrian Christians, emptied in August 2014 when it fell to ISIS. Iraqis retook the town during the U.S.-backed offensive in October 2016. • Opposite page: Rep. Chris Smith and Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda visit a Christian family at the Ashti 2 center in Erbil, Iraq, Dec. 20, 2016. Initially, when ISIS militants uprooted them from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq, some 125,000 Christians fled to the Kurdistan region. Many have since gone to neighboring countries — Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey — with the aim of emigrating to Western nations. Some made their way to Europe, often at great peril, and some families have been resettled. Congressman Smith was moved by the deep faith of the Christians he met, a faith that has persevered and grown despite the atrocities they suffered and the hardships they still endure each day. “Every family I met told me their faith was stronger and more steadfast than before their suffering at the hands of ISIS,” Smith recalled. “They said they saw the hands of Christ and the Blessed Mother in the life-saving help they received from the Archdiocese of Erbil. These Christians who lost their lands and their homes totally trusted in God’s providence.” Smith was also shown pictures of how the towns and villages — emptied of Christians — look now after having been recently liberated from the Islamic State: homes destroyed and gutted; churches and graves desecrated; streets empty as ghost towns, still littered with bombs and other remnants of the militants’ terrorist reign. Many areas are still booby-trapped. The shocking images of the devastation send a clear and disturbing message: The dream of returning home remains far out of reach for the displaced.
“The Archdiocese of Erbil has saved the lives of tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities who escaped ISIS with its food, shelter and medical care,” Smith said, adding that the archdiocese also serves Yazidis and Muslims who fled ISIS, “which is typical for a Catholic entity.” Much of the archdiocese’s aid has been made possible by the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund, which launched in August 2014. To date, more than $12 million has been raised to provide housing, food, medical aid, education and general relief to persecuted communities in places like Iraq and Syria. “But because the U.S. government and the United Nations have so far failed to support this life-saving work of the archdiocese, these genocide survivors continue to hang on the edge between life and death,” Smith said. “Despite the generous support from groups like the Knights of Columbus, the archdiocese is regularly in a chronic funding crisis.” WAITING AND PRAYING FOR AID Congressman Smith said that many of those he met in Erbil — including displaced people and clergy — openly expressed their hope that the new U.S. administration will be more open to helping them than the last. The Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Mosul, Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, who also had to flee ISIS and seek refuge in Erbil, told the lawmaker, “So often, concern for Christians MARCH 2017
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EVER TO ENSURE THESE “We keep encouraging our uprooted is minimized. I am so happy, because GENOCIDE SURVIVORS Christian communities to return and you are the first American who has witness to the redeeming power of the come to ask about the Christians. We RECEIVE ASSISTANCE.” Lord Jesus, among a pluralist society,” pray that President Trump will help us. Patriarch Younan told Columbia. We are the last people to speak the Ara“This, however, will not be possible, maic language. Without help, we are unless the international family of nafinished.” In 2002, there were as many as 1.4 million Christians in tions, most particularly the new administration in the Iraq. Now, fewer than 250,000 Christians remain in the United States, promotes reforms to the constitutions of the Middle Eastern countries that require the application of the country. “There are lobbies in Washington making decisions on be- Charter of Human Rights for all citizens without any excephalf of Christians here, and those decisions have an effect,” tion; assures a safe zone in the Plain of Nineveh; and emArchbishop Warda said. In addition to humanitarian assis- barks immediately on the work restoring the infrastructures, tance, the archbishop stressed the necessity of “equal rights” schools, hospitals, houses and churches in the villages and for non-majority groups like the Christians and an end to cor- cities there.” Shortly after his mission to Erbil, Rep. Smith introduced ruption in the Iraqi government. In his 2016 Christmas message from Beirut, Syriac Catholic with Rep. Eshoo the bipartisan bill to provide emergency rePatriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan said, “We need the honest lief to survivors of genocide and ensure accountability for perand courageous solidarity of elected people like Congressman petrators. Titled the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Smith to speak up on behalf of Christians and other minori- Relief and Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 390), the measties who have been oppressed, abused and uprooted by ji- ure was an enhanced version of the Smith-Eshoo bill (H.R. 5961) they had introduced in September 2016. hadists who kill innocents in the name of their religion.” Among its key provisions, H.R. 390 directs the U.S. governA keynote speaker at the last year’s Supreme Convention and a member of St. Rose of Lima Council 6209 in Union ment to implement the following policies: support entities that City, N.J., the patriarch spoke passionately about the dire sit- are effectively serving genocide survivors in-country, including faith-based entities; support entities that are conducting uation of Christians in the Middle East. 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Photo by Joseph Galanakis/NurPhoto/Sipa USA via AP
MORE CRITICAL THAN
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Photo by Stivan Shany/Archdiocese of Erbil
Rep. Chris Smith visits with Iraqi Church leaders (left to right) Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil, Syriac Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Timotheos Mousa Al-Shamani of St. Matthew’s Monastery in northern Iraq, and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Nikodimos Daoud Sharaf of Mosul. • Opposite page: The Christian village of Bartella, Iraq, is pictured Oct. 28, 2016, following its liberation from the Islamic State. The situation remains dramatic as bombing, looting and traps set by Islamist militants left the village inaccessible to residents. criminal investigations into perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Iraq and Syria; create a Priority Two (P-2) designation that Christians and other genocide survivors from religious and ethnic minority communities are of “special humanitarian concern” and therefore able to access an overseas application interview for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program without needing a referral from the U.N.; vet P-2 refugee applicants like any other Iraqi or Syrian refugee applicant and not admit them to the U.S. unless they have cleared this vetting. “I thank Chairman Smith for his passionate leadership on this issue,” said Rep. Eshoo Jan. 10. “And I look forward to working with him and all my colleagues in Congress to quickly move this aid package and bring relief to those who continue to suffer.” Numerous organizations, including the Knights of Columbus, In Defense of Christians, Aid to the Church in Need USA and others, have expressed their support of the bill, which promises to provide concrete aid to those in dire need. “My hope for the new administration, my fondest hope,” Smith said, “is that it provide immediate life-saving aid to the displaced Christian community in Erbil.” To donate to the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund, visit christiansatrisk.org.♦
A NOVENA OF GRACE AND SOLIDARITY Knights and their families are encouraged to say the following prayer throughout the year, beginning with an Orderwide novena March 12-20 (see page 3). For more information, visit kofc.org/novena.
