KNIGHT S O F C O LUM BUS
N OVEMBER 2010
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KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
NOVEMBER 2010 ♦ VOLUME 90 ♦ NUMBER 11
COLUMBIA F E AT U R E S
8 Living Witnesses of Love Culture is transformed and renewed by couples who live according to God’s plan for marriage. BY ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH E. KURTZ
14 Marriage Is Made of Prayer The vocation to marriage and family, strengthened by prayer, draws us closer to God. BY APRIL HOOPES
17 Habits for a Happy Marriage Practicing virtues can strengthen married love and help overcome common conflicts. BY RICHARD FITZGIBBONS
23 Marriage Redefined The legal acceptance of same-sex “marriage” reveals a fundamentally different understanding
Marriage at Cana, c.1597 (oil on panel), Marten de Vos (1532-1603) Antwerp Cathedral, Belgium / Wikimedia Commons
of human nature. BY DAVID S. CRAWFORD
The beginning of Jesus’ public ministry took place during a wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, where he turned water into wine (Jn 2: 1-11).
D E PA RT M E N T S 3
Building a better world Data shows that Americans highly value marriage and that most marriages succeed. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON
Learning the faith, living the faith The commandment to honor one’s father and mother reflects the family’s role in church and society. BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN BISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI
Knights of Columbus News College Knights Gather in New Haven • Knights Mourn the Passing of Former Supreme Advocate • Cardinal Dziwisz Honored as Board of Directors Meets in Poland • Documentary about St. André released
13 On Marriage
Fathers for Good There are practical ways for husbands and wives to help each other become better parents. BY DANIELLE BEAN
Knights in Action
Columbianism by Degrees
K of C State Families of the Year reflect on the meaning of marriage. BY COLUMBIA STAFF
PLUS Catholic Man of the Month
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Marriage is Priority One SIX YEARS AGO, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to make the promotion and preservation of marriage a pastoral priority. Launching a multi-year marriage initiative, the bishops recognized a great need to convey the Church’s understanding of marriage as a natural and divine institution established by God (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 48). According to Catholic teaching, the family, founded on marriage, is the foundational cell of both Church and society, and parents are the first and most important educators of their children. As Pope John Paul II wrote in Familiaris Consortio (1981), “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.” In other words, when it comes to marriage, there could not be more at stake. In light of this, the Pontifical Council for the Family observed in a document titled Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage (1996) that modern society has been affected by both “a crisis in moral values” and “the loss of the identity of marriage and the Christian family.” Among other trends, the council noted at the time a decreasing rate of marriage, an increasing rate of divorce, and the fact that even among Catholics, premarital sex and the contraceptive mentality had become normative. Just months earlier, the council published The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education Within the Family (1995), which outlined principles for parents with regard to teaching their children the importance of true love and chastity. In this
document, the virtue of chastity was defined variously as “the spiritual power which frees love from selfishness and aggression,” “the joyous affirmation of someone who knows how to live selfgiving,” and “an apprenticeship in selfmastery which is a training in human freedom” (16-18, cf. Catechism, 2339). Because such an understanding of chastity stands in stark contrast with popular notions of the Church as repressive and opposed to freedom, it is essential that young people see authentic, self-giving love being lived joyfully, especially in their own families. Yet, too often, even Catholics fall into the trap of believing that the Church is being unrealistic in her moral teachings, and children are left with vague or distorted notions about love. G.K. Chesterton’s quip about practicing our faith rings true: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” The challenge to Catholics today is to courageously witness to the truth of human love in words and actions. In light of this challenge, this issue of Columbia explores various aspects of pursuing and living a happy marriage. Strengthened by grace and virtue, and encouraged by the Church’s pastors to live their vocation faithfully, all married couples are called to embrace the mission to love as Christ loves. This witness — to one’s children and to society at large — is at the heart of the new evangelization.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI MANAGING EDITOR
Knights of Columbus Book Club — November 2010 THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS Book Club features Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson’s new book, Beyond a House Divided. Drawing upon the latest polling data, Anderson challenges the conventional wisdom regarding the polarization of America. Looking beyond political divisions so often emphasized by the media and political pundits, he argues that America is a country largely united by religion and shared traditional moral values. Join us in late November for a live discussion with the supreme knight at kofc.org/bookclub. 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
COLUMBIA PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus ________ SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN Dennis A. Savoie DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT Emilio B. Moure SUPREME SECRETARY Charles E. Maurer Jr. SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Patrick Scalisi email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Brian Dowling firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE & EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ________ GRAPHICS Michelle McCleary LAYOUT Original design by Lee Rader
Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. ________ HOW TO REACH US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 PHONE 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 E-MAIL email@example.com INTERNET kofc.org/columbia CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 ________ Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.
________ Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER A mosaic of Sts. Joachim and Anne by Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik.
COVER: Mosaic from the Chapel of St. Florian, Krnice, Slovenia/Photo by Aurelio Amendola/Courtesy of USCCB
E D I TO R I A L
BUILDING A BETTER WORLD
The Reality of Happy Marriages Data shows that Americans highly value marriage and that most marriages succeed by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson POPULAR WISDOM holds that even further by our witness and by the marriage in the United States — and advice we give to our married friends. in many other places — fails as often This message regarding the good as it succeeds. “One in two marriages news about marriage is getting end in divorce” is a mantra spoken by through. According to our polling, alnews reporters, pundits and politi- most two-thirds of Americans (64 than anything else, including personal cians alike. Some have gone so far as percent) say that divorce causes more responsibility, respect for others, honto suggest that we now live in a soci- problems than it solves, especially if esty and integrity, concern for the less fortunate, respect for the law, and beety that can just as well do without children are involved. marriage. While it is certainly good news that lief in God. Of course, the good news doesn’t But behind all the discussions and the majority of married Americans misused statistics about the decline of will never experience divorce, there is mean we should ignore the many marriage, there is undoubtedly more better news: Among those who are threats to marriage and the family that good news than bad. In my recent married, 91 percent of those we exist today. Instead, we should take book Beyond A House Divided: The polled said they are either happy (33 the opportunity — in a society in which the vast majority of people still Moral Consensus Ignored by Washing- percent) or very happy (58 percent). marry — to lead by example. ton, Wall Street and the We should be aware of the Media (Doubleday, 2010), I fact that people innately devote an entire chapter to know that marriage is a good this point. We should be aware of the fact thing and are most often Notably, the “half of all happy in their marriages, and marriages fail” statistic is that people innately know that a strong majority of cousimply incorrect. It is dethat marriage is a good thing. ples work together to make rived from the idea that “happily ever after” a reality. there are half as many diIn the quest to be men vorces as marriages and does who lead by example in our not take into account the success of first marriages. By contrast, Other polling has also consistently own lives — at home and in public — statistics from the National Marriage found that more than nine in 10 mar- we Knights have an excellent role Project at the University of Virginia ried Americans think they married the model in St. Joseph, husband of the indicate that more than six in 10 first right person, or would marry the same Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father marriages remain intact. Our own person if they had to make the deci- of Jesus. In addition, one of St. Joseph’s greatest champions was canpolling showed something similar: Al- sion all over again. most two-thirds of Americans who Perhaps the most encouraging find- onized last month — the beloved had married (63 percent) had never ing is that Americans most com- Brother André Bessette. With the guidance of St. Joseph been divorced. In other words, di- monly cite getting married as their vorce was the experience of fewer than top “life goal,” and about three-quar- and the newly canonized St. André of four in 10. ters of them say marriage ought to be Montreal, let us all resolve to let the beauty of the sacrament of marriage Thankfully, these numbers are valued more. lower than most people think. But This perspective is not limited only be present in our lives and, no matter with the often-devastating effect of di- to older generations either. In fact, our vocation, live as faithful witnesses vorce on children, we must work hard Millennials (adults aged 18-25) stated of that reality. Vivat Jesus! to ensure that these numbers go down that marriage is more undervalued
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LEARNING THE FAITH, LIVING THE FAITH
The Family in God’s Plan The commandment to honor one’s father and mother reflects the family’s role in church and society by Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT a couple’s capacities to express love and reads, “Honor your father and mother.” to beget new life are intrinsically linked How many times as youngsters did we (Humanae Vitae, 12). rious reasons such as protecting spouses confess that we had disobeyed our parThe mutual love of husband and and children from harm, public authorents in ways great and small? Yet, we wife, rooted in and strengthened by ities should not intervene in family life. can understand this commandment Christ’s love, provides the right envi- At the same time, governments should more fully by considering how it en- ronment for begetting and raising chil- defend “public morality, the rights of compasses God’s entire plan for mar- dren. In the family, children learn life’s parents, and domestic prosperity” (458). riage and family life. most basic lessons, including how to reIt would be a mistake for us to think Growing up, I took it for granted that spect and love one another, how to tell of marriage and family as an easy, idyllic a child’s parents consisted of a mother the truth, and how to grow in virtue. vocation. Mothers and fathers everywhere and a father. Today, proponents of same- In the family, the faith is taught and know better. It takes enormous dedicasex marriage tell us that the Fourth imparted, and the family is where chil- tion and energy to form children so that Commandment’s reference to one’s dren learn to pray. For these reasons, they can accept and fulfill their proper remother and father is outdated, the sponsibilities. They must be product of a bygone culture. Howtaught by word and example ever, this perspective hinders us The mutual love of husband and how to relate to God, their famfrom learning the saving truth of ilies and society at large. wife, rooted in and strengthened Scripture and from listening to Likewise, children should what the voice of reason tells us learn how to bring harmony to by Christ’s love, provides the right about marriage and family. the family circle and to help environment for raising children. themselves and the whole famTHE ‘DOMESTIC CHURCH’ ily grow in holiness. For examThe Compendium of the Catechism ple, I know young people of the Catholic Church reminds us that the family is called “the domestic whose strong faith persuaded their parthe family is not merely something in- church” (Compendium, 456). ents to resume regular attendance at vented by human beings. Rather, it is a In an age when civil authorities and Sunday Mass. Indeed, the duties of chilgift instituted by God and “ordered to cultural forces are trying to redefine the dren toward their parents extend into the good of the spouses and to the pro- family, we must insist that the family, adulthood. Adult children should concreation and education of children” understood as the union of a man and a tinue to love and revere their parents and (456). Indeed, the Church teaches that woman together with their children, is provide for them in their advancing the “original cell” of human society. Ex- years, not just materially, but also spiriisting prior to all human governments tually, such as by ensuring that they are The 31th installment of Supreme and to its recognition in law, the family receiving the sacraments (459). Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori’s plays a unique and irreplaceable role in faith formation program addresses transmitting virtues and values to young FAMILY TIES questions 456-464 of the Compeople and in helping them become Parents share in God’s creative capacity pendium of the Catechism of the good and productive citizens (457). For to give life, and from this flows their reCatholic Church. Archived articles are that reason, all governments have a duty sponsibility to love and respect their at kofc.org. to respect, protect and foster authentic children as persons created in God’s marriage and family life. Except for se- image and likeness. Accordingly, parents 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
LEARNING THE FAITH, LIVING THE FAITH
should educate their children and form them in the faith. They do so through prayer, religious instruction within the family and participation in the Church’s life, especially by taking part in the Eucharist each Sunday (461). As the Rite of Baptism explains, “Parents are the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith.” They are to provide for their children’s material, physical and spiritual needs, especially their education. It is also important for parents to be open to the vocation God has in mind for their children — be it marriage, religious life or the priesthood — and help guide them toward it, as well as toward an appro-
PHOTOGRAPH OF POPE: CNS photo/Paul Haring — MIGUEL PRO: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. /Creative Commons, Stephen, O.Cist.
HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTIONS
Offered in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI GENERAL: That victims of drugs or of other dependence may, thanks to the support of the Christian community, find in the power of our saving God strength for a radical life-change. MISSION: That the Churches of Latin America may move ahead with the continent-wide mission proposed by their bishops, making it part of the universal missionary task of the People of God.
priate profession (460, 462). An old saying tells us that “blood is thicker than water.” Family bonds run deep, and there is widespread recognition of the need to strengthen them today. Families need to spend time together, share meals, talk with one another and pray together. At the same time, family ties are not absolute. The first obligation of every family member is to follow and love Jesus Christ. Our love for Christ must exceed even our love for our parents and children (see Mt 10:37). Within healthy and happy families an appropriate understanding of authority is more likely to develop, including that of teachers and civil authorities.
We are to understand authority as a service to moral truth and the common good, a service that respects human dignity and rights, and seeks to create environments conducive to the authentic good of all (Compendium, 463-465). In a self-centered culture, this is often hard for people to understand. Furthermore, parents are to foster in their children habits of good citizenship, including the virtue of patriotism, the right and duty to vote, payment of taxes and the right to free speech (464). And most importantly, parents are to instill in their children a spirit of service for others and a readiness to volunteer and assist those in need.♦
C AT H O L I C M A N O F T H E M O N T H
Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro Juárez (1891-1927) Feast day: Nov. 23 MIGUEL AGUSTIN PRO JUÁREZ was born in 1891 in Mexico City and entered the Society of Jesus at age 20. He studied in Mexico until 1914, when growing anti-Catholic sentiment throughout the country made it necessary for the Jesuits to dissolve the novitiate and flee to California. At this point, Pro was sent to Spain to continue his studies and then to Nicaragua to teach for three years. He was ordained in Belgium in 1925 and returned to his native Mexico the following year. During his time abroad, the persecution of Catholics in Mexico grew intensely. The Church was barred from involvement in education, and priests were denied the right to vote and to wear religious clothing in public. In some places, public worship was banned entirely. Nevertheless, fervent Catholics worshiped secretly despite such persecution, and Father Pro was one of the brave priests who brought the sacraments to the faithful underground. In 1927, Father Pro was falsely impli-
cated in a failed attempt to assassinate the Mexican president and sentenced to death. Standing before the firing squad on Nov. 23, 1927, with rosary in hand, he stretched out his hands in prayer and exclaimed, “¡Viva Cristo Rey! ” (“Long live Christ the King!”) Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro Juárez stands as a shining example of unshakable faith amid persecution. At his beatification, Pope John Paul II remarked, “Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.”♦
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KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS NEWS
College Knights Collaborate in New Haven
THE CHALLENGE FACING the Catholic Church is that our culture increasingly acts as if God does not exist, said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson during his keynote remarks at the 2010 College Council Conference awards banquet. “We need to act in a way in which people can see what it means to truly be a Christian. We have to have a charity that evangelizes as a way of life to show people that Christians, that Catholics, are different. And we have to do this in such a way that people will want to be with us,” the supreme knight said.
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson stands with members of Our Lady of the Skies Council 8200 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., winners of the Outstanding College Council Award. More than 130 Knights from 66 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Dominican Republic took part in the annual conference in New Haven, Conn., Oct. 1-3. The young men attended presentations and workshops on topics ranging
from programming and membership to the leadership responsibilities of Knights on campus. During these sessions, college Knights shared innovative ideas from their councils and generated new approaches to challenges. Conference delegates also attended Mass together at St. Mary’s Church, where the Order was founded in 1882. At the conference banquet, awards were presented for membership and insurance growth, and for achievements in the “Surge … with Service” programming categories. The winner of this year’s Outstanding College Council Award was Our Lady of the Skies Council 8200 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. At Sunday morning’s closing session, Father Brett A. Brannen, author of To Save a Thousand Souls (Vianney Vocations, 2010), spoke on the need for every person to grow in holiness and to recognize his personal vocation, whatever it may be. “Father McGivney changed the world because he said ‘Yes’ to what God wanted,” Father Brannen said. “College Knights can do the same.” For more coverage and to view slideshows and video from the conference, visit kofc.org/college.♦
Knights Mourn the Passing of Former Supreme Advocate THE HON. RICARDO H. Garcia, 79, a retired Texas state district judge who served as supreme advocate for the Knights of Columbus for three years and who was a member of the Board of Directors from 1989 to 2000, died Sept. 23. Garcia was elected a supreme director in 1989 and served as the Order’s supreme advocate from 1996 to 1999. At the end of his term on the Board of Directors, he served as the supreme knight’s representative to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Panama,
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Guatemala and Cuba. Saddened by the news, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said, “He was a great friend, a true patriot and, most of all, a deeply faithful Catholic gentleman, husband and father. He lived a long and exceptionally productive life, and every Knight who had the privilege of knowing him is fortunate indeed for having enjoyed his friendship.” Judge Garcia is survived by his wife, Gloria, and their two grown children, Ricardo Jr. and Gloria Stella.♦
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS NEWS
Cardinal Dziwisz Honored as Board of Directors Meets in Poland
Documentary about St. André released THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS Board of Directors’ quarterly meeting took place in early October during a special pilgrimage to Poland, which also included the presentation of the ninth Gaudium et Spes Award, the highest honor given by the Knights of Columbus. Since establishing its first Polish councils in January 2006, the Order’s presence has grown to 25 councils throughout the country, and membership now stands at more than 1,400. The pilgrimage began when Knights in Warsaw welcomed Supreme Officers and directors Oct. 6 for a Mass and wreath laying in honor of Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko, a Polish priest who was murdered by Communist agents in 1984 and beatified last June. The following day, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson spoke to a fraternal meeting of Polish Knights, emphasizing the responsibility and challenges facing the Order there. “Of course, we realize that the Christian faith is much stronger in Poland than in most of Europe today. But this should make us aware that now Poland has a special responsibility for the future of Christianity in Europe,” he said. The K of C delegation also participated in a special Mass Oct. 8 at the Jasna Góra
The supreme knight presents Cardinal Dziwisz with the Gaudium et Spes Award, the Order’s highest honor, on Oct. 9. Monastery in Czestochowa before continuing on to Krakow. Finally, on Oct. 9, the Order bestowed the Gaudium et Spes Award on Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, in recognition of the cardinal’s extraordinary service to the Catholic Church. Cardinal Dziwisz was ordained a priest in 1963 by then-Bishop Karol Wojtyła, and served as Wojtyła’s personal secretary. When Wojtyła became Pope John Paul II, Dziwisz remained the pope’s secretary and friend until John Paul II’s death in 2005. Dziwisz was appointed archbishop of Krakow in 2005, and Pope Benedict XVI named him a cardinal the following year. The award citation noted that the cardinal “suffered with his Polish brethren behind the Iron Curtain during the years of Communist control, yet he has shared and declared the ‘joys and hopes’ of the Catholic faith to countless individuals and societies as a priest, a bishop and a cardinal.” The Gaudium et Spes Award was established by the Knights of Columbus in 1992 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to both the Catholic Church and to society.♦
SALT + LIGHT TELEVISION has released a new documentary on the life of St. André of Montreal, the first Canadian-born male saint. The film, titled God’s Doorkeeper, was prepared for St. André’s canonization, which took place in Rome Oct. 17. Produced by a team of filmmakers at Salt + Light, the documentary takes viewers into the heart of Brother André’s universal story of charity, holiness and hope. Primarily shot and produced in the months leading up to his canonization, the film additionally includes footage of the beatification and canonization ceremonies in Rome and the celebrations in Montreal. The documentary is available in both English and French versions and features exclusive interviews with those who continue St. André’s legacy and who were touched by his healing and compassion. In addition to providing financial support for Salt + Light Television and the production of God’s Doorkeeper, the Knights of Columbus has also participated in a number of initiatives celebrating Brother André’s canonization, including a special novena and an ongoing membership drive. For more about God’s Doorkeeper, visit saltandlighttv.org/brotherandre.♦
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Love LIVING WITNESSES OF
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Culture is transformed and renewed by couples who live according to God’s plan for marriage by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz
brother bishop once told me, “If there were 100 loving married couples, well-grounded in Catholic teaching in the diocese in which I serve, we could transform this movement against marriage in our culture from the inside out.” I thought a lot about this insight over the past six years as I served on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) committee that developed a pastoral initiative on marriage. Jesus chose 12 to found his Church on earth. Why not 100 couples to renew marriage for our culture? Of course, a national pastoral initiative on marriage requires teaching a proper understanding of marriage to people of all ages. There is also a desperate need for public advocacy to ensure that marriage is protected and preserved in the law. Central to both of these efforts, however, is the lived witness of married couples who will be the yeast for a new evangelization on marriage. As you read this article, consider whether you are a married couple who has these four characteristics: • Be willing to make your marriage a priority. • Be resolute to make the Church’s teaching on marriage your own so that you are well-grounded in the faith. • Seek the maturity that allows you to embrace sacrificial love. • Remain open to God’s plan in your lives. NOVEMBER 2010
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MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE A PRIORITY Six years ago, the bishops of the United States began a pastoral initiative on marriage amid a culture and climate that cried out for action. The number of couples turning to the Church for sacramental marriage had decreased dramatically in recent decades. Meanwhile, rates of unmarried cohabitation skyrocketed, and more and more children were being born out of wedlock. In short, it was clear that the culture was moving away from the gift of marriage. In developing a pastoral plan, one of the first steps we took was a series of public service announcements for radio, television and billboards. With live interviews of couples on the street, we gathered stories — some humorous, others profound — that emphasized making marriage a priority each day. Mindful of the fact that love is an act of the will as well as the heart and mind, we focused on action. So, instead of asking “How do you feel about your marriage today,” our theme became “What have you done for your marriage today?” Some of the responses that can be viewed on our website, foryourmarriage.org, range from a family spending time together to a man who called his wife simply to say, “I love you.” These examples of witness demonstrate that making marriage a priority is the first I once heard a step to transforming our culture.
