Columbia September 2022

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Columbia SEPTEMBER 2022



Departments 3 For the greater glory of God Mother Teresa’s consistent witness to human dignity and compassion for the vulnerable gave her a profound credibility. By Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly

4 The official image for the 10th World Meeting of Families depicts the wedding at Cana and was created by Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik. A number of Knights of Columbus families participated in the joy-filled meeting, which took place at the Vatican June 22-26 (see page 18).


Saint of the Peripheries

A new K of C film chronicles Mother Teresa’s life and mission to bring Christ’s love to the poorest of the poor.

Learning the faith, living the faith As a young priest and bishop, I witnessed firsthand St. Teresa of Calcutta’s intrepid faith and charity.

By Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month


Fathers for Good Lead your family to the communion of the Holy Trinity by strengthening your communion on earth.

By Soren and Ever Johnson

26 Knights in Action Reports from councils and assemblies, representing the four pillars of the Faith in Action program model 30

Scholarship Recipients

By James Day

• Champions of Charity • Encounters With Mother • Pro-Life in Word and Deed By Jim Towey

TOP: CNS illustration/World Meeting of Families — ON THE COVER: Raghu Rai / Magnum Photos


Journey of Healing and Reconciliation


Pope Francis makes a penitential pilgrimage to meet with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Mother Teresa holds a baby at the Shishu Bhavan orphanage in Calcutta in 1989.

By Kyle Greenham

• A ‘Historic and Sacred Space’ By Elisha Valladares-Cormier


The Gift of Family Life

A Knight reflects on marriage, joy and participating in the 10th World Meeting of Families. By Damon Owens


Pitching With a Higher Power

An interview with Trevor Williams, a Knight of Columbus, about his faith and how it guides him as a husband, father and professional ballplayer.

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 © 2022 All rights reserved




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Radical Christianity IN THE EXEMPLIFICATION ceremony to initiate new members of the Order, the presiding officer declares, “We are called, as St. Paul tells us, to stand firm, with integrity as a breastplate, carrying the shield of faith, wearing salvation as a helmet, and carrying the Word of God as a sword.” A presenter on charity then affirms, “As Knights of Columbus, we turn always to the gentle and glorious Virgin Mary, our Queen and Mother. … What challenge can we not face? What victories can we not achieve?” Finally, each new Knight is invested with a rosary and told, “Carry it always, and pray it as often as you can.” Does the rosary in this context sound like a symbol of far-right, violent extremism? According to a recent article in The Atlantic, that’s what it is in the hands of devoted men engaged in spiritual battle. Published Aug. 14, the article begins, “Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or ‘rad trad’) Catholics.” The writer goes on to make vague references to “hostility toward liberalism and secularism” and “toward abortion-rights advocates” — and even implies that the Order’s Into the Breach video series, with its promotion of “traditional conceptions of Catholic masculinity,” might be a gateway to physical violence. Another Atlantic article published several days earlier downplayed dozens of actual acts of violence and vandalism toward pro-life organizations, pregnancy centers and churches in relation to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. “Pro-abortion-rights activists have engaged in vandalism in recent weeks, and the blog posts associated with Jane’s Revenge are actively encouraging the behavior,” the writer

admits, before adding: “But that does not imply the existence of a complex, coordinated campaign of violence.” In a blatant display of anti-Catholic bias, the article further notes, “Three [of the instances cited] involve broken statues at Catholic churches, for example, and nothing more.” Of course, such media bias extends well beyond the pages of The Atlantic, but these examples are particularly egregious and instructive. Not only do they demonstrate a remarkable double standard, they also underscore the very spiritual battles they object to and raise an important question: What exactly does “extreme” or “radical” Christianity look like? In a 2013 message to religious superiors, Pope Francis noted that consecrated religious “follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way,” yet “radical evangelical living is not only for religious: it is demanded of everyone.” One of the greatest examples of “radical Christianity” in modern times, St. Teresa of Calcutta, is celebrated in this issue of Columbia. Carrying her rosary wherever she went, she fearlessly proclaimed and lived the Gospel of Life in her loving service to the most vulnerable. She also recognized, “Holiness is not the luxury of a few. It is a simple duty for you and for me.” We have all been called to share in the sacrificial love of Christ, whose saving death on the cross Pope Benedict XVI described as “love in its most radical form” (Deus Caritas Est, 12). In the end, the Church has a name for the most radical Christians — saints — and the secular media gets one thing right: The rosary is indeed a powerful weapon on our path to holiness. ✢ Alton J. Pelowski, Editor

Enduring Faith: The Story of Native American Catholicism This award-winning documentary produced by the Knights of Columbus in 2021 explores the rich spiritual and cultural gifts of Indigenous Catholics in North America. The 58-minute film tells the stories of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, protectress of Canada and the first canonized Native American saint; Nicholas Black Elk, a Lakota chief whose cause for canonization is underway; and many others. Above all, it shows how Christ reveals himself through the uniqueness of every culture. For more information and to watch the film, visit 2

Columbia PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus SUPREME OFFICERS Patrick E. Kelly Supreme Knight Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. Supreme Chaplain Paul G. O’Sullivan Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick T. Mason Supreme Secretary Ronald F. Schwarz Supreme Treasurer John A. Marrella Supreme Advocate EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski Editor Andrew J. Matt Managing Editor Cecilia Hadley Senior Editor Elisha Valladares-Cormier Associate Editor

Blessed 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 COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 ADDRESS CHANGES 203-752-4210, option #3 COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 K OF C CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995


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Speaking Truth in Love Mother Teresa’s consistent witness to human dignity and compassion for the vulnerable gave her a profound credibility By Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly

Photo by Laura Barisonzi

ON DEC. 10, 1979, a little Albanian woman

wearing a white and blue sari stood before some of most powerful leaders on earth and received one of the world’s highest honors — the Nobel Peace Prize. That day, the diminutive giant, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, was honored for, as the award stated, “bringing help to suffering humanity” and “attention to the plight of children and refugees.” Mother Teresa immediately gave away the Nobel’s monetary award to build shelters for the poorest of the poor. She gave all glory to God. But she also gave a great gift to the world — a reorientation of our understanding of true poverty and of the foundations of peace. In her speech to the dignitaries gathered to praise her, Mother Teresa boldly stated, “The greatest destroyer of peace today is the cry of the innocent unborn child. For if a mother can murder her own child in her own womb, what is left for you and for me to kill each other?” Her listeners were dumbstruck. This dramatic moment is one of numerous evocative scenes in the new, feature-length documentary Mother Teresa: No Greater Love, which will be in select U.S. theaters Oct. 3-4. It would not be the last time Mother Teresa would be so bold — not by a long shot. Her 1985 address to the United Nations and her witness at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., come to mind. She was the very face of kindness, but her clarity and conviction frequently left world leaders uncomfortable. Mother Teresa reminded us that if we truly want to live up to the ideals of justice and equality for all, we must start by respecting the dignity and the worth of every human life, made in the image and likeness of God. And for this, there was no better messenger, because Mother Teresa lived this reality every

day. No one could rival her total gift of self in her love for the poor and the vulnerable. Mother Teresa was the world’s most credible witness for a culture of life precisely because she saw the face of Christ in those she served. When she was feeding the hungry or holding the hand of someone who was dying, she was doing so to the most important person in her life, Jesus Christ himself. This was the source of her authenticity and consistency. Her words matched her actions, and her actions matched her words. She had the courage to speak the truth because she had a heart that burned with love, and that love was matched by a life of sacrifice for others. In a general audience address last year, Pope Francis emphasized this link between truth and love: “Let us not be afraid to be truthful, to speak the truth, to hear the truth, to conform ourselves to the truth, so we can love.” This is the witness the world needs now. And I believe Knights and their families are the ones to offer it. While none of us can be St. Teresa of Calcutta, each of us can demonstrate, through our care for our families, the poor and all those around us, the dignity and worth of every person. This mission fits perfectly with that of Blessed Michael McGivney and the work of the Knights. It’s why we’ve launched our new ASAP (Aid and Support After Pregnancy) program — and why, for decades, councils and Knights have been there for women in need, through our Ultrasound Initiative and other works. The world needs to hear that we stand for life, because every life is of inestimable value and goodness. Our society needs us to proclaim that message boldly, and then to back up our words by laying down our lives for mothers and children, in love. Indeed, there is “no greater love” ( Jn 15:13). Vivat Jesus!

‘Mother Teresa reminded us that if we truly want to live up to the ideals of justice and equality for all, we must start by respecting the dignity and the worth of every human life, made in the image and likeness of God.’




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Meeting Mother Teresa As a young priest and bishop, I witnessed firsthand St. Teresa of Calcutta’s intrepid faith and charity By Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