GOD OUR FATHER, as St. Francis Xavier and countless of your missionaries traveled to the ends of the earth, impelled by the love of Jesus Christ, give me the grace to rely entirely on you, confident in the knowledge that you raise up the humble and the lowly. May I be united with your saints in offering you my humble tribute of thanksgiving and praise. I implore you to grant me, through your mercy, the blessing of living and dying in a state of grace. I also ask this same blessing for all those throughout the world who suffer persecution because of their faith in you. O God, you were pleased to gather to your Church the peoples of the world by the preaching and miracles of all your saints; mercifully grant that I may imitate their virtues and so bear witness to the Gospel of your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
DOREEN ABI RAAD writes from Beirut, Lebanon. MARCH 2017
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Our Fathers in Faith St. Joseph and Father Michael J. McGivney teach us how to be faithful protectors and humble men of God by Dominican Father Peter John Cameron
PAINTING: Saint Joseph by Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988) / Scala / Art Resource, NY
ach March, the Church joyfully celebrates the liturgical feast of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary — this year transferred to Monday, March 20. Nine days later will mark the 135th anniversary of the founding of the Knights of Columbus. Knights celebrate March 29 as Founder’s Day, in honor of the Order’s venerable founder, Father Michael J. McGivney, who bore “Joseph” as his middle name. As we approach these two celebrations, we may ask what the life and spirituality of these great fathers — St. Joseph and Father McGivney — have to say to Knights today. Joseph of Nazareth was “a just man” (Mt 1:19). Betrothed to the daughter of Joachim and Anne, he had a plan for his life when the wonders of the world — and the heavens — suddenly began to open up before him. An angel confronted him in a dream, altering everything: “‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus’” (Mt 1:20-21). Michael J. McGivney also had a plan of his own: At one point, his heart was set on becoming a Jesuit. Yet when his father vetoed the notion, Michael obeyed, pursuing instead a vocation to diocesan priesthood. Even after his father died in 1873, while Michael was in the seminary, the young man did not divert from his father’s wishes — which paved the way for his founding the Knights of Columbus. SERVANTS OF GOD’S WILL Pope Francis explained in a December 2013 Angelus address that St. Joseph “was following a good plan for his life, but God was reserving another plan for him, a greater mission.” And, the pope added, “Joseph was a man who always listened to the
voice of God; he was deeply sensitive to his secret will; he was a man attentive to the messages that came to him from the depths of his heart and from on high.” What is striking is that Joseph was attuned to the promptings of the Holy Spirit even in his sleep! As slumber gave way to waking, Joseph’s ambitions shifted in favor of divine providence. The famous “silence” of St. Joseph (the Gospels record not a single word he spoke) itself bespeaks the contemplative and compassionate demeanor of Christ’s adoptive father. A similar silence surrounds the life of Father McGivney; of his writings, a mere 13 letters exist. And what seemed a source of embarrassment to a seminary rector may in fact be one of the singular glories of this servant of God. In his final evaluation before ordination to the priesthood, the rector wrote, “Mr. McGivney is exceedingly sensitive, usque ad lacrymas [even unto tears].” What else but such tenderheartedness could make these two souls so submissive before the will of heaven? St. Joseph and Father McGivney exemplify how life becomes happier when lived surrendered to God’s surprises. Their virtuous example encourages us to hope that we, too, might have their spirit of abandonment. Joseph “was ready to make himself available to the news that, in a such a bewildering way, was being presented to him,” Pope Francis continued. “His full interior availability to the will of God challenges us and shows us the way.” DEVOTED TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY When Joseph awoke, he took Mary “into his home” (Mt 1:24). His response is key to the success of everything in life. From the time young Michael McGivney enrolled in the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin in 1868, the Queen of Heaven commanded his heart as well. He was ordained just three days MARCH 2017
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before Christmas in 1877, and his first parish assignment was McGivney rose to his feet, accepting the responsibility. That to St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., where he later very same evening, more than 60 young men assembled in the founded the Knights. Among the facts preserved about his basement of St. Mary’s Church, where Father McGivney appriestly life, it is remarkable that a newspaper reported that, on pointed a committee to draft a constitution and bylaws of the Oct. 7, 1883, Father McGivney preached a sermon on “the di- new Order he was founding. vine maternity of the Virgin Mary, urging Catholics to seek the What Pope Benedict XVI stated about St. Joseph in a 2009 power which she exercises at the throne of grace.” reflection could be said equally of Father McGivney: He lived Both St. Joseph and Father McGivney model for us how to “his fatherhood fully and completely.” love Mary, especially amid life’s trials and heartaches. Blessed John Henry Newman observed that Joseph is called HOLY EXEMPLARS AND PATRONS “Holy Joseph, because no other saint but he lived in such and Joseph was a carpenter. Michael Joseph was the son of an iron so long intimacy and familiarity with the source of all holiness, molder who worked in a forge; he himself had labored in a Jesus God Incarnate, and Mary, the holiest of creatures.” spoon factory. St. John XXIII counseled, “Think of the condiCiting Pope Leo XIII’s 1889 encyclical on St. Joseph, pub- tion of the workers before Christianity! And yet Christ did not lished a year before Father McGivney’s death, St. John Paul II impart to us [his lessons] from one of the famous teaching cenwent even further: “Since marriage is the highest degree of as- ters that flourished in the great cities. … He chose a poor family sociation and friendship, it follows that God, by giving Joseph as the first classroom for his teaching mission; he himself unto the Virgin, did not give him to her dertook manual labor.” only as a companion for life. … He St. Joseph is venerated as the patron also gave Joseph to Mary in order that of the universal Church. St. Bernardine he might share, through the marriage of Siena taught us why: “Power is given pact, in her own sublime greatness” to some of the saints to help in particuT. JOSEPH AND FATHER (Redemptoris Custos, 20). lar necessities, but to St. Joseph power MCGIVNEY EXEMPLIFY The more we devote ourselves to the is given to help in all necessities. We are Holy Family, the more the graces of certain of this: for as on earth Jesus HOW LIFE BECOMES that intimacy and familiarity become Christ was pleased to be subject to St. our own. Joseph, so in heaven he does all that the HAPPIER WHEN LIVED saint asks.” PROTECTORS OF YOUTH For this reason, St. Teresa of Ávila, of SURRENDERED TO GOD’S For a second time, the docile St. Joseph whom St. Joseph was a favorite, imSURPRISES. immediately obeyed the command of an plored, “If anyone has not got a guide angel when he fled to Egypt with Mary to teach him how to pray, let him take and the child Jesus to escape the slaughthis glorious saint as his master and he ter of the innocents (Mt 2:13-15). will not go astray.” Joseph’s heroic zeal for Jesus’ safety stirred again when travelThe illustrious 135-year history of the Knights of Columbus ing home from the Passover feast in Jerusalem and learning the testifies that the Order has been blessed with its own holy boy was lost (Lk 2:41-52). St. Bernardine of Siena, one of the guide. Before he became pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio earliest promoters of devotion to St. Joseph, commented, “This wrote a summary of the virtues of St. Joseph in which we can is the only place where we read that the Blessed Virgin called St. see Father McGivney as well: “Accept the mission from God, Joseph the father of Jesus. And she did so because his sorrow at let yourself be led by God, embrace the hardship and danger the loss of the Child showed the fatherly love he had for him.” in order to save the Savior.” One of the most compelling stories about Father McGivney And like St. Joseph, Father McGivney shone above all else in also concerns his rescuing a youth in peril. The father of 19- his paternity. A month after the death of the Order’s venerable year-old Alfred Downes had died unexpectedly, leaving his founder, the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors, led by mother a widow and his family with no source of income. In Supreme Knight John J. Phelan, adopted a resolution “in such cases, the probate court imposed its right to assign the fa- memoriam.” It stated in part: “He was our Father. We shall miss therless children to public institutions. In effect, this consigned and mourn him as a child its parent. … For the seed of Charity, children to a life sentence of loneliness and sorrow — unless a Unity, and Brotherly Love by him sown among us, let our guardian for them was found. thanksgiving rise.”♦ But there were conditions: The guardian needed to be someone of good character acceptable to the court; someone who FATHER PETER JOHN CAMERON, O.P., is chairman of the would take full responsibility for the actions of the ward; and department of homiletics at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, someone who would put up a bond in excess of $1,000. N.Y., editor-in-chief of MAGNIFICAT and the artistic director of On Feb. 6, 1882, the judge asked the court if anyone was Blackfriars Repertory Theatre in New York City. He is a member present to act as guardian for Alfred Downes. Father Michael of St. Thomas More Council 13500 in New Haven, Conn.
