Knights of Columbus: August 2008 Archives
A Rome-based news agency made a recent entry on the new head of the Pontifical Council of the Family, Ennio Cardinal Antonelli can be viewed here.
In 1973, Pope Paul created Committee for the Family and in 1981, Pope John Paul raised this committee to the rank of a "Pontifical Council." The mission, therefore of the Pontifical Council for the Family is being "...responsible for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family, through the application of the teachings and guidelines of the ecclesiastical Magisterium, to help Christian families fulfill their educational and apostolic mission. It also promotes and coordinates pastoral efforts related to the issue of responsible procreation, and encourages, sustains and coordinates initiatives in defense of human life in all stages of its existence, from conception to natural death."
Here in the US, the faithful know that in the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney they have a heavenly patron for the protection of families.
Hence, the Knights of Columbus has as one of its hallmarks the defense of the family and it frequently stands up for the family from the vulgar attacks the family faces today. It is very clear to me that one can find no other lay Catholic organization that defends the dignity of the family than the KofC today. Also, the work of the US bishops on behalf of the family should be noted.
Let's pray for families especially those facing some difficulty that the protection of Mary Most Holy and of Saint Joseph will be with them. It is the desire of us all that families resist the disintegrating forces of certain elements in contemporary culture which undermine the very foundations of the family. Hence, this desire is only realized through prayer, hard work, education and courage. And as the Pope Benedict asks, "us resolve to make our own homes radiate with Christ's loving harmony and peace."
The 6th World Encounter of Families is scheduled for 13-18 January 2009 in Mexico. It is hoped that the Pope would attend this meeting.
Today's the feast of the martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe (January 8, 1894-August 14, 1941), the Apostle of Consecration to Mary. Pope Benedict reminded us recently that the death of Kolbe was a witness of the love which "defeats the darkness of egoism and hatred." The Holy Father recalled words attributed Saint Maximilian Kolbe: "Hatred is not a creative force: only love is." On August 14, 1941, the saint died in place of Franciszek Gajowniczek.
When Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe in the presence of Franciszek Gajowniczek he said that Saint Maximilian Kolbe was not a confessor, but a martyr. He is one of ten 20th-century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London.
Saint Maximilian is the patron saint for those living with drug addictions, the imprisoned people, journalists, political prisoners, prisoners, and the pro-life movement.
Kolbe is a special saint for me because from my school days his image and story were imprinted in my mind and heart by the Nazareth sisters. How could the story of Fr. Kolbe not move you? When I visited the Nazi concentration camps in 1996, and prayed in Kolbe's cell, his offering was very present to me. Through Kolbe's intercession before the Throne of Grace we ask for world peace and peace in our hearts.
118 years ago the Venerable Servant of God Michael J. McGivney died at the age of 38. A diocesan priest of the Hartford Diocese and founder of the Knights of Columbus, McGivney urged holiness and missionary activity with the Knights and his parishioners. The only way to manage this is to adhere 100% to Jesus Christ.
The prayer for canonization is an excellent summary of McGivney's work and a challenge for us to similarly respond to God and service of neighbor. The McGivney Guild which promotes McGivney's cause for sainthood by giving relevant information on Fr. McGivney and it has a number of devotional items to encourage devotion to him. The Guild publishes a newsletter 6 times per year. Membership is open to all people and free.
Prayer for the Canonization of
Father Michael J. McGivney
God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you called your priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor.
Through the example of his life and virtue may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body which is the Church. Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast.
We humbly ask that you glorify your servant Father Michael J. McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will.
Through his intercession, grant the favor I now present (here make your request).
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.