EMBRACE THE CATHOLIC TEACHINGS ON MARRIAGE — and not the beginning — A second important characteristic of “the 100” who can change the SEEK A MATURE, that we discover this.” culture is a relationship wellSACRIFICIAL LOVE grounded in the faith. In NovemThis year’s Respect Life resources, ber 2009, the U.S. bishops issued by the USCCB’s Commitapproved a pastoral letter titled Marriage: Love and Life in the tee for Pro-Life Activities, take as their theme a quote from Divine Plan. Each word of the title is important. This 58- St. John of the Cross: “The measure of love is to love without page document and accompanying study guide — available measure.” The main pamphlet goes on to say, “Our nature veonline at usccb.org/loveandlife — outlines the natural bless- hemently resists the idea of giving up our time, money, sleep, ings, challenges and gifts of marriage. or place for the sake of others — until we mature enough to I was privileged to oversee this project for a number of allow love to transform us.” This theme of a love that is willyears, and it was a bit of a roller coaster. On the one hand, ing to sacrifice for another is the third ingredient of “the 100.” we wanted to be very clear about divorce, same-sex unions, Surveys of young adults show that sacrificial love needs plenty contraception, cohabitation and all the contentious issues that of support these days. Young people seem to understand the surround marriage today. On the other hand, we wanted to concepts of mutual satisfaction and mutual respect, but the idea be supportive, offering pastoral help for understanding and of sacrifice draws concern: “What if this person is not the right living out the high call of marriage. spouse and I am sacrificing for nothing?” The popular concept A central aspect of this pastoral letter is that marriage is a of a “soul mate” — someone who can answer and anticipate all public action. While always deeply personal, the gift of mar- of one’s needs — lies at the root of this concern. Like the man riage as the union of a man and woman comes from God. in search of the ideal woman, who in thinking he found her gets Grounded in the Book of Genesis, the letter explains that this rejected because she is out seeking the ideal man, this quest is “two-in-one-flesh” union is publicly promised as a commit- illusory and even destructive to the path of genuine love. ment to love permanently (without a time limit), faithfully Indeed, I have often been struck by people’s heightened ex(exclusively with one another) and with an openness to chil- pectations of marriage. Many seem overly intent on finding dren. These three elements are essential. personal fulfillment and worried about getting hurt in a relaSome would like to restrict Catholic teachings to those get- tionship. This can present a significant challenge to marriage. ting married in the Church and let other marriages be defined What happens when a couple hits the inevitable bump in the 10 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
PREVIOUS SPREAD: Photo by Renata Grzan/Renata Photography
and regulated by the state. In response, the first part of the pastoral letter addresses marriage as a natural institution. Using the Scriptural words of Genesis, it explains that the public act of marriage — always deeply personal, but never solely private — is written into our nature. Since marriage and family constitute the essential building block of society, the state and the Church have always recognized the importance of public regulations and witnesses. Like driver’s licenses or passports, marriage licenses signal that something more than a private arrangement is at work. Moreover, never before has there been a question that the definition of marriage is God-given and grounded in our very nature. Only in recent years has there arisen the dangerous proposal to redefine the unchangeable meaning of marriage to include two persons of the same sex. The first part of the pastoral letter speaks to all marriages in society. These teachings are based on the natural law — that is, concerning the nature of the human person. They are accessible to reason and apply to all people. Part two of the pastoral letter addresses the sacramental aspects of marriage and the spirituality that is part of its vocation. While the Church does not expect all of society to follow Catholic teachings strictly related to matters of faith, she does expect the freedom to be able to proclaim wise couple say, the faith in the public square. It is “Yes, we do marry our soul mates, essential that in seeking the common good, we are involved in probut it is at the end of the marriage moting and protecting marriage in our society for the good of all.
road? Disillusionment will inevitably follow if one expects his or her spouse to be a perfect soul mate who never disappoints. I once heard a wise couple say, “Yes, we do marry our soul mates, but it is at the end of the marriage — and not the beginning — that we discover this.” This is not a question of expecting little or nothing. After all, God calls every Christian couple to an intimate communion of love that reflects the life of the Holy Trinity. That is a high expectation indeed! But as with every vocation, it is essential to pray and ask, “What do you want, Lord? Are my expectations in line with yours?” Surely the clearest sign of love is sacrifice, not sought after, but given. St. Paul expresses in his Letter to the Romans the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, even though we are sinners (cf. Rom 5:8). When asked who loves us dearly and how we know, most of us can quickly call to mind examples of sacrificial love as the proof of true love. Essential as it is, this kind of love can only come from persons who are truly mature.
MOST REV. JOSEPH E. KURTZ, D.D., is the archbishop of Louisville and a member of Mount Mercy Council 14604 in Peewee Valley, Ky. He headed the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family from 2005 to 2009 and now chairs the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage.
Photo by moodboard/Corbis
REMAIN OPEN TO GOD’S PLAN In our modern world, we seem only too ready to assume that technology will solve the unpleasant and unexpected aspects of life. In truth, the mature, God-centered couple knows that they are on a journey, often seeing only 50 yards ahead on a long, dark and winding road. Their trust is in God’s hands. The theme chosen by the USCCB for this year’s Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, observed last July, delivers a brief but important message: “Trust — God has a plan for your marriage.”
Mature married couples recognize that they journey together on an adventure and that all of their dreams will not come true. Psychologists describe maturity as the capacity to live well with ambiguity or uncertainty. We as people of faith know this as the confident assurance that comes from utter reliance on God in good times and in bad. This confidence frees a couple that truly trusts in God’s plan, and it is the final ingredient to a marriage that has the power to transform the culture. Pope Benedict XVI has observed that there are some people who profess faith in God but act as if God does not exist. You might say that, in practice, they are atheists. Let us not fall into this trap. It is true that we face many challenges today, but it would be a mistake — a heresy, in fact — to think that everything rests on our shoulders. Essentially, renewing marriage and family life is God’s work! Our part is to serve his plan as faithfully as possible and to cooperate with the movements of his grace. The catechetical and public advocacy efforts of the Church are important in our efforts to cooperate with God’s work, but central to it are couples who are faith-filled, wellgrounded in Catholic teaching, mature enough to embrace sacrificial love and confident in God’s plan. Are you one of “the 100” who can change a culture? The Church and society need your lived witness.♦
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Seven Themes of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan by H. Richard McCord
n November 2009, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the pastoral letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, which is the centerpiece of the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage (see usccb.org/loveandlife). The U.S. bishops intend this letter to be a theological foundation for understanding the God-given meaning of marriage, for living it faithfully, for promoting and strengthening it, and for protecting and defending it. An easy way to grasp the letter’s message is to reflect on its seven themes. Each theme communicates an essential point of Catholic teaching about marriage as a natural institution and as a Christian sacrament. A NATURAL AND SUPERNATURAL GIFT Marriage comes from the hand of God, who endows it with its proper form and purposes. Marriage is a union that the Creator blessed and called “very good.” It is not something that we invented or that we can redefine. The gift of marriage was not lost by original sin. Instead, it was redeemed by Christ and established as one of the seven sacraments by which his love for us becomes present. In the sacrament of matrimony, the gift of natural marriage is transformed by the action of Christ and his Church. The marital union then becomes a unique relationship in which spouses help each other achieve holiness and give witness to God’s love in the world. THE UNIQUE UNION OF A MAN AND A WOMAN The creation stories of Genesis show that man and woman are made for each other. The ways that the male and female sexes 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
complement each other are essential to the nature and purposes of marriage. This complementarity is biological, but it also exists in the ways men and women think, act and communicate. Sexual complementarity enables spouses to form an intimate union that is loving and life-giving. Same-sex relationships cannot do this, and making them equivalent to marriage violates the nature of marriage. (For more, see marriageuniqueforareason.org.) A COMMUNION OF LOVE AND LIFE Marriage creates a “one-flesh” union, or intimate communion that is meant to be love- and life-giving The two purposes of marriage, called unitive and procreative, are equal, inseparable and ordered to each other. Contraception is objectively wrong because it deliberately separates the unitive and procreative purposes. Natural methods of family planning, on the other hand, respect God’s design for married love. A SACRAMENT OF CHRIST’S LOVE The sacrament of matrimony elevates the natural institution of marriage to a sharing of love larger than itself. This is the love of Christ for his bride, the Church. His love is faithful, fruitful, free and forever, and Christian spouses are called to imitate this love. Since the sacrament makes Christ present in a couple’s marriage, they can rely on his grace to help them grow and persevere in love even when it seems impossible. THE FOUNDATION OF THE FAMILY AND SOCIETY The Christian family is an image of the communion of Father, Son and Holy
Spirit. The love that spouses share and give to their children overflows from the family to nurture the world. This familial love is an indispensable service to society and the Church. Church teaching calls the family a “domestic church,” or church of the home, because Christ is present in its members and because the family has a mission to announce and build up the kingdom of God. A JOURNEY OF HUMAN AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH Human growth, which is necessary in every marriage, is intertwined with growth in holiness. Grace builds upon nature. Spiritual growth takes place to the extent that spouses welcome Christ into their lives and strive, through the practice of virtues, to conform their attitudes and actions to his. All virtues lead to the perfection of love. Marriage is a journey of love that constitutes a true vocation within the Church. A SCHOOL OF LOVE AND GRATITUDE If marriage is a gift, then the most appropriate response is gratitude. Gratitude opens the human heart to receive and give love. An open heart, in turn, means openness to children and extends to all those in need. When couples are nurtured by the Eucharist, they increase their capacity for love and gratitude. They become a blessing and a gift to each other and to the world.♦ H. RICHARD MCCORD is the executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. He is also the principal staff person of the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage.
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THE DOHMENS ON ADVICE FOR YOUNG COUPLES FRANK: Actually, the first year is the easiest. After that it gets hard. JONI SUE: There’s a lot of give and take. FRANK: Pick the battles that are real important to you. Let the other person know how important that situation is to you and work it out, somehow. ON PARENTAL ROLE MODELS JONI SUE: Both sets of parents have been together for more than 50 years. FRANK: Coming home from work, Dad would go and give mom a kiss. It was that loving family relationship that I was always familiar with growing up.
Photo by Jesse Inskeep
ON BEING AWAY FROM HOME FRANK: When I was in India with my nieces at Christmastime, it was certainly hard being away from the family. JONI SUE: Our son had a really hard time. He didn’t get the toys he wanted, and it all flipped back to, “My dad isn’t here.” That was challenging.
ON BEING SUPPORTIVE FRANK: It’s about being supportive of what your spouse wants to do. If I want to go down to Haiti and help out down there, my wife is supportive of that. Joni Sue is a Montessori teacher. My viewpoint is that even though it might work out better if she was at home, if that’s what she wants to do, it’s OK. JONI SUE: You learn to be flexible, patient, tolerant. ON BEING PARENTS JONI SUE: Having a family would be the biggest thing we have done. We adopted four girls, each of them at a different time and a different age. FRANK: Having children has definitely brought us closer to each other. It’s only some days that it’s “them against us.” As long as we stay together and stay tight, it’s much easier to handle them. Having the kids around has made us communicate much more.
FRANK AND JONI SUE DOHMEN OUR LADY OF THE RIVER COUNCIL 13084 IN LE CLAIRE , IOWA THE DOHMENS HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 23 YEARS . THEY HAVE FIVE CHILDREN , INCLUDING ONE SON ( NOT PICTURED ) AND FOUR ADOPTED DAUGHTERS . NOVEMBER 2010
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PRAYER marriage is made of
The vocation to marriage and family, strengthened by prayer, draws us closer to God
am where I am today because of prayer. And I am not where I thought I would be. As I headed off to college, I fully expected that God would call me to be a foreign missionary, married to a native man of an exotic country, with a handful of children in tow. Instead, I am a married 40-year-old woman in Atchison, Kan., with more than a handful of children — eight to be exact. My missionary territory is much closer to home, and I would never exchange the direction my life has taken for the one I had once envisioned for myself. Ironically, I got special confirmation of my vocation from the founder of the Missionaries of Charity herself: Mother Teresa. As my husband and I prepared for our wedding, I decided to invite a few guests whom I knew wouldn’t be able to come, but whom I wanted to inform about our upcoming nuptials. So, I sent an invitation to the pope, the president and Mother Teresa. While they all sent responses, Mother Teresa sent a beautiful 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
signed letter encouraging us, among other things, to pray. “From the first day of your life together as husband and wife, pray together,” she wrote. “Prayer gives a clean heart, and a clean heart can see and serve God in one another.” We dutifully obeyed, even in our suite at the hotel on our wedding night. My husband and I knelt by the kitchenette table that first night, and we continued to do so in our first apartment. Mother Teresa’s insight — that prayer gives us a clean heart so that we can see and serve God in one another — has proven true for us. It has been through prayer, evolving over time to include our children (complete with a family-friendly daily rosary), that God has ever so gently shown us the beauty and detail of his plan for our love and life. At the beginning of our marriage, I thought God was using our love for him to draw us to each other. Now, looking back through the experiences of prayer, I realize that God was using the bond of our marriage to draw us to himself.