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FAT H E R S F O R G O O D
Life Beyond the Screen In raising healthy and happy children, parents must make digital downtime a family priority by Jason Godin
ast October, my wife and I hosted a sleepover for our 9-year-old daughter’s birthday party. Amid the usual fun and games, I was taken by surprise when our young guests asked for our home’s Wi-Fi password so they could connect their various devices to the internet. After I refused to reveal the code, my wife deflected their repeated requests by offering them pizza, cake and a chance to play with glow-in-the-dark paint. I was willing to play the party-pooper because the dangers of excessive screen time for kids are serious business. According to a statement recently released by the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), extended digital media use contributes to early childhood obesity, sleep deprivation and emotional self-control issues. A kid who spends too much time in front of smartphones, televisions and other tantalizing devices is also at risk for a shorter attention span and declining decision-making skills. Add the risk of accessing online pornography, and you have a recipe for trouble in school and beyond. Of course, my wife and I know that we can’t totally cut screen time from our children’s lives. They have to use computers to complete some of their school assignments, and they need to be comfortable using a cellphone to call us in case of an emergency. Nevertheless, in our efforts to offer our children a balanced approach to the digital tools that they use, we maintain certain guidelines. Setting limits. The AAP study states that “parent media use is a strong predictor of child media habits.” When it comes to screen time for our entire family, not just our children, we follow a familiar slogan — “for a limited time only.” For us, this means no more than two hours collectively of recreational technology use per day. And those two hours cover TV, computers, mobile devices including e-readers, or any combination of them. We may take a couple of extra hours for a family movie on the weekend,
but as parents we choose the titles and explain any questionable scenes. Board games. The AAP study found that most educational apps aren’t designed with a dual audience (both parents and children) in mind. As a former educator, I find that odd. Years in the classroom taught me that younger people retain information far better when it is learned in a collaborative environment, where all parties have opportunities to ask and answer critical questions. Based on that experience, our family plays board games. Call it old school, but we play some of the same games that my wife and I grew up playing with our own parents. You’d be hard-pressed to find newer games better suited for parents to enjoy alongside their kids as they learn how to count, match, problem solve, and win or lose with grace. Unstructured and unplugged. The AAP study also observed that “higher-order thinking skills and executive functions” such as “task persistence, impulse control, emotion regulation, and creative, flexible thinking, are best taught through unstructured and social (not digital) play.” Minnesota winters often keep us indoors, but that doesn’t limit our family fun. We move furniture out of the way to play rope tug with our dog. We read books aloud and make up voices for each character. And my wife and I have no problem letting our children play with their dolls or action figures apart from one another for an extended period of time, provided a parent is nearby. Our society surrenders so much today to screens. Smartphones not only alert us to our appointments but even have the capacity to start our vehicles and adjust the temperature in our homes. We may talk to the automated voices in our phones, but they will never be able to raise our children with a healthy dose of digital downtime. That important job belongs to us parents alone.♦ JASON GODIN is a member of Chaska (Minn.) Council 9141.
FIND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND RESOURCES FOR CATHOLIC MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES AT FATHERSFORGOOD. ORG .
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A CALL TO
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Knights Orderwide are rediscovering the source of masculine strength in faith, prayer and sacramental life by Ed Langlois
t’s a rainy Wednesday night in Salem, Ore. Most men are lounging and watching the Portland Trailblazers or putting in another hour at the office. If statistics can be trusted, 1 in 10 is viewing pornography. But at St. Joseph Church, a few blocks from the Oregon State Capitol, a Holy Hour is underway. Sweet incense smoke curls into the rafters. Seven altar servers and a priest kneel before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. In dimly lit pews, about 50 men — only men — sing in unison. The event is just one example of a surging Catholic men’s spiritual movement in which Knights of Columbus councils have played a key role. Since the November 2015 launch of the Orderwide initiative Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish, councils have redoubled their efforts to re-evangelize families and revitalize parishes. Central to this have been spiritual programs aimed at Catholic men. “Men need to be called out from their spiritual sleep and wake up to see what is going on around them,” said James Thurman, a 40-year-old member of St. Joseph Council 1748 in Salem and director of adult faith formation at St. Joseph Parish. “We need to take care of our own souls so we are able to save our families’ souls.” STRENGTH THROUGH PRAYER At St. Joseph Church, Thurman and fellow Knights organize monthly Holy Hours that include confession, rosary, Benediction and a homily aimed at men. Afterward, participants discuss how they are living out their faith — or how they have fallen short. 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
James Thurman (front right), a member of St. Joseph Council 1748 in Salem, Ore., joins fellow Knights for a monthly Holy Hour Feb. 1.