THE PREMIERE of the Knights of Columbus

documentary about St. Teresa of Calcutta brings back memories of my encounters with her. I met her because of my role as priest-secretary to Cardinal James Hickey in Washington, D.C. In 1981, soon after his arrival in Washington, then-Archbishop Hickey invited Mother Teresa’s sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, to open a convent there. Mother Teresa accepted the invitation and wisely chose to open a convent for her contemplative sisters. Their prayerfulness paved the way for the works of charity of her active sisters, who were soon to arrive. Mother Teresa’s second house in Washington was for pregnant homeless women. I will never forget the day Cardinal Hickey came to bless it, and for two reasons: First, in those days before GPS and cell phones, I got lost, and so the cardinal and I were late. Second, when we did arrive, I saw Mother Teresa in person for the first time. She was at prayer, sitting on the floor toward the back of a simple, dimly lit chapel. After Mass, I was introduced to her as the one who delayed the proceedings. Years later, Mother Teresa decided to open yet another home in Washington — one that would serve homeless people who had AIDS or were terminally ill. She was also looking for a convent for her young sisters preparing for final profession. Cardinal Hickey assigned me to go on the “real estate tour” with Mother Teresa and her counselors. We visited several properties owned by the archdiocese, including a large building that housed Catholic Charities at the time. I was hoping she would not choose it; if she did, Catholic Charities would have to find new headquarters. But after looking at that property, Mother Teresa called a huddle with her sisters and then proceeded to put Miraculous Medals in the mortar of the building. My heart sank. I knew she had found her building. The homeless


moved in, and Catholic Charities moved out. It turned out to be a blessing for everyone, including Catholic Charities, which relocated next to a downtown parish. Through the years, Mother Teresa frequently came to Washington for the final profession of her sisters. By then, I had met her many times. She was small in stature yet larger than life. She had a beautiful smile and never wasted words. She was laser-focused on her mission of charity. Meeting her, I knew I was in the presence of a living saint. In 1995, soon after I became auxiliary bishop of Washington, I celebrated a Mass of Final Profession for her sisters with Mother Teresa present. No pressure there! As I reflect on Mother Teresa’s life and spirituality, two things stand out: The first is how she cherished the gift of human life. The second is how she connected love of the Lord in the Eucharist with love for the poor. Mother Teresa taught us to love both the mother facing a difficult pregnancy and her unborn child. Her sisters have been “walking with moms in need” for a long time. They surround both mother and child with love and care for their needs, while also embracing abandoned children. For Mother Teresa and her sisters, respect for human life from the moment of conception until natural death is not an abstract principle, but a way of life. They serve the poorest of the poor and minister to the sick and dying as if to Christ himself. Mother Teresa often spoke of how her sisters gathered to adore the Lord Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Then, they would go out to wash the sores on the body of Christ, the homeless on the streets of Calcutta. As an Order committed to building a culture of love and life, and as Knights of the Eucharist, let us look to Mother Teresa’s example and seek her intercession. St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us! ✢

‘As I reflect on Mother Teresa’s life and spirituality, two things stand out: The first is how she cherished the gift of human life. The second is how she connected love of the Lord in the Eucharist with love for the poor.’



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FROM TOP: Courtesy of D.R. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México — The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, c. 1669/The State Hermitage Museum/Wikimedia Commons — CNS photo/Paul Haring

Supreme Chaplain’s Challenge

Catholic Man of the Month

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


“I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” (Gospel for Sept. 11, Lk 15:7) This Gospel reading links the parable of the lost sheep with the parable of the prodigal son. Together these parables remind us that God constantly seeks us whenever we go astray. We are all sinners, and like the prodigal son we must wake up, repent and return to the Father. When we do this, we find that he runs to meet us. My brother Knights, let us create some joy in heaven. Let us recognize that we are sinners in need of repentance and ask the Father for his forgiveness.

Blessed Bartolomé Gutiérrez (1580-1632)

knew the dangers of mission work in 17th-century Japan, and he faced them with fortitude and even humor. Teased by colleagues that he was too fat to be a missionary, Father Gutiérrez is said to have joked, prophetically, “All the better — there will be more relics to distribute when I die a martyr.” Gutiérrez was born in Mexico City in 1580. He joined the Order of St. Augustine at age 16 and, after ordination, ministered in Puebla. In 1606, Father Gutiérrez set out for the Philippines, where he served as the order’s master of novices for six years before traveling to Japan. The Church had been growing rapidly in Japan since the mid-1500s, but so had suspicion and persecution of the Christian faith. A group of 26 missionaries and converts had been crucified in 1597, becoming the country’s first martyrs. In 1614, just two years after Father Gutiérrez arrived, Christianity was banned and virtually all foreign missionaries expelled. Father Gutiérrez sailed back to Manila initially but returned a few years later,

Liturgical Calendar Sept. 3 Sept. 8

Challenge: This month, I challenge you to watch the “Sacramental Life” episode of the Into the Breach video series, particularly reflecting on the importance of the sacrament of reconciliation. Second, I challenge you to participate in the Faith in Action Sacramental Gifts program.

Sept. 9 Sept. 13 Sept. 14 Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Sept. 20 Sept. 21 Sept. 23 Sept. 27 Sept. 29 Sept. 30

St. Gregory the Great The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary St. Peter Claver (USA) St. John Chrysostom The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Our Lady of Sorrows Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Paul Chong Ha-sang and Companions St. Matthew St. Pius of Pietrelcina St. Vincent de Paul Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels St. Jerome

undeterred by the perilous prospect of serving in Japan. In 1618, he and Father Pedro Zuñiga, whose Spanish father had served as viceroy of Mexico, entered the country together, disguised as merchants. For more than a decade, Father Gutiérrez ministered to the faithful, preaching and administering the sacraments in secret. To evade detection, he often lived outdoors, with scant food and shelter. Captured and imprisoned in 1629, he refused to apostatize despite being scalded repeatedly in hot sulfurous springs. He was eventually burned at the stake on Sept. 3, 1632, in Nagasaki, alongside several other priests and Japanese laymen. Pope Pius IX beatified him among 205 martyrs of Japan in 1867. ✢

Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intention

We pray that the death penalty, which attacks the dignity of the human person, may be legally abolished in every country.




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A new K of C film chronicles Mother Teresa’s life and mission to bring Christ’s love to the poorest of the poor By James Day


ristiane, a former drug addict on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, never met St. Teresa of Calcutta, but she was transformed by her legacy. In a powerful moment of Mother Teresa: No Greater Love, a new feature-length documentary produced by the Knights of Columbus, Cristiane recalls her life in Cracolândia, or “Crackland” — an area where Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity minister to homeless addicts who have been banned even from the slums. The sisters’ witness of love changed her life. “We turned into zombies in search of drugs, living as if nothing else in the world existed,” Cristiane says. “The sisters


helped me with everything. And the biggest support was hearing ‘I love you’ from the sisters. It’s Jesus who fills all the voids we have inside us.” Her story encapsulates the lesson at the core of Mother Teresa’s mission and of the new documentary, which marks the 25th anniversary of the saint’s death. Filmed on five continents, it is an ambitious project, but it has a simple message. As Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly says in the film, “Mother Teresa taught us that there are no expendable people. Everyone has dignity and worth because everyone is made in the image of God.”



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Photo by Jean-Claude Francolon/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Mother Teresa speaks with an elderly man at the Kalighat home for the dying and destitute in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), India, in October 1979. Later the same year, she received the Nobel Peace Prize for “bringing help to suffering humanity.”

PAST AND PRESENT Mother Teresa: No Greater Love takes a multilayered approach to telling the story of its remarkable subject. Dramatic recreations and historical footage of Mother Teresa, from her childhood in present-day North Macedonia, under the Ottoman Empire, to her work in the slums of India, are juxtaposed with the current work of the Missionaries of Charity. At the same time, interviews with a wide array of people who knew or were deeply affected by Mother Teresa punctuate the narrative with insights about her early life, her spirituality and her missionary vision.

Thus, as viewers are taken on far-flung geographical journeys to witness the Missionaries of Charity at work today — from the Philippines to Kenya to Haiti — they are also led on a historical and spiritual journey in the footsteps of the diminutive saint, who was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910. The refreshing, nonlinear structure complements the scope of Mother Teresa’s reach and immerses viewers in the work of the Missionaries of Charity in a visceral, unflinching way. “We felt early on that this film needed to be more than just a chronological biography of Mother Teresa’s life,” director David Naglieri explained. “We wanted the viewer to gain an SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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understanding of who Mother Teresa was, but also to transmit how her singular vision to serve Christ in the poorest of the poor continues to be realized today through the inspiring work of the Missionaries of Charity.” The film offers glimpses of the sisters’ care for lepers, abandoned babies, drug addicts and others crushed by poverty and indifference. Images of suffering and destitution make for difficult viewing at times, but this is to the credit of the filmmakers. One feels on location with the sisters as they bear witness to the Gospel: “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40). For Mother Teresa, there was an intimate connection between serving Christ in the poor and adoring him in the Blessed Sacrament. “Mother said, ‘I can’t do this work without having the Eucharist every day,’” explained Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, a member of the Missionaries of Charity Fathers and postulator for the cause of Mother Teresa’s canonization. “And that comes across in the film — the connection between Jesus present in the Eucharist and Jesus present in the poorest of the poor.” Viewed through this lens, the gripping scenes shot in Rio’s Cracolândia take on even deeper meaning. Moving through the mud streets of the favela in their pristine blue-and-white saris, the Missionaries of Charity share food and words of greeting with drug peddlers and addicts sprawled on the ground. Unperturbed by the squalor, they only see the person in front of them as Christ.

Left: Pope John Paul II greets Mother Teresa during the pope’s apostolic visit to Albania in April 1993. • Above: In scenes from the new documentary Mother Teresa: No Greater Love, Missionaries of Charity around the world serve Christ in the poorest of the poor and adore him in the Eucharist: (from top) feeding a child at a home for severely handicapped children in Nairobi, Kenya; at adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel of the order’s motherhouse in Kolkata; bringing the Eucharist to a homebound man in a remote village in Amazonas, Brazil.


BOTTOM LEFT: Photo by Giancarlo Giuliani/Catholic Press Photo

A CHALLENGE TO LOVE As director of the Mother Teresa Center in Rome, Father Kolodiejchuk had long received pitches from Hollywood companies seeking to produce a narrative feature film about the saint. Dissatisfied with their proposals, he approached the Knights of Columbus about making a documentary. He had collaborated with the Knights for years and particularly admired the award-winning 2016 K of C-produced documentary Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism. While Mother Teresa was a household name at the end of the 20th century, Father Kolodiejchuk hopes the

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Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

documentary will introduce the saint to a new generation 25 years after her death. “We don’t assume any more that there’s a general knowledge of Mother Teresa in the culture,” he said. “I think people don’t realize just what an important world figure she was. Not since St. Francis of Assisi did someone have such an outreach or impact or effect beyond the Church.” The Supreme Council — whose relationship with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity dates back many decades (see sidebar) — agreed to the project, and filming took place between October 2021 and February 2022, even as the omicron variant of the coronavirus spread around the world. The face masks worn by the sisters in many scenes serve as a wordless reminder that their vocation to love the poorest of the poor never ceases despite lockdowns and social distancing. Sister Mary Joseph, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, hopes that the documentary will sensitize viewers to the suffering of the poor and move them to open their hearts and hands. “The film challenges us to move out of our own petty self-centeredness to a greater generosity of spirit, toward God and our fellow man,” she said. This observation is echoed by Supreme Knight Kelly in the film: “When [Mother Teresa] was feeding the hungry or holding the hand of someone who was dying, she was teaching us to have a heart that sees. And if we can do this, if we can see the world and each other more like Mother Teresa did, then the world would be a radically different and I think better place.” Mother Teresa: No Greater Love is slated for release in more than 700 theaters across the United States, Oct. 3-4. To learn more about the film and group ticket sales, visit JAMES DAY is the television operations manager for EWTN’s west coast studio in California and the author of several books, including Saint Michael the Archangel (OSV, 2020).