Photo by Odelia Cohen/Thinkstock
by April Hoopes
ment, which includes three essential aspects. FROM THE BEGINNING First, there is indissolubility. We are still together because The idea of God using marriage to draw mankind closer to him shouldn’t come as a surprise. Scripture begins with a mar- of prayer, even through some very tough times when it riage in the Book of Genesis — the creation of Adam and Eve seemed that we were all wrong for each other. In our daily in the image and likeness of God — and ends with a vision of prayer, I knew that no matter the differences between us, my husband’s priority would be to do what God wanted. You the wedding feast of the Lamb in the Book of Revelation. God saves mankind through Noah’s family, founds his na- have heard that love conquers all, but in marriage, love of tion through Abraham and Sarah’s marriage, and turns to Christ can conquer more. Second, there is fidelity. By putting our married life in marriage again and again in the Old Testament as a means to touch with God’s life, we have learned from God, who is alaccomplish his will. In the fullness of time, God entered mankind and chose ways the same. Couples married for many years are able to the marriage of Joseph and Mary as the foundation for his do the same things over and over again, even if these things family. Jesus began his public ministry at a wedding in Cana aren’t always thrilling. Take, for example, our neighbors sitand later used the parable of a wedding feast to describe ting on their swing in the afternoon, being friendly with the heaven (cf. Mt 22:1-14). He then left for us the eucharistic neighborhood. The gift of their fidelity is their presence, just feast as a memorial of his death — a feast where we receive like God’s. Finally, prayer has kept us “open to life,” by which I mean his Body and Blood and become one flesh with him. Finally, not only childbearing, but also the broadest understanding Christ called himself the groom and the Church his bride. The language of the Bible is very suggestive in speaking of the phrase. This even includes being open to the fact that about the creation of man and woman. God makes Adam first your spouse may want to completely change careers at some point — or that health or finanand says, “It is not good for the cial issues may affect your life man to be alone” (Gn 2:18). God together in unforeseen and exthen puts Adam into a deep sleep Praying together every day serves tremely challenging ways. Life is a and in a sense recreates him, takcoaster of possibilities and ing Eve from his side. When as a windshield wiper that cleans roller opportunities. Marriage, founded Adam sees Eve for the first time, on prayer, is what keeps your car he has a moment of self-revelathe grime so we can see more from flying off the rails. tion. He sees her, but he also sees clearly the road ahead of us. It has The Catechism teaches that in himself; he learns from Eve who our fallen world, “marriage helps he really is. Adam says, “This one, allows us to put our lives into to overcome self-absorption, egoat last, is bone of my bones and ism, pursuit of one’s own pleasflesh of my flesh” (Gn 2:23). Isn’t perspective on a regular basis. ure, and to open oneself to the that very much the experience we other, to mutual aid and to selfhave when we fall in love? giving” (1609). In human love, we find our true That’s so true. But you need to allow Christ into your marselves in the other. And in marriage, God bonds this new “us” riage in order for all of that to happen. And the best way we’ve as a union of two-in-one. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “The Holy found to open the floodgates of grace in married life is the simSpirit is the seal of [the married couple’s] covenant, the ever ple act of faithful prayer. The repeated act of praying together available source of their love and the strength to renew their every day serves as a windshield wiper that cleans the grime so fidelity” (1624). In other words, the same Holy Spirit who is we can see more clearly the road ahead of us. It also allows us the seal of the love of the Father and the Son is the seal of to put our lives into perspective on a regular basis, because we are praying about our needs and our blessings and seeing how marriage. The Catechism further points to the strength of that seal: God works in others’ lives and our own. Suddenly, we can downplay the huge dramas we create in “Conjugal love ... aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and our heads about this problem or that. When we can see soul” (1643). This kind of unity does not depend on feelings. clearly, we can focus on the needs of the other, which is the It is without barriers and embraces all the surprises that life basis of what every human is called to do: love God and love neighbor. Now, you can start with the neighbor who shares has to throw at it. your name and address.♦ OPEN TO GRACE So, marriage exists to bring one closer to God, and the Holy APRIL HOOPES received her master’s degree in sacred theology Spirit makes marriage possible. That is why Mother Teresa in- from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage sisted that we pray every day: to help us see the reality of our and Family in Washington, D.C. She worked for several years as the marriage for what it is and to give us a greater chance to re- editorial co-director of Faith & Family magazine with her husband, ceive the graces stored up for us through this wonderful sacra- Tom. They now live in Atchison, Kan., with their eight children. NOVEMBER 2010
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THE DALES ON FINDING EACH OTHER DARREN: When the right one comes along, you know. We met at St. Peter’s College. We weren’t dating then, but there was always that attraction. There was her faith and her belief in God. My family is quite musical, and she is very musical, so there were a lot of common things there. WENDY: His sisters told him to find a girlfriend who could play the piano. That kind of happened.
ON THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS DARREN: When I became part of the Knights, I got a better understanding of the role the Knights play in supporting the family and supporting the Church. The initial thing was that you just didn’t have time to give the Knights what it deserved or what you wanted to give to it. But there were never any expectations set on anyone. Everyone supports you. You contribute in all the ways you can.
ON PREPARING FOR MARRIAGE WENDY: One of the things we were told to prepare for was dealing with each other’s families. Another was being able to keep things balanced, like finances. Keeping God in our marriage and knowing that the Church is there for us as a definite support system was also stressed. DARREN: One thing I remember the priest saying was: It’s not giving 50 percent of each person; it’s giving 100 percent of each person all the time. That has stuck with me.
ON GOOD EXAMPLES WENDY: We are both blessed because divorce is not part of our lives at all. Our parents are both married. Our grandparents were all married 50 or 60 years. It’s just a family expectation, I think — if they all made it through some pretty tough times, then we will, too.
DARREN AND WENDY DALE DENIS MAHONEY COUNCIL 8215 IN SASKATOON , SASKATCHEWAN MARRIED FOR 22 YEARS , THE DALES HAVE SIX CHILDREN WHO ARE ALL INVOLVED IN THEIR CHURCH AND COMMUNITY. 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Photo by Gina’s Portraits
ON ADVICE FOR YOUNG COUPLES DARREN: Our son just got married. We told him that no matter how bad it gets, have faith in God and it will all work out. Pray together — the family that prays together stays together.
MARRIAGE by Richard Fitzgibbons, M.D.
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Practicing virtues can strengthen married love and help overcome common conflicts
he sacrament of marriage is a fulfilling and challenging vocation that requires cheerful, self-giving love and sacrifice. An understanding of this call to self-giving, its support from the Lord’s love, the weaknesses that can interfere with marital love, and their resolution is vital for the health of Catholic marriages. Before he became pope, John Paul II wrote a book titled Love and Responsibility, in which he presented the importance of self-gift in marital friendship and betrothed love. He said in this kind of love — which includes, but is more than, sexual intimacy — the spouse surrenders him- or herself to the other so that one no longer thinks primarily of “me” but of “we.” This oneness and flow of love between a husband and wife are in some ways called to model the love and openness within the heart of God, the Trinity. John Paul II later wrote, “God is revealed in the communion between man and woman, for this communion images the love that God himself is” (Letter to Women, 7). Unfortunately, too few Catholic couples are aware of the weaknesses that harm their personalities and of the habits, virtues and graces that can assist in their healing. Marital self-giving and happiness can be limited by a number of emotional or character weaknesses that enter the marriage or develop during years of married life. In my 34 years of working with Catholic couples, I have observed seven major conflicts that create severe marital stress: excessive anger, selfishness, controlling behaviors, emotionally distant behaviors, anxiety/mistrust, weaknesses in confidence, and sadness/loneliness. The good news is that these weaknesses can be overcome through growth in self-knowledge, virtues and grace.
FORGIVENESS FOR EXCESSIVE ANGER Excessive anger is one of the major sources of marital and family stress. Couples benefit from knowing that they have basically three options for dealing with anger: denial, expression and forgiveness. Forgiveness is the most effective for diminishing marital anger. An immediate forgiveness exercise can be used whenever one feels overly angry. Here, a person thinks repeatedly, “Understand and forgive, understand and forgive.” This exercise usually diminishes feelings of anger, and only then should one begin to discuss the hurt or disappointment that caused the anger initially. Likewise, past forgiveness exercises are important to resolve anger from previous hurts in the marriage or in the family background. Here, the spouse might imagine oneself as a child thinking, “I want to understand and forgive the parent who hurt me the most.” This forgiveness is essential for marital happiness because most couples bring into their adult life unresolved anger that, under stress, can be misdirected at each other. Every time a spouse forgives, a certain amount of anger is removed from his or her heart. The virtue of patience is also essential in this process, as it is required to gain mastery over the passion of anger. GENEROSITY FOR SELFISHNESS Selfishness harms marriages severely because it turns a spouse inward and interferes with cheerful self-giving. The selfish spouse
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thinks “me” not “we” and regularly overreacts in anger. Selfishness is the major cause of separation and divorce, and many popes have written that selfishness is the major enemy of marital love. Unfortunately, we live in a culture in which selfishness is epidemic. The use of contraception further intensifies the negative attributes of self-centeredness and mistrust and should be avoided for the good of the marriage. Instead, a commitment to grow daily in generosity, humility, chastity and temperance is helpful in diminishing this personality conflict. The sacrament of reconciliation is also helpful in resolving selfishness and excessive anger.
In a conference for priests many years ago, an archbishop stated that he believed the major source of emotional stress in the priests of that archdiocese was the feeling of being overly responsible. His advice was that one should work hard in fulfilling God’s will but take mini-breaks to give back to the Lord all of one’s responsibilities and worries. This unburdening process is very effective in diminishing anxiety. Anxiety in marriage can diminish by setting aside time daily to talk, preferably after dinner for a half hour while the kids do chores or their homework. Setting aside time for date nights and fighting against materialism by growth in the virtue of temperance are also important.