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In December 2016, the council and the parish teamed up to host a conference that drew 800 men. Speakers challenged listeners to do things like read Scripture daily and lead the rosary with their children. “As Knights, we need to be men of prayer,” Thurman said. “Otherwise we will be no different than any other men’s organization.” More broadly, the Knights of Columbus has also emphasized the importance of faith formation. For example, members have been encouraged to read Into the Breach, an apostolic exhortation on masculinity released in 2015 by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix. The 23-page document has been published as a booklet by the Order’s Catholic Information Service, which has produced similar faith formation resources for decades. Into the Breach study groups have emerged, with participants discussing the document page by page. Bishop Olmsted begins his letter with a challenge: “Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you, the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men. This battle is often hidden, but the battle is real. It is primarily spiritual, but it is progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our own homes.” James Walsh, grand knight of St. Anne Council 10540 in Gilbert, Ariz., called the exhortation “an amazing call” to men. “Some men think coming to Mass once a week and listening is enough. It’s really not,” said Walsh, 49, a tech industry engineer. “We men have to lead by example.” Julio Inclan, also a member of Council 10540, leads a group of Spanish-speaking parishioners as they study Into the Breach and discuss ways to live out faith in everyday life. “As men we need to increase our faith, improve our values — and we need to do it together,” affirmed Inclan, a 42-yearold real estate agent and a father of three. The first step, Inclan believes, is regular prayer. “Prayer makes it all come together,” he said. “Prayer helps me know I need to be a better husband and a better father. Then it helps us act, to do something good for our family and job and community.” Many Catholic laymen feel a need to take responsibility and reclaim spiritual authority. “Men have to step up and lead their families spiritually,” said Tim Poskey, 45, a pharmaceutical salesman and deputy grand knight of Council 10540. “We know there are a lot of men who are not engaged.” Though Knights are called repeatedly to service, they often don’t receive enough spiritual nourishment, Poskey added. “You cannot ask an army to fight a war on an empty stomach, and you cannot ask men to fight a spiritual war without nourishing their souls.” GROWING AS BROTHERS The public, rightly or wrongly, has seen the Knights primarily as fundraisers, noted Thurman. Like Poskey and others, he is working to change that reputation. “We want to be 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
thought of as spiritual leaders in our families and our parishes,” he explained. According to Pallottine Father Frank Donio, who serves as chaplain for The Catholic University of America Council 9542 in Washington, D.C., and also consults for the U.S. bishops on evangelization, Knights shouldn’t be blamed if they have focused most of their efforts on charity. “After all,” he said, “men are doers. But if we don’t have prayer, something is missing.” Father Donio believes that the Knights of Columbus, as the largest organization of Catholic men in the world, has a unique opportunity to influence male Catholic spirituality. Young men who join the Order hope for robust spiritual formation, Father Donio said. “They are not looking for a fraternity. They want to be with a group that lives faith.” It’s becoming clear to many Catholic men that being part of a community is vital in the spiritual life. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to grow alone. “Guys are responding to some stirring of the Holy Spirit, and they see that belonging to a spiritual organization is part of that,” said Paul Matich, a member of Council 1748 in
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Julio Inclan, a member of St. Anne Council 10540 in Gilbert, Ariz., meets with other council members to discuss Into the Breach, an apostolic exhortation to Catholic men by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix. • Opposite page: A man prays with his son during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at monthly Holy Hour organized by members of Council 1748 at St. Joseph Church in Salem, Ore. Salem. “It builds on the solidarity you gain from being in the fight with all these other people.” Growing this sense of spiritual community is also a priority among many college K of C councils. “One of my goals in leadership of the council is to focus more on the spiritual aspect,” said Dan Hackenjos, a junior at The Catholic University of America and grand knight of Council 9542. “Too often we only pitch the service and fraternal aspects of the Knights. I thought, ‘Let’s do all three.’” The college Knights increasingly are honing their spiritual lives through prayer and study, done in communal settings so men are accountable to one another. Like their older brothers in Oregon, Arizona and elsewhere, the Knights at CUA hold regular gatherings and hear a brief spiritual lecture from one of the members. Apologetics, lives of the saints and practicing faith in daily life are common topics. The Knights and their chaplain lead a Campus Ministrysponsored weekly Mass and rosary at 10:30 p.m. It has become known as the “Knights’ Mass” and draws a significant number of students who find that hour a perfect time for prayer. The CUA Knights also make an annual pilgrimage to a spiritual site, such as the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md., or the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
in Baltimore, the first Catholic cathedral in the United States. And once a semester, usually on the evening following a First Degree exemplification, new members participate in an “OverKnight” retreat, open to all council members, which includes prayer and spiritual talks at the home of a local religious community and serves as a time for new members to get to know their brother Knights. MARCHING ORDERS The men’s spiritual movement is producing concrete results in the lives of Knights like Paul Matich. A property tax appraiser for the state of Oregon, he stayed away from the Church for decades. At age 52, he now recites morning prayer and attends daily Mass. He reviews his day to see if he has performed spiritual and corporal works of mercy and helps with catechesis at his parish. In Arizona, members of Council 10540 are injecting prayer wherever they can, Grand Knight Walsh said. A rosary, including heartfelt prayer intentions, precedes council meetings. On the gathering’s regular agenda is a five- to 10-minute lecture on spirituality, prepared by members. Walsh and his family have also begun praying the rosary together on the first Saturday of each month. If neighbor kids happen to be over, they pray, too. MARCH 2017
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THE ORDER FORMS MEN OF FAITH IN POLAND AND BEYOND
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Knights pray the Stations of the Cross Nov. 26, 2016, during the third annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Jasna Góra in Czestochowa, Poland. ‘ open our souls to God,” he said. “We try to plant a seed with the seekers and hope that it will take root.” the Knights in Poland have recently prepared a Polish-language edition of Into the Breach, the exhortation to catholic men by Bishop thomas Olmsted of Phoenix. the booklet includes an introduction by Auxiliary Bishop Grzegorz ryś of Kraków, head of the Polish Bishops’ committee for the New evangelization. in addition to national, diocesan and parish events aimed at catholic men, the Knights of columbus in Poland strongly supports family life. “true masculine spirituality has family roots,” emphasized Anasiak. Numerous councils in Poland have promoted family consecration to the holy Family, the renewal of marriage vows and the Order’s Family Fully Alive program. On the fifth sunday of the month, Knights lead the rosary for families in their parishes. Although the Knights of columbus has had fewer years to develop in neighboring
Ukraine and Lithuania, the members there are no less enthusiastic about promoting spiritual and family programs. in fact, Archbishop Gintaras Grušas of Vilnius, Lithuania, has proposed to the Lithuanian Bishops’ conference the Order’s Building Domestic church While strengthening Our Parish initiative as a nationwide program. it has been widely discussed by priests during home visitations in several dioceses. in Ukraine, too, Knights have worked to build up family life and have organized pilgrimages to holy sites. their pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Zarvanytsia in July 2015 was followed by a prayer program featuring Our Lady’s image. in addition, Knights in Ukraine have cooperated with the Ukrainian Ministry of health to provide spiritual assistance to soldiers who have returned from battlefield and experienced psychological trauma. — Reported by Tomasz Adamski, a member of St. Brother Albert Council 15128 in Kraków.
