Tag Archives: Knights of Columbus

Witness to marriage, family and dignity of all life, Pope Francis tells KofC

Conscious of the specific responsibility which the lay faithful have for the Church’s mission, he invites each Knight, and every Council, to bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family, the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life, and the beauty and truth of human sexuality. In this time of rapid social and cultural changes, the protection of God’s gifts cannot fail to include the affirmation and defense of the great patrimony of moral truths taught by the Gospel and confirmed by right reason, which serve as the bedrock of a just and well-ordered society.

Pope Francis to the Knights of Columbus
San Antonio Convention 2013, excerpt

Windows into Heaven –Knights of Columbus Museum exhibits Russian icons

I am always looking for the way heaven touches earth. Perhaps you are, too. The image that comes to mind is the finger of God touching that of Adam in a painting done by Michelangelo. I also recall that the Incarnation is a manifestation of the beauty of heaven touching the ordinariness of earth and making our existence forever beautiful. These are some thoughts on an experience of “Windows into Heaven: Russian Icons and Treasures” at the Knights of Columbus Museum (New Haven, CT). Though the icons aren’t in their original liturgical context, they nonetheless open the heart and mind onto something and someone beautiful. The icons, for me, are more than nice pieces of Christian art; they truly are positions of grace that allow my desires to be opened anew by an experience with the Divine Majesty. There is an emphasis here on the personal relationship we have with the Trinity. To say otherwise is to neglect a piece of your humanity because the beauty of the icon does invite us to a different way of living the faith.

kofc icon collage.jpg

I was just reading an address of Cardinal Ratzinger on beauty. An amazing act of the Spirit to allow me to see the icons and then reflect with Ratzinger on the experience. He had addressed the annual meeting organized by members of Communion and Liberation in August 2002. A paragraph sticks out:

To admire the icons and the great masterpieces of Christian art in general, leads us on an inner way, a way of overcoming ourselves; thus in this purification of vision that is a purification of the heart, it reveals the beautiful to us, or at least a ray of it. In this way we are brought into contact with the power of the truth. I have often affirmed my conviction that the true apology of Christian faith, the most convincing demonstration of its truth against every denial, are the saints, and the beauty that the faith has generated. Today, for faith to grow, we must lead ourselves and the persons we meet to encounter the saints and to enter into contact with the Beautiful.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

“The Feeling of Things, the Contemplation of Beauty”

Rimini Meeting 2002

Take the time this summer to visit the KofC Museum and be inspired! Allow yourself to be wounded by beauty, as Ratzinger said.

Gonzaga University rejects Knights of Columbus because they are Catholic

Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Kni...

The Knights of Columbus are not allowed to officially exist on Gonzaga’s University’s campus because they don’t meet a criterion: that non-Catholics be admitted to the group. The decision by the University Student Life office was communicated by Sue Weitz with the help of Kassi Kain. The KoC is a fraternity (of men) who are practical Catholics.

The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 in New Haven, CT, by the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney. It is a lay-run organization. As a fraternal benefit society the KofC provides an opportunity for Catholic men to serve the local and universal Church by defending the Catholic faith and doing works of charity. As a group, the KoC also promotes patriotism.
By the same criterion, the Jesuits would not be able to be an official group on Gonzaga University’s campus. Imagine.
Perhaps it’s time to formally re-evaluate whether the Society of Jesus will continue –in good conscience–to officially sponsor universities such as Gonzaga which is quickly loosing its Catholic character. Surely this act of the University does not cohere with documents of the General Congregations of the Jesuits.
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The Knights make me feel safe

The emblem of the Knights of Columbus

The circumstances in Newtown, Connecticut, have raised the awareness of many with regard to human need: love, peace, fraternity, fidelity, acceptance, and safety. Sometimes we are unaware of our own human need, sometimes we are unaware of the person next to us, and sometimes we are unaware of the gifts given to us by God that are in front of us, like companionship. 

When I worked at Saint Rose of Lima Church several years ago I came into contact with several very impressive men and their families. These men were impressive because they weren’t so different from me, or others that I knew, yet their regular faith, friendship and actions made difference in concrete ways. The concrete is always an expression of someone else at work: for me it is Jesus Christ.

I am proud member of the Knights of Columbus and I cherish my membership with other Knights. Why? In a recent email from the Grand Knight about the work he’s calling brother Knights to do, and attending to what others need and feel for a greater good inspired me because of the one line in the letter (see below). See how important a presence can be? See how important THE Presence can be if we allow the Him to act in and through us?

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Ecclesia in America at 15, Carl Anderson reflects

Hard to believe that 15 years have passed since John Paul’s post synodal exhortation Ecclesia in America. It is a remarkable document in my opinion, even though it touches on many very serious problems that we need to face from Alaska to Argentina. We hear nothing of this document these days. Every so often we hear a reference to it when a hierarch wants to say something intelligent about the situation at hand in America. Perhaps we could go back to EA with fresh eyes. What is clear is to work on ways for greater communion and solidarity with the Christians across the boarders.

We need to continue to answer the thematic of the “Encounter with the living Jesus Christ: The way to conversion, communion and solidarity in America.” We can’t set tight with only what John Paul gave us to think on, and to work on. The strength of the Church in America rests not merely on our own solution to the matters at hand but also to our persistent call to holiness.

To honor the publication’s anniversary events have been scheduled in Rome from 9-12 December. Among the presentations/dialogue we have:

  • the event in Guadalupe as the origin of evangelization in the New World
  • the post-Synodal Exhortation: prophecy, teaching and commitment
  • the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America with the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, star of the new evangelization and mother of the civilization of love
  • the meaning of the Year of Faith
  • Scenarios and proposals for communion and co-operation between Churches of the Americas and for solidarity among their peoples.
There will be Masses celebrated, rosaries said and other devotions prayed.

Happy to see that Carl Anderson, supreme knights of the Knights of Columbus was chosen as one the presenters for today’s conference. He gives gravitas coupled with reasonableness. You may want to listen to Carl Anderson’s interview with Vatican Radio it is here.

English: My photograph of an image of the tilm...

Mr Anderson’s remarks:

It is indeed an
honor for the Knights of Columbus to have the opportunity to help organize this
conference on Ecclesia in America – together with the Pontifical Commission for
Latin America – under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

As a lay
organization that has been in the United States, Canada, Mexico – and other
parts of Latin America – for more than a century, we are particularly aligned
with the vision presented in Ecclesia in America, and are working with the
Church in our hemisphere on the project of the New Evangelization.

re-reading Ecclesia in America 15 years after the close of the Synod for
America held here in Rome in November and December 1997, three things stand out
to me as particularly important to our discussion here and at the conference
next week.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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