RESPECT FOR CONTROLLING BEHAVIORS Controlling behaviors harm marriages in numerous ways. They GRATITUDE FOR WEAKNESSES IN CONFIDENCE can cause one’s spouse to feel sad, angry, insecure, anxious, ex- Weaknesses in confidence are major causes of irritability, a tenhausted and discouraged. These behaviors can be caused by mod- dency to be critical and conflicts with pornography. Women are eling a controlling parent, selfishness and pride, or compensation more fortunate than men in that the majority of them have exfor strong feelings of insecurity. perienced more affirmation and afThe controlling spouse needs to fection from their mothers than understand how he or she is harmmen have from their fathers. A commitment to grow in ing the marriage and family. Prayer, Confidence can be fostered by respect and a greater love for the being grateful for one’s God-given self-knowledge and to develop goodness in one’s spouse are helpful gifts, by forgiving those who have virtues can protect spouses in putting an end to the repetition damaged confidence, by receiving of a controlling weakness. The “vicfraternal support from groups such from unhappiness. Healthy tim” spouse can also work to correct as the Knights of Columbus, and by this behavior by communicating being thankful for one’s work and Catholic marriages and regularly that the Lord is in control. trusting the Lord with it.
families are dependent upon
CHEERFUL SELF-GIVING HOPE AND LOVE spouses working to maintain FOR EMOTIONALLY FOR SADNESS DISTANT BEHAVIORS All of the conflicts presented thus healthy personalities. One of the most common comfar can result in marital unhappiplaints that I hear in marital therapy ness and loneliness. A commitment is that a spouse is emotionally distant, most often the husband. to grow in self-knowledge and to develop virtues can protect This weakness can be the result of hurt feelings in the marriage spouses from unhappiness. A common source of sadness is the or in previous relationships. However, the major conflict that we failure to rely upon God’s love in a culture that is increasingly typically uncover is a parent who was not affectionate or compli- driven to exclude God. mentary. Current neuroscience suggests that such modeling beFor those spouses with unresolved loneliness with a parent, the gins in early childhood and is difficult to overcome without a Catholic faith can be enormously helpful with its teaching that strong commitment to do so. one always has Our Lady as another loving mother, St. Joseph as Healing occurs by making a commitment to repeat a parent’s another loving father and the Lord as one’s best friend. Working good qualities but not his or her emotionally distant behaviors. with a spiritual director in these areas has resolved sadness in many Forgiveness of the parent and a daily decision to show more vul- spouses. nerability and compassion can help to break this control from the Healthy Catholic marriages and families are dependent upon past, and a commitment to making five positive comments for spouses working to maintain healthy personalities. This can occur each negative comment can strengthen marital friendship. through a daily commitment to overcome weaknesses by growth The regular reception of the Eucharist and meditation upon in good habits, virtues and graces that can strengthen romantic the Lord’s loving heart are also very helpful. love, the marital friendship, and the openness and oneness that is meant to image God.♦ TRUST FOR ANXIETY Excessive anxiety can result in significant stress and sadness in RICHARD FITZGIBBONS, M.D., is the director of the Institute for married life. Unhealthy anxiety, as with other emotional conflicts, Marital Healing in West Conshohocken, Pa. He teaches at the John can pull a spouse away from his or her marriage and family. This Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, can be the result of a number of factors, including a weakness in D.C., and is a consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vattrust, strong insecurities, financial worries or weaknesses in faith. ican. His website is maritalhealing.com. 18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
O N M A R R I AG E
THE KINNEYS ON MARRIAGE PREPARATION KATHY: I remember coming out of it thinking, “That was pretty lame.” They missed the spirituality. Back then, they avoided anything about NFP or the Church’s teaching on contraception. They missed talking about holiness in a marriage. You’re going to get the worldly things of how to keep a marriage together from many resources, but the idea of a holy marriage only comes from one source.
Knights respect me as a wife and mother has given me a little extra strength along the way. ON OVERCOMING CHALLENGES TIMOTHY: Understanding each other can be a challenge — trying to figure out that we’re two different kinds of people and stopping to listen to find out what the other person is like. Sometimes, it takes a lot of listening. It takes a lot of prayer.
ON GETTING MARRIED TIMOTHY: I think at first it’s, “Oh, good, I’m getting married. My best friend is here with me. We’re happy things are working out. We’re going to start on our own. Soon, we’re going to have a baby.” But the enthusiasm doesn’t always stay with you. As the years go by, it becomes more of the actual promise and commitment that you have than just the enthusiasm you started with.
ON LASTING MARRIAGES TIMOTHY: I’m not sure there is a secret. I think there’s a lot of hard work and commitment. Basically that’s what it takes: diligence to work things out as things come along. KATHY: All in all, I would say God blesses us through our marriage and through our family, and, in turn, we give back to him through the gift of our marriage and through our children.
Photo by Scott Hill
ON THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS KATHY: From my point of view, women are respected by the Knights. To me, that hugely makes a difference. Having the
TIMOTHY AND KATHY KINNEY ST. ELIZABETH COUNCIL 10373 IN PFLUGERVILLE , TEXAS THE KINNEYS LIVE IN AUSTIN , TEXAS , AND HAVE BEEN MARRIED 36 YEARS . THEY HAVE 10 CHILDREN , ONE OF WHOM IS STUDYING TO BE A PRIEST. NOVEMBER 2010
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FAT H E R S F O R G O O D
A Shared Effort There are practical ways for husbands and wives to help each other become better parents by Danielle Bean E DITOR ’ S N OTE : This article was adapted from two columns that appeared on Fathers for Good, an online initiative of the Knights of Columbus. For more articles and resources, visit fathersforgood.org.
ives want what’s best for their husbands, and as mothers, they want what’s best for their kids. The same can be said for husbands and fathers, and one of the best ways to accomplish these goals is for spouses to help each other with their respective roles. Here are some ways for husbands and wives to encourage each other in the joys and struggles of parenthood.
FOR WIVES TAKE NOTICE It’s very likely that your husband performs loving acts for your children all the time, whether it’s giving them hugs, making them lunch, driving them to sports practice, or paying the tuition and dental bills. Taking notice and verbalizing your gratitude for these things will not only teach your children to appreciate their father, but will make your husband’s heart soar. With young children, you can say: “Did daddy pour you that drink? What a nice daddy you have!” Or with older children you can say: “I think it’s great that dad makes time to help you with your homework.” Ask yourself: Do my words to and about my husband build him up as a father or tear him down? RESPECT HIS AUTHORITY This can be a tricky one, because our motherly pride sometimes gets in the way. Often, mothers are the ones who do the lion’s share of feeding, bathing, changing, carpooling and kissing boo-boos. Surely we know what’s best for our kids, don’t we? Maybe not always. We need to remember that God gave our kids a mother and a father for a reason. Your husband wants what’s best for your kids, too — he just might have a different way of getting there. Maybe he doesn’t recognize the importance of the baby’s socks matching his shirt. Or he lets older kids watch more television than you would. But these are probably not battles that need to be
fought. Let go of that pressing need for control and bite your tongue. Ask yourself: Do I respect my husband’s authority as a father or do I discount his perspective and belittle his opinions, even if only in my own mind? CRITICIZE CAREFULLY Of course, there will be times when you might notice that your husband could improve in some important way. Recognizing his good intentions and particular challenges will make him more receptive to hearing your concerns. For example, if you think your husband should cut back on his work hours to spend more time at home, do not say things like, “Your job is more important to you than your family!” Try a positive, encouraging approach instead: “I appreciate how hard you work at your job and the money you earn for the family, but we really miss you around here. Is there something I can do to make it easier for you to come home a little earlier this week?” Ask yourself: Do my words to my husband make him want to be a better father or make him want to stop trying altogether? GIVE HIM A BREAK A good wife knows when her husband is near his breaking point. Whether it’s frustration with toddlers or teens or a stressful day at work, when you see the telltale signs of a raised voice, a twitching eye or a clenched jaw, it’s time to intervene — just as you would have him do for you. As the Gospel says, blessed are the peacemakers. Separate your husband from the source of his frustration and, without judgment or demands, encourage him to take a break. Then everyone can regroup without dad blowing his top. Part of being a good parent is knowing your limitations, and part of being a good wife is knowing your husband’s limitations and helping the family to navigate them. Ask yourself: Do I do everything I can to ensure that my husband’s time with the children is pleasant? Wives, working to help your husband fulfill his vocation as a father will bless you and your children. Never
FATHERS FOR GOOD SEEKS TO GUIDE MEN IN THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF FATHERHOOD. 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
forget the power of prayer. Ask for St. Joseph’s intercession on behalf of your husband, and ask Our Lady to watch over him in your family life.
FOR HUSBANDS LEND A HAND Even a strong mom has physical and emotional limitations. Pay attention to how your wife spends her time. While you relax at the end of the day, is she cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry or wrestling through bedtime with the kids? Do what you can to make sure she gets some downtime, too. Take over one of the evening chores, delegate jobs to the kids or agree together to save certain tasks for the weekend. Just because she’s not asking for a break doesn’t mean she doesn’t need one. Ask yourself: Do I make sure my wife gets the rest she needs to be her best, or do I neglect her needs for sleep, socialization and time alone?
Photo by Catherine Yeulet/Thinkstock
NURTURE HER SPIRITUALLY Often, one of the first casualties of motherhood is a consistent spiritual life. Even if your wife is unable to spend hours at the adoration chapel, you can be a means of spiritual support for her. Help her find time for daily prayer, alone or with you. And don’t forget to pray for her. Ask God to shower her with the graces she needs to fulfill her vocation to marriage and motherhood — and he will. Ask yourself: Do I pray for my wife daily and support her spiritually, or do I allow other family matters to take precedence over her spiritual needs? BE ON HER SIDE If you disagree with any of your wife’s parenting decisions, make sure you talk about them privately — not in front of the kids and definitely not in the heat of a family
crisis. Children need to learn that you will always back up their mother’s authority. If you treat your wife with love and respect — and insist that your children do the same — you set her up to be the most effective mother she can be. With your support, even toddlers can be taught to respect boundaries in ways your wife might not think about. Teach them table manners, for example, and never tolerate teens who are disrespectful. Nothing gives a mom greater confidence in her authority and self-worth than to hear her husband demand that unruly children show her respect. Ask yourself: Do I protect my wife — even from our children when they disrespect her or abuse her goodwill? Or am I content to let her fend for herself? SAY THE WORDS You might think your wife knows you appreciate her, but hearing those words from you will renew her confidence and inspire her toward greater heights of motherly love. Be specific, and let your children hear you praise her: “I think it’s amazing the way you are able to get up at night and care for the baby.” Or: “I know what a sacrifice it is for you to drive the kids to basketball. Thanks for doing it.” Ask yourself: Do I verbalize admiration and appreciation for my wife’s efforts as a mother, or do I assume she already knows what I think? Husbands, the joy that your wife finds in motherhood will have a ripple effect that can bless the entire family. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children (and yourself!) is a happy home. Make a commitment to give that priceless gift to your family — starting today.♦
DANIELLE BEAN, a Catholic author and mother of eight, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine.
FIND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND RESOURCES FOR CATHOLIC MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES AT WWW. FATHERSFORGOOD. ORG .
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O N M A R R I AG E
ON STAYING CONNECTED TERRY: We try to make time for ourselves after the kids go to bed. I also call her on the phone after work and we’ll talk and find out what’s going on during the day. ALISON: It’s a challenge to make sure that you make time even though you have five soccer games to go to that week. No matter what you’re doing, still make time to talk so that the kids don’t divide and conquer.
ON SPIRITUAL RETREATS TERRY: For a while, I was going on a men’s retreat once a year. You would spend a whole weekend focusing on the faith and Jesus and Mary, and you had a lot of time for yourself to reflect. I think men need that, and I think women also need that. There are times when we need to break away from the “togetherness” and then come back, and I think your marriage is stronger.