Photo by Alton Pelowski
A chArActeristic expression of christian spirituality in Poland is a pilgrimage to one of the country’s numerous holy places and shrines. since 2014, the Poland state council of the Knights of columbus has organized an annual pilgrimage to the Jasna Góra Monastery in częstochowa. More than 350 Knights, together with their families, attended the pilgrimage in November 2016. Many Knights attend the largest such event in Poland, the annual men’s pilgrimage to Piekary Śląskie. in 2010, supreme Knight carl A. Anderson spoke at the event, which attracts more than 100,000 men each year. A number of Polish K of c councils have also organized popular walking pilgrimages. Men gather at a local parish and walk through the night to a shrine, where holy Mass is celebrated at dawn. “in this way, the men reclaim their space in the church and a sense of responsibility for their community,” explained Father Wiesław Lenartowicz, a parish priest in radom and the Knights’ associate state chaplain for programs. During the Orderwide 2011-12 Marian prayer program featuring the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Poland was among the most active jurisdictions, with more than 150,000 people attending prayer services there. Beginning this month, the state council is coordinating a pilgrimage of relics of st. Albert chmielowski (1845-1916), as the church in Poland has dedicated 2017 to this model of charity. the Polish Knights have also hosted retreats and days of recollection open to all men. Prof. stanisław Grygiel, a philosopher and longtime friend of st. John Paul ii, led a workshop on the theme of unity, while additional workshops focused on charity, fraternity and patriotism. Grygiel is a member of John Paul ii council 14000 in Kraków. state Deputy Andrzej Anasiak has emphasized the importance of both prayer and intellectual development. “Answers to important questions can
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Members of The Catholic University of America Council 9542 in Washington, D.C., pray the rosary following the weekly Knights’ Mass on campus. Still, while promoting prayer and spirituality among men poses a challenge in itself, there are also cultural hurdles that come into play. Matich, a New Zealander, has observed that American men tend to be fiercely independent, which is not always the best stance when it comes to spiritual growth. “They say, ‘I will figure out how to do this on my own and no one is going to tell me what to do,’” Matich explained. One important task, he added, is to help men understand that involvement in the Church and a strong masculine identity are in no way opposed to one another. Likewise, Inclan noted that though he loves his adopted country, his native Mexico is more friendly to prayer and family life. “Men in the United States are expected to work long hours and become wealthy, leaving little time for prayer or family,” he said. Inclan believes that a taste of Hispanic spirituality can help provide more balance to the U.S. Catholic men’s spirituality movement. According to Walsh, the more the Knights promote spiritual life, the more Hispanic men become interested in joining. And when Hispanic members bring their deep devotion, it further strengthens the spiritual life of the council and forti-
fies bonds between Latino and Anglo cultures. “I would like to break down those barriers,” Walsh added, “and I think the Knights are in a unique position to do that.” One thing is clear from the new movement: Many men are inspired by the language of spiritual battle, which occurs frequently in the letters of St. Paul. In Oregon, the Knights at St. Joseph in Salem call their spirituality effort the Holy League, evoking a 16th-century alliance formed by St. Pope Pius V to defend Catholic Europe from invasion. “It speaks to men,” said Thurman, who spent five years in the U.S. Army. “We like to know our marching orders. Men like to be practical and know what to do and how to do it.” Pamphlets for the Oregon men’s conference featured an illustration of a sword-bearing crusader, head bowed in prayer. “Unless you realize it really is a spiritual battle, you are defenseless. You will not give the response that is required,” said Matich. “Unless men really get engaged, the Church is really going to struggle in every age.”♦ ED LANGLOIS is managing editor of the Catholic Sentinel and its Spanish-language edition, El Centinela, newspapers of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore. MARCH 2017
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KNI GHTS IN ACTION
REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES Holy Apostles parish. That same weekend, the council also made 720 breakfast burritos that were distributed after Sunday morning Masses, bringing in donations totaling $1,336 for the Order’s Christian Refugee Relief Fund. BROTHERHOOD ACROSS BORDERS
Members of Sacred Heart Council 6839 in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, prepare pancakes for students at Sacred Heart School. In an effort to strengthen the connection of school and parish, Knights produced 1000 pancakes in three hours.
Joined by family members, St. Margaret of York Council 13429 in Loveland, Ohio, funded, cooked and served Saturday dinner at Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati. The meal fed 70 families in residence while one or more of their children were being treated at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. LIFE CENTER FUNDRAISER
New York District 8 in Suffolk County, N.Y., held its 18th annual pasta dinner to support Life Center of Long Island. The four councils in the district donated 192 man hours, working with the staff of Life Center to host a record-breaking 410 guests at the dinner and accompanying auction. Working together, the Knights of Columbus and the Life 26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Center raised approximately $20,000 to help protect the unborn. THRIFT SHOP
Father Charles J. Tessier Council 8898 in Larose, La., built a handicap ramp with railings and decking around the St. Vincent de Paul Store, a Catholic Charities shop which serves several area parishes. The store is located on the grounds of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Larose. USED GOODS, STILL GOOD
Petaluma (Ca.) Council 1586 raised more than $7,100 through its annual rummage sale. Knights donated gently used items, coordinated the pickup of donations, and sorted and boxed the items before staging them at St. James Parish for the sale. The area was
cleaned up in time for a 5 p.m. Mass, with the remaining items divided among the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a veterans support organization and a shelter. OUT TO A BALLGAME Peter T. Campon Council 206 in Binghamton, N.Y., hosted an afternoon with the B-Mets, a local baseball team. All ticket proceeds went to the Mercy House of the Southern Tier. Thanks to the generosity of all involved, the afternoon raised $1,000 to support the Mercy House’s ministry of providing a home and care to people with terminal illnesses. PEARS FOR PARISH
Holy Apostles Council 14338 in Colorado Springs, Colo., sold $1,695 in locally grown peaches and pears to raise funds for the needs of
Archbishop James P. Lyke Council 11458 in Fayetteville, Ga., made a $3,000 donation to support the work of Holy Redeemer Council 9544 in Kanata, Ontario, to aid and resettle Syrian Christian refugee families. The funds will help reunite an extended family (see Columbia, June 2016). EXPANDED IMPACT
Bishop Peterson Council 4442 in Salem, N.H., donated an ultrasound machine to Pathways Pregnancy Care Center in Littleton through the Supreme Council’s Ultrasound Initiative. Word spread, and the Knights were offered two more ultrasound machines by a local CEO if they could find pregnancy care centers that could use them. The councils coordinated with two resource centers in Vermont and New Hampshire, which will both receive a machine to use in their ministries. MONTH FOR LIFE
Tara Council 6352 in Jonesboro, Ga., concentrated its charitable efforts on culture of life initiatives for a month. The council donated $200 to the Jonesboro Pregnancy Care Center and placed 900 door hangers in five apartment complexes to publicize the center.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N DINNER “SPRED”
Father John C. Murphy Council 7987 in Dublin, Calif., prepared and cooked an Italian-style dinner at St. Raymond’s Parish for the members of Oakland Diocese SPRED (Special Religious Education Department), a one-on-one catechesis program for parishioners with intellectual disabilities. Following a Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, the SPRED Advisory Board and the St. Raymond Youth Group enjoyed a dinner dance coordinated by Council 7987. The Knights volunteered 160 man-hours for the event. COUNSELING
St. Francis of Assisi Council 12732 and Monsignor Cesar T. Alcoseba Assembly in Dumanjug Cebu, Visayas, established a program to assist police with rehabilitating men involved with illegal drugs who have
Members of Immaculate Conception Council 14405 in Cainta Rizal, Luzon, carry garbage bins for distribution to the community’s parks and recreation areas. The day before, the council joined with other Knights in a coastal cleanup drive along the Manila Bay shoreline, which is heavily littered.
