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Strengthen the Church This Year, Make Your Serve YourProtecting Community Family the First Resolution YouWorld Keep. Change the Contact me today to learn more: K OF C AGENT (123) 456-7890 For more information, visit






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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S march 2019 ♦ Volume 99 ♦ Number 3



A Mission From Above NASA hero Gene Kranz describes how his legendary career was launched and powered by his Catholic faith. BY JAMES RAMOS

12 With God at the Helm A New Jersey Knight was the first to ferry passengers to safety after Flight 1549 landed on the Hudson. BY JOHN BURGER

16 The Real ‘Private Ryan’ and the Chaplain Who Saved Him A World War II story of two Knights of Columbus inspired the blockbuster film by Steven Spielberg. BY LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON

22 ‘Against the Forces of Prejudice’ More voices come to the defense of the Knights and speak out against religious tests for federal office.

24 A Pro-Life Voice Knights join hundreds of thousands in Washington for the annual March for Life. BY COLUMBIA STAFF

A Knights of Columbus council banner flies during the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., as the U.S. Capitol is seen in the background.


Building a better world Like Supreme Court decisions that upheld slavery and segregation, Roe v. Wade is based upon a lie. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON

Photo by Spirit Juice Studios


Learning the faith, living the faith


Knights of Columbus News Knights Killed in Philippine Cathedral Bombing • Georgia Knights Sponsor ‘Super BowlSized’ Coats for Kids PLUS: Triduum of Prayer for Peace in the Philippines

21 Christians at Risk Vatican Secretary of State visits the McGivney House, an Ordersponsored home for elderly and families in Iraq.

28 Knights in Action

The Church must address the abuse crisis with a true Lenten spirit of renewal and hope. BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI

PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month

MARCH 2019


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Grace In Action THE ASTRONAUTS of Apollo 13 were nearly a quarter million miles from Earth — farther away than any other human beings in history. Squeezed into a tiny lunar module after an oxygen tank explosion critically damaged their spacecraft, the three men circled the moon, using gravity to slingshot their “lifeboat” back home. They landed safely April 17, 1970, six days after they had left. President Richard Nixon later awarded the Medal of Freedom to both the astronauts and the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team in Houston. The citation for that award begins: “We often speak of scientific ‘miracles’ — forgetting that these are not miraculous happenings at all, but rather the product of hard work, long hours and disciplined intelligence.” The award rightly commends the dedication, ingenuity and performance under pressure demonstrated by the Apollo 13 team, but a question remains: Must extraordinary human achievements and divine intervention be mutually exclusive? An axiom often attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola advises, “Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended on you.” Some prefer to reverse the axiom (“Pray as if everything depended on you…”). But both statements, understood correctly, remind us of the same truth: At every moment, we are entirely dependent on the grace of God, who not only created the world but sustains it in existence; at the same time, we are called to be God’s co-workers, cooperating with his grace and using the gifts he has given us.

Gene Kranz, the lead flight director for Apollo 13 and a member of the Knights of Columbus, believed failure was not an option, but he also believed that God was in control (see page 8). His role in the Apollo 13 mission was dramatized in the 1995 film starring Tom Hanks as astronaut Jim Lovell. Three years later, Hanks starred in another movie about heroism in the face of impossible odds: Saving Private Ryan. That film was loosely based on the story of Sgt. Frederick “Fritz” Niland, a paratrooper who was brought home after his brothers were killed in the 1944 Normandy campaign. It was Father Francis L. Sampson, an acclaimed military chaplain, who sent Niland home. Both men were Knights (see page 16). Tom Hanks added to his list of iconic roles when in 2016 he portrayed the title character Sully, which dramatized the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River seven years earlier. In interviews, airline executives and the pilot rejected the phrase “Miracle on the Hudson,” preferring language similar to the award citation above. However, Capt. Vincent Lombardi, a grand knight from New Jersey who piloted the first rescue boat on the scene, saw God’s hand at work that day (see page 12). Each of these stories involve men who responded to challenges with decisiveness, skill and courage — and also with trust in God. They are part of the great heritage of the Knights of Columbus, and they testify to the power of faith in action.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR

Domestic Church Resource: St. Joseph: Our Father in Faith Among the saints, Joseph is the preeminent model for husbands and fathers; he is also a guide for all Christians, whatever their state in life. St. Joseph: Our Father in Faith (#328) by Father Frederick L. Miller features insightful reflections on St. Joseph’s faith, virtue and role in the world today. To order a copy of the booklet, which is part of the Building the Domestic Church series, or to freely download it and other Catholic Information Service resources in PDF or audio format, visit 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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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 PRAYER CARDS & SUPPLIES 203-752-4214 COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 K OF C CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 EMAIL INTERNET ________ 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 © 2019 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER NASA flight director Eugene F. Kranz gestures skyward during preparations for the Apollo 5 lunar mission Jan. 11, 1968.

ON THE COVER: Photo courtesy of NASA


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America’s Consensus on Life Like Supreme Court decisions that upheld slavery and segregation, Roe v. Wade is based upon a lie by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson IN MY REMARKS to this year’s March for Life, I highlighted two findings from this year’s Marist Poll on attitudes toward abortion. The first is that three in four Americans say abortion should be limited to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy. And that includes 6 in 10 who describe themselves as “pro-choice.” The second is that about 2 in 3 Americans want the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade to be reinterpreted by the Court to allow states to restrict or ban abortion. Both findings are consistent with what the Marist Poll has found for more than a decade: Strip away the labels often used in the abortion debate, and Americans by large numbers do not agree with the Supreme Court’s mandate of a “right” to abortion throughout pregnancy. Pro-abortion extremists must be paying close attention. Recently, there has been a move in several states to lock in by statute abortion throughout pregnancy. Writing in the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 8), Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York spoke out forcefully against the “horror” of this “extremism.” He predicted “a backlash across the country” against the “gruesome” logic that sanctions unrestricted abortion throughout pregnancy and even the killing of a baby born alive after abortion. (Pope Francis has used even stronger language in the past, saying abortion is equivalent to hiring a hit man.) Cardinal Dolan placed such legislation in the context of the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision upholding slavery. There, the Court wrote

that Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet, were members of an “inferior class of human beings” who were “unfit to associate with the white race” and “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” While many Americans believed the Court’s decision had settled the slavery issue, others did not. The nation soon split along both partisan and geographical lines. The Civil War would end slavery. But it did not put an end to the logic that produced it. Soon new laws embodied the view that African Americans were an inferior class of human beings “unfit to associate with the white race.” Again, the country split over geographical and partisan lines. And in another shameful decision, the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), by a vote of 7-to-1, upheld segregationist “Jim Crow” laws. And again, many Americans thought the matter settled. It would take six more decades before the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the Congress’s passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would wipe away this stain on America’s laws. Neither Dred Scott nor Roe v. Wade should have ever been considered “settled” law, because both decisions were based upon a lie — a lie that says there is an “inferior class of human beings” with “no rights” that we are “bound to respect.” At the March for Life, I quoted one of America’s great abolitionist leaders, Wendell Phillips, who once stated, “One and God makes a majority.” I added that it also helps to have the American people on our side. At the Knights of Columbus Museum

in New Haven, Conn., we display a photograph of Supreme Knight Luke Hart at the White House presenting President John F. Kennedy a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance. During the 1950s, the Knights of Columbus led the effort to have Congress add the words “under God” to the text. When I am asked, “What do these words mean?” I answer they mean at least this: As President Kennedy said at his inauguration, as a nation we stand on the principle that “the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.” The great moral issues of our day should transcend partisan politics. This is occurring today regarding abortion. The Marist Poll survey finds majorities in both political parties reject such extreme late-term abortion laws. One way to transcend partisanship is by insisting upon reality-based public policies. The approach of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade does the opposite, with the Court stating that it did not have to “resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” But this is precisely the question that must be answered; otherwise, the public discussion loses its moral center. There is bipartisan consensus among Americans on abortion. It is time that politics in Washington and elsewhere reflect not only that consensus but the reality of the child before birth. Vivat Jesus!