ON PARENTAL EXAMPLE ALISON: Terry’s parents have been role models for both of us. They have been married 56 years. TERRY: Mom is going through her third set of cancer treatments, but they’re doing very well. They have good communication and support each other. When dad was changing jobs, mom was right there. And with mom’s cancer, dad was right there.
ON BEING FOSTER PARENTS ALISON: When I went on maternity leave after I had our daughter, I didn’t go back to work. We had the room in the house, and as the children got older we’ve always discussed it with them to see if they want to stay as a foster home. TERRY: Being foster parents is different because we’re always bringing people with certain values into the family, and it changes the atmosphere.
TERRY AND ALISON TINKER ST. FRANCIS DE SALES COUNCIL 3489 IN SALISBURY, MD. THE TINKERS WERE MARRIED IN 1982 AND HAVE , FOR THE PAST 24 YEARS , SERVED AS A FOSTER FAMILY FOR MORE THAN 180 CHILDREN , FOUR OF WHOM THEY HAVE ADOPTED. 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Photo by Brad Chisholm
Marriage redefined The legal acceptance of same-sex “marriage” reveals a fundamentally different understanding of human nature by David S. Crawford
he United States, like many countries around the world, in which both motherly and fatherly role models are present? continues to debate the question of same-sex “marriage.” Accepting the testimony of a parade of expert witnesses Those who argue in its favor often ask some heartfelt ques- marshaled by the plaintiffs, the court rejected both of these tions: If all citizens are equal, how can one set of people be arguments. To the first, it responded that marriage is founded excluded from a basic right? How can same-sex marriage pos- on the affection and commitment of the spouses for each sibly be harmful either to “traditional marriages” or to society other, not on any inherent relation to children. To the second as a whole? Isn’t it simply a question of extending an existing argument, the court responded that this supposed “ideal” is right to a new minority? really a relic of an outmoded notion that men and women These were some of the questions put forward by the Fed- serve different roles in the family. To say that children need eral District Court in the recent Perry v. Schwarzenegger deci- both a mother and a father, in other words, is to extend persion. This case overturned the California voters’ successful nicious stereotypes. passage of Proposition 8, a In fact, the court concluded state constitutional amendthat the underlying assumpment defining civil marriage tions at play in these arguas being between a man and ments are not able to pass the The court’s reasoning effectively a woman. In arriving at this test of basic rationality — result, the court seemed to thereby implying that tradiuproots personal identity suggest that the voters had tional notions of marriage from sexual difference and been primarily motivated by have always lacked rational bigotry fanned by hateful pojustification. transplants it in another concept: litical advertising. In responding to the conclusions set forth by the court, that of sexual orientation. THE RULE OF LAW let us begin by observing that The federal court argued that the purpose of law is not limsame-sex couples seeking the ited to protecting society from right to marry are, for all pertinent purposes, legally no dif- wrongdoers. Just as importantly, law sets up the conditions ferent than “opposite-sex” couples. As the court put it, “Same- and institutions stabilizing basic human realities at the root sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the of civil life. In doing so, of course, laws also inevitably reflect characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital and mediate an idea of the very nature of those realities. As unions.” In other words, the court is saying that homosexu- Pope John Paul II once said, law embodies a kind of “philoality and heterosexuality are two parallel, and therefore essen- sophical knowledge” about society, culture and the nature of tially equivalent, “orientations.” personhood. But what of the unique character of the man-woman couMarriage laws are a prime case in point, since marriage is ple? Are not civil marriage laws supposed to serve the com- one of the most fundamental and important of all human and mon good by stabilizing the man-woman relationship civil realities. When civil laws regulate marriage — especially precisely in view of its uniquely procreative potential? Should by defining it — those laws also tacitly express a viewpoint not marriage laws advance the state’s interest in promoting concerning the nature and meaning of the sexes and their the ideal conditions for child rearing, a home environment place and role in society and culture. Furthermore, because NOVEMBER 2010
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UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS It is important to see that the assumptions underlying same-sex marriage change how society understands personhood and its relationship to traditional notions of marriage. Even if an indiTHE BODY AND PERSONAL IDENTITY vidual is attracted to persons of the opposite sex, this fact will Catholic tradition tells us that the difference between the not be seen as due to the natural correspondence and resulting sexes is far more than a set of external or simply biological at- attraction of man and woman. Rather, it will be seen as due to tributes. Rather, this difference is a sign of the essential voca- that individual’s particular orientation, which only happens to tion of the human person to love. The two sexes, male and be heterosexual rather than homosexual. The sexually complefemale, represent two ways of being a person. In the woman mentary character of marriage with its procreative potential, there is another who faces the man, who is equal to and like while not rejected as a possibility of choice, is nevertheless rehim, but who at the same time possesses an irreducible dif- duced to simply one variant within a range of personal preferference from him. Moreences. But this is to banish over, the man’s own nature entirely the idea of the manand bodily structure make woman relationship as funsense only in view of the fedamental to society and male sex. And the converse culture. It is likewise to banis true from the woman’s ish the idea that the child is perspective. There is, in the characteristic and orother words, something ganic fruit of married love. decisive about the sexual The court’s androgynous difference, and personal view of the person controls identity will always be its reasoning with respect to shaped by it. what should be taken as Additionally, implicit in compelling evidence and the difference between the who should be seen as a sexes is its fruitfulness. At credible expert. Nonetheless, the deepest level of his this concept of personhood being, the child senses that is never made explicit, and his existence was already its basic rationality is never inscribed in the specific defended. kind of love his mother Now, it is true that citizens and father have for each should be treated equally other as a man and a and that everyone should be Proposition 8 supporters wait to hear the federal ruling on Prop 8 as woman. In other words, free to enter into marriage. they stand outside of the Philip Burton Federal building Aug. 4, 2010, the child knows that his exBut it is important to know in San Francisco. istence was not simply an if the particular type of relaadditional “choice,” but tionship one wants to enter was always part of the inner dynamic and meaning of his can or should in fact be characterized as marriage. parents’ love — even before a specific decision was made to There are, of course, various kinds of human relationships have a child. and love, such as the basic friendships that constitute the bonds Notice that these considerations depend on seeing the of society itself. But the love of man and woman in marriage is body, with its maleness or femaleness, as a decisive foundation the first and most fundamental of these because it is the source for personal identity. It is the decisiveness of this foundation of society over time and through the ages. that is reflected in centuries of marriage law. If the court ruling withstands appeal, the voice of California’s By contrast, a profoundly different idea of personal identity voters will be silenced. Even if the voters’ idea of personal idenis advanced by the Perry decision. The court’s reasoning ef- tity and marriage is more grounded in truth, numerous public fectively uproots personal identity from sexual difference and institutions and laws will present a very different view. Laws transplants it in another concept: that of sexual orientation. shaping education, social and professional ethical standards, and This perspective demotes the natural correspondence of the even tax policy will slowly and subtly begin to reflect and prosexes to a sub-personal and purely biological pattern of the mote an idea of personhood that does not reflect persons as they body and implies that the sexually differentiated body is actually are.♦ merely an external and material part of the person. In effect, the sexualized body and sexual difference are no longer con- DAVID S. CRAWFORD is associate dean and an associate profesceived as a decisive element of personal identity, which itself sor of moral theology and family law at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. is now being seen in essentially androgynous terms. 24 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
marriage does possess an obvious and vital link to children, such laws convey an idea of the place the child holds in relation to married love.
KNIGHTS IN ACTION
REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES
sponsorship for the event, Knights also provided an honor guard for the conference Mass, which was celebrated by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York. Archbishop Dolan is a member of St. Anthony Council 417 in Washington, D.C. CONSTRUCTION FUNDS
Members of Petaluma (Calif.) Council 1586 and St. Vincent Council 11431 level the driveway at the home of Mary Murdock. As part of a community-wide effort to repair 15 homes and two community centers, Knights made a number of necessary repairs to Murdock’s home. In addition to their work on the driveway, council members also replaced the home’s back door, repaired the doorbell, painted several of the outbuildings and mended some leaky plumbing.
NURSING HOME EQUIPMENT
St. Matthew Council 14275 in Statesboro, Ga., donated two wheelchairs, two walkers, a cane and a bedside toilet to Westwood Nursing Home.
HEEDING THE CALL
New York Fourth Degree District #2 co-sponsored a daylong family vocations conference titled “Called to Holiness” at St. Columba Church in Hopewell Junction. In addition to providing
Marietta (Ohio) Council 478 held a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for a motorized wheelchair for Roger Weaver, a local man who has only 16 percent lung capacity. The event raised $928 toward the wheelchair, which is not covered by Weaver’s insurance.
UPPER RIGHT: Photo by Jake Ohlinger
Holy Trinity Council 11055 in Zamboanga City, Mindanao, hosts a Marian prayer meeting three times a week at the home of a different council member. Knights pray the rosary and share the Gospel with council members and their neighbors each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Father Roger DuLac cuts a cake to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his ordination at a celebration sponsored by Msgr. Harry Eggert Council 7821 in Tehachapi, Calif. Knights hosted a daylong parish celebration for Father DuLac that included Mass and a barbecue dinner.
Matt G. Gilmore Council 999 in Missouri Valley, Iowa, donated $5,000 to help remodel the parish hall kitchen at St. Patrick Church. The council also donated $1,000 to the Missouri Valley Youth Enhancement Association to help construct new sports fields. NEW CHALICE
Sts. Peter and Paul Council 2215 in Haubstadt, Ind., and its ladies’ auxiliary presented their pastor and council chaplain, Father John Sasse, with a new chalice at the council’s annual Communion breakfast. POTLUCK FOR PASTOR
St. Edmond Council 10293 in Lafayette, La., sponsored a potluck appreciation dinner in honor of Father Timothy Richard. Knights provided meats and soft drinks, while parishioners brought their favorite covered dishes and deserts. The council also presented Father Richard with a K of C causable and stole (item #553) as well as a monetary gift. More than 120 people attended the event. FLYING HIGH
Most Holy Rosary Assembly in Harrison, Ohio, donated $1,000 to Honor Flight TriState, an organization that transports surviving veterans of World War II to see the
Greg Pirochta of Prince of Peace Foothills Council 9184 in Taylors, S.C., passes a hot dog to Yolette Moise, a mother of two and owner of a Habitat for Humanity home in Travelers Rest. Knights provided hot dogs and hamburgers at three Habitat sites to volunteers from area Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches.
WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. The trips organized by Honor Flight include a one-day flight to and from the nation’s capital, a t-shirt, three meals and tour buses. Due of physical impairments and financial difficulties, many veterans are not able to visit the memorial in their lifetime. GIFT BAGS
St. Joseph the Patriarch Council 11793 in Aguilar, Luzon, distributed gift bags to needy members of the community. Each bag contained coffee, sugar, sardines, rice and more. HOSPITAL HELP
St. Joseph Council 4810 in Greenlawn, N.Y., assists with Mass at the Northport VA Medical Center every Sunday morning. Having begun in 1969, Knights have served more than 57,000 volunteer hours at the hospital over the past four decades.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N ENVIRONMENTAL CHARGE
As part of a campaign to protect the environment, Lamut Ifugao (Luzon) Council 11867 planted new fruit and mahogany trees at Hapid National High School. WHEN I WAS HUNGRY…
In response to the Supreme Council’s Food for Families initiative, St. Luke Council 10512 in El Cajon, Calif., has delivered more than 19,000 pounds of food to different charities since September 2009. Through their ongoing drive, Knights distribute food each week to a number of food banks, public schools and parishes. REPAYING HEROES
St. Jude Assembly in Port Charlotte, Fla., provides ongoing assistance to patients at the Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans’ Nursing Home. Under the direction of Bruce Wood, Knights collect toiletries and care items for patients, and the assembly provides a monthly stipend for gift cards so the veterans can enjoy a dinner out. HELP WHILE AWAY
[Above] Donning “tattoos” and pirate hats, John Gaspari and Sam Hanna of Msgr. J. M. Hanson Council 5038 in Ankeny, Iowa, furiously navigate their paddleboat on Lake Cheerio during the 7th annual Easter Seals Sunnyside Regatta. [Left] Grand Knight Jason Follett (left) and fellow team members raise the Jolly Roger during the race.
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Robert Price and Dominican Friar Steven Boucher of Holy Cross Council 10617 in Ottawa, Ontario, lead the rosary for students at Holy Family School. Once a week, members of Council 10617 lead the rosary for children in grades four through six and present a catechesis on one of the mysteries of the rosary.
Msgr. Thomas F. Neary Council 13637 in Auburn, Mass., adopted the family of a council member who is currently serving with the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq. When the council member’s wife injured herself in a fall last winter, Knights hired a professional cleaning company to help care for the household. Council members also paired the Knight’s son with a mentor while his father is away. BENEFIT BREAKFAST
St. Anne Council 10496 in Bismarck, N.D., hosted a charity breakfast to benefit Ali Lengenfelder, the daughter of council member Kris
Lengenfelder, who required surgery for papillary sarcoma. More than 550 people attended the event — which necessitated two trips to the store for extra supplies. The breakfast raised $5,900. SCHOOL CLEAN-UP
Burgos Santa Cruz (Mindanao) Council 7830 volunteered to clean an area school before the start of the new academic year. Some Knights provided snacks and beverages to volunteers, while others worked to clean the grounds, repaint fences, repair furniture and mend a leaky roof. BABY IN A BASKET
With assistance from the Massachusetts State Council, Pope Paul VI Council 7132 in West Harwich secured $4,100 worth of special motor equipment for Moses, an orphan with cerebral palsy. The funds purchased a body jacket, gait trainer and foot braces for Moses, who was abandoned by his mother in Jamaica and is currently awaiting adoption.
REGATTA: Photos By Kris Gaspari
PADDLEBOATS AREN’T the kind of water-going vessels that are typically used in a regatta, but then again, most regattas can’t claim to have raised $75,000 for Easter Seals with help from the Knights of Columbus. Yet that’s approximately how much money has rolled in since the 7th annual Easter Seals Sunnyside Regatta, which has raised more than $350,000 for Easter Seals since 2004 and saw lively participation from Msgr. J. M. Hanson Council 5038 in Ankeny, Iowa, when this year’s event took place July 21. Knights and their family members — donning “tattoos,” eye patches, hand hooks and buccaneer swords — were among the many two-person teams of paddleboat racers to compete on Lake Cheerio. Knights raced against local business owners, TV personalities, and the members of other area civic and fraternal groups. The council also won the event’s Decked Out Award for its enthusiastic cheering section, costumes and piratethemed racers. Proceeds from the race are used to provide program support and financial assistance to Easter Seals, which in turn offers services and life-changing solutions for people with disabilities and their families.
K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
Ken Piotro of Christ the King Council 3419 in Mesa, Ariz., reads a book to a class of second-grade students before breaking out into fluency and comprehension groups. As the youth director for Council 3419, Piotro is involved with several councilsponsored youth activities, among them a tutoring workshop for students at Christ the King Elementary School.
A RAY OF SUNSHINE
Trenton (N.J.) Council 355 held a fundraiser to benefit the Mercer County chapter of the Sunshine Foundation, an organization that fulfills the dreams of children with chronic illnesses or abuse victims. The event raised $700 to send two children on a one-day vacation to Universal Studios. A SPECIAL DINNER
UPPER RIGHT: Paul Gaviglio/Cathedral Photography
Tri-Cities Council 1098 in Granite City, Ill., held its annual dinner-dance for Special Olympics athletes from six counties in southern Illinois. The council and its ladies’ auxiliary served food and drink to attendees, who also enjoyed music and dancing after dinner. COMING TOGETHER FOR GOOD
When South Bay Elementary School was destroyed by fire, Our Lady of Grace Council 11968 in West Babylon, N.Y., put a plan into action to help displaced students. Knights contacted their parish, which includes a school annex that was built in
the 1960s but was never used. With permission from the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the school board signed a lease to use the building, and more than 100 volunteers — including council members — worked to make the facility ready. Workers cleaned the entire building, room by room, moved hundreds of desks out of storage and removed any garbage to prepare the new school for students. DISTRIBUTING GOODS
Members of Immaculate Conception Council 14405 in Cainta, Luzon, led volunteers in repacking used clothing at the Department of Social Welfare and Development for distribution to needy families in Manila. TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Council 12489 in Saugus, Calif., works with the Santa Clarita Valley Emergency Winter Shelter to pick up area homeless each week and transport them to the shelter. Knights who volunteer as van drivers visit a series of predesignated stops where the homeless can get a ride to the shelter. There they receive a warm meal and a safe place to spend the night. FINGER ROSARIES
George R. Kutterer Council 6165 in Columbia, Ill., distributed 800 finger rosaries to parishioners at Immaculate Conception Church. Knights handed out the rosaries to encourage parishioners to pray more often. HOSPICE FUND
Royal Palms Circle 2797 in Lehigh Acres, Fla., donated $100 to the Hope Hospice building fund to help construct a new end-of-life care
Bishop Emeritus William K. Weigand of Sacramento, Calif., speaks during the presentation of a plaque to commemorate an extensive renovation project at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Knights from the Northern California Chapter presented the plaque to Bishop Weigand, who is a member of Sacramento Council 953, and provided an honor guard for the accompanying Mass.
facility. The funds were presented at a circle-sponsored spaghetti dinner. COMMUNITY DONATIONS
St-Zénon (Quebec) Council 10984 donated $10,000 toward the construction of a used clothing store at its parish. The council also donated new hockey equipment to an area school to help replace old or outdated equipment.
Imperial Valley Council 2130 in Brawley, Calif., raised $4,600 to purchase a statue of St. Margaret Mary for one of the six parishes that the council serves. The presentation was made in honor of the parish’s 75th anniversary.
Auburn (N.H.) Council 10973 held its annual drive to benefit to YWCA women’s shelter. Knights collected approximately $2,000 worth of household goods. EVERYTHING’S ROSY
Church of the Nativity Council 11067 in Leawood, Kan., held its annual roses for life campaign, distributing roses after Mass in exchange for a goodwill donation. The drive raised $1,200 for Advice & Aid, a Christian ministry that offers support to women in crisis pregnancies.
Members of Western Visayas College of Science and Technology Council 11517 in Iloilo City plant saplings outside of La Paz Church during a council-sponsored event. Knights planted new trees outside the church walls and swept away dirt and debris from the grounds.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
ments to all of the event’s 84 participants. Any materials or funds leftover were also donated to the school. HOT & CHILI
St. Joseph Council 8268 in Duluth, Minn., sponsors an ongoing series of ham dinners at its parish to fund two council scholarships. The $500 stipends are awarded annually to two high school seniors who demonstrate active participation in church activities and charitable causes.
Apostle Church. Knights and parishioners volunteered about 2,500 hours to completely renovate all of the buildings on the church grounds, which were built between 1962 and 1978. The overhaul cost about $20,000, saving the parish untold sums in lieu of hiring professional contractors.
‘SPEAKING TO PRIESTS’
With assistance from the Carmelite Monastery in Edmonton, Alberta, and approval from the archdiocese,
Corvallis (Ore.) Council 1785 hosted a community crab dinner that raised more than $5,000. Proceeds from the event were distributed to Special Olympics, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and several other charities. More than 200 people attended the dinner, which also included a live and silent auction.
BENEFIT BREAKFAST FOOD BASKETS
Fray Antonio Alcalde Council 3552 in Guadalajara, Mexico Central, worked with San Luis Gonzaga Parish to raise $2,300 to assemble food baskets for needy members of the community. The baskets, which included greetings from the Knights, were distributed in parishes on the outskirts of metro Guadalajara. CHURCH RENOVATION
Under the leadership of council member Joseph L. Pape Sr., Bishop Kenny Council 11757 in Juneau, Alaska, undertook a massive renovation of St. Paul the
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Msgr. Joseph Malone Council 13312 published a book titled Pope Benedict XVI Speaking to Priests for distribution to area Catholics, specifically priests and religious. The book was so popular that it raised $5,000 in donations and prompted a second printing.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Council 13863 in Bark River, Mich., hosted a benefit breakfast for more than 150 parishioners following Sunday Mass. The event raised $500 for the parish youth group to attend Steubenville North, a youth conference in Minnesota. PIONEERING EXCELLENCE
Flaget Council 1071 in Chillicothe, Ohio, held a basketball hoop shoot at Pioneer School for children with intellectual disabilities. With help from area businesses, Knights were able to provide t-shirts, medals and refresh-
Members of Marquette Council 588 in Sparta, N.J., pile wood that will be used by needy members of the community. Throughout the coldweather months, Knights split and bundle firewood for Catholic Charities that is then distributed to needy families through the Partnership for Social Services Family Center.
BOARD GAME NIGHT
American University Council 14465 in Washington, D.C., sponsored an evening of board games for fellow students. Knights invited the university’s Catholic community to play Risk, Outburst and Bananagrams following the council’s monthly social.
BOTTOM: Photo courtesy of The Beacon, Diocese of Paterson. N.J.
Annunciation Council 3826 in Manahawkin, N.J., held a doo-wop dance that raised $4,000 for the Deborah Heart and Lung Center. More than 290 Knights and their families attended the event.
Thomas Sevcik (left) of St. Vincent de Paul Council 13297 in Salt Lake City and District Deputy Arthur A. Grant of Utah District #2 assemble the Orion SkyQuest telescope that Sevcik donated to the annual Salt Lake City Diocesan Science Fair. For the past four years, Sevcik has donated a telescope to the winner of the fair’s overall astronomy award. Area K of C councils, which sponsor the annual event, also present additional prizes to winners.
UPPER RIGHT: Marie Mischel/Intermountain Catholic, Diocese of Salt Lake City
Jared Patino (center), the son of Jeffrey Patino of Marian Council 3773 in Pacifica, Calif., models a Kids for Life t-shirt for Richard Bonomi and Linda Cordell. At the prompting of 6-yearold Jared, Council 3773 designed the shirt as a way to raise funds for an ultrasound machine at a local pregnancy resource center. Sales of the shirt, which features the emblem of the Order on one side and the words “Kids for Life” on the other, have so far exceeded $700.