Champions of Charity: Mother Teresa and the Knights of Columbus MOTHER TERESA of Calcutta knew she could turn to the Knights of Columbus

when she needed assistance with various needs and projects. However, more than financial donations from the Order, she wanted its members, like her own Missionaries of Charity, to serve Christ by serving the poorest of the poor. “Send us your Knights and their families. Let them help us with the soup kitchens and our work,” she told then-Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant in 1987, after turning down a monthly stipend that she feared would make her sisters too dependent on regular support rather than God’s providence. From these words was born Operation Share, an Orderwide program to collaborate with Missionaries of Charity in their many apostolates. Mother Teresa did accept Supreme Knight Dechant’s offer the following year to print the constitutions of the Missionaries of Charity at the K of C printing plant. But her personal approach was again evident: She insisted on delivering the document by hand to Supreme Council headquarters in New Haven, Conn., after which she gave an impromptu speech to nearly 600 employees. “This is such a small thing, but I ask: Where does that love begin in your own life, in your own family? You know that families that pray together, stay together,” she said. “Come and see, do not be afraid to share that joy of loving. … Let love begin at home.” Mother Teresa spoke to Knights again in 1992, when she accepted the Order’s inaugural Gaudium et Spes Award — its highest honor — at the 110th Supreme Convention in New York City. “Holiness is not the luxury of the few. It is a simple duty for you and for me,” she told the delegates. “This is my prayer for you, that you grow in holiness, to want that love for one another and that you share this love with all you meet.” Since Mother Teresa’s death in 1997, the Knights of Columbus has continued its support for projects of the Missionaries of Charity, including the printing and shipping of numerous copies of their prayer book and hymnal, prayer cards, and volumes of Mother Teresa’s letters and instructions to her congregation. In January 2016, the Supreme Council commissioned a portrait of Mother Teresa, by artist Chas Fagan, as a gift to the Missionaries of Charity. Later that year, it became the official portrait for her canonization, and the Order printed 1 million prayer cards featuring the image. ✢

Artist Chas Fagan and Patrick Kelly, then executive director of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, join two Missionaries of Charity to unveil the painting commissioned by the Knights of Columbus in 2016. SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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Encounters With Mother For numerous people, meeting Mother Teresa was a pivotal turning point in their lives


ozens of men and women personally affected by St. Teresa of Calcutta were interviewed for the new Knights of Columbus-produced documentary, Mother Teresa: No Greater Love. Some knew her well, and some met her only once. Here are just two of their stories, in their own words. MERCIFUL LOVE Sister M. Bernice grew up in Baltimore and joined the Missionaries of Charity after reading a 1975 Time magazine article about Mother Teresa. At their first meeting , Mother Teresa gave Sister M. Bernice her religious name; at their second meeting, Mother led her and other sisters straight into gunfire in order to have a word with the leader of a Chicago gang.

The very first time I met Mother Teresa was when she gave me my name. I was accepted into the aspirancy in the Bronx, and then Mother came. My [vocation director] asked me to ask Mother if she could give me a name. So Mother was coming down the hall and I approached her. I said, “Mother, I don’t have a name.” She looked at me and said, “What is your mother’s name?” I said, “My mother’s name is Bernice.” Mother put her head down to pray; then she lifted it up and put her two hands on my head and blessed me. She said, “Your name is Sister Mary Bernice.” As I continued my aspirancy, I remembered that moment. Even when they taught me the bells, I was always in the wrong place — instead of the study room, I was in the chapel. But I used to say, “Mother blessed me and gave me my name. I’m going to go on.” The second time I met her was when we left New York to go for postulancy in Chicago. It was a terrifying experience. The gangs had taken over that area. We were surrounded by five high-rise apartments and we could see the rifles surrounding us, shooting at us every day. We notified our Mother and she came. We were so relieved to see our Mother because we thought she would take us out of there. But that morning she called us together for one of the biggest lessons on love that I have ever known. She said, “Sisters, I sent you here to love. I don’t care if they’re killing. We came here to love. We can turn hate into love.” And then she said, “Take me now to the door where they are shooting us.” We could not believe it. As we were walking toward the door, all these buildings surrounding us, the rifles were pointed out and kept shooting at us. Not one bullet touched us. And when we reached the door, this big man said to Mother Teresa, “Mother, you can’t come in here. I have 10

business in here.” And Mother put her head down. And she looked up at him and she said, “I too have business in here. Let us make a deal.” The man was so shocked that Mother would speak this way. He said, “You can come in here, Mother. I can’t stop my business. But I will protect your sisters.” After that, as soon we would walk by, the guy would say, “Cease the fire. Let Mother Teresa’s sisters pass.” But as soon as we stepped by, boom, boom, boom. I went in that building every day for one year and came out safely. Mother Teresa did another beautiful thing. She said, “Sisters, invite the gangs to eat in the soup kitchen. Let them come in and eat first.” So we served the gang that was shooting at us. They stopped shooting at us. They became our best friends. This is what Mother taught me and the sisters — to love until it hurts, even if they want to kill you. Mother Teresa’s highest characteristic was her merciful love for everyone. She wouldn’t care if they were a killer or robber or drug addict — they’re children of God, and they have an opportunity to go into heaven.

“They stopped shooting at us. They became our best friends. This is what Mother taught me and the sisters — to love until it hurts, even if they want to kill you.”



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“I’ve always looked at it like God sent Mother Teresa there specifically for me. The way I’ve always joked about it — but it’s really not a joke — is that God sent his number one assistant on earth for me.” ‘THE FACE OF GOD’ Jim Wahlberg encountered Mother Teresa when he was a Massachusetts state prison inmate in 1988. The 22-year-old was serving time for home invasion and had spent years addicted to alcohol and drugs. Hearing Mother Teresa speak was a turning point in his life, leading him toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, Wahlberg is a speaker, writer and advocate for people struggling with addiction, as well as executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. The priest, Father Jim Fratus, comes to me, very excited, and says, “Mother Teresa is coming to this prison.” I said, “Oh, that’s fantastic, Father, that’s so great. Who is Mother Teresa?” Over the course of the next two weeks, I did a little research and sort of understood the magnitude of what was happening. Or at least I thought I understood the magnitude. But I really didn’t; I had no concept of what it would mean to me. The day came, and I was walking through the quad when I saw a group coming in the front door. At a certain point, they kind of parted, and here’s this little woman. And as they get closer, I see that this is Mother Teresa. I became aware of a couple of things: I became aware of her sweater because it looked like it was 200 years old. And then I looked down at her feet. If her sweater looked like it was 200 years old, her shoes look like they were 1,000 years old. I felt as though I was seeing true humility. Mass was in the gymnasium. There was a stage that served as the altar, and I remember the cardinal sort of beckoning Mother Teresa. He had a special chair for her, he wanted her to come and sit with him. She humbly refused

and instead stayed there on the floor, with her sisters, with the inmates. I remember her being there on her knees and me looking over. And I can tell you that there was a sense for me that I was looking at the face of God. It was that profound for me. Then the time came for her to speak. And the words that she said changed my life. She got up and she just told us the facts. And the facts were that we were children of God, that Jesus Christ died for us — and that we were more than the crimes that we committed, that God loved us. And I gotta tell you that there was a moment when the 800 people there seemed to be gone, and she was talking to me and only me. The rest of the day is a little foggy. I remember going back to my cell and not really being able to sleep — and when the doors opened the next morning, kind of running back to Father Fratus and saying to him, “Father, I don’t know what’s going on. But I need to know more about the God that she’s talking about. And not the God that I was raised with. I need to know more about this Jesus that she’s talking about.” He immediately kind of laughed. He said, “We’re gonna teach you more about this Jesus,” and he just embraced me. I’ve always looked at it like God sent Mother Teresa there specifically for me. The way I’ve always joked about it — but it’s really not a joke — is that God sent his number one assistant on earth for me. Because I am as broken and as in need as those people in Calcutta if I don’t have God, if I don’t have Christ. ✢ SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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Pro-Life in Word and Deed Mother Teresa would have rejoiced at the end of Roe — and then gone back to work caring for women and children in need