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The Long Lent The Church must address the abuse crisis with a true Lenten spirit of renewal and hope by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

BACK IN 2010, a newspaper article Lent, we should make a complete and described the sexual abuse crisis in unburdening confession of our sins in the Church as “a long Lent.” At the the sacrament of reconciliation. Simitime, I regarded such a description as larly, this is a time when the Church’s needs to happen continually in the unfair to the season of Lent. The ar- leaders must fully acknowledge past Church’s life. It is not enough for ticle chastised the Church’s leaders for sins and failures that have inflicted Church leaders to admit past sins their failures but also depicted the great spiritual, physical and psycho- and errors; nor is it enough to Church itself as caught in a sorry and logical harm on many innocent peo- strengthen measures to prevent abuse hopeless quagmire. But Lent isn’t ple. Such an acknowledgment must be and to attain greater accountability about misery and hopelessness. Quite coupled with heartfelt resolve to con- — vitally important as these are. the opposite. The liturgy describes tinue helping victim-survivors who Truthfully, all such efforts aimed at Lent as God’s “gracious gift,” a transparency will miss the time when his people prepare mark unless they proceed from to celebrate the Paschal Mysprayerful and discerning Through prayer, penance and tery “with the joy of minds hearts and minds that have made pure.” The point of been thoroughly purified and almsgiving, we seek to stand Lent’s chastisements is our inrenewed by the Holy Spirit. ward purification by the Holy Third, during Lent we actransparent before the God who Spirit — always the key to auknowledge our sins and repent looks deeply into our hearts. thentic renewal and joy. of them so that we might emHowever, the season of Lent, brace our faith more boldly understood correctly, does inand live it with greater courage deed shed light on the crisis that has struggle with the ongoing impact of and love. Lent is also a time of plagued victim-survivors of abuse and past abuse. growth in the Church’s life — intethe Church itself for far too long. If Second, the Lenten confession of rior growth and the joy of welcoming we speak of this crisis as “a long our sins is more than wiping the slate new members at Easter. So too, even Lent,” we should really mean: Now is clean. It must be accompanied by in this most challenging time in the the time to address this crisis at its roots earnest prayer for interior purifica- Church’s life, we must not lose heart. by the purification and renewal of the tion. Again, to quote Psalm 51: “A We must continue to proclaim and Church. With this in mind, let me clean heart create for me, God; renew live the Gospel with confidence and suggest three connections between within me a steadfast spirit.” love. We must continue to be people the season of Lent and the sexual Through prayer, penance and alms- of charity and compassion. We must abuse crisis. giving, we seek to stand transparent be people open to the Holy Spirit, by First, in Lent each of us must ac- before the God who looks deeply into whom we are joined to Christ and to knowledge our sins by which we reject our hearts. We pray that our external one another in the Church. God’s love and inflict pain on others. words and actions may flow from a May this long Lent lead to an As we pray in Psalm 51: “Against you, heart and soul cleansed of our sins Easter of renewed hope and joy — you alone, have I sinned; I have done and impure motives by the refining for ourselves, for the Church and for what is evil in your eyes.” During fire of God’s love. Something similar those who have been harmed.♦ 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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A monthly reflection and practical challenge from Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori: “So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” (Gospel for March 31, Lk 15:20) My brother Knights, here we encounter some of the most beautiful words in the entire Gospel: the reunion of the prodigal son with his father. As Jesus describes the scene, I invite you to put yourself in three different sets of shoes. First, imagine that you are the father, seeing your own flesh and blood, your son,


coming home. Second, imagine that you are the prodigal son, expecting the worst, but finding that your father is moved with compassion. Third, imagine that you are the hardworking older brother, watching this reunion from a critical distance. We can learn from all three: embracing others with the mercy of the father; running to our heavenly Father like the prodigal; and with the older brother, hearing the father’s words spoken to us: “Everything I have is yours” (Lk 15:31). Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori: This month, I challenge you to be like the prodigal son’s father by making the first move: Take the first step toward another person in your life to encourage or forgive him or her. Second, I challenge you to prayerfully write a list of things in your life for which you are grateful.♦


TOP: The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt (ca 1668) / Wikimedia Commons/Google Art Project — POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/Carlos Jasso, Reuters

St. José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero (1840-1914)

That Christian communities, especially those who are persecuted, feel that they are close to Christ and have their rights respected.

L I T U RG I C A L C A L E N DA R March 4 St. Casimir

March 6 Ash Wednesday

March 7 Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs

March 8 St. John of God, Religious

March 9 St. Frances of Rome, Religious March 18 St. Cyril of Jerusalem,

Bishop and Doctor of the Church

March 19 St. Joseph, Spouse of

the Blessed Virgin Mary

March 23 St. Turibius of Mogrovejo

March 25 The Annunciation of the Lord

NOTHING GOT in the way of Father José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero as he traversed the highlands of Argentina to reach his far-flung parishioners. “Woe if the devil is going to rob a soul from me,” he was wont to say. Brochero was born March 16, 1840, to a farming family. He began his seminary studies in Córdoba at 16 and was ordained at 26. For the next few years he remained in Córdoba, studying for his Master of Philosophy degree and teaching. When cholera broke out in the city in 1867, he tended to the sick and dying. Father Brochero was then assigned to the rural parish of San Alberto, which covered an area larger than Rhode Island. He would spend nearly four decades serving the people there both spiritually and materially. He built a retreat house, founded a girls’ school, and introduced thousands to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He also oversaw the construction of roads, designed an aqueduct and persuaded government officials to bring mail, telegraph and railroad to the isolated and impoverished area. Draped in a poncho

and traveling constantly by mule to celebrate Mass and offer the sacraments throughout his parish, Father Brochero became known as “el cura gaucho” — the cowboy priest. During his pastoral work with the sick, Father Brochero contracted leprosy, and the disease gradually took his hearing and sight. Deaf and almost blind, he spent his last few years in the care of his two sisters. He died Jan. 26, 1914; his last words reportedly were: “Now I have everything ready for the journey.” Pope Francis has praised his fellow Argentinian as a pastor “who smelled of his sheep.” Brochero was canonized Oct. 16, 2016.♦

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Knights Killed in Philippine Cathedral Bombing TWO MEMBERS of the Order were among at least 20 people killed Jan. 27 by two bombs detonated during Sunday morning Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Jolo island in Sulu province, Mindanao. Dozens more people were injured, including four Knights. The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council has pledged to financially assist victims and their families. Leo C. Herbolario of Father Emile Buldoc Council 8181 and Reynaldo Pescadera of Bishop Francis J. McSorley Council 4552 died in the attack. Among the injured were Oscar E. Asares, Arturo E. Ablay and Vincent C. Unding, all of Council 8181, and Roderick S. Hoe of Jolo Carmelite Council 9419. “We are reaching out in prayer and support for our brother Knights and their families in their time of grief and loss, remembering especially those who were killed or injured in this senseless attack on a Catholic sanctuary,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “We stand in solidarity with our bishops who for decades have worked for peace in this troubled area of the Philippines.” Sulu is a predominantly Muslim province, where several groups claim allegiance to Islamic State. Police have accused a terrorist group known as Abu Sayyaf of helping suicide bombers from Indonesia carry out the attack. According to Catholic News Service, Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father Romeo Saniel, apostolic administrator of Jolo, said those who perished “died for their Christian faith.”