surrendered themselves to authorities. Members who are retired police conduct a seminar for the men to help them rebuild their lives around God. RUNNING OF THE ROSE
Frank Bono (right) and Jeff Jeffcott of Santa Maria Council 4999 in North Palm Beach, Fla.,stand ready to sell cannoli. The council operated a booth for three days to contribute to the Mardi Gras Carnival Fundraiser for St. Clare Elementary School, selling cannoli donated by a company founded by a brother Knight.
St. Jude Council 9102 in Las Vegas, Nev., welcomed one of the silver roses en route to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey, Mexico, with a special Mass and rosary. Council members prayed together and honored Our Lady of Guadalupe as Patroness of the Americas and of the Unborn. COOKOUT FOR VETS
Knights and their families from St. Isaac Jogues Council 13716 in Valley Forge, Pa.,
held a cookout for the resident veterans of the VA Medical Center in Coatesville. Over 60 veterans were served a delicious lunch of grilled burgers and hot dogs, along with side salads, beans and dessert. The annual event is one of the council’s favorite projects. SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SERVERS
Prince of Peace Council 13457 in Flowery Branch, Ga., hosted 90 patrons at an elegant three-course dinner that raised more than $2,500 for the Deacon Bill Speed Scholarship Fund. The fund was established in 2010 to recognize and reward young altar servers who continue assisting at liturgies after being confirmed.
San Lorenzo Council 12378 in Virginia Beach, Va., donated a new riding lawn mower worth $3,000 to San Lorenzo Spiritual Center. Knights often volunteer to mow the lawn and clean the center, which is a place for the Filipino-American community to gather for worship, fiestas and fellowship. ST. MICHAEL MEDALS
Lakeville (Minn.) Council 8367 made a donation to purchase 100 St. Michael the Archangel medals, blessed by St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop Bernard Hebda, to be donated to the Lakeville Police Department. After three weeks, police officers had distributed 85 of the medals.
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Mother Mary Council 15238 in Dawsonville, Ga., adapted the couple’s home in preparation for her return. Interior and exterior ramps, grab bars, bed rails and an additional telephone made homecoming easier and safer. Husband and wife, both longtime parish volunteers, were very appreciative of the council and the support of the whole parish family.
Right Rev. Monsignor Jean C. Mathieu Assembly in Putnam, Conn., brought Catholic patients of Veteran’s Hospital West Haven to and from Sunday Mass. The assembly also provided 50 new missals in addition to delivering toiletries and used cell phones for the patients at large. READYING RECTORY
Monsignor Gerein Council 9859 in Regina, Saskatchewan, helped ready a condo for their parish’s new pastor. Working around the schedule of the painters and cleaners, Knights pulled up carpet and underlay, removed baseboards and staples, and shifted furniture.
A member of T. James O’Neil, George Mason University Council 10806 in Fairfax, Va., hands out roses to spread the message of women’s dignity. The student Knights distributed hundreds of flowers on campus.
east Louisiana War Veteran’s Home in Reserve to pray the rosary with a fellow Knight, “Dutch” Schanzbach.
PRAYER IN UNITY
Father Vander Heyden Council 4874 in Ponchatoula, La., visited the South-
Father Sourd Council 2423 in Fayetteville, Ohio, prepared and delivered fresh pork tenderloin sandwiches to 160 residents and 40 staff of the Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown. The sandwiches are a favorite of many in the area. PICK OF THE CROP
Grand Knight Dave Dollieslager of Our Lady of Hope Council 8086 in Port Orange, Fla., carries siding to a prepared wall. The council helped Habitat for Humanity with the exteriors of two neighboring homes. 28 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Over two weekends and 167 hours of work, Father William W. Finley Council 4374 in St. Paul, Minn., harvested over 12,500 pounds of corn for Second Harvest Heartland, an agency that provides food for over 1,000 food programs in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. After a hot day working in the sun, the council was also able to provide 500 pounds of corn to Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church for an upcoming sweet corn feed that had been in peril when the original corn supplier fell through.
FOOD AND FUNDS
Cap-Rouge/St-Augustin (Québec) Council 13420 held a one-month drive that collected $15,652 in monetary donations, as well as food and materials valued at $11,903, for the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St-Augustin and other community service organizations.
ON THE MOVE
The facility owners of an area school scheduled for demolition offered St. Marguerite Catholic School a full set of playground equipment if the fixtures could be quickly removed. St. Marguerite’s Council 6739 in Tooele, Utah, answered the call for assistance and arrived with shovels, tools and a wrecker. Knights and other parishioners succeeded in moving the equipment in one weekend, saving the parochial school several thousand dollars.
St. Michael of Sterling Heights (Mich.) Council 13799 assisted both its parish and a brother in need. The council built a ramp for a wheelchairbound Knight to help him get to and from medical appointments, and they also re-landscaped his yard with low-maintenance plants. Turning these skills to their parish, they also helped create a Peace Garden at St. Michael Church and hosted an ice cream social for parishioners at the garden’s dedication and blessing. HOMECOMING HELP
When the wife of a council member fell and broke her hip, requiring a hospital stay and physical therapy, Blessed
A member of Christ the King Council 14130 in Lexington, Ky., carries a box filled with toiletries for local shelters that had requested hygiene supplies. The local parish responded generously to a drive conducted by the council, donating more than 7,000 items ranging from toothpaste to shaving cream to sewing kits. The items helped shelters serve the homeless population.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N TIMBER!