During the winter months, Father Edward J. Kissane Council 12035 in Syracuse, N.Y., prepares four large pots of chili to serve at a local men’s shelter every other week. A group of Knights meet in the church basement to make the chili, while another group arrives later in the day to serve it. On average, the council feeds about 150 men at each sitting.
K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
of the community. Knights distribute food bags with a “wish list” of groceries that are returned the following week. On average, the council collects about $850 worth of food each month. FEEDING PROGRAM
Ed DeWitt of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Council 12510 in Zionsville, Ind., introduces a council-sponsored seminar on end-of-life planning. At the prompting of their parish priest, Knights planned and executed a five-part seminar series that covered topics like long-term care and estate planning from a Catholic perspective. The program was so successful that the council is planning to hold future seminars and teach other councils how to hold their own.
Bishop Michael Begley Council 770 in Charlotte, N.C., teamed with Kappa Sigma Fraternity at Johnson & Wales University to host two pancake breakfasts at St. Patrick School. The menu included blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes and homemade grits. The events raised more than $1,000 for the council’s charitable fund.
Ave Maria Council 5109 in Jaro, Visayas, hosted a feeding program for needy children. The council opens its hall several times each year to help feed the less fortunate. NEW THREADS
In honor of his eight years of service to the council, St. Micheal de Drummond Council 6841 in Grand Sault, New Brunswick, presented Father Frédéric Paitins with a Knights of Columbus chasuble and stole (item #553). St. John the Evangelist Council 14842 in Townsend, Mass., also presented its pastor, Father Shawn Allen, with K of C vestments. FOOD FOR STUDENTS
Our Lady of Grace Council 13243 in Palm Bay, Fla., served a chili dinner to Catholic students at the Florida Institute of Technology. Meanwhile, Father Maynard E. Hurst Jr. Council 9016 in Baton Rouge, La., served lunch to 400 students at Louisiana State University. A HELPING HAND
St. Leo Council 1294 in Philadelphia hosted a “helping hands” drive at the parishes it serves. The council collected $3,100 worth of toiletries and care items for residents at St. Francis Inn, a local homeless shelter.
St. John the Evangelist Council 13255 in Marble Falls, Texas, conducts a monthly food drive at its parish to benefit the Helping Center, an organization that provides assistance to needy members
Forty-one Fourth Degree Knights from throughout Montreal provided an honor guard for a Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Church
James C. Fletcher Council 11422 in Largo, Md., hosted a living rosary at St. Joseph Church to pray for an end to abortion.
Members of Peter T. Villano Sr. Council 9576 in Pickens, S.C., remove trash from a two-mile stretch of highway in their community. Knights remove garbage and debris from the road on a quarterly basis.
marking the 20th anniversary of the Filipino Catholic Mission of Montreal (FCMM). Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal and 21 diocesan priests concelebrated the Mass, which was followed by a reception for more than 500 people at the Wyndham Hotel. SPIRITUAL ADOPTION
St. Joseph Council 10627 in High Bridge, N.J., concluded a nine-month spiritual adoption program to pray daily for anonymous unborn babies and their mothers. Each month, Knights and parishioners were given updates of the progress of the pregnancy with photos of the developing fetus. The program ended with a baby shower to collect gifts for the Life Choices Women’s Health Center in Philipsburg.
nated $400 to help AOS renovate its Baltimore office to include a chapel. PLACE OF WELCOME
Father Curtin Council 2541 and Father Peter Pinto Council 14272, both in West Haven, Conn., donated a wooden welcome cabinet to St. Louis Church that will display copies of the parish bulletin, registration forms, parish information and Catholic booklets for people walking into the church. RABIES CLINIC
Holy Spirit Council 13919 in Malolos City, Luzon, hosted a free rabies vaccination clinic so that area citizens could get their pets vaccinated. About 300 animals received shots free of charge.
ONE IF BY SEA
Cardinal Gibbons Council 2521 in Nottingham, Md., donated 2,000 rosaries, 1,000 bars of soap, 100 tubes of toothpaste, 30 bags of clothes and 40 pairs of shoes to the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) for use by sailors passing through Baltimore. The council also do-
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 CHILBERT & CO. Approved Fourth Degree Tuxedos 1-800-289-2889 • www.chilbert.com
IN CANADA ROGER SAUVÉ INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-266-1211 • www.roger-sauve.com
OFFICIAL NOVEMBER 1, 2010:
C. A. Holy Family and Three Kings Figures. Six-piece white and gold ceramic set that depicts the traditional manger scene. 14” W as shown. PG-293 — $44 B. Musical Nativity Glitterdome. Snowglobe that plays O’Little Town of Bethlehem. Glass and resin. 5 ¾” H. PG-291 — $17 C. Blessed Mother Figure. 2010 annual figure from the Millennium® Collection. Resin-stone mix. 6 ½” H. PG-280 — $17
O F F I C E U S E O N LY
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ZIP OR POSTAL CODE
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, CASE POSTALE 935, Station d’Armes, Montréal, PQ H2Y 3J4 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. COLUMBIA (ISSN 0010-1869) 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 © 2010 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 — THIRD-CLASS POSTAGE IS PAID AT WINNIPEG, MB, PERMIT NO. 0100092699. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 1473549. REGISTRATION NO. R104098900. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 505 IROQUOIS SHORE ROAD #11, OAKVILLE ON L6H 2R3 PHILIPPINE S —FOR PHILIPPINES SECOND-CLASS MAIL ATTHE MANILA CENTRAL POST OFFICE. SEND RETURN COPIESTO KCFAPI, FRATERNAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1511, MANILA. 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. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENTTHEVIEWS OFTHE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS.
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O N M A R R I AG E
THE MOLINAS ON FALLING IN LOVE Love oftentimes resists order. Ours was a classic tale of boy meets girl. There seemed to be a magical pull that drew us together. We saw the world through the same eyes and shared the same passion for the arts, music and poetry. ON THE FIRST YEARS OF MARRIAGE The problem is that the groom and bride are starry-eyed lovers. They hardly listen. It is usually after the wedding that flaws and irritating habits are discovered. This is the getting-to-know-you-up-close period. “He/she has changed so much after we were married” is a common complaint. But the truth is that they have relaxed and allowed themselves to be their real selves after marriage. ON OVERCOMING DIFFICULTIES Sometimes storms hit all at once and you’re floundering and helpless. This was how I felt when I realized our marriage was in turmoil. It was about our seventh wedding anniversary that marital troubles hounded us. I was lonely and desperate. Crying, I looked up to God and prayed.
Next, I took charge of what I could control. I took time out to take care of myself and focused on making our relationship more loving and connected. ON THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS We have experienced Knights’ fraternity in moments of distress and felt their support in faith. The ties that bind our family were strengthened because of the Knights of Columbus. We began to look beyond ourselves and our own needs to the larger community. ON ADVICE FOR YOUNG COUPLES When conflict arises — and there is always conflict in a marriage — storm about and then move on. When you have calmed down, come together and work out your differences. Let your heart speak. Just stay focused on the issues and examine each other’s perspective. You may even diffuse the tension with humor. And lastly, never be unforgiving. Forget the occasional hurts and painful moments. Remember instead the acts of spontaneous love.
ISIDORO AND LEAH MOLINA SAN PEDRO COUNCIL 4234 IN MANILA , PHILIPPINES THE MOLINAS HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 42 YEARS AND HAVE NINE CHILDREN . LEAH MOLINA PROVIDED THE REFLECTIONS ABOVE ON BEHALF OF THE COUPLE . SNEO PV TE M BE R 2 0 1 0
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C O LU M B I A N I S M B Y D E G R E E S
Unity MEMBERS OF University of North Texas Council 14789 in Denton break ground on a new community garden that will help feed area homeless. In cooperation with another student organization called “Seeds of Change,” Knights helped build a garden of tomatoes, onions and jalapeno peppers at the Catholic campus center that is located adjacent to the university. • St. Michael Council 14829 in Scranton, Pa., sponsored a talk by Mark Houck on the topic of Christian chivalry at its parish. The event was open to council members and their families as well as parishioners.
DISTRICT DEPUTY John Dambaugh of North Carolina District #25 (left) and Grand Knight Thomas Maher (right) of Sacred Heart Council 12537 in Southport display some of the medals that were awarded to athletes at the Brunswick County Special Olympics. In addition to a $5,000 donation, 60 Knights and their wives volunteered at the annual games. Also pictured is Steve Goodwin, coordinator of Special Olympics for Brunswick County. • Father Peter J. J. Juba Council 4922 in Orange, Calif., donated $5,000 to the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative. The funds will be used to help purchase several ultrasound units for the diocese.
MARK HANSEN and David La Mar of Father Zachary Kucin Council 2230 in Ames, Iowa, repair the roof at the home of a council member who suffered a heart attack. After several days of heavy rain, the roof of the mobile home was leaking badly, and the Knight was sleeping with a bucket of water next to his bed. A contingent of council members replaced the roof over the course of one afternoon. • Father Heslin Council 2557 in Turlock, Calif., planned a day hike for council members and their families at the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area. Participants took a 45minute boat ride across the reservoir, followed by a two-and-half mile hike along Los Banos Creek.
GUITARIST AND SINGER Preston Shannon (right) signs a CD for Ronald Pickard of St. Philip the Apostle Council 14482 in Somerville, Tenn., during a concert to benefit the American Wheelchair Mission. Council 14482, in conjunction with Knights from throughout Western Tennessee, organized a benefit concert that raised more than $7,000 to purchase wheelchairs for veterans with disabilities. • St. Matthew Council 13012 in Topeka, Kan., held a charity breakfast to benefit Lt. Daniel B. Cnossen, a Navy SEAL who lost both legs after triggering a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. The event raised more than $4,400 to help Cnossen and his wife.
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KNIGHT S O F C O LUM BUS
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
Young athletes ready themselves at the starting line during a fun run sponsored by St. Ignatius of Loyola Council 12237 in Ususan, Luzon. Knights sponsored the race for children ages 16 and under. Cash prizes were presented to the winners, and t-shirts were given to all participants.
“K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” H AVEN , CT 06510-3326
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PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
KEEP T HE FA I T H A L I VE
‘I HEARD A CALL NOT ONLY TO FAITH IN CHRIST, BUT ALSO TO THE PRIESTHOOD.’ Although I grew up in a non-religious household, the treasure of the Catholic Church’s history, tradition and art captured my imagination from an early age. During my childhood, I had occasional encounters with the Church that continued to fuel my curiosity. I remember, in particular, being impressed by an honor guard of Fourth Degree Knights that attended my grandfather’s funeral. It wasn’t until my final years as an undergraduate, though, that I was finally moved enough to act. Although I was a long-standing and obstinate atheist, the ceremonies that followed the death of Pope John Paul II transfixed me. As I watched the rites and homilies, I heard a call not only to faith in Christ, but also to the priesthood. I felt called to take part in the great work of Christ unfolding before my eyes. A year later, I was fully initiated into the Catholic Church. Today, I am studying for the priesthood at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta. My journey has been a great joy and consolation, one for which I continually thank God. PAUL BLAIR Archdiocese of St. Boniface, Manitoba
The November 2010 edition of Columbia is a special issue on the sacrament of marriage, featuring insightful teaching and practical encourage...
Published on Oct 29, 2010
The November 2010 edition of Columbia is a special issue on the sacrament of marriage, featuring insightful teaching and practical encourage...