A soldier inspects damage inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Jolo island, Mindanao, following a deadly bomb blast Jan. 27. “They bravely stayed in Jolo in spite of the threats and insecurities,” Father Saniel said. “No words can describe the sorrow and pain that we feel these days.” Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the bombing while he was in Panama for World Youth Day. “I raise my prayers for the dead and wounded,” he said. “May the Lord, prince of peace, convert the hearts of the violent and give the inhabitants of that region a peaceful coexistence.” The Order was established in the Philippines in 1905; today, there are more than 400,000 Filipino Knights.♦

MORE THAN 600 children in a first Communion class at San Felipe de Jesus Catholic Mission in Forest Park, Ga., received new winter coats from the Georgia State Council Knights of Columbus on Jan. 26, just before arctic air hit the area and the Super Bowl came to town. The event was the largest Coats for Kids distribution event in Knights of Columbus history. The Order has given away more than 130,000 coats this season in the United States and Canada, and more than a half million since the program began a decade ago. “I believe that the hand of Father McGivney guided us to Mission San Felipe de Jesus,” said Georgia State Deputy Mark Corrigan. The first Communion class heard from former Atlanta Falcon player Brian Finneran, who encouraged the children to recognize and embrace their talents and gifts. Former Atlanta Falcon assistant coach Eric Sutulovich, Georgia Tech wide receiver Brad Stewart and Atlanta Falcons team mascot Freddie also participated — posing for 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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pictures, exchanging high fives and signing autographs for the joyful coat recipients. Ken Weber, Georgia Coats for Kids chairman, was instrumental in coordinating the event. “Seeing all those kids with coats on their backs today made me very proud to be a Knight of Columbus,” he said.♦

TOP: CNS photo/Armed Forces of the Philippines via Reuters — BOTTOM: Photo by Spirit Juice Studios

Georgia Knights Sponsor ‘Super Bowl-Sized’ Coats for Kids

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Due to continuing hostilities in southern Philippines and the Jan. 27 bombing during Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Mindanao, the Knights of Columbus calls all members to stand in solidarity with their Filipino brothers and their families. Two Knights were among the more than 20 killed and four Knights were among the more than 80 injured in the cathedral bombing, which the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines condemned as an “act of terrorism.” Knights throughout the Order are asked to join in three days of prayer, invoking the intercession of St. Joseph as guardian and protector, beginning Sunday, March 17, and concluding March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph.

Litany of St. Joseph

Photo by Peter Škrlep/Tamino Petelinsek © Knights of Columbus

Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us. God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. Holy Mary, pray for us. St. Joseph, pray for us. Renowned offspring of David, pray for us. Light of Patriarchs, pray for us. Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us. Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us. Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us. Diligent protector of Christ, pray for us. Head of the Holy Family, pray for us. Joseph most just, pray for us. Joseph most chaste, pray for us. Joseph most prudent, pray for us. Joseph most strong, pray for us. Joseph most obedient, pray for us. Joseph most faithful, pray for us. Mirror of patience, pray for us. Lover of poverty, pray for us. Model of artisans, pray for us. Glory of home life, pray for us. Guardian of virgins, pray for us. Pillar of families, pray for us. Solace of the wretched, pray for us. Hope of the sick, pray for us. Patron of the dying, pray for us. Terror of demons, pray for us. Protector of Holy Church, pray for us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. He made him the lord of his household. And ruler of all his possessions.

Let us pray. O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most Holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom, on earth, we venerate as our protector; You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. MARCH 2019


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A MISSION FROM ABOVE NASA hero Gene Kranz describes how his legendary career was launched and powered by his Catholic faith

NASA Photo/Wikimedia Commons

by James Ramos


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But it didn’t end there, of course. Kranz instead went on to work 34 years at NASA, where, sporting a headset, a flat-top haircut, and one of his signature vests, he launched men into space and brought them safely back to earth. He is perhaps most renowned for the latter: Kranz led the engineers that guided the Apollo 13 mission home after it was crippled by an onboard explosion. “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” astronaut Jack Swigert reported from space April 14, 1970. For the next three nail-biting days, lead flight director Kranz and his team figured out how to fix that problem. “We pulled off a miracle in Apollo 13. We never should have been able to solve all the problems we faced,” Kranz said. “But it was that culture of the people that would never surrender. They would find a way. … It was trust between the crew in the spacecraft and myself and my team.”

Photo by Felix Sanchez

n Gene Kranz’s desk, next to military memorabilia, model fighter planes and a space shuttle mockup, sits a framed photo of three beaming religious sisters. Long before Kranz, 85, became a NASA legend — the coolheaded flight director of the moon landing of Apollo 11 and the near catastrophe of Apollo 13 — these sisters set him on the path to Mission Control. It was Sister Patricia, Sister Caroline and Sister Mark at Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio, who helped Kranz receive a nomination to the Naval Academy. And, when he unfortunately failed his physical to enter the academy, it was the sisters who arranged his scholarship loan to aviation school in St. Louis. “Without their help, my career would have ended right there,” said Kranz, a longtime member of Father Roach Council 3217 in Dickinson, Texas.

Eugene F. Kranz, a member of Father Roach Council 3217 in Dickinson, Texas, sits surrounded by NASA memorabilia at his home. • Opposite page: Earth is seen on the horizon as Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle, returns from the surface of the moon to the command module, Columbia, in July 1969. Kranz served as flight director for the first lunar landing. He was also the lead flight director for the Apollo 13 mission the following year. MARCH 2019


A day after the Apollo 13 crew landed, Kranz and his team, as well as the astronauts, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their work. Ron Howard’s 1995 film Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris, breathed new life into the legend. Kranz was portrayed by Harris, who earned an Oscar nomination and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for best supporting actor. “I think Ed Harris did a great job in portraying the challenge, intensity and complexity of not only my work, but of all the individual controllers on the team,” Kranz said. “It wasn’t about me; it was about the teams and the people in Mission Control. We truly believed that in our line of work, failure is never an option.” Throughout his career, Kranz never forgot where he came from. He has approached his life and work with the perspective of his Catholic faith, which he says was shaped by various religious communities in Toledo, as well as at St. Louis University. After his studies, Kranz joined the Air Force and got married. He served as a pilot in Korea before working at McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in New Mexico. Missing the close relationships he had known in the military, he joined the Knights of Columbus in 1959. Kranz says he welcomed the brotherhood he found in the Order, adding, “The Knights’ code of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism add to my life’s foundation.” 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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In 1960, he joined NASA, where he worked under its first flight director, Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr. He later served as flight director for the first manned lunar landing, in 1969, and would stay through 1994, retiring as NASA’s director of mission operations. Over the years, Kranz has remained a proud member of the Knights of Columbus. His fellow council members conducted their own rescue mission, he said, after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas Gulf Coast in late August 2017. Thousands of homes, including his own, were severely flooded.

NASA Photo/Wikimedia Commons — NBCUniversal

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NBCUniversal — TOP RIGHT: Photo by Rocky Kneten

From far left: Eugene F. Kranz is pictured in the Mission Operations Control Room at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston in May 1965. The photo is juxtaposed with a publicity still from the 1995 movie Apollo 13, in which Ed Harris played Kranz. • Tom Hanks, in the role of astronaut Jim Lovell, appears on the Apollo 13 movie poster. • Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and Gene Kranz hold a vest that was given to Kranz by Marine Corps pilots at Naval Air Station Kingsville. The supreme knight visited Kranz in September 2017, following Hurricane Harvey, as local councils assisted with relief efforts. “They carried the ball,” Kranz said, in reference to the council’s recovery efforts. “They were heroic.” Kranz may not be directing space flight these days, but he continues to share his inside view and experiences as a NASA flight director with audiences around the nation. His New York Times bestselling memoir, named for the legendary phrase attributed to him, Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond, was published in 2000, and he is preparing to publish a second book on the topic of leadership. He also answers letters from around the world at his home in Dickinson, just miles away from the Johnson Space Center. In recent years, Kranz has led an effort to restore Mission Control to its original state — right down to the carpet and wallpaper. The renovation is scheduled to be complete in late 2019.