When a member of Monsignor Luigi Ligutti Council 12130 in Granger, Iowa, found his elderly neighbor, a veteran who suffers from multiple sclerosis, trying to fell a tree on his property, the Knight offered the help of his council. Within 48 hours, 10 Knights arrived with the necessary tools to fell all the trees that the man wanted to clear. VETERAN VISIT
James W. Gibbons Assembly in Topeka, Kan., organizes monthly bingo afternoons at
Members of Owatonna (Minn.) Council 945 present a check for $8,000 to Snowflake, the mascot of the Owatonna Special Olympics Polar Plunge. The donation represents proceeds of the council’s eighth annual Smokin’ in Steele barbecue contest and blues fest.
the Colmery-O’Neil VA Hospital. Inpatient and outpatient veterans participate and have been enjoying the project so much that they requested an additional night be added each month. ROSARY RESOURCES Jeff Easter of St. Mark Council 12654 in Huntersville, N.C., grills sausages and peppers at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte during the NFC championship game. By regularly working at the sausage and cheesesteak stations during Carolina Panthers home games, the council has raised over $10,000 for a variety of charities, including Coats for Kids and Room in the Inn, an interreligious coalition that provides overnight shelter during the winter months.
Father Neil W. Seidl Council 13672 in Orangevale, Calif., funded the design, fabrication and installation of an all-weather interpretive sign for Divine Savior Church’s outdoor Rosary Walk. The council also paid for the printing of 1,200 bilingual brochures explaining how to pray the rosary, bringing their donation’s total to $2,300.
vine Providence for the Parish of St. Teresita de Avila. The image is meant to remind the parishioners, who live in an area heavily affected by Typhoon Haiyan, of daily veneration of Our Blessed Mother. Members offered their labor and services for free to complete the project.
City, Panama, delivered dry food, books, magazines, rosaries and cleaning materials to Hogar El Buen Samaritano, a home for women and men suffering from AIDS. The council also donated personal hygiene items to the Archdiocese of Panama for its ministry to migrant people in the Darien region.
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Council 13145 in Baton Rouge, La., donated $3,000 raised from a Mexican dinner to the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s Hispanic Apostolate. The donation will help provide relief to the many families affected by the severe flooding that struck Louisiana in August.
Sta. Teresita de Avila Council 15927 in Carles, Iloilo (Visayas) constructed an image of Our Lady of Di-
San Antonio de Padua Council 14558 in Panama
USHERING IN SUCCESS
St. Michael’s Council 4501 and St. Anthony’s Maronite Council 13797, both in Leamington, Ontario, worked as ushers at a fundraiser concert. The evening’s $240,000 in proceeds went toward the construction of a new church for St. Michael Parish. The council had previously donated $650,000 toward the new church building from the sale of its meeting hall.
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presented a decorative indoor U.S. flag to Sister Elizabeth Dunn, director of Hope Rural School, and Sister Martha Rohde, the school’s principal, for display in the school auditorium. The school, founded to serve the children of migrant workers, offers Catholic education for pre-K through fifth grade students in a farming community. FUNDS DIVIDED, COMMUNITY UNITED
Bishop Roberto Octavio Balmori Cinta of Ciudad Valles, Mexico, preaches at a Mass celebrated as part of the Silver Rose pilgrimage, while members of San José de Zapotlán Council 3338 in Ciudad Guzman listen attentively. Hundreds gathered to participate in the Mass and procession to the cathedral, celebrating the occasion with prayer, music and flowers.
Durango (Colo.) Council 1408 marked the feast of St. Cajetan, the founder of the Theatine Order, with a corporate communion and donations of $500 each to four seminarians preparing for priesthood with the Theatines. They will eventually work in the Diocese of Pueblo and southwest Colorado. BUILDING COMMUNITY
St. Gabriel Council 13170 in Chesterfield, Va., welcomed more than 300 people to an appreciation night held for the sheriff, police, firefighters and rescue personnel of Chesterfield County. The council coordinated the event with the Chesterfield Sheriff ’s Department and a local pizza restaurant. The presence of emergency vehicles, McGruff the Crime 30 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Dog mascot, an actual police dog and fingerprinting kits for kids made it a fun chance for community members to build rapport with first responders. Proceeds from the sale of water and pizza and a $500 donation from Council 13170 were given to the Chesterfield Police Foundation.
off Day, during which parishioners donated nearly two dozen loads of household items that the Knights sorted, moved and tested for Habitat for Humanity’s local ReStore. The council also served breakfast and lunch for 30 candidates and their wives at a diaconate formation event at St. Colette Parish.
Iroquois Falls (Ontario) Council 2641 welcomed representatives of religious, charitable and nonprofit groups to a “Piece of the Pie” gathering. There, the council divided the $15,000 profits of its annual fundraisers — including a sportsman and trade show, cash calendar sale, and Roses for Life campaign — among the community organizations. The contributions were followed by another pie to share: a pizza lunch.
FUDGE AND FUNDS
Archbishop Coleman Carroll Council 11391 in Forest Hills, Pa., sold more than 100 packages of fudge and raffled a five-pound slab of the candy during the fourday St. Maurice Parish Festival. The proceeds of the locally produced fudge were divided between East Catholic Elementary School and St. Maurice Parish.
Taking part in a beautification project initiated by the pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, St. Andrew Council 9198 in Camarines Sur, Luzon, donated an array of live ornamental plants for the church grounds. The council also donated the gift in honor of the 86th birthday of a charter member.
Dr. Thomas A. Dooley Council 5492 in Livonia, Mich., coordinated a Drop-
Father Andrew Doherty Assembly in De Soto, Fla.,
A member of Resurrection of the Lord Council 13663 in Waipio, Hawaii, oversees the production of pancakes. The council, which served more than 130 meals, was one of several organizations to provide breakfast during a nineday series of dawn Masses at the local parish.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N SISTERS CELEBRATED
Little Flower Council 6117 in Fort Pierre, S.D., hosted an evening of appreciation for the Benedictine sisters who live and serve in the area. The event served to thank the sisters for their community’s 117 years of service, particularly within St. Joseph’s School and St. Mary’s Hospital. More than 100 people attended to honor the sisters. INTERNATIONAL FLOOD RELIEF
Bishop John J. Kaising Military Council 14223 in Seoul, South Korea, staffed a refreshment booth on Labor Day. Helped by family members, the council sold snow cones and other treats, with all proceeds going to assist those affected by the flooding that struck Louisiana in August 2016. UNITED PARADE
Jesus Villamor Assembly in Pasay City, Luzon, joined with the Philippine Air Force Honor Guards for a patriotic parade. The event
honored the assembly’s namesake, Col. Jesús A. Villamor, a pilot decorated for his service in the air and as an intelligence officer in World War II. PAPAL ALTAR MOVED
Santa Maria Council 263 in Flourtown, Pa., undertook the task of relocating the papal altar, used by Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia, from St. Peter’s Basilica to Holy Martyrs Church in Oreland. Together, Knights and parishioners supplied the equipment and muscle required to properly transport and reassemble the altar in its new home. ITALIAN EVENING
Saints Simon and Jude Council 8336 in Huntington Beach, Calif., raised $6,200 with a sold-out “Knight at the Opera” Italian dinner and concert. Two professional opera singers serenaded some 450 patrons with classic Italian opera favorites. In keeping with the flavor of the evening, the
Eric Snyder, past grand knight of Marquette Council 1437 in New Orleans, La., collects Mardi Gras trinkets after the New Orleans parade. The council collected sacks of used beads from the carnival season and delivered them to St. Michael Special School, which serves individuals with disabilities. Every year students repackage the beads for the next carnival season and sell them as a school fundraiser.