I WAS AT THE National Prayer Breakfast in 1994 when Mother Teresa displayed throughout her life. By assisting pregnancy Teresa told the thousands in attendance — including the presresource centers and maternity homes, Knights are following in ident and first lady, Bill and Hillary Clinton — that abortion Mother’s footsteps. was the greatest destroyer of peace in the world. Echoing her Much of the public today does not know how to balance Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech 15 years earlier, she the rights of nascent human life with those of the anguished asked, “If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, mother. Political battle lines have been drawn in response to the how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” high court’s decision. However, what is needed from both sides Some attendees at the breakfast in Washington, D.C., sat is a comprehensive plan to spare women the agonizing decision in frozen silence as she delivered between terminating a pregnancy or her speech, only a few feet from the bearing a child she cannot care for. Clintons. Others interrupted her When I ran Florida’s health and remarks with prolonged applause. human services agency in the early The ballroom was as divided on the 1990s, I oversaw a system with 10,000 subject of abortion that morning as foster kids, and I saw the supports the country is today. needed for at-risk mothers to thrive: If she were alive today, Mother stable housing, access to medical care Teresa would have rejoiced in the and mental health services, affordable news that the U.S. Supreme Court childcare, and education and training decision Roe v. Wade had been programs tailored to their needs. overturned. She believed all life is saSuch initiatives aren’t cheap or easy to cred because of the divine imprint it provide. Citizen involvement is critibears. As she said during her prayer cal, whether that means volunteering breakfast speech in 1994, “That to mentor at after-school programs, unborn child has been carved in the supporting faith-based partnerhand of God from conception and is ships with government, promoting called by God to love and be loved.” adoption alternatives, or campaigning Mother Teresa greets Jim Towey and his infant But Mother Teresa would have for candidates, at all levels of governson, Joe, in June 1995, outside the Gift of Peace also recognized that a culture of life ment, who are willing to prioritize House in Washington, D.C. The home was opened does not depend on human laws as interventions that give at-risk moms a nine years earlier to serve people dying of AIDS. much as on human hearts willing fighting chance. to care for those in need. She knew Across America and around the that if communities did not treat world, there are pregnant women women facing difficult, if not unbearable, financial and social hungering for accompaniment, children thirsting to be fostered, circumstances with more compassion, many of them would childcare and after-school programs starved for volunteers, and continue to have recourse to abortion, legal or not. Mother emergency shelters for families craving capacity and funds. was emphatically pro-life, and she was equally determined to At the prayer breakfast, Mother Teresa invited us all to unite defend the poor — and most especially poor women. In fact, in common cause. “Let us make that one point — that no child barely 5 miles from the Washington hotel where she spoke so will be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, or killed and thrown forcefully, her Missionaries of Charity ran a home where they away,” she said. “And give until it hurts — with a smile.” cared for pregnant women and their children. Mother knew Her appeal has an even greater urgency today. There is work that to protect life, it wasn’t enough to oppose abortion; you to be done, ASAP. ✢ had to provide a viable alternative. The Knights of Columbus is doing just that. Its ongoing char- JIM TOWEY, a trusted friend and adviser to Mother Teresa for itable work to help young mothers choose life and care for their 12 years, is author of To Love and Be Loved: A Personal Portrait of newborns, boosted by the new ASAP (Aid and Support After Mother Teresa (Simon and Schuster, September 2022) and a memPregnancy) program, is the same “love in action” that Mother ber of Father Hugon Council 3521 in Tallahassee, Fla. 12

Courtesy photo by Michael Collopy

By Jim Towey



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Journey of HEALING AND RECONCILIATION Pope Francis makes a penitential pilgrimage to meet with the Indigenous peoples of Canada By Kyle Greenham

CNS photo/Vatican Media


In support of the pope’s ope Francis addressed visit, the Knights of Coa packed crowd of Inlumbus provided financial digenous parishioners assistance to the Canadian at Sacred Heart Church of Conference of Catholic Bishthe First Peoples in Edmonops, and local Knights played ton, Alberta, on July 25. a key role in the volunteer Speaking before the tabernaefforts around the papal cle, designed to resemble a events. K of C leaders from teepee, his words went to the British Columbia, Alberta, very heart of his July 24-29 Ontario, Québec and New pastoral visit to Canada. Brunswick were also present “The teepee reminds us at the papal Masses in Alberthat God accompanies us ta and Québec. on our journey and loves to Former Supreme Warmeet us together. And when den Graydon Nicholas, a he became man, the Gospel member of the Maliseet tells us, he literally ‘pitched First Nation and consultant his tent among us,’” the Holy for the supreme knight Father said. “That is what we Pope Francis kisses the hand of an Indigenous leader during on Indigenous affairs, was should call to mind every a meeting with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities at grateful that Pope Francis time that we enter a church, Maskwacis, Alberta, July 25. came to Canada to meet where Jesus is present in with affected communities. the tabernacle, a word that “The residential school itself originally meant ‘tent.’ survivors and intergenerational families will look forward to Therefore, God has placed his tent in our midst; he accomwalking with our Church and non-Indigenous brothers and panies us through our deserts. He does not dwell in heavenly sisters toward healing and reconciliation,” Nicholas said. “It mansions, but in our Church, which he wants to be a house will take a long time for trust and confidence to be restored, of reconciliation.” but the pope brought a message of hope.” Reconciliation and healing between the Catholic Church and the Indigenous peoples of Canada was the central aim ‘I ASK FORGIVENESS’ of the pope’s apostolic journey, which took place under the theme “Walking Together.” Pope Francis visited the provinc- The Holy Father’s visit was prompted by a Vatican meeting in March between the pope and representatives of the First es of Alberta and Québec and the territory of Nunavut, and Nations, Métis and Inuit Indigenous peoples. At that time, he apologized on several occasions for the Church’s role in running Canada’s residential schools and the abuses suffered Pope Francis apologized to them for the Church’s role in the residential school system and promised to do so again there. For more than a century, the government-sponsored publicly on Canadian soil. school system separated children from their families and Four months later, on July 25, Pope Francis began the sought to expunge aspects of Indigenous culture, language first full day of his apostolic journey with a visit to the First and religion. SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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Photos by Shane Fester

Above: Pope Francis speaks to parishioners of Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples in Edmonton, Alberta, on July 25. He praised their generous “works of charity” for the poor and reflected on the meaning of reconciliation in light of the wounds endured by Canada’s Indigenous peoples. • Top right: Knights of Columbus leaders are pictured outside Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples after Pope Francis’ visit there — from left, Gaston Launière, state deputy of Alberta and a member of the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation; Ferdinand Mendita, immediate past state deputy of Alberta; Ronald Martineau, secretary of the parish finance council and a member of the Frog Lake First Nation, as well as St. Christopher Council 4788 in Edmonton; and Supreme Director Arcie Lim, past state deputy of British Columbia.

Nations community of Maskwacis in central Alberta, formerly the site of one of Canada’s largest residential schools. “I am here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is that of again asking forgiveness, of telling you once more that I am deeply sorry,” the pope said. “I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities cooperated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools.” Later that afternoon, the Holy Father visited Edmonton’s Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples, which was renovated after a devastating fire with support from the Order in time for the pope’s visit (see sidebar). On July 26, the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass in Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium before traveling to Lac Ste. Anne, a site sacred to Indigenous peoples in Alberta. A Catholic pilgrimage to the lake has been held each July since the late 19th century, drawing tens of thousands of Indigenous peoples annually. “The grandmother, the kokum, is very important in Indigenous cultures,” explained Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton. “As the mother of the Blessed Virgin and



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A ‘Historic and Sacred Space’ An Indigenous parish church in Alberta is renovated with help from Knights just in time for papal visit By Elisha Valladares-Cormier TWO YEARS AFTER a fire gutted

Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples in Edmonton, the church was renovated days before parishioners welcomed Pope Francis on July 25. The renovation was made possible, in part, through the support of local Knights of Columbus and the Supreme Council. “What a feeling you have when a dire need is happening, and the Knights of Columbus are there to help,” said Father Susai Jesu, the pastor of Sacred Heart since 2017 and a member of the Knights. Sacred Heart Church, built in 1913, has been a spiritual home for the country’s Indigenous Catholics since it was established as the first national parish for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in 1991. In August 2020, an accidental fire caused major damage to the church’s interior. “You could see people walking around with tears running down their face. It was just heartbreaking,” said Ronald Martineau, secretary of the parish finance council and a member of the Frog Lake First Nation, as well as St. Christopher Council 4788 in Edmonton. The community was forced to celebrate Sunday Mass in a school gym for almost two years. The discovery of asbestos and subsequent decisions to renovate the parish, including the installation of a new heating system, drove the cost to more than CA$9 million. Insurance covered only CA$7 million. Recognizing the importance of restoring this place of worship, Knights in Alberta raised more than CA$155,000 toward the CA$2 million shortfall. The Supreme Council also contributed $50,000 to restore the “historic and sacred space.” In a letter to Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly said that this combined support “adds another important dimension to the Order’s ongoing efforts to aid Indigenous communities.”

Pope Francis receives a gift from Celina Loyer and Fernie Marty, parishioners of Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples. Marty, a parish elder, is also a member of St. Christopher Council 4788 in Edmonton.

Father Jesu invited Pope Francis to visit his parish this past spring, shortly after the pope met with Indigenous leaders in the Vatican. Upon the Holy Father’s acceptance and the scheduling of his visit, arrangements were made to expedite the church’s renovation, which wasn’t slated to be complete until November. Among the Indigenous design elements introduced in the church’s remodel were a teepee-shaped tabernacle and a set of tall teepee poles over the new altar, which was crafted from a large tree trunk. During Pope Francis’ meeting at Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples, he expressed his desire to continue the

healing process for Indigenous people. Two Knights from Council 4788 — Martineau and Fernie Marty — were among several parishioners who met the pope and presented him with gifts. “It means the world for him to come here, especially with his message,” Martineau said afterward. “We are so proud of the Indigenous aspects of this church. … I was looking around the crowd today and I wasn’t the only one that had tears.” ✢ ELISHA VALLADARES-CORMIER is associate editor of Columbia and a member of Bishop John Mussio Council 9804 at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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therefore the grandmother of Jesus, a wonderful, beautiful devotion to St. Anne has grown.” In his homilies and addresses, Pope Francis underscored the importance of honoring one’s parents and grandparents and the traditions they pass on. “Mothers and grandmothers help to heal the wounds of our hearts,” he said in his address at Lac Ste. Anne. “At the dramatic time of the conquest, Our Lady of Guadalupe transmitted the true faith to the Indigenous people, speaking their own language and clothed in their own garments, without violence or imposition. … In Canada, this ‘maternal inculturation’ took place through St. Anne, combining the beauty of Indigenous traditions and faith, and fashioning them with the wisdom of a grandmother, who is a mother twice over.”