Also on his schedule: an hour of eucharistic adoration every Sunday, inspired by his daughter, Carmen, one of his six children. And before he ends his day, Kranz sits in his chair, finds his rosary, crucifix and prayer book and remembers to thank God for how all the stars have aligned for him. “It’s interesting to go through life and find out all of these things fit together,” he observed, remembering the help of the sisters, his NASA journey and even how he met his wife, Marta. “You feel that you’re in control of your life, but I’m not really in charge,” Kranz said. “There’s some master plan that, without knowing it, I have been following throughout my entire life.”♦ JAMES RAMOS is a staff writer for the Texas Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. MARCH 2019

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HELM A New Jersey Knight was the first to ferry passengers to safety after Flight 1549 landed on the Hudson by John Burger t all happened very fast: US Airways Flight 1549 collided with a flock of geese and lost engine power just two minutes after taking off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger brought the airliner down on the Hudson River just four minutes later. And three minutes after the jet hit the water, Capt. Vincent Lombardi arrived in his ferry boat, the first on the scene to rescue passengers. More vessels followed, and the swift reaction of Lombardi, his crew and others helped to avert a catastrophe on Jan. 15, 2009. All 155 on board the plane were saved in the dramatic landing, which has come to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.” Some people involved, however, take exception to that nickname. “Was it a miracle?” an ABC News reporter asked Capt. Sullenberger on the 10th anniversary of the event. “No,” he responded. “It was hard work, on the part of many people and an entire industry over many decades. So it was everyone pulling together, to not let anyone die.”

Capt. Vincent Lombardi, grand knight of Montclair (N.J.) Council 1277, navigates his New York Waterway ferry across the Hudson River from Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, N.J., to the World Financial Center Terminal in Manhattan. 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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Photo by Jeffrey Bruno


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Lombardi, grand knight of Montclair (N.J.) Council 1277, acknowledges the skill and quick thinking demonstrated by the plane’s captain and crew. Like airline pilots, mariners go through rigorous training and need to know how to respond in all kinds of unexpected situations to keep their passengers safe. Even so, he saw God’s hand at work that day. With 33 passengers aboard, Lombardi’s New York Waterway ferry, the Thomas Jefferson, had just pushed off from the West 39th Street pier in Manhattan. Lombardi spotted the plane just after it had hit the water and was coming to a stop. He immediately summoned his two crew members and headed toward the downed plane. “Listen, we have a man overboard situation,” he said, warning the crew to prepare for the possibility of encountering seriously injured passengers, or worse. He also recalls praying for the Virgin Mary’s intercession as he sped to the site. As they approached, Lombardi slowed the boat to minimize the wake, which might have knocked people off the wings and emergency chutes. He called over the hailer to the frightened airline passengers: “I’m gonna try to angle the boat so you guys can just step off the wing and right onto my ladder.” It was a tricky maneuver. Lombardi’s first attempt failed be14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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cause of the flow of the ebb tide, so he made another approach. “I had to hold my boat on an angle over a wing, on a plane that was slowly moving, with the tide pushing it down on me,” he recounted. “I thought, ‘Somebody’s steering this boat, because I can’t handle a boat this well.’” The Thomas Jefferson carried 56 wet and shivering passengers to safety; other New York Waterway ferries and a New York City Fire Department boat retrieved the rest. Lombardi also recognized divine providence in the lack of ice on the river. An ice floe had been spotted the night before just north of New York City; if it had been in the water where the plane touched down, the incident might have ended very differently. “Some people call it timing. I call it one of the miracles involved, that that ice floe in the river stayed to the north,” Lombardi said. “The ice comes in plenty of different sizes. Stack ice that breaks up and freezes on top of each other sometimes is four to five feet thick.” Six years after the landing and rescue, Lombardi relived the most dramatic day of his life on the silver screen. He initially was brought on as a consultant for the movie Sully, produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks as

Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

A still photo from the film Sully shows Tom Hanks in the role of Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Aaron Eckhart as First Officer Jeff Skiles. • Opposite page: The movie poster for Sully depicts passengers standing on the wings of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. Capt. Vincent Lombardi’s ferry was the first boat on site to rescue passengers. • Capt. Lombardi stands with Capt. Sullenberger in New York City during the filming of Sully in October 2015.

TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo — TOP RIGHT: Photo courtesy of Vincent Lombardi

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Capt. Sullenberger. But he secured his first film role — as himself — after Eastwood observed him on set. He also set Eastwood straight on the way New York watermen talk. “I told him, ‘The lines we’re using here aren’t the right lingo. It’s what you’d use on a destroyer in 1942,’” Lombardi recalled. “Eastwood laughed and said, ‘You do what you want, and let the actor who’s going to be talking to you know what to do and what to say.’” So, for the rescue scene, Lombardi coached the actors on correct boat language and how to use the equipment. But acting was only a brief detour in his life; after the movie premiered, Lombardi hung up his tuxedo and went back to work as a mariner. A year later, on Columbus Day 2017, he joined the Knights. Lombardi says he had been attracted to the Knights of Columbus from an early age when he served as an altar boy and went to Catholic high school. For many years, however, he was under the impression you had to be invited to join. “Finally,” he said, “I just asked a friend of mine, who was wearing the K of C pin on his coat, ‘Oh, by the way, how do you do this?’”

That friend immediately recruited him into Council 1277, and Lombardi made up for lost time. He began helping to organize fraternal and charitable events and became grand knight a year later. Lombardi has also spoken to Catholic audiences about his experience 10 years ago and notes the powerful ripple effects of faith in action. This was driven home to him at the 10th anniversary reunion of the Flight 1549 crew and passengers in January. “The young daughter of one of the flight attendants we rescued came up to me,” Lombardi explained. “She said, ‘You know, I might not have a mommy if it wasn’t for you.’” As Lombardi continues to pilot passengers across the Hudson day after day, he says he never approaches a challenging task without prayer and an acknowledgment that, above all, God is in control. “I just feel that I make better decisions, since my faith took me so far that day,” he said. “Now, every day, my faith guides me.”♦ JOHN BURGER writes for and is a member of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Council 16253 in New Haven, Conn. MARCH 2019

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Photo courtesy of Mark Bando, WWII historian

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WHO SAVED HIM A World War II story of two Knights of Columbus inspired the blockbuster film by Steven Spielberg by Lawrence P. Grayson

TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo


aratroopers poured from the sky before dawn on June 6, 1944, hurtling through fog and flak to the French countryside below. It was D-Day; the Allied invasion of Normandy had begun. In a few hours, 200,000 troops would land by sea, and the mission of these airborne units was to prepare the way. Among those jumping into the dark were two members of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division: Father Francis L. Sampson, 32, the unit’s regimental chaplain and a member of the Knights of Columbus; and Sgt. Frederick “Fritz” Niland, 24, the youngest of four brothers serving in World War II. The story of Sampson and Niland, brother paratroopers and eventually brother Knights, would later inspire Steven Spielberg’s epic film Saving Private Ryan. On D-Day, Father Sampson parachuted into a river, cut off

his gear and made his way to a French farmhouse where severely injured servicemen were being treated. As the area was about to be overrun by German troops, who were known to shoot prisoners, Father Sampson volunteered to stay with the injured. Father Sampson was captured and put up against a wall. He was so frightened, he later said, that instead of praying the Act of Contrition, he kept repeating the Catholic blessing before meals: “Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts....” Incredibly, a Catholic German soldier recognized him as a priest, and he was spared. As the Allied invasion continued, Father Sampson was allowed to stay at the aid station, where he shielded the wounded through a grueling artillery bombardment. Nominated for the Medal of Honor for his work tending to and evacuating these troops, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, the U.S. Army’s second highest award for valor.

Opposite page: Sgt. Frederick “Fritz” Niland, who would become a member of Twin City Council 413 in Tonawanda, N.Y., stands with fellow paratrooper Jack Breier during training at Camp Mackall, N.C., in 1943. The reported loss of all three of Niland’s brothers following the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944 was the inspiration for the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan. MARCH 2019

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Meanwhile, Niland had been forced to jump early after his plane was hit by enemy fire. He landed miles away from his target and was behind enemy lines for nine days. He eventually rejoined his unit with help from the French Resistance in time for a key battle to secure the town of Carenten and link Allied forces at Omaha and Utah beaches. It was near Utah beach that Niland sought out the chaplain, distraught at learning that his brother Robert, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, had been killed June 6 and was buried about 20 miles away. Only a few weeks earlier, Fritz’s oldest brother, Edward, had been shot down in Burma — missing in action and presumed dead. The chaplain offered to help Fritz find Robert’s grave and drove him from cemetery to cemetery, searching. When Sampson came upon the grave of Preston Niland, he showed it to Fritz, thinking that it had been recorded in error. “Father Sampson,” the young man replied, “Preston was my brother, too.” Unknown to Fritz, 2nd Lt. Preston Niland had been killed just a day after Robert, fighting on Utah beach. A check of a nearby cemetery revealed Robert’s grave. 18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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From top: Father Francis L. Sampson prays over paratroopers killed in action during the Battle of Normandy in June 1944. • Father Sampson is pictured at Stalag II-A Neubrandenburg, a prison camp in northern Germany where he spent four months as a prisoner of war in 1945. • Father Sampson later served as the 12th Chief of Chaplains of the U.S. Army, with the rank of major general. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1941.