Jim Pesonen (left) and John Brandon of Vincent T. Lombardi Council 6552 in Leonardo, N.J., serve food during an appreciation picnic for the 42nd New Jersey National Guard. Some 150 people — servicemen and their families — attended the annual gathering, which the council has hosted since 2012.
Knights prepared two different Italian entrees as well as dessert for their guests. Funds raised will benefit the local Special Olympics, outreach efforts to people with mental disabilities and parish youth ministries.
ROC” at Plymouth ROC Bar & Restaurant. The concert featured Knights performing Christian rock and classic rock favorites and raised $2,340 to benefit the Plymouth-Canton Special Olympics.
CLEARING THE VIEW
Father Joseph M. Baker Council 3599 in Panama City, Fla., co-sponsored St. Dominic Parish’s first Blue Mass. Fourth Degree Knights contributed an honor guard at the Mass, which was attended by more than 230 people and elicited expressions of gratitude from representatives of the many first responders present. In an ecumenical show of appreciation for the responders, members of a Baptist church helped serve a lunch after Mass.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Council 794 in Lindenhurst, N.Y., asked what service its parish needed and received the job of washing windows at the parish school. Twenty members spent a busy six hours preparing the school for the next semester.
St. John Neumann Council 16169 in Canton, Mich., held a concert called “Knight
kofc.org exclusive See more “Knights in Action” reports and photos at www.kofc.org/ knightsinaction
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P RO M OT I O NA L & G I F T I T E M S
K OF C ITEMS OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS IN THE UNITED STATES THE ENGLISH COMPANY INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment 1-800-444-5632 • www.kofcsupplies.com LYNCH AND KELLY INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-548-3890 • www.lynchkelly.com
Red Emblem Cap This structured, mid-profile red cap is embroidered with the full-color K of C emblem. It is 65% polyster and 35% cotton, and the closure is a self-fabric adjustable slide closure with brushed nickel buckle and grommet. $10 each
IN CANADA ROGER SAUVÉ INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-266-1211 • www.roger-sauve.com
J O I N T H E FAT H E R MCGIVNEY GUILD
Please enroll me in the Father McGivney Guild: NAME
Highway Emergency Kit Be prepared with this red emergency first aid kit. It includes jumper cables, one pair of gloves, a tow strap, a foldable reflective roadside triangle and a first aid kit with ten 82x28mm bandages, four alcohol pads, scissors and plastic tweezers. Decorated with a black Emblem of the Order with text. Kit measures 13” x 7” x 2”. $30 each
ADDRESS CITY STATE/PROVINCE ZIP/POSTAL CODE Complete this coupon and mail to: The Father McGivney Guild, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or enroll online at: www.fathermcgivney.org
OFFICIAL MARCH 1, 2017: To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7 ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. SUBSCRIPTION RATES — IN THE U.S.: 1 YEAR, $6; 2 YEARS, $11; 3 YEARS, $15. FOR OTHER COUNTRIES ADD $2 PER YEAR. EXCEPT FOR CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENT IN U.S. CURRENCY ONLY. SEND ORDERS AND CHECKS TO: ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901.
COLUMBIA (ISSN 0010-1869/USPS #123-740) IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 1 COLUMBUS PLAZA, NEW HAVEN, CT 06510-3326. PHONE: 203-752-4000, www.kofc.org. PRODUCED IN USA. COPYRIGHT © 2015 BY KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT NEW HAVEN, CT AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO COLUMBIA, MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. CANADIAN POSTMASTER — PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 1473549. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 50 MACINTOSH BOULEVARD, CONCORD, ONTARIO L4K 4P3 PHILIPPINES — FOR PHILIPPINES SECOND-CLASS MAIL AT THE MANILA CENTRAL POST OFFICE. SEND RETURN COPIES TO KCFAPI, FRATERNAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1511, MANILA.
32 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Charles River® Pack-N-Go Pullover Perfect for a Knight on the go, this Charles River® Pack-N-Go pullover packs easily into its pouch pocket when not in use. This lightweight black Knights of Columbus hooded pullover is wind and water resistant. It is made of 100% Softex Polyester. The pullover design is accented with black zippers. It has underarm grommets for ventilation, a shock cord drawstring at the hem and elastic at the cuffs. It is decorated with Knights of Columbus gray, stacked text embroidered on the left chest. Available in small through 3X. S-XL: $32 each, 2X: $34, 3X: $35
knightsgear.com Questions? 1-855-GEAR-KOC (855-432-7562) Additional shipping costs apply to all orders. Please call before mailing in an order.
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K N I G H T S O F C O LU MBU S
Building a better world one council at a time Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a difference — whether through community service, raising money or prayer. We celebrate each and every Knight for his strength, his compassion and his dedication to building a better world.
BE FEATURED HERE , SEND YOUR COUNCIL’ S
C OLUMBIA , 1 C OLUMBUS P LAZA , N EW
Members of Mother of Perpetual Help Council 5629 of Vero Beach, Fla., participate in Adopt a Roadway cleanup, on a portion of public street for which the council has taken responsibility.
“K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” H AVEN , CT 06510-3326
PHOTO AS WELL AS ITS DESCRIPTION TO : OR E - MAIL : COLUMBIA @ KOFC . ORG .
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PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
K E E P T H E FA I T H A L I V E
‘IN THE SILENCE OF CHRIST’S PRESENCE, I FOUND PEACE.’
SISTER MARY ELIZABETH ALBERS Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Corpus Christi, Texas
Photo by Jason Dailey
During high school, I would sometimes go with my parents to their weekly hour of eucharistic adoration. Although my mind wandered among a myriad of subjects, I felt peaceful there. I later played basketball at Benedictine College, and between sports, studies, writing for the school paper and leading a Bible study, at times I felt simultaneously overwhelmed and a bit empty. But in the adoration chapel on campus, in the silence of Christ’s presence, I again found peace. After college, I traveled to Belize to teach at a mission high school, where I was surrounded by the joyful witness of priests, sisters and lay families of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Amid community life with the other missionary volunteers and the service I offered to students and their families, the Lord gently opened my heart to the possibility of consecrated life. And in the tiny adoration chapel in Benque Viejo, I experienced an invitation to belong entirely to Jesus, whom I realized had been with me all along.