Pope Francis blesses the crowd as he participates in a pilgrimage at Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta, July 26. Father Cristino Bouvette (holding holy water basin), a priest of Indigenous Cree and Métis ancestry and longtime member of the Knights, served as the national liturgical director of the papal visit.

and known to no one but him,” he said. “That should be the greatest service of all.” The next day, as the papal visit neared its conclusion, the Holy Father met with a delegation of Indigenous peoples from Québec and entrusted the path ahead to three women: St. Anne, the Virgin Mary and St. Kateri Tekakwitha. “Two of them, Our Lady and St. Kateri, received from God a plan for their lives, and … courageously said ‘yes’ to it,” the pope said. “With meekness and determination, with prophetic words and decisive gestures, they blazed a trail and accomplished what they had been called to do. May they bless the journey we now share, and intercede for us and for this great work of healing and reconciliation that is so pleasing to God.” After spending the remainder of the day with the Inuit peoples of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory, the

Holy Father returned to Rome July 29, ending his penitential pilgrimage. But as Cardinal Gérald Lacroix, archbishop of Québec, noted, the road toward healing is just beginning. “This visit is already a big step, as I don’t think there’s ever been a meeting of this magnitude,” Cardinal Lacroix said. “Healing is a process that takes time. We have a long way to go, but we’re on the right path.” Graydon Nicholas concurred. “Reconciliation will be about walking together, non-Indigenous people with Indigenous people, accepting one another as brothers and sisters in Christ,” he said. “This has been a long time coming, and it was a moment of grace.” ✢ KYLE GREENHAM is editor of Northern Light, the magazine of the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan in Alberta, and a member of Msgr. Joseph Malone Council 13312 in Edmonton.

CNS photo/Paul Haring

A STEP ALONG THE ROAD The pope’s pilgrimage continued in Québec, with the largest Mass taking place July 28 in the Basilica of Ste. Anne-de-Beaupré, one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in Canada. Like Lac St. Anne, the national shrine has long been considered a sacred place by Indigenous Catholics. Graydon Nicholas, Supreme Director Arthur Peters and Supreme Director Daniel Duchesne were among those attending the Mass. As in Edmonton, local Knights served in a wide variety of roles, including directing pilgrims to buses and boats bound for the shrine, which sits on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Father Cristino Bouvette, the national liturgical director of the papal visit, particularly thanked Knights for serving as “guards of the Blessed Sacrament” at large-scale Masses during the papal visit, helping to facilitate the reverent distribution of holy Communion. Father Bouvette, a young priest whose father is Indigenous Cree and Métis and whose mother is Italian, is a longtime member of Joe McKenna Council 90502 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. “Standing guard with our Lord in the holy Eucharist and showing him the reverence we ought to show him as Knights is a service that is hidden C O L U M B I A ✢ SEPTEMBER 2022


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TOP: CNS photo/Paul Haring — OTHER: Photos by Shane Fester

Top: The Holy Father (right, in popemobile) greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the Basilica of Ste.-Anne-de-Beaupré in Québec on July 28. • Above: Supreme Director Daniel Duchesne, Supreme Director Arthur Peters and former Supreme Warden Graydon Nicholas, a member of the Maliseet First Nation, stand together after the papal Mass. • Left: Pope Francis delivers the homily as he leads vespers in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Québec on July 28. Seated second to the right is Cardinal Gérald Lacroix, archbishop of Québec. SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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Family Life A Knight reflects on marriage, joy and participating in the 10th World Meeting of Families By Damon Owens

An exuberant throng of Catholic families from around the globe gathers for the World Meeting of Families nearly every three years. Established in 1994 by St. John Paul II, the event has varied in size, depending on the venue and circumstances. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participation at the 10th World Meeting was limited to 2,000 families. Nonetheless, delegations from 120 countries traveled to Rome, coming together June 22-26 under the theme “Family Life: A Vocation and Path to Holiness.” More than a dozen families joined the U.S. delegation, led by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, who serves as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Damon and Melanie Owens made the journey with five of their eight children, thanks in part to financial support from Damon’s brother Knights in St. Patrick Council 15346 in Kennett Square, Pa., and a grant from the Supreme Council. In the past three decades, Damon and Melanie have trained more than 20,000 couples in marriage preparation, natural family planning and theology of the body. They were presenters at the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, and in 2020 they founded Joyful Ever After, a Catholic ministry to renew and transform marriages. Damon also served as the first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute and was awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Francis in 2018 for his service to the Church in support of marriage and family. He spoke with Columbia about his journey of faith, his work and his family’s experience at the recent meeting in Rome.

it was there that we also reached a crisis where everything we’d experienced in college — all of our beliefs around intimacy and relationships and marriage — failed us. We were both, in our unique way, broken. Because what we wanted was real, authentic love, we made an affirmative decision to stop having sex and to come back to the Church. It was an incredibly difficult two-year journey, but it drew us so much closer to each other by coming closer to Christ and the Church. That journey led us not just to the altar in 1993, but also launched us into a passion to want to learn more, to teach more, to be around our peers and other couples. We immediately went into marriage preparation training, learned natural family planning, became teachers in the first six months of our marriage, and started telling our story of coming back to the faith — how we learned to express our sexual love for each other in a way that God delights in. We saw the impact this had on our peers in those early years, and we saw the great need. As we started to study more theology, I was introduced to John Paul II’s theology of the body and Familiaris Consortio, which opened up a whole world of explanation, understanding and coherence.

‘REAL, AUTHENTIC LOVE’ Melanie and I were both cradle Catholics, and the faith was always part of our lives growing up — she in California and I in New Jersey. But going to college in the ’80s and then graduate school, we each drifted away from the faith — not being angry, not having a particular issue with the Church, but just being absorbed and distracted by the secular culture, mainly around sexuality and relationships. God brought us together at the University of California at Berkeley, of all places, where we fell deeply in love. And

related to becoming a saint, to


“Being a better husband, being a better father is directly our own personal holiness, but also to drawing our families, our communities and the world to that holiness.”



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Damon and Melanie Owens stand with five of their eight children — left to right, Collette, Nathan, Olivia, Leah and Veronica — in front of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican during the World Meeting of Families on June 25.

Photo courtesy of Damon Owens

It revealed an unending beauty about who we are, why we’re here, and what marriage is in God’s salvation plan. All of these years of ministry led up to a surprise invitation in February from Archbishop Cordileone and the good folks at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to be part of the U.S. delegation to the World Meeting of Families. MEETING IN JOY Concretely, our ministry work has involved an attentiveness to couples who don’t have a strong foundation of faith, yet who are close enough to the Church that they’re coming to priests and Catholic lay apostolates and therapists for help. This attentiveness has helped us to see divorce and cohabitation and all these statistics we track as more than abstract problems. Couples are really, really hurting. The statistics are real, but the ministry isn’t to change the world’s divorce rate; the ministry is walking with a couple, as many couples as you

can, and opening your life to them. That’s really the heart of our new Joyful Ever After ministry. Joy has been a key theme in our work. As much as you focus on love — and we need to, for it’s the center of everything — joy is something you can’t fake, it just wells up within. And everybody wants joy, not just happiness, not just peace in the sense of quiet. People want a joyful life. So joy has been a connection I’ve had with Pope Francis and the language he uses, from Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) to Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). At this World Meeting of Families, joy was very much front and center in the witness stories — either the lack of joy or the desire for it or the wounds around it. The theme of joy permeated the witness stories of these couples from around the world. It was literally a World Meeting of Families, with couples from African and Asian countries, South American and SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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European countries. And it was eye- and heart-opening to learn how much we have in common. Under the visual and obvious differences between nations and cultures and families, there was something very real about our Catholic faith that tied us together. Also uniting us are the common issues that we’re dealing with: unity within the family, peace and love as a husband and a wife, communication, misunderstanding, wounds, infidelity to God and to each other, the difficulty in parenting. To hear from a family from Nigeria or the Philippines or Poland, and to hear the same struggles — with nuanced differences, but the same aching, the same longing — was very beautiful and powerful. ON THE FRONTLINES I was pleased to discover that of the delegate couples from around the United States, most of the men were members of the Knights of Columbus. That clearly was not intentional, but I think it speaks volumes both to who the Knights attract and to who is working to build marriage and family in the U.S. I was like, “Man, look how many Knights are working on these frontline issues and have been recognized for their work.” I’ve been a member of the Knights for a while, and there’s a power in the Order’s advocacy for the good, the true, and 20

the beautiful when it comes to marriage and to family. And I think the Supreme Council has done invaluable work in being a consistent advocate for the goodness of fatherhood and for what marriage is. Some of it is the Faith in Action programs; some of it is informational, such as Columbia, and highlighting what is essential and irreplaceable. Because I travel quite a bit around the country, no matter where I go, I’m meeting brother Knights who are involved either in hosting events or attending events. Knights are everywhere, and I love it. These are my brothers and we’re consistently working together. This may sound trite, but one of the beautiful things about our brotherhood is that we grow where God has put us. We bloom where we’re planted. Not everyone is called to go to a World Meeting of Families; not everyone is called to be in politics or to be business owners; but every Knight has a circle of influence. In that circle of influence, there is something that will be directly impacted by us prioritizing our marriage, doing our work, being courageous, and sacrificing in a way that may not get headlines. It is the part of cultural change that the Knights of Columbus was founded for. Being a better husband, being a better father is directly related to becoming a saint, to our own personal holiness, but also to drawing our families, our communities and the world to that holiness. ✢

CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope Francis opens the World Meeting of Families in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican June 22. The Festival of Families, an evening of sharing and music, was the opening event of the five-day meeting.



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Discerning the Way to Heaven Lead your family to the communion of the Holy Trinity by strengthening your communion on earth By Soren and Ever Johnson

Photo by Christopher Le Gette

Editor’s Note: Soren and Ever Johnson, joined by their five children (ages 10-19), were among at least eight Knights of Columbus families to participate with the U.S. delegation in the 10th World Meeting of Families, held June 22-26 in Rome (see also page 18). This column is adapted from a presentation they made there on June 25.