TOP: Photo from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md. — BELOW LEFT: Photo from Sampson’s autobiography, Look Out Below! — BELOW RIGHT: U.S. Army/Wikimedia Commons

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TOP: Dreamworks/Alamy Stock Photo — BOTTOM RIGHT: Photo courtesy of Mark Bando, WWII historian

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So, believing Fritz to be his family’s only surviving son, the chaplain notified the War Department and initiated the paperwork to have him brought home. Niland’s parents, Michael and Augusta, must have been grateful to Father Sampson, but Fritz was not. Informed by Sampson that he was being sent back to the United States, Niland refused, saying, “I’m staying here with my boys.” Sampson replied, “You can take that up with General Eisenhower or the president, but you’re going home.” In late summer 1944, Niland returned to New York, where he served out the rest of the war as a military policeman. Father Sampson’s role does not appear in Saving Private Ryan, as reality was somewhat less dramatic than the movie: Fritz was not lost, and there was no search for him. Reality was also less tragic than the movie: Fritz’s brother Edward had survived and was found about a year later when a Japanese POW camp was liberated. Shortly after returning home, Fritz joined Twin City Council 413 in Tonawanda, N.Y., on Dec. 1, 1944. He earned a degree in oral surgery from Georgetown University and established a practice near his hometown. He married and raised two daughters, Cate and Mary, and in 1983, he died at age 63.

A scene from Saving Private Ryan shows actors Tom Hanks (center) in the role of Capt. John H. Miller and Matt Damon (right) as Private James Francis Ryan. • Below: Fritz Niland, on whom the character of Ryan was loosely based, is pictured in his college yearbook. He joined the Knights after returning from France in 1944.

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Today, Cate Niland Remme still has vivid childhood memories of her father talking about the war. “I will never forget the look in his eyes when he would recount the story to me and my sister, Mary,” she said. “He told us, ‘Girls, never forget that it took a presidential congressional order to get me out of France.’” During one of Cate’s last visits to her father, Fritz told her, “Make sure to honor all the men.” “So that’s what we did at his funeral,” Cate said. “We read off all the names of Company H.”

Fritz was later interred at Fort Richardson National Cemetery in Anchorage, Alaska, where the 1st Battalion of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment is now stationed. “We buried him on D-Day with full military honors,” Cate added. “I always felt good that he would rest in peace with the 501.”♦ LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON writes from Maryland where he is a member of Rock Creek Council 2797 in Bethesda, and Cardinal Patrick A. O’Boyle Assembly 386 in Silver Spring.

THE PRIEST who “saved” Sgt. Fritz Niland had one of the he was sorely needed there.” most distinguished careers as a chaplain in U.S. military history. After the war, Father Sampson hung up his jump boots — A native of Iowa, Francis L. Sampson graduated from the but not for long. University of Notre Dame in 1937 and was ordained in In his 1958 memoir, Look Out Below!, he wrote that the life 1941. After serving for a year as a parish priest in Neola, he briefly returned to in Iowa was in many ways ideal, but Iowa, where he joined Neola added, “I missed life in the Council 1115, he enlisted in the Army; I missed most of all my U.S. Army as a chaplain. soldier congregation.” Sampson later admitted that He returned to active duty in he volunteered for airborne duty 1946 and later served as chapsomewhat unwittingly. lain of the 187th Airborne In“Frankly, I did not know when fantry Regiment during the I signed up for the airborne that Korean War. chaplains would be expected to “Combat truly was a perfect jump from an airplane in flight. laboratory for a priest’s study Had I known this beforehand,” and work,” he wrote. “All the arhe said, “I am positive that I tificialities and superficialities of should have turned a deaf ear to civilian life were cut away. There the plea for airborne chaplains. remained nothing but bedrock However, once having signed up, character….” I was too proud to back out.” In 1967, Father Sampson was Three months after his heroic appointed Chief of Chaplains of efforts on D-Day, Father Sampthe U.S. Army with the rank of son took part in an airborne asmajor general. During the Vietsault on Holland, jumping nam War, he annually spent behind enemy lines for the secChristmas with the troops, and ond time. The chaplain was later was untiring in visiting hospitalcaptured at the Battle of the ized soldiers. He also served as Bulge and sent to a prison camp president of the USO from A photo of Father Sampson published with a June 1954 in Germany, where he spent six 1971-1974. days in an overcrowded boxcar, Columbia article shows the chaplain lacing up his jump boots. A 55-year member of the sustained only by snow scraped Knights of Columbus, Msgr. from the top of the train. At his Francis Sampson belonged to own request, Father Sampson was confined with the enlisted Big Sioux Council 5029 in Flandreau, S.D., at the time of men, rather than the officers. James D. Alger, a fellow pris- his death in 1996 — two years before the release of Saving oner who later became a lieutenant general, said, “Father Private Ryan. His tombstone bears the words: “Lord, make Sampson’s misfortune in being captured turned out to be a me an instrument of your peace.” blessing for the men he served in Stalag II-A. … God knew — Lawrence Grayson 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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United Press Photo


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Looking Ahead With Hope Vatican Secretary of State visits the McGivney House, an Order-sponsored home for elderly and families in Iraq

Photo by Stivan Shany/Archdiocese of Erbil


uring his recent visit to Iraq, Dec. 24-28, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, thanked the Knights of Columbus for its assistance of Christians in the region. On Dec. 26, Cardinal Parolin visited Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which for nearly five years has been home to many thousands of displaced Christians and other religious minorities who were forced from their homes by the Islamic State group. The cardinal was welcomed by Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil and given a tour of the McGivney House, a church-run housing complex constructed with financial support from the Knights of Columbus. During his tour of the facility, which neared completion, Cardinal Parolin praised the Order’s efforts. “I would like in this beautiful place to say a word of thanks to the Knights of Columbus,” he said. “The first thing to do is create the conditions so that Christians can continue to live here and to look with hope to the future.” Located in the Erbil suburb of Ankawa, the McGivney House actually consists of two projects. On the ground floor is the Pope Francis Venerable Care Home, a 40-bedroom assisted living facility for elderly residents. The building also includes 120 rent-free apartments reserved for young married couples and families who wish to stay in the region but face financial hardship. “The Knights of Columbus,” Archbishop Warda explained, “responded to the call of His Holiness [Pope Francis] at the end of the Year of Mercy to show practical means of living mercy.” He also cited the Order’s work to assist TO




Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, stands with Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil outside of the Pope Francis Venerable Care Home during the cardinal’s visit to Iraq. The newly opened residence for elderly is part of the McGivney House, funded by the Order. with food, housing, education and medical care in the region. “They were able to respond to the urgent need, but also to look ahead,” Cardinal Parolin said in reply. “We are very, very grateful, also on behalf of the Holy Father, for what they have done and will continue to do.”

The McGivney House was officially opened 40 days later, on Feb. 4. Among the more than 200 people who attended the dedication event were the governor of Erbil, Nawzad Hadi Mawlood, and government representatives of Italy, Hungary and the European Union.♦



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‘Against the Forces of Prejudice’ More voices come to the defense of the Knights and speak out against religious tests for federal office rticle VI of the U.S. Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification” for public office. In recent months, however, several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have called into question judicial candidates’ Catholic faith and their membership in the Knights of Columbus. In a Jan. 1 letter, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson reminded members that the Order has stood against religious prejudice throughout its history. “From our founding,” he wrote, “we have embodied the truth that a good Catholic is a good citizen who shows civility and dignity even in the face of discrimination.” The February issue of Columbia featured the full text of the supreme knight’s letter and excerpts from several prominent op-eds written by others, each decrying the senators’ questions as an attempt to impose a religious test on the judiciary. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska submitted a resolution in the Senate, defending nominees’ membership in the Knights of Columbus. Sasse gave an impassioned speech in defense of religious liberty, and the resolution was approved unanimously without amendment Jan. 16. What follows are excerpts from Sen. Sasse’s speech and the full text of the resolution, as well as additional commentary.

