A Shepherd's Message - May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

I want to put in a good word for the Knights of Columbus here and throughout the State of Texas.

The K of C recently celebrated its annual State Convention in Houston; the State has the largest number of Knights throughout America and remains very active in its charitable causes for Pro-life, for the disabled, those affected by the pandemic, the cold, hurricanes, and a host of other situations in our parishes and communities which receive immediate attention from the K of C.

Solidarity, Fraternity and Patriotism are hallmarks of the Knights and their activities and all these initiatives are grounded in a solid Catholic Faith, love of the Holy Father and loyalty to the bishops of the Church. Under the Knights’ past Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson, a great series of programs and spiritual renewal was inaugurated, developed and intensified for all Knights and their families.

The spiritual renewal was theologically sound and catechetically informed so that the renewal could affect all the Church. Thus, the K of C was not only a Catholic Fraternal Society and Movement, a place for camaraderie and an agent for excellent insurance, but also the K of C was to be a place of genuine religious formation for men! The new Supreme Knight, Patrick E. Kelly, is continuing this great tradition.

What has highlighted the K of C, their history and importance even more, was the beatification of the Founder, Rev. Michael McGivney, last year, the last step towards eventual sainthood for this diocesan priest with the heart of a shepherd towards his flock in New Haven, Connecticut and beyond . Father McGivney had a far reaching but very concrete vision for the Catholic men of his area, that they grow in faith and mutual solidarity, and that they be unafraid to confess their Faith openly. Before the concept was even used, he saw men as servant leaders in their parishes ready to help and volunteer immediately when the pressing needs of those days arose.

In response to their history and the present challenges to the Church and in the Church, the Supreme Council of the K of C has instituted a Faith in Action Program beginning in 2018. Its main categories are Faith, Family, Community and Life. These are serious themes and the Knights are wise to undertake initiatives in each area.

I want to emphasize the Family among these four areas, and the role of St. Joseph in our families. This year the Holy Father has proclaimed a Year of St. Joseph, commemorating the 150th. Anniversary of the Declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron and Guardian of the Universal Church by Blessed Pope Pius IX. Pope Francis has great love and respect for St. Joseph and began his papacy officially on the Solemn Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2013.

Our Holy Father always sees St. Joseph as pictured with a “father’s heart.” What care he had for his Spouse, the Virgin Mary and for his “son,” legally, Jesus Christ. With great faith in the vision of the angel appearing to him in a dream, Joseph took Mary as his wife and thus adopted her child as his son. Joseph showed himself not only as intensely dedicated to his family, since he gave himself in self-sacrifice, but even more positively, he offered himself as a gift ready and open to the will and command of God. Further, he was also a worker, a carpenter, skilled in a trade, and responsible in the local Jewish community.

This year on Father’s Day, I think we should not only pray for and bless our Fathers, but also ask the quiet and humble, yet faithful and dedicated St. Joseph, to bless all the father in our parishes and to make them holy and courageous men of faith!

We should also pray for all the members of the K of C that they will maintain their tradition of excellence as a Catholic Fraternal Society and be even more dedicated to the ideals that Blessed Michael McGivney bequeathed to them and to the Church.