Holy Spirit” (2205). Rather than being distant, the dynamics of life in heaven already belong to every family. Discernment does not require an escape from family life, a sabbatical from marriage, or a timeout from parenting. By being our very own image of God dwelling in our homes, our families are both our way to heaven and our present taste of it. If our families are both an image of divine communion and THREE YEARS AGO, we felt besieged by life. Soren had been a path to grow in it, we must evaluate our choices according in and out of the hospital for a year with life-threatening to this mystical reality. Of any decision our family faces, we emergencies. And during that year we also experienced the can ask, “Will the likely result of this decision strengthen or sudden death of Soren’s father and the loss of his job. Our weaken our communion?” five children were all still at home, Each of us makes countless and we knew that we urgently small decisions every day. Should I needed to discern our next step. exercise now, or help my son with We thought back to the days his homework? Should I develop when we would go on long myself to be what I may think God retreats to better hear the Lord’s has called me to be, or is it time “still, small voice.” Now, in our for me to serve my family? The home, we were surrounded by principle of communion preserves grief, uncertainty and the clamor a delicate tension between each of constant needs. person’s development and his or her For so many families today, this contribution to the family. experience of “crisis upon crisis” If we make these small deciis normal. It seems impossible to sions faithfully, allocating our time find the narrow path to heaven prudently among persons and the when we are surrounded by illness, common good, it will be easier to death, economic instability and discern when we come to mediworse. How can authentic disSoren and Ever Johnson are pictured at Trinity um-sized decisions. And if we use cernment take place amid so much House Café & Market in Leesburg, Va. the principle of communion at life’s exhaustion, anxiety and brokenness? small and medium junctures, we Before we answer that question, will be ready when we arrive at big intersections: when we let’s remember what discernment is for. The purpose of must decide whether to move to another town or take a new discernment is to prepare to live with God in heaven. And job, or how to take care of an elderly parent or a child who living with God means living in communion, because God’s has just been released from rehab or prison. life is one of mutual giving between the Father and Son, Discernment that leads to greater communion with God which brings about a creative, fruitful communion in the and others is an invitation that our Lord makes to every Holy Spirit. This is where we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Because fam- family today, even those who feel their life is “crisis upon crisis.” If it is true, as St. John Paul II said, that “the future of ilies are already much closer to heaven than we might think! humanity passes by way of the family,” then the future will The truth hidden in plain sight is that the family and the also pass by the way of each family’s daily discernment as a Holy Trinity share a stunning similarity: Both are a “comlittle Trinity, a communion of persons. ✢ munion of persons” by virtue of the love they share. Our families, made in the image of God, are icons of the Trinity. “The Christian family,” the Catechism of the Catholic SOREN and EVER JOHNSON are the founders of the nonChurch teaches, “is a communion of persons, a sign and profit ministry Trinity House Community. Soren is a member of image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Family Council 6831 in Leesburg, Va. SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images




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Pitching With a

HIGHER POWER An interview with Trevor Williams, a Knight of Columbus, about his faith and how it guides him as a husband, father and professional ballplayer


very time Major League Baseball player Trevor Williams raises his hands to deliver a pitch, a small tattoo on the inside of his left wrist — AMDG — reminds him what it’s all about: Ad majorem Dei gloriam, for the greater glory of God. Williams’ professional career, which in the past six years has taken the right-handed pitcher from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Chicago Cubs to the New York Mets, is important to him. But his Catholic faith is much more important. It guides him and gives him purpose and perspective far beyond the baseball diamond. “When you have the goal of heaven in mind,” he says, “everything else kind of goes to the wayside.” A father of four, Williams is a member of Catholic Athletes for Christ and of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Council 9665 in his hometown of San Diego. Earlier this year, he spoke with Columbia about his faith, his family, his nonprofit work, and his favorite baseball moments. COLUMBIA: What role does the Catholic faith play in your life and in your career as a professional baseball player? TREVOR WILLIAMS: I was raised Catholic, but it wasn’t until I started coming into my identity as a man and as a man of God that I realized my Catholic faith is what defines me. And when I found that identity, I took it into my relationships with my friends and co-workers, into dating and now into my marriage to Jackie. You want to share it with people, and you want to tell people about it. God invites us to have this relationship with him, and we Catholics are so fortunate to have the sacraments and Mary and so many devotions and prayers to help us grow closer to him. So my faith is a constant; if something goes awry at all, it’s my bearings — go back to the Church. It’s the most important thing in my life, my wife’s life and our family’s life.

I understand that baseball is not the most important thing in the world. It’s something I take very seriously because I’ve been entrusted with this responsibility as a Catholic athlete. I am grateful for what has been given to me. But at the end of the day, does baseball matter? Not really. So it’s finding that identity as a Catholic man versus a baseball player. My faith also reminds me to celebrate the highs with humility and accept the defeats with grace. It is God who gives us these talents. It’s my gift back to God to say, “I am going to give it my best. I am going to take everything that you’ve given me and make it flourish.” It’s a challenge to know God is still asking me to be in this role. But it will be more of a challenge once he asks me to do something else, to accept that graciously and with a humble heart. COLUMBIA: Do you see connections between growing as an athlete and growing in your faith? TREVOR WILLIAMS: As an athlete, I’ve always known that exercise is the way to get better at something. And when you take that into the spiritual life, you think, OK, what am I doing to become a better husband and a father and a Christian? The way I see it, you always go back to the basics. Whenever you try a new pitch or learn a new delivery, it’s always back to the basics. Maybe today I’m going to find my balance point at the top of my delivery and just hit that 20 times. And repeat that over and over and over again. I think sometimes in our spiritual life, we try to run before we can walk. You order 15 books and you read eight pages out of all of them. Or you start a lecture series and you only get through the first lecture. What does it mean to pray without ceasing? Am I on my knees in front of a crucifix 24 hours a day? Should I do a Holy Hour right away? Maybe I should start with a holy five minutes, then move to a holy 10 minutes or a holy 15.

Trevor Williams of the New York Mets prepares to deliver a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field in New York City on May 31. The Mets defeated the Nationals 10-0. SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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Above: Trevor Williams pitches a wiffle ball to his son Isaac in their backyard in San Diego. • Opposite page: Williams is pictured with his wife, Jackie, and their four children — Isaac, Josephine, Jude Michael and baby Lucas.

moments so far?

TREVOR WILLIAMS: I’ve had a few favorite moments, but the

one that stands out way in front of the others is my major league debut in 2016. At the time, my dad had cancer, and he was given 60 to 90 days to live at the beginning of the year. And I was thinking, “I need to get called up in April so he can see this.” But then I had this peace, this sense: “Just wait, it’ll be perfect timing.” I finally got called up in September and my second day up, I pitched three innings, got the win. And then I got to share a moment with my dad after the game. I gave him a ball and we had a big hug. And it made every practice, every sacrifice that he made, every early morning completely worth it, even if I had no other big-league games. That was the best, bar none. Thankfully, my dad is doing better now, and I have another favorite moment with him. He grew up in Chicago, and he’s been a huge Cubs fan his entire life. When I was a free agent [in 2021], calling to tell him that I was signing with his favorite team was a special phone call. I only spent half the season there before getting traded, but those few months being in


Chicago — seeing him in the stands, seeing him like a little kid again — were incredible. COLUMBIA: You have young children of your own now —

can you tell us about your family and your experience of fatherhood? TREVOR WILLIAMS: Jackie and I got married in November 2014 and found out we were pregnant in January 2015. Our oldest, Isaac, is now 7 years old. We had always said that we want to have a big family, but it took some time for us to have another child. So we thought, maybe God is calling us to adopt right now. We went through the adoption process and found out on Divine Mercy Sunday 2019 that we were getting a baby; she was going to be born in July. Then a few days later — God has a crazy sense of humor — we found out that we were pregnant. So our daughter, Josephine, and our second son, Jude, are exactly six months apart. And we were blessed again with another child, Lucas, last year. Being a father has taught me that I’m not the most important thing in the world. As soon as Isaac was born, it was like, “Man, I just went from the most important thing in my world to like number 9 or 10 or 11 on the list.” And it’s a test every

Photos by Spirit Juice Studios

COLUMBIA: What are some of your favorite big-league



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day — of patience, of being present. I do my best to be a role model to my children; some days it works out great, some days it doesn’t. But I think it’s good to show them that we all make mistakes — and as long as we come back to the cross, as long as we ask for forgiveness, we’re going to come out better. COLUMBIA: In addition to playing professional

baseball, you co-founded a nonprofit that assists people living with spinal cord injuries. What inspired that? TREVOR WILLIAMS: I founded Project 34 with Cory Hahn, my roommate and teammate at Arizona State University. Cory got hurt our opening weekend, when he slid head-first into second base and collided with the second baseman. It was just like any other play, any other collision, but then he wouldn’t get up. He had no feeling from the neck down. We found out later that he had a burst fracture of his C5 vertebrae. As terrible as his injury was, Cory got lucky in a sense in that it happened on a baseball field — NCAA insurance covered a lot of his treatment and therapy. He would meet other people with spinal cord injuries at rehab, and he saw a twofold need: People need help paying for physical therapy, extra wheelchairs, home modifications, car modifications. But he also saw that some people don’t have the support they need. It’s a monotonous rehab process. Sometimes it takes three years just to scratch your nose. And the people in your corner will burn out because it’s such a long process. Project 34 became an official charity in 2018, and to date, we’ve given out over $100,000 in grants. We’ve helped 40 to 50 families with anything from a complete home modification to building a ramp to a year of physical therapy.

the field. Every time I put the uniform on, I am reminded of [Cory]. He’s with me as well. COLUMBIA: What inspired you to join the Knights of Columbus? TREVOR WILLIAMS: Growing up around the Church, you were

surrounded by Knights. They were men of character, men of virtue, people you looked up to as leaders in our parish. And it was something that I wanted to be a part of — the brotherhood, the camaraderie, the tradition. As a younger man, you might look at the Knights and think, “I’ll wait until I’m older and I have a family.” But what’s the point of a waiting? So I became a Knight in 2018. With the baseball lifestyle, you’re moving around a lot. We have moved cities and parishes and I’ve moved to different councils, but I found my home, finally, in our council at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. We came back here because this is where we grew up. This is where our roots are. And to get established in a council that you know you’re going to be with for a long time is something special. ✢

COLUMBIA: What is the significance of the num-

ber 34?