From a speech delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate Jan. 16: I RISE TODAY to offer a very basic resolution. I want senators to unanimously reaffirm our oath of office to a Constitution that rejects religious bigotry. It is useful to regularly remind ourselves that Americans are a First Amendment people. Each of the five freedoms in the First Amendment — speech, press, religion, assembly, protest — they define who we are. … And, just as the First Amendment prohibits the government from dictating anyone’s religious beliefs, so too the Constitution explicitly rejects religious tests for federal office. … This isn’t a Republican belief. This isn’t a Democratic belief. This is an American belief. But tragically, over the last couple of years some strange things have been happening in this body, and we seem to be forgetting some of those basic 101 American civics truths. I want to tell you a story. Brian Buescher from my state was recently nominated by the president to be a federal judge for the district of Nebraska. This is an honor for him and for his family. It’s a celebration of his brain and his work ethic and his integrity. Oh, by the way, Brian is also Catholic and he’s an active member of the Knights of Columbus. … Well, this is where our story gets weird, because at Brian’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee a few weeks ago, one of my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee called the Knights of Columbus an extremist organization. Huh? It got worse. Brian then got a letter from a member of this body asking him if he would resign his membership in the Knights of Columbus if he were confirmed to the federal bench to “avoid the appearance of bias.” This is nuts. … This is the same kind of garbage that was thrown at a member of this body, John F. Kennedy, 60 years ago when he was campaigning for the presidency. And so today I’ve introduced a resolution, a 101-level basic resolution, that simply reaffirms the belief of this body in American religious liberty. — Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican, represents the state of Nebraska.

Left: Sen. Ben Sasse meets with Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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Photo courtesy of the Office of Senator Ben Sasse


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S.RES.19 Below is the text of S.Res.19, the U.S. Senate resolution introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and adopted by unanimous consent Jan. 16: Expressing the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States. Whereas, throughout the history of the United States, the religious liberty protected by both the First Amendment and the No Religious Test Clause of the Constitution of the United States has been at the heart of the American experiment; Whereas, in 1960 the presidential candidacy of John F. Kennedy was met with significant anti-Catholic bigotry; Whereas then-Senator Kennedy responded to this bigotry with these timeless words: “For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday again be, a Jew or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. … Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you, until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.”; Whereas the Knights of Columbus (in this preamble referred to as the “Knights”) constitute the largest Catholic fraternal service organization in the world; Whereas the Knights have a proud tradition of standing against the forces of prejudice and oppression such as the Klu Klux Klan and Nazi Germany; Whereas the Knights are founded on the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism; and

CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

Whereas, in 2017, the Knights made more than $185 million dollars of charitable contributions and volunteered more than 75.6 million service hours: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates clause 3 of Article VI of the Constitution of the United States, which establishes that Senators “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support the Constitution” and “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

From “For Tender, Heroic Men – the Knights of Columbus” — National Review, Jan. 14: SINCE THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS became a political issue recently, a constant refrain I’ve seen on social media is something along the lines of “What do you mean, the pancake-breakfast guys?” The point being: Could you be picking on nicer guys? But it is so much more than that. The Knights of Columbus are about virtue and service. The United States — and the world — would not be the same without the Knights of Columbus. I’d have a lot less hope without the Knights of Columbus. … The Knights are far from an “extremist” organization that a judge ought to take leave of. To the contrary, we need more of the Knights. A judge needs the fraternity all the more. But every man, whatever his calling, can benefit. And we should be thankful that they’re a part of the life of our country. — Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and an editor-at-large of National Review.

From a Feb. 4 letter to Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, respectively: I WRITE TO EXPRESS my deep concern with recent incidents of religious intolerance displayed by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. … In recent months, multiple nominees to the federal judiciary have been interrogated about their membership in the Knights of Columbus, with the implication that participation in the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the country … could be disqualifying. To call out the Knights of Columbus for derision is simply appalling. … These lines of questioning amount to a religious test — a test, in these cases, which discriminates against Catholics. However, my concern over these incidents extends beyond my own Church. Historically, Jewish and Muslim, as well as Catholic and other leaders, have faced discrimination and sometimes outright persecution as they have sought to serve in public office. … I implore you: End these discriminatory questions and refrain from further imposing religious tests on judicial nominees. — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., serves as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty. MARCH 2019

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A PRO-LIFE VOICE Knights join hundreds of thousands in Washington for the annual March for Life by Columbia staff

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Gathered for the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., throngs of people walk along Constitution Ave., from the National Mall to the Supreme Court building, in peaceful protest of the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.


Photo by Nick Crettier

upreme Knight Carl Anderson stood before thousands of people assembled on the National Mall Jan. 18 for the 46th March for Life and delivered a message of hope — and a promise.

Citing the most recent Marist Poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, he said that 3 out of 4 Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion (see p. 27). “I promise you this,” the supreme knight stated. “The day is not far off when you will return, not for a demonstration, but for a victory parade down Pennsylvania Avenue!” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, recognized the Knights of Columbus for its work toward that goal. The Order has played an instrumental

role in the pro-life movement from the beginning, and it has provided organizational and financial support for the March for Life since the first march in 1974. The crowd cheered as Mancini declared that the Knights had recently placed its 1,000th ultrasound machine in a pregnancy care center (see p. 26). “We know that life is ‘Unique from Day One,’” Mancini said, referring to the theme of this year’s march. “Ultrasound machines give us a window to the womb and show us this in a very tangible way.” In a surprise appearance, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, also addressed the rally. “We gather because we stand for life. We gather because we stand for compassion,” the vice president said. MARCH 2019

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Hundreds of tHousands of babies have had a chance at life thanks to the Knights of Columbus ultrasound Initiative. since the program was first launched Jan. 22, 2009 — the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade — state and local councils have placed more than 1,000 life-saving machines in pro-life pregnancy centers. “one of my proudest moments as supreme knight came when I learned that we had placed our 1,000th ultrasound machine,” said supreme Knight Carl anderson. In a message of thanks to those who made the milestone possible, he called the initiative “the greatest humanitarian project in the history of the Knights of Columbus.” the 1,000th machine, donated by father Herman J. Veger Council 5561 in Warrenton, Va., was unveiled Jan. 14 at the Mother of Mercy free Medical Clinic in nearby Manassas. until late 2015, the building was the site of amethyst Health Center, which provided abortions. a group of local Catholic entrepreneurs then formed the BVM foundation — in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary — to purchase and transform the center into a life-saving clinic. “What we have now is the antithesis of an abortion clinic,” explained Jim Koehr, a member of the BVM foundation and of Council 5561. “We have a clinic that doesn’t try to fix one life by ending another life.” Mother of Mercy free Clinic, which is operated by the Catholic Charities of the diocese of arlington and staffed by volunteer health care professionals, serves low-income men and women without health insurance in the Manassas area. It offers medical care, mental health counseling, and emergency services for those facing eviction in addition to pregnancy and adoption services. Koehr asked Council 5561 to fund an ultrasound machine for the new clinic, even though the council had just donated an ultrasound machine to the Warrenton Pregnancy Center. His brother Knights stepped up and raised more than $20,000 for both units — the 999th and 1,000th machines donated by the Knights around the world. at the Jan. 14 unveiling and dedication in Manassas, supreme Knight anderson said, “today represents a very concrete way in which millions of lives are changed for the better by the Catholic community coming together and volunteering together. What greater legacy can a person have than to save a child’s life?” the impact of the ultrasound machine was immediate. on the same day it was dedicated, a pregnant woman arrived at the clinic seeking an abortion. one of the center’s volunteers convinced her to return the next day for an ultrasound appointment. “God had a purpose for that 1,000th ultrasound,” said clinic director alexandra Luevano. “to be at the clinic that was once was a place of death and is now a place of life.” — Reported by Andrew Fowler, a content producer for the Knights of Columbus Communications Department 26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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TOP LEFT: Photo by Christopher Frost — OTHER: Photo by Nick Crettier

1,000th Ultrasound Machine Dedicated

His remarks were followed by a video message from President Donald Trump, who affirmed that “every life has meaning and every life is worth defending” and that “every child is a sacred gift from God.” Co-chairs of the U.S. House of Representatives’ pro-life caucus, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), also addressed the crowd, as did Katrina Jackson, a Democratic state representative from Louisiana. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) announced the establishment of the first-ever pro-life caucus in the U.S. Senate. Other speakers at the rally included Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., and former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson. Following the rally, as participants moved from the National Mall toward the Supreme Court, thousands held “Love Life, Choose Life” signs distributed by local Knights, and dozens of K of C council banners waved above the sea of pro-life placards. Among the marchers were hundreds of Knights representing college councils. “Just seeing the sheer number of people, especially young people, is inspiring,” said Jimmy Ryan, grand knight of University of Notre Dame Council 1477. “It’s great to see so many students who recognize that we have this pro-life voice, which is going to make a difference.”♦

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TOP: Photo by Andrew Fowler — OTHER: Photos by Matthew Barrick

Americans Support Substantial Restrictions on Abortion The annual K of C-Marist poll on u.S. attitudes toward abortion again revealed that large majorities of americans support substantial restrictions on abortion and would like to see Roe v. Wade reinterpreted to allow such restrictions. Conducted in January by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, the survey found that 75 percent of americans say abortion should be limited to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most of those who identify as Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than 6 in 10 (61 percent) who identify as pro-choice. “The majority of americans — in both parties — support legal restrictions on abortion,” said Supreme Knight Carl anderson. “Two-thirds of americans want Roe revisited to allow for state regulation of abortion or to ban it altogether.

The majority of the american people deserve to have their opinions heard.” The survey also found that 62 percent of americans oppose abortions in cases of Down syndrome, and nearly 59 percent would ban abortion after 20 weeks, except to save the life of the mother. Despite these findings, a number of states, including new York, Virginia and Vermont, have recently proposed or enacted laws to allow lateterm abortions, up to the moment of birth. In response, u.S. Reps. ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Steve Scalise (R-la.) reintroduced the Born alive abortion Survivors Protection act in early February. In a message to members, Supreme Knight anderson expressed support for the legislation. “I think we can all agree,” he wrote, “that a newborn child has a right to the best care possible, no matter what the circumstances of his or her birth.”♦

From top: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and John Moore, a past grand knight of Fray Marcos Council 1783 in Gallup, N.M., march with college Knights down Constitution Ave. Moore spent nine months walking across the country on pilgrimage to the March for Life (see January 2019 issue of Columbia). • Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, addresses the rally before the march. • Young people wearing K of C March for Life hats hold pro-life signs and cheer during the rally. MARCH 2019

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FAITH and other assistance during the Diocesan Youth Assembly held at Our Lady of the Pillar Seminary. Some 2,500 young people participated. EMERGENCY REPAIR

Grand Knight Roger Willis of Holy Spirit Council 10653 in Kennewick, Wash., presents a check for $2,000 in support of St. Joseph Catholic School. Teacher Charlotte Frankovic accepted on behalf of the students, faculty and principal Perry Kelly (far left), who is also a member of Council 10653.


St. Richard of Chichester Council 15131 in Jackson, Miss., joined with area councils to spruce up the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Jackson, the state’s only Carmelite community. Under the direction of Father Lincoln Dall, pastor of St. Jude’s Parish in Pearl, the Knights landscaped the cloistered grounds and repaired the gazebo.

more than 50 active and retired first responders as well as parishioners from nine churches. CLERGY APPRECIATION


Temecula Valley (Calif.) Council 9964 collected $500 toward construction of a permanent church building for St. Michael’s Parish in the town of Pyinmana, Myanmar. St. Michael’s is the only Catholic church within a 40-mile radius of the town. The new building will be a more durable place of worship, especially during monsoon season.


Father Michael Cottrell Council 7672 in Grove City, Fla., organized its first ecumenical prayer service for area first responders. Held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, the service drew

Arden-Carmichael (Calif.) Council 4970 teamed up with St. John the Evangelist Council 16612, also in Carmichael, to repair cabinets in the sacristy of St. John the Evangelist Church. Council

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16612, recently chartered, branched out from Council 4970 to settle in St. John the Evangelist Parish.

Council 10015 in Salem, Va., held a Clergy Appreciation Night at the parish hall of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. More than 50 Knights and parishioners attended to honor the priests who dedicate their lives to guiding the faithful.


St. Pius X Council 10346 in South Yarmouth, Mass., donated $2,000 to its parish. The donation will help repair major water damage to the parish offices caused by a burst pipe.


Members of Santo Niño de Molino Council 9926 in Bacoor City, Cavite, Luzon South, provided marshals

San Salvador Council 1 in New Haven, Conn., unveils a sign welcoming visitors to the new McGivney Hall at Sts. Aedan and Brendan Church. The church hall is named in honor of the three McGivney brothers Michael, Patrick and John. who served local parishes as priests. John McGivney helped found St. Aedan Church (which later merged with St. Brendan’s) in the 1920s. Council 1 contributed $10,000 toward the rebuilding of the church hall and has donated thousands more to other projects for the church and parish school.

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Our Lady of Grace Council 13243 in Palm Bay, Fla., conducted a “Family Week” for members and parish families. The festivities kicked off with an evening of rides, go-carts and mini-golf at Andretti Thrill Park in Melbourne. At midweek, families participated in a memorial Mass in honor of Father McGivney. The week concluded with a trip to the local bowling alley, a pizza dinner and the presentation of a certificate to the Family of the Month.

Members of W.H. “Bill” Jolly Council 7974 in Columbus, Miss., stand beside a framed image of the Holy Family together with Bishop Neil Buckon of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA; Father Antony Chakkalakkal, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Aberdeen; and Father Paul Stewart, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish at Columbus Air Force Base. The council arranged for the Holy Family prayer program to take place during the bishop’s visit to the base, attracting more than 100 parishioners.


Father Henry Tevlin Assembly 2108 in Rock Hill, S.C., made $500 donations to the families of four members of the York County Sheriff ’s Office who were shot in the line of duty. One detective had died from his injuries.


Members of Father Thomas E. Price Council 2546 in Raleigh, N.C., created a safe play space for the children of a family in Apex. With a grant for materials from the

O’Berry Center Foundation, the Knights put up a fence for the family, who have two active young boys with autism.

from two years to 60 years. Most of the group adjourned to a local restaurant to enjoy refreshments together.



Members of Msgr. Eugene F. Marshall Council 103 in Pittsfield, Mass., and parishioners prepared and served a dinner to the Maryland State Boychoir. The choir, a group of some 130 young men ages 7 to 20, performed at St. Joseph Parish Center as part of a tour of Massachusetts, Quebec City and Montreal. WIVES’ APPRECIATION

Richard Boyer and Will Beck (left and right), members of St. David Council 12842 in Newark, Del., joined by Boyer’s grandson, Jacob, give away bread at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Glasgow. The annual event benefits families in the parish.

St. Elizabeth Council 13141 in Upper Uwchlan, Pa., held its inaugural Wives’ Appreciation event. More than 30 couples took part at a special Mass and renewal of vows, celebrating marriages ranging

Father John J. McCarthy Council 12472 in Charleston, S.C., organizes a family rosary at the parish every third Sunday of the month with children in attendance leading the prayers. CATHOLIC ADVENTURE

Bishop Grouard Assembly 8 in Grande Prairie, Alberta, held a barbecue and silent auction to raise funds for Camp St. Martin, a children’s Catholic outdoor adventure camp in northern Alberta. Approximately 30 Knights and their spouses attended the event, raising $800.