TREVOR WILLIAMS: Cory’s favorite number is 32, but

a senior had the number 32 at ASU. So he chose the number 34, and 34 became this rallying cry with our baseball team once he got hurt. I promised him when I got to the big leagues that I would change my number to 34. I didn’t think that I would make it, so it was kind of an empty promise. And then when I did, someone on the Pirates had that number. But after the 2017 season, that player became a free agent, and I got permission to change to 34. For the rest of my career, I’m going to do my best to get number 32 or 34, just as a tangible reminder that there are people who can’t play this game anymore who would love to — a reminder that my career can be done any moment. That gets me out of bed, it gets me into my workouts, it keeps me focused on being the best version of myself on SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N ✢ F A I T H I N A C T I O N


MASS FOR VETS Blessed Sacrament Council 8056 in West Lafayette, Ind., supports a weekly Mass at the Indiana Veterans’ Home. Knights set up the altar and assist residents in going to and from Mass.

altar servers for the liturgy, which was celebrated by Archbishop Brian Dunn of Halifax-Yarmouth. More than 100 parishioners participated and prayed before the Order’s pilgrim icon of St. Joseph.

DINNER FOR SEMINARIANS With funds raised by a spaghetti dinner, St. Patrick’s Council 4057 in Carlisle, Pa., was able to give $4,700 to each of two seminarians from the Diocese of Harrisburg to support their priestly formation.

PARISH SUPPORT St. Charles Borromeo Council 10570 in Albuquerque, N.M., held several fundraisers to benefit the parish, allowing it to donate more than $11,000 for various parish projects and needs.

UNDER HER MANTLE St. Pius X Council 17086 in Rochester, N.Y., issued a “Thousand Rosary Challenge” to the parish for the month of May. Parishioners pledged more than 4,000 rosaries, and the Knights held a prayer service and luncheon to mark the end of the campaign. MASS FOR ST. JOSEPH Bedford (Nova Scotia) Council 9404 sponsored a Mass honoring St. Joseph at St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Knights served as readers, ushers and

POWERFUL DONATION St. Margaret Mary Council 11091 in Algonquin, Ill., raised $7,000 to purchase power generators for two Franciscan convents in Ukraine that lost power following the outbreak of the war. SACRED VESSELS Michael J. Sabella Assembly 2417 in Denver, N.C., donated two chalice and paten sets to the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Military chaplains will use the sets to celebrate Mass for service members around the world.

Mark Padilla (holding microphone), a member of St. Anthony the Finder of the Lost Council 15089 in San Gabriel, Calif., and teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in La Puente, leads students in a Knights of Columbus Silver Rose prayer service — promoting the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe and respect for life.

ABOVE: Photo by Elisha Valladares-Cormier

Knights from Sandusky (Ohio) Council 546 hold a canopy over Father Zachary Brown as he carries the Blessed Sacrament through the city’s streets. The Corpus Christi procession made stops at each of the three parishes the council serves.

ROSARIES FOR MOTHER CHURCH Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Assembly 3677 in Richmond, Va., purchased custom rosaries as gifts for Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Richmond and Father Tony Marques, the cathedral’s rector. The central medal and Our Father beads of the rosaries feature artwork from the cathedral.

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BUILT FOR A BROTHER Several members of Empress of the Americas Council 6092 in Fresno, Calif., rebuilt a backyard fence at the home of a brother Knight after a storm had blown it down. The new fence has helped the Knight, who had also been struggling with health issues, feel more secure. SUPPORTED BY THE CROSS St. Augustine Council 15192 in New City, N.Y., raised $2,000 for a local Catholic Charities food pantry by selling more than 60 stained-glass crosses to parishioners. The crosses were handmade by Past Grand Knight Larry Abbamonte.

ABOVE: Photo by Gina Christian

Mike Morano (right) and Archdiocese of Philadelphia seminarian Bernard Ekeagwu (center), members of Our Lady of Grace Council 17417 in Penndel, Pa., receive donations at the council’s recent food drive. Since May 2020, Council 17417 has held monthly food drives that have collected more than 43,000 pounds of food and $9,000 for Mary’s Cupboard, an emergency food program in Levittown.

NOTHING BUT NET Marian Council 3864 in Whitehall, Ohio, held a three-on-three basketball tournament for students at Holy Spirit Catholic School. Ten teams competed in the event, at which canned goods were also collected for the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at Holy Spirit Parish.

EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT Father Joseph E. Miller Council 2144 in Centerville, Iowa, was recently honored by the local school district for its extensive and ongoing support. The council helped provide essential supplies, such as clothing and bedding, for students in need, and also donated an electronic white board for the district’s special education program.

FOOD PACK-A-THON Father Daniel J. Kennedy Council 1611 in Needham, Mass., sponsored a three-day food-packing event to benefit the CRUDEM Foundation, which operates a hospital in Haiti. Council members and more than 500 volunteers from St. Joseph Parish packed 152,000 meals, which included rice, beans, vegetables and more, to be shipped to Haiti. FEEDING FAMILIES Boulet Council 2126 in Mount Vernon, Wash., donated more than 5,300 pounds of food and $1,700 to the Tri-Parish Food Bank in Burlington. The food bank serves more than 1,000 families each week. ONWARD AND UPWARD St. Theodore Guerin Council 14057 in Palos Heights, Ill., awarded two $1,000 scholarships to graduating eighth graders. The council annually provides scholarships to students who will continue their education at a Catholic high school.

Members of Banal na Sakramento Council 8753 and Tandang Sora Assembly 2715 in Quezon City, Luzon North, gather at Placido del Mundo Elementary School in Talipapa, Novaliches. The Knights donated religious materials and a bookshelf to the school, which many of them attended and which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N ✢ F A I T H I N A C T I O N


Young racers barrel toward the finish line during a soap box derby hosted by Our Lady of the Hill Council 13064 in Beaumont, Alberta. More than 30 youth participated in this year’s event, which coincides with the annual Beaumont Days community festival. Knights have organized the annual derby for nearly 30 years.

AUTOMATIC GATE FOR VETERAN Members of Victoria (Texas) Council 1329 installed an automatic opener on the driveway gate of a severely injured combat veteran and rebuilt a section of his front fence. The council arranged to purchase the device after a Knight noticed that the veteran needed to get out of his car every day to open and close the gate. SISTERS SUPPORT UKRAINE Little Sisters of the Poor in Catonsville, Md., presented the Maryland State Council with $35,000 — collected from friends, benefactors and volunteers — for the Ukraine Solidarity Fund. The state council has organized a monthly collection to provide food,

hygiene products and other supplies to the Little Sisters’ residences since the COVID-19 pandemic began. STEADY SUPPORT FOR VETS Msgr. James T. Weber Assembly 2152 in Tucson, Ariz., assists and honors veterans through several initiatives, including its Socks for Vets program and an annual Veterans Day program. Most recently, it donated $2,200 to the local Veterans Affairs hospital. CRUISIN’ FOR A PURPOSE Dr. Thomas A. Dooley Council 5492 in Livonia, Mich., held its fifth annual Kick Off to Summer Car Show, with more than 150 classic and custom cars displayed. The event raised over $7,000 for charity, and more than 40 Knights volunteered. EAT, PRAY, CLEAN Knights from St. Clare of Assisi Council 12963 in Clifton, Va., conducted their biannual Adopt-A-Highway road cleanup. The group attends Mass and has breakfast together prior to picking up trash along a road near the church.

Grand Knight Chris Taurence (right) stands with members of St. Luke the Evangelist Council 12455 in Raleigh, N.C., and groceries they bagged at Catholic Parish Outreach, a food pantry of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh. The Knights participated in an assembly line charity project, packaging six pallets of food for people in need.

REPRESENTATION IN RED Monroe (La.) Council 1337 and Msgr. John C. Marsh Assembly 329 donated red T-shirts to residents of the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Home as a way to honor military service members deployed across the world. Many military supporters wear red on Fridays to “Remember Everyone Deployed.”

TOP LEFT: Photo by Infinite Eye Photography

ROAD CLEANUP Members of several councils in the Diocese of Talibon, Visayas, cleaned local roads by removing political ads following recent national and local elections. The efforts were made following a request from Bishop Daniel Patrick Y. Parcon.

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Life PROTECTED BY OUR LADY Deacon Wally Kullman Council 14479 in Conifer, Colo., donated a replica of St. Juan Diego’s tilma and $2,500 to Marisol Services of Denver Catholic Charities. The council raised the funds by selling the tilmas, which depict Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn.

Knights from several Kentucky councils assist athletes competing in the softball throw event at the 2022 Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games. In addition to volunteering at competitions, Kentucky Knights organize and participate in various fundraisers for Special Olympics, including the annual Polar Plunge and Plane Pull.

ABOVE: Photo courtesy of Special Olympics Kentucky

BLOOD DRIVE COLLABORATION St. Ann Council 12863 in Channahon, Ill., and Our Lady of Knock Council 12882 in Minooka collaborate with Versiti Blood Center to hold six blood drives a year, three each at the councils’ respective parishes. Since March 2020, the councils have collected more than 1,000 units of blood.

Grand Knight James Hogue (top, center) and other members of St. Joseph Council 4480 in Kingston, Mass., stand with mothers and children supported by Friends of the Unborn Maternity Home in Quincy. The council worked with Joan Bailey (bottom), director of the center, to raise more than $6,500 in cash and baby supplies at a parish Mother’s Day baby shower.

DECISION DAY RALLY Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Knights from St. Jude Council 17442 in Eugene, Ore., helped organize a “Decision Day Rally” that included music and several pro-life speakers, including State Life Director Patrick Parson and Father John Boyle, chaplain of Carl Kebelbeck Council 3154 in Cottage Grove. A HAND FOR HIGH SCHOOLERS Father Bernard McDevitt Council 15085 in Waynesville, N.C., donated $575 to the Exceptional Student Program at Tuscola High School. The money was raised through the council’s fund drive for people with intellectual disabilities.