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COMMUNITY dinner dance benefiting the East Bay Consortium. The event raised $2,500 for the nonprofit agency’s services, which include stocking food banks, winter fuel assistance for those in need and health care aid. STOCKING UP

Members of Ascension Council 7991 in Parksville, British Columbia, prepare to haul away a truckload of debris from the grounds of the local parish rectory. The Knights pitched in for a day of much-needed yard work, clearing out branches, wood and other refuse.


St. John Neumann Council 6955 in Monticello, Ind., joined forces with the New Evangelization team of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish to host a pair of fierce competitions: a chili cook-off and baking contest. The event raised $1,000 for a local food pantry. GOOD CENTS

About a decade ago, Cape Canaveral Council 4826 in Cocoa Beach, Fla., began its “Pennies for Kids” program. With the ongoing support of the congregation at Church of Our Saviour, the council has collected more than a million and a half pennies ($15,000) to help provide for the needs of children with cancer. One council member also collects donations from customers at his sandwich shops. 30 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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Belle River (Ontario) Council 2775 hosted a fundraiser to supply the food pantry at the local Ronald McDonald House in Windsor, a charity providing free temporary housing close to medical care fo seriously ill or injured children and their families. The council volunteered about 1,000 hours of work on the project, which raised $30,000 for the Ronald McDonald House. TOURNAMENT FOR CAMP

Msgr. William A. Penny Council 2181 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, held its annual Richard Hubbard Golf Scramble that drew 100 members and guests to the Yarmouth Links Golf Course to play 18 holes and enjoy a meal prepared by

the Knights. Through donations from local businesses and registration fees, the council raised $3,500 to send children with limited resources to a youth summer camp sponsored by St. Ambrose Co-Cathedral.

Church of the Visitation Council 12683 in San Francisco organized a volunteer event at the San Francisco Food Bank. Seventy volunteers worked more than 200 hours to pack 24,000 pounds of food for the Senior Food Program. The San Francisco Food Bank feeds more than 225,000 people through 260 pantries. Sixty percent of the food is fresh produce.


St. Lawrence Council 2950 in Utica, Mich., hosted its first Wild Game Dinner. The evening raised almost $10,000 for charity, including donations of $2,000 each to organizations that serve kids and teens with autism, single mothers, and children with Down syndrome. STEPPING OUT

Father Joseph Boehr Council 4753 in Tiverton, R.I., teamed up with the Tiverton Fire Department — of which several Knights are members — to organize a

Joel Smith (left), Roger Goffena, Charlie Kuskie, Steve Maloney, Father Todd Philipsen and Randy Bauer of Msgr. Michael E. Dolan Council 1128 in Chadron, Neb., take to the streets to clean up the stretch of road sponsored by the council.

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Our Lady of Hope Council 8086 in Port Orange, Fla., brightened the rooms of a local pregnancy resource center with a much-needed paint job. Open since 1989, the Pregnancy Crisis Center in Daytona Beach offers free counseling, referrals and supplies to expectant mothers, new parents and their babies. SISTERS OF CHARITY

Grand Knight Frank Bussink of Father Edmund Julien Council 11616 in Westover, Md., presented Sister Dianne Moore of the Sisters of Charity with a $3,614 check to support medical and nutritional programs for poor families in two Haitian villages. Council 11616 raised the funds from an indoor barbecue, a 50/50 drawing and community contributions.

Erik Wilt (left) and Jamie Roth of Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone-St. Mary, Star of the Sea Council 9111 in Oceanside, Calif., take part in the Walk for Life in San Diego.

From left: Grand Knight John Klinzing of Good Shepherd Council 2556 in New Holstein, Wis., stands with Dan Miller, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, and other Knights next to a prolife banner they purchased and installed on a highway billboard in Calumet County. Three area councils — St. Joseph the Worker Council 5539 in Kiel, New Holstein Council 12393 and TriParish Council 7732 in Hilbert — joined Council 2556 to complete the project.


Our Lady of Lourdes Council 9953 in Henrico, Va., has conducted six blood drives a year for more than 25 years. At a recent event, 15 Knights volunteered as donors. Council members promoted the event, and the church bulletin published the results. The drive was conducted in partnership with Virginia Blood Services, a nonprofit provider of blood products to area hospitals. UNTO THE LEAST OF THESE

St. Maximilian Kolbe Council 11355 in Liberty Township, Ohio, sponsored a volunteer activity at Matthew 25: Ministries, a disaster relief

organization based in Blue Ash. Ten Knights, six family members and two prospective council members sorted prescription bottles for recycling to fund the organization’s efforts. The day began with a reflection on Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew and concluded with dinner. MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Members of Father John T. Bolger Council 6161 in Ajax, Ontario, launched their 2nd annual baby bottle drive to support local charities for expectant and new parents, including Rose of Durham center, which provides free prenatal and parenting classes and support. Parishioners of St.

Francis de Sales Catholic Church were invited to fill the bottles with coins and cash donations. LIFE SAVERS

To support the pro-life mission of New Dawn Pregnancy Resource Center, Father Dodge Council 7827 in Woodruff, Wis., raised funds to purchase the center a new ultrasound machine. Money collected through a “Life Savers for life” drive at Holy Family Parish and several area businesses, a pancake breakfast after Sunday Masses and donations from area churches and individual members were matched via the K of C Ultrasound Initiative.

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Official council and Fourth Degree equipment Navy Blue Corps Cap This navy blue wool cap is embroidered with the full-color emblem of the Order and Knights of Columbus 1882. It has an adjustable closure and is made in the USA. $18 each


Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-266-1211




Please enroll me in the Father McGivney Guild: NAME 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:

Sport-Tek RacerMesh Polo This moisture-wicking RacerMesh® polo is embroidered with either the full-color emblem of the Order or the Fourth Degree emblem, along with your council or assembly name and number, on the left chest. It weighs 3.8 ounces and is made of 100 percent polyester. Available in royal heather (pictured), navy, red, graphite grey, maroon and forest green. Please allow 10-12 business days for production of this personalized item. S, M, L, XL: $26 each; 2XL: $28 3XL: $29; 4XL: $30

OFFICIAL MARCH 1, 2019: To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7. ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. SUBSCRIPTION RATES — IN THE U.S.: 1 YEAR, $6; 2 YEARS, $11; 3 YEARS, $15. FOR OTHER COUNTRIES ADD $2 PER YEAR. EXCEPT FOR CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENT IN U.S. CURRENCY ONLY. SEND ORDERS AND CHECKS TO: ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901.


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Black Vacuum Tumbler This 14-ounce stainless steel dual-wall black tumbler features a full-color emblem of the Order with white text. Copper-lined vacuum insulation keeps your drink hot or cold. Its leakproof screw-on lid comes apart for easy cleaning and opens and closes with a locking push button. $16 each Questions? Call: 1-855-GEAR-KOC (855-432-7562) Additional shipping costs apply to all orders. Please call before mailing in an order.

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

Members of St. John of the Cross Council 13166 in New Caney, Texas, organized the parish’s first ever youth soccer team. The team members, holding uniforms provided by Council 13166, are candidates in the confirmation program at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church and involved in youth ministry there.


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FATHER CHRIS LEMIEUX Director, Office of Vocations, Archdiocese of Toronto Toronto Council 1388

Photo by Jonathan Bielaski

The Lord speaks to us through the people he places in our lives. I would not have considered the priesthood had it not been for people who came along when I needed them the most. I became a Catholic at 32, when I was a city bus driver in Mississauga, Ontario. I was searching for deeper meaning, and my parish priest invited me to consider a religious vocation. Though I first rejected it for practical reasons I soon realized I had to be open to the call. My non-Catholic mother affirmed my vocation, as did an older Franciscan priest who spoke to me through his humble and joyful witness. I experienced many anxieties along the way, but the lives of the saints, especially the Canadian martyrs, inspired in me the courage to follow the Lord. I love being a priest! Serving the Lord and his people brings a deep and lasting joy beyond any hardship I have faced. The love I once thought I’d miss by not having a family has been overwhelmingly given by God and the people I serve.

Profile for Columbia Magazine

Columbia March 2019  

Columbia March 2019

Columbia March 2019  

Columbia March 2019