PRAYING FOR LIFE Knights and family members from St. Mary’s Council 13313 in Tulsa, Okla., gather every Thursday in front of a local abortion facility to pray the rosary for an end to abortion. BOTTLING UP CHANGE Blessed Sacrament Council 13240 in Clermont, Fla., held a baby bottle drive for the local JMJ Pregnancy Center. Parishioners donated more than $6,500, which will help offset the center’s operational costs. INTERNSHIP FUNDING St. Bernadette Council 10236 in Ajax, Ontario, donated CA$5,000 to Priests for Life Canada. The donation, which was funded through the collection of scrap metal, allowed the organization to hire a seminarian summer intern.

See more at Please submit your council activities to SEPTEMBER 2022 ✢ C O L U M B I A



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Supreme Council Awards College Scholarships For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Knights of Columbus awarded scholarships totaling close to $1.5 million to more than 500 students. Most recipients are the children of Knights, or Knights themselves, attending Catholic universities or Catholic colleges in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico or the Philippines. These figures include over $200,000 given to more than 100 seminarians in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about the Order’s scholarship programs, visit


A total of 42 U.S. students received Fourth Degree Pro Deo and Pro Patria scholarships of $1,500 each. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence to incoming freshmen in bachelor’s degree programs at Catholic colleges or Catholic universities. The recipients are Knights of Columbus or Columbian Squires, the son or daughter of a Knight in good standing, or the son or daughter of a Knight who was in good standing at the time of his death. Contingent on satisfactory academic performance, these scholarships are renewed for a total of four years. This academic year, 11 new scholarships were awarded and 31 renewed. The following are firsttime recipients: Ryan

Buddenbohn, Joseph Candelas, Florian Covington, Gennah Deutscher, Leo Devick, Zane Douglass, Nicholas Durkee, Curt McGovern, Samuel Rust, Keegan Schmitt and John Stravalle. FOURTH DEGREE PRO DEO AND PRO PATRIA SCHOLARSHIPS (CANADA)

These scholarships are for students entering colleges or universities in Canada, with requirements regarding K of C membership that are essentially the same as for their U.S. counterparts. Ten new scholarships were awarded and 32 renewed for the current academic year. New recipients are: Katelynn May Maureen Allen, Peter Anagbogu, Alexandre Diogo, Kieran Donais, Leah Hurley, Angela Ilyas, Raphael LeChance, Rebecca Minten, Michal Nutar and Gabrielle Vautour.


This scholarship was established in 1998 in honor of the Order’s 11th supreme knight. Recipients must be enrolled at a Catholic college or Catholic university in the United States and be a Knight, the wife of a Knight, or the son or daughter of a Knight. Columbian Squires and widows and children of members who died in good standing are also eligible. In addition to the 22 new recipients listed here, 79 scholarships were renewed for the current academic year. New recipients are: Samuel Aitchison, Sidney Appel, Madilyn Bannach, Claire Caton, Elizabeth (Lily) Dorris, Winston Fairchild, Isaac Gonzalez, Olivia Guilford, Magdalen Heckman, Grace Kearns, Haydon Kent, Sydnie Leavery, Joseph Maguire, Aine Manning, Sally McGrath, Anna Meeker, Kephas Olsson, Monica Ripplinger, Sofia Seidl, Autumn Sekerak, Rosemarie Tatz and Leah Weaver. ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS

Percy J. Johnson Scholarships are awarded to young men attending U.S. Catholic colleges or Catholic universities and are funded by a 1990 bequest of Percy J. Johnson, a member of Seville Council 93 in Brockton, Mass. Ten scholarships were awarded and 13 renewed for the current academic year. The new recipients are Isaiah Armendariz, Therese Barrett, John Dossie, Nathan Galicia, Hans Guenther, Briant Johnson, Ryan Lally, Emma

Pourciau, Jadon Scheidel and Kirk E. Shelton. In 2000, Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. received a $100,000 donation from Frank L. Goularte. A scholarship fund in his name was established to provide $1,500 in needbased grants that are administered, in general, according to the rules of the Pro Deo and Pro Patria Scholarships. Two new scholarship was awarded for the current academic year and six were renewed. The new recipients are Thomas Massey and Gwenyth VanLeeuwen. From 1995 to 1997, Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. received bequests totaling nearly $200,000 from the estate of Anthony J. LaBella. In his will, LaBella remembered the kindness shown to him by Knights when he was an orphan in Farmingdale, N.Y. The bequests have since been used to establish a scholarship fund in LaBella’s name. Earnings from the fund provide scholarships for undergraduate study in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Pro Deo and Pro Patria Scholarships. Three new scholarships were awarded to Andrew McNally, Kerry Perz and Ellen Phillips, and seven were renewed. In 1997, Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. received a bequest from Dr. Arthur F. Battista to establish scholarships for graduates of the Cornwall (Ontario) Collegiate and Vocational School. These $1,500 and $2,000 annual scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, financial need, community

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service and extracurricular activities. Preference is given to Knights; to the children or grandchildren of members; to students recommended by the Ontario State Council; and to students bound for Catholic colleges or Catholic universities. For the current academic year, four new scholarships were awarded and 16 grants renewed. New recipients are: Rori Campbell, Mia Grant, Mubarak Atheef Lafir Madani and Tharuyan Nallaiah.

graduate fellowships. For the 2022-2023 academic year, three fellowships have been awarded to Sophia Guidici, Ariel Hobbs and Alex Lopez. Eight scholarships were renewed. Two new fellowships for the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America were awarded for the 2021-2022 academic year to Maria Teresa Briggs and Ailsa Skudoas. No scholarships were renewed.



This scholarship is named for Sister Thea Bowman (1937-1990), an African American religious who inspired many people with her urgent and uplifting call for better education for children of the African American community. In December 1996, the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors, in partnership with the Sister Thea Bowman Foundation, authorized a four-year grant in the amount of $25,000 per year to support deserving African American students pursuing a Catholic college education. Periodically, the board has approved continuation of the grant program. For the 2022-2023 academic year, one scholarship was renewed. GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS

The Order has an endowment at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., that provides Knights of Columbus

For the current academic year, six new scholarships were awarded and four renewed. The new recipients are Yaina Cruz Marrero, Deleanys Ferrer Arroyo, Génesis Alanna Gómez Vázquez, Jerelyn C. González Ortiz, Glorian Marrero Maldonado and Carlos Luis Santiago Ortiz. PHILIPPINES SCHOLARSHIPS

For the current academic year, 18 new scholarships of $500 were awarded and 18 renewed. The new recipients are: Irish Khya L. Abella, Hazle Love G. Bartolo, Angel Marie T. Butsayo, Althea Gwyneth B. Cabillage, Sean Raye V. Calamohoy, Precious Mae L. Calogcog, Ganie S. Calugan, Clowee Shameka D. Castillo, Leige Agea M. Dimaandal, Rea Leen S. Dulin, Christian Matthew G. Evalla, Raleen Andre D. Gener, Godwin B. Labay, Rachelle Mae M. Lopez, Jessa A. Rebonza, Arian Farra T. Soriano, Shaun Russel T. Tacanay and Jovan P. Virtudazo.

Educational Trust Fund The Francis P. Matthews and John E. Swift Educational Trust offers scholarships to the children of members who are killed or permanently and totally disabled by hostile action Matthews while serving with the armed forces during a covered period of conflict. In 2004, the Order declared that military conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan would be covered under the trust fund. Also eligible are the children of members who Swift are killed as a result of criminal violence directed against them while performing their duties as full-time law enforcement officers or full-time firefighters. An application must be filed within two years of the date of the member’s death. As of June 30, a total of 814 children have been recorded as eligible for benefits from the Francis P. Matthews and John E. Swift Educational Trust Fund scholarship program since its establishment in 1944. Thus far, 360 eligible children have chosen not to use the scholarships, three have died, and 128 who began college either discontinued their studies or fully used their scholarship eligibility before graduation. There are 20 future candidates. To date, 303 students have completed their education through the fund. Owen Pelletier, Natalie Pelletier and Kevin Wallen graduated in 2022, and the following students are working toward their degrees: John J. Kelly, Dominic Miller and Lauren Murphy Sweet. One additional student, Jordan Murphy, began undergraduate studies with the 2022-2023 academic year, making a total of four scholarships overall.


For the current academic year, eight new scholarships were awarded in the amount of $500 each, renewable for up to four years. In addition, 12 were renewed. The new recipients are: Tadeo Ismael Aceves Gutiérrez, José Juan Álvarez Romero, Samanta Baeza Muñiz, Fernanda Valentina Cuevas Ramírez,

Luisa Guadalupe Rodríguez Quintana, Daniela Sofía Romero Zepeda, Yuliana María Villegas Osuna and Frida Estefanía Zaragoza Ibáñez. FOR MORE INFORMATION Scholarship applications for the upcoming academic year will be available after Oct. 1. For more information, visit




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

Ukrainian and Polish children stand below Czorsztyn Castle near the southern border of Poland during a holiday camp organized by Polish Knights. The 10-day camp for both local and refugee families included a rafting excursion and hiking trips to sites throughout the country.

To be featured here, send your council’s “Knights in Action” photo as well as its description to: Columbia, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or e-mail: COLUMBIA SEPT 22 ENG COVERS 08_17 FINAL.indd 3

8/17/22 5:27 PM


‘Christ’s love consumes my life.’

Father Thomas J. Haan Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana Father Thomas J. Kelley Council 6923, Fishers, Ind.


Photo by Rebecca McElhoe

I grew up loving two things: our family farm and sports. There was a basketball hoop in the haymow of our barn, and during breaks from working with the cattle, I would play pickup games with my brothers and cousins. I grew to love football, too, and was even blessed to play quarterback at the collegiate level for a year. But over time, another love quietly grew in my heart: a love for Christ and his Church. My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic and an unswerving trust in the Lord. My parish priest provided an example of real eucharistic amazement, an intense prayer life and a filial devotion to our Blessed Mother. Through their influence, I discovered that the greatest joy of my life was when I could draw others closer to our Savior. While I still love to come home to the family farm and still play sports, it is Christ’s all-conquering love that consumes my life, and I couldn’t be happier. To all those discerning their vocation: Let his love conquer!

8/17/22 5:27 PM